Category Archives: minnesnowta

it’s cold + a beautycounter giveaway!

the time I looked like Elphaba and the kids wanted to do a face mask with me so I smeared mashed bananas on their faces. 

Popping on real quick to talk about winter and skincare and self-care and Jimmy John’s.  As one does.

I’m currently sitting at one of those children’s play areas at a mall watching my kids chase each other around a giant caterpillar tunnel and a questionably shaped rocketship, both constructed purely out of germs.  It’s only 4pm (I started writing this yesterday) and it’s basically pitch black outside, which makes it feel slightly ominous to be here.  There’s an ever-present chill in the air because the play area is way too close to an exit.  Although there is a Jimmy John’s right next to the exit, which is looking like it’ll be our dinner tonight so it’s not all bad!  Everyone here is alternately bundling up to leave or bundling down to stay and you may remember my thoughts on that.  Bundling is the worst kind of evil torture.

There’s always a bit of shell shock after daylight savings ends when we’re just like, aw crap.  Here we go.  Minnesota winter. Dun DUN DUNNN. This is my family’s second-and-a-half winter back in this state and I’m sorry, but it doesn’t get any easier.  At least not for me.  There’s honestly no use in complaining… so I’ll spare you.  Except!  Can we all just agree to stop saying “it’s so cold!” in small talk, as if it’s new information?  It’s not, we all know it’s cold. (#guilty)

But anyways! I feel like I’ve gone through enough MN winters in my life that I know what personally helps me get through the months. One of my favorite ways to (attempt to) embrace the cold and cozy nights is after I put my kids to bed, I slap on a face mask, drink a cup of tea (jk it’s wine) and listen to a podcast or read a book in my cozy bed.  Sometimes I’ll paint my nails while I wait for my mask to set.  Sometimes I’ll de-pill sweaters with my favorite gadget.  Sometimes if Willa hasn’t fallen asleep yet, I’ll lay on the floor in my closet until my mask is dry so that my bedroom light doesn’t keep her awake… it may sound ridiculous but it’s actually glorious and quiet and peaceful.  Dream big, people.

If you know me well, you know I’m a skincare addict.  I have a small arsenal of potions and cleansers and masks that I rotate in depending on how peeved my skin is at the moment.  I’m not going to pretend to be any kind of expert but I’m really interested in clean beauty and skincare and at some point I want to write a full post on all of my favorite products that I’ve grown to love.  If for no other reason than it’s fun for me.

But here’s something fun for YOU! One of my favorite said clean beauty and skincare lines is Beautycounter and today my friend Krysten from BC has offered to give away a $50 gift card to one reader to use on any of their products.  I love Beautycounter for their clean and super safe products.  Some of my very favorites are the baby soothing oil, (I love this for my kids and for me!) cleansing balm, and the overnight resurfacing peel.  To enter to win, just make a comment on this here blog post or on this blog post link on my Facebook page. Go on, do it! Thanks, Krysten!

Tell me, what are you favorite tips, tricks, skincare products, podcasts, and wines that get you through the winter?

PS IT’S SO COLD.

PPS Keep your eyes peeled on Krysten’s BC page because they will be posting Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals very soon!

 

 

 


bundle.

Oh hi! Guys. It me. Casually strolling into here after a few months of rechargin the batts. Not like, the computer batts… my batts, like my internal battery, not actually batteries, not like double A’s, like…. oh never mind.

Honestly, it was nice to take a little break from spewing my words onto the interwebs. As much as I love writing and sharing, sometimes a girl just needs a minute. Ya feel?

So, what have I been up to, you ask? Well, the past few months have been spent bundling my children. Yes, bundling. *The act of putting shitloads of layers on before going outside.* Bundling up, then bundling down, then back up, then sideways, then upside down, then again, and more, and two more times, in that order, but backwards. If you have no idea what bundling is, then I hate you. (JK I love you and can I come visit?)

