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Not just for Olympians

The Luge.

You may have heard of it. To most of the world, it's a sport in the winter Olympics, but to the Amos/ Jorgenson/ Hromadko/ and now Hilden families, it's something so much more personal. Every year (that we have enough snow) a luge is made up at the cabin. It takes many long hours of shoveling and clipping twigs and test runs before it's complete and ready to enjoy. When it's finished, from top to bottom it's about the length of a football field (is that right dad?). It's probably the most fun you would ever experience. Here are a few pictures to give you an idea.

*side note. The video from yesterday is Dave on a test run of part of the luge. When it's finished it goes WAY faster.



Everyone pitches in to make sure the luge is perfect.





The test runs are really hard work, but the task master (aka the luge mastermind, aka Dad) demands it of us, so we grudgingly obey.





Luging is pretty much the best thing ever, and it was extra special this year because we haven't had enough snow to build one in a long time. Hopefully this winter will be filled with many snowy, luge filled weekends at the cabin!

Movie Monday!

video

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year, is it not? This was showcased yesterday as I made my way through a local grocery store to pick up a few things for our little Christmas celebration (just the two of us). This particular grocer was in a rather hoity toity part of town and maybe that had something to do with the extra holiday cheer, but I would like to think it was simply the Christmas Eve eve spirit influencing people in this way. Let me explain.

As I rounded up all our goodies and stood in a very long line to pay for them, a sweet little old lady came around and offered everyone Christmas cookies made fresh in the bakery. Seeing as she looked like Mrs. Clause, I couldn't exactly turn her down now could I?? And boy were those cookies GOOD!
As I was enjoying my sugary goodness, three old men in tuxedos set up shop near the entrance/exit with their instruments and began filling the air with Holiday music. I couldn't help but smile. My tummy was filled with sugar and my ears were filled with the sounds of the season.

I sure hope this holiday cheer greets me today as I'm out shopping 'til I drop.

I'm so Metro Transit.


Last Thursday, I boarded the 4k and started my trip back to our apartment. The brisk air had affected me a little bit, but I really didn't have to wait that long for the bus. Once I stepped in, I was blasted with heat, and I quickly warmed up. I sat on the right hand side, next to the window, and I started to read. Within the next few stops a couple of people boarded the bus. They were loud, sitting next to me, and complaining how the bus is soooo unreliable, and that you can never trust the schedules they post. According to one of the unruly passengers..."You just have to stand at the corner and hope a bus comes".

Immediately I thought these people obviously had no idea what they were doing. They said they were waiting for the bus for 2 hours (doubt it! considering one comes every 10-12 minutes.) and that no bus driver knew what they were talking about. The lady chimed in "this is the last time I use metro transit, I'm driving!" and that would be okay with me lady.

I love the bus. I've ridden almost everyday for the past two years, and for the most part it has been completely reliable, interesting, and enjoyable. I love the fact that I can sit down, and know that the bus driver is going to take me where I need to be. I usually throw on my iPod, and read for the 20 minutes it takes to get to our apartment. Sometimes I just sit and let my jumbled thoughts of the day stack up like a fresh Jenga board, totally prepared for the next game.

My appreciation deepened for the bus last week, when my co-workers were getting home an hour later than normal because of bad weather, and my watch read 5:00 exactly when I stepped off the bus. It's a thing of beauty.

Thank you Metro Transit.

The Annual Cookie Baking Extravaganza!

Once a year the whole fam gathers at my grandparent's house (Za and Bumpa) to bake and decorate cookies until our fingers fall off! It's loud and crazy and just plain fun. Here are some picture highlights of the evening.

There was a lot of this:



And this:



But mostly just this:



Many different cookies were made, around 10 different kinds. One of them was by far the messiest and most time consuming cookie around. The Rum Ball!



Here's Dave and Nicki Rum ballin' it up!



Shaun and his girlfriend Alex helped me make my very favorite holiday treat. Here's how to make it. It's really easy. Ready? Pipe some peanut butter between two Ritz crackers. Dip in chocolate. coat with a few shakes of sprinkles. Viola! Pure bliss.







Everyone worked really hard to make all the magic happen.

Here's Za furiously whipping up some frosting.



And Jacob helped out by making sure the sprinkles smelled ok.





And now Kellie would like to show all of you her handi-work. TA DA!



Thanks Kell. We all really enjoyed that.

Barreling through the snow

Alternately titled: Is this REALLY my job??

We had a major snow fall this past Monday. Yesterday (Thursday) our streets still hadn't been plowed. Ok, so the main part of the street, the part you drive on was plowed, or maybe just so many cars have traveled down it that it looked plowed, but the sides of the street, the areas in which we park had not been plowed. Every time I try and park, I have to barrel over large mounds of snow. We don't drive a large vehicle, just a small sedan. Give me a break Minneapolis!! How do they expect us to park?

After the 13th time of barreling over said snow mounds, I reached my breaking point. I called the City of Minneapolis and asked to speak to someone in the public works department. And guess what happened? The lady I spoke to had to put in a work order to get our streets plowed! WHAT?! Isn't it just assumed that when it snows the city will come and make sure the streets can be used for driving AND parking? Is it really my job to call the city every time it snows and alert them to the fact that it's impossible to park on a major Minneapolis street? Honestly.

