Saturday, October 25, 2014

Friends are nice

So I logged onto Blogger today to write a blog post about fall and put up all of my crunchy leaves photos, when I noticed that I had started this hiking post and had never finished and so, here we are! We have to keep things in order around here folks, and so fall pictures will be coming next week.

Way back forever ago, all the way back in September! We had my best pal, her husband, and their two little sweetie girls over for an extended weekend. Let me tell you, going from having one toddler in the house to three was quite the entertaining change! The days were filled with hikes and adventures, coffee shops, day trips to Duluth, working out little girl conflicts with great patience, eating snacks, kissing ouchies, and taking pictures of our cute kids. The nights were filled with trying new sleeping arrangements each night, good music, delicious drinks, excellent conversation, and a few games of Settlers of Catan thrown in there for good measure.

Here's a few pictures of a morning trip that we took to Jay Cooke State Park! It was a beautiful weekend weather-wise, so we got lots of that good-for-the-soul outdoor time in.

And now we miss our friends. Come back!

I just love that my best friend has little girls because now our kids will automatically without any choice of their own be best friends and isn't it just great how life works out sometimes?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Trains Planes and Toddlers

Trains have become a large part of our life lately.

There's one that runs through our town that we can hear from our house, there's an old one set up in the park in our neighborhood that you can climb and clamor around on, and there's several toy trains available to chug around in our playroom.

Paisley seems to be having a bit of a love-hate relationship with trains. She loves talking about them and seeing and listening to them and climbing on them during the day, but sometimes feels scared when reflecting upon their loud noises and hoots and mysterious comings and goings when bedtime rolls around.

I totally get it - sometimes I look up scary movies on Wikipedia to read the plot lines during the day (I'm far too wimpy to ever actually watch them) and then regret it later that night while laying awake in the dark.

So then of course I put all the pressure on dear Brian to stay up and keep me company (he of course LOVES it), which is exactly what Paisley does to me when she is worried about trains at night.

For hours!!

Also airplanes. She's also worried about airplanes at night.

You could say that my sleep has been suffering lately. And you could say that Paisley's has been suffering as well, and on that note,  have you ever met a sleep deprived toddler?

They are a loud people.

So we're working on making our peace with trains and planes and their loud noises over here! It's a strange road, this parenthood.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Weekend happy times!

I have some photos to share from our Labor Day family getaway a couple of weekends ago. And is it crazy to anyone else how long ago Labor Day weekend already was?

My family on my mom's side escapes up to a lovely resort on a lake at the end of each summer, with the activities generally including relaxing, playing games, eating far more than our share of delicious food, watching old nineties music videos, pontooning, talking about things that matter, talking about things that probably don't matter, licking ice cream cones, you get the general idea.

Our family has rallied around and supported each other in new and important ways within the past few years. I couldn't be more in love with them all.

Look at me, so lovey dovey!

This dude I'm particularly in love with. Ooo la la!

And now. I give you the big kahuna of surprised face pictures. The great bambino of surprised face pictures! I don't think I will ever find another picture that I enjoy looking at more than this one. The end bye bye.

Other Labor Day weekends previously documented here and here!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Birthday birthday birthday birthday

Here I am, reporting faithfully from Cloquet! Where it's cold. The high was like, low forties today. Expardon me? Our house is frozen, we're covered with blankets, stubbornly refusing to turn on the heat this early in the season. Plus, we're not quite ready to start poking around and trying our luck with all these radiators yet.

It's nights like this that call for a rich hot pan of brownies. You know? So I would have made them tonight, except for we're doing this new thing where we don't really eat any snacks and when we DO eat snacks, it's stuff like pistachios and low fat pretzels. It's just that time of life. You know? The time where you realize that the best thing to do is make good eating choices, however sad and drab that might be.

But sometimes life is just more manageable with a big chunk of brownie in your mouth. You know?!?


Birthday pictures! I have birthday pictures. There's a lot of August birthdays in our family. Sometimes we like to combine most of them together for a large conglomerate of birthday party. In this case the conglomeration celebrated the births of myself, my brother, my cousin, and my daughter. And this is how it went - my brother, cousin and I opened a few cards and then we all watched as Paisley opened what was probably an unruly amount of gifts. Unruly! But it was delightful, it really was. She opened them all ever so carefully, and sweetly enjoyed and said thank you for each one. Even when she pulled clothes out of the gift bags (clothes, typically the boring gift until you get to about....say the 13 or 14 year mark), she was thrilled and immediately started pulling them on at her feet.

