Tag Archives: pups

Coming home: Wisconsin Summer

I love coming home from a trip- I am so thankful for my husband, and my home, and my own bed… and of course, my little pup.

With that said, I apologize for the next few posts, as they’re a little behind schedule. 🙂

My first morning home, I had lots of work to catch up on, including errands. I hooked Abbie up, laced up my running shoes, and ran to the post office and the bank. I even ran through the “drive through” at the bank, since I can’t take Abbie inside, and when the tube came back through the little vacuum thing, there was a biscuit inside!

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She sure earned it, as she did a great job as District 4 Alderdog and welcomed everyone we saw on the run. Thanks, Chase!

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This is random, but we picked up some sweet corn, and I just LOVED this middle cob. Why have straight lines, when you can be crazy? 🙂

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I was able to squeeze in an engagement photo shoot with Brigitta and Stryder. They’re such a neat couple, and we were so excited to work with them!

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We had gorgeous weather, and we went for a little walk on the Green Circle. Lovely!

It is so hard going on vacation during the middle of wedding season, and I have so much to try and catch up on. This year was even crazier, as I am also staying very active as a new alderwoman, and trying to learn as much as I can from everyone around me. This brings me to Bob. Meet Bob!

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Bob runs Poky Pedaling, a totally free group of organized bicycle rides around our community. He’s an active advocate for pedestrian and bicycle safety, so I had my meeting with him on our bikes, and we rode around the city. Thanks for sharing your thoughts during our “mobile meeting,” Bob!

I made it home in time to help stack some wood near our shed, and I amazed at this piece that I found…

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Bark beetles do some beautiful work. Art by bugs. They must have been incredibly busy before the bark fell off, revealing this masterpiece. 🙂

We worked up quite an appetite working in the yard, and we were more than happy to have dinner with Brian’s family, at Dale and Sheri’s house.

Fish fry, jalepeno poppers, french fries… yes, we’re spoiled.

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It was really awesome. I sure love these people!

We got home late Friday night, and I was exhausted, but I climbed out of the covers just early enough to run the Violet Thompson 5K, a fundraiser for a very special little girl in town. I had no idea if I’d know anyone there, but sure enough, I found George and Marc around mile 1.5. 🙂

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Great run, boys. 🙂

I’ll leave you all with a few photos from paddling out on the chain. I just can’t get enough of my SUP and Marl Lake.

I made us SUP hatch-friendly blackberry mojitos. I muddled the rum and mint and berries before we left, and the rest is a delicious memory. We know how to spend a day on the water. 🙂

So many more shoots to share with you- it will be an engagement and wedding explosion here for a while!

As always, thanks for reading, friends!

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My Favorite Holiday Weekend

I love kicking off my favorite holiday weekend with the Heart and Sole Race, in Pittsville, WI. It’s always on July 3rd, so sometimes it’s crazy hot! It’s an evening race, which sometimes helps, but it’s a fabulous five mile race that raises money for their little local fire department. What a great cause!

There are a couple things that I can count on in this race, and this Blues Brothers guy is one of them!

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This course is an out-and-back with four water stations, and they’re all needed since it’s usually so warm. I stop every time! I run this race with my friend, George, and we chat almost the whole time. We both see runners that we know from other races, so it’s nice to wave at our friends when we run by! That’s one of my favorite parts about out-and-back courses… I get a chance to see everyone who hit the turnaround before I did on their way back, and then I get to cheer on everyone behind me once I turn around! 🙂

The finish line for this race is just adorable. So festive!

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I obviously took that photo before the race- when we came through the chute, there were lots of other people with us! I really love small town races. 🙂

I enjoyed some incredible watermelon post race…

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…and granola. Oh, gosh, the granola.

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It’s homemade, and I have dreams about it the rest of the year. It’s sooo delicious, and I love munching on that once I finish the race! 🙂

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Many thanks to this lady, who obviously is responsible for cooking pans and pans and pans of the good stuff!

George and I came in at a strong 47:24, and refueled with cold beer. 🙂

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I came home, soaked in a tub, and hung out with Brian on our newly finished back deck. We live close enough to Riverfront Rendezvous that we could hear Here Come The Mummies as they played, and I relaxed with a glass of lemonade and enjoyed them from the comfort of my own home. 🙂

On Saturday morning, we prepped for a cookout later, and I got ready for our Stevens Point Fourth of July parade. I love parades, and the Fourth of July, and everything patriotic. This is my favorite day!

The common council and the mayor all got together and walked in the parade. It was a lot of fun!

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This is me with “the Marys…” Alderperson Mary Kneebone and Alderperson Mary McComb. 🙂

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Our other friend Mary was driving the truck with the City Band float. Way to go, girl!

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After the parade, I dropped off cookies for our police department and fire department (THANK YOU for working holidays and keeping us safe!), then met Chris and Amy at our house for some lake time!

