Lately I’m . . .

Preparing for our trip to Michigan. I’ve been saving vacation time all year, and we’re heading “home” on Saturday. All my family is in Michigan and we try to make it back once or twice a year. And on the way, we’re going to stop and see my college roommate. We’ve been wrapping up stuff at work (poor Jonathan has to prepare two papers in one week!), shopping for snacks (Vitamin Water and beef jerky are our non-negotiables), and doing ridiculous amounts of cleaning.

Here are a few pictures of us with my siblings from the last time we went home for Christmas : )gingerbread house 2 gingerbread house 1Getting into the habit of running on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday or Sunday. A week and a half after starting the schedule, it’s still going. AND I’m even planning to run next week when we’re in Michigan. I’m glad my aunt has a treadmill—otherwise, I’d be skipping the runs. No way am I ready to run outside. In the cold. Up and down hills. No thank you.

Watching Ashley and JP’s wedding. Yes, I’m talking about The Bachelorette. I don’t usually watch TV (we find a show we like and get it on DVD), but when Ashley was on The Bachelorette, I got hooked. I fell in love with her and JP as a couple (my husband is rolling his eyes right now), and I got super excited when I found out they were actually getting married. As I write this, I’m watching the parts of the wedding I missed on Sunday when it actually aired. If you’re like my husband and you think it’s stupid, you’ll be happy to know I haven’t let myself watch the show since.

Going to the dentist. Two weeks ago. This week. And two more times in January. I’ll spare you the details, but when I have kids I am making sure they get proper dental care. I didn’t, and now I’m making up for it. Dental work is not fun, folks.

Signing up to do book reviews for Tyndale and Thomas Nelson. For the past year and a half, I’ve only reviewed books for Bethany House Publishers, but I’m switching things up in 2013. Check out the links in the sidebar for more information and stay tuned!

Brainstorming my 2013 goals. I work best when I set goals for myself and make them public. Last year did not go so well. I’ve been brainstorming goals for about a month now, and I think I have some good ones. In the next few weeks, I’ll post a list. Maybe accountability will make them happen this year.

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Lately . . .

Apparently I took a blogging hiatus for most of October. It was not intentional at all. BUT I have been taking pictures so I could tell you all about it.

At the beginning of the month, we drove to Michigan so I could be in a friend’s wedding and we could spend some time with my family. Major fail of the weekend? I didn’t take any pictures of the wedding! Not even me and Jonathan. I’m still pretty bummed about this. But here are a few other shots from the trip and a wedding photo I stole from Facebook.

This is the only picture from the wedding that was on our camera : (

Sister and her boyfriend.

Campfire picture with Mom and Aunt Renee.

Yep, that’s my husband pretending to hit my little brother with a piece of firewood. I don’t get it either.

The rest of the month has been swallowed up with after-dinner walks, things with friends, and lots of tea drinking. I was never a tea drinker before (except chai, of course), but a friend from church gave me some Good Earth Sweet & Spicy (non-caffeinated), and I am addicted. That stuff is good with nothing in it!

And, of course, I managed to get sick. Gotta love having a scratchy throat (among other things). When it was at it’s worst last weekend, I sacked out on the floor in the living room. I spent my time watching Gilmore Girls and You’ve Got Mail and I crocheted. A lot.

crochet-turquoise-yarnOur church is currently collecting winter wear for an outreach event, so I’ve been making hats like crazy. The blue one in these pictures, though, I’m keeping for myself. Lest I sound like a miser—I made three new ones for the church and found some things from last year to give away.

And my most recent excuse for not posting? My computer cord died : ( So the husband and I have been fighting over sharing his computer for the last week. Since he’s a full-time writer, he gets dibs. Bummer. And I am really missing my own PC. This one doesn’t have any of my log-ins, my files, or my “Pin It” button. And let me tell you, I miss that button. For crying out loud—he didn’t even have Merriam-Webster bookmarked! (Oh, you don’t either? Maybe it’s just me . . . ) He does now : ) Okay, enough whining. If you’re reading this, it means we got a replacement cord and I was able to get my pictures from my computer. So yay for having my own computer again!

