Tag Archives: anniversary

Celebrating 9 Years

10 Jun

Travis and I celebrated 9 years of marriage on May 19, which fell on a Thursday this year. The day of, we went out to eat at Culver’s for lunch and then stopped by Home Depot to buy some annuals they had on sale. (Pretty exciting, huh?)

The weekend following our anniversary, Travis’ parents came down to our house and watched the girls for us so we could spend the day being tourists in our own town. (We would’ve loved to get away somewhere overnight but because Annabelle is still nursing, teething, and won’t take a bottle, we decided against it. Baby steps. She’ll get there eventually.)

Both Travis and I love ourselves a good garage sale, so Saturday morning, we headed out garage sale-ing. We weren’t overly impressed with the selection at the sales we went to, but we found some stuff to buy — books, picture frames, a Nemo sprinkler and Spongebob fishing rod, a small basketball, a few clothes, etc. Nothing we were really hoping to find, but it was fun nonetheless.

A full morning of garage sales worked up quite the appetite so we hit up Zorbaz on Gull Lake for lunch. It was very hot and bright out on the patio, but once we snagged a table under an umbrella, it was quite pleasant. Their BBQ chicken pizza is delicious.IMG_20160521_135145

After lunch, we headed over to Pirate’s Cove for some mini golf. It was HOT out there–I think it was probably 90 degrees and 70% humidity. We Minnesotans are kind of wusses when it comes to heat. But it was fun nonetheless. I got 2 or 3 holes-in-one (Travis got one too) but also had a few holes that took me 6+ strokes, so Travis ended up winning by about 10 strokes (he always does, so nothing new there). We decided that we hadn’t been mini-golfing since I was pregnant with Emma.IMG_20160521_211757

Travis had a craving for ice cream from Dairy Queen after that so we got mini blizzards and took them to a nearby park where we walked on a bike path through the woods. It was still pretty darn hot though, and I was getting tired (all those garage sales took it out of me!), so we cut our walk short, and decided that if we were going to take our boat out to do some fishing and still make it to a movie that night, we needed to do it.

So we went home, Travis talked to his parents while I nursed Annabelle (Emma was napping), we hooked up the boat, and launched it just a few miles from our house on the Crow Wing River. Travis fished while I read a book (Not Who I Imagined by Margot Starbuck) and we chatted. Right before we left, a couple of river otters poked their heads out of the water and growled at us. Then one of them swam closer and popped out of the water just about 10 feet from our boat. It was really cool! We see wildlife all the time where we live, but river otters were a first!

After we pulled our boat out of the water, we brought it back to the house and quickly snuck out undetected to go see The Jungle Book in the theater. It was good! We both enjoyed it, and liked the ending in that version better than the one in the Disney movie. We got home from the movie around 9 pm, put the girls to bed, and crashed. It was a very fun, busy, tiring day!

Sunday, we left the girls at home while we went to church for small group and the worship service. After eating lunch at Erbert’s and Gerbert’s, we stopped by Menards for a few things (where we actually ended up running into Travis’ parents with the girls–they were there buying seeds for their garden). Then we all headed home for naps and yardwork. That evening, we went to a potluck picnic with our small group from church. It was a great end to a wonderful weekend.13221091_10154541162696664_1927563454665897256_n

7-Year Anniversary Celebration, Part 2

19 May

It’s our 7-year anniversary today. But since it’s 7:30 pm right now and we’re watching Bones while eating Starbursts from Easter, I’ll tell you about our weekend instead.

Saturday, we drove down to Brainerd and got new tires on our SUV. While our car was being worked on, we went on a run – my first one since the Hot Chocolate 15K almost a month ago. Then we ate lunch at Erbert’s & Gerbert’s and it was just as delicious as we remembered it. After lunch, we hit a few garage sales on our drive back north.

That night, we had our friends Jesse and Emily over for dinner and played some Big Buck Hunter. I suck at that game and totally lost, but it was still fun.

