Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Christie Koester YourVoices Star Tribune Blogger!

Never a dull moment, is there? What a crazy week it’s been! More below.

1. Visit from the parents
It's Pete! Our family dog! We love him!!!
I swear I have the coolest parents ever. I know, I know. Everyone thinks they have the greatest parents and we all should feel special! We didn’t get to do too much considering our family dog, Pete, is on his last leg and can’t be left alone. Karl thinks he has many years ahead of him and just loves the attention. Pete howls now, for no apparent reason. He sounds like a dying cow. We didn’t want to scare the new neighbors. Instead we took shifts: mom and I got pedicures and the guys watched Pete. The guys went to the horse track and we watched Pete. That dog is so spoiled, but we all love him to pieces and I’m not sure what my mom is going to do when he goes. Someone will have to provide her with grandchildren soon after to keep her spirits up (Mark and Tot...hint, hint). Anyway, we ate in every night, which was HEALTHY and incredibly cheap (my dad won big at the track and bought us steaks at Sam’s Club...a whole $54 win!!). We also went on nightly walks to Dairy Queen and my mom and I went shopping! Fun times were had by all. It’s so hard being five hours away from them. It’s not like I can hop in the car for dinner...

2. I’m a blogger for the Star Tribune
I am so excited about this! Every week I get to blog about happenings, events, thoughts, or whatever my heart desires and I will be featured on Star Tribune’s website!! I noticed the bloggers who get the most responses are the ones who write about politics. Unfortunately, I don’t have a passion for politics; however, I have a feeling I’ll be blogging about President Obama and Congressman John Kline both sending us a wedding congratulations card - HAND SIGNED. If that’s what it takes to get the attention of Minnesota... Anyway, here is a link to my first blog. It’s about customer service. I deal with it everyday, so yes, I think about it often. Let’s just say I’m amazed by people in today’s world.

3. Book Status
With my parents being up, I had very little time to write. Okay, I had none at all. I did write for 20 minutes on Monday after work, during my oil change and before sand volleyball. Have I mentioned how much I love Walser Mazda in Burnsville? I get free popcorn AND car wash...PLUS my oil change was FREE. Now that’s awesome customer service! Oh, back to writing...yes, I will be writing this weekend! My goal is to be on Chapter 18 by Sunday night. I can do it. Next week is going to be crazier than this week. I have volleyball, a happy hour, dentist appointment, a few "big" meetings, the peddle pub for a friend's bday, a wedding and a huge Shakopee Derby Day volleyball tournament on Saturday!! And just in case you forgot what I’m writing about, here’s a link!

4. Excuse me....August is next week?
Honestly, where has the summer gone? I thought last summer was fast planning a wedding, but this one surpasses all of them. Next summer I promise not to fill up every weekend. I promise to do the things Karl and I like and want to do! And I promise to kick back and enjoy the moments more.
5. Our house situation
Where do I even start? Karl and I both have town homes. Back in 2003, it looked like we were both ahead of the game. At age 22, I was a home owner (that’s crazy!), and a couple years later so was he. When we met, we both had places we were proud of. We never expected the market to turn upside down on us. Now, Karl has a renter in his place, but we’re not sure for how long. When do we sell? Will we make any money? It’s a constant nagging thought in the back of my mind. All we can do is hope and pray everything will fall into place. It usually does. But what a pain!

6. My husband
I love you, Karl. Thanks for always making me smile!

My brother Smike eating weird food in China...
7. My brother Mike
I call him Smike because he smiles more than anyone I have ever met. On Saturday, he goes to China for two weeks. He travels more than anyone I know. He will miss his birthday completely...well, kind of. He'll be on an airplane flying through a million time zones. And physically MISS the whole day of August 9! But he does get to eat weird that strange thing he's holding in his hands in the enclosed picture. So I just wanted to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SMIKE! You are a great brother! Oh, and Happy Anniversary Mark and Tot:) You both are awesome too.

8. Inception
I’m dying to see this movie. I already know I’m going to love it. I know I’m going to stay awake at night thinking about it and I know I’m going to want to write about it. So maybe we’ll go this weekend:) Have you seen it? Thoughts?

