happy birthday, sweetie!! 34 never looked so good!!
it's been two weeks since the big event, so it's finally time to share.
winnipeg was awesome. i was actually so burnt out and exhausted by the time it came around that i sort of holed up in my hotel room and enjoyed the silence of being alone for the first time in a really long time, and i am bummed that i didn't spend more time hanging out. but i did get to wander around the crop room several times, and the happiness and level of talent in that room was so amazing! people were so pumped to be there!
charlene, who was the organizer for winnipeg, is an amazing person and did the most incredible job getting things ready. no detail was left ignored. and apparently winnipeg was the only event during this canada-wide fundraiser that actually sold out!! so, so cool.
circle rainbow? seriously?? i moved around to make sure it wasn't just on the window ... it wasn't. so cool.
ketchup potato chips?! huh.
what i saw of winnipeg.
playing "stake-out" from my hotel room. it was fun for a few minutes.
i had a class that ran until 10pm one night, and was famished afterward. i went to the bar to order a sandwich and fries. "you want gravy with that?" the waiter asked. gravy?! apparently yes, canadians put gravy on their fries. when in rome ... try the food. it was ... okay.
enjoying alone time and one of my favorite movies - field of dreams. i could cry without being ridiculed for a change!
fast forward another week ... marc and i celebrated 11 years of marriage with a 24-hour trip to stillwater. his parents came up for a few days to watch the kids so we could get away. the day we spent was so great ... we get so wrapped up in our busyness that we forget how great our friendship is and how much fun we have together.
we started our escape with an impromptu lunch at the melting pot in downtown minneapolis. two and a half hours later we rolled out the door, having fondued ourselves silly on gruyere with dates and white wine, filet mignon and lobster tail in a carribean lime broth, and fruit and cheesecake in dark chocolate with grand marnier. wow.
then we headed into stillwater to the inn ... driving in rain the whole time. as we hit town, the rain tapered to a sprinkle. it was tolerable, so we wandered in and out of shops. found an adorable stationary store with a special kids room ... then we walked around a corner and found the MAN room, decked out like a cabin and with espn playing on a tv. we laughed hard.
the rain continued, so we had nothing better to do than more eating. ugh. marc made the comment that night that we'd spent more than four hours eating. granted, fondue takes a reeeeaaaalllly long time ... ha ha.
regardless of calories i don't want to count, we had a great time. eleven years have flown by in a blink. but they've been great years.
so now it's back to work. marc's birthday and halloween will wedge in between marc being gone next week. i'm shooting a mom and her two daughters tomorrow, and next weekend i get to help out at a wedding reception at the weisman art museum - helping the same photographer, jared cullison, with whom i shot my cousin's wedding last year ... turns out he lives in minnesota now!! next sunday marc takes off for seven days in virginia for the next class for his rhca certification, and the following week is deadline #2 for me. and then thanksgiving. yikes. what a month.
breathe, michele, breathe.
i'm just so glad to have been a part of winnipeg, regardless of the stress. it was amazing and totally worth it!!
both kiddos are home sick from school ... henry's snuggled up in bed reading the otto underpants series from start to finish, and harper's snuggled up on the couch watching dora & diego on a loop. and me? well, i chose to spend my morning catching up on blogs since i've lost my working hours today. and lo ... what do i see on the third blog i pop in on? my named, tagged by the lovely ms kirsten. apparently i'm to make a list of the 10 things i'll splurge on and then 10 things on which i plead cheap. kirsten made the comment that her list is the opposite of nisa's, who tagged her. i have a feeling my list is somewhere in the middle ...
10 things that get my money:
1. books, books, books
2. magazines - home, photography, cooking, martha special pubs ...
3. shoes, with a disclaimer. i don't buy lots of fashiony shoes. i buy a few pricey shoes that will last me forever. think merrell, birk, bjorn, naot ...
4. clothes for the kiddos
5. lenses ... only the best glass will do!
6. bowls. i have an addiction to bowls.
