Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Running Girl

This past week Saturday our family went to Harriet Island to take part in an event called Time to Fly, which benefits the Children's Cancer Research Fund. Lindsey had been talking about wanting to do some runs after cheering him on for his half-marathon in May, so he signed her up for the 1K family fun run at Time to Fly.

We barely made it there in time, due to a late departure from our house and a refusal on the 3 year-old's behalf to get dressed. On the way we went through rain, some of it light, some of it a downpour, and Lindsey expressed concern about running in a heavy rain. (Flash back to last year's hail incident.) We re-assured her that if it was too rainy she wouldn't have to do it, but when we parked the car it was just letting up. Eventually we made it there and happily the event was a little late getting started. We had just enough time for Lindsey to get her number, her goodie bag, throw her sweatshirt (and blankie) at me and they were off.

By the way, how many other runners do you know have to hand their blankies to their mom when they go to do a run? Anyways...

1K is about two-thirds of a mile, and she and Wayne ran the entire thing -- she didn't stop once. At the end she got a medal and a prize of a Barbie kite, and she was beaming from ear to ear.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Photos from my Work Photo Shoot

Those of you who are Facebook friends of mine know that a while ago we had a photo shoot at my work. They asked us all to dress up as we would to a client visit, had us sign up for 20-minute time slots, ("20 minutes?" we all thought, "Who needs 20 minutes?") I was thinking simple, boring face shots.

Little did I know.

The goal of the photos is to show the personality of the people at our company. Who are all really fun, by the way, I wouldn't be going on my 14th year there if it wasn't full of fun people. They had people doing some or all of the following: 1) singing 2)playacting 3) pretending to be linebackers 4) jumping 5)rolling up their sleeves Good Fellas style.

This week they gave all of us our own photos to do with as we wish, and I've picked a few select ones here to share with you all.
They took 103 photos of me in approximately a 10 minute photo shoot, or approximately 17 photos per minute. Crazy!

Monday, June 22, 2009

St Louis Park Parktacular

We went to the St Louis Park Parktacular this weekend, that city's festival. The highlight had to be the non-rides, like this activity.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Now Infamous Green Paint Incident

Proof that my idea of "supervising" and my husband's idea of "supervising" are on different planets.

Note how Marissa's hair sticks straight up from all the paint.

Summer Thunderstorm

We've been promised some significant thunderstorms over the last couple of days, but nothing's really come through, at least to our house. But last night we did get to see quite a storm brewing on the horizon. It was far enough away that you couldn't hear the thunder, it never rained here, but the lightning in the clouds was unbelievable. The lightning was so constant that I took a few pictures with my camera, I was guaranteed to catch some kind of light of some kind, no matter when the shutter flew.

So here are a few pics of that thundercloud, taken at 10:30 pm at night. Normally it's pitch black out.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Family Tales

Video from this past weekend of the Horsman clan telling tales of the care they took of the animals back in their farming days.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Whole Foods/Lunds Experience

I am usually a Rainbow/Cub Foods kind of gal -- lots of choices, low prices, and I actually prefer bagging my own groceries. At least I'll never put a jar of peanut butter on top of a loaf of bread.

Yesterday I had to run out to get a couple of quick items, and while the Lund's is closest to our house, with the Edina Art Fair closing down all the streets I decided to travel north instead to a Whole Foods on the outskirts of Uptown. I'd never been to a Whole Foods before and it made for an interesting experience. So I thought I'd do a little contrast/comparison, and we'll see who of the two (if either) wins the battle.

Lund's: My little Civic looks out of place compared to all the BMW's, Lexus' and Mercedes.
Whole Foods: My Civic looks out of place compared to all the Toyota Prius' and Smart Cars, but at least it's closer in size.

Dress Code:
Lund's: NEVER go to Lund's without make up. Ever. Wear real clothes; business suit preferred, heels no less than 2 inches.
Whole Foods: NEVER go to Whole Foods wearing make up. God forbid you have product in your hair too, or wear obviously dyed clothing. Only natural fibers allowed, hemp preferred.

