Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tom's Tricks

At first glance, it may seem like my sweet nephew with the striped hat isn't on our sleigh ride....

Sleigh Ride

but after looking again, {and Tom's photoshop skillz} you can see that he is indeed on our sleigh ride!!

ENTIRE FAMILY Sleigh Ride

Can you find him?!

Child Dish Set

Tom got me a gift card to Anthropolgie and I was able to browse the store earlier this week while Hans was napping. I love gift cards because I like to take several trips to the store and know I have money to spend there, but still take my time looking through things. I like to really stretch those suckers out rather than spending it all in one shot.

While I was there this week, I found this adorable set of children's dishes.

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They are china but they are safe for the microwave and dishwasher. I love how the animals stick out from the dishes. I would have loved these as a kid! I know they are easily breakable but I'm looking forward to making a "special" lunch for Hans one day using these dishes. I'll probably wait until he is around preschool age. Right now, we're working on using a plastic children's plate without slamming it on the floor. =-)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Over the river...

...and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go!!!
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We truly had a "vintage christmas" this year as we all headed back to my Grandma's house. All of my siblings and nieces and nephews were able to go as well making this a very special time!!
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Because the size of our family has more than doubled since we were little kids, we are no longer able to sleep snuggly at Grandma's house and were fortunate enough to be able to stay at a cozy little hotel in town. It felt like we should be waking up to a mountain range out back and with the off and on snow fall throughout the weekend, it really felt like a Christmas in the old movies {for lack of a better description}.
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There were too many places I wanted to stop along the way from our hotel to my grandma's house. I could take pictures of every old building in this town! To say I'm sentimental would be an understatement.
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Although, this building holds no significance to my family. I just liked the green garage door.
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"Little Bohemia" is a little bowling alley that we used to go to where there are only 4 lanes and you have to walk down into the tiny basement to pick your ball. Good times.
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A few of us woke up extra early on Christmas morning {4:45am} to go to Julotta which is a morning Christmas service at church. It was a great way to start the day. Putting my focus on Jesus' birth as our Savior as the reason for Christmas. It was a really great service and really fun to go because my Grandma remembers going every Christmas with her family. They would wake up really early and go to church on their sleigh. She tells the story of listening to the jingle bells on the sleigh as they went to church and as they grew closer to church, they would hear more jingle bells from different directions letting her know that more sleighs were coming to worship at Julotta that morning. The picture below is a picture I took in the morning before going to Julotta.
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On Christmas Day we all went over to a nearby farm for a horse drawn sleigh ride! It was beautiful and perfect. We even got to see some wild life! If you look closely in one of the following pictures, you'll see a white stag!
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After our sleigh ride, we headed inside to their cozy lodge for hot chocolate! The lodge reminded me of the lodge on White Christmas [I know, another reference to an 'old movie'...}
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After Christmas, we had a fabulous day outside in the snow! The cousins had fun sledding, four wheeler rides, and building snow forts! They all played so well together and had so much fun! My sis-in-law has more photo's on here blog here.
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Of course you can't have a get together with the little cousins without some silliness...
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Speaking of silliness, I don't know if you realize how hard it is to get a decent picture with 8 kids under the age of 7...
Case In...
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Point..
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Somewhere in between eating, catching up with family, sleigh rides, sledding, and playing with kids, we also made some delicious home made popcorn using ears of "popping" corn we picked this fall at an apple orchard. We told all of the little ones they were eating popcorn like Laura Ingalls did. It actually tasted pretty good too!
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The cousins were able to help take the corn kernels off of the ears of corn. Here is a picture of Hans helping too!
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We had such great Christmas celebrations this year! We were also able to celebrate with Tom's family as well and, unfortunately, forgot to bring my camera to the parties!
Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Thanks to Shutterfly {and my friends that told me about it!} for this free Christmas card. They gave these out to bloggers who posted about all of the cards they offer on their site!

Retro Plaid Christmas Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Time....

Oh boy, one of my favorite things about the beginning weeks of December leading up to Christmas is when the mailman delivers the mail. Why, you ask? No, it's not because I am waiting for a packaged present, it's simply that I'm so so excited to see what Christmas cards we receive that day! My husband had the pleasure of opening our first card of the season a few weeks ago (grrrr...) afterwards I kindly told him how much I long to rip open each card we receive =-)....so we compromised, he opened the first card aaaand now I get to open the rest! =-)

Being a new mommy (and even before!), I've had the pleasure of using Shutterfly to organize and print our photos (including our darling birth announcement *note: the link does not include the photo of our son) and now, with it being our first Christmas with a family, we are able to order everything from Shutterfly, from our Christmas Photo cards all the way down to gifts for our family and friends! By the way, I think Shutterfly has a great selection of photo cards here !

I've also been planning my son's first birthday party in January {pretty much since I found out I was pregnant, I've been dreaming up ideas for his party} and I love the cards that Shutterfly has available for birthday cards . Adorable!

Need a cute address label to go along with your Christmas cards and Birthday invites? Look no further! Check out these cute labels!!! You can't go wrong...so many cute options!

Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rub a Dub Tub...

We had a little fun simulating a good old fashioned bath....in an old galvanized washtub no less! I've literally scoured the internet, antique shops, garage sales, and thrift stores trying to find one of these for a reasonable price. I have visions of using this thing for all sorts of things....from photo op's with Hans (and future children), to tie dying shirts (do people still do that?!), washing the family dog (if we ever decide to own one...), and finally I wanted to use it to put my Christmas tree in this year....only to realize our beautiful tree stand for our Fraiser Fur doesn't fit in the wash tub....I said I had visions people, this doesn't always make it reality!!!

