About Me

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I am a Mom of two young lads, a fitness fanatic and wife to a die-hard Packers/Brewers fan. I worked in corporate america for 12 years. Now I am on a new adventure - raising my sons and working part-time in the fitness industry as a Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor. I hope you stop by and read my updates- family, fitness, or life related!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Let it Snow, Let it Snow!! Happy Holidays!!!

I am a horrible blogger as of late. I haven't updated this in a while, and I don't even have pics to share!! I know everyone is busy getting ready for Christmas anyway, so hopefully not many people have even looked on this site!
I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas with all of your families and friends. I hope everyone travels safe in this snowy weather!
We are off to WI from Wed-Sat night. I hope the snow holds back a little this week, but it looks like we live in a Winter Wonderland.
I will post some pics when I get back of our time in WI.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Life of a Rockstar!

So, this week was my whirlwind work trip on the eight seater Target jet. We left Monday morning and returned Wednesday evening. Here are the places we went:

Monday a.m:
  • Flew to Hagerstown, Maryland, then drove across the border to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania (my first time in either of those states).
  • Stayed for three hours at the Chambersburg distribution center- in the middle of nowhere!
  • Note: Scranton, Penn. (home of The Office is only an hour and a half away)

Monday p.m:

  • Got back on the jet after three hours on land and headed to upstate New York.
  • Checked into the hotel, and went to dinner in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Tuesday a.m:

  • Drove to one distribution center in Amsterdam, NY and stayed a half day.
  • Drove to another DC in Wilton, NY and stayed the afternoon.

Tuesday p.m:

  • Got back on the jet and flew to Michigan.
  • Went to dinner in Kalamazoo


  • Spent one half day at the Kalamazoo, Mich. DC.
  • Got back on the jet and flew to Illinois.
  • Spend a half day at the Dekalb, Ill. DC.
  • Flew home!!

In a nutshell - I got a glimpse of what a rockstar life would be like on the road- ok, not really. The only comparison there is I probably did get to see what it's like to be able to hit multiple states in a few quick days. It was tiring be on the go, but it was good to be able to see five our our buildings.

The highlight of the trip: Saratoga Springs, New York!!! Visit: http://www.saratoga.com/

For anyone interested in a new place to travel- check out Saratoga Springs. The picture above is one of the many bed and breakfasts they have in town. This is the cutest town- and is filled with tons of restaurants, shops, bars, spas, golf courses, and things to do! It's famous for it's horse track races in the summer- very old school like in the movie Pretty Woman. Many New York celebrities go to this city in the summer for a weekend getaway. Summer rates are spendy though- and rooms are hard to find. There is a spa state park with hot springs- and there are a ton of old hotels and other places to sight see and/or stay. It's right in the Adirondack Mountains and is very pretty. Close by is Lake George, and I believe Lake Placid is not too far away either...beautiful!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Angel- a kind and lovable person, a guardian spirit, one who manifests goodness

So, Saturday morning I met with the founder of the Angel Foundation - a foundation that helps support the non-medical needs of cancer patients and their families. As some of you know, I have been researching and looking for ways to get involved with cancer families for the past year or so. I contacted the American Cancer Society, but because it's so big - I didn't find the exact opportunity that would be a fit for me. I feel like because of what I went through with my mom, and losing her at the young age of 21, that I have a gift to offer other people who are going through the same thing. Since I have lost my mom, I have helped numerous friends who have had a loved one with cancer - and I would like to help on more of an ongoing basis.

How did I discover the Angel Foundation? Well, my sister's friend Cari, who is currently battling cancer, had a benefit that was put on by the Angel Foundation. I couldn't attend, but I saw the link to the Angel Foundation posted on my sister's blog. I decided to email the foundation just to ask what they were about and see what type of volunteer opportunities they had. The President emailed me immediately to set up coffee. I liked that this foundation seems smaller and more personal- directed at just the Twin Cities area- and I was hoping that they may have more opportunities to suit my wishes.

