On to The Next Thing...

There is always something happening at the Bennett house. So while I'm catching up, let's jump from Duluth to Chicago. Bennett and Davis have been doing Jiu Jitsu since about April. Bennett is crazy into it (as you can imagine) and recently signed up for his first tournament. Again- it sort of snuck up on us- and next thing you know, he was getting home from a week-long trip to Detroit and Charlotte (for the PGA Championship- poor guy) on Friday morning, and then packing up for the tournament Friday afternoon.

We had thought about everyone going- but I was signed up for a race and also, we didn't have a place for Pico. Plus- I had been traveling for the three previous weeks (Texas, New York, Duluth)...so we decided Bennett would just go. Or so we thought. And then Holden heard that he was leaving again...and he was going to stay in a hotel...and she had the opportunity to PACK...and it was all just TOO much. She had to go. We told her it was a 7 hour drive. And that she would have to sit in a gym for two days with a bunch of wrestling jiu jitsu guys...and that Davis and I were going to go have pizza with the Ohmes that night...but SHE INSISTED.

And next thing you know- she was in the car before anybody could say BOO. 

And she was incredible the whole way. And she helped Bennett bring home a third place medal! Yahoo!

Meanwhile, Davis and I hung around town...swimming, eating ice cream, sleeping in, fighting virtual dinosaurs at Dave & Busters...and we even went to a trampoline park with his buddy, Griffin.

It was another great weekend. And I know what you are thinking...how are we always going going going? Well, sometimes I ask myself that too. It is so fun, but can also be exhausting. And keep in mind- a lot of our trips are actually work trips. Or they start that way. Or we are working while on fun trips. I guess that's part of it...work never stops. I've never worked as hard or as much as I currently do- in my life. So might as well pepper in ME/US things too.

And to that point- we leave for Puerto Rico Saturday. :-)

Just the Two of Us

A couple of weeks ago, Bennett and I were supposed to go out on a double date with some friends of ours, sans kids. Because they don't have kids they don't really realize what it means to cancel on someone last minute that HAS kids. However, I almost never complain about having a sitter and a date night out...so we just took lemons and made really sweet lemonade. It was a BEAUTIFUL summer night, so we started with a drink downtown and then walked to one of our favorite restaurants in the North Loop. 

Luckily we paused to snap a selfie on the bridge. We often forget to do this and I'm glad we captured this one. You can see how beautiful the night was and you can also see that we were having fun.

And then the next week- we had one of the most fun events of the summer. Early in the summer, Bennett mentioned that one of his favorite musicians (Chris Stapleton) was playing in Duluth. On a Thursday night. So, back in May, we bought tickets, we booked one of our overnight sitters, and then, honestly, I sort of forgot about it. I'm not really a major fan of Stapleton...but it's rare that Bennett specifically wants to do something like that- so I wanted to make sure it happened and that it was fun.

Oh my gosh was it fun. We left around noon, drove in the rain to Duluth (about three hours), checked into the hotel, and then decided to go check out a local brewery that is pretty popular in Minnesota- Bent Paddle Brewery. The place was packed so I asked these two guys if we could saddle up next to them at the community table...only to have Bennett tell me later that it was totally NOT a community table. Luckily- we picked two of the nicest up north Minnesota guys alive. Ted and Eric. We sat and laughed and drank with them until we were almost late to the show. They were so fun. The whole thing was so fun.

Then we went to the show- and it was a pretty small venue- with great sound and not a bad seat in the house. 

We called Ted and Eric after the show but they weren't up for karaoke. Probably better for us...as we had a 4th meal and went to bed instead. Then we woke up around 10, grabbed breakfast and thought "What should we do before we have to drive back and pick up the kids at 5:00?" Bennett mentioned that Gooseberry Falls was about an hour away- so we figured why not.

We drove to Gooseberry Falls. We got out. We hiked to the falls. We saw the falls and then we drove back to Duluth and then back to Minneapolis in time for pick-up.

It is really pretty up north. Now, I don't know that I would ever drive four hours to go to Gooseberry Falls- but it was perfectly worth it for just a bit of a longer drive since we were already up there.

