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Showing posts from 2015

Christmas Tree vs. Wood Floors: Lesson 2

So...Lesson 2.

Remember my "Life Lesson" that I learned from when our Christmas Tree fell over? How, if a wet wood floor was the biggest of my problems then: life is pretty dang good?

Yeah...I do still feel that way. (And was able to keep that perspective when a drain in our basement backed up/rusted out and created a wet, sloppy mess in one of our bedrooms. Ugh.)

But today, my friends, I'm here to tell you about Lesson Numero Dos that I learned from our fallen over Christmas tree.

I mentioned before that I was pretty hesitant to put a live Christmas tree on our brand new wood floors last year (well, it wasn't so much the tree as it was the gallons of water that go into keeping said tree alive for a few weeks inside of a house...) but the year came and went without (thank goodness) incident and so this year, when those thoughts crept into my mind I was all, "Well...sure. There's a risk. But LOOK!! Last year went so well!".

I shoulda listened to my gut.

When o…

Christmas Tree vs. Wood Floors: Lesson 1

As most of you know, about a year and a half ago we "completed" (in quotes because, let's be honest...it's STILL not completely finished!) a big remodel of our upper level (and, of yet I have to post a "finished product" post on). I am a DIE HARD Christmas fan and to me, if you have an artificial tree, you are akin to Scrooge. Or the Grinch. Or Satan himself, or something.

So, while I was leery about putting a real Christmas tree (with which we've had mishaps before) on my wood floor last year, shockingly, the season passed without incident and I was able to enjoy my tree in all it's pine scented glory.

This year, while still having those same leery feelings, we schlepped out to get our tree from an incredibly fun and festive, but ridiculously over-priced tree farm, and set the bad boy up. We decorated it TO THE HILT with the oodles of ornaments we have and I mentioned to my husband that he should probably tie up the tree...but then he got busy with o…

Stitch Fix Review: 4.0

You know what is more exciting than seeing that your latest Stitch Fix has shipped?

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing is more exciting...so, when I saw on Monday that my fix had already shipped I, of course, was ecstatic and immediately peeked at my order. (How do you peek, you say? Well, you "go to checkout" and voila, there are the contents of the fix that is on its way to you! Just make sure you don't actually "checkout" yet...)

As I compulsively checked the tracking information and then saw my fix was arriving one day early...then TWO days early I was giddy!! And then..."Package could not be delivered in a secure place." WHAAAAAAAAA? Quickly remedied by a phone call to the P.O. Phew. Crisis averted!

Without further ado...following is the super quality fashion show of my latest fix.

First up...this outfit. The Liverpool Reagan Skinny Pants were ADORABLE. Buuuuuut, kinda trendy? And for nearly $100 (well, okay, $88), I was getting cold feet about buying them a…

Stitch Fix Review: Version 3.0

My latest fix came on Friday and GOOD GOLLY did I get a box full of wonderfulness!!

I had asked for layering options and in my note said I was "ready for fall" and my stylist, Amy, hit a home run! Knocked it right out of the park, my friends!



Before I get into the photo show of my goodies, I've just gotta say...a fashion model I am not. So, forgive the photos. :)

This coat is amazing! It's called the Claremore jacket and is so stinking cute...took me a bit to wrap my head around it, because I kept thinking "sweater" but when I realized it was supposed to be roomy because: COAT, I was all over this! Flattering? Perhaps not...but cute, and warm and I want to go Christmas tree shopping in it!



Also in this photo shows my Kut from the Kloth Dayna Skinny Jeans which are to DIE for! Soft and fit like a glove. *swoon* The Bolton Plaid Scarf is so cute. Fall and cozy and the colors make me happy! And the red striped "Where's Waldo" (thanks, Dad, for that o…

Stitch Fix: Version 2.0

I am almost due to get my next Stitch Fix box...so I guess it's 'bout time I reviewed my 2nd fix, huh?!

This fix wasn't quite as great as my first one...for a couple of reasons, but it was still "okay". Let me show you why:
The Tunic. I had asked for another tunic, because I loved August's tunic so much and it killed me to send it back! Again, my family loved this (I still felt it was a tad big, but maybe that's how it's supposed to fit?), and I agreed! Cute. Comfy. Work appropriate. And the color? LOVED IT! Verdict: Kept! (Duh.)
The Leggings. Confession: I peeked at my fix before it arrived. (Did you know you could do this? When you get notified that your box has shipped, you just go to "check out" and Google the items that are listed! Cheating. I know.) These leggings have a zipper on the back (rookie mistake in neglecting to take a picture of that detail) and screamed 1980 to me...I wanted to hate them. In fact...I hated them until I tried t…

My First Stitch Fix!

