Lay of the Land

The kids are at school today, and I am back at work. It's a bit awkward working from a coffee shop until our internet is up and running. I feel pressure to purchase drinks from them in return for using their real estate and so by the end of the day, I end up quite jittery.

Anyway, Davis and Holden did great at drop off today. I'm so excited about their school- it's brand new, amazing facilities, great teachers, and they have little special things like a garden outside that they tend, a firetruck playground, and they have computers in the room, etc. I have a great feeling about it. Both of them just walked right in and were like "see you later, mom..." I think they're ready to get back into a routine and meet some friends. I sort of wish I had a place to go to meet some friends. I need to hit the job search hard. I need to get plugged in. I've been here a week and I already wish I could call someone, anyone, to go get a drink or go on a walk or something.

So let me tell you about where we are and what we've been doing. We're in Edina, which is a town right next to Minneapolis. It has a reputation for being fancy, and it is very pretty, but does not seem pretentious at all. Now, I will tell you that the area by the parade we went to was like straight out of a magazine, gorgeous. The homes are beautiful, sort of northeastern looking, with perfectly manicured landscapes and rolling yards. But some people told me that people were always dressed up and fancy dancer all the time- and I haven't seen that yet. Also, the parade was my favorite thing we've done so far. It felt perfectly American and reminded me of being little in South Dakota. The people here LOVE the 4th of July. They live for it.

Our little neighborhood couldn't be more perfect. We're on a quiet street with a bunch of one story mid-century homes...they call them ramblers here. Our neighbors are Tom and Marci, Bob and Joanne, and John and Nancy. Perfectly midwestern. And we are like a few miles from everything great. There is a little waterpark about a mile away- we purchased a season pass and we've already been three times. It's like the baby of a city pool and a legit Fiesta Texas-type waterpark. The kids LOVE it and it's nice to have a pass because you feel like you can just go take a dip and hang out for an hour if you want.

We drove around the other area we considered living in- southwest minneapolis (the linden hills area) and I'm so glad we ended up where we are. There is space and it feels safe and we're close to everything we need. To be honest, other than date nights or if I work downtown, I bet we'll spend most of our time in Edina. Now, keep in mind, it's all very close. I am 10 minutes to downtown.

Lets see, what else...
We went to the Mall of America. I know, it's so dorky, but we had fun. There is a giant Nickelodeon amusement park in the center, so it was hugely exciting to Davis and Holden. And there is a little sound stage where there were young break dancers putting on a show. Both the beans just sat there mesmerized.

There is a little malt shop about a 1/2 mile from our house, called Snuffy's...and maybe one day we'll go there if Davis ever decides to be a big boy about going to bed. Oh My Gosh, the nighttime/bedtime fight is back and stronger than ever. He doesn't want to go to bed, and he won't stay in his bed, and he is so defiant and it's an all out war. I am so hopeful that he will be more exhausted being back in school and we will get back to something somewhat normal. It ruins the night to know you're either going to fight about it from 8:30-10, or listen to him scream while trying to relax, reading a book or something.

That kid has staying power.

People are super friendly here. I am pleasantly surprised. If you give someone a smile, or a pause, they will just chat your ear off. And the accents are thick, so Bennett and I impersonate them all the time.

I've been hitting the Y every day- gives me something to do- and helps me with 100 days of health, which is going along as planned.

Okay well I can't think of anything else right now. More tomorrow- hopefully with real pictures. Here are some I ripped off my phone.

Oh. P.S. You know what Minneapolis lacks? A good grocery store. Seriously- their most common/best store is called Cub Foods...which is a horribly stupid name and an even worse store. And you have to bag your own groceries and there is only one seat in the cart for one kid. The people here would DIE over an HEB. Howard Butts, please start your expansion plan to the midwest NOW!

AND you can't even buy wine or beer at the grocery store. You have to go to the liquor store- which closes at 8:00. Bunch of squares...

This was taken yesterday- it was pretty overcast- and it kept looking like it was going to rain or storm. The sky was quite dark and it made all the other colors punch like they were on steroids.

Saturday, I took Davis to the park while Bennett and Holden took a nap. It was so nice to lie on a sleeping bag, reading a magazine, drinking coffee while he played...not sweating. Not at all.

At the 4th of July parade!

Holden at the water park- she did NOT want to sit on that towel, but kept falling through or getting stuck without it. Girlfriend knows what she wants and is FEARLESS in a way that even trumps Davis. She gets so mad that she can't go down the water slides.

Little Tiny and I at the 4th of July parade.

 Bennett kept telling me Davis' shirt was fuchsia. I was insistent that it was red. Until he sat down in the RED radio flyer wagon. Oops.

The beefy men of Minnesota.

Our backyard! The weeping willow tree is amazing...and little bunnies and ducks hop and waddle by each day. Yesterday I saw a goose. 

The front of our house. That giant tree is amazing- and so are the hydrangeas over to the left- between the time I took this picture and now- so many of them have bloomed. I tried to cut a few and put them in vases- but they slumped over in minutes. Oops.

This is the kids part of the waterpark- there is a surf area, a giant tube waterslide, a pirate ship with a plank (high dive) and a HUGE tree house. It's pretty fun and I'm so glad it's so close to us.

Bennett and Davis taking the first, but certainly not last, canoe ride on the lake out back, Lake Nancy. 

We are having fun exploring new lands. Just need to befriend some natives. Hope you are having a good Monday. Talk to you tomorrow...