Monday, October 31, 2011

The Best Anniversary Weekend... EVER!

Let me just start off by saying... I am in LOVE with the
Gunflint Lodge in Grand Marias, MN!

I feel like I have just come home from a dream... from heaven.

To keep things in perspective... this was mine and Loren's first big trip.
And by big trip I mean, we never went on a honeymoon and have never left our kids for more than one night... kind of big trip!
As parents, most of you know that any extended amount of time away from your children is truly appreciated and in my opinion... truly needed.
So... after being married for five years we thought now was the time to reconnect.
To spend every waking second with each other, laughing, loving, living, and enjoying one another and our surroundings!

But when Loren and I left Thursday afternoon for our Anniversary Weekend, we had no idea just how wonderful our weekend would turn out!

With lots of warm clothes packed and our babes left with family... we hit the road and ventured North... way far North!

...To a wonderful little place called, The Gunflint Lodge...

The Gunflint lodge is a little cabin style resort at the tip top of Minnesota.
It is literally in the middle of no where.
And it is literally... perfect!!!

 Even though we were completely secluded from the world... no TV, no cell phone service... our cabin was so romantic and cozy you didn't even miss those things!
 ... it had just the right amount of "extras" to make you feel like you were living in a dream.
 But besides the gorgeous cabin... the view from our front window is what was truly breath taking!
Oh, and do you see that land mass across the water? ... That's CANADA! - I told you we were at the tip top of Minnesota!
 Right outside our front door was the most gorgeous and relaxing spot to sit and have coffee!
Of course you had to have on a coat, and some mittens, and maybe even a blanket! But the cold didn't bother us a bit, it was sooo worth it!
We spent most of our days relaxed, bundled up, and completely unaware of time.
When you're on a vacation where there is no kids, no work, and no schedule... you find yourself just floating through the day with out a care in the world.
Oh, and a permanent smile stuck to your face!

One of our vacation days went something like this...
We slept in till 10:00, ate breakfast in our cabin, took a quick shower, then hit the outdoors!
Every morning we would take the short walk to the lodge and grab a cup of coffee and a bag of corn to feed the ducks.
From there we would head out to the dock and spend a good chunk of our morning out there, just enjoying the scenery, enjoying life...
 The wildlife up at the Gunflint is just amazing!
Not only did we see dozens and dozens of deer on our way up, but the resort was full of chipmunks, squirrels, birds of all sorts, a couple bald eagles, and my favorite... the ducks!
 These little babies would walk right up to you and eat the corn right out of your hand!
They actually came to know me so well that when we would walk out of our cabin and head towards the lodge... they'd start coming out of the water and walking up shore into the parking lot just to see if I had a snack for them!

Needless to say... I fell in love with these little guys and had a hard time saying good bye.

 But, besides the amazing scenery and wildlife, The Gunflint Lodge offered daily activities for all the guests to join in on!
Like Craft Hour!
One of the days we got to make Birch and Pine cone Magnets!
Loren and I made one for the babes.
We thought they would serve as the cutest little souvenirs!
 We also went on a late night Wolf Howling Hike!
No flash lights, just the pitch black night sky!
Our guide, Jon, took us through the forest and taught us how to howl like the wolves!
It was a little scary, but quite the experience to say the least!

That next day we went back on that very same trail to see what it looked like during the day... and boy was it beautiful!!!
 Being surrounded by nature reminds you just how small you truly are.
Everywhere we looked we were engulfed with God's beautiful creations...
 After three hours of hiking we finally made it to Look Out Point!
Lots of walking and some steep, steep, hills lead us way up to the top of this cliff!
Look at that view!

I think I speak for Loren and I both when I say... we had thee best time!
I can't remember feeling this alive and this refreshed!

Nothing will ever beat starting our mornings together on the dock with a cup of coffee, enjoying the view...
 ... and each other...
Then ending that same day in the same spot....
 ... watching the sun set, together...

From lazy mornings, long soaks in the hot tub, beyond delicious food at the lodge, and the most breath taking and brightest stars...
I can honestly say that was one of the best weekends of my life!

Not only was I away from work and kids and responsibilities... but I was away with the most perfect man!

I am pretty confident that Loren and I will be making many a trips back to our little slice of heaven...
The Gunflint Lodge.

Chat later,


Friday, October 28, 2011

Five Glorious Years!

Today marks 5 years since I walked down the aisle and said "I Do" to my best friend!

It's the same feeling every year... "I can't believe how fast time flies!"
In one sense I feel as if my wedding was just a couple months ago!

