Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kate & Heather's 27th Birthday Celebration

Last night we celebrated both Kate and Heather's 27th birthdays. We started out at Gasthof's in Northeast for dinner. I had never been there for dinner, so it was fun to experience that part of Gasthof's. Patrick and I got the "Schlemmerplatte" platter. During dinner we enjoyed lots of polka music and heard many chants of "zicke, zacke, zicke, zacke, hoi, hoi, hoi". After dinner we headed over to Pyscho Suzi's. The new location is huge, although the set up is kind of annoying that you can only get the tiki drinks in the downstairs restaurant and the theme bars closed at midnight. Despite all that, we managed to enjoy the closest escape to paradise we are going to get in the middle of January in Minnesota.

Kate & Heather's Birthday Dinner at Gasthof's

Sara & Patrick at Gasthof's

Ty, Patrick & Le at Psycho Suzi's

Kate and Shanna at Psycho Suzi's

Kasie, Kate, Shanna & Sara

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Project 365

At the beginning of January a lot of people make New Year's resolutions, this year I decided to make mine to take one one photo a day. Now those people that know me may not think that would be hard for me, but it has been more difficult than I expected. Everyday life isn't always that exciting, so it's a good way to slow down and notice the little things. You can follow my year in pictures here in my Project 365 folder on Flickr.

Project 365

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Buick Saga - Part II

In 2006 I graduated from college, got my own apartment and got a new job. It would only make sense that I would get a new car to replace the Buick. Over the last five years I had lots of intentions to do that, but the Buick just kept on going.

the buick

June 2006 – I drove the Buick to my first day of work at my first real job and since then we have spent countless long commutes together in the snow and rain.

Summer of 2006 – At this point I really felt the Buick wasn’t going to make it much longer. One day on the way to the Palace I ended up stranded on Hwy 100 in the middle of rush hour. The Buick had over heated and needed to be towed to a repair shop. It made quite the recovery and I only had minor issues over the next few years.

January 2008 - Started off 2008 with a bang when someone backed into it during a New Year’s party at the Palace. It ended up with a huge hole in the side because it was so cold the plastic broke on impact. We knew the person who did it and he offered to pay for the repair, good thing otherwise I would have been driving around with a huge hole in my car for the last three years.

new year's accident

May 2008 – A hail storm passed through during the first Long Island Iced Tea Daze. Even though it is quite the beast, it definitely felt the impact. You can still see the damage from that day.

July 2008 – We moved in to our first house after our wedding and it became quite the workhorse. It has made many trips the yard waste site, hauled loads of dirt for the vegetable garden we built and brought home our Christmas tree each year.

bringing home christmas tree

Summer 2010 – After replacing a starter for the second time and problems with the anti-lock brakes we decided that we needed to look for a new car. We agreed on a 2011 Ford Explorer that was supposed to be released in October. It didn’t end up getting to dealers until January 2011. Last Wednesday after a long night at the dealer I drove home with a brand new vehicle. On Sunday my dad picked up the Buick to bring home to use on the farm. I am kind of glad he has a use for it because as you can see it really has been good to me over the last 12 years.


Here are some gems I found while cleaning out the Buick. My grandparents' map from the 1970's. It has both Met Stadium and the Metrodome on it, so it has to be from the late 70's. Some snowpants my mom put in the car when I first started driving in case I got stranded. A Tiffany tape and a hair pic. And last but not least, the car manual that warns against holding on to a baby in the front seat.

some gems from the buick

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My 1993 Buick LeSabre - Part I

me and the buick

My earliest memory of the Buick is with my grandma. Before I could drive, I would walk to my grandparents’ house after volleyball practice or other activities to wait for mom or dad to pick me up. One day my grandma decided she could give me a ride home. I didn’t think anything of it until I had to ride with her. The entire ride home I was very scared that we weren’t going to make it to my house. Grandma couldn’t see much and even drove into the curb at one point. I told my parents about her driving, and it wasn’t long after that grandma had her keys taken away because it was no longer safe to have her on the roads.

April 1999 – I returned home from a school trip to Spain. My parents came to the airport to pick me up and told me they sold the mini van I was currently driving, so I would be driving Grandma’s Buick from now on… I cried.

April 1999 to May 2001 – The Buick got me to school every day, volleyball practices, football and basketball games, my job at the grocery store and my high school graduation. During high school I always dreamt of getting a different car that was crappier and smaller, but I guess it grew on me since I ended up keeping it for the next 12 years.

A couple funny stories from high school:

One day we got out of school early because of a snow storm. I didn’t brush the snow off the Buick’s enormous hood, so the windshield fogged up as the cold snow hit the warmer windshield. I could no longer see out the front windshield and ended up in the ditch right behind the elementary school. Guess who pulled me out of the ditch… Tim Boettcher. That was embarrassing.