My friend is one who takes me for who I am. - Henry David Thoreau

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Dreams, Heaven, Annoyances and More

I often wonder how different my life would be if I were bored all the time. I frequently read Facebook postings that read, "I AM BORED". I don’t get it…

1. Interesting Dreams…
The other night I dreamt of twisters, bed bugs and winding stairs. I looked them up in my dream book. Bed bugs are a little odd to be dreaming of (though I did have them in Greece) and I’m hoping the meaning behind them isn’t true. Maybe this all has something to do with the fact I finished 90 Minutes in Heaven and then after I personally emailed the author. I was intrigued and couldn’t sleep. I felt like I needed to have coffee with him; yet, I was still able to dream. But I was so tired when I woke up!

2. What is Heaven Like Anyway?
Back when I was in college, my dad passed out on our driveway. It was a balmy, hot August afternoon and my older brother’s 21st birthday. My dad was washing the cars and his heart stopped working. He experienced heaven for a short minute. He explains it as being peaceful and vibrant – a place he felt at home and didn’t want to leave. He met his grandma who only shrugged when he asked if that moment was his time. Then he woke to my mom slapping his face begging him not to leave her.

To many, this may seem crazy. Maybe it was a dream? Maybe my dad's brain was wigging out? But how do others have similar stories?

I finished 90 Minutes in Heaven this week. Don Piper had a similar incident, but he died for 90 minutes. He met several deceased relatives and friends in heaven. He embraced them. His description is very similar to my dad’s. However, Don was horrifically injured and was in ICU for weeks; my dad had to get a pacemaker…

I hope heaven is really as they both described. I frequently think of life after this…mainly because I can’t imagine being separated from the ones I love dearly or saying goodbye. Will I really see them again? And maybe that’s why love is the greatest emotion/feeling ever. I can’t imagine having a conversation with my grandpa one day while we're in heaven about the BMW I always wanted or how I wish I made more money. That stuff won’t matter because it won't exist...just love. I bet time won’t even matter and when I’m reunited with the deceased, it’ll feel like we were only apart for seconds. In my mind, time on earth is real and this is why it's precious. In heaven, time is endless and this is why love is precious. I hope I'm right. I always wonder if my dog Pete will be up there? Because that would be really cool.

3. Diets are LAME
I’m sorry but if you’re planning on going on a “diet” that consists of denying yourself breads, pastas or any carbohydrates, you will fail. Food is too damn good to pass up to lose a pound. Sure, you will drop weight after a couple weeks, but can you keep it up for 20 plus years?? Why?? Life is too fun and short to pass up delicious foods. Please save your money and do it the right way. I say this because I tried all those “diets”. I can save you a lot of TIME and money. The word diet shouldn’t exist. I like the words "lifestyle change". I’m 5’10” and used to be 179 pounds. Yes, I said it. At my largest, I was 179 pounds. My jeans were so tight I’d email my friends and cry to them, "I feel fat. I’m miserable.” I’d complain about my weight to anyone who would listen.

”But I’m eating so healthy,” I’d say. ”I worked out two hours yesterday and am running a half marathon tomorrow,” I’d whine. And my pants kept getting tighter and tighter. Yes, I was eating healthy; my fridge was stocked with sugar free puddings and fat free creams and skim milk. Problem was, I was NEVER satisfied and was ALWAYS hungry. The more I couldn’t eat the REAL stuff, the more I wanted it. One night, after eating three Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches, I baked a chocolate cake with butter and fat and ate the whole thing. Then I ran ten miles the next day.

After a long talk with my mom, I threw away all my fake, processed, chemically induced cuisines; basically anything that wasn’t REAL. Plus it always tasted NASTY and has been linked to cancer, so what was the point? Soon my cereal was filled with delicious 2% milk and a Dairy Queen Blizzard never tasted so good. Something funny started happening. My portions grew smaller. I didn’t need to eat an entire plate full of food. My stomach stopped growling. And my pants started falling off. Vegetables, fish and chicken became staple dinner and lunch options because they tasted so good and fueled my body with nutrients. Too much sugar and I was practically sleeping on my keyboard at work. Being tired wasn’t worth it.

On my wedding day, I was about 140 pounds. Today, I fluctuate between 145 and 150. And I have never been happier.

