Monday, January 17, 2011

1.17.11 - Date Day!

Well, I guess the official title of the blog post should be Martin Luther King Jr. Day ... but I like to just call it "Date Day" with my son. You know, I have been amazed at the number of days that Matthew gets off of school, but there is an upside to it all - I get to spend a ton of time with him 1:1.

Today was no exception. I dropped Amy off at daycare, and Matthew and Arik got donuts and coffee while I snuck in a quick workout. After that, Matthew and I headed out to the Mall of America. We went to Underwater World, ate lunch at Noodles, got some shopping done, and even went on a few rides. Overall, it has been a very fun day.

Matthew thought it would be a good idea for us to go on the log ride. I couldn't believe it! I took him up on it before he changed his mind. He was pretty nervous while we were standing in line ... but again ... it was his idea. If the ride would have ended after the first hill, he would have loved it! He was squealing with delight. However, there was a second hill. This one was a bit steeper than the first, and we got a little wet at the end. Add to that the fact that he bumped his face (not hard) on the padded thing in front of him ... and you guessed it ... there were some tears. He claims it was the worst ride ever, and he is never going on it again. We'll see about that.

After the madness of the log ride, we made a quick escape and headed home. He has been happily playing with his legos, and I have gotten a ton of stuff done in the kitchen. Cookies are baked, pasta salad is made, and things are prepped for dinner. I could get used to this whole "not working" thing.

Enjoy the photos!

1.14.11 Matthew Plays Basketball!

Ok, so we officially signed Matthew up for a sport Arik can relate to - Basketball! There are 12 kids on his team, and 4 of them are in his kindergarten class. He is having a blast. He really doesn't seem to understand the game, but what can you expect from a 6-year old? The important thing is that he is having fun. They spend a 1/2 hour doing some drills, and then a 1/2 hour playing 3-on-3. It is pretty funny.

In the pictures you will see Matthew with James and Braden - two of his little buddies from kindergarten. James has a twin brother, Patrick, but he had stepped away for a few minutes when the pictures were taken. We'll catch him next time. These boys have so much fun together, and it has been really fun for Arik and I to get to know their parents.

I hope these boys maintain their friendship for many many years. One day they will look back at these pictures and laugh at how little they are. Such precious memories.


Check out the gift my hubby delivered to my office the other day! Aren't they gorgeous? I recently got a second desk in a different building, and I was complaining that it was a little bare. This was his way of filling it with love. Thank you Arik!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2011!!

For me, there is nothing more refreshing than the start of a new year. It is like the slate of life is wiped clean, and you get to start again. New goals, new ideas ... new everything!

In the spirit of starting the year off right, I thought I would share a funny conversation the kids were having in the car on New Years Day. It pretty much sums up our existence with the two of them:

Matthew: "Mommy ... when I get bigger, I am going to be a construction guy. Amy, what are you going to be?"
Amy: "A bunny."
Matthew: "You can't be a bunny! You can't change into an animal. Mommy ... Amy said she is going to be a bunny when she grows up. She can't do that!"
Amy: "YES I CAN! I can put on a bunny costume!"

Good point. I love them. Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Years Eve 2010

This year, we decided to spend most of our New Years Eve in Uptown with Aaron. Our first stop was Bryant Lake Bowl. We were afraid it was going to be really crowded, but we were pleasantly surprised to find the place rather empty. We had a little time to fill before our dinner reservations at Rinata, so we parked ourselves at the bar for a couple of rounds (just one for the driver, of course) and some lively conversation. We just love that place.

As we approached the 8:00 hour, we headed down to Hennepin Avenue to find our dinner destination. Rinata isn't big, but the food they serve is fantastic. Nothing like some high quality Italian fare to close out 2010! We ate ourselves silly, and then headed back toward our house to celebrate the ringing in of the new year at the Town Hall Tap.

We met up with our friends Leah and Sunny at our final destination, and had a fun champagne toast at midnight.

