Category Archives: Daily Journal

Life Changes: Engagement and New Job

p>It has been an exciting and hectic month to say the least. Talisha and I had our 3 year anniversary dinner on February 3 at La Belle Vie. I’ve known for some time that she is the perfect girl for me–Talisha truly understands me, has a great sense of humor (because it’s like mine) ;), is a loving and caring person, and is in every way gorgeous to boot. My proposal to her was long overdue but I wanted to make sure it was special and memorable! In my head, this meant a romantic moment during a trip somewhere exotic but, with our vacations being few and far between of late, I had to make do. On our anniversary night at a fancy restaurant, however, “make do” is the wrong term to use.

I did my best to not act nervous during dinner. There was no doubt that I was popping the question that night because I had planned ahead of time to have the waiter bring out the engagement ring with the dessert. When the moment came, I was a little too eager to drop down on my knee–Tally hadn’t even had time to notice the ring on the dessert plate! I did achieve my goal of completely surprising her, however.

Now, the fun of wedding planning begins. What’s the date, budget, where, who to invite, what food and beverages, what kind of invites, etc, etc, etc? It’s so overwhelming that I’m almost avoiding thinking about it until I finish planning our road trip (more to come on that) and begin my job at St. Thomas in a couple of weeks.

That’s right, after almost four years at Cargill I am moving on. It has truly been an awesome and valuable experience at my current company and I am sorry to be leaving. I will especially miss my coworkers but hope to stay in touch with them. A few weeks ago, I interviewed with the University of St. Thomas for a web developer position. Those who know me will also know that web development is a passion of mine that I’ve had at least since high school. Although I have kept current through side projects like developing a WordPress plugin, the range of web technologies that I could learn Tutuapp APK about and work with has been limited for the last couple of years. When I was offered the UST position, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get back into the field. Another huge consideration was the generous tuition remission for myself and Talisha because getting back into school is very important to both of us. My final day at Cargill is next Friday and I will start my new job the following Monday.

Computer, 2001-2009

I finally got around to recycling some of the old electronics sitting in my closet by bringing them to the Hennepin County recycling center. I thought I was going to cry when they threw (literally, I’ve never seen a desktop computer fly so far) my old computer to the back of the huge container of TVs, stereos, and monitors. It was utterly worthless but I had a lot of memories attached to that aluminum box–namely LAN parties and college dorm life.

It gave me a lot of grief with 3 blown mobos and 1 dead powersupply over its lifespan. It was built during the height of the “modding” craze if you remember that. I made sure my box was rocking with a side window complete with a custom fan grill and blue cathode lights. No one could top my built-in car cigarette lighter, proudly installed in the spare 5.5″ bay. This is the one piece I kept. Maybe someday it will see new life in a desktop of mine.

Goodbye computer. If I had space in my closet Tutuapp APK, you wouldn’t be shredded and melted for scrap metal.

4th of July Weekend

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On Thursday night Tally and I dropped Natalie off at a friend’s and headed over to the Taste of Minnesota. As far as I can remember, it’s my first time there. I always imagined there were fun and interesting foods to try there. I was a little disappointed to find, after finding parking, a long walk, waiting in line for food tickets and a wristband, and waiting in line for food that all they had to offer was Grainbelt Premium, corndogs, and other fried fare. I don’t think any of it except for the giant freezies cost less than $5.

The music almost made up for this all–I enjoyed Chevelle back in college and Tally was also excited about Staind. I got there as the band had already started but was in time to hear “The Red” so I was happy.

We woke up early to drive out to Annandale for my family reunion which is held over 4th of July weekend. As always, it was a good to see the extended family. Someone had the idea to have a canoe war this year. I’m proud to say my cousin Erik and my canoe was one of the few to still be afloat after everything was said and done. Some at the reunion were meeting Natalie for the first time and everyone loved holding her. Perry and a few others witnessed her crawl for the first time down a small hill by the lake. She has been Tutuapp APK scooting along for a week but this was the first time she did it on hand and knees.

Natalie Update

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Tuesday – I couldn’t find my wallet and cell phone in my work pants. I had draped them over the side of the baby crib which I sometimes do before I hang them up. After a quick look around the apartment, I called my phone. I found that Natalie had stolen it out of its pocket!

Thursday – Natalie can now crawl slowly…backward. It was really frustrating for her to try to crawl to mommy and daddy only to keep scooting further and further away.

Also on Tuesday, Tally and I dressed up and headed to The W Hotel which was hosting a free cocktail event hosted by (rī)1 whiskey. We didn’t know anyone there of course but I loved the free drinks and food. As it was an invite-only event, I also had a perverse pleasure in being “on the list.” That probably sounds childish but I had fun feeling special for a night.

Birthday Week

I am now a quarter century old. Before I know it, I’ll be 30 and life will be basically over! I’m kidding, I know I’m still young but hitting a milestone like this definitely makes me think about how I got to where I am and wonder about what lies ahead. On Wednesday, Tally, Natalie, me and some friends spent the evening at The Happy Gnome. It was great to see everyone and I think they enjoyed getting to hold Natalie. On Saturday, a few of us headed to the warehouse district for some dancing. Overall, it was a busy but fun week. My thanks go out to my sweetheart Tally who planned it all (although I am bummed I never saw my balloon ;-).

