Friday, July 31, 2009

Blueberries are Blue

As many of you know Christi's family vacations EVERY year in the north woods. There is a contingent of Kirkegaard's there as we speak. One of Christi's cousins published a VERY special book this year, entitled The Magic of Ely, MN... in haiku. The poems and pictures are absolutely stunning. To learn more check out this link :

A few years ago Sandie, and her husband Craig, and Erik's great great uncle Wayne took Erik out to catch two different kinds of fish for his Boy Scout fishing merit badge. Erik was elated to have caught the first Northern Pike of the day and his special fish is featured in the book. The other book on Sandie's site is called "Yesterday... just yesterday" and it makes a great book if you are headed to any baby showers.

Enjoy. Ely is very special to our family and to many other people. If you are ever offered a week in the north woods take it =) In the interim, this book will take you on the introductory tour.

The Bride Ride

Last night after work we met my mom for dinner and then headed to the party store, the craft store and Shopko. We got the tulle for the ride veils (I thought long and hard about naming this posting "What a Tulle" or some other kind of play on words!), priced the plastic champagne flutes for the ride and picked up most of Erik's school supplies. I LOVE it when notebooks are on sale for ten cents each!

Then we finalized the invitations for the Bride Ride and asked for mock-ups of the invite for the Groom Zoom. Brian is getting excited about his ride too =)

Today we're going to meet with one more florist and then we'll make a final decision and get the order done. We're using Brian's lunch break to get our marriage license. These last five weeks are going to be gone in a blink.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dance, Dance, Dance

Yesterday and today Brian and I have been working on picking dance music. For the significant things like "our dance", the parents dance, cutting the cake, throwing the bouquet, throwing the garter, and the all important "last song of the night" and also things that other people will have fun dancing to (the funky chicken, the electric slide). If you have something that you love to dance to at weddings or on a night on the town just let us know =) We'll make sure that your song gets added to the list. The DJ is bringing enough music to stay for a month so you can request live from him that night as well.

A little dance humor:

In between rain showers we met with Brian Spatz to get our wedding bands ordered. My engagement ring is AMAZING so we picked something simple to let it continue to shine on its own. Brian's ring is made out of a newer metal and a "secret" ingredient so you'll have to ask him all about it.

After dinner we went for a nice bike ride to the teacher's fountain and then voted for early bedtimes. Today we both have long days at work and then homework.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Have You the Ring?

I absolutely LOVE the movie the Princess Bride. Brian has been subjected to it more times than he will readily admit and he's still a good sport whenever it comes on. Today after work we are going down to meet with Brian Spatz at Sartor Hamann downtown to finalize things with our wedding bands. Brian and Brian designed my engagement ring and it could not be more gorgeous.

Yesterday was wild (that is the nicest word I have) at work and I spent 5 hours on homework last night so I didn't get the flower lady called. With any luck I'll be able to get a lunch break today and make a few phone calls. Tonight we're riding either to Buster's for a quick beer or to Cold Stone Creamery to split a dish of ice cream.

This is our 90th post to the blog.... I'm still surprised at how much I like it!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


The word and priority for today is flowers! When I take my walk at lunch I'm taking my phone and my debit card so that I can order the flowers for the wedding. If I get off work at 2:30 I'll run to a local florist to finish the order, if I get off at 4:30 I'll go see the local florist on Friday.

Last night Brian and I went for a nice 8 mile "recovery" ride and worked on homework until it was time for bed. Tonight will be homework and finalizing any other items that need to be ordered before the end of the week.

Since I haven't given you this for awhile, it is now 5 weeks and 4 days until the wedding!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Say Yes To the Dress

Saturday after our ride (we decided almost to Sprague that we didn't want to ride back so we called my mom and had them meet us for lunch and got a ride back!) I got cleaned up and went with my mom to check out one last wedding dress. Her friend Roger (my local father figure) came along and we decided that the dress I found at J Marie's Off the Rack on Thursday was definitely our favorite. We found a veil and hair clip that matched and I am officially a fully dressed bride. My first fitting appointment is August 3 and while there are a few little pieces of work that need to be done with the beading and one of the hooks it doesn't need any structural work.

