Monday, February 24, 2014

Valentine's Day

In my book, Valentine's Day is sweet. It's a day that kids get to make each other valentines and show one another how much they care. It's a day where shoe boxes and paint magically turn into bumblebees and robots. It's a day that people are reminded of just how much they're loved and appreciated. It's an excuse to do something special with your significant other or children. It's a beacon of hope in middle of winter dreariness that allows for a little bit of extra fun. I do fully understand the 'Hallmark Holiday' hype, however. But I think that's due to people getting lost in fancy gifts and expensive dinners, forgetting the true meaning behind it. Yes, love should be shown every day of the year, but having a day dedicated to it is just fun. It's as simple as that in my mind. Adam and I don't go overboard on Valentine's Day. I'm more of a sentimental person and I think I've slowly turned Adam into the same type. I got my hair braided while on a family trip to Mexico in 8th grade and kept my purple hair beads for years...Strange, I know, but I couldn't part with them! They reminded me of how much fun I had and I felt bad throwing them away (I eventually did). That being said, when Adam and I started dating I made it clear that sentimental gifts meant more to me than anything. Since then, he's always written letters to me, instead of gifts (aside from a few small gifts over the years). I've kept every one and I fully intend to for the rest of my life. So, for Valentine's Day, we've always done letters and an activity. Two years ago, we made dinner at his apartment and bought small painting canvases. We painted each other a picture and had so much fun doing it! It was a cheap and fun activity, as well as a meaningful gift to one another. Last year we made a deal that our gifts had to be edible. I made Adam a fruit pizza, with the fruit pieces in the shape of a heart. Adam made me homemade chocolate covered strawberries and undeniably blew my treat out of the water. This year, we decided to have a pizza and movie night. We picked up pizza, ice cream and Red Box after work and just spent the night together. It was low-key and totally what we needed after a long week. For his letter this year, he wrote it in the journal he gave me on our wedding day. I read the first entry from Adam right before we saw each other the first time. Anyways, I woke up on Valentine's Day to the journal on the kitchen counter with my wedding ring on top of it, as Adam had early class and left before I woke up. The letter he wrote made me tear up, of course, and reminded me of what an incredible man I married. It's not about gifts, how expensive your dinner is or how many roses you get, but it's about the feeling I had at that very moment. Loved.

Banana Bread Muffins

Sunday, February 23, 2014

GV Black Tie Formal

I'm not sure what the GV stands for, but GV Black Tie is the name of the annual Dental School formal put on by ASDA (American Student Dental Association). Last year it was held at the Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul and this year it was at 5 Event Center in Uptown (Minneapolis). It's always a fun excuse to get everyone dressed up and let loose! We had reservation with a group of 10 friends at Chino Latino's to have dinner before the dance. We were running late (Adam just couldn't get his hair right...wait, maybe that was someone else) and told the others to start without us. With reservations at 8, we ended up being the first to show up at 8:30! The roads were still pretty icy and it took people at least twice as long to get there. They were nice enough to hold our table and we had a great time with everyone once they showed up. Adam and I ordered nachos to share and were not expecting what we received! We must have been to Qdoba one to many times, but we were thinking traditional looking nachos. Fair enough assumption, right? Our food came out with long, thin plantain chips poking out everywhere with the toppings in the middle. We got a good laugh out of it! Lesson learned.

With dinner starting later than planned, we got the dance late as well. It was a much smaller venue than last year and had two floors. The first had a large bar, the coat check area and high top tables to mingle. The second floor had the dance floor, a photo booth and several lounge-like booths surrounding the outer edge. It was a fun atmosphere and several people were getting crazy on the dance floor, but our friends mostly just mingled around and chatted. All students year 1-4 are invited, so it was fun to see all the new faces! After a few hours at the dance, our group decided to head out and find something else to do in Uptown. We stumbled across Bryant Lake bowling ally and gave it a shot. It was an old-school bowling ally that didn't have any electric scoreboards or fancy music videos playing. It was so fun to step back a few decades and enjoy bowling like our parents did growing up ;)  Our group decided that next year we'd possibly skip the dance and just do a nice dinner and an activity. We had such a great time with everyone, it was definitely a night to remember.

We are eagerly awaiting baby Prosser number two right now! Nate and Britt decided not to find out the gender again, but I think it is a girl (Adam thinks boy). I don't have any reason for thinking it's a girl, aside from my aunt instincts. We would truly be so blessed to have our first nephew though, so it'll be amazing either way! Adam and I thought the baby would come this weekend and imagined ourselves getting the call Friday during the dance; arriving at the hospital all dressed up and fancy. That would have been pretty funny! You are so loved baby P, we all can't wait to meet you.