Quite awhile ago, I was talking with a co-worker about Stitch Fix and the cute clothes she had been wearing. She sent me a referral link (and, I'm always happy to reward someone with a referral!) but it sat in my inbox for months. I had even gone so far as starting an account and completing a profile...but I just couldn't get myself to commit to that first box.

I had heard that your first few boxes are usually a bust, that you typically don't get things you love until your stylist has really gotten the chance to know your ins and outs and what kind of clothes you really like. That, along with the monthly commitment, led to my hesitation in completing my subscription.

Apparently my patience paid off, because one day I received a code for a $20 credit (the cost of one month's subscription) and that was the deal sealer. I signed up, but truth be told, I wasn't really looking too forward to my first box because: FIRST BOX.
But then, it came and WHOA NELLY was I impressed!…

Don't Blink

You know the popular quote, "Though the days seem long, the years go fast"...or something like that? Well, my friends that are parents of little, tiny people, there are no truer words.

Yes, when we are raising up small children and they need our attention for ALL THE SECONDS of ALL THE DAYS, we just don't ever feel like bedtime will EVER COME AGAIN. We begin to believe that maybe, just maybe, we will die of exhaustion before our children are grown adults. That we will suffer a long, slow, painful death from dealing with diaper blow-outs, sleepless nights, temper tantrums, "I do it myself" demands, and a never ending search for sippy cups and pacifiers. But rest assured, my friends, it will end.

The temper tantrums end, the blow outs end, before long they really CAN "do it themselves", and soon those sippy cups and pacifiers are a thing of the past. (The sleepless nights, however? They tend to come back sometime around your oldest child's 15th or 16t…

Valleyfair!!

How can it be three weeks since my kids came home from camp?! I can't believe 1.) That it's been that long and 2.) That I haven't posted in THREE WEEKS!! 

And I have so much to say.

Anyway, we went to Valleyfair on Tuesday. 



Anyone that's read around here for any amount of time knows this is an annual trip our family has taken since, well, I think since it opened in 1976!! I've only missed a few trips since I started going (perhaps when I was 5ish?) and hot dang, I try to move mountains to make sure I can make it! (Look! It's me! Looking old! And haggard!)


We arrive shortly after the park opens and stay until they kick us out! We leave a bit chubbier, a lot exhausted, and all sorts of happy!


This year did not disappoint...in fact, the forecast called for storms and with a morning rain shower, we practically had the park to ourselves for the whole darn day! It was awesome being able to basically walk up to a ride and have little to no wait time!


It was a fun, glorious…

An Open Letter to My Kids At Camp...Day 6

THEY'RE BACK IN MY ARMS!!!!!!



Driving home from picking up my loves from camp...one of them (Dubya) received the "Tall Tale" award for always trying to get his friends to believe crazy stories and the other (Belle) recorded the prestigious "Camper of the Week" award, for being the all around best camper and for acing her Firearms Safety test!!)! She also received a Nalgene-style water bottle for this award!
The stories and new friendships abound...they made great connections, Belle made a friend from Costa Rica (I was right, she was with the group asking about how to say different food words in other languages!) and loved her bunk mates. Dubya also hit it off with his bunk mates!
Both kids are happy they went to camp, Dubya didn't really have any tough times, Belle said Night 2 was her toughest night, then she was fine! 
Man alive, did it ever feel good to wrap my arms around them!
Now, we head home to unpack and get ready to watch the new Minion movie at the dr…

An Open Letter to My Kids at Camp...Day 5

You guys...

We are

ALMOST

THERE!!!!!!

13 hours until I can wrap my arms around your necks and kiss you and love you and call you George!!! Or, you know, like Jack said, "Yoy". (Inside family joke...)

THIRTEEN HOURS!!!!

Today, I caught a glimpse of this on the camp blog:


Seeing those genuine smiles made my heart sing!

Can not wait to see you two tomorrow...morning can't come soon enough!


An Open Letter to My Kids at Camp...Day 4

On our way to morning activities today, I called dad and said, "ONLY TWO MORE WAKE-UPS AND WE CAN GET THE KIDS!!!"...dad asked me how old I was, poop head that he is. In other news, WE'RE ALMOST THERE, KIDS!!!

So close to having you back home...so, so close!! Eeeeeeek!!

It's like camp knows I needed to see pictures of you...so far, all the photos with campers in it have included the two of you! Sure makes my heart happy to see you in those pictures. I wonder who you've made friends with and what you're favorite thing has been so far. 

