Where has the time gone?* 

Summer of 2016 is marching on.  Today is National Happiness Happens day (8/8/16), so I thought I needed to catch up on what has been making happy memories for the summer of 2016!  *the question I ask myself most frequently on the blog


Gathering with friends and family:

  • At graduations – a few friends had kids who graduated this year – fun to watch them get through this emotional time with grace!  Gracie also graduated from 8th grade, and boy, does she have grace.  She wrote a letter to the principal and he read it to everyone…. uff. There were tears.
  • At the cabin – Several weekends in June and July have been spent with family. We kind of thought Memorial Day would be the only time we would all be together there, but there have been so many wonderfully relaxing days spent there.  Looking forward to Ferragosto 2016!
  • At Berne Woodfired Pizza – We went in June with Sierra and family and enjoyed a beautiful night with great music.  I went again in July with various family members. It was a HOT night but mom and dad got there early and scoped out a perfect spot in the shade of those big trees and the nice breeze kept it so very comfortable.  Definitely a must-do in the summer!
  • At Whistle Binkies on the Lake – birthdays, book club, and “no-more-class” celebration all at Whistles!  Also met with Troy and Cheryl there for a lovely lunch on their patio.  He had to see the place that is such a big part of us!  So good to see him anywhere!
  • At Four Daughters – the social work department is attempting to promote more social activities! The first was at Four Daughters. We were a small group but we were treated to a tour of the wine and cider making equipment and had a delicious dinner together.  And the ED social workers kept the party going by visiting various rooftops in Rochester.  A fun night out!
  • At Thursdays on First – Also had a fun night with co-workers listening to music at Thursdays, followed by eats and treats in various locations.  A great night!
  • At the Minnesota Zoo – We spent a steamy day at the zoo in July!  What fun to wander there with grandkids and to watch them watching the animals.  Such a great day!
  • At the Minnesota Twins – We had prime seats to watch the Twins (vs. Chicago White Sox) on a beautiful day! It was Chris’s first game at the Target Field in Minnesota – he thought it was only for concerts and food & wine shows!  Even though they lost, it was a great game (extra innings) and good fun with the family.
  • At Skyline Raceway – with Chris’s work family (ha!) we rode go-karts, played mini-golf, and ate great food.
  • At Flapdoodles – we’ve visited the new south Flapdoodles a few times… have to celebrate National Hot Fudge Sundae day, and National Ice Cream Day, and whatever else needs celebrating….
  • At various new (to us) restaurants – we’ve tried out some new places, in addition to our favorites.  Luna Rosa Wine Bar in Stillwater with Marissa and Adam, Pittsburgh Blue in Edina after a hair appt, Fogo de Chao in Minneapolis for Chris’s birthday, Hen House Eatery for breakfast downtown Minneapolis, World Street Kitchen and MilkJam Creamery for dinner before a movie in Uptown, and Modist Brewery before the Mini Takes the States gathering in Minneapolis.  Ah, good memories!

A Birthday Road Trip –  Chris and I took a road trip in June. We celebrated his birthday at Fogo de Chao and then the next day we headed north: destination #1 Grand Marais! We motored in his Honda and stopped briefly at our hotel in Grand Marais (incredible view!) before continuing on up to Thunder Bay, Ontario for dinner at Tim Horton’s!  First passport use together!  Grand Marais is beautiful, and home to the World’s Best Donuts, so of course we had to try that for breakfast.  The next day we motored our way back to Duluth, with stops at Cross River, Split Rock Lighthouse, Gooseberry Falls, and finally our hotel in Duluth. We ate at Grandma’s Saloon, Amazing Grace for breakfast, toured the William F. Irvin shipping boat, and then made it back to have some dinner at Rochesterfest.  We know how to pack in a lot on a road trip!  We are planning our great big Birthdayversary Trip to the East Coast now – so much fun to anticipate these trips!

Movies – At home I’m binge watching The Gilmore Girls in preparation for this FALL!  Can’t wait to catch up with them all again!  So not many movies on Netflix of late…. Seriously, just checked my “recent activity” on Netflix and it’s all Gilmore Girls and episodes of Grace and Frankie!  I love Grace and Frankie and recommend it!  It’s a Netflix series with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. I thought Season 2 was better than Season 1.  Good stuff!

