Monday, December 2, 2013

Part 2: Minnesota Activities and Thanksgiving!

Ok, continuing on (a little out of order, but hey I at least got all the pictures up!)...
It was absolutely freezing cold in Minnesota while we were there.  I was desperate to get some energy out of the kids so we went to this cool place called The Blast in Eagan. They had a little slide for Layla.

That she did approx 4 times and then proceeded to spend the rest of the time snacking.  Why play when you can eat yummy snacks and watch people play?

Bad picture with my phone but here was the playground part. You can't really tell but it was huge and super high and Brady had a blast (no pun intended).

On Wednesday we went to the Mall of America. My parents literally live 5 minutes from the mall (which can be a great thing and a bad thing, mainly for my wallet). We went to the Sea Life exhibit there which is just basically a huge aquarium.

Brady, my ever so cautious, little boy not too keen on the observation deck.

My kids sure do love fishies!

And Layla sure loves her Grampa!

It was pretty neat seeing all of the different sea life


We went to the rotunda and saw the giant Christmas trees

Which my pictures do absolutely no justice to

And Layla used her lady mullet in all its glory to greet passerbys at the mall.

Another night we met our friends Spike (Layla's godfather and no that's not his real name) and Jenna (his girlfriend, as far as I know that's her real name) for another fun trip at the mall

First we played with Legos

And then rode some rides

They were such good sports!

And some more rides

Me taking a picture, trying not to puke on the spinning balloon ride

The kids opening their Christmas gifts from them. Brady got a Planes airport and he thought it was just about the greatest thing ever, it made me excited for Christmas this year!

Brady trying to re-create his Daddy's picture. Couldn't quite capture the ultra short shorts though, haha!

Catherine's boyfriend also flew in so we got to spend some time with him. Excuse the blurry pictures. Not only is my camera pretty crap-tastic but Layla also tried taking pictures with it and got her smudgy little fingers on my lens and I didn't realize it till after this picture!

As tradition goes, we all got sick while we were there and proceeded to get everyone else sick as well. This is what Thanksgiving morning looks like when no one feels good.  Sadly my family's Thanksgiving got canceled because my parents felt so sick. We really missed seeing my Aunt and Uncles. Hopefully we'll see them when we go home for Christmas!

After naps though my kids were re-charged and ready for some Thanksgiving grub! We headed to Brian's aunt and uncle's house and had a fun Ross Thanksgiving. Brady really liked the turkey and gobbled it right up (pun intended).

The part I was looking the most forward to: the cheeseball Brian's grandma makes, this time shaped as a turkey. Soo good!

Some of the family

and some more! We were so blessed to be able to spend time with everyone but we were really missing a certain someone. Holidays apart are never fun but I'm so glad I at least got to spend it with Brian's family.

Brady and his buddy Chris working on some coloring and Sudoku. I'll let you guess who is doing which! :)

And Layla got to spend some time with her great grandma reading stories. Melts my heart that they have so much family they get to spend time with.

And this was the best picture I got of the two of them on Thanksgiving, oh well!

Thanksgiving night I actually went shopping. I said I wouldn't, but the kids went to bed early and I was curious what it would be like that night since I'd never gone before. It actually wasn't crazy at all (besides Kohls) and I got a ton of Christmas shopping done and got a lot of great deals! I also went out a little on Black Friday too. I sure took advantage of the no sales tax on clothing in Minnesota and got some cute stuff for myself and the kiddos as well.

After shopping I took the kids to an indoor park in Edina, MN and we met up with Laura (Brady's godmother) and my friend Alex.

The playground was all sorts of crazy but the gym part was relatively calm so we spent a majority of our time there.

I even got to be pushed around. While Brady told me, "Mommy! You're sooooo heavy!!" Thanks, bud.

Laura got to be pushed too, haha!

Saturday I took Brady for a date and we got him some new shoes!  I also got to have a lunch date with a dear friend, Stacy, who I hadn't seen in a long time.

Saturday night we got to celebrate Aunt Cat's 23rd birthday. We had some delicious cupcakes and then got ready to take the kids to the Holidazzle!

Layla all bundled up, haha!

The Holidazzle is a parade of lights that goes through Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. The last float is always Santa and it's a pretty magical parade. We used to go when we were younger, I'd even marched in it a couple of times in high school. With it being the last year, I knew we had to take the kids to experience it at least once.

Brady LOVED it!

Layla was cold but had fun too!

This was by far their favorite float...the choo choo!

Seeing the magic in his eyes was worth the cold, traffic, and all around craziness that is the Holidazzle.

And then on Sunday I braved it and drove from Minnesota to Omaha by myself with both kids and the dog. They did amazing, I couldn't believe it. We made it in 5.5 hours which is pretty awesome (only 2 stops)!!  This was the pretty sunset as we approached Omaha.  We had a pretty great trip to Minnesota. Besides the sickness, it went really well. Surprisingly the kids slept well which is usually our biggest issue which then leads to crabbiness, etc.  We got to see a lot of family, the kids got to see all of their grandparents, all of their godparents, all of their aunts and uncles, and some friends too! I got to have some me time and get lots of shopping done and catch up with friends I hadn't seen in awhile as well.  We really are so, so blessed to have both sides of our family and our friends just 5-6 hours away.  

It really is so good to be home though and getting back into our routine. And now it's December too (can I get an amen?)!! We're getting that much closer to Daddy coming home and then Christmas!  I have so much to do: unpack, laundry, clean, shop, decorate, and maybe find some time to sleep in there too.  

We hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I'm off to tackle some things on my never-ending to-do list! :)


Janelle Vannice said...

It sounds (and looks) like you guys had a wonderful trip!!! So glad! :)

Becky Dougherty said...

I'm really glad you had such a wonderful trip and a happy Thanksgiving! :)

Traci@TheHallway said...

Looks like you guys had a wonderful trip! Glad you made it back safe and sound and are back at home! I know we felt the same way once we got back home too! ;) Hope you guys have a wonderful week!! :)

Jenn said...

Yay I'm so glad y'all had such a successful trip home (minus the sickness)! December is HERE and I'm so excited for your homecoming :)

Also, I keep forgetting to email you and tell you that we got your package! I am saving the gifts for the kids to open later. ;) Everything made it fine, except one bag of popcorn. I think it exploded. But the other two bags are fine! MORE than fine- they are delicious ;) And you speak my love language with all the chocolate! THANK YOU. I finally made it to the PX today and got boxes so now I can send you your Christmas box too! (FINALLY) Thank you again so much!! You are too sweet!

Kate @ Daffodils said...

What a busy trip!! How amazing is the mall of america? And why have I never noticed the lady mullet? Bennett had a killer mullet as a toddler too. I kind of miss it. Glad you are home safely!

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