We had the best trip. And then right as we rolled into Davis' school to pick him up- the phone rang- and it was the head of Kids Club, letting us know that he had a headache and was throwing up. So there you go. Right back to reality.

At least we still had the weekend- and Davis was fine by the next morning. I seriously am so thankful for that weekend- Bennett and I haven't had any time alone together since January. And it just makes you feel like yourself again.

Women.

I want to take a pause from my regular photographic, storytelling posts about my children and life in general, and I want to spend just a little time to talk about how impressed I am with myself. Yes, you heard me correctly. Let me be clear- today was no special day...in fact, it was pretty typical...and yet I am in awe of all of the things I got done today. And while yes, this story is based on me, the REAL reason I want to talk about this is because I do believe that this is the story of all women in today's world. Or at least many women. Women are incredible. Seriously.

And let me tell you upfront that this isn't a dig on Bennett, as actually he is one of the better ones...but really, this is a dig on men altogether. Yes, like all of them. 

Today by 10:00 am I had made the kids breakfast (sure it was cereal- but this story doesn't need overselling) gone to an hour-long workout class, and picked up groceries from the store. Between 10:30 and 11:30, I unpacked the groceries, Holden and I made caprese quinoa (off pinterest- nonetheless) I swapped the laundry from washer to dryer, put a new load in, washed a couple dishes in the sink, and had little Davis vacuuming the basement. 

I had a massage from 11:30-12:30 (gift card from a friend) came home, made lunch, showered, swapped the laundry again, put new sheets on Holden's bed, and hung out with the kids until 2:00 when we left to beat the rain and go to see "Despicable Me 3". 

We watched a two hour movie, stopped on the way home to pick some things up at CVS that I forgot at the grocery store, came home, I prepped a home-cooked dinner (okay I never do this- but I'm choosing the day I tell the story- and it's today) painted with Holden and Davis and then set the table. 

We ate. We talked. We told the kids to QUIT touching each other for goodness sakes 100 times, and then I cleared the table while Bennett started baths.

While he finished baths, I made Davis' bed with new sheets, took out the trash, and then read a book to Holden while Bennett worked on writing with Davis. Then I sat down to begin working while they finished writing together...

And now I've been working for two hours, and writing a blog, and well...today was just a normal day. What would this world be without women?

Deep in the Heart of Texas.

We just got back from Fred Sunday night- we all had such a good time. It was a very sweet and relaxing four days, getting donut holes in the morning, drinking La Croix by the pool, eating popsicles, swimming ALL day, going to bed early, getting to wake up late (8:30), and laughing and talking with my favorite people. These two littles were very happy and mention at least once a day how much they miss either nanny, grandpa, Honey or Nikki.

A Week In the Life...

We are farmers! Look at us- growing tomatoes, harvesting them and eating them within minutes! Holden is so proud- she helps me water them every day and she is constantly checking to see if there are any red ones. D had fun helping us too- he doesn't eat them so it's less rewarding- but he loved popping them off the vine.

This picture cracks me up- Davis is starting to look so different to me lately. His face is changing shape, I think, his body is becoming more meaty, and the hulk-like way he is standing reminds me of his dad in junior high. 

We also spent time on a real farm this week- we went back to the Two Pony Garden farm where they served pizzas off a stone wood-fired grill. SO good. 

And we did jiu jitsu, and Holden had a birthday party, and then Sunday we spent the afternoon at the pool with the Ohmes.

And then this week I am hustling to cram five days (or really ten) of work into three days so we can go to Texas Thursday. We are SO excited! The kids cannot wait and I have been using it as a threat to keep those crazies in line all week. Gotta do what you gotta do.

Separately- Holden got a card in the mail from my grandma this week and she is so proud of it- she opened it and set it on her shelf and then said she was going to bring it to Texas to thank her for it. When I read it to her she said "Well that is the nicest thing I've ever gotten in the mail..." just like a little adult. HA!

