Saturday, January 9, 2010

There's no place like home

I realize this post is out of order, but I really wanted to share some of these pictures. I keep trying to learn about my "big girl" camera. I've done quite a bit of reading to learn how to use the custom settings and make sure I'm using the camera to its full capability. While I was home for Thanksgiving, I had some really nice days to play around with my camera on the farm. I've included some of my favorites. At Grandma's I was able to see the new addition to our shop. I always thought our shop was big, but with the addition it looks really big! We hired some nice Amish men to build it, and my Dad became quite convinced he'd found me the perfect husband. I'm still worried that he's going to try to trade me for some horses or something! The addition is large enough to store our combine, and Rob's new toy, a John Deere sprayer, and there's still a lot of room to spare. Who knows what they'll find to buy to fill the empty space... I was also really amused to come home to see Grandpa's sailboat parked in the yard. I didn't know he'd bought a sailboat. Apparently he's planning some sailing trips down the Embarass River??? My favorite pictures are ones that I took in our pasture. There was a really pretty sunset one evening so I ran out back and starting experimenting. I love the results! My favorite picture I posted about a month ago. Some of the rest of these look similar, but I like all of them. I hope you enjoy them too!

Welcome 2010!

Happy belated New Year everyone!! I'm always excited to see a new year come. A year can bring so many changes. Looking back at 2009, I graduated with my masters degree, started a great new job with Hormel Foods, and have met many new friends here in Austin. I can't complain too much about 2009, but I can't wait to see what 2010 brings me. Right now, though I wish it would bring me some warmer weather. I don't know how much more of this I can take. Last night the low here was supposed to be -18, and that's before the windchill factor! I think the temperature barely reached double digits maybe twice this week. This week is supposed to bring temperatures in the 20's - heat wave!

Just a little update on my life. I was able to spend 5 fabulous days at home over Christmas. I fled the state of Minnesota Tuesday night in order to avoid winter storms that were to occur Wednesday and on Christmas Eve. Luckily, I made it home without having to drive through any bad weather. My break started out with the Illinois-Missouri Braggin Rights game in St. Louis Wednesday night. Mom and Dad, me, and Joe - a guy dad works with, all traveled to St. Louis to cheer on the Illini. I have always heard about how much fun this game is, and I have always wanted to go. It was really cool to see the sea of orange. This game has become a huge rivalry, and cheers for Illinois/Missouri would break out on the street and even in the restaurant before the game. Unfortunately, our cheers for the Illini didn't work, and we lost the game. It was the first time in 10 years that Missouri had won. I was disappointed, but we still had a good time. I can't wait to go back again!

Christmas Eve was Smith Christmas. We of course had to take the traditional "grand kids in front the Christmas tree" picture. Rob and I were informed we would only be exempt from this picture when we had kids of our own. Looks like we'll be included for awhile. Justin has gotten so tall that next year I'm afraid I'll have to join the front row with Clayton! Because of my new job with Hormel, this Christmas was the year of SPAM themed gifts. Justin, Clayton, and Randy all got SPAM t-shirts, and Grandpa Joe was the lucky winner of the variety SPAM pack full of all the assorted flavors that SPAM comes in. He was quite excited about it. Grandpa actually really loves SPAM, so he was excited to be stocked up! Because of Clayton's love of bacon, he was given several packets of Hormel Bacon. Nothing says love like meat products at Christmas time :)

Christmas Night was Gognat Christmas. Somehow we all escaped from taking the traditional grand kid picture, and for some reason none of us pointed that out :) The yarn bows and some familiar looking wrapping paper made their appearance again, as did the traditional wrapping paper fight. Everyone got a Santa to take home, and I got some great cooking supplies that I can't wait to try out!

Overall, it was a great trip home. I miss everyone lots, and I wish I could make it back more often. Unfortunately, I didn't take any farm pictures on this trip. The weather didn't cooperate, and it was rainy most of the time I was there. In the coming posts I'll post some of the pictures I took over Thanksgiving. I'm going to attempt to update more often in the new year, and hopefully make this more entertaining!