Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekend Fun

These last couple of weekends have been quite a bit of fun! Actually, mostly all these weekends while I've been back in the midwest have been fun, but I'm just going to post pictures from the last two. A week ago I was able to hang out in LaCrosse, WI for the weekend, spending time with my boyfriend and his parents. I know... I haven't said much (or anything) about Brent on this blog yet, wanting to wait until we got to spend time with each other's parents and friends. Well, that's gotten to happen now so here are a few pictures!

Last weekend, we went to one of my favorite parks in LaCrosse on Saturday morning, and it was fun to see the trees with leaves on them, versus all the snow that defined my assignment in LaCrosse last winter. You can see it was also a pretty foggy morning.

I love the fog through the trees.

We laugh together - A LOT!

I love this bench. Wouldn't it be fun to sit and just watch the river a while from this bench?

I think this bridge is really pretty.

After spending the afternoon hanging out at his parent's house, we all went out to dinner together, and then Brent and I went to the LaCrosse Symphony's opening performance for the season. Brent used to play cello in that same symphony, so it was an especially fun treat. It was a beautiful concert, by the way! Fun pieces by Debussey, George Gershwin's "An American in Paris" and others. Here we are all dressed up for the symphony.

After church on Sunday with his parents (where we happened to run into my friend, Stacy!!!), Brent and I went up to Grandad's Bluff to look around. We saw some beautiful colors:

and I was able to see LaCrosse without all the snow piles and white! Can you remember what the winter was like for me? :) It was great to finally see THIS view from the bluff:

Here's a closeup of my old hospital:

And one of my favorite bridges.

Practicing the self-portraits. :)

This past weekend, Brent was able to come this direction. We checked out a State Park only a few miles from Mankato that I had wanted to visit. It looks like it would've been perfect a few weeks ago, but it was still very beautiful. Minneopa State Park has a great "falls" I guess, but this weekend it was only a small trickle. In fact, many leaves just fell to the water and never moved again!

Another wonderful bridge.

After driving to the Twin Cities, we had to make sure our first stop was seeing this amazing little guy! I know he looks pretty mad in this picture, but it's actually that he has a cold and was stuffed up and having a hard time breathing. He was in a great mood, and let me sit and read to him a while. Cute kid! Even tonight when he and his parents came over, he seemed to be feeling better.

After Julie and David and David headed to the other grandparents house, Brent and I went to my parents house. We were able to sit and chat a bit with them, and then my dad took us on a small tour of The Cities. Here we are at the park by Minnehaha Falls.

At the pavillion right by Minnehaha Falls, there was some big Halloween festival going on. They had all sorts of food, games, mostly kid-stuff. But, they also had Dracula come by for a visit with his princess.

My mom snapped this picture overlooking the falls. It was also just a trickle of a stream, so I look forward to getting back there again in the spring with the huge falls that I remember.

After Minnehaha Falls, we also went down by the Locks and Dam on the Mississippi River. I guess bridges and parks are the themes of these two weekends!

They were a couple of terrific weekends! We get to head to Fergus together on Thursday, and of course it will be wonderful to introduce him to friends there. It's nice to have a few days off with my 12-hour shifts, and Brent works for a local school district and it's their conference weekend. He's a really great guy, so I'm excited for more of my friends to get to meet him. If you're in Fergus, see you soon! :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hanging out at the Apple Orchard!

About a week and a half ago (I know, I'm getting behind in posting things!) I invited my mom and David to join me at a nearby apple orchard. It was a wonderful day! We enjoyed great weather, lots of sun, a HUGE apple orchard, ducks in a pond, horses in the stable and also a field, pumpkins ready to be purchased, and then also a great store with apples, apple products and lots of other yummy treats for sale! We had lunch in the little cafe, David learned he LOVES apples, and picked up some treats for some friends. David was in the BEST mood all day long and laughed a LOT! He's usually really happy, hardly ever fusses, but this day he especially had a blast! He was so intrigued by everything he saw, and I guess he was fast asleep within a few feet of leaving the orchard!