My motto: yes, you can have your fatty cake and eat it too…just smaller portions

4. A hike in a swamp park
One of the many qualities I love about Karl is his ability to take charge. Sunday afternoon Karl decided we were going to go on a hike, but he wasn’t going to tell me where (yeah! I love surprises). We ended parking at a trail just outside of Shakopee, near the Renaissance Festival. The trails were great, but the mosquitoes were awful (possibly from the swamp). We had to turn around and take the shorter path since it was higher (less bugs). I love going on walks with Karl. I feel like they are mini adventures and we're back on one of our first dates.

5. My book status- chapter 14…or 15…
I’d like to say I have reached chapter 15, which would mean I am MORE than halfway done with my book! I’m technically on chapter 14 but I have inserted and started another chapter between 12 and 13, so doesn’t that mean I’m really on chapter 15?? I know, I know – I’m totally pushing it! I’m sad because I won’t be able to work on my book at all this weekend since my parents are up visiting, but perhaps I’ll have more energy and incentive to get to chapter 20 by the end of next week! Trying to stay optimistic! I love spending time with my family, so that’s my focus!

6. Talkative folks and other minor annoyances
Do you know someone who talks? And I mean…TALKS so much they don’t even breathe? I do. How do you suggest I approach this person and tell them ever so kindly to STOP? I have tried staring at the wall and running away, but neither seems to work. I know all I have to do is communicate to this person, but I’m not sure how I can get a word in or approach this matter professionally? Any advice would be appreciated! I don’t understand how they can get their work done and still manage to talk. I will briefly mention that LISTENING is one of those GREAT skills very few humans can master. To those amazing listeners out there, God bless you! Sometimes that’s all you CAN do.

One other bothersome event… why do cars pull out in front of me when there are no cars behind me and then turn just a few feet away so I have to slow down? Couldn’t they have waited until I passed and then pulled out?

Oh… and merging in Minnesota. It's killing me. People stop when merging and I don’t know why??? Did I miss the stop sign??

Ali and The Bachelorette…I don’t know why, but she still hasn’t grown on me. I have a hard time forgetting mean people. She was mean on The Bachelor. So I have boycotted this season. I can't get into it...

These three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. Follow the way of love. -1 Corinthians 13:13; 14:1 NIV

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Friday, July 16, 2010

A Case of the Fridays

This week was full of fun little adventures, so of course I must share my thoughts and speak my mind.

1. Our church has selected a new pastor. Karl and I haven't been to church in almost two months - this is a record for me (other than the four years I missed while in college). But Karl and I have been gone or busy with weddings since Memorial Day weekend. I will say it was nice to be back. I love my church friends and I don't know where I'd be without Transfiguration Lutheran Church. Honestly, I feel so blessed for the community of our church. Does anyone else feel like a new person when they walk out of church on Sunday morning? There's an extra lightness in the air and with each step.

I was extremely close to our senior pastor, probably because we worked together for four years after I first moved to Minnesota. When Karl and I met with our pastor (Pastor Vern) last year to go over last minute wedding details, he told us he was leaving. I bawled. I never thought I would do that for a "pastor"!?!?! But I did. Maybe it was the banana pancakes at the The Original Pancake House (Joe Nathan of the Minnesota Twins eats here!) we’d have some mornings to catch up or because he had such an enormous impact on my life. He was by far the best boss I’ve had to date. He taught me more about effective communication than any of my professors in college ever did. I miss him dearly. But I am ready to meet the new guy and I hope he can handle me! Time to move forward!

2. The Oil Spill in the Gulf has been contained
Thank GOD! THANK God. Amen.

3. Planning a vacation with the in-laws
Karl's parents are graciously taking us on a trip this winter. I am excited! Problem is - nobody really knows where we want to go. I could tell you where I want to go: Hawaii, New Zealand, Tahiti, every little island in the Caribbean, etc., etc. So I had a BAD experience in Mexico and feel like I don't ever need to go back. I think that's probably where we'll end up, and that's OK. I know I can be persuaded, but after our honeymoon in St. Lucia, there will always be a special place in my heart for the Caribbean. I just wish travel wasn't so expensive!! Any recommendations? Someone recommended a cool website called Vacation Rentals By Owners. WOW! Now I just want to use this and travel the world! Must finish writing my book so I can reach the best seller list!