So, I went to coffee with the President, Margie, yesterday. She is an amazing lady- she is 60 and is married to an Oncologist in the Minneapolis area. We actually ended up figuring out that her daughter lived in my neighborhood and shares the same friend as me. Small world!! Margie and I talked for two hours. She has a personal story about cancer as well, and we both shared how it has affected our lives. She started the foundation because she too had a loved one with cancer at a young age and had nobody to talk to or nobody to help her deal with it. Since her husband is an Oncologist, he was able to help support the foundation and got the doctors in the area to say there is a need to help cancer patients with funds for their medication, or rent if they are paying medical bills, and also support for their emotional needs. Margie researched for years, and officially started the foundation in 2001. It is now a million dollar foundation- they have fund-raising events, they give grants to cancer patients, and they have a ton of support groups for people of all ages who are affected by cancer.

I am really excited to get involved- after hearing my story, she suggested that I would be a great fit for the teenage program called "Facing Cancer Together." She said that I understand what these kids are going through, and could really help them deal with it! I am excited to learn more and see where this takes me. I also expressed interest in helping them work on the Marketing and Communications aspects of the foundation- so more to come...I feel like this is meant to be and could take me to new places.

Summary: It is very unfortunate that I had to go through what I did as a young adult - losing my mother - but I feel like I want to take this experience and use it to help others! Thanks God for calling me to do this...and I will keep you all posted on my future with the Angel Foundation. If there is anyone else out there who would like to know more- either in giving or volunteering, check out:


Friday, December 5, 2008

McCormick & Schmick's - My New Best Friend

So as luck has it, I went to two different McCormick & Schmicks in the past two nights!! For some reason I think that's funny or even ironic- others may think it's just an indication that I like happy hour. :)

Lastnight, Joe and I had a neighborhood happy hour at the M&S (My new abbreviation) in Edina with our friends and neighbors Dan and Sara. We were actually celebrating Sara returning home after spending 6 months in India. It was fun to catch up, have drinks, and take advantage of the $1.95 appetizers. I tasted the bruschetta and the chips/salsa- yum!

Tonight, we had a work happy hour at the M&S downtown. The happy hour special is different there- still $1.95 but the items varied. I decided to give the turkey chili a whirl, and it was pretty good! Some others had the mahi-mahi cakes, the hummus and pita platter, or the chips con queso.

The point of my story is really to advertise for the wonderful happy hour deals on food at McCormick & Schmick's - you can get a full cheeseburger and fries for only $1.95 from 4 - 6 p.m. Call me the happy hour aficianado - ha!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Here is a synopsis of my Thanksgiving this year:
Wednesday: Joe and I headed to Stillwater on Wednesday evening. We checked into the Water Street Inn and took advantage of their winter weekday rates! The town (along with the Inn) was pretty quiet! We had a drink at the Irish pub in the Inn called Charlie's. We reminiced - since it has only been almost 7 months since we had our wedding reception at that very Inn! We then headed to Ruby Bagonia's to listen to some live music and grab a bite to eat. We were hoping to meet up with some of my high school friends, but they called saying they couldn't get a babysitter. We then were headed to the final destination of the Mad Capper- but passed Logger's and stopped in as a tribute to my friend Laurie who dragged us there two years ago for a shot! We called Laurie from Logger's to tell her we missed her. We met a man who claimed he was in the Rock-n-Roll Hall of fame and played with Reba McIntire and Chuck Berry- our night just started to get more interesting. He came to Mad Capper with us- and finally, we had to call it a night. I was getting sleepy and not such a fan of him ordering more drinks for me when I didn't need any more. :) It was a fun night- and interesting!

Thursday- Off to Mike and Shannon's cabin we went in the late morning. My entire family was there- with the exception of Liz and Catherine who was sick and had to stay home- boo hoo! It was great to see everyone, and see all of the kids playing! I got to see baby Ava again, and hold her for hours on end while she slept or just looked around with her bright eyes! She's a dolly! We stayed at the cabin until Friday late afternoon, came home to get some stuff done around the house, hit the gym, and relax. We had a wedding on Saturday- so it's been a busy few days and so fun!

