My Last Post

Well, here it is.  The last post of my little blog.

It started in 2008.  We were in Walker, MN.  Since then, we moved to Marion, WI, and then to Anoka, MN.  Our family has grown- from three little kids to three big kids.  I’ve gone from a stay at home mom to a full time daycare teacher to a full time children’s librarian to a part time cashier at Target, and finally, a full time HR Team Member at Target.  Dan and I will celebrate 18 years of marriage in August.  Time is moving on.

I’ll miss this little space.  I’m printing it out, for the memories, for a diary of what my family was like when the kids were little.  This was a wonderful space for me, and I’ll always treasure what it meant for me.

Goodbye, little blog.  Thanks for the memories.

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It was just a rump roast

In the past year and a half or so I’ve learned a lot about grief.

Losing both my parents with in just over a year will do that to you.

Grief, as I’ve learned, is……excuse my language but this is all I can think of to put it….a sneaky little bastard.

When someone you love dies, you expect to feel sad.  You know that you’ll feel sad when you see their picture.  You know you’ll miss them on holidays and birthdays.  You know darn right the anniversary of their passing will make you cry. 

But what you don’t expect is the times the grief sneaks up on you.  When you’re in Target and see the Mother’s Day cards out of the corner of your eye.  When Grumpy Old Men comes on TV.  When you see a mother and daughter shopping together. 

Or when you buy a rump roast.

Last Saturday Dan and I went to the local butcher shop to spend a gift card we had gotten for Christmas.  We picked out some steaks, and then I wanted to get a nice beef roast, which is something we can’t normally afford.  I chose the rump roast, my favorite roast.

I started crying on the way home when I remembered that was my mom’s favorite roast, which is why it’s my favorite.  Her crowning glory of cooking was her roast beef.  She was known for her roast beef.  And she heralded the rump roast as the only cut worthy of roast beef. 

In that moment on the way home, I wanted my mom back.  I wanted to smell her roast cooking in the oven.  I wanted to sit down and hear my daddy say, “This is so good we should have it for Thanksgiving.”

I know I’ll have more of these moments.  I know I’ll have grief.  But I just wish it wouldn’t be so sneaky.

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Year in review

Well, it’s here, the last day of 2015.  And what a year it’s been.

Here’s some highlights of 2015 for the Burns family:

JANUARY: Moved my dad from Minnesota to Wisconsin

FEBRUARY: Dan received a call from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Osseo, MN, which he later accepted.

MARCH: Most of the month was spent decluttering, packing, and driving back and forth to MN.  We found a rental house, and I got a job at Target.

APRIL: Many goodbyes were said, as we moved to our new home in Anoka, Minnesota.  The kids began school and I settled into my new job at Target.

MAY: We celebrated my Dad’s 82nd birthday with him at his nursing home.  Lots of friends and family joined us for a wonderful day.

JUNE: The kids finished school, and we began a beautiful summer enjoying our favorite summer spot–the local swimming pond.

JULY: Celebrated the 4th of July with Dan’s family.  Dan and Ethan worked the Boy Scout ice cream booth at the Anoka County Fair–the same booth Dan worked in at Ethan’s age.

AUGUST: Spent a fun weekend with Pam  and soaked in the last days of summer at the Minnesota State Fair with dear friends.

SEPTEMBER: Celebrated Emma’s 8th birthday with cousin Abigail.  Highlight was lunch at the American Girl CafĂ©!

OCTOBER: Said goodbye to my Dad on October 4th.  Mixed in some happiness with my niece Laura’s wedding the following weekend.

NOVEMBER: Began my first holiday retail adventure at Target on Thanksgiving night!

DECEMBER: Celebrated the Lord’s Birth with family and friends.  We really enjoyed being close to family again to join in on all the fun.

And now, here I am, on New Year’s Eve (the mother of a new teenager, by the way) thinking back on the year and counting my blessings.  There has definitely been sadness, and I miss my dad each and every day.  The year was a challenge, especially with all the moving.  But looking back, I can’t help but see how richly blessed my family and I am.  I pray that 2016 is as blessed as 2015 has been.




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All is calm

When I worked at the library I worked 40 hours a week, and was off every weekend.  I enjoyed my job, I liked being off on the weekends.  I had time to enjoy with my kids and my husband.

