Spooky Summer

cabin, Lily, twins, vacation No Comments

Ok, so it’s *slightly* later than mid-July. Oops! I swear July must be the absolute FASTEST month of the year! I don’t know where the time has gone.


From cabin 2011

We have been trying to pack our time together with as many “summer-y” things as possible! Our summer daycare arrangement for Lily (2 days/week at Grandma and Grandpa’s, and 3 days/week at Auntie Lisa’s house), has allowed Lily to spend LOTS of time with her cousins this summer, and led to a number of sleepovers at Gma’s and Gpa’s, too! I think she’s having an absolute blast! We’re so lucky to have such awesome family so close, that are willing to pitch in and help us out! :)


From cabin 2011

Of course, Lisa watching Lily at her house doesn’t allow the two of US to hang out, so we’ve made time for that as well! Lisa invited Lily and I to go with her to the opening of Highland Park Aquatic Center in St. Paul (you can read more about it oh her blog ), which was a lot of fun despite the rain! In turn, I invited Lisa and girls to join Lily and I at Crystal Cove Aquatic Center, and help use some of the groupon admissions that I had purchased. All of us had a great time, and are looking forward to doing it again!

From 2011Jun21

We didn’t spend our WHOLE summer in the water, though! We’ve also been to a number of parks (Medicine Lake Park and French park are some of our favorites), taking Lily on bike rides, going on family walks, and just having all sorts of fun together. Lisa and I even took all 3 girls to the New Hope Cinema Grill one night for pizza and the movie Rio (+a bottle of wine for the Mamas – score!).


From 2011Jun21

Of course, no summer would be complete without our annual 4th of July cabin trip! This year was a ton of fun, and the time went so fast! The girls are really getting old enough to enjoy the cabin, spending time with the whole extended family, and all the random activities we do there, and it’s SO much fun to relive some of my OWN childhood memories through their eyes! They were all SO well-behaved the entire week, and seemed to love EVERYTHING we did on any given day! They’re all getting to be really good swimmers (with floaties/water wings on, typically), they all got to sleep together in the same bed every night (so it was a week-long sleepover!), they enjoyed going to the lake, catching frogs with Auntie Lisa and Uncle Ryan, chasing Grandpa around a golf course (or just running up and down the “bunker”), and the FIREWORK show we took them to for the first time this year!


From cabin 2011

One of the cutest memories I have of the cabin this year with the 3 girls, was when we went waking around Red Cedar lake, looking for frogs. Lily was very intent on her search, and sometimes leaned WAY over the side of the dock to peer into the water, which was making me VERY nervous! I told her she couldn’t lean over so far because I didn’t want her to fall in, and tenderhearted little Claire heard me and was SO concerned about Lily’s safety that she grabbed onto the back of Lily’s shirt and hung onto her for dear life. Nevermind that there’s no way Claire’s little 32-lb body would do a single thing to stop Lily from going into the water, she was bound and determined to protect her cousin and it absolutely melted my heart!


From cabin 2011

It may sound like we’ve spent the whole summer with only my side of the family… and it’s true that we certainly have seen my family A LOT this summer – but we’ve also made a few trips to visit with Jason’s family as well! Jason’s Dad has moved since the last time we saw him, and now lives in Wisconsin, only about 1 1/2 hours from the cabin. So, one of the days during the cabin trip Jason and Lily packed up and went to visit him and his wife, Judy. They had a great time, and Lily brought home a little stuffed bear (that she named “Sunny”), while Jason brought home some homemade salsa and garden-fresh radishes. Yum!


From 110716

We also made a trip down to Grandma Gayle’s farm (with the 115 heat index and NO A/C!!) while Jason’s sister Chandra was in town with her husband Aaron, and their daughters Akasha and Aria. They live in Virginia and we haven’t seen them in about 1 1/2 years, so it was great to see everyone again, and see how big all the kids are getting – and watch all the cousins play! We attempted to let all the girls (Akasha, Tali, Aria, Lily, and Eanna) camp out in a tent in the yard, but Lily was a bit scared and ended up coming inside with us before everyone fell asleep. Before that, however, Auntie Shannon read all the girls a story, and they took turns telling “spooky stories” around a flashlight (cheating, I know). Listening to the girls stories was so much fun, and even now Lily is still on a “spooky stories” kick! I’ll post one of her latest spooky stories at the end of this post.