7. food. i like fresh, organic, ethnic, and stuff prepared well by other people. no cheap boxes of red dye no. 5 for my family!
8. stuff for the house. i love finding a good bargain, but i'm not afraid to plunk down change for a really great print or piece of decor that i truly love.
9. winter gear. we live in minnesota, people. i'm not going to outfit myself and my family in target outerwear. we're l.l.bean types.
10. scrap stuff. it's an addiction.
10 things i cheap out:
1. staples. napkins are napkins, plastic bags are plastic bags, whether you buy target brand or brawny.
2. entertainment. i'm not spending $30 + babysitter to see a movie and eat popcorn if i can do the same thing on my own couch for $3.
3. sheets. do you know homegoods has calvin klein 400 thread count sheets for $39? so why spend $300?
4. towels. see above.
5. storage. all baskets and boxes in the house come from ikea. i refuse to spend $70 on a basket at pottery barn that i can snag at ikea for $10.99.
6. dishes. we've had the same white corelle plates for eleven years and they work just fine, thankyouverymuch.
7. clothes for me. with the exception of a once or twice a year visit to eddie bauer, my closet is exclusively target.
8. clothes for the kids. yeah, i know i listed it above, but it has to go here, too. i may buy in volume, but it's always off the clearance rack. and usually at old navy.
9. totally agreeing with nisa on the gas, drugs, and hair coloring thing.
10. i think i'm out of cheap stuff. i occasionally buy my own happiness and i'm not afraid to admit it.
winnipeg was great, but i'll fill you in later.
right now i'm off for 24 hours in stillwater, minnesota with my husband of eleven years ... as of tomorrow!!
(photo from a beach in ecuador ... not a honeymoon or wedding shot, but one of my faves of us)
(10 points to the person who knows that movie quote)
"take off" as in i'm outta here! projects done, bags not packed but planned, passport in hand (yes, an extra nearly $200 DOES guarantee getting a passport before a trip), and i'm ready for the frozen tundra of canada! aka winnipeg, six short hours north of the frozen tundra i consider my home. not all that big of a stretch, and barely foreign travel, but there you go.
hoping to get to barnes & noble tomorrow to look up eat, pray, love ... thinking it might make a lovely xmas gift for someone, but i want to see for myself first. doing laundry right now ... need that comfy black shirt from land's end that i love so much. i'm so old ... i love land's end. yeegawds.
so in light of the fact that i: a) will be flying, which i hate; b) am leaving for three days; and c) am feeling generous, i'll leave you with my current fave musical selections to get you through the weekend.
this one, because it makes me smile and want to get up and dance like crazy.
this one, because it's my 1980s-loves-kate-bush-and-black-clothes self but taken to a newer, noir-er, cooler level.
and this one, because after the last song you will need something peaceful and amazingly beautiful. after being dark and slightly desperate-feeling, it's like sitting on a porch swing with a glass of lemonade, watching fireflies light above waving prairie grass. or something like that. (and feel free to ignore the titanic stuff ... it was either that or japanese anime or buffy the vampire slayer. i feel i chose the lesser of all evils ...)
time to recharge the ipod. have a lovely weekend!!
not only are we very, very much alike (a fact that both exasperates marc and will, i'm sure, horrify henry as he gets older), but now we find out that the kid has my teeth. ie there isn't enough room in his mouth for all the grown-up teeth that need to be in there, so we need to make an appointment to have a few baby teeth evicted, effective immediately.
poor kid. i know where he's headed. when i was his age, i had six or seven teeth pulled in one sitting, and then a couple of days later developed an abscess and had to go back for another tooth to be extracted. i then entered the phase known as "revolving retainers," which lasted until all those teeth finally grew in - when i was in college (just kidding). at that point i was fitted with braces, which became the bane of my existence for the next three years. once they were removed, a single wire was cemented to the backs of my lower teeth, and there it remained until i got married, at which time i asked to please have it removed. it was, and my teeth were crooked within days.
so much for all that money my parents spent on orthodontia.
