Saturday, October 25, 2008

A weekend away

Last weekend I was at a conference in Baraboo, WI. It was a CAA conference at a cool place with some cool folks. It is always good to be around people who value and love what you value and love. It was also a great networking time, I even got a quazi-job offer, which at this time we are not sharing. At the conference we watched a video and talked about the disconnect that students in college are feeling these days. We talked about the idea that college students don't know what the heck they are doing in school and how they all feel pressured to do it just because. Now not everyone of course, but some. And now, the video...

So, what do you think? Creative, different, challenging, curious, or stupid?

We discussed if we as outdoor education professionals are part of the solution, and if so, how to get there.

Anyway, Hilary went to visit Kate and Jon in Minneapolis so on Sunday after the conference was over I went for a walk in Devil's Lake State Park, right across the street from where the conference was held. As a one car family, I had to wait to get picked up, but I had 5 hours, so a long walk. Some pictures so you can appreciate the beauty.

Does it look like those rocks would move apart? They do by the way, I was there the previous day helping teach an anchor lesson and we moved the rocks with only 2 people.


Next on the agenda, eating lunch, going out to do some running around, and finding Hilary a bike by Spring 2009.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


No, your eyes aren't broken, you saw the price per gallon. We did have $0.38 off per gallon though, but still.... Why the low gas prices? (We appreciate it!) Why do I think just under three bucks is cheap? Anyway.

This week has been busy. Last weekend my parents came out to visit. It was fun seeing them. We went out to dinner, went to church (my second time since out here), watched the Steelers win, and went fishing. I almost caught myself a delicious bass. I had it in and close but it swam under the dock and snapped my line on one of the posts. I really want to catch that fish sometime. Maybe it lives nearby. I do feel bad for my parents as it rained almost the entire time they were here. I am glad they came though. Hilary made a delicious apple pie that was amazing!

Don't you want some? I am home alone tonight. Hilary went to a concert tonight with the youth group because they needed an extra driver. I hope she is having fun at the meet and greet with the BarlowGirls. Some pictures to finish this off.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Different strokes, confusion.

Tonight you get to go inside the mind of Dan. His thought process sometimes goes like this.
While thinking about Christmas present ideas for himself, he thought of a tool box, which he really does not want after some thought, but it led him to look at the best tools around, SK I figure. Guess how much these tools cost, the complete set...go ahead, I'll give you time...
you are wrong by the way, try $1,468.03, nice try though. And in my sick mind I thought, I could use those, why not have the best? Crazy, unless your a mechanic I guess. Hilary and I have been thinking a lot about how our country and lives revolve around money more or less, or at least how Americans value money, expensive cars, and good schools and neighborhoods. Huh? So my brain is scattered. I sold my car last night in less than 30 minutes. He showed up at 6:45, I drove it with him down the road, he drove it back, he offered me money and pulled it out of his wallet. I went inside, signed over the title, wrote a little letter saying I sold it for X amount of dollars to Y person and we both signed it. I then emptied my truck and took off the plates. He gave me the cash, I gave him the title and the keys, bye bye Jetta, you will be missed. German performance gone. Jeep maybe in a year!?

something else I stumbled upon doing research for class that I like and it may make you think, maybe not. I am of course a recreation administration major who loves experiential education and hands on learning, an advocate of non-academia type testing, nature, and all things adventurous/wild. I'll let you try to make sense of my thoughts, because I have yet to do it. A little video.

I have no questions for you. I have no answers.

367 Days of Marriage

On Monday, Dan and I celebrated our one year anniversary. It has been a wonderful year of ups and downs, dreaded decisions and unexpected adventures. And we've happily made it thus far, but only because God has been faithful to us through it all!

We decided to spread out our celebration, beginning on Friday and continuing through Monday. Dan, ever thoughtful, informed me that we were going on a surprise date on Saturday. A surprise! I spent a majority of the week guessing what we were going to be doing -- hiking? a picnic? walking around the lake? Apparently, at some point I actually guessed what we were going to do, but Dan was so convincing with his offhanded "maybe" that I forgot what I had guessed when he told me (on Saturday) that I had already guessed it.

Anyhoo, the surprise was not ruined. After lunch, we hopped in the car for our surprise adventure date, and ended up at an Apple Festival! I LOVE apples. Crisp, beautiful, tasty, delicious, nutritious... I could go on and on. (In fact, one of my professors at Houghton wrote me a little poem about an apple after I jokingly left one on his desk during Modern British Poetry. Unfortunately, I think it was deleted along with my email account at Houghton. Otherwise, I would include it for you today.) Alas, Dan has some issues when it comes to eating uncooked apples (have you ever heard of someone's lips getting red and itchy when eating one?), but he loves me so much that he brought me there.

But just perhaps it was also the allure of fresh apple cider doughnuts and apple cider, both of which we sampled/devoured. We also picked a ten pound bag of apples, mostly Cortlands, which I love. (Duh.) I've been steadily diminishing our stock since then, but Dan made me promise to bake him a pie. Maybe that was an ulterior motive as well. It was really fun to pick our own apples. I don't think I've picked apples since I was a little girl, visiting Uncle Dave and Aunt Amy. Every time Dan and I go to pick fresh produce, we dream about having our own land with fruit trees and bushes and a big garden. Last year we made and froze many quarts of applesauce, something we'd like to do again on a regular basis in the future!

There were tons of people at this festival. Wisconsin gets a lot of visitors from Illinois, who like to take advantage of all of the "country" activities. We saw at least ten red wagons hauling kids and apples and pumpkins. A bunch of kids who were really too little to pick apples were carrying around their own apple picking bags (which could hold up to 10 lbs.). I know they were too short to reach the apples on the trees, so I guess it was just to let them feel included. But, as Dan and I were walking between rows of trees, we saw one mom call out to her child, perched in a tree, "Honey, I'm glad you're having fun, but I can't find your apple bag anywhere." Yes, there were so many kids having so much fun that they forgot to continue carrying their bag of apples. Sigh. We were hoping to find the bag, but unfortunately, the kiddo hid it so well that we were unable to. I just had to settle for snitching an extra apple to eat while we picked.

I haven't made the apple pie yet, but I plan on doing so when Dan's parents visit this coming week. (Yay!) I have many more pie crusts to make until I can compete with my momma, who makes a seriously beautiful pie crust.

Our first anniversary was a beautiful time to remember where we were one year ago and the commitments we made that day. (In case you weren't there, you can still check out our pictures on, under Dan and Hilary's Wedding. While you're there, check out my cousin's gorgeous pics under Eric and Laura's wedding.) On our actual anniversary we laid low, ordered deep dish pizza and wings, ate some still awesome wedding cake, and watched the Steeler's win. Thank you to all of you who have encouraged us on this journey. We love you all!