4. I can't keep up with my magazine subscriptions
I have a teeeeeeny obsession with magazines. Let's see...I get Us Weekly, People, Health, Women's Health, Self, Shape, Fitness, Glamour, Ladies' Home Journal, Real Simple and Redbook starting very soon. I mean, a year subscription for $5.99 is a steal!! A year ago, I'd plop down on the couch and read the entire magazine the second it hit my mailbox. I promise, one of these days I'll have an article in one of these magazines!!Today, I have stacks lying all over. Now I understand why my mom has this very same problem! It's all starting to make sense...

5. My love affair with Chipotle
I could probably eat Chipotle three times a week without complaining. I love their food. It's healthy and you can mix it up so it tastes like something new every time! What food could I eat for the rest of my life, you ask? Chipotle, pizza and fruit. Lots and lots of fruit. Raspberries, cherries, strawberries and blueberries are in my top four of favorite fruits...there's a tie for fifth: kiwi, watermelon and mangos. God, I love summer!

6. Is there volleyball in heaven?
In the sixth grade my best friend Laura picked up a volleyball. We started passing the ball (it was called "bumping" in the 80s and 90s) back and forth. I was hooked. Laura encouraged me to try out in the seventh grade. We made the team! And I have been playing ever since. That's about 19 years of volleyball under my belt. I'm sure the day I stop playing for good will be a day of great sadness. Oh, how I wish I could go back in time and play with the knowledge I know now. Life is funny like that! I also wish my coaches in college would have let me play a little more. Damn politics!!!

7. South Africa
My younger brother, Mark, and my sister-in-law, Amy, (who we call Tater Tot), are supposed to come back to the states November 11. Our plan was to have a huge welcome home party for them back in Roscoe, Illinois. THEN out of nowhere Mark's work asked them to stay another month! NOOOOOOOOO! WTF! Seriously. Again, life is funny - nothing goes as planned! But just in case Mark’s boss reads this: I AM SAD!!! We want them HOME!!!

8. Wanted: Husband for my $100k Wedding
I'm on chapter 11 and I'm LOVING my book. I know I'm not pumping out chapters at the rate other hopeful writers are, but I'm trying! I will say this book has been so much fun to write. I just hope agents and publishers will see this...

9. Old Spice Commerical
I don't know if you had a chance to watch the Old Spice commercial but it cracks me up and I think it'll make you laugh as well! My husband thinks the man behind "old spice" is Denard Span from the Minnesota Twins. There is an eerie resemblance. I'd Google it if I were you...

10. Mental illness is wide spread
I know my fair share of people who suffer from mental illness, and yet there are so many who are scared to admit this or share their stories. Or they assume it's something else. Maybe it's cancer or migraines or stomach issues? The brain is SO powerful. Do not underestimate it!

Do not be afraid or feel alone - there are others who need YOU! I wish I could understand better what these dear friends of mine are going through, but it's hard to relate. To me, shutting the brain off from thinking or worrying is as simple as flipping a light switch. To them, controlling their thoughts is near impossible. And I don't get that.

I won’t lie - I will spend countless hours wondering what heaven will be like or how I'm going to react to losing someone close to me. Will I see them again? Is this it? Will my dog be there? But I have God to lean on. I have to believe he's out there because of LOVE. Love is so powerful and nothing is greater than that. To me, God is love. And just when I think I can't love anymore, something happens to challenge my thinking. A child is born. A miracle takes place. Love is real and so is God. If you are suffering right now, please know you're not alone and God is right there next to you! I promise! He has to be!

That's all for this week! More to come next week - my parents are coming up! Yeah! Have a wonderful weekend all!

"The most I can do for my friend is simply be a friend." -Henry David Thoreau

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Funday!

It's Friday! And we know what that means... Time to update the world on my crazy thoughts for the week!

1. Basilica Block party
I have never been but Karl and I were determined to go the minute we found out Weezer was going to be there. Karl is in the Weezer Fan Club, and has been since 1997. He's sort of infatuated with Weezer. As I type this, Karl's favorite Weezer t-shirt proudly hangs in his car so everyone can see how big of a fan he is. Weezer was my sixth CD ever (Meatloaf was my first), and I feel like I owe them for bringing rad music into my life.

