Wednesday, April 30, 2014

missing beauty and inspiration

all this rain, mud, snow, and cold has me feeling drab lately. I can sense myself wanting to start getting excited for the busy photography season to pick up and my mind starts rolling with ideas and searching for inspiration but then feeling immediately let down when i look out the back window and see nothing but mud, dead trees, and saturated field roads. sigh. for now i am reminiscing of the mountains. i had to go digging through the archives from summer 2012....back when bubby was just a wee little pea in my belly. it was my 30th birthday and I spent it puking in the mountains during peak time of 1st trimester. I was miserable but exactly where I wanted to be for my big 3-0.

original posts from the trip can be seen here and here.


Monday, April 28, 2014

lexis turns FOUR!

birthday weekend trip to mall of america. the title should really read #chaosfilledfun

if you were following me on facebook prior to lexi's birthday, i had been over analyzing where to take the family for a mini vacation. the criteria was supposed to be some place new, low key, rustic, scenic drive along the way, but open activities for the kids and within four hours drive from home. nothing was meeting all of that. i initially had my heart set on the northwoods. I've actually never been to much of northern Wisconsin so it's on my list to visit. however, it's not really the best time to go in mid-april when lakes are still frozen, snow is still on the ground, dead looking trees and nothing open except the random pool in the hotel. then i found a state park that sounded up our alley in mid-Illinois....except a) too much mud from all the recent rain and b) they were booked for Easter weekend. SO, what else was there but Wisconsin Dells or the MOA. We chose MOA since it at least fit our criteria of some place new and it met our distance travel circle. So off to Minnesota we went.

i drew lexi a treasure map that she had to follow. first we had to pass the orange moose, then go over a river, then up a hill, then over another river, then yet another bigger river, and then once we saw airplanes, we'd arrive at the hotel. She was pretty stoked and as we took off just one mile down the road she said "mom, you forgot to add the dog to the map!" So she grabbed the pen and draw the neighbor's dog. Naturally she fell asleep just after Tomah so she missed the orange moose and first river (aka Black River Falls). A pit stop in Eau Claire at SuperTarget for supplies and coffee allowed her to see the second river and then third river (the mighty Mississippi).

three fun-filled, i mean exhausting, days and nights. it really was fun. lexi had a blast, but be warned ---> if you have a one year old and a four year old, good luck. {insert evil laugh}.

and so begins the trip. sunset just past eau claire.

bubby super loved watching the airplanes take off each morning. the first morning he watched half a dozen take off one right after each other and the kids made a game to see what was the biggest one they could see take off.
the front desk left the birthday girl a surprise when we checked in
lexi spent 9 hours at nickolodean the first day. this ride was her favorite. i think i counted she went on it 6 times at least. Justin was in line with her for the bigger one of this type of ride but then she chickened out. maybe next time.
liam - mr. catch me if you can
pre new studly haircut hair
and more game of catch me if you can
ha, ha, i can outrun dad any day. or try to.
sea life aquarium the day of her birthday.
for those who care, some of these were at iso 12,800+
i am always up for trying new food and restaurants. i have a bucket list a mile long of places i want to dine at some day. call it an obsession. so naturally bubba gump shrimp has been towards the top of my list to try ever since we skipped it while visiting Breckenridge, Colorado a few years ago. it was my only main request of the weekend.