Things to Do in An Elevator

MckMama posted about riding in elevators today, and since I shared this with her, I figured it was only appropriate that I give you all link to a list similar to the one that some friends and I put to use in our college dorm elevators (Mandi, if you read this, ask T about ordering pizza to the elevator).  Fun times.  Enjoy!

When It’s “Spring” and Still Snowy…

And it’s still too cold outside to play, we bring the snow in to us.  Anja loves it, and it helps her learn the concepts of “liquid” and “solid.”

Let’s hope the freeze up in Fargo/Moorhead helps the residents there stay out of harm’s water’s way.

Indoor Snow 022709

Indoor Snow 2 022709


Do you remember when potpourri was in style?  We had little crystal dishes of it around the house.  Kind of odd, if you think about it…”Let’s pour some scented oil on pieces of bark, leaves and dried flowers, bag it up and market it to middle-aged women!”  Then again, one of my husband’s college roomies used cinnamon-scented potpourri throughout “The Guys’ House.”  No one is immune to its captivating potency!


We visited my mom this past weekend.  Thank you to those of you who have continued to ask about her health.  They re-worked her chemotherapy schedule and amount (removing the one that was giving her the most side effects from her regimen), and she has had a far easier time with it as a result.  Just nine more sessions of it after today, I think.  You can do it, Mom!

We missed weather that topped 60 degrees in the Twin Cities and had to settle for the low 40s in my hometown.  I took lots of photos of the flooded fields.  We even drove through water covering the road on our way home Sunday.

Pray for those in the Red River Valley–the flooding this year is supposed to rival, if not top, the flood of 1997, which was devastating for thousands of families.  Since I’ve had people ask why that river is so prone to flooding, I decided to explain it briefly here.  The Red River of the North is one of the few rivers that flows northward.  It empties into Lake Winnipeg up in Manitoba.  As you can imagine, all the ice and debris clogs the river, since its mouth is often still frozen as the southern parts thaw.  This creates an ice dam, causing these southern parts of the river to flood quickly.  Since the land up there is so flat, a couple of inches of extra water can spread out over a very broad area, wreaking havoc on farmland and homes alike.  There have been major sandbagging efforts going on in Fargo, ND (where we used to live), and we really feel for our friends and family there who have been through this time and time again.


Husband and I have noticed that Anja often has “growth spurts” in intelligence when we travel.  I don’t know if it’s the interaction with more people that encourages new words and comprehension, or if she just uses the hours and hours in the car to think very deeply, but we always seem to notice it when we get home.  This time was no exception.

Husband had Anja for most of the day yesterday, since I was at work and taking an evening class.   It rained a lot yesterday, and he said she was looking out the balcony doors and saying, “Snow happen?  Snow happen?  Rain wash?”  He finally interpreted that she was asking, “What happened to the snow?  Did the rain wash it?”  He attempted to explain the concept of melting, which obviously she didn’t get, but even the fact that she, at 18 mos., noticed the snow is gone and that the rain had something to do with it blew me away.


Well, I have a toddler to get down for a nap, unpacking to do, and five loads of laundry to wash, so I should probably quit here.  Thank you for all your comments and emails regarding my blogging dilemma.  I have been encouraged to go on and return to the focus I once had, as well as to blog without pressure.  Both of those sound like good options to me!

Flashback Friday 02.20.09

Darling Sandwich Maker, how I loved thee!  In college, you were a staple.  Rarely did a day go by when you were unable to produce some sort of gooey sandwich-y goodness.  I hearken back to the days of studio, late nights and early mornings made joyous (or at least bearable) by the promise of some PB&J melting delectably between slices of bread.

Forget the stuff of infomercials; you were the stuff my ham ‘n’ cheese dreams were made of!  You were my “ramen.”  No Totino’s or baked potato months for this girl when I had you by my side.

Sammich 020709

Sandwich Maker, I salute you!

Another day’s work

Ever since I posted The List, I’ve had several inquiries regarding the time I saved someone’s life.

During the summer of 2004, I worked at a K-6 grade summer program through the YMCA.  We started early, ended late, and were responsible for upwards of 70 kids between the 6 of us who worked each day.   It was an extension of a bef0re- and after-school program that ran during the school year.

One of the regular activities we did during the summer was visit the school’s outdoor pool.  It was a fairly small pool, probably 40′ square, ranged in depth from 3′ to 5′ and usually had 3 lifeguards on duty.

One afternoon, as I was sitting on the edge of the pool in my bucket hat, I noticed in the swarm of children a little face popping up and down in the 5′ end.  With a quick glance at the lifeguards, I realized none of them were the least bit aware of it, so I threw off my hat and jumped into the pool.  After I brought Isabelle, who had just graduated kindergarten, to the edge of the pool, she was badly shaken and sputtering.  By this time, obviously, the lifeguards were aware of what happened and came over to assist with her, making sure she wasn’t in shock or hadn’t inhaled too much water.  It’s one of those memories that kicks my adrenal glands into gear just thinking about it.

So there you have it–nothing overly-heroic or exciting.

How about you?   Any other life-savers out there?

Independence Day?

