Category Archives: Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday

Nostalgia was dangerously thick at my house yesterday.

This is because I spent the better part of two hours going through old photo albums, my Facebook timeline, and shoeboxes filled with mementos and photographs.

I scoured through almost 28 years of memories.


I still have one more day before it’s official.


Tomorrow is my 28th Birthday.  My golden birthday.  28 on the 28th.

I guess I was feeling fairly indifferent about it.  It’s not like it’s a major birthday.  It’s not like I’m turning 30 (!!!!) or anything.

I didn’t even go into the closet looking for anything.  I hadn’t intended to spend all that time spiraling down memory lane, examining how perfect my pores used to look, realizing how much I took my 22 year old body for granted, or cringing at the several photo’s in which I’m holding a cigarette.  I was simply trying to put away the very sweet birthday card that my Grandpa sent me in my ‘favorite cards’ box.  Which is stored next to several other boxes crammed with old letters, memorabilia, and tons of photographs (from way back in the day when we actually used to print photo’s).

I was surprised when, in looking through all of those images, I was able to find photo’s from each birthday since I turned 18, and a few from childhood.  Then my brain suddenly stopped working and I somehow came to the conclusion that I needed to visually chronicle my aging process thus far.   I thought I could probably wait until the big 3-0 and tell the story up to that milestone, but by then who knows if I’ll still have a blog to publicly humiliate myself with.

I didn’t want to take that chance.

So we’ll start at the beginning.

This isn’t exactly a birthday I guess except that IT TOTALLY IS.  It literally is my birth day.  Those are my adorable cousins Marissa and Chandra ready to welcome my chubby bald self back from the hospital.

Fast forward a couple of years to the age at which I refused to wear anything but pink.  Here you can see I was finally beginning to believe my Dad, who told me every night before bed that I was a ‘pretty princess’.

Yep.  Still rocking the tiara.  It’s comforting to know that my inability to commit to a particular style has always been a problem for me.

This was the year that ALL I WANTED IN MY ENTIRE LIFE EVER was a keyboard and I begged and begged for one.  A tiny little wrapped box sat on the living room shelf all day in an effort to taunt me.  My mom repeatedly told me throughout the day when she caught me glaring at it that it was my only present.  Well a keyboard doesn’t fit in a box that small so I decided to pout all day.  When I opened it that night, it was a cord of some sort.  My disappointment and I were then led upstairs to the hall closet where the keyboard belonging to the cord awaited. I squealed.  It was awesome.

Ah.  This one’s fun.  THIS, I believe, was my first birthday that took place while I was being home schooled.  5th grade.  My birthday fell on homecoming weekend for the Ada-Borup Cougars (of which I was no longer) so we decided to have a bonfire at my house and then I would go with ‘all of my friends’ to the football game.  Oh yeah, I had friends there, they were just busy while this picture was being taken… know, over there, away from the weird home schooled girl.

It was horrible and I was shy and sad and got made fun of at the game.  I remember being there and just wanting to go home so badly.  I think I blocked out the next several birthdays because I have no evidence they happened.  I was probably too traumatized from this one.

Skip ahead a few years and eventually I went back to school and was once again an Ada-Borup Cougar.  It wasn’t all it was cracked up to be in the end, but by the time I turned 18 I was once again friends with all of the girls in the photo above.

I was also 90 pounds, 5 of which could be attributed to all the metal in my mouth.

This was a great birthday.  I was a lead in the play Annie and the cast, along with other friends, all came out to a local restaurant for food and games.

I didn’t realize it then, but in looking back, this was probably the one day in my turbulent high school career where I felt I most accepted and that I finally belonged.  It was a good day.  We went to a gas station (out of Ada as not to be seen) and bought a pack of cigarette’s.  What else do you do at 18?!

Here I am, 19 years old and FINALLY coming into my own.  I had been out of Ada and in college for a little over a month and my life had completely changed.  Everything suddenly made sense.

You bet I rocked braces the first half of my freshman year of college.  It was all part of the plan.  I was still a timid small town girl in the beginning and needed the braces to keep scary people away from me until I got adjusted and became my now awesome self. : )

My 20th birthday brought my high school and college friends together for a dinner at my house in Ada.  It was pretty cool.

The other cool thing is that by this point, I had become pretty good at weeding out the real friends from the fake ones and I’m still close to almost every single person in this photo.

THE BIG 21!!!  This is what my celebration with my family looked like.  A very nice and very expensive (sorry dad) dinner at my place of employment at the time, the HoDo restaurant in Fargo, ND.  Livi was just over a month old at this point and was still in the hospital nearby.  We all went to see her and celebrate that night where ‘she’ gave me the necklace I’m wearing in the photo.

This is what 21 with my friends looked like.  Well actually it was much worse than this, but this is the only photo I’ll be allowing my parents to see.  Apparently lingerie as a shirt worked for me at the time.

My last birthday as a college student was my 22nd.  We rented a big party bus and just went nuts.  From what I remember anyway.

If I recall we ended up a strip club.  I told you there would be cringe worthy moments.

For my 23rd I decided to class it up a little.

And all of a sudden, Jon appears, and everything changes again.  I’m living in Denver, having dinner at a very nice and expensive (sorry Jon) restaurant in Vail with the man of my dreams.  He’ll never not be beside me for my birthday ever again.   Weird.  

That was number 24 and we celebrated the weekend in Taos, New Mexico.  I’ll take that face and body back any time now thank you very much.

