When was the last time you thought about Mesothelioma?

Well, friends, I’m taking a short break from “day in the life” and posts about my adventures to talk about something important.

Cancer is such a deeply terrible thing. I’ve written about it many times, most notably about Rachael’s battle with melanoma and our Olivia Act winner, the Soba family- regarding Alexis’ battle with Glioblastoma (PS, Alexis had another surgery on Tuesday- please say a few prayers for her, her family, and the doctors).

Today is the 10th annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day.

As an average 20-something American girl, I hadn’t given mesothelioma a second thought, other than seeing those increasingly annoying ads for lawyers looking for people with mesothelioma. Sure, one of the perks of having my office at home is that I get to watch daytime television on my lunch break, but all I see are ads for house cleaning products, anti-aging miracle workers, and the faces of aggressive lawyers, looking for new clients. Those ads are the reason that I know that the only known cause for mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos.

Of course, in all the remodeling that we’ve done of our very old home, I thought about finding asbestos in the walls. I didn’t worry about it much, though… Our house was mostly too old to have asbestos, except in the additions. Plus, I stupidly thought, “Asbestos? I’d know it if I saw it, right?” Actually, no… asbestos fibers are too small to see with the naked eye.

When I went up to the Penokee Hills in northern Wisconsin to look at the proposed GTac mine site, a geologist showed me some rocks containing asbestos. Asbestos is actually a group of minerals that all contain those long, thin fibrous crystals. The presence of asbestos in those rocks makes this area a very dangerous place to create an open pit mine… along with a bunch of other reasons that it’s a terrible idea.

There is a lot of information out there about asbestos and mesothelioma, and I’ll link to some resources for you at the end of this post. There are a couple facts that really opened my eyes that I’d like to share.

-This year, 10,000 Americans will die of asbestos-related diseases like lung cancer and mesothelioma.
-Asbestos was once used in common household items such as toasters, hair dryers, and over 3,000 consumer products.
-Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that attacks the lining of the body cavity (the mesothelium), and the only known cause is exposure to asbestos.
-Asbestos exposure was first linked to mesothelioma in 1964, and worldwide mesothelioma cases are expected to reach their peak around 2020.

Friends, we need to take care of ourselves. Please start some conversations about cancer, including mesothelioma. I was lucky enough to have been contacted by the Von St. James family to ask for help in spreading the word. Heather Von St. James is a proud and beautiful mesothelioma survivor (with one lung!), and I’m happy to share this information with everyone on her behalf! You can read more about Heather here: Heather’s Story

…And you can find information on mesothelioma at www.mesothelioma.com

I love you all. Thanks for reading!

Miles this year: 407.95

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My mentor, the record store, tacos, ice cream, and a fun TU trip to Milwaukee… and Mr. and Mrs. Phares!

I had my weekly meeting with Bill, my photo mentor. :) We often go to Emy J’s, and if I have time, we go visit Randy at Radio Kaos.



I love visiting actual record stores. There is something special about it, and Randy is awesome. I usually ride my bike for my errands, and this was no exception. I often take a little detour just so I can see one of my favorite smiley faces in the tar.

In fact, when I was running this week, I found a new one…

Too cute.
Friday afternoon, I headed back over to Central Waters to catch Tortuga Express, a food truck to be featured in Hoopla. If you’re not hungry now, you will be!






Brian and I ate those delicious tacos for dinner, and swung by King Cone for dessert. I knew about their delicious homemade ice cream from a photo shoot that I’d done a few months ago, and I wanted Brian to taste it for himself!

We took our ice cream to go, and headed down to Milwaukee. We stayed with my TU friend, Henry, since we had our first family work day planned for Saturday morning!
It was incredibly adorable. We encouraged parents to come to the work day and bring along their kids- we had a coloring table with trout pictures, an entomology station, a fish shocking station, and a chance for the kids to help us put in spawning gravel. We had the DNR guys come on out to help, and the kids loved playing with the bugs! They got right in the stream and helped us use the kick nets. The kids seemed to love it, and I think the parents also learned a bit. :)
















We grilled out for lunch, and Brian and I headed out quickly to get to Stacey and Ron’s Minnesota wedding. A few hours of driving, a stop for iced coffee, and we made it just in time for dinner and dancing!

We met this beautiful couple through the small group at our church. We love these guys! :) Robert was the officiant, and the rest of our small group (minus Pam) came to celebrate, too!


Our handsome small group men are what keeps the ladies coming back for more theology and bible study! Haha. :)

Congratulations, Ron and Stacey! We are so happy for you two. Thank you for inviting us to celebrate with you… We wish you a lifetime of love!





