Monday, July 30, 2012

Big Girl's Birthday

Thursday was Lakin's 2nd birthday.  My mom was in town for the week so she got to spend the day with Grandma, which was such a treat for her.  Grandma was the shining star all week, Lakin wanted Grandma to get her out of the car, change her diaper, kick balloons with her, come with her for bedtime, get her milk, pretty much all things Grandma- ALL THE TIME.  My mom is awesome with Lakin and it was so fun to watch the two of them together.

Our little girl is so good at loving people.  She's never met a stranger who hasn't become a friend and she showers those around her with attention and loving words.  She really knows how to make a person feel cared for and I adore that about her.  I can't wait to see this gift from God develop as she gets older.  It's fun to see her with our family members who live far away.  Some kids would be shy and take time to warm up but Lakin instantly loves those around her which makes for some quick transitions and loads of fun.

But, back to her birthday.  I had an OB appointment and then had to work so before I left the house I made these yummy pancakes for a special birthday treat.
Lakin was in one of her foulest moods ever and had a bit of a birthday fit over the whole debacle. In fact, we saw her first teenage look ever on her second birthday.  Apparently the idea of pancakes with chocolate chips was so despicable to her that she couldn't even stand to look at them.  Below is the evidence of the severe mood swing experienced that morning.
 Here she is after just coming from downstairs.  Birthday tiara fixed atop head, check.  Smile on face, check.
 Hold up, there are tons of balloons on the floor that must be kicked and thrown.  This birthday is awesome!
 Wearing a tiny apron to help make some pancakes and Dora party hats.  Life couldn't be any sweeter.
 Um... what is this?  It's my birthday and you're trying to give me pancakes?  Where's my standard yogurt and berries.  This is baloney.  Cue: meltdown.  Cue: threat of birthday time out.  Cue: parental stand off.  Cue: ignoring of disgusted wiggling and grunting.  Cue: parental victory as toddler eats, and ENJOYS, special birthday pancakes.

After a monumental (and much needed) afternoon nap, Audrey and Cora came over for some birthday play time that evening.  Lakin was delighted to spend some time with her best friend.
 Lakin only wanted cake for her birthday.  She asked for it vigilantly all day and the days leading up to her birthday.  After dinner, we finally enjoyed a cupcake.  This made someone a happy girl.

When it came time to blow out candles, Lakin was more interested in grabbing herself a cupcake than actually blowing out the candles.  Once the tiny cake was secure on her tray, she turned her attention to the task at hand and was able to blow out the candles with a little help from dad.
 Audrey was pretty into her cake as well.
 Operation: Eat My Cake was completed in about 30 seconds.
 Papa and Gigi skyped in from KC for the present opening portion of the evening.  Lakin would open a gift and walk it over to the computer screen to show her grandparents and then walk it over to my mom to make sure everyone got a good look at her gifts.
 Opening gifts was hilarious.  Lakin would gasp over and over as she would tear tiny pieces of paper off the presents.  It didn't matter what was inside, she gasped with joy at everything she opened.
 The Eagen family got her a Dora fairy princess doll which she was pretty stoked about.  Dora has been on every outing with us since.  Thanks, Missy, for feeding the obsession.  Lakin loved the doll!
 I chose to include this photo so you could appreciate the accessories that Lakin gives me everyday.  She picked out that tiny bow for my hair.  If you don't look like a fool for your kids every now and then, are you really doing your job?

Chris and I got Lakin a Disney Princess dress up kit and some plastic princess high heels.  I know, really feminist of me, huh?  She loves them and I keep finding tiny, plastic, clip-on earring around the house.

It was a great birthday, minus the sour faces in the morning.  Lakin is already excited for birthday number 3.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rest In Peace Sister Goldfish or Reason 82 why we don't have pets

We brought home two special fish friends from the wedding on Saturday.  Fish #1 was dead within 12 hours of arriving home.  We really didn't see that one coming.  Luckily he croaked during nap time and Chris was able to give him a proper burial in the toilet before Lakin woke up.  She never noticed that her two friends were now one lonely fish.

The remaining finned friend was lovingly named Sister in sweet anticipation for what Lakin believes will be a baby sister coming to this house in September.  Sister, like Lakin, was always hungry.  "I think the fish is hungry, mommy."  was the common phrase heard in our house and Lakin liked to watch Sister while she dove in and out of her pink beads and came up for little fish gulps of air.




