Tin Foil Tiara

The candy rush is over–we only got about 30 trick-or-treaters, which I expected, so each kid averaged about 10 pieces of candy.  Yay for them!  Anja even was allowed half a fun size Twix as a snack after supper.  She accompanied us to the door every time the doorbell rang, and was quite enamored with the costumed munchkins shouting “Trick or Treat!”  She wasn’t scared in the least, but instead pointed at one child after another, saying, “That?  That?  That?” (It’s her way of asking “What is that?”)

A little after 8:00, we scrammed out of here and to Chipotle, where we waited in line with a bunch of other people (only for about 10-15 minutes) wearing tin foil items and got a free burrito apiece!  Yay for us!  I think this may become a new Halloween tradition–stopping for some Mexican after trick-or-treating.

On our way home from there, we stopped at Target and bought a clearance Halloween costume (and…uh…more candy) that should fit Anja for the next couple of Halloweens.  Yay for Anja!  And now we will have something answer next year when people ask what she will be for Halloween.

Another thing I crave this time of year is Home Improvement.  I don’t really know why other than that Tim Allen always put together amazing Halloween and Christmas episodes.  So now that Anja is in bed (over an hour later than normal) we’re going to cozy up and watch one.  I can’t wait!

How was your evening?  Spooky?  Mundane?

Batty Batty Bat!

Here’s Anja, trying to figure out what these big orange things are.  They don’t look anything like her jingly pumpkin necklace.  This was taken shortly before she tried to lift one.

We had a grand old time, letting Anja touch the seeds and gook.

Then the pacifier had to come out because she kept trying to eat the seeds and gook.

Babies do that kind of stuff, I guess.  Daddy also gave her her own little pumpkin to “carve” with a spoon.  That, as you can imagine, worked very well.  But it actually kept her entertained for a little while so we could do some carving of our own.

Mine’s a bat in front of gothic windows, if you can’t tell.  He’s a little lopsided, but that’s what happens.

And here’s Husband’s:

Fun times!  Happy Halloween, everyone!

All the Pretty Memes

I’m doing a bit o’ catching up here…I’ve been tagged with some of these since mid-September.  So bad.  Warning: You will soon know more about me than you ever wanted to know!

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Like my friend Hibby, who was also tagged this meme, I could pretty much just post Jamie’s as my own, so I will try to get creative with it.

Six by Three Meme
Six Things I Value

1. God’s love and daily grace, both which I desperately need.

2. Scarves, but not wool ones.

3. A chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookie (here’s lookin’ at you, Isabel!).

4. Cheap, spiral-bound planners. I will probably never be a PDA or Blackberry type girl.

5. Anja’s cheeks. I kiss them whenever I can.

6. Efficiency.

Six Things I Don’t Support (several of these still match Jamie’s…I tried!)

1. Abortion.

2. Lying.

3. Big government.

4. The morals and values of today’s society, which, frankly, are in the toilet (for example, just turn on the television for five minutes as evidence of our nation’s obsession with sex).

5. The media’s biased and inaccurate reporting.

6. Stirrup pants.

Six People I Tag (if they are interested)

1. Wifeandmommy

2. Esther

3. Erica H.

4. Paula

5. Tara

6. Whitney

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I got tagged by my Wifeandmommy for this one.

Seven Random Things

Here are the rules:
Post the rules on your blog.
Write 7 random things about yourself.
Tag 7 people at the end of your post.
Pass on the tag.

7 things:

1. I play the flute

2. I bit my fingernails until I was 19

3. I have an impinged biceps tendon

4. I started a recipe blog and deleted it before ever telling anyone about it

5. The only points I lost on my driver’s test were for “backing”

6. My hair is very fine (but not thin!)

7. I can outrun most toddlers

7 tags:

1. Sara

2. Jennifer

3. Another Heidi

4. Joanna

5. Johanna

6. Lori

7. Rachel

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I was tagged for this last meme by two people, Amy at livinglocurto and Kelly at lovewell.  The purpose of the meme is to share five ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.

Here goes!

+ I have found a community that I never expected.  I came looking for accountability and a few moms, and the amount and quality of friends I have made has surpassed my wildest dreams!

+ An outlet for writing, and an audience!  Because as much as I enjoy writing, it’s more fun to do it when there is interaction with others.  If it weren’t for you folks, I would have deleted this real estate I have on the Web long ago.  My journals?  They never talk back, much less with encouraging/funny/heartwarming stories.

+ I have been inspired in many ways.  By visiting YOUR real estate, I have been inspired to pick up a camera (which has turned into a business for me!), write better and more often, try my hand at new crafty things, make my house a home, record memories in a more meaningful way, share burdens, and know Christ on a deeper level.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

+ I have felt loved and validated as my dorky, opinionated self.  You might not feel the same if you met me in person, but the love and acceptance I’ve felt via the written word is indescribable.

– I spend WAY more time on the Internet than I ever have in my life.  I need boundaries, friends!  Boundaries.  I should read a book about it or something.  But that would take away time from blogging…

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I’m encouraging everyone who wants to play along with any of these to do so!

Tub o’ Dough

I just sat down at the computer with a little tub of Papa Murphy’s cookie dough.  Three or 4 cookies’ worth later, I feel like am a glutton.  Where was someone telling me to stop?  Had Anja only been here to beg (like usual), I would have put it away pronto.  There is no one to blame but myself.  Ugh.

In other news, I was up north this past weekend doing photo shoots, visiting relatives, and mostly…driving.  I listened to Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey while I drove.  It was pretty boring for the first 4 CDs worth (of 7), but now it appears to be turning into a sort of mystery, which makes it more bearable.  I can handle Jane Austen in 2-hour feature films, but every time I’ve dug into one of her books, the tediousness of it all has given me hives.  Am I alone in this?  Probably.

