Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkins {Superhero style}

Anthon carved pumpkins with his grandma when he stayed with his grandparents in Iowa.  To be honest, I think he probably told her what he wanted and then left her to do all of the work!  She definitely put some effort into these!

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Didn't she do a great job with these pumpkins?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ready for Halloween!

Last week Anthony gave his costume a trial run at a local Halloween event.  He’s ready for Halloween!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Break from School {Go-Karts and Superheroes}

Anthony just started back at school on Monday after being on break from school for 3 weeks.  The 45/15 schedule seems to work really well for him.  More about that here.  Anthony spent the 3rd week of his break with his grandparents in Iowa.  This was his longest trip away from home and overall, he did great!  Initially he was bummed because he wasn’t big enough to drive their go-kart.  Then grandpa got a little crafty and worked out a solution….

Pay close attention around 2:30 into the video.

Did you see the wood blocks attached to the pedals so Anthony could reach them?  Craziness!

After spending 5 nights in Iowa, Anthony came home!  It sure was quiet without him at home.  We had great plans to go out every night then we both go sick.  Ugh!  We definitely need to find a couple regular baby-sitters so we can get out more…

When he came home, Anthony brought his grandparents with him and the chaos continued at our house with a little superhero action!

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Pretending to be a superhero will never get old!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Adoption {Waiting for the “right” one}

We first decided adoption was right for us when we were on our way home from what became our last appointment at a fertility clinic in downtown Minneapolis. With that decision, the dark cloud of infertility lifted and we were ready to move on to building our family through adoption.  It felt so good to make that decision!  Early on in our waiting period, after our letter went “into the book” for the first time, a teacher I was working with at that time stopped by my classroom to provide me with some words of encouragement.  He and his wife had adopted a few years earlier and he personally knew the angst we were experiencing while waiting for a baby.  That day he told me something that I will never forget.  You will get the child you are supposed to get.  That seems like such a simple statement, but the more I thought about it, the more I hoped that he was right.  I kept thinking about that statement – “You will get the child you are supposed to get” and in some way, it brought me some comfort.  In order to get our child, we were just going to have to wait until the timing was just right.

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Summer 2011
Anthony making a wish for a sibling near Lake Superior, shortly before his 5th birthday.

Our wait for Anthony was just 6 months.  At the time, it did not feel like just six months, but considering we have been waiting for over 2.5 years now for #2, looking back, it now feels like just six months.  After we brought Anthony home, I thought again about what my teacher friend had said, “You will get the child you are supposed to get.”  Looking at the little 8-month-old we had welcomed in to our family, I knew he was right.  Over the last 5.5+ years, since we first brought Anthony home, it has been fun to watch him grow and change.  We see parts of each of us within his personality, even without a biological connection.  He has a spunky and silly personality, which is such a blend of the two of us.  He is definitely our son.

I cannot tell you how many times someone – friends, acquaintances, even total strangers - have told me how much my son looks like me.  Many say it’s more than our dark hair.  Usually they comment on our eyes.  I really don’t see it, but he definitely feels like a part of me!  He is my son.

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I love how Anthony has picked up so much of our personalities. It has been a little joke in our family that after Anthony has done or said something great, one of us might say, “He gets that from me.” 

My teacher friend was definitely right, we just had to wait, and the child that would join our family would be the right match for us. 

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Anthony, I sure hope the right sibling comes along soon for you.  We love you!

Monday, October 22, 2012


This weekend we made a trip to the local orchard to get pumpkins. Anthony had a blast checking everything out (especially the corn mazes - yes, more than one!) and of course I enjoyed following him around taking pictures!

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On the way to the orchard I was remembering the first time we took Anthony to find a pumpkin.  He was 15 months old and it was such a quiet morning. He wandered around checking out all those pumpkins.  It was perfect!

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Unfortunately, it was also a little muddy…

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It’s amazing how much fun we can have picking out pumpkins!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Baby Bibs {a handmade gift}

My mom is extremely talented – just give her some fabric and a sewing machine and she can create amazing things.  I have a house full of her handiwork to prove it!

When I need a baby gift, I often call up my mom and put her to work.  When my hairdresser recently had a baby, I knew I wanted to have something special for her.  My hairdresser has been doing my hair for a LONG time.  She is so kind, caring, and giving to others that I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to bring something for her baby.  I made a quick phone call to my mom, ordered a couple of bibs, and I was all set to have a unique, handmade baby gift.

