The news from here

It's time for your weekly update! And hey, let's get some happiness up in here! Sound good? All right!

So even with the events of last week, we managed to have a really nice weekend actually. Nate and I did something kind of out of the box for us - went to a late night movie after our Praise Project rehearsal on Friday. I was just itching to see The Hunger Games and I knew if we didn't go this last weekend it would likely be several weeks before we had the chance. I'm a huge fan of the books and I just had to see this movie in the theatre on a big screen.

Surprisingly Nate agreed to my crazy idea of hitting up the later showing on Friday down at St. Anthony Main. We figured, added perk, grab a happy hour beer over at Pracna and then see the movie. We got down there in plenty of time, it was probably ten to 9 (movie time was 9:50), so we bought our tickets right away. The guy behind the counter said "they'll probably start lining up over there in a little bit" pointing to a hallway right when you come in the main entrance. We kind of scoffed and are like, we're not going to stand here for the next hour when we could be drinking beer. So we grabbed a beer at Pracna and probably sat there all of 15 minutes. We stopped at the restroom and came back - the line was rather long. Probably should have listened to the ticket guy. In the end, it wasn't so bad though, we got nice seats on an aisle.

I loved the movie. I won't say anything else for fear of spoilers for anyone who hasn't seen it. I'll just say this if you haven't seen it - Get thee to a movie theatre ASAP. You won't be sorry. It was very well done. We were quite possibly the oldest people in attendance too, but I don't care!

The rest of the weekend was very family oriented, got in some quality time with my mom as we both kind of needed it, we visited my Auntie Mary and Nate and I got in some quality time with members of his family too. It was really the best kind of weekend that way! I also received some new clothes thanks to the lovely Ali and my awesome cousin Kelly - so in a way I'm like, shopping ban? What shopping ban?

I had my one year follow up to LASIK yesterday. My eyes are fantastic. I'm not bragging, they actually said that to me. My vision is exactly how it should be and they said my eyeballs themselves do not show any signs of surgery any longer! You couldn't ask for more.

Now Nate and I are gearing up for our bed and breakfast getaway in Duluth, I could not be more excited to be in one of my most favorite cities for a couple of days. Hoping for good weather since last time we were up there we didn't make it to Gooseberry Falls and I really want to go walk around there a bit.

That's about all that's new here. Back to you Reader. (Weak attempt at a news joke)


Farewell sweet queen

I've been trying to find the words to write this post and I still don't think I have them. I'm going to give it a try though since it's part of the healing/grieving process.

Thursday I went over to my parents for my usual lunch hour. My mom came out of the bathroom when I came in the door and she was crying. My heart sank. "I think Cleo had a stroke," she said. I started to cry a little too, though somehow, those words weren't terribly shocking to hear. I have a weird, almost creepy sixth sense about this kind of stuff and I had been having a feeling for a couple of weeks that this was coming.

We sat down and started talking and I told my mom it was time to let her go. The vet had always said we'd know when it was time, and based on the symptoms my mom was describing, it was clearly time. Cleo was sleeping, rather unresponsive, not able to walk. We agreed that neither of us wanted her to be suffering. My dad needed convincing though, he was sort of thinking she might snap out of it, as she has with several other issues over the last couple of years, but it was pretty clear this time that it wasn't going to happen. So, I finished lunch and I left mom when she said she'd be ok and she said she'd talk to my dad about it and hopefully do what was necessary, maybe even that afternoon.

Unfortunately, it drug out to Friday morning. But, my dad came around and agreed that it was time and they got her in on Friday around 10:00 am. She was more or less sleeping and out of it, and thankfully did not appear to be in any pain. The vet said they were making the right decision, difficult as it was. With my parents by her side, she went very peacefully. The vet staff were extremely kind during the entire process. They even took back some of her unused special diet kidney food and took all of her medications to be destroyed.