Ok ok, so I also watched this past season of the Bachelor, but other than that my winter has been spent bundling. Of course I might be exaggerating just a bit (who me?) but I seriously do feel like a large part of my life these days consists of getting my kids prepared to literally open the door and brave the elements. This is something we haven’t ever really had to deal with until this winter since Portland never got this cold and the few months that we lived here last winter we pretty much stuck to the skyways. If you have no idea what skyways are, then I hate you.  (JK I love you and can I come visit?) Our kids never had thick winter coats until this past year… and sweet baby jeezus they are a pain in my ass to deal with. (The coats, not my kids. Maybe.) Anyways, Crosby’s preschool is a half mile from our house and in the fall we’d walk 10 minutes to get there, easy-peasy. But since basically mid-October we’ve been driving because it’s just too cold. And it literally takes us 17 hours to bundle halfway, drive, get both kids out of the car, re-bundle, bring Crosby and Willa inside, drop Crosby off at his room, then take Willa back to the car, de-bundle, drive home, and throw all of our winter clothes into a pile and light them on fire and then go to Target to buy more winter clothes. What I’m trying to say, if it isn’t blatantly obvious is: wine me.

THAT SAID. It’s finally attempting to warm up around here and I find myself finally feeling slightly at home here? ::she says as breathes into a paper bag:: This winter has been a tough re-adjustment but it’s also made me appreciate my home and my sweet little family so very much. Our house….I’m still at the point in the relationship where it gives me the warm fuzzies. It just feels like a hug. And although the cabin fever is strong within it, this winter has meant lots of fun times with my family in our new home.

You’re like, what is this, a Lifetime movie?

So I’m going to keep this one short and sweet. So hi! To the 3 of you who are reading! How have you been?? What should we talk about??

PS my winter hands look like Voldemorts face.

PPS if you want to know what it looks like to be a Minnesotan… this is it. Chilling Coors Lite required.


now back to your regularly scheduled program.

It’s taken me a while to get my writing mojo back after the emotional hangover of my last few posts. But I do want to say thank you so very much to all of you who took the time to read my words and reach out… in both support and empathy.  I’m in awe of the beauty that comes from vulnerability.  Thank you thank you thank you for joining this important conversation.

But for the sake of my sanity, let’s switch gears for the moment. Because we have many other (less) important things to talk about.

1. First things first. I need this shirt in my life.

2. You guys. I’m stating the obvious here but whyyyy does it have to get dark so early? Every day I’m like, welp time to start making dinner. Oh wait… it’s 3:15.  I still have 5 hours of mom-ing left before winebedtime.

3. Along the same lines… the early darkness has me putting on sweatpants earlier and earlier these days. I’m lucky if I make it to 5pm without changing out of my “normal clothes” (hahahahaaaa) and into my comfies. I mean, jeans are basically formal wear at this point in life.

4. Does anyone have a recipe that calls for garlic stuffed olives, leftover white rice and hardened tortillas? Cuz that’s pretty much all that’s in my refrigerator right now.

5. Casey and I are planning a trip to Mexico in February. (It was one of my stipulations in agreeing to move back to this ice cube.) I’m leaning heavily towards Tulum but it’s rather pricey so we haven’t committed yet. Anyone been? Hotel recommendations? Excursion recommendations? Guacamole recommendations?

6. I shared this on instastories a while back, but in case you missed it, Crosby filled out a little questionnaire thing at preschool shortly after he started… and when asked what his favorite subject in school was, he said “hanging up my bag.” Obviously. I asked him the same question today after school and you’ll be happy to hear that he’s now moved on to “I really like snack time and when I raise my hand to get more snacks.” Watch out, Ivy League!

7. PSA of the day… I recently got a sample of Biossance face oil and I swear to you, it is pure magic. I’m kind of obsessed with skincare and have tried a LOT of products in my day (sorry bank account! and Casey.) and this one is in my top 5 of ever. So, you just go right on ahead and add it to your Christmas list. But only if you want your face to feel like a baby’s ass.

8. This is going to make me sound coconuts but what else is new. I do not know what color eyes my children have. I’m serious. They’re like… technicolor. I keep referring to them as “mutt eyes” and I probably should stop that? Anyways, I really don’t know how to figure it out. Is there an app for that?

9. We’re having our first Home Alone Christmas party this weekend! Our friends (Hi Laurie and Joe!) hosted one every year in Portland and now we’re carrying on/stealing the tradition. We’re serving lovely cheese pizza and Pepsi cocktails and I may or may not have recreated Kevin’s battle plan poster while the kids were napping yesterday. There’s literally no shame in my Home Alone game. I’ll take some photos and maybe post em here next week, if you’d care to see? …..Hello?

