Monday, July 21, 2014

A great weekend...and I have pictures to prove it!



My brother and sister-in-law came to visit this weekend and we couldn't have had more fun if we tried.  When they got here Friday night we went to Carbone's in town to watch Adam play the championship round in the bean bag tournament.  We put the girls to bed when we got home and then did some jag bombs.  My little brother thinks it's hilarious to watch his sister do shots.  They went down better than I thought they would!! {I felt young again!} We stayed up way too late.  It's been awhile since I've seen 3am.  We all made it through the night without puking and even felt pretty good in the morning.  Yay for being able to sleep in.  Adam made a delicious breakfast and then we got ready to hit up Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis.  



We had told them about how much fun we had there on our last visit and they must have loved our pictures enough to want to go explore themselves.  We had an absolute blast.  I don't think I could ever get bored of visiting this place.  We took a couple different trails this time and it was like a whole new experience.  The girls loved swimming with their Uncle Tiny and playing in the soft beachy sand.  





We rested a bit when we got home and then went out and played some bean bags while the girls swam.  After a couple games Adam and I left for our date night.  Tiny and Courtney were so sweet to watch the girls for us so that we could go out to dinner and a movie for our anniversary.  They went swimming, made homemade pizza, frosted and decorated cupcakes and watched a movie.

Adam and I had our hearts set on Red Lobster, but the wait would be cutting it close to our movie time.  So, we went to Porter Creek next door and got seated right away.  We enjoyed our kid-free meal and then went and saw the movie, Tammy.  I was really hoping it would have been better, but it was really just so so for us.  Not worth our $20, unfortunately!

When we got home the girls were ready for bed and we played some cards and experimented with trying to make the best beer-gartias.  Aannnd...had a #lemondrop ;)  We also chowed down on oreo cookies, chips and dip and cookie dough!  I'm now at least 5 lbs heavier!!  But, totally worth it!


We slept in again on Sunday morning and then went to The Ground Round for lunch.  We said our goodbye's to auntie and uncle and then drove to Lakeville to this place we've had our eye on for the past few years.  When we travel south on 35W, we see these big statues along the side of the road.  We always wondered if it was some type of museum or something.  Turns out, it was much more exciting than we thought.  If you're in the area and looking for something fun to do with the family...definitely check out Hot Sam's Antiques.  I think the pics below do it enough justice!!









 We were quite lazy Sunday afternoon - all the fun was definitely catching up to us.  We ate a late dinner, then took a quick walk before we put another fabulous weekend in the books.



Thursday, July 17, 2014

10 amazing years....{and counting!}


Today Adam and I are celebrating 10 years of marriage!!  TEN YEARS!! 

I feel like I need to pinch myself when I say that.  How could I possibly even be at this point in my life?  10 wonderful years with my best friend.  Two amazing daughters.   A wonderful home and an established life!  How do I deserve the greatness that has become my every day?  I will never, for one second, take it for granted.

July 17th, 2004 will forever be the happiest day of my life.  And now 10 years later (a huge milestone, yeah?)  I am still, if not MORE, in love with the man I married!  He is my very best friend. I'm blessed beyond my wildest measure having him be the one that I wake up to every morning (sometimes Lilli is between us, but still! ha!).  He is the one person that can cheer me up during my most crabby moments, the one person I run to to share every little detail of my day, the one person that gets excited for the little things we share, the one person I want to snuggle with and the man I want to begin and end my day with.
He is the dad to our babies!!!! The adoration our girls have for their daddy is something so sweet and cherished. 

10 years is something to be proud of!  We have had so many ups and downs along the way, but overall it's been the best 10 years of my life.  I can't wait to spend forever with him!  We started this journey as a team and we continue to work together to make our lives as happy and loving as possible. 


To the man I married, 

I love you once I love you twice, I love you more than beans and rice.  Thank you for always being my steady rock and loving support through these 10 wonderful years together.  Your little annoyances and obnoxious competitiveness is what drives me absolutely bonkers, yet at the same time it's what makes me love you even more, because that is YOU, the man I fell in love with and the man I continue to fall in love with with every moment we're together.  
The way you look at me (even 10 years later) is still the same as you did on the day we said I do ~ the same look that makes me weak in the knees and gives my tummy the flutters.  
TEN YEARS ~ I just can't stop saying it.  Did you ever imagine that this is what 10 years together would look like?  We did good didn't we babe?  I can't wait to spend the next 10 and the next 10 and more with you..chasing our dreams and making memories.
Lilli asked me the other day if you and I were going to 'kiss' when we go on our date and I giggled, knowing she loves watching people kiss and said, 'oh, yes...we're going to kiss a lot!!!".  She just laughed.  My hope is that our girls look up to us as a happy, respectful and loving husband and wife that truly cherish one another.  I want them to have exactly what we have some day - with all the love and for their husbands to treat them just like you treat me - the queen of your world!

