Tag Archives: Beth

Emergency Contact

This past weekend we moved Beth into her new apartment. It takes 35 minutes to drive from our house to her house. This is the closest we have lived to family since the short period of time that Steve (Tim’s brother) lived in Bismarck, ND for a few months while we lived there. That was 7 and a half years ago.

The moving went fast with the help of the building’s elevator and the community shared grocery cart. Granted I didn’t help move her out of her previous residence so I may be looking at the moving process through rose-colored glasses!

Every time my Dad helps Beth or I move anything anywhere, he pledges it will be the last time he will ever help us move but we all know that if we ever need him to tell us which way to pivot a couch to get it up 3 flights of stairs, he will be there using his Viking framed shoulders to lift, haul or push “all our crap” into our new space.

Beth and I love you Dad.

My mom had the nerve grating task of keeping the kids both occupied and out of the way while the rest of us unloaded the truck. I gladly pushed the cart fill with boxes labelled, “Athletic Training Stuff, Kitchen, Bathroom and Misc” (Yes all that in one box-she is a seriously unorganized packer) one load at a time so I could be relieved of kid corralling detail. Grandma’s are the best.

For so many reasons both selfish and not as selfish, I am so excited to have Beth living in the cities.

I love that there will be family besides Tim and I to witness the heart melting adorableness that is our kiddos in Holiday Programs, Swim lessons and, if I can ever find a dance class that works with our schedule, Dance Recitals.

I love that when Tim and I have to go to one of his work social gatherings that we have someone to watch the kids that won’t run home and tell her mom, one of our neighbors, that I had a little too much liquid courage and could barely sign her name on the check I wrote out as payment. Seriously – you try small talking for 6 hours straight over a dinner that is delicious but served in fairy sized portions by a wait staff that never lets your glass go empty. You would be drunk too!

I love that we can have family dinners with extended family without having to either pack bags and drive for hours or prepare a bed couch for the family to sleep on.

I love that Tim and I can have a random date night without dropping an extra $50-$60 on a babysitter and instead just pay my sister in frozen pizza and hugs and kisses from our kids.

And my possible favorite thing besides having a nearby Reality TV fan to spend an evening (or two) a week shouting at the TV with, is that I can put a family member down as emergency contact on all the school and sports forms. This is such a relief in so many ways. We now have someone who I know will drop anything if there is an emergency and we need them. I have good friends here but only having family close by can give you that sense of unconditional security that comes with knowing night or day, someone has your back.

The list goes on but I will not. I will not because I am making a list of all the places I need to call to change our Emergency Contact Information.

I would never want to live in the same house as my sister again –  we are much better sisters when we are not under the same roof, but I am so excited and filled with joy over the fact that we live within an hour of each other.

Life is good.

You can see pics from the move in process on my Instagram feed. 

Favorite Anniversary

The surprise that I mentioned yesterday, that Beth and I had been scheming about for over a month, was that she offered to take the kids for the weekend – at her house – in Duluth!

The plan was that I would convince Tim that it would be fun for our family to drive up to Duluth and spend the night at Beth’s and then spend the next day hanging out with her on the shores of Lake Superior. He wasn’t excited but because he loves me and because he knows the kids always have a blast he said enthusiastically, “Sure. We can go.” Except it wasn’t enthusiastic. It was more begrudgingly and with a bit of a sulky pout.

The plan was going smoothly. He had no idea and then we rented a pressure washer the afternoon before we were suppose to leave thinking it wouldn’t take more than a few hours and we would be able to leave at noon the next day (Friday) and head to Duluth for the weekend as a family.

Well like every DIY project things didn’t go as expected and at 11am Tim was still spraying and I was getting angry. I had this big weekend planned and he was talking about returning the sprayer and then spending the money to rent it again so we could leave for Duluth as planned. He didn’t know why I was mad. So he took it personally and then I got even more frustrated. I was packing up the kids and the plan was I would pack a suitcase for Tim and I and when I made him pull over at a gas station for a pee break, Beth would be there. We would yell SURPRISE and then Tim and I would switch cars with Beth so she had a van full of kids and we had a car to ourselves with a packed bag. We could go to a nearby resort or we could head home and enjoy having the house to ourself.

Because we were both mad, and because I didn’t want to have to rent the sprayer again when in actuality had hours of spray time if I just drove the kids myself, I spilled the beans. He was shocked and so happy and loved the surprise. He kept asking, “Really?!” It was fun. Tim isn’t a huge fan of surprises so it was great that this one was so well received. As I predicted Tim didn’t want to go to a resort, he wanted to stay home and enjoy the empty house.

I switched my van full of kids for Beth little red car and sang at the top of my lungs to music I liked the whole way home.

Tim was just finishing up the deck when I got home. It worked out perfectly.

We spent that Friday night, all day Saturday and Sunday morning enjoying being husband and wife while taking a break from parenthood.

