Monday, October 29, 2012

Monkey on Your Back

I am all recovered from my race! Although, my feet may beg to differ.  I think losing toenail officially makes you a runner right?

Anyways, last week Brent went to Germany for work.  I stayed back and made plans with some girlfriends here.  You read that right, I have friends here!  I had fun catching up with all of the girls(all of us have been gone recently so we all had trips stories to share).  Brent got home late Wednesday night and had a surprise for me

He can go to Germany any time he wants as long as he brings home fancy German chocolate for me!  Also, my new favorite thing is milk chocolate with Hazelnuts in it=Amazing!!

On Friday night some friends had us over for dinner.  We had a great time and had to acclimate ourselves to biking home in the dark and the cold.  It may not get as cold here as it does in Minnesota, but you definitely spend a lot more time outside in the cold here!

On Saturday we drove to Apeldoorn.  It is about an hour drive east of us.  We went for the last weekend that the Apenhaul (direct translation Monkey Haul)was open.  It is basically a zoo that has mostly different types of monkeys and the little monkeys are roaming around free. 

Driving into Apeldoorn was beautiful.  The road was lined with trees all on the verge of losing their pretty fall leaves.  The walk to the entrance of the park was also very pretty  I loved the reflection on the water

It was cold and I have 5 layers on, excuse the awkward pose and puffy body

His excitement for this was pretty darn cute(I don't know if he will like that I just called his behavior cute)

 Hey little buddy

This was by far our favorite thing.  The 2 baby gorillas are the right were playing with each other and it was hilarious! They kept taking things from each other and then they would wrestle.  It was like watching 2 brothers play, seriously funny!

 Reflection shot with Gorillas on the other side.  All the gorillas were separated from the public by a large body of water and a fence.  No wondering around for these guys thankfully!

Have a good Monday


Monday, October 22, 2012


Yesterday I ran the Amsterdam half marathon!! Unfortunately, so did 20,000+ other people.  It was so busy I didn't cross the start line until a half hour after the gun went off.  But let's back up to why I decided to do this.  
I have been running since college, but never long distances.  3-5 miles was always my comfort with 3 being the distance I ran the most often.  When we moved to Utrecht, I started running more and get the itch to do a race.  I wasn't sure if I would do a full or half marathon but knew that I would do one.  Then when this happened my running got set back by a good month.  Once my ankle was healed I looked at my timeline, which included a 2 week trip to MN 2 weeks before the race, and decided on the half marathon in Amsterdam. 

The day before the race we met up with our good friends Tom and Amy at the race Expo.  Tom was also running the half.  After we got our race packets we all went out for some pasta and carb loading :)
 Tom and I before the race

Inside the Olympic Stadium before the race 

Vendors outside 

In my corral waiting for the start 

It was cold!!

Walking to the start.  Brent was at the start and finish line cheering me on.  With the way the race was set up it would have been almost impossible for him to get to another spot to see me and still make it to the finish. 

Coming in for the finish inside the Olympic Stadium 

 Crossing the finish line!

Celebrating our finish with beer :)

I finished the race in 2:05.  I was hoping to do 2 hours but my start was really weak.  There were a lot of people in my corral so my first 5k(3.2 miles) was SUPER slow.  Overall I am happy with the race and I am already looking for the next one!

Have a good week!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

MN Recap Part 2

One of the reasons we scheduled out trip home when we did was Brent was asked to be the best man in his good friend Andy's wedding on October 6th.  Brent and Andy have been friends since they were little boys and now own homes within 2 blocks of each other.  Needless to say, we were home less than 2 hours and we were already walking over there.  
Andy and Emily had their wedding in downtown St. Paul and although it was cold, still a beautiful day and wedding.  
At Barrio in between the ceremony and reception 

Brent and his friend Paul 

Me, Ana(Brent's friend Adam's wife) and Katie(Paul's wife) Can't wait to meet their new little one on our next trip home!

