Oh, and did someone say something about an upcoming election?
So let's see, what did we do. We celebrated Christopher's birthday with a spaghetti dinner and homemade chocolate and vanilla layer cake. Christopher likes spaghetti well enough, but I really made it to help marathoners Katie and Ben carbo-load for their big race the following Sunday. Christopher enjoyed his party, and got some nice gifts. He was especially excited about Rodimus Prime, a Transfomer he has coveted for months. (I have no idea who Rodimus Prime is, and I had to watch a YouTube video to figure out how to transform the dang thing. But he is happy. Special thanks to Meema Jo and Baba Ralph for that gift.)
We went to the Rainforest Cafe on his actual birthday. This was his choice. It was so expensive! We may not let him chose the "Jungle Cafe" next year.
The Marathon went well for Ben and my sister. He ran it under 3:40 (3:33 to be more precise), which was his goal. I was very proud of him. My sister Katie ran it even faster (3:30) and she qualified for Boston! I am already planning a long weekend to watch her run in 2020. My brother-in-law Andrew and I raced around on our bikes to see them at various mile markers. It was really fun, actually. For Andrew and me. I am not sure how much fun Ben and Katie were having.
The weekend after Christopher's birthday I got to escape for a few days. I went to my friend Chelsea's cabin near Ely with my college girls. We had a great time. Lots of delicious soup and salads courtesy of Chelsea, and, of course, many bottles of wine. I am so grateful I still have a relationship with these girls 20 years after we first met.
While I was gone, Ben took the kids to a school party and to have some pictures taken for an ECFE fundraiser. He also took them to a Minnesota United game. They lost. I think I had more fun, but Ben is such a good sport about my weekends away. I honestly wish he would do something similar, but he never does.
My birthday is in mid-October. It was another nice one. My SAHM friends treated me to a lovely party at my friend Peggy's house. This group always showers me with such nice gifts and this year was no different. Ben bought me a new sleeping bag that is much warmer than what I had. We also went out to eat, just the two of us, to a delicious Italian restaurant (Mucci's). My sister took me out to dinner as well, to a delicious Italian restaurant. (Red Rabbit).
It was the last birthday of my 30s. (!) It is hard to believe, especially since I remember so clearly how freaked out I was about turning 30. I am definitely not going to accomplish all of my 40 x 40 goals, but that's okay. I'll still try to do some of them this year, but I am not going to get too worked up about it. It was all for fun, right?
We took our annual fall camping trip with friends over MEA break. This year, the destination was Gooseberry Falls. It was very beautiful, but very cold. There was even snow. Luckily, my new sleeping bag lived up to my expectations. The kids had mixed feelings about the trip this year. I think it was a little too cold for them. My friend and her family have a pop-up camper, and I am giving Ben the hard sell on getting a camper for us. I am getting tired of sleeping on the ground, despite the new bag.
Christopher: "Mommy, if I had millions and millions and millions of dollars I would buy you a camper and LOTS OF BEER." The kid has the key to my heart.
I have been busy with activities for the aforementioned dreaded election. So far I've made phone calls, written letters, knocked on doors, and donated money. I may join a text bank this weekend. I don't know if any of it is making a difference, but I just needed to do SOMETHING. I have been feeling so helpless about everything. I barely slept after phone banking last night after hearing the latest poll numbers. EVERYONE PLEASE PLEASE VOTE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
I have also been busy with my role as co-treasurer for the school PTO. We just completed our annual fundraiser, which was a huge success.
While I was phone banking last weekend, Ben took the kids trick or treating in Highland Village. Hermione and the dragon were into it, as they always are. We'll be trick or treating on Wednesday, doing our same routine as always: hit a few houses near us and then meet friends for the big Sargent Avenue block party, which really is something to see.
And then on to November. I always just picture November as being dark, but there is also lots of pie eating. I am looking forward to that.
|School picture time! This is much better than described by Christopher, who re-enacted his picture-taking experience for me.|
|My second-grader. Still can't believe I have a second grader.|
|Christopher's homemade cake.|
|Waiting for Daddy (Uncle Ben) and Aunt Katie (Mommy) on Marathon day.|
|He spends a lot of time "styling" his hair after his showers, so he was thrilled when they did this for him at the hair salon.|
|Supplies for my girls' weekend.|
|Friends since 1999! (I've known Cindi since 5th grade)|
|A treat with my girl after her flu shot.|
|Snack time on the camping trip.|
|Clare and friends on Lake Superior.|
|Climbing at Gooseberry Falls. We had a scare when Clare almost fell off a high rock formation she was climbing. Thank God my friend Sarah was there to catch her. Clare was very scared, as were all the witnesses. Luckily, I did not see it happen.|
|Tuckered out on the ride home from camping.|
|Walking together at the school fun run.|
|Children's Museum on a day off of school|
|Glad Ben does this with them, because it is my least favorite holiday ritual.|
|Clare baked this cornbread all by herself. She plans to cook dinner next weekend!|
|Hermione Granger and a dragon. She has a wig, which was abandoned early on. We'll see if I can get a picture tomorrow night.|