Monday, November 21, 2016

Light at the MN Arboretum

Friday evening, while my mom was visiting, we got tickets to go to the Light show at the Minnesota Arboretum by Bruce Munro. We weren't exactly sure what to expect and had planned on going Friday due to Kyle's work week of late evenings. We didn't know that it was going to be the crappiest night of the week weather wise. It had been in the sixties but this night it was low 30's, luckily barely above freezing.

We got all the snow gear out, and of course the kids were super excited thinking they were going to be playing in snow. But they were happy to wear their hats, gloves, and boots. We grabbed dinner at Punch Pizza in Eden Prairie before making our way to the Arb. We arrived early because previous nights had been sold out, but due to the weather we were one of a few cars in the parking lot at roughly 5:30.

There were seven different light displays, two inside and five outside.

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We went back inside to go to the other end of the building toward the final two. The wind was really bad on our walk to the next one, and it was up on a hill which  made matters worse. Luckily the walk back the wind was at our backs.

Rhadamanthine Club
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Minnesota Gathering
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Grandma Judy's Visit

Last week my mom flew up for a visit. After a cancelled flight and rescheduled plane, she finally made it seven hours after planned. The kids were already in bed so they didn't get to welcome her, but we went straight to bed to get rested for the next day.
Wednesday we hung around the house before Isaac had to get on his bus for preschool.

Here is Isaac reading her his poem book from school? 

Miss Mary on our walk, Grandma brought them some headbands, Mary was a fan. 

Once Isaac got on the bus we loaded the girls in the van and ran a few errands. We then arrived at Isaac's school early and took a walk around the neighborhood and Lake of the Isles.
I lost my fitbit on my walk :( when I push the stroller it doesn't register my steps so I had taken it off and put it in my pocket like I have done many times before. I realized as we drove home it was missing. We had just driven by the Frank Loyd Wright house and we went back to retrace our steps. They stayed in the van and I ran the mile path along the lake looking for it. No luck. I was super bummed.

We came home and got Thanksgiving dinner going, a little later due to the hour detour of FitBit searching. But we had ham, potatoes, and green beans to celebrate our Thanksgiving.

Thursday morning we went out for breakfast at Good Day Cafe.

Then we went back to check the other side of the neighborhood we had walked the day prior still looking for my Fitbit. I got out to walk it while my mom drove the van up to the end of the street to meet me. Almost to the end I looked down and saw it sitting on a bench!!!! Someone must have found it and placed it up on the bench I was so ecstatic!!

The kids did some art projects with grandma before lunch. Then Isaac got on his bus again for school. 

I left to go to a massage I scheduled while Grandma got the girls down for a nap. 

On my way to get Isaac I stopped into Sunny Side Gardens greenhouse and got some foliage for my window boxes. I picked up Isaac from school then went back to the house where grandma and the girls were waiting. We went outside to get the boxes decorated as the weather was starting to turn fast. It had been crazy warm weather the whole week, but the next day was calling for snow and Thursday evening the temps were dropping quickly. 

Friday morning we were suppose to go to the girls' tumble tots, but it was cancelled due to the teacher being sick. So we stuck around home and played a bit. Isaac worked on some more crafts that grandma brought. 

We had tickets to see the light show at the Arboretum Friday evening, of course it started snowing about 3:00pm and this evening was the worst forecasted weather of her visit. But that just made the adventure all the more exciting. 

We had a lovely time at the light show, ate out at Punch Pizza before hand. 

Then Saturday morning we got up and headed out early for breakfast before taking mom to the airport. I had gotten a photo of her and Mary, so I attempted to get ones with her and the other two, but there wasn't much cooperation. 

So we attempted a group photo... and Mary refused to join. 

But we finally got one with all of us

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Chicago Adventure - Day 4 & 5 - Conference and Trip Home

When I saw the view from the hotel pool room I knew it would be a prime spot to watch the sunrise. So Saturday morning I got up early and headed to the gym and pool to snap a few photos. It was beautiful.
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Saturday was also the start of my Child Life conference. The conference was held at the Lurie's Children's Hospital of Chicago. It was about a half mile walk from our hotel, which only took me about ten minutes. Here was the view from my check in.


It started with a great speaker and was pretty good the rest of the day. There was a lot of sitting and my body is just not used to it so by the end my legs and hips were cramping up pretty bad.

