Friday, May 22, 2015

Deep Thoughts with Cecelia Ray: Graduation Edition

 
As I type this, Ms. Cecelia is wrapping up her last day of preschool! I can't believe how much she has grown and how much she has learned since her first day last fall.
 
 I loved picking her up from school everyday and hearing her say "GUESS WHAT?" Then she would never give me a chance to guess and immediately would start singing a new song she learned or digging in her back pack to show me her latest piece of artwork.
 
I'm aware that the school years ahead may not always be so magical and easy. However, this was an amazing introduction to the wide world of education for her. And I can't say enough good things about her school. Now our plans are to have a summer filled to the brim with fun and then hit the books again in the fall!
 
 
Since you are probably here to read some AMAZING recent Cece quotes. I assure you, now that she is four-years-old and has one year of school under her belt, she's got some good stuff to tell.
 
"Kings and queens only want to dance to classical music. Flutes and pianos. Not rock and roll music. OH BABY YEAH!"
 
"Did God glue our hair on?"
 
Cece: "When I grow up, I'm going to be an artist and a baker."
Me: "What will Rosie be?
Cece: A robot
 
(Later, she went on to explain that Rosie will repair robots among other things.)
 
"I like lambs. They look like clouds."
 
"Dad, you're my best dad. You'll always be my partner."

 
This is but a teeny fraction of the excellent stuff Cece says. I will try to post these more frequently as I don't want to forget these gems!
 
And by the way, have a great weekend and summer! Hope to be seeing you around!
 
 
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Friday, May 15, 2015

Spring time means good times!

 
Hey everyone! Hope you have been enjoying spring (on the days it feels like spring, at least!). We have been fitting in lots of play dates these past couple weeks which makes me feel awesome and social and I know the girls love seeing other humans besides myself, so it has been very win-win.
 


We loved having Penny and Jack over last week!
 

 
(My sister and our mom about 24 years ago!)
 
 
 
 
(In this photo, Rosie is a bit bummed that we made her stop eating her mozzarella stick to take a picture. Sorry, girl!)
 
Mother's Day started with Rosie hitting my face and sneezing on me while I was sleeping, so really, not too different from any other day! Just kidding. I was bestowed many cards, a homemade ribbon with an "M" on it to wear, and some lovely flowers. Oh, and a Jamberry gift set, thanks Joe! We also managed to make it out for dinner that night. (I just really wanted a perfect margarita and boneless buffalo wings so we went to the fancy establishment of Applebee's.)
 
Thank you again to Joe and the girls for making me feel like quite a special lady! And (as always) thank you so much to my own mom for putting up with my crap for 28 years  being there for me and my siblings and giving us all you had and more! Love you so much.
 
 
And here are some of the random photos of the girls over the past week. (Despite those cranky faces, it was their idea to sweep and vacuum the living room.)
 

Also their idea to try on hats in Target (it was Derby weekend recently, after all.)
 

We had an indoor picnic with good reads and Cheerios on a rainy day.
 

Cece sang with her fellow preschoolers in their spring concert last week. (ADORABLE). Rosie squirmed for most of the performance and was not in the mood to attend the reception, so I just hung out with her in the car and let her pretend to drive. Funny how that instantly boosted her mood!


^^^This new lip thing that Rosie does...^^^
 
 
Also, these faces. I don't know how a one-year-old girl manages to look so tough while drinking a smoothie. But for goodness sake, don't try taking it away from her kung fu grip.
 

I also accompanied Cece and her class on their field trip to Como Zoo this week. We were fortunate to have nice weather and we enjoyed visiting all of the animals, big and small.
 




 
 
 
But, I do think Cece's favorite part of the field trip was the picnic lunch at the end and having a whole field of dandelions to pick a bouquet from with her friends. I've never been gifted so many dandelions in my life. It's hard to believe her last day of school is next week! Where has this first year of school gone?

Anyways, on to warmer weather and more spring adventures! By the way, I'm all ears for ANY suggestions of fun things to do this summer throughout the city! Looking for things that are stroller friendly, not terribly spendy, and just a good old time for little ones. Lemme know!
 
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Friday, May 8, 2015

Life is good. And that's the way it should be.

Last week was a whirlwind of such good things and I'll be so mad at myself if I don't make an attempt to record some of it!
 

One week ago on Sunday was Cece's birthday party. Hard to forget that!
 
After returning home from the party, unpacking, and refueling, my siblings and I went out together for the first time in, oh, years? It was such a treat to be together, to reminisce, and to listen to people speak with mannerisms eerily similar to my own.  With our dad's birthday and the two year anniversary of his passing both occurring in the same week, he has been on our minds a lot. And although time continues to pass, I know none of us miss him any less. How could we? But what we have continued to do is focus on the good times, the great times, and what lucky kids we were. And still are.
 
