Sunday, May 25, 2014

Congratulations to the Driflots!

Dad & Karen—

          CONGRATULATIONS! It's your wedding day and I—despite the incredibly sad fact that I can't attend your wedding because I'm away at Basic Training—wanted to let you know how EXCITED I am for the both of you. This is a new beginning, and something I've been looking forward to for a long time!

          Dad, I love you so much. I couldn't be more proud to be your daughter or love you more. It's neat to have such an amazing dad who would do anything for me at the drop of a hat, and who has literally given me more than I have ever deserved or could ever have asked for. You have helped make me the woman I am today—that woman who is off doing push-up after push-up, wearing a camouflage uniform with her shoulders held high, learning what it takes to serve our country with honor... and wishing I was there more than ever while you join hands with your beautiful new bride.

          Karen, welcome to the family. I bet you look so beautiful today... I wish I could see you in your dress as you walk down the aisle. I'm honored to have you as a new part of our family and so blessed to have gotten to know you over the last several years. Thank you for everything you've done for me—there are so many things... too many to count!—and thank you for being there for Dad. I can't tell you how much that means to me. It's so good to see him happy, and it's all because of happiness that YOU bring him!

               I love you both... from your daughter who desperately wishes she could be standing by your side and toasting to you both on this beautiful, amazing and love-filled day,

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Dear Daniel,

          HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Today you turn the tide on another decade and I can't even tell you how much I wish I was there to help you ring in the big 3-0. I promise, I'd rather be enjoying chips and salsa on a restaurant patio and eating your favorite white cake & chocolate frosting with you than down at BMT "pushing Texas."

          It's funny, in a round-about sort of way, that each year I've compiled a collage of our adventures from your previous year and written you a letter, because that's honestly all I can do to help celebrate your birthday this year. I mean, I don't even know if my MTI will let me call you on this special day of yours. So a letter it is, unless you hear otherwise, of course.

          I always have the most fun making these collages and looking over our pictures from the last year. It's always a challenge to weed photos out, because to me—they're all so special. Each one tells a story of another day spent together. From road trips to races, from Air Guard days to lazy days on the couch—each was another memory that I'm holding close to my heart.

          Thank you for wanting to experience the whole world with me, hand in hand. Thank you for singing me songs and for your silly dance moves and for always stopping to take a moment to kiss the back of my neck in the morning while I'm getting ready or in a rush. Thank you for our time together, whether it's doing yard work, cuddling on the couch, carpooling to and from work, or just doing absolutely nothing at all. And thank you for supporting me and standing by me with my pursuit of a new career with the Air National Guard, even though it meant me leaving for a little bit, and sacrificing a few months of our precious time together. Thank you. I love you so much and I am so blessed to be your wife. With you, life is "so good, so good!"

          I hope you are able to enjoy every moment of your day today. Hit the gym, rock the office, eat until you're absolutely full, and then have an Oreo and extra slice of birthday cake for me. Even though I'm not with you, I promise you'll be on my mind all day. Happy Birthday, my sweets. Do you loooove me? Yes, I loooove YOU! 

Loving & celebrating you from 1,600 miles away,
Your Little Airman-in-Training Aunie ♥

Monday, January 20, 2014

An Open Letter To Mizuno

An Open Letter to Mizuno, Mizuno Running Shoes

Dear Mizuno Innovators,

I have been a loyal and super-happy customer of Mizuno for years (and I've written a few posts about my love for you here and here). And don't worry, I still am, and the reason for this letter is not to complain in any such fashion.

I have worn your Wave Elixirs for races all over my grand state of Idaho, from half marathons all the way to full marathons, my first of which was this last October. The Wave Elixirs are the first shoe I've EVER run in that didn't make me lose toenails, didn't give me leg pain, and didn't make my 27-year-old knees feel like they needed to be replaced. Needless to say, your running shoes are the bomb-dot-com and I've never been so enthralled with a pair of shoes (or brand) in my life. And trust me, I've run on them all--Nikes, Asics, Brooks, Avias, New Balance, Pearl Izumi... I've run in them. And your shoe is the ONLY ONE that I've been 100% satisfied with. So thank you so very much for making an incredible and brag-worthy shoe.

But here's the thing... I just joined the Air National Guard and we are given the option of bringing our own shoes with us to Basic Military Training (BMT). But there's one catch—they have to be neutral colors (black,  white or gray) with very little to no decoration on them. I'm talking plain-janes like the most simple Asics or New Balance. Boring, right? Now despite my love for my beautiful bright blue Wave Elixirs with the neon orange accents, I am unable to bring them. Why? Because I would honestly be ripped to shreds. I'm talking PUSH-UPS FOR DAYS... the MTI's down at BMT are not fans of color on shoes or anything that separates you from the crowd. So despite all the running I'll be forced to do (who are we kidding, that'll be my favorite part!), I won't be able to do it in my beautiful Mizunos. It'll be a sad day when they remain behind for four months in my closet in Idaho while I'm down in Texas running in a plain-jane pair that is guaranteed to give me typical "runner's feet."