Today around dinner time Sister joined her unnamed friend and went to be with Jesus in Heaven.  I'd like to think it was simply her time but I wonder if perhaps all the snacks we gave her were part of her demise.  It could also have been the murky water she was forced to live in for the last 24 hours.  When I asked Chris how we would clean her bowl, he figured we would cross that bridge if nature hadn't taken it's natural course soon enough.  Could we have done more for Sister?  I don't know.

She was a loyal friend.  She will be missed.  Rest in Peace Sister Goldfish.  I know she'll be smiling down on us tomorrow as we celebrate Lakin's birthday.   Cue: Lion King's Circle of Life.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Dancing Queen

As mentioned in my last blog post, we were honored to attend the wedding of a dear friend of ours this past weekend.  Patrick and Amanda were married at the Rochester Golf and Country Club and I was the personal attendant.  It was so fun being a part of their intimate day and helping behind the scenes to make sure all things ran smoothly.  The wedding was gorgeous, the weather was perfect and the bride was breathtaking.  See for yourself.  
 Chris was in charge of getting Lakin to the three o'clock wedding and making sure she looked adorable and presentable.  I set out a cute little plaid dress and gave simple instructions.  About twenty minutes before the wedding I called to see how they were doing and to remind him to comb her hair.  Lady has some serious bed head immediately following her nap.  But my call was a bit too late, they were already in the car and Chris promised me her hair was fine, even without a comb through...
 This is how Chris enjoyed the wedding.  He and Lakin were on the outskirts, walking the golf course, and he was doing everything in his power to keep our chatty Cathy quiet and not disrupt the ceremony.  Yes, Lakin is lying face down between his legs.  I love this man.  He is a super dad.  She insisted on giving running commentary the entire ceremony.  "Dat's Amanda.  People are standing, Daddy.  Why's Cathy crying?  I want Cathy.  Patrick!  She is a fancy girl.  What's Amanda doing?  I want Cathy."
 After the ceremony and my personal attendant duties were all wrapped up Lakin and I reunited.  She puckered up for some sweaty kiss love.
 Would I have combed that mane?  Yes.  Am I grateful for all that my husband does.  Yes.  The hair was wild, but so is the girl so I guess I can't complain.
 Lakin was itching to get to Cathy while she greeted guests in the receiving line.  After all the guests had moved through Cathy came and gave this girl some love.  She was quite delighted by the special attention.
 Lakin was cutting a rug well before the bridal party arrived at the reception.  She even was kind enough to peel up the personalized sticker on the dance floor.  Ahem.  Lakin's style of dancing is quite something.  It involves a lot of running, falling down, and hip shaking.
 Chris had to physically remove Lakin during the first dance, and father/daughter, mother/son dance because she wanted so badly to join them on the dance floor.  When the DJ announced that dance floor was now open, Lakin was quick to jump on the opportunity and she was soon joined by "princess Amanda."  (Lakin's words.)
We cut off the dance party for the Jaeger family around 7:30.  By that time the floor was full and Lakin was a ticking time bomb.  She refused to be held and dance and simply didn't want to be in one place.  She preferred to dodge in and out from under people's feet and cause a ruckus.  Chris and I figured we should cut our losses and call it a night before Lakin seriously annoyed more wedding guests.

First wedding for little miss and she did pretty well.  We definitely have some work to do before her debut as flower girl this December in her Uncle David's wedding.  At least we know she's got some killer dance moves.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Seattle: A Recap

So it's been a week since we've been home and we immediately hit the ground running.  Since returning I've jumped full force back into work with tons of albums to design and a couple of sessions to shoot (a wedding and an engagement on some sweltering hot days brought out the sweat belt between my chest and growing belly, it was classy) as well as put up VBS decorations for our church.  Chris and I are finally slowing down and looking forward to being guests at a special wedding this weekend.  Miss Cathy's daughter, Amanda, is getting hitched and we can't wait to celebrate with the family.

So, all that to say, I have struggled to sit down and write on the ole blog.

Lucky for me I'm entering that phase of pregnancy where you just don't sleep, which I think is God's kind way of preparing me for the first sleepless months of bringing baby home.  Last night I tossed and turned and thought ugly thoughts about birthing children.  I'm beginning to feel anxious about the physical act of giving birth, because let's face it, babies come into the world in a pretty violent sort of way.  But, I've done it before, I can do it again.  And it's worth it.  Oh, and it's inevitable.  No turning back now.  Baby's coming out one way or another.  Have I made you uncomfortable yet?  Enough about birth.  I'm sure I'll have more steam of conscious, borderline inappropriate, thoughts to share as we get closer to D day but I'll spare you those thoughts now.

