Editor’s Picks

by | Jul 2021

Allyson Fanger

Can we have a word?

The beauty of Lake Minnetonka Magazine, in my estimation, is partly due to the monthly marriage of words and images, wonderfully brought together thanks to our writing team, contributors, photographers and art department.

But the cornerstone of this relationship is the people, programs and businesses that are profiled in our pages. The words of the people interviewed for the articles provide insight, inspiration and even a bit of humor.

As we highlight the best in this community, I offer some of my favorite quotes from 2020 articles. I particularly find it interesting that these words, when separated from the rest of the articles, find another level of strength and impact as they stand alone—creating powerful narratives in a matter of one or a few sentences. 

“Living your best life doesn’t mean having a bunch of things, a big house or a cool boat. The example we set in defining success impacts how those following in our footsteps see success. At times, living my best life means exercising patience during difficult situations, sharing the best version of myself during difficult times. It has zero to do with what I own.” –Natalie Webster, What Does Living Your Best Life Really Mean? January 2020

“I’ve told you so little why I love you so deeply, serenely, and with so much respect. You’re a gentlewoman, my dear, and you’ve an intelligence and a character that is your own; I respect that. And the quality of your personality and the beauty of your body fills me with gentleness and tenderness.” –John Leslie, 1927, Wayzata Woman Finds Grandparents’ 90-Year-Old Love Letters February 2020

“I want to remind people that they are 100 percent loved, and wherever they are on their path or in life, that they truly have the power to shape their life … and be as beautiful as they want to be, and as beautiful as they are in my eyes.” –Jessica Kuennen, Former Teacher’s Journey of Self-discovery Leads to Published Poetry Book March 2020

“I will not sacrifice my time with my children. Ever. And I don’t work at home. I was a guy who spent his 20s and 30s developing business. Those years are gone. I have different priorities. Because at the end of the day, that all doesn’t matter. What matters are these little humans with hearts that are going to develop into something that makes the world better. It’s my most important job. Everything else is secondary.” –Steve Kuhl, How Local Businessman Steve Kuhl Built His Dream April 2020

“Once I found this career [policing], I felt more complete. Maybe this is what he wanted me here for. Maybe I can make a real difference in this career.” –Maddy Graupmann, Meet Lake Minnetonka Police Officer Maddy Graupmann May 2020

“Mindfulness is a practice that helps you to see things from a fresh or new perspective. We can witness the concept of ‘beginner’s mind’ in kids. Watch a small child the first time they dip their toes into a lake or ocean or the first time they have a lick of ice cream. The wonder on their faces as they experience something they have never done or tasted before is priceless.” –Nicole Lovald, Try to See the World with a “Beginner’s Mind” July 2020

“At this point in my life, I still have my voice, and there’s a part of me that’s saying, ‘If I don’t try now, I’ll never know.’ So, I’m taking that risk and saying, ‘Let me find out what’s possible … have a lot of fun along the way, meet a ton of cool people and have experiences I wouldn’t have otherwise.’” –Courtney Burton, At 62, This Local Singer Ditched Her Corporate Career to Pursue Music Full-Time September 2020

“Content? Never. That’s not in my DNA. I’m always looking. I think that’s why I love what I do. Every day is different and a challenge. Every time I get a script, it’s a new challenge.” – “There’s something about growing up [in Minnesota] and having this good work ethic, and good follow-through. I think that came from that Midwestern culture.” –Allyson Fanger, “Grace & Frankie” Stylist Allyson Fanger on Her Career and Childhood in Lake Minnetonka August 2020

“There’s something magical about taking care of something that’s taken care of the generations before me. But even more than that, it’s the cows. I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten to spend much time with them, but their spots aren’t the only thing that makes them different. They have personalities, they do goofy things, and they produce a miracle food. I’m lucky to get to spend my time taking care of them because they take care of me.” –Christine Leonard, Local Dairy Farmer Starts Side Business Crafting Cheese Boards November 2020

“It changed my life completely. I used to live by the military mentality of getting the mission done no matter the cost. I had to learn to start listening to my body and giving myself permission to slow down when I needed to.” –Alexis Hileman, Learn to Listen to Your Body at Excelsior Holistic Wellness Clinic Balanced Being October 2020

“I would not be who I am today without them. They are genuinely interested in who you are, how they can be there for you, how they can support you and how can they love you.” –Autumn Coleman, Timber Bay’s Minnetonka Tree Lots Fund Teens’ Futures December 2020


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