Thank you for being YOU!

Lots of love, hugs & kisses....

Dawn
 

kj

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer Catch-Up



I was going through the photos on my computer the other day and realized that there has been so much that's happened this summer that hasn't quite made it to the blog yet.   Lots of random things, so this will be a random summer catch-up post of sorts. 


:: Kid Connection :: The girls have spent a few days in summer camp this summer.  Adam and I have arranged our schedules enough that they are only there a few days a month, but we've tried to make sure they are there for the fun field trip days.  So far Valley Fair has been their favorite!!




:: Father's Day ::  Came and went without mention.  Father's Day was the girls' final day of dance recital weekend, so poor Adam spent 4 hours in an auditorium on his special day.  But, if you ask him, he wouldn't have it any other way.  Seeing his baby girls on stage was such a treat for him.  We took him out to dinner afterwards with his mom, brother and sister-in-law. 


Due to the dance recital my parents were in town and I actually got to see my dad on Father's Day, which is a first in a long time.  My dad and Adam - two of the best, I tell ya!


:: Swimming ::  Our pool has been put to good use again this summer.  Even with amount of rain we've had and the cooler temps, we've managed to use it quite a bit.  The girls are little FISH!  They'd swim all day and all night if we'd let them.  Lilli has become such a good swimmer, taking right after her big sister.  She's learned how to dive for rings this year and can even sit on the bottom of the pool.  Adam and I get so much joy from watching them have a blast with their friends in the pool.  



:: Friends ::  I think one of the biggest WINS as a parent is finding friends with kids the exact same age.  I mean, it doesn't get any more convenient than that, right?  We met Jenni (and her husband, Seth) through dance and our girls just completely hit it off.  Ashley and Lilli are in the same dance class and Abby and Alexa have become nearly inseparable.  



Another huge bonus of summer is running into your classmates at the park.  Alexa and Adeline's reactions to seeing each other was priceless.  Oh, to be 9 years old again! 



:: Dance ::   The girls have both been active in dance through the summer.  Lilli is taking a musical theatre class and hip hop and Alexa is doing acro and dance line.  They are both loving every second of it.  Classes are quite a bit smaller in the summer and the classes they're taking are a little bit different from what they took during the dance season.  They love the chance to be able to experience a variety of different dances.  In August they'll be attending a week long intensive training, which will place them on their competition teams.  They're so excited.



:: Chic fil-A ::  A few of us MN bloggers had the opportunity to have "chicken breakfast" at Chic fil-A....Chicken nuggets, french fries and their new grilled sandwich!!  We even got a tour of their kitchen!!  

But, pretty much all I cared about was holding the babies...Weston and Ashford! ;)  Aaaannd I sorta gave Weston his first french fry - best.auntie.EVER! ;)





:: Vacation Bible School ::  The girls spent a week with their friends Abby and Ashley attending VBS at our church.  The theme was "Weird Animals, where Jesus' love is one-of-a-kind".  I'm not sure what was more fun for them - the actual VBS or being able to spend 4 days straight with their best buddies.



:: Car Cruise::  Last weekend we went to the Lakeville Car Cruise with our friends Amy and Chad.  Chad's parents have a car in the parade and Alexa was lucky enough to ride in it with Chad and Amy's daughter, Macy.  She had a blast.  And we enjoyed eating fried food and watching all the awesome cars in the parade.






:: Sleepover ::  *Deep breath*  Lillian had her first sleepover.  I don't even know how it happened, but before I could even think about it, it was over and she was home.  After the car cruise we went over to Amy and Chad's - ate some pizza, had a fee drinks, played some games and before you know it, it's midnight and the kids are begging for a sleepover.  And guess what?  She did great!!  And guess what else?? I did, too!  We couldn't have left her with a more trusting family!  And her big sister was there, too!  

