Friday, May 3, 2013

The Catch Up, Part 1: Easter and Stuff

My planned-for post(s) detailing our adventures from the last several weeks didn't seem so important when I found out my grandfather was entering hospice care earlier this week. I don't know how much time he has left, and I don't know if I'll be able to see him again. I feel horribly sad, and guilty, to be honest. Why am I not on the first plane down there? I've been asking myself that a lot over the last 36 hours, as information about his health has become clearer. Work, really, is the answer. There are just some things that I can't leave in other people's hands right now, things that require me to be in the office. I can go down in a week, but will it be too late? I hope not.

The visit would be more for me, though, and for my grandmother. My grandfather is comfortable, and he knows he is loved. My aunt even read him my last blog post. And my siblings and cousins and I have all been furiously sharing fond memories and pictures of Papa on Facebook with each other. My brother is there, giving us all nuggets of information whenever he can. It helps.

And in the meantime, I'm up here, hundreds of miles away, making new memories with some of Papa's precious great-grandchildren. He and my grandmother are so thrilled with all 7 (soon to be 8!) of their great-grandchildren - every year they even send out a Christmas card that just has pictures of the great-grandkids. And Finn and Lucy's pictures are always grabbed from my blog posts, which they love reading. So I'm going to do my part by trucking along with this space.

Starting with March, which already seems like a year ago, as I sit here looking at green leafy trees and bright spring sunshine.

First up, a couple of photos of St. Patrick's Day weekend.

Finn is reluctantly improving with his reading - he's of the mindset that he CAN'T read, so he doesn't even like to try. Though put a sight word in front of him and he's likely to know it. It's more than a little frustrating. But on this day, he was able to read Green Eggs and Ham from cover to cover all by himself - we were all thrilled!

On St. Patrick's Day, as I hinted before, I made chocolate doughnuts with green frosting. Some of them were also sprinkled with these little broken up pieces of Andes mints. My kitchen was a damn mess (glaze everywhere! candy bits everywhere!), but they were SO good. And dare I suggest that they aided M. in his vasectomy recovery? Likely it was due more to highly supportive underwear, but perhaps the doughnuts played a small role.

Seriously, really good. I can't find the recipe I used, though, so they may not happen again. Alas.

Moving on from St. Patty's Day, here is Lucy all dolled up for her daycare's Easter egg hunt. Adorbs. She wore this same outfit (minus the barrettes) on Easter Day, too.

Here are the Spring themed cupcakes I brought in for the party that day - marshmallow flowers, and M&M/pretzel butterflies.

Just before we left on our trip to Wisconsin, around March 25th or so, this happened. The most snow we'd seen all winter, and only days away from April. Needless to say, it melted quickly.

But not before putting our daffodils through some turmoil.

And not before a snowman could be crafted.
The end of March was Spring Break, so we jetted off to Wisconsin for a few days to visit M.'s family. Most people head to warmer lands for Spring Break, but not us - we go EVEN COLDER. Snow boots and winter coats were a necessity, so thank God we brought them.

First we spent a night in Minnesota with some dear friends of ours, Margo, Leif, and their house full of animals (many, many animals). We had fun catching up, and the kids came away from it wanting to get a dog, so in love with Duckie the dog were they.

We also saw this beautiful frozen waterfall:

Leif and Duckie

We ate ice cream, because Wisconsin rocks at producing all dairy-based foods. Do all kids pick their flavors based on which ones are the brightest colors, or just mine?

This was a tiny little place in Chippewa Falls, with ice cream they make fresh on site.

We were completely delayed in getting back on the road because Lucy insisted on finishing her whole cone. With gusto and mess, as evidenced above.

We finally reached M.'s home town, and then all the family time began, starting with a visit to see his grandmother, Grandma Cookie:

She is a marvelously sweet, spunky, and smart lady, and because of her Lucy came thisclose to being named Charlotte. Lucy just seemed a little more fitting once she popped out, leaving Charlotte to become the middle name of my newest niece, Alexa (who'll you'll see in a second here).

Notice that, in a fit of disgust, I chopped all my hair off.

M.'s mom and dad (Granny and Grandpa) have a bunch of maple trees on their property, so while we were there, the kids got to see how maple sap is collected (we weren't there for any boiling, though).

Tasting straight from the source.

Here is Alexa. She was 14 months old here, and completely adorable. It was our first time meeting her, and she was cute enough to ALMOST make me want another one. Good thing M.'s big V had already happened...

Always willing to pose for pictures (sarcasm)

Stealing a cuddle.

Bunny cake!! And our nephews, Ty (left) and Bo. Finn was over the moon to hang out with them (Lucy, too!).


Also cute.

The best picture I could snag of the 5 of them together.

Giving me a smile in her Easter finery.

Baby playing piano. It's as melodic as you would think (not very), but cute.

The Minneapolis airport has a big Snoopy in his pilot outfit. Finn's favorite stuff animal, that he brings on every trip with us, is a small Snoopy - I have no idea where we got it, and it was likely free because Snoopy is wearing a MetLife shirt. But that little thing is LOVED. So the kids were excited to pose with Snoopy.

We got back from our trip at around 1 in the morning, which is as pleasant as it sounds. But it was totally worth it - we all had a great time, and can't wait to go back again.

Next up will be a rundown of our trip to Maine that happened just two and a half weeks later, so stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. What a great catch-up.

    And thinking of you and your whole family. Big hugs!