Sunday, July 25, 2010

Date Night in Minnesota!

Hello from the mid-west! We got her last Wednesday and have been having a great time. Ems was a little fussy on the plane, but not too bad. Our first flight was at 9am to Seattle, where we had a layover and enough time to get an early lunch. We boarded our plane to MN at noon and and arrived about 3 1/2 loooong hours later. I am excited that the next time we fly (after we fly home) that we will be forced to pay for a seat for Emersyn. She needs her own space, especially when she is feeling under the weather.

On Friday night Brett and I took off for a date night getaway. We scored an awesome deal at the Marriott....our room was only $95 including tax AND we got a $25 VISA gift card too! $70 for a NICE hotel room is pretty much unheard of in Portland.

We started our little getaway with taking a country drive out to Mudd Lake furniture. If any of you read MckMama's blog, she has taken many pictures at this little store and it looked just darling, I had to see if for myself!

Brett and I, outside the big red barn full of very unique furniture both new and old!

I had really wanted to go out to this furniture place the last time we came out here in the winter but my parents didn't feel like making the trek in the snow and I totally get that. It was fun to see it on our own.

After Mudd Lake, we headed to dinner. My dad had recommended "Maynards" in Minnetonka which is right on a lake. Brett and I LOVE lake views....getting to enjoy a great view while eating is pure bliss!!

This was our view while we ate, I didn't zoom or anything. The water was right next to us and it wasn't stinky icky water, it was clear and clean looking. It was right next to a boat dock so occasionally we would get a whiff of the gasoline smelling exhaust from one of the boats but (call me crazy, I know) I actually like that smell. My parents had a boat while I was growing up and that gas smell is so nostalgic and familiar.

After our late lunch/early dinner we drove into downtown to visit an ice cream shop that we were told was amazing. We drove through the city and enjoyed the high rise buildings.

We parked a ways away from the ice cream shop so that we could walk a little and we stopped in this darling store called "Patina". It was kind of like Urban Outfitters meets Anthropologie meets another store that I can't think of. Anyways, Brett and I spent 30 minutes in there and literally looked at every single thing, a luxury we don't have when we have a busy toddler with us that touches everything.

We had ice cream at "Sebastian Joes", this quaint little joint that makes their ice cream fresh every day. I should have taken more pics on our getaway but seriously without Ems, I feel like a dork for taking so many pics for some reason. My favorite ice cream there was called the "White Monkey", banana ice cream with white chocolate and pecans. DELISH.

After dessert we went on another little drive, this time over the Mississippi River! We drove some more through downtown and then back to the suburbs near our hotel to see a movie. We decided to see "Inception", not because either of us had heard anything about it's plot or cast, but purely because we have heard SO many good things about it. It is TOTALLY not my kind of movie but I loved it!!!! It was very complex and interesting and suspenseful. I recommend it!

After the movie we headed back to our hotel room and watched the most magnificent lightening storm. We don't get lightening like that in Portland EVER! This lightening lit up the sky and was incredible.

Saturday morning we woke up, got ready, checked out and headed for Bruegger's Bagel for breakfast. Our bagel sandwiches were yummy but the iced coffee was pretty sick. Can't beat Starbucks!!!

Our plans for Saturday were pretty undefined....we kind of wanted to play it by ear but then we also realized we needed a game plan. I had read in a magazine about a quaint little town called "Stillwater" that is right on the St. Croix river. We decided to head up there on a little drive. On the way we passed "Lake Elmo", ha!

When we arrived in Stillwater, the little town was PACKED!! Apparently, it's their busiest weekend of the month for their "Lumberjack" weekend! There was a lumberjack competition going on, tons of greasy food and people, and lots and lots of boats. It was awesome!

We had read about a restaurant called the "Dock Patio" in a magazine so we decided to try it for lunch. I had the most AMAZING sandwich; grilled chicken with brie, red onion slaw, warmed sliced apples, toasted cashews and lemon butter. I'm drooling just thinking about it.

