August 29, 2012


Buffalo Bills Pre-Seaon Game
August 6, 2008

Vikings vs. Buffalo Bills Pre-Seaon Game
August 18, 2012

It's crazy to see these how different Dave and I look after 4 years. 
We have tried really hard this past year to be healthy and active. 
It has always been a struggle for us. 
We do well for a few months and then backslide. 
However, since living in Australia we have stayed on the right path. 
We are eating better (& smaller portions) and running. 

I love seeing our progress and I can't wait to continue being healthy. 
We do this for us because we want to be there for each other. 
* I also do it to feel strong and beat my own expectations of self * 

August 28, 2012

.27hr staycation.

With Dave and I both working in customer service/retail/ low end of the totem pole jobs we rarely have any days off together. Dave is lucky to have set days off each week and I am always crossing my fingers that I get at least one of those days off as well. It seemed like the stars were align because last weekend we both had Friday night and Saturday off!! Since we didn't have much time and are lacking sums of money we planned a quick staycation, The Shoave Day-Stay-Cation.

On Friday night we scored cheap tickets to the Vikings vs. Buffalo Bills football game. We both were super pumped for the game! It was our first time seeing the Vikings play at home and the Bills are Dave's favorite team (he is a New Yorker). If you didn't know...I've become a pretty big football and Vikings fall within the last five years or so. I finally understand the game and it doesn't just look like lots of people falling down and flags being thrown around.

View of the field from our seats

Oh my! We had sooo much fun at the football game! For a pre-season game the stadium was full of excited Vikings fans. We cheered, shouted, sang and got prepared for the season. We finally learned the Viking cheer that is sang after each touchdown/field goal..and got it stuck in our heads. My future bff, Jared Allen (#69), is the defensive end and played for a while during the first half. Anytime I can see him play or even just see his face on the jumbo tron I am one happy lady! There were two favorite parts of the game: 1) During the whole 3rd quarter the fans did the wave around the stadium. lasted for like 18 min. AND if that wasn't enough people started to throw their playbooks and other paper in the air like confetti. It was messy but did look really cool to see when the wave was going on. 2) In the 4th quarter the Vikings (same player actually) got two interceptions returned for touchdowns!!! It was amazing! 

This is what it looked like during our section of the wave!

On Saturday morning we slept in and hung out with Maggie for a bit. Then we walked down to Lake Calhoun for some kayaking. I haven't really been kayaking before and was kind of nervous. It was stressful in the beginning because we were given no instructions, just handed the paddle, and told to have fun. During the time I am trying to figure out how to actually steer the kayak and move forward in a straight line, we are going through tunnels filled with people kayaking, canoeing, and on paddle boats. I was soooo stressed, I ran into one person, and almost took a paddle boat out! I kept yelling for Dave to help me...but really what could he do..he was in a different kayak behind me. After we got out of the tunnels and into the lake, everything was fine.  I was able to figure it out and go super duper fast ! Who knows, if I practice enough I may be able to complete in the Olympics!

We had fun goofing off in the water, splashing, racing, and working out our arms. And since I became such an expert on kayaking I had no issues with the tunnels when we returned the boats! After kayaking we walked to get some home made ice cream and then onto home.  We got close to home, when I discovered I did not have our keys, my phone, or my camera. Since we just got done walking 4.5 miles and kayaking for an hour  we DID not want to walk back to get our keys for another 4.5 mile roundtrip. So what did we do?  We broke into our apartment! Good thing we had the window open, that way all we had to do was break our screen a little, move it, and Dave hopped in.  Now we have a broken window screen frame...but we didn't have to walk! We grabbed Dave's car keys and headed to kayak place where they had everything of mine!!!

When we returned with EVERYTHING in hand, it was time for dinner. Dave woke up early in the morning and prepared a pot roast for the slow cooker.  He wanted to make a nice meal for us during our staycation and it was delicious. The meal was soooo good and filling that we ended up taking a quick snooze on the coach with Maggie. We couldn't snooze to long because we had to get ready to head to the Mall of America where we were going to a comedy club.  The comedy show was hilarious and something we haven't done before. I laughed soo hard, especially when the audience started singing the National American University song! (p.s. the university is IN the Mall of America!) I'm glad that I grabbed the groupon when it was on sale because it was a great time (and we saved big bucks). After the show we got milkshakes and fries from McDonald's to cap off our Shoave Day-cation!

