Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sisters and their Dolls

While we were at the Mall of America, we wanted to take Grace in to look at new accessories for her American Girl doll. She had been playing with it so much lately, we thought it would be fun to have some new accessories. Well, because she had been playing with it so much, it was causing some disruption between the girls - Annie desperately wanted to play with her doll whenever Grace did. And no doll would be a good replacement (how do kids know these things?). So Mom took Annie shopping at the American Girl doll store too...she came out pretty good, with her own doll! 

We waited until we got settled in at the hotel to get the goods out and play! 




It was fun to watch Annie unwrap her dolly that looks just like her. She was very excited, and big sister was very happy to see her get one too. 




Sisters together with their precious dollies. Hopefully this will allow them to play much more nicely together with them! We'll see how battered Annie's doll gets in the coming years!



We ordered pizza in the hotel and sat and enjoyed each others company. We used the doll box as a table for the girls, see the dolls back there taking in the sites too? I think Grace's doll is filling Annie's in on just exactly what she's in for! :)

Yup, see. Poor dolly usually gets drug around by the hair!

Afterward, we all took a quick swim at the hotel. The water was FREEZING! That didn't stop the girls of course! I could hardly stand it. Plus Annie was being a maniac in the water, she has NO FEAR. She just wanted me to let her go so that she could swim on her own.....which would mean sink on her own!




Had to include this on in color too so that their hair color shows how nice they match each other!
Love these two little girls and their girliness.

Thank you Nana for the fun new accessories for Grace and the pretty dolly for Annie! The girls love to play together with them now. Now we just need two strollers, two beds, two car seats, two pairs of every clothing item. Or, wait, I guess I could teach them to share! :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Marthalers

We woke up at Aunt Linda's house to the smell of bacon and eggs cooking...well not exactly, my kids may have woken up first....but breakfast was on shortly after. I always love the breakfasts that my Uncle Craig makes. We goofed around a little in the morning and then drove down to Minneapolis in some snowy weather to meet up with my dear friends, the Marthaler's. They met us at the Mall of America on a crazy holiday weekend to have lunch and let the kids have fun at Nickelodeon Universe! 

It was so good to see Jen and catch up with her. I love her little (growing) family and I so dearly wish that we lived closer. We stay in touch pretty frequently through phone calls, texts, and emails. We are always sending each other pictures of the kids, projects, and snow (or lack there of!). We have a beautiful love/hate relationship for each other, always jealous of each others projects and beautiful hair. :) 
These little girls are miniature versions of their mothers, and have a friendship just like Jen and mine. They don't see each other enough, but pick back up in a better place than the last time they saw each other.






Poor Tyler and Annie. Little do they know, they have an arranged marriage happening between the two of them by their mothers. And look at Miss Annie, she's already eyeing that handsome boy. Thank goodness our plans are working already!


I love you beautiful friend, and I wouldn't be the same person without you in my life! You make me a better Mommy and person! Without her, I wouldn't have anyone to complain to, to show off to, to love like a sister, to send fashion questions to, get Mommy advice from, and trust with absolutely anything that I need. She's my go to girl! I love her!


We had a great afternoon at the mall with these beautiful friends and my parents. Thanks for trekking over to the mall and braving the insane crowds to see us!

Grandma Fran

In February we packed our bags and headed out on a crazy road trip to see lots of family and friends. We were gone 5 days (I think) and stayed at a different place each night. When you've got kids to haul with lots of accessories including pack and plays, strollers, luggage bags, 15 different special blankets and pillows and lovies, and all of the other jazz that goes along with packing with children it was a little bit insane. 

We went to Marshall first, then on to the cities to see Grandma Fran. Grandma was SO excited to see us. It was Valentine's Day on the day we vistited and they had a special program going on where she lives. A man came in to sing and entertain the rest of the residents. Oh boy, Grandma was pointing at us and telling everyone who we were. The girls quickly became the stars of the show and the singing man centered nearly every song around the girls in one way or another. 




4 generations of girls!
I love the two goofy ones below too.





After visiting Grandma Fran, we buzzed over to my Aunt's house in Forest Lake. We had an awesome supper (thanks Uncle Craig for the great pasta!) with Linda and Craig and Emily's family. It was great visiting with them. Emily had a fun chocolate fondue with lots of dipping options, we all enjoyed it! Below is Annie and Chase, they were pretty funny together. I'm not sure why I didn't get more photos there, shoot! Next time...

We spent the night at Aunt Linda's and enjoyed the company of family. It's always so good to be back at their house, I have lots of fond memories from being there as a child. The hospitality hasn't changed a bit.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Thank you

Thanks to all for the thoughts, prayers and support during our time of mourning the loss of Grandma Irma. The visitation on Friday night left many of us in a better place, Grandma looked the best that she had in years - it was so much easier to say goodbyes to someone who looked like Grandma. She was so weak for so long, it would have been hard to remember her that way. The funeral service on Saturday was a wonderful celebration of her life - in her written obituary she asked the pastor to talk not about her and her life, but instead about the promises of the Lord - and he did a wonderful job honoring that request. So many family members were around, including many of my Dad's cousins and Aunts and Uncles. It was easier on the kids because all of Grace's second cousins were there to play. I'm grateful for the time we were able to spend together, but it felt so odd not having Grandma there with us. The sorrows of losing someone you love so dearly, a grandmother, is not easy. But knowing that she's in the place she trusted to live for eternity makes it easier.

I have several special thank yous that I wanted to address here, so that I'll be able to look back and remember how special people in my life made this time easier for us...

-Thanks to Mom and Dad who didn't kick us out of the house when Little One was being a bear cat all weekend.
-Thanks to my aunts, uncles and cousins who made it easy to mourn and cry together; who made it possible to share good memories and laughs too.
-Thanks to Kevin and Michele who sent a beautiful arrangement of flowers as a tribute to Grandma's life on the farm - the arrangement was filled with tulips, daisies, pussy willows, cattails, roses, and other beautiful flowers. Your thoughts and prayers were appreciated.
-Thanks to Aunt Linda & Uncle Craig and Aunt Laura & Uncle Pat who drove from the Twin Cities to Jeffers on Saturday to the funeral; it was nice to have you there. They, and the rest of Mom's family, also contributed a floral memorial to Grandma, it was gorgeous. They also kept an eye on the girls while we were at the cemetery in sub-zero temperatures with a roaring arctic wind! Hope Grandma was enjoying a cup of black coffee then! :)
-Thanks to the familiar faces of Steve and Cindy Larson, and my dad's co-worker and former co-worker who came to the visitation and funeral, it meant a lot to my Dad to have their presence there.
-Thanks to Cecil and Marcella who sent cards to us and Mom and Dad along with a memorial gift.
-Thanks to Tasha who was there to hug and talk to me last week, and who sent flowers as a memorial.
-Thank you to Jen who was supportive and loving during my time of grieving my loss of Grandma, always willing to listen and sends kind words my way, thank you for the sympathy card.
-Thanks to Eileen, Wanda and Ann at work who had nice cards waiting for me on Monday when I returned to work, and Wanda for the nice photo frame.
-Thanks to my cousin Emily and her family for the sympathy card that was in my mailbox on Saturday when we got home. And thank you Becky for the sweet text you sent on Saturday morning before the funeral.
-Thanks to Cody's friend Bronson who took care of Remi while we were out of town.
-Thanks to my friends who sent texts and Facebook messages with their thoughts and prayers.

Rose from my Grandma's spray, the tribute speech I wrote and presented at her funeral, and the long snowy drive home we had on Saturday night.