Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sturgis Falls Fun

A few snaps from a little trip to the carnival at Sturgis this past weekend.  We went late afternoon Saturday and there was hardly anyone there!  The carnies let me ride for free and the kids had most of the rides to themselves!  Cruz's favorites included the roller coaster and corn dog, Mila's favorites were the swings and bounce house, mine was the lemonade shake up, and Beau's was when we went home. :) 

He took some funny pictures, though... 

I know Mom, this does not look safe.  I promise it didn't go high and the little daredevil loved every minute of it (and she only missed the height requirement by four inches)...

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Strawberry Picking 2016

We headed out to Heartland Farms last Monday night for our annual strawberry picking adventure.  It's one of my favorite summer traditions and it snuck up on me a bit this year.  After a hot and humid start to June, we took our chances and waited for the mid-seventies to return, but almost missed the berries.  The perks to being late to the game provided ample picking space and a field to ourselves as we closed the place down and picked over eight pounds of plump and juicy goodness.

I remember every year we've spent picking berries down to the smallest details.  I remember the year Cruz sat on the outskirts of the field in his little white onesie, shoving berry after berry in his mouth, juice running down his arms, his legs, and his onesie that I later threw away and let him ride home in nothing but a diaper.  I remember his bleach blond hair and the confused, but content look on his face as he watched us from the grass, not yet crawling and not too familiar with this table food thing.  I remember the year we picnicked at Kingsley afterwards, snuck beers in and ate big sandwiches with roasted tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.  I remember laying on the quilt with Beau, watching Cruz and Mila explore the new playground, and feeling so happy.  I remember jumping high on the bouncing pillow with Cruz, and giggling with him uncontrollably as we watched Mila eat a berry, stem and all last year, the day after returning home from Florida.  Certain traditions like this one create such time stamps to look back on.  One part of me longs for those years when Cruz and Mila were still chubby babes knitted to my hip and one part of me loves to watch them grow in independence and build these traditions as their favorite memories, too.  I just hope Cruz remembers the berries more than the bounce house... :)

Cruz was quite helpful this year, other than a few times he "accidentally" plucked a strawberry without the stem and thought he just as well better eat it.  After tasting the first mishap, Beau and I noticed it became a more frequent occurrence.  Mila, on the otherhand, didn't bother with made-up excuses.  When we weren't scolding her for walking on the berries, we were directing her to put the berries in our basket instead of her mouth.  We failed, obviously, but paid our debts when we settled up with the owners, knowing her red stained cheeks would give her away in an instance.


It's been a week and sadly, our plenty is gone.  Cruz helped me bake a strawberry pie one afternoon, ever so carefully piling berry after berry into my crust, popping a few in his mouth as we worked.  I brought a strawberry kale salad to If:Table last week, and used the leftovers for strawberry shakes before bed two nights in a row.  They're short-lived, but sure make for a sweet addition every June.

And a messy one at that!


Monday, June 27, 2016


"a portrait of each of my children, once each week, in 2016"

Cruz: We rode some carnival rides at Sturgis Falls this weekend and Cruz loved them all.  When I told him where we were going, he said he remembered going there last year and proceeded to spout off details even I didn't remember, like the colors of the cotton candy and the front seat of the train ride, aka, the only seat that controlled the bell, the seat he would definitely be vying for this time around.  I love these moments when he recalls memories - a reminder to me what we do sticks and pretty neat to see the things that stick out to him.  I always think of the movie Inside Out and wonder what my kids' core memories will be.

Mila: I sure hope images like this one become core memories for me of Mila at this age.  We finally had the chance to bring Beau to the pool with us last night and I reveled in the chance to share some responsibility.  I brought my camera and while the boys were going down the water slides over and over, I and most of the patrons on the lazy river were entertained by Mila dancing to Uptown Funk under the sprinklers.  She's silly, and wonderful, and completely herself, and I've hit that stage where it makes me hurt to think of her not staying this small forever.    

Father's Day Fun

We hosted a little barbecue at our house for our family last weekend, complete with all the good ol' American fixings that represent summertime at its finest.  We smoked pork and ate potato salad, the kids stayed in their swimming gear most of the day, rotating from the swing set turned water slide, slip and slide, and the sprinklers, we beat the heat with margaritas, Bud Lights, and a sibling game of A#%hole, and celebrated four dads of three generations.  I can't think of four men more fitting in this dad role than Great Grandpa Merle, Papa Curt, Uncle Jordan, and our Beau.  Each very different in how they father, but equally as good.

A little photo booth fun while Daddy was golfing Sunday morning...

The kids (and the adults) got pretty good at sliding by the end of the day, especially when adding in the pool floatie as extra slip. 

The water kept the kids cool and busy for hours!  Their cousin bond is thick and I'm so glad they have each other.   

And while the kids stayed cool and played amongst themselves, the adults had our own fun.  Pitchers of margaritas and card games that haven't been played since college.  We had to look up the rules on our smart phones. :)

These pictures make me laugh.  We finally made Dad take off his sunglasses because he looked like Ray Charles. 

Time for Harper to join the party!  She slept most of the afternoon away, but came out to explore our front yard with the big kids.  I love how she's yanking on her big sister's shoestring. 

After everyone went their separate ways for bed and episode nine of Game of Thrones, we gifted our favorite Daddy of all with homemade cards and an updated frame of pictures for his office.  I'd say it was about time to get Mila in there, too, even though it was hard to replace his last set of pictures.  Boy it goes fast... 

One thing is for sure, pictures are getting easier as the kids age,  especially when I can bribe them with popsicles!

Happy Father's Day!  


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