The morning of September 11, 2001 will forever be ingrained in my mind.  Two years prior, I had broken up with a guy who was first, a great friend, and then, a not-so-great boyfriend.  We had dated over 9 months, and I was pretty sure we would get married.  We decided to “take time off” and never got back together.  As God would have it, I was later able to see what an incredible grace this was, as we were not good as a couple at ALL.

However, I did miss his friendship, but he continued to be a fairly big jerk to me post break-up.  A roommate of mine at the time who also knew him pretty well was doing her best to cheer me up that morning.  When I arrived at my spot for breakfast, there was a big note declaring September 11, 2001 “Independence Day.”  Independence from trying to be his friend anymore, worrying myself about his reactions at all, etc.

We skipped off to our first class together in the music building, shouting all the way, “It’s Independence Day!”

How horrible that must have looked to anyone who had any concept of what was taking place in New York City that morning.  Were we terrorists?  Were we insane?

When we arrived at class, we were greeted with somber faces.  A TV was playing in the corner of the room.  We couldn’t believe our eyes.  Class was dismissed, as no one could focus on anything but the news.  We spent the rest of the day at home, watching with horror as the day unfolded.


May God continue to grant our country protection from further attacks, and may He continue to give peace to the families of those who were killed in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Two Cute Pups

I had a photo session last weekend with a couple I knew in Fargo and their two dogs. I know some of you are dog-lovers and you don’t all know about my photography business, so I thought I’d post two of my favorites of them here. The larger dog is a Viszla and the smaller a dachshund. Ain’t they cute?



Flat Stanley…Saturday? A Visit with Natalie!

I am so sorry that this post is a day late (in fact, I might even post it again next week because it’s so stinking cute).  Natalie even made a VIDEO!  So head over here to read about Flat Stan’s visit with her and her family.

Second, as you may have guessed, the reason this post is a day late is that we made it up north on Friday!  Can’t say it was pleasant driving, but at least we didn’t have to turn back again.  So I’m going to be vegging out here, letting my mom cook for me, wait on me hand and foot, and entertain my baby while I veg doing very productive things.  🙂

Fargo Friday – BUST

Fargo Fridays seem to have been a flop thus far, so while I am brainstorming about what to replace it with (ideas welcome!), stop by Lori’s post today to read about the “tax relief” that is to come this summer.  I commented with a couple of interesting articles, so I’ll post links to those here as well:

Fargo Friday – 3

As promised, today is some cool things about Fargo. Yay for Fargo!

1) The Fargodome. It’s not even a dome! But I spent many a Saturday morning, afternoon and evening there, practicing (I was in marching band—feel free to make “band geek” comments) and performing for the Bison football games. Oh, and for those of you who feel so inclined to be extra Norsky, that’s pronounced with a ZZZZ sound, not a SSSS. BiZon.


2) College campuses. There are three major colleges in the Fargo/Moorhead area: NDSU, MSU Moorhead, and Concordia. All three have very different, but very nice campuses. I spent much time exploring these campuses as a freshman in college. I think Concordia’s my favorite, but of course, it’s private, so they have more money for things like modern art and Prexy’s Pond.


3) The art scene. Since it is the biggest city (read: town) within a 150-mile radius, there’s a surprisingly wide variety of shows and exhibits for viewing at any given time. #2 probably contributes to this a great deal.


4) Broadway. Downtown Fargo is probably my second favorite part about living there. In recent years, especially with the addition of NDSU’s downtown campus, boutiques, high-end clothing stores and fine restaurants have been putting down roots. My personal favorite is Funky Junque.


5) The feel. It’s like living in a small town but with much more stuff to do. Really—almost every time I left the house, I would run into someone I knew. That doesn’t even always happen in my own home town, which is about 1/15 the size. And there’s more than a Cenex, a post office and a bar.


6) The people. We still have lots of friends (and family) in Fargo. So we go back to visit several times a year. I love the people of Fargo. Maybe just the people I know…but most of them are of high quality. Just don’t try to merge on the freeway. Then they’re not the nicest.



7) The weather. No, just kidding. That’s one of the main reasons we moved. Since I grew up in the area, I knew nothing different, but that howling, non-stop wind really got to Husband. If you think about it, that wind gets a 200-mile running start across flat, flat North Dakota and then blasts through the whole flat, flat city. As I’ve said before, it was like living on top of a mountain without the view. The dorms I lived in for three years created the perfect place for a little vortex of wind. For one, they were “high rises” (that’s only 9 stories in Fargo). For two, there was a circular shaped courtyard in between the four high rises that helped the wind flow into its tornado-like pattern. Once you reached the entry of your dorm, there was no going back. They had a heated area with double doors on either side, but the second set of doors did virtually nothing. Once you opened the first set, your breath was caught away and you were sucked out into the whirling vortex, fighting to stay upright and on the sidewalk (which had ice 10 months out of the year). Oh, dear. I guess this didn’t turn out to be a “good thing.” So on to the next…


8) Scheels. The world’s largest sporting goods store. It’s like the MOA for sports. Need I say more?  This was supposed to be #8 but it turns my 8 into a stupid smiley face.  So…enjoy that.


p.s. Today Dayna is having a contest on her blog and giving away a conversation starter made by these ladies. I want it. Maybe you do, too, so stop by.