My baby girl has reached sleep-over status, guys!!  #holdme




Tuesday, July 8, 2014

#MNMeetsMango #BloggerRoadTrip



One day back in March, I opened my inbox and scanned through my unread emails.  One subject read, "Wanna go on a Blogger Road Trip?"  I clicked on it right away and Kristin briefly gave some details on what the trip entailed.  Basically she had me at  hotel room, wine and meeting Katie from Yellow Mango Life My BBB (best blogging buddy) Andrea talks about her all the time and I just knew she'd be someone worth meeting!
After working out all the details with getting work off and Adam being able to take care of the girls, I marked it in PEN on the calendar!

For any of you who know me and know me well, know that I just don't leave my girls overnight.  But, good bloggers can also be pretty convincing.  We were going to leave early on Sunday morning, drive down to Council Bluffs, Iowa, attend a Yoga event put on by the lovely Katie Mango and then see where the night took us and drive back home sometime on Monday.

Sunday, June 29th finally arrived and Carolyn, Kristin and Andrea met at my house bright and early (6:30am).  I won't mention how late Andrea was or her state of hungover-ness or what she forced herself to do before driving to Farmington, because it's #SO FAR!! (in her defense, she had a family wedding the night before!)

A quick stop at Starbucks and we were on our way.  Andrea dosed in and out of sleep and munched on Saltines and Gatorade, we listed to some great road trippin music (Backstreet Boys, DUH!) and caved and opened the bags of #Doritos at 9am.  Andrea may or may not have been sweating alcohol, so reapplying #deodorant was necessary mid-trip!


When we finally arrived in Council Bluffs, we made a quick Target run, because again...Duh!!  And then contemplated whether or not we should eat before going to Yoga.  Carolyn was getting #Hangry (aka hungry+angry) but, we decided we were too excited to meet Katie Mango, and chose to forgo lunch, for the time being.


Kristin and I took a few yoga tailgating shots before the event, which was supposed to be outside, but due to an early morning rain storm, was moved inside the convention center.  Probably not the best decision given our stomachs were empty, but it got us through the initial first interaction with Katie Mango, where Kristin proceeded to jump up and down while waving her arms in circles only to have Katie completely ignore her or just not even see her.  #HILARIOUS  But, once we finally got her attention and we met for the first time, it was like she was one of us already....aka #AWESOME! 

The yoga session lasted about an hour and was one of the best (out of the 3 total I've been to)!
After it was over and not winning any of the prizes from the vendors, we took some awesome photos with the one and only Katie Mango...aka #CarrieUnderwood.

**Make note of Andrea's #PinkHeadband**


Then it was time to feed our bellies.  Katie sent us over to the Horseshoe Hotel and Casino where we had an escort waiting for us who brought us right to the most delicious meal (honestly, we were so hungry, anything would have tasted good!)  We wolfed down our lunch wraps and fries like we'd never eaten before in our life...I'm not even kidding...people were staring!


After lunch we drove over to The Harrah Hotel & Casino, where we'd be staying.  We freshened up, got treated like VIP's by having champagne and strawberries delivered to our room, which resulted in Katie Mango hiding in the corner, #dontask, and Carolyn did a quick #pumpanddump!



Then Katie brought us up to the 12th floor bar and let us mooch off her amazing appetizers while we sipped on our cocktails and girl chatted!



But, a view of the river and downtown Omaha from the window just wasn't good enough, so one of Katie's "people" (yes, she has people, you guys - this chick is legit!) led us up to the hotel rooftop for a much better view and photo opportunity!


After we ooh'd and ahh'd over the IA/NE beauty (who knew?), we hopped into Katie's Jeep, crossed the river into Omaha AND FOUND AN OSCAR MAYER WIENER TRUCK!!  


The significance of the wiener truck totally revolves around Kristin and she can share with you her #teenieweinie issue, if she wants, but you won't hear about her #teeniewienie #gettinsteamyinherundacarriage issues from me! ;) ;) ;)  
 Needless to say, another hilarious and totally random part of our trip!

Downtown Omaha is so cool, you guys!  I would have never guessed (sorry Nebraska!)  Luckily, Katie knows her stuff and the hot spots in the city.  She took us to an amazing Sushi Bar, where we scarfed down, once again, a delicious plate of food and took ourselves a #lemondrop shot!

And #thepinkheadband made another appearance!


Being it was a Sunday night, the sushi bar was wanting to kick us out at 10pm. (Lame!)  Katie had another spot in mind, tho, a cute hole-in-the-wall Irish Pub.  A perfect place to end the night.  Nevermind the #creepyhandinthedoor #21stBirthdayParty going on!

Around 12:30am we decided it was time for us mama's to crash!!

