What a Morning!!

When my alarm went off this morning, and Sallie nudged me for her breakfast, I didn't fight it. I hadn't run since the Torchlight 5K last Wednesday, so I was excited to get out there again.

I put in my contacts, brushed my teeth, and got all dressed for running.
As I was putting on my shoes, I thought I heard some thunder.
A quick peek out the window showed no rain, so I leashed up Sallie, grabbed my phone and keys, and headed to the front door.

To discover it was raining. Raining hard!

Sallie wouldn't even step out the door.
I didn't want to get my phone wet.
So, we headed back inside.

She still seemed like she needed to go potty, so after dropping off my phone, I leashed her back up and headed into the pouring rain. She still didn't want to go out, so she did a quick pee and made a beeline back to the door. I don't blame her. I didn't want to be standing in the rain, either.

Now, I had some extra time, so I decided to work on my blog. I uploaded some pics from my camera and got a couple posts started.

Then it was time for a shower. A quick shower.
Shoot! I needed to shave my legs. After a few seconds debate, I decided I'd risk it and take the extra few minutes to shave.

When I was just finishing up in the shower, I suddenly remembered I'd volunteered to bring a dessert into the office today for lunch!
I hadn't give this another thought since leaving the office yesterday.

I now had 20 minutes to finish getting ready and prep a dessert (to prepare/bake at work). What I had in my mind to make wasn't going to work. I was sure I had all the ingredients, but when I looked in my cupboards the only ingredient I had was the rhubarb.

So, I hit the Internet. Thank goodness for Allrecipes, where I did an ingredient search for recipes with rhubarb and oatmeal. I found this recipe that seemed easy enough to grab all the ingredients and go. Of course my rhubarb was in the freezer. Luckily, I'd chopped it all up before freezing it. It took a little time to break off 3 (out of the 7 in the bag) cups to bring into work.

But I was in a rush, so while the rhubarb thawed ever so slightly, I was busy throwing on my clothes and mascara. Combing my hair.

Grab the 3 cups of rhubarb.
Grab a 9x13 pan.
Grab all the ingredients (I'd measured and thrown them in Ziploc bags before getting dressed).
Grab my phone.
Throw it all in my backpack
Blow a kiss to my husband.
And out the door!

I left only 3 min later than usual.
And caught the shuttle with one minute to spare!

Oh, what a morning!!

Now, let's just hope the dessert is divine and the rest of the day is a little less crazy!


Nauvoo, IL

Playing organ at Lyon Drug in Nauvoo, IL
When I was younger, my aunt lived right in Nauvoo. We took a few summer trips down there to visit with cousins.
I loved walking around Old Nauvoo and seeing how the pioneers lived. It was fun!
One year, I even got to play this little organ. It's not something they usually let visitors do, but my mom asked, and so I got to play.
This was back in the day when I was actually taking piano lessons and could play far better than I can now.


Race Day!!

 The much anticipated race day was yesterday, July 21st! I love the Torchlight 5K. I don't know what it is about running around downtown Minneapolis, but I LOVE IT!! It has been 3 years since I last ran this race, and I didn't want another year to go by without running it, so I convinced some of my friends to join me.

Naturally after pushing myself and training about 3x each week for the month or so before the race, I didn't feel prepared at all to run. My previous two runs were DIFFICULT, to say the least. Come race day, I was really nervous.

So, of course, I woke up with a slight tickle to my throat! The nerve.

Then, I had scheduled a doctor's appointment. That may or may not have been the best idea. But it allowed me to go into work late, since I knew I would be staying late for the race.

When I got to work, I found out that we had an extra ticket to the afternoon Twins game. Would I like to go? Oh yeah.  
Twins game
 It was actually very cool to be in the new stadium. It was a very fun atmosphere. So much energy. 

We're gonna win Twins. We're gonna score!
The Twins beat the Cleveland Indians 6-0. Four runs were made in the 3rd inning and two more in the 8th. The other innings were a little slow but still fun.

During the 4th inning, we went to grab some food and use the rest rooms. Yes, I took a picture in the bathroom. I thought it was fantastic to see that they installed toilets with dual-function handles. Flush up for #1; flush down for #2. Yeah, I'm a dork.
Energy Efficient toilets. Cool!

After the game, it was back to work for me. Around 5pm, someone assumed that I had left for the evening, so she turned off the light in my section. I was too lazy (and it wasn't that dark), so I continued to work without the lights for another hour.

6pm. Time to change into running clothes and head toward the Basilica. My friends Bre and Tacy (Lisa couldn't make it; she was not feeling well come race day) hitched a ride with my husband down to the race (parking can be a real pain!), and we all met together at the race start.
We ARE ready to run!
Even Sallie came out to cheer us on! Here she is waiting for us to finish our race.

Just a-chillin'
The best part of running a race? FREE FOOD!! There were around 4,000 people who ran the race (I think), so the lines for the food were incredibly LONG, but free food is free food, so I'm definitely not gonna complain about that!
In line for post-race food. Love it!
We had to get a banana shot!
So much good food. Where do I put it all??

Mouth full, Hands full
Overall, it was a fabulous day!
Twins game was totally awesome, plus it was a WIN for the home team!!
I was nervous about the race for absolutely nothing!
Running with friends is so motivating. I only walked briefly for a water break.
We kicked out a 10:05 min/mile!
I was totally shocked.
And happy!


