Thursday, December 31, 2009


My personal resolutions for 2010 (in no particular order):
1. Accurately read food labels before purchasing (so as to avoid things like cinnamon apple sauce, onion tater tots and unsalted ketchup)
2. Travel to a foreign land
3. Raise funds to afford to travel to a foreign land
4. Continue my campaign for a buddy for Norman (say… a black Great Dane named Guinness)
5. Exercise (because the elastic in my sweat pants is giving out)
6. Wear more hats
7. Finish all books in the Harry Potter series
8. Dispose of the sofa in my garage
9. Grow the nails on my thumbs (so I can finally get that manicure I promised myself if I stopped chewing)
10. Resist and protest all things texting, Twitter, Facebook and Oprah
11. Contemplate quitting my consumption of soda
12. Memorize and recite Team DeBoer's mantra when asked when babies are coming
13. Clear up my complexion (since I think I've finally hit puberty)
14. Purchase something our neighbors can borrow from us
15. Eat first, then ask what the ingredients are (it's a texture thing)
16. Visit the Spam Museum
17. Go back to school
18. Get the Beretta through another year (so I can register for classic license plates)
19. Update the photos in my house (and actually print some of the gazillion digital photos I have)
20. Blog more

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas

What Shawn and I did Christmas day…

What Norman did Christmas day…Happy Holidays!

Team DeBoer

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Caution: Cynicism Ahead

Without really realizing it… I've slowly morphed into a scrooge this holiday season. Things are just not going my way. At first it was just the purchase of new windows. Exciting right? Well yeah except it forced us into foregoing Christmas presents this year in order to save for the second half of that ginormous payment. Shortly after that, I totally bit it going down our front steps. Damn near busted a bone. Graceful. Next, I put a dent in the Camry. I just backed up, without looking, and ran right into the only parked car on our street. Genius. Then, my hours got cut at work. I'm forced to work only 32 hours/week. To top that off, our health benefit costs went up. Wonderful. Good thing I have a sugar daddy for now, but still. The day after that, I went to the dentist and found out I have to have three, THREE cavities filled. Technically it's two and a replacement of a silver filling but they also suggested I get sealants. Super. To top it off, the top strand of lights on our Christmas tree have died. Ironically, the star at the top is still lit. That means there's a bad bulb on that top strand. I went to Target to buy a replacement strand. Plugged them in. Didn't work. Great. I'm officially two bad events away from a country western song. I hate country western songs. Bah! Humbug!

Snow Birds

If I'm correct, I believe this is what you call the population that heads south for the winter? If so, Shawn and I have officially become snow birds. We've migrated a whole 10 feet south. We've crossed our hallway and now occupy the guest bedroom. This will be our new habitat until winter is over or until our new windows are installed. Whichever comes first. It took me 10 minutes to move the TV, DVD player (Sony Playstation) and the good 'ole VCR. Our new bedroom is MUCH warmer, smaller, the vent isn't covered by the bed and it even has a nice reading lamp. Two years ago we put plastic on the windows. Last year we rearranged the furniture in our bedroom to move the headboard off the wall with the two windows and to uncover the vent. This year, we just packed up and moved. Next year… new windows!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Normster Turns Fourster!

This past Saturday, December 5th, 2009, our first born turned the big 0-4. That's 28 in human years to you! To celebrate the big baby's birthday, he received pancakes for breakfast, a BBQ bone for dessert, a mid-afternoon walk, lots of love and belly rubs and a kong full of peanut butter to seal the deal before the day was done. In his old age, he is getting much whiter around the face and much more… um, relaxed? He still barks and pesters and wants attention as much as the next dog, but he's content with a shorter walk and sleeps most of the day away in his bed (see photo below). He's currently carrying a little holiday weight so he prefers not to talk about it right now. He's perfectly content with his belly rolls thank you very much. He is still, by far, the cutest dog we've ever seen. Not the brightest light in the harbor, but by far the cutest!

Below is what he looked like after he finished draining his kong… he was in a peanut butter coma.
He looked a little intoxicated and didn't move an inch when I got out the camera. A completely happy puppy none-the-less.

New Meaning of Empty

In an earlier post, I eluded to the fact that we like to get our fridge and pantry down to pert-near nothin' before we cave and buy groceries. This past weekend might have been the mother of all emptiness. So much so that we decided to clean the fridge. This was the first time since we moved into the house we tackled this project so I'd say it was long overdue. Below is the evidence.

