Thursday, April 30, 2009

Omaha bound

Heading to Omaha tonight for my great-aunt's funeral...

One of the strange things about living a few states away is the distance that inevitably happens between you and your family. I'm not talking physical distance (I get that part, obviously) but emotional space between those you're closest to. Sometimes distance is good (ie: the ability to remove yourself from small town drama) and other times, distance is isolating. Deaths are like that - it never really sinks in that someone's gone until you come back to town and face it. Until then, I'm living in my own perfect Mpls bubble. And I like it that way.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Today was a crazy day ...

Do you ever have one of those days that is neither good or bad, just weird. That was today.

Here's how it went:

First, I woke up to a phone call from Andi who informed me he'd been in a 20 car pile-up on the highway. There's lots of construction on his 30 minute drive to work and I always worry about him driving to and from every day. Today was one of those "get a sinking feeling in your stomach" days. Luckily, he's OK but there is a large gash in his bumper. AKA: a good $1000 in damage.

Second, I was surfing FaceBook today during work and a status from one of my 2nd cousins popped up. "RIP Grandma. You're in a better place now." That could only mean one thing: my great-aunt Connie has passed away. Sort of a strange thing to post on FaceBook in my opinion, but I suppose I write about it here in my blog so how am I to judge. Anyway, I digress. So I called my mom and she confirmed that Connie had in fact passed away today at 1:00pm. So sad. It's a hard reminder that life is all too short and we need to cherish every moment we share with friends and family.

Then it was off to our 3rd marraige class with Pastor Joel. I am really enjoying our marraige classes; it's a great feeling to spend 1 1/2 hours together with Andi talking about our future, goals for our marriage and the commitment we're about to embark on. So today was a sureal moment when we read questions completed by each of our parents about their relationship with their in-laws and their expectations for Andi and I's marraige. As we read the Q/A out loud to one another, I felt a sense of pressure on Andi and I to freeze frame our relationship. Things are so good between us and I want them to stay like this forever. Open communication, romance, adventure ... we are truly blessed to have found one another. Cheers to many happy days ahead.

This evening I went to the mall to meet a girlfriend of mine who's in town for work. We were having a great time chatting and shopping. I found the cutest pair of knee-high brown leather Franco Sarto boots on sale for $30. What a great deal! I zipped the pair on to give them a try and they fit perfectly. YES! I'm getting these. Went to zip them off. Got one. Zipping down the other boot and the zipper gets stuck! I tried to unzip it by myself. Then I sat down on the bench and tried a little harder. No luck. One of the employees is starting to stare so I flag her over.

ME: "Can you help me get this off," I ask?

She grabs a hold of the zipper with her sparkly white fake nail.

EMPLOYEE 1: "Let me go get some scissors," she said.

Now a second employee is watching and she comes over.

EMPLOYEE 2: "Don't cut it off!" she said. "We'll have to damage out the boots."

The second employee tries her hand at the zipper. No luck. Finally they both conclude cutting the boot off is the only way out of this one. How embarrasing!! They cut a boot off my fat calf. OMG. I'm mortified.

I'm home now and celebrating the end of a truly crazy day. Tomorrow will be a better one, we can only hope :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Animal Farm

So, Andi and I have a bit of a varmit problem at our house. I'm not sure what it is about our backyard (or roof in this particular situation) but little critters LOVE our house! Seems like we're always chasing off rabbits from eating the flowers, squirrels from teasing our little dog Chloe and raccoons from tearing into the trash.

Last fall, we had a family of raccoons living on our roof. There's a dormer on our roof and the raccoons clawed their way inside. In the process, they ripped a huge hole in the siding on our roof. Andi assures me they're not actually in our attic, just outside of it in this little encove. Not wanting to hear the animals, we hired a Enviromental Animal Removal Service that placed humane cages on our roof. The cages were set to catch the raccoons so the worker could release them free into the wild. But, we have smart raccoons and none of them took the bait. They just stopped coming by for a while ... look at the damage they created!

Well, word about our animal haven has gotten out and neighborhood pigeons started coming by this spring. More of a nuissance than anything, the pigeons were pooping all of our deck and decorative stone path in the backyard and quite loud sometimes as they'd invite their pigeon friends over to sit on our rooftop. Andi came up with the brainiac idea to shoot them - or scare them - with a BB gun (I say scare b/c his bird to BB ratio was not so hot. Only 1 or 2 pigeons ended up losing their lives).

In fact, one of them died on top of our roof last week. I imagine our neighbors sitting on their porches drinking a beer and laughing hysterically as I directed Andi on how to scrape down the bird with a rake. He couldn't see what he was doing as he reached the rake over his head. When he grabbed a hold of it, it started spinning toward his head! I was screaming; he was jumping. Finally we were able to give the pigeon (which was the size of a chicken, btw) a proper burial in the trash can. Yuck.

