Sunday Funday.

I am writing this while en route to New York...I was telling Bennett last night how one of my favorite things about living in Minneapolis (and I don't really know if it has to do with Minneapolis or simply this time in our life) is how much we get to travel...both for work and for fun. It really makes things exciting when you are always going somewhere soon. Sometimes it can be too much- but for the most part I'm able to spread it out and it feels very exciting.

Anyway- I'm going to New York with a couple gals on my team for some meetings with our agency. I love New York...so tonight we'll pal around the city, have dinner, drinks, shop, and then tomorrow we have meetings all day and then dinner out with our agency friends. I was going to fly home Friday afternoon but my boss asked me to fly back for a meeting Friday a.m. so now I am flying out at 6:30 am, which means I will have to get up at 4:30 am. BARF. Oh well. I guess I could have flown home Thursday night but I would hate to miss the fun.

Anyway- that's not what this post is about. Sunday- we skipped church, went for breakfast and then I dragged the other three Bennetts to the Stone Arch Bridge- a landmark in downtown Minneapolis. And boy did we have fun after I got them there...

The kids discovered Super Mario Brothers on Bennett's phone (I WANNA BE MARIO!!!) and now they are just as obsessed as we were. So one plays while the other watches and then they swap. This was a friendly game over breakfast...

IMG_1628.JPG

It was an awesome day. That night I felt this balance of contentment and a tinge of sadness that the weekend was over. That's the sign of a good one. 

Social Calendars.

These kids are booked out for weeks. I feel like it's their world and we're just living in it. Saturday we had the first of many of Elsa and Holden activities- we went to see Fancy Nancy at Stages Theater for Elsa's 5th birthday. And then Davis had his final day of Ski Jammers. There is one more week- but let's just say, he is done. :-)

Then Ellie and I had a date night out- and we had a BLAST. She is the best. Enjoy some pictures!

Beautiful sunset on the way to dinner and a movie with Ellie. We saw 50 SHADES DARKER. SCANDALOUS! And then this is us taking pictures with a picture of Drew Barrymore from our high school days. Didn't we all just want to be her?

More tomorrow!

 

Salad Eaters.

My grandpa has always thought it was so amazing that Nikki and I grew up eating salads. I remember loving nothing more than a killer salad bar when we went out to eat- and very often- I would come in from school and ask if I could have salad for dinner or an afternoon snack. Looks like someone else is a little bit like me:

My grandfather also sent me one of the kindest notes, paying me some of the most amazing compliments I have ever received. Thank you grandpa! Being that he is my grandfather, he was talking about how well I work with people and how people just love me, and it's funny because last week I almost wrote a post called "Not everybody's gonna like you..."

And in this post I was going to share with you how one thing I have learned since moving to Minneapolis is that not everyone is going to like me. And while that sounds SO obvious you're probably wondering what delusional, self-involved, unaware world I was living in before I realized this...the truth is, I guess I have felt like most people like me okay because 1) I like people and therefore I generally try to enjoy them and I hope they in return enjoy me 2) I think I am pretty kind- and pretty fun and 3) no one has really told me otherwise. Decent reasons, right? 

Well- while I have made a million friends and built a really nice and sincere network of people here- I also know that some people don't like me here. Like REALLY just don't like me. And as I realized this- it REALLY bothered me. Like I started to feel so down on myself and I started to second guess myself and I also started to feel mad about it. Like "What have I ever even done to these people?" I think I would known if we had ever gotten into an argument or a throw down or anything of the sort- right? I'm pretty self aware and I am certainly not a crazy person. But the truth is- I've learned a few things since being here...

1) culture is really different here. the minnesota nice thing is both sincere and a buncha bullshit. meaning- some people are truly nice and some people act nice because they would NEVER be honest about how they feel about anything in case they were to make someone feel uncomfortable or GOD FORBID they had a disagreement or confrontation. the scandinavian, never complain, never argue, never simply disagree, never talk about your feelings thing is real. and as you can imagine- Bennett and I are not really wired that way. i bring Bennett into it because he has experienced the same thing here. people just not liking or "getting" him. 

2) maybe i'm more opinionated, more outspoken, more direct than i thought. sure- some of that could be in comparison to the culture here- definitely- but i would be remiss to act as though i haven't been coached for the previous five years in austin by a very smart, headstrong, driven italian woman named Jeanne. she taught me never to apologize for my thoughts, never to shy from something that could be a simple and honest conversation, and honestly not to worry too much about things other than being respectful to people and busting your ass at work.

