Joy

I love this picture of Charlie, some of his classmates, and the bridge they made.

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Speaking of things that were built, apparently despite the inability to initially raise the money, St Paul managed to build an ice palace this year for its annual Winter Carnival. While watching the Travel Channel in high school, I learned about St Paul and its ice palaces. The show told me they built one every ten years. Well, I’ll just have to be there when they build the next one! I told myself. Because look at this!

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I just HAD to see it. So I moved here. And waited. And waited. And moved away. And moved back. And then they couldn’t raise the money. And then….like magic, Joe says to me the other day, Hey, you should take the boys to the ice palace today. WHAT?!!!!!

So I did.

It was a little underwhelming, especially because we couldn’t go inside because of the hot sun that day.

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But I guess I technically got to see my first ice palace. It only took from the time I was in high school until I had two children to drag along.

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Ugh. I can’t even look at this picture. But everyone was very pumped about this walleye frozen into one of the ice blocks. So I had to share it with all of you. Gross.

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Aaaaand after that, Colleen and I took the boys to enjoy the re-done Children’s Museum.

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Sticker zone

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The carwash area is super duper cool.

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I thought Henry would like the four story playground more, but he mostly just wanted to take the stairs. He liked this part, though.

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Not so much this part where the floor is unsteady and see-through.

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After Henry and I exhausted the carwash and playground, we found Charlie and Colleen in the art studio doing ceramics. We joined them, naturally.

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In my opinion, the remodel of the Children’s Museum was not a total positive. There’s a big gaudy gift shop at the entrance, it felt more chaotic and noisy, but most of the new exhibits are great, and the boys had an amazing day. They did not want to leave after 3 hours. So I guess that says it all.

Here’s a little snapshot of some Henry-Joe snuggle-times. Their favorite times of all the times.

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My latest occupation, besides trying to keep the boys healthy (failing miserably this flu season, it seems) has been…tidying. Over the past few months, I’ve been reading Marie Kondo’s books and enjoying going through each of my possessions. I picked her first book up at the library just out of curiosity. I love any excuse to go through my things, discard, rearrange, etc. But it has indeed been “life-changing magic.” I passed on a huge amount of stuff that will now be used and appreciated by new lives, and I feel much more aware of what brings me joy in my life, especially beyond possessions.

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It also made me aware of how sick I was of the beige walls everywhere on our first floor, so when Joe was gone on business, I went nuts (in a good way). I tried out four different greens for our living room, and ended up with this one: Everyday Life, it’s called. I love the brightness, and I can’t wait to re-paint our wonderful Grandma Jan-made clock to match the new color scheme and put it up over the fireplace. For now, Berlin will be a placeholder.

Oh yeah, and the Lego table moved to the very front-and-center of our living room. It may be visually-cluttered, but what can I say? It brings our family joy.

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Fun little extra: Emma sent me some photos she took up at our cabin weekend, and they are just beautiful.

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The best. Fresh whipped cream beaters!

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