Saturday, December 11, 2010

Holy Snow!

Wow, did it ever snow last night!  I was coming home from the gym last night at about 9:30 and the roads and driveways were all clear without a flake in sight.  When I got home I told Michael I didn't think we were going to get much snow.  Ha. 


Ok, this one is actually from the last snowfall, but I had to start off with it because it is like my favorite picture of Sophie ever:


All the rest are from today.  Here's Calvin helping me sweep off the cars.  Yes he's wearing Sophie's hat.  But it's too big for her and it's the warmest one I have that fits him :)


 And showing off how deep the snow is:


And here's Ryan jumping off the porch:







And scaling the tree in our front yard:


Me making a snow angel:


Michael hard at work!


Love the snow on his brows and lashes.




Mr. Rosy Cheeks thawing out on the couch.


Gotta love Minnesota winters!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Calvin

So, it's 11:38 pm.  Calvin is awake because he just threw up all over his bed.  Wanna see what he looks like?





That's right.  He's ecstatic.  He toddled around for a little while with a huge smile on his face holding a bucket almost as big as he is giggling, "I'm going to throw up in a bucket!!!!" while making spitting noises and trying his darndest to actually throw up in the bucket.  Then he sat down on the couch with Michael and wanted a feel-better song on the computer.  He asked for "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" (fyi we digitally edited that song a while ago so our version doesn't include a few choice words, just in case you think we're awful parents).  I love our nutty little sicko.





So behind!

Wow, I am so behind in the blogging world!  We've had lots going on this last few weeks!  Guess I'll just give some highlights!

-We hosted our first Thanksgiving Dinner
-We celebrated our 7th anniversary
-Michael built some seriously AWESOME shelves for our storage room!  We can fit so much in!  I'm in love (with both Michael and the storage room shelves)
-Saved $300 by renting a 75 foot electric drain snake and removing the massive drain clog in our basement ourselves instead of hiring a plumber (ok, I say we, but I was mostly in charge of turning on and off the water at the bequest of my multi-talented husband while using my other hand to plug my nose.  How Michael knows how to do all this stuff is just beyond me...)
-Sophie turned 8 months old!
-We are in the throws of decorating our house for Christmas!



It has been a busy but very fun few weeks.  Thanksgiving was so much fun!  We had Dad and Christy and Vitoria down from Ironwood and we had AnnaMarie and Tyler and Katie and Jane, too.  We played games and hung out and went shopping and did Vitoria's senor portraits.  Very fun weekend!

We also had a great time going out for our anniversary, so thanks to AnnaMarie for watching the kids!  We had a delicious meal sans kids and spent the next 4 or so hours picking out a new rug for our living room and buying wood for our storage room shelves.  It was actually really fun! 

I can't believe my little girl is 8 months old already!  Time flies.  She is a gem.  She is usually so well-behaved that I feel like the luckiest mommy alive.  She's sleeping from about 6:30pm until about 5 or 6am these days with maybe one wake up around 9 pm or so and then usually goes back to sleep for a couple of hours in the morning after she polishes off some milk.  She naps twice for about 2 hours each and she's still my little eataholic.  She loves bananas and PBJs and slim jims.  Go figure!  She is just starting to crawl forwards although she has been a pro at backwards crawling for a while now.  Love my girl!


Anyways, that's what's been going on around here!  Here are some pictures for you!

Here are the only pictures I got at Thanksgiving.  We did some hastily-thrown-together place holders :)



One delicious brined turkey (thanks for the recipe, Liz!):


And the crowning gem on the table, a bread cornucopia!  Mmmmm....


And here are the kids joining in the fun on the Wii.  When Calvin and Ryan do cow racing, Calvin almost always wins.  Pretty funny.


And our breath-takingly beautiful storage room shelves:



 And our even more breath-takingly beautiful little Sophie in her Christmas dress that her Aunt Danica made for her!



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Superb Birthday

Well, if today is any indication, 27 is going to be a mighty fine year.  Today was such a great day.  Michael surprised me by taking the day off, so instead of having to rush out the door for work, he made me a delicious pancake breakfast (with berries and whipped cream, of course) and we had a nice relaxing morning at home.  It was so nice!  Then AnnaMarie hosted a little birthday brunch for me over at her house with my sister, Kelly, and her kids.  It was so much fun!  Thanks, you guys!  Great food, great company, and a LOT of CRAZY kids.  Then I headed back home, and surprise!  Michael had made the birthday cake and cleaned up the house and Kelly and the kids came over for cake and ice cream!  It was my favorite cake, angel food cake with whipped cream and berries (am I boring?  I pretty much could just eat strawberries and whipped cream forever). 

