Wednesday, October 26, 2016

ALL the things!

Well, hi! It's been nearly two months since my last post. (As you can see, the above photo is from late summer when Target still thought kids carts were a good idea.)

 We've been staying busy with all things fall and adjusting to Cece's life in kindergarten. I've been taking lots of family pictures and even shot two weddings in the past couple months. Therefore, any time I can manage to get on the computer,  I try to get as much editing done as possible and blogging gets put on the backburner.

However. I've decided to take a little time and just jot down a few things that have happened over the past couple months. (And then finally I can check off "update blog" as it's been on my to-do list for about seven weeks ; )

This lovely lake shot is from early September when I flew out to Boston for Labor Day weekend to shoot a wedding in at Camp Lenox in Massachusetts. It was a fun and beautiful weekend to celebrate such Katrina and Aaron, who are a wonderful couple and I'm honored that they asked me to help document their day. 

I managed a teeny tiny bit of sight seeing before my getting on my return flight. I was able to check out Boston Common and even spotted Cheers! Next time I'm out that way, there's about 30 other things I'd love to check out. So, I've made a list for next time because there needs to be a next time!

Also in early September, we made our second trip out to the MN Renaissance Festival. Despite Rosie's pouting face in this picture, our whole family had a blast with the Olsons eating festival food, finding fairies, supervising pony rides, testing out enchanted scrunchies,

Are we magical mamas or what??? My mom says that I can't wear my wench costume all the time. Phooey. I say this is the ultimate ladies night attire.  Til next year, Ren fest!

Now that Cece is living that kindergarten life, I am under new management... the management of Rosie Posie. It's been intense. I've been instructed to make her tacos everyday and also give horsie rides on demand.

Just kidding (a little). Actually, although we miss Cece during the day (as proven by Rosie sleeping on the floor next to Cece's bed at night), I have been enjoying my time with her a whole lot. Not to mention there's no sibling fighting for about 8 hours every day. And Rosie usually takes a nap  which gives me time to do things like shower, make dinner, and edit the occasional batch of photos while there's daylight and I'm not totally sleepy. And Rosie is also probably the funniest person I know, so really, it's been a good situation.

Joe and I even managed a trip to Vertical Endeavors with Rosie one morning while he was off. She's still a ways away from ringing the bell at the top, but she'll get there. Climb on, Rosie Posie!

And we haven't been exactly amazing at trying out new restaurants since we've moved, but we did recently eat at  Sapporo in Hudson. The kids were a little antsy, but all was good once we ordered dessert, of course. Yay for (family) date night!

I've been very fortunate to chaperone a couple field trips for Cece. In September we went to Afton Apple Orchard and picked all the good apples with proper apple picking technique (which we later used to bake apple crisp!). I also accompanied her to the The Phipps Center for the Arts to see the play Mother Goosed. I sure love plays and since I don't think Hamilton is in my near future, this was the next best thing. Not to mention there was great weather that day and we got to have a picnic lunch. That chaperone life is good.

Joe and I also managed to get out for a date night recently. It was to attend Cady and Luke's wedding in Stillwater. Actually I was shooting the wedding. And I made Joe be my assistant (He was an amazing assistant! He carried my things, carried the bride's dress, assisted with my lighting needs. and grabbed me appetizers so I could keep up my energy and strength!)


In October, we also celebrated several cousins' birthdays (Elise, Vincent, and Dominic) and we got to do so at the Science Museum! All of the kids had a blast (and so did the adults). The girls especially loved when they got to make mini volcanoes.

So it seems like everyone and their grandma on social media has managed to do multiple fall outings this year from farms to pumpkin patches to grape stomps. Feeling the peer pressure, I took the girls to Axdahl's where we attempted a corn maze (Cece tripped and got muddy and was not happy about it), visited a tiny petting zoo, and got some teeny pumpkins and caramel apples. Boom. Fall y'all.

Just last week, I managed an awesome day-o-fun with Rosie Posie. After accompanying Cece to school for breakfast and the Scholastic Book fair, Rosie asked that we go to Teddy Bear Park. So we spent the morning in Stillwater. After Teddy Bear Park, we walked around, found Humpty Dumpty and the minions, did some window shopping (ok, I bought her a Pegasus), and we had lunch at Leo's (which is an awesome 50's diner and I had the most amazing seasonal salad) . Honestly, one of my favorite days.