Here are some of the fun pictures we took. If you're in the area just 20+ minutes south of the Twin Cities on Hwy 169, check it out! Minnesota Harvest is a great orchard to just pick up something quick, or spend a whole day. It's fun for everyone, but especially geared towards kids. I'm SO glad it worked out to go!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom!! I hope that you're able to enjoy a wonderful day, and that you'll have the time to do something fun, just for you. I wish I could be there to celebrate with you in person, but know that I'm thinking about and praying for you today.

Thank you for being an amazing mom. Thanks for praying for me, teaching me about the Lord, and being the biggest example to me regarding spending time with Him faithfully. Thanks for being a wonderful wife, mom, grandma (I know -your favorite role!), sister, sister-in-law, aunt and friend. You have made an impact on many people and we'll be thinking about YOU today!

Here's a little preview of the next post I'm working on, when my mom and I took David to an apple orchard last week. There's a big one that I pass every time I head to my parents, so I asked if we could make plans to check it out. I'm so glad that it worked, and it really was a perfect day!

This is one of my favorite pictures of the day: I love watching my mom love watching David enjoy or learn about new things. She's a wonderfully loving grandma!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Updated Look

For those of you just joining me on this blogging adventure, you might not have known that one of the things I like to do is change the look of my blog with each new location I'm living in. I love to tie the look into the location, so desert colors in Phoenix or ocean blue in California. Well, I've been in Mankato over a month now and am finally getting around to showing off the fun fall colors that I love. The midwest is a wonderful place to be in the fall!

Fall Fun in Door County, Wisconsin

I have been blessed with a wonderful fall back in the Midwest! It's been really good to be around, and I'm looking forward to telling you more about it later. I know I have been terrible at keeping up with my blog, but there are some things I've wanted to share with you! One of them is the fact that I have had so much fun exploring a few new places, specifically in Wisconsin.

A week ago I had the extreme pleasure of hanging out with some friends from LaCrosse, WI. We were all coworkers at the hospital there, and I'm so thankful I was able to make some lifelong friendships. We had been talking about how fun it would be to hang out again once I'm back in the Midwest, and planned on a fun weekend in Door County. I wasn't sure what my work schedule would be like and if it could actually work to join them, so I was THRILLED that it worked out! I had often heard great things about Door County (such as it being one of the most beautiful places in our amazing country) and those things all came true. It was an incredible weekend!

It turns out that Susan, Stacy, and LaVonne all enjoy taking pictures JUST AS MUCH AS I DO! and I never thought that could be possible! So, we actually have a few hundred pictures between all of us, and I've wanted to share them with you but obviously narrow them down first. I was able to post some on Facebook but of course wanted some on here for my friends and family without Facebook. I'll put a link to that photo album, though, if you'd like to check it out. I haven't done that before but am hoping it's easy. If not... well... nevermind.

(Ooooo.... it worked! Just copy and paste it into your browser and then click on the album name to see all the pictures!)

On our way to Door County we had to drive through Green Bay. As I lifelong Vikings fan, I wasn't so sure about this... Was it okay to be in Packer country? I had been in Appleton the week before and learned that many, many, many things on that side of the state are decked out in green and gold, but I have to say I was a little surprised to find that even the fire hydrants in Green Bay are painted Packer green!

I was able to narrow the 100's of pictures down to just 51 (yes, that was a very difficult task, but I was up for it...) and wanted to put them all in this post individually. But, since my loving father pointed out that my posts seem to be getting longer and longer, I opted for a slide show. So, if you're up for it, grab a cup of tea and enjoy the show!

There, now that wasn't too bad, was it?

I left our fun weekend early on Sunday morning to meet up with a friend and head back to MN. It turns out that the girls didn't forget about me while I was gone, however. It seems as though "I" was able to enjoy the fun with them, and while there are many pictures I won't post, I thought you might enjoy seeing "me" playing Scrabble,

and going to Lambeau Field!

It was one of the most enjoyable weekends I've had, and I'm so glad I've now shared it with you! If you ever have the chance to go do Door County, Wisconsin, don't pass it up. You'd be missing out!