Tuesday, November 29, 2011

First Weekend Away in the Windy City

This is a bit overdue, almost 2 months to be exact, but I guess being late is something I've come to accept with a newborn on my hands.  I never thought I would utter those words as I was taught by my father and grandfather that "if you aren't early, you're late."  I think my new mantra will have to be "better late than never."  I cringe even as I type those words. 

Anywhoo, as I was reflecting on all that we have to be thankful for, and I was thinking about Griffin's grandparents, it really is amazing that we have been able to do some of the things we have done this year.  Our first weekend away from Griffin was to Chicago for a wedding. 

My cousin Charlie married Jaisa, one of the Hardly Housewives, though not to be fooled, she is a fantastic chef and I can't wait to see what she'll make for our Christmas celebration this year!  The wedding was awesome-beautiful, personal and of course had wonderful food, dancing and toasts.

It was great to spend a weekend with my two brothers and their girlfriends.  Speaking of brothers, my brother Charlie and his girlfriend Kat have a few businesses you should check out:
Kat and Dog house and pet sitting and more
Odor Neutral getting rid of any pesky odors, like leftover turkey carcas?

Here is a pic of all the cousins (well almost all, a few were too busy tearing it up on the dance floor...)

Chicago was fabulous, as always.  I will stand firm that if (and that is a very big IF) I ever move away from Minnesota, it will be to Chicago.

While we were gone, Griffin stayed with my dad and Signe, and wow how great it was to be able to leave knowing he was in such great hands.  They had a blast, spending lots of time outside by the pool, in the grass, on walks and of course watching their dog Ella (Griffin loves dogs).
He was just starting to be able to sit and looked like he was almost ready to crawl, but that took until now to actually develop (YES, he is officially crawling!  More on that to come...)  The best phone call I had with my dad over the weekend was the first day we were gone and he reported that Griffin was doing exactly what the schedule said he was going to do at the exact time I said he would do it (I think he was just trying to make a good impression so he gets invited back).
It was a great weekend, can't wait to get back to Chicago, hopefully next time Griffin will be able to come!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thankful for grandparents

Griffin wanted me to share how thankful he is for his grandparents.  Nate and I are also so thankful for Griffin's grandparents because they have allowed us to do so many things that parents of newborns aren't always able to do.  We have had plenty of dates, played golf, gone to sporting events, parties and even gone on trips across the country.  And with my parents being divorced and remarried, Griffin gets an extra set of grandparents which makes him extra blessed.  So grandparents, thank you for loving Griffin and wanting to spend time with him.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful for "dada"

Griffin has been practicing very hard to be able to say dada in time for Thanksgiving.  There are so many reasons we are thankful for his dada and each day I am reminded of how blessed we are to have Nate in our lives.  He is a wonderful husband and father, role-model, best friend, leader, provider and companion.  Nate is already such a great teacher and encourager to Griffin.  Nate, Griffin and I adore you and are so thankful for you and all that you do for us. 


PS-Cooper is thankful for you too because Griffin just doesn't quite know how to play frisbee yet.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Baby Laughter...the best medicine

Griffin was just not acting like himself yesterday.  Maybe he's teething, maybe he's just a baby and that's what babies do.  Either way, it was a long day filled with no-naps and one hard to please little boy.  By the time he was asleep, I needed a quick pick-me-up.  This short clip of Griffin's first laughing moments works every time.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Pumpkin Patch

A few weekends before Halloween we took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather this fall in Minnesota and went to pick pumpkins and apples at Minnetonka Orchards.  I have to admit, I had gotten a groupon for the occasion which was the good news and the bad news.  The good news: we got admission and lunch for $13!  The bad news: so did every other family in the Twin Cities. 

It was quite crowded, but all the more people watching for Griffin to do!  It was at least 65 degrees and sunny, it felt like the State Fair.  We brought Griffin in his stroller, but on second thought, we would rather have had him in the Bjorn, there were lots of hills and people to maneuver around.  

First we ate lunch.  They had a great cookout all set up, so we got our food and had a little picnic on the grass.  Griffin loves to watch people (especially kids), and there were so many kids playing!  There was a playground, train rides around the pumpkin patch and hayrides.  

After lunch we gave the corn maze a try.  We really could have used Griffin's help because Nate and I kept ending up in dead ends.  Thankfully there were some big kids in the maze that could help us out, literally.

Then we headed out to the orchard, and due to time constraints and carrying capacity, we didn't get any apples, but Griffin is already excited to go on a hayride through the orchard next year.

Finally, we went to the pumpkin patch where we picked out 3 pumpkins, one for each of us.  We took them home and got them set up on our front step, but before we could get to carving them, a squirrel ate them for dinner instead.  Cooper is just glad we're not feeding the bunnies (his nemesis).

Squirrels, feast your eyes on this!  Griffin's first pumpkin:)

Taking Griff to the Ballgame

This is long overdue.  Griffin's first Twin's game was sometime in June, but after last night's Vikings pathetic loss I needed a reminder of how great Minnesota sports can be (I have already forgotten how many losses the Twins suffered this year and am hopefully anticipating a great season in 2012).  We remain Twins fans despite the losses, but we're glad Griffin was too young to remember this season.  I guess that's the positive of no World Series appearance this year, we won't have to waste it on one Griffin won't remember.