While I was there, Kyle loaded the kids up and explored the Field Museum, which was free with our Minnesota Science Museum membership. He didn't want to tackle the bus ride alone so they ended up walking the mile and a half to the museum. Isaac was quiet the trooper I hear.




We were pretty excited for Isaac to see the mummy because we had just finished the Magic Treehouse Book: Mummies in the Morning.


Kyle said the kids were so good for him and loved the museum. He said he even got a few compliments from other museum people saying "your kids are so well behaved, we all really appreciate that here" lol. He also said Isaac was having a blast and would run out of every exhibit exclaiming "I LOVE THIS PLACE!" Kyle said it was pretty awesome to witness.


Meanwhile I had a unnecessarily long lunch break, but it did give me a chance to walk back to my hotel and change shoes. And to stretch my legs a bit. Here was a couple nice views on my walk.



Kyle and the kids spent about 5 hours at the museum then went for another long walk up north to the area where I was. They walked up along Lake Michigan another 2 miles. They passed by thousands of rugby fans going to soldier field. Kyle was pushing the girls in the stroller and at times had Isaac on his shoulders, he got some entertaining looks from passersby.

There was Cub pride everywhere.

Emma got a stroller nap in and they ended at the playground outside the hospital waiting for me to finish up.

I finished about 4:00 and we were all ready for dinner. We had heard about this asian place called Wow Boa so we wanted to check it out since it was close. When we arrived we saw it was more of a food court type place to eat with no seating and we really wanted to sit down (well Kyle and Isaac did) The boa looked so good so we got some to go as an appetizer.




We ended up having dinner at a burrito place, then heading back to the hotel. The kids really wanted to swim again so we squeezed that in before bed.

The next morning we got all packed up and took our luggage into holding. I headed back to my conference.

Everywhere was flying the W with pride, it was pretty fun to experience Chicago at this time.

My first session was medical play, that was fun!

And the family headed to Navy Pier to the Children's Museum which was free for the first Sunday of the Month. When they arrived it hadn't opened yet so they spent some time exploring the Pier. The girls were holding hands, too cute.




It was good for the kids to have a morning play session since the ladder part of the day was going to be spent on a train.






Isaac taking a rest from all his walking the past few days

I had to leave the conference early to catch our train at 2:35 or what we thought was 2:35. I left after lunch and met back up with the fam at Whole Foods where we bought dinner for the train and a hot lunch to eat there. We went back and got our luggage and waited for our bus.

This wasn't our bus but shows how fun the town was the whole time we were there.

Waiting and waiting. The bus was running late and just as we had pulled up the Uber app to try and find a car it pulled around the corner. We hopped on quickly and got settled as we headed toward Union Station. It was about 1:43 at this time.

We were talking about where the train would board and where we needed to go so I looked up the tickets on my phone to discover the train actually departs at 2:15!!! Holy shit did stress hit the fan, but there was absolutely nothing we could do about it except sit there on the bus and sweat. And pray, and pray I did. We prepped the kids explaining as soon as we got to our stop we were be in a very big hurry, needing to run, and it was very important they listen and do as we say. We loaded the girls into the stroller before our stop so we could rush off. We ran to the station and of course the handicap entrance was across the street but we were there at the amtrak area so we just huffed the stroller with girls in tow down the three flights of stairs into Union Station. We ran to the ticket counter where I quickly said "we are running late going to Minneapolis" the guys says "you have three minutes, go down that way take a left, then another left and keep going. You have three minutes to get on that train you better go". So we RAN! And God answered our prayers as we made it to our bus and hurried to some seats. The train attendant was very helpful, got us seats together and loaded our luggage for us. Phew it was quiet the miracle we made it!

Good bye Chicago
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Once our hearts stopped racing and our stomachs returned back into place, we were able to relax and enjoy the train ride.



We did spend most of this trip in our seats, we made it to the observation deck once but didn't stay there long. We did get to see a beautiful sunset.


And had lots of iPad time


The return trip was much bumpier than the trip there. We watched part of a movie together, five of us in two seats. We stopped about halfway through the movie to stretch and take a bathroom break. Isaac finished up the movie while Kyle and I got the girls to finally fall asleep.


We arrived back home about 10:00pm. Emma was a little grumpy from being woken up but was happy to be home.

St. Paul's Union Station


Thanks to daylight savings time we all got pretty good rest the night before. But everyone was glad to be back in their own beds.
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