Adventure 4 - Housewarming Holiday

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The Adventure:

Celebrating our new home on the Fourth of July

The Contender:

An enthusiastic hostess, who loves a good theme

The Experience:

I grew up always loving the 4th of July, because I knew my birthday is always around the corner once the fireworks go off. As a kid - I remember family gatherings, swimming in the lake, eating fresh cut watermelon, and of course the fireworks. However as you get older the nostalgia wears off and you just go though the motions. Now that we have our beautiful new home and the new addition of Baby Bear to our family - we had major cause for celebration, which reinvigorated my love for the 4th. And of course, I want to share that love for all things 4th of July with my daughters.

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Having everyone under the same roof can seem daunting: the cleaning, prepping, cooking, perfecting. (As a child, you of course have no recollection of this part.) However with a Minnesotan can-do Summer attitude, everything seemed to fall into place - naturally and with ease. I was able to find the appropriate themed paper plates, napkins and cutlery all on super sale (thank you, Hobby Lobby). I only had to run to Target two times within two days of prepping (major win in my opinion). We reminded ourselves to cut some slack and remember it’s only our immediate family - no need to get crazy!

Our new home smell greeted our family members to an afternoon of burgers, brats, fresh fruit and veggies, and my absolute favorite 4th of July treat: angel food cake, fresh berries and whip cream! Good nostalgia always comes with good food - I can always time stamp myself when I eat specific things. We all gorged on all of the yummy-ness, and most for sure went back for more.

Once the sun set, we eagerly waited for fireworks to go off. Due to Baby Bear going to bed we opted out for walking down to the fireworks (which of course I was alright with, I selfishly didn't want to get a million bug bites). Our new home location really has a huge advantage: prime location for fireworks! Everyone ran out onto the deck to have a full panoramic view of the fireworks from all over the southeast metro, such a sight! All of the stressing over prep and cleaning all melted away once I watched the kiddos and the adults enjoying the fireworks.

Everyone enjoyed each other’s company - cousins giggling and enjoying themselves, Baby Bear being coddled and doted on by the relatives, and the adults conversing and laughing. Another Summer memory for the girls, who will for sure remember this and hopefully be able to time stamp this moment when they eat a particular food, hear a particular song or see something red, white and blue.

Slow down Summer…

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Adventure 3 - Go to the Minnesota Zoo

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The Adventure:

A day at The Minnesota Zoo

The Contender:

An annual zoo pass holder, who needed fresh air and family time.

The Experience:

Twenty five days into our summer vacation, and a lot has been accomplished. My oldest Bear had one week of day camp, playdates/sleepovers, and numerous times playing at our neighboring playground. My newly nine month old Baby Bear is growing at a rapid rate, mimicking everything we do or say, crawling, and of course getting into everything. As for me, I have some how managed to teach shy of 30 ballet and Barre Burn classes, go on walks, enjoy pool nights, catching up on The Game of Thrones/Bravo reality shows, and spend quality time with my family. Twenty five days have come and gone; sixty four more to go!

Last you read about my adventure on decorating our new home. We no longer have moving boxes cluttering our hallways, and most everything has a place. Our home will continue to be a work-in-progress - however with the bulk of it finished, we now have more time to get out of the house.

An afternoon at the Minnesota Zoo with my family, where I realized there were many families like ours, trying to check off their summer to-do bucket list. We have been annual pass holders for eight years; where we’ve walked the many exhibits/trails, and our oldest has done numerous camps and classes (which I highly recommend) for many years. Walking through the numerous trails is familiar to all of us, and it was fun to watch Baby Bear’s reaction to all of the different animals.

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The weather was perfect, walking outside was exactly what all four of us needed! It was perfect to catch up with husband, where we discussed how happy we are with our new home and neighborhood. With the combination of walking and fresh air, we all shared and discussed what we are looking forward to doing for the rest of our summer.

Sixty four days to tackle and enjoy the following:

  • Spa day with my oldest

  • More pool days

  • Day camps

  • Playdates and sleepovers

  • Enjoy the fireworks

  • Go on vacation

  • Mall days

  • Family walks

  • Movie dates

  • Try new workouts

  • Read a book

  • Picnic

  • Go to the beloved Great Minnesota Get-Together

  • While guest teaching ballet, instill dedication and inspire their inner artist

Midwest summers are fast and furious, we must take advantage of the weather and extended daylight. Thank you to the Minnesota Zoo for keeping me present, to reflect, and to enjoy the small things for the remaining sixty four days.