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We had some perfect weather- hot and sunny with a cold, clear lake to jump in. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to our house for our annual cookout. Of course, I completely forgot to take photos of our friends and all the delicious food, but we had a gaggle over for burgers, brats, sweet corn, and all sorts of traditional grilling foods!

For dessert, we featured my tenth annual flag cake!

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I can’t believe I’ve been making this cake for ten years! I used to choose white cake, but now I make angel food cake with fresh whipped cream for frosting. Delicious!

Once it got a little darker, we played with some sparklers. My friends are the cutest!

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We finished our night with s’mores by the fire, and Amy and Chris stayed for a sleepover!

We woke them up with coffee, egg sandwiches, and quite impressive Bloody Marys.

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Breakfast on the front porch with friends is really the best way to start my day, especially since our post-brunching activity was a walk to the new winery. Brian and I were lucky enough to attend their soft opening the week prior, so we were excited to show off this new facility!

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We strolled through the parks on the way home, stopping to look at the emergency vehicle display.

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Abbie was thrilled with all our visitors and all the time playing outside, but she was really happy to cool off inside for the afternoon. 🙂

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Stevens Point hosts fireworks on Sunday, so Brian and I headed over to the park with our kayaks and watched both our friends in Horseshoes and Hand Grenades play at the park AND the fireworks from our little place on the water.

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Don’t worry, friends: we are experienced kayakers and had both bow and stern lights, as well as headlamps. I get concerned about the other kayakers out on the water- there is a lot of boat traffic out for the fireworks and I’ve seen less experienced kayakers struggle in the wake. Lights are very important, too!

We packed up the boats, drove the three blocks home, and collapsed in bed.

Fourth of July weekend? Complete, and a total success. 🙂

As always, thanks for reading!!

Miles this year: 308.55

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STREAM Girls 2015 + Fishing With Mike

STREAM Girls: one of the coolest programs that TU does. Of course, I’m totally biased, since it was an idea that I came up with after having a good long talk with my momma about how to get more girls and women involved in conservation and fly fishing.

The second annual STREAM Girls event was held on June 19th and 20th, in Wisconsin’s Jordan Park, along the Plover River. It is a collaborative event between Trout Unlimited and the Girl Scouts of America, and we were very excited to get our girls involved and learning about water once again!

STREAM is an acronym that is based on the STEM education emphasis: S for science, T for technology, R for recreation, E for engineering, A for arts, and M for math.

The STREAM Girls curriculum covers many topics: everything from the science behind water flow, streamside vegetation, fish habitat and water quality to fly tying and casting.

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Entomology is always a BIG HIT!

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We made a direct connection from the bugs in the stream to the flies that we tie, and ushered the girls to stations to tie some flies, with a fabulous 1:1 ratio of volunteers to girls. They followed a wooly bugger recipe, then were given a little creative license to make their own!

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We wrapped up the first day with fly casting basics and casting games, then practicing casting into water. It really does have a totally different feel than learning on grass, so we tried to create as authentic a learning environment as we could.

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TU national staff and volunteers designed and provided specialized handbooks to the scouts, outlining their activities for the program. The program is about 75% science-based and 25% angling, and it includes an at-home checklist to share with their families, evaluating their familial impact on their watershed.

We had Junior Girl Scouts for the full day of learning on Friday, and Brownies joined us on Saturday morning. The older girls took the younger girls on a streamwalk, stopping at volunteer-manned stations, sharing what they’ve learned about the stream, and answering questions along the way. Each stop earned them a charm or bead for a bracelet that they assembled at the end of the stream walk.

Channel 7 news even came out to cover the event!

It was raining on us for the majority of Saturday, but we wrapped those girls in ponchos and we braved the rain for a little shore fishing on Jordan Pond.

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We had 18 graduates of the STREAM Girls program, each earning a patch for the back of their vest or sash, a certificate of completion, and a water bottle with the STREAM Girls logo.

As the girls packed up their gear, excitedly showing their parents their new patch, I found peace in my heart knowing we’d helped to create a new generation of educated observers and nature lovers.

TU volunteers came from all corners of Wisconsin to share their passion and knowledge about water, and I’m incredibly thankful for the kindness and generosity of everyone who contributed.

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One of those dedicated volunteers was my friend, Mike Kuhr. We went out fishing on my home water (the Tomorrow River) Friday evening, and had a lot of fun!

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Fishing in the dark is every bit as difficult as you would think it would be, but catching fish is even more rewarding, if that’s possible. It was a great time, and I caught my biggest nighttime fish yet! 🙂

After that whirlwind of a weekend, I was so thankful to get home to my pup and Mr. Mustache. I need a vacation!

