Friday, June 29, 2012


I have exactly 15 minutes before Buzz is going to turn green and my boys will be bounding down the steps.  So 15 minutes is exactly how long I have to write this post!  Ready, set, go!

This is going to be a hodge podge of all that has been going on in our little home these past couple weeks.  I am loving summer! I feel like it is moving way too fast. We have been way too busy, gone to something every single day, but we have been having a lot of fun!


The boys have been attending a sports camp for the past three weeks. It just wrapped up yesterday.  They learned some of the basics of how to play football, soccer, track and field, baseball, and a few new outdoor games.  They loved it!  Grayson is pictured above with his teachers.  Ethan was “too shy” to have his picture taken.  As you can probably tell the teachers are identical twins.  All I could do was watch them and think about Ethan and Grayson some day being that size, and hopefully still being as close as these two appear to be.  Such kind, gentle men.  Grayson adored them.


Grayson is on the extreme left with the white t-shirt and hat on.  Ethan is on the extreme right with the same outfit on.


Yesterday the kids had coordinating shirts on.  One of them says, “I scream.”  Another says, “You scream.”  The third says, “We All Scream for Ice Cream.”  They came from a cousin of mine. So cute and perfect for a hot summer day!


We went to a parade last weekend in our hometown.  This was the kids first parade! Can you believe that! I don’t know how we hadn’t been to a parade with them in the past few years, but it just had never worked out!  They loved it, especially when they saw that candy was included in the fun!




Ethan and Grayson have grown up so much these past two weeks with two pretty major milestones. 

1. They are completely out of diapers.  They had been wearing pull-ups to bed, but as of three nights ago they have been wearing their underwear and staying dry all night.  After 3 1/2 years of thousands of diapers it is awesome to know that they are behind us!  They are pretty proud of themselves!

2. They have decided that they are too big for baths and have started taking showers. They are very independent and like to soap up their own loofah (my computer is not recognizing this word – but I think that’s what it’s called so I’m going to go with it!) and scrub their own bodies. They still need a little help from Mom and Dad, but they do great on their own and even let the water run over their face!  That is a huge step for them!  I am loving the time it saves on bath time!  They are in and out of the shower in less than 10 minutes each, where as before bath time seemed like a much longer experience!


My glasses have seen better days.  The other day as I was assisting Ethan in the shower I asked Grayson to lay my glasses on the counter for me.  He instead laid them on the floor where I proceeded to step on them rendering them busted.  July 19th is my scheduled Lasik date.  Yes, I am taking the plunge!  My glasses are tied together with string to keep them on my face, and I have decided that I can handle three more weeks before the surgery.  I had my detailed exam yesterday and all is a go!  I can’t imagine after 24 years of glasses and contacts that I may be able to see without them! 


We went strawberry picking with a friend and her kids.  I turned the entire lot in to strawberry jam.  I love having a freezer full of jam!  The boys found a mud puddle. I wish I had pictures of it, but I was way too busy trying to decide what to do in completely covered children that I couldn’t fumble around with my camera.  We went to Dairy Queen and I let them come in like that.  What kind of mother am I?  They literally looked like Pig Pen and left a muddy trail wherever they walked.  Sigh.


We have been doing lots and lots and lots of water time.  It has been hot here and we have been staying wet!  On this particular day we had no suits along, but that splash park was just too inviting so I let the kids go ahead and get wet.  They didn’t seem to mind!

I will try to be back soon with a post about my wonderful husband of 11 years!  11 years tomorrow!

Sorry about the dry post full of pics – but my time is up!  Here they come! Smile

Thursday, June 21, 2012

On A Rainy Day…



…made pet rocks.  Hey, why not. (I’ll have to report their names later. Let’s just say they were pretty unique. Too unique to remember!)


…wrote letters to some special friends. The kids got to choose who they wanted to send letters to.  They were allowed two cards each. It was a tough choice!  I promised we’d do it again another day!  (Adelyn is taking this sticker picking decision very seriously)


…did some stamping (which got a bit out of control for one boy in particular!)


