Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Plan – Updated

Last month I revealed my must-see movie list. It's time to take roll call and let you in on my progress because I'm sure you are chomping at the bit to find out.

Movies to Rent
1. Iron Man (I know, I know. I never saw it but heard nothing but raves and with the second one coming out, it's essential to begin at the beginning.)
Update: Very, very, very good. So good in fact we had trouble renting it from Blockbuster. It seems everyone is trying to catch up so they can catch the second. Luckily, I scored a copy from a coworker. I love Robert Downey Jr.
2. It's Complicated (It's got Meryl - come on.)
Update: Surprisingly, I haven't rented this one yet although I had a funny conversation regarding Meryl. Shawn's always telling me how much my mom looks like Meryl Streep. Inevitably, I disagree and we get into a lengthy debate and discussion ending in Shawn's famous solution: "We agree to disagree." Then Mom was here visiting and we got to talking about Miss Oscar herself and Mom said she gets told she looks like Meryl, all, the, time! I got the biggest I-told-you-so-look from Shawn. Sucked. I still disagree but the irony was timely.

Movies in Theatre
1. The Backup Plan (I'm so in the mood for a great, cliché, romantic, albeit predictable, chick flick I can't stand it! I can almost taste the wine that would follow the outing!)
Update: I saw this with Tammy and we both laughed and laughed and laughed. The water birth scene alone did it in for me. I was scared to my very soul about something coming out of my womb someday. No matter what critics say, this one's funny! 
2. Date Night (This looks hysterical and I look forward to the laughing.)
Update: Speaking of funny - Oh, My, Goodness! I have a new relationship with Steve Carell. He makes me laugh and for that I love him. Tina Fey is a riot herself. It was a great comical duo and I had a wonderful, nourishing, cavernous belly laugh when they got in the boat to try to get away from the bad guys and the camera pans out to show the background. Makes me chuckle just thinking about it. It hit the spot and did not disappoint.
3. How to Train Your Dragon - in 3D (This will entertain my childish side whilst acknowledging my visual senses.)
Update: Haven't made it to this yet but it's the one movie I keep hearing is great. Over and over and over. I'm working on it!

Movies Coming Soon
1. Iron Man 2 - 5/7/10 (Hopefully it's as good as the first is promised to be.)
Update: Soon. Very soon. Would have been last weekend if it were up to Shawn but I decided it was more suitable a time and temperature to clean the entire house instead. Amen for AC!
2. Babies - 5/7/10 (I'm so excited for this documentary. If you haven't heard of it or seen the preview, Google it now!)
Update: Not yet but this one has me itching the most to get to a matinee!
3. Robin Hood - 5/14/10 (A new twist on a classic and I'll be there with Sara to support her withstanding relationship with Mr. Crowe.)
Update: So we saw this and were anticipating something… epic. It wasn't. In fact, I would skip the theatre. While I enjoyed seeing Russell Crowe through Sara's eyes, that's about all there was to enjoy. It was entertaining, don't get me wrong. We were just disappointed for a Russell Crowe/Ridley Scott duo.
4. SATC - 5/27/10 (I've saved the best for last, Sex and the City 2. While I always enjoyed the show much more then the first movie, I'm curious to see where they'll take the story. The show always focused more on the relationships and not so much the fashion or even the fun. It was more relate-able. Obviously Aiden's back so at the very least, I'll have a tall drink of water to sip on.)
Update: June 5th Michelle and I are venturing out. This way we'll avoid the mad rush opening weekend and I get to go with the woman that first introduced me to Miss Bradshaw. Fitting. 