Thanks for listening to me vent. It's so therapeutic, no?

In other news: This evening we will be participating in the annual Christmas cookie baking extraveganza at Za and Bumpa's! Pictures to follow.

David's Little Helper

I have to be completely honest with you, bloggers, I did not buy, set up, and light up the christmas tree all by myself. I had a helper. His name is Danny, and he is my sister's boyfriend. He also helped me with a recent smaller project of helping my grandparents get their christmas decorations down from their attic. We had a joyous time, and it happened to be well documented. Here are some pictures of the event. Sorry about the quality, they were all taken with my phone, and I have no flash on it. It was the one time in history that Jessica did not have her camera with her. If I can be frank, I'm a little surprised the universe didn't implode on itself. On with the pictures......!!

The man himself....



Here's the two of us, loving life and finding other holiday decorations....



Hard at work...



It looks like my grandparents killed Santa and put him in the freezer, hopefully he'll make it...



I think he's going to make it out just fine...



I'll leave you with creepiest item of the night....



Thanks for all the help Danny!

Best Husband Ever!

He's mine ladies. The Best Husband Ever!

Exhibit A:

This is our first Christmas together as a married couple and we briefly discussed getting a tree and decided that we didnt really have the time to get one and set it up nor the money to deal with the fact that we have ZERO decorations and to start from scratch is expensive. So instead we were going to borrow a little fake one from Dave's parents to adore and decorate.

Sidenote: I LOVE LOVE real Christmas trees. There's something all together yummy and perfect about them.

Ok, back to the story. For the past week he has been mentioning here and there that he has a surprise for me and for the life of me I couldnt figure it out even when he wanted me to guess. I had one or two ideas but they were pretty lame. When I came home last night from an outing with my sister and sister-in-law, there was a surprise sitting in our livingroom. Can you guess what it was??

Here....I'll give you a hint.



Need another one? Ok, ok but just one more.



Give up? This little beauty greeted me as I waltzed in the door last night. I'm extremely graceful. I waltz everywhere I go.



Isnt it so incredibly perfect? BEST surprise ever from the BEST husband ever! Thanks Babe!

Alternators and other such nonesense

It's Thursday, it's cold, and I feel like I have alot to say.

Last year, the weekend after Thanksgiving was a Hilden/Amos hangout at the cabin and the plan was to make it a tradition. This year, several components of the Hilden and Amos clans were not able to make it for various reasons so that left Dave and I alone at the cabin again. You wont hear any complaints from me however. I love spending time with my hubs.
The plan was to leave early on Friday morning to have as much time up there as possible. This plan was thwarted by one thing and one thing only: an alternator that was heating up to 500 degrees and then shutting down. Drat! We took it in right away and then thanked God that we caught it before hitting the open road. A few hours later, we left town with thankful hearts and skinny wallets.

___________________________________________________________

I have one request from all you bloggie friends:

PLEASE go see the movie Australia. Please. It's so utterly fantastic. And another request: please don't listen to what the critics say about this movie. They have NO idea what they are talking about. It's a truly beautiful film. A must see.

Amen

__________________________________________________________

I have a new love.

It's my cast iron skillet.

We received a set of them as a wedding gift from Za (my grandmother for those of you not familiar with her "name") and I never thought to dig them out of the cupboard to use them because I was already fairly in love with my stainless steel pans.
How wrong I was to neglect them for so long.

Dear cast iron skillet,
I love you dearly and promise never to neglect you again.

Love,
your new admirer.

__________________________________________________________

It's cold here. Really cold. I'm looking at my computer temperature gauge and it says it's a balmy 15 degrees outside. Now I realize this is Minnesota and the odds are not good that this is the coldest it will get this season, but cant a girl hope? Honestly, this happens every winter. I wonder what our ancestors were thinking settling in this frozen land. They must have arrived in the summer, because it's quite lovely here during the warm months. But if I could go back and talk to them, I would warn them that every winter their descendants are not going to be very happy with them and seriously question their judgement.

That is all.

Snapshot Day!

Hellllooooooooo bloggers,

I figured I would unload some phone pictures to share with the world. Here they are....

this one is just from walking into work....when it was nicer outside. Now I mostly stick to the skyway.



Here is one from my new favorite pinball machine "Popeye saves the earth". Get ready to see this in a Hilden basement someday.




A couple of high score pictures from our Chicago trip. We played a lot of pinball and we have the scores to prove it! CDH is my sister-in-law.




A photo from my walk into work again, that middle white light is the moon. I don't think I'll ever get robbed at the bus stop. Robbers don't get up early enough.



My shadow on a wall at work.



This is my sad attempt at getting a picture of the Christmas decorations in the skyway. For some reason, under no circumstances, did I want the security guard to see me taking the picture. I hope no one throws up after looking at it. I'll try and get a better one.



A picture from Thanksgiving at my Grandma's place.



Last, but not least, a picture of my sister and her best friend.

A must read

My sister Kellie is a tuxedo manager at a local Bridal shop.

Thus she has some funny stories to share.

Thus you need to read the new blog she started to tell said stories.



We just got back from a beautiful weekend away...more on that later.