catching up


as i was sitting in the family room at my grandpa’s wake over the weekend, eating plate after black plastic plate of pickles and barbecue chips (don’t judge me, salt is my comfort food), when my sister came in and told me that two of my friends were in the lobby. i had to tell her to repeat herself, because i hadn’t heard that any of my friends were planning on coming up. for good reason, the wake and funeral were an hour and a half away.

so i went outside, and sure enough, there they were. and the waterworks began. but happy waterworks, because friends are wonderful. friends come to your grandfather’s wake. friends send you plants at work. friends call you for five minutes to make sure you are feeling okay. friends have lunch with you on sundays to catch up and sometimes they’ll even let you drink a bloody mary while you’re there.

i don’t know if all of my friends read this here blog. i don’t care if they do or not. because i get to text them things like, “scratch that. i’m an idiot.” and they know what i mean.


my baby sister turns 18 today. her golden birthday. seems like just yesterday she was being born, and i was volunteering to be her main caretaker. seriously, i was 8 and i thought that was old enough to be the one to wake up with, feed, and change the baby. the first night she came home, i told my mom not to worry, i’d get up with the baby. the next morning, after a very restful night, my mom asked if the little one had gotten up at all at night….i said no, hoping that was true, and my mom said that she thought it would be best if she took care of the babe from then on. and that’s how mairsie made it to her 18th birthday.

mary and me

happy birthday to a wonderful little sister, we are so proud of you, and so happy that you are in our lives. you’re our little miracle! we thank God for you everyday, even when you’re a little cranky. ūüėČ

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humpday happy list.

today is wednesday. which means tomorrow is thursday. which means my darling husband is coming home tomorrow evening. and you know what? i’m not ashamed to say that i cannot wait. in fact, i am ecstatic to see his lovely face. which i hope has a beard on it. this week, let’s make sure to tell people that we miss them, that we love them, and how much they mean to us. because i don’t think that’s done quite enough these days. this public service announcement has been brought to you by the letter z. happy humpday!

1) humpday christmas carol: dmx singing “rudolph the red-nosed reindeer”.

i can’t even tell you how much joy this brought my coworkers and me today. oh dmx. you never fail to disappoint me. never change.

2) humpday pinterest win: my crafty letter.

i only burned myself twice¬†with mama hools’ hot glue gun. and this was way less painful to complete than i thought it would be! burns included. it will not end up on a pinterest fail website and it looks ever so cute hanging on our door.


3) humpday charity: st. jude children’s research hospital

this video¬†made me smile. and cry. and open my wallet. it’s my favorite part is, of course, when robin williams shows up. because he will always be patch adams to me. sidebar: patch adams was the first movie that ever made me cry. i was 12 and did not know that movies could do that to you.

4) humpday dinner plans: the blue door pub.

i am so excited to go to my favorite place in st. paul and catch up with a good friend who i haven’t seen in months, even though we live in neighboring cities. maybe it has something to do with the fact that he’s a jetsetter who has been in both tanzania and ecuador in the last 5 months, and still manages to hold down a job and have a lovely girlfriend at the same time (hi allison!). so i suppose it’s understandable. regardless, i am so excited for a blucy and some buffalo tots. like whoa.


5) humpday hat: little furballs.

i stumbled upon this little gem at gap the other day. for $10. one thing we probably haven’t discussed in the short time we’ve known each other is how much i love hats. i would wear them all day, err day if i could. and my gosh if this isn’t the most cozy and adorable thing i’ve ever laid eyes on. and you know it has the perfect slouch.


