• Family
  • MD119

    As you can imagine, we wanted to get pictures taken for Annabelle’s first birthday and thought at the same time we’d try to get some family photos. I’ve been meaning to post these for many many months! I wish I could post them all but here are a few highlights! We had Beth Ritchie take them for us and she did such a great job taking care of us and our very restless toddler!

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  • monkey_001“My bananas! What happened to my bananas?!?!”

    I’m sure you’ve noticed how much I love dressing Annabelle up so holidays like Halloween come without an exception that she’ll be celebrating in style.  Our little monkey didn’t do any real trick or treating but we were able to capture a few good pictures in her adorable outfit. It’s the end of October and now the beginning of November and we’re still having absolutely beautiful weather! Last year she our little pumpkin!

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  • Remembering A Loved One

    February 3, 2014


    My stepbrother, Mark, passed away after fighting a staph infection of the blood for the past month.  We traveled to Oklahoma to see him two weeks ago, right before he passed.  He was a great husband, brother, son and friend.  I am blessed to have known him.  I think that Mark’s passing has been so hard because he was so young, just 34 years old.  It reminds me how precious yet fragile life is.  We keep him in our thoughts always and continue to remember all of the good times we all had.  One of my favorite memories is when he proposed to his wife, Melissa, at our house while we were all together as a family opening Christmas gifts.  He had wrapped up a box of bridal magazines and after she opened the box he got down on one knee to pop the big question. We love you Mark and may you watch over us until we meet again.

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  • Sunny Sanibel

    January 25, 2014

    I can’t believe it’s already been almost two months since we spent a relaxing week with family on Sanibel island.  I’ve been wanting to write a post on our trip with some pictures.  And here I am finally finding the time.  Even though we spent a whole week in Sanibel we didn’t get the camera out as much as I had hoped.  I mentioned in Annabelle’s week 16 update that we went and what a lovely time we had but didn’t talk much about what we did.

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    We spent most of our days on the beach, walking up and down the shore, finding shells to bring home and watching the birds.  Annabelle was spoiled by Dusty’s family, taking her for walks and entertaining her in the condo when she needed a break from the sun.  My favorite times of the day were early in the morning when the sun was rising and then in the evening when the sun was setting.  So beautiful as a backdrop when we were walking along the beach.


    Sanibel is known for it’s shell beaches and wildlife refuges.  An interesting piece of information is that more than half of the island is made up of wildlife refuges, the largest being J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. One morning we visited the National Wildlife Refuge and took a short tour of the area.  On the tour we saw many of the birds and other animals that live on the island including an alligator.  See the picture with the white arrow pointing at the creature.

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  • Dinner at Bret’s Table

    April 12, 2012

    Last weekend we were in Minneapolis visiting Dusty’s dad, Dean and stepmom, Julie before I get overly busy with the end of the semester and Dusty gets inundated with last minute details for Big Omaha.  Dean and Julie have some good friends, Bret and Jon who we have become close with, in part because they love food just as much as we do (if not more).  Bret recently traveled to France and lead a culinary tour around the country, including Provence, where they went to the former home of Julia Child.  He also runs private events and classes in the Minneapolis area as well as in his home.

    It just happens that this past weekend Bret and Jon were having some friends over for a little day of cooking, eating, and drinking, and we got the privilege to attend.  We got some excellent culinary lessons from Bret (who is an excellent teacher by the way) and then ate the beautiful masterpieces we had created.  One of our prep jobs was to be in charge of choosing the wines to pair with each dish and I must say we did an excellent job.  Minneapolis had this great wine shop, France 44, that had an excellent selection of French wines.


    Here’s a look at the menu we prepared:

    Anchovy Tapenade with Crackers
    Kir Royal (a popular French cocktail made with creme de cassis–black currant liqueur topped up with champagne)

    Cuisses Poulet farci avec la saucisse avec jus (Stuffed Chicken Thighs)
    Pomme de terre parisienne (Parisian Potatoes)
    Steamed small carrots

    Salad Vert

    Tartelettes au chocolat individuels avec des framboises et crème à la pistache (Individual Chocolate Tarts with Raspberries and Pistachio Cream)

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  • Weekend in Oklahoma City

    April 9, 2012

    We spent the weekend visiting family in Oklahoma City.  We drove down with my sister and her two kids, spent the weekend at the medievel festival and went to one of my niece’s softball games.  Photos from our weekend adventures.


    Top left: Nieces playing video games and watching movies on the iPad under the blankets. Others: Medievel Festival.

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  • We spent Thanksgiving in Minneapolis with Dusty’s father, Dean, step mom, Julie, and some of his family. We had a great time seeing everyone and spending a relaxing weekend eating turkey. The Saturday after Thanksgiving we left Minneapolis to go to Waukon, IA to see my grandparents and help celebrate their 60th Wedding Anniversary. We were so happy to be able see my family and to be a part of this great event. To see such a happy couple who have been together for 60 years is really momentous.

    Picture of Grandpa & Grandma with the grandchildren.

    Grandpa & Grandma with the great-grandchildren who stayed long enough for the picture to be taken.

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  • Summer With My Nieces

    July 31, 2009

    This summer I agreed to watch my two nieces a few times a month.  I didn’t realize how exhausting those days were going to be.  My mom and I took turns watching the girls once a week and sometimes we all did things together.  We went swimming a few times, walked across the pedestrian bridge, and went down the slides in the Old Market.  It was a lot of fun.  Here are some pictures of the adventures we had.

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  • Ice Skating

    January 19, 2009

    For the past two years we’ve had an ice skating rink in the Old Market.  This year we got the opportunity to go with my dad and the whole gang.  Dusty and I actually got on the ice with Brandon, Bella, Gabby and Gracie.  Everyone else came for morale support.  We all went to dinner afterward.  We took our new camera and got some really great shots.  Hope you enjoy!!!


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  • Merry Christmas

    December 21, 2007
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