Wednesday, June 30, 2010

3rd Anniversary

It's our 3rd anniversary today! As I mentioned a few days ago when commemorating my parents' 30th, the traditional gift for a 3rd anniversary is leather. If you need some ideas on how to interpret the tradition I have a few suggestions. . .

These beautiful equestrian style boots are by Frye, and can be found at the Frye website or at They are only around $400.00! I think they would be a perfectly reasonable anniversary gift. Sure, they would be worn only by me, but Justin thinks I look really good in expensive clothes and shoes, especially $400 boots, so it would benefit him as well.
If you want to get something that we would both really enjoy, this leather sectional is availabe from Crate and Barrel. It is only around$2,997.oo or something like that. It would work very well in our basement. Ok thanks! (I hope everyone knows me well enough to know that this is all a joke...)
Anyway, I'll take you back to that day in 2007. . .we don't look much different. I never had my dress preserved the archival way because I thought I would want to try it on on our anniversary, but for the 3rd year in a row we don't have it! It is in Justin's mom's basement in a closet in its bag from the cleaners.
This was taken at the farm. Alot of people complimented this photo on Facebook when it was first revealed, and we look fine, but I always notice that old light fixture behind us!

This is the wedding party. They were a great time! Thanks again, all of you!

I always liked this photo. It is easier to see in the larger version, but Michelle is giving me bunny ears.

There we are, getting married!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Born to Rock

Justin is nearing the end of the landscaping project. Last night he finished securing the fabric over the soil. This afternoon he brought home two loads of rock, borrowed the neighbor's wheelbarrow, and spread the rock! It looks so pristine and clean. I appologize for the photo being sideways. . .tilt your head to the left!

The flowers we planted over Memorial Day weekend one month ago are flourishing in the planters. I love this one! It is perfect for 4th of July!

I love bright geraniums!

These lillies are so beautiful! More blooms open every day and they smell very good! I sit on the front step at night just to smell them. You can even smell them when coming out the side door! The scent reminds me of our wedding because there were similar lillies in the bouquets.

I love the orange-y tones of this pot.

When I planted these Impatiens they were spindly little things. They have filled out quite a bit.

Marigolds never disappoint! They are huge in this pot! Well, I shouldn't say they never disappoint. . .I put some in the ground to fill in the flower bed in front of the house and they are not doing very well at all. They are not dead, but they aren't growing or blooming. Maybe the soil isn't the same as the "valley" soil I am accustomed to.

Once again, tilt your head to the left!

OK, last one, I promise!

The vegetable garden is doing OK. The potatoes, peas and carrots are flourishing. The onions look horrible and the leaves are flopped over. I pulled one out and it was soft and squishy. least we tried. The string beans that actually grew are doing well, but only about half of them grew! I thought beans would grow no matter what! The zucchini and cucumbers look small, but I've been told they really start to grow later in the summer. The tomatoes and peppers look fine, but of course they came from a greenhouse, already growing! I really don't enjoy weeding. I didn't mind weeding when I was growing up because the weeds were "field" weeds like mustard and marsh elders that were large and easily discernible. It is a huge pain to pull countless little blades of grass, dandelions, and this very annoying weed that grows out and not up and spreads over the ground. After being around farming for so long, it is hard for me to accept that there is not a chemical solution to this problem. I wish we could just spray it and be done with weeding! Unfortunately, there is no herbicide that won't kill all the vegetables. Come on, Monsanto, when will you invent a round-up ready garden assortment? An organic garden was never my goal...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Tomorrow, June 28th, is my parents' 30th anniversary. I looked up the "traditional" anniversary gift for a 30th. . .I have been mildly intrigued by the traditional gifts since I read the list in a calender when I was in elementary school. I thought the gifts were so strange, especially a gift of paper for a 1st anniversary and wood, wool, or various metals for later anniversaries. I looked up the gift for a 30th, and the website I found lists the "traditional" gift as pearls and the "modern" gift as diamonds. Well, sorry parents, you will have to settle for a chronological blog of scanned photos instead. . .

