Sisters, friends, blessed.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TOP TEN Highlights...

of our first (ever) family vacation!
WARNING: extra long blog post ahead, read at own risk!
10. Mini Golfing
This was a first for both girls.  It was, as you might imagine, a little tricky to actually pay attention to the course (that was my excuse for being whomped) but it really was fun. Note Piper's fancy one handed putting below.

This was 'take two' the following day (we had free passes, otherwise we may not have subjected ourselves to it again). 

9. Not Cooking
Need I say more?

8. Beaching It
Local friends of ours tipped us off to this quaint little beach.  The girls had a blast (and isn't my husband hot!).

7. Staying at a Cabin
We stayed at a great little cabin while vacationing in Hayward, WI. The cabin was fantastic - we fished off the dock in our jammies, had bonfires every night lakeside, and the girls got to share a room! It took a little practice, but the conversations heard between the two of them in bed were priceless, even if it did mean less shuteye overall. Below is our Hadley, the ever entertainer, leading Piper in her own story time early one morning.

6. Fishing
We caught roughly 20 sunfish and 1 bass right off our dock or from the little row boat.  Surprisingly, the only thing that fell in the lake was a sunhat, and was carefully rescued by Kyle.  We did end up with a few extra bugbites, and Hadley added to the number of places she has now gone to the bathroom (off the end of the row boat, hehe).

5. Visting with Friends
Kyle's good friend, Ryan (and wife Mary), from chiropractic school practice up in Hayward, and we were lucky enough to join them for an evening on their 'farm'.  The girls LOVED spending time with their sons Lucas & Simon, holding baby chicks, and even riding on a horse. (Simon is missing from the picture below, he was catching a little snooze.)

4. Bonfires
We had a bonfire nearly every night.  Kyle and I even hooked headlamps onto our hats one night so we could read by firelight.  I won't include that picture...           D O R K Y! The girls especially enjoyed roasting (and eating) marshmallows.

3. Eating Ice Cream EVERY Day
Yep, you read it right...EVERY day! If you asked Hadley prior to vacation and even now upon return, this would be her number 1 highlight! She even got to have her first ever cone all by herself.

2. FEEDING Animals
We hit up Wilderness Walk on our first full day of vacation, and was it ever a good stop for the girls.  You have GOT to take your kids there!  Its this incredible zoo like place where the kids can actually feed many of the animals.

Who's smile is bigger?  Seriously, this amazing 15 point buck came charging right towards us, causing Piper to leap into the stroller and Hadley & Kyle to run for some corn.

That camel nearly inhaled her little hand.  While Hadley proved just how brave she has become this summer, Piper was quick to want to be held, but certainly enjoyed it all.

And then there was the day at the beach...We were all casually playing in the sand, when we suddenly noticed fish swimming right up to shore in the crystal clear water. Not just a few fish, but hundreds of tiny sunfish! We had SO much fun feeding them between our feet (Piper kept saying, "That's my leg, little buddy!"), that we returned the next morning to do it again.

1. Family Time
We could not have been more blessed with the time spent together as a family. We experienced more adventure, laughter, and love than we could have even hoped for.  

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Goose egg?

Nope.  Cyclops?

Nope.  A simple bug bite!  By the next day the swelling had traveled so far down her nose that she even had the start of two black eyes! 

What has your mother been feeding you? Bad combination of sloppy joes, baked beans, and beets for dinner.  Could it be any cuter, though?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Music in the Park

Kyle was in the desert this weekend. Las Vegas, to be more specific. He kept referring to his business trip in the desert, so as not to make me feel bad. It sort of worked, until he came home and had grand tales of incredible interest compared to my usual (but nice) weekend with the girls. The girls and I did find much of interest right here in town...the Farmer's Market, Pet Store, Children's Museum, frozen pizza (that is a highlight in our healthy household, ha!), school park, water bucket, blueberry pancakes, and we finished out the weekend with Music in the Park. I only wish that I had been more stealthy in my attempt to video Hadley dancing while we were there. Any time she got wind of me trying, she'd stop and start jumping on the rocks instead.
While I was busy trying to catch Hadley dancing, Piper was busy trying to recapture her snack. Apparently, her bowl of popcorn spilled on the rock where we were sitting, and she was very quickly trying to get rid of the evidence (much like she did with her ice cream birthday cake a few weeks back!). I have a video of it posted below, but it keeps coming up in error for me - maybe you'll have better luck?  If not, just imagine Piper using nothing but her tongue to eat up the scattered pieces of popcorn, likely amongest bird poop!
Who me?  Naw, I only eat with my hands.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Special Visitors