After we bought the dress and got it over to the shop for its work we met Brian, Erik, Brian's parents Jim and Becky and my personal attendant Marla at the reception hall, had a look at the whole thing empty, measured for the DJ and picked the menu. There will be both a cocktail hour with snacks and a full meal served as part of our reception so come hungry!

Yesterday afternoon my mom and I worked out the prelude, postlude and ceremony music. They are many things that will be played that are special to our families. As with other parts of our big day it will be a lot of fun!

Next weekend we will be working on the wedding power point, if you have any great or funny pictures of either one of us please mail to 1320 Aberdeen Lincoln, NE 68512 and we'll scan them in and then send them back to you, or you can e-mail them electronically to .

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ride On

Brian and I are heading out at 9:30 a.m. to pedal to Sprague (20 miles round trip) for prime rib, exercise and a little relaxation! Looks perfect right now, a little cloudy, a little over 70 degrees and very little wind. They start serving at 10am so our timing should be pretty good!

This afternoon we are heading to the reception hall to pick the menu and let our parents take a look. Hopefully they'll like it as much as we do!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bride's Errands

Yesterday was a very busy bride day =) I got off work at 10:30, tried a new pedicure place (my toes look great thank you!), picked Brian up from dropping the tech van off for repairs and took him back to work, stopped by the used book store (I know that's really not wedding related), tried on a slew of dresses at one bridal store, got estimates from two caterers for the rehearsal dinner, tried on another dress, stopped to see a friend, met the groom to look at a few things, bought ribbon for the favors, got a unity candle, cake cutters and a possible veil, had dinner with my mom and went back to the bridal store to try to make a decision. By 8:30 I was completely worn out!!!

Good news though, the camera's for the reception hall came in yesterday's mail and all is well with them. Brian and I contacted the photographer last night and we've narrowed it down to three options for the engagement picture for the paper and ordered an 8x10 to have matted for the reception. All in all we've had a pretty productive week. The RSVP's are continuing to trickle in and we're getting more excited every day.

For those who are counting. The wedding is in 6 weeks and 1 day. Make sure to keep pedaling and stay hydrated! We'll see you soon!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Welded Bliss

No typo there =) About 2 months ago I fell head over heels in love with a cake topper, the only problem was that it was about 4 times the budget that we had agreed upon and I couldn't find a way to justify spending that much for a decoration. I know, it's my big day, etc etc, but I'm just not that kind of bride.

A dear friend at work (Theresa aka Wonder Woman) heard of my plight and talked to a friend of theirs who is a welder and thought that he could do it. We drove to Clatonia last night and met with him in between rain showers and he took the job! He looked at our picture and said it was totally possible and he'll call back this morning with an official price on it but his estimate was UNDER the total budget!!! So Excited!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Yesterday afternoon I went to water the flowers at the house. As I was winding up the hose into the hose reel, I noticed this!

If you look closely at where the house meets the hose reel, you'll notice a little frog there. Not quite sure when he moved in or how he got there, but he seemed happy to have more water to play in. The neighbors put in a pond this spring, thinking about it this morning I hope he didn't escape from that! We may transport him to the pond this evening if he's still having fun next to the house.

On the wedding side of things we are having fun picking out and ordering most of the last minute stuff right now. I'd tell you what all that is, but it would ruin the surprises! :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's All Green

I'm running out of cute rain titles for the blog! Yesterday when I got off work it was sprinkling, by the time I got home it was pouring. Since we were completely exhausted it was ok for a night off from mowing.

