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Thursday, June 30, 2011


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He's totally into having me take pictures of random things at random places. A cake at Target that he just knows I will forget about by the time his birthday rolls around next April. A toy he might have his eye on. A car that looks like the gazillion cars he already owns but he tells me he just wants to remember it.

I get that.

It's why at any given time my planner and my purse or my diaper bag have random little notes of quotes or things that happened that I just don't want to forget, I just want to remember. It's why I snap pictures of random moments and glimpses of our day.

I want to remember 10 years or maybe even 3 years that when he was five years old he was obsessed with wearing jeans. And a character shirt. And the day he walked outside in his black dress shoes and explained that since his Boppa wears dress shoes with his jeans, so does he.

Here's some of the other sweet conversations my H and I have had lately:

Me: {After giving H a buzz-haircut.} Man, you're so handsome. How'd you get so handsome?
Him: Well you gave me the haircut, but God made me.

Him: I don't ever want to go to college. I want to live with you forever.
Me: {Not wanting him to give up on college at the old age of 5.} Well, maybe you can go to college where you live at home and go to school during the day and come home at night.
Him: No. I want to stay here. Forever.
Me: Well, maybe you'll change your mind.
Him: If I change my mind, will you remind me that I don't want to go to college?

M convinced me to buy some Nutella recently and since I didn't really know or understand what it is {dessert!} I allowed her to make herself and H a sandwich with it for lunch on Tuesday.
Him: "Mama, thank you for this most delicious lunch! It takes just like chocolate!

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Somedays I'm still shocked and surprised at the gift motherhood and having him has been to me. I'm so glad I'm his mom.

{Over on Patch this week I wrote about conversations with our kids about stranger danger and safety. You can check that out right here. It's my 119th article over there. Whew!}

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


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I was just watering my plants minding my own business until I got pulled into a giant water fight with my middles while E napped the afternoon away and T was at golf.

I'm pretty sure we emptied almost the entire pool with the buckets we filled up splashing and throwing across the yard. We were also I'm sure a site to be seen. They at least had swim suits on, I was fully clothed and drenched!

I remind myself often that I don't always want to be the mom watching and waiting on the sidelines. I want to be playing and laughing and having all that fun too.

So today, we played.
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And then, we ate popsicles.

Doesn't get much better than a couple cute water babies, sunshine and an 80 degree day, does it?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Don't Mess With My Boy, Yo!

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To the adult women who decided to treat my stepson poorly at a recent outing to an indoor gym, this one's for you.

I know you thought that we were breaking the rules of 'children 12 and under' only, but he's really only 12. I promise.

I know that he's bigger than your dainty little girls but he's gentle and kind and I've never once worried about him hurting anyone.

Telling him that slides are for sliding and not climbing is just moronic. He's a 12 year old boy. He's having fun. He's not bothering your daughters at all. Leave him alone.

Staring at me, pointing at me, talking about me being a bad mother because I wouldn't make him stop running and chasing and playing with his siblings is not ok.

Either is your 'tsk'ing. Yes, I could hear you.

Lighten up.

Not once while we were there was I concerned about him and his siblings running and playing. They were breaking none of the gym's rules, just yours. Unfortunately for you, yours don't count.

They were laughing, so were the other kids that joined them. They were having fun, chasing and jumping and maybe had you not been so condescending and rude, maybe your daughters would have wanted to play too.

I am on this boy for many things, sometimes too many things. But he was doing nothing wrong and if I thought he was bothering other kids or anything I would have stopped it. But he wasn't.

That lady at the table next to you who watched her kids have a blast together. And loved it.


Did you know you can like my blog on Facebook?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

{Mostly} Wordless Wednesday.

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The weather was decent but not as gorgeous as we like it, last weekend. But it didn't matter much to these guys. They swam and the fished and they built sandcastles in the sand.

{And yes, E wears her life jacket everywhere at the cabin. Kind of like H used to wear his helmet all over the place.}

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Bucket List.

The weather in Minnesota has been anything but summer-like lately. I am a summer-lover and so far this summer, I'm not feeling it yet. I think it's the on again-off again cold temperatures and the days of unending rain and storms.

We had two hot, hot days two weeks ago and since then the weather has been so-so.