I came for lunch on Friday and painful as it was, was hoping it was over. I made my peace with it on Thursday and said my goodbyes, not really feeling I wanted to be there at the very end. I just hoped that she was suffering no longer. And I came in the door and found my poor mom packing up all her old stuff and I knew it was done. And we cried some more, but we again agreed this was the right thing to do and she's in a better place.

Again, I'm sad about it, but I'm not overcome with grief. I'm sure it's because, as my mom said, she really was more her cat for the last ten or so years as I was busy with college and getting married and then moving out. Or maybe I'm just numb right now, but I think that it would be different if I was still there every day. I think it'll hit me more when my parents go out of town in a couple of weeks and I go get the mail for them and she won't be there.

My mom was having a hard time over the first couple of days and I think she will be sad for awhile to come, but she is getting better each day. Getting used to the new normal. We went out for some retail therapy on Saturday (well she did, I just drove since I'm still on shopping ban for Lent) and just spent some much needed time together and I think it helped a bit.

They will not get another pet. At least not in the foreseeable future. They are also finding the positives in the situation, such as now they can be a bit more spontaneous, if they want to drive up north for the day and stay the night, they don't have to worry about having someone come care for the cat. Little things like that. And they said that they have their "grand-kitties" (my cats) to come love on whenever they need a kitty fix.

Still, it is strange right now. I sat over there for lunch yesterday and kept seeing shadows and thinking she'd be coming around the corner. My mom said she's used to looking out for her when she's doing stuff in the kitchen, because she'd always be underfoot, so that feels weird right now too.

The only thing that helps is time. I know that it will get easier each day and I can already see my mom getting better with each day.

We have wonderful memories. She was a sweet and very special cat. And she will be missed and loved forever. She'll always be our queen of the house.

Side note - go here for a post I wrote reflecting on Cleo a bit a couple of years ago around the anniversary of when we adopted her.


Time flies in the best of ways

Even 14 years in I can't forget this day. No we don't celebrate it anymore but I can still never forget what happened 14 years ago today. I've spent almost half my life loving this man.

Senior Prom - 2000

Winery trip Fall 2011

Could I possibly love him more?

Yep. Every single day for the last 14 years I've loved him more than the last.

And I always will.



Weekly update time! It's very "foodie" today.

Over the weekend Nate tried his hand at using a meat smoker to smoke some meats for us. He did a slab of bacon and a pork shoulder, that we then turned into pulled pork for sandwiches. And OH-EM-GEE it is FANTASTIC!!! I know I brag about his cooking all the time, probably too much, but you guys, this pork? Best pulled pork I've ever had. It puts the Fun Fest pork guys from IC to shame. It puts Famous Daves and other BBQ places to shame. You don't need BBQ sauce, just eat it as is. Eat heaping amounts of it. The bacon turned out rather amazing as well - it's not like it is when it comes right off the stove. You can fry it on a stove if you want, but you can eat it more or less as is right when it comes out of the smoker. So it's a bit fattier/less crispy, which takes some getting used to, but again, the taste is out of this world. I think this new hobby will be a fun one. I just hope we don't gain 70 pounds or something.

While Nate worked on the meat I baked cupcakes again. I made Irish "Carbomb" type cupcakes - there was Irish stout in the batter and Baileys in the frosting. To date, they are the best cupcakes I've made. The cupcake itself was moist and delicious and the frosting? Oh man the frosting. I could sit and eat that by the spoonful. I don't know how many more cupcake recipes I'll make before it gets really warm out, I don't know that I'll make a lot them over the summer, but it's been a fun winter hobby.

Nate enjoyed his time off, looking forward to a little more soon, it's almost our little weekend getaway to Duluth. I am so excited, it'll be nice to get away, even if it is just over a weekend!

That's about it. Rather food heavy update, but that's what we're into right now!


Three times the Muppety goodness

I would be amiss as a Muppet fan if I didn't inform you all of three very awesome Muppety things for today, March 20th, 2012.

1. The Muppets movie comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray today. I'll be buying my copy from Best Buy thanks to a leftover Christmas gift card - so I won't even be breaking my shopping ban too much at all!

