Monday, September 30, 2013

Big Ticket Girlfriend Fun

I decided to highlight some BIG TICKET gal pal time this summer and fall I haven't yet shared on the blog.

My friend Dawn currently lives in California, so visiting requires a plane ticket

Jess, Heidi and I flew out last fall. This July she got a ticket to came for a long weekend. We spent time TALKING on my patio, TALKING at lunch in Uptown, TALKING on the shores of Lake Harriett, TALKING at a fabulous dinner on the patio at W.A.Frost, TALKING at brunch at Amy C's, and TALKING at a family supper back at my house. It was just what the doctor ordered for these 4 gal pal girls.

Gretchen and I went to  Pride and Prejudice at the Guthrie Theater this Labor Day weekend. Gretchen finished her grad degree this June, and my promised gift to her was tickets to the show. You know Gretchen would live in a Jane Austin novel if she could. The last week of the run, we still had NO real/scheduled plans to attend and NO tickets
  • I finally caught up with Gretechen on Thursday, and we decided we wanted to go Friday. 
  • There we no tickets on-line Thursday night. 
  • There were no tickets over the phone Friday morning, or Friday afternoon when I called back. 
  • We drove downtown anyway, and were in line at Will Call by 6 pm. I nearly got a speeding ticket on the way, because I was gabbing too much. It was my lucky girl night out. The officer could tell we were excited. The car seats were empty, and the two mommies were dressed up a bit. He let us go on our merry way with only a warning.
  • We hovered by Will Call until 6:15, at which time I BEGGED the ticket manager to keep my credit card behind the counter HOPING someone would turn in tickets.
  • She agreed, so we went to dine on delicious plates to share and sip wine on the Sea Change patio next door.
  • We returned at 7:10, the ticket manager waved us to the front Will Call, and WE HAD OUR SEATS. Giddy? YES!!!!! 
The show was exactly as the reviews described (lacking depth, but entertaining none the less), and we had a GRAND TIME indeed. We even chatted with Amy Klobuchar as we returned from intermission. She wanted to see Minnesota's own,Mad Men's Pete Campbell on stage as Mr. Darcy too. Surely we had a better time then if we had purchased tickets in advance like normal theater goers!

Then there was Taylor Swift. I managed to get TWO sets of tickets (one the Saturday show and one to Sunday) when a second grouping of tickets was released by Ticketmaster in late July. The ticket sales were announced on the radio in the morning, and went on sale that evening at 5 pm, by phone only. I scored 2 tickets for the Saturday show as I drove Dean to karate practice. The phone system game me the option to purchase tickets to another show, so I tried for Sunday, and got tickets on the MAIN FLOOR, intending to sell the first set.

Of course my plan was to take my gal pal Jesse as my date. We were as giddy as all the school girls who were attending, except we were old enough to have BIG GIRL drinks, wine, dinner, and dessert at Pazzaluna before the concert.
Taylor sure knows how to put on a show....

My girlfriends sure know how to have a good time too, and not JUST at during those big ticket moments.
I love my gal pals.

See some of you at First Thursday Girls Night later this week!

Monday, September 16, 2013

State Fair 2013

We almost skipped the State Fair this year.... and then we didn't. We have taken the kids (with Papa) since the Twinners were just a year old, and stroller bound.  This year was BLAZING HOT and I argued we skip the Great Minnesota Get Together. 

Then the Friday before Labor Day there was a break in the horrid heat. I was able to take spur of the moment PTO, so we cruised over to our usual church lot Park N Ride shuttle on Lexington in Roseville. We were at the Fair just before 10 am.

First we ate cheese curds (the breakfast of Champions), visited the giant pumpkin in the Horticulture Building, ate mini donuts, a dough-sant or crou-nut (whichever is NOT trade-marked), a pronto pup, went down the GIANT SLIDE, ate a breakfast burrito (which came with a free cup of coffee),  THEN we went to see my Dad (Papa), who was manning a machinery display for a cousin of Chris's.
Next up -a few rides on the Kiddy Midway. Dean wanted chocolate covered fruit on a stick. Then Mark grabbed an ear of roasted corn before heading to every animal barn except the Miracle of Birth and the Llamas. We didn't make it there.
Dean loves ALL the animals - cows, horses, pigs, goats, sheep.... bunnies and poultry.
The child has some sort of odd affinity to poultry. Every year he wants to visit EVERY SINGLE AISLE and every single bird.

