Monday, April 15, 2013

The day I signed up for my first marathon. Two hours before the Boston Marathon was bombed.

I had been waiting for this day ever since I finished my half marathon last June. The minute I crossed that finish line, I knew I wanted to run a full marathon. And after running the Twin Cities 10 Mile last October, I knew that I wanted my first marathon to be the Twin Cities Marathon. Not only is it the "most beautiful urban marathon" in the country, it's a challenging race that draws international competitors and it's an integral part of the culture here in MN. Thousands of locals come out to watch it every year, and I wanted to be one of the people crossing that finish line at the state capitol.

I've known since January that this is the year I would register for and run my first marathon. The only reason I waited to register is because I had to sign up for a Spring half marathon first and didn't want to pay both registration fees at once. But it got to the point where I knew that if I waited any longer, I would lose my nerve and probably not sign up. Today is the day I finally decided to go through with it. Why today? Mainly because I got paid on Friday, but also because I knew that today was the Boston Marathon, and I thought, how fitting that I would sign up for my first marathon on the same day as the most celebrated marathon in the country. A marathon that is a symbol of achievement for distance runners and one that I may (who knows?) get the opportunity to run one day. It couldn't be more perfect.

As I started the registration process, my heart rate sped up. As excited as I am about running a marathon, I am equally terrified. With each blank on the form that I filled out, a new voice of doubt rose to the surface: Name.... What are you THINKING?.... Address..... You're doing this on an impulse.... Phone number.... You haven't thought this through..... T-shirt size.... You don't have the willpower for this.... Emergency contact.... You WILL get injured....

Right before I clicked 'submit,' I prayed that if there is any reason I shouldn't do this event, I would receive a sign. Feeling confident, I submitted the form. When I received my confirmation email, my first thought was: Did I just make a huge mistake (and waste a lot of money)? I told some of my coworkers who are runners (one of whom is also running TCM), and they shared in my excitement. I also shared my news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, not realizing how silly and perhaps even inappropriate these posts would seem later today.

For almost a year, I've been wondering what this day would feel like. I couldn't (and still can't) fathom how it will feel to cross the marathon finish line, but I could envision my 'registration day.' The day it all becomes real. The point of no return. Little did I know.

In my excitement, I got back on Twitter to read updates from the Boston Marathon. Everyone was chatting about the winners, the weather and what a perfect day it was in Beantown. Then I saw one tweet that was different from the rest. Runner's World had retweeted a random guy - presumably a spectator - who said there were two explosions by the finish line and that everyone should leave the area. He posted a picture. I opened it and stared in disbelief. Is this a joke? Why is no one saying anything about this? I went back to my Twitter feed for confirmation, but only one other source has posted anything - Reuters. It was a legitimate source, so I retweeted them.

Then, slowly, other tweets started to pour in. I monitored the #bostonmarathon feed and watched them appear - first in groups of 10, then 20, then 60, then 100.... And that's when I realized that this was not only real, it had literally just happened. I texted Collin at 1:56 PM right after I saw that tweet from Reuters. The bombs had exploded nine minutes earlier at 1:45 PM Central. Major news stations didn't start reporting on it until 20 minutes later.

I kept a close watch on Twitter the remainder of the afternoon to stay up to date on what was happening. It was unbelievable. It's still unbelievable. And yet, sadly, a part of me wasn't completely surprised. Why? Because this is the world we live in now. If children can be murdered in cold blood in their classrooms, how can we be shocked that someone would bomb a marathon? But we are. We always are.

Even though my registration was a tiny part of a momentous day that had nothing to do with me, I couldn't help but note the irony. I had registered for my first marathon just two hours before. And I wasn't sure what to make of that. This was NOT what I meant when I prayed for a "sign" not to race. I refuse to even acknowledge that idea. But what I did notice is that my resolve to run the marathon didn't sway even the tiniest bit. Because somehow -- even though I have never run a marathon before in my life, and I've only been running for a year, and I'll probably (read: definitely) never even qualify to run in the Boston Marathon -- I felt like as soon as I had submitted that form, I was one of them. I was a part of the marathon community. I haven't earned my medal; I haven't even started my training. But my heart ached for them. My heart ached for the runners who never got to cross that finish line and accomplish a dream that was likely years in the making. My heart ached for the spectators who stood for hours waiting and cheering for one person that would never show up. My heart ached for the families that got separated and spent several anxious hours wondering if their loved ones were even alive.

