Beauty, Blog, Faith, Family, Friendship, Uncategorized

“Extended Family”

To me, family is just a word – it’s a choice for those you love as unconditionally as humans can.

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This past weekend, we got to spend an amazing weekend with our newest family.

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We are so grateful that Cole found such an amazing family to welcome into our crew – the kindness, love, and hospitable spirit – in addition to the pure fun and laughing we will forever-more experience – is just wonderful.

We enjoyed some tubing, skiing, smores, and pontoon riding; and loved every minute of it.

Cheers to the family that we choose.

Heidi

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#perseverance, Beauty, Blog, Career, Faith, Family, Health and Wellness

Amazing Adventures

It seems that lately, adventures are around every bend. From small afternoon ‘errand adventures’ with the kids, all the way to life changing decisions and opportunities. I am fueled by adventures. I am fueled by ‘what’s next’. I have to work hard to be in the here and now – being present and loving the ‘current’. This year, specifically, I have worked hard at that – and it’s been so rewarding. Just enjoying a beautiful day, a relaxing nap, or time with friends and family.

And you truly get the best of both worlds when you do that – because I think the adventure actually ends up following you, ten-fold.

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Cheers to a fall full of colors and adventures for everyone.

Heidi

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Beauty, Blog, Career, Family, Food & Drink, Risk, Travel

More Singapore!!!

Sentosa: This island is a resort world in and of itself! Only a 20-25 minute taxi ride from ou hotel, we landed in Sentosa. Water parks, theme parks, shopping, food, and beyond! We decided to stay at the Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Resort. A beautiful resort on the South China Sea.

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Marina Bay Sands: A gorgeous three towel hotel and shopping center. At the top are some amazing lookout points. However to skip the line and the cost, go to the top and ask for the Club Lounge – you’ll be lucky with the views we got, if they let you in!

Singapore Botanic Gardens: An amazing UNESCO World Heritage site! I spent 2 hour walking the grounds and likely only touched 1/4 of the trails!

Garden by the Bay: What a site – are those Avatar Trees?! Some amazing Gardens is various domes, as well as music and food festivals, and beyond!

 

Overall, Singapore was a wonderful city with wonderful people. Blessed to have been given to visit this whole other world.

Cheers,

Heidi

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Beauty, Blog, Career, Family, Food & Drink, Risk, Travel

Singapore!!!

Aaron heads to Asia every few months for work. He’s seen some pretty neat places – Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei, Seoul, and even made it to the Taj Mahal during a free Saturday in New Delhi, India. As irony would have it, he appreciates the travel but doesn’t crave it – where as we all know where I stand on the travel-matter! 🙂

Typically his trips are quick 2-3 days in each location, packed with work. However for his most recent trip, he was going to be in Singpaore for 10 days straight! After checking my schedule, we realized it was the perfect opportunity to seize the moment and join him for part of it. He would have a free weekend, as well as a few available evenings – and I have never minded exploring on my own, as well.

So after he was already hard at work on the other side of the world, I prepared to head on the longest trip I’ve ever been on! Now, I can tell you I did not adequately prepare for the lack of sleep I was about to endure. Unlike Europe where you have one long flight (typically less than 10 hours), plus a shorter one – heading to Singapore is a 24 hour travel day. I checked – it is the same amount of time it takes to fly to Australia! I now know why folks stay in these locations for 2+ weeks 🙂

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After a long flight to Tokyo, a nap in the Delta Sky Club, and another long flight to Singapore – I made it! I highly suggest splurging on Delta Comfort – it is usually only $100-200 more expensive, and the extra 3-6 inches truly do make a difference when you are talking about 19-20 hours on a plane. After a quick 25 minute drive from the airport, I arrived at Park Hotel Clarke Quay. The Park Hotel was excellent – great service, great location right on the river, and fantastic food. They had decent internet service, and a wonderful pool and grill/bar area. They also had an exercise facility, and laundry capabilities. Their rooms were small, but that was fine.