First, I must share this wedding photo. . .I'm glad that photography trends have changed since the 1970s and 80s. . .I have seen many other wedding photos like this in other relatives' wedding albums so I know there are many out there. It is pretty cheesy!

OK, I will go back to the late 1970's when these two became aquainted while attending NDSU. They were both members of Greek houses and met for the first time when Tim was a freshman and Cindy was a sophomore. My mom thought he and his buddies were kind of obnoxious. One day she was walking to her dorm after class and Tim pulled up next to her in a car and offered her a ride. She answere that her dorm was "right there", in their sight. At a later date she got a phone call from "Tim", or so she thought. . .she mentioned that he sounded different and the guy on the phone said "I have a cold". Tim was anxious about calling so the person on the phone on his behalf was actually one of his fraternity brothers. I can imagine my dad giggling in the background. That's very mature, guys. . .

They started dating after that. They both were majoring in engineering so they studied together, or so they said. . .

Yes, it appears they were very serious students. . .

I believe this photo was taken at Gale and Barb's (my uncle and aunt) wedding.

Awww, so nice. I don't know what was happening here, but they are wearing flowers so it must have been some occasion. I love the clothes. Mother, where are all of these lovely, now vintage clothes anyway?

Anyway, the college years continued and soon they were engaged!

This photo was taken at the rehearsal dinner.

Here are some wedding photos. . .

This is a photo of the groom with the ushers. The one with glasses is my uncle Tim, my mom's brother. The one on the right is Dad's cousin David and the other two are friends.

The typical manly groomsman pose. . .The groomsmen are my mom's brother Steve, Todd, a high school classmate, my uncle Gale, and David, a cousin. I love how David is wearing different shoes!

I don't really know why the bridesmaids were told to look down in that demure fashion. . .it is kind of dated, but then it was 30 years ago! The bridesmaids' dresses were sewn by my mom. I can't imagine such an undertaking! The two on the left are my mom's sisters, the one on the far left is my dad's sister Karen and the other is a friend.

The whole crew, minus ushers.
All done, time to party!
A few details about the party. . .

I scanned this page from my mom's wedding scrapbook. There was an announcement about the wedding in the local newspaper and they had a live band there! The handwriting says that there was a reception at the church, and an open house at my grandparents' house before the dance. I love those personalized cocktail napkins! I haven't seen those at a wedding for quite awhile!
After the wedding they moved to Iowa where Cindy put her degree to work at John Deere and Tim finished his degree at Iowa State. I don't really know the order the next photos should be. . .I am guessing based on the size of my dad's hair. . .the smaller it gets the later the year. . .

I think this picture might have been taken the weekend of my Aunt Kris's wedding

They had a few dogs in their early years. There was a black lab-ish dog that they found as a puppy and adopted that they called Dennis. The dog pictured above was named Bunting. He was a border collie who they adopted after his mother, a neigbor's dog, gave birth under a shrub in their yard. I think my mom might be pregnant in this photo but I'm not sure.

Awwww. . .their first child! It's me! I was born in April of 1983, followed by Andrea in January of 1985 and Peder in January of 1987. After we children entered the scene pictures of the two of them together became rare but I have a few. . .there are others but not that I have on my computer at the moment. I realized that I don't even have a professional photo of our family of 5 from my youth! We didn't have many taken to begin with and I don't have any of them scanned. The reason is that I think they are generally pretty bad and I don't like the way my hair looks in any of them.

This was taken on our family ski trip a few years ago at the top of the "Peak" at Big Sky before we started our annual descent.

Here they are at my wedding in 2007! (P.S. our anniversary is June 30, two days later! The traditional gift for the 3rd anniversary is leather and the modern gift is crystal! Hint hint! Haha just joking, the last thing we need is crystal!)