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Thanks for reading! 🙂

Miles this year: 296.1

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Wedding Recovery + The Bakken Family + Bram’s Senior Portraits

Being in a wedding is exhausting! 🙂 Brian and I stayed with Abbie at the Jefferson Street Inn, so we could just walk over to the gift opening brunch. That hotel was really quite wonderful! We’ve shot weddings there before, and I’ve loved working with their catering and event staff, but we’d never actually stayed there. Our room was classy, the front desk staff was very friendly (I needed extra shampoo to get all the hairspray out of my updo!), and they let Abbie stay there for a small fee. The trip signified many “firsts” for Abbie- her first hotel stay, her first carpet experience (we have hardwood and tile), and her first ride in an elevator! She was such a champ. I love that cutie! We took her for ice cream at Briqs to celebrate. 🙂

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I started the next week with an adorable family/maternity shoot with the Bakken family. Kendi is beautifully pregnant with Teddy, so we had a fabulous shoot with these guys!

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It’s safe to say Jace is excited about becoming a big brother! 🙂

After their photo shoot, I went for a run around the park. I found a little trail that I hadn’t run before, and I loved exploring.

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Hot, humid runs are a special kind of cleansing. 🙂 I got home in time to clean up and finish studying before my first full city council meeting. Here’s the view from my new “office…”

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…and of course, a selfie with the alders from Districts 5 and 6. 🙂

Our friend, Ali, had a cancelled flight, so she was in Stevens Point for an extra day. We met at Emy J’s, caught up, and I learned all about her Brooklyn life! New York sounds like a completely different experience- I’ve been there once, but we went and visited all the sights that tourists typically see, so it wasn’t a really authentic experience. 🙂

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I finished out the week with some fabulous senior portraits for Bram. He’s a very talented soccer player and avid fly angler, so we had a variety of locations for the shoot. 🙂

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It was great to work with you, Bram! Thanks for not kicking that soccer ball right at my head.

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Shots like this are a sure sign of trust… I wouldn’t lay down on the ground with my gear in front of just any soccer player and ask him to shoot the ball. 🙂

I was busy putting the final touches on my STREAM Girls program, and subsequently feeling pretty stressed, so Brian decided to take me on a little date to Belts’! It’s a short bike ride from our home, and we just LOVE their ice cream! 🙂

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It’s easy to support local businesses when their products are delicious! 🙂

Up next? STREAM Girls- all the cuteness of Girl Scouts learning about their watershed and the Trout Unlimited volunteers who help. 🙂

As always, thanks for reading! 🙂

Miles this year: 294.1

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Easter + a week on the road

I love Easter! We celebrated Easter this year with friends from our church, and I brought deviled eggs. 

I love deviled eggs, though I always feel a little weird bringing something with the word “devil” right in the name to a celebration about Jesus. 😉

We tried to go easy on the Easter candy at home, but there is a seemingly unlimited supply of seasonal candy at the PT clinic. Oh, gummy candy… I burned off all that gummy candy with a super windy and hilly nine miles with Lydia on the Wau-king trail.  We refueled with beer at Chain Bar, and I headed home to pack for a crazy week.I had such a busy day- when Brian got home, we headed up to Wausau for a ballroom dance lesson with our first dance teachers, Missy and Jeff! We hadn’t seen them since they taught us to dance before our wedding. Eight years was too long! Of course, I was too excited to see them and I forgot to take a picture, but after our lesson, we headed over to the election headquarters for our alderman Mike Wiza, and we were present when they called the vote, making Mike our new Stevens Point mayor! Congratulations, Mike. 🙂Brian and I spent the week in the Valley, while he was at a training for work. It was pretty cool for me- since most of my work is portable, I can work from anywhere. I was able to catch up on some photo work, make all the games for Amy’s upcoming bridal shower, and shoot a gorgeous pastry (with the cutest edible orchid!) from SAP Brunch in Appleton.On our last morning at the hotel, we went out for breakfast at this fabulous cafe- Molly’s. They had sweet potato hash browns! Made. My. Day. I loved the treadmill at the hotel, so I headed back to our room, changed, and logged a few miles in the hotel gym. After a quick shower, we packed up and headed down to Chicago to celebrate my great aunt Eileen’s 75th anniversary of being an active member of the ancient order of Hibernians. It was a beautiful party where I got to see a lot of my family, including my brother and his family. Happy National Sibling Day! We caught up with everyone and danced until we dropped! It’s fun to visit my Hoffman side, because I’m the short one among those cousins, and I’m 5’8″! 🙂

We spent the night at my aunt Maureen’s house and took care of Percy. I think she was upset that she wasn’t invited to the party. She wouldn’t smile for me! 🙂 We left very early on Saturday morning to head up to Wausau for Amy’s bridal shower! My car celebrated a little palindrome milestone of her own somewhere in northern Illinois…We stopped at home for a whirlwind half hour- showered, changed, styled my hair, brewed some iced tea, boxed up the shortbreads, made simple syrup, then packed it all up in a cooler and took it to the Hirn home for Amy’s bridal shower. Becky, Brooke, and I planned this adorable tea-themed shower, and it turned out beautifully!    