…made bracelets.  Adelyn loved this activity. She did a fabulous job putting those beads on the pipe cleaner. I don’t often give her enough credit for what she is able to do!


Once it cleared up we put on our rainboots and took a trip to the mailbox!


Adie with her letter for MawMaw.


I’d call it a success!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Things They Say…


The other day in the car the boys were talking in the back.  Here was their conversation that resulted in a teary phone call with my Mother telling her all about it:

G: I’m just going to love you forever because you’re my best, best, best, best, best, best, best, best, best, best friend.

E: You’re my best, best, best, best, best, best, best, best, best, best friend in the whole world (throwing his arms open wide).

G: (Tugging on his shirt) That just makes my heart feel SO happy.  It makes my eyes have a tear in them too!


And one more story from last night. I asked Grayson to please grab my water out of the kitchen and bring it downstairs to me.  He came up to me a few minutes later and said, “Here’s your spit drink Mommy.”  I said, “My what?”  He gave me this nervous little smile and said, “Nothing.”  I said, “Grayson, what did you just call it?”  He said, “I called it your spit drink. It was just a silly name.”  I said, “Did you spit in Mommy’s drink? He sheepishly smiled and said, “Yes, I did.”


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Daddy Day

There’s just something about a Dad.


I kinda like that guy above.  I’ll take the kids too.

He has this way with them.

They love their Mommy.  I mean obviously right? Smile

But there is something about this man in their life that they call Daddy.

I see it in the way they look at him.

The way they listen when he speaks.

The way they act after having some time with him.

They need their Dad.

He plays an important role, and one thing I admire and love about Chris is that he recognizes that.

He works hard at his job all day long, but when he comes home he sheds that role and his Father gear goes on head to toe.


Is he a perfect Father?  No.  He freely and openly admits that.  He has flaws, imperfections, areas that he is always working on…kinds like me.

But it doesn’t change his heart for his children.  He is passionate about them.


Yesterday was a special day, celebrating our appreciation of this man in our life and all that he does for this family of ours.  Church, picnic, frozen yogurt….


then later a movie and dinner out with the boys.



At the end of his meal this note arrived to the table.  The picture is a bit hard to read, but it says, “ Have a Happy Father’s Day. May God Bless You and Your Family.  Bill is Paid”  Isn’t that just the most incredible gift?  Chris brought this home to me and I just started to cry.  How thoughtful that someone noticed him out with his sons last night and honored him in this way.  It meant so much to him!



And while those boys got to go out and have their fun little Miss and I celebrated the end of Fathers Day with a little girl time.  Painting our nails!  It was Ms. A’s first go at this.  I love the look in the top right pic above where she’s giving that bottle of polish quite the eye.  I also love that you can now appreciate and love along with me our beautiful wallpaper in our master bath.  Sorry to have sparked some jealousy on your behalf now though.

And what would Fathers Day be without recognizing the amazing man that I get to call Daddy!





He is one of the kindest, gentlest, funniest, most hard working people I have ever met.

He loves his wife, children, and grandchildren fiercely.  He always has.  I have never questioned my place with my Dad.  I have known since I can remember that I am loved, loved, loved by him.  He is approachable.  He is always willing to jump in whenever he can.  Just today he stopped by for a quick visit, and after scooping Adelyn up out of her crib he noticed she needed a diaper change.  He went ahead and just did it.  Not handing her off to me, but just asking me where a clean diaper was and getting the job done!

I love you Dad!

And while you might think that I am just going to keep tossing amazing fathers in to my blog post – I promise this last guy is going to wrap this baby up.


Beth's Pictures April 2011 145

Beth's Pictures April 2011 300

This man too has been such an example to his family.  An example of what an honest, hard working, loving man is.  Chris’s Mom is his first priority.  It is always known and has always been such an inspiration for me to witness.  Chris has learned much from his Dad.  He is a respected, much loved individual by so many – including five people in Minnesota!  We love you Pop!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Vacation High


Chris had another conference to attend in California, this time in Long Beach, and he asked me to come along again.  I felt a tad bit guilty about leaving my children for a few days after just doing it in January, but upon asking my parents and hearing their excitement about the opportunity about watching their grandchildren for a few days, I eagerly anticipated the trip!