Here they are at the illustrious occasion of my being sworn in a licensed attorney after multiple bar exam attempts. Yay.
They have had a marriage filled with adventures. They never hesitated to live their own lives and moved far from "home" in thier early years and eventually to the Middle East while my dad was working as a petroleum engineer. They still like to travel and I wish I had some photos scanned from the many trips to Mexico with their friends over the years. There are still indications of those toga wearing engineering students! I'm sure they will have many more anniversaries filled with grandchildren and such, but for now all they have is a crazy, thrashing dog named Jake and cat named Allan who puts his toys on their bed whenever they visit our house. They are so lucky!
Happy "Pearl" Anniversary!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vegas, Jump On It Jump On It Jump On It!

My previously mentioned trip to Las Vegas has passed. I am going to share a few pictures, whether anyone else likes it or not!

We stayed at Bally's, which is a nice hotel and casino, although not the newest or most fancy. This is appealing because it also means it is cheap. It doesn't have a theme like many of the other hotels do, but it is affiliated with and connected to Paris, so if you want some cheeziness you can walk to Paris through a walkway that features a phony Parisien cobble-stone "street" lined with little shops. I stayed in a room with Andrea and Katie, my often mentioned sister and our cousin.

Here is a shot of the hotel.

This was taken when we were walking around the strip on Saturday. Notice that we are holding GAP bags. Yes, we travelled all the way to Las Vegas only to shop at the same boring store that we have in N.D. There was a good sale though!

I took this photo in the Bellagio. I love the whimsical balloons! The last and only time I was in Vegas before this trip was in the middle of December. The Bellagio had the most impressive Christmas decorations, so I am not suprised to see something like this there!
One night the whole group went to the "old strip", also known as Fremont Street. I was excited because I had never been to that part of the city before. We were trying to arrange our taxi transportation when my uncle Steve made arrangements for us and a large strech SUV limousine pulled up! It was pretty fun.
This is a photo of Fremont Street.

This photo was taken at the Egyptian and pyramid themed Luxor. We were comparing that statue to the way Andrea's dog Jake sits. Haha, we are so clever and touristy.

We had a few cocktails in our room every night to defray our costs. . .

On Sunday we spent the morning at an outlet mall. I love outlet mall shopping, and yes, I know that they stores generally just carry lower quality merchandise manufactured specifically for the outlet stores. I still think its fun. At one point I realized that most of what I bought was the same color and also the same color as the shirts I was wearing.