 Brent and Andy sporting their orange camo socks

 Me and the Bride

Blurry and only pic I got of the Bride and groom
Congrats Andy and Emily! We had a great time and wish you many, many years of happiness!!

The day after the wedding we had a get together with Brent's family.  It was so fun catching up with the Ladies while the men watched football.  It was a nice Sunday afternoon. I didn't manage a single picture though...Next time!

I also got to spend time an afternoon with the Kemper kids(my brother Pat and Kristin's kids) while we were home.  I can't believe how much all 3 of them have grown!
Self portrait with Keira and Quinn 

Owen, Keira and Quinn 

Keira and Quinn putting on a show with pumpkins for me :) 

 The day before I flew out Missy and I some last shopping for some things I needed before flying home.  This also meant I got to spend another day with Violet :)
 Making her smile

Such a sweet baby

We had such a great time in Minnesota! We were really busy and parts of the trip kind of feel like a blur.  We are looking forward to seeing everyone soon when we visit again for Thanksgiving! 

Happy Wednesday!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Back to Minnesota

Thursday September 27, Brent and I flew back to Minnesota for the 1st time in 6 months!!  When we first decided we would wait 6 months before we visited home, it seemed like it was so long.  That 6 months flew by and I am glad we waited that long.  We were really able to get used to our new lives and go through all of the emotions of becoming ex-pats.  We left Holland at 10:00 am and after a short layover in London arrived in Minnesota at 3:00 pm(that is 10:00 pm Holland time).  Brent's mom and brother were so nice and picked us up at the airport and drove us to our home where are favorite 4 legged friends were waiting for us!

I was silly and did not take a picture of their reaction to us, but lets just say things were crazy for a little while!  I think that we were just as excited to see them :)

Our first few days home were pretty crazy with get together with my family(so excited to see all of the nieces and nephews!! and oh my have they all grown soooo much in 6 months!) and get together with friends.  I was really excited to meet our newest niece Violet.  My older sister Missy had her 3rd child in August and I was very excited to snuggle with baby V! 
Such a beautiful baby!

On Tuesday Missy and I drove up to Melrose with Violet to have lunch with my mom and visit our grandparents, who hadn't met Violet yet.  

Missy, Violet and Grandpa and Grandma 

Seriously Aunt Mindy, enough with the pictures 

Grandpa, Grandma and me

It was a nice day with lots of driving and lots of talking and catching up for Missy and I.  We also managed to squeeze in a favorite...peanut butter cup blizzard from Dairy Queen :)  Yep, definitely miss those!!

That night I had a girls night with some of my friends.  We had intended on a craft night, but didn't get farther than spray painting!!  It was so much fun talking and catching up with all of them! Can't wait until the next time!

Miss all of you!!

I will be back to recap the rest of the trip, which included an amazing wedding and lots more family time!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Catch up!

So many things to catch up on from the last couple of weeks!  Brent and I just returned from 12 days in Minnesota!  We had such a good time and so much fun I will have to break it up into a few posts later this week.
The weekend before we left for Minnesota, was the 6 month mark for Brent and I living in Holland. Whoa!!! Where have the past 6 months gone!!  We have made so many memories here and enjoyed our time together and look forward to the rest of our time here.  One of the things that we both love about living here is biking everywhere.  So that weekend we decided to bike out into the countryside and enjoy the beautiful Fall weather. 
Kind of blurry, but people were taking horse and buggy rides through the woods 

Perfect picture 

 Bike shadows!

Look Mom, no hands!

Through the woods.  So as we are biking Brent asked if I would ever run this trail, I immediately started telling him all the bad things that could happen to me running in the woods alone.  His response, "you've seen too many episodes of Criminal Minds and Law and Order." :)

Our bike path was interrupted by cow crossing

We ended a great afternoon with a stop for some coffee.  Oh and that is water in the shot glass...I promise :)