Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Weekend


A weekend full of fun times and perfect weather.
Egg hunts, my 5k, soccer practice, cookie projects and more.

Yup, you could say we were more than a little busy.

Of course, in the light of the sole reason for Easter, it is all meaningless.

He is Risen.

Christ is Risen Indeed.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Memory: Prom!

In most high schools across the country, it's Prom season! Girls are busy dress shopping and guys are figuring out how best to ask out their favorite girl, or trying to get up the guts to ask any girl. When Dan and I were out at dinner last week, we saw a group of formally dressed Prom-goers and it reminded me so much of attending Prom my junior and senior years.

In my high school, the junior class was traditionally responsible for putting on the Prom. I was, of course, on the Prom committee and we chose the theme, An Evening in Paris. It should be noted that none of us had actually been to Paris, but the pictures in our minds looked lovely, so we went with it.
(Yes, this is the original Prom ticket from my junior year. Thanks sis Jen for finding this and scrapbooking it years later for me!)

My date that year was a guy from a rival high school who I'd been crushing on for quite some time. He was nice and polite and my parents liked his parents, and it turned out that he in no way, shape, or form was crushing on me. He was a good dancer though, and I wasn't bad on the dance floor myself, so we really did have a great time.

(Another side note: I made this dress for Prom as well as my 4-H sewing project. It still is one of my all-time favorite dresses.)

Prom my senior year was a different story. With two weeks before the big event, I had no date an there were no underground rumors of a shy guy still building up the courage to ask me. I was a bit disappointed that I wouldn't be going, especially when my friends spoke about new dresses and fancy dinner plans. My girlfriends encouraged me to go by myself or with other single ladies. This was no big deal at my school, but most certainly not encouraged by my parents and not something I would be allowed to do had I wanted to.

Right after convincing myself a girl only needed to go to Prom once in her life, a guy friend who I'd known for years asked me. He actually had wanted to ask my little sister, but she wasn't old enough to go to Prom yet (my parent's rules, not the school's), so I guess he figured the older sister wasn't a bad second place.

Here's the thing though, for as sad and sorry as that story is, Prom senior year really was a lot of fun. It was less about does-he-or-doesn't-he-like-me and was more about spending time with my friends before we graduated and headed off in different directions. We were mere weeks away from graduation and even though we lived in a small town, we knew we'd rarely, if ever, all be in the same place again.

(Some of the senior ladies of Prom '97. That's me on the bottom left. I'm currently facebook friends with four of these gals, and met one for an extremely enjoyable 2-hour coffee about a year ago, but really have no idea what's going on with most of them. For that one night though, didn't we all look like a million bucks?)

Did you go to Prom? What memories stand out for you years later?

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Coeur d' Alene Getaway

Did I ever tell you about the time Dan was awesome and told me we were taking off for the weekend to stay at a fancy-schmancy resort, eat delicious food, and get massages?


Well, I should have. So, there was this time (last weekend) when Dan the Awesome Husband Man (I make up cheesy nicknames) did just that. We stayed at the beautiful and luxurious Coeur d' Alene Resort:
(All these pictures came from the resort's website as it was raining/sleeting/snowing during our tenure and resulted in less-than-lovely pictures.)

Dan told me later that his true not-so-secret reason for this weekend away was to eat here:
Wolf Lodge Inn is a hole-in-the-wall restaurant outside of Coeur d' Alene that serves the best steaks you'll find in the area. Dan and I spit a 40-ounce, 2 steak platter (sirloin and porterhouse) and can't recommend it enough. If you ever find yourself in that area around dinner time, stop in. It will probably be the best decision you make all day.

Because we were stuffed with steak, we declined dessert at Wolf Lodge, and instead had dessert over an hour later back at the resort.
Yes, Dan's sundae is huge, about the size of his head, and my lemon layer cake came complete with a scoop of ice cream and french macaroon. It was sugared bliss on a plate and I want another and another and another.

If you need a quick weekend getaway, I highly recommend Coeur d' Alene - the resort, the steakhouse, the everything!