And Bennett has already been in both Kansas City and Boston this week- went to a Royals game and is at a Red Sox game tonight. Spoiled rotten these people. :-)

Potluck Roommates.

Katie, Ray and the kids came to see us from Houston this weekend, and it was sooo fun it felt like it passed in five minutes. We had the very best time. It was everything I needed and then some. My ONLY regret is that I didn't get a picture with Katie. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT? I guess we were having too much fun.

Katie's kids are just as sweet and fun as you can imagine- and they hit it off so well with Davis and Holden...Davis actually cried when they left. :-(

We rented a boat on Lake Minnetonka and had the time of our lives. It could not have been a more beautiful, sunny, hot blue skies kind of day. Everything I hoped for. They loved it. And we did too.

We mixed and mingled with all the lake people and might have even made some friends out there! So fun. I wish they were still here. Still can't believe Katie was my potluck roommate. Love her to pieces.

Fireworks.

We had the BEST long weekend, celebrating the summer and the fourth of July. Because the 4th fell on a Tuesday, everyone basically had the Monday and Tuesday off and it felt like a really long time off- in a good way. Don't get me wrong, come Tuesday night, I was ready to get back in the routine and back to work, but we had a really good four days together. 

Here are a few pictures from the parade- and then I'll share some more in a couple days of when we went to my friend Ellie's house on the lake! Nothing says Minnesota summer like spending a day on the lake- in water that is almost too cold to swim in. 

How cute are these little patriots? Davis looks so big to me lately- I even feel like his face shape is changing. It seems to be getting rounder. And he just looks older. It's nuts. Slow down time.

Holden and Sierra- one of Ellie's two little girls. Holden insisted on bringing her gold basket from Rachel's wedding.

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And this little one in front- Avery- is the daughter of one of the gals on my team. We had a few people over ahead of the parade for breakfast and bloody marys and then walked down to the parade. It was really fun.

And then of course we went swimming later that afternoon! We had so much fun, and then we've been back at work the past two days and then tomorrow we are taking off because KATIE AND RAY AND THE KIDS ARE COMING!!! My best friend/college potluck roommate! We are all so excited. So we have another fun weekend ahead.

My grandma asked me if I fit any work in around all the fun and I just said "Here and there!"

MUAH! More later.

No Offense.

Lately, Davis likes to tack "no offense" on to anything he says that might be considered rude. He uses it in the funniest ways. I guess it kills me that he has found this freedom in saying things that are maybe not so nice, by tacking "no offense" on to it.

For example, this morning he told me that he would like to have our house once Bennett and I die. I looked at him with wide eyes, and he just goes "No offense..."

So there you go!

Today is a super busy day at work- but this weekend is going to be lots of fun. Tonight, Krissy and Patrick (and their kids) are coming over for dinner. Tomorrow, Holden and I have haircut appointments, and then in the afternoon we are going over to Ellie and Derek's house- they live on a lake and last year when we went, Davis caught about 8 fish. No plan Sunday- probably going to do some yard work and go swimming, and then Monday we are going to the Frend's house for dinner, and then Tuesday is the parade! 

Hoping for a hot weekend with lots of swimming. June is gone and we've hardly had any warm (non-rainy) days. So I'm crossing my fingers. Have a great 4th of July weekend.

This One.

Yeah. She's cute. And to her core, she is sweet and kind. But lately...she is a real pill. So whiney. So defiant. So damn stubborn. She really might be the most stubborn person in this family- and that is saying A LOT. The clothes situation has really reached a fevered pitch. She has so many cute summer clothes that she is simply refusing to wear. She wants to wear dresses each day- but only dresses with long sleeves- and she wants to pair these dresses with leggings. Is her closet full of new, never worn summer dresses and adorable jumpers in many colors? Yes. Does she have tens of adorable summer tank tops and flouncy shirts that still have tags on them? Yes. Does she insist on leggings with a layered, multi-colored, neon tutu that my grandparents gave her over two years ago over the top? YES. ALL THINGS YES. She is so stubborn and she cares so much about fashion. It was cute at first- but it's getting a little old. I bet her teachers think I am crazy sending her to school in long sleeved dresses with leggings. 

