A "Fair-ly" nice weekend

It's an annual tradition for Nate and I to visit the Minnesota State Fair each year. We've not missed it in the entire 11 years we've been together, which I think is pretty impressive actually. Even last year, when money was tight, we still made a trip over there.

People ask me, well, what's so special about it, or what do you do there? We really don't go for anything horribly specific, yes we like to eat the food, but that's not even the number one draw. We like walking around, people watching, catching shows if we can, seeing the animals, the exhibits, and well, just being with other Minnesotans at the biggest party of the summer!

So, this past Saturday, we made our annual trek. We always shoot for getting to the Fairgrounds by around 8:30/9:00 in the morning. Yes, that early. It used to be we could get there that early and there would not be that many people wandering around yet, and we liked to enjoy the emptiness of the grounds. It's not quite that way anymore, though it's still not as crowded at that time as it is by about noon.

We spent a nice full day, taking in plenty of sites, trying new food - beignets and peach glazed pig cheeks specifically, riding rides like the Old Mill and the Skyride. We walked through several of the buildings. We enjoyed each others company. And yes, we did a ton of people watching!

It is expensive, that is for certain. But it's just become a tradition for us that we just can't miss. We had great weather and a great time!

In other weekend news, Nate kegged up three batches of beer! Now we just have to get something to keep the kegs cold with and we'll be drinking three new kinds of beer very shortly! It's quite exciting.

Speaking of beer and the Fair - Nate's chocolate stout sadly did not place this year. I'm still very proud of him for entering the contest and I know he'll try again next year as well, we can only improve!


Another post of random thoughts

Just a few random thoughts on a rainy Friday morning.

Tomorrow Nate and I head to the State Fair. We don't know if we'll actually get to see his beer on display or not. We do know an awards ceremony is being held tomorrow afternoon near the Education building and we plan to go and observe, even though he is not expecting to take home any awards this year, we still thought it would be fun. I will report back if we actually do find his beer on display anywhere, but I'm not holding my breath. The beer contest is a little odd.

To the City of Columbia Heights - so kind of you to invite us to your picnic for our neighborhood. Oh wait, you DIDN'T invite us. We had to find out from another neighbor and it was a little last minute. We would've loved to have had the chance to meet some of our neighbors, but finding out five minutes before said picnic (that was potluck too) was not going to work for us, therefore we didn't go. So here's a little note, next time, make sure you deliver the flier to EVERY house on the block. Ok? Thank you.

On a good neighborhood note - Silverwood Park, formerly the Salvation Army Camp on Silver Lake, is now open by us and it is LOVELY. The trails are great, the visitor center is fabulous, complete with snack bar. There are several classes coming up this Fall I'm even considering signing up for - ceramics and a coffee brewing seminar. That's awesome. We've needed something like this for a long time and I'm excited it's more or less within walking distance of our house.

That's about all I have today. It's Friday and I'm excited for my weekend. So there you go!


Sometimes you need some kind of change

So because we made a ton of other changes to our house this summer, I decided I needed a change too! So, I got a new hairstyle. I like to constantly evolve my looks, but this time I just really wanted to go for something super simple. And I was very pleased with the results! Here is a before and after.

Early summer

Today (hair was cut on Thursday)

I apologize that the second picture is a wee bit fuzzy, but hopefully you can see the difference. Right now I am just so happy that it takes less than five minutes to do my hair in the morning! Change is good!



This past weekend Nate and I had a chance to go up north and unwind a bit at a cabin in Pequot Lakes, just north of Brainerd. It was a lovely weekend, the weather was fantastic. We spent several hours on a boat on Saturday just enjoying the weather. Bonfires, games, and shopping also took place and of course, eating good food! Even though it was just a three day trip, it was nice to get away from it all. I've come back refreshed and well, unwound I suppose!

Sitting by the fire

On the boat

Enjoying a drink on the boat

Pretty fire

Beautiful sunset on the lake



I'm postively giddy right now.

It's my last day at work for the week, I have a fun three day weekend ahead of me and life is just awesome right now.