I remember every detail very vividly.... waking up that morning, my gorgeous flowers, my stunning cake, my Dad running around like bridezilla making sure everything was perfectly stress free for me, the music, my vows, our friends playing "Digital, Digital Get Down!", and just the over all sense of feeling loved!

Honestly, there's nothing like a wedding!

But, as important as a wedding is... all the planning and preparing that goes into it... it's nothing like what comes after.

I remember laying awake from pure excitement just thinking about and counting down the days to our wedding!
If only I would have known how great marriage was going to be... that's what I would have been counting down for!
Being married to Loren is like a dream come true!
He gets me!
He always has my back and he's always in my corner!

Wanna know a secret?
Kids if you are reading this or any other single person out there...
Marry your best friend!

Isn't everything better with your best friend?
Isn't going to the movies, eating dinner, waking up, and living life with your best friend just better?
Trust me, it is!

Loren is hands down, my best friend.
He has been for awhile.
And because I am not just his wife, but his best friend as well... I always want the best for Loren... and that's the truth!
And if I had to take a stab at it... that's what I think makes us work!

I couldn't imagine my life with out him.
And even though life isn't easy, even though becoming parents together wasn't easy...
there is definitely no other person I would rather spend my life with then my perfectly loving, southern boy.

I've said it before and I will say it again...
I am the lucky one that got to marry Loren!


For old time's sake... I was looking back at some writing of mine.
And even though I didn't have a blog back then I did document our 1st Anniversary,
and here's what I wrote...

Our 1 Year Anniversary!!!
As of today... 10.28.07.... Loren and I have been married for one whole year! I can hardly believe it! I know it is such a cliché' to say... but I really do feel like it was JUST yesterday that Loren and I were saying "I DO."

I would not say this first year of marriage has been difficult.... because it has definitely been great... but I will say that our first year of marriage was full of lots and lots of change! As you all know... not long after we were married we found out I was pregnant, bought our first home together, and then added a dog to our lives! So needless to say, I am glad Loren and I had known each other and spent so much quality time together before our big day! I guess we move pretty quickly, huh?!

But either way.... change or no change.... this last year has truly been the best year of my life!!! I always knew I wanted to get married, I just never knew how fulfilled it could make your life. Always having that unconditional love on your side makes life worth living! You always have someone to go out to dinner with, you never have to call and make plans with them in advance, you get a permanent cuddle buddy, they are always there to wipe your tears of frustration or sadness, and most importantly... that person is there to share and help carry all the emotions and events of your day to day life!

I can be honest and say... I know I am no cake walk to handle! I am a girl filled with emotions and stress! lol But through this last year I have found that Loren is more than a perfect match for me... he is my soul mate! The ONE and ONLY person I was meant to find and share my life with!

So as I look back to one year ago on the vows I wrote and said in front of so many of you... I can honestly say... "Time flies when you're having fun!!!"

My vows...
To My Soon To Be Husband:
"Well… It's been a bumpy road! But no one ever said relationships were easy. And I found out recently that loving someone is a choice, a choice that as of today, I am ready to make. So I know you may have heard some of this before… but today more than ever it is true, it is from my heart, and it is very very real.

…You are my soon to be husband, Can you believe it? We're actually getting married! In just a few minutes I will be your wife and you will be my husband. No longer will we be two separate people, two separate souls, with two separate goals and purposes in life, but now, we will be one.
Ever since I was little I would dream and try to picture the man I would stand before on my wedding day, the man that would hold my hand as I brought my first child into the world, the man I would dance my every dance with, and kiss my every kiss, the man that would fill the "Missouri shaped whole" in my heart. And not long ago I realized the man I spent all that time dreaming of, was you!

You are so kind, thoughtful, funny, generous and loving. You live every day to its fullest and you know how to make life fun! – sometimes too fun! Every moment I spend with you makes me feel like I have a purpose.

I promise I will keep our love honest, our friendship a priority, and our home full of laughter. I will stand behind you in your goals and support you through your fears. And when you feel like you have failed and can't get back on your feet, I will be there to help lift you up with unconditional love. For the rest of my life I will strive to not only be the wife you need, but the wife you deserve.

I just wanted to let you know how happy you make me. Everything I've ever wanted I have found in you. I am sooo in love with you!"

Those words, feelings, and promises have not changed a bit!

If you're reading this...
You are amazing and I absolutely love the life we have made together!
Thank you for all that you have given me.
I only hope that our children can be as fortunate in love and marriage as we are.
Because of you....
I am truly blessed!