The disclaimer that came with our friends food

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

6 Months

I can't believe six months have already gone by since the wedding! Where does time go? We have done so many fun things in these past six months, but I wanted to simply reflect on our daily lives as a newly married couple. I have a feeling it's posts like this that will make me laugh a few years down the road when we have a couple kids and chaos fills our home. Our lives are simple now. We jokingly call ourselves 'free birds', but it's the truth. We have the freedom to do whatever, whenever we want and are loving every minute of it. We got home from work/school one night and both were looking around for what to make for dinner and we decided to go get Chipotle. We went to get it and then decided to spend most of the night walking around the mall sightseeing and shopping! Yes, this isn't the most thrilling example of spontaneity, but it's the idea behind it. We've done a lot of spontaneous and fun things these past 6 months and that's one thing I love about Adam. He adventures and explores with me. One random Saturday afternoon we found Snuffy's Malt Shop by Lake Minnetonka. Seriously, it might have been the best burger I've ever had! As spontaneous as we have been, we have also settled into somewhat of a  'norm'. It usually consists of coming home around 5:30 or so, making dinner, Adam studying at the table , me on the couch with my computer, us working out in our apartment complex gym around 9 and then turning in. It comforting and something I have come to love. I love that it's 'our' schedule, I love that even though it may not be the most exciting thing, it's our thing.

I often find myself looking around our apartment, at Adam studying at the table, and remembering how I yearned for this normalcy a year ago. We were constantly driving back and forth to each others places to see one another, never really having a spot to call our own. It's a humbling reminder that good things do indeed come to those who wait, but its also important to enjoy each stage that you're at. Whether it's buying a house, a bigger car or having more 'things', it's all going to happen in it's own time. I want to slow down (I'm working on that) and remember times like this, in our one bedroom apartment, one car, no kids or pets and only a few pieces of furniture to our name. Most importantly, however, is that I want to remember how incredibly loved and complete I feel. Filling your cup is an example we heard during on of our pre-marital meetings with our pastor. Often stressful things in your daily life will slowly empty your cup. A stressful coworker, a microwave that breaks down, getting caught in bad traffic or spilling on your favorite shirt. Those kinds of things. Filing your cup is whatever brings you back to being happy, content and fulfilled. I always want my cup to be filled by my faith, family and friends. When you boil life down, that's all that really matters in my opinion. If your happiness stems from anything else, I can assure you it will be short-lived. A shirt can be washed and an appliance can be replaced, but not spending time talking to God or those you love is something you will always regret. No matter where life may take us, I want to always remember that now (when life is more simple for us), I could not be happier. My cup is filled every night and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. There is a song by Lonestar that says "But the view I love the most, is my front porch looking in". That's my kind of life.

Snuffy's Malt Shop

Our first Christmas tree!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Let's Eat!

Okay, so some people may know that I have always really enjoyed baking. Growing up, I used to bake things all the time! Yes, they may have been boxed cakes, brownies or chocolate chip cookies most of the time...but I occasionally went out on a limb and made unique goodies from scratch. So, I was a always a baker, but not so much of a cook. I had this fear that once I got married, I would have all this pressure to make amazing meals and that I would fail horribly at it. Let me assure you, that did not happen! First, there was no pressure. Adam's so laid back, he would have been completely happy with a PB & J sandwich every night. Second, Adam enjoys cooking too, so it's always a team effort and never put off on one person. I have been having so much fun with cooking though and we've loved trying different foods that are out of our comfort zone. I've loved looking on Pintrest, cooking websites and to friends for healthy and great tasting food inspiration. We keep a Google Doc titled 'A & C Recipes' that we've been putting down all the recipes of our favorite dishes we've made together! Someday I hope it turns into our own 'Erickson Family Cookbook', but until that time comes- it's just place for us to jot down yummy recipes. We got a crock pot for a wedding gift and I was so intimidated to try it until months and months after the wedding. I finally gave it a shot and let me tell you, it's wonderful! I'm sure anyone reading this who is even somewhat familiar around their kitchens are rolling their eyes saying 'that's the most basic and simple thing ever', but coming from a girl who used to think making Pasta Roni counted as a complicated Italian meal... I'm still amazed!

Here are just a few of our favorite meals/foods that we've enjoyed making.
  • Chicken Parmesan
  • Chicken Lettuce Wraps
  • Red Wine & Garlic Marinated Pork Loin
  • Sweet Potatoes (I am obsessed with these, we make them at least twice a week for dinner)
  • Baked Zucchini Fries
  • Black Bean Tortellini Soup (one of Adam's favorites)
  • Coconut Shrimp
  • Turkey Tacos
  • Applesauce Banana Bread Loaf (healthy twist on regular banana bread)
  • Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan Cheese

Adam cutting our spaghetti squash with a power tool. I almost lost a hand trying to cut this thing with a knife!

Coconut Shrimp! We loved these, despite them being slightly overcooked by myself...

