Three has always been my favorite number. I am not sure why, but it has. Today Nate and I have been married for three years. I reflected on this last week in a post so I won't say much more, but I can say that these three years have been the most wonderful of my life, even with the challenges we've faced.

I made a little montage/slideshow of pictures from the last three years (and a handful from the year we were engaged) click here if you'd like to see - it's about three and a half minutes long and I think speaks better about the love we have for each other than any words I could write.

It has been an amazing ride so far and I only look forward to what's to come. I think three will be a good year for us.

Happy Anniversary my wonderful husband, I love you more and more every day.

The song playing in the montage is Songbird by Fleetwood Mac, as performed by Duncan Sheik.


Lovely Long Weekend

After last weekend being so awful with Nate being sick, this past weekend was TONS better! We had a terrific weekend, I was sad to see it end! Friday we unwinded slowly from the work week, had dinner with my parents and went home to watch a movie, the Pineapple Express which I don't know if I really liked or not. It was ok. It wasn't the movie Nate thought it was so that was kind of funny, but we still watched the whole thing.

Saturday I got up, had coffee with my parents and then did a little shopping with my mom. I came home and Nate had mowed the lawn and it looked so much happier! We then went and looked at couches, we want something more comfortable in our basement, but our challenge is finding something that will be able to fit through our tiny basement doorway. This is not going to be an easy task! Then we tried to figure out what we wanted to do for dinner. A tradition in my family used to be going out to Stillwater on Memorial Day weekend, so that's what we did. We ate at the Freight House, a review of which has been posted at our food blog if you feel so inclined to check it out. It was really nice, the weather was great!

Sunday we had a family picnic with Nate's mom's family up in Chisago. It was a great day! Nate's Aunt Natalie and Uncle Scott and their daughter Maddy were in from Maine so it was nice to see them. Nate's Uncle Marty lives in a nice townhome complex right on a lake, so we sat outside up above the lake in a beautiful party room area, ate lots of food and visited. Marty took us out on a boat ride a little later in the afternoon and it was lovely. Makes me wish we had enough money to own a lake home!

Then Monday we had a littler picnic at my parents house with Greg and Marie. Nice and low key, grilled some chicken, played a music game and enjoyed each other's company. It was windy and a little cloudy, but not too bad. It was just a nice weekend overall, we were able to spend quality time with family, some friends and just each other, so in my opinion, it was the best kind of weekend!


Looking back...

At this time of year I always find myself getting a little nostalgic. We're approaching our three year wedding anniversary next week (Wednesday) and I find myself thinking back to three years ago at this time and trying to remember what I was doing. I know, three years is not that long ago to be feeling this way, but I can't help myself.

So much of it still seems like it was yesterday. And yet other details I'm finding I'm not remembering as easily as each year passes.

Three years ago at this time I had temporarily moved back into my parents house for a final week as an unmarried woman so Nate could move into our house. I was facing uncertainty with my job future and trying to apply for a job here or there as I had time to do so. I was going around with my mom delivering final payments to the florist, the hall, the cake people. I was finishing the gifts for my bridesmaids and Nate's groomsmen. I was trying to get packed for our weeklong honeymoon in Itasca. I was helping Nate clean up his apartment before he was officially done with his lease. I was a new "pet mommy" and still working to get Taylor acclimated to her new home.

All of those things led me to definitely feeling a bit frazzled at times in those final days. And I had been dealing with a little bit of depression - while I was thrilled to be marrying the love of my life, change has always been hard on me and I had some external factors affecting me in those final days, the job situation (having my job at Immaculate cut to part time and desparately needing to find a full time job so we could actually buy our house) and the fact that I had an uncle sick in the hospital.

But I do remember, very clearly, getting to a point where suddenly none of those things mattered. The only thing that mattered was Nate and me. We were finally going to be husband and wife. We had waited so long to get to this point in our lives and I realized, we will never have this time again, so I need to enjoy it for what it is. The rest of that week flew by and when the day itself arrived, I enjoyed and cherished every last minute.

So looking back now, I only remember the good feelings, I don't think about the stressful and even difficult things I was dealing with at that time. I just remember the joy and thrill of being a bride. And sometimes, I wish I could go back and do it all over again. And I would in a heartbeat. I would marry Nate over and over again. He is my everything.

May 27, 2006


Look ma, I have nice hands!