In a strange way, what happened in Boston today reaffirmed my commitment to run the marathon. Because I can't control what others do -- I can't change what happened, I can't fix it, and I can't stop it from happening again. But I can control what I do about it. And what I'm going to do is shoot for a ridiculous dream of running 26.2 miles in honor of all of those who weren't able to accomplish their dreams today, or whose dreams were forever cut short. I think this is the message God was sending me in the midst of the chaos. Not that I shouldn't run this race, but that I need to run this race.

Tonight, I was going to go grocery shopping, but I decided to run instead. I went to the gym (because it's still freezing outside here) and watched the footage from Boston on TV while running on the treadmill. As I was finishing my run, the acoustic version of the song "Boston" by Augustana came on my iPod. It was all I could do to hold it together and keep running. For me, it was a sobering moment and a quiet reminder of why we run, in spite of all the obstacles the world throws at us. Because running itself is an act of faith, not just for its difficulty but also for what it represents. I can guarantee that running meant more to those Boston Marathoners than medals and race times. I look forward to stepping out in faith and discovering all that running will mean for me.

October 6, 2013. Let the training begin.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." -- Joshua 1:9

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." -- John 16:33

Monday, February 25, 2013

What Would J-Law Do?

Let me start by echoing what everyone else on the Internet is saying following last night's Oscars: I LOVE Jennifer Lawrence. Not only is she talented and ambitious, but she is like the anti-celebrity. She's sassy, confident, unassuming, hilarious, honest to a fault, effortlessly charming and clearly doesn't give a flip what anyone in Hollywood (or anywhere, for that matter) thinks about her. She is just... herself, and unashamedly so. She tripped in front of millions of people when going on stage to accept her OSCAR for Best Actress, and she laughed it off in her acceptance speech. And everyone loved her all the more for it. It almost looked planned, or at the very least, expected. The girl is good.

Source: MTV

So after having a bit of a rough start to my Monday, I decided to follow Jen's example and shrug off the awkward moments of my day. Here are some examples to show you what I mean:
  • I was having a bad hair day. (Ok, so maybe it's been more like a bad hair MONTH.) I pull my hair back at work a lot to keep it out of my face, and it usually doesn't look pretty, so when I left the office for lunch, I considered fixing it again to look somewhat presentable. But then I realized, "hey, I don't have to look at me..." So, I kept my janky ponytail. No one cares anyway. Plus, I was wearing sunglasses, and somehow that makes everything better.
  • I also totally screwed up my lunch by bringing a terrible combination of food: an under-ripe avocado, over-ripe mango slices, mango-flavored yogurt (seriously? I couldn't have grabbed strawberry?), and then I nuked my frozen spinach lasagna from Trader Joe's. After taking two bites of my crusty lasagna, I was like NOPE. I love food too much to suffer through this.
Source: Uproxx
  • So I went to Chipotle. And of course I walked in the exit door, because I don't read signs, and of course it's placed in such a way where I had to walk awkwardly down the line the wrong way to place my order. But I was like, whatever, I have an Oscar! I GO WHERE I WANT. Ok, not really. I just shrugged it off and walked up to the counter while the workers made fun of me in Spanish (yes, I understood you!).
  • And then I ordered a giant burrito. With sour cream. And corn salsa. And steak. Because I was STARVING. (Remember the burnt lasagna? That thing was in the microwave for 10 whole minutes!) So I ate the entire burrito. Yep, ALL of it.
Source: Uproxx

So no, I haven't accomplished as much as Jennifer; I didn't accomplish much of anything today. And no, I don't think WWJD should actually stand for "What Would J-Law Do?" (Jesus always trumps everyone.) But Jennifer Lawrence is still hilarious, and we could all benefit by taking a page from her book and laughing at ourselves more, no matter how insignificant our problems seem. Some days you walk in the wrong door at Chipotle, some days you fall down at the Oscars...

Source: agittated

Life is weird. Embrace it!

<3 Mrs. G

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I Pinned It, I Did It: Ruffled Burlap Tree Skirt


Let the Christmas crafting begin!

