Out of the loop

Oh man am I starting to show my age here? Or am I just way out of the loop?

They mentioned in the news yesterday that traffic in our big city here last night might be a bit tricky due to a Twins game in the new stadium and the Justin Bieber concert at the Target Center.

They were going on and on about Bieber Fever. Bieber Fever? Who is this kid?

Ok, well I guess I know Justin Bieber is the new "IT" guy with the tween set - but I couldn't tell you anything else about him. I don't know what he sings. I just know that apparently he's insanely popular right now. I was having a discussion with my mom about it at lunch yesterday and I'm like "isn't he one of those Disney Channel kids?" To which my mom - MY MOM who is older than I am by quite a bit said "Oh no, not at all, he's just some kid that got popular after he put out a YouTube video."

My own mother is more in the entertainment know than I am!

I read People Magazine. I read EW online. I try to keep up, but I guess I am not doing as good of a job of that as I used to! I guess that is what happens when you no longer have cable television and your radio station of choice is very much "indie" based!


And I ran, I ran so far away

80's music fans will appreciate the title of this post. Oh Flock of Seagulls....

Anyway, just a brief update on Nate and I and our running. Today we hit our personal best so far, 22 minutes of uninterrupted running. This week we need to hit 25, which I believe we will on Thursday. Then we start pressing on to the ultimate goal of 30 minutes, which should also put us at the distance of a 5K total.

We should have already been to this point, but weather has set us back a bit a couple of times. It just can't be helped. Not our fault in the least. It's just been a bit of a rainy, soggy stretch over the last month or so.

Because of those set backs though, we were starting to get discouraged. We hadn't made it past 15 minutes and were beginning to feel like we never would get there. Then over the weekend we made it to 20. And today we made it to 22. And let me tell you, it's not our ultimate goal yet, but it feels darn good. More than good. Amazing. Accomplished.

I never would have dreamed in March when we started (and could barely run a full minute mind you) that we would get this far. But we have and I am proud. Proud of Nate and proud of myself. Such good feelings.


Our house

This August we will have owned our home for four years. And I know how lucky we are and blessed we are to own a home, be able to continue to afford to own a home and all that jazz. But sometimes, I look at my house and I get frustrated when I think, we've been here for four years and we still have so much work to do.

When we made the choice to buy this house we knew we would have years of work ahead of us. Nate's great aunt was so elderly by the time she went into assisted living that there was much that had worn down and not been dealt with for quite some time. We knew that we would be moving into a "Fixer upper" and were able to get a better price on the house in exchange for that. And we were ok with that. It was so wonderful to start out in a house as opposed to an apartment so at the time, that was what mattered most.

We didn't anticipate a couple of shaky years worth of employment issues that would leave us just barely able to pay monthly living expenses for some time. So, when I look at it from this angle, it's amazing we were able to do things we have done so far: a new furnace/air conditioner, a new front and back door installed, new fridge, new dishwasher, painted master bedroom. Nothing to sneeze at for sure, but there's still more to go!

We're into a place where we're starting to feel comfortable with our expenses again. No, we are not rolling in the dough so to speak, but we're finally more or less recovered from those two years of uncertainty. And I'm more motivated than ever to finally get more things done that will make our house much more up to date and overall in better shape.

One such thing is painting our living room. I have been putting off this project for awhile now. We bought the paint during a sale two years ago and honestly, I have no excuses for it not being done yet. I just dislike painting. And I know I'm going to have to live with my living room being a bit messy for a little bit and that makes me cringe as well. But it has to get done. It's a cost-free project at this point that will bring me that much closer to the goal of the house being "fixed up" so to speak. So tonight, it begins. It's on like Donkey Kong. And I plan to finish this in considerably less time than last years six month long project in the bedroom!

There are so many other things I want to try and do in the near future that I feel like I have "Home project ADD." When we first moved in, Nate and I made a list of projects and sort of rated them in order of what we'd like to get done first and what was most urgent. I think we'll need to sit down and do that again and that should help considerably.

