Sunday, October 31, 2010

Grow-up Conversations

Sometimes I have the most interesting conversations with Trynica.

On the way to the store today Tryn said to me: Mom, I want to be the most beautiful girl at Target. I have on beautiful clothes and I am going to be so beautiful.

Me, totally taken by surprise: What? What are you talking about babe?

Tryn: My clothes make me beautiful, and I want to be the most beautiful one at Target. Don't you think my clothes are beautiful?

Me: Your outfit is very cute, Tryn. But everyone is beautiful, no matter what they are wearing.

Tryn: Mom, boys aren't beautiful.

Me: Well, boys are handsome. But it's not your clothes that make you beautiful. Your smile is beautiful, your eyes are beautiful, when you are really nice to other people that makes you really beautiful. It doesn't matter what you are wearing or if other people are wearing clothes that you think are more beautiful...

Tryn: I want to be beautiful.

Me: You are so beautiful sweetie.

Later in the store...

Tryn, very sadly: Mom, I just saw a girl and she looked so beautiful. She was more beautiful than me.

Me: Tryn, it really doesn't matter what she is wearing. She looks very pretty, but you are very pretty too. And you will always be one of the most beautiful girls in the world to me and to daddy.

I thought I would have a few more year at least before I had to start having conversations like this. I am totally unprepared.

This was after she asked me this morning where babies come from - not kidding.

Friday, October 22, 2010

From the mouth of the babe...

Sidenote: Bff's Rollie and Cait are in town, YAY!!!

Yesterday we (Steve, Rollie, Cait, Tryn, Berlin, and I) were sitting at the table eating dinner. I don't remember exactly what the grown ups were talking about, but it probably sounded something like:

Cait: Taylor Swift's new album is gonna be awesome. I am so excited!!

Steve: What?! She can't sing. Tryn, take a bite.

Cait: Yes, she can! Have you heard her new single?

Rollie: This steak is so good.

Steve: I can't believe you are into Taylor Swift.

Cait: Whatever. She's awesome.

Rollie: Man, this steak is so good!

Steve: Babe, these potatoes are awesome.

Me: Thanks :) Tryn, please take a bite of your food.

And suddenly, in the smallest sweetest voice, in the middle of the most random conversation...

Berlin: We must always listen to God.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Things I Want to Remember

Part of the reason I have this blog is because I want to write things down so that I don't forget. Things like...

* Yesterday afternoon I got home from work and I was really tired. I went and laid down on my bed, just to shut my eyes for a few minutes. Tryn came and crawled up in bed with me. I told her, "Mommy, just needs to lay here for 5 minutes okay?" and I took my glasses off and held them in my hand. Without saying a word Tryn took my glasses out of my hand, folded them neatly, and placed them on my nightstand. Then she walked out of the room, colored for a few minutes, and came back about 5 minutes later. She's such a sweet and good girl.

* Berlin has been very loving lately, like she likes to hug and kiss us all the time and tell us that she loves us - very sweet. She has also been expressing her love to Tryn. Like the other day when I was going to drop Tryn off at her friend Sophie's house to play Berlin said, "Tryn, I don't want you to go to Sophie's. I love you." Or a couple of weeks ago Tryn was talking to Steve about going to school and Berlin piped up and said, "Trynie, I don't want you to go to school. I love you!" My girls showing love to each other melts my heart like nothing else. Like when Tryn will sacrifice her swing (at the risk of other kids taking it) at the playground to give Berlin a push on the swing. Or when Tryn calls Berlin Sweetie or Honey and tells me that she will take care of Berli.

* Tryn was telling me a story the other day while we were in the waiting room at the chiropractor. She was telling me the story of Pocahontas (which I am not actually sure that she has ever even watched the movie) and said, "And then Pocahontas had to text her Prince..." Oh, the modern Princess. :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Steve and I

I don't normally mention Steve and I, as in our marriage, on my blog. Well, I don't think I ever have. But we, as in both of us not as in we as the group we are, had an epiphany today - the exact same one. Actually...two.

See, Steve and I made dinner together, something we do 3 or 4 days out of the week. Tonight we made tomato and basil bruschetta, steak marinaded in oregano, basil, and rosemary, and grilled rosemary potatoes. With a Malbec. It was divine. Yummy in every way.

The first thing we realized is that we love cooking together. In a lot of couples it's usually one or the other that cooks. Steve and I cook meals separately, but we more often cook together and neither of of us really has much fun cooking without the other. It's a chore when we cook separately, but it's fun when we do it together.

Second, we make a great team. I would have never made the meal that we made tonight if I would have had to make it all by myself. Neither would Steve. It's too much work to cut up all those herbs alone, try a new recipe (bruschetta), and make sure everything gets cooked perfectly. Everything was perfect. And because we cooked it together it didn't feel like that much work.

One of the things that I have always loved about Steve is that he is a better cook than me. I can hold my own in the kitchen, and I have come up with some pretty fun meals on my own. But Steve is better. I actually didn't know how to use herbs or spices until after several years of cooking with him. He can make a better burger than any that I have had in a restaurant and he is very skilled at the grill.

We have become foodies because of each other. Not in the sense that we have to try every kind of food and every new restaurant ever, but we really like to make good tasting food. A lot. And we make some pretty darn good food.

If I had to do it all myself, I just wouldn't. Or it would be bland boring stuff. But with Steve, who can sometimes pass my skill in the kitchen, it's perfect.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


First, Steve and I ran 6 miles. The first time I ever tried running 6 miles I didn't make it. Granted it was really hot and humid, but I tried running two times around Lake Calhoun (which is 3.1 miles around) and I ended up walking the last mile or so. Today Steve and I ran two full times around the lake...while pushing a double jogger with 60 lbs of kid in it, and we made it.

