Sunday, July 31, 2011

The rush before the end.

With the arrival of August – there comes an innate rush to fill every spare moment with as much summer fun as possible. The sprinkler gets pulled back out of the garage, the pool has once again found its permanent spot on our back deck, and we run around barefoot enjoying the heat of the asphalt mixed with the coolness of the humidity drenched grass.

It’s a harsh reminder that we can’t take these warm months for granted. As Casey and I enjoyed an adult night out on Saturday, we relaxed on a patio downtown relishing in the heat. While sipping my ice cold sangria, I mentioned that in three months its quite possible that we’ll have snow.

And with the end of summer, comes a Midwest love – county fairs. Yes, Margaux & Jamie - under the lights of the corn tower, our county gathers together for greasy food, 4H fun, blue ribbon pies and cheap thrill rides. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood its easy to forget the excitement of a small fair – you land in a position where you obviously have things to do and people to see, and are much too busy for such a corny (no pun intended) affair. Yet, nothing matches the excitement I get as a parent when I see pure thrill in my child’s eyes. He doesn’t see sweaty people wearing much too little clothing. He doesn’t see the dirt and grime. He doesn’t wonder who in their right mind would travel around with a carnival just to power up the rides. He sees the bright lights, he feels the excitement, and there is magic in the air.

Cautiously keeping our eyes out for cow pies and trying not to breathe through our noses, we ventured through the animal barns


We laughed along with the carnies and hopped on the rides – grinning ear to ear at the enjoyment in Gavin’s smile and eyes.

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ride 7

Amidst the rides, my little man continuously glanced at the fun houses. Daddy & son hopped in the first one without decor doused in scantily clad women or scary looking creatures.

And as Gavin flew down the slide out of control (no worries, Grandpa was there to catch him) – Casey realized that any attempt at looking “cool” would be impossible & cautiously slid down to the bottom.


We blew through five dollar bills trying to allow Gavin to win his first prize in a ball toss


But never won a thing until we discovered an “everybody wins every time” booth where Gavin magically maneuvered his pole above a magnetic fish, and won a prize of his choice – a camouflaged print shark.

And is there anything more adorable than outright giggles from a two year old, feeling the sandpaper tongue of a goat on his treat covered palms?


I think not.

When we asked our two year old, towheaded little boy what he’d like to eat for dinner? Mini donuts and french fries, he replied.


And mini donuts and french fries was exactly what he got.


magical memories. hopefully forever ingrained in his mind.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


We survived a major heat wave! Not only was it in the upper 90s, but the humidity was at 82% and above – leaving us with a heat index of 119 degrees! Yikes & no thank you mother nature!

This is what my windows looked like in the morning…


Just stepping outside made you feel like you were dripping in sweat. To top it off, two days ago our smoke alarms started going off – for seemingly no reason at all. Of course – it was during naptime and all of the kids were dead asleep. This resulted in a 6 month old, a 14 month old, and a 2 year old waking up and screaming at the top of their lungs out of exhaustion & fear. I couldn’t get the alarms to turn off, and because I run a daycare I figured it was better to be safe than sorry. I brought the kids outside – ugh, in the heat – and called the general police line to tell them the problem. Umm – they sent not one, not two, but THREE full sized fire trucks, an EMT and a third vehicle. Even after explaining to the lady who answered the phone that there wasn’t any smoke/fire and that I just needed someone to walk through my house – our street was filled with emergency vehicles. As the neighborhood kids poured into the street trying to figure out what all the excitement was about, I ran the daycare kids to the neighbors to get them back into air conditioning (thank you Kim!). Just standing there, I was doused in sweat – the poor fireman who stayed to walk through my home were in their full gear – cannot imagine how hot that was! Luckily – they believed that the alarms went off because of the extreme heat &  humidity and we were cleared to go back into our home.

I’d be a-ok with that not happening during daycare hours – much less nap hours – ever again!

Because wading pools are not allowed at daycares in Minnesota – we don’t have ours out much anymore. But earlier this week when the kiddos went home early we pulled it out and put it on the deck. The patio umbrella worked perfectly to shade Gavin’s hang out area and we blissfully survived the heat for thirty minutes in cold “pool” water!