We stayed in a hotel over in Winona, and after we slept in a little bit, we headed out for a Driftless area adventure.
More to come in my next post…

Miles this year: 392.95

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A little paint job, running, and a trip to Central Waters

After living with a peach wall in our bedroom for five years, I decided that I wanted to make a switch to grey. This is not related to my current obsession with watching old Grey’s Anatomy’s episodes and the city of Seattle, in general. :)
I just made the decision to do it one evening, and picked out the paint, bought a duvet cover to match, and did it. Brian came home from working on my paddleboard to quite the surprise!


I love it. :)
I was lucky enough to be invited over to Central Waters Brewery for a photo shoot.
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades will be playing a concert over there on October 11, so I had the chance to hang out with one of the owners, Paul, and Adam, from the band.











It’s also Oktoberfest season, so we had fun playing around with some of that gorgeous (and delicious!) beer.
I went to the dentist for my checkup. I’ve been seeing Becky and the awesome technicians over at my dentist for the 26 years since my teeth came in!

They did tell me that I’d need a crown. More info on that to come!
I came home, had a couple calls for work, and headed out for a bike ride to visit Brian. He’s been toiling away on my paddleboard!

That Wednesday night was one of the fun runs here in Stevens Point. I love this group! Our once-a-month meet ups have been a lot of fun. This time, we headed over to the Little Plover River Park.



I always leave those runs with a big smile on my face!

See you soon- next up: adventures in Milwaukee, some delicious food, and TU fun with a side of beautiful wedding!

Miles this year: 381.85

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Flag cake and Lake Superior

Since we had Ashley and Erik’s wedding on the Fourth of July this year, I made my celebratory flag cake on the fourth of August!

This is my ninth annual flag cake, and it was every bit as delicious as it looks. Angel food, with whipped cream and fresh berries. :)

We ate it all in three days- since we knew it wouldn’t last past our fun weekend ahead.
We headed up to Grand Marais, MN, for a personalized, quaint wedding of Allie and Toby. Grand Marais is just a gorgeous place, and these two said their vows right on the rocks along the shore of Lake Superior. Start with cute kids, add longtime friends, and finish with perfect weather. After the intimate ceremony with a vast backdrop, we headed to Harbor House Grille for dinner, drinks, and laughter. Allie and Toby came back to the lake with me at sunset, before spending the evening celebrating at a rooftop bar. Stunning doesn’t even begin to describe it…

























This was one of the most serene locations that I’ve ever visited with a bride and groom. I saw this area, and just fell in love.

Congratulations, Allie and Toby! :) Thanks for inviting us up to capture your day!
We were so happy but exhausted on Saturday night, so we collapsed into bed and slept in a bit on Sunday. We walked downtown to get breakfast and coffee before heading out on the water, and I found these…

Umpqua. A company that makes awesome minnow flies and oatmeal? Interesting… ;)
We walked and explored…





The cold water was calling us on such a warm day, so we grabbed our boats and headed onward!

After a couple miles, I was steamy, so I pulled my boat up on some rocks, and jumped in! Damn, that lake is cold. :)



Every time I paddle Superior, I like it more and more. :)
We knew we had a long drive home, since there was a lot of construction, so we hit the road around 1, stopped at Red Mug for coffee and snacks…

…and made it home around 9:00.
I will leave you with two questions:
1) anglers, I saw this beer up there. Can a trout actually get lost?

2) does anyone remember the drama around this guy’s website? I love kale, so his court case stuck with me… But I haven’t seen a sticker in quite some time! It’s probably no surprise that this truck was next to the adventure gear shop, in front of the co-op.

Be back soon to share more adventures. :)

Miles this year: 374.75

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Baby Lily and Summer Shenanigans

Here she is.

The first Oberstadt girl in over two decades. My brother-in-law, Avery, and his beautiful wife, Megan, welcomed baby Lily into the world two weeks ago. We are thrilled!







She was adorable, even though she kept giving me a look that said, “I don’t know about this whole photo shoot thing, Aunt Heidi…”

Visiting Lily was the best way to spend a summer Sunday.
It also happened to kick off an exciting week in our home, starting with a little visit from the infamous Peach.

He sat in with the Mark Little Band, along with my college piano teacher, Prof. Buchman! What an awesome treat.

I ran a bunch…


Whoa. That’s the same shirt. I swear I washed it… I am not one of those runners who can re-wear their running clothes. I smell… like roses.
Lydia even found this little lizard guy while we were out!

I ran one of my least favorite errands- the pharmacy. I usually try to actually run there since it improves my spirits… It’s only a 5.75 mile loop.
The other thing that makes me feel better is this guy.

John. Best pharmacy tech ever. When I go to pick up my thyroid hormones, it always makes me a little sad. It’s kind of hard to explain, but it just makes me feel a little defective. Luckily, John knows me by name and always has my pills ready for me! If I’m sweaty (a.k.a. literally running my errands), he packs the pill bottles with cotton for me so they don’t shake around in there. He just makes my day!
The other highlight of our week was Brian picking up his motorcycle. He bought a 1990 Suzuki Intruder. It’s blue, it’s beautiful.