I seriously can not wait to have you guys back. To wrap my arms around you and hear all about your camp adventures. Our home just isn't quite the same without you two here...so I've decided, you can never grow up and move out, okay? We've got a nice bedroom in the basement where you can play video games all day when you're 35...how does that sound? ;)

Tomorrow should go quickly...and then, we wake bright and early to…

An Open Letter to My Kids at Camp...Day 3

After tonight, we will be over 1/2 way through..."over the hump", as Uncle Josh says! Dad left me this sweet note this morning...I suspect he's feeling the same way I am!



I hope today was easier for you...in fact, I hope that your worry and unease was short lived and my anxiety over your lonesome hearts was all for naught. Today I caught a glimpse of each of you on the camp blog...one of you in "class" and the other on a canoe. Gracious, sweet loves, do I pray that you are enjoying yourselves! Seeing those photos made me heart a little lighter...



(Photo creds: camp)

Gram and I did some shopping today...it was good to have my mind and body busy, I find that when I am idle for too long, I start to worry.

Funny story, at suppertime we were doing "Roses and Thorns"...my "thorn" was that not all of my kids were home. I asked your two younger siblings on a scale of 0 (not at all) to 10 (I'm lost without them) how much they missed you, they both s…

An Open Letter to My Kids at Camp...Day 2

Here I sit, 1:25pm, and wondering why today, of all days, is dragging by so slowly. How is it that they other days of summer flew by in the blink of an eye? Will it be this way all week?

Today has been a bit easier for me...I hope you two have found the same. The vice grip on my heart was lessened, ever so slightly, when I woke up this morning. I knew we had all made it through the night and were just that closer to seeing each other again. (Man alive, you'd think it was all summer that you guys were going to be gone, not 6 days!)

I refreshed and refreshed the camp blog until THERE IT WAS. An update. Not the camper photos I was hoping, no scouring each photo trying to search out my kiddos, but still an update. They spoke of the fun at supper time the night before, while the campers asked others how to say "food words" in different languages. I could imagine you two being a part of that conversation...oh, I can not wait to hear your stories!

People keep reassuring me that th…

An Open Letter to My Kids at Camp...Day 1

Oh my aching heart. All week long, I tried to be so strong for you two...encouraging you and cheering you on and talking you through your doubts and fears regarding camp.

(Even while dad tried to sabotage my efforts with his, "But I don't want you to go! I'm going to miss you!!" exclamations. Ugh.)

Then today, sweet girl, you nearly broke me. When you clung to your dad and your soft whimpers escaped your mouth? You nearly did me in. I wanted to scoop you up and tell those camp people, "On second thought...forget it. We're outta here." and all the while your brother grinned with excitement.
I'll be honest, it was he that I was most worried about, not you, sweet girl. You with your quiet confidence, your maturity, your determination. I thought you'd breeze right through this. I think, if you had had a friend along, that it would have made it a bit easier...what I hope you'll discover over the next few days is that you do, indeed, have a friend al…

Our Spontaneous North Shore Vacation...

We are sufficiently rested and "back to real life" after our "off the cuff" vacation to Minnesota's beautiful North Shore! (Not to be confused with Hawaii's North Shore, which, I'm sure, is kinda pretty too...)

Back to the "off the cuff" part...the hubs and I are notoriously "Type B" personalities. At the beginning of summer, we sat down and plotted out our free weekends and discovered that we had one. ONE. One entire free weekend all stinking summer long. Anyway, we decided that we would make that our family trip/camping weekend. Well, days passed, weeks passed and suddenly we found ourselves at the beginning of the week prior to the weekend that we were supposed to go camping...with no plans.

We were about to scratch the weekend, when we decided to just see what we could find. One resort wanted 300 bucks a night (ouch), one campground was full, another full, we weren't finding anything available on the state parks website. In one…

Sun-kissed and Happy

Ahhhhhh, life is good.

My house is clean(ish), my children are still sleeping off yesterday's fun, the weather is FANTASTIC, we are sun-kissed and happy. Can't life be like this year round?

My brother got married over the weekend...the weather was PERFECT for an outdoor wedding. A bit on the warm side, but I'd take that over cool ANY day!

Yesterday I was thinking...everyone should experience Minnesota in June. June in Minnesota is nothing short of Heaven on earth. The days are long, the bugs are still tolerable, the weather is GORGEOUS and the sunshine abundant. I am absolutely blessed that my job change has allowed me to enjoy these days with my kids!

One other reason to enjoy Minnesota in June (or July or August...)...our lakes! And rivers. The mighty Mississippi flows right through our sleepy little town, my parents have river access and holy moly do we appreciate it! My baby bro is in town and yesterday we played on the river for a solid 4 hours and it. was. GLORIOUS! 

Well…