Here's to plenty more healthy, happy, and blessed Anniversaries.



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Loving the Season!

I love Fall!
All things outside, bonfires, apple orchards, pumpkin patches, hayrides, apple cider, and pumpkin pie!
I mean really... do I need to list anymore?!

This is my favorite time of year and I could never put into words exactly why... but I just know it is!
Maybe it's because it's the turn of a new season and the cooler, crisp air is welcomed after the hot summer.
Maybe it's because starting with Loren's Birthday in September the fun events like our Anniversary, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas... just keep coming!
Or maybe it's just because this time of year presents some of thee most fun activities to do as a family or with the babes.

... and over the last couple of days we have taken part in some of the favorite Fall classics...

Like raking and jumping in the leaves!

... And...
...carving pumpkins!

Nothin' like letting your babes dig their hands in and clean out a dirty ol' pumpkin!

They were lovin' it... but of course Loren and I did most of the work!

This year Loren drew multiple face designs on a piece of paper and the babes were able to decide which face they liked best!
Great idea honey!

Half way threw Tuck lost patience since his pumpkin was not ready "wight now Momma!"
So we put him in the sink to rinse off and we finished up with Greta!

She was such a good helper this year!

(Oh yeah, and Loren has a beard again this Fall!)
(Agh... this is becoming a yearly deal!)

And there they are... all three pumpkins ready to go outside!
Three? Yeah we did one for Walter! lol

Lit up and ready for Halloween!

Greta's design on the left and Tucker's on the right.
Too cute!

What about you guys?
Do you LOVE Fall as much as I do?

Hope you all are having a great week!

Chat later,


Oh and P.S. - so Appleberry's Attic the Shop has went live via Facebook!
We now have our very own Facebook Page where we can sell all things Signs, Soap Pumps, Chalkboards, and Furniture! ... well, all things Appleberry's Attic!
And it just so happens that one of my customers featured us on her blog!
If you're interested, you can check out our Facebook Page... HERE!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Look Who Has An Interest In The Potty....

.... this boy!

He has went potty on the potty before... so this is not the first time... but he is talking about it more!

He is only two and a half and since I know boys take longer we have not rushed anything.
We have talked about it, explained how the potty works, but that's about it!
If you remember when we potty trained Greta, I learned the valuable lesson of not pushing someone when they are not ready!

So, we have let Tuck just take his time... and time is what he is taking! - and that is perfectly fine!

But recently he has been talking about the potty more and wanting to sit on it more often.
In my opinion... all steps that are important when feeling out a new change!
A change that I hope will gradually start to come over the next 6 months as he finds his way to 3 years old!

Good news is...
Tuck, like any other man, has mastered the art of finding somethin' to read while you're on the pot...

...Nothin' makes you relax and go potty more then the recent subscription of Field & Stream!

Funny how they grow and change so fast!
The little baby that was so frail and couldn't even be held when he was born is now chillin' on the potty reading Field & Stream and talking about goin' huntin' with his Daddy.

Moments like these make me proud to be a Mom!
Moments like these make me realize that I'm doin' it!
I'm surviving parenthood!

Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday!
My favorite day of the week!

Chat later,


Saturday, October 22, 2011

It's The Little Things... Mommy Edition!

Last night Loren had to run to Menards to grab some lumber for a couple upcoming Appleberry's Attic projects!
Even though he had had a long week of work filled with a ton of over time... he decided to take both babes with him and give me some Mommy time!

Beautiful, sweet......peace and quiet!

Whenever I get these little nuggets of time I never know what to do first!
All I know is that I feel like a kid in a candy store and my first reaction is to scream and giggle with excitement! ... my second reaction is to RUN!

If you are a Mom, you know just the feeling!
You never know how much time you will truly have and you want to make the absolute most of it... so naturally running would be one of your first instincts.

And running is what I did!

I quickly cleaned up all the dinner mess.
Threw the dishes in any sort of mis matched way into the dishwasher...
and hit the shower!

Yeah that's right... this Momma took a long, hot, 20 minute shower!
I'm talkin' washed my hair, shaved my legs, scrubbed up with body wash and a loofah, kind of hot shower!
It was A.MAZING!

After my hot shower I threw on the classic sweatpants, tank top, and my husbands hoodie! lol

They weren't home yet!
I still had a couple minutes of free time!

So, I put a cup of coffee on the brew and treated myself to a facial mask!

