these kids

I know this isn’t much of a photo to look at, but it’s a standard snapshot I take of the kids anytime I can…I have at least three different versions from this trip alone!  Check out this version from Paris a few years ago…we have this one framed at home.  Although they don’t hold hands anymore, they still have a lot of fun talking and walking together.  We love to listen to their chatter and silliness, but also appreciate the more serious conversations they have with and without us.  It’s awesome being here in Hawaii and enjoying the scenery, but really, we could be anywhere and I’d love this quality family time!

diamond head

While everyone else was watching the eclipse today, we were hiking up Diamond Head crater….great exercise and beautiful views!  I think this is my fourth or fifth time to Hawaii, but in the past, I’ve always traveled in the winter/spring….I don’t remember it ever being this hot!  You’ll notice that Owen is missing from this photo…he was a little faster than the rest of us.  The hike is a little less than a mile and he ran, yes ran, up the mountain in about 12 minutes.  The rest of us lagged behind, but enjoyed these photo ops along the way.  Tomorrow we’re off to Maui!

pearl harbor

We’re on a family vacation with the kids this week….Hawaii!  It’s the first time in two years that we’ve all been together on a vacation…our last trip together was San Francisco.  The older they get, the harder it is to line up schedules, so we were excited when this week aligned with everyone’s summer plans.  Today we were at Pearl Harbor….Todd is giving everyone a history lesson here at the site of the memorial.  Although maybe he is sending the photographer a hidden message through his finger pointer choice?!  After spending a few days in Honolulu, we’re headed to Maui…looking forward to making some good family memories this week!

In case you thought we were only serious and cerebral today, check out this video of Owen eating hair mousse…don’t ask!

just like the old days

One more picture from the weekend…although Owen’s girlfriend Haley is missing.  A few years ago, the crazy passion our kids had for tubing subsided…it seemed to coincide with their age and our purchase of two jet skis.  Surprisingly, they asked to tube again this weekend with their friends and I cringed while Todd whipped them around just like the old days.  I thought they had outgrown it, but as you can see by their faces, it’s apparently still a lot of fun!

the palace

A few months ago, a new music venue opened up in St. Paul that we’ve been excited to check out…the Palace Theater.  We had two concerts lined up to attend there this week….Belle & Sebastian (Tuesday) and Beck (tonight).  We made it to Belle & Sebastian, but skipped out on Beck tonight….disappointing, but just too much else going on.  The 100 year old venue was once a vaudeville theater where people like Charlie Chaplin and The Marx Brothers performed…it’s since been refurbed and is now owned and operated by First Avenue.  I was really impressed with the beauty of the venue, it’s layout, the acoustics and the vibe…..we’d highly recommend attending a show there.  And the music was great, too!  Belle & Sebastian sing one of my favorite songs…..The Blues Are Still Blue.  I don’t really know why I love this song so much…it’s pretty quirky and has some nerdy lyrics, but I know every word and love to sing along with it.  They rarely play it in concert, but Todd tweeted the band during the day and asked them to play it for me…and they did!  It totally made my night and my week…thanks Todd!

sun and fun

What a fun weekend at the cabin!  Owen brought his girlfriend, Haley, and Greta brought her boyfriend, Larkin.  After a Friday night sunset cruise, we had a full day of sun and fun on Saturday….tubing, jet skis, swimming and laying in the sun.  Hurley loved having all the kids around and spent his day chasing his toy, swimming and sunning with the kids on the tube.  We missed having Elsa and Brett with us, but they were enjoying their own weekend at Brett’s cabin…..hopefully they can join us all next time!

red raven

A few weeks ago I blogged about how the town of Crosby has seen a resurgence due to the awesome mountain biking trails nearby…here’s another success story. The Red Raven bike cafe and repair/rental shop is hoppin’ this morning with all the bikers (and townspeople) strolling in….it’s the Red Dirt Surly Bike Festival this weekend in town. Although we didn’t get out and bike this morning, we did go for a run on the local trails and stopped in afterwards. The coffee was great and Hurley enjoyed meeting all the bikers who stopped by to pet him!

remembering

If you’ve watched or listened to the local news today, I’m sure you’re aware that it’s the 10th anniversary of the 35w bridge collapse.  I was listening to MPR on my way home tonight as they were replaying some reporting they did in those first few hours after the collapse….it was chilling, surreal and so sad to hear it all played out again.  I started thinking about how for most of us, it was an important and sad local event, but for so many others, it totally changed the trajectory of their lives…and that of their friends and family.  Back in 2011, I took photos of the memorial dedication ceremony….at the time I was on the board of a non-profit, Survivor Resources, that helped many of the families and survivors impacted by the event.  As I was looking through those old photos tonight, I found this one and it struck me as kind of a haunting image.  It’s one of 13 pillars dedicated to those who died on the bridge.  This one was in honor of Patrick Holmes…he sounded like an amazing guy.  Take a minute today to remember those who lost their lives, but also the survivors and their families and friends….and hug your own loved ones just a little bit tighter tonight.

cheer squad

This past weekend Owen’s club soccer team, the Eagan Wave, played in the State Championship final game for 18U’s.  Although they didn’t win the championship on Saturday, they played a great game….and look at that amazing group of people (plus a dog!) Owen had there to support him!  This photo doesn’t even include his friend group that attended and the other family members who had to leave at half time.  Thanks so much to everyone that came to cheer him on!

city shopping

One of the interesting things we’ve had to adjust to since moving to the city is how to best purchase groceries and household supplies.  The first few weeks, I just drove out to a neighboring suburb, found a Target and stocked up….just like I did when we lived in Burnsville.  It didn’t take long to realize that approach wasn’t going to work, for a few different reasons:  1) we don’t have enough space anymore to “stock up” on things, 2) it’s kind of a pain to haul lots of bags from our underground garage up to the condo and 3) it seemed silly to drive out to the suburbs when we had other alternatives in the city.  We’ve learned that a combination of different options works best for us, depending on what our need is.  I thought Whole Foods might be our primary solution, but they don’t sell Vitamin Water or PopTarts or a whole lot of other stuff we tend to eat in our house!  We sometimes use Instacart, which is AMAZING.  They deliver from Target, Cub, Whole Foods and a variety of other stores….right to our door on the 7th floor!  And of course there’s still a Target run once in a while, but the Minneapolis Target doesn’t look much like a suburban Target.  Check out these cool cart escalators….Whole Foods has them too.  I find them very humorous!  It’s been an interesting experience trying out all these new options…I think we’ve finally figured out what works best for us!