Chance Chat #44: Wild vs. Precious

Happy Post – Halloween! I had no intentions of going out last night. I went out in Uptown in 2010, and NEVER AGAIN. It was crowded and annoying, and I had no intentions of recreating the experience. Not even in a different part of the metro.

Wild and Precious

While life is wild, I’d rather not be wild on Halloween. My life is precious. I’d rather visit with good friends than be out with a thousand strangers. This photo is thanks to my friend Mindy. She posted it on her blog 364 days ago. I didn’t chose this photo for my Chance Chat because of the date, I only realized it when I went to link to her.

My friends are precious to me. Especially friends that I’ve met through things not related to growing up. It’s well established that I love my hometown. But when I can meet someone who has grown up in a completely different area, and we can still find something to connect on, it is so powerful.

I alternate between being wild/crazy and precious/boring. While in Stillwater my friends teased me for not wanting to go out on Saturday night. Of course I ended up getting maybe 4 hours of sleep. You never know what you’re going to get. Take the time to be wild, while also taking the time to care for yourself. You’re precious. There is only one of you. No one can recreate the specialness that is you.


October 2015 Recap

My favorite month of the year FLEW by! I definitely made the most out of it, but I’m not ready for snow and cold, I need more outside time.

I started October with asking about bedding options.

Trina Turk

Not many people voted for my choice, but I”ll be posting a “house” (studio) tour soon! You can also read about why I’m Buying a Microwave. Although to be honest, I still haven’t actually bought it yet.

Finishers Beer I completed the Twin Cities 10 Miler, and have bought new running shoes, but I haven’t gone for a run in my new neighborhood yet. I’ve gone on plenty of walks though!

MBA Homework

I posted an MBA update, and have completed my first class! Now its on to Financial Accounting, which….is not my favorite subject. Give me Managerial Accounting any day!

Garrison Flag Half Staff

I’ve experienced a lot of loss in 2015, so much so that I asked someone the other day if it can just be 2016 already. With only 60 days of the year left, I think I’m going to make it. But it is time to start thinking about New Years Resolutions! (I know, I start thinking about them well before other people do).

Even with the sadness, there is a lot to be thankful for, so bring on November!

Stillwater Weekend 2015

I’ve traveled to Stillwater for Girls Weekends before, but this time might have been the best time! Friday evening we went to Maple Island Brewing for beer, popcorn and live music.

Maple Island Brewery Stillwater MN

We didn’t wait for an invitation from the guitarist before we started singing along. ….We also weren’t shy and went back on Saturday afternoon. My favorite was the 2 Headed Goose, it is made with sourdough pretzels somehow and apparently was available at the State Fair!

Northern Vineyard Stillwater MN

While it wasn’t all liquid purchases, pictures of shopping aren’t all that fun. Mid afternoon we stopped at Northern Vineyard for a $5 tasting and it was a great quick sample of what they have to offer! I’m not a huge fan of Minnesota wine, but I do thank the U of M for figuring out how to grow some grapes up here!

Stillwater Olive Oil Company

I did get to go to the store I was most excited about. The OLIVE OIL COMPANY! The last time I went I bought white truffle oil, and after sampling both I decided to go with the black truffle oil this time. I cannot wait to make all my veggies taste a million times more delicious.

Stillwater MN Sunset

After shopping I made a point to catch the sunset at the river. There were multiple times during the day where I had doubled over in laughter. I feel so #blessed (I know, I know) for the friendships I have, and the ability to take a weekend off of every day responsibilities and just go with the flow (yes, I can do it every now and then).

I didn’t get a chance to eat at Dock Cafe (see Jennifer’s suggestion) so that will have to be saved for next time!

What’s your favorite thing to do in Stillwater?

Aitkin, Always.


Aitkin High School

As I drove home Thursday evening I was passed by an Illinois Police SUV. I knew exactly where they were going. It rained all day, which was appropriate. It matched the feeling of the community.

Aitkin High School Auditorium

I sat in the auditorium, the same auditorium where I last saw the Sandberg family. Then it was for the Miss Aitkin Pageant, Friday it was a reason none of us knew was coming.  The stage was filled with the fall community play. And a screen, with perfect audio. So all of us were able to be a part of the funeral service happening down the hall in the “New Gym”. (note, this photo was taken at 9 am, well before the service started at 11.)

Aitkin County Road

I missed the weekend where the road I live on is full of beautiful color. The last time I was home it was still mostly green. Now its branches and leaves cover the road. Things are always changing, but Aitkin will always be my home.

Chance Chat #43: Early

My 13 year old self is shocked. I’m an early riser. In the last few weeks I’ve realized that I like my mornings best if they can go at a leisurely pace. Coffee is of course mandatory. usually just one cup, but on the weekends I can be convinced to have an extra cup, or two.

