Saturday, February 10, 2018

Thanksgiving 2017

I'll just mention: I made a new years goal to blog more - it's such a wonderful way of recording these priceless baby years we will only have once. I love reading old posts. So while I lack motivation to do it, these couple weeks before the baby comes, and dealing with sickness and injury rather a lot lately, seems like the time to make good on that goal.


We were so blessed to have Dad come out this year for Thanksgiving, our first in our own home! It wasn't perfect. Sickness! Dang you! Dad had a bug himself his last day with us and for weeks after he got home. So sad! But was a very homey, tasty Thanksgiving, and he brought the party and a lot of joy for us all. Made it feel Thanksgiving-y.

We did our traditional meal - turkey, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce shaped like a can...I also discovered too late that I didn't have a pre-made pie crust so did an easy one I found through google and it turned out great! Nice when that happens.

 It was a cold Thanksgiving day, but we made it to the church Turkey Bowl, and got out to the parks a couple times while Dad was here.

 Day after Thanksgiving we went to a farm and cut our own Christmas tree, after much debate. It was a Frasier Fir, and it lasted through Christmas and beyond, fresh and fragrant.

 With Grandpa here to babysit, Dave and I went to see A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie and it was EXCELLENT. If I could marry a story, I'd marry that one. Seeing it on a stage so wonderfully performed was, well, like a kid at Christmas.

 What a great Dad/Granpa. Thanks for making our Thanksgiving so special!

Halloween 2017

So far behind...lets dive in shall we? (And I feel compelled to say I just had to check the year to make sure it was correct. That is my brain these days.)

Halloween...and other fall festivities

We went to the Fall Harvest apple orchard this year and it was a success. Apples: good. Petting zoo: good. Corn pit: yes. There were a ton of free activities for the children. We picked and paid for 15 pounds of apples (the 5 pounds we ate while picking were free :) and made apple sauce and pie. What's more, the hour drive it takes to get there is gorgeous - much of it follows a river and there are quaint farm houses and churches and fall foliage everywhere. A very satisfactory trip from start to finish. BUT: I still like the apple cider donuts from Apple Jacks orchard. I don't remember even seeing them here. So.

Fun with friends at the Allyons Halloween bash:
 Neighborhood trick-or-treating: the neighbors get really into it and there are all kinds of spooky decor, bonfires, and music along with treats (and adult beverages) up and down the block. The kids (Spiderman and Supergirl) had a blast - ended up joining forces with a gang of kids, which was handy when Joe fell in the bushes and scattered his candy everywhere and everyone helped him pick it up. So I heard - Henry and I went home early because 1)it was freezing. Like 10 degrees. and 2)gotta hand out candy. Henry wouldn't fool with a costume this year. He went as a confused, cold baby.
 Our three-faced punkin.
Church trunk-or-treat. The youth put this together and did a great job! Lots of games and hotdogs before heading out to the parking lot for trunk-or-treat, and it was over in an hour! My kind of party!
 And that in a nutshell...I tried to pare down the Halloween festivities this time around. It seems like I usually burn out on all the activities long before the actual day so this year was a nice change. Plus, I was still quite sick from pregnancy and this changes your priorities, doesn't it? But the kids got their fill, of candy and fun. I told them if they picked out 10 pieces of candy, I'd buy the rest from them for five bucks and they were immediately on board. Kids get so sugared out this holiday, I don't think they even had to consider it. And Dave and I only recently finished off the spoils (3 months later). Win, win!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Four Months Later...Jay Cooke State Park Camping!

Events of the past four months: birthdays, vacations, family reunion at Topsail Island, kids started school...and about a hundred other things I'm forgetting and may or may not ever be documented on this here blog. But today is a good day to start catching up. It's the first snow! It's lovely and watching from the windows in our cozy little house, (oh yeah, and we bought a house a few months ago), The snow is still drifting down and is sticking to every twig and branch so that even while the ground is not yet frozen, the trees look like a winter wonderland. It is the most marvelous first snow you could ask for. And while Henry naps (hallelujah. Boy did he/I need it) I am going to get busy recording some recent good old-fashioned family fun:

Camping at Jay Cooke State Park

When the leaves started to turn, we decided to get up north to see the fall colors and squeeze one more camping trip in before it snowed (how well did that work out??). Minnesotans love to camp in the fall, apparently - there was nary a site available on a weekend until October 13th. Works out - since we got married on Friday the 13th, whenever one comes along we try to do something special.

I had an idea that while we were up there, we'd take a day trip to see some lighthouses and explore Lake Superior's southwest shore. Turns out that Jay Cooke is enough of an attraction on it's own - we didn't leave the park once.

 It was chilly but beautiful our first day - we watched the sun set on the swinging bridge and clambered over giant, glacier-churned rock formations.

"Ok, put your arms around each other, I'm going to take your picture." Ha.

That night we had a ceremonial last s'more and wienie roast and tucked the kids into the sleeping bags dressed in their thermals and hats and socks. The stars were so clear and bright - you forget about that when your usual city lights keep the sky fairly dark. It was gorgeous and so nice to just sit by the camp fire and talk to my other half. He's a good one. He's a good one to have on a camping trip too. A tent-setting up/taking down, fire-building, baby-wrangling wizard.

 We cut our trip short to avoid a night-long freezing rain our last night (nobody wants to pack a co1d, wet tent). But we had our fill. We had our adventure, and then we went home and thoroughly enjoyed sleeping in our own snug beds while the rain drummed on the roof. As much as I love camping with my family out in nature, I might like that feeling of coming home even more.

*How about that camp bathroom selfie.

If you zoom in, you'll see...
This cutie:

* #munionpartyofsix
* February 2018