Monday, August 31, 2009

Autum in August


The most persuasive argument I've *felt* for climate change is the current temperatures in Minneapolis. It's unseasonably cold, so they say, but I think it's safe to assume summer is over.

Out come the sweatshirts. Maybe this year I'll get a maroon Gophers one. Or a Brett Favre Vikings jersey.

I have a feeling it's going to snow the last week in October... You heard it here first.

At last, the Minnesota State Fair

I'll start with the disappointments: the two foods I wanted to find eluded me. Fried pickles, also known as frickles, and the innovative (non-fried) caprese salad on a stick. Secondly, I somehow missed the agriculture area where the oversize, gargantuan produce was on display. The fair was huge and overwhelming, so I'll go next year with a smarter game plan.

But here's what made it all worthwhile: the Miracle of Life birthing barn where, if you're lucky, you can witness the birth of baby animals. 3 day old piglets were the cutest. Why we don't have them all as pets is beyond me. Next came the tub of legendary Sweet Martha's chocolate chip cookies. And $1 all you can drink fresh milk. Divine.

The grease from the fried food made me nauseous but I still couldn't resist a fried cheese curd or two.

Lastly, the Ye Olde Mill fair ride. It's a log flume ride that is literally 93 years old. It's no Disney World Splash Mountain. You are seriously in pitch black darkness 80% of the 2 1/2 minute ride. I quickly surmised it wasn't about the thrill of the ride but an opportunity for young couples to share a first kiss at the state fair. Appropriately, Adam groped me. ( HA! Totally kidding!)

Groping on the Ye Olde Mill

fried cheese curds

pronto pups- the famous non-corndog corndog that's a "banquet on a stick"


Australian fried potatoes

4 hour old baby calf. aka veal.

crowds. if it were up to me, strollers would be banned at this event.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Am I a changed woman?

So it's been a whirlwind of a week. I've experienced every cliche in the book. Yes, I still look at my ring and smile. Yes, I move my hand ever so slightly to let the diamond sparkle as it catches the light. And, yes, my hand gestures have gotten more emphatic to ensure others take notice.

Just kidding. No I'm not. I wish I were.

It doesn't end there. Whenever I say the word "our," it's now with a newfound delight at the promise of our shared future. It's suddenly permissible to discuss once taboo subjects, such as which neighborhood we may want to someday buy our first home. As for our kids' names, this is still taboo, since Adam doesn't like the one name I suggested. (Jonah.)

Wedding plans will gradually come along. I--dare I admit this--registered online with the knot, ( a social networking site for bride-to-be's. I haven't mined the site yet for wedding planning secrets or tips for how to choose a gown (oh yeah! I get to buy a dress!!) but I am looking forward to writing Adam's and my meet cute story. No shock there to anyone who reads this blog. Cough. Online diary.

One thing we haven't adjusted to is the word fiancé. It's one thing to write it, but so far it's been weird to refer to him as "my fiancé" aloud. Adam just despises anything French, so he's recommended this alternative: freedom friend. Hmm... If everyone knew its meaning, I would refer to Adam as "my bashert." Bashert is a Yiddish word that means destiny, as in he is my soulmate, we were meant to be.

That's all the engagement updates I got for now. Thank you for your support and well wishes--hearing from all our friends in all corners of our lives has been the greatest blessing of our engagement so far!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

We're Engaged!!!!!!!

Adam proposed to me on my birthday yesterday, and we're engaged! Here's the story:

My birthday did not start out that well... let's just say it's smarter to celebrate your birthday on your birthday and not the night before. This way, you don't risk feeling ill on the day of. Anyhow, I'd been in Orlando and Adam had been in Hilton Head, so we reunited yesterday afternoon at the Minneapolis airport. We rested in the afternoon and went out for a late dinner at a neighborhood French restaurant we've both been wanting to try. We had a delicious meal, sharing all the dishes. After we finished eating, Adam suggested we walk home by the lake. Lake Calhoun is a special place to us because we're always there, and it's the number 1 reason we've learned to love our Minneapolis neighborhood.

