Sunday, October 18, 2015

Bath time for Butterfly

It was a big week for Butterfly. She was hand picked by Ava to make the long journey to school, to be a part of the second grade stuffed animal show this past Wednesday. Butterfly gets a LOT of love at home, and goes everywhere with Ava. This means that Butterfly needed to be spruced up a bit before being shown off.

As Butterfly was getting a bath in the delicate cycle, I heard comments from Ava like, "This is so harsh!" and "I hope her eyes don't come off."  (For the record, her eyes are embroidered onto her face, so if they come off, I'm going to be concerned about how "harsh" are washer really is, especially the regular cycles!) At one point, I checked in on Butterfly, and pointed out that she was still smiling, even though she was floating upside down, trapped in a mesh bag, face completely submerged by soapy water.

And in the end, the girl and her butterfly had an awesome day together. And Butterfly even won a blue ribbon for being the Best Flier in class!

We also received Ava's second grade pictures, and we think they turned out great! I was comparing her first and second grade pics, and couldn't believe how much more grown up she looks this year.  Beautiful!

Due to MEA, schools were closed on Thursday and Friday, so Ava had a fun time doing an in-house craft with Abrakadoodle (she made a super cute pink clay elephant,) and then hitting up an apple orchard with the group. They picked apples, drank cider, ate donuts, and checked out the packing line.  What a fun week for that girl!

Our little guy didn't have such a good week, though.  He got sick on Tuesday night, so we kept him home the next day, and yesterday, he was running a fever. Poor little guy...hopefully he'll shake this illness soon.

Should be another beautiful fall day...might be one of the last ones we have, so we're going to get out there and enjoy it!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Similar, yet Different

I've learned everything I know about siblings from watching our two kids interact with each other over the last two years.  As an only child, I never had firsthand exposure to sibling relationships, and what they entailed.  This has been a unique learning experience for me, and I can only assume that it will continue to evolve and grow over time.  Ava is an amazing big sister, very rarely getting jealous, and always willing to lend a hand with G when asked.  Garrett is an observant little brother, and often mimics what Ava is doing...whether it's her crazy dance moves, or her funny sayings (hilarious to listen to in a toddler boy voice!)  They are so much alike, different.

I hope these two continue to have a good relationship, well into adulthood!

Yesterday, we drove down to Cannon Falls to meet up with my parents, and my great-aunt Doris.  Doris and her friend came into town (from Kansas) to visit for the weekend, so although the visit was short, it was good to have a chance to catch up.  Doris hadn't seen Ava since Ava was little, and she had never met G, so I'm glad that we've been able to bridge that gap.  Our little family of four had lunch, and then walked by the river for a bit...there was a wedding at the Cannon River Vineyard.  G was super outgoing and waved to all of the groomsmen and was yelling "hi!" at everyone who walked by.

We stopped at the trout pond and fed the ducks and swans.  Madness ensued as the food went flying!

We stopped into the Cannon River Winery (home of my very favorite red wine: GoGo Red- YUM!) and Doris, Mom and I did some wine tasting.  Ava kept us entertained while the guys went across the street to have some beer.  Once they came back, G had a blast dancing to the live music...he put on a good show for the people in the winery...and then he got tired.  And then we ALL got tired. :) 

So, back home we went, where we got in some good napping time, before pizza at our house with Mom and Dad.  It was a great low-key evening, after a very fun afternoon with family.  Scott and I even made it 50% of the way through a movie after everyone was in least we know better than to pay for movies since we often don't finish them!

Last week, there was an amazing sunset...I saw several people on the side of the road taking pictures - it was that pretty.  I'm bummed that this didn't capture the colors well, but it took my breath away.

Today should be fun...I'm going to check out a new country/antique decor store in town, and am hoping that Mom can accompany me.  Ava and I noticed the store a few weeks ago after dropping G off at daycare, and it looks like there could be some cute home decor inside.  Plus, they offer DIY nights, so I'm interested in seeing what the next project is!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Ten Years...TEN!

On September 24, Scott and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary...ten years, WOW!  It was a rainy day, just like it was ten years ago...and it brought me back to all of the fun that we had on that day in 2005, as well as the milestones that we've achieved together over the last ten years.

A few years ago, I had hoped that we could have celebrated this tin/aluminum anniversary in Hawaii, but...two kids later, a bigger house, and well, life...we decided to keep it somewhat local, and headed to a B&B in Maiden Rock, Wisconsin.  Ava and Garrett spent the weekend with Grandma Deb and Grandpa Whitey, and Scott and I had two whole days, all to ourselves!  It was a gorgeous weekend, and we had fun spending time together.  We're both so busy with life that we don't often get the chance to spend 48 solid hours with just the two of us.  It was a much needed time away!

This was the third B&B that we've gone to over the years, and was definitely the most intimate of the locations.  We had the chance to spend some time with the owners (and their puppy), explore the location (it used to be the schoolhouse in Maiden Rock), get out and enjoy the beautiful scenery, and even have two great breakfasts with the other guests. The food was amazing...makes me wish we could go there for dinner sometime!
Lovely flowers for me!

Ava drew this card for the two of us...I'm so much bigger than Scott here!

The Sun Shower room at the Maiden Rock Inn

The crazy staircase to the roof - handmade by the Inn's owner!

Such a cute puppy...full of energy, so she kept us entertained!

Driving south along Lake Pepin

These geese made me giggle

Making a stop in Lake City to do some shopping and walking

We finally arrived at Vino in the Valley...what a perfect day to sit outside and enjoy some local wine and food!

Taking a walk after our meal...Vino in the Valley is located next to the Rush River, so we headed down to check out the view.

We had a blast skipping rocks here...or, Scott did.  I tried really, really hard, and only succeeded a few times!

Back at the Inn, we took in the view of Lake Pepin from the roof

And then enjoyed a night out at a local bar!  There was a great band, and the locals even pulled me in to dance with them.

Once we got back in to town on Sunday, Ava and I headed to Stages Theater to see the Junie B. Jones musical.  Junie B. Jones is one of Ava's favorite book series to read (she has read all 28 books and is desperately hoping that the author will write some more!)  On our last trip to the library, she picked up the first books in four other series, and is working on expanding her exposure to other series (she is really liking the Ramona books...I remember reading those when I was her age!)

The musical was awesome, and the perfect length to keep the attention of all of the kids in the theater.  I'm so glad I saw the deal on Living Social!  After the musical let out, we stopped at a very cool toy/book store and picked up a few new books for both Ava and G.  G's enjoying nightly stories, so I'm hoping that he becomes an avid reader like Ava and me.

Ava was also helping Scott clean the grill the other day...such a good helper!

Then, last week was back to work and busy days.  My work had an Octoberfest party on Thursday, so there was a bright spot in my week!  Scott and Ava headed up north to spend the weekend with his best friend and family, so G and I have been having a good weekend together.  And I've managed to get a TON of stuff done around the house...things that I've been wanting to do for a while, but haven't had the span of time needed to do them.  No complaints here...I'm lovin' life!