One Saturday morning I woke up at 8:10 and realized that I should have been at work 10 minutes ago. I hurriedly rushed around and got on the road. I decided to drive too fast along with another car. As we were speeding down the road a Sheriff passed us going the other direction. She turned around and pulled us both over. I slowed down rather quickly and got rear ended by a police officer. She let the other car go, but I had to wait. She had to call another Sheriff’s department to report the accident and in the process I received my first and only speeding ticket. Ironically, 7 years later Patrick and I went to Guatemala on a mission trip with the lady who rear ended me.

Twins Game 2001

August 2002 – Kasie, Kate and I took the Buick to a Twins game. The game was fun, but the real excitement was on the drive back. On the way home it started to storm. It wasn’t horrible, but then it started raining really hard and the wind started to pick up. I was driving the Buick and ended up stopping in the middle of a country road waiting for the storm to pass because I could no longer see anything. The car started rocking back and forth. We all sat in the car in silence. We were really scared that the wind was just going to pick up the car Twister style. Luckily the Buick is a huge piece of metal, so it didn’t do anything more than rock back and forth. This was before any of us owned a cell phone, so after we could see again we drove to the nearest house to check to see if it was safe to travel the rest of the way home. I think Kasie called her parents to make sure it was safe. It must have been ok because we didn’t stay there long. I think later it was determined it was straight line winds and probably not a tornado, but that doesn’t stop us from believing the Buick protected us from a tornado that night.

September 2002 – My freshman year the Buick stayed at home in my parents’ garage, but somehow my sophomore year I was lucky enough to get a parking pass for right outside my dorm. Having the Buick around meant that we no longer had to spend our entire Saturday waiting for the bus to get to Onalaska. It also made it much easier to visit friends and get home to visit my family. Since the Buick was so large I could even move myself and all my belongings home over Christmas Break.

the buick

March 2004 – Patrick and I started hanging out at the beginning of spring semester our junior year. He ended up naming my car the Lovely Lady. On Valentine’s Day Patrick sent me flowers and referred to the Buick on the card: “To a lovely lady. I hope these brighten your weekend.” And thus started our lives together.

March 2005 – After our bus trip to Florida with Krista, Russ, Carrie & Jesse we discovered that Carrie and Jesse also enjoyed skiing. We planned on taking Carrie’s car on our first trip to Lusten, but unfortunately some type of alarm locked us out of her car. Patrick and I had driven the Buick to Carrie's place, so we put all our stuff in the Buick and headed to Solboken Resort for our first of many winter ski trips to Lutsen.

some gems from the buick

May 2005 – In college I lived across the street from a grocery store. One day I woke up to a huge dent in the side of the door and a note from a delivery truck driver saying they reported the accident. My dad had the door fixed and the Buick was back to new. That same year I had a chance to get rid of the Buick for my mom’s Blazer but I choose the Buick because of my practical nature… it got better gas mileage.

This is probably the best story about the Buick. Sometime while I was in college my dad received a parking ticket from the City of Minneapolis, actually an overdue parking ticket that was now over fifty dollars. The ticket was issued at 3:30am for blocking an alley. I was not in the cities so there was no way that I actually received this ticket. The ticket even had a different car description, but my license plate number. My dad was pretty upset about this and refused to pay it. He talked to some people he knew at the county to see if there was any way to get out of it. They told him there was no way to get out of it; he would just have to pay it. He ended up sending a handwritten note saying that his daughter has never been to the city. The note somehow got him out of the ticket.

the buick

Stay tuned for more adventures with the Buick.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hanging Out with Nathan, Nickie & Ben

Last night Nickie, Nathan and Ben spent the night with us. They were on their way home from up north and Ben needed a break from his car seat. We ordered pizza, read books, played with Ben's toys and watched the Packers beat the Falcons to get the NFC Championship game. Ben is such a happy little guy. He is not crawling quite yet, but I can't imagine it will be long before he is exploring everything.

Hanging out with Ben

Nickie & Ben

Ben - seven and a half months

Ben & his new hat

Friday, January 14, 2011

Black Bean & Salsa Soup

This is a super easy, healthy meal that we made earlier this week. We always have black beans and salsa on hand so it was perfect for a week night meal. This will definitely be a go to meal in the future.

Black Bean & Salsa Soup

Black Bean and Salsa Soup

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1.5 cups vegetable broth
1 cup salsa
1 teaspoon cumin
sour cream, green onion, shredded cheese for garnishing

Combine 1 can of beans, broth, 1/2 cup salsa and cumin in a food processor. Blend until fairly smooth. Combine remaining beans and salsa with pureed mixture. Heat soup in a saucepan over medium heat until thoroughly heated. Put soup in bowls and garnish as desired.

Source: Annie's Eats

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ringing in 2011

We spent New Year's Eve with a small group of friends. We met for dinner at the Gold Nugget in Minnetonka and then we came back to our house for a pretty low key night filled with Cranberry Lime Bellinis and Jenga.

Cranberry Lime Bellini's

Patrick and I

New Year's Eve


On Sunday afternoon a group of us went sledding at a hill near Adam and Maran's. The hill was pretty icy, so we were lucky no one got seriously injured.