A proper farewell to 2011

Yes, I understand that 2011 ended approximately one week ago, but things were busy, and here I am today, ready to review 2011 (per usual, I’ve tried to pick the most awkward pictures, you are welcome friends, you are welcome).


City of Lakes Loppet. My FAVORITE winter activity in Minneapolis.

February birthday celebrating. Having a February birthday is a big deal.

Trip to Florida, not complete without finger mustached pictures with Pavano and realizing you are old enough to rent a car after it is too late.


Easter is chilly in Minnesota, naturally I hosted egg dying.

During Spring RE-treat Tiffany and I spent 90% of our time wearing these shirts and directing hundreds of people where to go.

Jenna decided to marry Nathan, so I rounded up 201 and we had a Bachelorette Party.


It was all about Jenna (and Nathan).

It took some practicing but I ended up with the bouquet (sorry Kayla!)

A little government shutdown happened over the summer, I couldn't take time off, but I went to Wisconsin anyway.

I got to see my sister as a real, live adult!

There was also an impromptu trip to Rochester

And then another trip to WI to see the lovey Anna get married!

There were many Twins games, many of which the Twins neglected to show up for (let's not repeat this season anytime soon)


The fall brought apple orchards visits!

And trips to California to wear awesome costumes and see wonderful friends!November brought me a new car and a promotion (no, the car did not come WITH the promotion, I should have negotiated for that).

There was one more wedding to end 2011!

Farewell 2011, farewell.

p.s. Thanks to my awesome friends who posted a bazillion of these pictures on the internets, after the great computer crash of 2011 I had 0 pictures in my possession, so thanks for documenting my life.

Hello random…welcome to my Wednesday.

Welcome to “Random Wednesday,” where I will proceed to throw all my random thoughts in one post, ex. I am typing this with one hand under my knee…this makes you probably want to keep reading…

  • First of all: I got a promotion!  Promotion in the Office means you get to do the work you have been doing plus a bunch of other things that still relate to your old position.  I also get to put something fancy like “executive” or “director” in my title.  I will give you a new business card when I see you next.  Get excited.
  • Spotify has revolutionized my life.  I have NO idea why I was holding out for so long.
  • I have made it my new life mission to teach people how to properly merge in Minnesota.  Why do we have to STOP our cars when we enter the freeway when there is SO much room to properly merge.  If you drive on 35W or 94, I’ve probably made you mad.  I’m just trying to help you learn.  You are welcome.
  • It recently became apparent that I have not met everyone in IT that has moved over to our building while I was on vacation.  As a result of an email I sent out yesterday I had to awkwardly introduce myself in front of many co-workers to one of the IT staff who has been in our office for two weeks (and who I had not previously met), there were phrases thrown out like, “Is this happening? Are you really just meeting now?” and “Amber is shy.”
  • Fun Family Christmas  (FFC) preparations are underway…!  As I started a trend of ugly sweaters (I had two for last Christmas) I feel I must really step it up for this Christmas.  Therefore, ugly Christmas sweater shopping is probably going to start this weekend.  I’ve also already decided on the AWESOME gift that I will be bringing.  I also need to find a hat…anyone who is up for Christmas-related thrifting let me know.  Once again FFC will include fireworks.  Actually, I think it is a requirement that ALL our family functions require fireworks…
  • Noah and the Whales will be in town Monday night.  If you love them too you should tell me and we should get tickets. You can also pretend you love them and go with me.  I will accept that.
  • I’m going to the Civil Wars tonight…I’M GOING TO THE CIVIL WARS TONIGHT!!!  (I wish I was that excited about my Civil War related meeting tomorrow night.)

Favorite life moment: LA Critical Mass

Friday night I got to do something SO amazing: ride a bike with hundreds of other people through the streets of Los Angeles.  Like ON the street, taking up an entire lane of traffic.  How does this happen you ask?  Continue reading.

1.) Visit your awesome friends in LA.  Spend an entire day thrifting and bartering for Halloween costumes (“so you’re asking me how much I want to pay for this?….how about $5?”)

A tooth fairy, pajama-wig-wearing hippy and a flying pig (all the pink just sort of happened...)

2.) Convince your Minnesota friend that lives in Cali during the week to not fly home to Minnesota but instead hang out with your new California friends.