We opened gifts, let the kids play outside, and then after I dropped Ryan off at preschool the rest of us all took naps.  Perfect addition to my already amazing birthday!  Then I spent the afternoon playing the new games I got with the kids.  They had so much fun, and so did I.  And my parents sent a fruit basket which included a gourmet caramel apple.  I am either very predictable or the people in my life just know me really really well, because everything I got today was just what I wanted.  It was perfect and fun and relaxing.  So thanks everyone for the messages, phone calls, and company.  It was really a fantastic day.  27 feels great!

About to blow out my candles:


Celebrating with the family:

Opening some presents:

 A girl after my own heart:


Free Christmas Cards? YES.

So, my friend tipped me off to this great Christmas card deal.  Last year I did my blog book from Shutterfly and it turned out beautifully. This year, thanks to his awesome deal, I'm trying out Shutterfly for our very first Christmas card attempt.  Exciting, I know.
 

One thing I really like is that you can include your Christmas letter right on your card in some of their designs.  I really like this one and this one.  With over 100 designs to choose from, there is surely something that will be perfect for you! Check them all out here.

They also have gift ideas like personalized ornaments (here) and wall calendars (here).

Anyways, I thought maybe you all might like to know that you can get your Christmas cards for free, too, just for posting a blog about them. Sign up here.  Woohoo for free stuff!

IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!

I took the liberty of removing the blinking message and giant picture that Michael put up :) Here is the non giant version instead. Thanks for the birthday wishes! It was a fantastic day!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

SNOW!!!

Well, we finally got our first snow of the season, and what a snow it was!  Last night the kids and I came down to Eagan to spend time with Kelly and the kids while Ken was on a scout campout.  We had a sleepover and what do you know?  When we woke up this morning there was a beautiful, fluffy 7 inches on the ground!  So, of course we got the kids all bundled up and let them run wild.  They had so much fun and were so excited to be playing in the snow.   We had to borrow some snow clothes, so Calvin was looking pretty awesome in hot pink snow pant and cowgirl boots.  Sweet.  Anyways, it was lots of fun to play in the snow--perfect for snowmen!  I love the first snow of the season.  It's always fun, at least for a couple of weeks :)  Here are some pictures of all the fun:















And here's how I found Ryan when he had finally fallen asleep last night.  I can only imagine what he was doing right there when he suddenly just got too tired to be awake any more...


And the girlies in the tub this morning:




We had so much fun, so thanks for having us, Kelly!  Yay for snow!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Family

Lately I've been thinking about our little family.  I've been thinking about how I need to be more patient with my sweet little kids and have more fun with them.  Tonight when I tucked Ryan into bed, I told him that I had fun playing with him, to which he replied, "Actually, Mom, you didn't play with me at all today."  I assured him that I had, but even as I was doing that, I was honestly struggling to think of when I actually had played with him today.  It's funny, because I felt like it had been a great day.  My kids were sweet and fun, I got to snuggle Ryan for a while in the beautiful 60 degree weather in the front yard while the other kids napped, I checked a few good things off my to-do list.  Great day in my book.  But for some reason I didn't take the time to make sure I was giving Ryan just a few minutes of fun play time doing what he wanted to do.  It made me sad.

A friend of mine came over today who has 6 kids, most of whom are teenagers.  As I got a small glimpse into her life right now, I realized that my sweet little ones who love me so much and crave my attention so much and want so badly for me to just be with them and do what they're doing all day long will soon be teenagers who probably mostly won't want to hang out with me or have me do what they're doing.  And I know I'll miss it.  So my new goal is to make sure my kids know how much I do love spending time with them.  Dishes can wait.  Dinner can be a half hour later.  I can stop surfing the web for 20 minutes and go play a game.  It's really not that hard.

So, I am re-committed to being a better mom.  I love being a mom, really I do.  I feel so blessed and lucky to be able to spend my days with my little buddies.   I guess it's just a matter of translating the love I feel into love that they'll understand.  Which, I think, is one of the most important tasks of parenthood.  So anyways, here's to being better and trying harder!

On the lighter side, today in honor of the last day of beautifully warm weather, we got all dressed up in coordinating outfits and put forth our best attempt at taking our own family pictures.  Great, huh?  I was thinking about hiring someone to do them, but it seems like the photography world is divided into 2 groups: People whose stuff is affordable, but looks like any old person walking by could have done just as good of a job, and people whose sitting fee is manageable and whose work looks so great, but whose CD of images costs you, like, $600.  On top of the sitting fee.  I just couldn't bring myself to do it!  Anyways, here are my favorites from today.  Yay for a tripod and a timer!