In June I did buy a streaming live ticket to see She Loves Me live from Broadway!  Invited some girls over and we had Ice Cream during intermission (“Ice cream! He bought me ice cream!”).  It was fun to see a Broadway show and exciting to know that it was LIVE!  There were technical difficulties in the beginning so that was a little frustrating but we got through… and it was great fun!

In the theatre:

  • Me Before You – Thought it would be all book club mamas but there were a lot of teens in the audience!  It is a good rendition of the book.  Not as detailed but the things they left out were ok.  Shock ending to those that hadn’t read the book!
  • Don’t Think Twice – So. Fun. For weeks I had on my calendar that there was a showing of this new movie written and directed by Mike Birbiglia, playing in Minneapolis.  When I went to get tickets eventually, it was sold out.  So I was thrilled to get the newsletter from Mr. Birbiglia saying they added another show and I quickly bought tickets.  He was there at the end for a Q&A and it was very fun.  Chris got a high five from him (he collects high-fives from famous people, evidently – well, Mike Birbiglia and Glen Hansard, two of my favorites!).  The movie was great, as well.  An improv troupe in NYC is facing changes as they all strive to be noticed for national television shows (ala SNL) and their theatre space is being closed for some big expensive NYC thing.  I recommend you see this if you can – and it is being released in Minneapolis and other big cities, so you can!  Good stuff.
  • Ghostbusters – took a crew to see who was ‘fraid of the ghosts!  I realized that I wasn’t a super fan of the first movie but this was great fun for me.  It was great to see all the cameos, I was just scared enough (I hate being scared) and knew that it was silly fun scaredy-stuff, and the ‘busters were fun to listen to.
  • Jason Bourne  – we watched all the Bourne movies at home over the past year, so this was the first one seen in the theatre.  Uff.  It’s a wild ride.  When I’m at home I can walk to the kitchen, remaining in ear shot, and avoid the stressful stuff.  In the theatre I just closed my eyes a lot.  A. Lot. Not going to overanalyze the Bourne, just enjoyed a night at the movies!

I’m reading Books again – Since my last post in June about the 3rd Provence book, I’ve read a few books!  Maybe I’ll legitimately reach my book goal for 2016!

  • Circling the Sun by Paula McLain (author of The Paris Wife) – so captivating! Based on real people and real events, a story of ex-patriots living in Africa. The main character is Beryl Markham, a fascinating woman with a fascinating story. Highly recommend!
  • Life’s a Beach by Claire Cook – a light summer read. Nothing earth shattering or remarkable. Just something to keep me reading!
  • Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly – for FC book club. A story of three women in WWII and how their lives connect. It was up to the brink of horrifying (WWII is so filled with horrifying stories) and led to great discussion at book club. As usual, I finished the book in time to wipe away the tears and run off to discuss it. We had good discussion (about the book and otherwise – also, as usual!).
  • All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner – a compelling book about a successful woman’s spiral downward with addiction to pain pills. It showed the hard work she had to do to maintain her addiction, her lifestyle, and then the hard work she had to do to start on her road to sobriety.
  • Currently reading All Summer Long by Dorothea Benton Frank.
  • Also currently listening on Audible to Hamilton by Ron Chernow.
  • And  Four Friends by Robyn Carr (taking too long, may drop it).

Phew!  I’m tired.  This is a glimpse into our life. So much to be happy about!  Right now I’m looking forward to Ferragosto 2016, hoping for relaxation at the end of the dock for days and days… more books, some movies, good talks with good friends. What else could you want?  We are also having a lot of fun planning our East Coast adventure this fall.  We are going to do some leaf-peeping, hoping for a good showing of autumn brilliance, but most importantly we will see the people that are important to Chris out there!  Looking forward to meeting the people he talks about.  And seeing his dad again. 🙂

So enjoy your August, enjoy the photos below, and if you feel so moved, let me know what is making you happy!

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What’s up?