Tim got to tell everyone about critical mass Mpls, so his staying worked out well.

3.)  Ride your bikes 30 miles (YES 30 MILES!)  throughout downtown LA, Hollywood, East LA and various other neighborhoods.  You may even strike up some interesting conversations with LAPD officers about how tall women are in Minnesota or how great the music was in the 1970s.

4.) Have a friend with you that has a great Halloween costume.

Elliot and ET- win for most creative costume.

5.) Take in how incredibly random your bike riding group of friends were.  SO many great memories!

Worlds colliding...bike riding brings everyone together (again so much pink!)

The dog days are over…wait…

Summer= too short in MN.  Today the first leaves of fall may have been spotted.  No, I don’t joke about these things.  (Talk to J if you need proof of that). So it’s been kind of busy around here trying to cram a million and half things in and spending time with some of my favorite people.

Like last weekend: spur of the moment trip to Rochester.

Tiffany and Laura were great road trip companions.

Tiffany’s parents showed us the sights of Rochester and it was wonderful.  We even took in the Olmsted County Fair.

I forgot how much I love county fairs until this moment in the cow barn. Luckily there were no miracles (also it was 100 degrees).

Surprisingly, they did not ask me to milk this cow but I did get to practice milking a fake cow.  Highlight of the day.

Another highlight was the ice cream.  Some would say it was the world’s best ice cream.  Others would say we had the world’s best ice cream in Argentina last summer.  It’s hard to say who’s right, but it was delicious. (and the photo credit goes to Laura for all these great pics of our road adventure—my camera may or may not be working, I haven’t had the heart to test it).

Like any good trip, ice cream was involved.

Not to out-do last weekend but this weekend has been pretty summer-spectacular and dog- related (hence the title of this post has many facets).  For all the dog stories/drama today you would think I own a dog.

  • Powderhorn Art Fest: Woman carrying dog strapped to the front of her body (like a small baby).
  • Man talking and walking dogs in circles while waiting for his coffee–and taking pictures of the dogs with his phone AND showing the dogs.
  • And then maybe the most traumatizing incident.  J and I were walking around a seemingly cute neighborhood, waiting for our pizza to be done.  We come across a house with a small dog tied up in the front yard.  As we approach the dog does not bark or run to us.  When we get closer it runs to us, barking wildly. J screams first and there is running and screaming from both of us.  The leash was a mile long and as I’m running to the street the dog bites me.  I’m hoping I don’t get rabies or some other disease, it’s my half birthday this week, exciting things are going to be happening.

Urban music…and more weddingness

I pretty much covered wedding weekend in the post below….however, I failed to mention one of my favorite stories of the night: the wedding DJ.

The DJ did a great job, he played all the songs the bride and groom requested, people were dancing- having a great time, etc.  At one point I requested a song, here was our conversation:

A: Can you play “Low?”

DJ: “OH that’s on the playlist, and I’ll be playing more of the urban music as the night goes on, I’m working my way up to that.”

A: (Puzzled by what urban music is)…”well you are the professional”

DJ: “Yeah, I am.”

end convo.

Here is what the DJ played during the “urban music” time:

  • Just Dance
  • Shout
  • Twist and Shout
  • Party in the USA
  • Low
…see how I am confused about what urban music is?
And now some more wedding pictures:

The flowers were gorgeous!

love this picture!

Nathan and Jenna's niece was so adorable!

Cutting the delicious cake!

It’s a love story, baby just say yes (she did!)

On of my very best friends got married yesterday.  Here is my version of Jenna and Nathan’s love story (it’s a good one).

Once upon a time Jenna and I were friends with a boy named Neil:

College, so. many. stories.

We went to college with Neil and his fun friends from Zumbrota.  Some of our favorite memories from senior year involve Neil, Kevin and co–ie. wine party, jersey party, Friday/Saturday nights downtown.

Neil had a brother that also went to Winona but graduated a few semesters before us and moved to Texas.  One day after we were all graduated from college Neil and his lovely wife Kristin suggested that Jenna tell Neil’s brother Nathan “happy birthday” via the facebook.

After a visit to Minnesota by Nathan, a reunion with the old Winona crew and an intense line of questioning by me and Julie (what is your driving record?) Nathan and Jenna started dating…!

