Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Decorations

I sent Brent around the house with the camera to snap a few pictures of our Christmas decorations. Here's what he came up with!

We have more decorations up (a tree, stockings, other knick-knacks, and even mistletoe!) but these are the cute picture to share with you.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Clueless, but not despairing...

A change is coming in our life. The reality is, though, we're not sure just exactly what that change will be.

Brent found out on Wednesday (finalized on Friday), that his boss has to lay off all his employees. He's been working for a small appraisal firm, and cash flow just isn't what it should be. We're not sure just what this will mean for us, but you can be sure we'll let you know when we know more!

You might feel like you've read this post before, but that's just because the same thing happened to us back in April. But, this time we don't have to worry about planning a wedding, we're not supposed to close on a house in 10 days, and we don't have to find housing for us separately -since WE'RE MARRIED NOW! I said in our post the last time this happened that there are 1000 questions to be answered and we were at #50. This time around, we feel like there are a few less questions but we're still on the early side of coming up with answers. Do we move? Do we stay? What line of work will Brent chose to work in? The good thing is, though, we don't feel in despair. We're a little clueless about the answers to the questions, but we know they'll come.

We had no idea at the beginning of the year that Brent, who was in a stable field for 13 years, would face this twice in seven months. But, I keep trying to keep it in perspective. Sure, it's a hard to start out a marriage facing a job loss, twice. But I know people who are going through cancer treatments, I have a cousin with a daughter fighting for her life in NICU, and we really are doing okay. We've made some smart decisions financially to get us through a bit of time and I have a co-worker going on maternity leave within the next few weeks so I'll be able to pick up 1-2 shifts per week, for probably two or three months. And, Brent said he can take over a bit of the laundry and cooking so what else is there? :)

Life is an adventure, right? This wasn't in our plan, but we know that the Lord knows what's in store. Please pray with us for wisdom and patience as we seek His will in our future. Please also pray for Brent's boss and wife as they are good friends of ours and we know how much they're hurting right now.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Thousand Times, YES!

One year ago today, I was asked the best question of my life, and the answer was a resounding YES!!!!

It's amazing to think how much has changed in a year's time, and yet how it's flown by all at the same time.

What a great year!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Turkey, Turkey, Lots of Turkey

Hosting my first Thanksgiving dinner was a success! Brent's parents came to stay with us on Wednesday night, then his sister and her family also joined us for a big Thanksgiving Dinner. I did the turkey and some of the sides, and Dee and Amy chipped in as well. When they guys were helping clean everything up, we realized that we were probably putting away 50% of what we made, so we literally had twice as much as needed. Oh well, I LOVE leftover turkey dinner with all the fixins'!

That was good, too, because that night I went to work the overnight shift, and brought with me ROUND TWO of Thanksgiving dinner in my compartmentalized Tupperware container. Yummy!

I got home at 7:30am and at 8:00 on the dot we were on our way to the Twin Cities to see my side of the family. I was able to sleep really well the whole way there (thanks once again to the air mattress in the back!) and as soon as I walked in the door my mom took one look at me and sent me to bed for another hour. Since I had been awake since 5:30am the day before, I complied readily!

While I was sleeping, my wonderful husband was helping my wonderful parents on ROUND THREE of Thanksgiving dinner. I woke up, got ready for the day, and was just finished as this fun family walked in the door!

That was one example of a potential Christmas card picture, but with a 2.5 year old, the pictures can be interesting! It had been almost two months since Brent and I last saw him, so of course he's grown and changed and become even smarter and funnier!

While we waited for ROUND THREE to finish up, David got to play with his favorite Uncle Brent. They really like each other! David loves puzzles, so he was excited to show this one to Brent.

He also loves all trucks, bulldozers, etc, so was having fun showing off this front-end-loader and all of the things it could carry.

After a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner (round three) we settled in for some fun, and the smallest of the group changed into his jammies. Here he is showing me his fishing pole puzzle. He's pretty proud of himself!

And finally before they had to leave, I got to read him some bedtime stories. "Where's Spot", "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" and "Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?" are three of his favorites. It was fun to hear him say more words, and also think he's saying more words. (There could be a 2 minute monologue of mumble jumble that he's sure we understand. We don't.)

I sure love the kid, and miss him bunches and bunches!