 
OBVIOUSLY, this meant we each had to get tattoos to remember the good times, just as a back up. Thank you Steady Tattoo!
 
(Can I smile through anything or what???)
 
 
 
On Monday we had a low-key day at our house, played outside in the spring weather, and eventually went grocery shopping. It was a chicken enchiladas and sangria sort of evening and everything I hoped it would be. Plus, the bro graced us with his presence once more and even brought dessert.
 
 
On Tuesday morning I had to go to the eye doctor since I managed to scratch my cornea. This was a drag and I was very bummed that this cut in on my sister time.
 
 Fortunately I had "recovered" enough to still do some wedding dress browsing in the afternoon with Robbyn. Wedding dress shopping may be one of the most fun things you can ever do with your sister. At least in my opinion. But seriously, I totally forgot about my owie eye while she modeled dresses (and looked exquisite in every single one.) Thank you for fitting us in, Flutter Boutique! Post dress shopping, the two of us went out to dinner and jabbered excitedly about sisterly things. This is going down as one of my favorite sister days for sure.
 
 
 
On Wednesday I attended Cece's preschool class with her as they celebrated her birthday and she got to be star of the day! Her duties included (but were not limited to) ringing the clean-up bell, being the line leader, presenting some items for show and tell, and, of course, wearing a crown. I loved seeing what a full school day is like for her and I had many proud mom moments!
 
 
 
 
After school, we met up with Lianna and Trinity at Play & Learn Café which is a fun new indoor play ground. It is also a treat for grown ups with the delicious food, coffee, and convenient seating. Even though we weren't there very long, the girls enjoyed themselves and so did we! We will definitely have to return soon.
 
From there we had to drop Robbyn off at the airport, so my heart broke into a million pieces. I also had to go to the dentist that night for part I of my root canal retreat. Not cool, but necessary. So. Wednesday didn't exactly end on a high note as I couldn't feel half my face for most of the evening.
 
 
On Thursday, birthday week continued as this beautiful girl turned four years old for real.  I made sure she awoke to presents, decorations, and cards. Since there had been so much excitement earlier in the week, we decided to just lay low, put our house back in order, and enjoy the good weather. We asked Cece where she wanted to go for dinner that night and without hesitation she decided BURGER KING. The heart wants what the heart wants. So after eating and having fun in the play area, we returned home and made a trip to the park to make sure we got an adequate amount of playing in for the day. I think we did.


As you can see, Cece wasn't the only one who got a new bike last week! After several years of being motorcycle-less, and a good chunk of time spent shopping, Joe is back in the game and looking a whole lot like Nicholas Cage in Ghost Rider. Acquire motorcycle and tattoo in same week? Yes, we did.
 
 
As you can see, this past week was certainly busy, but also a time to enjoy the beautiful spring weather, be grateful for the time spent with our loved ones, and get excited for the future. Thank you again to everyone who made last week so special!
 
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Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Frozen Fourth Birthday

 
Over the weekend we celebrated Cece's fourth birthday in a Frozen fashion with our immediate families in St. Cloud.
 
 
 
Cece received MANY thoughtful and wonderful gifts including a Frozen big girl bike from her aunts. Cece played it really cool when she opened it. Is she excited? I can't tell.
 
 
The baby cousins were in attendance and at some point were all awake and sitting up!
 
 
^^^I asked Cece to take a nice birthday picture and she struck this pose for me.^^^
 
We couldn't have asked for better weather for the party and were fortunately able to spend a lot of time outside. 
 
 
 
Grandpa and Joe kindly assembled the bike during the party. It took Cece a few tries to get the hang of riding, but she did it!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We had a couple of activities for the kids including a piñata breaking and a pin the nose on Olaf game. (Harder than it looks, let me tell you.) And perhaps a couple girls were sporting Frozen nails.
 
 
Both of my siblings were in attendance for the celebration. After the party, we continued to spend extra time together since Robbyn was in town. (She is also the lady responsible for creating that lovely Elsa cake!) To have my sibs and sib-in-laws all together? Awesome. I couldn't stop smiling. It may have been the first time since our wedding and I loved it.

 
 
 
So there you have it. A small family party for this special little lady. Thank you so much to all who attended and who wished her a happy birthday. She even said later "Everyone loves me!"
 
So now Cecelia Ray is four years old. Four.
 
How is this possible? Miss Cecelia, to say your are a delight would be a ridiculous understatement. We enjoy your humor, your creativity, your kindness, and your sparkly self every day of the year. Your energy and enthusiasm for life is contagious and I can honestly say that there has not been a dull moment in the past four years. I'm grateful and privileged to be your mama!
 
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