2. Microsoft Outlook
What is so scary about Microsoft Outlook? I don't know either. If you had the opportunity to use and learn it so you could simplify your work schedule, don't you think you would? I could type a book on this. But I also don't feel like getting fired.

3. Closer to 50
I'm not talking about age here. I'm talking about the 50 states!!! When I first met Karl, we talked a lot about Arkansas. We weren't sure why, other than his dad was there hunting and Karl's calendar was flipped to a picture of beautiful Arkansas. I was surprised how pretty is was. Travel has been a huge part of my life, Karl's too. In 2008 we traveled down to Arkansas and Karl proposed at the Murfreesboro Diamond Mines on the MOST perfect day; that day was the best day of my life. I would be spending the rest of my life with the perfect man [for me]!

This week we bought tickets for another adventure! Karl and I will be flying into San Francisco for a week-long trip. We plan to visit Alcatraz, the Golden Gate and maybe even snap a few pictures by DJ, Stephanie and Michelle Tanners' house (Full House)! We'll head north to Napa Valley and then drive our rented car along the Oregon and Washington coast. We plan to hit up a Twins' game at Seattle too before we fly back. I am so excited. We are celebrating our one year anniversary with another adventure!! After our trip, I will have visited 33 states and Karl will have 35 under his belt. We're getting there! All 50 states is the goal!

4. My book
I'm on chapter eight of my book! Yeah, me!! I have never in my life typed anything over 50 pages. I am now on page 84. I can only imagine how I'm going to feel after I type in the last period on page 333 and click save. I love this book so much. I started going back to chapter one, then two and then three. Not a good idea. Then I started doubting myself. I need to remember: write from the heart first and then edit later. It really helps!

5. Salt and lunch meat
I don't like lunch meat.
A. There are nasty nitrates in the meat.
B. It is extremely salty.
For example, I had Subway this week and two hours later my fingers, legs, ankles and feet were majorly swollen. Then last night we needed to eat the last of the lunch meat from the cabin and I couldn't even get my rings off my finger. Gross. My body obviously is trying to tell me NOT to eat it. If doctors don't want pregnant women eating this stuff, then why do non-pregnant people still eat it? Convenience! I was happy I didn't have to cook, but I'd rather choose my health! No more lunch meat for me! Sorry Karl.

That's about it for this week. Everyone have a nice weekend!

"There's something beautiful about finding one's innermost thoughts in another" - Oliver Schreiner

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Help Find a Cure - Ride for a Reason this Saturday!

Below is an article I wrote for Brooke (Palmer) Distad. I met Brooke my freshman year at Southwest State (SSU) in Marshall. We were family girls with boyfriends back home. We'd sit in class and count down the days until we could go back home. My town of Roscoe was an eight hour drive away and Kasson was around three for Brooke. Though we were at SSU on athletic scholarships, we struggled with our coach. Everyone did. We thought she was evil. After completing our freshman year, we both transferred out to play Division III ball in Wisconsin. We started playing against each other.

Brooke's parents were diagnosed with cancer within two years of each other. Her story is heartbreaking. Life is short and so very precious. We can never take a moment for granted!!!

Brooke devotes her time raising money for the American Cancer Society. To date, she has raised over $120,000 to find a cure!! Join her on her journey!

Help Find a Cure - Ride for a Reason this Saturday, July 10! | Mankato Area News

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Friday, July 2, 2010

Weekly Friday Thoughts

1. Writing a Heartbreaking Article
I’m in the middle of writing an article for my friend Brooke. Brooke and I used to sit in Health and Wellness class freshman year, spending most of our time counting the days until we could go home to see our families. I played volleyball with Brooke for one year at Southwest State (Marshall, Minnesota). Then we played against each other when we both transferred out due to our evil coach. I was at UW-Whitewater and she was at UW-Stout. Brooke lost her mom to breast cancer in 2002. And in 2004, she lost her dad to leukemia. How does one deal or even get out of bed? It’s very hard to write. My heart breaks as I write it. Will it be good enough?