My Mommy time was so wonderful I'm not even bashful or ashamed to post a picture of me in all my glory...

That is the face of one refreshed Mommy! lol

After hearing of my time alone a friend made the comment
"It's the little things, right?!"

And isn' that the truth?!

It's the little things that you appreciate the most.
It's the little things that can truly change your mood and your night!
It's the little things that Loren does to help me out that let's me know how much I am loved!
Life is definitely about the little things.

Loren, if you're ever reading this...
Thanks so much for that one Friday night that you took the babes to Menards!
The shower that I took that night was probably the best shower I had all month! lol
Love you!

Hope you Mom's get to experience those little joys from time to time!
They are so needed!

Can I get an Amen?!

Have a great weekend!
Chat later,


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Apple Berry Pie!

That's right!
You read that right!
Not only is the name Apple Berry Pie clever...
but it's really, really good!

It's like your traditional Apple Pie with a little kick! ...
an Appleberry kick!

Lookin' to make something with all those apples from the Apple Orchard or make something with that Fall flair?
Then give this recipe a try!

Apple Berry Pie:


6 Apples - thinly sliced.
1 C. Dried Cranberries
1/2 C. Sugar
3 T. Flour
1 t. Cinnamon

Toss all of the above ingredients together in a bowl.
Take 1 pre-done pie crust... I use Pillsbury... and line your pie pan with that.
Once the crust is in the pan, add the apple, cranberry mixture.

Now time for the crumb topping!

Crumb Topping:

1 stick of butter
1 C. Brown Sugar
1 C. Quick Oats
3/4 C. Flour
1 t. Cinnamon

Soften your butter till it's almost melted and then add all of the other dry ingredients.
Use a wooden spoon and mix it all together... it should start to come together and be crumbly.
Sprinkle all of the crumb topping on top of the pie...

Find some babes to eat the left over crumbs... 

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; bake 40-45 minutes more or until crust is golden brown.

The mixture of the sweet apples with the slightly tart cranberries makes for a really great combination!
Serve for your family or friends with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Hope you all are having a great week!
Monday's already over so that's a plus!

Chat later,


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Apple Orchard

My, my, my!
I always start off with posts like this where I haven't blogged in awhile with "I'll never do that again, or life is just soooo busy, or so on and so forth... and honestly all of them are true! And whether I like it or not, all of those excuses or reasons will be used again when it comes to why I neglect the blog from time to time!

But, like I stated earlier... life is busy!
Fall is upon us and with that comes tons of fall events and fun things to do! Throw in some crafting to fill up our stores, starting our new Appleberry's Attic Facebook Page!!!, a 10 year High School Reunion, and you've got one busy gal with a busy family schedule!

I was sad to see that I haven't even posted in the month of October yet! Shame!
This is my FAVORITE month and my favorite time of year!
And I thought, what better way to start off my October posts then with our trip to the Apple Orchard!

This year we went to a pick your own apple orchard and boy was it worth it!
In my opinion they are so much more fun then the ones where you just dig in a big pile and buy your apples that way! Don't get me wrong, the fun commercial aspect of it all like hayrides, petting zoo's, etc. are fun... but there is something about going out as a family and picking 40 lbs. of apples that makes for a great day!!!

The babes started out excited, but unsure of what to do.
But once we taught them how to find and pick the good ones, they were all on board!
Tuck loved going for the ones on the floor cause that was really the only one's he could reach, but my Greta... she sure was quite the apple picker that day!
Anything on that lowest branch was prime for the pickin' and boy did she do a great job!

So big and such a proud helper that day!

Along with the apple picking we got in a hayride, a corn maze, a snack, and some wonderful time with the animals! Mine and Tuck's favorite time was the time we got to spend feeding and petting Leonard the cow.
I think Leonard took a real liking to me!
I almost put him in the truck and headed home with him he was so cute!

After our long day of havin' fun and pickin' apples, I'd say all our hard work paid off!
We had a ton of gorgeous apples to eat and bake with!

And that's exactly what we did!
That evening, as a family we set out to make and can a batch of homemade Apple Sauce....

And homemade Apple Butter.....

And let me tell you, both were great!
We will be enjoying them all winter long!
And we still had plenty leftover for me to bake with!

Well, I hope you all are having a nice Fall and enjoying one of the best time's of year!
Me and my fam have been enjoying lots of outside walks and last minute trips to the park before it gets too cold!

Can't wait to fill you guys in on more that we've been doing and get back to blogging.
Oh how I miss it when I am away!

Well, chat later...

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