From 110717

It’s so hard to believe that August is just around the corner. Lily is already enrolled for pre-school, which will start in early September, and this coming week I’ll be enrolling her in dance class (tap & ballet) already! In just 2 weeks, her regular daycare provider re-opens and we’ll start getting into our “school-year” routine. I find myself getting a little down at all the early reminders of fall (back to school sales, people talking about football, etc) because I just love these summer days, but I keep reminding myself that there are so many EXCITING things coming up this fall! I’m excited to watch how Lily grows and changes as she enters school and spends time with a whole new group of people. I’m excited to watch her practice being the ballerina she already loves to pretend she is in her dance class, and hopefully find a passion for dance AND make some new friends as well! I know that there will be a number of bittersweet moments coming up, moments where it’s undeniable that she is truly growing up and becoming her own person right before my eyes. So for now, I’m hanging on to my little girl, and enjoying every minute of these late summer days with my little family.


From 110716

And now, without further ado – I present to you Lily’s most recent “spooky story” (not quite verbatim but as close as I could manage!):
There was a monster, a witch, and a ghost. The monster was purple and furry, and really big.. with white teeth and white claws. The witch was mean, and she had a cat. She had green skin and rode a broomstick. The ghost was a mean ghost, not like a human-ghost but a ghost-ghost (think casper, but not so friendly).

The monster, witch, and ghost took the Mommy and Daddy’s child (named Rosie) and hid her in a bag, but then she got out. The hero girl’s name is Blondie – she looks a lot like Lily, and has blonde pigtails. Blondie came along and saw the monster, witch, and ghost being mean and she told them to “STOP!”, but they didn’t listen. Then, she said, “I’m going to trap you!” and she trapped them in a bag.. but they could get out. Then she put them in a maze, but the ghost walked through walls and got out. Then, she put them in a hole, and closed it. The monster was going to open it, but Blondie went to the red wizard and had him make a lock for her, and she locked the hole.

She was going to hide the key under her bed, but then she thought they would find it. So she went way into the forest and buried the key. Then they couldn’t get out. The end.

5 years! (married)

Blog, cabin, vacation, Wedding 3 Comments

(Picture taken on our honeymoon, in Ireland.)


Five years ago today, Jason and I were having the time of our lives at our wedding! It was the (official) start of our lives together, and the start of our family.. and look how much has changed since then!

I’m taking a short vacation from blogging for the Anniversary and 4th of July celebrations, but we will be back in mid-July with a full report on the cabin! Enjoy the holiday!

Sun, Fun, and Family

cabin, Lily, twins, vacation No Comments


From Lily Cabin July 2010

The picture above was taken at the Tagalong where we rented the Pontoon boat. We took a similar picture last year in the same spot. I can’t believe how much has changed in one year! I can only imagine what next year will be like..

Wow, what a whirlwind month! I think we can pick up from the last post with the SURPRISE PARTY I threw Jason for his 30th Birthday! What a relief it was to get that done – planning was incredibly frustrating, but I think I managed to pull off a fun night at Elsie’s. Thanks to everyone who was able to show up!


From Lily Bday Party June 2010

Speaking of birthdays, we also had a big birthday celebration at my parent’s house for a bunch of may/june birthdays (my cousin’s daughters turned 21, my Dad celebrated a birthday, my Aunty Pat, and Jason). It was a gorgeous day weather-wise and we all had a fun time out on the patio! There are TONS of pics in the linked album, but here’s a few of my favorites:


From Lily Bday Party June 2010
From Lily Bday Party June 2010
From Lily Bday Party June 2010
From Lily Bday Party June 2010

Then, the end of June rolled around. We traveled out to Lake Mills, WI to visit some of my Mom’s cousins, and to go to a memorial service for Great Aunt Gloria, who passed away in December. She was an incredible woman, and left behind an amazing family. While we were out that way, Jason’s Dad drove in to see us and he and Jason spent some quality time together going to some historic sites in the area (Indian burial grounds, and stuff about a pyramid in the middle of Rock Lake out there). Our friends Jeremy and Cara (and JJ!) also drove all the way out from Milwaukee to see us! It was so nice to see them again, and meet their little boy. We live far enough apart that we don’t get to see each other often enough, and now they are moving to Vermont next month so we won’t get to see them again for quite some time. Cara was 9 months pregnant at the time, and has since given birth to a beautiful little girl!


