Saturday, May 28, 2011

Congrats Grad!

My little brother Jared graduated from UNL a few weeks ago, and we are ever so proud! I have to give a little background here. When my sister Brie decided to go to UNK (University of Nebraska-Kearney) in 1997, I was enthralled with college. It looked like such a cool place to my 7th grade self. When my older brother Tyson graduated in 2000 and left for UNK as well, I just figured I'd probably go there too.

That was until I took a campus visit to UNL (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) in 2003. For those of you who may not know about UNL, its the home of the Huskers, the home of this....

After being on campus I knew that I was going to be a Husker, and a short 4 years later, my brother Jared became a Husker too. At that moment I was sooo very proud to have my brother take after me and attend the same college. It might be that we now share the same Alma mater, and we share the same Husker football stories and campus tales. I am so very proud of Jared. He graduated with highest distinction, and has a very bright future ahead of him.

Way to go JARED!

We were sitting up pretty high, so its grainy. But the guy with the red and white striped medal around his neck is my brother.

And here he is receiving his degree- what a great feeling!


Ryan, Me, Jared, Mom and Dad
We matched quite nicely!

Friday, May 27, 2011

A 26 year celebration

As a kid, I remember thinking that at age 20 I would be a true adult. That at 20, I would have a plan for life, and by 23 I would be married and have a kid on the way. I wish I could go back and tell my 8 year old self to hold the train, slow it down and enjoy it. I guess 8 year old me wasn't totally incorrect. At 23, I married my best friend and that was right on.

I think the perfect song that comes to mind is John Mayer's "Stop This Train."

So scared of getting older
I'm only good at being young
So I play the numbers game to find away to say that life has just begun
Had a talk with my old man
Said help me understand
He said turn 68, you'll renegotiate
Don't stop this train
Don't for a minute change the place you're in
Don't think I couldn't ever understand
I tried my hand
John, honestly we'll never stop this train

As I reflect on being 26, its really not that different from 25 or 24 for that matter. But the fact that its closer to 30 is just a tad crazy- not scary like the song says, just crazy. Maybe I'll feel different at 29- but for now I'm quite content with life. Slowing it down has been a mantra that I have tried to remind myself over and over again lately. Savoring every bit of life as it comes means sometimes forgoing possibilities that come your way. Sounds confusing doesn't it? But I think its as easy as "just say no"....take certain parts of your life and really infuse yourself, and try not to tackle a million things at once.

Ok, enough philosophical rambling. What brings me to this great revelation of life is my birthday. I had one of the best birthdays ever! The morning of May 6th, I was off of work and was able to enjoy the beautiful morning by taking Lola for a long walk. After we returned, Ryan, Lola and I packed our bags and headed for Omaha. (are you just imaging Lola with a little knapsack on her back at this moment?- haha)

We arrived at Mike & Sara's, went to my favorite restaurant, Bonefish Grill, for dinner and sipped Mai Tais at one of my favorite places, the Mai Tai Lounge. It was relaxing, and I was surrounded by a group of people I loved- it was perfect. And the fact that I got to spend the next few days of my birthday weekend with my family was the cherry on top.

Mike & Sara, our ever gracious hosts

The 4 of us at Bonefish

Mai Tai, Here we Come!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Getting Comfortable

We took a road trip to Omaha and Lincoln the first weekend in May and I think its safe to say Lola has overcome her car sickness. Here she is in position #1, comfy yet contorted.

and here is position #2, sleeping like an angel. (our favorite)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rooftop Deck

One of the coolest perks about working downtown is the amazing view of neat buildings. Yes, I just said neat buildings. My husband's love for architecture and skyscrapers has rubbed off on me. After my first week of work at Colle+McVoy, I took Ryan to the office to show him around. I'm sure I'm not the first to say that this is a pretty cool spot- the rooftop deck above the 7th floor of our building. We were pretty bundled up, because even the last week in April is a bit chilly here. But we enjoyed our walk downtown nonetheless. Let me know when you're in the cities, and I can provide you with this awesome view too! :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Hint of Spring and a Swimmer on Our Hands

Does it feel like summer was more than 9 months away to anyone else? Or maybe it was just that this winter seemed like it spanned for than a decade. Either way, it is amazing to see grass- real live, green, pokey, unruly grass. And anytime it is about 50 degrees now a days, we see many Minnesotans out and about enjoying the beautiful weather. We are no exception and took the opportunity one Saturday to get out and enjoy a walk around Staring Lake- only a stone's throw away from our home.

We also got a good taste of Lola's innate swimming ability. At first, we decided to hang out on the dock to catch some rays.

I'm sure Lola is saying, "Ahhhh, life is good," right about here.