A cab ride to anywhere in the city is fairly easy and very cheap – $5-15 Singapore dollars (which is only about 75% of our dollar). However, that was really the only cheap item on the entire trip. I’m talking about $100 dinner’s for 1, and $25 glasses of wine – as the cheapest glass on the menu! At least the Singapore Sling was a very yummy alternative for only $16 🙂 Singapore has truly made the economy work for them – going from a 3rd class to a 1st class country, in 50 years. It was awe-inspiring to talk to it’s residents. They all absolutely love it there. As you may know, Singapore is a place for rules – but this is something the people seem to relish in – the cleanliness and safety that the country provides.

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Besides sight seeing, we enjoyed a great dinner at Cut with Aaron’s colleague who just moved to Singapore from the US for work, as well as a team member of Aaron’s, Sarah, who was so kind to order us a fabulous authentic Singapore dinner at Boon Tong Kee.

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Stay tuned for Monday’s blog for more fun places to not miss, the next time you are in Singapore!

Cheers,

Heidi

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Beauty, Blog, Career, Faith, Family

10 Years!

My Airey;

I honestly can NOT believe it has been 10 years. 10 YEARS since we said “I Do”. Don’t you remember walking down the aisle on the 9th, during rehearsal, and saying that we should have just ran off to Hawaii? But then the Big Day arrived and it is still one of the best days we’ve ever had? I’ve had so many magical days since then – but that day was truly pure JOY for me – I would re-do it every year if I could!

At 20 and 21, things were a little tight on the purse strings! We jetting off to So Cal and the moment we arrived, vowed we’d never leave! We lived off of 1 car, and 35$/week in groceries plus $20/week in “date night” cash. Don’t you remember sharing a margarita and queso at Applebees? Or maybe splitting a Love It at ColdStone? We also went on some amazing adventures! Driving to the coast – Malibu or Newport, it didn’t matter. What about getting lost in LA? Or heading to Catalina Island, San Diego, Disney World, Laguna, or Universal with all of our visitors?

11 months later and we were back in Minnesota. Reality and the promise of money (I mean jobs!) summoned our return. We bought a house and two welcomed kiddos into our fold and just like that – we were not only adults, but parents. SCARY!!

So much excitement and fun has ensued since then. Trips, friends, adventures, a 2nd house, family events, promotions, businesses, degrees, sports, and beyond.

But you want to know something? The thing I am most proud of US for, is all of the reality that circled around this amazing 10 year (and counting) story. These wonderful pictures were frequently covered in the muck and yuck that the real world brings. Hard decisions. Hurt Feelings. Stress. Illness. Late nights and Early mornings. We have gone through Real Life like the best of them – some days fighting like heck, somedays relying on tears and prayers to bring us through, and somedays feeling like completely giving up. But the neat thing is – we didn’t. Each day, the ultimate choice we’ve made is to choose each other – I choose you, and you choose me. And that’s a pretty great thing to be proud of.

I can’t wait to celebrate back in California with you this weekend. You said you’d take me anywhere – and we picked where we first started. We’ll head to Universal to go on the rides we always went on. Of course, we’ll eat dinner at Javier’s – the once hole-in-the-wall place in Laguna that we loved, which is now massive, elegant, and in Newport Coast. Maybe we’ll take a drive to the Inland Empire to see if the Applebees or Coldstone is still around. Either way – I am most certain although quick and close to home, it will likely be a trip we remember forever.

Today, I am so blessed by you, Aaron. I am so grateful for your support of me and for me, your forgiveness and love for me each night before we go to bed, and your hugs and encouragement every morning.

Looking more forward to year 11 than I have ever been. I love you!

Heidi

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Beauty, Blog, Family, Food & Drink, Parenting, Risk, Travel

London – part 1!

After a quick flight from Edinburgh to London, we arrived at Heathrow. It was 20minutes tops to get through an efficient and effective customs process, and we got our bag within minutes. Ahead of the trip, I purchased Healthrow Express (train) tickets, and we were able to walk to the train and board within 20 minutes (trains come every 15 minutes). It was a 21 minute ride from terminal 5 to Paddington Station, and from there a 10 minute walk to our Hotel – Hilton London Metropole. By this time, we felt already well adjusted to transportation, and finding our away around!

