Thursday, July 30, 2009

Growth and wisdom

Milestones have a way of making me reflect on things. This past week marks the 1st anniversary of my Grandma Ruth's passing. In Grandma's honor, I received a beautiful rose bush from my dear BFF, Kathy. Steve worked to help me create a new flower bed in August of last year in our backyard where I planted this rose bush. Last October, my girls and I sprinkled some of Grandma's ashes in the flower bed which made me feel like she was a part of it all.
Just like my flower garden, I have grown and matured over the past year. I feel like I am wiser in many ways including being more appreciative of what I have and not taking it for granted. I have experienced so many blessings from God including the continued love and support of my wonderful husband, watching our adorable daughters grow and mature, the support & camaraderie of amazing friends, physical health to meet my goals and the mental strength to handle disappointments.
I can't really take a picture and compare the changes in me to show the differences from last year to this year. Well.... maybe I could and you would see a few more wrinkles and pounds, but it wouldn't show the wisdom gained and the way experiences and relationships over the past year have shaped and effected me.

Maybe I'll just show some pictures of the flower bed created in Grandma Ruth's honor and how it has changed and evolved over the past year. Those who know me know I really like analogies.
August 6, 2008... grass was removed and landscaping bricks were being added.
By mid-August, 2008... topsoil had been put in and the memorial rose bush planted along with other perennials.
BEFORE: Completed flower bed on August 17, 2008
AFTER: View on July 30, 2009

The plants and flowers have grown and filled in.
This flowerbed will continue to change and evolve just like me. I'll need to work on my weaknesses (the weeds) and cultivate relationships (the fertilizer) so that I can gain wisdom and inner beauty (flowers). All I need is sun (God & his Son) and my family & friends (water).

Monday, July 27, 2009

Vertically Challenged.

Yes, I am aware that I am short. I like to joke that I am "vertically challenged." I never really think of being short as a disadvantage. In fact, I see being "fun sized" as a Pro, not a Con. I never have to duck to enter a door way or even to board a smaller airplane. Steve can always stand behind me in our bathroom, looking over my head and see perfectly fine in the mirror. I can wear the highest heels I want and never look freakishly tall. There are lots of great things about being short. I get to make other people look tall!

this weekend at 10KLF (10,000 Lakes Festival). My lack of height was a total downer. The first night of the festival I had no problem. We sat in lawn chairs and listened to Widespread Panic {amazing}. But on Saturday night for the headliner, the Dave Matthews Band, my view was limited to armpits and shoulder blades. Occasionally, Steve would boost me up (yup - he is strong enough to do that) so I could get a glimpse and sometimes the crowd would part in just the right way that I could see in between all the fans. But mostly, I just got huge crink in my neck from trying to see anything at all.
Don't let this photo fool you. This was not my view, this is Steve's view holding my camera over his head. My view was about 16 inches lower and involved the back of these colorful t-shirts. Ok - more like the waistband. Notice that we are in the "mosh-pit" about 50 feet away from the stage?

I should clarify that I am not a big concert fan. The last concert I went to (besides Abby's school concerts) was almost 20 years ago at NSU when I went to Rick Springfield (think Jessie's Girl). I was about 10 years old - ha! Concerts just aren't my deal. I don't like the when the musicians sound like cr@p and my ears ring for two days.
So, it was a big deal that I got the wild hair to go to the Dave Matthews Band when I read that they were the headliner for the 10KLF 5 months ago. I touched base with my good friend, Kelly, because I knew she really liked Dave Matthews, too. "Like" is an understatement, Kelly is really a super-fan and I am just a regular fan. Needless to say, Kelly was very excited to go and we got our husbands on-board, too.
Kelly (aka Dave Matthews groupie) and her hubby, David.
Me and my hubby.

And here is Dave. The whole reason for enduring the crowds of people and paying the high ticket prices. He. Is. Simply. Fabulous! Can't say enough about the amazing 2 1/2 hour show they put on. All the musicians were fantastic. The sound was superb. The energy of the crowd was great. Even though there were tons of people, the fans were surprisingly polite. When I got jostled, more times than not, someone apologized. Talk about Minnesota-Nice at its finest.

Don't get me wrong - there were some strange and unusual people at the festival. It was a great place to people-watch. I can definitely share more stories along that particular line, but this needs to stay PG. Moving on... Where was I? Oh yes, I am short...

Check out this picture my husband took of our group. Notice my forehead and eyes are the only thing visible? This just cracks me up because I am just too short to fit into the picture.