Pay no attention to the lady with the greasy hair and polka dotted headband. Hey- give me a break, it was Saturday!

And of course a photo op with dad was a must.
And then Ryan/Dad decided to toss in a stick to see how our little lady would react. Well, let's just say she's definitely a swimmer. Thankfully, we were back on the shore and she decided to take after the stick and realized the water was fun. So, we had a lovely lake/wet dog smell to accompany us on our walk home. A doggie bath ensued soon after.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lola Vs. Car Rides

Ryan and I have found out that our little lady has quite a personality, she is definitely a morning dog, she loves chasing birds/squirrels/rabbits, and she is very patient and loves to learn tricks. Along with all of the fun parts of her personality come the not so fun elements. Our little pup gets car sick. The very first time we took Lola in the car was the first week we got her.

I decided to take Lola with me to get Ryan from work (his truck had been in the shop). She did a great job on the way, she sat in the front seat and laid her head on the console. When she saw Ryan in the window, she jumped up and got very excited. On our way home, Lola loved the breeze from the window and sat on Ryan's lap as happy as could be. Until we hit the turn towards our house. (hopefully you're not eating as you read this)

A couple of gags later, and Ryan's brown dress pants were the victim of car-sickness. We pulled over, and kept calm while I grabbed the wet ones I keep handy in my purse and cleaned up. We thought it was just a new treat she was reacting to. Until 2 weeks later, when I ran errands and she had another "episode" in the front seat. That's when we started doing some research. We were going to be taking a trip to Lake Okoboji and we wanted our little girl to be comfortable.

When the day came, we set Lola in her kennel in the back seat for about 20 minutes before we left. We were hoping that she was just getting nervous for car rides and she needed a safe place of her own to hang out. Within the first 20 minutes Lola did great, we took her on a long walk beforehand hoping she would sleep for the 2.5 hour ride. Only a few miles outside of the Minneapolis area, she got sick. As true puppy parents, we kept calm and pulled over on a gravel road. Dad had Lola duty, while mom cleaned up. Since that time, Lola has done a great job in the car. I think she just needed time to get used to it. By the time we headed to Sioux Falls for Easter, Lola was a car champ and she did a GREAT JOB!

Hopefully this part of her personality is taken care of. Maybe we'll just hold off on rides through the mountains of Colorado anytime soon.

As comfortable as can be

Checking out what Dad's up to

Just wanted to be held- and of course she fell asleep.

The whole fam

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A New Routine and a New Favorite Spot

It seems like there are expanses of time that just get away from me. For instance, after our wedding and honeymoon we were awash in the presents/thank you cards and newlywed marital bliss. Another time this happened were the weeks before and after we moved into our new house in Omaha, and come to think of it, again when we moved to Minnesota. Yet again, weeks have passed since you have heard from me. Mostly because a new life change has happened yet again. I started a new job.

As with most life events, things take some getting used to. I went from being Mrs. Homemaker to Mrs. Career-woman in the short span of 4 weeks. My normal days of doing laundry, cleaning house and making supper turned to waking up early to beat the traffic, working through lunch to get ahead of the game, and staying late to be sure every need of my work day was met. Thankfully, my family and I have adjusted fantastic. Our normal routine now consists of this:
(if you're not much for schedules, feel free to scroll down to the next section)

5:45 AM- wake up with Lola, feed her and take her for a walk
6:30 AM- jump in the shower, eat breakfast, make Ryan's lunch
7:30 AM- head to work (try and beat some of the traffic on 494)
8:10 AM- make it to the office after finding a sweet spot on the 2nd level of the parking garage
around Noon- make some time to microwave my lunch and catch up on email
6:00 PM- head home
6:45 PM- greet Lola and the hubs, and finish dinner (my wonderful husband has been doing his best to read my "supper schedule" and get dinner started)
7:30 PM- relax and enjoy the evening (watch some DVR, tidy up the house)
10:00 PM- head to bed

Ryan and I often say after an exhausting day, how do we do this? And we congratulate parents with children who not only complete the schedule above, but who also take kids to dance practice or t-ball, attend parent/teacher meetings, and help with homework. I think its safe to say we are waiting a few more years for kiddos.

As for Lola, she is also adjusting nicely. I think she enjoys mom time in the morning and having dad all to herself in the evenings, before family time commences after dinner. She has been very brave lately, pushing the limits to see what she can get away with. The other night, I found her here in our formal living room.

She loves this chair, and we have dubbed it "Lola's spot." Maybe its the fact that its leather and its cool to the touch, or that its brown and she subtly blends in. It could also be the fact that she can look out the front window and watch the kids play in the driveway. Either way, we're letting her stay and enjoy it before she is far too big to fit there.