3) i can be polarizing. when i was thinking about people not really liking me- i came up with a million people who really LOVE me, and i was constantly thinking "well- i can't be that bad because so and so, and so and so, and so and so think i am AWESOME. not just okay, but awesome. so how can that be"- it just didn't add up for me. but i have now come to realize that maybe it absolutely CAN be true. maybe it has to be true. for all the people that just think this outspoken texan with the loudest laugh they have ever heard is the best thing since slice bread- maybe just as many people will be turned off by just those things. 

4) so i guess that's what it means to not be vanilla. to not just be a flavor that everyone feels okay about. i read a quote about a year ago that i thought was just fun at the time- but it has really come to be my rallying cry...and it goes like this "i'd rather be one person's shot of tequila than everyone's cup of tea..." and i guess that's really where i am.

what finally made me feel okay about the fact that not everyone is going to like me was realizing who i am. knowing in my heart- after much second guessing and fact checking- that i am kind to people. i am respectful to people. but i am also unapologetically me. and part of being me is knowing me and being true to me- and i guess not everyone is going to like it.

but you know what? well behaved women rarely ever made history anyway. 

and also my grandpa adores me and thinks I'm the best human in the world so those that disagree can just stick it in their ear. SO SAYETH THE LORD.

self exploration is hard work. 

Down for the Count.

I have had strep throat all week. BAH. I worked Monday and Tuesday, just trying to ignore it, but then Wednesday, I just KNEW it was strep. My tonsils were swollen like baseballs and it felt like razor blades every time that I swallowed. Luckily- I got right in to the doctor, got amoxicillin, and was back on the mend. I stayed home and slept Wednesday and Thursday, and then came back today feeling like a million bucks.

Also, it's 60 degrees here, which is about 70 degrees warmer than it's supposed to be, so you simply cannot imagine the mood of these Midwestern people. It's really spectacular to see.

Now, the truth is, it's just a tease...we will get snow again next week but it doesn't even matter. It's just a reminder that it WILL get warm here again. Birds will chirp and flowers will bloom and we will one day again feel warmth on our face and soft green grass between our toes...ahh, hope. It's what keeps us all going.

So this weekend I imagine we'll spend quite a bit of time outside- and then next week Davis is going to Columbus Monday and Tuesday for work, and I am going to New York Wednesday-Friday. Hope you all have a great weekend!

The Fallopian Tubes.

As I've mentioned- the very very best part of my job is my immediate team. I don't even know that I would enjoy my job if I didn't work with such amazing individuals. When I started my job two years ago- it was me, and three younger gals. The week I started, my boss was let go, and then shortly after, the person immediately below me (the most senior person other than me, who had been there the longest) quit. So there I was with two 25 year old girls trying to run all of the company's advertising.

Anyway- flash forward two years and I have built a team of ten individuals that I have been able to hand pick and let me just say that I have never worked with finer, smarter, more fun people in my entire career.

So now I have a full team and we have started to be able to do some very fun, extra things. I started with asking everyone to read a book called "Crucial Confrontations" and I simply suggested that we all take turns setting up conversations and opportunities to become smarter, kinder, more well rounded individuals.

So tonight, we had our second group, where one of my team members had a financial advisor come tell us everything we need to know about smart investing. We learned so much and I laughed SO hard. I left tonight feeling so hugely thankful for my team. We decided today that we would call ourselves The Fallopian Tubes- so tonight, The Fallopian Tubes Learned Finance. 

Next month- they are all coming to my house and we are cutting up jeans into shoe patterns. I will then send the shoe patterns to an organization called "Sole Hope" who will turn them into shoes for kids in Africa. 

I'm very lucky. I know it and I'm thankful for it.

 

Girl Talk.

Bennett picked Davis up from school Wednesday and took him to gymnastics- Davis continues to do well in gymnastics and he LOVES going. So I picked Holden up and asked her if she wanted to have a girls night out. She was thrilled. And of course when I asked her where she wanted to eat- she said "Let's go to the mall- and let's eat at the Cheesecake Factory. They have the best mac and cheese." So of course, that is where we went.