10. Embarrassing thing I’ve googled recently: is there a plural of Ivy League?


fulfilling my fall duties.

You’re like, oh great… more photos of leaves. And I know, I know. I feel like fall barfed all over my instagram feed lately. But I don’t even care because it’s just so pretty! And let’s be honest… if you don’t take a million pictures of the leaves changing, did it really happen?

I have to say that this is the first time in 9 months that I’ve thought Minnesota beats Portland. (My parents are probably cheering.) It is just so mother effing beautiful around here lately. I mean, yes the leaves changed in Portland and it was gorg, but it was also rainy and soggy at the same time. You can hardly build a cannonball-worthy leaf pile with sloppy leaves. Ya feel?

So yes… the fall status here is bananas beautiful right now. And I’m very aware of the fact that it will be over in about 7 seconds so I’ve been really enjoying the heck out of it. I’m taking any opportunity I can to shove my kids into patches of brightly lit leaves and force them to take pictures. As any good mother would do.

We have a giant tree (don’t ask me what kind, I’m no horticulturist.) in our front yard that’s weeping the most beautiful orange and red leaves. So yesterday I did my kiddos a solid and raked them into a pretty epic leaf pile. Crosby had it to himself for a bit while Willa finished her nap. He brought a few of his favorite Daniel Tiger stuffed animals into the pile with him and alternated between shouting “this is so fun!” and screaming “mama, where’s margaret and daniel!?!?!? they’re lost in the leafs!!!” Once Willa woke up, I put her in some snowpants (naturally) and plopped her in the pile too. She wasn’t quite as sold on the fun though, especially when Crosby would pummel her with handfuls of leaves. She’s seriously such a trooper, he can be such a dweeb to her sometimes.

Also worth mentioning? While the kids were playing in this gorgy pile of deceased foliage, my dog Gus was in the house getting into our food cupboard. Again. The first thing I saw when we walked into the house was a container of cocoa powder spilled all over the floor… which is obviously a real big no no for dogs. Even though it looked like he didn’t really eat much of it at all, he did have cocoa dust on his nose, so I knew that he had probably eaten at least a little bit. We’ve had to get Gus’s stomach pumped before and it’s not fun (or cheap) so I did a quick google search and found a DIY vomit inducing tutorial for dogs. (WHAT IS MY LIFE.) Anyways! Cutting to the chase, it worked. He hurled. He’s good. The cocoa powder is now up on the highest shelf in the universe.

And on that note! MOAR PIKCHURS OF LEAFS.

And here we have Willa’s progression into eff fall, in 3…2….1….

The rest of these pictures are from sweet Bill’s bday… in which we went to the park and she was like, meh.

Ok, now I’ll leaf you alone.

It’s just that the trees are so pretty, I could yellow bout it.

Orange you glad you’re still reading this?

Sorry.  Bye.


what’s up / 01

Making: this salad.  I’ve made it 3 times in the last 2 weeks… it’s so good!  My only complaint about it is that if you have children you’ll need to allow yourself 7.5 hours to make it.
Drinking: do I even have to answer this question?  Wine.  From a bottle… from a box… from a can… from an IV…
Reading: I’ve been on page 7 of this book for like, a month.  Is it good?  Don’t know, I’ll get back to you in 18 years when I’ve finally finished it and my kids have moved out so it won’t even matter how I parent anymore waa.
Wanting: like, 12 more months of summer.
Watching: the bachelorette.  I love this season so much.  I love Rachel.  I love Peter.  Ugh, that Peter.  He’s such a treat for the eyes.  Also, I don’t want to toot my own horn, but after the first episode of the season my friend and I sent each other our top ten predictions… and I accurately predicted the top 4… (in this order: 1. Peter 2. Bryan 3. Eric 4. Dean) so… tootie tootie toot toot!
Listening: so much country music.  Who am I even?
Wishing: that sweet Bill (Willa) would sleep through the night.  And not get up at 5am.  Excuse me while I shovel more coffee into my face.
Enjoying: our pool! I went back and forth between buying our pool and another shallower, more obvious kiddie pool with animals and a jungle and 37 other pieces of flair all over it.  And anyways, I’m SO glad that I went with ours because it’s so much more substantial and family friendly.  And it fits all of us.  And it has a bench. And a cup holder.  For my wine can Crosby’s water bottle.  Best buy of the summer.
Loving: when Crosby will group-hug Casey and I and say “I love you guys”.
Hoping: that we can make room in our budget for a house cleaner.  Please and thank you, amen.
Needing: to get my hair done.  My regrowth since Willa was born is almost all gray.  Not kidding.  Not fair.
Feeling: like I want my kids to have a genuinely happy life.  More than anything else in the world.
Wearing: one piece swimsuits.  No makeup.  Jorts.  Birkenstocks.  Basically anything that’s the opposite of sexy.