Early Riser

The last week has been hard not being in Aitkin. I know moving, taking this job, and starting the MBA program has been a good choice. But it requires a lot of attention to detail. I’m thankful that I was given a few vacation days and was able to use one without notice.

While I’m fairly certain that I’m already living, I know that the slow, quiet time in the morning is important for my day.

What’s important for you to do in order to enjoy your day?

Why I’m Getting a Microwave…

Confession, I had this lofty goal of not buying a microwave for my apartment. I was fairly certain I could re-heat what I wanted in the oven, or on the stove top. All it took was cooking a frozen pizza to change my mind.

studio apartment oven

My pizza wasn’t even half cooked before the fire alarm started chirping. So I opened all the windows, still chirping.

So I started fanning it with the door. Still chirping.

So I turned on the overhead fan. Still chirping.

So I googled “how to disable fire alarm”. Still chirping. And now I am reminded how serious home fires are.

So I took out the battery of the fire alarm (just for the night). And confessed to my best friend that she was right, I’m buying a microwave.

Pizza was cold by the time I could eat it, but at least nothing burned?

frozen pizza first apartment meal

I really wish I had a microwave to warm up this pizza…

And now the first step on every recipe is “remove battery from the fire alarm”.

And all the other people living in my complex know what time I had dinner.

Saturday’s Sunset

Fall has always been my favorite season, but with work, school, move I haven’t been able to dedicate too much time to enjoy it. Thankfully on Saturday evening I was able to slow down and enjoy a beautiful sunset.

Sunset Selfie

I parked at the same spot I usually do, the last time I was there was probably June, I was unemployed, I hadn’t been accepted to the MBA program, and I had no idea where I would be sleeping in October.

sunset through trees

The above photo was a much prettier photo in person, but I still kind of like how messy it is. These were all taken with my iPhone, I have a slightly better camera, but didn’t even pack it when I was moving. My “electronics” portion of the closet is so messy and disorganized I didn’t want to deal with packing it.

leaves over lake


I thankfully got back to my car before dark. As I was walking I realized the running path isn’t lighted, and I’m not sure how safe it is so close to uptown later at night. I suppose it kind of depends on the person.
trees lake sunset

How are you soaking up this beautiful fall weather? Are you getting outside with as few layers as possible while you still can?

Chance Chat #42: Let Things Go

Last week I somewhat disagreed, and this week I’m disagreeing again.

Let the dead things go

I love fall, I love the beautiful colors. I agree it is lovely to let things go. Unburden ourselves. Quit carrying pain that only drags us down. However, when it comes to dead things. Especially loved ones who have passed away, there isn’t really a letting go. People touch our lives, change our lives, and just because they aren’t around anymore doesn’t mean they should be let go. By all means don’t cling to the past and ignore the present or future. But remember those people and recognize how they have helped shaped your present and future.

My godfather passed away this summer. And I wasn’t able to have dinner with him the week before. Now I would love to have dinner with him. I’d love to tell him about my new job, and I’d love to know what he thinks about it. Thankfully there is a new branch of his former bank near my apartment. Every time I see it my mind is flooded with memories of him and the city of Deerwood.

So while these fall colors are lovely, and yes it is wonderful to let go of things that are holding us down, not all dead things should be let go. Some things need to stay with us.

What have you chosen not to let go of?

Charm/Beauty vs. Laughter (or Faith and Family)

Thursday evening I headed home. It isn’t fun to visit family when you are visiting due to someone’s passing. But it is good to see everyone, and give and receive plenty of hugs.

Plus, there is something very comforting about the religious rituals. I loved this passage which was read at my Aunt’s service.

Proverbs 31:25-31New International Version (NIV)

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Miss Aitkin

There are definitely more people who are more religious than me. But the verse “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting;” is so important to remember. Also “laugh at the days to come”. I can’t think of a better thing to bring more of into a life.

What phrases or verses have spoken to you recently?

Chance Chat #41: Extra Ordinary vs Extraordinary

I do agree with today’s statement….but I need to break it down. And due to the type size from Pinterest, I had the fill as a “full” size instead of “medium” I hope it reads okay for you!  (let me know if there are issues).


Extra Ordinary Extraordinary

I need this reminder. With everything changing in the last….5 months? It has been hard to keep up. But I manage. The idea that I am “extraordinary” is hard. While I believe every is different and everyone has unique qualities, I believe that “extraordinary” is a word that should be saved for a select few people of each generation. Steve Jobs, extraordinary. Mark Zuckerberg, extraordinary. Me? ordinary. Extra ordinary. As in there is nothing that is above and beyond anyone else. And this is not fishing for compliments. I think everyone is great. I am so thankful for the recent changes. I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’m learning how to deal with change and uncertainty. I have faith that it will all work out. I’d like certain things to start moving at a faster pace, but I also can acknowledge that God is giving me what I can handle. And I don’t need to add extra things to the list.

What is your definition for extraordinary?