She is such a happy little spirit. It's so fun, easy and enjoyable to spend time with her (most of the time anyway) and Wednesday night was no exception. She keeps up great conversation too. I ask her something about her day and then she answers and asks it right back to me. She told me some funny things over dinner...

I asked her who she had been playing with "lately" at school...and she thought about it, listed a few names, and then I said "What about Oscar? You used to play with him a lot..."

She looked at me and said "Well, lately I don't play with him because lately he's been interrupting me a lot..." I almost spit out my drink. But this is girl talk- so I took it very seriously and I said "Really? Well that's no good. Did you tell him "No thank you, I don't appreciate that...?" To which she said "I did. But he just didn't even care. Hmmph."

Guess he is off her list. 

The kids went to Brooks and Bennett's birthday party last Saturday and since Bennett and Holden are in the same class- their mutual friend, Oliver was there. Oliver is the cute little mayor of primrose, with all the personality, that always taps the floor next to him when we walk in and says "Holden- come sit by me!" He always says hi to me too- reminds me a little bit of Davis. Anyway- his mom was there so I introduced myself and told her how great we think Oliver is and she said "Well the feeling is mutual. Oliver has a little crush on Holden- he talks about her all the time and says he is going to marry her one day." HA! So cute.

So I told Holden this and she got so embarrassed, but instead of saying "Eww gross- I only kiss my family" which is what she usually says, I could tell she was flattered and perhaps open to the idea. 

So anyway- last night I asked how Oliver was and she got this silly face- a mouth trying to hide a big grin- and said "Well he wants to marry me you know..." 

I said "And what do you think about that?"

She said "Well, I think I'm his girlfriend. (SHEEPISH GRIN) And he is my boyfriend..."

So there you go. 

After dinner we went to walk around the mall to see if they had any cute new pajamas because she has been COUNTING the MINUTES until pajama day at school. We found the cutest little donut jammies and a soft pink robe. Listen she is the BIGGEST fan of jammies and cozy things. I brought her little pink fuzzy bear slippers from Whistler and I think they are her favorite things I have ever given her. So she was BEAMING picturing herself wearing her new jammies and cozy plush pink robe to school today. Bennett took some pics- you can just see how proud she is. And that little boy is OLIVER! 

 

 

 

 

Buck Hill.

Saturday morning Davis went to Ski Jammers and Holden and I went to get our nails done and then to get her some new tennis shoes...she is growing so fast right now. We had such a fun little morning- she feels like it is such a treat to get her nails painted. This time she picked Hello Kitty pink sparkle and then asked for flowers and tiger stripe patterns on her nails. High maintenance! She just cannot understand why I don't ever get flowers on my nails. :-)

She loves the tutu my grandparents gave her a few years ago- somehow it still fits- and she has been using it as a layering piece- on Saturday she layered it over red flannel pajama pants. Edgy.

I call this look Hobo Chic. Not Boho. Hobo. I love her sense of style. And I love that she brought the purse I brought her from Paris, paired with her Goldy Gopher sunglasses. :-)

Davis was skiing at Buck Hill, which is about 20 minutes from us. I made the mistake of telling him we would come watch him that day...and then I got a call from the director at 2:00 saying he continued to ask where I was and was unwilling to go skiing with his group because he was afraid he would miss me. I should have anticipated that, but I didn't. So I got on the phone and told him that I was coming to watch him ski and he better get out there and ski.

When I got there, the director found me, and I could tell as he walked up that he was frustrated and I was about to hear all about it. Sure enough- Davis had another rough day on the bus- and he started to ask me what I wanted to do and how I wanted to handle it- when I started to cry. 

I guess he didn't expect that- because I could see his body language change. And then he started to hesitate and fumble and he said something like "Oh gosh. I didn't. I didn't meant to upset you. It's really not so bad in the scheme of things- we just don't know how to handle it." And then of course when someone feels bad for you- it's even worse- and you cry more. 

So I looked at him and I said "No it's fine. I understand. I know it's a challenge. I don't want him to interrupt your program or bother the other kids. Maybe he isn't mature enough to do the bus ride. I just wanted to give this a try."

And he was kind. He continued to apologize for making me cry and I just said "You caught me on a bad day. This is just tough. I want him to be able to try things...and I want him to have friends and be successful...and it's hard when it doesn't work."

So I watched Davis ski a bit and then I packed him up and took him home. 

