Friday, November 12, 2010

30 Blogs: Picture of Something that Makes Me Happy

After I finish uploading this photo-o-happiness...I will be packing our suitcase for a very unique get-away! We are headed to Bisbee, AZ! It is a historic mining town about 2 hours from Tucson. This town is notorious for being highly populated with some serious "hippy love". In the summer, apparently people are barefoot in the streets selling their home-made goods and singing.

Being there is a part of me that is a bit of a flower child-wanna-be....(due to my love for Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, the harmonica) -- I'm kind of excited to see this.

After our weekend I will post pictures of the neat places we'll be staying! (since I don't want any creepy stalkers out there reading my blog showing up at our hotel room tonight....)

Now onto some happiness pictures..I can't settle with one!

This was the 1st time Ryan & I "locked eyes" on our wedding day. I still remember it and how nervous I was! This pictures gives me butterflies....

The Great Outdoors. This was taken in June when camping in the White Mountains. Probably one of the most breathtaking sunsets I've seen. This photo makes me feel peaceful....

My nephews. It was tough to find a picture with ALL of them on ONE couch. This was last Christmas when my sister Lisa was reading to all 4 at once. This picture makes me smile...

This was taken by the 17-foot U-Haul that we drove from Grand Forks, ND to Tucson, AZ 2.5 years ago. This is one of those pictures that we'll show grandkids some day and say "Look how young and crazy your Grandma was to take off across the country with your Grandpa! It all worked out absolutely perfect though!"

Running makes me feel happy....

My family! It's so incredible to see how much my family has grown over the years!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

30 Blogs: Siblings

Before I start my "30-blog-challenge-sibling-post" -- I need to give a shout out to all the Veterans who do such a great service to our country! Ryan and I had our traditional (3rd year now) Veteran's day lunch at Applebee's -- where he got a free meal.

I also ran 20 miles prior to this lunch date - so let me tell you I was ravenous!!!!!!

Now onto siblings....

I started writing a post 2 days ago on this. But it turned into a book. I started writing about each sibling I have, and the unique traits they have that has impacted my life. But it would've gotten long -- for my siblings are as follows:
Chad, Emily, Kevin, Julie, Emily, Jason, Lisa, Erin, Nick, Michael, Alexa, Sophia, and Jack!!!

That's a long list! I consider my sister/brother-in-laws siblings too. When you marry someone, you truly marry into their family I believe. So instead of writing a 700 page book on sibling love, I'll break it down into 2 sections

1) My Immediate Siblings: (Chad, Kevin, Emily, & Lisa)

-I feel great comfort knowing that these are 4 people who will always be close to me throughout my life. No matter what changes happen in life, or where our jouney takes us -- there will always be get-togethers at the lake cabin and holidays that will bring us together.

-Their unconditional love brings incredible joy. As I've grown, I've gotten much closer to my siblings.

-Growing up, I wanted to be just like my siblings. Maybe a litte too much. In other words...I annoyed the crap out of my sisters & brothers!! They put up with one annoying little sister!! ;)

-I would not be the person I am today if it weren't for my siblings! I always strived to be "like" them -- so I think it matured me faster. I look up to my brothers and sister whenever I make a big life decision, for they always have and always will be role models to me!!

2) In sibling-in-laws (Emily, Julie, Jason, Erin, Nick, Michael, Alexa, Sophia, & Jack)

-It is hard for me to separate Emily, Julie, and Jason as "in-laws" first of all...b/c they've been a part of my life since I was like 7 years old! They are definitely family to me. And besides being incredible people - they make my own brothers & sister VERY happy. Our family would NOT be what it is without my sister & brother in laws!

-Erin, Nick, Michael, Alexa, Sophia, & Jack are Ryan's siblings -- who I am very blessed to have such awesome in-laws! I always worried I'd marry into a family where the siblings were disapproving and cold to me. But that is definitely not the case with Ryan's family. They are all like family to me and I am so lucky to have them!
-Alexa, Sophia, & Jack are younger than me -- which fulfills one of my dreams of being an "older sister".... Growing up, I always wanted a younger brother or sister. But, being my Mom & Dad were 40 when they had me, I learned pretty quick that this was NOT going to happen! It's so fun to see them grow up -- and we live 1.62 miles from them -- so get to see them often!

(....Just to explain why I know that I live 1.62 miles from my in-laws...(which comes across odd and creepy, I am sure) -- I run my neighborhood every day with my GPS. And I run by their street every time almost every time. I know the mileage down to the tenth of a mile everywhere in my community. )

My siblings are on the top of my list of "favorite people in the world"! I wouldn't be the person I am without them!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

I'm taking a break from the 30 Blogs challenge today to partake in the 10 on Tuesday!

