My family

My family

Thursday, January 30, 2014


I'm so grateful to be where I am every aspect of my life. 

For a long time, I beat myself up for making "wrong" choices.  No more!  For every questionable choice I've made (and there have been several!), I am exactly where I need to be. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Weekend Warrior

To round out the weekend with our special visitor, Delanie and I took Denise sledding at Elm Creek Park.  It was a beautiful day.....sunshine and FREEZING!  What made it almost unbearable was the 34 mph winds.  Determined to make the most of our adventure, we toughed it out and has an absolute blast!! :)

Delanie has gotten so tall that she's passed up Denise!  Because there is no need for a winter parka in Texas, Denise bundled up in Garrett's parka.  Bless her heart.....she was wearing a thick down vest and about three other layers under the parka. 

Delanie had a take-no-prisoners attitude all day.  She didn't even bother with the "kiddie" hills......she went straight to the "big daddy" hill.  She even went head first the first time down.  What a daredevil!  :)

The best thing about the sledding hills at Elm Creek Park Reserve is the automatic track that takes you back up the hill.  It's amazing how tired you get from trudging through the snow. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Paint Pub

It has been so much fun having Denise up here.  :)  We decided to try our hand at creating some art on Saturday afternoon.  There is a place near the house called the Paint Pub.  At the Paint Pub, you can take painting classes while enjoying beer and wine.  We figured the beer/wine could only improve our artistic skills. 

Our class painted the Split Rock Lighthouse in Duluth, MN.  When Jim, Delanie and I visited Duluth in the Fall of 2012, the lighthouse was one of my favorite spots!  Isn't it gorgeous?!
The photo below is Denise hard at work.  She was so funny during our class.  She's definitely a Type A - perfectionist - personality.  I heard a lot of swear words during this process.  :)

Voila!!!  Presenting our final product......

We may not be artists but we sure gave it our best shot. I think they turned out great! :)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Winter Carnival 2014

Denise is back in Minnesota!!! :) 

After picking her up at the airport, we headed downtown to catch this year's Winter Carnival.  Remember when Delanie and I braved the three-degree weather last year?!)  It wasn't much warmer this year.  Poor Denise thought I was joking when I told her it would be close to zero.  :)

The Winter Carnival is held every year in Saint Paul's Rice Park.  My favorite building - Landmark Plaza - overlooks Rice Park.  It looks like a castle with it's colored peaks.  
The ice artists were just finishing up the sculptures when we walked through the park.  It's amazing to think they use chainsaws, cheese graters and hand saws to carve these intricate scenes. 

Each year, Wells Fargo sponsors an outdoor skating rink.  Never one to back down from a challenge, we signed up to join the fun! :)  Let me tell you.....Denise is a much better skater than I am.  As I hugged the outside walls for support, Denise was flying around the ice like a pro.

Notice anything funny about this photo?  Yep, Denise skated the whole time with her purse!!  She just bought a new Coach purse and didn't want to leave it unattended (even in Minnesota).  I told her she reminded me of the church lady from Saturday Night Live.  Can you see it??? 

She also got a kick out of the Peanuts sculptures.  Schroeder - the one below with Lucy - is my favorite.  He's a piano playing fool!  :)
Our last stop was the snow sculpture competition at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.  Did I mention just how COLD it was out there?  With no buildings to block the wind (like in Rice Park), we were at Mother Nature's mercy.  Needless to say, we did not take a leisurely stroll through the fairgrounds.  :)

It took quite a while - and lots of hot chocolate - for us to thaw out.  Overall, it was a great day!  :)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Canadia.....part two

I was scanning through our vacation photos last night and found more cool photos of Canadia Canada.

We drove through the tunnel (under the Detroit River) on our way to Canada.  On the way back into the States, we took the Ambassador Bridge. 

Remember this photograph Delanie took on the shoreline of Lake Saint Clair?  I turned the camera on her at the same time just to show you how tough she is.  That is a frozen tundra behind her!
Coat?  We don't need no stinking coats!!! :)
The lighthouse below overlooked Lake Saint Clair.  What is it about lighthouses that I find so completely fascinating??


These pictures were taken at that dive bar where we stopped for lunch.  It was so funny that they were Red Wings fans even through we were in Canada.  :)

Back in Detroit for these....

And Garrett's favorite (because it looks like something out of Call of Duty).......


Friday, January 17, 2014

The Big Chill-y Game!


Our trip to Michigan culminated in the NHL Winter Classic game in the Big House on New Years Day. 


The Red Wings faced off against the Toronto Maple Leafs in an outdoor hockey game at the University of Michigan's football stadium.  The stadium is called the Big House because it is the largest college football stadium in the US holding a whopping 110,000+ screaming Wolverine fans.  (Ann Marie used to work for the U of M hospital and has had season tickets for years.) 

The Winter Classic game was absolutely FREEZING!!  Start to finish......we were in our seats more than four hours.  This included overtime and a shoot-out.  During that time, we endured 3" of snow and temps in the teens!

What a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime experience!  I thought we would never thaw out.  :)


No.....that's not a typo!  That's what my nineteen-year-old calls the country just north of us (Canada, eh?!). 

Day two of the kids' visit to Michigan had us crossing the Ambassador Bridge (linking Detroit to Windsor, Ontario) to spend the day in Canadia Canada.  In case you are geographically-challenged like I am...... The Detroit River separates Detroit, MI from Windsor, Ontario. 

First stop:  The duty-free shop on the Canadian side for souvenirs. This kid cracks me up!  :)

We drove all the way up to where the Detroit River empties out into Lake Saint Clair.  Visiting all of the Great Lakes is on my bucket list so I can check this one off!!  (We took in the manificent sights of Lake Superior last Fall when we visited Duluth.)

Check out the incredible photo (completely unfiltered) that Delanie took.  We jumped out of the car and walked between houses to get to the lakefront.  It took her all of ten seconds to snap this photo.  I swear this girl has an incredible talent for capturing beauty.