Another year gone by

Man, I know it's something that happens with age, but I swear with each passing year I find myself saying this line from the musical Rent "I can't believe a year went by so fast." I know it gets worse when you have children, so sometimes I'm thankful that we don't. Still, it is hard to believe 2011 is almost over already. Yet, as I sit here to start writing our recap of the year, I also can't believe how much we crammed into one year - maybe that is how it flew by. Let's rewind a bit.

January - The quietest month of the year. I decided to bite the bullet and take advantage of the free consultation at a client of Nate's to see if I'd be a candidate for Lasik. I was thrilled to learn that I was and set up my surgery for February.

February - We attended Winterfest as a belated Christmas gift to Nate and had a blast trying out all the best local beers MN has to offer. We enjoyed it so much we're going again this year. We had a most wonderful meal for Valentine's Day at Erte in NE Minneapolis. I had my Lasik surgery on February 18th and my life was forever changed. It is still the best thing I have ever done for myself. We participated in our first ever Praise Project benefit concert. We continued digging out from SO.MUCH.SNOW.

March - I had an eye opening and interesting experience filling in as a front desk person in another part of Fairview for one week. We got back on the running train as the snow started melting a bit towards the end of the month.

April - We celebrated my mom's birthday and Easter. We continued on with our running and were pleased with the progress we made. My mom and I took a fun spring arts sampler class at the park near my house and made some fun projects. Would like to go back there and do more.

May - Big month for us, celebrating five years of marriage over Memorial Day weekend. We opted to stay in town for the big day and visited a fantastic winery in Delano and then had a wonderful dinner at The Melting Pot downtown. I had my ears doubled pierced. Held our breath as a tornado tore through North Minneapolis and parts of Fridley, sparing my parents house by only a few blocks.

June - Nate decided to take his turn to see if he would be a candidate for Lasik and we were beyond shocked when he was! He had his surgery in the middle of June and also was super pleased with the results. We had a soggy time at this year's Rock the Garden, but I was still excited to see Neko Case, one of my favorite singers of all time, live in concert even if it wasn't quite the right venue for her. We hit a huge milestone in our running, able to do 30 minutes at one go. I ended up with a severely infected ear piercing and had one earring removed. The other one remains however. Started a fashion blog and have enjoyed the journey so far with that.

July - Celebrated the 4th with some Praise Project friends. Saw the Black Keys in concert over that weekend as well. Mom and I saw Josh Groban in concert too and hands down, he is the best live concert I have ever been to. We sweated through some extreme heat and took a week to go down and visit with our Kondrick relatives in St. Louis where we suffered through some REALLY extreme heat. We still had a good time there, visiting the Budweiser brewery and the Arch and all those fun tourist type things. While we were gone my awesome dad replaced our laundry room washtub and finally my basement doesn't smell musty anymore!

August - A quieter month again, we had a family reunion with Nate's family out in Wisconsin. We completed the delayed Torchlight 5K even if we couldn't quite run the entire thing. We brewed a bunch of beer so we'd have it ready for October and Oktoberfest. I came over an almost 30 year fear of loud noises by taking a gun safety class with Nate and for the first time ever, firing an actual gun.

September - We had another weekend up north with the Praise Project gang. We visited some wineries down south over Labor Day weekend. We decided to take a step back from the running for a bit so Nate could work through some stress issues he was having. We started getting the house in shape for Oktoberfest.

October - Oktoberfest celebration commenced. Another successful year and much fun was had by all. Put myself on a self imposed shopping ban to save up money for a Smartphone. Had a low key Halloween and did not dress up this year.

November - Returned to a place that caused a lot of pain in the past and were able to comfortably be there and close the door to the past (the old church), Did my annual trek for the Cities Sampler with Gina, celebrated my Muppets triumphant return to the big screen, enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving with Nate's family, and celebrated our big 3-0 and found that 30 is not as bad as I once feared. So far it's not really much worse than 29! Bought my iPhone and have loved it ever since.

December - Suffered through a pretty nasty cold, prepared to celebrate Christmas and had a wonderful holiday.

The end of the year has been calmer than other parts of the year. And I'm ok with that! Looking back through my review of the year it feels kind of nice to have things slowing down a bit! For the most part I would say 2011 was good. There were up and down moments as there are with any year, but we got through the not so great stuff and enjoyed the wonderful stuff. I don't know what 2012 holds, but I am looking forward to it.

Happy New Year one and all!


Christmas Rewind

It's already several days past Christmas and I have yet to come on and give my Christmas recap! I have been thoroughly enjoying time away from work this week and a big part of that is actually time away from my computer, which means I'm not blogging much! Anyway, let's go ahead and back the train up to Christmas weekend, because it twas a good one.

