Sunday, July 29, 2012


Bits and pieces of July, documented with Instagram....

 Sister rocks some curl.

Dude does not dig the car wash.

 Snack time.

 Self feeding. Surprisingly clean.

Tired girl naps, but only in the car.

Barnes and Noble afternoon.

I do not like it Sam I Am.

 Pan-O-Prog car cruise.


Flea Market fun.

Swimming lessons.

 Sister takes a selfy.

Ballerina practice.

Neighbors = friends.

We eat our cones from the bottom up, how about you?
PS...Lots of you have asked, so here's an update regarding my missing pictures dilema. Unfortunately, there is no 1-800-Google to call or no one standing by and jumping at the chance to restore my photos. Based upon a slew of comments on the Blogger/Google forum, this is an unfortunate problem that has affected many, and none have been restorable. It will be a painful process and take oodles of time, but I have decided to re-upload my pics to each individual post, and restore them myself, one by one. And you can bet your marbles that once I have that completed, I WILL be printing this into a hard copy, and I will never take this blog forgranted again. Lesson learned.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Come about May I start to get really excited for our annual trip to my college girlfriend/roommate's cabin on Platte Lake. I only get to see her once a year, and I just miss her oodles in between.

This was probably our easiest year preparing for the cabin. After several visits there over a number of years, I pretty much have it nailed down how many changes of clothing we need and what food to pack. So much so that I was impressed we could see out the back of our car, with room to spare.

We settled right in and didn't waste any time adjusting to cabin life.

We logged in several hours of fishing, which made my man all kinds of happy.

My kids both touched a fish, without flinching. Kids: 1, Mom: 0.

There was lots of time to just sit back, relax, eat, and visit.

Jill and I had all kinds of plans to craft it up this weekend, with the kids and with each other, but when it came down to it, this is all we managed. And only thanks to Jill and an unused 4th of July project. They loved it though, and it kept 'em busy for awhile.

Upon coming home, I realized I really slacked in photo taking this weekend. Maybe it had something to do with having two mobile ones to look after around a large body of water this time, or the fact that sleep was a little hard to come by and we were all exhausted by the end. I wish I would have captured the new friendships made, swimming in the lake, walks up and down Platte Lake Road, various meltdowns by an overtired almost four year old, and all the little details that make this annual visit so great.

Even though life continues to get busier and busier, I'm glad we take the time to stop and reconnect every year, even if it is all too brief. Good friends are worth the effort, and these ones sure are keepers.

Thanks so much for having us again, Tomala family, we'll miss you until next year!


Earlier this month Nugget took swimming lessons at the local pool. I didn't really have that high of expectaitons as it cost me all of $35 and is run by a bunch of high schoolers. But for what it was worth, she definately walked away with some new confidence, a handful of skills, and a whole lotta days splashing and having fun in the pool. We'll hit it a little harder next year, but for now I just wanted her to become comfortable in the water, and with that i'd say we were pretty darn successful.

She's not afraid to spalsh around in the kiddie pool, put her face in and blow bubbles, and sorta do front and back floats (if you call having your arms touch the bottom of the pool and not really dunking your whole head in a 'float', ha).

She's never been afraid to jump off the side of a pool into someone's arms, and she accepted the challenge of jumping off the diving board without so much as a wince. Well, there was the "Mama, I have to go potty!" right before it was her turn, every time, but she must just have a nervous bladder :)

The skill that i'm most proud of is that she learned how to "scoop and kick" (aka doggy paddle) while wearing a life jacket in deep water. It makes me a lot less nervous around water to know that she knows what to do and how to move herself to safety if need be.

So way to go Nugget. I'm all kinds of proud of you, my lil' fishy.


Well, if I'm gonna have to rebuild this blog post by post, I might as well start by playing some catch up.

As in the 4th of July. Yes, I am that behind.

For whatever reason, this is the second year that our town has celebrated the 4th on the 3rd, which gets me all kinds of mixed up. It just doesn't feel right having a big ol' BBQ, watching fire works, staying up past our bedtimes, all to wake up on the real 4th of July already tuckered out. Oh well, what can you do?

So we did just that. We invited friends and neighbors over for our annual BBQ bash, and watched the city's fireworks from our back deck. The kids ran around, swam, watched part of a movie, played a whole lot, and just barely kept their eyes peeled open to watch the fireworks. In Nugget's case, the anticipation was a bit of a let down, as she decided she doesn't really like fireworks that much after all. Humph...