 Our romantic dinner of pork loin, mashed potatoes, veggies and parmesan pull apart bread (Super Target, delicious!).

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Honeymoon in Jamaica

Our wedding was pure bliss. It was the happiest day of our lives and it was SO amazing to spend an entire evening with all of our favorite people in the same place. All of that being said, we were more than ready for a getaway week after all of the wedding craziness subsided! I don't think it really caught up to us how tired we were until we were on the plane to Florida (that departed MSP at 6am, might I add). We left Monday morning after the wedding and headed to the Sandals Grand Riviera in Ocho Rios, Jamaica for eight days! It started off with a layover in Miami, Florida, then on to Montego Bay, Jamaica. When we got to Montego Bay, we found a Sandals rep and they lead us to the Sandals 'waiting room'. We were treated to cool towels, drinks and a comfy couch while we waited for our resort shuttle bus. I was really hungry, so I had my giant bag of Gardetto's out and was chomping away (I think Adam may have been slightly embarrassed). We rode a shuttle bus with two other couples that were staying at our resort. It was a two hour trip, so we got to know them pretty well! Our bus driver told us all about historical sites that we passed, fun facts about the area and was an all around nice guy. We made a pit stop to a little shop area about half way there to use the restroom, buy souvenirs/drinks..etc. When we got to Sandals, it was around dinner time. We were shown to our room and we unpacked our bags. Our bed had red rose petals all over it! So romantic and a great way to start of a honeymoon. The resort was HUGE! It was dinner time (and I had long since finished off the family sized Gardetto's bag), so we ventured off to find a restaurant. We had no idea where we were going (they didn't give us a real great intro as to where everything was), but eventually found a restaurant called Bayside. It was overlooking the ocean and to be honest, we were so hungry we didn't even look to see what kind of cuisine they had before sitting down. We felt like camels finally finding water in the desert after a long trip...We had an amazing meal (probably my favorite of the trip) of French onion soup, filet mignon with gorgonzola cheese, lobster and asparagus. I won't go into that much detail with our other food, but this first meal was amazing! It was one of the only restaurants we decided to visit twice for dinner during our stay. Our waiters name was 'Puppy'...just figured I'd put that in writing so we remembered :) He was a funny guy. Our other favorite restaurant was called Sabrina's Marketplace. It was an Italian restaurant and was seriously amazing. We also went there twice and the staff were so happy to see us again! With how many restaurants there are, it must have been rare to see people twice. They had an amazing 'anti-pasta' bar with lots of bread, salads and soups that you went up to before your main meal was served. My heaven. We spent the next seven days rotating between relaxing on the beach and relaxing next to one of the pools. Rough, I know. There were three beaches to choose from. One had a more relaxing/quiet feel to it, one was next to Jamie's Sports Bar and had loud music/beach games going all the time and the last was the beach where all of the watersports took place (paddle boards, hydro bikes, windsurfing). There were three main pools to choose from (and several other small ones scattered throughout the resort). The largest pool was on the other half of the resort, which was up in the mountains. There was a resort shuttle that came every five minutes or so and brought you to the other main hub. We went up there a few times, as it was where most of the pool games took place. The 'Playmakers', as they're called, facilitated the games and were all very fun and outgoing! We played several guys vs. girls games in the pool, all of which involved some sort of alcohol and the losers 'buying' (it was an all inclusive) the next round of drinks. We had a lot of fun and even met one couple that was from Bloomington, MN! The 'mountain side' of the resort also had several restaurants to choose from and it hosted the nightly events that went on. There was a White Out/Chocolate Party, a Jamaican Festival...and several others that I can't think of at the moment. All included lots of good food, live music and gave us all a chance to mingle and get dressed up! So fun. We read a few books, took lots of naps in beach chairs, worked on our tans, tried amazing food, met lots of really nice couples and just had an all around wonderful time. They had a late-night snack bar down by the beach that I may have visited a few times... It consisted of a build-your-own nacho bar and had burgers with all the fixin's! We used the paddle boards a few times and had a blast! We also took advantage of a few excursions that were included in our package. We went snorkeling and on a glass bottom boat excursion! Snorkeling was amazing and that leads to a funny story. The snorkel boat went out with about 20 people on it. After the safety instructions were over, people started jumping off the boat. Life jackets weren't required, but most people at least started off with them on. I love snorkeling, but initially am terrified of the deep water. As long as I have my trusty life jacket on though, I'm fine. As people were taking theirs off to dive deeper, Adam looked at me as to ask 'Can I take mine off too?' Long story short, nervous nelly wife didn't want new husband to drown, so he kept it on. He was still determined to dive deep though, so he kicked as hard and fast as he could to go deeper. As soon as he stopped kicking though, his life jacket yanked him up to the surface so quickly, it looked like someone was plucking him out of the ocean. So funny to watch :) We had a great time though! It was a real highlight of the trip for us.