In theory, the weather shouldn't matter and we should be able to have fun and find things to do regardless of weather. I am all for nothing-days where we have no plans and the kids play with their friends and jump in the pool and have fun. But with the weather being as it's been and neighborhood friends being on different activity schedules we've definitely had some stir crazy days.

So, we're making the most of what we've got. We went to a fun inflatable place this afternoon after T's golf and H's t-ball and tomorrow we've got some plans to use some gift cards from Christmas at the book store.

But finally, here's our bucket list. What we'd like to do and see and enjoy before summer's end. In addition to lazy days at home and going to the pool with friends, maybe another visit to the cabin and a week up north come August.

1. Drive In Movie!
We did this last year and the kids loved it. E was a little high maintenance and probably will be again but we just go with it. {With Cars 2 coming out this next weekend, this might be the weekend to do it!}

2. Strawberry Picking!
Just found out the strawberries near us are ready! So as soon as we come across a non-rainy morning we'll be there picking more than our share.

3. Parades!
We love parades. Tonight was supposed to be the Northeast Minneapolis parade but because of the uncertain weather the mayor of Minneapolis called it off.

The next big one we'll be at will be the Aquatennial.

4. Minneapolis Farmers Market.
Lots of communities (ours included) do their own smaller-scale Farmers Markets but there is nothing quite like the Minneapolis Farmers Market on a Saturday or Sunday morning. We haven't made it yet this year but this is a definite MUST!

5. Parks!
A new playground opened at Elm Creek Park Reserve last week and I'm itching to try it out. We'd also like to get to the Chutes and Ladders Park in Bloomington again.

6. Linden Hills/Lake Harriet/Sebastian Joes.
One of my favorite neighborhoods in Minneapolis. I love walking around the lake, feeding the ducks, visiting Wild Rumpus, enjoying a cone at Sebastian Joes and finishing it off with the kids playing in the wading pool in Linden Hills. {Seriously, I love wading pools. Suburbs like ours don't have them and I think they should!}

7. Twins Game.
J and I lucked out and caught a Twins Game last September but we'd really like to bring the kids at some point too. Especially the littles who've never been.

8. Trolley.
We tried the Wayzata trolley a couple weekends back with my dad and loved it. Not only is it free but the little loop it takes is gorgeous and fun. Can't wait to bring the kids swimsuits, let them play on the beach and ride the trolley back again.

These are the things on our list as of now. What's on your list? We're always looking for new adventures so tell me what your favorite summer must-do is?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day.

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Sunday morning. Cabin on Bone Lake.

They say; "The best gift a father can give his children is to love their mother."

I'm not a big believer in luck but I know I pretty much won the lottery with the two dads in my life; my dad and J.

Along with my freckles and my blue eyes, my dad gave me encouragement, enthusiasm, a love for the Lord and a great amount laughter. From my earliest memory, he modeled love for my mom in a way some couples never attain.

J works hard for our family, has shown me graciousness and taught me to be more grace-filled. He's been pateint with my ever changing ideas and adventures and most of all given me the gift of being a mom and stepmom. He models love to our kids by loving me and laughing with me about all the silly parts of our life.

I hope you've got a dad, or two in your life today to thank and to love. And if you're remembering your dad today, my heart is with you and I hope you're able to look back upon your time together with joy.

Happy Father's Day!

*If you're local, KSTP news (Channel 5) did a story on this family tonight. It aired at 5:30pm and will air again at 10. If it's available online I'll link to it later. These are the kind of stories I am so thankful to have the opportunity to share.* Updated: Here's the link to the news story.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Big Brother, Little Sister.

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Anything he can do, {she thinks} she can do better.

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I can't decide my favorite part. The rainboots or the fact that she's driving a mini 4-wheeler in a girly dress.
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Happy weekend!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Once Upon A Time.

Six years ago this month I quit my corporate America job. I gave up a pretty good paycheck and some great benefits for lots of reasons, most of all I wasn't me there. With no back-up plan and just a couple moments of worry I was soon immersed in summer life. Job-less, hanging out with T and M and trying to figure out what I was going to be when I grew up, one day I decided I'd start a blog. This one. {Formerly at a different address. Moved to this site in 2007.}

Six years, friends!

