king me

My clock blinked 7am and I realize it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  The early morning events didn’t influence me directly, but whenever Jon’s luck turns for the worst, I’m in the passenger seat.  
Jon works two days a week in Wisconsin, and when these days role around, he wakes up long before the crack of dawn to drive 2 hours to his ‘country’ office (Mondovi, Wisconsin – town of 2,000).  Yesterday, just after waking, he couldn’t find his car, assumed it was towed, and took mine for the long drive to work.  He phoned the impound during the drive, and he quickly learned that they didn’t have his car.  
He turns around and comes home to file a ‘stolen car report.’  It’s now 6:50am.  Luckily, I’m taking Kinzie on her morning walk, and I notice Jon’s Jeep parked on the street.  Odd, right?  I call and ask what’s wrong with his car (why else would he take mine?)  Can you imagine the relief in his voice?  Problem solved, he realizes he parked 2 streets away from where he thought he parked, and there really isn’t a crisis at all.  Phew.  
My sweet husband made it to work on time, and I felt so awful about his hectic morning, that I designed that ‘Goodness, I love you more than” graphic at the top of this page.  Whenever he’s frustrated or tired or upset, I try and do little things to boost his mood.  Did you know a 30 percent increase in one spouse’s happiness will boost the other spouse’s happiness?  It works the other way too, so if one spouse has a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, then their partner will catch the mood.  
I had some important stuff to tell you in this post, and I’ve left it all for the bottom.  Oops.  Thing is, I taught Jon to play checkers last weekend, and it was even more fun than when I played at summer camp in 1995.  I hadn’t played in nearly 15 years, and so I taught him the wrong way, and we only figured it out when none of our players could move.  We ended up reading all the rules together, and then playing 4 rounds to declare a true tie.
We got ice cream after the game, and Jon commented that our checker strategies are the opposite of our real-life strategies: in the game, I think slowly and rationalize every move, while Jon moves quickly, crosses his fingers, and hopes for the best.  In this real world of ours?  I’m quick to jump and Jon likes a 15359-point plan before making a move.

PS – Is post-script allowed in blogs?  I hope so!  Anyway, we finally wrote our initials in something — I’ve been waiting for the right moment, and when I saw the Jenga set with names scrawled across the tops and sides, I knew the moment had come.  See the JP+JP up there? That’s us 🙂  Do me a favor and don’t tell the owner?

hey there perfection

Too much talk about dreams and goals fills me with a need to stop everything, cuddle my husband, play with my puppy, ride my bike, pick some flowers, and invite my nearest and dearest for a home-cooked brunch.

Envisioning my perfect day helps me recount the things and people that are most important to me.  I close my eyes and wonder: ‘if I could do anything, what would I do and whom would I do it with?’

Is the perfect day an illusion?  I described bits and pieces of what mine would look like – friends and biking and cooking  – but still so much was left out – think yoga and hiking and being with friends.  All the activity makes me wonder if the perfect day truly exists? Might I be more honest if I envisioned the perfect week?

It seems true that there isn’t enough time for all my favorite things to happen in just one day. For instance, I need time for a morning stroll and time to make waffles; time to read the WSJ and time to sleep-in; time to watch the sunrise and time to call my grandma. And heavens: that’s just the morning.

Journaling about the improbability of the perfect day has me mentally creating a game where you pick activities and design a different ‘perfect day’ each time you play.  So much, in fact, that I stopped writing and designed this graphic:
Now tell me: what’s your perfect day? Week? Does it look anything like my game?

ho ho ho

Feeding four grown men three times daily keeps me whisking, swirling, and mixing around the kitchen like a sister of Rachel Ray.  Since the men in question are burly sweethearts from the North Woods, they spent the day chopping wood and building sheds, and they return home with the appetite of Paul Bunyon himself.

My mother-in-law, Jane, has been feeding the men for over 30 years, and so I offer to take over whenever we visit.  Let her spend the day hiking, reading, painting, and enjoying the day far far from the kitchen (for once).

My commitment to feeding the men had me up before the sun to prepare the coffee and the daily menu.  Cinnabons, chocolate-chip banana-bread cookies and muffins were on the table before 8am.  Now, finally, I can sit down to reflect on our Christmas vacation.  Mind if I share some highlights?
Quite the carb fest, right?  Even so, delicious and absolutely necessary when you keep busy from morning to night.  Yesterday we had a lazy morning play Yahtzee in our pajamas.  Jon had never played before, but he secured a massive win with *2* Yahtzees in the first round:
My brother-in-law Ryan is a true woodsmen.  The man can chop a tree and turn the wood into just-about-anything-your-heart-desires.  You need a mailbox? Bam. An arch for your wedding? He’s got that (he built ours).  He’s worked with wood since he was a boy, and when I learned of his craft, I suggested he open an Etsy shop.  I’m working on an official website and bio for him, so I spent the afternoon playing interview in his shed:ImageImageImage
Jon planned to spend the afternoon shoveling snow off the roof of the house, shed, and boat dock, but I convinced him to break and just play in the snow.  What’s a wife for, after all?  Gotta convince the guys to have some fun.
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Can you believe Christmas is tomorrow? I wish it was next week and we could prolong all the excitement and cookies just a bit longer.  What about you? Are you ready for Christmas?

come sail away

What if I told the truth when people asked me what I wanted for Christmas?  Would people be shocked if I revealed my true desires, or would they just think I was rude — or worse, joking?