Well, last night while laying in bed, we heard a loud crash outside. Looking out the window, we noticed a piece of our siding on the ground in the backyard. I ran outside to grab it before it blew away and noticed a bunch of white stuff on the ground. "I think it's leaves or bird poop," I told Andi. "Little fishy," he said. He went out to investigate. Nope, it was egg shells and the body of a dead pigeon. The raccoon was back to claim his house on the roof - he'd raided the pigeon's nest and claimed her as victim! Andi tapped the dying pigeon with the end of the rake. She squirmed a little. My heart was breaking! Andi put her out of her misery. Oh poor little birdie.

So, today a roofer is coming out to fix the opening for good. Please animal community - tell you friends to leave our house alone. We're tired of having a animal farm in our backyard. And you've suffered enough. Go to a park; there's one down the street and I hear it's great.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! A day I hope everyone is more inspired to do something good for the environment. It's a great feeling to listen to newscasters talk about it on the news, see people sporting Go Green tees and more!

I've been contemplating the purchase of a composter for our backyard. I love to garden and think it'd be a great way to create my own fertilizer for my flowerbeds + recycle kitchen waste and yard clippings. Problem is, they're $145 for the cheapest one ... yikes! I suppose I don't blink an eye to spend $150 at Target on junk, but still hard to swallow. Thought about registering for one for the wedding ... but I'd miss my summer window of opportunity. Think I'll bite the bullet ... here's the one I'm eyeing:

Let me know what you think ...
Tomorrow's suppose to be 80 degrees here in Mpls! Spring has finally sprung! I'll post pics of my yard soon ... all my flowers are finally starting to pop up :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Find a Wedding Dress. Check!

I've finally chosen my wedding dress. I'm so excited! A few months ago, I ordered a few wedding dresses from J Crew. I am so impressed with their service - free shipping codes and a 60 day return policy to return any dress you don't like. I found a J Crew dress that I thought was perfect but I wanted to be sure I'd sampled all options.

So, last weekend, while Andi and I were in Nebraska celebrating Easter with my family, I went dress shopping with my best friend, my sister, my mom and my fiance's mom. We went to David's Bridal and I was actually impressed with their selection. I especially liked their casual, no-pressure approach to trying on dresses. I let all the ladies in my party choose a few dresses they wanted me to try on which was so fun. (I included a few photos here).

my best friend Ashley & I

I'm glad I tried on a few more dresses b/c I'm now more certain than ever my cute, flowy J Crew dress is the one! Here is a link to view the dress:


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The BIG day

So, the wedding is fast approaching on July 31. Yes, THIS July as everyone keeps asking me. (Apparently short engagments are completely unheard of these days). Everything's coming together smoothly despite a few early bumps in the road.

Andi and I are getting married on his boss' boat on Lake Minnetonka. I think it's going to be great ... in my mind, I'm picturing blue skies and bright white clouds resembling the Philadelphia cream cheese commercials. I love that our site is so unusual (very Andi and Heather-ish) but wish I could venture out to the lake and map it out. Damn frozen Minnesota lakes. And it's hard that it's not our boat so we can't really call up Andi's boss and ask to footprint the boat anytime we'd like. I'm taking a very meh, it'll all work out approach to the wedding day itself. Hope my instict is right, and it does all fall together.

So, we secured our photographer and he is AMAZING. Check out his gallery at . It's a husband and wife photog duo and they seem to have good experience with the whole wedding day thing which makes me feel good. I just hope they understand that the fiance and I aren't your typical wedding couple. Nah, don't need to engagment photos and "say cheese" kind of memories. I want something that really captures the feeling of the moment. Hope the family falls in line with this thinking too.

Since we are only hosting our parents and siblings at the wedding, there's a lot of pressure on the photos to "tell the story" of the day to all of our family and friends. I think I might make a sample wedding photography book with examples of other people's photos I like. That way, if I'm spastic on that day I can at least point to a photo and say I want that. Man, I hope I'm not spastic on my wedding day ....

So, lately I've been freaked out about this whole things are different after the wedding talk all my friends are giving me. How can the fiance and I be fine today but not on August 1? It doesn't make sense. I'm probably annoying Andi with all the marriage talk and nagging questions but I'm so worried that things will be different. Can I stop us from the downward spiral that everyone else seems to say is inevitable? Nothing that a few self-help books can't cure, I've decided. I'll keep you updated on my progress.

Do I just start typing?

Welcome to my very own blog. I have a blog! I've been thinking of starting one of these things for a while now, and a very boring afternoon in the office has inspired me to start writing. Do I just start typing all the thoughts in my head? I think I going to like this ...

Well, I suppose introductions are in order. I'm Heather, a 28-year-old living in St. Paul, Minnesota. I'm living with my fiance, Andi, in a cute little neighborhood in the Highland Park area. So glad it's getting to be springtime and we can finally want to nearby coffee shops and markets. It's what makes living in our area so great.

I'll be back soon, don't you worry. Talk later, Heather