Sunday dawned gorgeous and we ate breakfast outside on the deck. We went to church, met a great family that we’re excited to get to know (the wife is a blogger, writer and runner!), and then had a picnic at park. The clouds and wind rolled in, so we didn’t stay long after eating. Emma fell asleep on the way home and took a 2.5 hour nap, so I got a nap too! It was glorious. We went on a walk outside and then ate leftovers for dinner.

After Emma went down for bed, Travis and I relaxed in his parents’ jacuzzi tub while watching an episode of Burn Notice on the iPad with wine for me and beer for him (and a granola bar and popcorn might have been consumed as well).

It was such an enjoyable weekend, and a great lowkey celebration for our anniversary.

Travis, you are still the one who makes me laugh the most and remember that life is fun. I love you!


7-Year Anniversary Celebration, Part 1

7 May

Last weekend, Travis and I spent a night away from Emma for the first time since she was born. As we drove away from Travis’ parents’ house, I almost cried but after that, I was fine. We did call to check in that night and the next morning, and Emma did great! That was a relief.

Travis and I enjoyed ourselves as well. We drove down to the Brainerd area on Friday to look at houses. After that, we were starving so instead of cooking dinner in the kitchen of our hotel room like planned, we ate at Grizzly’s. Sufficiently stuffed, we checked into our hotel at Cragun’s Resort, then walked along the lakeshore for a bit before enjoying a free drink and live music at the resort bar.

We went back to the room to get our jacuzzi on. So fun! We drank wine and talked about houses. Then we watched part of the Wild vs. Blackhawks game and hit the sack. We were dialed!

Saturday morning, I read blogs in bed while Travis slept in and then we drove to Caribou Coffee for coffee and breakfast sandwiches. We took our coffee with us and went down to the lake again.


It was kinda chilly though so we I didn’t last long. Back up in the room, I sat by the fireplace until it was time to checkout.

We had lunch with a girl I knew in college. She lives near Baxter with her husband and daughter who’s just a few months older than Emma. It was fun reconnecting and they gave us the lowdown on the area.

After lunch, we stopped at Fleet Farm, then drove up to the house we were interested in to talk to a neighbor about the neighborhood. It seemed like a great place and we went back on Monday to see it again but someone put an offer on it yesterday, so back to square one. There aren’t many other houses on the market in our price range that we haven’t looked at so it might be a while before we find a house. I’m definitely ready for life to resume a more normal feel, but trying to be patient and trust God’s provision.

We got back up to Nevis about 4:30 on Saturday. It was good to be away for a night but I enjoyed seeing Emma again.

Emma and I are hanging out down in the Cities this week visiting friends while Travis is out of town on a work trip. It’s a little overwhelming because of all the running around but it’s better than staying in Nevis by ourselves!

Emma’s 13 months today but I don’t have a post ready. Guess that one will be a titch late. Later!

A Map Project

13 Jun

A couple of weeks after our 5-year anniversary, I finally gave Travis his anniversary gift. The first part was a map project I had seen on chicrunner’s blog, which was a version of this one on Kayla Danelle, which was a version of this one on minimoz.

I took all of their ideas and put my own spin on it. The map lives on…

First, where to get the maps. There had been a map store near our house but it closed. I thought about buying an atlas from Walmart but ended up using Rand McNally’s website to make jpgs of each map I wanted to include. I put those jpgs on a flash drive and went to Walmart.

They have a fancy new machine that lets you print your pictures instantly. Instead of having to wait an hour, I got them in 5 minutes. Sweet!

I also bought a frame, scrapbook paper and small rubber stamp letters (for $0.99!) while I was there.

When I got home, I started by making a heart cutout that I could use to turn each map into the shape of a heart.

Then I set to work stamping out the words for each map caption. I had planned on using sticker letters but couldn’t find any at Walmart that were the size/style/color I wanted so this worked out great. I also got to use one of stamp pads I’ve had since, like, 5th grade.