You've probably seen DIY ruffled tree skirts all over Pinterest. I've been attracted to the burlap ones since -- like everyone else -- I'm obsessed with burlap.  I wanted to replace my current tree skirt anyway (it looks like a santa suit), so I decided to give it a shot.

I used the tutorial from this blog: My Crazy Life

I would post the tutorial on here, but her directions are very detailed and come with photos. I followed them almost exactly.

Here are the only points I'll add:
  • Consider the size of your tree before you start. My tree skirt is actually a little too big for my tree... I still love it, and we'll "grow into it" someday when we have a bigger tree. But if you have one of those tall, skinny trees, you may want to cut a smaller square for your base, or you'll end up with a tree DRESS.
  • Burlap DOES NOT ruffle. It is too stiff of a fabric. If you use burlap, you have to make PLEATS with the fabric strips, which basically means a lot of folding and gluing. See this blog for examples and photos.
  • I used 3-inch strips of fabric with the exception of the top row, which I made bigger (4 1/2 inches) to keep from having two short rows. I thought the strips were perfect, but I do wish the top row matched the rest. All in all, it took 3 1/2 yards of fabric with a few strips leftover.
  • I used a painter's canvas drop cloth for the base of the skirt (like the blogger), but I couldn't find one even close to 4x4, so I bought a 6x9 (I think) and cut it down to a 4x4 square. It worked great as a base fabric, though -- it's sturdy enough, and the neutral color doesn't show through.
  • Cut holes on the sides of the skirt before you start gluing fabric so you don't forget. This way you can tie the two sides together behind your tree.
  • Keep your extra fabric strips. I used two of mine to tie the skirt sides. They make pretty matching burlap bows. :)
  • DON'T bother with Goop. It's messy, smelly and ineffective. Hot glue only. But if you're working with burlap, be careful not to burn yourself! (I did, many times....)
  • This project took me about 8-10 hours when it was all said and done. I split it up over a period of almost 2 weeks. I wouldn't recommend doing it all in one sitting unless you don't mind being sore EVERYWHERE. Seriously, I felt like an old woman doing this. I had to take breaks every 15 minutes or so...

What Christmas crafts are you making this year? Have you made a tree skirt?

<3 Mrs. G

P.S. I'm accepting suggestions and recipes for Christmas baking...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Recap

Why does Thanksgiving always catch me off guard? Last year, Mr. G and I had a wedding that week, and this year it came earlier than usual. I'm never prepared. It's probably a good thing I don't have any fall decorations, because Thanksgiving always comes and goes faster than I can throw away my pumpkin and log into Pinterest for craft ideas.

The one thing I've managed to somehow prepare in time for Thanksgiving is the food. Even though I don't typically start thinking about it until the week before and cooking it the night or two before, it's miraculously worked out so far. I even (successfully) cooked my first turkey last year! We spent Thanksgiving with my in-laws this year, so everyone brought one dish. Since I love holiday cooking, I contributed a couple more. :) Here is what I made for this year's feast:
  • 11-lb Turkey (for Mr. G and me)
  • Apple & Goat Cheese Salad
  • My Mom's Sweet Potato Casserole
  • 44 Cupcakes -- 18 Pumpkin, 26 Chai :)


For my turkey directions, check out my Thanksgiving post from last year. I only did a couple things differently this year: I cooked the turkey in an oven bag (it keeps the pan clean and browns the skin), and I used the packet provided by Jenni-O for gravy instead of my mother-in-law's recipe (we didn't keep enough drippings to make the latter, but it was still really good!). And FYI, Jenni-O turkeys have a thermometer that pops out when the turkey is cooked, so it's super easy to tell when it's done. I made this for our "round two" of Thanksgiving at home, just for Mr. G and me. We had it with mashed potatoes and leftover sweet potato casserole (starches much?).

And in case you're wondering, I'm STILL eating turkey leftovers.

