Earth Day Half Marathon


We had hoped to run the half this morning, but we couldn’t pull ourselves out of the recent funk and make it happen. Ugh.

Instead we sat at a coffee shop, corresponding with this one and that one on the phone. There is so much to do. We are spiraling a bit now…a new normal that is rocking our world.

My sister Christa sent us some love from the finish. (Pic above.) This is the first time my niece Briana has cheered her mum on. Apparently it was much appreciated, as Nik described the conditions as cold and hilly, and really loved the sweet shout-out at the end. Nevertheless, she managed to place eighth in her division. Perfect prep for Grandma’s full. Go Nik. We are sweating and running vicariously through you.

Happy Easter.

xo dina


3f4c44193b91721b7f592494a230fbe1We experienced a house fire last week. Wow. I am still numb. There is significant damage and we will be living in Duluth until our rebuild is finished…at least September. There are SO many details to take care of in the interim. It is going to be crazy. It is crazy. We are both quite overwhelmed right now, but wanted to send a note of thanks to our friends and community. St. Scholastica is our family and we are full of gratitude. Between this site, the replacement clothing, daily hugs and everything else you can imagine, we are beside ourselves. We turn in tearful every evening when we (try to) sleep.

Last night Michael wrote a note to our friends and supporters, and I want to share it with you. You are going to be hearing a lot from me over the course of the next several months while we rebuild. I’m already craving anything normal.

Thank you friends. Love to you from the city…I guess. It’s sure bittersweet.

xo dina

But for love this would be a very inhospitable and lonely place. 

Dina and I have been very humbled by the outpouring of support from the Scholastica community and beyond. The support that everyone has shown has left us without words.

On Wednesday evening we went to a movie at Zinema called Rising from Ashes. It was about the birth of a Rwandan Cycling team after the genocide. It was a beautiful film of love, friendship, athleticism and hope. The promoter, named Garry, a friend of a friend, was in town and needed a place to stay. We invited him to stay with us in the guest room. 

That evening the outside light was left on and at around 3:00 a.m. Dina woke me up and said there was a fire. After moments of disbelief we went downstairs and at the peak of the roof was a flame that was growing in size. We awakened our guest and found our cat, Sola, and ran outside only to see the fire double in size. Not knowing what to do I started throwing snowballs and Garry joined in while Dina called 911. Once the flames were inside, I grabbed a ladder from the garage and ran it inside with Garry and tried to douse it with a coffee pot of water…absurd desperation. Seeing it growing outside we ran out and returned to throwing snowballs. 

After what felt like an eternity we heard the first fire truck coming down the driveway. Expecting a team of firefighters and a Dalmatian the first hero was a twenty-four year old woman. She was the first responder and had set out on her own with a truck. The only catch was that she had never ran the hoses and so was unsure of what to do. Eventually there was an entire team and when we were finally pulled away by the EMT, there was an entire city of rescue personnel with sundry vehicles. There were even giant make-shift swimming pools of water. Later both Dina and I said to each other that it was a scene out of the movie ET. 

After the fire had been extinguished, the hoses collected and the last personnel to drive away, the Red Cross arrived to help us with our next move, not having anything in the house to call our own at that time. The generosity has been overwhelming. Sitting in Starbucks at 6:30 a.m., while everyone who could formally help us was still sleeping, two city employees who overheard us offered us–complete strangers–monetary help. Friends and our St. Scholastica family began to offer help immediately and are continuing in ways that are incomprehensible to us.

As we sit here in bed tonight, with everything up in the air, I can still look over and say to the love of my life, “I am so glad that you fell in love with me,” and she the same, with the same enthusiasm and optimism we have had since first falling in love. And part of that hope and optimism is because of the love you all have given us. We shall forever be grateful and will forever be at loss for words that capture the generosity. Thank you from the depth of our hearts.

God bless,

Mike and Dina

{Image courtesy of Modern Hepburn.}


Veggie soup for the soul

6b6d1fece3c0053a33435071fe5fc59cJust last week I was saying how healthy I felt…and then I got sick. Argh! I caught it from Mike, who caught it from Woodworker Bob. I woke up Sunday and felt like my head was going to explode.

I did a lot of self-care on Sunday and Monday, and returned to the office today. My head was still a little cloudy though. At about 2:00 this afternoon my friend and colleague, Gina, informed me that I only had one earring in. I freaked a little because they were a gift from my friend Scott; he brought them back from Italy years ago. Fortunately when I got home I found the other one in my jewelry box. I can’t believe that I only put one on and spent most of the day that way. Ha ha. I tried to finish my story about meditation with Gina, but she couldn’t stop laughing and told me that she couldn’t take me seriously if I sat there with only one earring dangling. Ha ha. Love you G.

Anyway, I had a lot of things I wanted to post, but instead I am simply going to share the things that have been making me smile during this little cold spell…

Beck’s new album. I. Can’t. Get. Enough.

This movie always makes me giggle.

Read a few more chapters from this book.

Did several eucalyptus steams and they helped a lot.

Worked on my wallaby.

We made this soup for dinner last night. Sort of a cheater. The leftovers are going to be great this week.

And this sweet girl was the ultimate remedy. She clung to me for hours on the couch. Love her to pieces.

What are your cold remedies? I think the only thing I was missing was Vicks. My mum would lather us up with it when we were sick. That may be why I enjoyed the eucalyptus steam so much…it smelled and felt a lot like Vicks therapy. (Miss you mum. I can’t wait for Easter.)

xo dina

{Image courtesy of Veanad.}


Rising from Ashes

TeamRwanda Photo 2 - Copy - Copy (3)Next week there is an amazing documentary coming to town. Rising from Ashes will be showing at Zinema, sponsored by COGGS (Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores mountain bike club). We’ve been super intrigued and excited to see it…looks amazing.

We got the heads up from Garry Harrington last month. Mike and I met Garry via Brandy a couple years ago. He was in Duluth screening Ride the Divide at Zinema…another great cycling film. And his newest project is apparently so much more than a cycling film.

Rising from Ashes is a joyous and uplifting independent film about the development of a national cycling team in Rwanda, a country still affected deeply by the genocide that tore the East African nation apart in 1994.

TeamRwanda Photo 1 - Copy (4)

The documentary tells a story of redemption, hope and second chances. It is not about the bike; however, the bicycle becomes a tool that has helped change a nation.

I can’t type these words, nor watch this trailer, without getting goosebumps. It is going to be an emotional and inspirational film. Please join us next Wednesday, April 9 at Zinema. Showings at 7:00 and 8:45 p.m. Advance tickets are $10 and can be purchased online here. $15 at the door.

Rising From Ashes FRF poster - Copy - CopyThanks for sponsoring this special event COGGS. For more information on this great organization, cruise here.

Let me know if you’re going. We’ll be at the later showing.


xo dina

{Images courtesy of Garry Harrington and Rising from Ashes.}


Fertility smoothies

smoothieI was recently introduced to a website devoted to natural fertility, which touts fertility-enhancing smoothie supplements such as maca powder, royal jelly, hemp seeds and spirulina.

Mike and I LOVE smoothies and LOVE our new Vitamix, so I jumped at the opportunity to do the 10-day fertility smoothie challenge. It has been so much fun. I have mixed us up a new and fun smoothie every day for over a week now! I think Mike enjoys his with breakfast. I save mine and enjoy as lunch, often pairing with some raw almonds. I feel great. Mike too. Between the smoothies and daily meditations (more on those later) I am feeling mentally, physically and emotionally ready to try for bebe again. I needed time after losing Cadence. Continue reading