Take special note of the MGD golden can on the top shelf, left side. This is a friendly neighborhood game Ruggles Street likes to play. Short story goes like this: someone left this can at a gathering at Woodruffs and it never got drank. No one knows how old it is but suffice it to say, it's no longer prime for consumption. Therefore, the goal is to bring it to a social gathering of neighbors and sneak it into the next victims fridge without them knowing. The gathering has to be 3 or more households and the host can't catch you in the transition, otherwise, you have to take it back. We've been going along now for quite some time so I pity the day we make someone drink it. Although there are magically two cans now so beware… double the trouble. That's secretly why we keep our fridge so low… so we can keep tabs on the golden can! Damn you Woodruff cheaters!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Here are some of my favorite little people, captured from our latest visit to Virginia.

Ainsley Lee Cornstuble

Natalie Marie Cornstuble
Quinn Paul Cornstuble

Sunday, November 22, 2009


We just returned from a MN Vikings game… yes, we've converted. We've lived here for going on six years now so we feel no remorse for becoming fans of the Vikings and yes, Mr. Wrangler himself. And besides that, the tickets were free. Back to my point. I realize every time I get to a professional sporting event the same feeling rings true for me. That is… I hate cheerleaders. I'm so sorry for anyone I offend but it's true; I hate cheerleaders. I don't see the point. The non-stop pom-pom twirling, the ditsy smiles, the head twirls, the stupid outfits, the goofy gestures. Is it wrong that I just want to punch 'em in the face? You know what else I hate? The wave. You know, the ridiculous crap that one section at a game always tries to start. It never fails. If the most interesting thing you can do at a game is participate in the wave, either you don't care about what you're watching and therefore shouldn't have spent the money, or your team sucks and isn't worth watching and you shouldn't have spent the money. Other then that, I love the atmosphere, love watching the sport and would love to sling-shot a water balloon at every cheerleader and every person who tries to start the wave. Now, is a sling-shot considered a weapon? And if so, how would I sneak one into the next game?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Favorite Pastime

A couple of weeks ago I took a trip to Virginia to visit my sister and her children and to help out while her husband is at sea on deployment (for the Navy). This trip marked the first time I flew, alone. It was a lot like flying with Shawn except I was free to do the thing I love to do the most: people-watch. I could sit in an airport (or mall or event) and watch people wander by all day long. I don't know why I have this fascination. I just do.

I like to evaluate people around me and try and decide what their stories are, what their personalities are, their backgrounds, their destinations. It's fascinating. This particular trip brought a host of characters. The most memorable was an older gentlemen with white hair halfway down his back. "Impeach Bush" was the saying on his hat and "Arrest Bush" decorated the front of his t-shirt. Still going strong into the next President's term. Now that's dedication.

Then there were the ladies from Wisconsin. I had a nice chat with them while waiting in line for my tickets and through security. The three of them were off to Arizona for a long, girls weekend. Why Arizona? I have no idea but the one I refer to as the spokeswoman was an elementary teacher. They were all teachers in fact but she was strikingly nice and polite. So much so that I felt the need to keep in close proximity of them for as long as possible. I hope they had a great trip.

One of my neighbors on the first flight was what I would refer to as a "hip grammaw." She was a petite little thing with perfectly curled and brushed white hair, held very firmly in place with lord knows how much hair spray. She wore bright red lipstick, dark eye makeup and tons of rings on her fingers. She was reading Dean Koontz and dawned impressive reading spectacles and a neck pillow at all times. She was one of those women who winks at you after she says something, smells refreshingly nice and you know will have a full stash of Kleenexes and/or gum if you need it.

Or course there was a whole slew of "typical" travelers. The lady carrying on the small dog who complained very loudly on her cell phone about the cost of flying with a dog the entire time until she boarded the plane. The guy who you guess might have been in the services back in the day. He had on a white t-shirt, a black (service) hat and an old, green, stretched and faded tattoo on his upper bicep. Most memorable? He had a handkerchief. Not just any handkerchief. The good ole blue ones with the funky white designs on it. I can't get over handkerchiefs. Blowing your nose over and over into the same article of clothing and then carrying it around with you? Ew. But that's a whole different blog.

Finally there were the "business travelers." I was waiting at the gate for my flight home from Virginia and happened upon a room full of business men. Not women, men. All dressed in button-down shirts, slacks and a computer and/or cell phone attached to them at all times. Obviously very busy, it was funny just to watch them and wonder what they were working on and what had brought them to this particular spot. I have to imagine the nostalgia of watching people or just being in an airport to fly somewhere new has worn off of them sometime ago. That's too bad. I hope to never be one of these travelers.