And some summer photos to send you on your merry way….


friday things.

:: casually sidesteps the awkward fact that she hasn’t blogged in 3 months… ::

1. Both of my kids are currently napping at the same time!  This doesn’t happen very often but when it does, I freak out about all the “free time” I have and then spend an inappropriate amount of time debating what I should do with said “free time”, which ends up being just a big fat waste of the “free time”!  I could take a nap too, but the few times I’ve tried that during the elusive double kid nap, I barely fall asleep before I’m woken up by human foghorns and then I just end up feeling like a piece of old sushi for the rest of the day. (<— what.)  I also kind of want to just watch TV or read a book or something… but I’m not currently into any shows (any recos?) and the book I’m reading is about parenting so that’s super boring.  (ha.)  I usually just end up doing chores… laundry, emptying the dishwasher, washing wine glasses, etc. etc.  But that stuff sucks, so today I’m letting the dishes sit in the sink so I can go back to my roots and do some good old-fashioned blogging on the interwebs.  Excuse me while I dust off my Mario Teaches Typing skills.

2.  annnnnnnd Crosby just woke up, so I’ll see ya again in 5 months!

**I’m back.  It’s 3 weeks later.  ::facepalm::

So let’s just try to get through this quickly, shall we?  (That’s what she said.) ((Sorry, I’m a little rusty.)) (((That’s what she said.))) ((((Ugh.))))

3. We FINALLY found and moved into our new house last month.  It’s a sweet bungalow in South Minneapolis, and we are absolutely, 100% loving it.  Eh…. make that 99%….. I just found some weird bugs in Willa’s room and I’m a little squicked out.

4. We took a family vacation to San Diego with my mom, stepdad, brothers + their fams a few weeks ago and it was super fun… we truly had a blast.  However.  A “vacation” with two small children…. can we actually call that a vacation?  It’s kind of like everyday life, in a different setting, doing much more exciting errands.  Actually, this old Huff Post article sums up my feelings prettttty perfectly.  No but seriously, we had a great time.  And if I had my shit together better I would have written a whole post about it with lots of photos… instead you’ll just have to use your imagination to picture us building Crosby a potty (AKA large hole) in the sand so we wouldn’t have to leave the beach to find a bathroom.

5. I wrote an article for a website a few years ago when we first moved to Portland about how hard it is to make friends as an adult.  And many years later, I feel like I’m reliving that yet again.  Don’t get me wrong, some of our very best friends in the whole world live within an hour or two of us right now, which is baller.  (<—- stop.)  But not many of them live super close by.  Like, bop on over for a quick playdate or a glass of wine close by.  So I’m still very much feeling the growing pains of moving to a “new” city.  I really haven’t made any new friends since we got back here and I’m kinda just like… howwwww do I do this?  Is there a dating site for making friends??  If so, ugh, no thanks… that actually sounds awful.  I’ll just have a drink by mahself.

6. Speaking of, I miss Portland daily.  That place has a large chunk of my heart.  And my stomach, actually. If someone could send me a pound of Stumptown, a salmon flight from Bamboo, a khati roll from Bollywood, some salted caramel ice cream from Salt & Straw, a Loukanika salami from Olympic Provisions, a bottle case of wine from Stoller, chicken wings from Pok Pok, an Arbor Lodge breakfast sandwich from The Big Egg, a poke bowl from Zupans, and all of my Portland friends, that’d be great!  (I promise I won’t eat my friends, though.)

7.  I really really love my dogs.  But I really REALLY enjoyed having a 3-month break from them.  I REALLY REALLY appreciate my in-laws for babysitting them for 3 months while we looked for a house.  I REALLY REALLY REALLY need to purchase some lint roller refills.