Hello 2011! We look forward to all of the excitement and challenges you will bring us in the next 365 days!

Happy New Year everyone!

Christmas 2010 - Round 3

Our third round of holiday fun was at my Mom's house. We spent all of Christmas Day hanging out with her and Rocco and Meg. Another fun day of eating, drinking, playing games and just catching up. We busted out the dominos, and got in several rounds of Toy Story 3 Uno. Even little Amy held her own with the games this year! It is amazing how quickly they grow up!

After an awesome dinner of filet mignon, baked potatoes and salad .... it was yet another round of GIFTS!

Again, regardless of whether or not it was requested or appreciated, the kids helped everyone with the unwrapping. The highlight of the night was Matthew's new orange cones and roll of caution tape that my Mom gave him. I think our house is going to be covered in yellow and black for a long time to come! He was in heaven!

We got our membership to the Zoo renewed, and so many wonderful gifts.

Nothing like two full days of family fun at Christmas. Again, we are so lucky to be able to do this every year. I don't know what we would do if we lived far away from our parents and siblings. It just wouldn't be the same. We have much to be thankful for this year ... and every year.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas 2010 - Round 2 - The Snow Fort!

Our second Christmas celebration of the year was in Woodbury at Grandma and Grandpa Hanson's house. Grandpa had been working hard before we got there on this unbelievable snow fort! For those of you that follow us on Facebook, Arik did post a few pictures already. It was awesome. It took up about 1/3 of the backyard, and had multiple twists and turns. There were even a few carved out places for some action figures.

I think Matthew could have spent all day out there! It was super cool!

We spent most of the day hanging out, playing with the kids, and just chatting. It is always nice to just have a day to relax and catch up with family. Aaron was there with us all day too. Such a fun time.

After a wonderful dinner with meatballs, mashed potatoes, and lefse - it was time for MORE PRESENTS!

The kids pretty much "helped" everyone unwrap their gifts this year. It was pretty crazy. Aaron made sure that they both had new Badger attire for the upcoming year. We can always count on him for that. Check out Amy's smile - I think we may have a future Wisconsin alum on our hands. She can't get enough of that Bucky!

Diane sent Aaron on a scavenger hunt for one of his gifts. I think Matthew enjoyed it more than he did. I have a feeling the little ones will be sent on an adventure around the house next year!

Such a fun day. We are so thankful that we live close to our families and that we can spend this time together every year. The plan was to spend the next day at my Mom's house, so we just spent the night with the Hansons so we would be close. It was fun to do that. It was nice to wake up together and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. After everyone was dressed and ready, it was off to Grandma Jane's house for round #3!!

Christmas 2010 - Round 1

Christmas started a day early at our house this year. We asked Santa if he could have our presents here on Christmas Eve, instead of Christmas Day. Being the swell guy that he is - he obliged!

The kids woke up at their usual time (around 6 am). We went out to see that Santa and Rudolph had eaten the cookies we left for them, and that Santa had left Amy a note on the table. He thanked her for the cookies, and especially thanked her for the tiny M&M cookie that she left specifically for Rudolph. He was very hungry when he got to our house!

Santa brought some pretty cool stuff this year. A new double-sided light saber for Matthew, a new doll with lots of clothes and a bottle for Amy, and piggy banks for them both! He even brought Arik and I some gifts. Arik got a cozy blanket, and I got a purse I had been scoping out at Macys. The guy is amazing! He always knows what will make us so happy!

After a nice breakfast, Matthew and I went out to shovel the new 5 inches of snow Mother Nature had sent our way. She is certainly working overtime this year! A few of our neighbors were outside too, so it made for a fun start to the day. It wasn't very cold out, so we spent a lot of time helping each other, and making sure everyone could get out of their driveway and down the alley.

After some much needed showers and getting the car loaded - we were off to see the Grandma and Grandpa Hanson for round #2!!

Merry Christmas everyone!