2. My Mazda 6 (“Ma’s dress” - as my grandpa calls it.)
I currently drive a Mazda 6, 2003 model. It has rust forming around the wheel frames. I noticed this during my lunch yesterday. Thus meaning I’m going to have to buy a new car, meaning monthly car payments. Problem is Karl has a 2002 vehicle. Can someone say double payments! Money. Money. Money. I do know my next car will have a compass of some sort, GPS, a door that won’t slam shut on my leg as I reach for my morning coffee AND SIRIUS radio. Sounds expensive!

3. Bad habits
My name is Christie and I'm a nail biter. Why do I bite my nails? I saw my dad biting his while we were watching a Bears vs. Packers' game back in '84. Soon I was spitting my nails across the sofa just like dad. Today, I bite them so short they bleed. Gross right? How do I stop? I’m not sure, considering I like the taste of the NO BITE nail polish. I even bite my acrylics. What do you think this means?

4. Revenge of the Twilight Saga
How did I not get into the epic Twilight saga? Maybe it's the whole vampires vs werewolves rivalry. Or it could be because I don’t really find Robert Pattinson THAT good looking. He seems charming, but I don’t really have the desire to pick up the books or wait in line at a theater. But I don't want to sound too much like Miley Cyrus either. Now, Sex in The City is MY kind of movie!

5. Stay-at-home Mom vs Career-Driven Super Mom
We have these hoodlums around our neighborhood who hang out and vandalize our community gazebo every chance they get. They wear their pants too low, call me “shorty” and smoke a funny smelling substance. Where are their parents? Probably working and not paying attention! I just don’t know how long I’m going to handle sitting behind a desk after I give birth, as our adorable, chubby-cheeked babies are growing up. I’m not really thrilled about having someone else raise them for me. How am I going to work a full day, workout, cook, play volleyball and raise kids...oh, and be a good wife?? Seems impossible!! Am I asking too much? I’m taking my chances at writing a book... Praying it leads me to the “better” life:)

6. Manager? Graphic Designer? Web Designer?
What am I anymore? I feel like I have lost my identity at work. I'm incredibly burned out. I don't want to whine too much because I think "being overwhelmed" is common for everyone right now with the economy the way it is. I will say I am grateful I have a job. However, it's frustrating when I don't have manager experience or any training available and I can't delegate anything! I thought this is what managers do? Delegate... Maybe I’m bummed out we don’t have Monday, July 5 off like 90% of companies do. What would Harvey MacKay do?

7. I Miss Home
I wish my parents lived closer. I wish my brother, Mark, and my sister-in-law, Tot, would move back already... They live in South Africa right now and move back in November. They have been out there for two years. Great experience for them. We even made a family trip out there this past December. Quite the adventure for all of us. I know all families are a little weird, but I feel like there is really something special about mine. I could be biased. There is a lot of LOVE though. That makes me happy.

I do not want to cook when I get home tonight. No desire. I'm wiped out on Friday evenings! But I can't expect to go to my in-law's cabin and mooch. I did that last weekend. Honestly, how do moms with full-time jobs AND kids do it? I'm just an independent married woman without kids. I think parents who work full time with kids have to be more organized to fit it all in, whereas moms who stay home are a little more spontaneous with their schedules? My mom was a stay-at-home mom and kicked butt at this. This is why I need to move closer to her, so she can teach me how it's done! I will admit I AM excited about making my famous Strip and Go Naked slush punch tonight though! It's supposed to be 95 and humid tomorrow. Refreshing!

9. Trucks, trucks and more trucks
Swear to God I get stuck behind every single slow semi out there. It drives me crazy, especially since Minnesota is home to clover leaf ramps. It doesn't help that I work across the street from one of the largest semi companies AND a college is right around the corner for "truckers"! I think I'm still upset at the semi that dumped a sheet of ice on my windshield this winter when I was going 78 mph. Scary.

10. Finances
Karl and I met with a financial advisor last night. Good news is we are great savers and are on track to retirement. If we keep doing what we're doing, we could retire comfortably. My stay-at-home mom idea was shot out of the window. And so my book writing continues... Someday I'll be writing this blog and it'll be all about how I'm drinking a fruity cocktail from the white sandy beaches of Tahiti!

I think that sums it up. Until next week! Happy Independence Day! Be safe and don't drink and drive!!!

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