Next time I saw my mom, she arrived with these amazing bibs!

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My hairdresser was on maternity leave and I had been just waiting to give her this gift (and have my hair done!), so when I was able to schedule an appointment for last week, I jumped at the opportunity. 

I hope her little girl loves them!

Linking to: House of Hepworths, The Shabby Creek Cottage, Uncommon Designs

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Happy 65th Birthday Dad!

Today we are celebrating my Dad’s 65th Birthday!  Sorry Dad, with a birthday this big, we couldn't keep your age a secret :)

This photo was take a couple years ago at my cousin’s wedding.  My Dad can usually be found with his camera, so it’s fitting that he has it with him here.

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Here he is in elementary school –  what a cheesy grin! 

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Happy Birthday Dad!

We love you!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How’s the Basement?

Since starting the basement at the end of January, this is a question we often get asked. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately??) our answer throughout the summer has been – not much!  At the beginning of the summer we decided that it would be okay to take a break and enjoy our summer.  Summer in Minnesota is short, and we didn’t want to look back and remember this as “the summer that was the basement”. 

Remember where we started? 

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Okay, so technically we started here:

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If I’m really honest, the photo above shows an improvement from the true “low” of the basement.  While there is junk everywhere, over the years it has been worse - I just knew better than to take pictures of it!

So, what did we accomplish on the basement this summer?  Or at least since I last wrote about the basement?  Honestly, not too much.  We did some painting – the ceilings are now all done.  The closets are all painted.  The bedroom is painted.  The windows are painted (white!).  All that is left to paint is the bathroom (not sure what color yet) and the patio door.  Until we have cabinets built anyways.  Then we start painting again…

We painted the windows a few weeks ago after we realized they would need painted when the weather was nice so that we could leave them open to dry.  Luckily, we had a September weekend with beautiful weather, and unluckily, we spent the majority of that Sunday painting windows.  Initially we had high hopes that we would be able to paint both windows and the patio door all in one day.  It didn’t take more than a few minutes of priming to figure out that this was going to take significantly longer than we anticipated it to, and we needed to change gears.  The patio door does not need to be left open during the painting process, so it had to wait.  It took two coats of paint after priming, with a light sanding in between each coat.  The windows do feel pretty good!

Now our basement looks like this: 
(Note: Look for the photo bombers in each of the Rec Room pictures!)

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Now that the painting is done in the bedroom, 2 more doors have been taken from this stack and installed this week!!  More progress!!

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You can really see the difference between the windows painted white and the patio door that is not yet painted.  The trim is obviously not in yet, but that will help to frame out the windows too.  The outside two window panes open, so there are gray framed screens in each of those two windows.  We initially thought they looked terrible when we put them back in, but until I saw these photos, I had started to think that they looked okay.  Now I’m not so sure…

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Here is a photo of the bedroom too – documenting that there really has been some progress in there too:

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See?  Ceiling and walls are painted and the outlets have been installed. 

There has at least been SOME progress in the basement this summer, just not much.

For the record, the tools spread all over are proof that work actually happens down there!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Month in Photos {September}

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September 2012

We had a fun month!  The weather really changed this month though, so we went from playing in the sprinkler to wearing sweatshirts and coats everyday.

We went camping and kayaking.
Anthony and I went to the Minnesota Zoo.
We went to the Quarry Hill Fall Festival and Anthony went rock climbing.
Big day at Cub Scouts – Anthony earned his Bobcat Badge.
We celebrated hubby’s birthday with a great weekend camping.
Anthony finished the first quarter of 1st grade.
Add in some work on the basement, and that was our month!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Crazy Smile

I love this boy!  There is always such a twinkle of mischief in his eye and a crazy grin on his face!  Love it!

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Did you notice his teeth coming in?

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Love you Anthony!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I won, I won!

After entering a handful of giveaways on other blogs, I won one!  To be honest, I was actually wondering if the contests were truly legit, rigged, or something.  I had never heard about anyone winning anything so I was definitely doubting…  Then, I read a giveaway post announcing a winner, and was like, “Hey! That’s ME!” 

Once I received the official email, I knew that it was FOR REAL!  Thank you to The Pleated Poppy and to Red Letter Words for the giveaway!  I was able to choose a piece of art from Red Letter Words and here is what they are sending me!

I can’t wait for it to arrive so I can find the perfect spot for it in our home!