Today marks the official one month marker of my no longer picking at my hands. As the pictures prove, I'm doing very well! The first couple of weeks were the hardest part, but it's gotten much easier with time. I don't even think about it that much anymore. The skin is still a little dry, but I try to combat that with lots of lotion. I have even had some stres lately and I'm not turning to that as a coping mechanism! I'm finding other ways to deal with it.

I am not going for the manicure I said I was going to get. At least not yet. I'm keeping my nails trimmed pretty short right now so I just don't feel it's worth it at the moment. Instead my very generous mother treated me to a brand new purse in celebration because well, we all know I like to change my purse the way I change my shoes so it was a very awesome and appropriate treat for me!

I also know that if I can make it a month, I can make it two months, six months, a year, many years. I am determined. I will have nice hands for the rest of my life. I CAN do it!!


A "sub blog"

So we've started a little "sub-blog" to this blog. After writing our review of Smashburger and also reading through other restaurant review blogs, we decided, hey, let's do our own foodie blog! So, we're going to try to post stuff at http://nateandbetheat.blogspot.com

The hope is to share reviews of fun places we eat but also possibly of recipes we try since we like to cook too.

I know, you're all going, how will they ever keep up with two blogs? I have no idea myself, but we're going to give it a good old fashioned try. What can I say, I like to write!


Roller Coaster Weekend

I ended up with an impromtu three day weekend because I figured I had days to use at work, why not take one and make a longer weekend.

So, Friday I slept in a bit, then got up for an hour long massage that I had a gift card for from Christmas. It was wonderful, nice and stress relieving! My mom met up with me after that and we went shopping out at this little store in White Bear Lake called Lillian's, they are similar to Fun Sisters if you've heard of them, it's a purse shoppe. My mom treated me to a new purse in celebration of my month of no picking fingers (the official date of which is May 20th, but it was FOUR weeks yesterday thank you very much). We also made a stop at Target. Then I came home and started cleaning the house because of the party we had planned with friends for the next day. Nate came home and we rounded out Friday at a Praise Project rehearsal.

Saturday is where the roller coaster took a downward spiral. Nate woke up around 5:30 sick as a dog. I have never in our 11 years of being together ever seen him like this, not able to leave the bathroom for over an hour and having to be back and forth after that. Nothing would stay down. This was a problem since we had a party scheduled for Saturday evening! I put out the message to our friends that sadly we had to cancel. We're still not sure if he got a bug or if it was food poisoning, all I know is he was violently ill for a little bit there and I was getting worried we were going to Urgent Care or something. Finally things calmed down and he was able to sleep most of the afternoon.

Today he woke up much, much better. Food is staying where it should and he's even got a little energy back. He's not as weakened as I thought he'd be today. He always bounces back pretty quickly from illnesses! Still, we've been laying low, though I did clean the house a bit and tried to disinfect things in case it was a nasty bug he had. I would rather not catch it myself!

Next weekend is another three day weekend and I am expecting it won't be quite the roller coaster this one was! And we hope to reschedule with our friends in a couple of weeks as well, since we definitely have beer to share!


Smashburger: A review

I thought it would be fun to shake up our blog a bit here and give our readers a small review of a new restaurant in our community.

Nate and I love to eat. We try to do it sensibly most of the time, but we like to go out every now and then. One of our favorite things to eat when we go out is hamburgers. I seriously think Nate could eat a hamburger every day of the week if he had to. So anyway, I was kind of excited when I found out that Smashburger would soon be opening up near us. I had never heard of it before, but noticed a coming soon sign when I was visiting the Caribou Coffee I frequent up by the Cub in St. Anthony. I went home and looked up some information and decided it sounded like a fun place. Some reviewers described it as what Chipotle is to Taco Bell, Smashburger is to McDonald's. Honestly I think Culvers wins that crown, but I still wanted to give this a try.

We didn't have dinner planned last night because Nate was originally supposed to be really late, but then figured out he'd be home by 6ish, so we decided to give it a try.

When you step inside, the decor really does not have much to offer. It's basic, bare bones, really not all that different from the inside of a Chipotle. They also have outdoor seating, but it was chilly. Since the smallish dining room was kind of full we opted to take our food to go.

