Friday, May 29, 2009

Gateway diaries, part 3

Wrapping up this little nostalgic series...

That's me.
Five years ago.
On a dock in northern Minnesota.
Reading a book at sunset.
Absentmindedly fishing.

Excuse the messy hair. I needed to share this with you, because that very moment is what I think of when I hear the word "vacation."


Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gateway diaries, part 2

This week, I'm in Florida, on vacation at a beach we've been going to for 23 years. It never, ever gets old, and every year, I take hundreds of pictures of the sunsets, as if I'll never see another for the rest of my life. They take my breath away, every time.

Here are a few shots from past years (again, from my old hard drive, taken with a little baby point and shoot):

I'm starting to realize I have a sort of strange obsession with feet (there were tons more footsie-tootsie pictures where this one came from!):

An almost-silhouette of my bride-to-be sister, Anna:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Gateway diaries, part 1

Happy Memorial Day! I hope you're celebrating with a giant watermelon, parade-watching, hotdogs, and sparklers!

Now, on to some very important business: Does anyone own a Gateway computer anymore? Remember the "Gateway country" stores with the cow-spotted boxes? My very first computer was a middle-of-the-line Gateway laptop, given to me in 2003 as a graduation gift. Apple wasn't too big back then, I didn't really like Dell (for purely superficial marketing reasons), and hey, I liked the cow-spotted box that Gateway computers were shipped in ;) Unfortunately, shortly after buying my pretty little laptop, Gateway started going out of business... which is why, six years later, replacement batteries for their laptops now cost a fortune, and which is also why I'm now tethered to the wall with an electric cord. Hindsight is, for sure, 20/20.

These pictures (and the ones to follow this week) are straight from the hard drive of my clunky Gateway. They were taken with a 4.1 megapixel point and shoot. Classic!

My baby sister and brother, from six years ago:

Too precious! :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

The proverbial light at the end of the tunnel...

Hello bloggy friends :)

Can I be honest with you? This week has been rather miserable. We may have discovered something in our house-to-be that would render it, well, not our house-to-be. A deal-breaker, if you will. Plus, I've been sick, sick, sick, and it hasn't been pretty. My brain keeps telling the rest of myself, "Hellooo! Anybody home?! You should be exercising and grocery shopping and finishing your to-do lists and such!" And then, I have to patiently sit down, and say to my brain, "Mrs. Brain, thank you for your input, but the rest of me is a bit run down right now. Your patience is appreciated. Now, be quiet."

So, you may ask, why are my coffee beans smiling at you?

...Because they know that tonight, we leave for a week-long Florida vacation! Marty and I are making the 18+ hour drive down to the Sunshine State, and I can't wait to show you all the photos I plan on taking of our pretty (and pretty quirky) country as we drive through it!

While I'm away, I've got a few small posts lined up... And when I get back, I've got a rockin' senior shoot to share with you, and of course, the pictures from our trip.

So, have a superb, work-free Memorial Day weekend :) Eat lots of summery-food, and enjoy the sunshine!

**Just realized that, in this one post, I've assigned intelligent thought to coffee beans and given my brain a mind of its own. {Well, even though it has one already...?} Ach. I'm not sure that one week of vacation is going to do the trick.**

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Erin and Michelle : Seniors!

Meet Erin:

And meet Michelle:

These two high school seniors are beautiful, inside and out. I can't even begin to tell you all the things I've learned from them over the years. When I got married, they were right there for me, ready to help wherever I needed them to. Michelle is artistic, thoughtful, quietly beautiful, and has this quirky sense of humor that sends her sisters into hysterics. Erin is outgoing, hilarious, loves to laugh, the social butterfly, quick witted, and a great hugger. But they're still twins... which means they can finish each other's sentences and know exactly what the other is thinking. (Don't try to play charades with them. You will lose. Badly.)

Click here to see their slideshow!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Things I've learned...

Top 10 things I've learned this week:

#10 - Buying a home is a full-time job, on top of your already full-time job. No one really tells you this beforehand.
#9 - Sunny days should not be wasted behind a computer, if at all possible.
#8 - In light of eternity, my "bad day" isn't all that significant. (See here)
#7 - Always give people the benefit of the doubt.
#6 - People should trump to-do list. Always.
#5 - I'm terribly afraid of violent storms. (I rediscovered this on Wednesday night, while at the gym during a monsoon.)
#4 - Bad, poopy cat smell can be removed from a fully-saturated house via many methods: bowls of vinegar; a combination of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap; essential oils; bleach; new paint; etc. (You really don't want to know why this is significant.)
#3 - The Chicago Blackhawks are amazing.
#2 - I get a thrill from watching my brothers and sister play soccer. Sitting at the park, grass between your toes, sun on your back... nothing better!
#1 - My husband (who, in my opinion, has impeccable taste in music) has Hilary Duff's entire Metamorphosis album in his iTunes library. And I have no idea why.

I'll leave you with a shot of my most recently-obtained second shooter...

Have a lovely weekend :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Margi and J : Married!