And I might as well throw in a little running update . . . It hasn’t been going so well. I ran the day before I got sick (just over a week ago) and haven’t run since. But in my own defense, running has been causing quite a bit of knee pain since I started. After a little research (note that I looked it up on a running site, not WebMD), I think it might be Runner’s Knee. I’d never heard of it before, but I think it means I need some new shoes.

Confessions of a Transplanted Michigander

It’s been almost three years since I married my Sweetheart and moved to the Twin Cities, and it’s been quite an experience. We ended up here because it’s where Jonathan grew up, and when he graduated (earlier than I did), he got a job here. Life in Minnesota is pretty different than it was growing up in southeast Michigan, and after reflecting on the differences, I have a few confessions—some serious and some not so serious . . .

1. Michigan will always have a special place in my heart, but I really do love living in Minnesota. And let me tell you, a one-bedroom apartment in a nice first-ring suburb of Minneapolis may be a little more than we’d like to pay, but we can get almost anywhere in the metro in about 20 minutes. At heart, I am a Midwestern girl. Michigan and Minnesota are both great states to live in.

2. I really miss Downey’s potato chips and Faygo pop. And it was impossible to find Paczki on Fat Tuesday. We do have Vernor’s here if you know where to look, and I usually get it when I’m feeling sick because that’s when I always had it as a kid. Minnesota does have a few yummy things, too—cheese curds, for example, which I had never heard of before moving here.They’re probably a Wisconsin carryover, but that’s okay.

3. I think Minnesotans talk funny. Sorry, Minnesota, but I’ll always serve casserole (not hotdish), love my [ant] (not aunt), play duck duck goose (not duck duck gray duck), and open the doorwall (not the sliding glass door). And you’ll never hear me say I’m “coming with” or telling you to “bring the blanket with.”

4. I’m always going to miss Lake Michigan. Minnesota’s 10,000+ lakes are great and all, and I love to head north to see Lake Superior, but there’s no comparison. I’ll take the glorious sand dunes over the rocky shore any day.

5. I’ve never been to Mackinac Island, and I was five the last time I visited the UP. I’m ashamed to admit this and hope to remedy the situation in the next few years.

6. I love Michigan winters. To be fair, I’ve always loved snow, so maybe this is a lame confession. But it gets too freaking cold in Minnesota. I never thought I minded the cold much til I moved here. And though the last two years have been weird (record high and low amounts of snow, respectively), I think the average amount of snow in each state is pretty comparable.

7. I use my hand to show people where I’m from. I’d never seen anyone do this until I moved to Indiana for college. People always joke about it, and I always feel silly, but it’s pretty useful : )

8. I love working five minutes from the Mall of America. (Actually, it’s closer than that, but sometimes finding a parking spot is tricky—like last Saturday when it took us half an hour.) I’m over the fact that it’s the largest mall in the US, but I love the convenience. That said, I often feel like an awful, materialistic American when I visit. But as long as I’m not spending $200 on a pen or $25 at the oxygen bar, I think I can relax a little.

9. I’ve learned Michigan’s weather isn’t quite as unique as I always thought it was. I’ve lived in Michigan, Indiana, and Minnesota now, and I know people from Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa. And we all claim our state has the most unpredictable weather: “We always say in (fill in Midwestern state here),’If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes and it’ll change.'”

10. I was kinda shocked when I moved to Minnesota and everyone poked fun at domestic car companies and drove imports. Okay—that’s a gross generalization, but I was surprised when no one realized or cared how important the car industry is—at least in Michigan. Most people here haven’t grown up in a family that revolves around cars. And they didn’t cry when they saw this Superbowl commercial like I did. My dad is a mechanic. My grandpa and aunt retired from GM. My mom and uncle have spent most of their lives manufacturing car parts. My great grandparents moved to Detroit from Poland and worked on the assembly lines. The car companies’ struggle affects all of us. And all I ever hear in Minnesota is derogatory comments about “Government Motors.”

So there you have it. Have you ever moved to a new place and been surprised by how different it is? I’d love to hear your stories.