Brett and I at the "Dock Patio", overlooking the river. This picture is further proof that Brett and I are dorks without our daughter. Ha ha!

Upon looking at our map, I realized that the St. Croix river is the state line between MN and WI! Since we were so close we decided to drive across the river so we could say that we had been to Wisconsin. Once we got over the river, the first exit so that we could turn around had a Starbucks so we decided to get an Iced Green Tea to share; free refills too! Brett found a memory game to play while we drank our tea so that was fun. I think that good old fashioned games are good for your marriage. Nothing like a little healthy competition and fun. :) After our iced tea, we set out to find a place to swim. On the map, there was a beach area that looked good for swimming.

The St. Croix river.

Welcome to WI sign!

We ended up finding a GREAT beach and changed in the car so we could go swimming. It was so so so much fun. After swimming we headed home.

It was such a fun little getaway and we had a great mixture of all the things we love most; hanging out, shopping, eating, and being out in the sun!

We are in the Minne-soh-tah until Friday. I hope the week doesn't go by too quickly. It's hard to believe we've been here for 5 days already! This morning we went to my parent's neighborhood pool which was a blast! I got a little tan too....gotta keep working on that this week! :)

Hope everyone is having a great Sunday!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits

I love tidbit posts...a great way for me to organize my thoughts and give you a glimpse in my crazymind at times....

*This morning I took Emersyn to the Dr. She woke up cranky this morning which is unusual for her. I heard her awake in her room at about 6 which is also unusual and she didn't fuss or anything until about 8:30 so I am not sure if she ever really fell back asleep which could have contributed to her cranky-ness. Poor girl though, she was just so whiny and wanted to be held and when I wasn't holding her to blow dry my hair she just laid on the ground all pitiful. I decided to be safer then sorry and skipped playgroup to go to our wonderful dr's office where they gave her a clean bill of health. Isn't that always how it is? She had no fever, lungs sounded fine and her tummy seemed fine too. I am comforted that a dr. officially told me that she is fine though....always good reassurance.

*My mind is racing with LOTS of things to do before we leave for our trip at the crack of dawn tomorrow. I am going to put Ems to sleep in her clothes for the plane and that way we can just get her up and leave at 6:45am without having to get her dressed. I will change her diaper and comb her hair which should take all of 2 minutes. I have a couple things to grab at the store that my parents requested I bring because they don't have them there. The good news is, we are going to my parents house and if I forget anything, it can be bought or replaced. (With the exception of my make up which I forgot at Christmas time...that won't be happening again!!!!) I have a list going and it's going to be all good. I am determined to NOT is Minnesota and I am not going to be doing anything that requires 10 pairs of shoes or dressy clothes. I am going basic and preparing to do laundry while we're there. (I'm totally talking to myself in this post, bear with me).

*I bought Emersyn a shirt for her second birthday that is just over a month away. It is another "Birthday Girl" T-shirt, similar to last year. I think it will be really cute and I have some cute polka dotted shorts that I think will match and go with her "bubbles" theme. I am hoping to take pictures for her invite when we get to MN and maybe even mail out the invites while we're there.

*Today I was in the bathroom and I weighed myself with Emersyn next to me. When I got off, she said "my turn" and got on the scale. She cracks me up.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Miscellany Monday

