Thursday, April 12, 2018

Spring break

Despite being the very last week of March, Spring break was a cold one. We opted to stick close to home this year, having gone on trips the last two winters. I took a couple days off work and did some exploring with the kids. 

We started at Minihaha. This place continues to amaze me with its beauty. I think it’s almost as pretty in the winter as it is in the summer months. We love to walk around and explore. Sidney brought along her scooter and Lincoln his balance bike so they had a blast sipping around and down some hills. 

With the help of some boots, the kids were able to slush through the cold mud and found all sorts of wildlife. Sidney screamed when they found a couple of ducks quaking at each other; only to realize we were standing just inches from eggs and they were probably quacking at us! 

This cutie spotted the exact spot we had come for family pictures a few years back and asked me to take some photos of her. She’s such a ham! 

We found our way to Como one day as well. I had to drag the girls out of the house on that particular day, they’re definitely over the idea of walking around Como. Makes me sad :( While I think they still had fun, Lincoln certainly was the reason we headed over there. 

He suckered me into buying him a tiger too. Stinker. But he simply loves tigers right now. More than having toys that are tigers, he wants to BE a tiger! We chuckle when we hear his daycare friends greet him with “hi tiger Lincoln!”, wondering what on earth he does all day to deserve being called tiger Lincoln! Ha! Love that sweet boy. 

And love our adventures. 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Friends through the years

There's nothing like a friend. 
And our girls sure have some great ones.
We've all been finding ways to spend some free time with good friends. There are times in the year where the calendar is so full that we struggle to find a free moment. 
A couple of weeks ago, the girls grabbed up a friend and we headed to indoor ice skating for the afternoon. 

These two cuties have been buds since they were infants! I love how despite being in different elementary schools, they adore each other's company and give us parents a headache with all of their chatter! 

And these two middle schoolers are just the sweetest together, not to mention hilarious! 

I was lucky enough to sneak away one day with this group whom I've known over 20 years now. We ran a 7K, enjoyed some good food and drinks and a LOT of laughs lasting late into the evening. 

We're all so lucky to have some great friends in our lives :) 

Spring time

It's officially spring around here and any increase in temp has allowed us to spend more time outside. Couple that with more daylight, and we are becoming pros at Lincoln's request of "around around the block". He loves spending so much time outdoors and I will be honest, it affords much better sleep for him so we get outside as much as possible! 

(Even when he squats down at the storm drain and all I think about is the movie IT)

Sometimes it's a gigantic mess, as he splashes in puddles 6" deep. His cutest cow rain boots don't stand a chance with all of that water. Luckily he doesn't mind getting a little wet or dirty because spring time is the worst of them all to try staying clean. Our back entryway is constantly filled with wet shoes spilling over onto hardwood floors and bringing the puddles indoors. 

I sure love watching his delight so it's all worth the mess :) 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Overnight guest

It's no secret that we have a favorite 4 legged friend around here. And when we get the opportunity to bring him over for a sleepover, we JUMP at it! This was the first time that Ryan was going to actually be home during his visit (we often try to time them when he's been traveling). But given that Angie was having surgery, it was easy to convince Ryan that I was bringing home an overnight guest :) 

I love how we stands and stares at me when we get into the truck on the drive home. I giggled as we drove along and every once in a while, I would see his head bob up and down in the rear-view mirror. 

He is such a sweet dog, and bonus....he matches our wood flooring! Baylor is a Golden Retriever, and he sheds a lot. But with his coat the same color as the flooring, at least you don't see it very much! 
Oh how we loved up on him for those 15 hours he was in our care. 

Ryan had to chuckle (Ryan is not a dog person) and asked me "does he just follow you everywhere?". Um, yep. 
I went to bathe Lincoln and turned around to see his smiling face at me. I snapped this photo and sent it to Angie who replied with "he's smiling!". 

And at the end of the night, he laid at the foot of the couch next to me. Regan had a late night of dance but hurried through her shower and homework so she could love up on Baylor before bed. If there's one of our kids who wants a dog the most, it's her. 

The next morning, as we got ready to head back to work, Baylor all dressed and obedient, Lincoln whined that he needed more time with Baylor. He stood by the door and gave him extra hugs before we headed back to the hospital for work :)
Thanks Angie for letting us keep Baylor overnight! 

Birthday party -6th grade style

Due to a number of factors (mostly that our calendar is incredibly full), we had to delay Regan's friend party for several weeks. And then, as 6th graders apparently do, it was a spur-of-the-moment planned party. 
But let me tell you, we had so much fun!

She texted a few friends, asked them if they wanted to help her celebrate by tackling Nickelodeon Universe on a Friday night. Toss in some pizza and a quick stop at DQ, and just like that, her party was planned!  

