Saturday, January 13, 2018

Paw Patrol "be there on the double"

And now that you too are singing the theme're welcome :) HA! 

I had the opportunity to take Lincoln to Paw Patrol Live this weekend, as part of his Christmas gift. I wasn't sure what to expect, I mean, I had seen Sesame Street Live as well as oodles of ____ on Ice performances. But I was puzzled about this show. Maybe it's because to me, Paw Patrol is still a pretty new cartoon. But I also wondered how they would animate these dogs. 

Our girls never watched this show; and even during dance carpool today, Regan's friend gave me a look  like I was speaking Greek and finally replied "that must be a new cartoon cuz I've never heard of them"! 

Well, Lincoln and I sat through a 90 minute performance of those giant stuffed Paw Patrol puppets, and he loved every minute of it. Oh the things we do for our children! He was so worried it was going to be over (long before it was) and kept asking after each song if it was over. He just wanted more! I'll be honest, I had more fun watching him than watching the show. But isn't that how it always goes? 

He wants to go back, I suggested he bring Ryan....who would probably rather poke his eyeballs out with toothpicks than watch that show ;) 
But like I told Ryan "you're not 4, so you aren't going to love it!". 

Until next time Paw Patrol! 

Post-Christmas wrap up

I noticed quite a few pictures hanging out on my phone that are certainly blog worthy. Let's be real, if I had more time to devote to this, I would put all our photos on this website! Just kidding. Sort of. 

Regan received this old-school toy in a new-age version: the pins! Only hers lights up. My brother had one of these bad boys when we were growing up. I always loved playing with it. So when Lincoln and I got it equipped with batteries, I couldn't help but giggle at this "sculpture" one of us created. 

Ryan gave me the most wonderful drawing for Christmas. Seriously, I like the hand-drawn picture almost more than the actual gift itself! *almost* It was pretty sweet to see him put some effort into this gift. And for the record, I love my new car starter too. My dad would be proud...even as adults, he always gave us a "toy" for Christmas. Usually it was something completely ridiculous like a small flying airplane or something. I think he'd approve of this "toy"! 

Regan was asked on a whim to play on a softball team for a tournament (which ended up being played in the middle of our work week instead of a weekend....that was a big snafu!). While she takes clinics and lessons throughout the winter, she was taken off-guard to be in the middle of a dome at 11pm playing ball one night. We spent our time just trying to stay warm in said "dome" while trying to look on the bright side: it was like a date! 

It's safe to say that Lincoln has gotten creative in his play. Poor Paw Patrols were eaten by his dinosaurs! And he came up with this idea all on his own! Giggling all the while. 

Pretty safe to say that we had a great holiday break, enjoying whatever life has to send our way. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Today was one of those days where life was put in perspective. Let's be real, I work in a hospital, it happens daily. But today was a little different.....

Last evening, I received a notification that "power was out" in our area. I mildly panicked, quickly tried to tidy up the house, finish laundry, power up all phones/iPods, and find candles and flashlights. I felt relieved going to bed while we still had power! Sadly, that ended around 5:15am when we woke to two screaming kids who realized that both their nightlights were out and white noise machines were silent. The house was pitch black. And silent.

After calming said screaming children, we laid in bed, checking texts/voicemails and emails hoping to find an answer to the outage, which was now throughout the neighborhood. The most we could find is that it would be a couple of hours at best before we were restored. Thankfully, we were all heading to school/work so we didn't have to sit in the dark very long.

I managed to get ready for my day (with the help of a battery powered lantern-thank you mom and dad!) and then headed to the grocery store, which I discovered was being powered by a generator, to grab coffee and donuts. After all, it was barely 6am and those kids needed breakfast...and we needed coffee! I left for work and eventually Ryan brought the kids to school. We still didn't have power.

Throughout the day, I received messages like the one below. I was frustrated and pre-occupied with worry about regaining electricity. Things buzzing in my mind included: frozen pipes, spoiled food, darkness and cold.

And then, about mid-day, I was graced with the presence of a cute little girl. She was about Lincoln's age and she made me hit the 'pause' button on my day. I listened as her adorable voice chatted away to her dreary eyed mother. Her gorgeous little bald head and slight limp in her walk pained my heart. And I realized at that point, any worry I had in my life held nothing against what that mommy was dealing with. The fact that we were on hour 5 without power no longer mattered. And just like that, my life squealed into perspective again.

I know that it can seem like I'm a pushover as a parent. But in reality, I like to think that I have life in perspective. I don't get worked up over spilled milk. I'm just grateful to have children spilling milk. I despise a messy house, but I thank my lucky stars for a family to make it messy and a job to help pay for the roof over our head. And yes, our kids drag out the bedtime routine like nobody's business. Yet I know to appreciate having the strength and ability to climb those stairs 3 times over again for "just one more good night!". So while it was incredibly inconvenient to lose power for a total of 7 hours today, it really was a minor problem in the grand scheme of things.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Christmas Day 2017

Christmas day has come and gone. It makes me both sad and happy (and Ryan is very happy to have far less money spent on gifts!). I love Christmas time and all of the fun it brings. And kids on Christmas morning?, there is simply nothing better. 

