Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ethan's 2nd Birthday

Is it possible my Ethan is already 2?!? Where does the time go? With traveling to Minnesota the weekend before Ethan's birthday, Rob and I decided to keep Ethan's birthday small and low-key compared to our usual, have 30 family and friends over to our house for lunch or dinner, cake, presents, and fun. To make it special, we decided two days before his birthday to go to Chuck E Cheese's, a suggestion that came from a certain 4-yr old who has undoubtedly been influenced by a commercial or two since she doesn't remember going there with mommy, daddy, Aunt Jen, and Uncle John when she was 2. It was a fun day though and the adults enjoyed the games more than the kids, I think! Rob even won the Skeeball jackpot and got 250 tickets from that one game alone. We got Ethan a toolkit with all our tickets, since it was his birthday, and had pizza, cupcakes, and lots of fun! Here are some pictures from the day.

Minnesota Adventures

For Tyler's first vacation, I flew with my sister and her husband to Minneapolis, MN, where we rented a car and drove the rest of the way to International Falls (a 6 hour drive straight north to within a mile of Canada). He did great on his first flight, crying only a little bit during take-off and sleeping for nearly the entire drive - a great traveler! Once we got to International Falls on Saturday afternoon, we met up with my mom and brother at my grandma's house and I got to take a little break from baby Tyler while he had some bonding time with the grandmas and my siblings and I drove into Canada for a little sightseeing. We were only there a few hours, but enough time to walk through a beautiful park on the lake and drive the causeway north of Ft. Francis. Coming back into the country, my brother-in-law had an expired passport, driving a rental car with Texas plates that wasn't supposed to leave the country, and carrying a baby stroller in the trunk without a baby in the car, so we were asked a few questions. Thankfully, they let us back in the country without much delay.

The seven of us went to dinner together at the Chocolate Moose then headed back to the hotel. On Sunday, I attended my mom's old church with her in the morning, then went to City Beach at Rainy Lake with Jennifer, John, and my mom. We went to the visitor's center at Voyager's National Park, stopped for a moment on the lake shore, then went back to grandma's house for a wonderful roast dinner, complete with ice cream and cookies (and she said before we came out she wasn't going to cook for us, but insisted!). She said Tyler is the first great grandchild she has gotten to hold and I hope when my kids are a little older and better travelers, that they will be able to meet her too as she's an amazing woman. 88 years old and still going strong! I hadn't seen her since my sister's wedding 7 years ago and she's definitely gotten older in that time, but is still living in her own house (that my grandpa designed and they built 60 years ago) with help with the housecleaning and meals being delivered. I hope I can say the same when I'm that age!

Exciting family news! My dear sister Jennifer is pregnant with her first child, a girl, due October 15th. Her name is Kaitlyn and she's the first cousin for our family! I've heard cousins are such sweet friends for your kids and I'm very excited for Jennifer and John and the wonderful ride of parenting they are about to start.