Friday, November 30, 2007

Surprise, Jora!

Even though Jora's birthday was yesterday, her family wanted to plan her surprise party during the time that Kesney and I were in town for the holiday. I'm still not totally convinced she wasn't in on the secret, but the party was an absolute success.

I've been friends with Jora since the second grade. She sat next to me in Mrs. Camerote's class. We've done nearly everything together including basketball, volleyball, band, dance, rigging the system so we had every single class together our senior year and studying abroad together our junior year of college. Through the years her sisters have become my sisters and her parents a second set for me, just as mine have been for her.

And here are the three crazy ladies from Hamel. The three of us have been friends since the 5th grade. When we're together its like a wrecking ball through a party. As I think I mentioned in a previous post, we have been separated for the past year: one in Chicago, one in Seattle and another in Hong Kong. But I think we're growing and figuring out why it is we're friends more than ever.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Happy Golden birthday to Jora today! Pics to come from her birthday party when I was home.

In the meantime, for something golden click here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hello to the 6 people I believe to be regular readers of my blog. I've been told (pete) that the name of my blog simply must change.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Many MN visits::::

Liquid lunch with Ann (very appropriate). Good times. Many laughs. And always great conversation. Miss her.

"Fancy" Manny's dinner with Tim. I told the host I was having dinner with Tim Alevizos. "Right this way." and I was whisked to a quiet table in the back of the restaurant. Note: His picture is on the wall just to the left of his head. He was very proud of that. He is sooooo fancy. And when the server brought us our check he told us the Total bill was on one side, and the Revised bill was on the other. $0.00. Comped. Have I mentioned how fancy Tim is? (Wink, Tim. Love you)

Wine with friends at Pete and Emily's. {notice the grey teeth}
I really miss seeing them and I'm so glad we're still friends despite the distance and circumstances. I hope I'm always in their lives. Thanks for all the love and support! Can't wait for the call when Angie pops!

And lovely, lovely Kate Z. A two hour chat with Kate passes in what seems like five minutes. She is so awesome.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Turkey Day Family Photos.

Very late. Just getting back into the swing.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

5th Annual CSB Thanksgiving

After graduating from the College of St. Benedict, I think my girlfriends and I looked for any opportunity to get together. In 2002 that reason was Turkey. We decided to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday that year and I don't think any of us knew it would turn into a tradition and one of our most favorite gatherings together.

In its fifth year the turkey gets better, the place settings fancier, a baby in tow and another on the way, and even Guitar Hero.

{please watch this. hilarious}

Luckily in my absence I've only missed one. Thanks ladies. I'm so glad you're all in my life even though I live so far away!

Aunty "Iowa" (Matthew's version of "Andrea")

I've been able to spend tons of time with my nephew, Matthew, while being in MN. I just love him. His laugh. His energy. The simplicity of being two. Everything is fun.

Driving trucks, trains, and tractors.
Stacking legos and knocking them over. {I taught him to use his butt to knock it over which of course, he loved.}
Rolling pool balls.
Reading the same books 17 times in a row..and still laughing at the same things.

Thanks for letting me babysit, Bro.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Back to MN>

We landed in Mpls. and a sneaky devil was there to surprise me. My mom didn't even leak when she called us from the car while we waited for our bags to drop. Then, out of nowhere a loud creature jumped on me. Jora! I hadn't seen her in nearly a year and it was so so so good to give her a real hug. After 21 years of being friends, her year away in Hong Kong didn't phase us.

We made the trip back to Hamel and sat with my parents chatting for a couple hours (over a couple of bottles of wine). Then they went to bed and Jora and I sat up for another hour (another bottle of wine). 3:30am and we called it a night at my parents' house. Thanks for the surprise, Jora. I love you!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Cole & Weber's Annual McMuffin Contest

Ladies and gentleman, Mike Tuton. The bet: 5 sausage, egg and cheese McMuffins in 15 minutes. A small amount of water permitted. $50.

The crowd gathered 'round while Europe's "The Final Countdown" blared in the background. All 5 were consumed with about 20 seconds left to spare.

The crowd roared.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Papa Franzen's west side visit

When my mom visited, we scoured the city looking at condos. And after all the papers were signed, it was my papa's turn to come and do the "dad" thing by helping me with my new home. He landed in Seattle on Monday night and very shortly there after we were in a pub with beers and pizza. Great conversation, healthy debates and even a few tears. Bonding time.

We also spent some time at Home Depot picking up condo enhancements: wood blinds and supplies for installing shelving and hooks in a my utility closet. Let the organization begin. Thanks, Dad!

Last night we hosted a dinner party. {Yes, another one. This time with my non-work friends + Lisa who crosses over all groups}. Lisa and Pete, Bess and Josh, and Dave and Wendy. Introductions, Molson and Pete trading travel stories with my dad. My Pops sautéed scallops and shrimp while chatter peppered the background. The eight of us huddled around my small table to eat and laugh. Then, cards were played. Shitboots (also known as shithead). Many hands and many arguments between partners seated next to each other. It was so much fun and I was really happy my dad met my friends. I think he felt equally happy.

Today we walked through EMP (Experience Music Project), Paul Allen's music museum. I so wish I'd remembered to bring my camera. Watching my dad try to "scratch" on turn tables, play the guitar along with "Louie Louie" and improv on the piano to a blues scale was so great.

Its been amazing having my dad here. Having my parents come out together and then both of them separately was a neat experience. Overall I'm learning I have a fantastic set of 'rents. I'm a very lucky only-girl-and-baby-of-the-family!