I’m also an overprotective wife. I want to follow him in my car and make sure he’s safe!
I snagged my first snapshot… the beer!

It seemed appropriate :)
Brian is putting the finishing touches on my paddle board this week. It’s turning out beautifully. <3

That is all the adventures for now… we are heading off for a gorgeous coastal wedding. Where? Here’s a sneak peek.


Miles this year: 369.05

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Fighting Dams and Fishing for Smallmouth Bass :)

I left the Klesmith family and headed straight to a village meeting in Amherst- an open forum focused on what to do about the dam. It needs to either be replaced or removed- it can’t stay put in its current state.
Of course, being someone so focused on our cold water streams, I wanted the dam removed. Above the pond, it is a class 1 trout stream, with wild, naturally reproducing brook trout. Below the dam, where the water is 8-12 degrees warmer, there are no brook trout. :(
The people who live on the mill pond, however… they want to replace the dam. I don’t blame them for liking the look of the water or the wildlife that’s attracted by the pond. I like still water, too… where it is naturally occurring. We have over 15,000 documented lakes in Wisconsin! I grew up swimming and playing in lakes up north, but they were “supposed” to be there. The mill pond is too muddy and shallow to swim in, and there is poisonous blue-green algae.
Anyway, I went with my TU chapter representatives to the meeting to show off a plan for the space where the pond is… We hired a firm to design a public space with foot bridges, bike paths, and a park. The meeting was very civil- folks from both sides were very respectful and tolerant. I was very frustrated, though… we have a lot of brook trout here in Wisconsin, and for some reason, I think the general population doesn’t realize how special it is for them to be wild, native, and happily making fish babies in our streams. With the opportunity to reconnect this resource, I couldn’t believe that anyone would want to replace the dam. There was good turnout at the meeting…

…and when it was over, I cried on the way home. I need to work on hardening my heart a little if I want to keep going to public meetings!
My spirit was lifted on Thursday after a productive morning of editing and lunch with my favorite photo mentor, Bill. :) Emy J’s has great coffee and fabulous food.

I rode my bike home in the rain…

…and prepped the house for a little facelift.
I had the weekend free from weddings but Brian was working a shutdown, so I was lucky enough to spend the day up north.
I’m on a boat…

Al invited Aaron and I up to fish the Menominee (the border between Wisconsin and the UP) in his drift boat. We caught lots of smallies!




The sturgeon were going crazy- they’d launch themselves out of the water and do some kind of prehistoric bellyflop on top. It was a noisy situation!
Look at these beautiful flies I was using.


The water was beautiful, and Al found a perfect place for us to stop for lunch!


The highlight of my day came near the end, when I coaxed a walleye up to take one of those minnows on top!

I’ve never caught a walleye before, and I was afraid to hold her for obvious reasons…

Al was an amazing host. Not only did he show us the time of our lives up there, he cleaned my fish for me and sent me home with ready-to-cook filets. Thanks for the awesome time, Al and Aaron! I had a blast.
That was the first fish I’ve ever kept. I was nervous to do it, but Al promised she’d be delicious! He showed me where her heart and other organs were, and I learned more about fish anatomy :)
I cooked her up with fresh beans from the garden, and drank fine wine with good company. Brian and I ate her on our front porch.

That’s about all the emotional growth I could muster for the week!
Be back soon, friends… with pictures of my newest niece!!

Miles this year: 364.75

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My mom is engaged!

In some of the most exciting news of the season, I’m happy to announce that my momma is engaged. :)
She’ll be marrying Bill Olson next June, and we couldn’t be more excited! I’ll be hanging out with them soon and taking some pictures, and I can’t wait to share them!
Speaking of engagement portraits, I was pretty excited to hang out with Lindsey and Derek a couple weeks ago. It was storming and the skies looked ominous, but we made the best of it, and the sun even came out at the end of our session! Take a peek at these cuties.






We can’t wait to shoot their wedding. How beautiful are they? :)
Next up is the Klesmith family. We were lucky enough to shoot their engagement portraits and their wedding, and now here we are… Shooting their family portraits! Brace yourself, little Owen is too cute to handle.







The Klesmiths won a portrait package that we donated to a cancer benefit locally, so this shoot was extra special, as we were able to help our community. It wasn’t just a family photo shoot, it was also a special announcement…

Congratulations, Hannah and Mike! We’re so excited for you.
I’m blogging from the waiting room at Auto Select (Matt and Josh at the desk are awesome!) while I get new tires, but I’ll be back in my office soon, working on photos!
Thanks for reading, friends.

Miles this year: 360.75

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