(see my past humpday happy lists here)

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source(s): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

minocqua labor day fun.

one thing you need to know about my husband (and me if i’m being honest) is that we are homebodies to the extreme. sure, we like to go out and have a good time, but if you ask what our favorite thing to do on a friday is, dinner, wine and scrabble are going to be really high on the list.

sidenote: we have a crazy scrabble competition going. as in, we save each scorecard and hold a win over each other’s heads for days kind of competition. it can get ugly, but come on, why can i not get angry when i know i’m the better speller and by luck of the crappy draw, i get all vowels the whole game! no, i’m not bitter over my last loss, why do you ask?

anyway, homebodies. because of this, Mister Man’s favorite kind of vacations are the ones where you can just spend time with everyone, reading, hanging out, NAPPING. oh my gosh that man can take naps. like a professional.¬†so this Labor Day, we decided we were going to go with¬†his¬†family¬†to the cabin of some wonderful family friends in Minocqua, WI. oh you guys. this place is wonderful.¬†the lake is huge and calm, the dock is the perfect place to drink your coffee in the early morning, and the bonfire pit is impossible to tear yourself away from before midnight. just a true northwoods family cabin, which also happens to have a gorgeous¬†waterskiing boat to play around on.

i haven’t been¬†waterskiing in over 5 years. i think the last time i was on the water in skis, i was so sore that i could barely hold the tray up when i went to waitress later that evening. so i was a little nervous about putting them on again. i am happy to report to everyone that it’s totally like riding a bike! it felt so good to see that i could hold my own out there, even in front of my hotshot husband and our friend Danny, who happens to be a Min-Aqua Bat¬†(seriously these people are amazing!). so i count the weekend as a win after that. i unfortunately did not get any photo proof of this event, but there is always next year!

we spent the rest of the weekend fishing, although i don’t think there were any fish in that lake….or i’m just terrible at it, and enjoying some adult beverages on the boat (sweet tea vodka and lemonade FTW!).¬†the family time was amazing, and the cabin was the perfect place to be over the long weekend. i’ve decided that we are inviting ourselves back every labor day and making it a tradition. thank you, Smylies!

here are a few photos from the weekend, all taken by the ever so talented Danny Smylie. check him out at also, Danny, remind me to book you for a date TBD (way in the future!) to take photos of my babies. k thanks bye.

(all photo credits to danny smylie)

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of stolen umbrellas and old friends. (part 1)

warning: post chock full of semi-crappy photos ahead.

i can say with great certainty that if i were not deeply in love with the man i am married to, i would quite seriously consider moving to new york city. some might say that i could just move with said husband, but i say to those people that you don’t know him very well. he needs space. and you can’t have space in new york. so what i’m saying is, my realization is a moot point, because he’s the best. anywho.

my first day in new york started out with a work meeting that was done by 11am. i checked into my hotel (the one that mister man used all his points for) and walked outside straight into a rainstorm to start my wanderings. i stopped at st. patrick’s cathedral to look at the architecture and say a couple of prayers for the grandparents. it’s so weird to me that you can just come across buildings like that in the middle of manhattan.

once i left, because i am a simple, midwestern girl who assumes that things are safe where you leave them,¬†i got my umbrella stolen from a bin at michael kors. come on mk! cut a girl a break! i bought another one from a guy on the street for $5, but it was not as cute as the stolen one. ny lesson #1: learned. to make the best of it, i decided to visit 30 rock and go all the way up to the top to continue my touristy streak. if anyone who lives in new york hasn’t done this yet and feels like embracing their inner tourist, it’s actually pretty worth it, and not crowded at all. plus, the views are amazing, even in the rain.

statue of liberty waaaay out there

me and the esb

storm rolling in over brooklyn

central park

can you see me?

don’t worry, that’s most of the photos. i really wore myself down with that trip to the top of the rock. once i came down, i started to just walk up 5th ave. towards central park. along the way, i was asked 4 times (!) for directions. this may or may not have been (it was!) a highlight of my month, even though i didn’t help any of those people. i think i either looked like i knew where i was going, or i looked like the most approachable person in a giant sea of people. i have a feeling it was the latter, but if you think that maybe it’s possible i looked like a new yorker, feel free to share, you’ll be my favorite. also, here is an observation. i had heard a rumor that abercrombie and hollister were these crazy tourist destinations, and when i passed them, i saw through a haze of cologne that there were LINES to get in. what? why? what?