Still, as much as it may sound like I'm whining right now and as frustrated as I am at times, I love my house. I love our neighborhood, I love our yard, I love my quirky shag carpeted basement. And I wouldn't trade the memories and experiences we've had in our house so far for anything. They are the things that have made our house a home. Not just the updating and repairs done up to this point. And those are the things I try to focus on most when I get in these kind of moods! We are definitely blessed.

It is our house, our home. A place that we share together. That is what matters most.

"Our house, is a very, very, very fine house, with two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard, now everything is easy cause of you." -Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.


Flashback Friday - Spring 1999

So as I stated last week, my Facebook friends have been enjoying some old pictures I've been scanning from high school and sharing with everyone. Something about being out of school for ten years brings on the nostalgia I guess! At any rate, I decided to post another one here for my blogging audience to enjoy as well.

Nate and I all dressed up for our junior year prom. I remember it was quite the big deal, since my mom never went to her prom she insisted I get the best dress (we actually got it at David'd Bridal) and she even let me get highlights in my hair for the first time ever (yes I was 17 and could make my own choices - but she paid for it). We got my shoes dyed to match the dress. It was a pretty darn big deal! We ate dinner at my parents house and our parents were nice and drove us to Calhoon Beach Club so we wouldn't have to deal with the parking. It was a gorgeous location for a prom.

The added bonus? I wore that dress again to a sorority formal at St. Kate's ironically during my junior year of college! Nate did not wear a tux that time though. Nice shirt and tie was more the attire that the dates wore to those events!

Ah, memories. :)



Man I am coming up so dry on blogging topics these days! It's not for lack of things going on - seems like we're busy as bees - but there's not much new and exciting things going on really. It's routine.

I don't dare complain - seems like the minute I say, boy, life is kind of boring lately - something bad happens. I am NOT wishing for that at all!

It's just summer. We have a routine. We have things going on. We're enjoying it as much as we can.

The job "Stuff" I was vague on the other day is looking better. So I feel pretty good about that.

Busy weekend ahead. Something about this time of year I think.

I may bring back some of my "blog topics" to help me write more often. The Top Ten lists, Music Monday, Flashback Friday. Something. We shall see how things go!

For now, know that we are here and we are just plugging away!



Lots of things going on, lots on my mind both good and less good, lots of just stuff.

My weekend was wonderful - Rock the Garden did not disappoint. Brunch with my in-laws was very tasty. Golf with my parents was fun - though I did horribly, enough to the point that I will not share my score. Always room to grow!

We've been able to run or walk every day for the last several and even though it's been humid, it's been nice to be out moving each day.

We're moving closer to a new painting project at home in the living room. We only bought the paint two years ago, so it's probably time.

I'm slowly working through my summer list of things.

Yet I am a wee bit worried about some things pertaining to work - many changes coming and I just want to still be there when it's all done. I should know more in the next couple of days. I honestly don't like blogging about my job, so I really won't go into it, but it is leading me to a state of ungluedness at the moment. I work for a really great organization and my goal is to stay there as long as I possibly can.

I am not letting it consume me though and just continue my daily mantra of "one day at a time."

Here is a picture of Nate and I from Rock the Garden. It has been the highlight of my summer so far.

So like I said, just mostly stuff going on. Good stuff, not so good stuff. Stuff. Life is full of stuff.


Are you ready to rock?

Cause I sure am!

For our second year now we are heading down to the Walker Art Center tomorrow for 89.3 the Current's Rock the Garden event. I am beyond excited for this outdoor concert. We had a ton of fun when we went last year. Not quite as big of headliners at this year's events, but a good lineup all together. The groups this year are: Retribution Gospel Choir, OK Go, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and MGMT.

For those unfamiliar with any of the above and have a few minutes - here are some links that might help.

Retribution Gospel Choir is a local MN group and I actually know very little about them, but the one song I do know I like. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf-r7aRBRHI I am anxious to hear some other music and see if I like anything else as well!