More Movies Coming Soon
These are one's I'm adding for the sake of the list. It's essential to keep lists up-to-date.
5. Shrek Forever After - 5/21/10 (I've heard this one isn't the greatest although it looks hilarious.)
6. Killers - 6/4/10 (I also love Ashton Kutcher and am expecting humorous, witty entertainment pairing him with Katherine Heigl. I'm currently a fanatical 27 Dresses fan and can't stop watching it so I need a new Katherine movie before my DVR recording gives way.)
7. The A-Team - 6/11/10 (Bradley Cooper - used to hate him but now he is THE brightest, most beautiful, blue-eyed man around… after my husband of course.)
8. Toy Story 3 - 6/18/10 (I hadn't seen very good previews for this either until the story of Buzz Lightyear in Spanish was revealed. Hilarante! According to my iMac Translation widget, that's spanish for hilarious.)
9. Eat Pray Love - 8/13/10 (JULIA! Since I thought the book was… anticlimactic, I wasn't thrilled to hear they were making it into a movie. That is, until I heard it was going to star Julia. Julia is my favorite. I don't care what anyone says. We go way back.)


Monday, May 24, 2010


May 21, 2010: Team DeBoer's five year anniversary
Place of celebration: Target Field
Menu: Murray's steak sandwiches with New Castle and Schells
Final Score: 15-3, a Twins schelacking
Best Moment: It's a five-way tie…

1. Our view
2. Using the 3rd base dugout box's private concession stand and bathroom
3. Gomez's home run
4. Seeing ourselves on TV (yeah, we taped the game)
5. Using Sex World to find our way back to our car
Minnie and Paul
Our view of Mr. Mauer
Team DeBoer
Under the lights

Five memories from our wedding day:
1. The storm and the light flickering that ensued the entire ceremony; at least it broke the ice
2. Shawn's relentless efforts to place his hands on top of the pastor's for the blessing, I don't remember what the Pastor said but I remember it getting a great, big, laugh
3. Hearing Tim's guitar playing and being ridiculously moved to tears, so much so that I still have mascara stains on the handkerchief I received pre-wedding; the handkerchief that was made from my Mom's wedding dress
4. Seeing Shawn for the first time that day, I melted
5. Telling Dad he cleaned up nice right before he walked me down the isle

Five memories from the reception:
1. The Philly cheese steak sandwiches!
2. Always seeing Jordan with a fresh champagne bottle
3. Watching Miguel teach everyone to dance
4. Seeing Dad's expression when he heard the song him and I were going to dance to
5. Seeing our parents, siblings, family and friends surround us for our final dance

Five destinations from our five years:
1. Lutsen
2. New York
3. Europe
4. Florida
5. Mexico

Five memories from our five years:
1. Bringing home Norman
2. Entering our house for the first time
3. Hearing of Shawn's job offer
4. Every time we've been stalled on Interstate 35
5. Driving in Germany - check that - surviving driving in Germany

These simple little lists don't begin to describe our marriage, or better yet, our relationship. Legally, we've been bound to one another for five years. Lovingly, we've been "going out" for 12 years this September. Either way you slice it, we're still immeasurably happy and I thank all the gods for the man I found and for him walking with me all this time. Now our shadows include two dopey dudes and life is again, good. Although our other shoe finally fell, we're stronger for it, we're learning from it and our grip is even tighter to each other.

Enough sappy crap. Happy Anniversary Mr. DeBoer! Here's to you…

You and Me
Dave Matthews Band

Wanna pack your bags, Something small
Take what you need and we disappear
Without a trace we'll be gone, gone
The moon and the stars can follow the car
and then when we get to the ocean
We gonna take a boat to the end of the world
All the way to the end of the world

Oh, and when the kids are old enough
We're gonna teach them to fly

You and me together, we could do anything, Baby
You and me together yes, yes (x2)

You and I, we're not tied to the ground
Not falling but rising like rolling around
Eyes closed above the rooftops
Eyes closed, we're gonna spin through the stars
Our arms wide as the sky
We gonna ride the blue all the way to the end of the world
To the end of the world

Oh, and when the kids are old enough
We're gonna teach them to fly

You and me together, we could do anything, Baby
You and me together yes, yes

We can always look back at what we did
All these memories of you and me baby
But right now it's you and me forever girl
And you know we could do better than anything that we did
You know that you and me, we could do anything

You and me together, we could do anything, Baby
You and me together yeah, yeah
Two of us together, we could do anything, baby
You and me together yeah, yeah
Two of us together yeah, yeah
Two of us together, we could do anything, baby