I know you guys just released the brand new Wave Sayonara "in place" of the recently discontinued Wave Elixirs. They're a beautiful new shoe, but the pattern on them might still be a little loud for BMT standards (past BMT-ers, would they accept the white ones?). My question is this, would you guys consider fashioning a super plain-jane version of the Wave Sayonara or some of your other popular & lightweight models so that trainees who are heading to military training facilities can feel like they're running on a cloud while they're down there in the midst of all the torture and yelling? It won't take the pain from the months of training away, but it could help alleviate some of the stresses (like having ugly feet from poorly designed other brands of shoes).

Me--the fashionista--always one to love a good & bright shoe, cannot believe I'm even suggesting this. But alas, the military has different standards than my neon-loving self does, and in order to "fit in," I'll have to conform. Again, this is all from a future Air Force airman-in-training who knows she is going to be subjecting her feet to a couple months of torture while her Mizunos sit at home in Idaho while she's away at Basic Training. It would be SO COOL, and I know I would have shelled out the big bones to be able to run on a gray/white/black version of my Wave Elixirs. But alas, Mizuno, I will have to settle for a less-than-extraordinary pair for my spring training date. Such a sad day it is.

Will be longing for my Wave Elixirs while I'm busting out the miles down at Basic Training.

Yours truly, 
Annelise Rowe

3/28/14 Update: In lieu of my favorite Wave Elixirs, I found a neutral pair of Brooks for BMT. I chose the Brooks Pure Connect 2 in white. In addition, the Air Force recently changed PT regulations, so when I return from BMT I can wear whatever color shoes I wish for PT. Thanks USAF!

POST BMT UPDATE // After arriving at BMT and running on my Brooks for about 3-weeks, I couldn't do it anymore—there just wasn't enough support, and we were running several times a week for about 30-minutes each time (which is less than what I'm used to, but it's all on pavement so good running shoes are imperative). I was able to utilize a pay phone and call home, requesting a speedy shipment of my Mizunos. They came within a couple days and my feet were in running heaven! If you're worried about taking brightly-colored shoes to BMT, DON'T BE. Half of the shoes that they sell down there are neon and bright anyway, so you will not stick out from the crowd if you bring a pair of rainbow kicks. If you have questions about running shoes & BMT, please don't hesitate to let me know!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Dear Daniel,

          Happy 29th Birthday! Are you really 29 already? I can't believe how fast the last year has gone by. I am so excited to celebrate this birthday with you as your wife.

          Last year, the first year I got to celebrate your birthday with you, I wrote you a letter about remembering all our firsts. And you know what? This year we've had so many more. From getting engaged in McCall, to you going away to Texas for 6-weeks for your Air Guard training, to getting married at our church with our entire church family there with us, to our first long road trip to Palm Desert, to all the new things we've learned about each other... I can't even believe how full this last year has been.

          You know, one of the things we always talk about is how we're always so busy. I love that about us. I love that we're always go-go-going and that we always have plans. And whether we're out around town, snuggling on the couch, feeding the frogs in the pond, or just stealing a moment together—as long as I'm with you—it's where I want to be. Each day, we are building so many memories. And every single memory I have—when it's with you—is a good might say, "So good! So good!"

          Thank you for being that rock and positive influence in my life. Thank you for all that you're teaching me. Thank you for being a wonderful, amazing, brilliant husband. I appreciate you and the love you give me more and more each day. Happy Birthday, sweets. I love you.

                                                                                                                                          Love love love,
                                                                                                                                              Your Aunie 

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Letter to Farfar

2013 has not started out exactly as planned. But hey, we're not the ones in charge, right? I'm starting to figure that out. I always considered myself fortunate to still have all my grandparents. In fact, I've never lost anyone close to me. Until this week.

My Farfar (grandpa) passed away late Tuesday evening. He had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in November, and celebrated his 90th Birthday November 29, just two days before our wedding. Our entire family made it out to Seattle to see him over the New Year's holiday—except for me. There hasn't been an obituary written about Farfar yet, so I'm going to write what I remember. I don't know the whole story, but this is the Farfar I knew.

Tore Driflot November 29, 1922—January 1, 2013

Farfar was born in Norway in 1922 and came over to the States after WWII. I don't know any of his war stories from Norway, but I wish I could go back and have him tell me a few. When immigrated over, his name was Tore Drivflaadt. It was changed to Driflot in Chicago, and my maiden name was born. There were only 6 Driflot's ever—my Farfar, my grandma, my dad, me, my sister, and my brother.

