Friday, May 30, 2014

8 inches.

So Saturday I cut off 8 inches of my hair! Actually more than that since first 8 inches were cut off in a ponytail and then the real hair cut began. And actually it wasn't me doing the cutting,(if that wasnt obvious)  but my fabulous hair dresser. 
I had been planning on maybe 4-5 inches, which would still have been a big change for me, but then when my hair dresser said if I just did a few inches more I could donate it so I thought why the heck not. It's only a few more months of growing it out, plus then someone gets a wig out of my locks. I did it once before (cut off 10 inches that time!) and it was a great feeling, even though i HATED my hair and I looked like a 7 year old. 
These were kind of my 'inspiration' for what I was kind of wanting. Though I realize they aren't even the same hair styles. But it's sort of the length I thought I wanted.  I also realize I look nothing like either of these beauties! Though I did have someone tell me ONCE, yes only once, that I look liked Penelope Cruz. 

Drew snapped a quick 'before' picture as I was heading out the door. Which is a miracle in itself that he decided one was needed. I think he was sad to see those long locks go. 

And here's the after..thats my oh shit what did I do face...

And then the next day with my hair about to be donated..

I'm still getting used to it, and I think I will love it in maybe two months when it's just a bit longer. But I do feel better about it knowing at least someone is getting a wig out of it! Have you ever chopped your hair off and regretted it? n

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I think every weekend should be a three day weekend, right? Having that extra day, just makes a world of difference! 
Friday night I went out with some friends for tapas where I consumed at least two servings of fried goat cheese by myself. Impressive huh? Thought so. Also, fried avocado. I need to figure out a way to make this at home. Can't be That difficult right? If you make it to Denver, be sure to check out  9th Door if you are in the mood for some delicious tapas!

Saturday was by far the best day of the long weekend. The kids were up nice and early, like always, and yes I put nice in front of early to make myself feel better about the 6:15 wake up call, so we basically got dressed and out the door almost immediately. We hopped on our bikes and made our way down to the Cherry Creek farmers market right when it opened. We always pick out a few different things to share for breakfast, and this weeks picks were winners (as really are each week.) We had a maple bacon donut, a blueberry muffin (not pictured for some reason..probably Tindra being the reason) and a nutella and berry crepe along with some pink lemonade. Breakfast of champions, or something like that. 

After the farmers market we biked to the mall where we all scored some good Gap deals and then biked some more and ended up at the Cherry Cricket for Lunch. Another must eat if in Denver. We ended up being out on our bikes for 5 hours! Probably a record for us! 

During naps I went and got  a hair cut (more on that later.) And then we headed to the suburbs for a grill out with good friends. All in all a perfect Saturday! Minus Jasper throwing up in the car on the way home. And then threw up another 4-5 times before passing out at 2 AM and waking up 100 percent normal. Weird. 

Sunday we dedicated to a good deep clean/organize of the house and yard. Not super fun, but definitely necessary. 

Monday we had planned on a day trip but Sunday night Drew decided to catch Jaspers weird bug and threw up a couple time. Even though we woke up Monday feeling fine we decided to lay low for the day with a little bike ride and some more yard work. 

Even with the vomiting (ugh) it was still a fantastic weekend! Also, Im convinced karma is the reason why Drew got sick and I didn't. Knock on wood it could still happen. He was at a concert Saturday night while I was home cleaning up puke, so it only makes sense he's the one who got sick and not me, right? 

Hope you all had a great long weekend! Just another week and a half and summer break starts!! 
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Friday, May 23, 2014

Summer Bucket List

A friend recently asked if I was excited about Jasper (soon) being home from school for the summer, I didn't even hesitate for a second. I absolutely Love having him home with us all day. It doesn't feel right when he's in school all day. I know it's where he needs and even wants to be, but when he's home? Everything is the way it should be. 

That being said, I know I have to keep him busy busy busy for it to be successful. He is just one of those kids that always needs to be on the go. Tindra is perfectly happy with having a day at home with me just lounging, but not so much Jasper. So naturally, we need to have lots of fun things planned!

Every year I create a summer bucket list, and as I was coming up with one this year I realized out of the 10sh weeks of summer (why is it so short??) we are only actually going to be IN Denver for maybe half of that. Tops. We have our trip to Sweden/Iceland/Norway (in 4 weeks!!) and we will also go back to Iowa for about a week and we have another shortish trip to Yellowstone planned, so between all those trips, that doesn't leave us a whole lot of time here! That's going to make it more difficult to fit in all of our things planned!
I had Jasper help me come up with this bucket list and I can't wait to check them all off!

zoo trips
the Aquarium on rainy days
the children's museum on rain days
Lots of baking
Discover some new parks
set up a sprinkler in the backyard
go see the wild life park that we have never been to (about an hour away)
take a day trip to Colorado Springs and check out their zoo
annual weekend camping trip
make home made ice cream!
weekend bike rides to the farmers market
bike rides to bonnie brae (best ice cream around) 
water parks!
splash parks!
afternoon movies for hot hot days where we need super freezing AC, something this Denver bungalow doesn't do
set up play dates for Jasper with his class mate buddies
reservoir trips (we don't have any Real beaches here but these work) 
library + reading program at the library
lots of pool trips