Oy vey Holden Eloise. She really is taking on her namesake- and she loves to read Eloise books every night and reminds me very often of how we need to go to New York to stay in the Plaza. And how once we are there we will have tea and ride a horse and carriage and SHOP till we drop.

 

Parties Galore.

Last weekend was filled with parties of all sorts. On Saturday Davis went to his friend Vishnu's birthday party and it was just fascinating to see how NOT a big deal it was for Davis that he was the only white kid there. Vishnu is from India and there were about 15 family members there dressed in traditional Indian attire, speaking with very thick accents, and it didn't even phase him. 

Then later that evening we went to my friend Lori's house (the one I met at Chick Fil A) for her four year old son's birthday party- where there was a bouncy house, a kids DJ, a full bar, catering, and ponies to ride on. It was like a kids birthday party on the Real Housewives show. And he had a blast at both. I love that he can have so many diverse experiences.

He loved that the DJ let him sing two solos in front of the whole crowd. Davis thought of that and arranged it himself and then came over to Bennett and I and said "I'm in. He's letting me do my song." It brought the house down.

Then Sunday he went to a friend's birthday party at the park and when we picked him up he was so upset because one of the kids punched him in the stomach. I reached out to the other parent via text, just to see if she could talk to her son and find out what happened, and also how they could get along better...and she didn't respond for two days. Then when she did respond- I could tell it was super curt and that she was feeling defensive. Which is so annoying because a) I met her at the pool last summer and was so kind to her because she was new to the area and didn't know anyone and b) I wasn't accusatory at all- just trying to understand what happened and figure out how to help them get along better. Because seriously- I know Davis starts stuff sometimes- they are boys. And our children are not perfect. Duh. The whole thing really bothered me. Parents can be so lame. Not Davis and I. But the rest of them. :-)

Anyway- fun weekend behind and fun weekend ahead. Hope you are enjoying better weather than we are. It was in the SIXTIES this past weekend. ??!!!!????

 

Quick Pics.

It's been so long since I've posted- I'm so sorry dear readers. I will get back on my regular schedule next week. Today is pretty busy too so I will just share some quick pics with you!

Holdy Bear watching her brother play soccer last night. And he scored! It was a great game for Davis- all around.

Roses, just growing and doing what they do on the side of our house!

Music at Lake Harriet.

Painting the gazebo in their skivvies!

Father's Day Robe Pic!

Love to you all!

Summer Cues.

You know it's the end of school and the beginning of summer when a) soccer starts, b) the waterpark opens, and c) the Edina Art Fair rolls around! I LOVE SUMMER in MINNESOTA. :-)

Fashionista.

You have no idea what level fashionista we have on our hands with miss Holden Eloise. Sure, I get it, many little girls like to wear dresses and they begin to care more about selecting their own outfits...but Holden's obsession with fashion goes far beyond these typical things.

1) She has her own very distinct look. It's all about layers. If she could- she would wear leggings underneath a skirt, paired with a cute top and a cardigan or sweater layered over it. And that works most of the year- but it's actually (FINALLY) hot here and wearing leggings and layers of sweaters (sometimes wool) don't make the most sense. But she loves it, insists on wearing it, and she really does look cute.

And yes, sometimes she insists on carrying not one, but TWO purses. 

2) She gives me fashion advice. Seriously- my closet is in the basement and I usually fix her a bowl of cereal to eat while I go down and get dressed...and inevitably, she either comes down to see what I'm thinking about choosing, or she waits for me to come up, and she says "Come here- let me see what you're wearing..." and then she takes it all in and either gives a nod of approval or says something like "I'm not sure about those shoes..." And the craziest thing is that more often than not- she is RIGHT!

3) Choosing clothes is really the only time we consistently argue. She has her go to outfits that she would like to wear each day- and when they are not available, weather appropriate, or what I would like her to wear to a certain event- it is a SHOWDOWN. Girlfriend is opinionated and stubborn. We started laying clothes out the night before so we didn't start each day with an argument- and that helps- but now she realizes she can change her mind. OH LAWD GIVE US STRENGTH with this one.