Aunt Kali

I'm going to be an aunt again! I suspect you all may be thinking, "WHAT?! Mandi's pregnant?! Again!?" Calm yourselves. Team Cornstuble is in tact and in fact - sidenote - Andy comes home today so a big welcome home shout out to the family! Hopefully he's walking off the ship as I type…

Shawn's brother Brad and wife Charity are expecting! We learned the happy news last week and now just have to try and wait until the wee one is due in November. It seems like a long time from now but by Christmas the other Team DeBoer will have the cutest little present this year. We could not be happier for them and Shawn was all grins the entire night we got the call. True, this isn't his first uncle rodeo but if any of you know Brad and Shawn, you know they are basically twins (give or take a couple of years), so this sits close to Shawn's heart.

We're exited to hear more as things progress and can't wait to meet the newest DeBoer! Big congratulations to Brad and Charity! Big! Huge! I have to go shopping now…

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mr. Rogers

It's that time again… 

"It's a beautiful day in this BLOGGERHOOD,
A beautiful day for a FOLLOWER,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?"
"It's a neighborly day in this BLOGGERHOOD,
A neighborly day for a FOLLOWER,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?"
"I have always wanted to have a FOLLOWER just like you,
I've always wanted to live in a BLOGGERHOOD with you."
"So let's make the most of this beautiful day,
Since we're together, we might as well say,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my FOLLOWER?"
"Won't you please,
Won't you please,
Please won't you be my FOLLOWER?"
"Hi BLOGGERHOOD FOLLOWER, I'm glad we're together again.... "
No, I've not gone silly (again), I'm just trying to recruit you as an official FOLLOWER of this blog. You're obviously visiting the site, you're reading the blog, you're looking at the screen right now so I'm talking to you. I need affirmation from readers and I have a new goal - 25 followers. So, if for no other reason then to prevent another Mr. Rogers sing-a-long, answer me this - won't you be my FOLLOWER?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


For my sister's sake, and sanity, I didn't take "before" photos. However, here are the infamous "afters" worth sharing. Picture the same floors in your mind - now cover them in toys, clothes, books, crayons, coloring books, puzzles, games, barbies, cars, stuffed animals, legos, sheets, pillows, blankets, ponytail holders… you get the point. That was what it was and what I fear it will end up eventually again because, well, kids are kids. With this posting, at least I'll always have proof that there is indeed carpet in those cute bedrooms and for at least one night, you could see it.

It makes me sad to think these were the only photos I took of any Cornstubles the entire week I was there. I was busy and I have the backache to prove it! I vow to do better in June. The Cornstubles are too cute not to.
The girlies in Ainsley's room
Love in the latrine

The girlies in Nats room (and Aunt Kali's room when she stays - no, not in the crib)


Recently, Sara and I were talking about masseuses, or more specifically, she was recommending hers to me. Somewhere midpoint, she made the comment that once you find a good masseuse, you never go elsewhere. This quickly curtailed the masseuse conversation and instead morphed into a quick list of other professionals you stick with, once you find "the one." Other examples: hair stylist, mechanic, and of course, the mecca of all professionals women cling to once they've found theirs - the obgyn. I would also personally add chiropractor, plumber and electrician to that list. The medical field is an obvious place for the need to find your essential match, but for us at Chez DeBoer, home repair is also another big area we crave expertise and advice in. We've had good luck so far thanks to our neighbors. Word of mouth truly is the greatest advertising.

After traveling this weekend, I'd like to make another addition to the list. For me, it is essential to find a good airline. This airline must possess skilled pilots who know how to descend and land an aircraft without making my stomach churn and making me feel like I'm going to get to know my neighbor very intimately because I'm going to ralph on him or her. US Airways failed, miserably. United, however, came through like the champ I needed on my travels home. You know it's been a swift landing when I can read until rubber hits the runway. I've flown enough now to where I'm usually okay leaving the doggy bag in the pocket in front of me but every once in a while the plane takes that nasty dip and I go pale with cold sweats and instinctively start swallowing like my neighbors clothes depend on it.