It was a tough day. It started on the bus that morning when I watched a little boy we know very well act like he didn't know Davis. How do humans start being so cruel so early? It gave me knot in my throat like I haven't experienced in a long time. But I sent him on the bus because he has to try things and I can't protect him from everything.

But maybe the bus is too much. You gotta know what your'e capable of. Or not. And that's hard enough to do for yourself- and even harder to do for someone else. 

Anyway- I sobbed the whole drive home from Buck Hill. And I felt angry and I felt heartbroken. I felt scared. And I felt most clearly that I need to show people more grace. The way that director approached me- and the way he started in with me was clear that he was frustrated, he wanted me to know it, he was sure I was just a crappy parent or Davis was just a crappy kid, and then as he listened, he very quickly realized that perhaps there is more to the story and perhaps he isn't the one having the toughest time with the situation after all. And I need to realize that- with more people- more often. 

Sometimes you have to handle with care.

True Love.

Bennett went rock climbing last night after work, so I told the kids if they each had a great day at school, I would take them to the local DQ Grill & Chill (fancier, nicer version of DQ, since they're headquartered here, I think). Anyway- I don't love going to DQ because I'm usually starving after work and I don't want to eat their food, so I sit and watch them slowly eat and horse around through both a main course and a dessert and I'm secretly starving.

So last night, I reached out to take one of Davis' fries and he very quickly reached out to (what looked like) grab it back. I was caught off guard, but instead, he just grabbed my finger holding the fry. Then he looked at me and gave me really moony, lovey dovey look, which made me laugh and even feel strangely vulnerable- ha! Then he said "do you know what true love is, as he awkwardly batted his eyelashes at me..." And I said "Yes I do" trying to be serious as I had no idea where this was taking us. And he said "Well, when you're in true love, you reach for your food at the same time and when your hands touch, you look at each other and do this with your eyes..."

HA! I almost died. Where does he get these things?

 

Lego Girl.

Holden now takes Brick Buddiez, just like Davis did. She doesn't talk about it nearly as much, but I think she does enjoy it and feels pretty cool that she is doing what her big brother did.

Actually- this picture is just from art at school today...but I figured I would package it in.

And then these next two pics are old- and they must have been taken on one of the days she came home sick. Poor thing- she looks so sad/sick.

Poor tiny. Don't worry- this was a couple months ago- before Christmas. Here are some better shots.

I'm starting to realize that she only has a few more months before she is in big kid school. I'm trying to decide whether I should keep her at Primrose all summer, or let her go to summer Kids Club with Davis. Pros and cons to each one, I'm sure...

Slow down time.

 

Hello From Vancouver.

I don't even know that I mentioned it, that's how much it snuck up on me, but I am writing this post from the Vancouver airport because I just spent the most lovely weekend in Whistler with Davis! Every year he has a work event there and every year he has asked me to go. Every year I say something like "If I'm going to go somewhere in Jan/Feb, it's going to be HOT. It's basically Whistler here- look at all of this snow!" And he rolls his eyes and says "Seriously Sam- you would love it." So this year I took his word for it- and he was right. I cannot wait to post pictures (I can't yet today) but at the same time, it's the kind of vast beauty you simply cannot capture in a single picture. 

Seriously- every time I took a picture, I would look down at my camera with such disappointment...because it's just only worth of a 360 panoramic shot. Anyway- I did get a few good shots so I will post those tomorrow. But in the meantime, here are a couple I grabbed from the internet.

We had the most fancy, charming weekend. We were able to stay at the Fairmont Chateau at the base of the ski hill...you seriously just skiied out and right back to your room. We got in Friday night- it's kind of a trek- but due to the two hour time difference, we worked out, sat in the hot tub while it snowed and drank hot toddies, and then had a late dinner. 

The next day- we went skiing. I haven't been skiing in 15 years- and I was worried I wouldn't get my ski legs back, but I did right away. Thanks in part, I think to riding up a chairlift where the only way down were some pretty tough blues. I remember thinking to myself "There is only one way- DOWN." And there I went. So we skiied all day and had the most beautiful sunny weather. We stopped at the very TOP of the mountain where Davis made reservations at Christine's restaurant. You want to talk about a view- it's insane. 

By the end of the day- I was so glad to be done. It's hard work. And those boots aren't too comfy. I told Davis "I had so much fun- and I'm glad I don't have to do it again." He didn't really understand that- but to me it made perfect sense.