4) She had a total meltdown the night before graduation because she didn't feel she had the right dress for graduation. For real. Real alligator tears over it. And perhaps I am encouraging it because I let her pick out a new one- but I do get that a girl wants to feel just right on her special day. 

Ever the adventure with miss Holden Eloise.

1st Day of Summer.

So, Davis broke his finger slamming it in the car door (and had to get five stitches) on the first day of summer. And it's certainly not the end of the world- but it's a bummer because I know both he and Honey had planned to go swimming quite a bit this week while she is here- and he can't swim for 10 days. At least it's not a cast- that's what I keep telling him. He'd miss the whole dang summer. 

So anyway- we spent all of Friday night at the Children's Hospital emergency room. And while it was pretty long and boring- the staff was incredible and he got to watch Pete's Dragon and then play on the ipad while they gave him stitches. He was such a trooper.

Not the best way to start the summer, but not the end of the world, either.

Cap & Gown.

We have a little graduate on our hands! Holden Eloise graduated from Primrose on June 1st. It was really the cutest ceremony- they walked up to the stage with "Pomp & Circumstance" playing and they sang a few songs, the teachers spoke (and cried- how sweet are they?!?!) and then the kids accepted their diplomas. Holden was SO proud. Especially because Honey was there to watch. 

She got a new outfit for the event- so she very quickly took her cap & gown off after the ceremony. She is SUCH A FASHIONISTA!!

Holden & Bennett Ohme.

Holden and her favorite teacher, Ms. Kurtz.

Holden and her best bud, Oliver. How cute are they? Every time he sees me he says hello and asks how I am doing. He also tells his mom (and Holden) that he is going to marry Holden one day.

Me and My Girl. 

The four of us! Its nice to have my mom here- we never have family here for events like this...and it's also nice to get a picture of the four of us...where we're all looking at the camera. :-) So proud of our little graduate!

Call the Watchtower.

The only thing bad about a long weekend is a super short week at work when you get back! But man, we had the best weekend. On Friday after school, Holden and Davis asked our neighbor boys to come jump on their new trampoline with them- that trampoline is actually the best investment I've ever made in my entire life. Davis wakes up and jumps in the morning before he gets dressed, then he jumps again after he gets dressed and eats breakfast, and then he jumps again when we get home after school. And they are so proud to have friends come jump on it. Holden likes it too- but not with the same fervor as my Mexican Jumping Bean, Davis.

Anyway- we had the boys over Friday, then Saturday Holden and I went to the farmers market with my friend Jackie for tomato plants. It was a beautiful morning and we had a blast.

Then Davis had jiu jitsu where he earned his first stripe on his belt. Will share pictures of that later. Then he had tutoring. And then we went downtown and they got haircuts. Before:

And After:

Looking sharp, am I right? And then Saturday night, Kelley, Elsa and baby Jack came over to play outside (jump on trampoline) and have dinner. Bennett grilled for everyone and we had the best time sitting on the patio, drinking wine, and watching the kids jump. It was an awesome evening. Since Bennett travels so much- I always try to invite my girlfriends (and kids) to do things when their husbands are traveling- as I know it gets tiring and lonely. 

Then Sunday we had the Frends over for the first time- and that was even more fun. They have two boys- Griffin is the one in Jiu Jitsu with Davis and then they have a younger one named Maddox. It was my first time meeting their mom, or spending any time with them as a family and I loved the mom- Kristan. We already have a wine date in mid-July. We have a lot in common, having moved here from other places, and each having boys with ADHD, etc, so I honestly felt like she was a fast friend. I love it when that happens.

And then Monday we went to Stillwater, MN! But I will tell you about that later.

Oh- so the reason I titled this "Call the Watchtower" is because all of the sudden when my phone or ipad or anything electronic, really, isn't working- Davis says "You better call the watchtower..." and I have no idea what he is talking about, but I nod and go along with it because I love it. HA!

More to come!

Thursday.

