Frankly my deer, I don't give a darn

Nope, I did not misspell anything in the title of this post - it'll all make sense if you read on.

So Nate and I have returned from a lovely week long trip to Itasca State Park. We had not been up there since honeymooning there four years ago, so when we talked about it a couple of months ago and checked into it, we found a suite was available and jumped at the opportunity to take a week and go.

It was a great trip despite starting off with a bang...literally.

We headed up on a Sunday afternoon and got up in relatively good time. Checked ourselves in and got the pleasant surprise that it was still considered the "off" season, so we would be able to get our room for a cheaper rate. The downside is that the lodge was going to be closed all week, so we decided that because we had a mini kitchen, we would go get some food in town and just cook breakfasts if nothing else.

Into town we went and had dinner, stopped at a grocery store and started heading back. We driving along Hwy 71 between Park Rapids and the park when we see off to the side by a house (not even a wooded area) a deer. The first thing we both said was "oh look a deer" the next thing we both said was "Expletive, a deer!" as we sadly hit it. Hard. There was no time, nothing Nate could've done to miss it. I am shocked the air bags did not deploy. He pulled over and got out to look and I saw more naughty language spewing from his mouth and I knew then it must not be good. But amazingly the car was still running and appeared to have no problems aside from the structural damage. So we drove back to the park.

When we got there and I got out and saw it - well I cried. It looks pretty bad, the whole grill is gone and the hood of the car is bent and you can't even open it right now. And did I mention this is Nate's new car? The one he bought just two weeks ago?

We went inside and talked about it and since the car still starts up and was easily driveable, we decided not to let it ruin our week. We have insurance and he will take it to the body shop and see what can be done on Tuesday. At that moment, there was nothing else we really could do, so we chose to make the most of our situation. And we did!

We fished, hiked, jogged, boated, saw the Headwaters, ate dinners at fun places, cooked alot of breakfasts, rested, played games, made smores, drank good wine and beer and enjoyed each other's company. It was alot of fun.

So, no deer could ruin our good time! I am nervous about what the body shop and insurance company will say tomorrow, but, we'll deal with it as it comes. For now, I'm enjoying one last nice day away from work and the day to day things that we deal with - though I am looking forward to getting back into that routine as well.

Smiling despite it all!



May 2006 - Itasca honeymoon

And just like that, another year has gone by. I find myself wondering where the time has gone. But I also find myself cherishing every last moment. I am so blessed, so lucky, so happy to married to this wonderful man for four years now.

Our ride of life has had it's fair share of bumpy moments, but I still don't ever want to get off. One of my favorite quotes ever is from the movie "Parenthood" when the grandma says "I went to a fair once and rode the roller coaster. It was so exciting, up and down, up and down. After that we rode the merry go round. It wasn't as much fun. It just goes around. I prefer the roller coaster."
So do I. I'd choose the roller coaster anytime. It's a wild ride, but I love every single moment.

Happy anniversary to my favorite ride partner.

February 2010



Wanna know a secret?

Come a little closer.

Ok don't tell anyone....

I'm on vacation!!

Yep, that's right ladies and gentlemen, a whole week away from work! I have never taken an entire week at one time since I have been in this position so it's going to be wonderful.

I'm a happy girl, doing a happy dance!


Things making me smile today

-The week is already half over

-It's another sunny gorgeous day

-I have lots of pretty new things from last week's Butterfly party

-I bought a new fishing pole last night for my trip - and it's totally girly and I don't care if it's nerdy, I love it.

-Said trip is getting closer

-Summer plans are already shaping up to be pretty awesome

So I'm smiling today! Are you?


Time is flying

It feels like I blinked and half of the month of May is gone already. Actually, a little more than half the month of May at this point. I guess waiting for death and then all the events that take place when a loved one passes away will make time fly by or something!

But, things have more or less returned to normal at this point. I was extremely lazy over the weekend, but I think it was needed. Not much on my list got done other than Nate brewing some beer! I'm excited about it though, he has not brewed in a long time and the beer he chose is a clone of one of my favorite beers ever - Surly Furious.

This week I'm slowly getting ready for our upcoming vacation. I am getting very giddy and excited about this trip. We both need a long, relaxing week away from everything. 2010 has not been the worst year ever so far, but it also hasn't been the best so I think it will be good to recharge our batteries and come back ready to make a fresh start. And I do believe we have the potential to have a great summer and remainder of the year.