We were quite spoiled and then had the best massages of our lives, followed by another stint in the hot tub with a bucket of Canadian beer. Nate Ohme came in on Saturday for work too- so he joined us and then I dragged them around some stores in the village and then we ended the night at a CRAZY irish bar. It was so much fun.

Sunday, Bennett went bobsledding with his work group and I slept in and read and it was perfect. Sunday was altogether leisurely- and it was kind of rainy and gray- so it was perfect that we had skiied the day before.

I had no idea how many Australian and Asian people there are here. All the staff is young beautiful Australians that "chase winter" and come here during the Australian summer to work and ski. And there were so many Asian people here too. I wouldn't have guessed that. It's very much an international hot spot. I've probably never been somewhere more expensive and I was very thankful that a lot of our trip was covered by Great Clips as they put Davis up in the fab hotel and I just tagged along. But I almost had a heart attack when I heard how much it cost to ski here for one day. Totally worth it- but I looked around at the people traveling here from all over the world with their giant families, skiing every day, and I thought "What do these people DO for a living?" It's very fancy and I enjoyed pretending to be fancy for a weekend myself. At least until my zipper broke on my jacket at the Vancouver airport and I basically had to wriggle my way out of it like Houdini in chains at the bottom of a water tank. It looked like I was wrestling with a damn afghan (blanket) again...but that is a reference and story for another time...

Anyway, what would Eloise do? 

More to come! I can't wait to get back and hear about Honey's weekend with the beans.

Trump is a Rump.

Apparently they talk about politics a lot at school- we are in a pretty active city and community- so when Davis came home the other day saying that "Trump is a Rump" - I had to agree with him. I've known he is a horrible human, but he is now proving out that he will undo everything good that has been done in the last 8 years. 

So when the time came to show what you stand for- I decided to get involved, and one way of doing that, is marching. I explained to Bennett that though I cannot stand that Trump is our president, I'm not naive enough to think that marching the day after inauguration would get him out of office. That isn't why I (or many people) marched. I marched for equality for all. Personally, I marched for equality for women, but beyond that, I marched to show solidarity to the groups that Trump is clearly out to oppress. Because really- it's not all about getting active for yourself. Especially when you are a white woman who was born into a lovely, well-to-do family, with nothing but opportunity and upward mobility. I march (and I only use that as a metaphor for being active about causes I care about) because with great power, comes great responsibility. I march because I could have easily been born in Syria, and had I been born in Syria, and became an immigrant of the United States, I would hope that people would stand with me, and march for me. 

Anyway. I wasn't really in the mood for it, if I'm honest. I had just gotten back from a week in LA, and it was cold and rainy, but I thought to myself "self- if you can't even get up and show up and basically walk a mile to show your support- you really must not care that much." And I also realized that every time I complained about the horrible things Trump is doing- Bennett would say something like "well you can't bitch about it if you aren't willing to do anything about it..." And I am never one to be told what I can and cannot bitch about. :-)

So two friends and I, along with around 100,000 other people marched the capital on Saturday.

Then after the rally, I took Holden for a late lunch...while Davis was at Skijammers.

And then Sunday we had a busy and productive morning with haircuts and church.

This is Davis explaining his mural of David. 

Davis has had a tough couple weeks at school and skijammers- he got punched on the bus, and then through thorough investigation of that incident, we found out he had punched another kid on the bus, and then yesterday, he punched another kid in the eye.

It's very tricky to figure out because he is such a sweet kid. He is just very impulsive. I try to remind myself that his dad was just like this when he was little and has grown up to be a successful and thriving human- but it's still tough to figure out how to work through that. 

He is very impulsive. And not one to back down. And I have no idea where he gets that. ;-) We just need to figure out how to harness his strength and confidence for good. So say a prayer for me on that one. 

Birthday Weekend.

If I had a dime for every time Holden reminded us it was her birthday weekend- I would be rich! Luckily, she picked some really fun things for her fifth birthday weekend. Saturday we went with Elsa and Kelley to the Crayola Experience at the Mall of America...

Davis was at Ski Jammers- he is not as into it as I had hoped he would be...but it's a long day and they are just getting started, so I hope it will get better! Then Sunday, because it was so warm- 40 degrees- we decided to go ice skating! I was supposed to go cross country skiing with some friends- but one of them cut her finger pretty badly so we couldn't go. We did a really fun brunch at one of my favorite restaurants instead- and Bennett took the kids to breakfast and to church.