{1} I am addicted to Starbucks treat receipts. It's like a $2 coupon for a drink equals a free drink in my mind. I simply cannot let one go to waste and if it does, I feel like I threw away money. Starbucks, your marketing ploy has totally worked on me. Rats.
{2} Yesterday I went on a pretty long bike ride. Today my lady parts are sore. Oy.
{3} I am a reformed Chipotle hater. I used to despise it because of their extensive use of cilantro, which is the weed of the devil in my opinion. But then I discovered the burrito bowl and better yet, I discovered that it can be split between two adults and provide a great portion for dinner. And even better yet, we discovered that kids eat free on Sunday. Score. I do get a cilantro induced bite every once in awhile but I just take it for the team since Brett LOVES it.
{4} Highlight of my weekend: Emersyn came up to me in the kitchen and grabbed my leg and said "got you"!!! Then she looked up at me and very lovingly said, "mommy...i yuv youuu". I think it was the first time she has said it to me without me prompting her. I get teary eyed just thinking about it.
{5} I ate a pound of ranier cherries over the course of two evenings. They are delicious and seasonal and I don't feel bad for one second.
{6} On Friday we went to Trader Joes and stocked up on "treats" for Emersyn for the plane. I am not above bribing her into good behavior on an airplane. It's called survival. At Christmas time when we flew I wanted to hide in the plane's bathroom, curl up in the fetal position and sleep for the entire flight to escape my daughter's crazy behavior. I'd like to say this time around will be different. We got her some organic crackers that are like Ritz Bitz, some banana chips, some trail mix, and I might even get her a sucker too. I also got her a Mickey Mouse book from Costco that has one of those magnetic drawing boards on it too. I am a little nervous, can you tell? :) This will be her sixth trip on an airplane, lucky girl. I didn't fly in an airplane until I was about 11.
{7} I have 10,662 unread messages in my email. I have issues permanently deleting things apparently. A lot of it is real estate stuff though. That number overwhelms me a bit.
{8} I got a housesitter for our trip, not because we *need* one but because I wanted to be forced to clean before we leave. Coming home to a clean house is SO much nicer then not.

Friday, July 16, 2010


A couple months ago we made a hanging basket as a family, remember? Well, in the last couple of weeks I have noticed a sweet little bird flying out of it when I go to water it. Then I started to see some random pieces of straw stuck in the hanging basket and realized that perhaps this bird is trying to make a nest. Well, today we took a peek in the basket and guess what we saw?

EGGS!!!! See them?? Teeny, tiny blue eggs.

Can I just tell you how excited I was?? And the strange thing is, I felt flattered in a way. Like how kind of the bird to have chosen our hanging basket. Almost to the point of feeling like I needed to make a casserole or something to welcome our little houseguest/yardguest. Hee hee. It doesn't take much to thrill me people.

Brett was equally excited which makes me happy. He ran to take the pictures while I got Emersyn ready for dinner and then he had a good idea of calling a bird place tomorrow to make sure that we don't harm the eggs by fertilizing the hanging basket like we did today before we saw the nest. Hopefully that doesn't affect them. Kinda fun, huh?

Here's the mama, watching us peek at her nest. We formally welcomed her and assured her that her stay on our property would be a pleasant one.

Becoming a mother has made me weird.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How to Win Your Man by Emersyn- Volume 2

Hi ladies. It's me again, Emersyn. Remember last year when Riley came to visit me and I gave you all some pointers? Well, it's that time again! Watch and learn the end of the week Riley was wrapped around my little finger.

First off, a man likes a woman who isn't afraid to dress up for the occasion. This is me on the 4th of July, seriously rockin' a sailor outfit, complete with an American Flag that my mom gave me to carry around. I could tell that Riley was impressed with my patriotism, as well as my use of red white and blue on America's birthday.

This is Riley and I at the Children's Museum in Portland. Even though I know the area much better then he does (considering I am the Portland native and he is NOT), I decided to let him drive. Men like to feel in control. I let him feel like he was in control, even though I sat so close to him that I could knock him out of the way if we got lost.

This is Riley and I feeding the ducks on the third day he was in town. Riley grabbed my hand to show affection but I did what any respectable girl does.....

I played hard to get! Like I said, this was only day three of his trip. I didn't want him to get the wrong impression of me. I don't hold hands until at least the 4th or 5th's just how my parents have raised me. I did appreciate Riley initiating the affection though. That's really the key ladies, let them come to you...

