Category: family vacation

Meeting Your Tribe

Couple weeks ago was the Annual Say What Club Convention.  This yes is an annual event but it is my first time attending.  I should back up, The Say What Club is an online group where everyone has a hearing loss or their life is affected by hearing loss by a spouse or a close family member.  I have been a member for 6 years maybe?

A couple years ago there was an email to try and pitch and sell us your city and we will hold the 2018 convention there.  I wrote a proposal for St Paul.  Now Benson is where I live now but we don’t have an airport, heck we don’t have a Wal-mart for 40 miles.  St Paul had everything we needed and it was right next door to my hometown so easy access to family (watching our kids).  This past year has been busy, stressful, exciting and a growing experience helping plan a convention for people coming from all over the USA.

Attending an event like this was really, really hard for me.  I knew a couple of these people in person.  A large amount of them I knew from Facebook and email.  That didn’t help the fact I have social anxiety and I thank God that Chad was willing to come with me.  Be my anchor, be the one that I could go back to if need be.  First meeting was a meeting where we assembled bags to give to each person and talk about the convention, loose ends and such.  It was great.  I left that meeting with a huge smile.  This is what we planned a year for.  This was my tribe.  They understand hearing loss because they live with it everyday.  It is amazing the ease of a meeting when some listen, some lip read, and combinations in between.  The next day we met and a group of us walked to Tin Whiskers.  It is a small brewery that was just a couple blocks from our hotel.  Chad and I have always enjoyed a brewery tour and have done many through our years together.  I am not a beer drinker but enjoy it.  It was a fun outing that was an easy way to meet some people, talk one on one with some people and meet some new people.

Wednesday night our welcome party. We had a theme as every good party should have, a speakeasy, a roaring 20’s, a Great Gatsby theme. It was fun. We had feathers in our hair, pearls, some had long gloves a few men donned a fedora. We had welcome prizes, MN themed food. We had cheese curds, deviled eggs, wild rice sliders. Something for everyone. It was a time to meet lots of people. A time to meet wonderful friends who you have felt you knew for years but meeting in person for the very first time.

After this welcome party I knew I was hooked. Everyone was just so nice. It really was like meeting long lost family. Thursday was a great day, they were all great days. A dynamic speaker, visiting with the vendors and putting our bids on the silent auction items. Our last workshop of the morning was visiting Starkey Labs and getting a tour. Once our bus got to the CORRECT hotel we were off. A little late but you just role with it. We had a great tour, a lunch we ate in the bus since our bus was late to start with and then a tour of St Paul.

Friday- what a fun day. We had great workshops from clear speech to an artist, which I found fascinating. To the last workshop of the morning and that was mine. My workshop was titled, “Designed to Stand Out” I talked a little about my idea showed some pictures of examples and then let creativity take over. I had been gathering supplies for near a year. I had jewels, washi tape, nail wraps and tube wraps. It was fun.

Friday afternoon was a St Paul Gangster Tour. I think this was a highlight for Chad. We toured all over St Paul and saw so many sights.

House was home to the famous Ma Barker and the Barker Gang

This is the South St Paul post office the Barker Gang held up for the cash that came for paydays.

John Dillinger lived here and had a shoot out with the FBI in the stairwell. I wonder if current residents know the story.

At Swede Hallow Hearing the story of the Hamm kidnapping.

We even passed where F Scott Fitzgerald lived and wrote his first novel.

It had been a very full day but we weren’t done. We went to the St Paul Saints game. My parents joined us and brought the kids. That was fun and special. To bad the weather had to interrupt.

Saturday was the end. We had a banquet and keynote speaker. There were lots of hugs and pictures taken. Greta joined us for this last event. I wish the night never ended.

If you read through this whole blog- bless you. I really just wanted to stress the importance of finding your tribe. Find people that can understand, they get it. I got back to my moms on Saturday night and I just cried. I couldn’t stop myself. I wish I could live around all these people all the time. Chad and I agree this was just a fun week, one we will never forget.

*I need to give a shout out to Andre Binns who took fabulous pictures throughout the convention. Many of them are featured in this blog.

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The Feel of a Concert 

A week ago or so I got to take my daughter away for a little get away. We have never done anything overnight alone together so this was something we were both looking forward to. 

A perk of a radio job is tickets. I was able to get tickets for myself and Greta to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. We got a hotel room and made it a night away in Fargo North Dakota. 

We shopped, we dined at a Hibachi restaurant. That is always a fun place to eat and it is an experience also. We ended up eating with a woman who was so full of herself and couldn’t seem to read a menu. It made for an interesting and memorable dinner experience. 


Off to the FargoDome for a great concert. We had great seats. I loved seeing the people around us where listeners I was able to give tickets away to. Everyone looked like they were having a great time. 


One thing I learned with music and a hearing loss it doesn’t sound like music I remember. It is muffled, and out of tune. It is very cringeworthy in my mind. In saying that this concert was loud. The bass was cranked. I am not saying I am advocating loud concerts but I loved it. When the music sounded muffled and lousy to me the bass that vibrated our seats, made the hair on your arms stand up made up for it. Lasers, and pictures projected and just watching my daughter completely made this a great night. 

The next day we went to see a couple Fargo sites, some shopping and again find a place to eat. 


Greta picked the Pita Pit and running through Caribou Coffee then the ride back to Minnesota. 


It was a couple days of making memories. I loved our time together and I love my job for giving me the experience. 

A New Year

A new year has seemed to creep up on us. 365 days seem to be a long time but when living, working, and enjoying life a year is fleeting. The holidays were a great time of family. We traveled across the state to spend time with my family. We had a wonderful time visiting with everyone. I had a realization when visiting this time. It wasn’t home. Yes my childhood home and early married life. This time it felt like a visit not coming home. When driving back to the land of the flat that was home. It was like I was outside looking in. I enjoyed my visit but it no longer seemed like a place I want to go back to. We have established a life on the other side of the state. In saying that we had a great time. We shopped, visited, went out to eat. We went to a morning movie complete with recliner chairs. That was a first for Chad and I. It was quality time with family. 

I took each child individually and we did a little early morning exploring. Greta, I took her to downtown Stillwater. We drove around and checked out the ice castle that was being built. 


Henry I took to the Bayport park to check out the St Croix River. This was a place I spent almost everyday. I swam in the river everyday and we played on the ice in the winter. One of my favorite spots. 


Christmas Day was at my grandmas house like everyday since ever. We have moved up in technology. This year was a group selfie picture. 


Always a great time with everyone. Christmas Eve was at my parents house. I absolutely love watching the kids with their cousins. 


We travelled back and headed to the farm for the Lundquist Christmas. Again a very fun gathering. I can truly say I am very blessed with having 2 great families. 


Now we are in 2017. I am not a big one to make resolutions. I at least don’t say them out loud. I want my family to be healthy. That is a big one for this year. I want more unplugged times also. Games, reading, and outside time. I have taken knitting up again. Greta is playing here ukulele she received from us. Henry is planning World War 3 with nerf guns. Chad always has his nose in a book. Just need to make these things more prominent. 

So the year marches on. Henry is in basketball and bowling. He is my sports lover. Greta is in knowledge bowl, speech and numerous other activities. We are busy and that is good. 

I wish you all a happy New Years! 365 days will go fast.