I took this photo with my "nightime" setting on my camera. It turned out OK!
I haven't yet mentioned that it was hot! Every day it was near or slightly over 100 degrees. It felt pretty good, actually. There is no humidity, and my hair was like the hair of a different person! The last time I was in Vegas it was cool and I wore a sweatshirt most of the time so it was fun to be able to use the swimming pool at the hotel. We spent a few hours there on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I used mass quantities of sunblock and avoided burning except for some angry red streaks on my chest where my swimming suit top shifted during the day and a big red blotch on my back, in the area I can't reach myself, where I tried to get by with only using the sunblock that comes in an aerosole can. (I have learned my lesson in the past that this product doesn't cut it for me but yet I tried again!)
Here we are, minus the grandmas and my aunt and uncle, Cindy and Steve, who live in Fresno, CA, and have their own pool and aren't impressed by the opportunity to drink (wayyyyy) overpriced drinks at a pool in 100+ heat. Notice my hair. If you have nothing better to do go back to my posts about my family's trip to Mexico in January and notice that it is almost three times the size in the humidity of MX! So crazy. . .
Truly, the heat wasn't prohibitive. Also, there are these misting sprinklers, similar to outdoor heaters that many restuarants and bars in colder climates have on their smoking patios.
On Sunday night we went to the theatrical version of Disney's "The Lion King". It was excellent. When the animated movie came out in 1994 it became an instant favorite movie of mine. I have it on dvd but haven't watched it for several years. As soon as the opening African chant started I was instantly enchanted the way I was the first time I saw the movie. It really is an intense story, if you think about it.
In middle and high school English classes, non-book loving students inevitably ask "Why do we have to read this? What good will reading this do me?" (not me, of course! Reading literature was one of my favorite parts of school!) I heard my own English teachers repeat often "This story has a universal theme." I hope everyone knows the plot of "The Lion King", where there is a favored brother (Mufasa) who is the king and the second in line brother (Scar). When Simba is born Scar realizes that his chances of being king are reduced so he orchstrates a plan to kill both Mufasa and Simba. Poor little Simba survives, unknown to Scar, but blames himself for his fathers death and is afraid to return home to claim his rightful place as the king. Meanwhile, while Simba is hiding from his problems, Scar is bringing ruin to the kingdom with his incompetence. Simba gets a wakeup call and comes to terms with his pain and returns to get revenge on Scar. Remember the theme from "MacBeth", that amibtion uncontrolled ambition (and especially murderous levels of ambition!) will lead to that person's downfall? The same thing happens to Scar. And of course, stories about favored brothers (and sisters) are rampant in literature, popular culture, and in biblical tales, as are stories of prodigal children who eventually return to face their challenges or shame. Although Disney movies always have lessons, The Lion King went beyond the usual princessy subject matter.
And of course, the music was so good! We had the cd back in the 1994. (I'm sure it is still at the farm and I must find it!) and hearing it again in the musical reminded me how much I liked most if it. I also had the piano book of the score. Hahaha. And the animals were so cute! Andrea and I had stuffed animals (she had Nala and I had Simba) and I still have it at the farm. Maybe I will change Allan's name to Simba. . .Hmmm. . .no. . .it is too dignified. . .
Aaaah. . .anyway the theatrical production was very good and I would recommend it. The costumes were unique and the portrayal of animals was creative. The singing was very good-these performers were definitely at the top of the Broadway world.
It was a good trip. I will close by stating that I hope I don't see a slot machine for a very long time and if I do I hope I don't have any cash in my possession at the time.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

100th Post!

When I logged in I realized that this is the 100th post since I started this blog. I wasn't prepared for this, so I don't have anything special prepared. No montage of my favorite posts. . .I've got other things on my mind because I'm going to Las Vegas tomorrow! I'm going with my mom, my aunt, my grandmothers, my aunt's mother in law, my sister and my cousin. I can't wait to spend a few days doing one of my favorite things. . .drinking near water with my sister and cousins. (Recall my multi-part Mexico account back in January?) For the last few days I have been calling texting Andrea and Katie and they have been calling and texting me. The subjects have been all about what clothes to bring, who is bringing a hairdryer for us to share in our room, and if anyone is bringing a nice dress or jeans (NO to the jeans. . .it is 100 degrees there every day there this time of year.)

In house related news, our garbage disposal broke. I think it might be our first typical house disaster (and it really wasn't a disaster at all). The disposal that was there was pretty old so Justin headed to Menards and came back with a new one! He installed it while I was out eating pizza with my law school classmate who was in town for a conference. Crisis averted! (Oh, what would happen if we couldn't wash food down the drain?? Oh wait. . .I spent the first 26 years of my life not being able to do that. . .I think it would have been OK!)

What a pretty little disposal! It is alot smaller than the old one so that means there is more room for crap under the kitchen sink! This will only encourage my shopping bag hoarding habit.

Justin finished hauling away the rock and split the hostas that were hiding under the ferns.

He added edging and yesterday I bought some perrennials and annuals to add to the flower bed.

I chose two Asiatic lilies, two other taller perennials called Phlox and three ground covering perennials called Dianthus Barbatus, commonly called Sweet William Dainthus. I also bought some really cheap Vinca and Begonias at Walmart to fill in the bed this year because it looks kind of sparse. I can't wait for those lilies to open.

The construction continues on the street. This photo was taken yesterday. We're trapped! Hahaha when I leave for Vegas I'm going to have to prance around the block pulling my suitcase!