Sunday, September 20, 2015


I had a last minute request to travel for a client, so I headed out to Detroit this past week.  In the last year, I've learned how to better set boundaries on my personal time vs. my professional time, so I was only away from my family for one night - no big deal.  I'm a pretty easy-going traveler...I always assume I'll make my flight, and don't get worked up about small issues that pop up.  But, when I drove up the airport on Wednesday afternoon, and saw that the entire Terminal 1 parking ramp was closed (full?  construction?  I have no idea!) I started to panic a little bit.  I swallowed that panic, and calmly followed directions to park in the Terminal 2 ramp...and then I proceeded to miss my turn while driving, and ended up in some weird part of the airport that appeared to be restricted.  Tick-tock,'s fine, it's fine, I kept telling myself.  I finally managed to park, and get myself down to the light rail station to head to T1.  At 2:48pm, I looked up at the scheduled arrival of the next train..."will arrive in 5 minutes."  And my flight was starting to board at 3:05pm.  Panic!

The train finally got there, and took us to T1.  As we followed signage, I realized I had to take yet another train to get to the security area at the airport.  Deep breath in, deep breath out.  Miraculously, the security lines were short, and I flew through them in record time, and sprinted to my gate.  The plane was already boarding, but it was a full flight.  I had to gate check my carry-on, and when I made it to my seat (between two very nice women) I realized I was super sweaty, and pretty gross.  By the time we landed in Detroit, I was calm and cool again, and ready to get to the hotel.  The great thing is that someone who I used to work with in Travel was also in Detroit (same hotel) so we made plans to catch up over dinner. It was awesome to hear about how everyone was doing back in Travel, along with my old clients in the automotive industry.

The next day's meeting was fantastic, and definitely worth my time to fly out there.  The sales executive kindly drove me to the airport, and I took my sweet time getting to my gate.  I offered to gate check my bag, and they laughed and declined.  However, the flight was full, and I was one of the last people to board (on purpose)...and wouldn't you know it, due to space issues, they needed to gate check my bag.  Haha! (I knew all along they were going to have to gate check it...I was just trying to save them some time by offering in advance.)

There were pretty bad storms in Minnesota while I was gone, and we had to fly back through was pretty bumpy, and we were tossed around like little rag dolls.  The guy next to me watched the weather on the whole flight home, and I kept my eyes on "Paddington" (which he also watched, when he thought I wasn't looking.)  I think both of us were nervous due to the weather, but were trying not to be externally panicked.  In any case, we survived, and I realized, once again, how much I do not like flying.  Ugh.

The rest of the week was good...homework, play dates, books, and movies.  Last night, Ava and I made brownies, and then three of her friends stopped over to hand deliver a birthday invite to her.  Pretty cute!  They had a last minute (short) playdate, and then everyone went to bed on time.  And I watched a movie!  (Scott was out at a friend's booya event for the night, so I had the tv all to myself!)

My little baker

It's a beautiful Sunday...bright sunny skies, yet, not as many leaves on the trees to rustle as the breeze goes through them.  Looks like fall is right around the corner!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

First Week...Done!

The first week of back to school was a success!  Ava really likes her new teacher, and is having fun reconnecting with old friends, as well as making new ones.  We seem to have one of the neighbor girls over at our house several times a week, which is totally fine - she's sweet, and a year older than Ava, so she seems to be a good influence on Ava.

On Monday, we celebrated the "last afternoon of summer" with root beer floats at the neighbors house.  The floats, the company, and the weather made it a perfect afternoon to say "see ya!" to summer.

Ava was so excited to start school on Tuesday, and as you can see, she's wanting to be a fashion designer in the future.  We talked about her past choices (mermaid, "mommy who works on computers", and a baker) and she changed her mind to being a mermaid fashion designer princess, but...that seemed a little unrealistic, so we stuck with being a plain ol' fashion designer. :)

G's been having a blast at his daycare, and when I noticed he was getting "school" pictures taken at the end of September, I realized we needed to get his shaggy hair cut into shape.  He absolutely hated getting his haircut...I had to hold his arms, neck and head, while the wonderful stylist worked with sharp scissors and clippers.  There's a reason we take him to Kids Hair - they specialize in kids haircuts, and have the patience of saints!  After we were done, another mom there told me that her son used to be like that, too...and he was sitting there, getting his hair cut like a pro, so...there's hope for G.  A cherry sucker seemed to make it all better for him.  Until it got hair on