Thank heavens for the professionals out there who are not only great at their job, but are affordable, honest and worth a word-of-mouth recommendation. If anyone in the Twins Cities needs someone in the medical field, step up to my plate. Or anyone in the home repair field for that matter. Thanks to our shortcomings, we have a ridiculously large network or resourceful rescuers. For only being in Minnesota five years, I'd say we've grown quite the calling tree of people.

What are your essential professions? Or to put it better, who are your people?

Sunday, May 16, 2010


We would like to introduce you to the newest member of Team DeBoer - meet Leo. We found Leo through Basset Buddies Rescue. We met/fell in love with him last Sunday, I jaunted off to Virginia for the week, flew home yesterday and we went directly from the airport to pick him up and bring him home. He hails from a foster home in Farmington just five miles from the birthplace of Norman. Coincidence? We think not.

Leo is a sweet soul at the ripe age of 3. He and Norman are almost one year apart exactly; Leo was born in November of 2006, Norman in December of 2005. Leo's story starts in a humane society in a different state. From there, he was adopted by a young couple from Roseville. Another coincidence? You tell us. He lived with them for over a year and a half until they had a baby and decided they couldn't do both. Leo wasn't getting his fair share of attention and so they gave him to Basset Buddies Rescue. From there he was adopted by a family with a small boy. Unfortunately, this is where Leo's story takes a turn. In under a week, the boy (who was witnessed to being very rough with Leo) bit Leo in the face causing Leo to bite him back. The family immediately gave him back to Basset Buddies and from there he ended up with a bad rap and in another foster home. He was scheduled to be put down until his foster mom (owning four bassets herself) decided he needed a second chance. She immediately had him evaluated for aggression by a local vet and he came out with flying colors! After a month, Leo was again free and clear to be adopted - by us!

We know he'll take some attention. We'll have to desensitize him to children again since the only one he ever knew bit him, but it's a challenge we're willing to take because frankly, he's a great big puddle of love with the demeanor of a witty, intelligent, adorable dope. In under 24 hours, we've learned quite a bit from the gentle goofball. He's somewhat smaller then our lover-of-all-things-caloric-Norman, he seems to be a wee bit more intelligent and surprisingly, he seems to be the boss. Piggalonie (aka Norman) has so far, learned a lesson not to touch Leo's food and that his bed will now become Leo's bed. It's funny, we always thought Norman, being an arse, would dominate another dog and let him know who's boss. Nope. The big fatty's a big pushover.

The beautiful thing of rescuing an adult basset, besides the fact that you're saving them from harsher circumstances, is they are already house trained and our biggest seller, they sleep through the night! Now, Norman will let us go to bed around midnight most weekends and will allow us to sleep pretty much until Noon the next day. Shut up! We don't have kids and we're enjoying it for now! Leo made it until 6:30am. However, with a quick bathroom break, he willingly went back to bed and under the exemplary paw of Norman, slept for another three hours. Ahhhh… life is good.

Sir Leo

The boys

Norman's reaction to Leo's food tutorial

Hunt 'em up

Thursday, May 6, 2010


"Now you wouldn't believe me if I told you, but I could run like the wind blows."
-Forrest Gump (Forrest Gump)

Tonight, I had my best night running. Tonight, I understood why Shawn likes to run so much. Tonight, I felt like I had reached that point where I could run comfortably without completely expending myself. I felt the feeling of physical fitness, endurance and accomplishment. More importantly, I could still feel my legs when I was done.

We ran twice around Como, like usual, and than ran home. Shawn usually runs more then me anyway so he happily ran back to Como after we made it home to fetch the car and the keys. Forgetting we had locked the house, I in turn got to spend some quality time with my best friend Norman sitting on the grass in our backyard. It was the perfect reward for a job well done. Yes, Norman barked at me the whole time and when I wouldn't bite and join him in his little game, he went behind me and started nudging me in the back and biting at my pony tail. Knowing he's a hopeless, lazy, overweight, sappy, puddle of love, I just let him.

