Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Basement Progress

We are actually making progress. We are getting somewhere. Stuff is getting done in our basement. Perhaps this ridiculously cold weather is proving to be worth something after all! Realistically we had hoped that we would be outside enjoying some beautiful spring weather however, mother nature seems to still be confused what season it should be so we are attempting to seize the opportunity to get stuff done in the house. Our basement has the sheet rock all hung, taped, and textured (yeah it is ridiculously hard to take pictures of taping and texturing work, but trust me it was worth every penny to have that part done by professionals - not to mention it would have taken Marc and I no less than 12,001 times longer than it took them). So now we are onto priming/painting and flooring. 
     The original plan was to hold out on the flooring and just deal with the cemented floor, however, a few weeks ago at Menards, during their 11% sale, I conned Marc into just going for it now, while everything is already out of the basement, I mean really - do we want to resettle everything into the basement and then with a newborn or a toddler or older kid be trying to finish the basement. Not to mention most of the things for the basement are currently beautifully stacked in what will be the nursery. So here we are doing the basement floor and watching copious amounts of youtube videos in attempt to figure out what the heck we are doing and how to install flooring. Thank God for people with way more time on their hands then us or people who are passionate about making youtube videos about everything because our house would be in shambles if it wasn't for people like this. 
      In all honesty Marc probably does the bulk of the work - he really knows how to do it. My job: keep the house cleanish, entertain the puppy (who really isn't a puppy any more), check in on our growing chicks (yes, there will be a chicken post coming in the nearish future), keep Marc fed, the dishes done, the laundry clean and folded, put down the blue under layment that goes under the flooring, tape the under layment seams, and make the cuts to the wood with the table saw that Marc says he needs. He is good at putting the boards together and making sure they are all tight enough and making sure that they all have the seal that they are suppose to have. Every once in a while I get promoted to holding something down while he tries to get something in place, but for the most part Marc has been doing most of that. I think he is really enjoying the project actually (which is good because we still have a lot of basement to go - we'll see what he thinks about this project in a few weeks - we have a ton of basement to cover). I think he actually chose the most complicated room to start with (unknowingly though) because this room has a HUGE walk in closet (that I think is going to become my craft nook) and the room is anything but square. The other room that will be another guest room is totally square and has a little closet, so hopefully this will make it a little easier. Then after that it is onto the hallway and then the great room.
    Today I am stopping by Menards (they are seriously going to know me by name by the time this house gets done) to pick up some clear varnish/something to put on the beadboard/floorboards and I am going to start painting those outside as soon as possible so that we can get those pieces put up as soon as they are dry. So the flooring isn't technically done but hopefully the laying of the floor part is actually the time consuming piece and the actual putting up of the last pieces goes pretty quick. We will just have to make sure we cut the pieces to size, which I am hoping won't be too hard, not to forget I am getting really good with a table saw!
    The other complication about this project is we don't actually have electricity downstairs hooked up - it is all just roughed in, so what light we have is just some work/flood lights that we have brought in from the garage. My mom is coming up this weekend to help with the priming/painting of some of the rooms/ so that will be nice, as soon as that is done, I am going to call and get the electricians back to come and finish up the electrical work so that we are back in action with electricity downstairs. Other things that will need to be done at some point: tile the bathroom floor, finish installing the toilet/shower/sink/vanity, hang doors, and add shelving to the closets.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Como Park Conservatory and Zoo

This weekend my family met up in Minneapolis to celebrate Cub getting his white coat in vet school. Technically he doesn't graduate until next May but his class received their white coats on Sunday. While we couldn't actually be there for the white coat ceremony we were able to head down on Friday evening and stay through most of Saturday. 

