Monday, September 22, 2008

fall fun

yesterday joel, lauren and i went to an apple orchard with my cousin nate and his wife, liz, and their daughter, ava. the orchard was really beautiful, out in the country on a hill over looking fields and trees. it was a warm day, but a refreshing breeze was blowing. there were lots of activities for kids such as a corn maze, a mound of hay to climb to climb on, a big corn cob bin converted to a play area, a wooden train, hay rides, live music and animals to pet. the girls were a little young for some of the activities, but had fun playing in the corn cob bin and on the train. but i think their favorite thing was just eating the yummy apples. we also tried some hot donuts which were delicious and some fresh cider. we had a great time and i can't think of a better way to welcome in the fall!

little ava is great at giving hugs. i was trying to decide on a few pictures to post of the hugs, but they were all so cute that i'm just going to put them all up!

the tractor ride. weeeeee!

and lastly, here we are picking and eating some very tasty apples. yum, yum!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

just can't get enough!

yesterday joel, lauren and i went to yet another mccain/palin rally. it was held in an airplane hanger in a north minneapolis suburb. the previous mccain event i attended in july was a small (about 800 in attendance), women only town hall meeting. this gathering had over 13,000 enthusiastic mccain/palin supporters! one of the most touching sights there was a little down syndrome girl who looked about 2 years old. she was with her mom and grandma and the three of them were holding signs that said "we love trig"! and the most annoying sight was a woman dressed as a wayward "polar bear" holding an SOS sign. (i don't think she was at the right rally). with so many people there i couldn't even see sen. mccain or gov. palin, but that's okay. seeing such an awesome turnout was more exciting than seeing the candidates. it's encouraging and gives me hope that the right man is going to get in the white house this fall. Go McCain-Palin!!!!!

a shot from inside the hanger with thousands of excited conservatives.

lauren and mumpy (her stuffed monkey) had a great time at the event. and really, how could you not?! :)

lauren had fun wandering through the crowd and saying "hi" to lots of friendly people.

and stopping when something interesting caught her eye. oooh, a kid!

but it wasn't all fun and games for lauren. she'd stop and show her support when she thought it was necessary. my little patriot!

daddy and his girl, cheering mccain to victory!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

skol, vikings, let's go!

this past weekend our good friends, brad and kelli, flew in from wa state and spent the weekend with us. it was great seeing them again since it had been a while since we last were together. we had fun exploring minneapolis and their numerous sky bridges, trying some nice local restaurants, and relaxing in the evenings with a few good movies. however, the highlight of the weekend was going to the mn vikings game. brad is a huge fan of the vikings. this was their season opener and they hosted the colts. it was a pretty exciting game with the vikings being ahead the whole time. but unfortunately with some help from payton manning, the colts went on to beat the vikings. but the experience was fun (joel and my first time attending a pro football game). and the company couldn't have been better. :)

semi vikings fans.

true vikings fans.

kelli and i, all ready for the big game.

payton manning, doing what he does best. better luck next time, vikes!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

our summer vacation

joel, lauren and i just got home after an almost two week vacation. we drove from minnesota to washington state. we were a little concerned about how lauren would do in the car considering it's an 1800 mile trip. but she was absolutely awesome, which made the trip all that more fun.

we weren't even out of minnesota before joel wanted to stop to take some sunset photos. so lauren got out of the car and ran around while her daddy got some really beautiful shots.

our first overnight stop was in kalispell, montana. we stayed with one of my closest friends, geoffrey. i got to meet her mom (who is so nice and hospitable) and her little nephew and niece (they are both very cute). lauren was happy to have kids to play with. we had a great time and were treated to tons of good food and meals. thanks again for everything!!

after kalispell we drove to joel's parents house in washington. lauren loved being at grandma and grandpa's house and spending time with them. it was a very relaxing visit. we did go to the zoo one afternoon. lauren was most happy just running around though and thought the animals were just okay. but we all had lots of fun.

grandma and grandpa's

the zoo

after saying goodbye to joel's family, we spent a few nights with some good friends, jessica, andrew and liam. it was great spending time with them and seeing their recently purchased house. liam who is 2, is really sweet and played nicely with lauren. it was a great way to conclude our time in washington.

so after a fun filled trip, we are home now. (it's so nice being in your own bed after a long trip). and after a few days of unpacking bags and grocery runs, our lives are back to normal. but we have precious memories of our wonderful west coast trip and the time we spent with our family and friends.

we miss you all!