Friday, July 30, 2010

A Week in Review

Hello All. What if we try to resurrect the weekly feature “A Week in Review”? I’m feeling up to the challenge. Let’s give it a try.

The Rest of the Trip
It’s been a strange week because half was spent in MN, and the other half here at home. Actually, they’re both home. I used to feel so torn between the two, like I had to pick one and give it my whole heart. I’ve decided not to pick one. I love them both for what they are, and will enjoy both for the rest of my life.

The reunion was Saturday. On Sunday the siblings who were in town, my parents and I all went to church at the old building where we went every week growing up. It’s much smaller than I remember, but otherwise the same. Isn’t it strange, isn't it, that you can be away from a place for years, and then go back and it’s all so familiar. Sitting in that chapel with my parents felt as comfortable as it would have if I’d been there every Sunday all along.

After church we had dinner at Mom and Dad’s - roast and potatoes, the perfect Sunday meal. Barry, Shane, Courtney and their families were there, which added up to about twenty people. Mom wondered for days just how she was going to feed such a crowd! She did well. Then we took an afternoon walk, as is our custom, ate ice cream and were sublimely lazy for the rest of the afternoon.

Monday we took Court’s family (Barry’s and Shane’s had left for home) to the zoo. They had a great wolf exhibit. Do you call zoo animals exhibits? Habitats? I guess I don’t know. Maybe someone could get back to me on that. We stood in a small cabin-like building with large windows that looked out over a grassy hill where the wolves were roaming. They’re gorgeous, but a little frightening at the same time. Something about them feels dangerous even when you’re just looking at them through glass. I bet Little Red Riding Hood needed some serious therapy after finding that one at grandma’s house.

Courtney and family left Monday evening, so it was just my parents and I my last night. We watched “Roman Holiday” with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, who, by the way, was a very handsome man. I went to bed about midnight.

At 1:30 mom was shaking me awake and saying something about tornado sirens, and that I should come downstairs. We sat in the living room watching weather reports. There were huge black clouds swirling over the city. A town some distance away reported that one funnel had touched ground. In the end we didn’t get a tornado, thank heaven, but we did get a fierce thunderstorm. I had hoped for a real rain storm while there, and I certainly got my wish. The thunder and lightening were fantastic.

I flew back to Salt Lake on Tuesday. Again – I felt torn. After a week on vacation I’m usually ready to get back to my bedroom and bathroom, and to work and a normal schedule, but I never like saying goodbye to my parents. And as the plane flew over the beautiful green patchwork of farms and fields I felt homesick. But then when we landed I took a good look at the mountains and realized that I had missed them. And thus my decision to love both of my homes equally and without prejudice. Two homes are better than one.

Dragon Tattoo
No, I didn’t get one, I’m reading the book. In the airport and on the plane I saw “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” everywhere! And then my aunt Janet highly recommended it, so I decided to give it a try. I’m only 20 pages in, but it’s starting out well. I very rarely read crime/mystery novels. It’ll be a good change of pace. I'll let you know what

Lets end with a few more pictures.

Noah and Matthew

Jake and Jonny

Michael, king of the tower

Mariah, Sierra, Josie and Jake in the parents living room

Spencer rolling out a mean game of Yatzee.

Thanks, as always, for keeping me in mind.
You are loved.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Hello! I'm back from the land of 10,000 lakes. We had a family reunion on Saturday the 24th at my cousin Lori's house just outside of a little town in MN, right on one of those lakes. We had so, so much fun. Here are the highlights.

Some of the cousins hired a band that specialized in older music, the kind my dad and his siblings would remember. They were also great for letting the more talented family members get up and join them. Here are my dad and brother, Aaron, singing a duet.
I almost teared up watching them. It's been years since I've heard them sing together. That alone would have made the whole day. But that wasn't all - there was also dancing! Dad and I did a Tennessee Waltz. Yes, we know how to do that.