In still more news, we carved pumpkins last night!  I hope to have photos up for Halloween.  What are you doing for Halloween?  Husband’s grandma used to make it a very special occasion for him.  Fancy homemade costumes and lots of creepy decorations were the order of the day.  We don’t get real fancy around here…yet.

I have to admit I fell into the Christianese mindset of “Halloween is evil, as in the fruits of the devil” (name that movie!) for awhile, but then I realized that most holiday celebrations (Christmas, Easter, etc.) that are celebrated by Christians today are full of pagan customs.  And they are only pagan if you choose to make them pagan.  Do we worship witches if we celebrate Halloween?  No!  No more than we worship our Christmas tree upon putting it up every year!  It’s a fun occasion for the kids to dress up, get candy from neighbors, and tell some spooky stories.  Pretty harmless.  Do I want my kids skanking around town at nasty parties dressed like pirate whores as soon as they hit their teens?  No, of course not.  But I don’t think letting them dress as a strawberry and say “trick or treat” at the neighbor’s door is a step off of prison.

Stepping calmly off soapbox…what are you doing for Halloween?  Anything fun?  Dressing up at all?  Anja is a little young for trick-or-treating this year, so we bought a bunch of candy (made the mistake of getting fruit leather one year…kids were not big fans…) to give out and figure she’ll enjoy accompanying us to the door.  We’re so festive.  🙂

St. Paul Restaurants

Hey!  I wrote this post last month and had to delete a bunch of obsolete stuff up here.  But here’s some good restaurants in St. Paul that I dined at in September…

Restaurant #1: Senor Wong’s

If you have never heard of Asian-Mexican fusion, this is IT!  From what I understand of fusion, it means Asian foods prepared in a Mexican fashion.  Check out their menu.  I went here for lunch with a friend some of you might recognize from the comments.

Restaurant #2: Mickey’s Diner

Husband and I went here on a date day (glorious freedom!  His parents came to babysit.).  It had a very local flavor, as in the guy with the long, gray scraggly beard next to us was harrassing the server and she was having none of it.  You are seated at a bar just inches from where they are taking orders, cooking food, etc.  Literally, there is so little elbow room that you just might get hot grease spilled on you by disgruntled employees as they move back and forth in tandem (not enough room for them to pass each other).  The food was great.  We had pancakes, bacon and, after watching them made (pour on the lard, my friends), a side of hashbrowns.  Husband declared they were the best he’d ever eaten.  And the cook told us that Tim Pawlenty is an arrogant jerk.  How ’bout that?

Restaurant #3: Great Waters Brewing Co.

We split some nachos and a London Broil.  Both were tasty, and they have their own beer.  Right on 7th Place, which has great culture (The Artists’ Quarter next door supplied us some fine music as we dined al fresco).

Pancakes and Fraternity

Just over two weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting yet another friend I met via blog for brunch.  She was in town visiting family, but she was kind enough to spare a morning to meet me and Anja at The Original Pancake House.  Oh yum!  Anja and I split some pumpkin pancakes; have I mentioned that I love all things pumpkin this time of year?  If not, now I have.  And if you’ve never been to The OPH, and you like breakfast food…what are you WAITING for?  It’s super duper yummy.  And it’s set up like Grandma’s house–stained glass, oak woodwork, hand-carved chairs.

Anyway, Tara and I talked about accents (how mine is very notably Minnesotan and there’s a bit o’ the South creeping into hers), daddies (we have both lost ours recently), Jesus (we both love Him) and our families.

Tara, you’re every bit as sweet as your blog.  Thanks for having some pancakes with me!

Flashback Friday – 2

Do you remember last Spring when I wrote this post?  Turns out it’s the most popular post I have, even though it’s also one of the most controversial (though I don’t know why, because the scientific evidence is right there for the reading at the end).  So…I have an amazing story to share from the mouth of a reader that is SO COOL.

Well I read this post back in June after MckMama linked to it… It got me thinking to say the least… About a week later after some research on my own I went off the pill I was on- after finding out it was one of the worst (the Mini-Pill). We were being “careful” for the most part until I could get in to see my OBGYN- in AUGUST. Well one week before my appointment, I got pregnant. So this sweet 14 week old baby growing inside me has youto thank for life- and us and God! 🙂 Thank you for your thought provoking post- I really enjoyed it- and we are so excited for baby #2!

This Flashback Friday could almost be called Flashforward Friday!  Thank you for reason to celebrate today, Emily!

A Fall Drive in Minnesota

Two weekends ago, the leaves here were at PEAK.  I had Saturday off (no weddings to shoot), so the three of us jumped in the car and drove along the St. Croix River through Stillwater and up to Taylors Falls.  I honestly cannot remember having a more spectacular fall than this one in my lifetime.  Oh, and also?  Autumn in the Twin Cities lasts longer than 2 weeks!  This is my third fall here, and I am still amazed by that every year.  In Fargo the leaves go from green to brown to on the ground in literally about 2 weeks’ time.

Forgive the blur in some of these shots–they were taken from the car window as we whizzed by the breathtaking scenery.  One of the best fall drives in Minnesota!

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I can’t even describe how beautiful this Sumac was as you drove by it, enveloping you on the highway. My photo does it no justice whatsoever.

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The wall was to hold back the beauty.

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Oh, hello boat!

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We ended our day (in the pouring rain) with cheeseburger pizza (pickles on it!) and Pistachio and Monster Cookie ice creams at Schoony’s in Taylors Falls. Yum!