It's kind of nuts that one day I went to and decided I would start sharing my thoughts on life and a few random pictures. I wouldn't have believed I'd still be doing it six years later.

We'd just bought our first digital camera then. {An Olympus Stylus which was way better than our current Kodak.}

I posted quotes I read and liked and pictures and a few random stories of life and then H was born and I was blogging his every milestone. And all of a sudden people were reading.

My first published essay, some freelance opportunities and life happening and things just kind of took off.

I'm not a big stats girl. When I put the counter on my blog four or so years ago I was obsessed with every click on the site. It grew old and now I rarely look unless some PR company is asking for numbers and then when I do sometimes even I'm surprised.

I used to need comments. In order to feel good about what I'd thrown out into the world, I needed them. But that too grew old and I realized that just like I don't have time to comment on every. single. thing I read on the internet, neither do you.

It's been an interesting, unplanned adventure with opportunities thrown at me I'd never have had without this platform.

All this to say: Thanks for reading and visiting. For giving my words a moments thought. For laughing along with me when life's just kind of funny and crying with me when we're all trying to make sense of this crazy world. Thank you!

Some linky-links to see:

This is the kind of story I am so thankful to have the privilege to share. You've got to read {and be inspired} by this father/son story.

Registration is now open for A Breath of Hope 5K this September. Save the date: September 10 at Lake Harriet! Please come walk or run with us in memory of my mom.

Last thing, and it's pretty silly I admit, but please go here, click on the "liking spree" and go like the HOLA shirt! It's 105 likes away from being $8. {Why don't more stores do stuff like this?} I totally love that shirt and can't wait to send H to kindergarten wearing it. {PS I get nothing by you liking the shirt or anything else on their site. FYI.}

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weekend Fave.

We had a busy, full, over the top sort of weekend. The kind where we could really use a weekend to recover from the weekend. And we only had two of the kids!

From a coffee date with a friend on Friday to a Saturday morning trolley ride and bagels. Then a carnival in town and the rickety rides they rode to the parade today that H and I were in with Patch. And then tonight having a date/get stuff done evening with J at the coffee shop. {We're kind of lame these days it seems. And busy.}

I have like a bajillionty photos from the weekend. But of all the photos my memory card is uploading tonight this one's my favorite.

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I love the way my littles love their Boppa and the way that he loves them.

{Lots to come this week. Thoughts on year #6 of blogging, my summer bucket list finally and even some links over to some good stuff I've been working on.}

Thursday, June 9, 2011


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Life has felt sort of zoo-like this week. The first full week of summer break and all four kids home the better half of the week kicked my tail.

H and I are going on a date tonight. Open house at the local day camp he'll be going to for a week come August and probably a treat. Or maybe he'll choose coffee, like last time.


Thanks for all your kind comments/messages/emails on my last post.

Don't miss out on a new Tiny Prints Father's Day deal. Get a free Father's Day card by using code FREEFD until June 13.

Also, Tea Collection, known for their great kids clothes has a 40% off sale going on now and also a "liking" spree to add additional discounts to certain clothing.

*Photo from our day at the zoo with friends today. Some friends are hiding.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


From the bathtub in H's best whisper voice, "Evie, Grandma Nan loves you so much. Even though she didn't meet you here, she loves you. Ok?"

According to H, Grandma Nan and Miss E had a collision meeting on their opposite-routed paths to and from heaven. E was on her way down while Grandma Nan was on her way up. I think I'm going to let him believe this forever.

He's had Grandma Nan on his little mind all day today. Questioning the hows and the whys and the what ifs. We're shopping in Target and he's asking me why the medicine the doctors had didn't make her better and what if the medicine doctors give him doesn't work when he's sick. And we're driving in the car and he's asking me why we go remember her inside instead of outside at the cemetery and who decided that anyway.

And then tonight he tells J that Boppa came over today {he didn't} because he wanted to visit Grandma Nan but she couldn't leave heaven to visit. {She must be pretty busy up there or something.}

She's on his mind and he's trying to make sense of it all. It's out of the blue and hard to pinpoint why now the curiousity, but it's there.

I admit it's not easy to talk about with a five year old but it's also refreshing. Children don't filter, they just ask and they say and we adults swallow the lump in our throat and try to simplify something too complex for our own understanding.