We've had many warm October days that were perfect for still playing outside, visiting playgrounds, and even chalking on our sidewalk. Although I've been cooking and baking all of my fall favorites (snickerdoodles!), it really hasn't been oven weather yet. Not complaining over here. Warm October days are the very best kind of days.

I'm going to end the blog post with this picture because it makes me smile every time I look at it! Recently, Rosie has been very specific about who assists her. So, she did NOT want me to put on her socks the other morning, but was totally fine with Cece doing it. Two-year-olds... I tell you.

I'm hoping your fall is going great! If you made it to the end of this, thanks for reading about all the things.


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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

First Day of Kindergarten!

"Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting so get on your way."
-Dr. Suess

Our family woke up bright and early this morning to send Cece off on her way to her first day of kindergarten. We had a big family breakfast (French toast and farina with applesauce), put on shiny new shoes, packed a lunch, took some quick pictures, and then dropped Cece off to embark on her education.

I started regularly writing this personal blog about five years ago now and have loved having a place to record and share our family life. (And then be able to go back and relive it!)

 It really all started with Cece  and our adventures together during the day. Some days they would be big (road trip to Chicago!) and some days they would be small ( road trip to the Target dollar section!)

I knew on some distant day in the future that I would be sending off a school age kiddo to kindergarten, but I can't believe that day is already here.

Cece, you've added so much light and brightness to my life. Sometimes I think I dreamed you into existence. And I realize that's can't be true because I couldn't have dreamed up a daughter as wonderful as you are. Even though I don't feel it always shows, being your mom and being home with you for the past five years has made me a better person.

 I hope you love school. I hope you come home excited to tell me about the kids in your class, your teacher, and what you learned that day. I hope you always love "arting" and reading and going to bed with a pile of books even when we tell you it's time to sleep. I hope that even when things are hard, you always tell me and we can work through it together. I also hope that I don't get nearly so emotional and weepy  every new school year. (Because, seriously, this is ridiculous.) I wish you a spectacular day and a fantastic school year and I absolutely can't wait to hear how it all went!

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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Ren Fest 2016

Over the weekend we put on our flower crowns and  got a chance to partake in our favorite end-of-summer tradition... The Minnesota Renaissance Festival! How do you even pick a favorite part? It's all the things we love...  knights, jousting, mermaids and fairies (because those are totally part of history), performers of all sorts, and the occasional turkey leg, of course. 

This year, Cece got pulled on stage to be one of the tiny troubadours. I'm glad she gave it a try even though she was nervous at first. See her in the corner playing the triangle?

If you can't tell, the girls and I found the mermaid cove to be absolutely captivating. It never gets old. We may have entered the line three times to visit the mermaids and receive gifts of gems. (By the third visit, I had Joe go on without me so I could go eat a blooming onion by myself... See? Something for everyone.) Also, I loved how we had to tell Rosie to stop petting the mermaids tail so we could get a photo.

We visited the Princess Court where the girls could dress up (although both opted not to. Cece insisted on wearing my skating dress from the 1998 ice show... I mean, you really can't compete with that kind of vintage ensemble : )

Also, Cece decided that her heart's desire this year was to try out the big trampoline. What's more fun than watching your first-born voluntarily get catapulted into the air?

The answer is watching your two-year-old also get catapulted because you gotta do everything that your big sister does!

It's not a true festival day without pony rides!

Or archery.


Oh yes, and the juggling and breathing of fire also cannot be skipped.

We met a variety of characters on the street including this wind-up mechanical man.

The girls insisted on riding the enormous rocking horse. Who were we to stop them?

I'm glad to say that we did manage one family photo from the day... sitting on the throne of swords. To be framed, no?


Sherwood Forest and Fairy Wing forest proved magical as always. (Even through walking with little ones over the forest terrain always stresses me out a little)

After about four years of Renaissance Festival visits, we FINALLY managed to see a live joust to end the day. While eating ice cream. I'm sure that's how spectators used to do it back in the day. It was very clangy and bangy, but still fun!

I think the most amazing part of the day is that we were at the fest for about six hours and the girls (without naps) held it together and had such a great time! No naps, but also no meltdowns of any kind. Not when it rained a little bit ("Oh, it's just a little Scottish weather!") or when we had to hike for miles in the mud to get to and from our car, or even when we had to leave a fun event.

Thank you to my family for such a wonderful day and to all of the fantastic people who continue to put on such an entertaining  festival. We may be back again before the season is over!
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