Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tragic Ending to our House Hunting Saga

After much back and forth with the City of St Paul, we decided to forego buying a house and continue renting.

Luckily, it only took less than a week of searching on Craigslist to find a fantastic place.

Our new address is:
2254 Benson Ave
Unit E
St Paul MN 55116

We have conveniently relocated to the W 7th area. We're about 10 min from school, 10 min from my parent's house, and 15 min from church. Perfectly located!

We rented a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom condo from a nice young couple. It's an upstairs condo, and we're nearly completely moved in. Everything's here but not quite unpacked just yet.

Of course, Sallie moved with us. There was no way we were going to give her up. She's way too cute and adorable, so that was one of our criteria in our apartment search. She's adjusted very well to our new place. While we are nestled in between two very busy streets, our condo is located in a wooded area right next to the railroad tracks and lots of other housing complexes. It's very residential, and Sallie loves going for walks.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


August 24th (hard to believe it's already been a month) was a very special Sunday.

We visited my sister's ward to hear my niece give her very first talk in Sacrament. She just turned 12 in June. She was so excited to speak in Sacrament! I think she was asked to speak on a Wednesday and had her talk completely written on Thursday. Thankfully, she did not get my procrastination gene. :-)

Here is her talk:

"I was asked to give a talk about how education is important to life.

Well we should always work to educate our minds and our hands so we can succeed in our chosen fields. Our education should be an influence for good and our use of it should distinguish us as people of integrity. A good education will prepare us for opportunities as they come and will help us be an asset to our families, the Church, and our communities.

In chapter 130 D&C: 18–19 it reads, Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.

If you’re now a teenager, people have probably stopped asking you what you want to be when you grow up and have started asking you much harder questions like “Are you going to college?” “Are you prepared to take the standardized tests you need for admission?” “What are you going to study?” “Have you thought about internships or trade schools?”
If all those questions make you want to scream and run away from getting more education, that’s normal. Your education and career choices are a big deal, but preparation can take the fear out of making those big decisions. So don’t run away just yet.

Shanna Butler told a story in the New Era, Nov. 2004 and it says: Elder L. Tom Perry, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has said, “It is never too early to determine the direction you want to prepare yourself for. Don’t wait until you register for college to decide what you want to study.” Christian McConner-Hughes is 17 and just got accepted to BYU in Idaho. He wants to study Japanese and become an interpreter. He’s been a part of the Chicago Illinois Stake’s mentoring program for a few months. He’s a good student but Christian needed to catch up a little on his physics homework, so he signed up for a program to help him right away. Christian has also prepared for his future by attending seminary. Craig Nelson, who is responsible for the career counseling center at LDS Business College, says, “Seminary and institute provide a great rounding to your education that you can’t get any other way.” Education in both spiritual and academic things is a great way to prepare for the future. You also need to be financially prepared. “You have to look realistically at how you are going to pay for your education,” Brother Nelson says. “The money does not appear magically. but careful planning and faith can carry you through your education and your career. President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said, “We encourage our youth in every country to get an education. Even if at times it seems hopeless. With determination and faith in the Lord, you will be blessed with success. It is a dream well worth pursuing. And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ amen."

I think that only the first two paragraphs were in her own words, but she did a wonderful job with her presentation! She didn't even seem nervous to be up on the stand or at the pulpit. It was a very proud moment for her and her family.

The other special reason for a visit to my sister's ward was to witness the ordination of my nephew to the office of Priest. Another proud moment for my sister and her family.

What a good looking 16 year old!

Here are a couple of other pics from the day.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Our Little Girl

Now that we're going to be homeowners, we thought we'd need a cutie to come live with us. We've actually been debating getting a dog for quite some time. We weren't allowed to have one in our apartment. :-(

We just couldn't resist this little cutie-pie from the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley.

We've renamed her Sallie. Her name was Susie, but I have a niece named Susie, so she needed a new name.

I'm already totally in love with this little girl, so there will probably be lots more pictures in future posts.

Welcome to your temporary home, Sallie!!

We close on your new home on Sept 30th!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Holding Pattern


We are in a crazy holding pattern. We have less than 2 weeks until we need to be out of our apartment, and we have no home. We will be staying with my parents for a short, indefinite time.

The day after the bank accepted our offer on 1323 Randolph, we found out that St Paul, who is financing our house, did not have any money. They will get more money, but they do not know when. As of right now, they are not showing the house to anyone else, so chances are still very good that we will still get this house, which is very good news.

I'll keep you updated!

Thursday, August 07, 2008


I'm very excited to announce that our offer was accepted! Our 3rd pitch was a HIT! Whoo hoo!!

They have us down for a closing on August 29th, but we're hoping to get everything done sooner. We do, afterall, need to be out of our apartment by the 31st, so the sooner we can close the better.

Our new address will be:
1323 Randolph Ave
St Paul MN 55105

We will be directly across the street from a grocery store, Copper Dome diner is on one corner, and PJ Murphy bakery is on the other corner. So much convenience within walking distance!

Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we work towards a closing.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

We're trying new things!