The maps and captions are:

  • fell in love (University of Minnesota campus)
  • got engaged (Chicago waterfront)
  • said I do (Mounds View, MN)
  • made a home (Wheat Ridge, CO)

Finally, I was ready to put the maps into the frame. I’m pretty sure I bought a 13 x 15 frame, with no mat or anything.

At first, I had planned to just use the blank side of the picture the frame came with as the background but the maps were just a little cream-colored so it didn’t look right. I decided to put a border around each map and toyed with laying it out like this:

But I ran out of time and had to pick Travis up from the airport so I hid everything away to finish the next day.

When I got it back out, I decided that I wasn’t a huge fan of the diamond layout and that it might work better to lay the maps out vertically instead of horizontally. I put the scrapbook paper down first in a block pattern and taped the back with looped Scotch tape.

Then I laid out the pictures and captions.

Once I was satisfied, I carefully lifted up a corner at a time to tape them down exactly as they were.

It still needed something. I took the map/paper insert back out and added silver hearts leftover from our wedding invitations to “mark the spot” of each relevant location.

I also added a note for Travis on the back.

Done! I really like how this project turned out and it didn’t take very long – maybe 2-3 hours?

But since this wasn’t really a “guy” thing, I also bought Travis a tarp.

It’s a practical thing but also a running joke between Travis and me. Several years ago, when we were trying to decide what to buy some friends for their wedding, Travis wanted to get them a tarp. I retorted, “You don’t buy someone a tarp for their wedding!” But he insisted – “It’s on their registry!” So we bought them a tarp, along with something else more traditional like bath towels. Now whenever we’re shopping for a wedding or shower gift, he suggests a tarp. Sorry Trav, once is enough. Unless the gift is for you, I guess.

Anniversary Trip {Part Two}

22 May

Sunday dawned cold but clear. When I went out to get bagels from the grocery store across the street, this was our car:


After eating a cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter, I was off on my run and Travis was off to his morning hockey game. I took the pooches with me for the first 3 miles, then planned to drop them off to run the last 15 alone. After being couped up in a hotel room for 36 hours, only going outside for bathroom breaks, Katy and Charlie had a LOT of energy. And needed a lot of #2 pit stops. Nothing gets things moving like a run.

It was 35 when I first went out so I had decided to wear a long-sleeve tech shirt plus a lightweight jacket. The sun was out in full force, though, and by the time I got back to the hotel with the dogs, that jacket was too much. I left my long-sleeve on and with my compression tights and running skirt on bottom, I was perfectly dressed for the 40-50 degree weather.

Running in the mountains isn’t all bad

Pooches in their kennel, I headed back out with 3 hours of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to keep me company. Having something like a story to think about helps to pass the time. Since I had a long way to go and was running at a good 4,000 feet higher than usual, my strategy for this run was to run at an easy, comfortable pace and walk when I needed or wanted to. Which was good because there were a lot of hills on this run.

First 3 miles:

15 mile out and back:

And those just show the main hills! There were also a bunch of smaller rolling hills. I ran up most of the smaller hills but walked up the big ones. It just wasn’t worth pushing myself to run up them, only to be completely out of breath at the top and have to walk anyway.

Miles 5 – 7.5 (of the 15 mile route) were tiring. It was enough uphill to be noticeable but not enough that I could justify walking. Around mile 6, I saw Travis driving back from his hockey game. He honked and I waved.

Finally I got to the turnaround! But because of the doozy of a hill at miles 10-10.5 (which I walked most of), and my aching legs/hips, I actually only ran the way back a minute faster than the way out.

Around mile 13, I took a bathroom break, which was glorious. For the last 2 miles, I alternated between thinking “Hey, this isn’t so bad”, “Holy crap, my hips are throbbing”, “I can totally run a marathon”, and “EIGHT more miles after this? I’m screwed”. But I made it. And I’m pretty sure that I’m going to cry at the finish line of the real marathon because I get emotional just finishing my long runs. 😉

I borrowed Travis’ phone so that I could track my splits via the MapMyRun app but I’m pretty sure it didn’t work correctly. It says that the route I ran was only 14.6 miles instead of 15.1 (and actually, on the phone it said it was only 13.99 but when I looked it up online later, it said 14.6). It also said that my pace on some of the flatter miles was something like 14:45. I know I’m slow but I’m not that slow.