Anyway- yesterday afternoon- we went ice skating. It was packed- we were not the only ones taking advantage of the weather!

Holden woke up in the middle of the night with a fever- this will be the third time she has been sick since we got back from Texas- and Davis has been sick once as well- so we have had a kid home sick each week since we have been back. Oy vey. I fly out to LA tomorrow for work, and Bennett has his whole team in town for meetings today and tomorrow- so I'm crossing my fingers she feels better or we figure something out.

Other than that- I'm happy to get out of dodge and into some truly warm weather for a few days. I haven't been on a shoot since October so it's been a while.

More later! Happy MLK day. What an amazing human!!

Holden Turns Five.

I cannot believe that five years ago, Holden came blissfully into this world just as silently and sweetly as she remains today! The best thing that has ever happened on Friday the 13th, for sure. 

Last night we blew up a bunch of pink balloons and put them on her floor, we wrapped presents, and we grocery shopped for her requested breakfast- eggs, bacon and waffles. And then as we all scrambled to celebrate, eat and get ready for work, she looked at us and said "Everyone has to sit at the family table (they usually sit at the bar for breakfast in the morning) and sing happy birthday to me..." and we did. And she shyly looked down like this was catching her by surprise. HA. She is such a ham. 

She opened some gifts (Nanny- I got her a really cute princess game and a sleeve of 12 different princess chap sticks, from you and grandpa, that she was super excited about), her dad and I got her a veterinarian barbie doll with a bunch of baby animals, my sister and mom got her the cutest FATBOY bean bag and some adorable little Dora the Explorer dolls (with Spanish DVDs) and little Davis got her a game called Pop the Pig. She was a happy little clam.

Today she will have cake at friends with her school, tonight we will go to her favorite pizza place with the Ohmes, and then tomorrow we are going with Elsa and Kelley to the Crayola Experience at the Mall of America. :-) Should be a very fun birthday- and I know she will make sure we spread it out all weekend long!

Then Sunday, my girlfriends Sofya, Jackie and I are going cross country skiing! None of us have been, and we are bringing flasks of booze, and it is going to be GREAT!

Here are some pictures of my sweet girl- the perfect blend of sweet and kind and sassy and driven. I cannot wait to see what she does in this world. She is the best.

And a picture of her out in the snow this week!

Savannah.

We had a blast in Savannah- I think the only people that might have had more fun were Davis and Holden, with Nikki. But I will save that for another post. Today- we review the shenanigans of the Austin clan. We definitely made our mark on Savannah. Lets just say that place will never be the same and it's a good thing we got out of there after four days. 

Honestly one of the VERY BEST things was getting to spend time with Courtney and B. We miss them so much, all of the time, so it was great to get a random weekend together.

2.jpg

The boys acting cheesy at the bar. It was this AMAZING bar in the basement of "The Pink House" - where apparently slaves were held back in the day- which was totally creepy- but the bar and the house were absolutely fabulous looking. So much history- bad and good.

3.jpg

And then we made friends with the lounge singer/piano player.

And then because one of our buddies plays the piano- and all of us love to perform- we ended up taking over the bar with a booze-infused renditions of "Tiny Dancer" and "Piano Man". They ended up telling us the bar was closing- and then I overheard the manager saying "Diane- I had to tell them we were closing. Those people would have NEVER left..." which is probably true. It was only 11. They would have had us for at least three more hours.

5.jpg

The wedding itself was super formal. No cameras, no clapping, no nothing. It was a lovely church, very ornate and even austere. Then we headed to the reception- where we danced the night away.

AND the bride and groom singing karaoke. I did "Santa Baby" if you're curious- and it was a hit!

Oh Davis.

I will definitely write and post pictures about our weekend in Savannah- to sum it up until then- it was FUN and we had so much FUN we are still exhausted from it. 

Today, I have to capture a few things that Davis has said or thought that really tickle my funny bone or warm my heart. First...tonight we were lying in bed, talking, and I was asking him what he hoped Santa would bring him for Christmas...

He thought and then said "a karate chopper" and started doing silly karate moves, so I said "okay, okay, for real: what are you hoping santa brings you?" Again, he thought and said "Peppa Pig..." to which I said "No really, I'm wondering...what are you hoping Santa will bring you-" He interrupted me and said quite seriously "Peppa pig." So I paused for a minute and then said "You want a peppa pig for christmas? Okay, we'll tell him..."