We had an awesome week (despite being woken up by several thunderstorms that Hadley was not too fond of - anyone else?) with a couple of very special visitors.  First, we were lucky enough to have my mom come stay with us for a few days.  The girls reveled in all of her attention, loaded up on snuggles, read tons of books, and just enjoyed being silly with her.  Hadley was thrilled to have Grandma attend one of her swimming lessons, and was sure to give her the patented thumbs up a few times as well.  Thanks for making the trip, Grandma, we love you!
The second visitor was my dear friend Laura and her darling little family!  She and I go way back.  All the way back to a nerdy little music stand in the 7th grade flute section.  Laura and I stayed close through high school, and ended up rooming together in our freshman dorm at UMD.  We even chose the same major, and have now both enjoyed the pleasures and challenges of being a speech therapist.  And somehow after all of that, we even managed to have kids right around the same time.  Pictured below with Laura are her geniunely sweet little boys Cayden (3) and Connor (almost 2).  Thanks for making the trip, Laura, we just loved seeing your boys!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Its hard to believe it was 9 years ago today that Kyle was belting out, 'She's Got a Way' (much to his brothers disbelief) as I came down the aisle!  I think Kurt's exact words were something like... "We weren't sure if we should laugh or cry?"  And I believe Kraig's best man speech had something to do with..."Having balls the size of church bells!" all in reference to Kyle's singing! 

With God's grace and mercy we continue to laugh our way through this marriage, hold one another up, and enjoy this new adventure known as parenting together.  The above picture is my favorite picture from this, our 9th, year of marriage.  May we have many, many more opportunites for Kyle's infamous dips, as we did out in Boston last fall. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Many Faces of 2...

Believe it or not, these are truly just a collection of faces Piper gave us over her birthday weekend.  Being 2 is such a fun and funny age!

Birthday Weekend

We had a fabulously hot & fun weekend down in Minnesota celebrating Piper's 2nd birthday, as well as my Aunt Nancy's wedding! 
Could NOT get her to take her eyes (or her fingers!) off of that cake to smile for the camera!

The bubble mower (from Grandma & Grandpa) was an instant hit.  Note Hadley walking very quietly and patiently alongside for her turn.

Ahhhhh, finally my turn!  I think I'll mow the dock, or maybe the pontoon...

Yes, that would be my daughter showing the beautiful bride (my beloved Aunt Nancy) a toad!

Nancy's wedding day arrived complete with pouring rain, thunder & lightning!  But by ceremony time... it could NOT have been more perfect for an outdoor wedding.  The girls are getting some cousin love from Brooklyn!

Hadley's eyes are on another toad that someone else just discovered.

With the happy bride again!  This time at their beachside reception complete with ice cream, volleyball, paddle boats, swimming, and did I mention ice cream?

We did find time to take a dip in the pool with Grandma too!

But the weekend was not complete until we got to have Auntie Kim (AND Auntie Kara, Paige & Brooke - pictured to the left) swing in to celebrate Piper's birthday!  Kim & Piper are birthday buddies :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Piper Lu is Two!

Our little 08-08-08 baby is TWO!  Hard to believe that it was two years ago already that we were rushing around taking Piper to Nathan & Heidi's wedding at just 36 hours of age!  She arrived in perfect timing, and has been nothing but a joy and a blessing ever since.  We've loved you from the start, Pipey!  And have enjoyed all of your belly laughs, tight snuggles, super sonic enthusiasm, your genuine adoration for your big sister, and your constant twinkley smile ever since.  Happy Birthday, sweet Piper. 

Photos taken by the very talented, Jenna Ryan, of Mankato. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Soccer AND Swimming Week

Hadley had her first (EVER) soccer camp in addition to her first (EVER) swimming lessons this week!  Both have been awesome experiences for her (for all of us really), and she has shown nothing but excitement and willingness each morning we've set out.  We've had quite the range of weather to contend with though - we had some serious thunderstorms one day, a heat/humidity index of nearly a 100 another day, and some pretty chilly wind this morning if you were the little one with blue lips in the pool.  We have just one day left of soccer tomorrow, but a whole week left of swimming. 
The soccer camp is put on by a group out of England (complete with accents).  The coaches have been great, and a lot of fun for the kids to listen too!
She has come a long way, as the first day she tried to dribble her soccer ball like a basketball (much to her dad's delight!).
Piper has been an absolute trooper over the week, just content to cheer Hadley on and watch from the sidelines.  Kyle was able to join us this morning too!

Swimming lessons are actually right across the street from our neighborhood, but across town from soccer which runs just 15 minutes before swimming!  Hadley is now the master of changing in the car.

Both of Hadley's teachers (Melissa above, Kayla left) have been fantastic.  The perfect combination of patience but also persistence. Hadley just dipped her nose in with Melissa, and is trying really hard to be okay with water in her ears with Kayla.

Isn't that thumbs up hilarious?  The first day she was pretty hesitant to not have me right at the pool's edge (little tricky with Piper), so we devised a way to tell each other how we were doing :)