So in 27 hours we:
* Went to a football game
* Walked 4.5 miles
*Kayaked for an hour
* Ate a great dinner
* Saw a Comedy Show
* Did some shopping

It was nice to just hang out with Dave and do new, fun things! During this time we stayed off the internet, limited our texting with friends, and didn't do one thing that needed to get done at home! It was a break for the world that we needed and can't wait to plan more exciting day-cations in our future!!

August 26, 2012

.around the city: Target Field.

My dad hasn't been to a Major League Baseball Game since he was a weeeeee little lad. I haven't been to the Minnesota Twins new Stadium, Target Field (not so new..opened in 2010), so I thought it would be a perfect Fathers Day gift for us to head to the baseball diamond.

Walking along the outside finding our gate

The weather was perfect baseball weather, the sun shining a little bit but a chill in the air to keep you cool. We drove to downtown Minneapolis with my dad holing the "oh shit" bar the whole way and found $5 parking 4 blocks away from Target Field.  We followed the people wearing blue and red and found the stadium with no problem at all. 

Target Field is located in downtown Minneapolis. Which is great because you have different options on travel; you can bike, walk, take the train,  or drive.  Also you get the great views of downtown Minneapolis from the upper deck. I always love being able to see the city when you are in an environment that makes you forget about the city all together. Does that make sense? 

I had only seen the Twins once before when the played in the Metrodome, a covered stadium shared with the NFL Minnesota Vikings. I must say I prefer outdoor stadiums to indoor stadiums, they truly make you feel like you are part of the game and enjoying baseball they way it's suppose to be. I have been to three other outdoor stadiums; National Stadium, Cambden Yards, and Citi Field; and the Target Field is up to par with all of them. It was a beautiful stadium with great vendors, hospitality, and atmosphere. 

My dad watching the game

The only complaint I have about Target Field is the entertainment being innings. I am someone who likes to be entertained; show me a video, make me sing a song, make me think I have an opportunity to win something. They had a lot of camera shots out in the audience with non fun songs playing, but even the people on the jumbo tron weren't feeling it. At one time a group started sining "Amazing Grace" and I couldn't find the relevance at all. The entertainment felt week and I wish they could jive it up a bit. The best stadium that I have been to have great entertainment is Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. They were giving away free pizza to different rows, playing tons of games, and played fun, relevant music.  I think the Twins could pick up a few pointers from them. 

All in all we had a great day at the baseball field. My dad had a blast and was thankful that we took him to see the Twins. The Twins played a pretty good game but lost in the 10th inning..but we did get to see a homerun. If you are a baseball fan you NEED to come to Minneapolis and check out Target Field. You won't be disappointed and it may just make you fall in love with Minneapolis a little bit more. 

August 24, 2012

.urban wilderness half marathon.

At the beginning of the month Dave and I ran our 2nd half marathon. I won't lie to you I was one nervous/terrified girl when it came to running that race. I had trained some but not nearly as much as for the first half we ran. (I actually ran 30 fewer miles than last time when training) I also got some hip pain a week before the race and had to minimize my miles a lot.  But I signed up to do it and see how fast I could run it and gosh darn that was exactly what I was going to do then.

Between finishing and stuffing my face with oranges. 
I was sooo exhausted and these were the best oranges EVER!

My best friend Molly was visiting from Boston and even woke up at the crack of dawn to watch us run the race. Our other good friend (and my trainer) Jim always came out to cheer us on. Never have I had anyone cheer for me when running but now I feel like I want to race only with my personal cheerleaders. It does make a difference having someone cheer for you and high five you every so often. When I wanted to stop and walk I didn't because I knew they would want me to keep going. They even got in the car and drove down the course a little bit honking and waving at everyone. I think they had as much fun cheering for us as we had having them there.

We made it our goal to pass this guy. 
We finally did and as you can see, I'm very happy about it!

Here are some things I learned during the race:
1) Don't compare your training milages the day of the race, it will make you feel unprepared and nervous. Nobody needs those feelings when they are about to start a race!
2) Set goals. We had a goal of when we wanted to finish by before we started. This helped us make sure we kept on track while running. We also made small goals when trying to pass others, this is something I find that helps me stay motivated and moving forward.
3) It's okay if others pass you, don't let it bring you down. You never know you may end up passing them again further down the course. 
4) Listen to your body. It's okay to stop and walk a bit, nobody will judge you. Just keep moving and you will do great. 

Crossing the finish line! 