OK Go is an innovative kind of group. They are best known for this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTAAsCNK7RA - in which the entire thing is done on treadmills. Hard to believe they could top that, but they recently released a new song "This Too Shall Pass" and I have to include a link to this video as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qybUFnY7Y8w I promise you, best three and a half minutes you could waste.

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings is a lovely soul, rhythm and blues kind of group that reminds me of some of the great groups of the 1960's. I love the energy of their music and I think it will be fun to see them live. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cckkzRDBAo

And finally MGMT. They have a really unique, different kind of sound, but their music puts me in a good mood whenever I hear it. I have heard they haven't been the greatest live, but I'm hopeful that they will put on a good show. Here is one of my favorites: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9dSYgd5Elk

So anyway, it should be a good time. Plus, there's just something about being outside on a lovely warm MN evening, sitting on the grass with other music fans, people watching (and let me tell you we were quite entertained by some of the concert goers last year - story for another day), eating a little food, maybe drinking a beer. It just screams summer to me. I am totally ready to rock.



Once again, it never ceases to amaze me how much better I feel after writing out things that are conflicting in my mind. And I appreciate the friends I have who come here and lift me up and reassure me that I'm normal and that what I wrote isn't all that bad! So thanks to all who commented on my rather soap box in nature post yesterday. I feel a bit of a weight is lifted. And I am so happy with where I am in my life right now!

Continuing with the lighter side of things - I started a project on Facebook. As I mentioned previously, it has been ten years since I graduated from high school. Six years since I graduated college. And in the fun of looking back, I decided to start scanning pictures I have from those days before everyone had a digital camera. And it has been hilarious looking back in time!

Here is one such picture - the early days of Nate and I as a couple, the last day of our sophomore year of high school. 16 years old. Dating maybe two months at this point.

Who are these babies? Seriously! We are so young in that picture! And look at Nate's blond hair! Those were his swimming days and it would go bleach blond, lasting well into the summer. And I love my eye roll here, don't know if it was something someone said or what. And Nate's just totally zoned out like "yep, this is my woman. Yep she's yacking away as usual and I'm not paying attention." At any rate, this one made me laugh. And funny fact - I figured out, this picture was taken by the future photographer Jes Lee - yes the Jes Lee who took those nice portraits of us this winter! Like the one on the heading of this blog! Kind of ironic, no?


Confessions of a childless late twenty something

Watch out, it's soap box time! I realize this post may ruffle some feathers - but I have to get it off my chest. Please know my intentions are not to offend anyone in anyway.

I have been finding lately, the first time I meet someone, perhaps in a work situation or maybe even in a personal situation, that I'm usually asked if I am married and if so, for how long. The next question almost always is - oh and do you have children yet? And when I say no, I get that look that says "well what are you waiting for? You've been married four years! Get on with it!" I even had someone in a work situation I felt that went a little too far once and was like "well are you going to have kids? When?" I felt was overstepping the lines a bit. It does however, make me think.

I mean clearly, I am a women of childbearing age who is getting past that "newlywed" phase of marriage, so I can understand why I get these types of questions. And actually, I don't think it would even bother me as much if it weren't for the simple fact that it is something I do think about. I struggle with feeling ready - in fact, it's quite an ongoing battle in my mind. And until I can work past it - I am not diving into anything. I am simply not ready and I worry sometimes if I ever will be.

I never thought I would be this way. In fact, it's a bit of a little secret I have that about three years ago I had a horrible case of baby fever - I seriously thought I was ready and we even started making plans - but as the saying goes "we plan and God laughs" - Nate ended up losing his job and the more time went by, even after he was employed again, the more I realize and know it would've been a huge mistake to have jumped into it at that time. I wasn't ready. And I'm still not. And I feel ok with that - except that I feel like society feels otherwise.

I have friends who have children already and I love all of them. I am enjoying watching their kids grow and I couldn't be happier for them. I have other friends who I know are planning for and trying for children and I find myself hoping along with them that their turn will come soon and I know I will love watching their children grow too. I have nothing against any one of them. They may be in a different place than I am, but I respect them and as I said, I'm happy for all of them. I sometimes wish I was in that place, but I know better than to push it with myself.