2. The Muppets received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today. Very exciting and awesome for them!! About darn time!

3. Big Bird from Sesame Street is celebrating a birthday today. He is six years old. For about the 43rd year in a row. Happy birthday Big Guy!


Music Monday - Cruel and Beautiful World

Check me out, I finally learned to "embed" music videos within a post. This is far better than just giving you guys the link! Hurray!

Today I have chosen a bit of a melancholy little tune, it makes me cry - which may or may not have anything to do with the fact that it was used in an emotionally wrenching scene during the series finale of Chuck - but I still like the song. I'm in a slight melancholy mood today so it just felt like what I wanted to share. Don't worry, I'm ok - just a wee bit reflective and seeing changes in my life and relationships with others and processing it a bit. Trying to get back into my "one day at a time" mantra.

*Side note - if you're already in a melancholy mood, don't watch a movie called Melancholia - while it is a very well done movie, I guarantee it will not help!*


What's up 3/14

Happy Pi Day! You know 3.14blahblahnumbersIdonotremember....

We had such a lovely weekend - could not believe the weather, still can't believe the weather right now in fact, but the weekend weather was awesome too. We ran a bunch of errands on Saturday, played some cribbage and had dinner out at Brasa. We had hoped their patio would be open, but it wasn't quite yet. It was busy and there was a wait, but they let us order beers and sit over by a bonfire they had off on the side. So the wait wasn't too bad.

Sunday we slept late, made breakfast and I was a crazy woman and went and sat in line to get my car washed. It actually didn't take as long as I thought it would. Of course it rained on Monday and kind of ruined the whole thing, but I was happy to have the inside all vacuumed out and cleaned from all the sand accumulated from the winter. We finished out Sunday with dinner at my in-laws - they grilled burgers and it was awesome.

This week Nate is lucky enough to get a couple of days off. He's off tomorrow and Friday and also on Monday. He really needs it, I'm happy he's getting a couple of days for himself. He has made a few plans, going to make sausage for Easter with his dad tomorrow. Might brew beer one day. Sunday we are going to a service that is a tradition in the Russian church for Nate's grandpa - 40 days after the person passes away they have another ceremony that is essentially celebrating that person's arrival into heaven. Kind of the final closure I guess. The Russians really want to be sure you get into heaven, that is for sure! The family is having a lunch afterward so that will be nice.

So that's the view from here. Just continuing to take life one day at a time!


Music Monday - Little Talks

Today's Music Monday is a song called Little Talks by a group called Of Monsters and Men. I cannot get enough of this song right now - and I can't even really tell you why, other than I love that it's a guy and girl singing together. The video is....trippy. But the song is good! Check it out.



Fabulous Friday 3/9/12

It's Fabulous Friday! And just what am I finding fabulous today?

1. My

2. Weekend

3. Is

4. Free

5. For

6. Whatever

7. I

8. Want

9. To

10. Do

Can you tell I'm a tad excited about that? Happy weekend everyone!!


What's up Wednesday

Yeah, not sure what I'm calling Wednesdays yet, but I'm starting on my resolve to make Wednesday my "what we're up to" update type day. So, what is new in the world of Beth and Nate?

Big fat nothing to be quite honest. Ok, that's a bit extreme. It's been quiet as of late though. Our weekend was a bit choppy as Nate worked super late on Friday and also on Saturday for a bit. But, we managed to salvage some nice time together, while he did skip out on mass, we went out for a nice dinner afterward at Red Lobster. Yeah I know, it's Lent, we should be eating seafood on Fridays. But it just worked out for us to go there on Saturday.

Sunday we slept super late. Later than I have in a long time. I must have needed it. I know Nate did. Anyway, we got up and made some breakfast and then did a little shopping so I could bake cupcakes again. I made chocolate salted caramel this time - they turned out the best of all my cupcakes so far. But oh my goodness were they SWEET. They tamed down a bit after a day or two, but I'm kind of glad Nate took the majority of them to work because they kind of almost hurt your teeth with sweetness!