I couldn't think of a clever title today- so we're just going with the day of the week. This has been a great week, kind of tiring with Bennett gone since Saturday, but a fun week nonetheless. The highlight of the week was Davis' variety show. He got up on stage and sang a solo in front of a packed gym- and he was nothing short of incredible. I really couldn't even believe it myself. The crowd went nuts and even they were clearly surprised that this 7 year old had both the courage and talent to pull that off. I will post the video after uploading it- but seriously- it was incredible and I was beaming. He has been walking on cloud nine ever since. I've never seen him so proud of himself- and I think we were all surprised by the situation.

Now, last night, at soccer was a completely different feeling. First of all- it's a team of rowdy seven year olds and God Bless those coaches because they are so rambunctious and aggressive, you can hardly get them to listen and follow directions for five seconds. And then you have Davis- who is having the time of his life, wrestling with his teammates, sticking grass up his nose to make people laugh, squeezing out other people's water bottles, kicking balls that aren't his, the list goes on and on...and I was getting SO frustrated. Mainly because if you can get him to pay attention for five minutes, he's actually pretty good at soccer...

And I realize how much I like soccer by how frustrated I get while he is dinking around throughout the field vs. following the ball and trying to score. It's a real roller coaster ride with that kid. Good thing I love him so much. :-) Here are a few pictures from his game...

That's D in the back. I kept confusing him with another kid on the team while they were playing. HA!

I can't believe it is already Memorial Day weekend! It really just snuck up on me. We don't have big plans this weekend- which is nice! I'm excited to just hang around. The forecast says there will be rain, which is such a bummer, but I hope it's wrong. :-) Have a great weekend!

 

Plugged In.

Bennett left for Vegas on Saturday for his big annual conference...this time last year all my best gals came from Texas to spend the weekend with me and go to the Beyonce concert. Last weekend when we were all together, we all agreed that it was without doubt, one of the best weekends of our lives. This year, this weekend, I was at home with the kiddos and it rained the WHOLE weekend. Not just sprinkled, but really RAINED.

Anyway- I've had such a good weekend, with such a positive feeling. I'm really thankful. Yesterday, Holden and I took Davis to tutoring in the morning, and then we took him to his new friend, Griffin's, birthday party. While he was there, a friend of his called and asked if he could come over and play in the afternoon. Might not sound like a big deal, but two invites, in one day nonetheless, is unusual and so exciting. He was so happy about it, but I was maybe TWICE as happy FOR him. 

After his second play date, we went to the Y and I ran for a bit and then we swam. Then today, a gal on my team at work came over with her little girl, and we hung out and played, and then later today, we went over to the Ohme's for an hour or two to play and hang out.

And I just realized that I'm starting to feel plugged in. And it feels really nice.

Summer Soccer.

I signed both Holden and Davis up for summer soccer this year- I have missed the deadline every other year- you have to sign up way back in March for May...and keep in mind, it's still snowing in March, so there are no visual cues to let you know it might be time to sign up for soccer. ANYWAY- they have done soccer before- but through the YMCA and this year, we signed up through the Edina soccer association...which I think will be really fun because they organize teams by school, so we will hopefully get to know more parents and families. 

Holden's first game was Tuesday- she is on the Alligators. She was SO excited about it, packed her bag the night before, included two hats, her soccer uniform, two snacks, a full water bottle, and a couple "stuffies" (stuffed animals) to watch her play. Then we got there and she was tired out walking TO the field, and I was nervous it would be just like last year where she didn't really want to play and the coach had to hold her hand the entire game. But she did play and she even scored! Sure, it was on her own team...but it was a goal nonetheless! :-) Luckily, she was not the only one to score on her own team.

Anyway- she had a great time and I just LOVE watching soccer...so I enjoyed it a ton. If I had a choice of sport for my kids to love- it would be soccer. Davis was supposed to play last night, but his game was rained out...

Here are some pictures of Holden and the Alligators.

She was a bit OVER IT in this picture- but I did get her back in the game...Holden does NOT like to get sweaty and it was a VERY humid day due to all the rain.