Staush and Colleen and my Wisconsin fall weekend

I can’t get over how cute these two are.

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Meet Staush and Colleen.
I first met Staush through my work with Wisconsin TU- he’s on our state council as well. He picked a beautiful antique engagement ring, surprised her at a park, and amidst tears, Colleen said yes! They are planning a beautiful August wedding in Green Bay next year, and we’re really excited to work with them! They both work in politics, so an election-year engagement session was hard to schedule, but they came all the way over to Rib Mountain to hang out with us.

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Congratulations, guys! :)
We had dinner Friday night with my other BFF, Amy, and her handsome fiancé, Chris. They took us out to celebrate our birthdays!

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We started our busy Saturday with work in the crawl space under the house, then headed up to Kim’s cancer benefit in Wausau. The beautiful Kim Kuklinski and I went to high school together, and we are all praying for her strong recovery. We donated a photo package to the benefit, so I dropped off my display, bought a lot of tickets for raffles, saw some friends (hi, Alie!)…

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…then headed off to the apple orchard to see Amy, Chris, and a few other folks from the wedding party. It was great- Helene’s had live music, several varieties of apples, and rides for the kids.

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After a bushel and a peck of apples, we zipped over to the Phares’ super cute house for dinner. Ron and Stacey spoil us! We also got to play with Newton a little bit, too. :)

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I made a big batch of pink applesauce with the apples from the orchard.

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I hope we have enough to last us through the winter! :)
As always, thanks for reading, friends.

Miles this year: 467.8

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Happy birthday to me!

I celebrated my 29th birthday with a 20 miler. It was tough but I made it through :)

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Long runs build character, as well as strengthen my body. I took four five mile loops, and fueled at home in between. The fall colors were starting to show, and I took some beautiful loops on the Green Circle. I was even stuck behind a train at mile 18!

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I finished along the Wisconsin River by my house, and relaxed in compression socks for a while :)

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My mom and Bill invited us up for pizza at Sam’s, the place where I had my first waitressing job. :)
I celebrated my birthday and long run with some thin crust deliciousness and a frosty mug of beer. Pretty awesome. Afterwards, we went to the campground where they’ll be having their wedding reception.

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We returned home, and I tried to take a selfie with my curly-haired Grammie, but she was being camera shy. Too cute.

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I had Friday to recover from my fun birthday, and we headed over to Waupaca on Saturday to capture the wedding of Mary and Scott. These two are so cute together, and they had lots of personalized details- especially featuring their shared love for Scott’s Cadillac. They had their reception at the historic Gerold Opera House, and it was a beautiful and unique setting! All the lush red velvet and well-danced wooden floors…
Take a peek!

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Congratulations, friends!
I took Abbie out for lots of miles the next week to burn off that delicious wedding cake, and I wore her out… She loves her new bed!

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Brian was gone the following week at an AFL-CIO conference, so I filled my time with friends.
I ran with Sarah…

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Met Stacey for coffee…

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And hooked up with my cutie patootie BFF Nikki for dinner.

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Too much fun in one week, if you ask me. :)
Next up? Engagements with my friend Staush and his beautiful fiancĂ©e, Colleen, dinner with the Phares’, and a whirlwind weekend with a trip to the apple orchard. Thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 464.5

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Sal, the Brew Crew, and my amazing windshield repair!

I was so excited to head back over to Bistro 212 for another shoot with Sal. He’s such a nice guy, a passionate chef, and he produces beautiful (and delicious!) food.

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Thanks for lunch, Sal! :)
A few of my ballroom dance students, the rowdy ones, invited us along to a Brewer game. We had a blast! They even gave me a customized bottle of Jameson to celebrate my birthday. Thanks, guys! We love you!

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Last, but not least… I had the chip in my windshield repaired. Have you ever had this done before? How amazing!

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Miles this year: 454.5

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We have a new driveway!!

After six years in our home, and getting stuck in our muddy driveway every spring, we finally decided to fix our driveway. We opted for gravel, and filled in the space underneath our shed, widened the whole driveway, and put in a brick border. We did so much manual labor! Digging out the space for the gravel was only the beginning.
Before:

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During:

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And, finally, after!