Yes, I took the first couple picture. love.

Then came yesterday!  The Winona crew was reunited to celebrate a wedding!

We had a beautiful day to celebrate!

Jenna is the first of the 201 girls to get married.  Who would have predicted that?

Love these girls.

Any Winona reunion would not be complete without the JJ pose from Kevin and Jenna.

They still got it.

…or with a Sheehan picture!

Freshman Sheehan ladies- Carly, Sarah, Sarah, Jenna, me and Alyssa! (If only I would have lived on 8/9!)

It was such a joy to see Jenna fall in love with Nathan!  I’m so glad I got to be part of your special day Jenna!

love her!



Summary of Spring Re:treat.  Filled with so many fun things.  This about sums it up.

Twin Series: Ticket purchase complete!

Twins tickets for the 2011 season are purchased.  Success?  Partly.  We came prepared to the field with necessities from last year: coffee, mittens and the spreadsheet.  However, we did not factor in the mob of people that camped there since Friday morning to get tickets.  The line was out of control.  After assessing the situation we took a deep breath, looked around at the signs and noticed something new–we could only buy a total of 8 tickets per game and 24 tickets total per person!  This meant with three people we would not buy the bazillion tickets we were planning on.  We did the next best thing we could think of…we call in reinforcements.  Our friend David recognized the dire situation after three phone calls and came down to TF to help us out.

We waited a considerable time to get tickets (2.5 hours)–which gave us plenty of time to see a bride and groom get their pictures taken in front of the stadium, hear the people in front of us worry about not being able to get any tickets and organize and re-organize the spreadsheet.

The spreadsheet.

In the end we walked away with tickets for most of the games we wanted, but not all.  Clearly Joe and the boys were planning to invite us to some of the games themselves–so it will all work out.

Tickets organized and ready for friends (or to sell in a sketchy alley).

20 days until Opening Day!

Signed, sealed, delivered

I sent and received some great Christmas cards this year…here are some of the top ones!

First, the one Laura, Beth and I gave to all our friends in the Beth Moore Bible study we lead!

We love that Beth could be in our Christmas card this year!

Next up, a good friend surprised us all by sending out a card with several wonderful pictures: Tim and Micky, Tim as Santa and Tim AND Santa…that’s not confusing….

Make sure you read the quote...creepy...

A person whose blog we like to stalk friend had this deal on his blog that if you send in a card, you get a card.  Awesome?  Yes.  Lucky for him he got a card book from us.  To see the complete card book, call him up or visit Laura’s blog here.

Who is who? Those Sloweys were tricky this year...

The last card that makes this post complete I received just this week.  It is hard to describe, it is just awesome.

I think Mike survived his run-in with Rudolph because I did get this card.

Next year, send me an awesome card and I will truly appreciate it and probably post it or maybe just hang it on my refrigerator.

Somebody turn off those crickets!

This weekend’s camping trip nearly turned into a fiasco several times, mostly in the preparations, but it turned out to be a fantastic weekend–you know it will be a great weekend when you all pull up to the fast food parking lot with your caravan of cars all playing, “Proud to be an American.”  Sunday morning when we were all sitting around the fire I asked everyone to share their favorite part of the camping trip (yes I was the mom, I even made David’s sandwich), most everyone agreed that the canoe trip and swimming in the river were some of the best times.  One person’s favorite was, “watching Nate and Tiffany tip their canoe, that was pretty funny.”  Yes, one canoe tipped and it was carrying all the valuables.  Bummer.  Jeromie and I dominated the other canoes and came in first place (although nobody else knew we were racing…).

Other memorable times included, the park ranger stopping by our site the second evening to tell us there had been noise complaints and to remind us that there are “many families here who are trying to get some shut eye at 10:00 p.m.”).  We wanted to tell him to turn off the babies, car alarms and crickets…especially the crickets, sheesh we are from the city!

Camping weekend was a win-win-win.  David and Aaron’s giggling and waving as they waded across the river was proof of that.  =)

We also came prepared with lots of marshmallows and chocolate because as you may have heard, any camping problem can be fixed with those.  We were glad we did not actually have to use them to fix any problems, but could eat them.

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