Those girls giggled and rode ride after ride and even let me tag along :) I ended up a Vera Bradley tree, hanging onto all of their purses during each ride. We shut down the park and everyone went to bed happy and tired. 


We've had a lot of snow this winter. A LOT. so we've gotten through by discovering all sorts of unopened toys. Some from a year ago. 
Lincoln went bananas over this drill toy and he/Sidney even created patterns occupying them for hours! 

Don't get me wrong, we have found our way outside when the elements allow. Our driveway makes a small impromptu sledding hill and Sidney tried her hand at snowboarding. That girl is multi-talented I tell you. 

And when we get really bored, and mom gets pre-occupied by a phone call, you later find your child cleared off all sorts of toys and climbed his way atop. It was a perfect perch for his morning playtime! 

We're getting restless for spring and ready for warm weather, 
doing anything we can to help the days go by. 

Friday, March 02, 2018

Lincoln's swim meet

With two older sisters who are incredibly active in sports and activities, Lincoln spends a lot of time on the sidelines, A LOT of time. He happily sits through 3 hour dance recitals, gymnastics meets, music programs and softball games. Rarely does he complain, usually it keeps him wildly entertained. However, now that he gets a turn on stage or as the center of attention, he is so excited to shine! 

Recently, in the middle of a snow-storm, he was signed up for a swim meet. Let me be honest, it's not a real meet, it's only for fun, there is no dedicated "winner" and everyone receives ribbons for participation. But the excitement on his face leading up to his "race" was sheer joy! He could not wait for us to watch him in the pool. Given his age, they keep an instructor in the lane with him at all times, and let him do his thing :) It's so cute to watch him swim! 

Pardon the very toothy grin...I think his cheeks hurt from all the smiling that evening :) 

Way to go Lincoln! We're so proud of you! 

Gymnastics meet 2018

Sidney has been hard at work learning some advanced gymnastics skills this year. She enjoys flipping and rolling and jumping and this week, was able to participate in a winter meet held at her gym. She did quite well and ended up with two 3rd place finishes, one 2nd place and one 5th place for an all-around of 3rd place. (she wasn't thrilled with her finish....but we were ecstatic!). She made the podium and we are so very proud for all that she has learned so far this year.

Friday, February 16, 2018

And the oldest turns 12!

Well this birthday may go down in history as the most memorable. Before I get to what made it that way, let's just take a look at the last year and how much this girl has grown right before our eyes.

I can still see her little baby face in that photo below taken early 2017. It makes me so giddy to remember her "birth"-day and to think it was 12 years ago! 

Fifth grade graduation day with some of her besties (whose parents I all adore!), shoving themselves into the wall in the auditorium. 

Her laugh. When she is really having a good time (everyday at the annual cabin trip), her laugh is infectious. I smile just looking at this picture because she was having so much fun preparing herself to jump into the middle of the lake off the pontoon. 

Birthday #12 was a big deal around here. She lit her own birthday candles, on a cake I pre-ordered as part of Sidney's elementary school fundraiser (hey, it was for a good cause!). The cake Regan picked up for me at the elementary school and carried home herself (because she's super responsible like that). So yes, I let her light her own birthday candles :) We had to hurry along the birthday song because we had to eat said cake in between school and softball and dance. But we celebrated together, and that's what is most important.  

                                               And the cake was pretty darn yummy too.

And the part about being a birthday we might never forget?... It was the day that Regan stood up to an adult bully in school; she is being described as the catalyst for finally getting something done about him. I wish I wouldn't even have to associate her birthday to that man who tried calling himself an educator. But luckily my phone has been going non-stop from parents of friends who are proud of Regan for self-advocating and never giving up. And her amazing friends plastered her locker in birthday wishes to help cheer up her otherwise rough day. Sadly there has been a group struggle all year with a single teacher, who seemingly has had it out for Regan and many other classmates. He's now out of the school on what I hope will be a permanent leave. One parent messaged me "you have a great young lady there". We sure do :) 

Happy birthday Regan! We are so proud to be your parents!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Regan-12th birthday eve

Tonight our Regan goes to bed an 11 year old; and wakes up tomorrow age 12. 
How in the world are we already 12 years into this whole parenting thing?! It's hard to believe that 12 years ago tomorrow, we went from a couple, to a family. 

There's been a lot of talk around my office about babies and pregnancies, seeing as though I currently have two pregnant coworkers. There's been discussion about first time parents, and going from a family of 3 to 4. I have to giggle when I recall how big I was with each of my babies. Let's be real (and Ryan will lovingly tell you the same), I was humongous all over while pregnant with the first two.