Meat counter:
Lund's: Huh, who knew that you could purchase salmon right out of the sea, already marinated with a timer shoved into the flesh for easy grilling? No charring those babies! And look, aged, dry rubbed tenderloin for $33/lb.
Whole Foods: Organically farmed tenderloin only, also $33/lb. No salmon, they're overfished, don't you know?

Dairy selection:
Lund's: I can't find the regular milk for all of the Lund's branded regular milk for $3.99/gal.
Whole Foods: I can't find the regular milk for all the organic milk selections for $3.99/half gal.
(PS: I buy milk from Costco for $1.65/gal, for those of you who don't know how much milk costs)

Reading material at the check out:
Lund's: Food&Wine, Bon Appetit, and aahhh! People Weekly, eye candy while I wait.
Whole Foods: Cooking Light, Natural Home, Runner's World (Runner's World?? Seriously??)

Checking out:
Lund's: Please let me have purchased so little that they don't want to accompany me out to the car. Please please please...it's so uncomfortable having someone walk behind me rolling my two pathetic grocery bags and two gallons of milk.
Whole Foods: Oops, didn't bring my own bag, shame on me. I'm too embarrassed to tell them I actually need paper or plastic, so I'll just shove this stuff in my huge tote purse and pretend it's not too heavy.

Overall price:
Lund's: Three produce items cost $28.
Whole Foods: Two dairy products cost $28.

Yep, back to Rainbow/Cub for me.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Eating Habits

I often think of my kids as not being the best eaters. They are picky, eat very little at dinner, or want snacks all the time. My extended family has commented on how they have a hard time just sitting at a table to eat and often wander off in the middle of a meal, only to randomly come back and clean their plates in 10-15 minutes. (Thanks for the feedback, by the way, always appreciated!) But in some regards, they are phenomenal eaters, and for that I'm very lucky.

Take yesterday, for instance.

Typically I am in charge of dinner at our house. This makes our dinner hour pretty late, since I don't leave work until 5:30 (or something a little later), arrive home around 6:00 and then get to rush around and make something and try to get it served by 7:00. Last night was no exception.

In the meantime, the little ones are hungry (shocker) and want something to snack on.

"Mommy, can I have some strawberries?" asks Lindsey.

"Me too! Me too!" says Marissa.

Sure, why not. So I clean some fresh strawberries and hand them both a little bowl. Followed by another small bowl. And then...a different request.

"Mommy, can I have some green beans?" asks Lindsey.

"Me too! Me too!" says Marissa.

Sigh...okay, if you must. So I clean up some fresh green beans, trim the ends and hand them both a bowl.

By this time dinner is nearly ready. Lindsey finishes her bowl of green beans and Marissa brings hers to the table.

They look at what I made: chicken taco rice casserole.

Lindsey's eyes grow wide and she says, "Yummmm!" and licks her lips and rubs her tummy in a dramatic fashion.

She proceeds to eat two full servings and Marissa actually ate an entire serving too. I didn't actually expect them to eat dinner after filling up on strawberries and green beans.

Sometimes they don't eat the dinner at all, but they are okay with that because they had healthy snacks. And I would feel like a bad mom if I told them they couldn't have fresh vegetables and fruit because it would ruin their dinner of canned and artificially preserved foods that I threw into a casserole.

So I guess my kids are actually phenomenal eaters, and we're pretty lucky parents for that.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

She's a Keeper

We've told our kids various tales about the gypsies. You know, that band of traveling musicians who come to town and steal your kids in the middle of the night. We've heard they especially like to steal the ones who won't brush their teeth, listen to their mommies and daddies or eat their dinner.

Of late we've relegated these tales to simply telling our kids that if the gypsies come and ask us if we have any little kids to give them, that we don't and we plan to keep our kids.

This morning I was saying good-bye to Marissa at KinderCare. I gave her a big hug and said, "I love you, Marissa. I think I'll keep ya."