Just like the winter months – I have to get creative with finding indoor activities when the weather is too extreme for much outdoor activity. Luckily, Target’s dollar section is full of educational fun right now, and I found this alphabet bingo game. I replaced the lightweight cardboard playing pieces with pennies and the kiddos have really enjoyed this game a ton. I tend to just called out a letter, as they aren’t quite at an age to solve the puzzles on the game cards – but even my two year old caught on to the concept quickly!



Last night we went to a juggling show downtown – Gavin loved it but this was the only picture he “allowed” me to take


Welp – guess his days of loving the camera & posing are coming to an abrupt end.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The weekend recap.

I had the best weekend of my life.

I still can’t believe that it’s over, that we’re finally married, and that somehow I’m supposed to go back to “normal” life now!

As my best friend Sarah so lovingly stated, “Jen you’re so anal about details that I know it will turn out perfectly.” And that it did :) Not one thing went wrong!

The partying started on Thursday when Margaux and Jamie came into town. They are both CF mamas, and I had never met either one face to face. It was so surreal walking around downtown with them, but I loved it! And Jamie was the most active 8 month pregnant lady I have ever met in my life, she was wearing shoes I can’t wear right now! We headed out to a local restaurant patio and enjoyed each other’s company before the true craziness began!

CF mamas

Friday morning began bright & early. Casey told everyone that I had never woken up that early in the entire five years we’ve been together. Ha! But I wanted to get those last minute tasks done before Gavin woke up, and I did, I had everything completed by 7:45 am. And from that point on I just enjoyed the time – and like many warned me, it flew by so quickly. I was once again spoiled rotten with an awesome shower, surrounded by friends and family. My mother’s maiden name is Heise, and there are depression era glassware sets that are highly collectible with the same name. My grandmother gave me the first Heise glass she ever bought, a six piece plate set. Several other family members gave me matching pieces to that set, and I was also given many household goods. Between all of my shower gifts and our wedding gifts, our house is overflowing!

After a beautiful rehearsal

bride 6 

We filled our bellies with some Mexican food at a fantastic groom’s dinner. It was so fun to be able to socialize with everyone before the chaos of the wedding reception!

 cf mamas 3 CF mamas, plus my MOH – all became instant friends!


Saturday morning began at my friend Erin’s hair salon, Ooh La La, with bagels, fruit and mimosa's provided by the best maid of honor ever, my cousin Lacey. Not only is she my cousin – she is also like a sister to me, and one of my best friends.

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hair 4
hair 3
hair 5

Once hair was completed, we headed back to my home to finish getting ready before heading off to the church. Putting on my dress & getting some time to hang out with my bridesmaids/friends before the ceremony was a time I’ll never forget!

bride 4
bride 2

From that point on – everything moved so quickly. We had a fantastic ceremony – and yes, Casey and I totally high fived when he pronounced us husband and wife. The bridal party hit up a party bus where we took more pictures and overtook a local bar before heading to the reception. The reception was a riot, and I was thrilled to have all of our family & friends in one location having a blast. The photog and other friends took many pictures of the reception, once I get those arranged I will post them here – but here’s a couple that made me smile!

 wedding day 6
reception 2

Friday, July 1, 2011

Catching Up

I have started a new blog post about a dozen times – each time I’ve been interrupted by kids, the phone…life. So here we go, trying to catch up on the last couple of weeks!

We’ve made funny faces through the patio door windows
- dirty windows just means the house is loved!



Dug out a dead bush with Daddy


Painted masks with Crayola Paint Brush Pens –
seriously a genius idea on their part, no mess!

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The lack of sunshine has slowed our garden – but the constant rain
kept them fed!

IMG_5927 IMG_5928  IMG_5930

Examined everything in our yard with a magnifying glass

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We dealt with weeks of rain by puddle jumping

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boots 3boots 4


His new obsession – taking pictures with his mama



Eating pizza with the necessary army helmet-thanks Caleb! 



Hours and hours of playing Lucky Duck


And getting out his mower to help Daddy is a must.

 mowing 1mowing 2
mowing 3
mowing 4


We’ve been so busy enjoying summer (that has finally arrived – hello sunshine, high temps and humidity!)
that wedding planning continuously fell to the bottom of the priority list
– and that decision will kick my butt for the next week or so :)