Every year I am grateful for people that come into my life, the ability to attend amazing events and that I have the opportunity for a little downtime and fun with my family. It's hard to narrow them down to just five, but as I look back at 2013 these are some of my favorites.  Even the simplest of time spent with family should be considered a highlight.  Hopefully this blog helps you ponder your life and appreciate all that you experienced too!


Brad Paisley, Chris Young and Danielle Bradbery at the Xcel Energy Center

Brad Paisley's "people"

This was the most recent concert Homie (my husband) and I attended with the chance to meet Brad Paisley and get our Star Guitar signed for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  Even after all the country artists I've met, I still get nervous and say something stupid.  When I walked up to Brad I said, "I'm a big fan of yours, but an even bigger fan of your wife.  I've loved her since she was in Father of the Bride."  Brad graciously said he'd tell her, but he had a weird look on his face!

If you love Country Concerts, you'll love THIS!  You can catch performances from Dierks Bentley, Jana Kramer, Brantley Gilbert and Billy Currington in MEXICO! 


Attending a LIVE NFL Minnesota Vikings Game

Cathy Kates

I love football, despite the fact that the MN Vikings make that somewhat difficult.  I've been a season ticket holder for 25 years so I've experienced ups and downs.  (mostly downs).  But, it's still a blast to walk into the Dome and feel the excitement of a possible win.  Plus, this could be the last few years we own the tickets.  The next two years will be at TCF Field and that's OUTSIDE, so I won't be going.  After the new stadium is built I'm not sure if we'll be able to afford season tickets.  Oh well, I can always meet my friends at the Reef for the Vikings Tailgate Parties.

Our new Schnauzer, Bauer

Cathy Kates

Ok, you may have heard me complain about his razor sharp shark teeth as a puppy and the fact that he has NO off switch, but he isn't a puppy anymore and things are getting better.  Plus, he's so dang cute!  We have finally broke his habit of eating poo and if we could just get him to stop eating our carpet runners in the kitchen and the wood trim around the floor of our walls, we'd be good.  Still, he is ours because we had to put our beloved Ruemmele down in August and this dog lover can't be without a beast.  He was the BEST dog and we had him for 13 years, it was hard to say good bye to part of our family.  Remember, if you live in the City of Duluth, you need to make sure your dog is licensed.  The $$$ is minimal and will save you money in the long run.

Fishing the bay with Ken Hayes (yes, this is a highlight, I LOVE fishing!)

Homie Kates

I LOVE to fish, but haven't gone for years.  It was my birthday and  Ken made my birthday wish come true!  It was a scramble, we decided we were going that afternoon during the morning show.  Homie and I had to run around and get a license, lures, bags of chips and licorice and of course, beverages.  We had a great time and even passed the spot inspection by the DNR Water Police. (although Ken was shakin' in his crocs when they pulled up).  We didn't catch a fish, but got a couple of bites.  It was worth it though, just to watch Ken deal with the DNR, lol!

Hiking on the North Shore

Homie Kates

To be honest this is something we never do and that's sad.  We have all the beauty that nature can provide and like other Northlanders, we take it for granted.  Not this summer!  I am grateful to a couple that chose to get married on July 5 "up the shore".  I was to officiate their wedding and they wanted a rehearsal on the 4th which meant we would have to pull our camper up the shore to accommodate.  I'm so glad they did.  Homie and I enjoyed running on hiking trails surrounded by lush evergreens, we walked along the shore of Lake Superior and skipped rocks and we had the opportunity to stop at interesting little shops along the way.  Of course, if you're not from Duluth, make sure you spend time in our city.  There is SO much to do and see!  Make sure you check out our Aerial Lift Bridge!