Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Up North

This year, the Lundeby family Christmas was hosted by Mel and Shirley (Austin's grandparents) in Brainerd, MN. Even from as far as CO and IA, everyone made it to northern MN to celebrate.

I had a great time looking around the farm. Here are some of the pictures I snapped, just click on any for the full set.

Acorn Acres

Acorn Acres

Acorn Acres

Farmer's Eye View

Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day

Christmas 2008 039

We had a wonderful Xmas in MN with more amazing eats, drinks, and gifts. I've especially enjoyed hanging out with my little nephew, Conner, and watching his sheer glee at the new toys. Tomorrow we head "up north" for another Xmas celebration.

Today I got to see a friend who was in town from LA and we went for lunch at the Good Earth, one of my favorite restaurants. Then there was a little stop at a local art gallery that was filled with beautiful pieces. Now we're thinking about picking up some Thai for dinner. Not a bad December 26.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Back to Minnesota

After seven days in Wisconsin, we're back in Minnesota for the next seven. We did lots of cooking and eating and visiting and I think we have more in store :) Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cooking in Wisconsin

So far my mom and/or I have made:

Fudge-mint brownies
Sugar cookies
Leek-cheddar breakfast strata
Peanut blossoms
Pickle roll ups

Enough to feed an army but that's how it goes this time of year.

...and After Pics

The Cookies. And sorry, I'm a grinch, but Xmas cookies are tedious to frost and decorate.

Christmas Cookies

Here are the ice luminaries that Austin made for my mom:


Austin's Ice Luminaries


We are making cookies and brownies today so here is the before picture:

Baking Cookies

And Austin is making ice luminaries using balloons and this is his before photo:

Making Luminaries

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mrs. Claws

Chester hates me now.

Mrs. Claws

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas in Wisconsin

We are in Wisconsin now, got a good night's sleep, and have spent the day tooling around town. All of the pine trees are covered in snow and the other trees that have bare branches that are covered in ice. It's really beautiful even though it's very cold, we seem to have quickly forgotten this. Here are a few pictures of our day today and you can click on them to see more if you like.

Morning at my parents'. This is the edge of their yard and you can see they like all the trees.

December Morning

This photo doesn't capture the glow of these trees in the December sun.

Bare Branches

This is the turkey trot taken through the living room window looking at the backyard.

Turkey Trot

Shopping at the art gallery downtown Spooner!

Kelly at the Purple Pelican

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Blogging from Wisco!

We made it and we're tired and it's cold but it's great to see my parents and look forward to seeing many others soon too. We're going to a local dive for dollar beers, burgers, and appetizers tonight, something Austin is especially looking forward to, and then we're going to crash.

More updates soon.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's the Final Countdown

We're leaving at a hideously early hour tomorrow morning so today I'm getting organized and doing laundry (at an as yet unknown location since our machines won't be delivered until mid-January). My dad is picking us up at the airport around 10:00 a.m., we're going to visit my aunt, then getting in some last minute Xmas shopping before heading to northern WI.

There's been a cold front in TX bringing temperatures around 30 and some freezing rain so we're practicing with chilly weather although I am acutely aware that the temps up north are nearly 40 degrees cooler! At some point, though, cold is cold and we're excited to see our family and friends so we'll try not to complain too much.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Meeting Our Neighbors

We live on the edge of a large subdivision that is still growing but there are a few open fields. We discovered that behind our back fence, we have some interesting neighbors.

New Neighbors

There are two friendly horses that like to be petted and came right up to me.

New Neighbors

These were some curious dudes who also approached me and stopped chewing their grass for a minute to take a look so they had long green leaves just hanging from their snouts.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


We finally managed to trap and transport Mr. Stinky, thanks to some helpful advice from his former owner. Good thing we have an open adoption :-) Stinky is now adjusting to his new habitat and hanging in there.

Here is a sad picture of Stinky trying to kill us with his laser eyes for subjecting him to such turmoil. Poor thing.

Sad Stinky w/ looks could kill laser eyes

Friday, December 12, 2008


This will be a quick post but we are mostly settled in to our new home. The movers showed up right at 7:30 a.m. and were the fastest, most efficient, and friendly workers ever. Our apartment and storage unit were picked up and unloaded at the house by 11:00. It was the best move we've ever made and if you can get help for a reasonable price (especially if you compare it to renting your own truck anyway), well, it was worth it in keeping Austin and I stress free and actually laughing and joking around.

After the movers came, our new couch was delivered and it looks great. We did some unpacking, grabbed lunch, and then moved on to the toughest part of the day- Mr. Kitty. Our attempts to grab the little guy and put him in a carrier failed miserably and left all three of us feeling sad. We're going to go back later tonight when he is usually in a calmer manner anyway and give it another try. Poor Stinky, he's got some big changes to work through but he'll be ok.

Anyway, right now we're doing more unpacking and will spend our first night here, yay! Things are coming together better than we could have imagined and that's a great feeling.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Texas Snow

It rained last night, then there was freezing rain, then a nice layer of snow. The total accumulation was only an eighth of an inch but the rooftops and cars had a nice layer on them. Stinky McKitty is lucky we let him sleep inside last night, he ran out this morning and turned around and came right back in.

Here's the glare ice on our steps covered with snow for good measure:

Icy steps

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Desperate Housewife

I was at the house today from 8:30-4:30, waiting for the refrigerator delivery, the cable guy, and the internet guy. In between, I studied for my big stats final tomorrow. Here are two pictures I took, one of the holly berries that are overgrowing the front of our house but finally got bright red berries and one of the fridge that looks like a bullet proof armoire.

Holly Berries

New Fridge

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Festive Fireplace

We finished roller painting the entire living room today and now just need to use the brush for trim and touch ups. The color isn't showing up very well in photos so that's why this one is mostly of the fireplace. The color is called "Clay Pebble" and is a nice balance of neutral with a hint of green. It looks nice against the stone of the fireplace and in contrast with the cherrywood floor.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Capitol View

My mother-in-law once sent me a cool photo of her office view of the WI State Capitol and I realized that I also have a capitol view here in TX. I happened to have my camera today since it's been in my purse from house painting stuff and decided to snap the view through my dirty office window. This is what I look at while working away on campus, not bad!

View from my Office- Texas Capitol Building

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Last Week of Classes

I'm in a bit of haze right now since it's the last week of classes. In addition to my coursework, I have about 10 hours of oral interviews scheduled with my students and lots of grading coming up for the classes I teach. Then next week is finals week and all four of my final papers are due on Monday, I take one final exam on Wednesday, then we officially move out of the apt (and our storage unit) on Friday. A few days after that we fly home for the holidays.

I'm not complaining (much) because it's all good stuff- the end of my first semester in my doctoral program, a new house, home for the holidays, but it is keeping me on my toes. Austin has also been busy with work and has been doing a great job of getting things set up for the new house (can't work without internet!).

We're really excited to officially move and come home for two perfect weeks of winter.