Apple & Goat Cheese Salad

This was inspired by the Apple Gorgonzola Salad at Buca di Beppo. I worked there for four years, and that salad was always my favorite. I posted this recipe once before and called it the "summer apple salad." Here's the link. Try it out -- it's a light, sweet salad that pairs well with a raspberry/cranberry/walnut vinaigrette and can be enjoyed as much in the fall or winter as in the summer. :)

Mom's Sweet Potato Casserole

My mom makes the best casseroles. Maybe it was her Southern roots, but holidays at my house were always delicious and abundant. This is one of her sweet potato casserole recipes. I've made this one three years in a row now, but this year was the first time I tried the crunchy topping (usually I just do marshmallows). For the record, the crunchy topping is way better! Here is her recipe:

  • 2 c sweet potatoes (canned is fine)
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Topping:
    • 3/4 c crushed corn flakes
    • 1/2 c chopped nuts (I chopped up honey glazed peanuts)
    • 1/2 c brown sugar
    • 6 tbsp melted butter
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Bake sweet potatoes according to directions on can. Mash when they are cooked.
  3. Add eggs, melted butter and spices to mashed potatoes.
  4. Slowly add milk until mixture reaches pudding consistency.
  5. Pour mixture into greased 9x9 pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle topping on casserole when it comes out of the oven. Return casserole to the oven to bake 10 additional minutes.

Chai Cupakes

I've been wanting to make chai cupcakes for a long time. I have a slight major obsession with chai tea. I drink it every single morning while getting ready for work, and I usually order it whenever I go out for coffee. (For those who share my obsession: my favorite chai makers are Panera, Starbucks and Uncommon Grounds in Minneapolis.) Sadly, these cupcakes turned out to be much more challenging than I expected due to several issues I encountered with this recipe. I got it from Pinterest (naturally), and the blogger who posted it neglected a few details:
  1. I had no idea how many cupcakes the batter was supposed to make (I wanted 12 cupcakes and ended up with 26).
  2. The ingredients were very imbalanced -- the dry/wet ratio was off due to the pot of CHAI TEA I added. Even after adding several additional cups of flour/sugar and test baking three cupcakes, I still ended up with soupy batter and sad little cupcake craters.
  3. The frosting recipe (honey cinnamon swiss meringue) lacked directions entirely. Have you ever made swiss meringue? If so, you know that it requires VERY specific directions. With most frostings, if there are no special directions, you can pretty much throw all the ingredients in the KitchenAid and mix them up. Not so with swiss meringue! I eventually found these directions and was able to make a successful swiss meringue (after throwing out a batch), but Mr. G hated it. :( I liked it, but just in case I was the weird one, I made a double batch of my go-to buttercream -- Magnolia Bakery's vanilla buttercream. (Pro tip: use less butter or more confectioner's sugar if you want buttercream that doesn't melt; I've learned this the hard way. Multiple times.)
Thankfully, even though they looked pitiful, the cupcakes actually tasted amazing. I think they may be my new favorites.... In spite of how angry they made me!

Pumpkin Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes last year around Thanksgiving for the first time. Here's the link to my post with the recipe. This year, I substituted the vanilla buttercream for the cream cheese frosting and sprinkled cinnamon on top. I was going to make a salted caramel frosting, but after two (kinda) failed attempts at the swiss meringue, I just decided to make something that would work for both the chai and pumpkin cupcakes. Whatever, I was tired.

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you try any new recipes, or do you have classics that you always make? Feel free to share your recipes and your cooking/baking stories and screw-ups with me. :)

<3 Mrs. G

P.S. I may not have any Thanksgiving decorations, but Christmas I've got covered. Right now I'm working on a burlap ruffle tree skirt (Pinterest project, of course). I'll post it soon!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Lactose-Free: Week One

As you may already know from my last post, Mr. G and I are abstaining from fast food throughout the entire month of November. I know it's not that long of a time to abstain from anything, but we needed to force quit this habit for a bit to give our bodies a break (and to make sure we could do it). We're 12 days in now and so far, so good: no McDonald's, no pizza, no takeout, not even Chipotle! We've been eating all whole foods, all the time. Ok fine, except Halloween candy. But overall, it's still been a success.

Ironically, I've also suddenly had to give up another (much larger) portion of my diet per doctor's orders -- dairy.

