2020 (Lack of) Running Review

Thursday, December 31, 2020

I said “this is my year” 366 days ago...it was not. I have no excuse for my lack of running other than a rollercoaster year of emotions. We bought a new house in July which accounts for my lack of summer running. September I decided to ramp up my running but then mom was in the hospital and passed away. My motivation diminished. So I’m saying it again...2021 is going to be my year!

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

We celebrated my 43rd year by having ham and Mom's cheese potatoes. Nancy, Greg and DJ came over to help celebrate. We played several games of Rummikub (which Eric won all of them!) It was a nice day.

2020 Year in Review

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  2020 was full of many highs and a few lows.

In early March (before the world changed), we travelled to Lafayette, LA to run the Zydeco half marathon so we could cross off state #26. It was a great race and their logo is an accordion so need I say more?

Starting on St. Patrick’s Day, we have both been working from home. It has been an interesting experience. I like it for the most part but I do miss interacting with my coworkers and Ginelli’s pizza. I’m not sure Eric feels the same way. We are still working from home with no idea when either of us will return to office. Honestly, I’m not complaining, this winter commute is awesome; no three-hour snowy rides home.

April was very low key until I got a surprising call on Good Friday…it was my sister, Nancy…she was moving to the Twin Cities in two weeks! What?? She said she would never leave Texas! Eric and I spent the day apartment hunting for her and got her a sweet place in Eagan.

Also in April, we replaced our living/dining room floors and updated all our kitchen appliances. We also got some cross-train bikes for my future ride on the Mickelson trail in South Dakota.  We did a lot of biking riding.

May was much like April, we did a lot of biking. We took a day off to go biking the Sakatah Trail in southern Minnesota when I got a message that changed our lives. My neighbor (realtor) asked if we wanted to sell our townhouse because there was a huge demand for our type of house. Eric and I had never planned on staying in the townhouse for 16 years but because of the housing crisis of 2009 we were stuck. We had thought about it but never made a move. But with us working from home, this was the perfect time to prepare to sell. We looked at several nice houses. When we got reject on my favorite house (which was a Godsend after we found out about the 3-story condo going up in the backyard), we almost settled on one that wasn’t perfect. Then the 13th Ave house came on the market. At first, I said no but agreed to look at it and fell in love. We put in an offer and it was accepted. The next stress was putting our house on the market. My realtor said it would be sold in 5 days, we were skeptical. But 3 days later we had several offers and sold our house!

June was a waiting game. The owners of our new house were buying new build and it wasn’t going to be ready until end of July so we had to wait longer than usual. Eric’s brother, Adrian and the eldest two kids, Caio and Anna, came up from Brazil. His timing was great because we needed his helping fixing up things in the new house, painting the ugly colored walls and replacing almost every light fixture. We also did some fun things with them like kayaking/swimming for 4th of July.

The rest of July was the moving mayhem. The week before our close, Danielle, Bradley, Blake, my Mom and Nancy came over to help move most of our stuff to a storage unit. Because of a closing date issue, we were homeless for a couple days. Unfortunately, my mom got sick and had to have emergency surgery in Shakopee. She was in the hospital during the week of all the closings. She was released from the hospital on the day we moved into our new house. My brother, Mike and his family came up to bring mom a lift chair for her recovery. This work out perfectly because with the help of Adrian and Caio, they were able to get almost everything out the storage units into a moving truck and Mike’s truck. They did great work.

We had a small gender reveal party at our house in August for Danielle. Danielle is due with #2 on December 28th. Could the baby boy be my birthday present?? 😊

In the beginning of September, we toured many Minnesota State parks with Nancy and Danielle. It was a nice weekend to get out and hike.

The next weekend we drove out to Rapid City for a week. Because we had to bring Adrian, Caio and Anna back, we rented a minivan. Good thing we did because we were surprised that Eric’s sister, Tracie was visiting at the same time. We did a lot of tourist activities together in the minivan. It was fun!

On September 19th, Eric’s niece Abbie, married Bryce. Eric was the officiant. It was nice to see so many family and friends…social distancing of course!  It was a beautiful day.

We did one final trip with Adrian before he went back to Brazil. We toured the Minnesota North Shore with Nancy and DJ. It was the end of September and the fall colors were gorgeous!

Adrian went back to Brazil in early October. Regrettably, he couldn’t fit everything in his luggage, including his two teenagers. They exceed the baggage weight limit. Just kidding, Caio and Anna became our teenagers. Thankfully our new house has enough bedrooms. We got a freak snowstorm on October 20th which dumped 8” on us. The kids don’t really remember snow, they were 6 and 4 when they left Minnesota for Brazil. But we had a blast making snowmen and snow angels. Caio is working in the Bakery at Hy-Vee which is only a few blocks away.  Anna finished her first year at “Virtual” Etec (her Brazilian high school). She will start at Shakopee High School in February.  Swirl is sort of adjusting to the two new residents.