I'm sure my girl will always be this polite and wonderful and gracious. Always. Forever and ever amen.

I also am including some pics of a little celebration we had just for Paisley a week later with Brian's parents. The way you can tell the difference between the two events is by the varying length of Paisley's bangs. Also by the cake pictures expressions. She certainly knew what to do with the birthday cake the second time around! Her new favorite song is the "happy birthday" one, I sing it to her when I'm trying to get her to behave or be quiet in the grocery store.

Or in Target. Or Old Navy. Or a restaurant. Or our house. Our somebody else's house.

I'm glad we had this talk.

Yes I am wearing the same shirt for both birthday parties. I'll address it. I guess it might be turning out to be my birthday party shirt, or something else to that effect. 

Until next time, sweet dreams! Many, many thanks to all you folks out there who shower lots of love on us and our girl.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Home Sweet Cloquet

I'm back with a few photos of some our favorite spaces in our new house! I'll post more some later, these were all the rooms that I had the energy to clean today. You know how it is! Don't even say that you don't.

And yes I did run outside across the street in my bare feet dodging the bees living in our front steps to take some of these. YOLO, bees!

Featured in these pics are the dining room, the living room, the sun room, and the pool across the street. Ya pool!!! We love the pool. We also love built-ins, which this house has a lot of. Ya built-ins!!!!!
You remember that this is an old house. Over a hundred years old. That's a century!! Right? I enjoy pondering how many generations of families have lived here and done work to make it their own. There were a lot of updates done in the 60's (can you say WOOD PANELING! in our loft and basement) and quite a few updates done in the last decade or so. And now we get to do some of our own! Of course, despite the updates, this old home didn't come without it's issues. We've got some water problems in our basement to figure out, first off. More items on the list include replacing the outer siding (and however many windows we can afford to at this point), taking down the blue wallpaper in the sunroom/Paisley's play zone (paint? or a different fun wallpaper?), and re-doing the bathroom. 

Oh, and getting rid of those bees. 
But, we're project people. You know? At least I think we are. And we're excited that there's opportunities to make this place our own.

Plus, we love the neighborhood. It reminds me of that old movie, Now and Then. Remember that one? Mostly just because there's a graveyard down the street. Dear Johnny! 

Man I love that movie. 
And I love our new home, I do, despite the stinky basement and that one weird cupboard in our kitchen that for some reason smells like sour milk.

What do I do about that, by the way? Bleach it? A cupboard bleach bath?

Anyway. I hate sour milk. So let me know if you have smelly cupboard advice.

See you next time!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Trip number two.

So! I'm working on preparing a post with photos of the new place but don't have all my ducks quite in a row yet. They just keep wandering all around and I just can't get them to stand still. C'MON, ducks. So in the meantime, here are some pictures from our recent 1 1/2 week trip out to North Dakota!

The first few days we were out visiting Brian's sister Beth in Hettinger, ND. She had a garage to build and lots of delicious vegetables to be eaten from her garden. Paisley loved picking all the veggies and eating them fresh out of the dirt, but had to be coerced and bribed into eating the same veggies as soon as they were cleaned and cut up on her plate at the kitchen table. Typical, child.

Brian's parents were out there with us, and we had a grand ol' time exploring Hettinger and the nearby towns and the nearby playgrounds and the blow up pool in Beth's yard. We ate lots of tasty fresh veggies and salads and Paisley supervised all the garage building with a heavy hand.

Other destinations on our adventure were Cavalier, ND where the hubs was standing in a dear friend's wedding and Detroit Lakes, MN to stop at Castaway Club, a camp that we will be frequently involved with through Brian's work. It was all a blast and so fun and simply marvelous, except for the very darkly looming fact that I developed some horrible case of the stomach flu amidst it all.

And that's why there are tons of pictures in Hettinger, two pictures from the wedding, and only one picture from Castaway which features Paisley rolling in the grass. Something about having to spend most of your time in the bathroom makes trying to take lots of beautiful and lasting pictures seem super unimportant.

So now we're back! My stomach no longer hates my guts (pun INtended, heh heh heh), our bags are unpacked, and the cats did indeed survive our longer than usual absence. Hallelujah, praise be.

Thanks for reading folks! Tune in next time, and all that.