Fall Friends and Family Fest

Spending time with old friends and family do wonders for the soul. We’ve been lucky enough to host and visit a slew of friends and family in the past month. We reminisced, laughed at how ‘old’ we’ve gotten and had fun just hanging around in sweats having a cocktail or two.

Our first guests of the fall were our friends Ryan and Claire. They’ve been friends of ours for about a decade now (what?!) and currently live in Rhode Island. Huge Colorado State fans, we planned their trip for a visit two years ago when the 2016 CSU football team announced a game at Minnesota. Needless to say we’d been looking forward to it for some time.

While not all of the fun things I had planned came to fruition thanks to crummy weather and most of us coming down with bad colds, we had a great time! Here are a few highlights.

 


A few days after they left, we drove to Omaha to celebrate my Great Uncle Dan’s 75th birthday. It was a mini-family reunion of sorts. Unfortunately my dad and stepmom were out of the country and my Walker siblings away at school, but it was so much fun having almost the entire family together. It was fun introducing my kids to extended family and just celebrating as we used to on holidays when I was growing up.

Once back home, we only had to wait a few more days for my sorority sister Kirsten and her husband Brandon to arrive. Kirsten rocked the Medtronic Twin Cities 10 Miler! It was definitely fun to be a spectator for once. Ella and I also ran the Family Mile. She finished it in 12 minutes which I’m pretty sure is faster than I ran my first mile!

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We had better luck with babysitters and were out and about all weekend.

Ah, it was a like a breathe of fresh air being with them. I definitely ate and drank too much and ran too little, but I wouldn’t trade a moment of it.

Just this past weekend we also were treated to a visit from Josh’s parents. We enjoyed a nice dinner, took in a show at the Guthrie Theater and went on a train ride with the entire family. It was another great weekend.

Next weekend, it’s off to Indianapolis for the Monumental Half. I’ll have to write a little update on how training has shaped up. It’s been quite a ride these past several weeks. Can’t wait for more visitors, even if it isn’t until we thaw in the spring!

My Babies

Happy Mother’s Day

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These two monkeys. They are the most beautiful, funny, sweet and challenging people I’ve ever known. Motherhood has been everything and nothing I expected. While the days can be long, the weeks, months and years fly by. There are days with tears, tantrums and time-outs (both for them and me). While these days are the most challenging, they are worth all the other days that are filled with laughter and cuddles.

I don’t know if I’m doing it right. Most days, I’m sure that I’m probably not. What I do know is that both Ella and Anderson know how much they are loved. They know that I will always be therefor them. They know that I am so proud of them and proud to be their mom.

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Three Things Thursday {Little Bit of Life}

I don’t know about you, but this time change has caused nothing but problems this week. Grumpy, emotional kids and a husband working late every day, has made for an exceptionally trying week. It hasn’t been all bad though. Here are three things that have made my week.

  1. Ella has been in ice skating lessons since the fall. She has loved it and is super excited to participate in the annual ice skating show next month. Monday we had the pre-show pictures. I still cannot get over this adorable kid.3395_10102678455635423_8306562227290657710_n
  2. Anderson has blossomed into a kid, basically overnight. I swear the minute he turned 2.5 years old, he decided he was ready to really talk. He is now talking and singing up a storm. In music class and in our early childhood class, he is answering questions and singing along loudly. When I laughed the other day and said, who are you? He just looked at me and said, “I’m AJ mommy.” Yes, yes you are.12694889_10102620219116873_3252754204973665080_o
  3. Ella is really into St. Patrick’s Day. I think it’s just because she loves holidays. I put her in charge of helping me decide on things she wants to do to celebrate. First she wanted to make leprechauns which was easy enough. Then she found rainbow cookies on Pinterest. 11313056_10102682218888833_2943611067533248874_oTwo hours later, here we are. I’m never making them again, but both kids were so excited and appreciative. It was worth it.

It’s really the little things that brighten my day and week. Training has also been awesome, so that update to come!

Four Things

As I wait for photos of Anderson to upload for his 15 month post, it’s time for a little Q&A courtesy of Kimberly. Here we go.

Four names that people call me, other than my real name:

Mommy

Lobster

Captain

JDub…though this is slowly dying. It has been more than six years now since I was a Walker.