Our time: 
2 hours and 29 min. 
(11 min. 24 sec per mile)
A new personal recored for our half marathons!

* In case you are wondering I wore a lot of the same items I wore when running my first marathon. I am wearing new shorts (from Target) and a new dry fit hat, I didn't wear the bandana or running belt.  You can find info on my running gear and first marathon, here and here. *

Now we only have 7.5 weeks until our marathon. Oh...did I tell you we kind of stopped running for a few weeks after the half..haa!! in true Sho fashion, this should be interesting! I will have to keep you updated on the progress!

Special thanks to Molly for taking TONS of pictures of us while we were running the race. It's always great to look back at something you accomplished!

August 21, 2012

.around the city: hunt and gather.

Do you like shopping/looking for antiques? It is one of Dave and I's favorite little past times that we don't do enough.  We are lucky and only live about 6 blocks from a corner filled with antique shops! There are about 4 or 5 shops all in one area filled with new items to be discovered every day. When driving down down Xerxes there is one shop that always catches my eye, Hunt and Gather. I finally took a little visit and it was as great as I always thought when driving by.

Hunt and Gather is different from other antique stores in the way that they showcase their different stalls and items. The best way to describe it is an organized free for all/chaos. Things are here and there and everywhere, but it all flows really well together.  

If you are claustrophobic or have a little OCD this may not be the store for you due to the "clutter". At times I was a little overwhelmed with things coming out from all areas on the wall, the ceiling, and even the floor. In the beginning it was a stimulation overload, but it only took a few minutes for me to get used to it.  

I found items in Hunt and Gather that I haven't seen offer in other stores. You can by letters by the wheelbarrow, old cards, billiard balls, old school book pages, basically anything that looks cool and something someone would pay for! My mind kept racing with all the different things I could do with so many items in the store. It was hard to resist picking up a lot of things for "future" projects. 

We did pick up a few things from the store. My favorite were the license plate letters. Dave has a thing for license plates. When we have a garage he wants to put old license plates up on the walls, so we have started a collection of old MN plates. Seeing these letters made me think of a great DIY. Since we love traveling and Dave loves license plates we bought the letters to spell out SHOAVE (our names together: Sho + Dave = Shoave).  It is a fun little piece of art in our apt. that showcases our passions. 

When you drive down Xerxes in Edina you can't miss Hunt and Gather. The outside of the store is brightly colored and showcases items. The large alphabet letters in the front and on the side of the store always draw me in. Plus the outside display items are always changing, one day it could be letters the next day it is old gym lockers.  I hope that when in Minneapolis you get a chance to visit this unique antique store and go home with a few treasures of your own!

August 16, 2012

.July Books.

I am FINNNNAAALLLYYYYY getting around to posting this! Usually the first day of the following month I post what  books I read the month before, but as you know...I'm lazy! So here are the books that I read in July:

New Owners Guide to Bulldogs: Hank and Carol Williams  This is an older book on bulldogs and caring for them that I borrowed from our store. It was filled with information on the history of the bulldog (bull baiters), things to know before you decide you want a bully, care tips, training tips, etc. It was a good book and a quick read. I read it in about two days so we could really know 100% that a bulldog was for us.  Not long after finishing the book we got the call that we were able to adopt our own English bulldog! Good thing I was prepared due to the book!

The Weird Sisters: Eleanor Brown  This book has been popular at the bookstore, it seems to be on everyone's book club list! I adored this book and waited patiently for my turn to come on the library waiting list ( I was #245 on the list). The story is about three sisters that come home during a period of time that their mothers is sick. They all come home for different reasons however and try to work on their personal issues while keeping them secrets. The story is about family, independence, growing up, and learning who you are. Plus the family always is reading and how doesn't love a book about people who love to read?

The Virgin Suicides: Jeffery Eugenides  I have needed/wanted to read this book for years. I used to have the movie and Dave has the it was basically the last thing to complete the trifecta. The book is about the mysterious and eccentric Lisbon sisters, whom a handful of boys on the block are obsessed with. Over the time of a year the boys watch as one by one the LIsbon sisters commit suicide trying to put all the pieces together.  This was Eugenides first novel and he does it beautifully. You become transfixed by the characters and find yourself searching for answers along with the boys. 

Currently Reading:

What have you been reading?

August 14, 2012

.bulldog crazy.