Saturday afternoon we spent at the Como Park Conservatory and Zoo (NEVER let me leave the house again without my Nikon D300, I thought we were just going to be chilling and hanging out -so all these photos were taken with my point and shoot - which works but isn't my Nikon D300). Sooo here are some pics from this weekend's adventures:

Dad, Cub, Mom, Marc, and Me

The Boys

Ma & Pa

Love my parents

We really did see WAY more animals at the zoo,
the giraffes are just my favorite by far so I have WAYYY more pictures
of them. The flower pictures are the ones that turned out the best though.

What did you do this weekend?
Anything out of the ordinary?

Friday, April 11, 2014

3 years old

Happy 3rd Birthday Dakota!

Dearest Dakota,
   You have become quite the wonderful dog and we give thanks for you in our lives. We wouldn't be the same without you. You are a ray of sunshine and hope. I rejoice at coming home to you each and every night. I love the way you insist on being pet and that at a solid sixty pounds you still think you are a lap dog. You goofy dog, you have long outgrown that stage.
    You are a wonderfully loving dog, you love people and bring joy to everyone you encounter. I am thankful for your patient spirit and your tolerance for people, especially children. You repeatedly encounter children who "pet" you perhaps a little rough, they sit on you and even tug on your ears, and you lay still and your tail wags back and forth. Your tail never stops moving unless you are sleeping. You wag and wag and wag all day long with joy. Even in the morning when we come to get your out of your crate, which thankfully you still love to sleep in and beg to go into at night, and as we greet you, your tail goes crazy.
    You also continue to help the Golden Retriever breed. You are one of the currently just over 2000 dogs in the Morris Animal Foundation lifetime study of Golden Retrievers. You love going to the vet, they give you treats and there are new faces to befriend.
     Winter is a little rough on you when the weather doesn't allow us to get you outside to run. We attempt to get you the exercise you need but when the bitterly cold strikes it complicates things. However, you love to throw your orange ball down the steps to go and chase, you have discovered if you drop it at the right point it will roll the whole way down the stairs and you can go and get it. Sometimes, we put a couple inches of water in the bathtub and you eagerly jump in and will play in the bathtub for sixty or so minutes before you get bored, especially if we float an ice cube or two or your orange ball in there, the fun is endless. You are a well behaved dog.
     Your favorite toys currently are: orange chuck it balls, the turtle from my parents that you got for Christmas (do all spoiled dogs get Christmas gifts), and rope toys.  You live to run free and without the leash. With our recent move to the lot next to the State Park, I am fairly convinced you are in some level of heaven. I can't wait for summer to come again so that you can swim again, you love the lakes as well on a hot day. You are greatly motivated by a treat or a bone. You also love when I finish a jar of peanut butter and I leave that last little bit in it for you to lick out, you will haul a mostly empty peanut butter jar around for hours and will attempt to get every last spec of peanut butter out of it.
    This was a tough year for you in the sense that your two best friends died. Luther and Gus both died this year and still when we go to their house you search for them. I don't know how else to explain it to you. They really were your best friends. Your friends now are Nala and Echo and Duncan. You know them all by name and watch for them when I say they are coming or at the door. You love your friends. You have a few other acquaintances and love to play with other dogs when we got to the dog park, but no one that you love as much as those three.
    Your favorite people include: me, Marc, Vicki, Linnea (due to the fact that she feeds you whatever she is eating), JT (because he also feeds you whatever he is eating), KT, and Cubby. You love all people though, especially if they have a treat for you. You also have gotten to make several trips to one of our local nursing homes, you are so sweet and tender with all of the residents. You wag your tail at 200 miles per hour and walk right up to people when they wave you over and you rest your head right on their laps so they can pet you. You have no fear of wheelchairs, walkers, canes, or crutches for this reason. You even have a favorite old man at one of the nursing homes who always takes you from me and he takes you from room to room to show you off to all of his friends, you are happy to go along with him as long as I am walking behind you.
    You also have a great appreciation for adventures, you know when we tell you we are going on an adventure you get to ride in the car. You are an amazing camper and love when we tent it somewhere. You also love when Marc takes you on adventures without me because you know that means you will get to ride in the front seat of the car. You really are an amazing dog and I give thanks for you and your joy in our lives daily.
   You have managed to become family and life wouldn't be the same without you. You are one amazing three year old. Please live forever. You will always be my first beloved dog as I have grown up. You have taught me much in life and I pray I am able to give you even a tenth of what you pour out on me. May your days be filled with lots of tail wagging, orange balls, someone to pet you, treats, a good run and swim, and evening snuggles. May you always be so filled with joy that it radiates out of you. May you continue to be a blessing to all of us who get to know you and love you and have you in our lives. Happy 3rd birthday little girl.