You pretty much just step up to the counter and order, they either give you a number sign for your table if you eat in, or have you step aside and wait if you're doing take out. Their menu is small, they have about five or so of their "specialty burgers" which can also be done as chicken. Nate ordered the Twin Cities Smash, a burger with swiss cheese, lettuce, onion, mushrooms and smash sauce (whatever that is, I forgot to ask him what it tasted like). Because I'm picky, I did a "choose your own smash" with american cheese and then just ketchup and mustard. We also ordered the smash fries, which are french fries seasoned with rosemary and olive oil. They have regular fries, tator tots, onion rings and salads for sides as well. Also on the menu were several kinds of hot dogs. Full soda selection of Coke products or small amount of bottled beer was available, based on selection of beer they had though we just waited to have our own beer from home. They also have three kinds of shakes made with Haagen Daas ice cream, but again, we just wanted to keep it simple for the first time.

It was busy inside like I mentioned, but they did keep up pretty well, which impressed me since I believe they have only been open for a week. However while we were standing there a woman did come up to the manager and say that she felt her hamburger wasn't done all the way. But, he was nice and offered her a new one. They package up the food to go in these neat little boxes and we probably only waited about 10 minutes or less to get our food.

We got home and settled in to eat. I really enjoyed the fries, we split one order and it seemed to be enough for both of us. Nate had a 1/2 pound burger to eat while I opted for the 1/3 pound. The fries have a really nice rosemary flavor and didn't seem overally greasy. Though, I found it odd that they were still shoestring fries, if I was going to season them like that, I might want more of a steak cut, or thicker cut of some kind. The burger itself was pretty tasty I must say, nothing horribly special about it, but I liked that it wasn't super greasy, and the meat in mine was definitely cooked all the way through. The bun was really good (I should mention they have three bun choices: egg white, multigrain and chipotle spice, I chose the egg white), it was nice and fluffy and not too dry.

Nate's burger was bigger and messier to deal with since it had more items on it. Because he kept having to push the cats away I don't know if he really truly got to get a good taste of it or not, but he said it was good when I asked him. He also enjoyed the fries, they were different from the norm which is nice sometimes.

Bottom line we decided it's not a place we'll go all the time, but is a nice cheaper option (just a hair spendier than Culvers) to throw into the mix when we're needing something in a hurry. While we liked the fries alot, wouldn't want to eat that kind of flavor all of the time. We're also curious to see if it changes at all when the hype settles down and they're not as busy. Although considering they were busy, I thought the food was ready in a pretty good amount of time and it was cooked all the way, so I don't know if that woman we saw was a fluke or not.

I'd give it a B+ if I needed to give a grade. And it's definitely wayyyy better than McDonald's or Burger King!


They say time flies

They say time flies when you're having fun. I find it hard to believe that one year ago today I started my job at Fairview/Columbia Park Medical Group. And I have to say, it's been a good year.

I feel very fortunate that I was able to make this career move. I would never speak ill of any of my past jobs really, as I learned something from all of them. I'm pretty sure Nate could say the same about his. I just know that for the past year I have been less stressed and in general more relaxed and even keeled than I have been for a very long time. The support system in my office is great. Do I love my job every day? Of course not, who does? But I'm challenged alot more now and I get really great feedback so I know that the work I do is important and matters. I don't know if I'm meant to be there forever, but right now, it's a great place to be. And with the current economy, you better believe I wake up everyday super thankful that I have a job to go to each and everyday.

And of course I love my ten minute commute! Who can beat that? I'm sure many are jealous of me for that reason alone!


Happy Mother's Day

My mom and me at my bachlorette party, May 2006

It's a special day to recognize our mothers and other special women in our lives. And let me tell you I'm blessed to have many special women in my life!

I have the world's bestest mommy, which I am sure everyone says about their own mom, but I don't care, mine is awesome.  We have a unique relationship which I think is part of the only child thing, but I'm so proud to not only call my mom "my mom" but also "my friend."

I also have a pretty awesome mother in law. I would not have my husband without my mother in law, so she's a pretty special lady to me!

So to my mom, my mother in law and some other special moms I know - Jerri, Marie, Stef, Amelia, Samara, and Laura - I wish you all a very Happy Mother's Day.  I only hope that when I eventually join your ranks that I can be half as good of a mom as you all are. You all inspire me!


Random thoughts for the day

Sometimes I just have random thoughts in my head. I keep joking on Facebook that my head is a fun place to be, everyone should want to be inside my head! At any rate, because of a lack of anything else fun to write about Beth and Nate world I will instead give you my random thoughts. (Kind of like another Random Thought by Jack Handy...Saturday Night Live...anyone? anyone?)