Besides all the fun stuff we have planned for summer we will also be working on school work with Jasper. I'm planning on having him read at least 30 minutes a day and also doing a few work book pages a day out of a second grade book I found. And I bought him a journal I'm going to have him write a few sentences in each day about what we did. Good practice for school and how much fun will that be to read? I especially can't wait to hear what he writes about Sweden :) Any other fun summer ideas for 6 and 2 year olds? 
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Reader question

An email I got to today from a reader said "I want to hear more about your travel plans with the kids! How you are preparing for the trip, really everything!"
Good good question! We have started planning out our trip and getting beyond, BEYOND I say, excited. I will definitely be blogging all about it! Don't you worry, you will probably be sick of travel posts when I'm done, but really it's my favorite thing in the world to do with my family so I will be documenting it all. I don't want to forget any of it in the years to come! I will also be doing a little traveling with children series with some helpful tips along the way! 
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Monday, May 19, 2014

Happy Monday!

It's been go go go in this household for the last month or two. I mean, even more than normal. We like to keep busy. Our kids like to keep busy, but at what point does it become too much? I'm still working on figuring that out. But we might have gotten there with these past two months. Besides actual school, Jasper has over the past months been involved in a challenge after school program, soccer, swimming, flag football and Swedish school. That means besides school, we have had extra curricular activities 5 days a week, and I've decided that's simply too much at this age. It's not always like this, and it got busier when we agreed to let him do football AND soccer because he really wanted to try football. So, that's that. I wanted him to have a couple months refresher in swimming lessons before the summer and all the pool time for safety reasons and the challenge program after school has been great for him so I wasn't going to pull him out of that either. See, there's a reason for the craziness! But now Swedish school is over for the summer as is his challenge program and he had his last soccer game of the season this past weekend. So maybe things will slow down? Unlikely but it's a nice thought!

I keep getting over whelmed when I start to realize that we live for Sweden in LESS THAN FOUR WEEKS! It's sneaking up on me and my to do list for that is a mile long. But it's a list I will gladly tackle! 

There wasn't a lot of point to this post, but I just wanted to check in! Happy Monday! 

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My 7th official Mothers Day

I still have no idea how it's even possible that I have been a mother for 7 Mother's Day celebrations!

My guys (and girl!) really know how to do Mothers Day right. They started off the day by letting me sleep in (till 8:30!!) and when I got up they were busy making me the sweetest cards. They had already ventured out into the rain (oh yes, which later turned into snow) to buy me an ice carmel macchiato and cake pops, and had filled the tables with gifts. A new wallet, work out clothes, running socks, a tank top and hat, just really really thoughtful, special gifts. They did good. 

We headed downtown to brunch at the Delectable Egg. We have never been but after my delicious bacon, egg, cheese and pepper croissant I will most definitely be going back!

 ^He wanted to make glasses so he could be like Tindra^

After brunch we were lazy and took naps, or rather the kids and I took naps and Drew got some work done, and then face timed the grandma's while just hanging out. The perfect lazy Sunday afternoon. Jasper was supposed to have a football game, but when the rain turned to snow it was canceled and I'm not gonna lie, I wasn't very disappointed to not have to spend 2 hours in the rain/snow! I love watching him play, but lets face it, I don't particularly enjoy being wet AND freezing.

After a lazy afternoon we headed for Stubens for dinner. Another Denver must!I was seriously craving a monte cristo, and it did Not disappoint.  Really good food and fun atmosphere. And the kids meals are just fantastic. Jasper got a cheeseburger and fries and then it came with a side of veggies and ranch also, served on a lunch tray which he just loved. 

Drew did both kids bed times and I had a bath and relaxed. The perfect ending to the perfect (snowy) Mothers Day. 
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Sunday, May 11, 2014

My mom

She's just the best. She has always been there for me, and all of my siblings. Not to mention all the friends of my brothers mostly, that she invited into our home over the years. If they got into a fight at home, or got kicked out, or become temporarily homeless for whatever reason, to our house they came. 

She's the kindest, most loyal person I have ever met in my entire life. I don't think I have ever met anyone who doesn't love her. It's impossible not to. 

Watching her makes me want to, strive to be, more selfless. She is the perfect example of selfless. 

I remember once, when I was I think in 7th grade, a friend of my brothers had the opportunity to play on the varsity basketball team. He came from a rough family, and had gotten into some trouble. Then he started playing basketball and began to start taking school more seriously . Stopped skipping class and got into trouble. Then he came over one day and said he wasn't going to be playing basketball anymore. He didn't offer any reason why he wasn't going to do it, but she did a little digging. He finally admitted to her its because he couldn't afford the $90 specific tennis shoes required to play on the varsity team. So what did she do? She found out his shoe size and went and bought him the pair so he could continue to play. She's just that kind of person. 