Tonight after work we both have homework and then maybe we'll be able to eek in one yard. Thursday we're planning a "wedding work day" and will be getting our marriage license, ordering our wedding bands and making decisions on the rehearsal dinner. Christi's office has had some changes to the hours its open so from time to time she gets off REALLY early, Thursday is one of those days! There is also an exciting appointment on Wednesday night related to the cakes. We're having a hard time finding a topper so we have an appointment to discuss having one made. These last few weeks are going to be a lot of work but we'll get through it!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Home Sweet Home

We made it in to Lincoln a few minutes after midnight last night and both have work today. Tonight after work there will be laundry, unpacking the car and getting a few yards mowed before the homework starts.

For family and friends who are driving North on I-35 from the Twin Cities as part of their vacation - there is a nasty section of construction between Albert Lea and Owatonna where people have lost all ability to drive! Stop for a bathroom break and maybe gas before you hit it. We were caught up in it for 45 minutes on the way up and 25 minutes on the way back and it is truly only 4 miles of construction.

The other exciting thing after work today is that we have RSVP's to open.... can't hardly wait!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

On a Mission

We are hanging out in the Twin Cities today waiting for the rest of the church mission trip to make it in =) We spent the morning at the hotel water park and are getting ready to head to Dave and Buster's for lunch and then to Erik's Bike Shop (no lie, it's spelled the right way and everything!). Then we have a few more things to get for Erik and once he's dropped off we'll head home to Lincoln.

Classes started with a bang, I did an assignment and a quiz from the room last night and Brian and I both have things due by Tuesday. The 7 weeks until the wedding will go by in a blink, and hopefully we'll keep having fun.

We've gotten some calls and e-mails from out of town family and friends about the invitations and reservations. We can't wait to see you =) We are planning for vegetarian selections at all our events, if you have any preferences or needs just let us know. If you need a bike to ride holler and we'll see what we can come up with!

Friday, July 17, 2009

72 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

Brian and I like to try new beers on vacation. We usually hit the liquor store (Mike's) a few times while we're here and buy a six pack of something we know we like with a six pack of something we've never tried before. This has provided us with many interesting adventures in the past and this year we have developed a love for Labatt's Blue Light and Michelob Ultra Raspberry Pomegrante. We learned that we're not very into Land Shark Lager. We have a six pack for tonight and then vacation will be over.

The rain has continued, I think the high here today is 52. We went into town this morning and had ice cream and got our Ely 2016 Olympic t-shirts. My mom and I went to Mary's Spinning Wheel and picked up some more fabric for her blueberry quilt and a few things for a wall quilt or throw for the basement at our new house.

We only got one good sunset this week so we thought we'd share a glimpse with you. Close your eyes, imagine the water lapping lightly at the rocks, smell the birch, the pine, the ferns and the blueberries, then take a deep breath and check out the sunset. Hopefully next year we'll have 1 day of rain and the rest will be sunny!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Monsoon Season

The rain continues. We got up and decided to wait 30 minutes for more sunshine for our morning walk and once that happened it started to rain. This is the first time I can ever remember going to town three days in a row! We enjoyed a campfire mocha, an iced white mocha and a blueberry Italian soda at Northern Grounds and then came back for sandwiches in the cabin. Tonight we sauna again. Almost bought Brian a "Sauna Naked" hat today.

Guess we'll get back to our books =)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Rain Rain Go Away

Yesterday afternoon while we were in town eating lunch it started to rain, and it didn't stop until sometime in the middle of the night. We did sauna with showers afterward a few minutes before 9. I was seriously considering a quick jump in the lake until we saw the lightning. Brian wants to make sure that I survive until the ceremony!

Today our classes started so we've been spending a lot of time in the wifi cabin going through opening assignments and getting ready for the term. Hopefully school will be smooth.

The excitement yesterday afternoon involved a chipmunk in the cabin and Brian with a giant fishing net. The problem resolved itself with a handful of sunflower seeds but I'm sure we'll all be laughing for years to come.

We found out about an hour ago that the invitations made it to Lincoln today, can't wait to see how many RSVPs have arrived by the time we get home. See you all soon!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In Town

The high for today in Ely is supposed to be about 63. Warm enough to enjoy, probably too cold for a swim. We are currently at Front Porch Coffee House enjoying an iced chai and an iced almond joy mocha. We got some nice sunset pictures last night and hopefully we'll make time to post a few on here this afternoon.

