Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Weekend Recap

Another beautiful Fall weekend in the books. Holy cow. God has been doing some good work lately! The colors and the weather has just been GLORIOUS!!! Have I mentioned that I LOVE Fall?!

On Friday, Linnea spent the day (and night) with my in-laws, which allowed Jeromy and I to have a MUCH needed date night. We had such a wonderful night. We went to Brasa, one of our favorite local restaurants and had a really nice dinner. We are never disappointed by the food, and it was so nice to just sit and talk. It made me very aware of how easy it is to fall into the crazy chaos of the day to day routine, and not make time to just sit and talk. We really enjoyed each other's company and enjoyed having the time to slow down and talk. After dinner we took a walk and grabbed a few geocaches close to the restaurant. (We are getting closer to 1,000 - a little over 50 left!).

It was WONDERFUL to sleep in on Saturday morning. We didn't get up until after 8:00. Once we got showered and ready, we headed in the direction of Wisconsin to meet up with my in-laws. They took Linnea (and our nieces, my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and her boyfriend) on the Pumpkin Train, a seasonal train ride that runs from Osceola to Dresser. Jeromy and I decide to just meet the group in Dresser, where they made a little "pumpkin patch" and had tractor rides, a bonfire, bouncy houses, and more.

We met up with the group around 10:30 and (after a little meltdown time from Linnea - what is it with kids totally being great for everyone else but their parents??!) we had a blast! The kids each got a pumpkin, we took a tractor ride, roasted marshmallows, and rode a little trolley on the tracks. It was a ton of fun.

There was a passionate, yet short-lived love affair with Linnea and a Caramel Apple Sucker.

Me and my girl!

Linnea and our nieces McKenzy and Lille

The girls on the tractor ride

Jeromy (and an uncooperative Linnea), my sister-in-law Gracia, and her boyfriend Tyler

Jeromy and Linnea in the little trolley ride

Happy girl in the trolley

Off they go in the trolley!

The tractor, with lots of Fall fun in the background

Another beautiful Fall day!

Here comes the train!

The group minus Jeromy and I took the train back to Osceola. We drove back, snagging a couple geocaches, and met up with them at Subway for lunch. By the time we were done with lunch, it was past nap time for Linnea so in about 2 minutes this was the scene...

On the way home I decided that I wanted a haircut, so we went straight to the salon from the road. Linnea woke up when we got there, but despite a busy morning and short nap, she did okay. She and Jeromy enjoyed reading the magazines in the lobby area.

We got home and shortly after received an impromptu invite to go to our friends' Melissa and Thatcher's for dinner. We gladly accepted. Since we had a bit of time to spare after Linnea's car nap/my haircut, we decided to do some geocaching. It was such a great afternoon!

Cheesin' for the camera...

Coming to get me!

It always fun to explore through the woods. This particular day we found the coolest tepee!

We thought it was pretty cool.

Ta da!

After finding a few geocaches, we headed over to Melissa and Thatcher's. It's so fun that Linnea and Azalea have become such good buddies. They ran around happily, shared well (or as well as 3-year-olds share), and had a ball. At one point we realized they were sitting in a dark bedroom. When we came in and turned on the lights we got scolded because they were pretending to be putting each other to bed. We had a nice night of pizza, conversation, and good friends.

On Sunday we got up and headed to church. We had expected another day of Sunday School for Linnea, but realized that it was "Everybody Worship Sunday." One Sunday in the month Sunday School is closed to give families the opportunity to worship together (I love that!). After church we ran a few errands, and then headed home for lunch and nap.

While Linnea napped, my friend Sus and I went to a college classmate's funeral. For those who live in the Cities, you likely heard the news story of the young man who went missing in Medicine Lake. After a weekend of searching, the search and rescue crews of the metro area found his body. Cause of death - accidental drowning. I met the man, Paul, my freshman year at Luther. Although we didn't know each other very well, we hung out with a lot of the same people. He was really an awesome guy, and it's just all so sad. Such a wonderful life, cut way too short in such a tragic way. 

I was glad that we went, even though we didn't know Paul super well. It was good to be there as a support for the family, and for our friends who were closer to him. It was a really beautiful service - very personal with wonderful music. A nice tribute. And although it was an awful reason to have a class reunion of sorts, it was nice to see many classmates there. 

From the funeral, I made my way to church for our Faith Group. We had a pizza/costume party/playdate. It was a little chaotic with so many kids, but we had a good time spending time in fellowship - and the kids had a really great time playing. I wish I had a picture of all the kids in their costumes, but I got there too late, so I just have this action shot. 

It was a great weekend. I hope you had fun too!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Weekend Recap

Oh man. I hope there are people still reading this thing. I have fallen quite behind on blogging. It was a very busy end of Summer/beginning of Fall, and I can hardly believe it's mid-October already!

What's happening now is exactly what happened the first time I attempted blogging. I got behind...and then further behind...and then it was too overwhelming so I just stopped altogether. I still really want to "catch up" on the last couple months, but I've decided that I have to just move forward, and accept that some stuff may get missed.

So here's an attempt to get back on track...a recap of my weekend. It was a great one - lots of fun!

On Friday, I was invited to play bunco with a neighbor friend and her monthly bunco group. I had played once before with the group, and it was a lot of fun. So I knew when I got the opportunity again, I wanted to go. Each month they have a theme of sorts. This particular time was a book exchange - so (in addition to paying in $5 for the prizes) everyone brought a book to exchange with someone else in the group.