My vacation started on the day before Christmas Eve, I took Friday off of work to get all my last minute things finished. I met up with two of my good friends/sorority sisters for a little brunch. It was nice to visit with them before one of them has a newborn again (come on Baby Wilkinson, we're ready to meet you!) and start off the holidays. I went home after hanging out with them for a bit and finished wrapping all of my Christmas gifts. It only took me an hour, I was happy about that! We had a final rehearsal with Praise Project in the evening and were home in time to unwind with a couple of TV shows.

Christmas Eve we slept in a bit, though I did meet my parents for Christmas Eve Coffee! I came home and braved the store to grab a last minute gift for Nate's Grandma Dolly. It wasn't that bad, I have never done that on Christmas Eve before. Probably helps that I didn't go to the mall, I went to a Kohls outside of a mall.

After that I headed home again where Nate was done wrapping all his gifts and we went to get some lunch. We came home and exchanged gifts. He gave me the newest stuffed Kermit that goes with the new movie - he's cute - along with a CD and a couple of pretty things to sleep in - and get your mind out of the gutters, they are practical and really comfy. I don't know the last time I bought myself new pj's, so it was kind of a treat! I gave him a couple of CDs and we're going to go to a glass blowing class together where we'll get to make our own beer glass! And we'll get to taste some local beer too! It should be fun.
We then set about making a green bean dish to bring to Nate's parents for dinner and then went over to their house to celebrate with them. We had SO. MUCH. FOOD. It was super good though. After dinner was our annual "sit by the real fire while the yule log plays on TV."

I took a picture to show what big nerds we are. Everyone says this tradition is all my doing, but in truth I think we all get a kick out of it, not just me! We noshed on some cookies that Ali made and then opened our stockings and our presents. Many nice gifts and it was a nice relaxing evening.

Christmas Day we had to get up way too early to do Christmas Mass with Praise Project out in Blaine. I am glad we get asked to do it, but man, 8:30 was tough to get up for this year! But, then we were done nice and early and headed over to my parents house to exchange gifts with them. My mom made us a nice spread for breakfast too.

We had a little time then to run home, change clothes and catch our breaths for a little bit before heading to my Aunt Michelle's in Uptown. We had a lovely dinner there and it was nice to see my mom's extended family as we don't see many of them throughout the year. It was so nice outside, we even went and caroled at a couple of her neighbor's houses, I have to say, it was on my bucket list to do that, so I'm glad we had the opportunity. We played the Dice Game and a couple of other games before Nate and I decided to head home so we could stop at his grandparents real quick to say hello to his family. We ended up over there a little longer than I planned, but I'm glad we went, it was nice to see all of them as well!

So it seems that we did a ton over the two days, but we were really relaxed and kind of on our own schedule. In years past I have felt so crazed by all the places we try to go, but this was really not bad.

Monday Nate was off too, so we slept in a bit, went to Caribou together and over to the gun range. I ended up not shooting with him because there were just far too many people there that day, it was overwhelming and my noise phobia got the better of me. I have come a long way with it but I'm far from perfect. At least I have a Smartphone now that kept me company while he was out in the range! After that we came home and both just vegged for awhile and then we went and had a nice dinner out because we haven't done so in quite a while!

Now I'm just enjoying being a "stay at home wife" for the rest of the week. I wish Nate was here with me, but I'm glad to have the time off. Did some after Christmas sale shopping yesterday and also reorganized my linen closet. I will be going to a movie with Miss Jes tonight and to dinner with Miss Gina tomorrow, so it will be nice to catch up with them. Tomorrow I will have lunch with my mom, two of my favorite aunties and my cousin - did that last year and it was nice so we decided to do it again. Friday I have no plans, might just watch movies all day and then I think Nate and I will grill for dinner.

So there you go. I feel blessed and my heart is happy. You can't ask for more than that for Christmas.

Before the week is out I'll do my annual year in review. And then I should be back to more regular blogging next week.

Hope you all had wonderful Christmases and are enjoying your week whether you're off or at work!


Merry Christmas!

For unto us is born this day in the City of David, a savior, which is Christ the Lord
And this shall be a sign unto you.

A very blessed and Merry Christmas to all of you! Be safe if you are traveling and take time to enjoy the little moments of this glorious holiday.


Let it snow?

Snapped these photos real quick when I got home last night. Here's our white Christmas!

See the leaves below the snow? Yeah, we're one of those people who didn't rake. I was hoping it'd all end up totally buried like it did last year. What a difference one year makes, eh?

I will say, I haven't missed shoveling or cleaning off my car or dealing with the large snow piles at the end of the driveway this year. But, I am bummed we won't have just a pretty little coating of snow to enjoy for Christmas. So it goes!