I have no photo’s from the day of my 25th birthday because I spent it holed up on the couch feeling sorry for myself and how old I was getting.  I should have been slapped.  These photo’s were taken a few days later at a Jason Mraz at Red Rocks concert.  My friend Lindsay and I have birthdays three days apart and we celebrated that year with her coming to Denver to visit.

Yep!  Jon was there too : )

26 was awesome as well.  I was newly engaged and apparently injected with some sort of happiness glow because I think this was the best I’ve ever looked.  I could have stayed in those happy weeks forever.

What was so great about this birthday was that it was celebrated with what have become life long people for me.  Grown up friendships that are so much better than the 5th grade ones.

They just start to kind of whiz by don’t they?

There I was just a short year ago, newly married and turning 27 years old.  Happiest I’ve ever been.  Most confident in my life, choices, and friendships than I’ve ever been.

Fast forward to today.  Here I am yet another year later.

Twenty. Eight. Years.

Gone in a blip.

But that’s never quite true is it?  It wasn’t a blip.  It was a long, long time.

I was reminded of that when I went through those albums and boxes.  A lot of memories, adventures, laughter, tears, and joy in those 28 years.

A lot more to come.

Many of the photo’s I found tugged pretty hard at my heart.  The one’s of Livi as a baby, the one’s of me carefree in college, the one’s of my friend Adam who passed away.

Places, people, memories I’d almost forgotten.  It was surprising.

Tears sprang up a time or two, but for the most part I spent two hours with a reminiscent smile on my face, wishing I could go back and do it all over again.  I was astounded at how much I’ve lived and how little I would change.

We’re heading out tomorrow, back to Minnesota for the weekend, to celebrate golden 28.  Jon hasn’t let me in on much of the plan, but I know it involves a hotel stay and hopefully some family and friend time.  If I realized anything in reliving past birthdays, it’s how sickeningly lucky I’ve been to be surrounded by wonderful people, friends and family, no matter the age.  My birthday wish this year will be one wishing that never changes.

Bring it on 28!


Throwback Thursday

This Thursday doesn’t throwback very far.

It goes just a hop skip and a jump back to 2010 and covers Jon and my first trip to NYC.  He surprised me with tickets to Wicked as a Christmas gift and we planned our trip for the following April.

Well Jon surprised me AGAIN a few weeks ago when he told me we were going back to NYC for our 1 year anniversary!  We are leaving this Saturday morning and I am so excited.

In my excitement I was looking through our old photo’s and decided they would work for a Throwback Thursday post.  

Here we are at the then brand new Yankee Stadium!  It was Jackie Robinson day and everyone got a free hat.

Our first trip we did all the mandatory touristy stuff because you just never know if you’re ever going back.  We covered A LOT of ground.  The Met, little italy, chinatown, 9/11 site, famous sandwich and pizza joints etc.

Of COURSE we went to see Lady Liberty and Ellis Island.  I’m half tempted to do this again just to experience the spectacular view of city from the water.  Our first night in NYC we spent wandering around and marveling at Time’s Square.This is me doing my very best ‘native new yorker’ pose.  I’ve even got the Starbucks!As I’m sure most people do, I fell madly in love with Central Park.  You can just look and look and look and never soak it all in.  To think, just 4 months after this photo was taken, we were engaged!  So THAT’S why he made let me try on engagement rings at the NYC David Yurman boutique.

We had such a great time and I feel so lucky to be able to go back.  We’re staying in a different part of Manhattan this trip and will have many new things to discover and explore.  So far our only concrete plans are a few dinners, shopping of course, wandering, and using our Monday tickets that Jon won to see David Letterman!  Everybody look for us!

Throwback Thursday

Tomorrow we are heading up North to Minnesota and Pelican Lake for ten days of lake time bliss!  In honor of it being Jon and my 9th (!!!) summer at the cabin together, I thought I’d post some throwback photo’s from my first summer there, the summer we met.

For those that don’t know the story, Jon and I met at Wildflower Golf Course which is part of a large Pelican Lake resort called Fair Hills.  My best friend Vanessa and I decided to work there the summer after our freshman year of college, and by decided I mean I DECIDED and then spent the better half of a month convincing/begging Vanessa to come with me.  Well she did and it ended up being one of the best times of my entire life.  I met so many amazing people that I still keep in touch with…including my future husband!

Ahhhh to be 19 again  : )


This is one of only TWO photo’s from that summer that have Jon and I in them.  My family was at the resort for Fathers Day and Jon was out with all of his cousins on the boat and decided to stop by.  Meeting my parents a little early maybe??  : )

I’m surely making some sort of smart-ass comment.

This is me and my Wildflower girls on my last day of work at the course.

Here’s the ONLY other photo from that summer offering proof that we did indeed meet.  I’m not sure what’s happening with the hats on his head, but that is certainly Jon.  I’m pretty sure this is the night he cornered me in the kitchen of the Hendrickson cabin and MADE me kiss him for the first time.

I hadn’t yet discovered makeup.  My apologies.

You couldn’t pay me to go back to high school or to most of my 20’s, but I’d go back to this summer in a heartbeat for free.Fire starting at Lake 5 with Mrs. Carpenter : )

Another marriage to come out of that summer – Mr and Mrs. Ian and Courtney Carpenter.

Jon is going to KILL MEEEEEEE  but…here’s the ending of a very sweet note he wrote me that first summer.  Little did he know…. : )

And if THAT doesn’t seal my fate as a dead man – I’m very sorry honey but I just couldn’t resist.

Throwback Thursdays are officially my favorite.