Four jobs that I’ve had:

Retail

Nanny

Marketing Manager

Consultant

Four movies I’ve seen more than once:

“Office Space”

“Love Actually”

“Grease”

“Zombieland”

Four books I’d recommend:

Gone Girl

Pride and Prejudice

One Hundred Years of Solitude

An American Tragedy

Four places I have lived:

Omaha, NE

Lawrence, KS

Denver, CO

Maple Grove, MN

Four places I have been:

London

Paris

Rome

Belize

Four things I don’t eat:

Pickled Herring – Josh has been trying to get me to eat it for years. I don’t really even like regular fish, let alone pickled.

Twinkies – Also cannot wrap my head around why any would want to eat these.

Tripe – I will never forget when Josh accidentally ordered it in Rome.

Coffee – I love the smell but I do not like the bitterness, not even the girlie Starbucks drinks.

Four of my favorite foods:

Cheese – Love love love cheese. Currently we have about six different types in our fridge.

Peanut butter – I eat it every day. When we travel and I don’t have any, I actually kind of miss it.

Indian – All kinds of dishes. Spicy, sweet, give them all to me with a side of naan so that I can get every last drop of sauce.

Chocolate – There is little self control when good chocolate, let’s be honest any chocolate, is around.

Four TV shows that I watch:

I don’t actually watch much now that we don’t have cable.

The Good Wife – recently started binge watching on Prime

Sons of Anarchy –  also watching with Josh on Prime

Parenthood – I’m a few weeks behind, but catching up.

The Today Show – That is unless the kids are up. Once the kids are up, the TV is turned off.

Four things I am looking forward to this year:

Quick vacation to Florida – Josh has training so we’re going to fly down to meet him. Not so much looking forward to flying with the kids myself, but excited to see the kids’ faces when we walk into Disney World. Oh and escape the cold for a few days.

Thanksgiving -By far my favorite holiday. What’s better than good food and family? This year we’re headed to Indiana to spend it with my mom, stepdad and siblings. Bonus, I might even get in a run with Kim!

Christmas – Again, food, family and tradition. We’ve been working on introducing our own little family traditions. Ella is starting to really get things like this. I’m so excited to do all things Christmas with the kids.

Spring – Yes it’s only been a week since we had our first snowfall, but unlike in Colorado, it’s going to be here until Spring. The day the last snow melts will be quite exciting.

Four things I’m always saying:

“Anderson, sit down, you’re going to fall.”

“Did you leave your listening ears on your pillow?”

“Good morning I love you” (kids and husband)

“I’m just going to run ….”

I’m supposed to tag people, but eh, share your fours!

The First Few Weeks

We made it through our first two weeks in Minnesota. It flew right by. I’m still sane and everyone is happy and healthy.

Transitioning from being a full-time working mom to a part-time work-at-home/stay-at-home mom was a bit daunting to me going in. I’ve been using the past few weeks to get us into a new routine, find fun activities to do, explore the area and figure out how to balance working (very part-time) and the kids.

We spent most mornings walking on horribly ugly paths like these:

Lone Lake Trail

and playing at parks like this:

Bryant Lake Park

Most days we’ll walk (mainly the dog and I walk) up to eight miles. I swear we are in the hillest city in the Twin Cities area. Our apartment is in a valley of hills that have been working me, especially when I’m pushing two kids in a stroller. It’s no wonder I found my clothes are fitting a little bit better.

When it’s sunny we like to spend time by the pool. Not by the pool, but rarely in it because the kids deem the water too cold.

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Or by the lake which has been the biggest hit of all.

Shady Oak Lake

In an effort to meet some fellow moms and find some playmates for Ella we also ventured to story time at Barnes and Noble. Ella was pretty excited about making this butterfly for me.

Ella and her craft

We’ve done some house hunting too. We’ve found houses we like, but nothing that has said, this is home to us. We loved everything about one house we saw this week, except for the lot it was on. Of course that same model on a better lot is about $80k out of the price range. Damn! We will find one, it may just take some time.

We’ve gotten to spend some time with Josh’s friend Peter and his wife Rachel. It’s been great getting to know Rachel better and have their guidance around our new city. They even watched the kids for a few hours for me so that I could work. I think I may just take them up on their offer to make it a regular Friday thing.

I also met some runners for a nice nine mile run. It was so nice to have some people to chat and run with. Several of the ladies are training for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon so I’ll have training partners! I’m excited about that.

I miss my mountains, our friends and family, little things like the grocery stores I know like the back of my hand and not having to rely on Google Maps to get around. But, I think we’re going to like it here.