When Steve crouched down and tried again, then David's head is cut off. {big sigh} Guess fitting into group pictures can also be added to the list of disadvantages for being vertically challenged!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Judged at the county fair

The Lindgren family tried something new at the Ottertail County fair last week. We each entered exhibits in open class. We were actually inspired two years ago by Rachel and Ryan Landmark when we checked out their exhibits at the Marshall County fair. It just took us longer to get our act together and try it out ourselves.

A week before the fair, I got a listing of all the possible areas in which the kids and I could enter things we had made. It didn't take too much effort to pull together 20 exhibits. The girls each used a school art project and then made drawings to enter. Most of my entries were of photographs that I had already printed and framed, plus a few sewing projects. Steve even got involved because he had just taken some pictures of the girls and me on Mother's day, so I entered his photos too.
Angelique entered three art projects and earned ribbons on all three.
Abby entered two projects and earned a ribbon on one. If I would have been judging, I would have given her a blue 'cause I thought her Tinkerbell drawing looked amazing. Steve thought it may have looked too good... making the judges think she traced. When you go with open class, you don't get to answer any judges questions, nor do you get any comments, so who knows?
Steve's photographs of the females in his life... he earned a 2nd place ribbon.
I got the most ribbons only because I had entered the most exhibits. I entered three sewing projects and 11 photographs.
Some didn't get ribbons, some got blue, some got red and one of my favorites earned a....
a third place ribbon, but in my eyes, Nixin is a grand champion all the way!

The coolest part and something that I didn't know about ahead of time, is that the county fair pays out a premium for each ribbon earned in the open class. Turns out out of 20 exhibits, our family got a total of 17 ribbons and earned $41. What do you know? That covered the cost of the midway ticket wristbands for the girls! It didn't make much of a dent in our snack budget tho... shakes, cheese curds, mini donuts... mmmmmm. Maybe next year will give it a try again and see how we do!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Willie G's ride

Meet Willie G. Angelique found this travel bug named, Willie G, last weekend as we were geocaching. Willie G's mission is to have his picture taken in front of Harley Dealerships. He has been on the road since November 2005.
We loaded him up and took him to the Apols Dealership in Alexandria, MN. He has already been to many different states including Kentucky, Colorado, California, Michigan, Kansas, Virginia and Maryland. And has logged a total of 7680 miles!
He enjoyed many of the new bikes in the shop.

Willie G was definitely "born to be wild". We'll be dropping him off tomorrow in a new cache so he can continue his journey.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I won!! I WoN!! I WON!!

I won my version of the lotto!! I found this pink and white lady slipper while geocaching with my family yesterday afternoon. What a treat! The lady slipper is a temperate orchid native to North America and although is the MN State flower, I have never seen it in the wild before. It is amazing!
I think I am going to have to go back to the "spot" after work today even at the risk of more bug bites and ticks. I am in love. It is so intricate, delicate and absolutely beautiful!

I wish I had a pair of my own to wear!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tribute to strawberries

Strawberries... juicy, sweet goodness wrapped up in a suit decorated with little bitty seeds and topped off with a cute green hat!
We picked 6 flats of strawberries at Johnson's Strawberry patch on Monday morning.
Nothing says summer quite like these delicious berries!
smoothies.... yummy for my tummy!
My favorite... strawberries over angel-food cake.
Strawberry jam.... mmmmmm
Abby made strawberry bars with the fresh jam, delish.
Parfaits anyone?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

All American

Four-year-old, Nixin, is definitely true to the Red, White & Blue!
Complete with WWII helmet and a cap gun...
as he marches off to be with his cousins in their make-shift parade.
I was so happy to be together with my two siblings and their families to honor the 233rd anniversary of independence for the United States of America. We solute all those who have served and are serving to preserve our freedom. God Bless America!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day Traditions

Our family enjoys celebrating 4th of July. We love to wear our red, white & blue; picnic with family and/or friends; watch fireworks. What do you like to do for the 4th of July?

A look at celebrations over the past 5 years...
July 2004 - Abby age 6, Kippy age 3
2005 - Abby age 7, Kippy age 4

2006 - Abby age 8, Noah age 6, Kippy age 5, Nixin 16 months

2007 - Abby age 9, Kippy age 6

2008 - 4th of July in Duluth: Steve, Kristy, Russ & Rod
Kippy age 7, Noah age 8
2008 - Fireworks over Lake Superior

Our plans for 2009 are to be in the Duluth area celebrating with my older brother, Randy's family and my younger brother, Russ's family. Happy 4th of July!