**Was interrupted by kiddos again.  It’s 4 days later, BTW.

8. Remember in Dumb & Dumber when Jim Carrey asks that guy if he wants to hear the most annoying sound in the world?  Well, my sweet Willa has perfected that sound.  Like, to a T.  She usually whips it out during the witching hour when all hell is already breaking loose.  It’s suuuuuper precious.

9. Speaking of my sweet Bill (unfortunate nickname that she’s stuck with, sorry gurl!), she is almost 8 MONTHS OLD.  Please excuse me while I sob into her newborn pj’s.  And my little Crosboy is going to be 3 in August.  How.  Why.  Etcetera.  Seriously though, I feel like time has flown by since we moved here.  Yet, somehow I haven’t aged a day.  :: she says as she tucks her boobs into her jeans and plucks a gray hair out of her eyebrow. ::

10. The other day Crosby pooped in the potty and wiped himself… with his hand.  And then wiped his hand on the wall.  I’m just going to leave you with that little visual.

Have a great day!


planes, trains, and minivans.

Greetings from the land of chapped cheeks!  (Face cheeks, that is, you dirty minds…) Actually, I can’t really complain about the weather because it’s almost 40 degrees here today which is like, balmy.  We’re thinking of going swimming later.

We’re already in month 2 of our new life in Minnesota and things are slowly settling down after the craze of the move.  It was nuts there for a while, making sure that all of our things and cars and PETS made it here. And then making sure we were situated in temporary housing, getting Casey ready to start his job, locating the nearest Total Wine, etc. etc.  Anyways, I think at this point we’re as “settled” as we can possibly be in our current situation… that is, until we move into an airbnb next month. Sigh.  What a fun adventure!! ::she says with a forced smile::

Stepping back a bit though… I want to make sure some things are documented here, so I’m going to share the story of our move/flight from Portland to Minnesota.   Because it’s ridiculous.

The days leading up to our move were majorly chaotic.   It went something like this….
On Saturday we had a going away party at our house, but it ended up snowing a bunch the night of the party which meant that only about half of our pals actually made it.  It was still super fun (and super sad) but we wished we could have seen all our buddies.  Big thanks to our dear friends who braved the icy roads!!  We love you miss you waaaaa!
On Sunday we packed our suitcases that would basically need to sustain us for the next few months.  Super casual.
On Monday our packers came.  They lovingly wrapped our knickknacks with bubble paper (name that movie!) and had everything we own packed in less than 4 hours.  Amaze.  We moved into a hotel that night.
On Tuesday the movers came and moved all of our crap from our house into the biggest moving truck I’ve ever seen.  Our cars were also picked up by the car movers so we had to pick up a rental car for our last day in Portland.

Cut to late Tuesday night, and it snowed.  Again.  A lot.  Disclaimer: Portland gets a pitiful amount of snow maybe once a year that causes the city to basically shut down because nobody knows how to deal.  There is also no infrastructure in place to take care of all the snow so all the roads become skating rinks.  (High-five for using the word “infrastructure” before noon.  Heyo!)  So basically productive life comes to a stand-still until the snow melts.  It’s super fun if you’re in the market for a cozy couple of days hunkered down at home.  Not so much if you’re attempting to move across the country.

So when we woke up on Wednesday morning, AKA the morning of our flight, and saw the ridiculous amount of snow on the ground we thought for sure our flight would be cancelled.  And/or we thought there’d be no way we’d make it to the airport in our front-wheel drive minivan rental.   Either way, we figured we were screwed because we had SO many plans in motion that all depended on us flying to Minnesota that day.  So to reschedule would have been an absolute nightmare on elm street.  We waited a bit for a flight cancellation alert that never came, so then had to make the ulcer-inducing decision of whether or not to attempt the 30 min drive to the airport to make the flight.  We decided to go for it… so we loaded up our minivan to capacity and hit the road.  Roads that were absolute SHIT.  It was by far the scariest snow/ice drive I’ve ever endured and I grew up in Minnesota!  It was bad.  Casey was a serious driving champ, especially considering that I was white-knuckling the door and shouting things like “gah!” and “eep!” and “I need wine!” every 3 seconds.  Oh, I forgot to mention that we had to make a detour on the way to the airport to pick up our dogs at doggy daycare!  They had been there the last few days while we were staying in a hotel.  (Seriously, my head is spinning remembering all this.)  The dogs were scheduled to be on our same flight and would have to ride in crates in the cargo area of the plane.  So we made the deathly drive to doggy daycare in one piece, got the pups and set off again towards the airport.  20 more minutes of sweat and swearing later, we made it to the airport cargo area where we needed to drop the dogs off.  Casey brought the pups in and then was kindly informed that the dogs could not actually fly that day.  BECAUSE (grumble grumble) there is a rule that in order for animals to fly in the cargo area of the plane, the temperature in your arrival city has to be at least 10 degrees.  And the forecasted temp for Minneapolis at our time of arrival was 9 degrees.  ONE DEGREE difference.  I seriously cried.  After lots of attempts to get Delta to bend the rules for us (they didn’t), we had to bring the most depressed dogs all the way back to doggy daycare.  Via the shitty shitty roads.