It was an amazing honeymoon. Weather, food and accommodations could not have been better! If there weren't so many other amazing Sandals location that we'd want to try, we'd return in a heartbeat! It was the perfect first week as Mr. and Mrs. Erickson :)

Romantic welcome!

The Pier

Glass bottom boat excursion  


Paddle boarding like a pro!

Main Pool

Bayside Restaurant

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Newlywed Life (& a few more 2013 memories)

Life as newlyweds has been filled with so many different emotions. Pure happiness is the first one that comes to mind! We joke about it all the time, but it still feels like every night I get to have a sleepover with my best friend. I pray that feeling lasts forever. It's such an interesting thing, getting married. Two people try to blend together their learned habits, ideas and ways of living, while still trying to branch off and make their own fresh start as a new family. A few funny things that I have noticed: Adam likes to let dishes dry on top of a towel on the counter after washing (if its too bulky to put in the dishwasher that is) and I prefer to get everything dried and put right away, he has a specific way of putting things in the dishwasher and I just throw everything in, I squeeze my toothpaste from the middle of the tube (I'm an animal!) and he pushes everything up neatly from the bottom (I may loose this battle- since it falls in his dentist domain), I like the living room being tidy (within reason) before bed every night and Adam doesn't give it a second look, Adam is a milk monster- he drinks at least a gallon himself every week, we fold our t-shirts completely different and will re-fold if the other person by chance folds it his/her way. I feel as though I could go on forever about our subtle differences that make life so interesting and funny, but the bigger picture is that our love for each other trumps all. We have loved every aspect of the married life. Planning meals together, grocery shopping, lazy Sundays with hot chocolate and studying/reading, exploring our new town of Minnetonka, praying with each other before dinner every night, talking about our future, reminiscing about our wedding and so many other things. My absolute favorite thing is knowing that I get to come home and see him every night. It's hard to imagine the time when we would go about our days, not knowing when we would see each other next. Yes, we did see each other quite a bit while dating, but it's nothing compared to the comforting feeling of knowing that each night...I get to hug him, joke around with him, talk about how our days were and just be with him. This may sound like a sappy newlywed gushing about her husband with stars in her eyes, but that's how I feel! So blessed. I have an amazing guy.

Thanksgiving was with the Metcalfe's this year and we had a wonderful few days! We started the tradition of making Lefse- channeling our Scandinavian/Norwegian roots :) Adam has had that as a tradition in his family and his grandparents gave him his own skillet this year as a wedding gift. We are carrying it over to my side of the family and it's already proven to be a great idea! So delicious, fun and easy to make. It did look like a flour bomb exploded in the kitchen, but it was a blast nonetheless.We ate amazing food (I'm biased towards the green bean casserole), relaxed with the family and did a little black Friday shopping. I love spending time with my family and can't believe that next year we'll be adding one more! Britt and Nate are expecting their 2nd little babe in a few weeks :) A couple days before leaving for Christmas up north, we had a Christmas cookie baking day at my parents! I'll let the photo's do the talking in regards to the cookies. Such a fun day!


We spent Christmas up with the Erickson's at the lake cabin. With all of our busy schedules, its rare that we can all be together for an extended period of time. It was so fun to have a whole 5 days with them filled with board games, movies, drinking/eating and most importantly- relaxing! Extended family came down to the cabin from Fargo and it was so great to see them for an evening. We drove up to Fargo a few days later for Church and a movie (American Hustle) on Christmas Eve. With how far apart our families live from each other, we rotate holidays. That means it will be a few years before Christmas is again in Detroit Lakes for us- so we soaked it all in and had an amazing time. This was just another reminder of the amazing family that I married into :) A Maple Grove Christmas is next year!

Christmas 2013
We spent New Years Eve with the Conroy's, a few of our fellow dental friends. Clayton is in dental school with Adam and Jamie, his wife, has become such a great friend! We also officially became members of Costco (perfect gift, Mom and Dad). We have been known to walk around Costco a time or two with a guest pass and daydream about what it would be like if we were part of the cool kids club (members). We would try samples, figure out which TV we would someday want, try to find how we could eat the cheapest for an entire week and so many other dorky things. We flash our Costco ID's so proudly now as we walk in, we probably look like 15 year olds in the high school cafeteria showing off new driver's permit to their friends. It's the little things in life, right? We sold Adam's car a few months ago and have been managing well with one! I usually drop him off at the park and ride on my way to work and he rides the U of M express bus to school with a few dental friends. We've had occasions come up where two cars would have been ideal, but for the most part we are loving it. Less gas, less money towards car insurance and no car sitting outside in this bitter cold (we only have one underground spot).

New Years Eve!
Costco members!
That's all for now! xoxo


p.s. I just realized I didn't post about our honeymoon in Jamaica...that'll be next