That Friday night while drinking happy hour drinks at Tavern Grill we realized that this was the first kid free weekend we have had that didn’t involve another commitment. Sure we went to 4 AGMs with out the kids but that is a weekend of meetings for Tim and then large social activities with Tim’s co-workers. Fun but not a vacation. The only other time we can remember being without the kids was at my friends Jess’s wedding when I was 7 months pregnant with Patrick. Another great time but not a weekend just for us.

The weekend was much-needed and more appreciated than Beth will ever know.


Memorial Day Weekend Part 2

Part 1

It was wet, rainy and foggy all weekend until the last hours of daylight on Sunday night. This made for a wet and chilly weekend that was a bit of a challenge to photograph. I did my best, but I am hoping when we go back over the 4th of July we will have sun so I can try and get some better photos.

Michael and Patrick drove (with a little help) 4-wheelers and Elise giggled. I really don’t know who had more fun. The boys or Elise.


Even though this photo is slightly out of focus it is still one of my favorites from the weekend.


My Dad is awesome at a lot of things, but there are a few things that I remember being in awe of when I was a little girl that I still am in awe of today. My Dad can make a blade of grass whistle and he can skip a rock like no other. These skills give my Dad some major Papa points with the kids.


Last year at this time Elise couldn’t fully appreciate the fun of throwing rocks into the water. This year she got it and was right there with her brothers tossing rocks and watching them splash. I think once a week this summer we will go to a rocky beach, I will bring a magazine and flip through glossy ads while the kids throw rocks. Sounds like a good time for all.


It was my Dad’s birthday over the weekend so I had Tim snap this shot so we could print it out and frame it for him. The only other thing my dad wants is a bigger tractor and the cabin renovations to be complete and I can’t do either of those, so photo in frame it is.



I don’t love her more than I love the boys, she is just so much easier to photograph. I think the boys are a bit fed up with the constant picture taking. They rarely even turn when I call their name if they know I am snapping pictures.


This new chip on their shoulder doesn’t deter me though, it just leads to more profile and silhouette shots.






After some down time that lasted just long enough to let their hoodies dry out a bit, we hit Lake Darling for some fishing.



I don’t know why I get a kick out of this shot but I do. The boys had so much fun and took it very seriously… until PJ got frustrated, but that is just par for the course. Here they are discussing their chances of catching a fish while Tim and my Dad do all the work.




Elise was the only one that caught something.


Michael had the most fun. He would have stayed out there casting all day long. If it wouldn’t have been raining I might have let him.





Look at that cast!


The poles were cheap poles from Target but they were worth it. We will keep them at the cabin (because Lord knows I won’t be taking them fishing!) and this can become a new tradition for the kids and Papa.


They did so much in the 2 days we were there, and so many photos were taken that I think I am going to have to break this up into another post!

Part 3 tomorrow.


The last night of the AGM the kids charmed a few of our good friends into loving them even more without even knowing it. We live far from family but we have grown to be really good friends with some of Tim’s colleagues and their spouses and families. The last night of AGM is always “family night.” It is a night filled with fun activities for the whole family.

This is how they won over our dear friends.

Patrick was so intense and so eager to make a dream catcher. He later told our friends that he was so excited to hang it over his bed to catch all his bad dreams but that sometimes he likes bad dreams because the villains like Bowser are fun.



I helped Elise make hers and she picked the pinkest beads out of the basket. Thank you Beth for snapping this photo. I love being behind the camera but it makes me happy to think that the kids will have a few photos a me to look back at too.

Michael is a rule follower. True he spends a great amount of his time trying to find a loop-hole in the rules but when you ask him to do something he almost always does it. He is especially sweet, protective and super responsible whenever we ask him to keep an eye on his sister. It isn’t like we go out for happy hour drinks and leave him in charge, but he is old enough now that  if when I have to reprimand Patrick for not listening to his swim teacher at lessons, I can tell Michael to make sure that Elise stays sitting on the bench and does not leave her spot, and I know that Elise will not end up in the pool. He takes this job very seriously and will literally stand guard in front of her shuffling a basketball-like shuffle in front of her so she can not move off the bench. I knew that when I asked him to keep and eye on Elise when she and a few other kids took over an empty stage for an impromptu dance performance, he would do just that. Michael was right up there dancing away but also making sure that Elise wasn’t too close to the edge of the stage. Patrick was up there too but he was so focused on his freestyle dancing that I don’t think an elephant walking across the stage would have broken him from his concentration on his dance moves.

Look at those watchful eyes of big brother. He is so good with her.

Elise is two years old, beautiful and can give you the snarkiest looks or the sweetest smile.  She charms everyone all the time, but on Family Night she was on her A game. Maybe it was the beaded hippy shirt and sparkly pink shoes or maybe it was because it was 2 hours past bed time and she was delirious… I don’t know but I think even Tim fell in love with her again that night.

(photo credits to Nanny of the year)

I love my babies.