By the way, shoutout to our rental minivan because that sucker was bomb.  Everyone on the radio was saying “DO NOT attempt to drive anywhere unless you have snow tires, chains and a 4-wheel drive vehicle!!”  And we’re like, oh we have a front-wheel drive minivan with probably stripped tires and ice skates on, will that work?  Cool, let’s do it!  And she kicked ass.

So by the time we got back to the airport, it was maybe 9am?  And I felt like I was ready for bed.  Alas, we still had to drop off our rental van and get all of our crap into the airport.  I wish so so badly that I would have taken a photo of our luggage cart… it was packed higher than Casey’s head, plus we both had car seats strapped to our backs and carry ons over our shoulders.  And two kids. NBD.  The luggage cart only tipped over and flung all of our stuff into a snow puddle one time!  Success!

Checking in and going through security actually went fairly smoothly, except for the gallon-sized baggy of loose change in one of our carry-ons (seriously the heaviest, stupidest thing to pack in a suitcase but for some reason it didn’t get packed with the rest of our shipped stuff and we couldn’t just leave it behind… it’s probably like a whole $17 dollars worth of change!!! #priorities) that caused some hoopla and a 10-minute bag search.  During that bag search Crosby started what turned out to be an hour-long tantrum.  It.was.rough.  One of the TSA ladies kept looking at me and saying (about Crosby) “Oh she’s so sad!”, “She’s really sad.”, “Why is she so sad?”.  Listen lady, SHE is a HE.  And he’s not sad, he’s TWO.

After we got through security, we decided to sit down for a casual mid-morning cocktail.  But, as I mentioned before, Crosby was still in the throes of a lengthy tantrum.  So our well deserved happy hour turned into sweaty scramble to keep our toddler from losing his shit.  I’ll spare you all the details but I will give you the ending: two half full drinks left behind and a toddler with wet pants.

One fresh pair of pants later, and we were on the plane!  The flight was actually pretty uneventful.  Both kiddos did really well.  And I don’t even feel bad for saying that, because have you read any of this story?  The only low point was flying over Mt Hood, which broke my Portland loving heart into a bajillion little pieces.

When we landed in Minneapolis, Casey went to get our rental vehicle and I was sitting down feeding Willa while we waited… and I looked over juuuuust in time to see Crosby pick up a french fry off the ground and eat it.  He immediately spit it out and said “that’s not good, mama”.  No, no it’s not.

We checked into another hotel for the evening and the next day we made it to corporate housing where we’ve been living the downtown life for the last month.  It’s been great, but I am so so ready to find a place of our own and get all of our stuff out of storage.  I miss my shoes.

Oh, and our dogs!  They got here, eventually.  They ended up having to stay at doggy daycare in Portland for 4 more nights until it warmed up enough for them to fly into Minneapolis.  A good friend of ours picked them up from daycare and brought them to the airport for us and they arrived here safe and sound and smelly.  They are now living the luxurious life with Casey’s parents for a few months until we find a house.

Anyways!  That’s the tale of our entry into the Motherland.

Moral of the story: there is no “good way” to move a husband, wife, toddler, infant, 2 beagles + all their earthly possessions to Minnesota in January.  Ever.  Just wait until spring, for the love of gawd.


we’re moving!

Big news, guys.  We’re moving!  Back to the motherland, Minnesota.  My super smart hubs got himself a sweet job offer at Target HQ and to make a very long story short, he accepted it.  WE accepted it.  And so, we move.  Back to the land of hotdish, parkas, lakes, mayonnaise-based salads, and talking about the weather.  Back to where both Casey and I grew up, where we first started dating (in 9th grade), then broke up (10th grade), got back together (junior year of college) and fell in love.  Back to where we got married and back to where we made the decision to leave Minnesota in the first place and have some adventures.  Since then we’ve lived in Tucson, Chicago, Tucson again and Portland.  And now, it’s time to go home.