May I share with you a very special wedding?

This is my aunt's wedding dress:

This is my aunt:

Beautiful, isn't she?

And since everyone knows I'm a sucker for a hot pair of shoes...

Meet Margi and J.

This is typical: J laughs, and Aunt Margi tries really hard not to :)

More of J's personality: with the best man. Hilarious!

My aunt's only request? A dip picture:

The staff at the reception location absolutely loved J and Margi:

This series makes me smile :) Being announced as Mr. and Mrs.!

The venue was built around a real, live tree. Fairytale-esque, isn't it?

And finally, some photogs-in-action shots:

Gotta love the 70-200!

I caught Marty chimping :)

Good buddies, probably because they share the same name: Uncle Martin and Marty!
I wish you could hear Uncle M's Irish brogue. It's fantastic :)

Bad day? I think not.

I thought I was having a bad day today.

I dragged myself out of bed, after a restless night of sleep.
I woke up late, so I was grumpy and rushed.
I stood in front of my closet, complaining, griping, and being generally unpleasant.
I grabbed a banana from my husband's outstretched hand and raced out the door.
A rock lodged itself in my sandal, making my walk to work completely unpleasant (never mind the chirping birds and golden sunshine).

This morning, I was particularly rotten.

And then, somehow, on a break at work, I found my way here.

As I formatted documents and shuffled through papers at my desk, I listened to Rachel Barkey talk about what it's like to know that you probably have less than 150 days to live.

And suddenly, I felt very, very foolish.

And very, very grateful.

Life is too short for me, or you, to be distracted by self-absorption or the morning grumpies...

If you have a few spare moments, click here to see Rachel's video. Watch it. Be challenged.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mommy Day love!

Did you hug your mom today? (Verbal hugs count too, if you're too far away for the real thing...)

I am blessed with two lovely mothers: one biological, and one recently inherited. They're both an example, each in their own way, of incredible self-sacrifice and love.

So, what do you do to honor mom on her special day? Mow the grass, of course.

I'm back from my blogging hiatus (I think). Life is busy, but since it probably won't slow down until I'm 80... carpe diem, eh? :)

Up next in the days to come: a wedding post, two senior session posts, and an update on our house-hunt. (For now... We think we found "the one." Let's hope our mortgage broker feels the same way.)

From one of the senior sessions:

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Adventures in house hunting #2

Hello bloggy friends :)

I sincerely apologize for the lack of quality blog posts as of late; I've been unable to comment on your blogs, too, which makes me sad! Things have been a bit wacky-loco in the G-fam household lately. We've morphed into full-time house hunters for the past few weeks, and have had our hearts broken more than a few times. (Ok, let me rephrase that. My heart gets broken. Marty, the eternal optimist, shrugs his shoulders and moves on brilliantly.)

We've currently got our eyes trained on an ivy-laden cape cod. It used to be a gorgeous house... until the renters let their sixty cats run wild in it for a couple of years. {That's our best guess at why this poor house got to be such a smelly pickle.} However, the owners have dropped the price, and are refinishing floors, repainting walls, and installing new gizmos and gadgets... So, we're dragging my dad (i.e., Professional Plumber) over to the house tonight to see what can be done. {Hey Dad, you won't believe it. We found a house, and the roof isn't even caving in! My poor father...}

There's a good chance that the bank won't accept our offer, or that some savvy fellow will snatch it up before we get our bid in, or that our parents will instill some reality into our heads before we can make an offer ("broken toilets? cat smell? what are you thinking?!").

However, I can confidently say, Been there, done that. So maybe this time, I'll be more prepared if everything falls through. {Or, um, maybe this time it won't... I'll keep you all posted, regardless!}

And, because a post is never any fun without a picture:

Remember this? I took this picture three short months ago, when it felt like we were doomed to "light flurries and a high of 18 degrees" for the rest of weather forecasting eternity. But right now, I'm looking out the window at cherry blossoms and sunshine. Snowy days are a distant memory, replaced by tulips and green, green grass... Winter always gives way to spring.

: )

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Birthday!

I married a simple guy.
His birthday requests?

Homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Dinner at Chipotle.
Ice cream from Oberweis.
Lot's of lovin' from his family.
And time to play his new bass guitar.

{What more could a brand new quarter-decade-year-old want?}

Happy Tuesday :*)

Friday, May 1, 2009


One of my favorite memories is when my entire family came to visit me at college in St. Paul, Minnesota. We were walking around Mall of America when we spotted a photo booth. That's when me and my four siblings crammed inside... and hilarity ensued. For real, we took the. most. ridiculous. photos. ever. I'm pretty sure I remember that only my right eyeball is showing in most of the shots--five kids in a two-seater is a tight squeeze! (Sad enough, I've misplaced the photo strips somewhere along the way; need to check with Mom and see if she has a copy!)

So here's a fun weekend idea: grab a friend, find a photobooth near you, and take some snazzily-wonderfulicious pictures. Click here for a website that will tell you where to find them in your area.

Happy weekend!

Image credit here : )