Here's the back story: I get these weird, sharp chest pains sometimes, but they happen so sparingly I never think much of them. However, in the last couple of months (and especially in the past few weeks), they've been happening MUCH more frequently. They used to happen once every few months; now, they happen several times a week and sometimes even twice a day. I finally gave in and decided to make an appointment, but naturally when I call the doctor to report "chest pains," I have to go in immediately. So, in the midst of an extremely busy work day last Friday, I went to the clinic to see pretty much the only doctor left on a Friday afternoon. She did a chest x-ray (normal) and took my blood (I didn't faint this time!), but since my pains are quick, inconsistent and all over the place, she couldn't really pinpoint a cause. I told her that I was always under the impression that these pains were caused by digestive troubles, and since I have a pretty sensitive stomach, I had been wondering if they were somehow related to my diet. She rattled off a laundry list of tests to try and then asked me questions about my lifestyle and diet:

Smoke? No. Drink? Very little. Fruits/veggies? Eat them. Water? Drink it, albeit not enough. Sleep? Yes, but not nearly enough. (who does, amiright?)

Then out of the blue, she made a suggestion: Try going 2 weeks lactose-free. Lactose intolerance is very common, and many people develop it as adults. If my pain is caused by digestive issues, this could potentially be the source. So, going 2 weeks cold turkey is the best way to test that theory.

My first thought was: Nope.

Here's why: I consume a LOT of dairy. If you are what you eat/drink, I would be a cow. Seriously. Cereal every morning, coffee with (homemade!) creamer at work, yogurt with every lunch, cheese at most lunches/dinners... And that's not even the good stuff: chocolate, Nutella, ice cream, baked goods (if you know me, you know I love cupcakes), and did I mention Nutella? Nor is it the little stuff: sour cream, ranch dressing, cheese sticks, pasta sauce, some breads, and the list goes on.

But, I knew she was right. So I sucked it up, bought a bunch of dairy substitutes, ate a (homemade!) pizza and Reese's cake on my last night of lactose, and I dove in last Sunday.

I also did some research of my own to learn what specific ingredients to watch out for and to find some common substitutes for these ingredients. In my research, I learned that lactose intolerance is actually supposed to be the norm among humans and all mammals; we stop producing lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose) at age TWO. Yet we have adapted a tolerance to lactose over time that allows most of us to keep processing it. Still, it is estimated that 75% of people worldwide are lactose intolerant, and I'm trying to find out if I'm one of them.

So far, I've been (almost) 100% faithful to my diet, and I'm impressed by some of the dairy alternatives I've tried (vanilla soy milk is amazing), but I don't feel that different. In fact, I've had more chest pains this past week than ever. I'm not sure what that means, but I'll see how this coming week goes. If nothing else, I've been forced to eat super healthy, which can't be a bad thing.

Wish me luck! And please feel free to recommend lactose-free dinner recipes or, more importantly, dessert ideas. I did try lactose-free ice cream, and it was pretty good. But I miss chocolate a LOT.

<3 Mrs. G

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

No McDonald's November (our fast food fast)

Found our Halloween costumes!
Over the past year or so, Mr. G and I have been taking gradual steps to improve our diet. Instead of focusing on weight or appearance, our goal has simply been to eat better so that we are working with our bodies instead of against them. Also, we figured that if we start these habits now, they will carry over when it really counts and our metabolisms take a dive.

We have steadily incorporated more fresh veggies/fruit, whole grains, protein, organics, etc. and decreased our intake of sugar, fat (trans fat especially), high fructose corn syrup (HCFS), refined grains and just processed food in general. This is not an easy process, and it is a steep learning curve, but taking it a step at a time helps. It also helps that I work in a health-conscious office and can solicit advice from my coworkers, who just happen to be nutrition specialists and personal trainers. :)
The good news is: our pantry and fridge are often stocked with fresh produce, lean meat and low-fat dairy, and we cook tasty, balanced meals almost every night.

The bad news is: eventually this food runs out -- usually when we are too busy/tired to shop or when we're trying to hold out until the next paycheck.

Thus, we have one major indulgence that continues to hold us back: fast food. Particularly McDonald's. Mr. G has a love affair with the place, and I have to admit that I really enjoy their angus snack wraps. And those fries! If he suggests it, I rarely have enough self-control to say no. Other culprits include: pizza, Chipotle, Taco Bell, and occasionally, Chinese takeout. Even though I know these things are terrible for me, I eat them because they are cheap and convenient, and it is usually caused by one of the following scenarios: I am too tired/busy to cook, we've been out running errands or at the gym until past 8 PM and are STARVING, we've been eating really well and think that we deserve a "break," or we are traveling to/from somewhere (like the cabin) and need a quick meal. At work, we call these moments "inflection points" because they cause your willpower to deflate so that you give in to bad habits, even when you know better. Mr. G and I typically have these moments a couple times a month, and that's when we end up at the drive-thru window or the takeout counter.