In other news, it is my Friday. I do not work again until "next year" after today! I'm really glad it worked out for me to get an entire week off again for the holidays. Even with very little planned, it's fun playing "stay at home wife" and just chilling!

I'm so relaxed about the holidays this year. Everything is ready and even getting sick in the midst of December this year, I'm on track and I'm oddly calm. I'll take it. Perhaps with age comes wisdom. I still love this holiday, but I think I appreciate it on a different level now and that is helping with the "not freaking out" and just enjoying it for what it is. At any rate, I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Unless the gift he is holding is like a million dollars or something. He he.

Hope you are all surviving in these final days of Christmas preparation!


Never a dull moment

My apologies for the drama of yesterday's post. That was a fun panic filled afternoon, let me tell you. And sadly things still aren't perfect with my Gmail, namely I can't sync it to my iPhone or my Mail app on my laptop at home, so I'm looking into some changes. Nate has purchased the domain Kondrick.com for our use and long ago set me up an email there, I just haven't ever used it. Well, the times they are a changing, I'm going to be migrating over to that as my primary email. If you're in my address book you'll get an email from me about this once everything is all set up. I'm migrating my Gmail to my new email right now and it's going to take a little while. I am also set up to have Gmail forwarded to the new email, so you can still email me there if you wish or if you forget my new email.

There's still the matter of my fashion blog too, but right now it's functional again, so I will take my time on that.

This blog is associated with a different account and I'll maintain it this way regardless of what I do with the other things - we'll just see how things go.

That's my story on all of that. Beyond that, there are five days until Christmas and I am done shopping at least! Now I have to start wrapping. And that's my least favorite part, but it has to get done! Can't very well hand my giftee's their present and say "just shut your eyes" or something to maintain the element of surprise.

On we go.


A big mess

UPDATE - I guess I jumped to conclusions, after chatting with a Twitter friend I figured out what to do and I have EMAIL and my other blog back as of 4:00 pm!! Thank. God. A post of substance coming tomorrow.

I don't know what is going on, but I have lost my regular Gmail/Google account. I have two accounts, I use a separate one for this blog, but my regular one is my personal email and also the one I was using for my fashion blog.

For the time being, I can't receive emails at muppetmusic22@gmail.com, so I would ask that you not email me right now. If you are a Facebook friend of mine, please message me there. I do not want to give out my backup email right now. If you need to get a hold of me in a big hurry, call me for now.

I'll update this when the situation changes.


A little Friday update

Just a quick Friday update-y type post.

My head cold is leaps and bounds better. Still have a dry cough that I've heard can linger for weeks, but my voice is back and I feel less in a "fog". Nate still has his cold unfortunately, but he does pretty well if he keeps on his cold pills. And he doesn't need a voice to play the drums, I need a voice to sing. Ha.

In spite of everything I have been making my way through my Christmas "bucket list". We did have a lot of quiet nights at home this week, but the weekend and next week are looking promising for doing some of the things I had listed.

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas. No joke. It's depressing to think we might have our first brown Christmas in several years. But there is a 30% chance we'll still have a white one, and I'm clinging to every hope of that happening!

Overall our holiday season has had a pretty low key vibe so far, but you know what? I don't mind. My heart is happy and full and that is what matters most!


On Giving In

So. I haven't written much these last few days. I have been sick. There. I said it. I was so not wanting to give into it, but by Thursday afternoon I had to give in. It's funny, I am just such a Type A kind of person, I hate admitting that I'm sick and giving into the sickness. I think I even went through the five stages of grief on Thursday -

1. Denial - I feel fine. I am not getting a fever. I'm not freezing cold even when it's 70 degrees in my office. Those are not aches that I'm experiencing. It's must a minor headcold. I am not getting sick!

2. Anger - Man I feel like crap. I am not supposed to be sick at Christmas. I do not have time to be sick. This sucks. I am so pissed off right now!!!

3. Bargaining - If I can just get through Saturday, I'll take all day on Sunday to rest, I swear to it. Just let me get through until Saturday.

4. Depression - *insert fever induced sobs here* I'm so sad and I want to go home and I want my blanket and to curl up in a corner and cry.

5. Acceptance - FINE. You win you stupid fever/virus/cold whatever the heck you are. I will go home. I will take a sick day.

So that is more or less what happened on Thursday (including the crying, no joke, when I have a fever, I cry. I don't know why and it's like I'm powerless to stop it.) I went home and shivered on the couch for awhile, Nate came home and got me some medicine and soup. I took a full sick day on Friday even though the fever was gone and just did my best to "rest" even though I'm really not very good at that.

Now we're at Tuesday and it's pretty much just an annoying cough that is hanging on and will not go away. And I'm told that the cough is the part of this cold that hangs on and on and on...oh well.

And of course, now it appears that Nate has a version of this too, but we're just going to go one day at a time.

