Thursday, December 31, 2009



If you're a runner, I have to pass along this info... For Christmas, my sister and brother in law got me a new pair of running shoes that are the most amazing things ever!

I've been running in Adidas for years and years (well, only years as I'm not THAT old...) and I've been using, for the gym, the Bounce line of shoes for the past two years. They are always updating the shoes and so the Bounce shoes that I got for Christmas this year were one of the newer updates.

One of my favorite authors is Ray Bradbury. In his book, "Dandelion Wine", theres a line by a boy about his thoughts on new sneakers and comparing them to marshmallows... These Adidas Bounce shoes are marshmallows multiplied. My first run, I was just in awe as I didn't even feel my feet -- in a good way.

THEY ARE AMAZING! I LOVE THEM!!!!!!!!!!! If you run -- TRY THEM!

Another Trip back to MN!

Ok - must admit -- the one thing about my travelling for work is that sometimes I completely hate being stuck in one place for too long.. and by too long, thats usually about 3-4 days.

After having to take the rest of my vacation days at Christmas so I could use them up, I was getting kind of stir crazy. On top of that, some issues at one of my new accouts (well - re-new as we just won their business back) was calling me back to the land of 10,000 lakes!


Two days before new years eve, I signed up my friend Kim to take a trip with me into the great white north and off we went. We took our time driving up - lots of Starbucks stops and plenty of great conversation!

We stayed at the Renaissance hotel in downtown - its called The Depot. Its actually in the old Milwaukee Road train station depot. The rooms were great and we got in in time to watch a movie.

The morning took me over to my account - its calls like this that I think how much I LOVE my job! It was such an amazing call and totally paid for all the expense of going!

We meandered around St. Paul (Minneapolis is more of the industrial city whereas St Paul is the artsy, trendy side of the Cities - love it there!). I was kind of wanting to do something outside before we left as the Cities are supposed to be the winter outdoor sports capital of the U.S. It was pretty dog gone cold, though, and neither one of us came totally prepared.

Even the cold doesn't stop a good Minnesotan! They were out ice skating and running around and -- BIKING! There was snow coming down and accumulated and slushing all over the streets and those bikers were speeding around on their bikes. I respect them, but I was quite happy slushing around in my Wellies!

We went back that night - got back about midnight so we were home for New Years Eve.

Thanks for going with me, Kim! Had a blast!

Pictures are of The Depot where we stayed and a theatre in St Paul... No longer just Lutherans! :)

The First Great Northern Snow!

The week before Christmas, my friend Suzanne and I drove to beautiful Iowa to help some other friends, who had just moved, with some painting that they needed done.
That was the weekend and then Monday, I rented a car from Iowa and drove (4 hours through some newly falling snow in a HUGE Lincoln Town Car -- it was the only car that was available - ugh!) up to Minneapolis for work.
Once I had finished on Tuesday with my work in the Cities, I drove up to Duluth to do some more work. Because my BFF ( :)) from college lives in Grand Rapids, MN, about 2 hours west of Duluth, she was able to find someone to watch the kids and drove over to have a sleep over! SO MUCH FUN! We stayed at this lodge place that I had gotten an awesome rate at and we went out to eat at this snooty place that didn't feed us enough and what they did feed us was extremely strange... We went back to the lodge and got to hang out at the pool and the whirlpool and we acted like complete goofs... like we always are when we're together. Its not unusual for Mel's kids and husband to look at us like we have two heads - a piece... It was just plain fun.

We were a little "worried" that we would get snowed in the next day as the snow had started coming down quite quickly and the winds were blowing. But, when we woke up, the snow was still swirling and the winds were blowing but nothing too great. The waves in Superior were horrible - must have at least been 10-12 foot waves but the ships were still coming in and out. As my brother says - "Edmund Fitzgerald wanna-be's".
Love ya Mel and miss you!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

At the end of this year - be thankful!

I decided to start this blog for two reasons....

The FIRST reason being that I used to be an avid journalist - dozens of those wonderful books are packed in my storage unit and there are even a few stacked by my bedside - now gathering dust. With the accumulation of life and time, this is one thing that ended up by the wayside. This is one passion that I've followed since college when my campus mom gave me a journal as a Christmas gift and told me that I had so much going on in my head that she wanted to see me put it all down on paper and record what all that stuff was and where my life would take me. I look back at all those books and I see the passage of time and where God has brought me and what he's done - I'm amazed and intrigued. I think anyone's life is this progressive story of change and molding and wonderfulness.

I had so many times in the past years where I've picked the pen back up and then sat looking dumbly at the blank page, only to drop my pen and pick up a book of someone's else's life. Too tired and - I guess I just didn't care anymore.

When dad passed away in October, I went through all these emotions and one day, I once again picked up the pen, determined to record where my thoughts were and how I was reacting to what had happened. I was SO faithful -- for two days...

Now I'm putting myself into accountability. When people are expecting something of me, I'm much more likely to deliver. So now - I'm delivering -- and hopefully it will last.

The SECOND reason is due to a comment that was made last week that reflects a lot of comments that are made to me. I was working with a rep in Richmond and he had spent the good portion of the day in stories to me and his customers about the holidays with his wife and how his three daughters were challenging him as three daughters will do. At the end of the day, we were walking down to a meeting and he asked me if I was married to which I responded "no" and to which he then replied "how did you win the lottery on that one?!"

I admit that I get to do so many amazing things with my time and my life and I know that I'm truly blessed and I am so thankful. I think most people look at what opportunities I have and are a little, shall we say, jealous. I must also admit that after, somewhere around 9 years of doing with my life what I am doing with my life, it has become a little redundant and boring sometimes. I know that sounds crazy, but true it is.

The picture I attached with this post is a picture of me. Its me doing something that I love to do in the time that I have between travelling and work and church and family, its something my dad loved to do and something that he bequeathed to me when he bought me a little pair of cross country skis that strapped onto my little boots with little handmade bamboo poles. I love being out in the snow, especially a new fall of snow, with nothing but me, the swoosh of my skis and the crunch as my poles hit the ground. Its quiet and it gives me time to just be inside my head with no demands but getting up the next hill. The picture is of me cross country skiing, but I don't usually have the luxury of having someone with me to take a picture of me (which I don't terribly mind as I don't necessarily love being IN pictures). So, I'm usually taking some creative picture of my shadow or just going for a straight landscape picture, or just lazy enough to not even take pictures.

So - enjoy a year in my life. Snapshots of a beach or of a shadow of me on the beach...

And while you're enjoying those pictures and longingly looking at the weeks that I get to be in warm Florida (for work) while you're buried in snow in Chicago... remember to be thankful. Be thankful for your families and your demands and all that God has in your life. Just like I try to remember to be thankful for my opportunities and for the job that I have and the chance I get to share so much with so many people. The gift is not where you are, but the gift that God gives you is the thankfulness to be where you are and see it as God's gift for your life and for others. I know that everything my dad did in life and all that he gave to us and did for us, it doesn't matter now except what benefitted and glorified God. Thats all he cares about and all God cares about. Use where God has you and see the green on your side of the fence... because I can tell you, its not always green on the other side!

Merry Christmas and happy new year wherever God has you and whoever He has you with!