Quite frankly if time wanted to slow down just a little bit, I don't think I'd complain about that too much right now!



Has anyone else been missing the sun? Seriously, what a long, dreary, rainy week! Though it was probably appropriate while we grieved my grandmother's passing - today's appearance of the sun I feel is her telling us it's ok to get on with our lives. I know that is what she'd want.

I plan to take huge advantage of this weekend's sun and get my car washed and cleaned up even if it's not the one we're taking on our trip. Nate is going to brew beer this weekend. I kind of wished I'd planned a bonfire for this weekend as I talked about a couple of months ago, but sadly I did not. Hopefully soon though! I also hope we get some work done in the yard.

Or, I might just bask in the sun out on my glider on the deck with a book and iced coffee and just soak it all in. Who knows!

Spreading sunshine to all of you as well!



You know it's funny, sometimes I think we take for granted the people around us and in our lives when life is normal and nothing is wrong. But then in times of crisis or sadness we come to realize how important these people are and how special and blessed we are to have them in our lives.

I have been touched and humbled at the outpouring of support from my friends and my parents friends in the days leading up to my grandmother's funeral. I've received kind messages and notes from people and I know there are individuals rallying around and helping my parents in ways that just amaze me. It is so nice to know we are blessed to know so many wonderful beings that we can count on and lean on.

I now vow to try and not take these folks for granted ever, because they are all giving more than I could ever think possible and I hope to return the favor someday.

The next couple of days I expect will pass by quickly and probably in a bit of a blur. I'm ready to say our final farewells and then I'll admit, I'm kind of ready for life to get back to normal as well. Although what exactly does normal mean? Might be best not to know!


The other shoe

Off and on for the last about seven years now we've been kind of living our life waiting for "the other shoe" to drop so to speak. My grandmother, my mom's mother, has been in poor health pretty much since having surgery from colon cancer about seven and a half years ago. They did get all the cancer at the time of the surgery, but it left her weak and unable to do for herself any longer. She lived with an uncle up here for awhile but as her health continued to deteroriate it was decided that it would be best for her to go live with my Aunt Becky in Austin, MN who had experience with the elderly from working in nursing homes. Then when her cares increased even further, it was found that nursing homes in Austin were cheaper than one would be up here, so that was where she went two years ago.

But as I said, off and on it would be this "waiting for the shoe to drop" - she'd get the flu and land in the hospital, she'd get pneumonia and end up in the hospital, and they'd keep saying "oh I don't know, I don't think she's going to make it this time" yet she'd keep bouncing back, not as strong as before, but would still rally. We joked she was the Energizer bunny.

At Thanksgiving time her blood sugars started going crazy from her diabetes and it was the beginning of the end. The last few months were very much a roller coaster and finally just over a week ago the doctor said the days of her rallying were no more and everything was pretty much shutting down. She had a stroke last Monday, stopped eating and taking meds, and finally the other shoe we've been waiting for has dropped as she passed away very early this morning. She was 96 years old.

It is sad, but yet there is joy because she finally suffers no longer and is at long last reunited with my grandfather who left this world over 30 years ago. That's a long time to be widowed. She also buried two of her 13 children, two more than any parent should ever have to, so she is also with them once again as well.

It's funny, I was watching Betty White on Saturday Night Live this weekend and knowing that any minute I'd be getting that unfortunate phone call, and couldn't help but think my grandma, in her better days, was alot like Betty White. She was a very sweet lady, but she could have a naughty side sometimes!

My favorite story I can remember right now was when I was around 14 or so and had just gotten my braces on. Anyone who has had braces knows that those first few days are super uncomfortable. Anyway, my mom used to take my grandma grocery after school on Thursdays and I was tagging along as I often did to help out (and I'm sure there was a promise of a McDonald's shake for my sore mouth - not going to lie, I did need the bribes sometimes!) and we picked grandma up at the highrise and she and mom were chatting away. Pretty soon grandma says "what's with her, she's quiet today?" referring to me being silent in the backseat. And my mom said "She got her braces yesterday so she's not a happy camper". Grandma turns around and says "Oh let me see?" So I opened my mouth to show her and continued my pout in the backset. Grandma said "well those don't look so bad." And is quiet for a moment. Then she turns around again and said and I quote "you must feel like you have a mouthful of shit!" My own mother was horrified and said "Mother!" And Grandma's like "what? I imagine that it is not the most comfortable thing ever!" And I was in the backseast smiling in spite of the pain. Grandma hit it on the head, that was for sure!