12 more days until Christmas...if you see the good health fairy, send her down to our place!


Christmas bucket list

I've been fighting a cold this week. It's not a severe one. Just enough to be a nuisance. But i haven't let it ruin my Christmas spirit! I was reading a friend's blog and she was describing that her family has a hectic schedule at this time of year, like many of us do, but that she was choosing to look at the days as "full" instead of "busy". Doesn't that sound so much better to say "full"? And that has been how I've been approaching this crazy time of year so far.

She also suggested a December bucket list as to not miss out on any of the good things about this time of year and it has inspired me to make my own "Christmas bucket list". These are things I hope to do in the next 2 1/2 weeks.

1. Watch my favorite Christmas movies - especially Home Alone, a Muppet Family Christmas and Charlie Brown

2. Bake cookies with my mom

3. Finish Christmas shopping and wrap gifts

4. Go drive around and look at lights with Nate

5. Celebrate with Praise Project

6. Celebrate with both sides of our family

7. Spend some time with friends as I'm able

8. Drink Reindeer Blend coffee from Caribou

9. Listen to my favorite Christmas music

10. Finish sending out Christmas cards and reaching out to family and loved ones

It's a pretty manageable list I think! What's on your list?



You know, I just don't have much to share on the ole blog these days.

Things are good...I'm not complaining. Really life is just routine right now. We're into the busy holiday season, but so far, it's manageable. So that makes me happy!

I didn't mind the snow we got over the weekend, it was the light, fluffy, pretty Christmas snow.

I got a large chunk of Christmas shopping done on Saturday before the snow fell. It feels good to have a handle on that!

We enjoyed a nice breakfast out yesterday, though I'm bummed that another of our favorite breakfast spots is closing right before the holidays. They lost their lease, but are hoping to open up somewhere else, so we're keeping our fingers crossed.

Nate decided he wanted to make beef brisket for dinner. I must say time and again, I'm so blessed to be married to a man who loves to cook. It was the best attempt he's made so far - totally delicious.

So really, it's just the day to day and again, that is more than ok.


Fabulous Friday 12/2/11

Well it's the return of Fabulous Friday! I don't know if I can keep up with it weekly again, but I wanted to bring it back today because of things I'm finding fabulous!

1. Gingerbread Pop Tarts - They're back! I discovered these last year and fell in love and I saw them at the store on Sunday and said I need to have these in my life again! Yum. And as I said when I mentioned I also liked the Pumpkin Pie ones - yes I am a 7 year old child.

2. My new iPhone! - You knew this would be on the list right? I am having a lot of fun learning how it works and playing with apps - most of which I have gotten free so far! That makes me very happy.

3. The Muppets - Yes, I've been raving for days but I'll do it again. Best movie ever. You just need to see it. End of story.

4. Christmas decorations - My house is all decked out and I love the new white lights I put on my tree this year!

5. My new red purse - my parents (really it was my mom who picked it out) got me a red purse for my birthday (yes I know, do I need another purse?) and let me tell you, I love this one. It's a great size and it has fun compartments for things. I adore it and I hope to carry it through most of December.

There you go! The sun is out and I'm smiling. What are you finding fabulous today?


Hello December

So wow, it's December 1st! In addition to it being my dad's birthday (Happy birthday Dad!) it truly means we're into the Christmas season and rush. I love Christmas, but in recent years I find it also leads to more and more stress for me as well. I'm not going to let that happen this year. At least I am making it my goal for this year!

Last night I felt that "Panic Monkey" trying to climb up my back a bit when I realized, ack, I have just over three weeks to get my shopping done and I don't know what I'm buying half of my people. But I forced it back down and said, look at it this way - three weeks is actually plenty of time. And there are 24 useful hours in every day and I intend to use as many of them as possible!

My mom and I have our list of cookies to make and will likely start on that next week. My Christmas cards should be arriving today or tomorrow so I can get working on mailing those out.

And as for the shopping? I'm starting that this weekend and I'm going more out of the box this year. I'm not just going to the mall and hoping and praying I find good things.

I am finding myself really wanting to shop locally and handmade a bit more this year - and I have a couple of opportunities to do that. I'm going to go to an event a good friend is part of this weekend called No Coast Craftarama - all local MN artists selling many different things. Then next week, another friend is hosting something called a Bead for Life party - jewelry made by Ugandan women and the proceeds go to support them - I like that concept. If I can help someone else by going to an in home party, I'm all for it.

I also have ideas for gifts that involve the "gift of my time" instead of just things. Isn't that what it should be all about? Apparently my "old age" is making me wiser or something along those lines. Ha ha.

This morning's fresh coating of snow may have made things slippery and difficult for driving, but it put a smile on my face. December is here. Christmas is coming. And I am happy.