That sweet Regan kept us on our toes from the beginning when she decided to arrive 4 weeks early. I will never forget my water breaking and my the shock of "oh my goodness already!?". Thankfully she was healthy and ready, and besides the whole dropper feeding, she was a rockstar baby. I could have held her forever and ever, and most days I did. I was a baby-hog to my own child :) 

And now looking back, I can hardly believe she will wake up in the morning and turn 12. I teared up on my drive home the other day as I thought to myself "we're half-way through her school career" (minus college). Half-way! Where did all of those years go? It honestly feels like I blinked and she grew up. I hope I've savored each moment enough; held her close, soaked in each stage, taken enough pictures. 

This sweet babe. She continues to pave the way for her siblings who follow behind. She never ceases to amaze us and she's growing up into a beautiful girl. These teenage years are likely to cause my hair to turn grey and Ryan's to fall out. But we're so excited to watch her grow up, right before our eyes.  

Happy Birthday Eve Regan! 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Little bit of everything

The recent weeks have been a hustle and bustle of a little bit of everything. We chauffer the kids from school to activities to friends to home. Our jobs are increasingly demanding and appropriately challenging. Occasionally, sometimes, rarely we get a little downtime and soak in each other (or if you're Sidney, whine that she's so bored because we have an extra hour or two unscheduled!). 

Here's a little bit of our everything: 

Lincoln cannot be more proud of his Friday morning swimming lessons. He adores them. And who wouldn't when you end the class flying through the air! He has excelled at swimming as well, front crawl, back crawl, it's incredible to watch! 

Regan has no problem with downtime. She has an ongoing obsession with slime, and has moved onto the floor because her giant bubbles are growing too big for the kitchen counters. 

Regan and I went on a shopping date and she convinced me to swing through the cutest little bakery shop and pick up a few custom cupcakes. Apparently they were delicious!

Maybe it's because I'm older wiser, or maybe it's actually something new, but whatever the case, I'm in love with the gorgeous sunsets this winter. If it has to be cold, and I have to be driving before the sun rises, at least it's beautiful. 

And upon arrival to my office, I am greeted daily by the best co-worker around: Baylor! He loves me as much as I love him and it's so fun to have his greetings each day. Most recently, he walked into my office, plopped himself by my feet and promptly fell asleep with his head on the footings of my chair! 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Winter wonderland

I don't necessarily love winters in Minnesota. They are cold and long and gray and the sun sets at 4:30pm. Not exactly my kind of weather. But with three little kiddos (ok, two for sure) who happen to appreciate a little white fluff on the ground, what has been difficult this year is the lack of snow and the deep freeze in temperatures. 

So when the weather started to finally warm up, we took full advantage of it. Oh, that and the fact that about the same time we got dumped on with a foot of fresh snow. Coupled together, these kiddos were in heaven!  

I love that Lincoln has very little fear. From a young age, he has come wherever we go (the "take along child") and has embraced each adventure. He now is the one begging for more adventures and has no problem tackling the nearby sledding hill. 

I guess if it has to be winter in Minnesota, I might as well embrace it too. 

Winter dance show 2018

A little picture overload going on in this post. I had trouble picking just one photo, so instead you get many :) 
The girls have been working in their dance classes towards the winter show (which I am forever grateful is held in January and not December). It's Christmas-time themed, but with the already busy-ness of December, the last thing we would need is a dance recital. 
Regan is old enough now to try out for the "cast" in this Nutcracker like production and was thrilled to make the cut. She was so dang adorable on stage and those little kiddos sure looked up to her when she put on her "cast" costume. 

The cast had 3 very long weekends to pull off all their dances; it doesn't sound like much, but they practiced 2-3 hours every Friday/Saturday/Sunday and their hard work sure paid off! They were amazing! 

And sometimes, when you're so excited it hurts, you take a silly pose picture for your mama. 

And your sister follows suit, with crazy bent arms. 

 Sidney is sure excited to make her way through the next few years before she too can join the cast. But while she waits, she does so with some super fun friends that helped keep her entertained back stage until it was their time to dance. 

Those grade 2-3 kiddos were sure cute up on stage, even though Sidney proclaimed they didn't all know the dances very well (and let's just say that bothered the daylights out of her). 

These show costumes are owned by the studio, and reused each year. Some are adorable, and others are, well, a little silly looking. So let's just take a look at that giant wreath bow turned hair bow....I couldn't even look at them without busting out laughing. It was seriously hideous! 

When all was said and done, the girls danced in a total of 3 shows, spanning 12 hours and a total of 29 dances between the two of them. That's a pretty incredible day if you ask me!
This was my favorite dance of Regan's regular classes, her tap dance "Hot Chocolate". So much going on and so many girls all tapping in unison. Incredible dance!  

I don't know how many kiddos make up this show every year, but here are most of them during final bows one show. There are a LOT of kids up there!  

I'm so proud of these two lovely girls. They worked hard and it sure showed. Great job girls!