This picture is funny for a couple reasons. I take after my mother in many ways. One of the ways I take after her is that I don't love sitting on the couch and watching movies. I have to be in the mood. Clearly, I was not in the mood to watch a movie which is what is happening in this picture. But, I am a giver. Look at Riley's face! Clearly, he is thrilled. If I want him to play "cook" with me in the kitchen, I need to be willing to watch "Monsters, Inc." an indefinite amount of times. Give and take, two important elements in a successful relationship.

Riley and I decided to have some fun with my new water table this past week. Note how I gently have my hand on his back for this photo op. I didn't want to overwhelm him into thinking that just because we are playing with the water table, that means we will be for sure getting married. (Even though we totally will..shhh.) Sometimes men freak out at situations that look more committing then they are.

This is me attempting to climb into my water table. Do I really think I can get into this small of an item? NO. Am I giving Riley the opportunity to feel needed and appreciated? YES.

I do feel that Riley took advantage of this situation just a tad. I'm not sure it was neccesary to grab my tush to help me out but I appreciated the help none the less. Side note: don't my calf muscles look awesome?! I've been doing the Shred when my mom's not lookin'...Lord knows SOMEONE in our house needs to work out more. I am hoping to inspire her.

Here is Riley and I playing with my new eggs. I sat close enough so our legs were touching but not to where I was in his lap. Nice and subtle.

Even though these were MY new eggs, I let Riley play with them. Again, like my mom, I am a giver!

**Disclaimer: My mommy said that the next part of my little advice post shouldn't be taken literally by you ladies. She doesn't think that bathing with a man is the best way to get him, at least not in a decent moral way. But since I am little and Riley is little, she said it was okay**

Here is Riley washing my back. My back wasn't really dirty but instead of raining on his parade, I just let him feel needed again.

Riley really likes trucks. Here is me showing my enthusiasm for them!

A gentle touch on the knee is always a hit.

And finally, two days before Riley left to go home, I let him seal the deal with a kiss! See...all my hard work paid off! This picture will be featured on our wedding program, FYI. My mom is a planner like that.

Good luck gettin' your men ladies! Take my works!!!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Miscellany Monday

{1} I may or may not have set fire to two wooden spoons last week while making my daughter mac'n'cheese. Turns out, if you smell burning most likely IS burning wood.

{2} I am so excited to see tan lines on my body. This may seem strange but it's been YEARS since I was tan. Unless you count the sunless tanning experience for my brother's wedding. I don't really want to talk about that though...too soon. Anyways, the summer before last I was hugely prego and not out much in the sun. Then last summer I had a sweet baby girl that wasn't walking yet so being outside wasn't quite as fun (and I wasn't as active as I am now) and so this year we are having fun at the park, the Farmer's Market, and the fountain and I am rockin' some tan lines on my shoulders. I plan on obtaining even more lines in MN.

{3} I am obsessed with corn on the cob with a little butter, kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. I could eat it at every meal.

{4} My daughter is pretty much the cutest thing ever. She says "bless you" when I sneeze. She also LOVES when Mommy sings to her. Our favorite song right now is "this little light" and she totally holds up her little light with the pointer finger and dances along. When I get to the "hide it under a bushel" part, she yells "NO" (like your supposed to) and it is adorable.

{5} My bestie was in town last week and borrowed a pair of shoes from me. Seeing them on her made me like them even more and now I have a renewed appreciation for them.

{6} Emersyn now demands to sleep with "Daddy's pillow" every time she goes to sleep in her crib. Ha ha. Needless to say, Brett got a new pillow from Costco on Saturday night and Emersyn is none the wiser. She still thinks that she shanghaied her daddy's pillow.

{7} We sang "Mighty to Save" yesterday at church and I discovered that I am incapable of singing that song without tearing up. I have so much to be thankful for.

{8} Miscellaneous iPhone picture just for fun of my daughter passed out at dinner time after an afternoon consisting of ZERO naptime:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fourth of July Fun!

We had a great 4th of July this year! I loved that it was on Sunday; made having Monday off such a bonus!!

Emersyn wore a darling sailor outfit to church for the occasion. Brett's mom had bought it for her before she was born and it was perfect for such a patriotic Sunday morning!