If you were to ask either Jeff or I what we like to eat, you'd get a resounding..."Anything but fish or seafood!" (Actually, there are probably a few other things that could be added to that list as well.)

Of course, over and over again, we hear how good fish is for you. Lots of people enjoy it.

So, we finally decided to give salmon a try. On a whim, I purchased some at the grocery store. I figured if we didn't like it, we'd only be out $5, and I'd know not to try that again.

Jeff agreed that I could make it for dinner. Here is the recipe I decided to try.

I thought I had lemon pepper, but I didn't. I did have garlic pepper, so it turned out to be way more garlic that lemon. I served it with mashed potatoes (instant) and green beans (canned).

It was my first time, of course, so I think I may have over cooked it. I thought it was a tad too dry.

I was surprised at how non-fishy it tasted. I mean, once you got passed the smell. :-)

It was...wait for it...actually all right. Jeff and I agreed that it would even be OK for me make salmon again.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Big Lake Wilderness Lodge

Last weekend, we took a trip up north to spend some time at the lake. The lake we chose was Big Lake near Ely, MN.
We went with my Dad,



and Selena.

We had so much fun, and we took a lot of pictures. Check out the slideshow on the right for a quick view. I hope to put some into scrapbook pages and post them in a future post. Right now, it's past my bedtime, and my mouse it almost dead, so I need to call it a night.

Hopefully this is enough to whet your palette.

Come back soon!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


In the last post, I mentioned that we were going to put in an offer on a house in St Paul.

I'm disappointed to have to report that we didn't end up putting in an offer because there were already two offers in, and we knew we wouldn't be able to outbid them.


So...we decided to put in an offer on our 2nd choice home. It wasn't in the same location, but we thought that it might be the house for us. We sat down with our realtor and filled out all the paperwork. And we waited. Last week, we found out that another offer had been accepted.


We are going out house hunting with our realtor again tonight. Hopefully, we'll find something that we love! And we'll put in an offer! And they'll accept it! And we'll be able to close in a few weeks!

If we strike out again (three strikes, you're out, right?), we'll probably just look for a cheaper apartment--one closer to campus. You see, on June 30th, we put in our 60-day notice to vacate our apartment at the end of our lease. On July 1st, our apartment was rented. August 31st is our last day, so hopefully we'll have something lined up before that day comes...and it's fast approaching.

Wish us luck!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Update / Restaurant Review

OK, so I guess I've been pretty lackadaisical about updating our blog.

We've even taken some pretty cool road trips complete with great photos! We went to Lutsen, MN, in the beginning of May, and Nauvoo, IL (for my cousin's wedding) in the middle of May. Hopefully I'll take some time to blog about them soon.

About a month ago, Jeff and I found ourselves in a Slumberland Clearance center. While waiting to check-out, I sat on a couch by the register. I immediately fell in love with this couch! So comfortable, so soft! Too big, really, for our apartment.

So...we began again the discussion of whether or not to buy a house in MN. After much discussion, the search began. We found a house that holds lots of opportunity for us to really make it exactly what we want and that will fit our needs.

Being city dwellers at heart, this property is less than 1 mile from downtown St Paul, and within walking distance to the Xcel Center and the shops/restaurants on West 7th. We LOVE the location.

Unfortunately, we didn't get approved for nearly as much as we would've liked. Good news is, it is bank-owned, so hopefully they'll accept our very low-ball offer. If you don't mind keeping us in your prayers, we'd really appreciate it.

Last night, we decided to actually go out on a date--something we haven't done in quite awhile. Since I've always considered myself more of a Minneapolis girl than a St Paul, I thought we should go check out the area that we'll hopefully be moving to.

We decided to try El Patio.

This restaurant really helped sell me on the location and St Paul. We dined outside, and it was so relaxing! We leisurely talked about our future as we munched on chips and salsa. Our food was delicious and our server was great! I definitely see us returning to this restaurant and checking out the others that are close by.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Movie Review: 21

Jeff and I went to see 21 last night. Click here for a trailer. (You have to watch a brief commercial before the actual trailer.)

We both really enjoyed this movie!

This post was actually written on 4/19/2008. Not sure why I didn't end up publishing it. Maybe I was going to expand more on what we liked/didn't like...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

New Favorite Sport

Last night Jeff and I went to our first Roller Derbie!

We were kind of skeptical (or at least I was), but it was actually very fun to watch. We took some pics (unfortunately, it was too dark for good pics) and some video. The videos that were turned out well are too large to upload to this blog. Maybe we'll be able to edit them a bit to get them down to an appropriate size.

My sister plays hockey, so we're trying to get her to tryout to be a MN Rollergirl. Tryouts are at the end of June. I told her I'd even tryout, too!

Visit the MN Rollergirls website for more about this exciting sport.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

New Toys

We moved into a large 1-bedroom apartment at the beginning of February. Now we have all kinds of room and have begun the process of filling out the empty spaces. With both Jeff and I in school, we have decided to use all 3 of our desktop computers--one for Jeff, one for me, and one for entertainment (we run our TV through a computer). Using all 3 computers, presented us with a dilemma: we were short 1 monitor.