                    

  Congratulations, best friend! I’m so happy for you and thrilled to be your matron of honor. ❤️ 

Miles this year: 221.45

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20 miles + sole sisters + adventures in canvassing

I can’t get enough of my little mountain. Rib Mountain is still a challenge! We park at the bottom, then run up, around some trails, and back down. Thanks for the miles, Carmel!  

 It was the first run with bare shoulders of the year. Liberation!

When I got home, I took a peek at the bottoms of my shoes, and even though I’m not at my typical 500 mile retirement, it is time. Shoes don’t wear themselves down. My sidepiece tattoo reads, “Turn dreams into reality,” and that’s what I’m doing. It’s intentional, not accidental. I had two new pairs of shoes waiting for me, just itching for the right moment to make their debut.Someone else in our home got some new duds… Abbie is a lucky girl- she got all new bling and a new collar. She lost all the tags she had when the ring stretched out, so I ran by the vet to get a new rabies tag, and the courthouse to get a new license tag, and I ordered her a new ID tag. For the record, we ordered from Boomerang Tags, and they’re awesome! Lots of choices, great prices, and fast, free shipping. I tried out my new shoes with these three runners…  

  We had a great hilly trail run together!For my twenty miler, these girls teamed up to run with me. Lydia took the first ten miles, and Carmel took the second ten. Lydia and I ran through town, and through the reserve, and looped over toward Sentry. We ran up their big ramp… …until their security guard came out and asked us to walk instead, for our safety. I’d never run up there, so it was funny that we got in trouble right away!

We stopped home after seven miles for fuel, water, to warm up, and to put on some gloves. It was SO cold and windy that our hands kind of froze into claw hands. We struggled to unwrap the Starburst at home! Ridiculous. The gloves helped, and we finished off the first half. Carmel was waiting for us, and they had a ceremonial changing of the guard. 🙂 I looked pretty curly good for halfway!  Carmel and I looped through a different part of the reserve……and it was every bit as cold as it looks! I love these boardwalks, though 🙂It was a great run, even though it was cold. It kind of felt like I never really warmed up and found my groove, but my girls kept me going by talking nonstop through the run. It is so much easier to run with the support of my sole sisters! 

As soon as I got home, I chugged a glass of water, grabbed my keys, and went to Starbucks for coffee. Next stop? Belts. Of course. Gosh, I so love sprinkles.

I ate my ice cream in a mustard bath, then grabbed my laptop and materials out of my office. The only thing that could make my day better than working from the couch with a cozy blanket was a visit from my best friend, Amy. I ordered her wedding invitations, and they’d come in. She drove down to pick them up, and surprised me with a cupcake! Doesn’t this just make your day?It sure made mine. Love you, girl!

So, that long run and visit was my Friday, and I spent Saturday canvassing for my friend, Mary. She ran for alderman in district 7, and I’m proud to announce that she won! It was the first time I’d ever knocked on doors for someone in an election. I was totally surprised at how many people don’t vote, don’t want to vote, don’t care about politics on any level, and, perhaps most surprising, how many people have no shame in telling me such. Luckily, most of the people we spoke with were interested in what is going on and were very receptive to Mary’s ideas. Well, I suppose that’s obvious since she’s the new alderman! 🙂  

Way to go, Mary!! 

Up next? Easter, and a week on the road. Thanks for sticking with me on my adventures!

Miles this year: 208.45

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Winter to Spring

After some bitterly cold temperatures, we were thankful for a little warm up. Andrew and Melissa met us out at the park with their super cute pup, Driver.

   

Not only is Driver named after my favorite Green Bay Packer, he’s a smart and sweet dog! He is a special kind of therapy dog that works in an elementary school and helps kids learn to read. He cuddles up by them, and the kids read books to him. ❤

 

  

        

I was lucky enough to first meet Andrew in college band, and now we’re all grown up. Thanks for coming out for photos, friends! 🙂 

My sole sisters and I took advantage of the slightly warmer temperatures and logged a few snowy miles, too.

 I had a visit to the studio by a delicious macaroon…

 

 …and you can bet your bottom dollar that I ate that macaroon immediately after I was finished. If you want one like this, pop over to Kavarna in Green Bay.

My amaryllis is starting to bloom. Each winter, I plant an amaryllis bulb. I’m inspired by them- even when the pot is next to our cold, cold window, the bulb still grows and that gorgeous flower finds the courage to bloom. It gives me the courage to bloom in this cold winter!

 

So with that newfound courage, I took it to the trails.

 Marathon training is ramping up! 🙂

Up next? A stylish salon shoot and a ton of delicious food in the studio.

Miles this year: 132

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