Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Why We Love Summer - 16 Months

5 Reasons Summer Rocks...
In Pictures.

1. Corn on the cob. Need I say more?



2. Sprinklers are in full force.

3. Shirtless, shoeless days

4. Sunglasses for Jackson and mom...

Mom's lost it.... (not my real hairstyle...)

5. Driving with the windows down



We Have a Toddler! - 16 Months

Jackson's First Day of "Toddler" School

I LOVE all the "First Day of School" photos I'm seeing on Facebook. Kind of funny but Jackson transitioned into the Toddler room at daycare right about the time all my Illinois friends' kids went back to school. Perfect timing.

My wild first day of Toddler school outfit

Jackson goes to a center two days a week, so we were pretty nervous the transition would take longer. He fit in right away. No problem. Slept on a COT for three hours. Say what? Painted. Drew. Learned sign language. Ate and drank meals SITTING in a chair. I'm just so impressed on so many levels.

My first picture!

Drop off still has been tough. He's excited to get there because he knows he can go outside and play and sit in his favorite red car, but he also knows that means we will be leaving him. He cries for a little bit and then waves and goes about his business. It hurts. But I know it's good for him in a way...


Fun with Grandparents - 15.5 Months

Grandparents Rock

I can remember the fun I had (and still have) with BOTH sets of my grandparents. Unfortunately my grandpa (mom's side) passed away when I was in high school but I still had a pretty good chunk of my life with him. I mean, we only saw him once a year, but he lived in Arizona and had an awesome pool. I have GREAT memories.

My mom and dad and Jackson at the Como Zoo

Besides all that, Karl and I feel SO SO SO lucky that Jackson has SUCH fun grandparents who love him to pieces. Jim and Judy (Karl’s parents) watch Jackson right now on Monday and Tuesdays. We love this. It’s really win-win for EVERYONE. Jackson has a BLAST. And we’re pretty sure Jim and Judy look forward to the beginning of every week. It's their special time with him.

Walking into the Zoo (it was so crowded!)
First stop: MONKEYS!

My parents live 5 hours away and we try to make sure they see Jackson every month - if it means they come up here or we go down there. It consists of some juggling on our part and their part but we try to make it all work. I always feel so bad for the grandparents who get left out. So not fair!
Jackson was ready to jump in and play with his monkey buddies

Hey, this looks like the Zebra in my bedroom!

Checking out the ducks
Riding Pa-Pa's shoulders to be as tall as the giraffe
Jackson LOVES reading with Pa-Pa

Anyway, when my parents came up this last time, we were busy. We hit up the Como Zoo AND the Mall of America. In my previous “kid-free” life, this would be NO BIG DEAL. But it is a big deal once you involve a toddler! You can’t just shut down your brain to suck down some water or grab a snack. There are no breaks. Ever.
Slightly obsessed with balls... Thanks Old Navy!

At Nickelodeon Universe at MOA
Watching the rides!
Glama was eyeing up getting us in Underwater World at the MOA

Mama was WIPED come Sunday, but we all had a blast. And I’m already looking forward to the next visit. Jackson too!

Healthy Summer Alcoholic Drink

Pineapple Basil Gin Slush

This is so delicious and packed with good stuff! Hello pineapple and basil. And this was pretty easy to whip up. Even better to drink.

  • Fresh chopped pineapple
  • Freshly picked basil - chopped
  • Ice
  • Club soda
  • Gin

Put in a blender and top with pineapple slices.

No club soda in this version and STILL good

I did the same with watermelon too. So good!!!

I love summer!

Who's the Biggest Loser Now?

Meeting Dolvett Quince from The Biggest Loser

You know me. I'm always up for an adventure and a stroll in the park with Jackson. Who am I kidding? Jackson and I will go to three parks a day during the weekends. We love being outside and we love chasing each other around the park.

It's Dolvett from The Biggest Loser!!!

For some reason I decided to quickly check Twitter one Saturday morning and saw that my buddy Dolvett from The Biggest Loser was going to be in Minneapolis for some cool dog event. Sweet!

I thought it was going to be downtown or somewhere I'd have to drive a great distance to (especially with 169 being down), but it was literally in our backyard! OK, more like Eden Prairie at Staring Lake Park but close enough. AND Dolvett was going to be at this cool park we've never been to. You better believe I stuffed the BOB stroller in the trunk and we were off in a hurry.

I didn't quite know where to go once I got there, so of course I chose the FURTHEST parking lot. Why not? That was OK. Jackson and I then RAN toward "the voice" to get loads of exercise. And to arrive fashionably late. Just what I always enjoy doing... NOT. Thankfully, we could hear Dolvett yelling through the trees and so we followed his voice. The hills were wicked but we made it. AND we discovered a super fun park along the way. Bonus!

Jackson LOVED watching the dogs run in circles and I didn't mind watching Dolvett and his gorgeous muscles teeth.

We took a break during the dog workout and played in the sweet park. I now know what most dads are doing Saturday morning. They are with their kids at the park while wifey must be getting some "me" time.

Back to reality.

I realized I wasn't hearing Dolvett's voice anymore and thought I'd missed our chance to meet him. Rats! Well, what do you know? There he was all alone and I jumped at the chance to get a little handshake. Well...Dolvett doesn't shake hands! He hugs! Woot! Woot!

Dolvett and O'Neil from The Biggest Loser 9

And he complimented me on Jackson. So of course I had to tell him how much I admire him and all he's doing AND his gorgeous teeth! He laughed at me.

What a FUN healthy morning!

P.S. Dolvett tweeted me later that afternoon. Kind of a big deal.

P.S.S. Karl thinks Dolvett is dreamy too.