I wish I was a mathematician, because then I could figure out how much more I "weigh" while I am pushing a stroller. It is so much harder to run with a stroller and if I was really good at math I could figure out how much the resistance adds to the weight I am already carrying. But I am not, so just trust me, it sucks.

But we made it, the whole 6 miles. The best part was when I was pushing the stroller and Steve was passing Berlin a juice box, because we fed the kids in the stroller while we were running around the lake, and a mom passed us with one kid in a stroller. She looked at us amazement and said, "Wow!" Yes, I agree with her. :)

Then we decided to go on a bike ride along the river near St. Paul. We didn't realize how hilly it was going to be. We tried this one riverside path that had warning signs that it was closed for water. When we got to a big puddle I tried riding through it and it got so deep that my shoes got soaked. We had to turn around and find a different route, that was 10 minutes into our ride.

We ended up biking for 12 miles, which took us 1 1/2 hours. I am glad I wasn't hauling the kids - Steve is amazing. I decided that if you ever really want to give yourself a pedicure go for a 12 mile bike ride in wet shoes. Just make sure to bring a pumice stone with you, what a waste that I didn't have one with me. It was such a beautiful evening, it was such a perfect time to go for a long bike ride. Makes me sad that it could snow next week.

It was an amazingly awesome day.

I might not be able to walk tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


While out in Seattle Steve and I said on Bainbridge Island two of the nights we were there. It was so cute and quaint. There is a full on town there bigger than Aitkin (where Steve spent a chunk of his childhood). I think Steve said there were 2,200 people living on Bainbridge and 1,200 living in Aitkin - so decent sized town. There was a super quaint downtown area with really fun shops and restaurants.

This was our view during lunch one day:

We had to take a ferry out there, a process which added a good 40-45 minutes of travel time because of the 30 minute actual ferry ride and the waiting to get on and off the ferry. Because I don't live on an island and have to wait around for ferries all the time, I thought it was super fun. Although, I could see how I wouldn't really love it if I actually lived on the island. You could tell who actually lived on Bainbridge. Those people would stay sitting in their cars and would read books or take naps. Steve and I got out every time, even when it was raining. Sometimes it was SO cold and windy. One time we walked around the back of the ferry and the wind literally almost knocked me over. I started laughing so hard. Like so windy I couldn't even keep my eyes open.

Seattle from the ferry:

The ferry from our beach at night:

The super cute place we stayed, Abode on the Sea:

The first morning we were there we had to rush out, but thought we saw a rocky beach. Later that afternoon, there was only about 2 feet of beach, none in spots. [Beach: a surface near the water made up of rocks, and only rocks.] Once we figured out the tide patterns we were able to go on a beach walk that night, using our iPhones as flashlights. The next morning there was actually a significant shoreline, as we had thought from the previous morning, so we went on another walk. There are so many things that get left behind when the tide goes out! Tons of shells:

A big dead jellyfish:

Pieces of a crab, when we were out at night we actually saw little crabs scuttling around:

When the tide was out this very thin strip of rocky land appeared, of course we walked out as far as we possibly could:

We found this interesting little guy. He was not alive and actually was missing his innards, but he was so bright orange and awesome looking:

And I found the biggest shell. Which I brought home:

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Places in Seattle

One of the ways that Steve and I like to explore while we are on trips is to not eat at any place we know. If we see a restaurant with a name we recognize we move on and find something else, something unique to where ever we are. We tried so many different places, these were my favs:

The first night we were in Seattle we had no idea what to do. We were so hungry I wanted to start gnawing on my own hand and so, with the handy dandy iPhone, we googled something like "fun places to eat in Seattle" and through a little bit of searching found The Pink Door. It's hard to find, tucked into an alley. The entrance we found I think ended up being the back door that went right past the kitchen, but it was so fun! Seriously, some of the best Italian food I have ever had in my entire life. We sat outside and we were just a few blocks up from the bay so the view was awesome. Right when we were leaving they were starting to play live music. Definitely a recommendation.

Our Bruschetta. So good.

We stayed at the Ramada Inn downtown for two nights and it was definitely nothing special. The only redeeming qualities are that it is within walking distance of Pikes Place and the Space Needle - basically right in between, but a little closer to the Needle - AND it is across the street from Top Pot Donuts. As I am not generally fond of donuts in any shape or form, so we accidentally discovered this place as we were exiting our hotel to go climb Mt. Rainier. It was convenient and they had coffee, which was top priority for me that morning. If all donuts were freshly baked on the spot and tasted like these donuts I would change my opinion about these globs of dough and frosting. They were SO good. So good. Really, what a donut was meant to taste like.

Down along Pikes Place we, of course, stopped at the world's first Starbucks and bought our only souvenir of the trip - new travel mugs that keep coffee extra hot. We also went to some place that makes cheese and had "the world's best mac and cheese" which was incredible. But my other most favorite place was Beth's Cafe. It is the perfect version of a hole in the wall, but it is also the perfect version of the great all American diner. We went there for breakfast on Sunday morning and had to wait for 40 minutes to get a seat. They give you these massive plates of food with an unlimited supply of hash browns and it's a perfect diner experience. They also have really fabulous chocolate cake, which we got to go since we were so full we could barely move. This diner was actually feature on Man Vs. Food once because they are especially famous for their omelets which they make with either 6 or 12 eggs. We didn't get one of those.

Of course, if you get a chance (meaning, if they have a reservation open, we got one of the last two for lunch and dinner was completely booked all weekend), eat a meal on top of the Space Needle. The view is spectacular and the food is really, really good. Really good.

I really liked Seattle. Except for the rain. :)