Natalie’s little personality is starting to show more every day. Some firsts of the last few weeks is that she got her first tooth and went swimming at the pool. She has a baby walker both at our apartment and at my parents and she loves pushing herself around in them. This coming Wednesday, she’ll be 8 months old.

Vacation to the West Coast

More photos from my vacation are available here.

Seattle

We took an early flight on April 22 to Seattle. The original plan was to fly into Portland but airfare was $500 more! We were worried about how Natalie would act on her first plane ride but she was just perfect the whole way. We stayed at the Seattle Center Holiday Inn which, wasn’t quite at the heart of downtown but was right next to the Space Needle. In order to get to Pike Place Market, we took the monorail. I was trying to find out which stop we would need to get off on when the conductor told everyone that there is only one stop. Two minutes later, we were at our destination after taking what I think must be the shortest monorail ride ever.

Highlights from our two days in Seattle are visiting Snoqualmie Falls, taking a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island and a Malasyian dinner with my mom’s friend Jade. On Thursday we were treated to backstage tours of the Children’sand Intiman theater by my uncle Carey who is their set designer. My back was hurting a bit after the 15 miles we had walked, all the while carrying Natalie in a Baby Bjorn.

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Portland

We took Amtrak business class to Portland and had business people sitting all around us. Again, Natalie did just great so we didn’t have anything to worry about. Grandpa picked us up at the station and took us to his laundry to show off the baby to his employees and to wash our dirty clothes. For lunch, he brought us out to dim sum which I always love. I even tried a chicken’s foot at the insistence of my grandpa. That night, we had some drinks with Annie, a friend of Tally’s and her boyfriend at a nearby brew pub. By this time, Natalie was so over-stimulated from travelling that she was fast asleep at the restaurant despite the noise.

The next day, Tally and I left Natalie with my mom and grandparents and took a day trip out to the coast. We visited the Tillamook Cheese Factory, my granparent’s cabin at Rockaway Beach, and stopped at Oceanside for lunch. After we got back to Portland, we took it easy and watched a movie after eating a yummy dinner of razor clams my grandparents had cooked up. The next morning, we visited the downtown market, Powell’s Bookstore, and the rose garden for a few hours while we waited for the train. It was sad to leave so soon but Tally and I promised to visit again soon.

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San Francisco

If you’re going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you’re going to San Francisco
You’re gonna meet some gentle people there

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Easter Weekend

I took Thursday off of work due to a bad cold. I think I’m finally starting to feel better so I’m looking forward to the rest of my long weekend. This should tide me over until our vacation to the west coast in a couple of weeks which I’m really looking forward to. I haven’t had a real vacation since probably last winter’s cruise so I’m long overdue. Our plan is to fly into Seattle, take the train to Portland to visit my grandparents, then continue on to San Francisco. Tally hasn’t been to the Northwest before and I haven’t been to Cali so we’re both going to be showing each other around. Little Natalie has grown so much since my grandparents last saw her. I’m sure they’re going to love how animated and silly she is compared to five months ago. We have a few things planned for San Francisco, but I think for one of the days we’re going to rent a car and head to wine country. One of my life goals is to take a motorcycle ride down the coastal highway but I’m not sure if we’ll be able to fit that in for this trip.

It looks like the weather is finally warming up again after teasing us with near 60 degree weather almost a month ago. Yesterday morning my mom watched Natalie while Tally and I motorcycled around the Lake Minnetonka area. We saw some beautiful lake shore, big houses, and got to take on a couple twisties. We stopped at Black’s Ford on our way home for some overpriced but tasty soups and sandwiches.

Natalie’s Baptism

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On Saturday, baby Natalie was baptized at Nativity Lutheran. I was nervous to have Natalie, Tally and me sitting in the front row and as the center of attention but it was a beautiful service and everything went well. One thing that Nativity did which I think is special is gave Natalie a wooden chest to put keepsakes in. It’s beautifully hand-made and I’m going to try and track down whoever made it to thank them. Many family and friends from both my and Tally’s side of the family came–I would say around 40 people in total. There was a reception at the church afterward with Davanni’s hoagies (yum) among other things. Thanks are due to my mom, Karen, and Mary who helped with the big task of setting up the reception and cleaning up afterward. Also thanks to everyone for your well-wishes and support, whether you were there or not.

Sioux Falls

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Last Friday, Tally and I left Natalie with my parents and spent the day in Sioux Falls, SD. While we were there, I snapped some shots of the SculptureWalk on Phillips Ave and the mildly frightening squirrels at Falls Park.

The photos were taken with my new Canon 50mm F/1.8 II lens. Every manufacturer seems to be trying to shove zoom lenses down consumers’ throats but I like the simplicity and small size of this prime lens. It also takes some very sharp photos.