Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Big 4-0

8.24.12 - Arik turns 40!

It's official ... he is old :)

Nothing like ringing in this milestone birthday while on vacation.  Arik officially turned 40 while we were up in Duluth.  It was the day we were heading home, so we stopped to do all kinds of fun things along the way.  We stopped downtown for lunch, and then headed to Spirit Mountain to do the zip line and alpine slide.  It was so fun.  The kids LOVED it!

If anyone was worried about the official chocolate cake - no fears - I brought up the ingredients to bake one while we were up there.  We never lack for celebratory treats!

The official chocolate cake

Celebratory lunch in Duluth

Arik and Amy on the alpine slide at Spirit Mountain

Larsmont - August 2012

Larsmont = Hanson trip #2 to the north shore!

This resort is one of our favorite places to stay.  It is an easy drive to get there, it is right on the shore of Lake Superior, and it is just plain beautiful.

This year we went up with Arik's parents.  They fell in love with it too.  While we spent a lot of time swimming and hanging out in our unit, we were also able to get away and see Gooseberry, Palisade Head and Tettegouche State Park.

Gooseberry Falls (without water!)
Palisade Head

Tettegouche State Park


This summer we took our first family trip to Valleyfair!  It was so much fun.  We went on lots of rides, watched an IMAX movie, and went to the waterpark.  Just before we left, Matthew and Arik got SOAKED on the flume.

Preschool Graduation

Here it is, the official preschool graduation day!   Amy was so excited to be surrounded by her favorite friends - Emma and Eli.  They have been together since they were in the infant room.  Saying goodbye to the daycare was definitely bittersweet.  She is so ready for school, but this place has been such a blessing for our family.

Enjoy the pics from the big day!

Eli, Amy, Emma

Front - Samantha, TJ, TaQue, Eli and Connor
Back - Kendall, Anna, Diya, Claire, Kaylee, Amy, Emma and Ben
Teachers - Ruth and Anne


A few cute shots of the cousins from the family birthday celebration!

August 2nd - Amy Turns 5!

Can you believe it?  Our baby is 5!!  Ahhhh!!  Someone find me the pause button in life ... it is going too fast!  She has grown up so much this year.  There is nothing "babyish" about this baby anymore.

We started her special day with breakfast at the Original Pancake House.  For the record, I am taking full credit for starting that tradition!  It is such a fantastic place.  She spent the day with her friends at preschool, and then headed home to dive into the specific cake she requested, "Purple frosting with Oreos on top!"

Challenge accepted.

Next came the big gift for the year - her very own American Girl doll!  We debated for a long time about buying an expensive gift like this for a 5-year old.  At the end of the day, we opted to do it.  She was so excited about being able to brush and style her hair.  And to be honest, it was kind of fun to pick out one that looked just like her!

Since she didn't get to have the infamous "Day of Me," Arik and I took her to lunch the next day at the American Girl store.

Let's just say that experience deserves a blog post to itself!  Wow.

Happy Birthday Amers!

Zip Line!

We had a super fun time at the Edina Pool with Colin and his Mom, Cathe.  The boys were so funny together, and Colin got Matthew to finally try the zip line!  It was awesome!

Matthew and Colin


Mommy is ... 37!

That's right.  I have a few years until the BIG birthday rolls around ... but yet again ... I find myself another year older!

It was a really fun day.  It started with the kids and I having breakfast at the Original Pancake House, and ended with dinner at Al Vento on the other side of the Lake.  Yum!

Breakfast at the Original Pancake House in Edina

Dinner at Al Vento in South Minneapolis

Crystal Cave

Everyone has to go there once, right?  We stopped on our way back from the annual Sherry picnic in Black River Falls, WI.  Who knew that when it is almost 100 degrees outside ... that the inside of a cave would be a steady 47!!  Yikes!  We were freezing.

It is uncommon to see bats in the cave during the summer months - but we saw two of them!

The kids loved it.  Chalk it up to good clean (well, kind of) family fun!

The Picnic

Nothing like a backyard picnic with your "friends"!!

4th of July 2012 - Duluth

This marks the first of three trips we will be taking to the north shore this year.  This one was an impromptu getaway for the 4th.  The forecast in the cities was dreadfully hot, so we hopped in the car and made a reservation at Beacon Point on the way!  It was so fun.

We borrowed some bikes from the resort and rode down to Canal Park.  We watched boats, threw rocks in the lakes, and even made our way up to Gooseberry and Split Rock.

Sometimes the best trips are the ones we don't plan!

Amy on rocks in front of Beacon Point


Lift Bridge

Gooseberry Falls

Gooseberry Falls

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Edina Pool

We've joined the Edina Pool again this summer!  We determined if you go 5 times or more - the membership pays for itself.  For those hot summer days - nothing beats a cool dip in the pool ...

Mr. T-ball - June 2012

What a difference a year makes!  Matthew improved so much at T-ball this year.  He is an incredible hitter, and his fielding skills are improving dramatically.  There was far less singing at first base this year :)  Such a funny kid.  Way to go Matthew!

Playground Fun!

Just a few cute pics from a stop at the local park!

Seattle - June 2012

Arik had the opportunity to speak at an event in Seattle, so I decided to join him for a few days.  It was a GREAT trip!  We packed so much into three days, it was unbelievable.  We spent one day exploring on foot.  I am pretty sure we logged about 10 miles.  It was super fun, but we were exhausted by the time dinner rolled around.  The next day ... we rented a car.

We will definitely be back.

Here are some of the things that we did:
  • Visited the public market (daily)
  • Got coffee at the ORIGINAL Starbucks
  • Ate the most amazing crumpets
  • Took an underground tour of the city
  • Took the ferry to Bainbridge Island (twice)
  • Fell in love with a little town called Winslow
  • Rented a car that looked like a giant green Skittle and drove to up to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park
  • Took that same funny car and drove down to Lake Crescent
  • Hiked to Maymere Falls
  • Saw the majestic Mt. Ranier on our ferry ride back to Seattle
  • Took nightly soaks in the hot tub
  • Slept uninterrupted (bliss!)
If the scenery wasn't so awesome, I might have considered the last two items my favorite part :)

Ahh .. the simple needs of tired working parents.

I thought Seattle was much like Minneapolis meets San Francisco.  It was so beautiful.  We left a ton of things to do for our next trip, and seriously can't wait to go back!