Saturday, July 27, 2013

Our First Family Vacation

Life has been busy lately and I haven't been writing as much as I would like.  But then again, when isn't life busy?  Let me rephrase, blogging hasn't been a priority lately.  I love writing and I have all these topics I want to write about, I just need to make time to do it.  When I started this blog, it was for me, meaning when I have the time and desire to write, I write and when I don't, I don't write.

Anyway, so last week we went on our first official family vacation.  And what I mean by official is that we actually went somewhere and stayed in a hotel (well a condo in our case) for the pure sake of taking a vacation.  Not visiting friends or family or going to a wedding, just a good old fashion family vacation.  We invited my parents to come along because I enjoy my parents and also to help with E so Mike and I could spend time just the two of us.  My Dad couldn't make the trip, something about too much work at home...blah blah blah.  I just said "Whatever Dad.", but my Mom came and it was great having her along.

We went to Bayfield, WI which is about 4 hours away and right on Lake Superior.  We rented a condo in Port Superior Marina.  A condo was the way to go.  Especially with E, things were just easier.  We had plenty of room for him to play, a full kitchen to cook meals and a deck right on the water.  The only bad thing was the deck had limited railings so we didn't spend too much time out there.  My fearless child would be jumping in the water within a matter of seconds.

We spent 4 glorious days at different beaches, checking out different playgrounds, eating ice cream and Ruffles with French Onion Dip (a vacation must have!).  We took the ferry over to Madeline Island and spent the day at the beach there and checking out the quaint beach town.  We had perfect weather, little rain and plenty of sunshine.

On the way back from Bayfield, we stopped in Duluth for lunch and to walk around the lake shore.  It was a great first family vacation and we all agreed we'd go back.  I think E enjoyed the water the most.  I loved seeing him playing in the waves and sand at the beach.

It was a simple vacation, we didn't visit anything historic or particularly famous or eat in any great restaurants. It was just time spent together doing things we love and a chance to get away.  It was pretty much perfect.

Our view for the week.

Day at the beach.

Mom and Grandma having fun at the playground.

Ferry ride to Madeline Island.  E was ready to jump in!

One of several ice cream stops.

Stop in Duluth on the way home.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Summer Bucket List Check In - And Other Fun Summer Things

In my mind, the 4th of July marks the middle of summer.  So that means summer is already half over! Summer is my favorite season and it always seems too short, especially in Minnesota.  A while back Mike and I created a Summer Bucket List in order to get the most out of summer.  Here's how we're doing so far.

1.Visit Como Zo
2. Splash Pad in St. Louis Park
3. Roast marshmallows in our backyard
4. Sit in the driveway and drink a beer  (I think we can triple check this one.)
5. Grill as much as possible  (Every chance we get, sometimes for lunch and dinner!)
6. Plant a tomato and pepper plant  (I didn't plant a pepper plant but my tomato plant is going strong.)
7. Grow fresh cilantro (I'm crossing this one off because I attempted fresh cilantro, it died)
8. Drink morning coffee on our patio
9. Walk to Caribou with E and Josie for morning coffee
10. Take Evan to one of Minnesota's many lakes
11. Visit Itasca State Park
12. Go Fishing
13. Go to the Farmer's Market as much as possible
14. Golf
15. Eat at Sea Salt
16. Adele's for frozen custard 
17. Take E to a playground (This is pretty much a daily activity for us)
18. Take E to a parade (We went to the 4th of July Parade in Spicer)
19. Pull E with the bike
20. IA or MN State Fair

As you can see, we've crossed off quite a few things on our list but still have many things left to do. Thankfully we still have some summertime left.  Even though we've still got things to check off our Summer Bucket List, I think we're having an awesome summer spending as much time outside as we can.  This may mean my floors have a few more dust bunnies and little less laundry gets folded, but it's worth it.  

Evan's First Scratch cupcake.

Bubbles on the Farm.

Checking out Grandpa's goats.

Loving the swings at the park.