~ Tonight Nate and I are going to see my cousin in a play at my old high school. I don't think I've set foot inside that building in about 8 or so years. Have we really been out of school for 9 years? Is next year really going to be our 10 year reunion? What the heck? How is that possible?? Sometimes I forget that I'm 27, not 20!

~ Our lovely city is soon to be home to some new eating establishments it appears. We need them. Smashburger up by Caribou looks close to being open. Looking forward to that since my last experience at Fuddruckers was less than enjoyable. Sonic is going in next to Taco Bell. They're moving along on that one. There's an Indian place going in down by Target. Then there's this place that I swear they've been working on for a year now in the old Cousins subs location - Mr. BBQ. Anyone seen this place? I swear they've made no progress on it since about November or so.

~ It seems whenever May hits it suddenly becomes apparent to us that we have a yard to take care of again. And the recent rain really helped drive that point home. Nate's planning to mow for the first time this weekend, as long as it doesn't rain too much! We're having a BBQ with friends in a week, so I said, let's put the painting aside and focus on the yard! Lots of work to do there!

~ I grilled for the first time ever in my life last night. Nate helped, but more or less had me do everything. Granted, it was just hamburgers, but I was pretty excited that I cooked them. And they turned out! I'm not ready to grill up a steak just yet, but I'll get there! I just get home so much earlier than Nate sometimes and we like to grill alot in the summer, so me knowing how to do a little would be a good thing!

~Three weeks tomorrow on the no picking hands experiment. I really should've taken a before picture. Oh well. Still doing good on this so I'm pleased and so is Nate!

Well, that's all I got folks. More exciting things later I'm sure, our life is never boring. At least, not to us!


Things to note about today

It's Cinqo de Mayo, sounds like a good excuse for a margarita after work! In truth, I'll be at home doing more painting, but it sounds nice don't it?

Today is my in-law's anniversary. So Happy Anniversary Barb and Steve!

And I want to say congrats to my sister-in-law Ali on her new kitty cat Beatrice or Bebe for short. I hope she brings you much happiness and many years as a little companion! She is adorable!

That's it. Short sweet post today.


The little drummer boy; or How I came to have drums in my basement

Or I suppose I could call this entry "It's all Greg's fault" - but I wouldn't do that. Cause it's really not a bad thing. :)

Ok, let's back up a bit. The "cast offs" that I've talked about before decided that we all kind of missed singing, especially singing together, so Greg and Marie decided to invite us over to start singing together some of the fun, upbeat Christian music we've always enjoyed, especially since they have tons of music equipment in their basement. In April we started having our little "Catholic garage band rehearsals" mostly on Friday evenings. It's been uplifting, prayerful and really a healing experience for us after all that happened at the old church. We've renamed ourselves the "Praise Project" since we're always a work in progress. We'll be singing at the new church we've been going to a couple of times this summer as they told Marie to bring a group over when she's scheduled to play there. We're hoping maybe to go some other places too or possibly some nursing homes. Or we'll just do it for ourselves because we love to make music.

When we were talking about doing this they had joked "well Nate's welcome to come and listen or watch TV or something while we play" since everyone knows that Nate doesn't really sing. Then Greg had an idea.
We came home from running errands one day and Greg had left us a message. Well, specifically he left Nate a message. We assumed it was a computer question, since that's usually what someone calls to talk to Nate for. As I listened to his end of the conversation though I heard things like "Well I played trombone in high school" and "Sure, I could give that a try". The next thing I know, suddenly Nate has become our drummer.

He wasn't able to come the first time we got together to sing due to working late. But the next time he made it and while we sang Greg gave him some pointers and kind of directed him and it turns out, my hubby has a bit of a natural ability! At any rate, he keeps rhythm for us quite well.
Before we had even left their house that night, Nate started looking for drum sets on his I-phone, mostly on Craigslist. At first I was like, no way, no how. We do not have room for drums what with the beer equipment, excess furniture, and well, other junk we have in our house. Weren't we attempting to simplfy our lives? But then we talked and he said he really wanted to be able to practice at home and it was a fun new thing for him to learn. So I softened. We found a set on Craigslist that were being sold by a kid in Anoka and drove out and got them.

So, I now have a set of drums in my basement. There is not much room for anything else at this point, but we're working to eventually fix that. And I couldn't be prouder of my little drummer boy, he plays a little bit each day and it's fun that we're both able to be involved together in this new little endeavor.
No, I don't blame Greg, instead, I thank both him and Marie for having a little faith in my husband and for opening their home so we can still glorify God with the gift of music.
Nate and his new toys