Monday, May 28, 2012

A Memorial Weekend

Memorial Day weekend was spent at the lake.  Finally - the lake!!  We were super excited to get up to the water, and happier that we would be able to celebrate Na Na's #2 with the Cariveau Crew, but first, Bennett needed to teach Grampy how to use his new iPhone, and we needed to break in the firepit.

The story of Na Na begins with Nae Nae and Brit Brit...  Nae Nae planned to fullfill her best friend's dream of seeing Britney Spears in concert.  Three years ago, on a hot September night, Renae, Annie and I attended Brit's concert.  We had dinner and cocktails prior, during and after the show.  We went home to EGF, (and keeping this very G rated), Nora was born 10 months later.  We love little Na Na, and will always sing her Ms. Spears on her birthday.

 The following day, we continued the celebration at the red cabin.  This party included beergaritias and handcuffs?  (I better start working on my acceptance speech for "Parent of the Year".)

This could really be trouble.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Total Nutjobs

The first time I heard the term, "nutjob", was in 1999.  I had just started dating Andrew Prose.  I met his parents, and instantly loved them.  Wes and Rita have been married "a hundred years or more", and it's apparent how much they love each other.  It's also apparent how much they can annoy each other at times, (lovingly, of course).  That initial gathering was full of laughter, and I felt like I had known the Prose Parentals for a lifetime.  When AP and I left the river, he commented with a smile, "Total nutjobs? Right?"

Yep, complete and total nutjobs, and I couldn't be more thankful for the son they raised, and the way they welcomed me into their home, and lessons they would teach me and my children.

And, then I look at the above two shorties, and you know what I'm thinking.

Total Nutjobs.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Some Time in the City

While I have accepted my devotion and loyalty to suburbia, I also absolutely the city.  And, I love spending weekends in the city.  In my world, there are two possible scenarios - I bring the kids to the city, or I leave them in suburbia.  There are pros and cons to each situation, and our latest weekend in the loop, I did some research on both. 

 I love that we can walk to the grocery and the bar and the magic shop.  There are award winning restaurants, with changing menus and fresh, local food.  There are water falls, and parks and museums, and rent-a-bikes.  Harps gets this wide eyed look when she sees the cityscape, and Bennett's mustaches are not even given a second glance (ok, usually they are, but everyone is pretty accepting.)

In years to come...  In a city ~ or many cities ~ I see Harper living.  In a city (laboratory), I see Bennett working.  And, of course, visiting their mama in the 'burbs, every other weekend.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Tournament

The weekend of May 19, 2012 was our first experience with tournament parenting.  Bennett had his first karate tournament in Minneapolis.  He was super stoked about the whole idea of getting a really big trophy.  I was a bit apprehensive...  I knew Bennett would do his best, and I also knew he would probably get some sort of participation ribbon or medal - I was not so certain that a big, huge trophy was in his future.
Bennett got his "yellow card" with all his belt information, and time for his qualifying rounds.  The audience waiting with anticipation, and tried to keep the girl from running into the rings.
It's weird, the feeling of nervousness and anxiousness you feel when your kid is about to perform.  My stomach was a bit queasy, and palms a bit sweaty.  (Which, I kept reminding myself, WAS RIDICULOUS, because this was a karate tournament for 5 year olds!!)

When it was Bennett's turn, he walked slowly and seriously up to the judges - and was so awesome!!!  Of course, it brought a tear to my eye.  He was so proud, as were his parents.
And, he got his big trophy!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Within the last year, I have started following a few blogs.  As I teach my kids - read because you love a topic, read to learn about or be inspired from a topic, and read because you can connect to a topic.  My favorite learning/inspiration blogs include  Pinterest, Young House Love, and Houzz.  (Let's be real, I look for pics/ideas that I like, send those ideas to T/AP to see if they like it, then it's discussed if "we" can make it.)

My connecting blog is the trials and tribulations of Jennifer Lawson.  Now, if you have never been introduced - Please meet The Bloggess.  You will laugh until you cry - if you don't, your sense of humor just might suck, or you live in Stepfordland.  There are so many crazy ways to connect to her stories - attaining Beyonce, the barn full of weird treasures, crazy best friend, and then there is Victor...  Read the below conversation between the Bloggess and her husband, Victor.

When Andy got home from work the other night, I welcomed him with "Victor.  I missed you."

His response, "Who the HELL is Victor??"

Friday, May 18, 2012

Tree Planting 2012

There are events in life that are difficult to describe.  It's like when you take the trip of a life time, and then try to share the excitement and energy of the experience with someone who has never been to the destination of your journey.  The weekend of April 22 was an event like that - as the Safar Family planted 6,600 trees on the farm.
 I have so many memories of that land, house, buildings and people who filled each.  I remember picking raspberries with Grandma Safar, and her teaching me the patience to not get scratched from the sharp prickles.  I recall sitting on the front cement step, feeling so proud after learning how to tie my shoes.  There is the scent of gun smoke, as I think about the only shot I ever fired, with Uncle Dave catching me as I fell back.   The wind against my face as the same Uncle drove me over the back hills on his motorcycle.  There is the smell of cattle, and the memory of when I learned about what they actually did with the animals.  

I remember the fresh cookies, the toys in the toy box, the duck calls hanging on hooks, running up the steep stairs with my cousins, fried fish, and heavy cream.  But, mostly, I remember the hugs.  The arms wrapped around you so tight, you couldn't move, even if you wanted to hugs.

 We planted 4,000 pine trees and 1,000 oak trees, using the tractor and planter.

 AP spent most of the weekend in the planter, hunched over on his knees,  dropping seedlings down the shoot.  Dad was in the tractor, creating the stick-straight rows.  I "planted" one row, after much coaxing and coaching (Which, really, just ended up being more work for Uncle Bud and Aunt Dorothy's shovel.).

 Then, there was the hand planting crew, who dug and stuck 500 chokecherry, 500 wild plum and 600 mixed berry and fruit trees.

 So grateful that the whole family was there to share in this event, even Bennett braved the rain and mud to plant a few of his very own trees. 

 And, of course, he would never pass up the opportunity drive the tractor with Grampy.
My childhood memories of Grandma Safar and her farm are held close.  And, now as an adult, I have even more. Thank you for everyone who helped plant.  It was much more than trees in the ground - it was kinda like an arms wrapped around you so tight, you couldn't move, even if you wanted to hug.