Since Maggie's arrival it seems that all else has ceased to exist in the Roberts household. I swear the only pictures I have taken in the last month have all been related to Maggie...and she is almost always sleeping in them. I just love a sleeping bulldog. any other proud Momma I have to share with you some of the cuteness that I am blessed with everyday!

We thought she looked like E.T. after her bath 

I LOOOVEEEE seeing these two sleep on the couch together 

THAT face is always are goal, we live to see her smile 

this was not staged...which makes it even more precious!!

Maggie can be a handful, she is a pretty easy going dog, but is high maintenance.  Due to her background she has some health, social, and learning disabilities. It takes her a little longer to learn things, to trust people/dogs, and needs lots of cleaning and care. But we think she is perfect, she is the dog we were meant to have and waited years for. We are the concerned parents that feel like crying when a loud truck scares her, calms her when she has nightmares, and lets her jump into bed with us at night so she doesn't feel alone. In the short month we have had her I think our hearts have grown and now we can't imagine not having a little dog/something to care for.

It always melts my heart when I see Maggie and Dave falling asleep or sleeping at the same time. These are two creatures that have won my heart and who I will love forever...even when they are pains! As I look over my shoulder, one is asleep on the couch and the other has taken position within paws reach on the floor.  My heart smiles and I feel happy to be right where I am.

August 10, 2012

.that big thing that happened a year ago.

Last night when babysitting I shared a few pictures and videos of koalas and kangaroos with the three year old before bed time. She loved looking at all the pictures and asking lots of questions. It reminded me that we arrived in Australia just a little bit over 1 year ago!

When we left the states we were nervous and had no idea what we really got ourselves into. We only had a hotel room, one suitcase each, and hopes that we could figure it all out after a few days in Newcastle.  It took us about a week, but we figured it all out and made a little life for us in the six months we were there.

I wanted to share with you a few pictures of our time in Australia. These are the pictures that keep drawing me back to the country and questioning if I could live there forever.

 Newcastle, NSW
 Queens Tower, Newcastle, NSW
Newcastle Beach, NSW
Koala, NSW
 Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
Sydney Harbor Bridge, Sydney, NSW
WhitSundays, QLD
Three Sister, Blue Mountains, NSW

12 Apostles, Victoria

August 5, 2012

.oh...hello, there.

Man, July was not my month for blogging. I apologize for that..seriously, I'm sorry and it was totally my bad. Believe me when I say it was me and not you. For some reason, the summer heat made me veeerrrry verrry lazy.

We had a great July filled with lots of hanging out with the hubs, friends, running, and starting training with my friend. Here are some of my favorite things that happened this month:

1. Basilica Block Party: A two day concert fundraiser for the renovation of the Minneapolis Basilica. I have always wanted to go to this concert year after year and FINALLY I got to go! It was fun, hot, and full of TONS of people. My favorite performances were: CAKE, Imagine Dragons, The Luminers, and The Avett Brothers. Oh the Avett Brothers were SOOOOOO good, we danced and danced and sang our hearts out!

2. Celebrations: We celebrated 4th of July, 4 years of wedded bliss, my momma's birthday, friends golden birthday, another friends baby bump, 1st birthday of the cutest kid eve, and just celebrating life in general!!! Lots of fun was had, hugs given, presents bought, and love shared. 

3. Maggie (Margaret) Roberts: Dave and I rescued the cutest bulldog we have eevvver seen. *of course we say this because we are the best parents ever* We got our little Maggie, named after Margaret Thatcher, and have been loving on her ever since. She is six years old and was rescued from a puppy mill, she has had waaayy to many babies in her life. So now we spoil her rotten, give her tons of kisses, and let her sleep almost anywhere she wants. We are sooooo in love with her, she has definitely made our hearts grow bigger.

4. Training: I have a friend who is a person trainer and just moved to the area. We decided that for training sessions we would pay him beer and a review, plus he gets to make me swear and cry in pain! It's a deal that works for best of us pretty well. I am able to see some arm definition already and it's fun to have someone push me hard. Along with training with my friend, Dave and I have been training for a half marathon that took place on August 4th. We didn't get as much training in since getting Maggie, but we were able to get a few runs in that were very much needed!

I have NOOOO idea where July went! I looked and looked and looked and it has just ran away! It felt like it was the fastest month ever in the universe. But it's gone now, ran away to join the other crazy months so now it's on to August! Let's cross our fingers that August doesn't go by as fast we so can enjoy the summer a little bit longer. 

How was your July? Did it fllllyyyy by for you as well?
What was your favorite thing about July?