This decision wasn’t made lightly.  In fact it was THE most bittersweet decision we’ve ever had to make.  We are so in love with Portland and the life that we’ve made here but at the end of the day… we miss our families.  And now that we have two little ones it’s become even harder to be away from them.  Both Casey and I grew up close to our families and extended families, and we want the same thing for our kiddos.  We can’t wait to see our parents/siblings/grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins more than 1-2 times a year.  We can’t wait to celebrate holidays and birthdays and all that happy crap with our fams.  BUT.  We (me especially) are pretty devastated to leave this wonderful place that we’ve called home for the last 5 years.  We have done and seen and grown so much here… I’m absolutely heartbroken to say goodbye to this city and the family of friends we’ve made here.

Adulting is so hard sometimes.  Hold me!

We leave in one week.  (We’ve been slow to share our news with the larger population.)  All of our stuff is being packed/moved/stored for us (double fist pump!), so we basically just need to pack a few things and get on an airplane.  And by “a few things”, I mean: 2 dogs + dog crates, 3 large suitcases, 3 large carry-ons, 2 car seats, a stroller, a pack and play, a diaper bag… and a partridge in a pear tree.  We’re going to look like a hot mess rolling up to the airport!  We’ll be staying in temporary housing in downtown Minneapolis until we find a new house.  We’ll also be putting our Portland house on the market as soon as we leave here.  Any takers?  She’s a real gem!

I’m nervous to leave here for so many reasons.  We’ve made such amazing friends, I have such a crazy wonderful support group of mom/kiddo buddies, and we’re just really happy and comfortable here.  It’s hard to imagine leaving all that behind for a city where I honestly don’t know many people anymore.  I also only know Minneapolis as a carefree 24-year-old, so I have no idea where the good neighborhoods are to buy a home and raise a family.  We’re basically starting over from scratch.  So, if anyone has any tips or suggestions on neighborhoods/schools/pediatricians/gynos/wine stores please let me know!

All that said, we are truly excited for this new adventure.  And we’re ECSTATIC to be closer to our families.  A 1700 mile separation from them is about to become a thing of the past, and I’m pretty happy about that.

Watch out frozen nose hairs, we’re coming for ya!


happy second birthday, toddler guy.

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Happy second birthday, my beautiful baby guy.  I can’t even tell you how much I’ve loved year 2 of Crosby.  It’s been easily, hands-down, 100%, the best year of my life.  If I had one wish right now, it’d be to keep you at this age forever.  But today isn’t about my wishes, it’s about yours!  What are your birthday wishes, sweet boy?  If I had my guess, I’d say you’re wishing for… a “strawberry snack” (sliced strawberries), your “blanketandphi” (blanket + pacifier), a trip to the zoo, an episode (or 5) of Daniel Tiger, followed by a book reading marathon, a lengthy game of jumping up and down, and an ice cream cone.  I promise, I’ll do my best to grant as many of those wishes as possible today.

This year we’ve gotten to see so much more of your wonderful, sweet, silly personality.  I love that you call everyone your friends, I love that you say goodbye to everything: people, animals, objects, places…, I love your pure excitement when at the end of the night we talk about all the things we did that day, I love your ability to drop everything when you hear an airplane from a million miles away, I LOVE that you reach for my hand to hold, I love your sweet manners, I love your aggressive tickles… I just really freaking love you, kid.  And I absolutely adore being your mama.

I can’t wait to celebrate you today and smother you with one million kisses.  Happy second birthday, bubba!

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holiday recap. because it’s january, apparently.

IMG_3264Happy 2016 + 6 days!  How was everyone’s Christmas/New Years celebrations?  Full of good tidings and merriment and prosperity?  And the such?  Did you make resolutions?  Tell me, tell me!  I haven’t really made any official resolutions, though unofficially I’d like my favorite skinny jeans and I to be on speaking terms again.  ::she says as she lays in bed eating homemade dinner rolls while unsuccessfully attempting to tuck her second chin in::  I also say this all the time, but I’d really like to find time to blog more.  That said, hopefully your resolutions include finding time to read more nonsense stories written by yours truly.  Then it’s a win-win for everyone!