Emersyn's future husband Riley and his family are staying with us this week. We attempted to capture fireworks between these two before church but had no luck. :)
We went to a large park to hang out in the afternoon with a group of friends and it was a blast! Ems had a great time and so did Brett and I. We decided to leave before the fireworks started though because of how late it was getting and the fact that we had heard it could take over and hour to get out of the parking lot when the fireworks ended. We saw some great fireworks in the air on the way home though and that was fun to watch.

Emersyn discovered her love for salsa on the 4th.

Ems waving at Daddy who was playing frisbee.

Being silly with Miss Rachelle. Rachelle is one of my good friends who is due with her first child (a girl) in September. I am co-hosting a baby shower for her on Saturday!

Daddy found a good way to keep the watermelon juice off of him and Emersyn while she ate it!

We took a little walk down to the lake and Emersyn enjoyed looking at all the paddle boaters.

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July too!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Beautiful Wedding!

Last Friday was Emersyn's second flower girl event. Of course I have to share some pictures and let you know how it all went! :)

At the rehearsal, feeling very proud of herself for walking down the aisle. :)

Killin' time on Mommy's iPhone while the practice continued.

As I posted last Friday, Emersyn threw up on Friday morning and I was a FRANTIC mess for the entire day, just ask my husband. She has never thrown up before and I kept having these awful thoughts of her throwing up while walking down the aisle or worse yet, while the bride or groom were holding her. Of course I was concerned for her well being and health, but there were logistics to worry about too. Brett kept telling me to relax but I just couldn't. If worse came to worse, she just wouldn't be in the wedding but that would have been SUCH a bummer. She did fine for the rest of the day but wouldn't eat much. The only thing I could get her to eat at home was frozen blueberries and then I was scared she was going to barf those up but she didn't, hallelujah. She even laid on my bed while I got ready and watched TV, something she has never really done before. I struggled with knowing whether to try to get her to eat something or to not push it in case she was still sick. Finally right before the wedding she ate some banana and a kids clif bar. I prayed that it would stay down and it did. She was REALLY tired before the wedding and seemed a little out of it but then started to perk up once the banana hit her system I think.

Waiting for the wedding to start seemed to take FOREVER with two kinda restless toddlers. I think my friend Jonette (Estella's mom) and I totally bonded through this experience, ha! Once the wedding started, I went to sit in the church so that I could meet the girls at the end of the aisle.

My pretty girl.

Can I just tell you that Emersyn and Stella did AMAZING!?!? A good friend of mine snapped this picture and I think they look angelic. The girls held hands the entire way and walked kinda slow, stopping to smile at everyone. Stella is the social butterfly out of the two of them so she would totally stop and smile and Emersyn would tug her hand and keep them walking. They were precious and I totally got misty eyed. Watching my daughter walk as a flower girl was a dream come true for me. Not that I have always dreamed of her being a flower girl specifically, just I was so grateful to be celebrating the marriage of some good friends and watching my little blessing of a daughter be healthy and strong enough to even walk down an aisle. Oh the things we take for granted. Anyways, they walked all the way down the aisle perfectly and my heart was overflowing with joy.

Emersyn and daddy walking to the reception downtown.

Wendy & Tyler, the beautiful couple.

I had made arrangements for Brett's parents to take Emersyn home after the reception so that Brett and I could stay and enjoy the party. Emersyn was getting really tired and June offered to take her home a little earlier but I asked that she wait until the dancing started because I just wanted to dance one song with her and Brett. Okay, when the fast music came on, something came over my daughter and she turned into a dancing machine. She ran onto the dance floor and was twirling and clapping and raising the roof, it was HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!! She totally got a second wind and she danced to ALL of the fast songs with everyone. I loved this picture of her and Tyler below, dancing away.

I am so thankful to Tyler and Wendy for including us on their big day. It was a joyful occassion and I am blessed to have friends in mine and Emersyn's life that are such quality people. :)