From Lily Wisconsin Trip June 2010
From Lily Wisconsin Trip June 2010

We started off July with a bang as Jason and I (along with Greg, Dave, Shawn, and Andy) went to the TOOL concert at Xcel Energy Center. That was a great night, and amazingly I stayed awake through the next day at work, which was also my last day before our 1-week CABIN VACATION! Always the highlight of my summer! We had a blast going swimming at the beach club, swinging on the swing Grandpa hung up off the deck, renting a pontoon boat, and playing a million card games each night after the girls went to sleep. Lily, Claire, and Abby got to sleep in the same room (on the same air mattress!) together this year, which was certainly interesting! They actually did pretty well at night time – the twins especially would conk out pretty quickly and we would hear Lily over the monitor, talking and singing to herself. We did overhear some amusing things when she would pretend to talk to her cousins even though they were asleep! “You’re Claire, and You’re Claire! Except one of you is Abby…” Lily and Claire especially like to do their own rendition of “Under the Sea” from the little mermaid, which is adorable beyond words. We did learn, however, that nap times would just NOT happen if they shared a room so we had to split them up during the day, which worked out pretty well. :)


From Lily Cabin July 2010

That brings us to this weekend, which has been much more laid-back than our previous few weekends. :) We had the Beaverson’s over for dinner on Friday night, which was fun! Other than that we’ve just been relaxing and getting things done around the house, and trying to deal with a crabby 2-year-old who is FINALLY breaking through her 2-year molars.


From Lily July 2010 Splash Pad

Sorry about the lateness of this post, but it took me 4 days to write this AS IS! There are TONS and TONS and TONS of pics and every one of the (FOUR!) albums I posted, so please feel free to browse through those! :) Hope everyone is enjoying their summer, and can we please make time slow down a little bit now?!?


From Lily July 2010 Splash Pad

Cabin Adventures

Blog, cabin, Lily, twins, vacation 1 Comment


From Lily Cabin July 4-11th 2009

First of all, thanks Shannon and Alix for the anniversary wishes! We didn’t do anything too exciting. We worked, then picked up Lily and went to a parent meet-up for her daycare, to meet the other parents and kids. Then we ate at Wendy’s with a co-worker and her son before they went to kung fu. ;) Guess the romance is truly gone! (Just Kidding!)


From Lily Cabin July 4-11th 2009

We had a FABULOUS vacation at the cabin! The cabin belongs to my Aunt, and is near Birchwood, WI. It was Jason, Lily, and I, plus Grandma and Grandpa (my parents), Uncle Greggy, Auntie Lisa and Uncle Ryan, Cousins Claire and Abby, and of course my Aunt Pat for just over a week. It was a little tough planning things around the napping schedules and whatnot for three one-and-a-half year olds, but we managed to have plenty of fun!


From Lily Cabin July 4-11th 2009

We left on Friday, July 3rd, and Lily was REALLY good and napped for almost the entire 2.5 hour drive (slightly longer than that because of bad traffic). We arrived at the same time as Lisa and Ryan, and just a few minutes after Grandpa and Greg (Grandma and Aunt Pat came up the day before), so that was about perfect. As soon as we got our things unpacked and settled a bit, we all went out to eat at a nearby restaurant (Bluegill?). The food was good, but they didn’t take reservations or call-ahead seating, and it took them FOREVER to seat us, even though they had the space. Oh well, we were on vacation – who cares about the time, right? ;) Anyway, the dinner did take quite a long time but all three kids did pretty well. A little bit of fussiness, but it had been a long day for them so they did really well.


From Lily Cabin July 4-11th 2009


Ok, after that, my timeline is going to get a little messed up. I was on vacation, and it was hard to keep the days straight, so I don’t remember exactly what we did and when, but I’ll try to hit the highlights for you. We set up a little plastic swimming pool on the deck, and had the girls do some finger painting (which they weren’t interested in because the draw of the pool was too strong), and then some “swimming”. The twins didn’t seem to care too much about the little pool, but Lily thought it was fun. She really liked it the MOST, though, the rest of the week when it was empty and she could crawl in and out of it and pull the pool all around the deck. Who knows? It kept her busy!