Silly Dude.

 Jen and Baby Harper

 Nugget and her bff, Avery. These girls have spent every 4th of July together (except Avery's first, as she's a tad older than Nugs!)

Nugs, Avery and Olivia attempting to watch a didn't last long.

 Sparklers, with the cautious girl watching from behind.

There was no way I was even going to try to keep Dude awake for the fireworks, that would have just been a disaster. Luckily, he slept through all the commotion of our house and the noise of the fireworks.

The next day, which was really the 4th of July, we went to a local parade with our friends, the Olsen's. It was steaming hot out, so that was the only celebratory activity we participated in that day.

 One hot, naked Dudey babe.

 Mama and the babies.

Dudey's favorites were the tractors.

And Nugs admired the local royalty.

Thank goodness it was a short parade, and they got just enough candy and treats to carry them through the hour of sitting in the heat.

Another year, another 4th, err 3rd, whatever. Let freedom ring!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I've learned a very valuable lesson today, unfortunately a little too late. While in an attempt to clean out some storage space on my smart phone (which I am apparently still learning), I uploaded pics to my computer and then deleted them from my phone. Little did I know that in doing so, it is all somehow linked in cyber world, and ended up wiping out ALL my photos on my blog.

Now I'm left with a picture-less blog. And gigantic black boxes where all my precious photos used to be. I mean, I still have them all in my photo archives, and backed up on cds, but there is really no easy way to restore them to my blog.

My heart has dropped to the bottom of my toes.

So, what does this mean?

1. Well, my blog is still here, so that's good. I can just pick up the pieces, and move forward, continue upwards and onwards.

2. I could say to heck with it all, write a final post, and kiss this all goodbye.

or 3. I can back track through 154 posts, dig through file upon file, and try to recreate what once was. That will take some time. A lot of time. Pain staking time.

I'm wrestling somewhere between options 1 and 3 right now. I really wish I would have already printed this blog into a hard copy at some point, because that is really my ultimate goal of this whole thing. If I knew that there was something concrete to hand my kids someday, I'd just pick up the pieces and move forward.

But unfortunately, I haven't done that yet. And although my words are all there, the photos aren't, and well, that just leaves our stories unfinished.

So, yeah. I learned a lesson today. And it was an expensive one. Ugh.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Before we had kids, Nick and I were pretty adventerous. We were up for anything at anytime. Among those adventures were lots of camping trips throughout Minnesota. We really thought that once we had kids, we could share that experience with them. We took Nugget on her first camping trip two years ago, and it didn't go so well. She totally loved everything about it, except for the whole sleeping in a tent thing. It was a long, rough night, and when storms rolled in early the next morning, we hightailed it outta there and were home in time for breakfast.

We shyed away from going last year, as I had a new baby and just really wasn't up for it.

We thought this year would be our year. With two kids in tow this time around, we were excited. Nugget was excited. And dude is just a happy camper (no pun intended) all the time, so we thought it'd be great. That the kids would go with the flow. And they mostly did.

We chose to go to Rice Lake State Park, about an hour away from our home. A new park to explore, yet close enough to home if things didn't go as planned.

It was hot. And the mosqitos were abundant. We tried everything to keep them away, but we are all pretty much peppered with the pesky little bites.

We enjoyed going on a few different walks that evening and exploring the park. We were really hoping to find access for swimming in the lake, but we had no such luck.

Nugget was super happy to be there. She had a little extra pep in her step and had such enthusiasm for gathering sticks, collecting rocks, spying critters, you name it. She even made up her own little rendition of We're Going Camping Tonight. Quite adorable, if I do say so myself.

Nick cooked us dinner over the campfire, and we enjoyed some chocolate-less s'mores for dessert. Yep, I was the mom who forgot the chocolate. Nice. The kids were just as happy with marshmallows and graham crackers, thankfully.

All was going swimmingly well until bedtime. And as feared, our night was pretty eventful. We were bound and determined to stick it out till the end this time, and to that, we made it. But we were quite exhausted today. We ALL napped once we got home, for several hours.

So although we're glad we went and had the expereince, Nick and I are in agreement that we pretty much scratched our camping with kids itch for the next several years. It's a shame.

But if we do decided to camp in the forseeable future, it won't be any further from home than our backyard. That sounds fun too. We shall see.