Archive for September, 2011

Steamboat Days

Over this past weekend, our tiny town of Carver had its annual “Steamboat Days.” My 5K race was part of the festivities.

Brian had to take a last minute trip to Iowa on Friday afternoon, so Adam and I went to several of the Steamboat Days events. We hung out with Shannon and her family a lot too!

Friday evening, we went to the water fights. There are 2 teams that each have a fire hose and face each other with a barrel in between them. The object is to spray the water on the barrel and whichever team gets the barrel to cross the other team’s line first, wins. It was entertaining. Adam loved it!

Saturday morning Adam and I rode bike to the park to watch some of the kickball tournament. It was hot out but nice to be outside and enjoying a lovely September day.

After Adam’s nap, we went to the burnout contest. This event was just crazy. Cars/trucks would go on the cement pad and just spin their tires and make as much smoke as possible. I’m not really sure what they were judged on or how they determined a winner but I think it had something to do with how much smoke the vehicle made. We saw many tires get blown and one car even started on fire! The people watching at this event was incredible!! Wow.

Here’s an example of what we saw:

The smokiest one we saw!

We went back home for some dinner, then returned to downtown around 7:30 with Shannon and her family. Johnny Holm was playing that night and there were also some fireworks planned. Brian and I have seen Johnny Holm many times. He played at both our proms and we went to several of his shows in high school and college. Needles to say, Adam loooved the band and danced and danced. When he got tired, he had me hold him and we danced together!

Adam dancing to Johnny Holm

Adam and I dancing!

Shannon and I enjoying a beer and the band 🙂

Finally, the fireworks started at 10 PM! Much later than we had thought, but it was a pretty good show for our tiny little town! There was also a full moon in the sky, so it was cool!

The moon can sorta be seen in the bottom right corner of this firework

After the fireworks, it was home and into bed cuz I had that race in the morning……

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I Did It!

I kept the date a secret from most people. Only my family and a few friends knew what I was planning today. I was a ball of nerves and kept wondering why I was going to do this. Crazy lady.

Yup, I finished my first 5K race!

My mom and Adam came to cheer me on since Brian is still in Iowa. I found Shannon and we took a ‘before’ photo:

Before the race. I was a ball of nerves!

I had my iPod blaring so I couldn’t hear myself panting for the whole 3.2 miles. It helped. I kept checking my watch to see how I was doing on time. I was hoping to at least finish in less than 35 minutes since that was about what I ran when I did a 5K practice run a couple weeks ago. The course was to run 2.5K, then turn around and take the same course back to the start. As Shannon passed me after she turned around, I smiled and waved at her and she gave me an encouraging thumbs up! I had to keep telling myself to keep going and just make it to the finish.

Coming across the finish line! I blew Adam a kiss and waved as he waved and cheered me on!

I finished in 32:27! Not too shabby for my first race! However, I believe my exact words to my mom were: “That totally sucked! There’s no way I’m ever doing that again!”

Shannon and I found each other and took the “after” sweaty picture:

Sweaty, but proud of ourselves! Great job, Shannon!


As the day has gone on, I have been feeling worse and worse. I woke up with a sore throat this morning, but now I have full blown cold. I’m annoyed. It’s too warm to just want to lay on the couch all day!  Ugh. Off to bed I go….

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Reflecting Back.


I remember that day. Brian and I were living in Cedar Rapids. I got up in the morning and saw on Yahoo news that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. I thought that was crazy. How could someone ‘accidentally’ crash into such a huge building?! I jumped in the shower and when I got out, learned the second tower had been hit. I knew at this point it was an attack on our country. I was glued to the TV for the rest of the day. I was on the phone with my brother, Seth, because we knew our mom was traveling for work, but we weren’t sure where she was. We were pretty sure it wasn’t New York though. As we talked on the phone and figured out where mom was, we watched as the first tower came crashing down. Absolutely incredible to see such a strong building become a pile of rubble in a matter of seconds. It was all so surreal. It seemed like a movie.

I had to go to class for a couple hours and was so annoyed I had to leave the television. I was further annoyed that my professor made no mention of the events unfolding that day.

The images are forever engraved in my mind. The crashing planes. The Twin Towers coming down. The Pentagon on fire. The field in Pennsylvania with an airplane shaped crater in the ground. People at Ground Zero covered in inches of ash and dust.

What stuck out most for me was a strange whistling, siren type sound that I would hear whenever they were showing footage from Ground Zero. It took several days for me to find out it was the whistles all firefighters had on and we were hearing the ones of the firefighters yet to be located in the rubble. Heartbreaking.

In the days that followed so many stories emerged of heroism, survival, loss, and hope. The country came together in an amazing show of solidarity. Flags everywhere. People doing anything and everything they could to help.

Passengers on United flight 93 are heroes for overtaking the hijackers and crashing the plane into a field instead of the presumed target: the US Capitol and saving hundreds from perishing. Absolutely amazing strength and courage by those 40 people.

The question is always asked: How did 9/11 change you?

For me, it’s hard because I wasn’t physically there. But I heard many stories of people who rushed out the door that morning and didn’t get to tell their families/loved ones they loved them one last time. Because of that, Brian and I are always sure to exchange an ‘I love you’ and  kiss before leaving for the day. You never know when it will be the last time you’ll have that chance.

On this 10th anniversary my heart still aches for those lost and their families. I will never forget that day.