So, in an effort to start limiting our fast food consumption, Mr. G and I have decided to go an entire month without eating any fast food whatsoever. We're calling it No McDonald's November. Why shave hair when you can shave calories? (ha.) While I realize that there are healthier food options at McDonald's and most fast food restaurants, I know that I personally won't choose them, so it is better for me to avoid these places altogether. If you have the self-control to make healthy choices at a fast food joint, more power to you! Also, eating fast food once in a while isn't a crime; once it becomes a habit and a crutch, you have cause for concern. I think even eating it once a month is too much, but only you know your body.

The key to all this is taking it one step at a time. This is the last big step for us, and it's a tough one to overcome. But I am confident we can do it. We even shook hands on it -- after agreeing on a Chipotle compromise. :)

Wish us luck! (or join us!)

<3 Mrs. G

P.S. In case you were wondering, Halloween candy is NOT on the banned foods list! Except it probably should be, since we've already eaten an entire bag and had to buy a new one for the neighborhood kids... Whatever, it comes once a year!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Coping with Wanderlust -- The 10 U.S. Cities I Would Most Want to Live (If I Didn't Live Here)

I've really been getting the itch to travel lately. It's been a long time since Mr. G and I ventured outside the Land of 10,000 Lakes. In fact, we have only left MN a couple of times since moving here last Spring -- twice to visit my family in Nashville, two business trips for Mr. G and one weekend trip for me in LA with his sisters. That's not to say we haven't gone anywhere or done anything; we traveled upstate twice last year, recently took a trip to nearby Stillwater for our anniversary and spent many weekends this summer at our cabin north of the cities. Nevertheless, I'm starting to feel a little claustrophobic here in the southern suburbs of Minneapolis, and even though I love this state, I'm ready for a change... No doubt the fall weather is contributing to this as well. :)

For example, a LOT of my friends have traveled to Seattle this year for whatever reason. It's a little strange, really; I mean, why now all of a sudden? Is there a Groupon that I missed or something? Seattle is one of the places I want to visit most in the U.S. I don't know why, but I'm drawn to places that are known for being rainy, cold and kinda dreary (case in point: London is my top pick for international travel). So, I've been living vicariously through my friends' Facebook updates and Instagram feeds showing pics of "the original #Starbucks!!" and so on. It doesn't help that I habitually listen to Owl City on repeat every fall (not sure why; it's just a thing for me), which means "Hello Seattle" has been stuck in my head for weeks. Salt on the wound, Owl!

So, in my usual fashion, I've dealt with my restlessness and wanderlust by compiling a list. :) It's pointless for me to list of all the places I want to travel because the answer would be EVERYWHERE, so instead I came up with the 10 U.S. cities I would most want to live if I didn't live here (...even though I haven't been to some of these places). Disclaimer: this is just for fun; I have no plans to move, nor do I want to. So don't ask. ;) Here is my list, which is (sort-of) in order:

  1. Boston, Massachussetts (been here)
  2. Seattle, Washington
  3. Chicago, Illinois (been here -- briefly)
  4. San Francisco, California
  5. Denver, Colorado
  6. Washington, D.C.
  7. Manhattan, New York (been here)
  8. Nashville, Tennessee (from here!)
  9. Asheville, North Carolina (been here)
  10. Atlanta, Georgia (been here)
Mr. G and I are hoping to take a big trip next year (remember what I said about London?... :) ), so we are saving our vacation $ and time off for that. In the meantime, we'll be taking a daytrip to Red Wing, MN, in a couple weeks with his family (they take a fall trip each year; last year we went to Duluth), and we'll head down to Nashville again over Christmas. Hopefully that will be enough to tie me over until next year!

In which city or cities would you most want to live? Do you have any upcoming travel or relocation plans? Have YOU been to Seattle this year, too??

<3 Mrs. G


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