Farfar was a craftsman, and could make anything your heart desired out of wood. After meeting my grandma down on the Golden Gardens beaches by the Ballard Locks, they fell fast in love. They had their first and only child, my dad, in 1957. My grandfather, being the craftsman he is, built their home in Ballard. It's the home my grandma still lives in today.

To me, Farfar was always a quiet man. I remember him sitting in his room, in his favorite chair, reading the paper and watching the news. He loved the news. When we would come to visit, he would usually come out and give us a great big hug, and then we would always join together in the living room to chat. Farfar always wanted to be kept up with our happenings. After a long while of sitting and talking, he would usually watch us play with our Hotwheels cars and Barbie's, happy to just be around us. As the years passed, his hearing got worse and he wasn't as talkative, but he still loved us... and we loved him. I was his first grandchild (of three). The bottom right photo above is from the night he and my Papa found out they were going to be grandparents. Farfar is holding a bottle of Old Grand-Dad whiskey in the photo, a gift from my parents when they told him they were expecting (it was a party to celebrate Christmas Eve 1985). That smile from Farfar is the one I will always remember.

As I leave today for Seattle to join my family in a small remembrance gathering on Sunday, I have a couple words for Farfar that I want to remember.

Farfar—you were a great man. I always respected you. I'm so sorry I didn't have a chance to give you one last hug. I didn't even say goodbye. I cherish all the times we had together. You gave me so many things over the years—beautiful wood carvings, big & strong hugs, memories to last a lifetime... but the best gift you've ever given me is my Dad. Thank you for being my Farfar. We love you.        
Love always, Icy

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dear Friends.

Dear Saucy Friends,

          I've never done this before. So today, I'm writing a letter to you. In addition, I don't know how it's halfway through the day today here in Boise... but whoa baby time is just zooming by.

          I will start out by saying that today was supposed to the day of my big monthly giveaway. You remember those each month, right? April's, May's, June's... they're usually pretty epic, and today's was going to no less awesome. But you know what? Today (and this week, for that matter) has just gotten in the way. So I'll let you know right this minute, that tomorrow you should come back and visit because you won't be disappointed. And no, it's not just a giveaway. You can fully expect a post to go right along with it. See? No disappointment. And just so you know, I'm not apologizing that it's not today... I'm just letting you know that this post was not what I had "scheduled" for today... and I hope my sponsors understand. I think this has all happened to each of us at one time or another. Sometimes time just gets away from us.

          Life lately has kind of been a "whoa" whirlwind. For instance, last night, instead of working on my giveaway stuff, I went to a church small-group meeting, and after (even though I told myself over and over I was going to go straight home and blog), I stayed and played volleyball and then went out to Burger King (don't judge) and sat around a table and just talked and connected with a couple good friends. When I got home a little before 11, instead of listening to my nagging-self telling me to go blog, I curled up on the couch with Daniel for a little bit and actually got to bed before midnight. It was a perfect evening. Relaxing, inspiring, and totally fun-filled.

          You know when you just have those weeks where you think a lot? Those weeks where you just ponder and go over and over different ideas and nothing seems to make sense? That is totally this week. I've been stressing over an issue at work (I thought I misplaced $1,000 cash), and I honestly thought my job was at risk. Today, the issue was resolved, and as I sat on the floor in the bathroom, crying relieved tears and soaking my way through tissues, reaching my hands up to God to thank him, I just realized how so very blessed I am.

          I just have so much on my heart lately. None of it is bad. It's all ideas, inspiration, thoughts on my faith, my heart, and what's next. I have realized I've been posting a lot of sappy material on here lately, and I'm not bothered by it. The way I see it, this little blog is my journal, and it's going to fluctuate and move along with my moods and my life. So if you see a little bit more of the deep and thoughtful stuff, that just means I'm going through a little more on the personal side than usual. Looking back through my archives, this blog totally reflects what's happening in my life. I share so many experiences via this blog. Some are specific, some are vague. And someday I'm going to go back through and re-read all of this and treasure each experience that took me to where I am at that moment.

          This definitely wasn't the letter I had intended for you. This wasn't the post I had intended for you. Sometimes the unintentional is just what we need. So maybe today is a good day for you to go surprise someone with a little hand-picked daisy, a nice hand-written card, or a lovely little hand-made dessert. Surprise someone with something. Be unintentional. Be unexpected. And then be very deliberate and intentional when you come back tomorrow to enter that giveaway.

          I love you guys. Each and every one of you. If we've never met, you can totally introduce yourself here. There are at least 915 of you who claim to "follow" me (via GFC anyway), and I'm certain I haven't met even half of you. So swing on over and drop me an email, or a comment, and say hello. I'd love to get a letter back. It doesn't need to be as long as this rambling one, but if it is, that's totally OK. Talk to you soon. And I'll see you tomorrow.

