Photo of the day… Smile!

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

The Perfect Pair

Today Dave and I are celebrating our 6th anniversary (12 total years together).  What is extra special about today’s photo of the day is that I have photos of this day for the last six years that all tell a mini story about us.  Here goes…

May 28, 2012:

Today we capped off our anniversary celebration with dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant, Fujiyama.  We polished off six rolls, an accomplishment even for our big stomachs.

May 28, 2011:  St. Louis and Sweetie Pie’s

We hit up this restaurant on our 5th anniversary, even before it was a show on OWN.  Dave and I have started a new tradition that when we travel we never eat at chain restaurants, we always find locally owned fare, delicious.  We also hit up a Budweiser Brewery tour to appropriately toast 5 years together.

May 28, 2010:  Sushi at Fujiyama

This year we were training for the Ironman so we took the day off work and did a four hour bike, then got a massage, and then ate way too much sushi (this is a theme for us).  Just to give you a sense of how much Dave loves me, he did an Ironman with me and he hates running and doesn’t care for biking.  Now that is love.

May 28, 2009:  Picnic at Doctor’s Park

This year we had a picnic at a local park and then spent at least an hour taking goofy pictures of each other.  Did you know that if you are swinging on the swings… and bend your head back… and kick your legs up just right… and stick your tongue out you can take a picture that looks like you are licking your butt without actually doing it?  Yes, these are the simple things that Dave and I think are hilarious.

May 28, 2008:  Dinner at Eddie Martini’s

We went for massages this year too.  You know you need a massage when the massage therapist says to your husband, “I’ve never felt knots quite like that before.”  Then we went out for a steak dinner.

May 28, 2007:  Paris


For our first anniversary we went to Paris to watch the French Open.  Overall this was an unbelievable way to spend a first anniversary.  What we didn’t do was plan this vacation very well.  We planned a trip to Paris to go to the French Open because on our honeymoon we watched tennis every afternoon when it was too hot to be outside.  What we didn’t do is purchase tickets to the French Open in advance, NOT smart.  We showed up at the gate on May 28th, two days before our vacation ended, expecting to get in and were completely rejected.  The next day we spent 6 hours, starting at 4 a.m., waiting in a line outside of Rolland Garros to buy tickets when it was 40 degrees and raining.  I came back from Paris horribly ill but at least we got to see some tennis. 

 May 28, 2006:  Best Day Ever!

I married my best friend, it was perfect.

Happy Anniversary Dave!


92 and Still Going Strong

May 24, 2012 is a day to celebrate.  Celebrate my Grandma Hill’s 92nd birthday!  Wow!  She is one amazing lady and still very feisty at 92.  For example, when I called her yesterday to wish her a happy birthday I told her that I was trying to grow rhubarb but it wasn’t working out so well.  She instructed me to “throw a little horse sh*! on it.”  Words of wisdom from a 92 year old.  She had also been busy baking a pie that week and visiting friends, I love it!

I hope I can live to be 92 and accomplish all that she has.  Here is just a small taste of what she’s done in the last 92 years. 

She was born Edna Alina Rytkonen in Keewatin, MN and speaks fluent Finnish.  Her dad died when she was ten years old in a mine cave-in but he and her mom still managed to inspire her to go to school, graduate as the salutatorian of her class, and go on to college to become a nurse.  She worked as the director of nursing at a mental health facility for 40 years until she retired in 1982.  She has two sons (see picture), one of which is my dad.  Her petite, almost 5′ frame gave birth to a 10lb +++ baby boy, oh my!  She also still lives in the same house, alone, that she has lived in since 1944.  She still drives and gets around really well.  She told me last night that she went to the doctor for her check-up and they couldn’t find anything wrong with her, just amazing.  She also keeps busy braiding handmade rugs in her spare time.

Happy Birthday Grandma!  Love you, Becca.

