Girl Trip

It was the perfect Saturday for an adventure!

The sun was shining, the weather was warm, and the skies were blue as we headed to Omaha to rendezvous with the girls.

Three generations of girls –

14980805_10207400981720300_6413745664116412665_nGrandma, aunts, sisters, cousins.

Family.

We explored secret gardens and hidden attic rooms.

Shared wild rides filled with laughter and silliness.

14907125_10154197793628315_6029653704083883656_nAte real Irish food at the Brazen Head which inspired a medley of Irish Rover songs from our childhood.

“There were green alligators and long necked geese,

Humpty back camels and chimpanzees,

The cats, the rats, the elephants but sure as you’re born,

The loveliest of all was the unicorn…” 

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We visited antique stores and thrift stores.

Enjoyed apple cider and hot coffee.

Ate chocolate and pumpkin cookies.

And ice cream.

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I think there’s an rule about the necessity of ice cream on an epic adventure.

We hiked, climbed trees, explored, got stuck on cliffs and accidentally photobombed several families at the park trying to get pictures for Christmas cards.

And we talked and shared and remembered.

Three generations of ladies.

One amazing day.

The North Shore Reunion

We made some sweet family memories last weekend.

All of Jan’s family (except for our Matt) gathered at his brother’s cabins in northern Minnesota.

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Grandpa, Grandma, uncles, aunts, and lots and lots of cousins.

Traveling from four different states for a few days of fun in the north woods.

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Cousins that seldom see each other wasted no time in having epic adventures.

Climbing waterfalls.

Swimming.

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Hiking.

Rock Climbing.

 

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Wild blue berry picking.

And wild blue berry eating.

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And a one-of-a-kind Purple Lupine Olympics that included a Grand Prix, pine cone toss, target shooting, and a fire starting contest.

The camp fire was always burning.

There were s’mores every night.

Singing.

Laughter.

Conversations.

Too many marshmallows.

And sweet, sweet fellowship.

Perfect.

These Girls

We had another epic shopping adventure last week.

It was Martha and I and our girls.

Just like always.

Hitting all our favorite thrift stores in St. Joe.

It’s a tradition now.

Big SaleStarted several years ago on our first extreme thrifting adventure. (Look how young they are!)

It’s been modified to just one city and always includes a trip to Hobby Lobby, lunch at Chick-fil-a and snacks at Big Lots.

Almost every stop has a memory.

“Isn’t this the store that you lost us in and we finally found you sitting on lawn chairs two stores down?”

And every trip has something new to explore.

This trip including one new thrift store and a natural grocery store that both of our girls were excited about.

Yes – a natural grocery store where they bought health food for themselves.

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Yes – these girls!

The same girls who used to eat twizzlers and peanut butter in the backseat all the way home.

Which only shows again how quickly they are growing up and changing.

And how thankful we are for every moment together and every memory made.

May the tradition continue!

Improv Night and Birthday Oscars

My family got together last weekend for our yearly extended family camping trip.

One of our traditions is an Improv Night – when we entertain each other with skits we pull together at the last minute.

Each family brings an unmarked bag of 10 random items that we distribute one evening. Each family is then given about 15 minutes to pull together a skit using those items.

The results are hilarious!

This year – however – was different. But I didn’t learn that fact right away.

You see – my siblings used our annual Improv Night to surprise me for my 50th birthday. (I should have expected this – since I have a history of surprising my siblings on their 50th birthdays!)

I was very active in speech and drama in high school and have always been a bit disappointed that I was never given a lead role in any of the high school plays.

So this year – my family gave me the lead role in each of their skits.

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They just didn’t tell me.

After the kids and I did our skit – which was a true improv – using the special bag full of random geriatric items they gathered for us – I was called on to act in every other skit.

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Skits that were written in advance, with appropriate props and – not surprisingly – were full of family memories and embarrassing moments for yours truly.

There were certain “This is Your Life” kind of moments.

 

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And some wild “I can’t believe they are making me do this” kind of moments.

Each skit was different – I was handed a prop or a costume or both and given a few instructions.

16 06 18-M500- 32-6 (1)And I winged it.

Acting my heart out to tremendous applause and wild laughter!

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And when the final skit was over – they had me walk the red carpet and handed me a plastic imitation Oscar for my performances – before spraying me with silly string.

Because they love me.

I guess.

Hollywood here I come!

Or not.

After a career like mine, it might be time for retirement.

Hashtag Birthday

Birthday’s are made for surprises.

And Angel Girl is the hardest to surprise!

But this year – Pedro pulled it off!

#birthdaysurprise 

It was the Thursday night before her birthday – and she suspecting nothing.

Pedro gathered up four cousins and they drove the two hours to our house stuffed in Pedro’s car.

#roadtrip

They hid the car and planned the epic surprise.

Angel Girl got home from work, wondered why dad was grilling so many hamburgers, put down her water bottle in the kitchen, rounded the corner to the dining room and jumped out of her skin at the sight of Pedro and the cousins waiting for her!

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#nailedit

They had a hilarious supper, followed by crazy dance moves in the driveway and a wild adventure to the abandoned house and low water crossing.

Poison ivy, bug bites, photo shoots, and much laughter.

#perfect.

They spent the night eating popcorn and rice krispie bars while watching old VHS movies that were favorites years ago.

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And were up at first light to be on the road to make it back to the city to work.

A short night and a long drive.

But they had almost fourteen hours of jam-packed, fun-filled wonderfulness.

#worthit

Happy 18th birthday Angel Girl!