We went and had dinner with Nate's parents Sunday night and it was nice to spend some time catching up with them. We also played one of the games they got us for Christmas and it was so much fun. I'd like to play it again with a few more people, it's a word game you play with two teams. Lots of fun!

Nate hasn't made anymore sausage yet, but he will be doing so while he is on a little vacation from work. Since they finally hired a second Mac tech, Nate's taking some MUCH needed time off next week and I'm so happy he'll be getting a little break.

Speaking of breaks, we have a rare weekend coming up with no Praise Project gigs or even rehearsals. We can do what we want, when we want and I won't lie, while I love Praise Project, I'm kind of excited for an entire weekend off. Especially when last weekend was so disjointed with Nate working and such. I have made no plans for us right now and I plan to kind of keep it that way at the moment, maybe be spontaneous this weekend. I think Friday will be a movie night at home, got one from Netflix sitting at home just waiting to be watched. After that, who knows!

And that's about it from here. Nate's also been talking about brewing beer again soon, as two of our kegs are empty, so I'm looking forward to that! Maybe we'll do that this weekend!


Music Monday - Go Your Own Way

I grew up with Fleetwood Mac. It was a group my parents both really enjoyed. My mom and I would listen to Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks albums on vinyl - yep I remember vinyl - and dance around the living room. It's one of my best childhood memories.

So I'm driving to lunch and I hear this cover of "Go Your Own Way" from Rumors and I was super impressed. I don't always like hearing covers of my favorite bands, but somehow whenever I heard a Fleetwood Mac cover I ended up really liking it. And this one is no exception.

This artist's name is Lissie - I have heard and enjoyed some of her other music too and had no idea she had covered this song. Apparently she has an entire album of covers, though this one is not on it. Odd. Anyway, here is the song, enjoy this first installment of Music Monday!



The great balancing act

Some days I think I've got this balancing thing down and other days not so much.

How is it possible in this day in age with technology and various gadgets and what not that you could end up overbooking yourself in a given day? I haven't figured that out quite yet. I suppose part of it stems from my people-pleaser personality of never being able to say no. At any rate, sometimes choices need to be made and all I can do is promise to do better next time. I'm not perfect. I make mistakes.

There is also the matter of this blog here. I have talked a bit about how I started a daily fashion blog and I have to admit that right now, I'm enjoying blogging there a bit more. Perhaps it's because I'm a crazy narcissist who needs to take their photo everyday and share it with the world (yeah, I'm being sarcastic here). I think it has more to do with this little community I've found myself in - I've met all these awesome and inspiring women (some of whom live right here in MN) and it's become a daily routine of almost having virtual coffee with each other. They're supportive and engaging and I have just been having so much fun with it that it's become my top priority in blogging.

And that's the main problem - I just find myself putting more energy into that blog and then I think about writing here and some days I just have nothing to share. I could talk about the weather, I could talk about a whole host of trivial and boring things, but I think that would get old to read about every single day.

I don't want to abandon this blog all together though. When I set out to write here, it was to be about Nate and I and our daily lives - and it still is to some extent, but it's been a sounding board for a lot of other things too, some of which include my musings on life and I've started putting some of that into my other blog as well, so then I also find I don't want to be posting such things twice, especially when I know some of you read that blog too.

So where does that leave me? I have some ideas to breathe new life back into this blog while still maintaining my other one as well. I'm going to attempt to bring back theme days - such as Music Mondays, as I've wanted to get back into those again, and hopefully more Fabulous Fridays. I want to try to do a "What we did Wednesday" kind of recapping the week and hopefully sharing more of our activities and more about our life again. Right now, I'm shooting for those three days of the week for this blog, if I can do more than that, awesome, if not, it'll hopefully help me balance a bit better.

Life can be like a tightrope - it takes a lot of practice to balance just right so you don't fall off.