Nate is extremely supportive as he pretty much feels the same way. He would've gone for it those three years ago if things had worked out differently but he too is relieved in a sense that it didn't. I am not going to lie, we have even had conversations about the potential of not ever having children. I don't think that is a likely scenario, though I think some folks in our extended families believe it could be for some reason just because we haven't jumped on the bandwagon yet. But I will be honest, we have talked about that possibility. And such thoughts terrify me to my very soul which is why I still believe in my heart of hearts that I am meant to be a mother someday. I just don't know when someday is right now.

I know you can never physically or even mentally be totally ready for this type of life changing thing. But for now I want to keep working towards feeling ready. I just wish I wasn't feeling so judged about it. I have time. And right now what is working best for us is taking things one day at a time.


The Great American Pastime, also titled "In Which Beth complains about the weather"

Don't have all that much to share at the moment, so I'm going to do what is one of the great American pastimes - complain about the weather. Let's face it. It's been raining now off and on for several days. I'm to the point where I am considering building an ark.

In all seriousness I know we were in a drought and this rain has been very good for that - but it's putting a damper on my summer plans. It really is not fair that it's been raining alot on the weekends, Saturdays in particular. While I don't want to spend my Saturdays working on things at home, we also have alot of things that need to get done, especially outside.

The rain is also making it difficult for our running training program. We're supposed to do set amounts each day and it does not work well when you end up missing a day due to rain. We have reset the program by a week or two here or there (if we had not done that we would've completed it by now as it's a 12 week program and we're on our 14th week overall) but we would like to not have to do that if possible!

So, there you have it. While my flowers are beautiful and my yard is nice and green from all this rain, I'm ready for a stretch of nice, sunny, even semi-warmish type days. I am crossing my fingers that the forecast for this weekend holds - we have Rock the Garden on Saturday and it is outside and I'd like to not have to sit on the wet ground!

As I am posting this there is a hint of something bright coming out from behind those nasty clouds - I almost don't dare say it's the sun, but it's sort of nice to see. Maybe this time it will stick around. Here's hoping.


Summer plans

I read a friend's blog earlier this week in which she listed their "Summer Bucket List" - all the things they want to do before the summer is over. It got me thinking about my own list. I too have many things I hope to accomplish this summer. Most of it is fun, though some of it involves some work too.

The fun stuff (cause it's more fun to start there, right?)
-Visit the Big Backyard at the Science Museum now that we are members
-Golf both with Nate and also my parents - we didn't go once last year and that makes me sad
-See the new Polar Bear Exhibit at the Como Zoo
-Eat at outdoor patios whenever possible
-Go on a Margarita or Beer Paddleboat ride on the Mississippi (the Paddleford boat company offers both of these options on Mondays and Wednesdays - how fun!)
-Go on a bike ride or two
-Visit the Elm Creek Park reserve man made beach (becoming a yearly tradition for me, I love it there!)
-Attend the Rock the Garden concert at the Walker in just over a week - I am so excited and hoping for good weather
-Visit the Farmers Markets (Minneapolis and Mill City)
-Make jam with my mother-in-law and pie with my mom (with Strawberries)
-Spend lots of time with friends as they are able (hint hint to my friends reading along!)
There's probably more I am forgetting right now.

The less than fun, but necessary things to do at home:
-Finish taking down two fence posts in the backyard, take out the posts for hanging laundry and also disassemble a planting area and then plant grass seed in all of those areas
-Clean out the planting areas along the deck in the back so we can actually maybe get plants in the ground this year
-General cleaning up of all areas of the yard
-Paint the front door of the house
-Possibly start painting other parts of the outside of the house
-Start my painting in the living room
-Put a light fixture above my shower and a fan in the bathroom (dad is going to help with this one)

So there you have it. I will check back in on September 1st and we'll see how things went!