So plugging in my own numbers, it took me 3:47:36 to run 18 miles, for an average pace of 12:38. For running the longest run of my life at 9,300 feet with a cumulative elevation gain of 736 feet and a bunch of walking, I’m feeling pretty good about that pace.

Nevertheless, I’m hoping that I’ll run the marathon faster than that. And since the race is practically at sea level and I’ll have tapered beforehand, I feel confident that I can. Even if I run the race at an average pace of 12:30/mile, that would put me around 5:30:00 for a marathon finish time. So the goal I’m toying with right now is somewhere between 5:10 (11:49 pace) and 5:30 (12:35 pace).

I’ll wait until after my 20 miler to officially decide on goals.


After my run, I took a shower and Epsom salt bath. Travis’ team had won their morning game too so they were moving on to the championship game at 3 pm. We packed up all of our stuff, ate lunch at Noodles & Company, and then went shopping at the outlet mall for 25 minutes to kill time. I went to the Gap Outlet and found this adorable dress for $32 that I am smitten with as well as 2 pairs of black pants — traditional dress pants for $30 and skinny jeans for $35 (I’ll post pictures later). I’m only going to keep one pair (due to our Alaska trip limiting our $$ resources) but can’t decide if I want to go trendy or timeless. Thoughts? Travis had some luck too with finding some hiking/aquashoes at the Columbia outlet for $25, marked down from $85!

Then it was off to the last hockey game. I took the dogs for a short walk while Travis got ready and then went in to watch the game. They lost by 1 point in overtime. Bummer!

A quick stop at a gas station for snacks and we were headed home to do laundry and veg out. We took Loveland Pass instead of the Eisenhower Tunnel, which neither of us had done before. The views were gorgeous:

But as always, I got freaked out and asked Travis to slow down at least 10 times. I’m a wreck on mountain roads.

Finally, we made it home. After we unloaded and unpacked everything, Travis was going to recharge the AC in our Focus when the car just up and died. Now it won’t start. I’m just glad that it didn’t die at the top of Loveland Pass! That would’ve been bad.

But I convinced Travis that instead of spending all night trying to fix it, he should just hang out with me. And so we ended our nice little anniversary weekend with an episode of NCIS (we’re totally addicted to that show).

Pretty soon, though, the real celebration begins: ALASKA!!

Anniversary Trip {Part One}

21 May

Our anniversary weekend was GREAT. Travis and I both agreed that it was so nice to have a slow-paced, relaxing weekend… never mind the fact that Travis played four hockey games and I ran 18 miles.

We got up to our hotel, the Holiday Inn – Summit County, Frisco around 7 pm on Friday night. After a few room debacles (the doorjambs were all busted so the doors wouldn’t close right), we got situated in our room and decided to have a couple drinks in the hotel restaurant, Sporting News Grill. I had 2 glasses of Chardonnay, Travis had a few beers and we ordered a chicken quesadilla to split.

Our quesadilla took a while to come but because Travis and I weren’t in a hurry and were enjoying just hanging out and talking, we didn’t really notice or mind. Our waiter felt bad though and brought us a free piece of apple pie topped with whipped cream. I devoured that thing in record time. When our quesadilla finally did come, I had one section. It was really good. It had peppers in it and was served with lots of salsa and guacamole.

The only thing we weren’t impressed by was the atmosphere. It was a sports restaurant trying to masquerade as a club. They had a DJ playing club music in the bar area and it just seemed weird. But whatevs.

The next day, Travis had his first hockey game at 9:20 (as part of the tournament he was playing in) so we left our hotel room around 8:45. I had planned to do my long run that day but it was supposed to be rainy and cold all day (which it was). Sunday was supposed to be nice and we were able to get a late checkout so I decided to run then. I dropped Travis off at the hockey rink to get ready, got coffee at Starbucks and then watched the game. They won!