It’s been a while since I did an “update” blog, so thought I’d ramble a little.  I listen to a new podcast by Gretchen Reubin about Happiness and she said that a tradition that she and her family have is weekly email updates to each other.  I think it’s a great idea and wonder if it’s something that we could establish in our family.  I started a “Grimsrud Women” Facebook group, hoping that it is somewhere we can use, so we will see!  I love communicating and remaining connected with those I love!

Deadra and I used to email each other weekly – we should do that again.  Last time I spoke with Deadra she mentioned that she thinks of this blog as a way that I keep people updated, and I suppose it is.  It’s also my way of remembering – storing the activities and thoughts of the moment in one place.

So in an effort to update

  • Not so many movies, in the theatre anyway.  Pitch Perfect 2 at the late show on a Tuesday is about it since McFarland.  I have caught up on some Netflix, though.  Binge-watched Grace and Frankie, which was fun. Now watching Season 2 of Orange is the New Black – season 3 comes in June.  We watched Non-Stop the other night – a Liam Neeson scary thing – and a few others from our DVR that aren’t memorable right now.  I am watching the finale of Season 1 of The Outlander as we speak – using the blog to distract me from it!  It is a little more violent and graphic than I like.  Uff.
  • I really enjoyed reading Me Before You – a wonderful story! SO original an interesting.  Really captivated me, which is good for my reading slump.  I finished listening to The Weird Sisters this morning – that was fine. Took me a while, so the continuity gets lost.  Now what to read next is tough.  I started one on the Kindle but it is not grabbing me, so I’ll move on, I think.  Maybe my DNF (Did Not Finish) list will exceed my TBR piles.
  • We celebrated quite a few things in the past few months – so much to celebrate!  I passed my LICSW test, Gunnar turned 18, Trajan turned 16, Chuck and Carolyn were surprised with a 25th wedding anniversary party, and Sierra passed her GED!  We also celebrated with our Christmas gift of Billy Joel tickets!  It was a great concert, even from way up high!  He is a fun performer to watch.  To add to the evening, we had dinner at Gluek’s before the show and they were playing all Billy all the time, and believe me, there was a lot of singing aloud at every table!  Because, who else can you sing to, but Billy Joel!  There was a moment when three women – all strangers – were singing at the top of their lungs together in the bathroom – and we sounded great!  Good times…
  • Cosmo Girls went bowling in April and had a Garden Party in May!  It was a great way to end the year… in a seasonal porch, listening to the rain.  So much fun with those girls!
  • We had our Take Note! Spring Concert and it was great!  A good concert with SMU students there to add to the show!  Singing is just sooooooooo good!
  • You know what isn’t good?  My new haircut.  Uff.  That was a tough lesson.  I don’t believe I’ve ever cried over my hair before – I don’t think I’m that kind of person.  But I cried on Friday.  I’m over it.  I hate it but I’m over it.  I can handle a bad hair day, but I guess a bad haircut is a different story.  Luckily it’s summer and my hair will grow fast! And I won’t need it cut for quite a while!
  • We tried some new restaurants – Schweich’s Hotel in Kenyon, Casablanca’s in Rochester, and Riverside on the Root in Lanesboro.  It’s so fun to try new places, especially locally!  We also took the MINI to Winona with Jenny and ate at the Blue Heron cafe, explored the Marine Art Museum (a MUST SEE!) and walked around Lake Winona.  Was a perfect day!
  • And of course, we learned the gender of my new grandbaby!  It was a wonderful meeting of two families to support these two youngsters as they journey towards parenthood!  They had the ultrasounds with the reveal in an envelope and picked out two outfits at BabyGap and the clerk was the first to know!  She wrapped up the little BOY outfit and the moment we all learned was priceless. Chris and I joked that we were going to show up in t-shirts that said “We’re here for the SEX,” but we held back.  It was a great night.  So much joy with babies.  Can’t wait.

So there’s an update.  I would like to challenge Marissa to spend a little time with her blog, as she is an incredible writer and it would be a great way to remember her thoughts and feelings and joys during this time!  Are you up for it, Mo??

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Well, off to read!  For real!