Riding in a hot air balloon has been on my bucket list for a while not, but as requests for my ‘christmas list’ fill my inbox from mom, grandma, mother-in-law, and sister, I find myself wanting to tell people that I’d like a hot air balloon.

Not as a ride, per say, but as a mode of daily transportation.

Something to sit in my garage, next to my car, and ready for me to fire up (literally) whenever I’m craving some scenery and adventure.  How lovely does that sound?  Should I be honest about my wishes?  What would you ask for if cost weren’t an issue?

Aside from daydreaming about sailing over cornfields, mountain ranges, lakes and oceans, I’ve been getting into the holiday spirit by shopping for others and getting our Christmas cards ready to go.  Little Kinzie got a sweater as an early gift:
Jon’s mom sent us this sweet ornament for St. Nick’s:
We bought ourselves Ticket to Ride, and then had friends over for a game night:
And, best of all, I convinced Jon to leave work and have lunch with me at The Depot. I was craving fish tacos and my sweetheart, and, well, we ended up getting to have a festive holiday lunch.  ImageImage
The Depot was decorated for Christmas, and when Jon started taking pictures of me in front of the tree, a nice man wandered over and asked if he could take pictures of both of us.  UM.. Yes! Thank you! He took a couple and now I’m making one of them into our Christmas Card.  Which do you like better?
Anyway, y’all, happy holidays, and remember:

instant tradition

The best part about being an adult is making your childhood dreams come true on a grand scale.  I’ve been hula-hooping since I could walk (truth: I started ballet when I was 3.. and.. well.. it’s kind of the same thing, right? I mean, balance and movement and what not. Nevermind, just go with it), and I always wished.wished.wished I could hula hoop somewhere besides my garage.  I mean, who likes huling around all the junk that didn’t fit in the house? Not me.  I shook it left and right and promised myself I would hula in coola places when I was older.

Since I figure that most people have dreams just like mine, I decided to host a hula hoop competition on the streets of Minneapolis.  The pictures tell the story:


best dressed award

judge book cover

I enjoy judging books by their covers.  I enjoy it so much, in fact, that I’ve made a game out of my sneaky hobby.  The game works something like this: enter bookshop, pick 5 or 6 books with appealing covers, guess which one will be the most satisfying, and then read the first chapter of each book. Win the game by purchasing the book you originally judged to be the most enjoyable.


Books sometimes take a couple chapters to really hit their stride (just like dating, right?), but that’s not what this game is about.  I’ll read reviews and give the less-well-dressed novels a chance when I order them on Amazon.

The books above are the contenders for this week.  Which cover do you like the best?


rock-a-shaying in the bathtub

ImageWhat would it be like to blow bubbles in a bubble bath while chewing bubble gum?  Is that even possible?  Should I try it, dear readers? I mean, come on, I would have a bathing suit on (duh) so it’s not like you would see nudie pics or anything.

You know what, the whole image of me rock-a-shaying in a bathtub filled head-to-toe with bubbles makes me so excited that I am going to actually do this.  Jon is out of town for the weekend, and so there isn’t anyone to tell me that I’m making a mess in the bathroom. Or that bubbles are for kids.  Silly rabbit! Trix are for kids. Or something like that. (That’s a cereal reference if you weren’t born in the 80’s).

To add a rah rah rah factor to the experiment, I’m also going to incorporate some strangers into the fun (no, I am not inviting strangers into the bathtub).  I’m taking some bubbalicious, bumbazooka, and ballpark bubbles to the park for a bubblegum blowing competition.  I might even get that gum with animal tattoos – that would be a fun after project, right?

Anyway, you can tell that I wrote the post before the experiment, but here are the photos that followed:
the sunset on the way home was so gorgeous that i pulled over and watched it from the roof of the jeep:
Be on the lookout for the bubble party in the tub – that is step 2 of this project.  In the meantime, try and tell me that I wouldn’t be best-friends with np in this movie:

Oh, and check out this song—it’s van-task-ick: 

And one last, very important thing – if you’re thinking I’m looking better than normal, it’s all because of Kristine at Apricot Lane in St. Louis Park. She styled me up so I wouldn’t be wearing the same outfit two days in a row (see the last two posts).  Thanks Kristine!!

naked cake party in the streets

A gathering without cake is just a meeting.  Cake transforms events into parties, and the sweet treat has been the honorary centerpiece of birthdays and weddings for centuries.  Last night I threw a party in the streets, and i brought … Continue reading