Travis was #22.

We went back to the hotel so Travis could shower, I did some stuff on the computer and around 1, we went to lunch at the Butterhorn Bakery and Café. I had eaten there once before with my mother-in-law when we had explored Frisco during elk season. It’s a cute little restaurant with great service and amazing food. If you’re ever in Frisco, this is a great restaurant to check out.

Since it was our wedding anniversary, I thought our salt and pepper shakers couldn’t have been more fitting:

I ordered the French toast with strawberries and walnuts:

I wasn’t going to eat that massive chunk of butter but then I discovered that it was the best butter ever. In that case, who cares about saturated fat?

Travis got tuna salad on a croissant. Isn’t that a huge sandwich?

Since we had only eaten a NutriGrain bar each for breakfast, we both cleaned our plates. After lunch, we walked down the street to the Frisco Museum.

I had also been there before with Travis’ mom but found it really interesting and thought Travis would enjoy it. And it’s FREE. Can’t beat that.

They have a model train set in the old schoolhouse that is supposed to show what Frisco looked like back when it was founded in 1873.

Like all museums, they have enough information in each building that you could spend an entire day just reading about the history so we didn’t make it to every building.

It amazes me how much work just living was back then.

Wood burning stove + oven

Canning and baking


After the museum, we went back to the hotel until Travis’ afternoon hockey game at 4. They won that one too!

We had talked about going to see The Avengers that night but the timing would’ve been rushed so we opted to jump in the hotel hot tub for a bit (which felt great because I was freezing from sitting in the hockey arena) and then go out for a nice dinner at a steakhouse in Dillon. We took the long way there to check out a new road and some great scenery:

And my sweet husband surprised me with a lovely card, bag of dark chocolate Dove Promises, and this gorgeous necklace:

I felt like a schmuck since I hadn’t gotten him anything (we had agreed not to because of Alaska costing so much). But I still have a few tricks up my sleeve…

Our dinner at Pug Ryan’s Steakhouse Brewery was delicious and afterward, we watched X-Men: First Class on TV at our hotel and called it a night.

Sunday details up next…

Five Years

19 May

Five years ago, on May 19, 2007, I married my favorite person.

Spring will always remind me of the excitement I felt during our engagement. I’d wake up in the morning and stare at the ring on my finger. “It’s true. This is actually happening.”

In some ways, our 4.5-month engagement flew by. There was a lot to do, buy and plan but things fell into place quickly and easily. I tried on 4 dresses and decided this was the one:

We got married at the north campus of the church we had been attending, surrounded by lots of trees and flowers:

We had our reception at a historic old farm, now right in the middle of a suburb:

(My brother and sister-in-law got married there the following year!)

But in other ways, our engagement seemed to last forever. Even just a few weeks seemed like an eternity until I could spend every single minute with my best friend and wake up in the same bed as him.

But that day finally arrived and it was magical. My parents are to thank for that. They were SO generous and made sure that our wedding was everything we had dreamed it would be. The flowers, dress, decorations, food, everything was AMAZING. Thank you Mom and Dad for making our special day so perfect!

I am thankful that I was able to just enjoy the day. Whatever happened, happened. If things didn’t go according to plan, that was ok. Because at the end of the day, we were MARRIED and were going to spend the rest of our lives together. (I did, however, get slightly irritated at Travis when a slow song came on and he didn’t come find me to dance!)

But as all married couples know, the wedding day is the easy part of marriage.  After the excitement winds down, you realize that you’re still the same two people with the same old problems.

That’s where God’s grace comes in.

If it weren’t for God’s grace…

Well, I’m scared to think of where Travis and I would be today if God’s grace hadn’t been actively at work in changing me. I am a different woman than the one Travis married 5 years ago. And praise God that I am! It has taken me FIVE WHOLE YEARS to be able to cheerfully and willingly serve my husband. To desire his happiness more than my own. To set aside my own desires and expectations to please him.