Then he looked at me and said "No, I want it for my little friend..." and he paused, and I already knew exactly what he was going to say next. "My little friend, Freya...she loves Peppa Pig."

Have I talked about Freya here? I can't remember if I have mentioned her here, but she goes go school with Davis and I'm not sure if she is younger, or if she just looks younger and smaller, but she has down syndrome...so she is unique. And Davis is SO SWEET to her, it kills me. He asks her for high fives, he leans down to talk to her, he holds the door for her...it just kills me. And now he wants to get her a Peppa Pig.

So after I recovered from that moment- I then started talking about what we should do over Christmas break and I started talking about how fun it will be for Davis to play Uno with my grandpa. We grew up playing uno with my grandparents at their cabin...and it's so fun to see it all come full circle. Anyway- I was explaining my grandpa's history with Uno and how he would love to play with Davis and Holden and then...he paused, looked at me, and then said "Should I go easy on him? Or HARRRRD?" I died laughing.

So then we said our prayers and I said some things like "Thank you God for Davis' kind heart- how he cares about his friends and he looks out for those around him..." and then after the prayer was over, I said "Davis- you make me so proud. The way you treat people is so kind. And you know, there is nothing more important than how you treat people..." Insert silence (I was having a real heart-swelling mom moment just thinking about it) and then I said "You're going to do great things, Davis." And to my surprise, in a way that felt very sincere and wise beyond his years, he said "Yep, when I'm bigger mom, I'm going to do great things..."

And as tears welled in my eyes, he said: "WRESTLING FOR MONEY..."

BAHAHAHAHAHA. He kills me. 7 might be my favorite age.

Christmas Cheer.

We just booked our tickets to Texas and we are SOOOOO excited! We've been trying to do a little Christmas something each and every day...whether listening to holiday songs or making Christmas cookies or looking at lights or whatever...

Here are some pics from our last few days of fun!

The kids were SO excited to have hot cocoa- especially with multi-color marshmallows. But as you can see by their faces- they were a little underwhelmed after the first taste. Holden said "This tastes like rotten chocolate..."

So we moved on to cookies...

Cookies 2.jpg

And I tried to make some stew over the weekend. Looks like it will turn out amazing, right? But it's just okay...and I have a lot of it...I do this new thing and I make a soup or stew every sunday, almost. I love it. 

Also, Holden and I had a "Who Wore it Best?" showdown at one of our many visits to the doctor this weekend.

And Holden drew a pretty great Christmas picture, also while waiting at the doctor.

So we're just full of Christmas cheer. And it's 20 degrees here- coldest day of the year so far...and Nikki gets here tomorrow. We are all so excited. It's a tricky thing- while I'm dying to go to Savannah, I also hate missing my sister's visit. Just glad I will get to spend more time with her in a few weeks.

Holly Jolly!

 

Joy of My Heart.

Seeing Davis thriving, seeing him smile and giggle and feel calm and confident is truly the joy of my heart. And I get to see a lot of it lately- in fact, this weekend I took him to gymnastics Saturday and then we ran a few errands and I laughed so hard, so many times. He's funny. He makes jokes, he pulls pranks, he gets subtle nuances of funny human situations...he's really enjoyable to be around. 

I made him get his hair cut on Saturday- he was long overdue...and I asked him if I could take his picture afterwards...and he was SO hysterical. Kind of trying to do this eye roll, side eye, cool guy look. And as I tried to capture that, I laughed so hard, and then he laughed so hard, and this is what I got:

D goofers.jpg

And then the money shot- where he looks like a dang sixteen year old.

He's just the best.

Influenza.

Holden has been sick and home from school from last Wednesday. And when I took her in on Thursday to see the doctor, they gave her a strep test, and it came back negative. And that was that. But she seemed to get worse over the next few days...so I took her in again yesterday where she tested positive for influenza. Blech. So she has been sick and I can't help but think that it's going to be a domino effect from there- just because the flu is so contagious. But I've been popping airborne and drinking emergen-c like nobody's business to try to ward it off. 

H Sick 2.jpg

Doctor's visit one. Look at sweet Holden- even when she has the flu- she keeps a smile on her face and tries to have fun. She is such a little joy.

