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Monday, May 30, 2011


Even though T and M have three days of school left, we've already pretty much kicked off summer around here.

We started our long, holiday weekend following preschool graduation. We hit the road for up north where temps sat around 65 or so. {J had been there all week for work and came home Thursday and then we all headed back up together.}
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These kids didn't mind.
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We swam and they fished and we swam and they slept in and we swam and we saw Kung Fu Panda 2 and did I mention anything about swimming?
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After a few days up north at Craguns, we came home and had that just enough mixture of getting stuff done and having fun. We organized closets and the garage and had a bonfire and sleepovers for the bigs.
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And we ended our weekend with a high of around 90 and a last minute trip to my most favorite ice cream shop ever. Sebastian Joe's in Linden Hills.
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The first of what I hope will be many trips this summer.

I'm working on our summer bucket list that I'll post within the next week or so. Anything you're planning on this summer that we should add to our list? We are always up for new adventures!

Here's to summer, friends!

{Don't miss out on a great Tiny Prints Father's Day deal over here.}

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Our Grad.

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And so starts his summer break. Kindergarten, here we come.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Big Day.

Tomorrow's a big day around here. We're going to have a preschool graduate in the house.

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I am pretty sure Miss M and I are cut from the same cloth. The kind that likes to celebrate.

Her and I made H a banner tonight that we'll have him come home and break through it.

His preschool finish line.
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I'm not sure how he turned into a preschool graduate so quickly. It seems as though it was just last week when I sat holding his fussy self while M walked across the "bridge". I must have blinked again.


This week over on Patch, I had the opportunity to share the story of a family adopting from Colombia. I left their home Sunday night inspired. Read the story here. And if you drink coffee and like free-trade coffee, order some for their adoption fundraiser right here.

I also shared our road trip tips and tricks right here.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, May 23, 2011


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Certain pictures I take say certain things to me and as soon as I snapped this one {and several following this one} of H with this gigantic "Lego-Bot" as he calls them, I knew I'd remember the moment forever.

It's seeing your kids excitement for life. His pride as he jumped from "Lego-Bot" to "Lego-Bot" wanting his picture taken so he could look back and see them.

It's sometimes the moments like this where I have to resist the urge of pinching myself. These are my kids. I am their mom. This is my life.


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The Noodles winners have finally been announced... {Noodles apologizes for the delay!}winners of the noodle bowls are:
Allison S
The Petersons

{Even if you've done it before, please shoot me an email with your address so I don't have to dig through my email inbox! Thanks!}

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Quotables and Stuff.

I'm not sure if it's because of the drastic weather change but my littles both seemed to have woken up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I dragged them along to take pictures of a kindergarten event for Patch and H fell off the playground, knocked his chin and slipped off the end of the slide all in five minutes time. E would not be carried, would not hold my hand and was fully exerting her independence. Also, it was raining.

H has had some really great quotables this week that I've had written on a piece of scratch paper so I wouldn't forget. This kid cracks me up.

Wednesday morning at swim lessons, the day after my Zumba class which I told H was an exercise class:

"Mom?" H says pointing at the senior citizens doing water aerobics in the lap pool. "I think you should do that kind of exercise class. When can you sign up for it?"

{He's always had a thing for old ladies doing water aerobics and I now am grouped in with them.}

Wednesday afternoon we were outside playing and two neighbor girls were riding their scooters while H rode his 4-wheeler. One of the girls {the one who calls me helmet-police} started snickering and saying, "Ha-ha, me and you are on our scooters and H is not. Ha-ha. We have our scooters, you-ou-o don't! Ha-ha" {I think girls start being mean and making fun long before boys by the way.}

H didn't say a word, drove his 4-wheeler into the garage, grabbed his bike with no training wheels and rode ride over in front of the two girls.

"Do you see me showing off that I can ride a bike with no training wheels and you can't? No because it's not nice."


We're off to Lego Kids Fest tonight and I'm kind of excited about it. H has really gotten into the Hero Factory guys and I also see there are going to be inflatables, which are a big hit around here. It looks like it's going to be a good weekend weather-wise to have inside plans.

I'm off to my third class at the local gym tomorrow morning. I loved Zumba Tuesday night so I thought I'd try a Cardio/Circuit class last night. Let me tell you that ten minutes into it I thought I was going to die. I am sore everywhere today. Yet, I am crazy enough to be signed up for Zumba/Hip Hip class bright and early tomorrow morning.