(And big thanks to Dan! You knew exactly what I needed. You're the best.)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Memory: Billy Bob Teeth

Remember about 10 years ago when those ridiculous fake redneck teeth were all the rage? Yeah, they were dirty, broken, obnoxiously crooked and good for a laugh or two amongst friends and family. Well, my family is usually fairly easily amused and hopped right on this trend. I think all the guys got a set in their Christmas stocking, because there's no Christmas like a Billy Bob Christmas!
Yup, that's my dad, uncle and cousin sporting the sophisticated look at a family Christmas gathering 10 years ago. Oh, and to add to the classiness, they even put them in a couple days later at my sister's wedding. (Looking back, I guess it was fair to show her new husband's family exactly what kind of stock she came from.)

Fortunately, I think the redneck teeth craze is long past, but I will fondly look back at that time as one of the few trends my family fully embraced.
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Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Memory: I Used to Play Basketball

Poorly, I should add I used to play basketball poorly.

Growing up I was always a tall kid; usually taller than all the girls and most of the boys in my class. I also was pretty energetic and liked to participate in team sports, unfortunately this combination did not magically create a great basketball player.

I think I peaked the first year I played. In the 4th grade I scored 10 points in our 5-game season. Ten points was exactly half of the total points our team scored that year. (Side note: I can't imagine how awful it must have been for parents to watch a game where the final score was typically something like 6-4. I guess we'll find out when Lana Jean starts playing in a few years.)

My junior high years were full of effort (I did work hard at practice and could run line drills and do the three-man-weave like nobody's business) but lacked talent, skill, and natural ability. Our team wasn't particularly good and my being a part of it didn't make it any better. However, because the school was so small, they needed the players to field a team and I got lot of playing time.
(That's me on the left. Number 41 with the skinny legs, messy pony tail and zero natural ability.)

I stopped playing in the 9th grade. I wasn't getting any better, didn't love playing the sport, and thought the merciful thing to do was retire. It also saved my parents an extra trip into town to pick me up after practice.

I often hear stories from 30- or 40-somethings who speak nostalgically about their sport-playing days. Some swear they'd have had a college scholarship if it weren't for an ill-timed broken ankle or jammed finger. Not me. Nope, I know how it really was an how bad I really was.

So, what about you? Did you play sports? Were you especially bad? Good?
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Friday, March 8, 2013

Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Memory: Sausage Makin'

Most families can say they like meat well enough. Maybe they have steaks or roasts on special occasions, or for a favorite meal. But my family likes meat so much that we actually have a tradition of making it exactly the way we want it. While most families decide between Jimmy Dean Maple or Country Style sausage, we just go ahead and do our own sausage makin'.

My first memories of making sausage began when I was probably 5 or 6. All the aunts and uncles and grandparents on my Dad's side of the family would assemble and my Great-Grandpa Louie would reign over the entire operation. The men would be out in the garage or shop, mixing batches of ground pork and beef and the perfect blend of spices, known only to the very most senior members of the family. Women were inside weighing and packaging bulk sausage or working the casings machine to make breakfast links. All the kids were usually assigned jobs that included staying out of the way. We ended those days with a plate of fresh sausage, scrambled eggs, and toast.

As we got older, the roles previously divided by age and gender were blurred; partially because my Great-Grandpa Louie was no longer there to enforce them, and partially because the labor was needed. Women and children were welcomed to the mixing table, and men did weighing and packaging as well. We enjoyed great talks around the mixing and packing tables, including the occasional dirty joke (as dirty as you'd dare tell your grandparents, or as dirty as they'd dare tell their grand kids). There would be light-hearted, yet momentarily heart-stopping pranks about missing band-aids, lost in the sausage abyss.

I don't have any pictures of sausage making with my cousins or extended family (maybe a cousin or aunt does and would like to share?), but I did find a few more recent ones of my immediate family carrying on the ritual in Oregon.
(The hairnets were a safety precaution. At that time, both Jen and I had super-long hair.) 

In future years, even spouses got in on the action too.
(This post was inspired by the fact that I wanted some of our family's delicious sausage for breakfast on Sunday morning. Alas, there is none in our freezer. We didn't make any last year, and are sadder for it. This is a problem that needs to be remedied and we WILL be doing some sausage makin' this year.)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Congratulations Bill and Sue!

Two weeks ago we were thrilled to attend Dan's mom's wedding. The day was lovely and everyone had a great time. I only snapped a few pictures, but think they show off the day well.
Congrats Bill and Sue! We're so happy for you!
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