Saturday, January 20, 2018

My boy is almost home, and why is Robert Irvine yelling at me??

We have been watching a lot of "Restaurant Impossible" know, the show on the Food Network where professional chef Robert Irvine goes to failing restaurants and helps rescue them.  The show gives the restaurant a makeover and helps the owners learn how to cook better, and manage their business.  I used to hate the show because Robert Irvine, while he knows what he's talking about, is SO MEAN!  He yells at the owners sometimes, especially when their restaurant is not clean and so lately when I look at the dust on my bookshelf and the hair on the bathroom floor I hear him yelling at me in my head..."YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF!!  THIS IS DISGUSTING!!!"


I value a clean home.  I can't truly enjoy and relax in our home when it's not.  I've talked about that before.  I'm not OCD or anything (except my kids would probably tell you differently, especially when my "handwashing nazi" comes out), but I do need things to be relatively organized and clean and smelling like something good.  Smells are huge for me.  I don't care how nice a room looks, if it smells bad it ruins the entire ambiance.

This is my favorite thing to keep our house smelling good and homey...


It's a warmer.  I used to put whole candles in it but soon realized that the smell goes out of them far sooner than if they were burned, so I switched over to buying those little wax melts.  I have several kinds but my favorite melts are from the best store in Winona...Pieces of the Past, where it smells like (singing) Heaven!

I put one melt in a little mason jar and soon our house smells like caramel or coffee or cinnamon or apples or some luscious combination of all of those.  


Our house right now is still decorated for Christmas.  Usually I would be packing it all up by now, but I promised Nicolas that we would leave it up until he comes home from his deployment, which will be very soon now!  And we will have Christmas with him in our newly remodeled cabiny-basement :)  when he is finally home.

Baby St. Nick :)

Can't wait to see my boy :)  It's been a long 11 months, and an especially long holiday season without him. 

These pics were taken at his "going away" dinner at Ground Round, and his other "going away" lunch at Wild Bills in Rochester shortly before his deployment last March. I was a bit of a puddle the day he left but thankfully we have been able to video-chat often over the past year so he didn't seem quite as far away.  Man, a lot has happened in our lives since then...

My sister Donna got baptized!  PTL!  I flew out to be there and see her and her kids for a few days.

Vince and I saw Casting Crowns in MPLS, and also went to Minnehaha Falls!

Kyle and Hope both got their driver's licenses!  AAAAAAH!

Vince and I bought new dressers at The Shanty in Alma.  It was the first time either of us have had matching bedroom furniture :)

And we happened upon this little gem of a place. 

Family dinner at Famous Dave's with most of our peoples

My parents came for a visit :)

Kyle was baptized with this group of guys from his youth group!

Grammie and Papa times :)

Hope and Vince shared the stage in Chitty!

Our anniversary weekend in MPLS, back at Minnehaha Falls and an afternoon in Stillwater.

We bought Nicolas some army guy gummies at this old fashioned candy shop!

Shenanegans at MOA!

My flowers survived the whole summer long...miracles do happen, people!

Shopping therapy with my other Donna!  I love my Donnas :)

And the winner is....

Our princess and Queen :)

I tagged along on Vince's salmon fishing trip in Milwaukee


Road tripping with Donna and Dave - we ate here at The Pickle Factory, which is where Nicolas called me and told me about the hurricane they were preparing for (cue minor freaking out).

Preparing for our long awaited new flooring!

These guys got to meet one of their idols at Wizard Con in Madison WI...Stan Lee, the creator of Marvel Comics!

Our first grandbaby, Jaden turned...8!!  (Whaaaaah???)

We met up with Stephanie, Brandon and Lindsey in MPLS, just a week after the shooting in Vegas.  So good to see them and see firsthand that they were ok. 

And then it was off to RENO!  for my nephew Justin & Rachel's wedding!  What a blast!
Wish we could have taken the whole fam.

Hope's first leading role in "Once Upon a Mattress", hilarious!

Tim Hawkins in Rochester....also hilarious!!!

Macers, waiting for her favorite soldier to come home. I can't wait to see how excited she will be!!

Our new kitchen chalkboard is home to some pretty cool art.

Our Thanksgiving movie tradition!  We saw Murder on the Orient Express.

Wine and Canvas night at Signatures (where Trevor also works!)

Baking banana bread with Grama Fwisa :)

Vinny's RCTC graduation lunch in Rochester at Outback Steakhouse!

...where we also exchanged Christmas gifts with Dad & Kathy!

Christmas morning...we video-chatted with Nicolas during the whole gift opening, so fun :)

And then...these two got engaged!!!

Howard Christmas at the Canell's.

Oh Bekah Sue, we love you so!

Lunching with Jay :)

Best. Grandson. Ever.

One of our favorite movies this year...The Greatest Showman!

So many great memories over the past 11 months!!  
Now here we are, my boy will soon be home and we will have the rest of 2018 (and many more years) to make new memories...with my Mr. Wonderful and ALL of our amazing kids and grandkids!
We are so incredibly blessed :)