J and I have a date night scheduled tomorrow and while I feel like we're pretty lucky because we get a lot of dates I'm pretty excited about a date tomorrow.

Do you have any fun weekend plans?

If you've got a Caribou Coffee nearby, make sure you stop in there tomorrow with a friend or spouse or somebody. Drinks are buy one get one Saturday and Sunday! Enjoy!
Happy Friday!

Check It Out: One of the things I wrote about on the Patch this week was end of the school year teacher gifts, you can go check it out to get ideas or add your own ideas right here.

Disclosure: My family and I received complimentary tickets for Lego KidsFest.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


On Facebook last night "I think I lost 5 pounds tonight. Whoa. Getting used to it now."

It wasn't the Tuesday night Zumba {though that'd be nice too!}, it was this:

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Four 10-11 inch pony tails. {I've got thicker than thick hair!}

On their way to Pantene Pro-V Beautiful Lengths. I originally intended to donate somewhere else until I found out that all of their wigs go to cancer patients free of charge.
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I'm still getting used to this new look and to be completely honest, I'm not quite sure about it yet. But it's just hair and mine will grow back and now somebody who's hair isn't going to grow back can have some new locks.

For information on donating your {or your child's} hair, go here for information about the Pantene program.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

{Mostly} Wordless Wednesday.

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First time she's had her {toe} nails painted.

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She loved it and she's so proud.

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Other news:

I am awaiting the email from Noodles letting me know who the winners are of the Noodle bowls. As soon as I know, I'll let you know.

I loved Zumba. Maybe there will be more to come on that. I really enjoyed it and it was a great workout. {And my friend, R, joined me at class which made me feel not as alone!}

My haircut is tonight!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Simple Little Things That Bring Me Joy.

It's Monday morning. The sun is shining. The birds are chirping. I'm thinking this may really be it. Spring has sprung. Here's some things bringing me joy this beginning of the week, what's bringing you joy?

1. The End.

We're on the countdown to the end of the school year around here. H has EIGHT days left. T & M have 13 days! Where did the school year go? I'm not complaining. We're ready, as we are each May for the end and each August for the start. Oh, we're ready.

2.My cousin.

I'm so proud of my cousin who ran 26.2 miles yesterday in Green Bay! I wish I could have been there cheering her on. I guess she'll just have to do it one more time!


3. Eating outside.
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We got a new patio set a couple weeks ago and finally last night we were able to eat dinner outside. Here's hoping it's a trend we can continue without our parkas.
4. Five.
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Maybe it's because he's 5 now or maybe it's because of his new glasses but he's seeming so old these days. I love that he is learning and trying new things and I also love that on some things he's just stuck in routine. For instance, he will not wear shorts or short sleeves currently, he tells us he prefers jeans.

He's totally into LEGO Hero Factory guys right now and Transformers. I am pretty sure the superhero stage is drawing to a close, we'll throw that one up on the shelf with Lightning McQueen.
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I'm taking my very first Zumba class Tuesday night. I'm super excited and a tad bit nervous. I've heard such great things about it but still feel like I'm going into it blindly and don't know a soul that will be there.

6. Bubbles. 
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She is really into bubbles right now and while I used to think things like this "No-Spill" bubble tumbler were a gimmick, I'm now a believer. It keeps her happy, busy and most of all she really can't spill them. We let her do them everywhere.

7. It's just hair. Right?

On Friday, when my friend Meghan, who does my hair, styled my hair for the wedding, she told me I totally need a hair cut. It's been over a year! 

My hair is super-duper-long {I think longer than it's ever been!} and I spend half the time going crazy about it and half the time kind of liking it so I made myself make an appointment with her for Wednesday night when I'll need to make a choice. Just a trim or a whole new look for summer. What would you do?

Happy Monday!

{Noodles giveaway ends tonight. There's been a little confusion, you do not have to live in MN, you do not have to go to the new Noodles location. They will send you certificates for the free noodle bowls that you can use nationwide at your convenience. So now that that's cleared up, go enter because right now, with three winners, the odds are in your favor.}

Saturday, May 14, 2011

We're Here!

Perhaps you noticed that we've been busy the last few days. So if you've sent me an email or left me a message or were wondering where we were, it's not you, it's me. Here's where we've been:
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I totally know that H's eyes are cut out of the pic and it's too close. But those are my littles. I've got one who's tongue loves hanging half way out her mouth when she's giddy and the other one, who's cheesy, toothy grin I would recognize anywhere.