We also gained another niece, Gabbie, in June and finally a great-niece on the Williams side with Vesper in October. 

Mom came up for a follow up surgery in late October. The surgery went well but she had several complications afterwards and sadly tested positive with COVID-19 while in the hospital. It was a rough 3-week rollercoaster and sadly in the end she was not able to pull through. She passed away on the evening of November 21st. Her funeral was November 28th.  It will be a tough holiday season without mom, she really loved Christmas and snowmen.

It is not all sad though, we adopted Mom’s cat, Malcolm (aka Melcome). It was a very lonely time for Malcolm while Mom was in the hospital. We came down to Mom’s to pick him up the week before she passed. He has adjusted well to his new environment. He is such a love bug and always wants attention. He has given me a lot “hugs” and I’m so happy we could bring him into our family. Because Swirl and Malcolm have been independent cats for so many years, we haven’t introduced them yet. We are not sure if it would be wise. Swirl doesn’t have front claws and Malcolm doesn’t have teeth so we are not sure who would win. For now, Swirl is our upstairs cat and Malcolm is our downstairs cat. We share our time and love with both of them equally.

2020 was a tough year. We started out with just the two of us and Swirl in a small townhouse.
By years end, we acquired a new house, two teenagers and another cat.   


Kim, Eric, Caio, Anna, Swirl & Malcolm

Merry Christmas 2020

We had a nice WHITE Christmas. We got a blizzard on December 23rd so the kids got a white Christmas!  We also got a life-sized TC Bear from the MN Twins Organization. That was an unexpected Christmas gift.

We went to 6pm Mass on Christmas Eve and had Pizza afterwards. It was something we did a couple years in a row with Mom so we kept that tradition alive. After that we opened our presents. Christmas Day we went to Danielle's house to celebrate. It was a great meal and fun time. 

Our New Cat, Malcolm

Sunday, December 6, 2020

We rescued Malcolm from Mom's apartment after he was home alone for 3 weeks. She was still in the hospital and all indications was she would eventually get home. She was improving and when they took the vent off she was breathing on her own. However, after a week of not getting out of the ICU psychosis, she passed away November 21st. Everybody asked what we would do with him now. Well I did what we had to do, adopted him. He is officially our downstairs cat. He is such a lovebug and is always giving hugs and meowing for food. I'm happy to take him. I'm just sad it had to happen this way. 

Karen M. Bisek

Monday, November 30, 2020


Karen M. Bisek

April 11, 1944 - November 21, 2020

Karen M, Bisek, 76, of Independence, died Saturday, November 21, 2020 at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis.

Karen was born April 11, 1944, in the town of Seymour, Eau Claire County, to Carl and Gladys (Johnson) Stai. She married LaVern Bisek on September 14, 1963 in Eau Claire. He died December 28, 2006.

The couple farmed in Arcadia township until 1992. Karen was also employed for over 30 years at the Trempealeau County Health Care Center in Whitehall. She and her husband entertained people for over 40 years as part of the Bisek Polka Band. She looked forward to spending time with family and friends and loved to play cards. She also enjoyed cooking and baking and sharing her goodies with others. Her rosettes will be missed this holiday season.

Karen is survived by three children, Nancy Bisek (Greg Starks) of Eagan, Minn., Michael A. (Linda) Bisek of Arcadia and Kim (Eric) Williams of Shakopee, Minn; sister, Alice (Charles) Spehle of Colfax, sister-in-law, Betty Zilla of Independence; brother-in-law, Jack (Jackie) Bisek of Verona; granddaughter, Danielle (Bradley) Dobie; grandchild-in-law, Melissa Tweedale; great-grandchild, Blake Dobie with baby boy on the way; three step-grandchildren, Gregory Starks, Kennedy Kolaas and Alec Conrad; nieces, nephews and her beloved cat, Melcome.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, LaVern; two brothers, Donald and Charles Stai; four sisters, Bev Curler, Shirley Curler, Grace Dittner and Carol Murtishaw and grandson, Dylan Schank.

Mass of Christian Burial (with COVID-19 guidelines) will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 28, 2020, at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Independence, with Rev. George Thayilkuzhithottu officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Visitation will be held at the church one hour prior to Mass.


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Nancy, Greg, Eric, Caio, Anna and I went bowling today. The kids have never gone bowling so we made sure they got bumpers. Lets just say Caio will not be allowed bumpers next time. haha!

Pumpkin Carving!!

We went to the Stayer’s house for dinner and pumpkin carving last night. Anna and Caio have never carved a pumpkin before so this was even more special. I made a spider. 

October Snow!

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

We always get a dusting of snow in October. But on Tuesday we got way more than a dusting...8" to be exact. This was the first big snow fall for Caio and Anna. The weather wasn't that cold. We had a lot of fun. The snow was great for snowmen. We made two of them. 

Blake’s Birthday Weekend

Monday, October 12, 2020

This weekend Nancy and I went to Wisconsin to celebrate Blake's 3rd birthday. We had a fun time.