                                                                               Love always,

P.S. Today's photo was shared with my Instagram friends earlier this week. If you're not following along, make sure to visit this link or find me (username=auniesauce)! I share a lot of fun stuff that doesn't always make it on the blog. OK, I'm really going now. Sending virtual hugs... ♥

Monday, May 7, 2012


Dear Daniel,

          Happy 28th Birthday! Despite how much I tease you, you are not an old man. You are, however, MY MAN. And I love you dearly.

          I didn't have the honor of celebrating your 27th Birthday with you... however it wasn't long after that when we met. They say that when a woman meets her soul mate, she just knows... and you know what? When I met you, I knew.

          I will always remember the first time we talked-- about succulents, cacti, and our mutual love for planting gardens. I will always remember our first kiss at Bardenay. I will always remember the moment I told you I was falling in love with you at Merrill Park. I will always remember the look on your face when you gave me my first succulent and mix CD. I even remember what you wore that day-- your favorite white polo. I will always remember our firsts-- first time going to Disneyland together, first helicopter trip together and catching our first fish (and lizards!) together.

          I love it that we're always taking adventures together. We never relax. We never rest. Instead, we enjoy every moment together. I can't wait to enjoy every moment of your 28th year. I can't wait to see what it brings us, the new journeys we will take, and I know each new day will bring us closer together and even more in love with each other. Happy Birthday, my Sweets. This is YOUR day.

                                                                                                                                          Love Always,
                                                                                                                                              Your Aunie

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

AUNIE. Not Annie.

// Jacket: F21 Thrifted // Top: F21 // Scarf: Ross // Jeans: Silver // Boots: Thrifted //

Dear amazing reader,

Lately, I've been getting a lot of
While Annie is a name that is totes adorable...
It's not my name.

I know my header up there makes aunie look like annie,
(that was definitely on accident... but I still love it, so it stays!)
but listen, folks...
it's AUNIE.

It's a nickname that my best friend gave me all the way back in 4th grade.
I've loved it ever since.
No one else had called me Aunie until I met Mister Daniel.
His parents insisted on using a nickname for me,
since Annelise (ah-nah-lis-ah) is too long.
It's been Aunie ever since.

If you have called me Annie,
don't fret.
Being born with a Norwegian name,
my name is mispronounced by others on a daily basis.

I'd love to hear what YOUR name means...
write back A.S.A.P., won't you? 

Yours truly,
a.k.a. Aunie

P.S> Are you ever-so curious about who won my February giveaway?
Let's all give a big CONGRATULATIONS to: SARAH. YAY!
Email me!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Can Christmas Just Keep Going, Please?

Dear Christmas,

          Please come back. I don't want to have to wait 362 more days to see you again. You were so much fun this year. From the mistletoe, to my first church service in a long time (in which I literally felt the Holy Spirit come over me), to the amazing time spent with family, to the road trip to Cascade, to the awesome hot chocolate... I just want you to come back.
          If you could also convince the local radio station to continue playing 24/7 Christmas favorites, that would be great. No matter how much I love Adele and Foster The People, I will always love Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby more. In fact, I think I may go ahead and turn my radio off this very moment and switch over to my Christmas station on Pandora... Yep. That was a good decision.
          Christmas, you are so wonderful. I'm not sure what it is about you, but everyone was happy, joyful, thankful and loving this year. It was all so great, I just don't want you to end. So I think I'll keep celebrating you until New Year's Day, OK? I miss you already. Thank you for each amazing memory that was made this year.

With love,
12-24-11. My brother Stewart and Daniel playing backgammon.

12-25-11. Christmas leopard nails.

12-25-11. Yes. I received coal for Christmas.
12-25-11. Pet-sitting for the holiday & introducing Oso and Dobby.
12-25-11. Daniel and I under the Christmas tree.
12-25-11. This is adorable. I came around the corner and found him like this.
12-27-11. Escaping to the Ashley Inn in Cascade, Idaho with Daniel's amazing family.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Dear Backgammon,

            It was such a pleasure to meet you the other night. With your vintage flannel and zippered case, you're stylish and so convenient to travel with.
            However, I have stumbled upon a problem that I'd like to address. You always beat me. I know that you are doing your part to play a good game, but it is getting to the point of being unfair. I'm sorry to whine and complain, but this is just getting out of hand. For instance, two nights ago when each of us had only 4 pieces left, you rolled doubles for the win and I was especially taken by surprise. It is times like that when you pretend that you are giving me a chance and then you completely strike me from behind.
            I do look forward to our next meeting, but I advise you to watch your little magnetic pieces. I've been practicing and I'm ready for you. I'm going to double-six you so badly you won't know what to do about it.Until then, you'll be in my thoughts, my dear Backgammon. I miss you.

With love,