Sarah & Nixon

Last weekend, JP's cousin got married to a wonderful man named Nixon. Nixon has been a part of the family for a long time now, but it was fun to finally make it official and celebrate the day.

You can imagine my surprise when Sarah approached me about taking pictures for their wedding. I had never done anything like that before, and I was pretty nervous. But I'm so glad I said yes, because it was so much fun and such a learning experience!

Another friend of the family, who is a real photographer, approached me when she heard I was doing the wedding and offered to help in any way she could. It was such a relief to have Jacki help out that day, shooting from different angles, watching for details, letting me borrow equipment, and offering tips as I shot (Visit Jacki V. Photgraphy here).

I am slowly working my way through editing all of the photos (I whittled it down from over 1300 to around 750), and here are a few of my favorites so far. Congrats Sarah & Nixon!


Tic, Tac, Toe!

Three in a row, together for the first time!
(Left to right: Chloe, Jeremiah, & Rosie)

Missy & baby Jeremiah were in town from North Carolina for a very quick two days this past weekend. It was so wonderful to see Missy and to meet my sweet nephew for the first time! He is a smiley, happy baby with such big, blue eyes. It was hard to let go and see them leave again so quickly. We are thankful for every minute we get with them.


Camping at Interstate Park

Alternately titled: MY COMPUTER IS FINALLY FIXED! :) Well, not completely fixed, but functioning. We have a new keyboard coming in and once it is replaced, then we'll be back in business.

So here is the long awaited camping post that I started drafting what seems to be a very long time ago!


Two weekends ago we did what most people are telling us we were crazy to even attempt. We went camping with two toddlers, a 3-week-old newborn and three dogs. Plus some great friends.

We camped at the group site at Interstate Park near Taylor's Falls. We were actually on the Wisconsin side as there is an Interstate Park in both MN and WI. The weather was unseasonably warm -- almost too warm for a fall camping trip during the day, but perfect at night.

Our friends, Jamie & Deanna came with their 4-year-old son, Jack. The kids were in heaven. There were rocks to climb and adventures to be had everywhere they turned. Rosie, for the most part, just snuggled with me in the K'Tan or slept in her car seat.

We arrived on Friday and set up camp, cooked some hot dogs over the fire and explored the site until the sun set. After the kids went to bed, we had a very fun time sitting up around the fire with Jamie & Deanna, just talking and relaxing. My big mistake was that I stayed up WAY too late around the fire for a mother with a 3-week-old newborn.

That night I didn't get ANY sleep at all. By the time I went to bed, I had to get up again with the baby to feed her. Her nose was stuffed up and she was having a hard time eating and sleeping, which kept me awake. Ruby woke up twice that night as well, and it all combined to be a very restless, red-eyed night. I honestly don't think I got more than 45 straight minutes of sleep at once that night.

Saturday was a beautiful day and we had so many fun things to do. We went on a hike to the spot where JP proposed to me six years ago, threw rocks in the river, hiked some more, etc.

By lunch time, I was exhausted, and by dinner time, I was C.R.A.B.B.Y.

I had ZERO tolerance, ZERO patience, and ZERO ability to stop myself from pulling out my hair. Every time I turned around, the girls or dogs were getting into something, getting on my nerves, and wearing on my patience.

The last thing we were doing for the day was to go for one more hike before the kids' bedtimes. I sat Ruby down on the potty chair and told her to go. We sat there for at least 10 minutes, but she didn't go. So we left for our walk, and as soon as we got just far enough away from the site that it was too inconvenient to go back...you guessed it. "Mom, I need go potty."

I almost screamed and told JP he had to deal with it or I was going to lose it. He tried to get Ruby to pee in the grass, but she wouldn't do it. Finally we told her to hold it and we continued on our hike. Then Rae started complaining that her legs were tired. Then it started raining on us, and me with the baby and my camera.

The walk back was wet and too long for me; it was all I could do not to burst into tired tears and fall asleep right where I was standing. JP had the patience of an angel, alternating Rae & Ruby on his shoulders and keeping the mood light.

We finally made it back around 7:45 pm and I went straight to the tent, put Ruby to bed, nursed the baby, and went to bed myself at around 8:15 pm. No sitting around the campfire for me that night.

That night we all slept much, much better, and I woke up refreshed. Sunday was another beautiful day, if not a little soggy. My brother & his girlfriend had arrived the previous night after I had already gone to bed, so we got to spend a little time with them, too. After we broke down camp we went for one more hike along the river before heading home.

With the exception of my bad attitude on Saturday night, it really was a wonderful trip. I think Taylors Falls may be our new favorite "close by" campground. It took us less than an hour to get there, and the scenery was wonderful.

Here are some pictures!

JP & Jamie -- friends since grade school
Climbing the "mountain"
Rae Rae
The Henry Family (Minus their youngest, Dylan, who didn't come on the trip)
JP & Gideon -- love it
On a hike up to the spot where JP proposed to me

Our whole family at the spot where JP proposed
The ride home



I just wanted to let you all know that I am TRYING to post pictures and stories from our camping trip, but my computer is freaking out (I'm typing this on JP's computer). I don't know what's wrong with it, but it keeps on deleting things and skipping all over the page when I try to type.

I could write the post from here, but all of my pictures are on my computer and I can't get it to work well enough to email the pictures to myself. Gah!

So please bear with me. Hopefully I'll be able to post soon.


Johnye Rose -- One month

I cannot believe that Rosie is already one month old! I can't believe I thought my heart was already full before she was here.

Like the other two girls, she is an excellent baby. She eats and sleeps well, stretching about six to six and a half hours of sleep at night. She has a fussy time in the evening, usually right around dinner time, but the rest of the day she is sweet and quiet. She is staying awake for longer periods of time now, up to about an hour or sometimes more!

She now makes very good eye contact and can follow an object or face that moves slowly in front of her. She teases us with little half-smiles and sleepy smiles, but I can't say I've gotten a true, responsive, full smile out of her yet! Sometimes she coos, and she's graduated from the tiny, squeaky newborn cry to a full-blown, piercing wail when she's not happy. She spits up a lot and goes through diapers like they grow on trees, but hey -- she's worth it all.

We love you, Johnye Rose!

***A quick note about the photo -- she was strapped to my chest in the baby K'tan when I took it. I just held the camera out in front of me and blindly snapped a shot. I couldn't believe the outcome! She's even sort of smiling!


Welcome to...

This was a very fun fall project to do with the girls! Every part of it was interactive and fun, from collecting to decorating. I LOVE the way it turned out!

Hunting Season

JP is full-tilt boogie into hunting season this year, with his new best bud Gideon in tow. Apparently Gideon is doing great and learning quickly. They go out every chance they get. We've already had grouse for dinner, plus pheasant fajitas and pheasant stir fry. The grouse was just like chicken to me, but the pheasant is a bit darker, a little greasier, and has a fibrous texture to it that I don't care for as much. Oh well. It makes JP proud to eat it, so I'll cook it up!

JP also found out that with bird hunting, there is no age minimum for who you can bring with you. So he invited Rae to go with him! She's gone twice now, and she L-O-V-E-S it. They haven't even seen any birds together yet, but they heard a couple of grouse flush and she was so excited about it! Plus, she's pretty darn cute in her blaze orange!