Here's Sierra and family out on the dock. Yes, she's making the loser sign at me. She did apologize, and I said it was ok. What she doesn't know is that I WAS going to will her some pretty good stuff when I die, including an extensive collection of lip gloss. Too bad for Sierra.
There is, at every reunion, this poster of all the cousins' high school graduation pictures, along with our full names and birth date. The camera flash took out my picture, and that's ok. I don't really need my own picture. Loving the cousins' pictures, though.

Family out on the lake. Give a child somewhere to swim, and you've entertained him for a full day.
Of course each family had to pose for a picture. Here's mine. Back row - Barry, Courtney, Shane, Aaron, and then Mom, me, and Dad. Unfortunately Marla couldn't be there. Her family had other stuff going on at the same time. Maybe I'll find a way to cut her out of another picture and paste her into this one...? Then it will be complete.
Later in the afternoon we took a bus tour! Lori's place is close to the farm where dad and his siblings grew up, so we took a tour of their old stomping grounds, including my grandparents dairy farm. The family doesn't own the farm anymore, but the people who live there now are pretty good about letting us invade their property and take pictures every few years. Here are dad and I on the bus.

We stopped at a few places along the way, and either Dad or one of his siblings told stories from their childhood. They grew up in a different world, and it's fascinating to hear them talk about it. I loved that.

Here's something else I love - my great-grandparents house. They came to Minnesota from Norway in the late 1800s and settle on a farm near Underwood, not far from Dad's home town. They raised 12 children, the youngest being our Grandpa Olaf. A few years ago, the house was moved from it's foundation onto a small historic park in Dalton. It's all set up like an actual historic site! Isn't that great? The house wasn't open on the day we were there, but we did take lots of pictures on porch. Here are Dad and his siblings.
Those are the highlights of a wonderful day. It was the kind of day that made me smile for days after. I keep thinking back on it and saying, "Wow, that was so much fun." It's a great family, and a great place, to be a part of.

One last picture, look how pretty my niece Amalia Grace is. So pretty.

Monday, July 19, 2010

On Vacation

I'd like to open with quote from dear Sierra, "What up suckas?" I'll tell you what's up. I'm leaving for Minnesota TOMORROW! It's very exciting. I'll share a report and some pictures when I'm back. Here's one picture to hold your interest until then.

Angie out.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Trip to the Burg

Last Friday Mariah, Savannah and I took a road trip to Rexburg to visit Sierra. The back story to this is long and complicated, and I think that I'll go ahead and bore you with it. About a month ago Savannah, Melody and I were talking about our upcoming trip to Minnesota. At the time I was seriously considering driving, and asked Savannah if she wanted to go with me. We both really like road trips. She said that she would go with me, but after a few more days of consideration I decided to get a plane ticket instead. The drive is fun, but I would have spent more time on the road than in Minnesota with my parents, and it would have been expensive.

A few weeks later I was having dinner with the family, and Savannah said to me, "When are we leaving for Minnesota?"


"You know, when are we going on our trip?"

"Were you really planning on that? I'm sorry, I bought a plane ticket."

Melody dropped her head into her hands, and Barry told me that they bought tickets for their trip, but didn't get one for Savannah because she was going with me. Collective panic.

I apologized to Savannah over and over again, and said that I honestly didn't know that anyone thought that that was a definite plan. I felt so stupid. Barry got online and fortunately was able to get Savannah a ticket to travel with them without any trouble.

The next day I was still feeling bad about the whole debacle. I sent Savannah a little message, "I owe you a road trip. What if we go see Sierra next week?" She said yes; Mariah jumped on board, and plans were made. The girls wanted to stay for the whole weekend, so Melody agreed to go get them again today, Monday. So much fun! Sierra was very excited, and I was glad to have a happy ending to our story.

We drove up on Friday. Side note - Do you know what makes Angie cuss? Road construction. HONESTLY! Why does a summer road trip have to include an hour of going 20 miles an hour in a long string of cars that's been brought down to one lane for no apparent reason? If I end up in hell, it will be an eternity of road construction.