I was impressed with myself for initiating as much conversation as I did with complete strangers. Everyone knows that Shawn is the talker. I guess now I can start to understand his habit. While I sit quietly and make up stories about people, he just flat out talks to them and learns about them through their own words. I'll have to give it a try more often. If I hadn't on this trip, I wouldn't have met an individual from Pittsburg who had just returned from visiting a Navy flight carrier and who wouldn't stop asking me about my iPod Touch and Favre, once he found out where I was from. He reminded me of a teacher I know who has strings attached to his glasses, a face full of hair and who just sounds… intellectual and someone you'd want to have a conversation with.

Into The Second Decade - Part Three

I call this final installment: For Better or For Worse

Whether it's commiserating about our awesome hair…

Or enjoying each others sense of humor…

Or being a little shy…

Or celebrating with friends…

Or bringing in yet another New Year…

Or watching the Chiefs win…

Or watching the Chiefs destroy the 49ers

Or watching the Chiefs get destroyed by the Bills…

…we have fun together. We enjoy each other's company and we're together for life. For better or for worse.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Life Lesson

I'd like to interrupt this three-part blog string I have going for an important message. Over the course of the last six months, I've learned a very simple, yet immensely important lesson. It just so happens to relate to marriage. I have discovered the quickest, easiest, simplest and 100% guaranteed way to get your spouse to apologize or admit they are wrong.

You admit you're wrong and apologize first.

In the grand scheme of things, who cares who says it first. In Team DeBoer's house, if I can get Mr. DeBoer to admit to anything or apologize for anything, I no longer care if it comes after mine. Isn't the whole point about resolving the issue? What's the point of a grudge? Who cares who says it first? You can sit and stew all you want but it takes a mighty big person to admit they're wrong and I guarantee if you're honest, if you're sincere, if you're invested, you will get what you want in the end.

P.S. Have no fear. I am not campaigning to be the next Dr. Phil. I am not going to make these life lessons a repeating blog. I have merely found this suggestion so quick, easy and helpful I wanted to share. I will, however, continue to comment on life lessons Shawn and I continue to learn whilst remodeling. Which, if you haven't noticed, is on hiatus while we pad the budget for new windows.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Into the Second Decade - Part Two

If you've just joined me, read the post below and then come back up for this one. There is sort of a chronological-ness to this three-parter. Next up: Oh The Places We'll Go.

Over the past 11 years, we've seen and been to a lot of different places together. Vacationing is habitual. Once we got on the first plane together, which was also my very first time flying, we were hooked. That first flight I was scared out of my mind. Shawn, on the other hand, was just chatting away with some stranger beside him, instead of consoling the one he loved. In time, I forgave him and we traveled on.

Our very first vacation together in 2003 - San Diego, CA. We rode on trolleys, visited Sea World, laid on the beach and explored the coast together. It was perfect.

Spring Break 2004 - Ann Arbor, MI. This was the first and last time we drove somewhere of significant length together. I believe it took nine hours? We visited my aunt and uncle and cousin. This trip happened to fall on my birthday so above is the cake we ate in my honor. It was almost too beautiful to cut.

Spring Break 2005 - Vegas Baby. You just have to visit it once in your life.

Our honeymoon in 2005 - Marco Island, FL. One of our most relaxing vacations, except for the jet ski ride we took in the Gulf in which I was thrown from the water craft. Other then that, we sat by the pool or walked the beach and drank margaritas. It was wonderful.

1st Wedding Anniversary in 2006 - Lutsen, MN. I have to say this is still probably my favorite vacation. It's a tough battle between recent destinations but for some reason, we just had so much fun here. We took Old Hwy 61 up the North Shore and stopped along the way every time we wanted to explore: Betty's Pies, Gooseberry Falls, Split Rock Lighthouse, Two Harbors, Sven and Ole Pizza, etc. We stayed at a ski lodge so we slid down the alpine slide and rode the gondola to the top of the peaks and took in Lake Superior. This trip also had George Lopez. "Member? You member."

4th of July in 2006 - Norfolk, VA. Here we made our first trip to visit Team Cornstuble, which at the time, consisted of Andy, Mandi and Ainsley. Above we were watching fireworks on the beach. Ahhh… the beach(es).

Obligatory Trips - Gays Mills, WI. The above two photos are from annual trips my family takes to get apples, cheese and a few other things. We always stop and visit, the sign. You know the sign. I have pictures by this sign ever since I was a kid. It's tradition.

2nd Wedding Anniversary in 2007 - Taylors Falls, WI. We stayed at our first B&B. We didn't know what to expect but we ended up loving it. We took a riverboat ride, went to Wild Mountain Water Park and went down the Black Hole so many times I got sick (literally), ate at local restaurants and even hiked a little.

