Monday, January 5, 2015

Back in October...

This post is several months old, but I wanted to share it because there were lots of fun memories from this trip. In October, the girls and I went to Minnesota to visit both Grandpa Wally Bierman and Grandma Fran Moret for their 90th birthdays. It hard to get on the road again after we just had finished with a trip to Lincoln and the girls were in Minnesota, but I am so glad that we did. I always dread the thought of traveling, and it isn't always easy, but it's always worth it for us. My kids have learned to be road warriors, and while they aren't perfect, they certainly do as good as I can expect them to do. 

First stop was in Springfield to see Grandpa Wally. He had just moved into a different place basically on the same complex that he was in before. It's a place that has a little more care if he needs it. I just love the Grandpa's drinking coffee with the girls. And it felt as if Grandma could have been sitting right there next to him too. My favorite quote from him from this day when I asked him how he was feeling was, "Well, I feel like I'm about 92!" So much older than the 90 years old that he is! :) My cousin Chase also stopped by on his busy Saturday at work to have coffee and pastries with us. 

Next up, we left Springfield and hit the road again and drove to White Bear Lake for Grandma's 90th birthday party. Nearly the whole crew was in attendance.

This is a picture Grandma and her four kids. Unfortunately, since this photo was taken, we lost Uncle John, UJ. We will miss him and his crazy but cool hobbies, his love for Christmas and all of us kids and our kids, but know that he is so much happier and freer now. He now can explore heaven for all its glory and collect everything he can get his hands on up there. I know my Mom and her sisters greatly miss him and have an empty place without him. 

Afterward, we jumped back in the car and headed to Forest Lake to my aunt and cousin's house. Here we had a serious game of basketball going on on the new court, an amazing bonfire, beautiful views, and joyous times with family. I especially love all of the fun these three had together.

Annie and Addie hit it off great, and my cousin Lisa, Addie's aunt, always knows just the right things to get these little girls happier than ever. This particular day, they went on some adventures and had a great time singing, dancing, and jumping. I can't wait to see the video from Lisa and Brian because it's totally cute overload I've been told. 

This is a place that I have so many fond memories of as a child. I would come up here for weeks in the summer, sometimes I think I almost spent more time here in the summers than I did at my own home. And to top it off, it's absolutely beautiful here. There are so many funny memories we still talk about from my time here. Now my cousin and her beautiful family have moved in upstairs and my Aunt and Uncle have claimed the downstairs. A house filled with people I love!

The Brodeur's had recently installed this basketball court on the property, so there was a serious showdown on the court. We had a great time and were completely exhausted. I was very sore for several days, and kept asking myself why I was so sore, later remembering that during all of the fun we had I had moved my body in ways it hadn't been moved in a long time!

Again that night we jumped back in the car and drove to St. Paul. We stayed with my cousin Lisa and her husband Brian. They have a beautiful old home in St. Paul that I can't get enough of. They were such great hosts, we were so cozy and comfortable there. I know we'll be staying at the Zinnel B&B again soon!

The next morning we were greeted by the Brodeur's who joined for an amazing breakfast prepared by Lisa and Brian, we had some fun before taking off again that morning. We hit the road and went back to Marshall, dropped off my Mom and Dad, and the girls and I took off for home for a 4 hour trip back to Pierre. It was a whirlwind. But a perfect one. Lots of miles, laughs, and irreplaceable memories.

We'll miss you UJ.

Merry Christmas!

Though I haven't been checking here often, know that life keeps on turning on the home front. I have been busy with my masters classes, keeping up on work when I'm not traveling to New York City, Las Vegas and lots of places in between, and trying to keep things around home going. Cody has been working some very long, strange, and cold hours lately, so we're just trying to keep our wheels moving.

We had a WONDERFUL Christmas filled with many blessings, lots of family time, and fun special memories. We were in Minnesota for an extended stay due to a family funeral and a run in with a deer that kept the girls grounded in Marshall for several days. Cody went back and forth with my Dad's truck for work, but we decided to stay snuggled up and make Christmas goodies and watch movies. I am so glad we chose to stay instead of driving back and forth - Grace missed her school Christmas party and program and 4 total days of school, but it was a relaxing time that we all needed. This last weekend we were able to get out to Spearfish to see some of Cody's family - we had fun playing games and snuggling on the sofa.

I am hoping you were all able to see lots of loved ones as well. Here's the Christmas photos of the littles: