Posts in Misc
Podcasting with The Readerly Report

A few weeks ago I mentioned being a guest on a podcast called The Readerly Report. I’m happy to tell you it’s now available - click here to listen. We discussed books set internationally.

During the podcast I shared a story about traveling with my father, to Paris (click here to read the post about this trip). It’s one of my favorite memories, exploring a city for the first time with my Dad. He wasn’t walking well, having double knee replacement a few months later. It might be important to note that I am an early riser on vacation - often having explored a city for three-plus hours before my family is ready to go. On this trip, I remember exploring the city on foot and returning to the hotel with a banana crepe and coffee to start his day. We would then hire a taxi to drive us around Paris. We both remember the day I pushed him in a wheelchair to explore the many halls in the Louvre. I could write a short story about that day! I read almost a book a day on that trip, which occurred just before getting my first ipad… my suitcase weighted down with real books. ;)

Read More
A move... and reading update

Last week we took a road trip to the DC area, to continue the home search. With the dogs in tow, we spent 3-4 hours a day driving through neighborhoods, scouting out necessities that let us build a version of our northern NJ life in Virginia.

We drove by/walked through almost thirty homes. I can tell you not to believe a photo. Close to the district we saw houses with no yard, some twenty feet from the street, and one near a jail. Heading into northern Virginia, we saw a home with a gas station in the backyard, and a filthy total gut (which wasn’t listed ‘as is’).

Read More
I finally ran a Ragnar!

I have been interested in running a Ragnar race for years - unable to overcome the race logistics (12 runners, two vans, drivers, etc..) I accepted that I will likely never experience this race.  If only because I don't know enough people who run. 

That all changed earlier this year when I saw a post on Facebook mentioning that a team needed a runner.  This was my chance!

Read More
Misc, HomeMari PartykalifeComment
Jack's Basket

Hello friends! 

I'm busy catching up from early summer, with a few stories worth sharing.

Last winter, shortly after returning from Nepal, we started talking about a weekend celebration in June.  Our original idea was to visit Cinque Terre.  We would be in Switzerland and add a week to explore Italy.  Sadly, the trip was canceled just weeks later, so we decided to celebrate with friends back in Minnesota. 

Read More
I Adore French Films

Are you familiar with the concept 'leading through disruption?' A change maker for business, it's playing havoc on our quiet existence on Pioneers Lane.  Since my last post, we have decided to move to Northern Virginia, planned and hosted a weekend bash in Minnesota, and traveled to Switzerland. (photo above: Charlie Chaplin by the lake)

Read More
EBC Series: Staying healthy on the Mountain

Hello lovely friends,

Time is passing quickly. Summer has been filled with social events, dinners, and travel. During our downtime, we hike, research, and plan for October.  Just a few people have been privy to the research and planning phase of our Everest Adventure (which started last fall) - and this weekend marks the seven week countdown!

50 days until my Dad arrives, 54 days until we leave.  We have a lot to do. 

Read More
Summer Days

July is starting with a bang. It's hot!

Since moving from Minnesota, I have become a winter gal, but years ago I preferred summer to the arctic freeze.

I have fond memories of my childhood summers.  Playing in shadows for hours, meadow picnics by Nine Mile Creek, climbing trees, and enjoying homemade ice cream on a blanket in the evening.  Days at Bush Lake, night games, and my dad with his telescope positioned just right, waiting for darkness to fall.

Read More
Book Chat: The Nightingale

Over Memorial Day Weekend I announced a Summer Reading Series, reading and discussing one book a month. 

Friend and blogger, Amelia Bartlett, selected our June book. Published in 2015, I know most of you have read it already. If I'm honest, the subject kept me away, but I'm pleased I read it. Having traveled throughout France, and countries impacted by the Holocaust, I was able to imagine the landscape and villages. Written with elegance and care, I believe most approve of how the sensitive topics were documented.

Read More
Creating a Quiet Home

I used to describe life as 'crazy busy.'  Waking up at 5:30AM, lights out around midnight. Packing 30 hours into 24. A happy, healthy family with dreams, a home, and good support network. Loads of clean laundry waiting to be folded and put away.

In 2002 we moved from Minneapolis to a tiny suburban town in Nebraska, now annexed into Omaha. We built a full life within five miles of our home. I remember our friends commenting on our decision, often perplexed. Moving from Minneapolis to Omaha gifted us with two hours a day, on the day we moved. It was enough time back that we talked about it, learning to embrace evenings.

Read More
God Jul

My mother's family is from Sweden. My brother and I are half Swedish.  An important fact for this post, which is half story and half Swedish tradition/folklore.

Open my freezer and you are likely to find kardemummabullar.  My family refers to it simply as 'bulla', a sweet bread.  

A story...
Last year I became friends with a gal who was born and raised in southern Sweden. In addition to being runners and career women, we are both Swedish. 

Read More
2014 NYC Marathon

Hello friends, Grab something to drink, get comfy and enjoy... this is a long post.  If you aren't interested in the details, just skip to the bottom to see how I did.

There are three strategies for most runners on marathon day: to race, to run, to survive.  Looking back on my experience, I was prepared, felt great, I was ready to run.  I have one experience of surviving so I know how rough marathon day can be. I ran the 2014 NYC marahon, as planned.

Getting there

I left the hotel at 7am, walked two blocks, bought a ticket, and jumped on the next train.  Following the crowd off the train, we walked just two minutes to the Staten Island Ferry.

Read More
Planning a picnic... for fifty?!

Every party needs a theme right?  This was fairly easy decision after shifting from heavy appetizers to a rib competition, it's summer... let's have a picnic, simplified. Red and white! We have paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling, gingham linens, white and recycled color paper products/utensils. Mix in some music, wine... it will be a fun night.

I read Handmade Gatherings a few months ago and am using this book to guide our dinner party. Reading Ashley English's approach to party planning has me relaxed, open to accepting help, and enjoying every moment.  confession: I have a mad crush on her chicken coop, and property.

Read More
Food, Events, MiscMari Partyka
2011 Ultra Marathon

What am I going to talk about after this weekend?  For months YOU have been training with me so I ask you...are you ready for Saturday? 

  • I have dedicated the run to my friend Eleanor.  Eleanor is a warrior, diagnosed with stage 4 Inflammatory Breast Cancer June 2007.
  • Last January she was trying to earn a place on the US National Women's Kayak Polo Team, balancing cancer treatment and training would be tough but she was ready.
  • She made the team but everything changed after learning she had 30 tumors in her brain. She blogs, 'Results are back.  I do have cancer in my brain.  Lots of it'. 
  • Eleanor continues to defy the odds, finding ways to outwit cancer to stay alive.
Read More
Fitness, Eleanor, MiscMari Partyka