Thursday, June 26, 2014


After we got massive amounts of rain for days on end, it was exciting to hear that instead of flooding a nearby berry batch, all that rain actually helped them grow into sweet, juicy, ready to pick strawberries! We know the season doesn't last long, so we headed on out there to claim our share.

It was a great day for berry picking. Not too hot. A slight breeze. Limited mosquitoes.

Everyone was eager and willing to pick, at first. But after they filled their bellies full (which was totally okay, I asked!), they were fair weather friends and wanted to go home.

Luckily, my girl took one for the team and helped me pick and fill our basket.

We managed to pick an impressive 13 pounds! They add up fast, apparently. But that was good. This was a one time shot for us, so the more the merrier.

We came home and washed, cut, and washed some more. We made a double batch of strawberry rhubarb jam. We ate a few more for lunch, then froze the rest. We've been dropping them into our smoothies and homemade popsicles and they are such a treat!

So grateful for days like these!

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Sometimes I get a little discouraged from blog writing, because I feel that my story isn't really that exciting to tell. It's just our every day life and I live it how I would, even if I weren't documenting it. I do activities with my kids because it's fun and makes us feel good, not because I'm trying to be some super mom. Lord knows I am not one of those. There are a few blog friends who I turn to for inspiration, and the thing I like most about them is that they are real. They write in their "real" voice and they capture their "real" life. That's all I ever wanted to be, was real. I'm reminded that I blog mostly for myself and my kids, to capture the small, fleeting moments that I would otherwise forget.

This week we are in the midst of some serious rain. Patches of sunshine. But mostly rain. And mosquitoes. Good Lord, the mosquitoes. Orelia asked me why God made bugs, and let me just tell you that's a dang good question. It sure would be nice to play on our deck, Heaven forbid our backyard, without coming back inside peppered with welts the size of dimes.

So yesterday, I thought it was supposed to rain and planed an indoor activity for us, and then it turned out to be blazing hot and sunshiney. But whatever. We stuck to plan A.

I usually am a pretty big stickler about no candy in the morning (like say, after breakfast) but the kids thought I was totally awesome for bending my rules for this trip :) I was reminded of this place over the weekend when Nick and I passed by. We've never been and its close to home, so I added it to our summer fun list.

The place really is fun. Lots of candy from my childhood, that I can't believe I actually ate. All I remember is stuck paper and biting wax. Sounds delish.

And these. They're just funny. And super awesome role models for our kids :)

I let Orelia and Milo each pick out ONE thing. They didn't even buck at it. I think they were just so happy that I agreed to buy them candy. They chose carefully however, which surprised me. They would carry something around for a bit, and put it back when they found something they liked better. Orelia carried around a bag of German chocolate for awhile (she's a girl after my own heart) but ultimately settled on a bag of salt water taffy. She reasoned that she wanted something she had never had before, and she wanted the most bang for her buck. Can't argue with that!

Thank goodness I was able to sway Milo away from a gummy snake as tall as himself. In the end he chose a Superman PEZ.

After we made our choices, we sat out in the heat and enjoyed the deliciousness.

And there we were. Just making memories. Another day in the life.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


We are off to a great start with our summer. Life is always eventful with three kids in tow, but we've got our rhythm down, and we're ready to take on many adventures (as long as we make it back before nap time!)

Naughty naughty!
We've known for a year or two that the roads that run in front of and alongside our house were slated for reconstruction during the summer months. I was prepared for it...I thought. We were promised that we wouldn't lose any trees, and that we'd have a nice new sidewalk when all was finished (yay for bike and trike riding!). We took it with grace for the first few weeks. It was fun to watch all the diggers (I know, I a mother of two boys I should really be able to differentiate my diggers. Don't hate.) What I wasn't prepared for was the daily 7am wake up call to back up alarms and metal scrapping pavement and dirt. I also wasn't prepared for the insane amount of rain we've been getting, which has made everything around us into mud. I wasn't prepared to have half my driveway removed and turned into dirt, or rather, mud. I wasn't prepared for temporary water lines running every which way through our yard, which makes playing and mowing interesting.

We've been doing our best to be patient. To be kind to the hard working men behind the operation. We're making the best of it. I am grateful for the free entertainment. I am grateful for friendly smiles. I'm grateful for men that built our driveway ramp first so I could get Orelia to dance on time. I am grateful for the workers that pushed my van out of the mud. I am grateful for the back hoe operator that waves to my kids and invited them to come check out his ride.

It's pretty loud and dirty around here, but we're not letting it slow us down. Summer is here and we're going to make the most of it!

Sunday, June 8, 2014


True Story: In fifth grade, I got to pick out a prize from my teacher's prize box. Being the book worm that I was, I chose a book from some Pen Pals series. In the back of the book was a form to fill out to be matched up with a pen pal of my own. Of course I was all over that, and I was connected with a girl my age, Jen from New York. Fast forward twenty some years later, and we are still in touch. Our correspondence has shifted from snail mail and phone calls to sporadic emails and Christmas cards, but the fact of the matter is we were friends at ten, and we are still friends at thirty one.

Last summer, while on a family vacation up north, my girl met a little friend. They hit it off and were fast friends. Upon parting, the girls traded addresses in hopes of staying in touch, but it didn't happen. Orelia didn't forget that, and wished often for a pen pal. I thought long and hard of someone her age I could connect her with, someone who I knew would be into it just as much as she was. When it finally hit me, I knew it was a perfect match. I reached out to my blogging friend Alicia of Investing Love and she was in! It has been so fun over the last several months to watch a friendship develop, to see my girl check the mail anxiously most days, and to see her creativity and generosity when sending things to her pal.

Alicia and I have had a friendship of our own for awhile. We are a lot alike, and so are our girls. I think we really bonded when we were both pregnant, having Otto and Vera just two months apart. So you can imagine my excitement when she called me a few months back and said she would be in Minnesota in early June! It was the natural conclusion that we would meet up for a few days.

We packed so much into two short days (and one near-all-nighter), and it was the most fun ever! I keep thinking about all the things we didn't have time to share with them, and the things we ran out of time to talk that just means we'll have to do it again! Orelia is already asking when we can fly to North Carolina :) She was so sad to see Sophia go.

During our meet up, we had Orelia's dance recital, a girls only lunch date to the American Girl Place, raced through IKEA throwing all kinds of goodies into our carts, went for a walk through town, ate frozen yogurt, had breakfast at the bakery, showed them our farm, and played and talked for hours.

The blogging world and social media can be interesting and weird sometimes, but all the while fantastic. I have had several opportunities to connect and meet amazing people that I wouldn't have otherwise. Now not only are Alicia and I blogging friends, and our girls pen pals, we are all real life friends now, and that's pretty awesome.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


This has been Orelia's third year in dance, and every year she gets a little better and a little braver. We've gone from sitting on stage crying, to standing up there with confidence, and even participating in the father and daughter dance.

But truth be told, we could really care less about the recital. We are most proud of our girl for gaining skills and confidence through her extracurricular activities, as well as making new friends along the way.

 This little dancing circle of friends is my favorite :)

 Her dancing BFF, Ava
Miss Jenny, the most kind and patient dance teacher we've had yet.