once i got to central park, the rain had stopped, there was greenery everywhere, and i could just walk around and people watch. i should have gotten a map and just sucked up the fact that i looked like a tourist because seriously. this place is like the size of a small national park, do people actually run around it for exercise? that seems a little insane to me. i mean, i got LOST at one point. in a park. in the middle of a city. so i sat down and ate a Magnolia cupcake while i sweat through my clothing. but it was still so delightful.

and then dinner with hannah. my lovely little hannah. words cannot express what an amazing time i had with her. did you know that you could be friends with someone for 6 months, then not see them for 4 years, and still just fall right back into how things were when you last saw them? you can. i think you have to survive things like leaving her in a barcelona airport overnight, and getting attacked by preteens in london in order for it to work, but it’s completely possible. i could have caught up with her all night. i think one of our conversations may have been about the right way to pronounce bagels, which is still making me giggle. now all i have to do is trick her into coming to visit minnesota, make her fall in love with a man who has the best minnesotan accent she’s ever heard, and we can be neighbors forever!

i went back to my hotel feeling sad to say goodbye and drank a glass of wine by myself in the hotel bar. (you should all learn how to do that by the way…have a drink or a meal by yourself. it’s maybe one of the most liberating things you’ll ever do.) then i went to bed so i could be ready to go for my big day of schlepping around the city again.

because i love you, and because you’ve probably stopped reading this far, i’m putting that day in its own part. there won’t be as many photos, but i will tell you all about my feelings on the subway system.

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i’m in new york!

hello there!

guess where i am?

did you guess new york? good guess! you are really smart.

yep, i’m¬†in the big apple, mostly for work, but also for FUN! i’ve¬†never been to new yor

k, so when i¬†found out that my next work trip was going to take me there, i¬†decided to take a vacation day and enjoy the city on my own time. i¬†wanted mr. z to come with, but he’s got this thing called a job, and also there’s the whole ticket prices for flights being ridiculous thing.¬†so that didn’t work out. but because he’s so nice,¬†he let me use all of his hilton¬†points¬†for my hotel. and he is not even staying with me. he gets those points by being gone from home¬†traveling for work, and he let me use them all. what a guy, huh? okay, done bragging about my awesome husband.

i’m the worst at taking “getting to new york” photos. but the cab driver was so talkative!

not a terrible view!

so i’m¬†here in new york, and i’m¬†super excited to just walk around and see as much as¬†i¬†possibly can while i’m¬†here.¬†when i¬†was in spain, and in uruguay, my favorite thing to do was just walk around and look at things.¬†if¬† i¬†had a coffee and a sandwich, i¬†could last all day in a city¬†doing that.¬†for me, there’s something about observing¬†life¬†in a different environment than¬†i’m¬†used to that just makes me happy. i¬†want to see¬†central park, 5th ave,¬†greenwich¬†village. i could probably just walk all the way down 5th ave and then turn around and come back¬†and be happy. it’s the simple things people.

the thing that i’m¬†probably the MOST excited for though, is seeing a friend of mine¬†that i¬†studied abroad with. we haven’t seen each other in 4 years,¬†and i¬†cannot wait to catch up and hang out again. she has always lived here in new york, except for that brief stint in iowa¬†city (good writing program….first question i¬†asked¬†her when we met too), so she gets to give me tips and¬†see how¬†little i¬†know about this place….like not knowing if it was right to call the part of the city where i’m¬†staying “midtown”. ugh,¬†honestly me, do some research. i¬†brought her some wedding photos to look at because she threatened me with death if i¬†didn’t (but seriously h., you better appreciate them, because uploading photos to print¬†is a biatch) and catching up with her is going to be the highlight of my time here. hear that new york city? she wins.

hopefully if i¬†don’t suck too terribly much at taking photos, i can have a pretty blog post¬†about my trip with pictures. we shall see.

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