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Our hotel we massive. One of the main reasons we booked it was due to the fact that they had a pool. And if you know Addy – you KNOW how much she loves to swim. Although we were in Europe – I knew we’d have some downtime. Sadly, on our first try at using it, it was broke and remainded broke throughout our stay. They offered complimentary transportation and use of a nearly leisure center – but after 3 failed attemptes to use their pool, we left the country without having ever splashed our toes in a pool. At least we tried 🙂

The food at the hotel was fantastic. We ate 3-4 times at the Edge Bar, in addition to dinner at Fiamma. Addy enjoyed being silly, the majority of the time. She’s a great entertainer.

After settling in our first day in London, we went to High Tea at the London Ritz. WOW! What an amazing experience. I highly recommend. We then proceeded to see Wicked at the Apollo Theater! Also an amazing show in an amazing venue.

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Our Itinerary: For those of you curious as to how we did 2 countries in 7 nights on a quick trip with a 7 year old – see below!

Monday/Tuesday: Flight left at 9:50pm. 7.5 hours to Amsterdam. 7yo slept 6 hours on plane. 1.5 hour layover. 1 hr flight to Edinburgh, Scottland. Arrived around 230pm on T- at B&B by 330pm. Enjoyed dinner, and early to bed.

Wednesday: Up at 830am for Brerakfast. Spent the day hiking. Arthur’s Seat, Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood if open/time. Dinner in downtown (The Outsider is recommended), and then to bed. Tax to and from dinner is only 10 pounds.

Thursday: Leave around 7:00am for a 9:00am flight. 1 hr flight to London. See above for how awesome the Heathrow Express is, as well as the location of our hotel to Paddington. Recommend a 5p or 530p tea, with a 730p show!

Friday: Explore London Sights (stay tuned for a future blog post with details)

Saturday: Windsor Castle in morning (stay tune for amazing way to get there and back); R&R and homework in the afternoon

Sunday: R&R and homework morning, London eye PM, dinner or another show

Monday: Pack up, amazing breakfast, head to Paddingdon for return train at 10:00am for a 12:45pm flight. Nonstop 8hr flight from London to MSP!

~~~CHEERS! ~~~Heidi

 

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Our Trip to Scotland and England!

After a 2 1/2 week hiatus, the Blog Writing is Back! We’ve had some amazingly packed days, and can’t wait to share with you the amazing places we have been blessed to visit

On May 16th, Addy, Caitlin, and I set off for Edinburgh, Scotland and London, England! What a trek!

We started with a great non-stop flight to Amsterdam on Delta, quick layover, and on to Edinburgh. Immediately on entering the taxi to take us to our B&B, Addy noticed that they were driving on the other side of the road! 

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Lots of card games!

After a quick 20-25 drive from the airport, we arrived at 94DR. This amazing, quaint yet modern guest house is a perfect 10. It was reasonably priced, in a residential neighborhood but within walking distance to a great Pub (Salsbury Arms), and easily accessible to the Royal Mile, Arthur’s Seat, and the Edinburg Castle!

Our host, Paul, was amazing. From a warm greeting to the ridiculously awesome breakfast to helping us plan out our 1 full day in Edinburg, we couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Our room was nice, had a large King bed and they set up a cute trundle bed by the window. Our bathroom was large, with a beautiful tub.

After enjoying our first meal at Salsbury Arms, we took a nap from 7-11pm, was up from 11p-1a, and then slept soundly until breakfast at 830am! Although the weather was 57F and rainy, we put on the rain coats and proceeded to hike up Arthur’s Seat, past Holyrood Palace (the queens official residence in Scotland), past the parliament, up the Royal Mile, and straight to Edinburgh Castle (we put in about 8-10 miles this day!)

The Castle was magnificent. We learned a lot and saw many various buildings – from prison cells to the Crown Jewels of Scotland. We also enjoyed having tea and seeing the cannon fire at 1pm (they fire at 1pm because they are very frugal – and this only takes 1 cannon instead of 12!).

Afterwards, we did some shopping, saw the Elephant Room (JK Rowling wrote her early Harry Potter books here, using the castle as inspiration from the back room!) That evening we had a splendid dinner at The Outsider. We highly recommend it, if you are in town.

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The next morning, we caught a British Airways flight to London – and were off for the rest of our adventure. (Stay tuned!)

Overall, Scotland was marvelous. We can not wait to return someday to see the rest of this beautiful, green, lush, friendly place.

Cheers To Adventure,

Heidi

 

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