Back at the hotel, we got a second wind and took a few ridiculous #pretendingwearesleeping pictures before calling it a night.

Hey Andrea, I didn't post the picture of you #deadsleeping - You're welcome!


Monday morning allowed us to SLEEP IN (can I get an AMEN for 9:30am?).  We felt well rested and ready to begin our day and the long journey back to Minnesota.

How long does it take 4 MN Bloggers to get ready in the morning???  ONE HOUR!  #Boom



But, not before meeting up with our amazing hostess one last time for lunch!
Again, devoured more delicious food - soft pretzel bites, chips, cheeseburgers #WITHBACONPLEASE and mac & cheese.


Goodbyes are never fun, but we know this won't be the last time #MNMeetsMango!

We needed to walk off our #lunchbabies, so a quick walk around the block we went..#ignoringtheicecreamshop  and then it was back on the road.

A few pitstops #thisbathroomisopen, a huge rain storm #thecloudsarespinning #NOTHEYRENOT, a stop at Caribou, a mosquito infested photo by the Welcome to MN sign and some silly photos with #thepinkheadband later and we were home!!


I never knew how much I needed this trip until I actually went.  And to be completely honest, if it were anyone else but these three ladies traveling with me, I wouldn't have gone.

#MushAlert

Like I mentioned before, leaving my kids for the night is just something that I don't do.  It was hard being away, but so rewarding and refreshing at the same time.  And I have Andrea, Kristin and Carolyn to thank for that!  They're all moms and instead of making me feel like a big baby for breaking down and crying at the Sushi Bar when Adam sent me a "goodnight mommy" video from the girls, they all understood and supported me.  In my book, that's huge!!  We were all there for each other when we took time to call our husbands and look at pictures of our kids.  Even tho it was only a mere 36 hours or so, we still needed those calming words from our better halves telling us all was fine back home and then a follow up photo of the kids smiling and having fun.

#LOVEYOUGIRLS


And just to prove just how understanding and supportive these ladies are.....

They take photos of my welcome home hugs from my favorite little girls.

#tear



Thanks again ladies for such a fun and memorable trip!!

And thanks to YOU if you've actually made it through this post of random #hashtags and photos.  And for the rare few who just might not feel like you've had enough of our #MNMeetsMango Shenanigans....head over to Carolyn and Andrea's blogs for their full recaps!  Kristin will post hers eventually, right Kristin? ;)

One last thing....

You have not seen the last of #thepinkheadband

#YouveBeenWarned ;)




#TRUESTORY ;)





Monday, July 7, 2014

4th of July Weekend


I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend.  Hooray for the 4th being on a Friday this year, right?  I loved having a longer weekend at home with my family.

This year was the first year that Adam didn't have to work on the 4th, so we wanted to keep things pretty low key and focus on our family time.

After work on Thursday I came home to two eager girls ready to give me a fabulous patriotic manicure.



Then we took them to Apple Valley for the Freedom Days celebration.


They got go inside an ambulance, fire truck and a police car.


They also participated in the kiddie parade around the park!



Danced the night away under the picnic shelter.  Alexa won the hula hoop contest!



And then we were able to watch Michael Duff, a high-wire performer, who was most recently noted for crossing the Grand Canyon on a wire.  



Friday, July 4th, we not only celebrated our amazing country, but also Chipper's 5th Birthday!!
The girls showered him with hugs and kisses and lots of attention.  



Friday afternoon we went to the Apple Valley Freedom Days Parade.




Came home for a swim in the pool and then took the puppies for a walk and played at the park.


After dinner we drove to our spot to watch fireworks, the girls played at the park and Adam and I played a few games of bean bags.  


We brought sparklers and glow sticks for the girls.







Where we sat, we were able to see 3 different cities fireworks shows.  It was so nice to have Adam with us this year to watch the fireworks.  It's been years since we've seen them together.


Saturday we packed a picnic lunch and spent a few hours at Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis.
















We had such a nice time hiking the trails and swimming in the falls.  The girls didn't want to leave.
We'll definitely be making another trip there this summer.

Saturday night our friend Chad came over to play some bean bags with Adam and the girls gave me a pedicure out by the bonfire.



Sunday was relaxing, we slept in, ran a few errands and then took a swim in our pool.  When we came in for the night, we played some games - Adam and I played Scrabble and Alexa and Lilli played a few different card games together.

I made some strawberry cake and popcorn and we snuggled in for a movie before calling it a night.