Summary: Things that I am thankful for this year: An amazing family, a wonderful husband who loves me very much, friends that compliment my life - whether they are friends of 15 years or 5, a house above my head, a job that is stable and provides, food on the table, my health, the ability to appreciate things in life that are meaningful, God and all of the gifts he has blessed me with...I could go on and on, but just want to take the time to say thanks for all that is wonderful in my life. I hope you all can take the time to appreciate the blessings in your life too!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm a new aunt again!!

So, my sister adopted a gorgeous new baby girl. Ava Ayana Johnson arrived home last Tuesday morning. I watched the boys for two days while Kurt and Shawn were picking her up, so I had the privilege to see her in the middle of the night as they tip-toed in the house. I fed her a bottle, and she is the tiniest baby I have ever seen. Ava barely made a peep, and even smiled at me a few times. She seemed so alert for being just a week and a half old at that time. I can't wait to see little Ava again- she is so tiny, so precious, and such a blessing to Shawn and Kurt's family.

As I spent two days with Levi and Mitchell- we talked a ton about their new sister. They kept asking where mommy and daddy where- but then remembered they were in Alabama and they were going to come home with their sister Ava. They showed me where Ava's room is, and pointed out her crib. Before I put them to bed, I told them when they woke up they could meet Ava. As you can see, the boys are thrilled to have Ava around so they can hold her and hopefully spoil her versus teasing her...(like our brothers did to Shawn - HE HE). :) How exciting for our family to have a new addition- welcome baby Ava, we adore and love you!!!

College Girls Weekend!!

So, each year all of my close college lady friends get together for a weekend. We have typically gone to a cabin in the summer in previous years, but this year we decided to shoot for late fall and head up to St. Ben's/St. John's. We took in a football game, walked around campus to see any updates, and went out to dinner. Our agenda was pretty light because mostly we just like to talk and catch up with eachother! There are five of us that live in MN and two out of state. We get together twice a year with the ladies that live here- so really, talking is our main priority.
I love these ladies, and cherish their friendship over the years! They are all amazing mothers too- so I always learn a ton on our weekends away about motherhood and balancing everything. I can't wait until the next time we can all get together!!! I feel so blessed to have these amazing ladies in my life as life-long friends.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Halloween Weekend

Well, Halloween is now over. We had three celebrations, which is why I call it "Halloween weekend." One was in our neighborhood on Thursday night which was just a pre-Halloween party, then we took our nephews Mitchell and Levi trick-or-treating on Friday, and Saturday we went to a costume party of a former co-worker of Joe's. We dressed up differently both nights. On, Friday when we surprised Mitchell and Levi in our outfits to join them trick-or-treating, Joe was a Jamaica Mon (as I like to call it), and I was a cowgirl. Saturday at the costume party, Joe was a priest and I was a hippie chic.

I hadn't dressed up for Halloween for years- so it was fun to do that again. :) I love going to parties to look at all of the innovative costume ideas. I think the best costume was a Ghostbuster- he had the full suit, the proton pack, and it played the actual theme song! I also loved being with Mitchell and Levi for trick-or-treating. Halloween is not quite the same without seeing the kids run around the neighborhood. Since we live on a street with all condos and townhomes, we don't get trick-or-treaters. I finally felt like it was really Halloween because I got to see the kids running around, and it really brought me back to all of those great Halloween memories that I have as a kid.

I hope you all had fun during your Halloween activities and celebrations and everyone stayed safe and happy.

Now, the next upcoming milestone- who will be our new President?!??!?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Season!

I forgot how much fun pumpkin carving can be. Joe ran to the store this morning to buy two pumpkins for us to carve. He came back with the biggest pumpkins I have seen! I was up for the challenge though. Once we were done, I forgot how much fun it can be- and how it brings you back to your childhood days. We even baked the pumpkin seeds! Now, I am feeling a little into the Halloween spirit!!! Thanks Joe for forcing me to get into the spirit.....