Stepping back a few weeks, our holiday break was really really lovely.  As cliché as it sounds, having a kid really does make everything so much more fun and magical around the holidays… even though our kid doesn’t know the difference between Christmas and his left foot yet, it’s still so exciting to start introducing him to all the festivities.  We spent the week before Christmas with our families in Minnesota.  Which was ss…s…sooo….mmm…mmmuch…ff.f.ff..ffun.  (<— that’s my attempt at typing shivers, did it work? or…) No seriously, it was great.  Cold, yes.  But also so much fun!  A vast improvement on last year’s MN Christmas when Crosby was in the dirty depths of his acid reflux/colic/not sleeping for longer than 45 mins at a time.  I have PTSD from last Christmas.  ::shudder::   In our typical MN-trip fashion, we crammed 165 million activities into the 9 days that we were there and it still somehow didn’t seem to be enough time to do all the things/see all the peeps/eat all the foods.  That last part is a lie… we actually did eat all the foods.  But you know what they say…. when in casseRome!  (Get it?  Casserole…. Rome…. casseRome….??….???…… nevermind.)  Anyways, thanks to our families and friends for making our trip “home” so wonderful!  Now if you’ll all kindly send me $50 to buy stretchy pants, that’d be great.

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Anyone else think that Crosby is channeling Dr. Evil in this photo?  Riiiiight.

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We got back to Portland a few days before official Christmas, which was actually kind of nice because we still had so much fun junk to look forward to.  Plus, this was going to be our first time celebrating Christmas on Christmas in our own home.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being with our larger families for the holidays but there was something so charming about being able to hang out at home on Christmas Eve and wake up and open presents with our kid under our own Christmas tree on Christmas morning.  I mean, that’s the American dream, isn’t it?  And we’re nothing if not patriotic.

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Whatevs, big guy.  Whatevs.

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We continued our little family’s tradition of opening a new pair of Christmas pj’s on Christmas Eve and watching a boatload of Christmas movies.  We also started a new tradition of making Christmas Eve lobster macaroni + cheese.  HOLLA!  (sorry.)  And broccoli, because growing toddler.  On Christmas morning, Crosby awoke us with enchanting angelic hymns jet-lagged screams at 4:45am.  I repeat, 4:45am!!!?!  Ho ho how?  Why?  Thank sweet little baby Jesus in the manger that Santa brought me a Nespresso for Christmas.  Because almond milk lattes are the true meaning of Christmas.  With a one-year-old.


IMG_5791 IMG_5792 IMG_5794 Crosby’s signature cheese face that I want to have tattooed on my hand.

IMG_5795 Cheese face hangover.  And guys?  Please note that it is still PITCH BLACK outside.  Because 5am.

IMG_5797 This was Crosby’s face when he caught his first glimpse of his new play kitchen!  That he never even knew he wanted!

IMG_5799 getting closer….

IMG_5801almost there…

IMG_5803Stoked.  Him, not me.  Ok, both of us.  And Gus.

IMG_5807 IMG_5808And what Christmas is complete without the Christmas Vacation moose mugs!?  “It’s good.  It’s good.”  PS I LIVED in these pajamas for approximately two weeks. They are so comfy, cozy.  Highly recommend.

Ok so!  Onto New Year’s Eve!  We planned a little shindig at our place with a few friends, buuut… we had to unexpectedly cancel it a few hours before everyone showed up because Crosby woke up from his nap that afternoon with a big ol fever.  Poor little dude.  And then poor me, who caught his bug a couple of days later.  Question: Parents of the world, is there any way to avoid getting whatever sickness your kid has?  If anyone has any pointers, please send them to me via UPS with a side of throat lozenges.  Thanks a mill.  We’re finally both on the mend after a doozy of a few days.  And I’m officially declaring us DONE with being sick for the rest of 2016.  Do you hear me, Carson Daly?!  NO MORE SICKNESSES FOR THE THOMPSONS.  It’s hard enough we have to deal with your bullshit on the Voice night after night.  (am I right or am I right?)

Welp, that about does it for us at Camp Kleenex.  I hope you’re all having a magical and snot-free start to your 2016.

And hey, thanks for reading.