Washington's Wedding 2008 - Tulum, Mexico. We went with a bunch of friends. We played volleyball on the beach, basketball in the pool, snorkeled in the Gulf, visited the ruins and went to a wedding. This trip was all-inclusive. Translation: Shawn discovered sangria and I renewed my love of margaritas.

Summer Vacation 2008 - New York, NY. One of my favorites. I get more then one favorite right? Think cliche tourist attractions and that's what we did. One of the best parts - winning front row tickets to see Wicked. I knew my name wouldn't get drawn but Shawn was confident his would. Self-fulfilling prophecy.

Spring Break 2009 - Amsterdam, Netherlands. We finally took our travels international. Friends were grateful enough to let us stay with them and show us around the town and beyond. Favorite part of this stop in Europe - our night out.

Spring Break 2009 - Bruges, Belgium. Here was our second stop in Europe. We took a train from Amsterdam and arrived just in time to get in a canal boat tour and a lot of people-watching.

Spring Break 2009 - Mosel and Rhine Rivers, Germany. Our third stop in Europe and the greatest single day of any vacation, ever. And still, the best story we have to tell. I've posted about it before so I won't get back into it, but just in case you've forgot, think Fiat.

Spring Break 2009 - Paris, France. Our Europe trip finale. Aside from Amsterdam, this is where we spent most of our time. Like New York, there is so much to see and do here. Again, think cliche tourist attractions and that's where we went. You can't help it here. Everything is beautiful.

Summer Vacation 2008 - Cincinnati, Ohio. I got a little out of order here but above was our first trip with neighbor Woodruffs to the "farm" …

Summer Vacation 2009 - Cincinnati, Ohio …and here was our second.

Now I'm in the mood to plan a vacation. Where should we go next?

Into the Second Decade - Part One

This past September 25th, Shawn and I celebrated being together for 11 years. That's 4,015 days, 96,360 hours, 5,781,600 minutes… you get the point. It's been a long ass time. I will say, it has been… indescribable. It's been time spent with my best friend. My chosen person. My "sweat pea… keeper of my soul…"

To honor this occasion, I'm making this post a three-parter. First up: Major Events.

This happens to be a photo of the very night we started "going out," September 25th, 1998. It was the Homecoming dance.

Here is our first prom. We look mighty young!

Of course, our second prom. You can see where I'm going with this.

The last prom - Shawn's senior year. He brought a college chick that year. Yeah, he thought he was cool.

This, my friends, is the night he proposed. I was all up in my natural beauty and he had a cold sore the size of Texas. That's how we knew we really loved each other. For better or for worse…

This is our official engagement photo. I think this was the first time we posed together for pictures and it was priceless. Shawn was not an easy model to work with. I remember laughing the entire time. We got a great roll of film showing us, just laughing.

Which brings us to the wedding photo; May 21, 2005, it was official.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 at 4:00 p.m., Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN: date, time and site of the greatest Twins game Team DeBoer has ever witnessed. The Twins pulled off an amazing victory against the Detroit Tigers to win the division and make it to the playoffs. It took the Twins 4 hours and 37 minutes and 12 innings to beat the Tigers 6 to 5. We were 2 of 54,088 people in attendance, which was a regular season attendance record for the magical Metrodome. It was indescribable. If I had to try… I'd say loud, white, tense, exciting, warm, louder, surprising, nervous, amazing, a little louder still and just plain fun. Below are a few moments I took the time to sit down, rest my Homer Hankies, get my camera out and capture our favorite game thus far.

Proof we were there. This was in the early innings while we were still composed.

Our view from right field, upper deck. We only had to wait about 4 hours on 2 computers and on 4 different Internet browsers until we were able to get out of the "virtual waiting room" and could buy tickets.
Orlando Cabrera hits a home run and as evidence below, Twins take the lead!!
2 words: Homer Hankies.
Gomez scores and the Twins win!! Pandemonium. Twins rush the field. Everyone in attendance is going crazy. We're high-fiving complete strangers. The cheering is constant and so loud you can't even hear anything over the loud speakers… not even the music. Greatest moment after the victory: Joe Mauer leading the Twins around the infield to high-five the fans in the crowd. One acronym: MVP.
Second greatest thing about attending Tuesday's game: we could stand in line to get tickets to Sunday's game. Hopefully it's just as wonderful and we can finally shut down them damn Yankees! To be continued…

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ooooo Canada

I wasn't there but Shawn was with his camera, his family and his fishing tackle. This past June, the DeBoer men went to Canada in search of the big one. Intentions are for Shawn to write a little diddy about the trip but since he's started a new job and all, you'll have to cut him some slack. For now, here's some photo representation of the trip which, from what I hear, is going to be an annual event. Now… thoughts on where I could go or what I could do while they're away. Anyone? Anyone?


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