 "Little Mauer" minus the sideburns.
 Is it weird that Griffin will never have seen a Twins game at the Metrodome?
 First family pic at a Twins game, those are some of my favorites from when I was little.  Win or lose, a great start to being a Twins fan for life.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day!

In honor of Veterans Day today, I was feeling very patriotic and thought I would reminisce about a previous national holiday, Independence Day!  This year was obviously Griffin's first 4th of July, and though we missed fireworks (tear) we had a great day spent with lots of friends and family.

It started with a pool party with some high school friends, Griffin went swimming in his dalmatian cloth diaper.
After he was done swimming he put on his 4th of July gear.
Then we headed over to my mom's for a BBQ with my family.
Griffin had a blast hanging out with his toes in the grass in my old walker.
The following day we headed out to White Bear Lake (the city) to Bald Eagle Lake where Nate's grandparents live.  We spent the afternoon hanging out at the dock, swimming, playing frisbee and enjoying the beautiful weather.
Cooper was showing off all day.
Griffin hung out in the shade with the Great Grandmas.
And hung out with his Grandpa...
He even dipped his toes in the water.
It was a beautiful day, like every Minnesota 4th of July I can remember.  So today we are thankful for our Veterans, and how they dedicate their lives to protecting our freedom.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Toy Box

Today Griffin decided to get in his toy box.  Well, I put him there, but in my defense he was trying to get in his toy box.  Just a couple of fun pics to remind myself that even during afternoons at home, we have so much fun together.
Oh, he also tries to eat his toy box, whether inside or outside of it.  He has also figured how to take his toys out, but hasn't mastered putting them back in yet....
I love this guy sooo much.
How big is Griffin?  So big!  (he doesn't quite get it yet)
Still no teeth....
I am so blessed to be able to spend everyday with this little man.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Cute from the side

I wanted to frame Griffin's silhouette.  I remember doing this for a project back in elementary school.  My mom helped me with it and we did it the old-fashioned way.  I held very still will she shined a light at me and traced my shadow on a paper we had taped to the wall.  Call me crazy but I just didn't think my (3 months old at the time) baby would hold still for me to trace his profile.  
So I opted to use what technology I could.  I took a picture of his face from the side, right after he had gotten out of the bathtub so we had a white towel in the background.

Then I used some photo editing to make it black and white and start to change the saturation.

I finally had tampered with the picture enough to get his entire face shadowed.  I have to admit I did edit out a piece of his double-chin that I think was mostly shadow.  I also added a teeny little eyelash.

Now it is framed and sitting on my desk and I LOVE it!  It is almost a little preview of what he will look like as a little boy and you can already tell how sweet he is:).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The DP

Frequently during the spring, summer and fall, we take family trips to the DP (dog park for those of you who have just tuned in, you can find out why we have to abbreviate things pertaining to Cooper's enjoyment here).
 The DP we frequent is the Minnehaha Dog Park located near the Minnehaha Falls.  The dog park is starts up near the parking lot and meanders all the way down to the Mississippi River and runs along the Mississippi for about a mile. 
 This is the perfect spot for Cooper because he so easily overheats without the option of submerging himself in water.  We bring his floating Frisbee and he plays fetch on the beach while we walk down to the end and back.
 There are tons of dogs there, though Cooper has a one track mind (FRISBEE, FRISBEE, FRISBEE).  But Griffin loves to watch all of the other doggies playing in the water, sand and woods.
 Griffin also loves to put his feet in the sand!
 A boy after my own heart, loves the beach already.
As he gets older I imagine spending even more time at the DP, bringing blankets and having picnic lunches down there on a beautiful Saturday morning!

A Special Sunday

On Sunday September 18th, Griffin was dedicated to the LORD at our church.  It was a wonderful opportunity for us to make that commitment to Griffin, in front of our church family and our family, to teach him about the love of Jesus.

 Since we were having our family over for brunch afterward it was quite a hectic morning getting everything ready so we could eat shortly after we got home.  We decided to have a few egg bakes which we made Saturday night and then cooked them Sunday morning.  They were done about the time we left for church so we just turned the oven off and hoped they would be warm but not dried out when we got back!
 Griffin was joyful, as usual!  He was such a trooper in his carseat as we got some last minute things taken care of, and then were off.
He was really excited to get up on stage.  When we got up on stage, I spoke a little bit about Griffin, what we know about his character already and the things that Nate and I regularly pray for him.  I talked about how truly joyful he is, how he loves to be around people and that his smile is truly contagious (you can see it in his picture on the screen behind us). 
Then Nate read Scripture readings that we had picked out for Griffin, one we picked out when he was born and the other as we have started to see him grow and develop.

Joshua 1:7-9
7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Micah 6:8 8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
   And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
   and to walk humbly with your God.

 Then we made several commitments to Griffin: to pray for him and with him, love him, read him the stories of the Bible and teach him the love of Jesus.

We had overwhelming support from our family:)
  Our pastor prayed for him and for us as parents.
And then we were off to eat and celebrate with our family!
 My super creative sister-in-law Elissa made this adorable "griffin" sign for him which we hung near the drinks table in our porch.
We transformed our dining room and living room into a mess-hall that seated 22!  I had no idea we could have a sit-down meal with that many people, and it was cramped, but we did it.
Decorations were minimal and simple (and free), as my hydrangeas were still blooming and green in mid-September.
It was a wonderful celebration of our commitment and though Griffin probably won't remember the ceremony, the commitments we made we intend to carry out daily.