Jan 29, 2016

Fun In The Sun

1/29/2016 — cori

We had three unexpected treats today: sun, skating and a shake.

The kids had the day off school. We probably could have wiled away the day laying next to the fireplace reading our individual stacks of books and playing chess. And that would have been fun and relaxing for each of us. But then I remembered that it's the annual St. Paul Winter Carnival. And how fun would it be to spend our free day together walking around outside on a cold, gray, windy day looking at ice sculptures?!

Everyone bought what I was selling and we jumped in the car and headed up there. And what do you know, on our way the sun broke through the clouds and shone from the heavens. That's when I knew that this was going to be a glorious day! Suddenly the cold didn't matter. The wind disappeared and all was right in the world again. The sun came out.

We admired several of the ice sculptures and then headed over to the out-door skating rink. It's always fun watching your kids fall down repeatedly for no reason at all. Especially Bennett. He was never in an upright position (except in this photo and that's only because he's clinging to me). Chloe's hand was glued to the little side wall which helped her navigate the skating oval. Gavin was too cool to fall down. And I was brazen enough to bring my camera out on the ice. I find ice skating infinitely easier than snow skiing. I just get bored of going in circles. I wish there was some type of ice maze or track you were supposed to follow to go somewhere other than the repetitive, never-ending oval. But it was fun none-the-less.

You can't just stop having fun so abruptly. So we capped off our little outing with some delish milkshakes courtesy of Smashburger. Yes, that was lunch and I am okay with that. Because we are having fun, right? And fun doesn't have to always be healthy. Right? And because the sun is out. And I desperately want to be the  'cool', 'fun' mom, even if I have to sacrifice my healthy food choices to attain that status level with my kids. #Relevant

The Big Game

1/29/2016 — cori

See number 50 shooting the free throw? That's my boy! He was on fire this game. The whole team was. What a difference it makes when the 5 guys out on the court are playing like a team. They can move mountains! And they did. The gray and red team they are playing against is Lakeville North. Our long time rival. We have never beat them in 5 years of playing against them. But not this night. This night we went out there and whooped up on them to the shock of everyone.

The game was ours right from the start.  Number 4 - Nathan, swished 3 3-pointers to put us on top within the first two minutes. That boosted our teams' moral big-time. Suddenly, we remembered everything we've ever learned these past five years of playing ball. We passed like pros. We rebounded. We stole the ball. We made every fast-break we took. We followed actual plays. It was a dream come true. Not only for Bennett and his team but for those of us who have spent countless hours in the stands cheering them on year after year. We couldn't contain our excitement.

Bennett ended up with 23 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist. His best game to date. The team was unstoppable this one game on this one night. We won the game 62-51. The highlights never made it to ESPN. No one else will probably ever hear of this single win in an otherwise less than stelar season to an average 8th grade boys B team. But we will never forget it. It's the memory that will propel them forward when they need to draw on something from the past in situations that require the "I think can, I think can, I think can..." mentality. We couldn't have been prouder. Who needs a superbowl ring or an NCAA Championship title or Nike endorsement? We have the David vs. Goliath win over Lakeville North. That's all we need.

Jan 13, 2016

Surprised at Seventeen

1/13/2016 — cori

Shockingly, we were able to pull off a surprise party for Gavin for this, his 17th year. It was awesome. It was everything I was hoping it would be. He was truly shocked. Without ever meeting any of his friends before (except one) I was able to successfully get a bunch of them here. I sneakily asked Gavin to give me the phone numbers of his co-captains in Mock Trial just in case I ever needed to reach him in case of an "emergency" - he willingly obliged. They in turn spread the word to the rest of the team. Within one week we had 12 people rounded up and here on time. Unfortunately, I had to leave all the decorating to the two crazy kids behind Gavin because I only had an hour to make all the finger foods to feed everyone. But that made it all the more special for him. He turned as red as a tomato but stayed as cool as a cucumber. His response upon walking into his surprise was, "Hmmm, that's interesting." He was a gracious host. We had a blast playing games all night with these sweet people.

On his actual birthday we celebrated by going out with Grandma and Grandpa to the restaurant of his choice - Osaka Hibachi Grill. It was nummy! Excellent choice Gavin. We came home and again played more games and ate even more cake. Good times were had by all.

At the beginning of our parenthood journey back in 2000.

And now only one year left with this sweet, awesome kid still living with us at home. 
What an amazing ride we've had! 

Jan 6, 2016

Bath Time

1/06/2016 — cori

In this house, we all prefer to bathe at night. It's just the thing we do. And since I still don't have a functional shower in my bathroom, I have to (I know, it's a hard life) take a bath in my beautiful, wonderful tub. Not that I'm complaining, I love me a good bath. But what I don't like is stealing all the hot water so the rest of my beloved clan get to bathe in only mildly luke-warm water or out-right cold water after me. Not cool. I try to let the kiddos get their showers in before I fill my tub.

But on this particular evening, as we got home a tad bit late, and definitely after my usual bath-time (which I won't share cuz it will just prove how pathetic I really am), I sighed and told the kids, "Well, I guess you should all get your showers in. I'll wait." The boys would have none of that. I'm not sure if it was because they don't care about personal cleanliness as much as their mother or if it was borne out of deep concern for their mother's mental stability and well-being, but they both reached for me at the same time and scooped me up to bring me upstairs so that I could be the first to take my bath.

They are so strong and big now. Chuck snapped this picture quickly on his phone as proof. My two knights in shining armor deposited me in my bedroom (without tripping, bumping into the wall or hurting themselves or me) and gallantly said they would wait to start their respective showers until they heard my water stop.

What sacrifice. What adoration. What a great excuse to stay up longer with Daddy and maybe forget to bathe and get to procrastinate the whole hygiene ritual just a little bit longer.

This is love people. They are speaking my language. I'm an early to bed, early to rise kind of person. My nightly bath calms me (plus the added bonus of getting clean is nice). My voice starts to crack, my eyes get droopy, my words cease to make sense, I get a far-a-way look in my eyes - they all know the signs. Mom is about to crash and needs her bath. And they rose to the occasion and showered me with love.

After my bath they tucked me in as is our new nightly ritual. Yes. I go to bed before most of my children. Life is full of surprises.  I never saw that one coming.

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