It's just the best we can do.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sure Sign.

The {kiddie} pool is officially open for the summer. My littles spent all day Saturday in it with neighborhood friends. Alternating licking popsicles and jumping in, they did it up big.

Today, again, the afternoon was full of splashing and sunscreen, a revolving door of little friends. M and her neighbor friend made up pool obstacles for the under-six crowd.

By the time we came in it was 4pm. Too late for a nap but too early for bed.

While we hung swimsuits and towels to dry, put away toys and figured out our dinner plans, E was out cold.

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My anti-napper just gave it up all on her own. It's just a sure sign of summer bliss when their sunkissed cheeks and sunscreen scented bodies just collapse from exhaustion.
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I've got a busier than busy week writing-wise and otherwise. Monday is my first official summer vacation day with all four kids home. My bigs and my littles are ready to take it on head-on. I've no idea where they got that from. H also starts summer rec soccer and as I just realized I think he's only got one shin guard. Here. We. Go.

Don't miss out on the Tiny Prints Father's Day deal over here, Monday is the last day.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Two. And A Half.

Today, you woke up and it probably seemed like any old day to you, except today is the day you turned two and a half and we celebrated all day long.

We got donuts and you had a soy hot chocolate and I'm pretty sure you sucked it down in just one swallow.
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I still think of you as a baby but I'm pretty sure you think you're 5.

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You are a mother hen. To your dirty, loved a lot, stuffed, musical bunny that you've aptly named "Baby". You love that baby. I know not only because you hug her and your bring her everywhere but because you tell her. "I Wuv You!" you say as you squeeze the life out of her.

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You were born knowing how to love, not just your baby, but everyone and everything. "I love this song," you tell me in the car as I drive. "I love this store," you say in the dollar store as we pick up pool toys. "I love you, Mama!" you tell me and you hug me tight, so tight that I can feel your little heart pitter patter against mine.

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Your big brother, H, is your best friend. Your partner in crime. And I pray every single day that it lasts forever.

And T and M couldn't have a bigger fan in life than you. "Have a great day!" you shout after I say goodbye when they leave for the school bus and "Go T go!" at every baseball game. Even when T is sitting there smiling at you from the bench. You want him to know that you've got his back and I love that.

Your favorite song is "If You're Happy and You Know It" and it's funny because it's not really a bedtime song yet I find myself singing it each and every night and it's no secret that your face is pretty much always showing it.

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Facts at 2 and a half:
-Still tiny. She's still wearing clothes from last summer.
-Still dairy free. We go back to the allergist again in 6 months.
-She can eat peanut butter now. And it's pretty much changed my life.
-Her speech has really taken off recently.
-Loves people. Everyone. Everywhere.
-Remember that separation anxiety it seemed she had forever? Her coping mechanism of choice, one kiss, one huge hug and she walks away.

Happy 30 months, Evelyn!
You're "half" now as you've told people all day long. And you're loved. A lot.

Love, Mama

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Last Day.

What's the difference between the first day of school and the last?

On the first day of school we bounce out of bed and they put on fresh, brand new clothes. Lunches are packed the night before and include all the food groups. Their backpacks are clean and full of necessity.

Things are neat, tidy, timely. 

We're ready a good ten minutes before bus time and we're so excited.

And on the last day, we oversleep. All of us, adults included. We're so over done with that whole early morning routine that M misses the bus.

The outfits aren't laid out the night before anymore so it's anyone's guess what sort of mismatched things may be put together in the half asleep daze.

The lunch that was supposed to get packed last night, oops. So a sandwich is made and maybe an apple or bag of chips. I think that someone's going to be hungry later.

Breakfast is rushed and Rice Krispies are dripping on to the floor as T rushes out the door to get to the bus.

And those backpacks. There are half eaten lunches and broken pencils and ripped up pieces of notebook paper. And sometimes I think it'd be nice to just say, "Just toss it in there. That big blue garbage can." But I don't.

What's the same?

Oh, we're still excited.

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Happy Last Day of 6th grade, T and 4th grade and elementary school, M! M's off to MIDDLE SCHOOL next year!

{Picture and post from the 2nd to last day of school. Because this morning was MY last morning of school as T and M are at their mom's for the real last day.}