Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Today is a very sad day for my (Ann's) family. My parents had to make the difficult choice of putting our family pet, Lucky down today. His health had taken a turn for the worse a few weeks ago and his pain and suffering that he was enduring this past week was too much for my parents to bear. Today as I am missing and remembering Lucky, I am finding how much of an impact a small, furry creature can have on your life and heart. I felt it was only necessary to write a bit about my favorite memories with my first and favorite puppy and to remember how much of a blessing it was to have Lucky be a part of our life for the past 12 years.

My family got Lucky as a "bribe" to move from Appleton to Stevens Point WI when I was in 6th grade. My sister and I were not too thrilled to leave our friends and lives in Appleton but we had always wanted a dog and my parents must have decided that it was either get a dog or the girls would put up a huge fuss!

That first summer with Lucky was filled with frustrating but funny memories of trying to potty train this stubborn puppy and cleaning up countless accidents all throughout the house. I remember we would try to leave Lucky home gated in the kitchen but he soon learned how to crawl over the baby gates. So my dad attempted to set up a huge blockade with kitchen chairs and stools. Every time we came home Lucky somehow managed to jump or climb through these blockades and greet us with a mischievous grin at the door! That dog was something else!

Lucky's first two years of life were filled with some naughty behavior! My mom often said he was "Lucky to be alive" for all the trouble he had gotten himself in to! Lucky killed more backyard wildlife than my family cared for. We always had to send my dad out with the shovel after Lucky would kill bunnies, squirrels or birds that couldn't escape him as my mom, sister and I would be screaming at the back door! But, Lucky was also a very sweet dog. He snuggled with us on the couch every night and would never leave our sides when we were sick. He was always eager to learn new tricks and we had so much fun training him! He was always good with children and other pets and we had kids from all over the neighborhood coming over to pet Lucky or asking if they could take him for a walk!

To me, Lucky was always my snuggly furry friend that I could come home to at the end of the day and he would always be so happy and excited to see me! We were pals all throughout junior high and high school. I remember taking him trick or treating with me, I bought him Christmas and birthday presents (even though my family thought I was a little nuts!) and I would bring him on errands so that I could roll the window down and he could stick his face out and sniff the air as we cruised around town. I have an entire photo album dedicated just to him at home! I have always loved Lucky and taking him along on all my adventures! 

As I went off to school, Lucky became my mom's sidekick. He hasn't left her side since I moved away from home. Lucky was a very loyal companion and often had separation anxiety when my mom would leave for long periods of time. The poor dog wouldn't eat or drink until she came back home!

Lucky became a part of our family that first summer and I know we have all loved him in our own way. He has been there through the best and worst times with my family and he is in all of my memories I have of living in Stevens Point. I know that the hard times I had growing up as a teen Lucky made a lot easier! Lucky has been my dad's walking buddy for 12 years and he has always snuggled next to my mom when she spends time reading every day. It will be hard to not have Lucky waiting at the door for me when I come home to visit my family and I know my parents will have to live with a new empty void in the house. Nothing can really compare to the companionship of sweet, furry friend who has been by your side through the ups and downs of life. 

Lucky, you will be sorely missed! Thank you for greeting us at the door, licking our hands when we were sad and for being there through it all. Thank you for all the memories you have given me and my family! Our Lucky, Lucky Looger, Luckster, Lucky puppy- We love you!

Easter with Lucky

Lucky in his winter walking gear

Thanksgiving with the whole family!

This past Christmas with Lucky in Fargo

Lucky not looking too thrilled to go for a walk in Fargo!

We miss you already!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Trip across the Midwest!

Last weekend, Josh and I traveled to Minnesota and Wisconsin to visit our families. We had fun going on a train ride (on the light rail downtown Minneapolis) with Ethan, Emily and Diane and enjoyed lunch at one of our favorite restaurants- Aurelio's with the Ridder family! We then went to Wisconsin and spent the rest of the weekend there.

On Saturday we made a trip to visit my sister, Gretchen in Milwaukee and she gave us a lovely tour of her art school MIAD (Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design) and showed us her latest artwork. She is one talented girl!! She also gave us a tour of the town since this was Josh's first Milwaukee visit! We spent Sunday in Stevens Point and made a trip to the Cheese Factory in Rudolph, WI (about 10 miles away from my parents' house) and stocked up on our favorite cheeses. We hit quite the snowstorm on the way home and it ended up taking 2 days get back but we made it! We had a wonderful trip and were so happy to get to spend time with our families again!

Here are some of our snapshots of the weekend:

Waiting for the train! It was a little chilly...

Huddling under the heater to stay warm

Ethan eagerly waiting to board the train! So fun to watch his excitement!

Happy to be aboard "Arrow" 

I had fun taking pictures of Eman...he is so stinkin' cute!! 

Looking over the map!

Talking over the next stop...

A view from the highway of the Milwaukee Brewers Stadium 

Gretchie's apartment!

One of the pizzas from our lunch out in Milwaukee!

I realized I ate part of the tip of my fork that broke off in my pizza...oops!

One of Gretchen's latest paintings- amazing!

Gretchen's illustrations of a book she had to create for one her classes. One of my favorite pieces!

Gretchen's current project she is working on...looks cool already! 

Gretchen's painting studio, #10

A view of the street from inside MIAD.

One of the many funky downtown buildings in Milwaukee

A crazy car we saw driving downtown...

Trying to send a couple different messages I guess?

A view of downtown Milwaukee from a park near Gretchen's place

Our favorite Cheese Factory in Rudolph, Wi!

So many choices...!!

You can see the women cutting and packaging freshly made cheese! Yum!

Can't leave the factory without getting a few scoops of Wisconsin-made ice cream!



We helped my parents get new cell phones on Sunday afternoon...there was a pretty long line at the store so Josh took a little break on the floor.

That evening there was quite a bit of snow that accumulated!

11 inches in one day! Yikes!

Quite a big pile on the grill...

We'll post again soon!

Love from Fargo,

Josh & Ann