We always had extra seats smushed in around our table for Easter dinner, or Thanksgiving dinner or even on Christmas because somehow she always found someone who didn't have a place to go for those special holidays. I remember complaining once in high school when I found out a single mom and her two children were coming over for Thanksgiving. The boy was kind of odd and I just didn't really want to have to spend three hours with him outside of Church. My mom explained how they had no one else. No family, and most likely not a lot of money to spend on a big extravagant meal. I stopped complaining after that. We didn't have any family around either except for each other (everyone else was in Sweden, North Carolina or Florida) but we always had each other and my mom always made others feel welcome in our home. 

I wish so badly I could have spent today with my mom, celebrating the amazing mother and person she is, but at least I got to spend a week with her a few weeks ago!

Hope you all wonderful mothers had a really amazing day! You all deserve it!

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Summer is Here

In my book, summer started last night when it was marked by the first happy hour bike ride of the season. My friend came over after she got off work, and off we went on our bikes! We are so lucky to live just 2 miles from Cherry Creek (my favorite neighborhood in Denver) where there are countless restaurants and shops. Many with outdoor patios which I mean
really, is The way to do happy hour. 
We went two a couple different places, and spent the night sipping on wine and amaratto sours and catching up on life. Between the two of us we have a 6 year old, 3 year old, 2 year old and 3 month old, so getting together can prove difficult (plus she works full time!) so spending 4 hours catching up barely even scratched the surface! 
I'm so grateful for the night out after a few rough days. Apparently a long bike ride, hours of fresh air, a good friend and a couple of cocktails are Just what I needed! Special thanks to Drew who made the effort to come home a few hours earlier than normal to give me some Me time! 

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Tindra's birthday!

We had Tindra's birthday party last Saturday, just a low key grill out with friends and my mom, sis and her hubby and son who were here visiting. We lucked out with the weather, it was in the low 70's and sunny (really my perfect weather) and the day went perfect! My mom was a huge help (as always) and my BIL, a great chef manned the grill. Every time I would look around our back yard and see so many friends who came to help us celebrate I would get a little choked up. As Drew and I talked about in bed that night after the chaos had calmed down, we are so incredibly blessed to have such a great group of friends here in Denver. It's even more important to have when you live so far from home with no family around, and we have it here. It's definitely not something I take for granted!

Just a few pictures from the party! 

 Oh yes, she's a diva

 I'm now thinking all two year old birthday parties must have wagon rides. It was the biggest hit. Even bigger than the piƱata which I'm realizing I got Zero pictures of even though I was holding my camera. I was terrified a toddler was going to get taken out by the little bat by one of the bigger kids so I was on guard! 

 I believe the only family picture of the Day. Or week. Or possibly month(s)

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Friday, May 2, 2014

Jaspers lunches

I get asked sometimes what I pack Jasper for lunch so here it is! 
I'm almost two full years into the whole send school lunch thing and most of the time I don't mind doing it. I know what he eats every day, how much he eats, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to summer and a break from packing lunches every day! 
For the most part I stick to the same 3-4 lunch ideas for him. It makes it easier on me, and he likes everything in it and doesn't mind the repetition. 
I always pack a sandwich: either a Nutella/banana sandwich, a PB and J, a bagel with cream cheese or a whole wheat tortilla wrap sliced into bite size pizza- on the tortilla I usually do a layer of peanut butter, and then a whole banana and wrap the tortilla around the banana and then slice it up! Super easy. 
He also always gets fruit, usually two pieces so he has one for snack time as well: Apples, tangerines and sliced mango are favorites here! Also berries. 
And then we do some sort of 'carb', something else to fill him up because it's a LONG day and he's a hungry boy! Either pretzels or veggie straws make their way into his lunch daily. 
We always do some sort of veggie and either hummus, guacamole (or rock-a-mole as he still calls it) or a little container of ranch, favorite veggies to dip for us are carrots, cucumber slices or pepper slices. This kid would eat an entire pepper like an apple if I packed it. 
Random extras I will usually throw one of in to make sure he has enough to eat (he eats snack as well there and usually has something leftover he will eat on the walk home or when he gets home) a package of raisins, dried fruit, trail mix, almonds, cheese sticks, yogurt  or cashews (his school isn't nut free, they have a separate table for kids with nut allergies to sit at )
And that's it! I always have all of these things on happen and throw it all together in the morning. 
Often times if we have pizza for dinner he will ask me to save a slice or two for him to have cold for lunch the next day, and that's always his favorite when we do that!
What are your favorite things to pack for lunch? 
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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mothers Day Giveaway

Awesome giveaway for you mamma's or spend it on a special mom in your life!

True Colours
The Phuket Family
Tales of a Young Mama
Momista Beginnings
Comes in Colours
Enjoy Essential
Rachel Boulevard
Foreign Geek
Life of TOI
A Gray Rainbow
A Moving Story
To the Sea

This giveaway is open to anyone with a PayPal account (this is how the money will be sent).
The winning entry will be verified.
The winner will chosen on Mother's Day (May 11th) and be notified via e-mail.
If the winner doesn't respond within three days a new winner will be chosen.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway