Why we love our standing desks

Like we often do, because great minds think alike, Jen and I decided independently to get standing desks this year. If you’ve read any of the research, they are calling sitting the new smoking, and saying that even if you exercise regularly you cannot overcome the adverse affects of sitting at your work all day. I’ve long been envious of my teacher-husband for the built-in fitness in his day, but I like office work. And at 35, I have a lot of working years left.

We both decided to just take the plunge and buy them for ourselves, instead of repeatedly haranguing our workplaces to get them for us. It is easy to balk at the price – ours were both in the $200-300 range, but once I imagined that little price tag appearing at the bottom of a doctor’s office bill, the decision was easy. Three hundred dollars spread over 30 more working years is a ridiculously good investment in your health.

Upstanding desk in action

I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to hack standing all day, but I haven’t had a problem. Like most office workers I have meetings throughout the day that I sit at, and I join my coworkers for a seated lunch. And I still have an office chair — an exercise ball, actually – that I can use if I want to sit. I don’t wear heels, so haven’t had to alter my footwear, although I am careful to wear cushion-y socks (i.e. tights won’t cut it).

Here are some things that surprised me about having a standing desk: {Continue reading…}

Saying Goodbye to the Buddy


Before we were actual parents, we were cat parents. When we found mice in our first apartment in Uptown, we brought my childhood cat, Rocky, to live with us. (And yes, he solved the mice problem). When he passed away two years later, we adopted Cadbury (Cat-buddy) and Stilton, two Siamese brothers. They were more dog-like than cat, coming when we called them, playing fetch, and greeting visitors enthusiastically.

When I was pregnant with Beatrice, they snuggled next to my warm belly every night. In Margaret Atwood’s futuristic book, Onyx and Crake, people are healed from the vibrations of purring, so I loved imagining those soothing purrs comforting the tiny growing baby inside. I thought that the cats, with their keen ears, could probably hear the baby’s heartbeat, and how they would know each other even before the baby was born.

Bee sacked out with cats

Like most new parents, I was anxious the first couple of months. Getting up throughout the night was jarring, and it was hard to switch between taking care of a helpless baby and falling back asleep as quickly as I could. Cadbury was always happy to sleep in my arms (especially in the winter), and crawling back into bed and snuggling him was my refuge — my pet therapy that calmed me down so I could sleep. In my exhaustion I also had regular dreams that I’d fallen asleep feeding the baby and lost her in the covers, and I’d wake up in a panic clutching Cadbury, thinking he was Beatrice. But instead of fleeing after that rude awakening he’d snuggle down with me again, and we’d go back to sleep.

Snuggly cats at cabin

We noticed about six months ago that Cadbury wasn’t himself. Well, we noticed about seven months ago and ignored it for weeks hoping it wasn’t true, and when we took him in, we learned he had renal failure. Through a change in diet and every-other-day injections of subcutaneous fluids (not as scary as it sounds — it’s not hard, or so Adam says, because I never tried it), he perked up some. The last few months gave us time to love him up, as he progressively lost weight and grew weaker.


Finally, his health reached a final low, and Adam and I took him in earlier this week to be euthanized.

I never pretended that Cadbury wasn’t my favorite, although I love Stilton, too. But Cadbury and I just fit together.

Someday — after a good break without cats — we’ll get another cat. But not for awhile. Not until we’re ready for that responsibility. Once we had kids the cats at times became too much, and we weren’t the cat parents we wanted to be.

But until then we’ll love Stilton up, and make him lose some weight, and strive to be better cat parents. And appreciate what we have, and be grateful for what we had.

buddies grown up

Borealis gift guides: Minnesota-made gifts that work

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We work hard in Minnesota, and we expect our gifts do the same. These are some very Minnesota-nice, useful, practical, yet delightful gifts we’ll love to give — and would love to get. Totally getting this for some men in my life who both paddle and motorcycle and everything in between. From Winona-based Sanborn Canoe […]

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Borealis gift guides: Minnesota-made gifts for play

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Here’s Borealis’s curated picks for gifts that are fun to shop for and get, for the kids and adults in your life. These Minnesota-made gifts would be welcome under any tree (especially ours!) Blocks are possibly the best toy ever invented (though they may share that honor with Legos), and quality blocks will last your […]

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Borealis Holiday 2014: Our picks for gifts made in Minnesota

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We love writing gift guides and are so excited to bring you this year’s series, featuring gifts made here right in Minnesota. Some by artists and craftspeople, some by world-renowned (yet home-grown brands) — all reflecting the practical, artistic, playful, smart, humble, and beautiful spirit of this northern life. Our series starts today with “Indulge in Minnesota” — luxurious gifts you secretly want […]

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Borealis gift guides: Minnesota-made gifts to indulge

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How do you define an indulgent gift? Is it a little me-time, something delicious, or something that makes you feel confident or playful? Something glittery and shiny or simply something well-made that transcends trends and time? (For us practical, realistic, and resilient Minnesotans, indulgent may simply be defined as really great boots.) Here are a few Minnesota-made gifts that […]

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What preemies need most — thoughts on World Prematurity Day

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November 17 is World Prematurity Day and today — like every July 22 and every time I learn that someone I know has just had a preemie — I remember the days of denial, terror, tears, and emotional exhaustion as we waited eight weeks in the NICU for that elusive day when things would be “normal.” Our first […]

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Clickery for October 31, 2014

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Welcome to Clickery, a weekly feature where we share things we like because maybe you’ll like them too. (We missed Clickery this year and are glad to be back!) Breanne’s Links Bookmarked for a point in my life when I have more time to sew: A DIY Map Quilt Pattern for Minneapolis from Purl Soho.  Wouldn’t […]

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