Let me back up 8 hours to our overnight.....
I think I finally crawled into bed around 11:30pm. 
And then Lincoln woke up at midnight begging to crawl into our bed. Fine. 
He woke up again around 1:30am and needed to go pee. So I take him pee. 
Just as I was falling back to sleep, around 2am, Regan came bouncing in the room, tears in her eyes and a wavering voice, complaining she can't sleep. #facepalm. 
She's too amped up and can't control the Christmas excitement! Get her back in bed.
By 6am Lincoln was waking up for the morning. I did my best to keep him occupied for another 30 minutes (thank you iPad!). 
But was Christmas!!! 

I have to giggle at how blurry all of these pictures are; it proves just how fast everyone was moving! 
Christmas morning is like none other when you're a kid. 

My mom made the trek later that morning and greeted us with more presents and a big Christmas smile. Oh, and an Ugly sweater party!
It was sweet and sad, having planned this day 365 days prior when both mom and dad showed up last year with ugly sweaters. It was at that moment we knew we had to make it a full-family experience and we all got busy finding the perfect sweater. 
We sure missed dad this year, miss is an understatement. And I know he would've picked out quite the sweater.
I just hope we made him proud ;) 

Christmas Eve 2017

We spent Christmas eve at home relaxing and enjoying the moment. Because we both come from small families, each only having 1 sibling (who either lives out of state or out of the country at the moment), hosting Christmas is just the way to go right now. It allows the kids to truly enjoy the Christmas moments and puts much less stress on us.  

My mom came Christmas day, and Ryan's folks came Christmas eve. We opened gifts, attempted lighting lanterns again (mostly failed due to weather conditions) and ate dinner. The kids enjoyed playing with new toys and devices and it was just so darn nice to be home. 

Merry Christmas Eve! 

Twas the night before Christmas

I love that the kids let me take their pictures so often. And I love it even more when they come up with ideas and ask for me to take their pictures! 
Just before Christmas, Lincoln said he needed lights just like on the tree. I couldn't believe that he remembered doing this scene the year prior and was asking for it again. He and Sidney got all tangled up and posed for me under the twinkling tree. 

I tried getting a picture of them facing forward wearing their Christmas pajama's, though couldn't capture all of their eyes at the same time. I knew I had a better shot at turning them around and letting them admire the tree and talk about the presents that would soon fill the space below. 

I love these three with my whole heart (and then some). 

Friday, December 29, 2017

Como-winter version

We headed to Como just before Christmas in hopes of catching some warmth in the Conservatory. Not only that, but Lincoln has been begging to see the tigers for quite some time. Sometimes when we enter the sunken garden area, we get a picture like the one above. And sometimes we get one like the photo below of Lincoln... 😦
It just cracks me up! 

I took what felt like a bazillion photos, and yet this one describes the moment perfectly. Sidney was compliant, Lincoln wanted nothing to do with pictures and Regan was having fun mocking her little bro. 
It's not always roses with this crew! 

I adore the sunken garden. Always have and probably always will. As I snapped pictures, I told the girls that some day, they could have a wedding in there! Sidney was intrigued and I'm pretty sure she is already planning that ceremony :)  

We came upon these wild looking spiky plants and I giggled, telling Regan to sit next to it. You see, her hair has all these wild curly strands that have a mind of their own; and they look identical to this plant. 

Let's take a closer look at that thing....
 Even she couldn't help but laugh at the resemblance. 

Ryan was quick and snagged a somewhat blurry picture of me with the kids (ok so there were 5 other photos just like this where someone wasn't looking at the camera!). The background of this place made us feel like we were all in a warmer climate, which was just what we all needed on a chilly morning. 

Oh that cheesy smile, how I love our 4 year old spunky, full of energy little boy. 
He drives us batty some  most days, and he wakes at 5am no matter what time he goes to sleep. But I remind Ryan a lot that these moments in time won't last forever. Sure he asks for 2 hugs before bedtime, and begs for the other parent to re-enter the room for yet another "good night", then yells for another drink of water. You get the picture. As we know, these kids grow up quickly, and we know he won't stay little too much longer.  

Following all of my picture taking in the warm conservatory climate, we headed out to the frozen tundra and took in all of the animals. TWICE. 
That little animal loving boy made us do the loop of animals two times. We had a great morning and Como continues to be one of our favorite family activities. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Slowing down, silly fun

I've been trying hard to push the "pause" button this month. Doing things like putting down my phone, soaking in the kids and simply enjoying the moment. Our days have been so full between incredibly demanding roles at work, 3 super active children who are all striving for our attention and phones that go buzz buzz buzz requiring replies to emails, attention to lost packages and stolen identities (sadly, yes that too is occurring).