Appreciation Station

 Participating in this photo of the day project has forced me to think a lot harder about what I appreciate throughout the day and what makes the day special so I can capture it.  I have to be very intentional and feel like I notice little special moments a lot more than I ever did in the past.  If I don’t think about what it is I want to photograph it’s easy to miss the entire day.  Over 95% of my day looks like this… wake up, run, work, make food, work more, sleep, repeat.  It’s that <5% where the magic happens.  Here is the magic from this week.

May 13, 2012:  My Mom

I appreciate and love my entire family, but Sunday was Mother’s Day so there was some extra special Mom appreciation that day.

May 14, 2012 Part Two:  Good Health

It’s not every day a person gets vaccinated against typhoid so I had to take a picture of this.  I do love a good vaccination (influenza, the mumps, hep A and B, pertussis, tetanus, meningitis, I’ve got them all!).  Being healthy and staying healthy is definitely something to appreciate.

May 15, 2012:  Things that Make Me Laugh

I definitely appreciate a good laugh and these ice cream treats that are named after contraception gave me a good giggle.

May 16, 2012:  The People I Work With


I work with some incredible people.  I picked up these cupcakes in appreciation of our student staff who are graduating this weekend.

May 17, 2012:  Great Friends

Thursday night I had a much needed night out with these ladies.  Great food at Maxie’s Southern Comfort and great friends.  A perfect combination of appreciation!

May 18, 2012:  Great Hair

What woman doesn’t appreciate great hair?  You may be shocked to find out that I am not 100% a natural blonde, GASP!  I am blonde, but it gets a little help every once in awhile (note, hair sticking out = my color, hair in foil = soon to be fake color).

May 19, 2012:  The Outdoors

I love being outside.  I spent the morning Saturday at Doctor’s Park picking garlic mustard from a ravine.  I have a unconventional obsession with eradicating invasive species from our parks and other outdoor areas so I invested a little time to clean up the park.  Now everyone can appreciate a cleaner park.

What do you appreciate?

Becca Grassl, No Sugar Added

Today’s photo of the day commemorates my completion of four complete weeks without eating sugar.  This is a big deal for me, as you can see even my blog title includes the word “cookies.”  I gave up processed sugar for the last four weeks.  On April 14th I went 100% cold turkey (after eating an entire box of Girl Scout cookies, solo, the night before).  My last day of the challenge was like the last mile of a marathon, it was torture.  Before 9 a.m. I was offered brownies and cookies, in the afternoon there was a full cupcake and candy buffet at an awards ceremony I attended, and for dinner I was served a slice of Reese’s peanut butter cup cheesecake. 

Grassl vs. Food, Grassl won!

May 12, 2012


A little known fact about me is that I am a golfer.  My parents got me started young, when I’m sure I spent more time complaining about golfing than concentrating on the game.  This skill has come in handy for me over the years.  The first official date that Dave and I went on was golfing (I beat him, but that’s not the point of this story).  I also golfed in college.  I joined the team my sophomore year and golfed for three years.  Truthfully, I joined the team because being in a sport gave me priority registration for my classes and I liked being able to have first pick on my professors and class times.  College golf also provided me with some great golf gear (shirts and jackets that I still wear today).  My first official job was even at a golf course.  I mowed greens at Blackwolf Run and laid sod at Whistling Straits for a summer.  Working at a course with a job like I had is a complete scam.  They promise you free golf but you are so exhausted after a 12 hour day you have no desire to look at a club. 

I put my clubs away after I graduated from college.  I probably golfed less than five times between 2003 and 2012.  That all changed this spring.  I joined a golf league!  Officially I am just a sub, but ironically subs can play equally as much as regular players and I can opt out when I want to.  I shoot in the 50’s, never 40’s, not 60’s, always the 50’s.  Putting seems to be a significant weakness of mine.  When you get a 50 and almost 30 of those strokes are putts you have issues.  I’ve been told putting is the easiest thing to practice, maybe I should do that. 

Circa 1985:  Proof that I started young

April 21, 2012:  Practice before the first official night out

May 8, 2012:  It was raining, so this was the best I could do for a photo.

Happy Golfing!

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