Shortly after we got to the lake walking path, Adam pulled me over near a street lamp and started getting down on one knee. I knew what that indicated and yet the surprise sent my head spinning. I concentrated on what he was saying so I'd remember forever. "Rachael Baird, I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?" Somehow, in my overwhelmed, flustered state, I managed to say yes!

Isn't it perfect?!? The first pictures of the ring:

So, obviously, we're in the very early stages of planning anything but an engagement party will be in the works soon. We're both so excited and eager to celebrate with our family and friends back on the east coast. Perhaps an engagement party in DC is in order! As for a wedding date, well, haha don't ask but do stay tuned!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Blogging from 30,000 feet

That's right, I'm using Delta's wi-fi on the airplane as we fly for the first leg of our trip from Mpls to Atlanta. So close to home, and yet so far. Then we're off to Savannah for the night before joining Adam's family in Hilton Head tomorrow!

Although I'm excited, I can't say that I've needed a vacation. Work has been busy preparing for the conference I'm attending later next week in Orlando (Disney World) Florida. What I most wish is that we could flip the timing around and I could go to the beach after the conference. It's my first business trip and I expect it will be exhausting.

I've brought along my camera and hope to share pictures and stories soon!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bye Justin!

Our friend Justin from GW is departing tomorrow to move back to DC. Having grown up here, he's been our Minneapolis ambassador, and he's introduced us to our adoptive family, who have thankfully made sure we're never without somewhere to go on a Jewish holiday.

We'll miss him. As happy as I am for Justin, who finally got a job after months of deadend temping here, I'm sad to see him go. Partly I'm sad to see Adam's and my third wheel social network crumble, but I'm also sad to admit I'm jealous because he's getting to return to DC.

Adam and I have this joke that, for Hanukkah '09, I'm going to make a t-shirt for him with a picture of his goofy smiling face surrounded by dogs and the words "Bitches love me" beneath. In return, I've asked for a twist on that classic I ♥NY t-shirt. Instead, I want mine to say:
I ♥
more than
I ♥

It's no secret I'm infatuated with New York (see below) but it's all a joke. The real truth is my heart belongs to DC. I know life in DC has changed post-college, and I can't confuse college nostalgia with longing for life in DC. But if I'm honest with myself, the jealousy that tightens in my heart when I think of friends in DC makes me discontent with Minneapolis... an unsettling feeling.

Bottom line is we signed a 12-month lease here in Minneapolis on July 1, and who knows what the future holds. DC? San Diego? Austin? Albuquerque? (Notice what comes to mind are all warm places!) Best of luck to you, though, Justin!

So, I loved Paris Je T'aime... Come on! What Francophile romantic didn't??? And now we have New York, I Love You to look forward to. I think I just wet myself.

P.S. "Francophile romantic." Is that redundant?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Summer Reading

Reading, like writing blog posts, requires practice. It's not like shooting freethrows where practice makes perfect--so much as you need practice in order to create a routine. If I get out of the practice of thinking about what to write next for my blog, weeks go by before I remember faithful readers will be missing me. Similarly, unless I'm reading consistently, I forget to make time to read. The cure? Salacious books I can't put down!

First it was Middlesex. A book so commanding in its force and imaginative story telling, I didn't want it to end because I cared too much about the characters to say goodbye. Three or four summers ago, everyone was walking around with a copy (Thanks, Oprah!) but if you somehow missed the boat, I implore you to read this book. [And, sidenote, if you haven't read Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, we can't be friends again until you do.]

Now, looking for a light escape in contrast to Middlesex, I took the Twilight plunge. How I wish I hadn't... I'm already on book 2 of the series and I know there will be no rest until I have completed book 4. For shame. The writing style and literary quality are lacking and yet there's an adrenaline rush from speeding through 150 pages of the book in one hour. Tsk tsk me if you must, but honestly what can be better than the epic, dangerous romance between a girl and her LOHL (love of her life) vampire? Not TV, that's for sure.