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Perfect Morning

Morning Coffee, Knitting, and my little babe snuggled in his bed....

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Photos and Hans

As any new mother can probably attest, photography takes on a new level of passion once you have your special littles in your life. It's been some of my favorite times shared between Hans and me, especially as a stay at home mom. I just love when he wakes up from his nap and the sun is at it's perfect place and we get crazy and silly with photo's. And another thing I love about photos is that I can choose where I point and shoot my camera. Meaning, I can point at my little guy playing with his new hat rather than the multiple piles of laundry that were once folded in a basket and are now strung all over the floor (thanks Hans). Anyway, taking pictures of Hans (among other things) has just been so fun for both Tom and I.
We started playing around with our pictures in photoshop and let me know just tell you....comp.li.cat.ed . Tom is figuring it out like a pro but I'm struggling along. I took some photos of Hans today and just wanted to share a couple of them. I might use some others that I took for either a Christmas card or a birthday card so I won't be showing the best of the best but just a mere sample.
Check out our little bundle of cuteness.....10 months old!!!

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

facial expression

While I know this is a horrible picture of me, I just had to share it because I think it's funny that Hans and I are making the same expression with our mouths.
Hans continues to look like a complete combination of Tom and I. Sometimes, when Tom is holding him, they look identical and then recently I've noticed a lot of expressions that Hans makes remind me of me when I was little.
Regardless of who he looks like, we can't help but fall more and more in love with this little guy. Can you believe he is already 10 months old?!
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Friday, November 5, 2010

Right Now

I still haven't uploaded the Halloween pictures but wanted to put up a recent picture of Hans because I just feel like he has grown by leaps and bounds since our Superior trip.
He just seems like such a 'big boy'.

About a month ago, I definitely thought I heard him say "Hi" as he was waving to himself in the mirror and then just a few days ago we were at my parents house and he was waving to me and my mom and we BOTH heard him say "Hi".

Last week, he was playing with some toys on his play table and hitting them and "babbling" the whole time and then clearly I heard him say "uh oh". I don't know if it was a fluke or not because he hasn't said it since, but it was so crystal clear. "Uh Oh" is something Tom and I say to him all of the time so it's plausible he'd pick up on it this early.

He stood for 8 seconds without holding on to anything the other day.

Last week, he also had his first whole meal of all finger foods.

And right now, his favorite things to do are to take out all of the books on the bookshelf and all of the movies in our DVD baskets and just throw them all over the floor. He also loves to play peek a boo and holds towels, blankets, coats, and hats over his face to play peek a boo with us. I never thought this game could be so fun but I actually love playing it with him too!!!

Hans at 9 1/2 months old.
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Monday, November 1, 2010

Superior

Earlier in October we took off for a few days and headed up north to Superior's South Shore. We spent a couple of days up there, soaking in the serenity, and then headed back home with a quick stop to see Grahamcracker.
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This was a much needed break for us. Tom's schedule in the summer is beyond busy so we have been looking forward to this fall when we were able to get about 3 days off to spend time together as a family.
Apparently, the South Shore happened to pretty much close down shop for the season the weekend before our trip, but we enjoyed the peacefulness and had fun feeling like we were all alone up there. Our cell phones didn't work and there was no land line so it was an unheard of vacation away from technology. And so funny because the "mom" in me was slightly worried that something would happen to the baby and we'd be without communication with anyone and have no idea where a hospital was....I don't know how we survived before cell phones, right? =-)
Tom's good childhood friend generously let us stay at their cabin on superior....what a beautiful place it was!! So much wild life and so much natural beauty. Outside their cabin, there is a trail that leads to a boardwalk, that leads to Lake Superior...
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Superior...
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Just sit, relax, and take it all in...
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Unfortunately, we forgot our baby backpack or baby bjorn, so we ended up having to carry a 20lb baby everywhere on our walks....This made a 2 mile hike feel more like 6 miles.
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As I said earlier, everything seemed to be shut down so we couldn't get any smoked salmon that Tom had wanted, and we didn't get a chance to look around the local stores around the harbor...

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Playing inside at the cabin...
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Watching some movies....we popped in Land Before Time....throw back!
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Tom and I played some cards and Hans enjoyed playing with the box!
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We went to Bayfield for the day...what a beautiful town. We were able to shop around a bit and found a cute Scandinavian shop. Mom....um, I mean HANS, really really wanted this Dala Horse, but we just took a picture instead. I'm thinking I might get it for a Christmas gift but don't tell Hans!!!
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In one of our local magazines, I read that Maggie's is a hidden gem in Bayfield so we headed there for lunch. It is a sort of funky place adorned with pink flamingo's all over inside. It's a hit with the locals so even though tourist season is over, the place was still busy!
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After we left the South Shore, we headed to Grahamcracker's house!
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Like father like son....we get to Grahamcracker's house and what do Tom and Hans do? Head outside to the woods of course!
Tom enjoyed taking Hans on his first four wheeler trip! Next time, he'll have to take Hans out on the tractor!
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Tom and Uncle Bruce
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Hans found new toys..
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...and new friends!
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He loved his great uncle Bruce...
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and he loves his Grahamcracker!
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Whew, what a vacation!!!