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Brian was such a trooper. We spent hours out there working to shovel that gravel where it needed to go. Since we have guy wires over every border of our property, the big dump truck wouldn’t fit, so the gravel had to come in two loads. So. Much. Shoveling.
Now, we wait. I can’t wait to see what happens this spring!
I ran with Carmel…

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…had coffee with my running girls…

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…Carmel and I ran through some burr bushes…

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…put in some time at the track…

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…made a ridiculously delicious breakfast in my new doughnut pan…

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…and finished off our week meeting Lindsey and Derek at the Wausau Country Club to look over their ceremony and reception sites. They gave us golf carts! :)

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Oh, and friends.

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I’m feeling very thankful for my friends and family, and want to take this moment to remind you all to hug the people close to you. I love you guys! Thanks for reading.

Miles this year: 451.1

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Baby Lily Nowinski!!

Our fabulous friends, Mary and Joe, welcomed brand new baby Lily over Labor Day weekend. We popped over on Monday to meet her, and gosh… she’s adorable.

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If I’ve been lucky enough to meet you, you probably know that I love dimples. Brian has them, and I think they’re so handsome. Mary also has dimples, and she passed them on to Lily!

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We love this little cutie. Congratulations, Nowinski family!
My heart was kept warm that week by stopping over to catch some photos of Hart Equine Therapy for Hoopla. These fabulous folks volunteer their time and their facility to help kids with special needs. How awesome! We were greeted at the barn by horses, donkeys, and your standard farm cats and dogs. I loved it!

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The rest of my week was pretty typical. I ran…

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…I went to Radio Kaos with Bill…

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…I heard Brian play with River Cities Jazz and danced with my students…

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…ate some fabulous food (look at that fish plate!) from Freckled Frogg…

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…and capped off a busy summer week with a bonfire.

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Summer life in Wisconsin is the best. :) thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 446.95

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Labor Day weekend pt 2…

As soon as we wrapped up Casi and Eric’s wedding, I headed to bed so I could get up early for the Just Run 1/2 marathon and the Riverfront Jazz Festival.
I ran over to the start line, and found Jenilee and George!

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This is a great hometown race, with a half marathon and a 5K. It was a very hot and humid day- it was between 97-98% humidity. The race started nice and easily, on the bridge right above the dam. I found Ray, manning the 3 mile water station with the Boy Scouts.

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It is a beautiful course, and this year, they switched it up with a little stretch through the Sculpture Park on the Green Circle.

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One of my favorite things about running is meeting new people. The running community is so welcoming and friendly!

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I crossed the finish line one sweaty woman, received my medal, and ran home, with 15 miles for the day.

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I took a shower, packed a lunch, and we headed over to the Riverfront Jazz Festival. I spent a lot of time at the Jazz Festival, both on Saturday and Sunday. Once again, I was shooting for those guys, but I also got to hang out with my college friends and people that I love from the community!

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My college friend, Matt, brought his sextet up from Illinois to play. In fact, his group, Old Style Sextet, just won second place at a competition in China, and are bringing home $20,000! Congratulations, Matt :)

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Brian and I spent some time dancing, and after a couple swing songs, we headed back to our spot to sit down. A lady I didn’t know chased after me and said that there were friends of mine in the water that wanted to say, “Hi!” Lo and behold…

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My Wausau kayaking crew! :) in a fun twist, I have danced with or learned to dance from many of these people. Missy and Jeff were my first ballroom dance instructors! Seeing them was a great surprise.

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We crashed pretty hard on Sunday night, after chowing down some Bucky Badger jello jigglers! Way awesome.

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Up next? Meeting Baby Lily Nowinski. <3

Miles this year: 458.7

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Go, Pack, Go… and Casi and Eric, AKA the best Labor Day weekend ever.

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Yes, we went to Lambeau. It was Stacey and Ron’s first trip! They invited us along, and they didn’t have to ask us twice, we jumped at the chance! Preseason games are a lot of fun, and it shortens the wait for football season. Amen to that.

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We had awesome seats! It’s hard to find a bad seat in Lambeau, though. Just one more reason to love our little hometown team.
I even found my Lifest friends, Bill and Darrell!

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We love the Packers.

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It was an awesome way to spend our Thursday evening, but we hurried back to Stevens Point to get ready for Friday’s beautiful wedding of Casi and Eric.
These two lovebirds had the sweetest ceremony up in Wausau, and their adorable daughter, Evelyn, stole the show. The weather was perfect, and we had a really fun time playing by a beautiful covered bridge.

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Congratulations, Casi and Eric!
I’ll continue on with our whirlwind weekend in my next post. Thanks for sticking with me!

Miles this year: 438.7

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