A spring visit with family
This past weekend, my parents and my brother drove down from Minnesota to visit us. We wanted to spend time together, and also celebrate my brother's birthday and a belated Finn's birthday.
Finn was recovering from being sick, so the first day and a half, he wasn't quite himself, but as he felt better, you could see our little bright eyed, playful boy reemerge. Cooper had a blast with my family, giving each of them an individualized tour of the unfinished side of our basement, namely, the furnace and all the utilities. My mom read books to the boys, Finn took two very long naps cuddled on my dad, and Cooper took every chance he could to play with Uncle Matt.
On Friday, Nicholas had to work, but after spending the morning at home, we went to one of our favorite local parks that used to be a large farm. We looked at antique tractors, and a few farm animals, and then went for a hike on a large trail loop. It was a fairly warm day, and the sun was out, so it felt so refreshing to be outside, especially with the cooler spring we've had so far this year.
We saw trillium (a favorite of my mom's) and other spring wildflowers, Cooper took his shoes off so he could walk on the sandy trail in his bare feet, and we all noticed the way the sunlight lit up the new, green leaves on the trees as it shone through.
The rest of the visit involved more reading to the little boys, playing (a lot in the basement), and spending the evenings watching some videos (building, firewood chopping, and the like), and having conversation together. We talked about my Grandma Donna, and how we miss her, and my mom and I went through some things of hers that she brought for me to have. My brother and mom read a book to Cooper about the Duluth lift bridge and showed him videos of it in action. He was (of course) fascinated. My mom and I chatted about sewing and knitting, and I showed her some fabric I had cut out for an upcoming sewing project. We didn't have time to work on it together during their visit, but I've since sewn them up and I'll share soon.
We grilled hamburgers and had them with homemade sourdough hamburger buns, we had beef stew and homemade bread, and I had a unsuccessful go at making a larger batch of homemade pizza (big lesson learned: our homemade pizza needs to be made in a cast iron pan). We drank coffee and snacked on vanilla cake and grain free brownies my parents made.
Cooper, my brother, and I did some watercolor painting together. We have three very distinct styles. On this occasion, the activity held me and Matt's attention the longest.
We gave my brother the game Wingspan, and although I didn't play it, since I needed to be in the other room with Finn, I look forward to playing next time.
As always, my mom was incredibly helpful with laundry and emptying the dishwasher and all the little things guests are no way expected to help with. But I greatly appreciated it, thank you, mom! And my dad gave me so much encouragement about my writing, my knitting, and the photos I take. My mom and I were talking about the joy of Cooper at nearly four years old, and just how fun he is. I won't ever tire of seeing others delight in my children as we do.
It was a lovely visit and I'm so glad you could come Dad, Mom, and Matt!
P.S. – I know that blogs aren't nearly as popular as they once were, but I love this particular medium for sharing the joys and heartaches, the visits and the visitors, the completed projects, and those in progress. And each time I hear from family and friends and acquaintances that they enjoy or were inspired or drew encouragement from one of my posts, well, that's even more reason for me to continue to write. Thank you for reading these posts, whether you are related to me or not, a dear friend, an acquaintance, or we've never met. It does feel nice to know that apart from more noisy social media, there are beautiful things worthy of being shared in a slightly quieter setting.
2022: A year in review
Welcome to my annual post of our life in the last year – a review of all the big and little events, travels, habits, heartbreaks, and joys. These posts require a lot of time and energy, in part due to sifting through all the posts I wrote in the last year, but also because these posts spur me to reflect and sit with the previous year for a moment, before stepping into the next one.
A summer weekend in Ohio & a visit with friends
A few weeks ago, we drove out to visit some of Nicholas' family in Ohio. It was our first "long" car ride with both boys, and the drive out was admittedly very long, especially with an infant who loathes the carseat. Nonetheless, it was very worthwhile for some time with Nicholas' grandparents and other family.