happyhappyjoyjoy

I’m on a break!!!!

This past week, I had no class, which meant the boys and I got to spend our days together doing our usual summer thing. We wake up, figure out what we want to do that day after a leisurely morning at home, and then go do it!

We’ve  gone to Choo Choo Bob’s, gotten ice cream at Izze’s, played mini-golf at MOA, met Emma and Derek’s brand new baby(!!!!!), explored Mia (the Minneapolis Institute of Art), and Friday they went to the State Fair while I caught up with a friend visiting from out of town. So it’s been drop dead delightful!

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Charlie loved looking at the Paul Bunyan-themed ads on the benches at Moose Mountain

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Henry, meanwhile, was obsessed with the boxes of dynamite lying around. It completely stoked his imagination and he couldn’t stop pretending that there was danger and booby traps all around

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A tricky hole

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We weren’t always totally able to stay focused on putting, because there were so many cool features to look at and make up stories about

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Especially the Sasquatch stuff

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They love the logging truck that’s right outside, and they specifically asked if I’d take their picture on it. So…ta DA!

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Start ‘er up!

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After our day at Mia, some pizza was in order. These two are just such wonderful brothers. They’re wonderful complements to one another, and really love doing things together.

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I love getting to be with them! We’ll have next week together, too, so we’ll be letting the good times roll before school starts for us all the day after Labor Day.

So, I did next to no gardening or yard work this summer, because of grad school. Thankfully, it rained pretty much every day, so my plants survived. Including my gorgeous ‘strawberry shortcake’ hydrangea bushes I bought a few years ago. They’d really struggled their way through the past two summers, but this year they must have settled in. They look lovely, and there are even enough blooms that I brought some inside to grace our table yesterday.

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I’m so happy!

Alright, we’re going to pop into the past real quick here. The Uptown Art Fair was a few weeks ago. We saw them setting up for it the day before it opened, and Charlie got super excited about going. So, we did! He even mentioned that he’d seen on signs that we could get bus passes to ride there free. So, again, we did! He’s truly a handy guy to have around.

Henry and I loved this booth for several reasons. One, the stuff’s amazing. Two, there were signs everywhere encouraging you to touch the pieces. Three, they also encouraged photography. Henry liked that sign, so he insisted we take a photo.

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Four, they had Scooby and Shaggy hidden up on a shelf! What could be better?

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We were all four pooped from all of the walking and sunshine, but it was a wonderful outing.

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And finally, for your viewing pleasure, we took a video. We took a family trip down the rabbit hole of my saved videos of them as they’ve grown up. They loved seeing themselves as bitty ones, and hearing the varying ways they spoke over the years. It only made sense, then, to record their present moment in a new video. So here they are, doing what they do.

July 2.0

What a month. It started out rough, but I’ll admit I came around on this July. Not only did my collarbone/shoulder issues heal much quicker than the doctors predicted, I also ended up getting better at handling school/life. I also got quality time with Joe, myself and quite a few Iowans.

Grandma and Grandpa are two of those Iowans. Though we had them here in Minnesota for a good long while, we can no longer claim them as residents. So Joe and I hit Polk City to explore their new domain. Gramps got a hole-in-one right here, so he’s a pretty big deal!

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And they’ve got a new ice cream joint on the town square, so we channeled our inner Gilmore Girls and enjoyed it by the gazebo.IMG_6365

Meanwhile, our kids were in southern Missouri with my parents examining every trailer and boat motor they could find.

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Apparently Henry loved getting hit in the head with the tether ball. Mom took videos of this, and he could not get enough of watching them. He laughed and laughed and laughed every time it bonked him.

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Grammy and Grampy with the girls!

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Training the next generation

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Looking at vehicles while walking to the marina for (presumably) ice cream. Life’s good.

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And it gets even better when you find a dog!

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Sandbox time. Henry loved that Brady called it “playing Tonka.”

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Oh, that Gator

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Da gurlz

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I love this so much!

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He’s the king of the world!

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Da boiz

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The whole crew. What a meal this must have been. Glad I wasn’t on the serving crew, but I wish I could have been there with you all.

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Crazy. This is how many of us cousins there are. Even the same number of boys and girls. So go back roughly thirty years, cross the road, and this was us.

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…although our s’mores back then had to be toasted over a lukewarm grill, not a raging bonfire.

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Aw! Just add water.

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Thanks, Nate!

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The big guys!

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A lot I wish I could have been there for…

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But luckily at least there’s ice cream in Des Moines, too.

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It was good to have the boys back!

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Right away they got to work setting me straight on all the vehicles around. Because that’s important.

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We also spent about five hours at Bret and Leslie’s place this weekend playing with Chryanthemum, but I forgot my camera! 

Sunday, when we got back to Minneapolis, Julia was there, and we got to spend the whole evening together before she had to fly back to CA. Again, forgot to document the occasion, but she made these super beautiful earrings that I got to show off at school this week

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Now life’s back to its current normal for now. It will be nice to have some time on auto-pilot before things inevitably get crazy again.