Now that I work at Target, I’m at 35 hours a week, but being in the retail world, I have to work Saturdays.  That means I have a day off during the week, and the day off on Sunday.

And you know what?  It’s the greatest thing ever. 

I have Sundays to enjoy my family, plus most Saturday afternoons if I work until 1.  The day off during the week?  It’s bliss.

I’m home to send the kids to school, and to send Dan off to work.  Then I have the house all to myself.  That’s when all is calm, and all is bright. 

I have time to get laundry done, do the shopping, run errands.  Most of the time I meet Dan and we go out to lunch.  Sometimes I take a nap.  Or I catch up on my DVR.  My weekday day off is when I recharge my batteries.  It’s a break from the busy work world of Target, a time when I can let my hair air dry and I can wear leggings as pants. 

(Shut up, Pam, they can be pants.)

And when the kids get home from school, I can be with them.  We stop at the library, we get the homework done, I “help” them clean their rooms.  We have together time, and I can make a real dinner instead of frozen pizza or grilled cheese sandwiches.  We have family time, and if we’re totally lucky, Dan doesn’t have any meetings and he’s home too.

It’s a taste of the old days of being a stay-at-home mom, without the crappy (non) paycheck of a stay-at-home mom. 

So if you’re looking for me today, I’ll be making Christmas treats with my nephew Oliver, and then I’ll be grocery shopping.  If I’m extra lucky, I’ll sneak in a nap. 

All is calm, indeed.

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Tuesday Meetings

One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about being back in Minnesota is my relationship with my sister-in-law, Angie.  We are married to brothers, and our girls are only 5 months apart in age.  The girls are besties, and it’s a rare weekend when Emma and Abigail don’t spend at least one day together. They’re even in dance together, on Tuesday nights.















Because dance class is closed to parents, Angie and I spend the time outside of class chatting with each other.  We cover a lot of subjects, from what we’re bringing to Sunday dinner to who is sleeping at which house this weekend.

I’ve started to think of Tuesdays as our “Meeting night.”  Both Angie and I have been known to write notes, to remember what we want to talk to each other about. 

I’m blessed to have this relationship with my sister-in-law.  I know all too well how families can have their differences and not get along.  I love the fact that Angie is one of my closest friends, and she’ll answer a goofy text from me without thinking twice about it. 

I like to think of us as the Deborah (me) and Amy (Angie) in our big crazy family.

I’m so glad we have each other.

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Because a computer should have an I key

Yesterday was my day off.  Usually on my day off, Dan and I meet for lunch.  It’s a nice time for us to sit and talk without the kids interrupting, and we usually eat somewhere yummy that the kids wouldn’t like.  It’s grownup time.

For a while now we’ve been talking about getting a new family computer.  We’ve been using my old laptop that we bought in 2008, which is now missing some important keys, including the I.

The I is a pretty important letter.  

Plus the fact that the computer would shut down without notice–which is frustrating if you’re in the middle of a Facebook Thirty One party, or, say, a game of Kitchen Scramble.


So we had decided to stop by Best Buy and take a look around at computers.  We’ve done this before, and my husband is the “ok I’ll think about this” type of person, so I knew we wouldn’t be leaving with a new computer.

Except we did.

Not because I was “begging” for one, mind you, but because he decided to surprise me with buying a computer and printer on the spot.  Sometimes, even after 16 years of marriage, he can still surprise me.

What a treat to be able to type a whole blog post with the I intact.  And now maybe I’ll be able to get through that tricky level of Kitchen Scramble.

We all have our important priorities, after all.

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Some friendly reminders for your Christmas season

You know what? Working in retail during the Christmas season is not for the weak. Ive learned some things the past couple weeks, and I thought I’d pass the knowledge on to you. 