Back to the story. We got to Rexburg about 2:00, met up with Sierra, got big hugs, saw her apartment, went to lunch at Wingers, and then walked around campus. I went to school there back when it was Ricks, and really liked seeing the campus again. It's grown! But the old buildings and sidewalks brought back memories. And it was fun to see Sierra in her college element. She's always fun.

Here are some pictures

A storm was blowing in about the time I was leaving, and the dark clouds behind the Rexburg temple made a beautiful picture.

It was a really good day. I made the drive back on my own, having left the girls in Rexburg. There's something so calming and therapeutic about being out on the road, enjoying the quiet and solitude, taking in the views of the mountains and green fields; I loved it. The time went too fast.
Second story, shorter than the first. Marla's birthday was Friday. I had last Monday off, so we went up to Park City with little William and did some shopping, then had dinner. It's always fun to have a sister's day out. I don't have to say again how much I love my sister, and cute William (look how cute).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Family Pictures

We're having a big family reunion in Minnesota on July 24, and in preparation my cousins have set up a "Descendants of Olaf and Corinne" page on Facebook. They've started posting pictures, and that's were I found these great, great photos. I'm so excited to have them. Here is Dad's family.

Olaf and Corinne with my dad, Owen (standing), and Blaine

Dad and his siblings, Blaine, Lois, Janet, Will and Alan. Three more would come later - Diane, Donna and Joan.

What a treasure.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Week in Review

Hello All. I’m going to do a short post today, mostly because I don’t have much to talk about. Why write then? I don’t know; I just feel like it. Here’s a Week in Review.

All Alone
Melissa went to Connecticut for the summer (her sister lives there) so I have the apartment to myself. My feelings about this waver between sweet bliss and super boredom. Sometimes you want someone to talk to! My summer home improvement projects have gotten off to a slow start, or no start at all. I still need to get some plants for the deck, make fresh salsa, and buy some pretty pillows for the couch. I’m still determined to do it. Just needed some down time first, I guess.

The 4th of July
I hate to admit that I don’t have any plans for the 4th. I’m an unpatriotic looser. I did vote for President Obama, so in the opinion of all those angry men who like to yell into the radio and carry on on television, I am as unpatriotic as they come. Maybe that’s why no plans…or maybe I just haven’t thought about it yet. I’m going to Minnesota the end of the month, so most of my focus has been on that.

When I think about it, though, I don’t know how I feel about patriotism. I love this country, and feel like living here is a great blessing. We have a fascinating history and a great standard of living, opportunities and privileges that many don’t. But, I’m not one of those “This is the greatest country in the whole world!” kind of people. It seems to me that there are a lot of other nations that do very well. I’ve been to a few. The people are happy and healthy. The streets are clean, and the sites are beautiful. So can you be patriotic and still think that others have it just as good? I’d like to think so. That seems healthier to me, like a healthy self-esteem – feel good about yourself, but draw the line at having to be better than everyone else. That’s my kind of patriotism.

It’s Gone
I sold the Honda for a few dollars to my niece Cortni and her husband. He’s very mechanical, and will be able to fix up the things that are wrong with it, and then drive it through the summer. I hope it works out well for them. They took it away last Monday. It’s the end of an era. Ironic – I bought that car from Cort’s parents, Aaron and Kristi. I hope Aaron doesn’t cuss too much when he sees it back again.

Something from Garrison
I was reading A Prairie Home Companion this morning and found this great paragraph:

My time is short and so is yours, so why not tell the truth: A person can get along very well in life without one bit of the mathematics and physics they rammed into our brains in high school. Fifty years later, and there hasn't been a single moment when I've thought, "Oh if only I could remember higher algebra!"

Ha! That’s awesome, and so true. Although, I will say that Barry remembers higher algebra, and has gotten his girls through high school with his knowledge. I, on the other hand, have no use for it. Garrison’s whole article is great. You can read it here.

I think that’s it for now. I need to get over to Marla’s for some quality time with William.
Happy 4th!
You are loved.