Back to running. I distanced a total of about 4.5 miles tonight. I have gone 4.8 (three times around Como) before but this is the farthest I've ever gone without stopping. I didn't even stop to check my heart rate like I have been doing every lap around Como to make sure I stay in my fat burning zone. I've converted to such running geekdom, I know. Maybe it was the cool weather, the fact that the wind had finally stopped for the first time all week, that we made it without getting rained on, or that I was extra motivated to work off that Reese's I ate earlier in the day; whatever it was, I had fun… running.

I'm a little scared what this means for me but also extremely proud of myself, which is not something I admit to lightly or often. Knowing how much I've loathed exercising in the past, I'm delighted to see my determination has improved. Exercise really does strengthen my mood, concentration and mental capabilities. I begrudgingly admit it after others (no, not just Shawn) have tried to educate me on this for quite some time now. These days, I run four to five times a week and at least 3.2 miles each time (weather permitting). When I first started, I couldn't even make it around Como once (1.6 miles) without stopping. Now look at me. Eat your heart out Jillian Michaels.

Hey, where'd that bag of Oreos go…

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I've had a perpetual, internal debate playing out in my mind. Suffice it to say, I've yet to announce a victor so I'm bringing it to the public. Let me just cut to the chase. Does your job define you? Or more specifically, should it? If it doesn't, what does?

My job does not define me. My career may, but what I do from 9am to 5pm every day most surely does not. Therefore, I'm constantly left with the nagging question: Should it? Part of me thinks it should. I should love what I do. When I'm awake from 7am, okay - who am I kidding, 8am until 11pm, I'm working for eight of those hours and at home for six. Shouldn't the majority of my day be spent doing something I'm proud to say I do? Or, is there something to be said for not caring what brings in my paycheck because it does just that; it pays the bills. It allows me the freedom to leave work at work and be attentive to more important things in my life.

The former is exemplified by none other then my husband. Being a teacher can be rewarding in and of itself, so I'm not surprised to hear good stories when Shawn gets home from work. You should hear some of the great stories though. Those are the stories that make my husband beam and make me automatically jealous. Not jealous of his profession (heavens no, there's a reason I work with computers all day), but jealous of his love for it, how obviously great he is at it and how much reward he gets from it.  No, it isn't always good, but it's always something he's proud to talk about and say he does. Shawn's job definitely defines him. Anyone who knows him knows he talks the talk and walks the walk. Yes, sometimes to a point of complete annoyance but there's something to be said for truly loving what you do and being defined by the career you've chosen.

The latter is where I feel I come in. I'm lost somewhere in the Bermuda love triangle when it comes to my job, my career and my home. On one hand, I'd love to be able to quit my day job. On the other, I'm proud to be employed and doing something in the artistic field and like I said before, I can leave work at work and pay some bills with my paycheck. Ultimately though, neither compares to the importance of my home and it's contents. My home envelops everything most important to me in life: family, friends, Norman, my house. So shouldn't that very phrase "everything most important to me in life" be evidence enough of what defines me? Shouldn't what I consider to be home, define me? Maybe, but it doesn't either. It doesn't because it lacks what I love to do as an artist. It's a catch-22.

At the end of the day, I'm proud to be a graphic designer, or better yet, an artist, but I can't say it's what defines me.  Nothing is more important to me then home but I can't say that completely defines me either. I don't know what defines me and I think that's what I have the hardest time with. I know it doesn't have to be just one thing but it seems if it were, life would be a heck of a lot simpler. I'm guessing it has something to do with being of the female persuasion and basically wanting to do it all and more emphatically, needing to do it all perfectly.

Although I've digressed to a philosophical arena, my question remains: If you don't love what you do everyday, should you try and get a different job or chose a different career path? Keep in mind that the search itself adds stress, time and commitment you might have otherwise dedicated to your home. Or, do you continue on with your job and daily routine, even though you don't love it, because it allows you the freedoms you want at home and gives you time to concentrate on more important things? Ultimately, how important is a career? Is it just a job or should it be a life's work?


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