It was a lot of fun - lots of fun women, good conversation, and laughs. I didn't end up winning anything, but I still had a great night. Fridays are usually big time lazy nights for us, so it was kind of nice to have something different to enjoy.

On Saturday morning we enjoyed our traditional snuggle in bed while watching a show with Linnea. Admittedly, this is probably a bit of lazy parenting, but it's nice to start things a little slow on the weekends. After that we got up and got ready for the day. The weather was perfect - iconic "Fall in Minnesota" weather. We stopped for a couple caches - we are still on the hunt towards 1,000 by the end of the year. We're getting close! (930s right now).

I LOVE those leaves against that bright blue sky! Perfection!

Linnea is getting to be QUITE the little geocacher. She can find them on her own now.

Yay for perfect Fall days as a family!

Of course Linnea needs to check out the swings whenever there's a playground nearby!

After geocaching/playing in the park, we made a stop at what has become our apple orchard of choice, AppleWood Orchard in Lakeville. We don't like the chaos and craziness of some of the larger orchards in town. This one is a bit off the beaten path - much quieter and less commercialized.

As we arrived, we checked out the pumpkins (we're planning to go to a pumpkin patch next weekend, so we just looked this time).

We made a stop in the apple barn to try some apple samples to see which ones we liked best. It was a unanimous decision which apples we wanted to pick - Sweet 16! Jeromy and I have the same taste in apples. Sweet and crunchy. Yum!

Linnea was eager to pick some apples!

Much like years past, Linnea couldn't WAIT to dig right in to the apples. She finished this one in the matter of a couple minutes, and was begging for more!


Seriously. SUCH a perfect day.

The orchard has lots of old tractors to "drive." Girlfriend LOVED it.

After checking out the tractors, some apple donuts, and playtime on the orchard's playground,we headed out. We had a slight mishap in the parking lot... Linnea tripped, and while trying to do the "mama snatch and grab" I accidentally caught Linnea in the nose...with my knee. Poor girl had an instant VERY bloody nose... but nothing a few kisses and Kleenex couldn't fix.

I made a quick swing through home, before getting back on the road to go out to lunch. I met up with my mom, and our friends Holly and Stacy. Holly (the mom) and Stacy (her daughter) were long time neighbors of ours in Brooklyn Park. Stacy, who lives in North Dakota, was in town for the day. She's expecting her first baby next month, so we were excited to catch up and hear about the impending arrival of her little guy.

After lunch I headed home. We enjoyed an afternoon at home. It was really nice. It made me realize just how busy we've been, because it felt odd to just be around the house. But it was great.

We had dinner, and then headed out to a special geocaching event. The event was an annual Halloween-y event (though it was a first year we have been there). It was really cool - very creative and fun. Basically they set up a "crime scene"of the "murder" of a scarecrow - a very elaborate scene that was almost like a real life search and find - lots of details. Then there were 15 geocache "clues" hidden all through out the area. Each clue had a question about the crime scene, and provided two possible answers and a number that went towards the final coordinate. You had to get the right answer to all 15 questions, unscramble the letters to get the name of the scarecrow's killer. You then had to find the final location, and when you provided the right answer, you got a prize! Whew, did you follow that?

Although Linnea had a little less patience with this event as she did the last time we went caching at night, she did well. The fact that she got TWO cookies, and TWO prizes (a big light-up bouncy ball and a slinky) definitely helped. :-) We really love the places we've seen, people we've met, and fun we've had with this special hobby!

Linnea and I, ready to find some clues!

We're totally sleuth-y, right?

It got a little late, so by the time we got home and got Linnea ready for bed, it was time for us to head to bed too!

Sunday morning we headed to church. Linnea started Sunday School this Fall (what happened to my baby?!). Last Sunday did not go well (which was a little weird cause she did great the first week). I ended up having to stay with her the whole time, and there were still some tears. So I was nervous how it would go this week. Because she's more clingy/attached to me, we decided that Jeromy would drop her off. He was texting me (is that's totally sacrilegious?) during the service to let me know she was doing really well. No fight or tears. He stuck around her room for the first half of the service, but was able to come in near the tail end.

The BEST part was that there was a little Preschool/Kindergarten performance in church by the Sunday School kids! It was CRAZY! I remember watching these types of performances for the last several years, so excited to watch MY kids be up there some day. Tears filled my eyes as I watch baby!...up there singing. You could tell she was a little overwhelmed, but she did great! Proud mama moment! We went back to pick her up and she was a happy girl! Win!

After church we went to Dunn Brothers with our friends Jackie, Tom, and Gavin. We had a great time! The kids played games, and the adults got to chat. We are so thankful for these awesome friends! We ended up deciding to have lunch out, since it was lunch time by the time we finished our coffee. We stopped for a quick bit at Which Wich, and then went home.

Linnea napped, and Jeromy and I did some yard work. The weather was once again glorious, which made it easier to be motivated to do the work.

When Linnea woke up we put together a puzzle she got from a dear elderly friend from church. Linnea LOVED it! I wonder why? (she's still quite obsessed with Frozen)

We had another nice afternoon just hanging around the house. Linnea played on her swing set and Jeromy and I finished up some of the yard work. It was so nice out that Jeromy grilled chicken for dinner. It was SO good. We are definitely soaking up all of the moments of nice weather we have left this year!

It was a fun weekend! I hope you had a fun one too.