But when we slow down a little and let go of everything for a moment, we see what's really important to us. And the smiles on those faces make it all worth the tasks piling up on the other end!

Christmas celebrations

Tis the season for all of the Christmas celebrating. We are in the middle of some good times around here, song-singing, music-playing, cookie-eating fun. Oh and don't forget the shopping...that seriously is one of my most favorites! We're full into Christmas mode around here.
This past weekend was a doozey, with my own work Christmas party (ugly sweaters and all!), some school music programs (with kids performing all of 8 minutes!), and my brother and Jon in town for our first family Christmas celebration. It was a whirlwind of a weekend, buzzing here there and everywhere yet soaking in all of the time together.

At one point, amidst all of the present chaos, a fat Santa glass ornament went tumbling off our Christmas tree and rolled towards the group. Since no one was near the tree at the time, Ryan chuckled that it was a squirrel. My mom and I looked at each other and in unison said "or someone....", knowing full well what the other was thinking. We sure missed my dad this weekend, with his antics and our traditionally exchanged gag gift, but at that moment, I knew he was with us. In some form, he's here and I take comfort in his presence.

We had a great time this weekend, eating and baking to our hearts content. Leaves me wishing every weekend was Christmas!

Friday, December 08, 2017

My favorite 4 legged friend

I know I've mentioned it before....I have a 4 legged friend who doesn't belong to me but treats me like he does! My good friend at work has a service dog-Baylor, who I love just like my own! He sure makes being at work so much more pleasant, who wouldn't love having a dog around the office!? Every morning, while Angie scoots past my office door to the printer, he trots in for a good morning hello. Some times, after a long weekend, or a vacation, he will bounce in like a bunny, ears flopping and all excited to say hello! Seriously, he cracks me up. It makes me giggle when I scroll through my photos in my phone and find pictures of Baylor like he was my own :) 

Sometimes he sits at my feet, sometimes he follows me out the door. No matter what, I love that fluffy golden and am so glad Angie doesn't make me abide by his "no petting" sign! 

Winter wedding

We were fortunate enough to be able to spend a most lovely evening with my best friend and some 100 of her closest friends and families as she got married this December. The kids can only ever remember being at outdoor weddings (something my great aunt scowls at...."weddings should be done in the church!"), so when I told the kids that Kari's wedding was at a hotel, they were utterly confused. Sidney swore she was getting married in an apartment! You know, hotels---apartments, they're all the same ;) 

It was a beautiful evening and we had an awesome time slowing down and enjoying the night. The kiddos danced the night away, having a great time with the friends we love like family. 

Congrats Kari and Lyle! We are so excited for your family! 

Christmas season

Following Thanksgiving, it suddenly felt that the Christmas season was quickly upon us! We headed out on a warm November Friday and picked out our tree at the usual spot. It's a local distributor and they entice us with free sleigh rides! And photos with the Big Man himself. There also happens to be an incredible playground nearby and the kids played while Ryan and I found the perfect tree. Proved to be the perfect combination.

We spent the weekend decorating and talking about Christmas and Lincoln honestly thought he was going to get presents from Santa each  night. Every night, he went to bed and announced Santa would be coming because it was CHRISTMAS! Despite our efforts to remind him it was only the "Christmas SEASON". He prevailed.

Our Elf-Ellie made an early return one morning too. Back story, Sidney lost a tooth and was so excited for the Tooth Fairy to come overnight. The next morning, with tears in her eyes, she opened the bathroom door while I was getting ready for work and informed me the fairy hadn't come. She crawled back into bed feeling deflated. Thankfully, with some quick thinking, the Elf appeared in our newly decorated tree with a note and $5 she had kept safe from the Tooth Fairy. Sidney came down the stairs eventually and her eyes were as big as saucers when she saw 1) that Ellie was back and 2) her tooth money! Win for mom ;) And that elf has been up to no good ever since!

We've done (a lot) of shopping, scouring the stores for deals and Regan even asked to check out the Black Friday hoopla with me. It was sure a fun afternoon hanging out with her. We 've pulled out all of our Christmas decorations and decked the halls, inside and out.
We're gearing up for some ugly Christmas sweater parties and cannot wait to take a family picture with those things. I found this one for Ryan and he nearly gagged at the sight! ha!!

The Christmas parties have started and there are more on the calendar. I was able to make the trek back to New Ulm for a party on my mom's side with Regan as my side kick. I had to chuckle as we chatted that afternoon...."boy these parties sure have changed!". What used to be a rocking night of music, drinks, games and pranks, has turned into a Sunday afternoon in a retirement community lounge room with coffee and hotdish! :) But I sure love these faces and was happy to be in their company and with the group of 40 some people that day.

There's more Christmas to come, more shopping to do and baking to start. My goal is to slow down a little too, it's been 'run here, race there' lately and I'm hopeful for some more nights in with this little family of my own.