Car = all better

Nate got his car back yesterday. It looks fantastic! I cannot believe what a great job the guys at Central Avenue Auto Body did. They are rockstars. No one would ever guess in a million years that we damaged it by hitting a deer.

We're hoping to just move on from this experience and if nothing else, have a funny story to share with our children/grandchildren someday!

Definitely not an experience I'd like to repeat anytime soon however!


I ate the weekend away

Boy I feel like in a way I just ate my way through the weekend! In all seriousness though, I had some really good food throughout the weekend!

Saturday morning I met my sister-in-law and another friend for brunch as we had ordered another little batch of goodies from Lush UK to save on shipping, so we needed to divvy out the stash. I have to say, I didn't have nearly as much as I have in the past. Probably a good thing considering the vacation we just took and the car/deer issues! Anyway, we had brunch at the Good Earth. Normally, I'm not a huge fan of the Good Earth, but this time I really enjoyed my food. I had cinnamon braided french toast and a lemonade/ice tea blend and it was quite yummy. Not too filling, which was ok because Saturday night was date night.

Yes we chose to still go on date night even though we should probably be watching our money a bit. But this ended up working out in our favor. See, my aunt was raving and raving about this place in NE Minneapolis called Brasa. I was super curious so I told Nate on Saturday, let's go there, it sounds like reasonable prices and it's not that far away. Well we get on the road to go head down and who is two cars ahead of us but my parents. Yes I am a weirdo who can read license plates through a windshield. And yes I am a weirdo who memorizes license plate numbers. So anyway, I said to Nate "should I call them? see where they are going?" and he said "oh sure!" Turns out, they were headed to Brasa too. So we agreed to sit together and in the end, dad paid, which was a really nice treat. The food was amazing - roasted chicken, pulled pork, cheese grits, cornbread, pineapple upside down cake for dessert. Yum, yum, yum. We will be going back there sometime!

Sunday we were treated to a fantastic meal over at my in-laws. My father-in-law found a recipe for lamb burgers and asked if we wanted to come over and try them. Don't wrinkle your nose just yet - I am a pretty picky eater, but let me tell you - these were fantastic! Kind of reminded me of gyros meat made into a patty. We had pitas and hummus, tabbouleh and baklava for dessert. I was so stuffed when we left there - but it was all fantastic.

Probably a good thing I'm just planning salad for dinner tonight!


Another marker of time...

I've got an anniversary coming up here of some pretty big significance. I don't remember the exact date. Maybe one of my former classmates does. June 7th perhaps? At any rate, it's close to right now. And as the school year is wrapping up in the districts around me, it's got my mind going more and more...you see, it has pretty much officially been 10 years since I graduated from high school.

10 years???

How the heck did that happen? Wasn't I just 18 the other day? Or 20? 21? Wasn't it just yesterday that I graduated from college? Got my first job? Got married?

In many ways though, it does feel like 10 years have gone by, especially looking back on all that has happened in 10 years. And I can safely say I'm proud of who I am now, of what I've done with my life so far.

I'm blessed to still have close friends from school in my life, friendships that have lasted more years than I can count anymore! Through the magic of Facebook I've managed to also stay in touch with alot of other classmates to see where they are now and what they're doing. And much like myself, I'm happy to see so many of them are also doing well, doing good things in the world.

Do I ever miss those carefree days? On occasion. When I feel like I don't want to be an adult for a little bit. I miss acting in plays and musicals sometimes. Playing in the band. But, for the most part, I'm happy to be "Grown up" and where I am now. I cherish my memories and smile when I look back for the most part.

The best thing that came out of high school? Dating Nate. Clearly. I still can't believe how lucky I am to be married to my high school sweetheart. As I've said before, we grew together as we grew up. It could've easily gone the other way, but thankfully it didn't. And I'm proud of the person he's become today as well.

So on to the next 10 years. Who knows what the future will hold? I had no clue back then, and I have no clue now, but I will continue my journey taking life one day at a time and following the words my parents posted in my senior "baby" yearbook message - "Trust in God and trust in yourself." These words have served me well so far!