On Saturday, I slept in fairly late and woke up to ROUND FOUR of turkey dinner (for a late brunch for me) then Brent and I were able to do a little bit of shopping (mostly wandering). Then I met up with my best friend, Aimee, after she was done playing a piano gig at a local Macy's. We shopped and ate Italian (NOT turkey!) and talked and talked and talked. It was wonderful! She dropped me off at my parents, came in for a bit to chat, then it was bedtime for all...

After church this morning, Brent and I went back to my parents while they finished up some stuff, and he finished my Italian food leftovers while I partook (is that a word?) of ROUND FIVE of turkey dinner. As you can tell, I really love turkey dinner! We watched the start of the Vikings game, then headed back here to Wisconsin.

Where, I'm happy to report, all those leftovers await me in the fridge!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Les Miserables, La Crosse, and Swine Flu

This past weekend, Brent and I had the extreme pleasure of watching his daughter, M, perform in her school's production of Les Miserables. She was the only freshman involved (that's just how talented she is!) and was in the chorus. That means she was able to be in most scenes, as one of the singers/actors who didn't have a specific character part, but was one of the townspeople who added to everything that was going on. She even had a solo line in a song, and sounded terrific!

OH MY WORD!! This production was INCREDIBLE!

They did an amazing job, and the whole thing was wonderful. It never once felt like we were at a high school production, but definitely felt like a professional show that we should've paid big bucks for. The music was top-notch, there were numerous times the main characters singing brought tears to my eyes (Jean Valjean, Javert, Fantine, and Eponine specifically) and the acting was incredible. Like we told M afterwards, the facial expressions on everyone's faces were so believable, it seemed as though they were truly living their part! It really was so fun to be there! I just wish we had gotten some pictures, but photography wasn't allowed... bummer!

It was also really great just to get to spend some time with M over the weekend! We miss being closer, so any time we can spend with her is pretty precious. It was a short trip, because I had to work Friday overnights, so we left Saturday morning just after I got home and I slept in the car (on an air mattress in the back of the minivan, by the way, which was a great way to sleep!). We arrived mid-afternoon and hung out with M around town and had dinner together before she had to be at school for the musical.

Then on Sunday morning, we had brunch together before we had to leave and she needed to get ready for that day's show. Can you guess where we would've eaten? Why Perkins, of course! Living in Fergus Falls for 12 years of my life means that Perkins is an automatic choice for many a meal --brunch, late night appetizers, dessert... you name it, Perkins has it! :)

Here we are after a great omelet, and just before we took off.

It was hard saying goodbye, but we're looking forward to Christmas and M joining us for a while!

After we left, we decided to take a detour on our drive home, and went to La Crosse to see Brent's parents. They just moved into their new home so we wanted to see that, and also wanted to wish them a "Happy Anniversary" on their big day! Now, before any of my La Crosse friends wonder why I didn't call, we really were only there just a few hours --long enough to see their home and take them out to dinner to celebrate. It was a long detour and quick visit, but so completely worth every minute!

We got back late on Sunday night and fell right to sleep. On Monday morning Brent went to work, and when he came home, he said he hadn't been feeling very well. I took one look at him and knew he had a fever. The thermometer confirmed it so I gave him Tylenol and sent him to bed. On Tuesday morning I got home from work after he had already left so I didn't see him. On the phone he said he felt okay and I went to bed. When I woke up and called him he said he was coming home soon and heading to bed. It turns out he had a fever again by 9:30 in the morning and if I had known that, I would've ordered him home right away!!! So, he slept the rest of the day and night, stayed home from work on Wednesday and now today, and he's had a fever the entire time, just getting slightly better with Tylenol and Advil every four hours. I looked around at the CDC website quite a bit to make sure I didn't need to bring him in, but they really suggested people stay at home to stop spreading anything around, unless there are other medical conditions playing a part. We've seen at the hospital that they're not always even testing people because such a huge majority of people right now who have the symptoms come back with positive tests, they're just assuming it will be positive. (It's an overwhelming majority!)

We've had probably 40-50 kiddos at the hospital that have H1N1 so I got the vaccination a while ago. We wear gowns, gloves and masks in each of those rooms so as not to infect ourselves or our families, or any of our other patients. On the CDC website they suggested that patients can wear a mask at home to not infect their family, but Brent was pretty happy to hear I wouldn't make him do that!