Our solution:

Yep, a 42" plasma TV. :-) It is SO nice.

For Jeff's birthday, I wanted to get him something really special. We'd been discussing this purchase, so I went out and bought a Wii.
We've been having lots of fun playing tennis in our living room. My family gave Jeff 3 additional games. I haven't tried any of them out, but I'm sure they'll be lots of fun!

We certainly enjoy our new toys. BUT now it makes it even more difficult to concentrate on our studies. So far, I think we've done quite well.

Wish us luck balancing school, work, and play. :-)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Don't Hug Me!

Another New Year's Resolution that we made was to do at least one cultural thing every month. We missed January, but we have a couple of things marked down for February.

We have a relatively loose definition of cultural. We just want to get out and do more things than just go to the movies or something. We want to experience more things in life. Our cultural events will include: plays, museums, zoos, galleries, lectures, etc.

Our first event was this past Friday evening (2/8). We saw Don't Hug Me at the Hennepin Stages Theater in the Hennepin Theater District. It was hilarious--so much so that Jeff really had exert quite a bit of effort to control some of his guffaws.

You know it's good when we are still quoting lines from the play two days later. :-)

It was a Minnesota love story--poking fun at the Minnesota cold, accent, and unique sayings (e.g. "Ya, sure, ya betcha!", "Oh, for sitting on a cat!" or "Oh, for fartin' in church!"). The acting was great!

My parents joined us for the play and the 4 of us went out to dinner beforehand at Zelo. This was fabulous! Jeff ordered a NY Strip and it was the best he'd had in a long time--definitely worth the price. My pasta was delicious as well, and their tomato basil soup was SO good. The atmosphere was really lovely, too.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Did you Caucus??

Last night was Super Tuesday--an opportunity for people in 22 states to attend their local caucus or primary.

It was an opportunity for Jeff and I to legitimately get out of class early. :-)

Well, that was our original desire to go. Neither of us had ever attended a caucus, and being 30 (and very nearly 30), we thought it was time for us to enter the adult world of political awareness. We didn't know what to expect at a caucus nor did we really know which (Democrat or Republican) we should attend. I believe that both of us had only voted once previously--one voted Democrat in 2000 and one voted Republican in 2004, so we didn't really feel that we were really aligned with either political party.

Even driving to the caucus last night, we were still undecided. We reached the turn for the Republican one first, so we decided to check it out. We were mostly interested in just observing to see what it was all about, because of all the people that we'd asked, no one really knew what one was or what occurred at one.

Here is what happened:
  • We found the location of our address on a map to determine our Ward (12) and Precinct (4).
  • We gathered into an auditorium where letters from the candidates were read.
  • We were then divided into precincts and each met in a different room (Or at least that is what was supposed to happen. In reality, they were short on conveners, so our precinct was combined in one room with another one.)
  • We nominated and voted on delegates and alternates. (I'm still unclear as to what this means and what the delegates do--except it's something on March 8)
  • We took the straw poll on the presidential candidates. (Romney & McCain were tied in our precinct)
  • We nominated and voted on a Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary for our precinct. (No one was volunteering for these positions, and the Republicans apparently need more volunteers in Minneapolis, so Jeff volunteered to be Vice Chair, and I volunteered to be Secretary. We were uncontended, so we easily got the positions.)

Even though there were 50+ people crammed into a classroom at Minnehaha Academy, and they were getting a little unruly, since most people just came for the straw poll, and probably didn't know all the other stuff that was going to happen, we still really enjoyed it.

So, now we've aligned ourselves with the Republican party--at least for two years, because that's how long our positions are.

What started out to just be a curiosity and an excuse to get out of class early, turned into our becoming more active participants in our community. Our friend, Catherine, would be so proud. :-)

Monday, January 28, 2008

A New Year's Resolution

Jeff and I sat down and wrote out a few resolutions that we'd like to accomplish in 2008. Throughout the year, you can look forward to updates on the progress we make on a couple of them.

One of our resolutions is to read together from the Book of Mormon everyday. We decided on the Book of Mormon because it is what we are studying in Sunday school this year. This way we can prepare together for the upcoming lesson each week.

We started on Dec 31st, and I am very pleased to say that we have been very diligent. I think we may have missed one day, but we easily made it up the next. It has been very good for us!

I know that the Lord will continue to bless us as we commit to reading together every day!

1 Fish, 2 Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

This is a little delayed post, but I just received a digital copy of this photo from our ward's Halloween party.

These costumes turned out so cute!

The day after this party, my family ran the Gray Ghost 5K in Anoka, MN. We were a "school of fish." Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of our costumes, but it was the same general idea as this pic--except I was a "sun"fish and Jeff was a "paddle"fish.

I was dressed in all orange and yellow with orange and yellow pipe cleaners in my hair to form sun rays; Jeff was dressed in all green with a strip down the front and ping pong paddles in each hand. Then we had the fish head and tail pinned to us. Also in our school was a catfish, dogfish, 1 fish, 2 fish, red fish, blue fish, and monk fish. I brought along a ruler, too, to lead us in the ABC song. It was such a fun race. :-)


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