One of our littles beloved babysitters {turned friend} got married last night.
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Anna and Matt got married {outside!} yesterday! Anna started babysitting for us when H was about 2. She met her now husband Matt last winter and I think we all knew, this was it. Though it's still unbeknownst to H, Matt was Superman last year at H's 4th birthday party.

My littles loved being a part of their special day. They took their job very seriously even after the rehearsal where H decided to somersault down the aisle. I guess we got all the kinks out before the real-deal.

The two of them walked down the aisle, hand in hand with humongous grins and then proceeded to sit quietly {as quiet as a 2 and 5 year old sit} through the ceremony.

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We couldn't have asked these two to do any better than they did. They held it together with late nights, busy days and lots of pictures. With two more weddings on their books this year they're pretty much on their way to becoming professional wedding attendants.

It was a great day, full of joy and love!

Congratulations Anna and Matt! We love you guys and are so happy for you!

{Don't forget to enter to win FREE Noodles over here and check out the Toothfairy contest on facebook for Mark Finney Dental here.}

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I'm sitting outside watching E run amok in the yard. A neighbor girl who has aptly named me the "helmet police" filled the back of E's cozy coupe with some delightful looking dandelions and E is grabbing them from the back of her cozy coupe and running them to me. One at a time. "Smell!" She tells me as she whisks it past my nose then sets it on the chair next to me.


I gave up the nap battle today but I did fight a good fight. She sang and she read books and she only called me in once or twice but I knew the last time I went in that she wasn't going to be having it.

Apparently I breed the kinds of kids that give up naps early.

It's ok. H worked all the kinks and frustrations out of me it seems.

These days when nap doesn't work out, while some days it's disappointing when I see that my to-do list lost the battle once again, for the most part, it's just one more opportunity to stop and to smell.

The dandelions, in today's case.

Last night our family of six dined at the newest Noodles and Company location. Directly across from Ridgedale mall in Ridge Square, they officially opened today! It's a great lunch spot before hitting the lakes this summer with plenty of seating. I even like the idea of having another place to go eat after shopping at the mall!

Noodles would like to give away some noodle bowls to my readers. So...if you've got a Noodles near you, share your favorite Noodles summer dish and why?

Noodles and Company will choose their three favorite {most creative} answers and each winner will receive two free noodle bowls on Monday, May 16.

Disclosure: Noodles and Company gave our family a complimentary dinner at their pre-opening event. They are also giving away the noodle bowls.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Just Enough.

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From a bachelorette party on Friday night to a movie date with J on Sunday night, our weekend was full to the brim. But it's kind of the way we like it. It was just enough sunshine. Just enough playtime, parties and even some park time.

This morning started out with rain, and lots of it, hail and thunder and crashing lightning. I'm glad it mostly held out over the weekend.

Winners from last week's giveaways are:

 LEGO Kids Fest tickets. #11 Stacy R.
And A Hundred Lives Since Then goes to #1 Sara E.

I hope everyone had a nice Mother's Day whether you are a mother or want to be a mother or have your mother or lost your mother. I hope it was just enough of what you needed yesterday to be.

Tonight our family is off to a pre-opening of a new location of one of our favorite family restaurants {Noodles and Company} and tomorrow I'll be giving some certificates away so be sure and stop back tomorrow.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mother's Day & A Hundred Lives Since Then. {Giveaway!}

Mother's Day is Sunday in the case you missed that date on the calendar. As my littles and I perused Target this afternoon the crowd around the Mother's Day card section was thick. Lots of people searching for that just right card for mom on Sunday.

And for Mother's Day I've got a book to giveaway, A Hundred Lives Since Then, written by Star Tribune Columnist Gail Rosenblum.
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I met, Gail, almost five years ago now. I was a new mom to six-week old H, the first time she invited me {and H!} to her office downtown in the Star Tribune building. We'd emailed and talked over the phone before that. She had interest in our family situation and the story that we have and I had interest in writing.

She helped me get published for the very first time. And pushed me to keep the words coming. She shared our family story almost four years ago and points people my way when she thinks they may be able to take something away from me or this here blog.

The very first time I met her she told me "I bet you've got a book in you." And just a few weeks ago over coffee on the 4th floor, she again encouraged me and told me that I've got a story to tell.