From Lily Cabin July 4-11th 2009

There is a beach club near the cabin, with a pool (and a lake), and a little park-type area. They had a play structure in the park area, but it was mostly intended for slightly older kids. The kids did go on the swings a couple of times, and I thought it was hilarious watching Lily on the slide. The slide is fairly tall, and much faster than the ones she’s used to. She would slide down and hit the sand at the bottom, and have so much momentum that she’d fly forward onto her hands and knees. For the most part, she’d just brush off the sand and do it again! But look at these next two pictures to see her face as she was going down the slide –

From Lily Cabin July 4-11th 2009
From Lily Cabin July 4-11th 2009


– isn’t that funny? Anyway, I believe it was Monday or Tuesday before we took the girls down to the beach club to use the pool, because it was just too crowded before then. They seemed to have a pretty good time! Claire especially seemed to love being held as far away from your body as you could reach and kicking around, to feel as if she were swimming by herself. Lily kept “forgetting” that she was in water, and wanting us to put her down so she could play on her own, but that was not happening! They also all spent some time in these inflatable boat things with their legs dangling in the water. I bet by next year they’ll be begging us to go to the pool and we won’t be able to get them out!


From Lily Cabin July 4-11th 2009

On Wednesday, I had kind of a rough day. Fairly early in the morning, I went to close our bedroom door, not knowing that Abby had snuck behind me. She had her hand near the hinge of the door and was grabbing on to it, and when I tried to close the door, I ended up pinching her fingers pretty good. She cried out and I scooped her up and kept apologizing, then let her Mommy cuddle the pain away. I’ll tell you, I know it was an accident but I felt SO BAD that I cried more than she did. Lisa put some ice on the fingers, and they did look much better just an hour or so later – and almost completely normal the next day. However, I STILL feel bad! :( That same day, Lily was sitting on my lap and went to jump down (forwards, with no hands or anything) and I grabbed her arm to keep her from falling. It ended up knocking her a little off-balance and she bumped her cheek on the wood part on the front of the chair and she got a bruise on her cheek. She didn’t even want to go to Mommy for comfort – she went to Auntie Lisa! Needless to say, I was feeling pretty guilty that day, but I know they were both accidents and everyone is just fine.

From Lily Cabin July 4-11th 2009


This is out of order, but two different nights “Uncle Ryan” had us gather on the deck and lit some sparklers and set off some fireworks he bought. So, we had our own personal fireworks show. The girls did pretty good with them, except for the loud noises they weren’t too fond of. Otherwise, they liked the lights and were clapping right along with the adults (and Lily chanting “fireworks! fireworks!”).

From Lily Cabin July 4-11th 2009

On Thursday, we rented a pontoon boat for the morning and took it out on the lake. It was nice to have access to such a large boat that we could all go on at the same time! The babies were tired, and got a little fussy about an hour into the ride, but it ended up working out ok. We brought a pack-and-play onto the boat, and Claire even took a nap on-board! Grandpa even let one of the twins help drive (I want to guess this is Abby, but I can’t tell for sure in this picture – Lisa??) and you can tell how exciting that is by the looks on their faces!


From Lily Cabin July 4-11th 2009

Lily had a pretty good time, but I think she was starting to get pretty bored about mid-way through the ride. She ended up eating almost her entire body weight in crackers (slight exaggeration) and getting into just about everything she could reach. She even grabbed the sunglasses off my head and tried to throw them overboard! Luckily they landed on the boat and I was able to retrieve them.


From Lily Cabin July 4-11th 2009

Those are pretty much the highlights of the trip. It was a LOT of fun, and I didn’t want to come back home. The only other funny thing I can think of was our last night up there we ended up going out to eat again and took the recommendation of the guy doing construction on the cabin and went to “Sportsmans Lodge”. If you guessed that’s just a BAR, you’d be correct! We weren’t quite expecting what we walked into, and I completely forgot that smoking isn’t banned in WI as much as it is in MN. The place was smokey, and pretty seedy. They had one highchair, no booster seats, no milk, no kids menus, no covers for their cups, and they brought us “bar straws” when we asked for a straw for Lily. It was quite an experience, but needless to say, I don’t think we’ll be eating there again!


From Lily Cabin July 4-11th 2009

Finally, before we left I was able to capture Lily on video, helping me read “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss. She’s been doing this with so many of her books lately – she’ll pick it up and flip to a certain page and say some word or some phrase that’s on that page. I don’t know how the heck she can memorize which PAGE the words belong to, but it just blows me away! So, about a month ago I noticed her flipping through this book, saying certain words, and she was getting them on the right pages. So the next time I read it to her, I started pausing at the end of a sentence instead of finishing it, and she would finish the sentence. She completely blew me away with how MUCH of the book she knew. She wasn’t completely cooperative in this particular instance, but it’s the only thing I’ve been able to get on video so far! She can normally keep going and finish the ENTIRE book – it’s completely amazing to me!

Lily Reads Cat in the Hat from Jill W on Vimeo.