It looks like we're at a lodge up North...we're really just at Famous Dave's for lunch.

Splash Pad Fun!

You could say I'm having a pretty great summer!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

"Goose Needs a Hug"

I'm writing this post simply so I will have this memory documented.  My heart absolutely melted tonight while reading E this book.  We are big fans of Duck and Goose books so we read a lot of them.  In this book, Goose is sad and needs a hug.  His friends are trying to find out what's wrong and cheer him up.  In the end, Goose finally says he needs A HUG!  When I read the last page, E will lean in and give me a hug.  It is the sweetest thing ever!  I kept reading the book over and over tonight and each time we got to the last page I got a hug.  Did I mention my heart melted?   


Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Josie is our very naughty terrier mutt we rescued 3 years ago.  I don’t really write about her much but she is a very big part of our family.  You see, before E came along, Josie was our baby.  Mike and I rescued her the summer after we got married and she ran the household from Day 1.  That was our first mistake!  We would take pictures of her like we do now with E and send them back and forth to each other.  She slept in the bed with us and she always cuddled up on the couch with me.  Mike and I only have ourselves to blame for her naughtiness, we treated her like a princess.  When we found out I was pregnant, I reassuringly told Josie that “She would always be my first baby.”  I knew my relationship with Josie would change once I had the baby, but I didn't think it would change as drastically as it did.  She became more of a nuisance than my little puppy I once adored.  Her naughty behavior got worse and instead of dealing with it I just got more mad and resentful towards her.  In fact, Mike and I considered getting rid of her but neither one of us was willing to make that call.  I kept thinking of all the happiness she has brought me over the years.  When I was on bed rest with E, she knew something was not right.  She stayed with me on the couch and kept me company.  Those memories made it so hard to consider surrendering her.  And through all of this change, she has been so good with E. 

For the past 2 weeks, Josie has been out at Mike’s parents’ house.  They offered to keep her since we've been gone so much.  They live out in the country where she can run free.  She is a different dog out there.  She doesn't bark as much, she will lie nicely on the floor at our feet and she actually listens.  I hadn't seen Josie for a while and I really wasn't missing her too much but as soon as I saw her all those feelings of resentment went out the window.  I didn't realize how much I did miss her until I saw her cute little face with her tongue sticking out ready to give me kisses. 

We brought Josie back home and I’m hoping some of her good behavior sticks.  I need to be a better dog owner too.  I need to make sure she gets the exercise she needs and deserves.  I’m going to get her a permit for the dog park so she can continue to run free.  I’m going to make sure she knows she is loved just as much as before because she is a part of our family and we love her.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Taking Back My House

I can't believe we're in July already.  The month of June flew by and was a whirlwind for my family.  I looked at the calendar and counted the days we were actually home in June.  16 days.  And some of those days we were just home on weekends because I had to work and then we headed right back out.

It's been fun vacationing out East with friends, spending time in Iowa with my family, having friends in town and spending time out at Mike's family, but I'm ready to be home for a while.  I mean seriously, I'm still storing my makeup and face lotion in my travel case!

In my old age I've become a bit of a homebody and I enjoy being at home and puttering around.  I love to spend time in my yard and cook in my kitchen.  I haven't had the chance to enjoy being a homebody and my house shows it!  There are piles of laundry everywhere, some clean some dirty.  The lawn is turning into a prairie, my flower beds are overgrown with weeds and my cilantro and basil didn't survive.  I can't remember the last time I cooked a meal in my kitchen and my Pinterest boards are feeling neglected.

We are out of town for the 4th of July then it's a week of nothing so I'm declaring next week "Take Back My House Week!". I have a hefty list of things I want to get done but I'm also excited to cook meals, spend time in the backyard with E and catch up on my shows...I have not been Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

The month of June was a blast but I'm ready for some downtime.  So once the 4th is over,  I'm putting up the suitcases and going to finally unpack my makeup until the next trip....which looking at my calendar, is exactly 2 weeks from today.