Before I go on, let me tell you -- last night was not fun!!!! I had my "New Employee Health Screening" yesterday. I received a multitude of vaccines and blood draws. I was a little off to start with - I had a low grade fever and a blood pressure of 78/50. Eeek.

Once I laid down for bed - I started feeling horrible and it only escalated. I had a fever of 102.4, and my heart was racing like mad! Not a fun night. Feeling better today! But wow! Never will I get that many shots in one "shot" again!

Alright, 10 on Tuesday!

1. Who makes your Thanksgiving dinner?

When we go home, my Mom does! And she does a darn good job at it, too! Last year Ryan & I did our 1st Thanksgiving dinner -- and it was a team effort.

2. What is your favorite recipe the includes pumpkin? (bonus points for including the recipe)
Hmmm...I always love good ole, traditional pumpkin pie! Or the home-made Pumpkin Latte I posted about back in September.
3. What are 5 things you want for Christmas?
I haven't even thought about this..but here are a few things:
1. A Mortar and Pestle
2. Pastry Frame Set
3. Salad Spinner (for those family members who know the infamous story of "wedding registry argument heard around the world" -- I still haven't gotten my salad spinner. I have faith Ryan will come through this Xmas)
4. Dr. Scholls Heat & Massage Foot-spa
5. Probably a gift card to Target -- (due to my inability to think of anything else I want)
4. Does your family draw names or do you buy for everyone?
We always drew names - but now only a few do it since the family is getting so big!
5. How do you feel about motorcycles?
I dislike them! During my ICU/Trauma rotation..I saw WAY too many young people lose their life because of motorcycles.

6. What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy Saturday?
Slow cook a stew or a roast, sip coffee or tea, and bake bread while watching a chick-flick.
7. What is the coolest thing to do in your city?
Enjoy all the beautiful hiking trails. Tucson has many to chose from! And visiting Mount Lemmon which is a 20-degree difference (cooler, of course). It has a cute little town/village on the top called "SummerHaven". They hold Oktoberfest every fall. It's adorable.
8. Do you paint your fingernails?
No. Whenever I try to paint them, I will be peeling it off (yes, peeling it off) within 10 minutes!
9. Who is your favorite actor over the age of 50?
Mel Gibson. I love me an angry, verbally abusive, psychopath.

Just kidding....

Definitely Harrison Ford. He is dreamy.
10. Do you have a high school letter jacket?

Hell to the no. Yuck!

Monday, November 8, 2010

30 Blogs: My Parents

As you all know, from the Mother's & Father's Day tribute-posts, and the uncontrollable excitement I get about trips home......I have an very close relationship with my parents.

There isn't a day where I don't thank God for the parents who raised me. The parents who were a little more "strict" than the "16-year-old know-it-all Abby" wanted them to be. And now, I am SOOO glad they were strict!!! I am SO glad I was the only kid in my class with an 11 o'clock curfew (when all my other friends would stay out until 2).

I am SO grateful of how tough of critics they were of any boy I tried to date. They never approved any boyfriend of mine -- until they met Ryan. I think there's a darn good reason for that ;)

I am glad to know I grew up in a home where dinner was had at the table as a family every evening. Prayers were said before dinner. We had dinners as a family whenever it was possible -- although sometimes it was impossible with crazy busy schedules!!

My parents taught me about work ethic. They own a business where at the end of the day, they don't get to "leave" work at the office. They come home and deal with receiving phone calls 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. I can remember many Christmas Day's -- where my dad would give his employees the day off and head out to work on services calls. He never complained, he did what had to be done! Although they worked hard, they always put God and family as #1.

When I moved away from home, sometimes I feared that I wouldn't be close to them anymore -- since we only had phone & email to communicate. But I still talk to them several times a week.  Thank God for Blackberry Messenger, too! :)

Every day I jump out of bed in the morning --hoping I can carry out the values and roots that I came from!The values that my Mom & Dad taught me every day made me the woman I am today!

Thanks Mom & Dad! You guys rock!! :)

This photo was taken back in August, when they traveled to Tucson to be there for my Pinning Ceremony. (May I add that August is the WORST month of the year to come to's like consistently 110 every day)

Not only did they come out in August for my graduation, but they (and my sister Lisa) -- ALSO flew down to Tucson for the weekend of Ryan's Gradation. We were very blessed with visits from family this summer!