Marly likes the State Fair too, although she refused to go down the Giant Slide this year.
This is my selfie at the State Fair.
My favorite animals are cows. I LOVE cows. I really don't like pigs and didn't even stop to look at the giant bore this year.
I also like a cold tap brew while I am strolling the fair. I ran into Cathy Kalenberg while waiting in line for the Deep Fried Olives (the new big hit on a stick this year). She got me a fresh beer, which was a trade for an order of the Deep Fried Olives. We ran into Rich and Cathy last year too.
After my REQUIRED order of Fresh French Fries, we were tired, hot, had spent more than $100 on food, and were READY to head home, It was 2:30 and the sun was beginning to heat things up. Plus, I have a sprained or broken pinky toe, and was starting to limp.

And for the rest of our Labor Day weekend, Mark painted the deck in the sweltering 90 degree heat on Saturday, and we headed to Brett and Rachel's for a fantastic holiday overnight on Sunday! No photos, but we had so much fun.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

First Day of First Grade

First Day
First Grade
First Time Apart
Like many public school students, Marly and Dean went back to school the day after Labor Day. Same school, same bus, new teacher(S), new class.
We actually submitted the school paperwork to keep the Twinners together (again). We discovered at the open house (one week before school started), they were assigned to different classes. The truth is, Mark and I found plenty of pros to both separating, and keeping them together. It was our emotions that lead us to the request in the first place, so we didn't make a fuss over the discovery. I simply marched each kid to each classroom to meet each new teacher. The kids made little or no notice.
The first day of school we took photos, made silly faces, then Mark and  I drove them, instead of putting them on the bus.

Walking into school, Marly burst into tears. Her teacher e mailed later she cried for 30 minutes, then settled in. Dean bid us farewell with a smile and a wave. Day two lead to a few more tears at the bus stop, and by day three, it was smooth sailing.

Wishing everyone a good school year ahead!

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Growing up, I was close to my cousins. My dad was one of three kids, my mom one of 5. All of my aunts and uncles lived in a 30 mile radius. I rode the bus with a handful of my Melberg cousins. The farthest cousins (on the Toren side) were just two small towns away. 

I had a lot of second cousins too, but they were more like my first cousins.... if that makes any sense.
This summer my kids have had quality time with many of their second cousins. These photos are at Sawyer's Birthday. Sawyer is the child in green.The guy in the blue launching the balloon is my cousin Jeff. He moved away.. to IOWA! So did his brother Jason, with Jared in Indiana.
Dean refers to his three of his second cousins (my cousin Matt's 3  boys) as "The 3 S's". Sawyer (the youngest and closest in age to Dean), the Big One (Sutton), and the Middle One (Saxton). He loves playing with "The 3 S's".
Then there is the NEW  FIRST COUSIN - baby Peter. Here are the kids with Charlie and Peter. At the moment, those are the only two first cousins.
 This is Peter's Baptism - We are honored to be Godparents to both kids.
 Marly adores this new little bug, and loves to help take care of him. At baptism I saw my cousin Dee on the Toren side. I don't get to see Dee very often. Her daughter Taylor was along too. I lived with Dee and her family for a few months one summer, after I moved back from Madison. Second cousin Taylor actually helped babysit the Twinners just a few days after baptism. Of course my cousin Michelle was at baptism. We giggle a LOT when we are together.
Mark's sister Kelly is expected her first child later this month. I helped to host a "mod monkey" baby shower for the future Thompson side cousin.
Marly and Dean each had gifts for Declan, currently in utero, and soon to join the world as their third first cousin. There seems to be no luck for a girl.
Then there are these two - That is my Dad and his cousin Charlie. Up on skis at Peter's baptism celebration. Four skis, two men, and 122 years between them.

Cousins = years of fun, laughter, friendship and family.


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