Monday, July 27, 2015

swim swam swum

One of the best things about summer? SWIMMING! Last weekend we were in the pool nearly all. weekend. long. Saturday we headed to a retirement party for our dear friend, Ken. He's leaving the sheriff's department to stay at home and wrangle his two kids. Sounds like an even trade to me. Tacos, swimming, sangria/margaritas/beer, and karaoke. What a fun family party! Thank you for including us in your celebration.

Less than 24 hours later, we were headed right back to the pool for Ariel's 2nd birthday party. The kids had blast in the pool, which was deep enough for cannonballs but shallow enough to touch. Plus there was a lifeguard so I think even the parents relaxed just a bit. J2 is turning into a little fish just like his big sister - so happy bobbing around. I need to get the little guy into some swim lessons.

After that birthday party, I was both hangry and exhausted. Sleep won out and everyone took naps. I think J2 slept for nearly 4 hours. While the boys were napping, Little Miss J and I headed over to the neighbor's for more swimming and snow cones. 

Both Gus and I are feeling worn out from our jam packed weekend, but summer fun is what it is all about. We can sleep in the winter. Just keep the coffee coming this morning. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

national chunglund vacation

Basically, the minute I walked work following our summer vacation, I was buried in work. I've been campaigning for a while now to work on different projects and when it rains it pours. My head is just now starting to peek above the water, and so I'm finally taking the time to blog about another amazing family vacation, which according to some might be less "vacation" and more "trip," but according to me was phenomenal. 

We left Sacramento at 7 a.m., and arrived at Lake Vermilion early evening. Everyone was happy to see Uncle David and take the first boat ride of the season. 

J2 busting out of his "boat jacket."
We celebrated the 4th of July small town style. It was the first year that Little Miss J was not in the parade and instead got to watch from the sidelines and gather a bagful of candy, which she promptly forgot about, allowing me to leave it in Minnesota. J2 felt like the parade was a little too loud and covered his ears while the Shriners and motorcycles went by. Later on, he fell asleep and slept through the post-parade activities. Little Miss J, however, was a pretty dedicated digger at the sawdust scramble. She appears to be highly motivated by the almighty quarter.

Swimming, sauna-ing (it's a noun, it's a verb, it's a sow-na!), feeding fish, catching tadpoles, Coors light, and countless games of cribbage, and playing in the fort. We spent 7 beautiful days on Lake Vermilion. 

There was an afternoon in Duluth with a bonus sighting of the Corbetts and Galbraiths at one of our favorite Duluth Restaurants, Duluth Grill. Followed by some playtime down at Canal Park.

Lunch and visit to the North American Bear Center in Ely with Papa Roger.

playing tic-tac-toe with Papa
We headed 1.5 miles underground to check out the Soudan Underground Mine.

We caught up with friends and even managed to get the Moses family out to the lake for a little R&R. In spite of the fact that Jenn and I probably wished we had a little bit more time to relax and catch up, we both enjoyed watching our kids having fun. 

Then it was time to say good-bye to Papa Roger and Grandma Amy.

Our last night in Minnesota we spent with Papa Ralph and Dianne. 

Then we headed back to Minneapolis where we managed to sneak in another couple hours with David and a few rides at the MOA before leaving on a jet plane back to California.

Vacation, trip, call it what you like. I enjoyed a full and busy week with family and friends. Until next year, Minnesota! 

Or maybe February, if we can get this girls trip scheduled, Erica, La, Kate & Jen!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

throwback thursday

This is one of my favorite photos. My first post-J1 triathlon. Unfortunately, it was also my last. I keep meaning to get back to it, but it just hadn't happened. This race happened right about the time I was really getting the hang of the mom thing and was starting to be able to balance work and me time with my parental duties. If you've kept up with this blog, you know that I struggled A LOT with this in the beginning and while it has gotten easier, it is a continual challenge. This day was probably not fast and it was probably not pretty, but as I headed out on the run Gus and Little Miss J (Baby J at the time) were there smiling and waving, and that made it a great race.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

father's day 2015

I can't believe I haven't blogged about our Father's Day. It was a perfectly impromptu day, which started with the most amazing southwestern benedict at Evan's Kitchen. I had already started devouring it before I remembered that I wanted to take a picture of it. The chipotle hollandaise sauce was pretty much worthy of licking the plate, but in true wannabe WASP fashion, I restrained myself.

Next up - Funderland! Since I got the full mom treatment with my free wristband on Mother's Day, it was not only Gus's turn, but also his dad's turn. Not gonna lie, I think Gus's dad had a pretty good time. At least up until the last ride, which just went around and around in a circle, liable to give just about everyone (but Little Miss J) a tummy ache.

Gus's next stop was the Sugar Mill, which may be as close to my nirvana as any in Sacramento. First, it is a very short drive. Second, there is wine (and wine slushies!!). Third, there is a huge outdoor area for picnics and running around. One word. Trifecta. J2 took a nap, while Gus, his mom, and I went to a few tasting rooms. 

Plus there were food trucks and live music that day. Once J2 woke up from his nap, he had fun dancing and running around.

Hoping that the fathers felt properly feted. I am blessed that Gus is such an amazing dad. The kind that will explain exothermic reactions and sonic booms to the kids, will brave Costco and the mall alone with both kids in tow, and who knows the exact moment to get the kids out of my figurative hair before I lose my mind. I am also blessed for a loving father-in-law and grandfather to my kids. From helping take out garbage, to walking Carleton Rover, and playing everything from Legos to tea party to dance school, etc. with the children, he is a huge part of our daily life.

Last, but certainly not least, my own Dad, Dr. B. I called to wish him a Happy Father's Day and this is pretty much how the conversation went ...

Me: Hi, Dad! It's me. Happy Father's Day!
Dad: Oh, thank you.
Me: Are you doing anything today?
Dad: I'm getting ready to go to the dump. 
Me: Uh, OK. Is Amy there?

He can be a man of few words. Even so, I am proud to call him, Dad and I cannot wait to see him and Amy (and my brother and nieces and everyone else!) on Friday!