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State Fair!

Over the last few years, I have been to the State Fair. However, I have always felt like I was missing something. I needed someone to go with that is an ‘expert’ fairgoer. Turns out, my friend Allyson is just the girl!

We spent Thursday the 1st at the fair. It was so hot and humid, but still so much fun!! Allyson knows a lot of secrets of the fair and knows her way around very well. She knew where to find the good foods and we tried some ones she has not had before. I think my favorite was the the deep friend gourmet pickles! It’s 2 pickle rounds with cream cheese between them then breaded and deep fried, with a side of ranch for dipping. I want some just typing about them.

We also tried hot dish on a stick. It was a couple tater tots and a couple meatballs dipped in corn dog batter served with a side of mushroom soup type stuff for dipping. It wasn’t all that good.

Deep fried Reese’s peanut butter cups=delish.

Deep fried twinkie=ok.

Strawberry key lime pie dipped in white chocolate=ok.


Huge mound of twisted potato chip things=good but way too many.

Sweet Martha’s cookies & milk=yum!

MN wine tour=delicious and happiness inducing  😉

Deep fried pickles


Deep fried Reese's peanut butter cups. Oh yeah!


Allyson & I ready for a Leinie's Summer Shandy

Our MN wine tour. My favorite was the raspberry. Yum!


We found all sorts of fun things to do. Did you know you can go into the education building and get your picture taken and they print it out on a calendar for you!? Cool!

We went to ‘Twins Territory.” They had a huge display with the whole Twins team and you could go and sit with them for a photo!

Taking a pic with Twins! 😉

I listen to the radio station KS95. We stopped by there and I met Moon & Staci from the afternoon show! They also posed for a pic with me and autographed an ‘afternoon show’ bag! (I brought Adam to the fair on Monday for a couple hours and met the morning show crew: Melissa, Trey & Ryan. They all autographed the ‘morning show’ bag for me too!)

Myself with the KS95 afternoon show personalities: Moon & Staci!

We took in the WCCO channel 4 news broadcast at 6 PM. It was pretty fun to see all the ‘behind the scenes’ action. We even got on TV!! I had set the DVR to record the news from my phone, so I watched the news after we got home. Here we are!

Allyson & I on TV!!!

After the news broadcast there was a photo op with the anchors Frank & Amelia:

Photo op with Frank and Amelia

WCCO also has an ‘Ellen Experience.’ We could register to win tickets to her show and have a picture taken with her!

Photo op at the "Ellen Experience!"

I also ran into my childhood dance teacher, Lori! It was so fun to see her!

Lori & I


On the way out, we stopped by Sweet Martha’s for a bucket of chocolate chip cookies and some milk. I knew the hubby would love the cookies!

It was a hot, but super fun day! Thank you so much, Allyson for such a wonderful time!! Let’s do it again next year!




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Someone Had a Birthday

Yes. I am another year older.

We hadn’t yet been to Target Field, so that is what I wanted to do for my birthday!

If you’ve seen games on TV, you know about getting “circled” by Bert. This became another something I wanted for my birthday. I came up with a great saying and made a sparkly sign. I figured it had most of the components Bert likes to circle: it uses his name; talks about a birthday; has a circle; and recognizes him as a hall of famer. I figured he wouldn’t be able to resist my gem of a sign:

Circle me, Bert!!

We decided to take the bus to the ballpark from Eden Prairie. Very convenient, and of course Adam thought it was the best part of the day! We arrived to the park with plenty of time to grab some supper ($1 dog night!), drinks, and find our seats. Amazing view of the park and the city!

Great seats!


We had so much fun enjoying the atmosphere and the game. Yes, the Twins lost and I didn’t get circled, but it was such a fun night with my 2 favorite guys!

My boys!


Adam helping me hold up my sign


Adam diving face first into his cotton candy


Birthday girl and the hubby


The best we could get for a family photo!


The day after the game, Adam went to hang out with Grandma & Grandpa Tracy while Brian and I spent the day at Valley Fair! It was uber hot and insanely humid, so the crowds were small! That was good cuz we were able to get on a zillion rides. We hit the water park for a couple hours as well. I love being able to go there at least once a summer.

Another thing I did for my birthday was sign up for the 5K run on September 11th for Carver Steamboat Days. This is the one I signed up for last year, but hurt my knee so couldn’t do it. I’m happy to report that I am still able to run so it looks like I’ll be participating this year. I’m very noncompetitive. I figure if don’t do well, it’ll be embarrassing or something. I’m not really sure what my problem is. But, my wonderful friend Shannon (who will also be running) reminded me that “You don’t get a better T-shirt for finishing faster!” (We get a free t-shirt for participating in the run). Thanks, Shannon!!

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Swimming and Tomatoes

A final update on the outcome of swimming lessons:  He Passed his class!!! It’s actually comical. The second to last class, Adam’s teacher talked to us. We were the parents of that child! She told us she would feel comfortable passing Adam for the class, but we should work with him some more to make sure he is comfortable…especially getting into the water. On the final class, I showed her this video to ease her mind about passing him:


A final update on the tomatoes: We had a successful tomato growing season!! I am not a tomato fan, but the boys say they were delish. Of course, now that we’re done growing them, I had to ask Shannon what I do with the plant now? Toss it. I can handle that!

Last of the tomatoes ready for picking!

Ready to eat. Adam loved them, of course!

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