Today we'll look around town a bit, read our books and get ready for classes which start tomorrow. Hope this finds all of you well. At the cabin we'll celebrate taco Tuesday and sauna =) I just love vacation!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Sunday morning after breakfast we addressed all the wedding invitations, got them into their inner envelopes and got everything ready to go. It was amazing that we made it through in one session. Since we had to do one air mail (Hi Melissa and Luis) we waited for the post office to open on Monday so that we could take it all in one trip. Here are a few pictures from the experience.

In Ely we sauna on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. As Brian mentioned in yesterday's post the water is refreshing (COLD) this summer so you have to psych yourself up a little before you get in. We made it about 20 minutes in the sauna and then jumped into the lake. Erik decided he would sauna and shower the way we did last year after high adventure. The best thing about sauna is the instant effect on your skin. I think we always look younger the next day!

This morning we checked out our boat and went for the scenic tour of the lake. About ten minutes in we decided since Erik is practicing driving he might as well get more familiar with the boat. He did a great job getting us in between the many islands and hazards and we're hoping to do another "tour" tonight.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Going up North!

Well today is our first full day at Camp Van Vac. For those of you who have nerver heard of the place, it's a resort about 5 miles outside of Ely, MN. The weather here has been great! It's a little colder than we are used to up here, and based on the blueberries they haven't had a hot streak yet. However it's amazing how fast you can become centered, when you get away from everything and just relax with nature. It is well worth all those long hours in the car from Lincoln to get here. If you've never been in the area, I encourage you to at least think about coming up here some summer!

Yesterday morning we woke up in Owatonna MN at the Holiday Inn. I'm attaching a picture of Christi and Erik, both in their "beds" still.

From there we did a little shopping at Cabela's, and the outlet mall in Medford. Then up through the twin cities. We always stop for lunch at "Red Dog Billy's" in Pine City MN. However, over the past year they went out of business. We ended up eating at another local place, but it wasn't the same. We would normally eat at RDB's both on the way up and on the way home, so now we'll have to think about what we want on the way back.

We got checked into camp and unpacked and then laid low the rest of the evening yesterday. Spent some time talking to family but that was about the end of the excitement. Today we've just kind of kicked back and relaxed. This afternoon we ended up in the lake, the water is COLD this year so I'm not sure how much swimming time we'll do over the week.

Just wanted to let you all know that we are doing great, and keep checking back this week for updates!

Friday, July 10, 2009

On Vacation

Well, we safely made it to Owatonna MN, the stopping point for the night. Things ran smoothly for both cars. Nancy (Christi's mom), and Erik left a few hours before Christi and I did. They had a nice ride until they got close to the hotel (about 20 miles out). They hit a very poorly marked construction zone, and crawled along at 5mph or less for almost 2 hours! Christi and I made it there, and spent 30 minutes going through the same zone (about 4 miles).

Tomorrow we will get up and check out, and head further north. 302 more miles to be exact (according to Along the way we'll make a few stops, including the Wal-Mart in Virginia where we stop at for groceries every year. Once we get there the real fun begins!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Two Down

Brian and I are currently mowing four yards. Erik sometimes mow's and my mom's, but by and large we spend 4-5 hours a week on mowing. Last night we decided to divide and conquer and get the two big yards out of the way. Brian took care of his parents and I mowed our yard. This was the first mow with the new fence but I survived! The most exciting part of the mowing was the baby bunny in our back yard. If anyone thinks its too shaggy next to the house right now he is my only excuse. I'm not sure I've ever seen a bunny that small out alone. He couldn't have been more than 3 inches long and he was able to curl up to a size smaller than a tennis ball. Each time I would get close to the back of our house he would curl up as tight as possible behind the day lilies and pretend that he wasn't there. Very cute. Tonight while I'm working on laundry and Brian is grilling dinner Erik with mow at my mom's and after dinner we'll take care of the fourth yard. Then it will be time to get Erik packed and finish of the laundry. It's not like we're excited about vacation or anything!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


The wedding favors came in yesterday morning. Brian had contacted the company to see where things were at since they shipped on the second and while he was talking to their representative UPS delivered the boxes. His mom was more than a little surprised to have 7 GIANT boxes on the front porch. They came out really well and should look great on the tables at the reception hall.