Love you,

Thursday, April 10, 2014


I figured after dropping the news in the last post that I am pregnant I should probably do a bit of an update. Baby Marshall is technically due on August 7, 2014, however I am not holding my breath that baby will actually agree, my fear is it will be the world's hottest summer on record and baby will hold out until an eviction notice is given and baby is forced out of the womb. Bring on the ice cream and the lake.

We found out we were pregnant back in December, actually on the same day that we closed on our new house. It was quite the surprise to us and not at all like we had planned, I feel like this is how these types of things generally work out. We are jazzed for sure.

A selfish downfall is my race schedule is pretty much non-existent for a while with baby coming in August. I still plan on running a couple 5ks but no halfs or even 10ks are on my calendar, which saddens me. I am not really certain I can bank on being able to run all that well this summer so attempting to do something more than a fun 5k sounds awful. Not to mention the treadmill makes me sick, literally. However, I have been swimming a TON of miles. New problem, maternity swim suits that are geared towards lap swimming rather than having your stomach hang out, they are few and far between and generally cost way more than I actually want to spend. Next year, I will be back running for sure. I have convinced Marc to run the Tower of Terror ten miler with me down in Disney world, not this October, but the following (yes, this seems ridiculously far off in the distance, however, I want a fun race on the calendar. I imagine registration will open up in February or so for the race). My parents, who took no arm twisting, agreed to come along on the trip so that someone can hang out with baby while we run.

I will also hopefully have Fargo 2015 under my belt (no commitment to distance yet, perhaps the 10k) and some fun summer runs. This summer is shot. Something about being seven through nine months pregnant and running sounds horrible.

I have been feeling less than ideal to put it mildy. Whoever named it morning sickness was lucky, I would have referred to it as all day and every day sickness and still going strong at this point (Yes, I am well aware it dies off for most people at 12 weeks, I am just extra "lucky" or something. No, the drugs don't do anything for it.) It sucks. I puke more than I care to admit and am at the point that I look at food and think "do I want to puke that back up" before eating it. Ridiculous.

We are excited for August for sure.
Bring on the world's hottest summer (which after this winter is next to impossible to imagine).

Any fun or exciting news in your world?
Life throwing you any curve balls lately?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ten Months as a MRS

I just realized I missed our 9th month update. Life was nuts.