She should know because she just published hers. Her book came out back in March. A collection of essays spanning across her life. Motherhood. Marriage. Divorce. Death. She's covered it and in such an eloquent way. I enjoyed her book wholeheartedly and could relate on many levels. Though the two of us and our lives couldn't be much different, {age, location, marital status, religion just to name a few} we've always connected at our core, which is full of similarities between the two of us and it was the same with her book.

While I loved all of her essays a few of my favorites were: Letters from Dad, Un-married and Stuff I've Learned.

Gail has lived to tell stories that will make you laugh, stories that will make you cry and stories that will make you shake your head up and down as you read.

If you'd like a copy of her book, please leave a comment here sharing your plans for Mother's Day. Whether you're a mother or not, doesn't matter and really, mothers and non-mothers will love her book. Winner will be chosen Sunday, May 8 at 8pm by


In other Mother's Day news, I wrote about my feelings and what I've asked for this Mother's Day over here.

Let me explain that Mother's Day and I have some baggage. Within five years’ time, I became a stepmom of two, a mom of two and also lost my mom to a seven-month battle with cancer. {Excerpt}

I also put together a cute little local Mother's Day gift guide with ideas from local moms. You can check that one out right here.

Also, just a couple more days to enter the LEGO Kids Fest ticket giveaway over here.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

On Good Versus Evil.

I admit the night Osama bin Laden was killed J and I missed it all. In an effort to start the week with a good nights rest, we'd gone to bed before the news and awoke to chatter on every avenue we see about the man's death.

I'm pretty sure I knew about his death before I even turned the tv on because of Facebook and/or Twitter. But it didn't sink in until I flipped on the tv to turn on Dora or Curious George or something and the red letters on the screen and the words being spoken while photos of the enemy were strewn across the screen.

Quickly fumbling with the remote, though my mind and curiousity wanted more info, I changed it. Knowing this time I'd have to gather my info elsewhere.

I usually view world events {such as the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan) as learning experiences where we talk about what's happened, what we can do and feel empathy.

But this is different. There is so much hate around this.

I flip on the radio in the car and between songs, the DJ is saying something about it and again I've got to switch it. The TV can't leave PBS right now. And even though my littles can't read, turning on the computer to play a game, the first site he sees shows the Middle Eastern man everyone's talking about.

"Who's that?"

T walks in from school Monday full to the brim of information. "We heard in social studies that this really terrible man was killed."

I shoot him a look to stop talking. So we start spelling.

"Why was he k-i-l-l-e-d?" I ask.

He shrugs and tells me; "He was a bad-guy." {T does know about Sept. 11 and I am sure his teacher discussed more than the bare bones facts T passed along. Ahem.}

I struggle with all this. We're raising our kids and telling them and teaching them that violence is bad. That we don't hate. {Hate in our house is considered a swear word, no joke.} Killing is totally out of the question.

But all around us, the news, the radio, the internet, TV, social studies class, is discussing this death and some are even celebrating. And I don't think our little ones can comprehend this stuff in totality. {And by little ones I mean most young children.}

Osama bin Laden was a terrible, no good, evil man. I firmly believe that with every ounce of my being. I believe his death can be a turning point for our country and that in many ways, his death is a way of bringing justice to the many lives he's taken. But does that mean we celebrate?

I hope that we're not missing an opportunity to teach our kids something here. It seems by conveying mixed messages when it comes to violence, hate and killing we could be saying the wrong thing.

What do you think?

Monday, May 2, 2011

May Updates.

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"Tell your story. Believe in healing. Honor your intuition. Take the journey back to your self. Wear more skirts. Begin today. Embrace vulnerability. Do the thing you didn't think you could. Quiet the inner critic." -Kelly Rae Roberts

I found this card at Trader Joe's last week and bought two. One to send a friend and one to keep on my desk because it says a lot of things that I believe in.

It's a balmy 39 degrees or so here in Minnesota today. On May 2. Let's make the most of it, shall we?

Winner of The Night Night Book is #5. Jessica Wood. Shoot me an email with your mailing address so the publisher can send your book over.

I posted a LEGO Kids Fest ticket giveaway last night over here. Go enter to win some tickets to a fun event.

My newest sponsor, Mark O. Finney, DDS, of New Brighton, has a contest going on until May 15. Share your best tooth fairy story whether it's from a parents perspective or it was when you grew up. How much do you give or how much did you get? You can enter to win Target gift cards on their website or their facebook page.

I've got another {really, good} book giveaway this week, but it deserves it's own post.

Happy Monday!

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