Welcome, BlogTrotters, to Minnesota

Land of 10,000 Lakes
The North Star State
The Gopher State
Land of Sky-Blue Waters
The Bread and Butter State

Whatever you call it, I call it HOME.

I was absolutely delighted to receive a comment on my blog last week from Carabee over at BlogTrotting inviting me to give a little tour of my neck of the woods. BlogTrotting is a fun blog where you can visit other exciting places around the world.

I am genuinely thrilled to share with you a few of my favorite things about Minnesota.

I'm a Minnesotan, born and raised.

I grew up in Alexandria, MN. Hop over here for a brief tour of the main street of Alexandria, as I remember it from my teenage years.

Alexandra is the heart of the Central Lakes area, where are plenty of lakes for swimming and fishing.

I've since moved from Alexandria (more than 15 years ago) and now reside in St Paul, our state capital.

But what I really love about living in St Paul is living across the street from the University of St Thomas. Both my husband and I are students at UST, and we love our beautiful campus. We love to walk the grounds and will generally take any visitors we have on a quick tour.

The St Thomas Arches are an important part of UST culture. Incoming freshmen walk through the arches to the applause of current students and faculty, welcoming them to their new home. Neither of us started as freshmen, so we didn't get to experience this, but we are looking forward to Commencement when graduating seniors walk back out through the arches and head out into the world. I'm not sure if this will be a part of my graduate commencement ceremony, but it will definitely be a part of Jeff's. We have two more years of school before we head back out into the real world.

I've actually only lived in St Paul for a year and a half. Before that, I always considered myself more of a Minneapolis girl. While St Paul is growing on me, I definitely prefer the downtown of Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis skyline is beautiful!

The skyway system is wonderful!
You can easily stay dry and warm in the rain or snow.

Another thing I love about living in the Twin Cities is all the fun running paths!
I love to run with my little girl, Sallie...
And take walks with my husband.

We've moved a lot around the twin cities.
and in St Paul near Crosby Lake .

I can't forget to mention Como Park Zoo. This is a fun, free zoo. They do accept a suggested donation of $2 for adults and $1 for children. We've gone to this zoo a couple of times .

I could go on and on about this great state! There are so many things I didn't mention like:


No matter where I live, I will always consider MN my home.

Feel free to browse through my blog to discover other random things about me (and occassionally MN, too). If you've visited any of the links in this post, you might have noticed many were from my *other* blog, Dodson Journal. Go ahead and pop over there for even more exciting advertures! I love MN, but I also love to travel and see new things. Mostly these adventures are with my husband, so naturally, they get posted on our family blog.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed my little tour of Minnesota.


Summer and AC and Running with Friends

I missed posting my Gratitude list last week. :-(

This week, I'm thankful for:
It's been HOT, HOT, HOT this summer.
I've always been in the "I'd rather be hot than cold" camp, so this summer have been delicious for me!

Even though I like it HOT, I'm still also grateful for AIR CONDITIONING, so I don't have to do this all day.

I'm also grateful to be able to RUN! I love running. There were a couple years when my shins would hurt too much to run, but that has been changing, and I've been forcing myself to run a few times a week. Today I had the wonderful opportunity to run with my friend, Tacy. We ran further and longer than I normally do on a morning run, AND I made it to work on time. Whoo hoo!

What are you grateful for today?


Happy Birthday, Emillio!!

This is one of my favorites! What an adorable little kid. That spring, he loved to wear those rubber boots. In fact, I think he may have worn them throughout most of the summer, too. What a silly little guy.

I remember when I found out I had a nephew. I was at Girls Camp. My little sister was there, too. It was so fun to hear our older sister had a little boy. We were SO. VERY. EXCITED!!

He was my best little bud for awhile! I loved to hold him and play with him. We even joked around that I was his girlfriend. So fun!

When he was beginning to talk, my friend, Aimee, tried very hard to teach him to say, "Orange Eight" (from a refrigerator magnet) and "Nunchuck" (can't remember why). I wonder if she remembers that. To this day, my family refers to her as Orange 8 Aimee. :-)

Now, this little guy is a high school graduate! (June 13, 2010)
And today he turns 18!
Happy birthday, Emillio!!
Hope you have a fabulous day!


DC Marching Band Trip

In 1993, our high school marching band when to Washington, DC, to march in the 4th of July parade.

I didn't actually get to march (so don't look for me in this picture), but I got to go anyway! Whoo hoo!!


Weather, Cars, America

Today has been long.
I have been cranky.
Don't really feel like writing this post,


It is important to express gratitude,


even though I'm not particularly feeling it today,


I'm grateful it didn't rain on our camping trip last weekend.
We were a little concerned because it was forecasted to be a big storm with hail and everything. We didn't exactly feel good about sleeping in a tent in that weather.

On a similar note, I'm grateful for the beautiful sunshine.
Even though I spend my days inside with my back to the window, it's nice to know I can always turn around and see the sun shining.

I'm grateful my husband is picking me up from work today.
I'm just happy I don't have to walk to the shuttle. I'm just not feeling up to it.
Plus, he picked me up on Tuesday, and we got home 20 minutes before the shuttle even left Minneapolis to head to St Paul!

I'm grateful for the 4th of July.
And for the festivities that await me this weekend to celebrate:
Ward Picnic, Friends' BBQ, Dinner with Family, Picnic at Uncle Rodney's, Fireworks

What are you grateful for today? What are your holiday weekend plans?


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