I think he's liking that I'm a nurse and can know many ways to help him, but he's still been pretty miserable. Since hindsight is always best, as we look back we can see one or two signs that show he might have started with all this over the weekend, so we're sure hoping he hasn't gotten anyone else sick!

It's generally a pretty mild case of the flu, but is typically lasting about 10 days so it looks like I'll be taking good care of my sweetie for a few more days still!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fall Fun Day

Back a few weeks ago, Brent and I decided to enjoy some Fall Fun. First off, we went to an apple orchard and picked ourselves some wonderful apples! I think we ended up with over 30 pounds of apples, and have already been enjoying some of the wonderful applesauce and apple crisp we've made, and have many more fun treats ahead of us!

After the apple orchard, we took a nice long lesurely drive through the countryside heading towards Green Bay, in order to check out the great fall colors that were showing themselves. We stopped at a little park along the way and it was fun to see that every single leaf in the park was a beautiful gold-yellow!

When we arrived in Green Bay, we went to Heritage Hill, which is this great state historical park, complete with old buildings that show us how people lived "back in the day". We happened to be there on the day they had a big Halloween Festival, so it was mostly little kids running around to get candy at each home or building, but it was fun to see their costumes! I'm sure we'll go back again, but maybe not on a "special" weekend.

When we got home again, I realized that our backyard tree was just as beautiful as any we had seen all day!

I was also able to zoom in on two of the ducks that live on our dock. We've got a whole family out there! If you click to enlarge, you should see them in the picture.

It's been a good fall around here, and while all the leaves are off the tree now, it's nice that we haven't had any snow yet!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


My friend, Lissa, sent me this email that she had received as a funny forward. I loved when Randy Moss was with the Vikings, and now have him on my fantasy football team, earning me points in that league. So, of course, when I opened the email, I laughed right away at the creative-ness of one Minnesotan saving himself a few bucks.

But then.... I did was Lissa suggested and took a closer look at the picture. Lo and behold, check out that couple in the background! Yup -that's right! It's none other than my wonderful parents, hanging out at the Minnesota State Fair, getting themselves in a picture that's now being sent around the internet!

Too funny!! :) Thanks, Lissa!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Fun Fall Weekend

This past weekend we were able to host my friends, Susan and Sue, from across the state in La Crosse! I worked with both of them when I was a travel nurse at their hospital.

They wanted to come hang out for the weekend and I was excited to have friends visit! We had dinner and hung out at our place Friday night, and then on Saturday we left Brent to do his own thing while we headed out for a day trip. We first went to a nearby town for a little sidewalk sale or Pumpkin Festival. There was just one booth of pumpkins, so we laughed at the name. It was fun, though, and I found a new pair of winter mittens that promise to be the most warm ones I've ever owned (made from a recycled wool sweater!).

After that, we were going to drive around Lake Winnebago, which is the really big lake you can see on the east side of Wisconsin when you look at a map (different than the one we live on). We made a quick detour to the outlet mall in Oshkosh, and then headed on our way. We had a little picnic at a lakeside park, drove on a detour because of road construction, and ended up at our destination. Actually, it was two destinations, Calumet County Park and High Cliff State Park, only 15 miles away from each other. We explored, hiked, maybe went over fences to climb some interesting stairs, and took lots and lots of pictures!

Calumet County Park is where Brent and I ate a picnic dinner on our first date, and here I am on the bench we sat on.

Here are some of the many pictures we took. Both the county park and the state park are going to become some of my favorite places in the area. Enjoy the slideshow!

We finished up the day eating at a great Korean restaurant, went to church in the morning, and then Sue and Susan had to take off for home again since Susan was going to work last night.

THANK YOU both for coming! It was great having you here, and fun exploring my new home area a little as well!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Our Wedding Pictures!

Our wedding pictures came! Yippee!!!! It's been so much fun to re-live the best day of our lives so I wanted to share some of these images with you! As you can imagine, there are quite a few pictures all together. This will be a long post, but I'm only going to include some of the many wonderful pictures taken and you'll just have to come visit us in Appleton to see the rest! :)

Here are some of the pictures of just Brent and I, and I'll work on another post that includes pictures of our wedding party and family/friends. Enjoy!

Thanks for wanting to share in our special day!