  1. Please remember that the cashiers that work in your stores are regular, normal humans. They don’t set the prices, they don’t create the sales, they aren’t in charge of the rules of the credit card machines. Cashiers are there to HELP you. If you want your items bagged a certain way, SAY SO. And please, for the love of God, be nice to them!!!!!
  2. When the credit card machine asks for your PIN, please don’t freak out.  Please don’t yell at the poor cashier (see #1) that you don’t want to put in your PIN number.  Remember: the PIN is your friend!  The PIN makes you more secure!  Also–yes.  You do have a PIN.  If it’s a cash card, a Red card, an ATM card–YOU HAVE A PIN. If you don’t know it, step away from the lane, call your bank, and find out what it is.  Your poor cashier (see #1) doesn’t work for the bank!
  3. If you change your mind while you’re shopping, don’t place your unwanted items in any old place.  There are employees working in the store, busy trying to keep the shelves stocked for you.  They don’t have time to pick up all your unwanted crap and put it away. If you don’t want to put it away, bring it to the service desk or your cashier.  They have bins to sort these things.  No one wants to see a bra in the middle of the breakfast cereal.  
  4. Please follow the same rules for service desk members as cashiers.  (See #1.) We are there to help YOU.  We would love to make your experience in our store the most wonderful one you’ve ever had, but we can’t do that if you’re belittling us because the website doesn’t have any more Monster High High Schools available.  Like cashiers, we do not make the rules.  We don’t run the credit card machines, we don’t work at the bank, and we don’t run the website.  Remember, a smile goes a long way.
  5. Above all, when you’re shopping this Christmas season, remember the golden rule!  DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE DONE TO YOU.  Everybody has their rotten days, that’s for sure.  But if you don’t want to be treated like crap, don’t treat the people who are serving you like crap.  Smile at them.  Chances are, those employees have worked a long day and are dog tired.  They’ve got a whole list of things to get done, just like you.  They are human beings, just like you.  Smile at them, thank them for being there for you.  And you know what?  They’ll smile back.

Any fellow retail employees out there have anything to add?  I’d love to hear it!  

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Back in the saddle again

So much has happened. 

We moved to Minnesota. My dad moved to Minnesota as well. The kids started school, then finished for the summer. Dan settled into his new church and I settled into my new job at Target. Life trucked along. 

The summer ended, school began again. We enjoyed a beautiful fall. 

Dad passed away on October 4th. We laid him to rest on October 13. Our lives continued, now with a large Leon sized hole in it. 

I’m not sure why I stopped blogging. At first it was unpacking, getting settled. I’m always tired after work, sometimes (especially after Black Friday, ugh) so tired I can’t leave my chair when I get home. I didn’t know what to write about. I just didn’t feel like it. 

Why am I back? I have no idea. I don’t know if I will write every day, or once a month. I will probably make this my journal, my memory keeper, my way of getting thoughts out. Who knows. I just know I want to get back in touch with the writer in me. With my creativity. 

So there it is. I’m back in the saddle again. 

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Closing a book

Today is my last day as Children’s Librarian at Marion Public Library.  This is the part that makes me sad.

When we moved here almost seven years ago, the library was the first place I visited.  I stopped in to ask where the post office was.  I turned to go out and saw a book I’d like to check out.  I turned back around, got a library card, not knowing that was only the beginning.

That summer the library saved me from loneliness.  We joined the summer reading program and had a fantastic time.  I got to know the librarians, and my kids and I enjoyed checking books out every week.  I made friends, friends who happened to also have their kids at St. Martin.  Being at the library helped me feel not so alone in a new town.

At the end of that summer, I told Dan that I would love to work at a library someday.  In fact, I would love to work at the Marion library someday.  Wouldn’t it be fun to be the Children’s Librarian?

In May of 2012 that dream came true.  I’ve been here for almost three years, and have loved every minute of it.  Reading to children, playing with them, being silly with them, singing and dancing with them–what a gift to do something I love.  I’ve made so many connections and friends through this wonderful place I can’t even begin to thank everyone.

This job showed me I could be a working mom.  This job gave me the opportunity to work full time and contribute to my family’s finances.  This job brought out my leadership skills.  This job gave me my passion for early literacy.  

This job is the one thing I don’t want to leave.

One thing that is a constant in life is change.  And one thing that is a constant in reading is finishing the book.  Sometimes you’re disappointed when that book ends, because you would have loved to keep going–to see what the future brought for the characters.  That’s how I feel about leaving the library today.  There’s so many things that have been started here that I’d love to see the finish of, but my book is ending.  So I have to close it, and start a new one.  

I just hope it’s as good as the one I just finished.

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To Grammar!

To Funny

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