Chicken soup for the soul...

Doctor's visit #2. 

But don't feel too sad. We did have some fun this weekend too. We set up our manger that nanny and grandpa gave us. Holden calls it "God's Farm" which I LOVE. And she plays with it all the time and also adds characters like Rapunzel and Peppa Pig. Might be a little blasphemous, but how do you tell a four year old that? And it sort of makes me giggle to find a sparkly princess lady up in the manger scene with Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Kind of perfect, actually.

And on Saturday, I got to spend a lot of time with little D, who is just quite the comedian these days. I need to get him into acting. He's really funny. And that is what my post will be tomorrow. 

Gotta run! Hope all is well with you.

Global Warming.

Well it is strangely warm here in Minnesota. In fact, the weather guy said yesterday that the weather was typical of a day in mid-September. There is no snow on the ground, and my kids are running around without jackets.

And it makes it a bit hard to feel like it's almost Christmas. Reminds me of living in Texas where I would play Christmas carols non-stop the whole month of December to get myself in the mood for the holidays. 

Now I'm not complaining- because I realize it could be like -20 by now- but I'm just saying. If you don't think global warming is real- come visit Minnesota. Poor polar bears.

So anyway- we're starting to think about Christmas now- and because we've left it so late- tickets to go to TX are outrageous. So we're thinking of selling our plasma or possibly driving to Texas. I'm not sure which is crazier. (Not really thinking of selling plasma- don't panic).

While it sounds sort of fun- thinking about 18 hours in the car with our kids might be the recipe for a total family meltdown. Bennett was like "It will be great- we'll make memories..." and then I reminded him of the four person blow out on the drive home from St. Cloud a few weekends ago. The 1 hour drive home from St. Cloud. So we'll see. I really want to go home- I'm ready to get out of here for a bit. 

Tonight I have a workout. Thursday I'm helping celebrate my friend Ellie's birthday (whom i used to see all the time and whom i haven't seen since like july), and then Friday we are all going over to Krissy and Patrick's house for dinner. That will be fun- they are always a good time.

But Bennett and I are home all week together- so that is always nice. We are going to get a Christmas tree this weekend and then Bennett is going to take pictures of the kids for Christmas cards- hopefully I can get that together this year. We'll see.

Hope you are in the Christmas spirit!

Catching Up.

my grandparents sent Davis $50 via check for his birthday- so he felt quite rich and quite fancy with his check. he was very intrigued and curious about how that check turns into cash. and because I can deposit it into my bank from my phone- it really is sort of magical- to a kid anyway.

so he got to pick out whatever toy(s) he wanted to spend that money on- and he pulled out all the stops. introducing: the mega nerf gun shooter.

and yes, when you put it together, it's certainly the same size and height as he is. he loves it and we are being pelted with nerf bullets left and right. 

we also had our first snow! it has already melted, but it was fun and really got us into the christmas spirit. bennett went out the next day and hung lights on our house and front tree. we agreed this year that we would try to decorate earlier so it doesn't feel like we are taking it down right after we put it up.

last weekend we went to the minnesota wild hockey game- it was so fun. we drove around downtown st. paul first and admired all the lights and then we ate dinner and caught most of the game against the colorado avalanche. it was the first time we have gone as a family of four- and all in all- it was pretty successful.

a rare moment of love at dinner. so sweet.

and then we've also been working to get little D equipped and ready for his first season of ski jammers. starting in january, four eight saturdays, he'll travel with coaches and a busload of children to local ski hills to learn to ski and ski around all day. he and brooks are doing it together, so i think they'll have fun. he is pretty proud of his gear.

And of course we've done some mundane things like grocery shopping...

And Honey got here Wednesday! We have had the best time- I'll share more pictures later- but it's really been fun. In addition to the fun we've had together- I was able to go with my friend Jackie today to get some stuff for my planters in front of my house. She has a little side business called Bloom and she does this for people every season. It was so much fun and I think it looks GREAT!

And tomorrow, my mom is taking the kids to a hotel to swim and stay overnight! OH MY LORD I cannot wait. :-) She offered to do it for fun and to give Bennett and I a chance to have a break and be in our house by ourselves for a bit. Unfortunately, Bennett had to go back to Texas for a funeral for a high school friend of ours- so it will be just me...but I think I will figure out how to enjoy myself. :-)

Hope you have had a great Thanksgiving!