When we had visited in January I had signed up for San Diego Living Social deals to be sent to my inbox.  A few weeks ago I received a deal advertising a sunrise hot air balloon adventure in Temecula wine valley.  It was an incredible savings off of the original price, and this is something I always dreamed of doing.  I was nervous though about booking it because we only had a two day window of opportunity, and if the weather didn’t work out those two days we would have been out of luck (and out of the money!).  My original plan was to surprise Chris, but unsure of if he would really love it or not, I asked him about it.  His response was a very enthusiastic “YES! BOOK IT!”  And so we did!



We had to leave our hotel in Long Beach at 3 in order to get to the winery two hours away by 5.  It was an early morning, but our excitement gave us some momentum!  Once we arrived we were greeted with smiling faces and a huge breakfast spread.  We signed a waiver that I didn’t read too closely so I wouldn’t develop fear, and we waited for our balloons to fill!



Still waiting!  It was a cool morning, probably in the low 50’s, so layers felt nice!  Once the sun came up though and we got up in that HOT air balloon it heated up quickly!


Excited!  We got to go inside the balloon while it was filling! It was massive.  I could not believe how little we looked inside of there.


This is the winery we left from.  Beautiful.


It was such a beautiful morning.  Very little wind.  So peaceful.  I was struck by just how silent it was up in the balloon.  Only the sound of our pilot’s voice was heard. He was a talker too! I just wanted to ask him to politely be quiet so I could just soak in the beauty! Smile (Those are orange trees on the left)


This picture is so dumb – but hey, why not include it.  After our balloon landed they shuttled us back to the winery in this party bus they use for touring.  The poles were just recently added at the request of many of their patrons.  Seriously? 


We landed around 8 and Chris and I headed in to Temecula and found a little dive to grab a few pancakes.  It hit the spot, but after that we were exhausted!  We decided to find a park and sleep in the car for a bit to reenergize ourselves!  We found a beautiful park and crashed.  Soon though this man approached us and asked us if we wouldn’t mind moving as he was having carpet cleaners coming.  I guess we were parked in his spot! I had to wake my sleeping husband in the back seat.  We laughed about how ridiculous we must have looked. I bet that man wondered who these vagabonds were outside his home!

After that we visited a few wineries around the valley.  The picture on the left was a beautiful place overlooking the valley. Chris and I shared a tray of food, the music, and the sunshine. I could have stayed there all day.  I’m not sure what Chris is doing on the right.  Flashing his west coast sign perhaps?




The following day we went to visit my precious Great Aunt Donna. It is my paternal Grandmother’s sister.  She is 93 years old and his lived in this house right on the ocean for nearly 60 years.  Her address is literally “The Strand” as you can walk right out of her home and on to the beach.  My family had a couple of vacations here over the years growing up, so it was so much fun for me to show Chris her home and meet this precious woman.


Here I was showing her some pictures of our children and also a video of my Grandpa and Grandma who she hasn’t seen in quite a few years. Sadly, neither she, or my grandparents, can travel anymore – so seeing each other is no longer a possibility.  Her eyes filled with tears at the sight of my Grandma and she grabbed my hand and said, “My sister Alice.  Oh how I miss her.”


After visiting her Chris and I had a few hours to spare before joining Aunt Donna and her son for dinner.  We decided to hit the beach of course!



We had dinner at one of Aunt Donna’s favorite restaurants right down the strand from her home.  It was nice to see my Dad’s cousin Tom as well.  The lady sitting next to Chris, Lavonne, is one of the ladies that stays with my Aunt Donna 24/7 which allows her to continue to live in her home.


On my final day in CA I was able to visit an old friend of mine.  We had lunch together while Chris had to give a presentation.  It is always such a treat to see her and her about her life in California!

And now I’m home, Chris is home, we’re all reunited. 

It is sure nice to have a few days away, but man it’s always nice to come back home!  I was greeted with three children running in to my arms, and I swear they had grown considerably in the 5 days that I was gone!


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