Ten Years.

Ten years ago today.

Last Saturday was our 10th Anniversary date. We had big plans for our 10th anniversary since we did a small honeymoon (roller coasters at Cedar Point) and have never taken a non-work related vacation together just the two of us. The dreams started with an Alaskan cruise, then it was Jamaica, then it was Colorado, then a cabin in MN, then a hotel in St. Paul. Notice how each plan gets smaller and a little bit closer to home? What we ended up doing was a 7 mile canoe trip down the St. Croix River. The 10th anniversary gift is aluminium, so the canoe trip, as downsized of a celebration as it was, was the perfect way to mark the occasion.

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We are 10 years older. We have a 10-year-old mutt, a 9-year-old son that has taught us what being a parent means, a 7-year-old son whose mischievousness keeps us on our toes, a 5-year-old daughter that couldn’t be a better example of “what goes around comes around” and a cat that we all fear. It has been an adventure. A great adventure. And it just keeps getting better.

Cheers to us!

 

Michael

Michael’s last photos as an 8 year old.

Summer so far

It has been a busy summer so far. We have swam, hiked, played, traveled to Grandma and Grandpa Shannon’s house and then hiked some more.

 

We have a new favorite place to hike. Afton State Park is only 10 minutes from our house but we have never been there until this summer. We have been missing out!

When we are not hiking or swimming you can usually find us swinging on ropes or trying desperately to master the slackline (more on that another time).

The kids have been, for the most part, quite good. I have come to realize that they are at their most peaceful state when they are outside or exhausted. So that is my mission. Every day, all day… keep them moving, keep them outside as much as possible and make them exhausted. If they are not exhausted. We go hiking again.

Every hike, my backpack is packed with sunscreen, water, a snack, colored pencils and their sketchbook. I make them take a break along the hiking path, eat a snack, drink some water and then they have to draw in the sketchbook.

Then we hike some more.

And then when we get home if they are still have energy, we play games.

Sometimes we take a break and bake.

But then we go hiking again.

Even if they have already had bath, are in pajamas but are wound up, we wait for Dad to get home and go for a before bed hike.

It has been a fun and exhausting summer.

More photos here.