Tonight we're going to get yard work done and finish up the laundry and tomorrow we'll take on packing. Every year I forget how hard it is to get ready for vacation, but it's all worth it!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Are We There Yet?

We are all leaving for vacation Friday!!! It is time for a week in the North Woods. Time to lie on the dock, drink beer, sauna, mail the wedding invitations, eat blueberry ice cream, swat mosquitos and deer flies, tell Erik funny stories about his childhood, play spoons and cribbage and to refresh our bodies and souls for the work and angst that come with planning a wedding and moving into a new house.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fenced In

Yesterday evening we had people come over for a "fence raising party". Ok, so it wasn't a ton of people, and it was only 48' of fence, but still....

I wouldn't be doing my job if I did say thank you to Dave, Jeff, Jim (my dad), and of course Christi, and Erik. They all arrived before 6:30, and by 7:45 we were all the way done with it. I still have a little more work to do (tightening things down and such) but it's all stretched, and the gate is installed and working properly :)

The first picture is looking at the two sections, one going down the hill (east/west), and one going across (north/south).
The second picture is of the gate area, next to the house. Notice the deck only has two stairs on this side. One of the big selling points was that lack of stairs on the deck there. Christi & Erik's dog is getting up there in age, and doesn't really like stairs. Right now he has about 15 to go up and down every time he goes out, so these 2 should really be better for him. :) Also I know there is a lack of fence going to the house from the gate area. We are working on solutions for that area, as we can't dig the 18" down required for those posts. Dave had a really good idea about it, and I will likely try those here soon.
On the wedding side of things, it was an interesting weekend there too! We both took Friday off work so that we could get our engagement pictures done. Our appointment was at 10am. We got a call at about 8:30, saying it was too wet/dark for outdoor pictures. Then we went on standby for pictures. We thought we were going to have an opening on Friday afternoon, and then it started to rain again. As I think we've noted before on this blog Christi and I have a running joke between us "And then it started to rain again", and that's how the weekend went. We were rescheduled for Saturday, and once again Mother Nature had other ideas. Finally at 1pm on Saturday, we got the call that we were going to go for 2pm. We arrived, and did our pictures...Thank you for working with us Bill, I know we aren't the most usual engagement pictures...and promptly when we got into the car and started to drive away it started to mist again!

All in all we got some stuff done this weekend, although it could have been more, I think we are both partly re-charged for the upcoming week!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th

We spent most of the evening with our new neighbor's at their annual third of July party but had several rain delays. This morning the photographer put us on standby a few times but it just kept raining so tomorrow morning at 10 we're going to give it a try. Even though it wasn't exactly the day we had planned it's been very relaxing and enjoyable.

Nancy and Erik headed out for Kansas City this morning and we've been getting texts from Erik about his first major league baseball game. We're keeping our fingers crossed that the weather will be clear for them on the way home tomorrow.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Three Day Weekend

Tomorrow morning we're meeting with the photographer for our engagement pictures and I'm excited. We have decided that tonight we're going to go to bed early and get a good night's sleep so that we don't look tired for pictures. This weekend is going to be about bike rides, painting and yard work. We've got one holiday party and one holiday lunch so there is a little fun to break things up along the way! Hope this finds all of you well!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Vacation is Coming

In nine short days we will be going up north for a week in Ely, Minnesota. I am so ready for a break!!! We decided last week to have the wedding invitations shipped there so we know what we'll be doing once we arrive, but, at this point, a week on the lake is exactly what the doctor ordered!