but karma, being the bitch she is at times known to be, is swirling around and doing the same thing to my poor kid. his sweet little face is about to be changed, and thus he will enter a gawky, geeky phase that will last until probably high school. he has my big front teeth, my lack of space for teeth, and the metabolism that marc and i both possessed when we were young ... the kid is too tall and too skinny; pants are either too short but fit okay elsewhere, or else they are long enough but cinched to their very limit. not only that, but he is a total techie and science junkie ... i don't foresee him being prom king anytime soon.
regardless, i'm so proud of the fact that he loves science and isn't afraid to show it. he can't throw or catch a ball to save his life and couldn't tell you the first thing about kickball (just what the heck do kids play at recess these days??), but he can name all the rocks that he's gotten through the "rock of the month" club, and he's totally geeking out about after-school chemistry classes.
no, the teeth aren't going to help the matter. he's a geek to the core. but he's a cute little devil ... hopefully that will work in his favor.
i adore the sedaris children, david and amy. if you're ever feeling blue, look one of them up, read or watching something they've done, and you'll instantly feel better about your life. or, if not. you'll at least have been entertained. if you're bored, pick up one of david's books - i'd recommend starting with naked. it made me laugh the hardest.
and if you're feeling the need to learn a new recipe and simultaneously mock martha stewart (which i never do, because i adore martha, too, but that doesn't stop the sarcastic side of me from reveling in others mocking her), watch these.
fun with martha, cheese, and pot references. what's not to like?
let's do a top 10 list ...
10. marc's rep in chicago quit mid-quarter, so commission was a lot lower than expected. thus, no bathroom remodel for us. no second functional bathroom by thanksgiving. oh well ... it'll be a belated xmas gift to us in january, i guess.
9. new reps in chicago = marc now covering the whole territory = indiana region given to another rep = us not moving. at least not now. and we're both a little sad about that. i guess we really were looking forward to a 5000 sq ft house within easy babysitting drive time of two sets of grandparents and the potential for time to ourselves after nearly eight years. oh well.
8. autumn has arrived in minnesota, which we love. makes us happy, happy, happy. off to the orchard this weekend to chase some chickens, ride on hay, and eat our body weight in apple cider donuts. and maybe get a pumpkin or six.
7. harper's in a big girl bed now. yeegawds. she's so far sleeping fine in it ... it's just the getting to sleep without getting out of bed and looking out the window and totally screwing up the new roman shades and getting more books and chasing the cat down the hall first that we need to work on. there's nothing cuter than hearing her little feet hit the floor in the morning, though, as she opens her door and says, "morning! all done dark now! ha-pah awaaaake!"
6. new fall tv shows ... and i will go on record now to say that "big bang theory" is one of the funniest shows we've ever seen (and yes, we're geeky enough to understand it and find it hilarious) and i hope all geeks and nerds are tuning in and laughing their asses off so that this show survives.
5. babies babies babies ... lunch yesterday with susan and the amazing mr e, and shooting henry's first grade teacher's new baby boy very soon. so cannot wait for that!! and so glad i can enjoy babies from afar and then go home to a place that's nearly devoid of babyness. diapers are all that remain between us and independence. and they are in my crosshairs ...
4. taking the time to get back into the kitchen and whip up tasty meals for my family has been so therapeutic. i understand the going out in order to save me time on shopping/cooking/cleaning, but still ... i'm sick of it.
3. halloween approacheth!! i have all the stuff for henry's grave reaper ghost costume (don't ask), and need to go get the stuff for harper's fairy ghost costume (her idea). so cannot wait for halloween.
2. leaving for canada in a week ... fingers crossed that the extra $60 to expedite the passport renewal and the extra $34 in overnight envelope fees will come through and i'll have my legal paperwork in time. travel agent told me all i needed was a driver's license and a certified copy of my birth certificate. found out last week i need the passport to get back into the country. nice.
1. our anniversary, marc's birthday, my in-laws coming for a visit, halloween, gutting the garage and getting rid of everything that doesn't move, autumn air, trip to the arboretum, sweater weather ... it's all good, no matter what else happens!!