“This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

This is the day that the Lord had made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Edited to add 5/23: I should also mention that our marriage is where it is today because God has been actively at work in changing Travis. He is so slow to anger, quick to compassion and incredibly sweet and thoughtful. He has changed the way he does things (like the dishes) because he knows the way I like them done. A marriage takes two people working together with servant hearts and many a conflict has been avoided by Travis kindly taking notice of and avoiding the things that tip me over the edge.

I am thankful every day to be married to such a wonderful, loving man. I truly do not deserve him. I don’t deserve any of the blessings that God so abundantly lavishes upon me. But He still gives them to me. The Giver loves to give, and gives in abundance, as if He had nothing else to do but to give and give again.

Today, I tell God that His gift to me has not gone unnoticed. I am thankful to the depths of my soul for His giving me the love of my life.

I can’t wait to see how God shows His faithfulness to us in the next five years.

Heading to the Mountains

18 May

Rocky Mountain National Park, September 2007

Tonight, Travis and I are heading up to the mountains for a little anniversary getaway. We are celebrating 5 years tomorrow. I know those married longer would say we’re still newlyweds but I feel like the 5-year mark is the official exit from newlywed status. 😉

Travis has a great opportunity to play in a hockey tournament this weekend so we have 3 hockey games on the schedule. I’ll have to miss the first one since I’ll be doing my long run of 18 miles. Holy crap, that feels like a long way. Back at the beginning of my marathon training, it seemed unfathomable to ever be able to run that far and now, it’s right around the corner.

Since I’ll be running at 9,000 feet, I plan on taking things easy, enjoying the beautiful scenery, and taking lots of pictures to share with you fine folks.

The rest of the weekend will be spent playing Scrabble, drinking wine, checking out cute little mountain towns, and cuddling with pooches – yes, we are bringing them. This will be the first ever that we’ve had them in a hotel room with us. It will be interesting, I’m sure.

Have a great weekend!

Our first anniversary is today!

19 May

A year ago today, Travis and I got married. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year but so much has happened during that time. We moved to Colorado where we didn’t know a soul, got new jobs in different fields than we had worked in before, started going to a new church, met new friends, bought a new car (well, new to us), and are now planning on buying a house.

We have also learned so much about the importance of communication–and the results of miscommunication. I learned to accept my husband as he is and not expect him to be what I consider ideal–especially since I don’t really know what this is. I have found a new appreciation for Travis and all that he does for me and our marriage and am realizing more and more everyday how much I take him for granted. He is truly my best friend. So often when we’re spending time together, I realize that I don’t ever concentrate on our interactions–they come so easily and naturally that it really feels like he is my other half.

So to celebrate this milestone, Travis surprised me by taking me to a secluded mountain cabin about 30 minutes from Woodland Park (very close to Pikes Peak). The cabin had a great view of Pikes Peak, a hot tub outside, and a big bed, comfy couches, great deck, full kitchen, and satellite TV. What more could you ask for?

When we first got to the cabin, I took some pictures and then read for a while on the deck in the sun–one of my very favorite things to do. After reading, Travis and I watched some TV and then made dinner. After that, we went in the hot tub and then opened presents. I bought Travis The Resurrection of the Son of God by N.T. Wright–a book he had showed me at Borders and said he wanted. It’s 800 pages long and very up Travis’ alley–an academic book that’s hard to read. Travis bought me a picture of me running the half marathon and put it in a blue metallic frame. I love it! I had wanted to buy a picture from that race… I think I look pissed in the picture though. Travis said that I just look determined. 🙂

Today, I “slept in” until 7:15 (I fell asleep at 9:30). I ate breakfast in bed and then made some for Travis. We watched TV for a while and then went in the hot tub again. After that, we packed up all our stuff and headed to Mueller State Park, where we did a few moderate hikes. My legs were sore from the race on Sunday so I didn’t have much energy to hike. The snow-covered mountain ranges around there are so beautiful.

Then we drove back to Boulder and are planning on watching “Secondhand Lions” and drinking champagne. So relaxing and nice.

See pictures from our weekend getaway here.