Saturday, February 20, 2016

Our Little Foray into City Life

Cleaning up my drafts folder, I found this old post that I never hit publish on - oops!  I'm feeling a little nostalgic for summer and all that walking we did, so here's a little flashback post....

Last summer, we rented a studio apartment in Minneapolis for the month before we closed on our house in the suburbs.  It was a fun little experiment in city life - and close quarters!

Trolley Ride!
We got to take a ride on Daniel Tiger's trolley near Lake Harriet.  Too bad it was so short - we probably could have spent a whole afternoon on it!  Baby J looks bummed, but really he was just waking up.
Sculpture Gardens
Most days, we didn't have a car, so we just walked all over the neighborhood.  That was awesome.  We took a field trip one morning to the sculpture gardens.

Lake + City skyline
We spent a lot of time walking around Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun!  The walking/running/riding trails were great and no matter what time of day, people are out running and riding here!  We walked and explored our way to one of the many playgrounds and played outside all morning.

Our sleeping quarters were cozy, but no one complained.  And thankfully, none of the neighbors complained about our noise either!  Phew.

M's "bed."
We spent all morning, every morning, outside exploring the neighborhoods and playgrounds.  We'd finish with a lunch picnic, and then come home for an afternoon nap before heading back outside.

Waiting out the rain with Daniel Tiger
Doesn't he look like such a big boy here?  It was fun while it lasted, but we're so thankful for a bit more breathing room now! ;)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Scenes from the Weekend

We spent most of the weekend coughing and sniffling and feeling exhausted from a winter cold passing through the family.  But a couple little bursts of fresh air seemed to really help, so hopefully this week will be better.  

Here's my first cheese torta - a twist on our traditional pizza night.  Do you do a weekly pizza night?  This was delicious, but next time I'll use more cheese and way more sauce.  I made the dough in my bread machine.

We had lunch with Dan's lifelong friend and his wife on Saturday in Saint Paul, they are so great!  They spent some time in Tampa, FL, so the lunch was Gasparilla-themed.  D made construction paper pirate hats and M had so much fun he conked out on the way home.  We'll have to make it an annual celebration!

It's warmed up so much that we let M ride his strider bike on an afternoon walk.  It was a little bizarre biking beside the kids playing hockey on the outdoor rink!  I love the fact that our neighborhood has a skating rink.  D got me skates for Christmas so I'm going to have to try them out soon!

I had really hoped to get some nice runs in with the lovely weather, but just wasn't feeling it with this cold.  So I hardly ran at all in January, yikes!  Hopefully, February will be a little bit better.

Hope your month is off to a great start!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Deer Lake State Park, FL

On our trip to Rosemary Beach, we had some time to kill before catching our flight home, so we make a quick visit to this little state park. 

We had just enough time to meander down the long boardwalk to the beach, with its beautiful views.  No crowds on a Monday morning!  What a gorgeous beach.  Below is a view of the actual Deer Lake in the park.  You can do a little bit of hiking on the north side of 30A, but otherwise the park is pretty small.  It makes for a nice little side trip from Rosemary Beach.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Rosemary Beach, FL

This place is amazing.  I grew up always going to the Atlantic coast, since it was only 30 minutes or so from our house.  I still love the Atlantic side of Florida, of course, but Rosemary Beach is gorgeous and completely different!

My cousin got married in November here, and it was a great excuse to explore Northwest Florida.  The beach sand was so soft and fine, and the seashells were much finer and seemed more delicate than what we'd see on our home beach!

Rosemary Beach is a planned community that feels like a European beach town.  It's only 30 minutes from the airport and we could connect through Atlanta for easy flights.  If they ever start having direct flights from MSP (hint, hint!), I know where I'll be spending my spring break now!  I'm guessing that most folks come from Birmingham/TN because the boutiques were selling sweatshirts that said "Home" with a picture of the state of Tennessee!

The wedding was on the beach and it was beautiful.  Thanks to my parents, we got to stay in a house with them and all my siblings and nephews so it really was great to all be together.  The only downside was that the AC broke in the house and the dishwasher leaked, but it was otherwise comfortable.  We could walk all around the town and to the beach very easily.

I got one run in down 30A early early pushing baby J in the single jogger because he didn't sleep very well on the trip.  30A has a nice wide bike path so it was easy to do a down/back run.  I'd love to go back here!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Hello 2016!

Happy New Year! 

I kind of lost interest in keeping this blog up over the last couple of months, but I've decided to keep at it, and try to just blog maybe once a week for starters - so long as I have something to share, of course!

Do you make NY goals/resolutions?  I told my husband that since the NY starts on a Friday, I really still have the weekend still to think about making a resolution (so I can start on Monday). =)  He did not agree with that philosophy.  I don't have any hard and fast type resolutions, like run 500 miles or lose 10 pounds, etc, but I do have some general ideas of things I'd like to focus on this year.

I definitely want to work on becoming a faster, stronger runner (and hopefully run close to my high school 5k time of 22:00!).  But, I've realized that right now, I just can't make myself get up and run outside in the cold darkness during the week, so I'm going to do more indoor fitness activities/strength training, at least for this month. 
I'm also hoping to carve out more time to read.  It will be hard to find a book to top All the Light We Cannot See, my favorite book of 2015.  I just started Design Mom's book, which is giving me some great ideas for house stuff, and Don Quixote, which is making me laugh out loud.  I'm also loving read aloud time with the boys, and am hoping to incorporate more family reading time during our cold snowy evenings.  We read two great books aloud for Advent: The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas and The Children of Noisy Village.  Both were really cute and my 3 yo seemed to enjoy reading them!

And generally speaking, I want to focus on being more intentional in everything.  Time just flies by, and I want to make sure I'm making the most of every day.  I'm hoping we can go camping at least once this summer and spend as much time outdoors as possible.