The Wonderful Things:
  • We have gotten some spring days! but they are few and far between.
  • My husband brought home two movies this past month for me (which we NEVER, or rarely hardly ever buy movies, mostly because we Netflix 99% of our movies or borrow from friends) and he got me the new Hunger Games movie and Frozen (LOVE THEM BOTH)
  • We are making some serious progress on the basement. We insulated the basement ourselves and we don't hate each other like everyone told us we would. I would dare to say we even had fun doing it. We like doing projects that are within our abilities, we know when to call in a professional. We aren't above hiring someone else to do pieces of it.
  • We went to Chanhassen Dinner Theater's version of The Little Mermaid, soooo wonderful
  • We both had birthdays (Marc's is 4/3 and mine is 4/5)
  • Our chickens have been shipped and should arrive tomorrow or Thursday - you have been warned that there will be a chick explosion on my page
  • Marc has really gotten into woodworking/building things (he built our chicken coop) and it has been really fun to watch his skills develop and some of the fun stuff that he has built 
    • once the weather gets nice and he can be out in the garage a little bit more I imagine he will be even more happy to be out there and it will be more fun to hang out there with him, I don't love hanging out in the cold 
The Things No One Ever Tells You About:
  • It is hard to make decisions about how you are going to finish off your basement. Certain things I just don't know what to choose (yes, I know, first world problems) 
    • which tub/shower to pick shouldn't be this hard
    • which color of off white you want your primer to be really doesn't matter
  • When boys are sick the world ends (I know I have had this one before, but seriously)
    • I know being sick sucks and actually he did much better this time than before but still when boys get sick the world ends
  • How amazingly wonderful it is when for a few hours you are totally caught up on all of your laundry, washed, dried, folded, and put away
    • really I just feel wonderful whenever my house is totally clean
    • Marc really is pretty good at helping with keeping our house clean 
      • he really really really likes to vacuum, seriously, and takes it upon himself to vacuum up golden retriever about every other day - I will happily scrub the bathrooms to not have to do golden retriever every other day
The Miscellaneous Things:
  • I still wish my family lived closer
  • I am jazzed our basement is coming together, it will be AWESOME when it is finished.
  • I am excited for Easter
  • The camp I help to co-manage almost has a full summer calendar and that makes my heart happy because now we don't have to fret about meeting budget and what not

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Welcoming a new decade

Today I enter a new decade of life. Good bye 20s and hello 30s.

My 20s were great. The highlight reel:
  • I earned my bachelor's degree
  • I earned my masters of divinity
  • I was ordained
  • I took my first call to full time ministry
  • I got married
  • I traveled the globe
    • met amazing people and heard their stories
    • smelled and tasted things beyond my wildest imagination
    • took thousands upon thousands (literally) of photographs
    • I learned more about myself 
  • I ran my first half marathon (and have continued to run them)
  • I bought 2 houses and sold 1
  • I got my a golden retriever, Dakota
  • I got pregnant (yep, you read that right, Baby Marshall is arriving early August 2014)
Hopes and Dreams for my 30s: (in no particular order)
  • deliver a baby (eeeeeek)
  • raise a wonderful child who lives to love and serve God
  • Travel the globe
  • payoff Marc's student loans
  • finish the basement of our house
  • go on a sabbatical (after 7 years in ministry at my current ministry site I am allowed a 3 month sabbatical)
  • continue to run half marathons
    • and other races - and place in the top 3 of my age bracket for some race (yes it can be a small race) - now that I am out of the 18-29 age bracket (seriously, how is that age bracket fair to those of us in the upper part of that bracket) it seems like this goal may actually be do able
  • Grow in my photography skills 
    • also in my photoshop/lightroom abilities
  • live in the moment more often
    • and live simply
  •  keep up on my shutterfly books - I love looking through them when they are finished 
  • read lots and lots of books
  • crochet beautiful things
This list is only the beginning, as life always goes, we have NO CLUE what we are doing. However, I look forward to the years to come, good-bye twenties, you were good to me for sure. Hello, thirties, bring on the adventures.

"O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen." (ELW pg 304)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Basement Update

You may as well be warned: there will lots of house updates in the next while, our basement is in full get it finished mode. This week we have the crew here taping and texturing our basement. It is impressive how much work they can get done. I am thankful for these guys because I don't even want to guess how many hours/weekends/months it would take Marc and I to do this. And to be REALLY honest, there is NO WAY it would look as nice as what they are doing. Thank God for professionals who work with sheet rock. We currently have our house warmer than I would want and their two massive fans as well as a few of our own fans blowing full power down there in hopes that the walls are dry enough that they can work again today.

It is a hurry up and wait type of process. We REALLY want to get this part done because this weekend we would have time to prime the walls and ceilings if they are ready for us to do it. Fingers crossed we can work our tails off this weekend on this. Yes, I am sure there will be a plethora of pictures to follow after this weekends thrilling (hopeful) paint party. 

Do you like doing projects on your house?
What is your favorite house project you have done on your house?