Monday, July 03, 2017

Trip to Milwaukee

We hadn't been to Milwaukee in a while so we decided to go for a long weekend to visit family and friends. We packed about as much in as we possibly could into those 4 days.

Day #1. We visited Steve's college friends Kim and Adam and their two kids and stayed the night at their house the first night and then the last night of the trip. I hadn't seen both of them since I first met them 13 years ago at a wedding. As it happened, it was 13 years to the day when we reunited again. I like them both a lot and it is so easy hanging out with them on their farm. The kids immediately loved each other and had so much fun running around together.
They rehabbed an old barn on their property and host weddings there during the warm months. After seeing of the before pictures, it looked like they had done a ton of work to get it into shape.

Their two kids are the exact same age as ours. Harriet loved driving this little truck.

The best part about staying there was that it was firefly season and it was truly magical. Our girls had never seen them before and honestly I don't think I have seen any in maybe 20 years. As it grew dark, out thousands of them could be seen over the cornfield until about an hour after sunset.

We slept in their camper which was a fun adventure! I had never slept in one before, nor had the girls and they loved the bunk bed inside.

Bunk bed hugging snugglers.

Day #2. We made our way to Milwaukee the next day and visited Steve's mom. It was nice to see her again and the girls enjoyed running around with her dog Shayna in the yard.

Next we visited Steve's great uncle Mort and his wife Etsie. It would be the last time we visit them in their house because they are moving to an independent living place soon.

We got to see my college roommate Meagan and her daughter Leona in the morning and then that night we offered to take her so they could enjoy some alone time for their 10th wedding anniversary. It turned out being mutually beneficial because the girls loved being together. 

 We went to Steve's college friends Zak and his wife Kelly's house and slept there for the night. They hosted a BBQ and Steve was able to visit was a bunch of college buddies. We had a very packed day of visiting people that day! Tiring, but great to see everyone.

Day #4. Summerfest. A lot of firsts for everyone on this trip. The girls and I had never been to Summerfest before so we headed out early and did that. We listened to one cover band, did some kid activities, eat, watched a hip hop dance show, went on a sky glider and headed out.

It is located right of Lake Michigan. Very pretty location.
Eloise and Mia. That afternoon we headed back to the farm to spend one more night with our buddies before heading home the next day.

They rehabbed a chicken coop to be a dressing room for the bride and bridesmaids and also a guest room the other times.
Harriet, Miles, Eloise and Mia.  BFFs.

Parent pic taken by Eloise.

Night time of the farm.
Day #4. Time to go home, but one last visit for the road. Steve's cousin Lisa and her husband Lou met us at a rest stop by their house so we could catch up for a bit, but stay on track to get home at a reasonable hour.

We had a very nice trip and, although it was exhausting, we really enjoyed seeing everyone. We don't go back very often, but went we do, we go all out. Sorry to anyone we couldn't visit!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fair hills

This year instead of going to Fair Hills at the end of the summer we went the first week it opened. It was fun to mix it up and worked well because other family was going this weekend and we didn't have daycare anyways. This year was a milestone year for my dad, his 50th year!

First stop, the big pelican.

Lunch with my cousin Dan and his family.

Eloise and Barb, the matriarch of Fair Hills, having a special moment together.

Double twins at the talent show.

Eloise doing the ring toss in the newly-updated lobby.

Nature art again this year, by Harriet

Harriet has been waiting for these pancakes all year.

This was a year where we kind of let Harriet have a bit more independence. She was allowed to go round to different places alone, as long as she let us know where she was going. A few times Eloise tagged along too, but we still have to keep a watching eye due to her crazy antics.

Doing the splits with buddy Katherine.

Since this was Sheilagh's first year, she was nominated to do the horse race, which is an awkward race on these wooden horses. If you go to fast you fall backwards. We all put bets on her, but someone else won, although that person cheated and was pushed along.

Watching the hootnanney with Grandpa.

Two Harriets. Little Harriet, as we called her, was a family friend's daughter. They had met our Harriet about 5 years ago and loved the name so when they had a daughter years later, they also named her that. Ironically, her mom's name is also Christina. Next year if we are all up there together we will get a double Christina/Harriet photo.

This was the first year that both girls were able to do the kids activities and we were able to get some free time away in the morning and the afternoon. The kids did a skit at the talent show. Harriet also did her own performance at the talent show of a few gymnastics/yoga moves.

We had a great time up there as usual this year! Every year seems to get better as the girls get old and are able to participate in more activities.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

First/last day of 1st grade

 First day of school Harriet was just a nervous wreck.

Last day of school everyone is all smiles and excited for summer!

Harriet had a great year. She worked extremely hard on reading and loved her teacher, Mrs. Larson pictured here with her favorite specialist Mr. Thompson. He would come to their class to teach about geography and science and she listened to every word. She made some new friends this year including Clara above. She left 1st grade more confident in herself which is so great to see.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Other things we did in spring

Hard to keep up documenting everything we are doing so here is some stuff we did in the spring in no particular order. Above, canoeing with Uncle Adam.

Harriet and buddy Clara made an outdoor decoration for the Arts Extravaganza. They had a display and took classes about how they made it.

Typical day of Eloise, 20 barrettes in her hair while wearing a ballerina outfit outside watering plants. 

Many dance shows.

 Celebrated Grandma's birthday.

 May Day parade.

I got together with my Scotland friends in La Crosse for a weekend. Two of whom I hadn't seen in over 8 years.

 Steve and Eloise marched for the environment around Earth Day.

 Prince dance party for kids at 1st Ave.

 Twins game with friends.
 Matzo making with friends at the JCC.

Can Can wonderland mini golf for these two.

 Reunited daycare buddies while Achille was in Minneapolis from France.

Touched baby bunnies probably totally ensured that their mom would never return.

Open streets Lyndale was just too much.

Playing around at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, which is awesome by the way.