You know that feeling like being a kid on Christmas Eve, so excited you just might burst before Christmas morning finally arrives? Yep, that's where I'm at. I just haven't had a vacation in so, so long. So I think I have every right to be just a wee bit giddy right now!

I look ahead to what's coming up in the next few weeks as well and it just gets me even giddier. The State Fair is almost here. That is one of the highlights of the summer for me and yes I am a nerd! But Nate and I just really enjoy the State Fair each year, we have a blast going there. I think maybe I love it so much because it's kind of the bridge between summer and my very favorite season of Fall!

Yes I love Fall! Apple pies and bonfires, cool nights and crispy leaves. I am so ready for all of that! I know I've said that on this blog before and may be sounding like a broken record, but I just love the next stretch of the year that is almost upon us.

So while I have a fun weekend that is less than 24 hours away from beginning - I have wonderful things to look forward to beyond that as well!

Can you blame me for being giddy?


Just rambling

It is a short work week.

My upcoming three day weekend promises to be very fun.

This past weekend was also rather fun.

But while these are all good things - they are distracting me because they are all I can think about! It makes for a rather long day at work, I'll tell you that much!

Other than that not that much is new in Beth and Nate world! Now that we have that bedroom finished we are taking a well deserved break on house projects. Now Nate can focus on his newest beer adventures of moving to kegging. He also dropped off his Chocolate Stout version 2 to be judged in the State Fair beer contest. I'm proud of him, I hope it does well!

So there you go. I just hope this week, be it a short one, moves very fast! I know right now it seems like it won't, but come next Monday at this time I'm sure I will be complaining that it flew by too fast. That is just how things go some times.


The piano in the parlour

Years ago I visited New Orleans on a school trip. This would be the school trip in which Nate and I became a couple in fact, so sadly, that's the memory that sticks out most for me about visiting New Orleans, but thankfully, I have some pictures of some of the sites we saw. You know the actual cultural things!

Anyway, one of the pictures I took that I always loved was of a display we saw in an old fashioned house called "The Piano in the Parlour". It was a simple upright piano, probably used to play that awesome jazz music of the early 1900's. At any rate, I always liked the picture and I though, wouldn't it be cool if I had a piano in a parlour someday?

Well, we don't have a parlour. But we do now have a piano! I've been told that the living room in our house was sort of purposely built to have a piano in one spot, as the owner before Nate's great aunt was a music teacher at I believe St. Anthony schools. As mentioned previously, we chatted with my in-laws who had a piano they really wanted to get rid of, and worked out a deal to take it.

It really does look like it's meant for the space that we put it in. I've said before, I don't play and neither does Nate. I figure though, I know enough that I can plunk notes when I need to learn a new song to sing and maybe I'll even start teaching myself. And maybe we'll have a child someday who really wants to learn or takes to it really well or something!

At any rate, I just think it looks really cool. My own piano in the parlour(or living room).


As promised

Here are pictures of our new bedroom. But honestly I don't think the pictures do it justice at all. So you'll all just have to come visit! :)

My side of the room

Nate's side of the room (yes that is a full basket of dirty laundry...)

Our bed - not real pretty, but it's a bed!
I am so insanely happy to have this project done. We do want to paint our living room eventually as we've had the paint bought for that project for over a year now - but honestly right now it's the last thing I want to start! I'm sure once I get a nice long paint break I'll feel up to doing it. It may end up being our winter project this year. We'll just take it a day at a time for now!


Family weekend

This weekend was jammed packed with family fun. My mom's family is huge. Super huge. It's next to impossible to get the remaining 13 siblings (two of my mom's siblings are deceased), 38 grandchildren and over 50 great grandchildren (yes I said 50. And guess what, there are now 3 great-great grandchildren too!) all together at the same time. This weekend was no exception to that, but my aunt Becky made an attempt to gather as many as possible together for what's become an annual summer event. A Miller Family Reunion.