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Adventure 2 - Be a Weekend Warrior

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The Adventure

Tackling our New Home’s To-Do List

The Contender

Two overachievers, who want their house to feel homey.

The Experience

As I sit here on this lovely Monday, sipping coffee (one bear is asleep & the other is downstairs playing), I am reflecting on how accomplished I feel from our productive weekend. Last you all read how I found my calm from a donut. Well, it doesn’t take long for this energizer bunny to get back at it.

We have been in our beautiful new home for four weekends, where we’ve unpacked everything and organize each room to its needs. We have had dinners as a family of four, met some neighbors, and accomplished a family game night. Husband and I are doers, we don’t do well in any sort of chaos (small or large). We went into our Saturday with a mission: decorate and personalize our home.

May I just say, one does not realize how much stuff you have until you lay it all out, scattered in many rooms. Case in point - family frames, artwork and chachkies. (I am proud to say that I did purge or store the things that just didn’t work in our new space.)

From 11:00am until 6:00pm, we hung up multiple frames and artwork , extra and necessary towel rods, built shelves (for the necessary chachkies). A lot of the time was spent asking Alexa simple math, helping us secure the correct measurements for the many wall mountings. Luckily both Bear and Baby Bear were keeping themselves occupied while we tackled such a big project. And we only had to take one major break to escape the decorating madness, we all took a much needed family walk.

We rewarded ourselves with a great family dinner, and of course ice cream. The girls were off to bed, we watched Game of Thrones and were promptly in bed by 10:00pm. Mission accomplished: Two true very accomplished, tired weekend warriors.

What are your goals, are they being accomplished? If not, don’t stress - there’s always next weekend!

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Adventure 1 - Go to Duck Donuts

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The Adventure

Go pick out some tasty treats with my oldest daughter, at our favorite neighborhood donut shop. We have been a handful of times, but today felt special being on summer vacation.

The Contender

Two donut enthusiasts; who enjoy the smells, respects the process, & could eat 1/2 a dozen each if you let us.

The Experience

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When your husband asks to stop by Duck Donuts for some afternoon treats, you don’t hesitate to second guess him.

As of last week, our summer has been in full swing. Amongst the chaos of moving and maneuvering our family of four, I have found it hard to get back into the swing of things. I have had my oldest daughter’s summer schedule all set since April (day camps & activities). My work schedule has been pretty solidified, I’m sure there will be some last minute changes & additions (cause there are always). However my O.C.D. hasn’t helped me get my bearings in our new home. I have always been a creature of habit, my friends will remind me how I would get irate seeing my Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers in the incorrect order or not facing the correct way. Even as a performer it always took me it least a week to figure out where my possessions should be & where I was facing onstage verses the studio.

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So the same thing is to be expected when a giant move is happening. My friends and family joked and knew I would have everything unpacked within a week, which I did. And yes that feels great, but everything else gets shifted; the routes getting to and from, the floor plan has changed, closet formation is different, noises around the neighborhood are unfamiliar. My husband and the girls are adjusting well - normal routine & business as usual seems to be the name of the game for all of them. I know I will snap out of it, there are a lot of lists in my brain, my day planner, scattered post-its & even in my phone reminding me of the MANY things I need to get done for our home, appointments, documents & oh yea actual work.

Today was no different, after our very packed morning of activities for my oldest daughter, teaching, appointments, & multiple feedings for my Baby Bear - going to Duck Donuts was a much needed reward!

Normally you can expect a line (short or long), however I think the universe was trying to give me a break, NO ONE was in there. I was greeted by one of the two workers. I knew exactly what to order, 3 Fudge Pop, 2 Cookies & Cream, and 1 Vanilla icing with Oreo crumbles. Watching them choose the freshly baked cake donuts, place them into your box & finalizing them with your toppings is one the most satisfying feelings you’ll witness. A finely orchestrated pastry symphony.

Our short drive home, my husband, Bear & I enjoyed and devoured all 6 donuts in a matter of minutes. And in those short, very gratifying moments - I reminded myself to ENJOY the small things and take one thing at a time concerning my MANY lists. Thank you, Duck Donuts for your warm & delicious reminder to calm down.

Continue to follow my journey throughout this summer!

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