Yesterday, the kids and I met up with my friend Emilie, and headed a bit south of the cities to Northfield. This weekend was the "Defeat of Jesse James" days, and while we didn't watch the re-enactment of the robbery, we heard the gun shots and saw the horses many times.  There was a nice little art show, yummy fair food, and even a carnival...but we didn't make it out there.  G did pretty well for not having a nap (he slept for about an hour in the car on the ride down, but clearly, it wasn't enough.)  He started having more and more meltdowns, and ended up laying down, bawling, in the middle of the street.  A clear sign that it's time to get that kid home and into his crib!  Em ended up staying for dinner, and the meal was a comedy of errors.  Nothing went quite right, but at least the steak turned out really good!

Super cute one of Em and G!

Happy with a corn dog!

We both look a little rough in this one...

Entertaining herself with the a few points, she wanted to go for a ride, but...

Scott took the kids with him this morning, running to different places all over the cities, so it has been v-e-r-y quiet at the house.  I've been able to get quite a few things done, but, there's still always more to do, right?!  I think we've got the paint color picked out for the office, so I'm excited to get that project underway, and finally have that room done.  We'll see how long it takes...ha!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

In the Parade

It was the last week of summer before school starts!  And it's been a fun one...during the days, Ava got to go see Minions again, went to an indoor theme park, and even got to take a boat ride down the Mississippi as a farewell to summer!  She had a fantastic time this past summer through the Y program, and we're already talking about what fun she'll have next year.

We went to her school's open house on Wednesday night, and put all of Ava's school supplies in her desk, and picked up some info from her new 2nd grade teacher.  We needed to drop off one of her reading logs with her 1st grade teacher, but when we went to the 1st grade wing, she wasn't there!  We finally tracked her down to the Kindergarten wing - she's teaching the newbies this year!  Ava had a great time playing with all of her toys, and I had a nice chat with Mrs M.  She's a very fun, warm lady, and I can see why Ava loved having her last year.  She did warn me that 2nd grade is serious business compared to 1st grade.  I still say, "bring it on!"  We are ready!

The lower front tooth on the right needs to come's hanging by a thread, and the adult one is coming in behind it.  So weird!

G has turned the corner at his new daycare, and now reaches out for the teachers when I drop him off.  Looks like we made it past the crying phase, and now he's having fun with the kids his own age.  I LOVE getting a daily sheet for him where I can see what he has read/learned about, what he's had to eat, how long he's napped, etc.  I love how organized it is, and how consistent they have been with him.  This past week reinforced the fact that moving him to a center was the best decision for our family!

Hanging out on the couch with Mommy and Little Batman

My work had the final concert of the summer season this past Thursday...the Gear Daddies played, and we had a great time!  I had a chance to chat with some co-workers that I didn't know super well, but after our late night talk session, I feel like I know them so much better.  I will count myself lucky to have two new friends (not the two shown below...we were already friends)!

Me and Kara

Me and Em

We went outside super early, so we even caught the warm-up!

We also closed early on Friday, so I treated myself to a massage at a spa close to home to celebrate the start of the long weekend...within 5 min, I was conked out.  The masseuse did an amazing job, and I'm already looking forward to seeing her again in the next few months. 

I had the chance to pick up G from daycare on Friday (I usually do drop-off, and not pick-up) and it was fun to see him playing with his new little buddies when I walked in.  Ava then had a friend come over on Friday night, and after dinner we (minus her friend) spent the rest of the night together as a family.

On Saturday, we headed to west of the cities to spend the afternoon/night with our good friends, Darren and Tiff.  Darren's parents also came up, and our other friends, Megan and Erik, stopped over to visit.  All told, there were 8 adults and 8 kids...good thing there was lots of space and fun things for the kids to do!  Scott grilled a ham, and we ate and ate and ate.  And even did shots.  And drank wine.  It was a fun night, capped off by a forced viewing of Zombieland.  Not as bad as I thought it was going to be. :) 

Scott was yesterday, and I fell asleep for about 45 minutes.  When I woke up, we were in Dassel, and somehow got stuck behind the American Legion parade vehicles.  As we worked our way through the town, we realized we were totally going to the start of the parade - looks like it was going to be a fun one!

Checking out a helmet

Trying out the scooter...

G had so much fun with Darren as they rode around the driveway...and even did a few wheelies!

I'm looking forward to the next 2 days at home, getting caught up on house things, garage things, bill things, and shopping things.  And, maybe some sleep things! :)