She was always kind of feisty like that and that is how I will choose to remember her. So again, there is sorrow in her passing, but also peace and relief that she is now in a better place. I will miss her and always love her.

In loving memory

Margaret Francis McDermott Miller

January 24, 1914 - May 10, 2010

The legacy - Margaret with some of her 38 odd grandchildren - August 2009

She's the one in the wheelchair, third from the left


Update on our running program

First of all - thank you all for allowing me to be a little more exposed and candid yesterday. Sometimes it feels good to be completely honest. Today is a bit better, no changes, just kind of going one day at a time. In a more peaceful place overall.

Today I thought I'd give a little update on Nate and I and our running program. We're about halfway through right now. Six out of 12 weeks. I can't believe it!

We've increased the amount of time we are out each morning plus the amount of distance we are going. The program gradually does this in a way that seems to make sense. For example, the current week we are on we are up to six minutes of running to four minutes of walking. It's repeated only once.

On the off days, the more "low energy" days, it's a full 30 minutes of walking. Which actually isn't all bad - I find that now it is actually a little bit boring to just walk for 30 minutes. Sure we talk alot, but we're also both half awake at that time of day (5:45 am, yep that's right). Nate thinks that the point behind these days is building endurance.

I'm nervous about next week. We get to continue the run six, walk four type pattern - but there is not a "low energy" day. The off days (Tues, Thurs) - we get to run for a grand total of 10 full minutes. YIKES! 10 minutes with no break? I'm struggling to get through six minutes right now!

Yet, even though each week seems harder and I find myself wondering how I'll ever make it through - I look back on the first week and how running even for a full minute was brutal. And now one minute is a piece of cake! It will get easier.

It'll be interesting to see how our running goes when we take our trip to Itasca - we'll be in the 8th or 9th week at that point and we want to try to still do it.

I am still so impressed with and proud of Nate - he was dog tired this morning and was so tempted to skip it, yet he still did it and he had to be the one kind of cheering me on at the end of our run today - he is actually inspiring me with this! He has toned up a bit through this process, I don't know that he has necessarily lost of ton of weight, but I'm just happy he's active. It's so good for him and for me as well!

I do find it funny, as I have shared with some of you as we've talked, that my appetite has grown quite a bit. When I get hungry, I get hungry and I need to eat now. I am trying to stay sensible with this - I have healthy snacks whenever possible. No sense in eating just any old crap just because I will burn the calories later!

So there you have it. I can't believe how far we've come and I can't wait to see how much further we can go! Who knows, maybe next up will be a 5K or something simple like that!


Kind of jumbled

My mind's a bit of a mess today.

Waiting on news that is coming that is inevitable and will kind of disrupt normal life for a couple of days so I've kind of put normal life on hold for right now.

Feeling a little hurt or maybe confused by something that has bugged me off and on for awhile now and I really should just let go. I know it's not intentional and I know I read way too much into things.

Feeling melancholy as I do sometimes at this time of year when I think back on my wedding and the days leading up to it - kind of want to go back and do it all again sometimes.

Unsure about the long term future at work and trying to go day to day right now. Even the short term future is questionable at the moment.

Happy that Nate finally got a new car that I won't have to worry about him ending up stranded somewhere in the old one. Happy that it is a nice car in great shape and we can take it on our upcoming trip and get good gas mileage with it.

Anxious for that upcoming trip, I think we both need some time away, it's going to be a nice break.

So there you have it. Those are the thoughts bouncing around in my head right now. I try to keep things mostly upbeat and positive here, but life isn't always sunshine and roses and today I just felt like laying it all out there. I know some of it's a bit vague. I do want to stress that I am ok, I don't want anyone sending out the dogs to circle me or something. Sometimes you just need to share the not so great things along with the great things. Life is not always perfect.

Every day is a new day and I will keep looking forward and not back.