Because my grandmother is in a nursing home near where Becky lives in Austin, MN, it made the most sense for her to host the event. So, we piled into the car with my parents and tracked the two hours south of the city. It was nice to see everyone and we had great weather. 10 out the original 13 siblings were able to attend. It was cute, they had shirts made up with their number and then their name on the back. My cousins and I joked that the grandchildren should have gotten shirts that said things like 13.1 or 12.2. I think that would've been a bit too much work though! At any rate, we picnicked for awhile, visited, took some pictures and then made the trip back home.

The original Miller clan, my mom is in the middle behind my 95 year old grandmother

Some of the grandchildren, can you spot me?

The other part of our weekend was spent with our other family, the Praise Project group. We had the opportunity to lead music at two masses on Sunday at St. William's church. It went very well and we've been asked back for several dates throughout the year. I like the way that works, in a way it's nice to not be completely tied down to Wednesday rehearsals and two and three mass weekends every weekend anymore. We can sing at mass periodically and choose when we want to go to mass on the weekend the rest of the time! It's kind of nice! And I love all of these people so much. I'm very blessed to have them in my life as I have said before.

The Praise Project gang

So all in all it was a nice weekend, although much too short like weekends usually are! But getting to spend time with family makes it all worth it.


Moving Right Along

Foot loose and fancy free...oh wait, this isn't the Muppet movie...sorry about that!

In all seriousness though, we're really moving right along on our home projects. Thanks to some help from my sister-in-law last night, I think we'll be able to be completely finished this weekend.

Tonight we are having the piano moved to our house. The furniture has been rearranged and we're ready for it!

We need to just paint one more window frame in the new bedroom and install a ceiling fan and that is about it! We plan to swap the bedrooms on Sunday afternoon.

So there is definite light at the end of the tunnel! We will have a busy weekend unfortunately, big family picnic in Austin, MN for my mom's family on Saturday and Praise Project at two masses on Sunday, but we should still be able to play the swapping game on Sunday afternoon.

I just can't believe after all this time we will finally be done! I am dreading doing anymore painting projects at home, even though we really need to paint our living room, I'm going to take a little painting break for awhile. Maybe we'll do it early this fall...

On we go!


If you give a mouse a cookie...

There's a popular children's book I love called "If You Give a Mouse A Cookie" and it basically is a story of a chain of events that will happen if you give a mouse a cookie. He'll then decide he is thirsty and then needs to clean up and so on and so forth, ending in the cute little mouse wanting a cookie again. It's adorable.

Anyway, I should really title this entry "If you have to move a piano" because it has sort of reminded me of the "give a mouse a cookie" book.

Months ago now we chatted with my in-laws and said we'd take their upright piano because they no longer want it. Now, neither of us play piano, but I can plunk notes if I'm learning a new song or who says I won't want to learn or we won't someday have children who want to learn. So having a piano could be a very cool thing.

Anyway, it was still winter when we discussed it so we said we'd wait until the weather was nicer. Of course, then we got busy with many other things. Well, now is the time to move it. This coming Friday we'll be having piano movers bring it over to our house. This only poses one problem. We need to finish painting our new bedroom.

Ok, now you're scratching your head going, what does getting a piano have to do with finishing your never ending painting project that you keep talking about Beth? Didn't you start that painting back in March? Um yes, yes we did...I have no comment on that. But here's why we need to finish it. Ready for this?

The piano is going where we currently have a rectangular table in our living room. The rectangular table is going to move to where we have a round table in the extended portion of our kitchen. The round table is going down to the basement into the empty space where we got rid of another table and where Nate's drums currently sit. Nate's drums are moving upstairs into our current bedroom which will be an empty bedroom until we have kids (which will happen someday, but not that soon that we can't do this for now). Then our current bedroom will swap with the bedroom we've been painting.

Ok, did you follow all of that? So to avoid living in crazy chaotic clutter, especially when I booked a Partylite party for just over a week from now, we have to finish the bedroom painting and get our bedroom moved ASAP. So, I guess this was the kick in the behind I needed, I spent just about the entire weekend painting and pretty much am down to some outline work and touch up work and then it's done. I mean DONE. I am so excited, we should have had this finished months ago, but sometimes the best laid plans....

So, if you have to move a piano, chances are, you just might get a bedroom painting project finished!

A picture post will come when all of these crazy changes are finished!