Friday, December 2, 2016

40 years

So I celebrated 40 years in September.  Looking back to my younger self, if you would've asked me what I'd be doing when I was 40, this is it.  This is my dream.  Married to an awesome guy, with two of the best kids anyone could ask for.  

Craig had a nice idea on my actual birthday evening, which landed during the week, to walk around the pedestrian mall and find a quaint little restaurant on the square downtown.
Then this happened.  Pouring.rain.
So we had to move to plan B.
I love the Olive Garden!  Italian margarita for the 40 year old!  #cheers
Nothing would've made me happier than Scratch cupcakes!  #yesplease
The next day was Friday and after school the kids and I headed to Ga Ga and Papa's where mom had a special evening planned for me!
I had always wanted to see the High Trestle bridge all lit up at night.  We have ridden bikes there before but never at night.  So we drove and ate at a yummy restaurant they have there and headed out on the trail!
And it was spectacular.
The kids did so good on their bikes in the dark!  We brought flashlights and reflectors and they just loved it!
What a beautiful evening!
Then Papa thought it would be fun to make me a cake with 40 candles!
This is me, trying to light them all!  Ha!
The kids were scared there was going to be a fire!  Ha ha.
We spent the night and woke up the next morning for our annual trip to Minneapolis!
We have loved doing this the past few years on my birthday and it is so fun!  Minneapolis has always been one of my favorite places so I consider it a great place to celebrate!
I enjoy watching my kids have fun!
Being 4 1/2 years apart the kids don't like to ride the same things anymore so we split up for a while!
Kerigan was thrilled to see the Bubble Guppies!

And one of our favorite places- American Girl!
She decided she wants her next birthday here and this is what she wants as her gift.  Not surprising, a gymnastics doll!
She just loves playing with everything in the store!
This pretty much sums up Andrew's feelings about it!  Ha ha.
But he sure perked up when we saw this!  He tells me its Rock Steady from Ninja Turtles.  #iwouldntknow
On the Bubble Guppies ride!
"Mommy take my picture with Dora!"
They did ride the Diego bus together!
And the merry go round!
I asked Andrew why he picked the pig and he said it was because his butt looked funny!  Ha ha.  #priorities
Then this happened.  My girl was finally tall enough to conquer the Pepsi coaster!  She was beyond excited and wanted to go 100 more times!  And Andrew was big enough to ride by himself too!
Mt sweet kids and I
They wanted to eat at Bubba Gump even though none of us like seafood!  Ha!  It's just a fun place!  Andrew loves to run so this was so appropriate!
Shopping queen.
Then we ran into a children's museum and they had to test it out!
They had lots of Curious George things!
Back at the hotel we ate Scratch cupcakes in bed!
Late night swim with Ga Ga!
We had a great time!
The next morning at breakfast the only way we could get her to eat waffles was with whipped cream on top!  Andrew's face #priceless
Then I introduced my girl to the important things in life.  Ha!  #coach 
I got myself a birthday purse from my hubby!
When we drove back home we stopped at our favorite Minnesota rest stop and discovered the weather had changed overnight!  It was freezing!
So of course, we warmed our hands by the fire!  Ha!  #onlyinminnesota

I laugh because I can remember the day my mom turned 40 (her words that day should probably remain between us! Ha!)  But let's just say she was a little bummed to be 40 because she didn't like the idea of being old.  Many days I FEEL old, when I see some of my old students growing up and graduating from high school and college... or when I see pictures of my wedding day, or my babies.  But as I reflect on the last 40 years and my life, I have to say I am proud and grateful.  I have many memories to cherish, and an amazing family to do this life with.  Life just keeps getting better and better with age!

So bring it on!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

football, pumpkins & zombies

So our neighbors are trying to convert us to Hawkeyes.  It's never going to happen (#cyclone4ever) but they invited us to the opening game and we couldn't pass up tailgating and spending time with our new friends!
Since I'm not that into Hawkeye games, I spent most of the time enjoying the view of this amazing new children's hospital in the background.  I couldn't help but think of all the boys and girls in the hospital at that moment, wishing they could be at this game.  #beentheredonethat
Our little man has spent many nights in that same hospital.  It just kind of puts things in perspective.  And it amazes me how funny life turns out sometimes.  That my husband would have gotten a job in the very place we always dreaded going to because of this hospital.  And how much we love living here and now we don't see it quite the same way.
These girls are just the best of friends.  Avery's parents are who we went to the game with and we've loved getting to know their sweet family.  We are so blessed they live next door!  This picture speaks volumes to me about acceptance and putting our differences aside!  Two adorable girls representing both teams.  How can you not love them both!?
Then all in good fun, Kerigan went outside the day of the Iowa vs. Iowa State game wearing her ISU cheer outfit.  Our neighbor behind us yelled out her window that she was concerned about her outfit!  Ha!  Next thing I know, this gets posted on Facebook!  She had somehow managed to run out and put a Hawkeye shirt on my daughter and take her picture... with her thumbs up!!!!  I died laughing.  #neighborprobs
We were barely unpacked yet but Craig's entire family came from all over to stay with us for the game.  We love hosting family and friends so we welcomed them, warning them there was a shortage of kitchen space, furniture and beds!  Ha!
Kerigan loves her Grandpa!
Somehow Grandma and I ended up babysitting while everyone else went to the game.
At least it was a horrible game and the Cyclones lost.  I think we all had more fun anyway! 
3 out of 6 girl cousins
The kids were playing in the basement and I went down to get Kerigan for bed and somehow she had managed to fall asleep in her beanbag with all the noise and chaos around her!
As you can see, even the family is divided. #westilllovethem.  It was a great family weekend and I hope it becomes a tradition!
As if there could be room for more awesome things about our neighborhood, we have a pumpkin patch in our backyard too. #youcantmakethisstuffup
It was so fun to explore and visit a few times throughout the season!
They had lots of fun things for the kids to do like bouncy houses and a corn pool.
The kids loved these slides...
This one rocked back and forth!
They even had a barrel train the kids loved riding.
Pumpkin checkers!
Beanbag throw!

And giant Jenga!
We couldn't believe he just kept pulling pieces out and it wasn't falling over!
Why are the duck races so popular?  My kids would stay here all day and do this!
This might've been his favorite thing.
Andrew decided he wanted to tackle the corn maze with his mama!
We had so much fun doing this together!
Even though we got lost and had to have one of the workers come get us!  I'm not even joking.  Thank goodness for cell phones! Ha!
That night was opening night of the first Zombie paintball of the season so we had to take Andrew.  By the way, that's our neighborhood in the back of this picture so you can see how close we are!

He was so excited
Kerigan stayed with the neighbors so we took our little man on a date.  Craig and I are huge Walking Dead fans so we might have secretly been more excited than Andrew!
Driving through the fog was a pretty cool effect!
There were different scenes set up and Zombies came out of the corn and everyone just went to town shooting paint balls at them!
Andrew was so into this!
Need I say, so was Craig??  Ha!  #Ijusttookpictures
So this was the start of our awesome fall season!

I am getting closer to catching up!  More to come soon!

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