She looks me very seriously in the eye and says, "Mommy, you have to keep me for a loooong time."

"Really?" I gasp. "Like...until tomorrow?"

"No," she says, "Until I'm all growed up."

"Okay," I said, "That sounds good to me."

It does. And then some.

Again...why is this guy in the news??


Why is anyone paying attention to what Dick Cheney has to say right now? He isn't in any kind of office; he's a private citizen in no position to make any lasting changes to US policy...except for his loud mouth.

I don't understand why the media continues to give him a platform to spout his message.

And while I agree with half of what he's saying here (people should be free to enter into any kind of union they wish), I disagree with the other half (it's up to the states to govern that).

Sure would suck to move across state lines and have your marriage annulled because the state you moved to decided not to recognize it.

But back to my first point -- why does anyone care what he has to say on this??

Monday, June 01, 2009

Retail "Recovery" Shifting Focus?

On Saturday Lindsey and I decided to run a few errands. We really needed some new craft supplies in our house, so she helped me make a list and we went to the store. First Wayne asked us to go to a local running store to pick him up some things.

Our first stop was Marathon Sports -- the store is a little tiny space in our neighborhood. The minute you walk in someone asks how they can help you, and there's everything you could possibly need for successful running: athletic shoes, performance gels/bars, socks, water holders, apparel, etc. But all just running, not a huge square food warehouse.

As we were leaving I noticed that on the corner across the street a new little coffee shop had opened called Dragonfly Coffee. We decided to stop by and check it out -- lucky us, today was their grand opening! Spoke to the owner who was working the counter, things were a little disorganized but you could feel the excitement and nervousness from the staff. I hope it does well. He named it Dragonfly Coffee after his grandmother who loved dragonflies and also owned a restaurant with dragonfly somewhere in the name. Pretty cool.

Then off to our next task: craft supplies. For this our next stop was Michael's, a chain of craft and hobby supplies. It's a large store located in what used to be called the Circuit City Plaza. I say "used to" because while the store hasn't moved, the plaza is currently unnamed since Circuit City went out of business and took their name with it. It was surrounded by shuttered stores on all sides: Circuit City, CompUSA and Cost Plus World Market.

There was only one other store of this entire complex that was still operating, and that was OfficeMax. Heard they aren't doing so hot, either.

All of the shuttered stores had for sale or lease signs on them, advertising the square footage available, usually somewhere around 22,000 to 27,000 sq ft.

The two stores that I had come from that were still in business (or at least just starting their business) had to have less than 2,000 sq ft.

Hmmm...is the big box era over, to be replaced by little local retailers? Wouldn't that be an awesome side effect of this economic downturn, if that were indeed the case?


About four weeks ago, Wayne was goaded into training for a half-marathon. Actually, he wasn't really goaded, he just got a little tipsy at a birthday party (adults only, no kids, thank you very much), started talking smack with some friends who have run half and full marathons and before I knew it he was signing up Saturday morning online for a half-marathon. Apparently he didn't have enough to drink to forget that he'd agreed to train for one.

But he'd been talking about it anyway so it wasn't that much of a stretch for him to actually sign up. Only thing was...the one he signed up for was only four weeks away.

It was yesterday, actually, and here's how he did:

overall place: 260 out of 2246 (top 11%)
division place: 24 out of 89 (refers to the age bracket, but politely)
gender place: 181 out of 821
time: 1:44:55
pace: 8:01

He wanted to run at an 8:00 pace, and he did. I can't tell you how proud of him I am that he did this, he really worked hard.

The girls and I got up extra early on Sunday to cheer him on. The race began at 7:00 and Lindsey popped out of bed at 6:50, ran into our room and jumped on our bed. She immediately asked, "Where's Daddy?" I told her he had already left and that the race was starting in 10 minutes. She gasped and said, "But I'm not even dressed!" But that was okay, God knows he was going to be running long enough that we'd get to see him.

Our good friends (the ones who talked him into this in the first place) also got their entire family up this early as well to cheer him on from the sidelines.

We're very proud of him!