All that to say, I've been waking up before the sun and making lists and getting stuff done because sleep doesn't seem to be an option.  Lists take me to a happy place when I feel life spinning chaotically out of control.  Can I get an amen?  So here I am, having been up a couple of hours and finally getting around to writing about our trip to Seattle.

Get on with it already, right?
 We left Rochester at 4:00 am and arrived in Seattle by 8:30 am.  We were fortunate enough to get a direct flight from Minneapolis to Seattle, giving us minimal time in the airport and a full day in Seattle upon arrival.  To occupy Lakin, we brought along our good friend, Dora, and she was perfectly content to sit and watch a few episodes.  Upon arrival we hit up the Blue Dog Cafe for some amazing breakfast and Lakin got her wiggles out on the outdoor deck where we ate.  That evening we met up with David and Jessica and went to early pizza happy hour followed by a showing of Les Miserables at the 5th Avenue Theater followed by late night happy hour nachos at the Matador.  Seattle does it's Happy Hour right, tons of great food deals and during general eating hours.

The following day (and all the days that followed... are you following?) we were up pretty dang early since Seattle is two hours behind Minnesota and our schedule-loving little girl thought 5am was an appropriate wake time to begin her day.  Sharing a room with Lakin means waking up to a beam of sweet sunshine.  There's lots of singing and story telling and she catches any move you make.  As soon as you stir she's on to the fact that you are awake and ready to start your day as well.  I loved hearing her sweet conversations with herself while Chris and I pretended to still be asleep each morning.

We stayed in Magnolia and were walking distance from a cute downtown with coffee shops and lots of parks.  Below is a somewhat ironic photo; we'd finally found a park that first morning only to discover Lakin fast asleep in her stroller from the walk there.   No worries, Lakin rallied her energy and was playing in no time after she woke up.  Park time is not taken lightly.
 As with any trip with the Jaeger family, there's plenty of good eating.  We went to Paseo one day for lunch- cuban sandwiches that make your mouth salivate (pork, banana peppers, special mayo sauce, yum, yum, yum) and took them to a park to enjoy.  It was sunny and mid-eighties every day we were there.  Such a relief from the Minnesota heat we'd been experiencing.
 We celebrated Dennis' 60th birthday while in Seattle by cooking some awesome pizza at the apartment. Here's just one of the fine combos we whipped up that night.
 Lakin got to love on her future aunt.  She was quickly in love with her Aunt Jessica and could often be found by her side.  As I type this post, Lakin got excited to see this photo with Jessica.  Her words, "That's Aunt Jessica.  She's good.  She's fancy.  Yeah, fancy."

 We did a little hiking around the San Juan Island and saw some incredible scenery.  I wonder if you saw the ocean all the time if it would just feel common place or if you'd always be in awe?


 The famous and loved: Uncle David!

 Much of our trip did revolve around good food.  We went to the San Juan Islands-having to ride a ferry to get there-one day and stopped at this look out point for some tasty snacks.


 This lucky little girl has been to the ocean three times in her life already!  She loved playing in the water and attempting to skip rocks like her daddy.

One evening, after a delicious seafood dinner at Roy's we went to Golden Gardens.  This is where David proposed to Jessica and where they spend a lot of their Seattle evenings.  The sun was setting and it was pretty spectacular.


 Our family photo with the sunset was less than ideal.  Someone was being quite a fuss pants.  I'm making my "who invited her" face.

We spent an afternoon at Pike's Place Market and took in the sights and sounds of this bustling marketplace.


 Dennis and Chris pose in front of the ORIGINAL Starbucks and pay homage to the greatest coffee franchise ever.
 We ate at the Maximus Minimus food truck for lunch- really fantastic pork sandwiches.  This has been on Dennis' Seattle bucket list since our trip there last year.  Glad we could cross it off the list.  We'll definitely be back in future visits.

 Pregnant chick in front of a giant pig food truck.  Good idea or bad?  You be the judge.
Lakin rocked the pink glitter Toms while in Seattle.  These little feet were too cute to not capture.

This recap barely does the trip justice.  It was so good to be with family and spend time together.  We can hardly wait to get back there this December for the wedding.