Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summer in Minnesota: Concert Series

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Hands down, the thing I missed most this winter was outdoor concerts. Skyler and I loved going to concerts last summer and I was excited to find many kid-friendly concert series in our area. These are the three that we have enjoyed going to, though I am sure there are many more. Not that it is any surprise, but I took a lot of pictures of Skyler last summer. Here are some pictures from the concerts we went to in these series, mostly from last summer, and a few from today :)

Centennial Lakes kiddie concerts every Tuesday and Thursday at noon. The concerts take place at a cute little amphitheater and there is some space right near the performers to put up blankets in the shade. I don't think Skyler and I missed a week last summer, sometimes we went both days. The genres of music are varied and last summer we even saw an animal show that was the most packed I have ever seen it. It can get really hot with little one's if you can't get into the shade, but my absolute favorite thing about this location is getting there a little early and taking advantage of the beautiful lake for a walk! The full summer concert schedule can be found here.

The concert we went to today was the first Centennial Lakes concert of the summer for us. The performer was Red Yarn and it was a lot of fun. The nice thing about this time is that we bring a picnic lunch and Skyler either falls asleep for nap in the car or I put him down right when we get home. It was funny because at one point Skyler said "I see the Okee Dokee Brothers" and I told him that we weren't seeing them today, but after the show Red Yarn said that one of the Okee Dokee Brothers was in attendance. I noticed Skyler staring behind us a couple of times, and he must have recognized him :)

                              My brave boy even went right up to the front when one of the puppets was brought out!

Staring Lake Kidstock concerts Tuesday's at 10:30am. We went to many of the concerts in this series last year, usually with our ECFE class (and unless we were spending our Tuesday at Centennial Lakes). The amphitheater is right next to Staring Lake Park, so it is fun to head to the park and play after the concert is over. There is very little shade at this location and it can get extremely hot, but it is fun to meet up with friends and have a snack while listening to some live music. The event calendar that includes all of the Kidstock concert information can be found on the City of Eden Prairie website here.

Klein Bank concert series on Thursday's at 7:00pm. These concerts are not part of a kid series (though we did see the Okee Dokee Brothers last summer), but all of the concerts were a lot of fun and Skyler enjoyed all of the genres of music. I enjoy this later concert, even though it is right at Skyler's bed time. The weather was always beautiful and my husband came along to all of the shows last year. We put Skyler in his jammies and we were ready to go home right after and read some books before bed. I always made sure to bring some books, toys, and a snack just in case the music style didn't really appeal to Skyler. The list of performers can be found on the City of Chanhassen website here.

We have gone to a few concerts at Lake Harriet, but haven't taken enough advantage. There are always fun things going on at our favorite place!

There are also a lot of concerts at the Landscape Arboretum, though we have not gone to any.

If you live in the area and have or know any children that would enjoy some live music in the beautiful summery Minnesota weather, I highly encourage you to try out these three concert series. I am so looking forward to a full and fun summer of music with my boy!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day

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My Skyler is a very lucky boy. We are both so lucky. My husband is such a phenomenal daddy.

Father's Day is hard because Joe is always gone. With his annual training he always misses Skyler's birthday, Father's Day, and our anniversary. We make it up when he gets home, but we miss him especially during these weeks. When he gets home, Skyler will open some extra birthday gifts, Joe will open his Father's Day presents, and we will go out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary, but I miss being able to tell him in person today how much I appreciate him and everything he does for our family. I make up for it the rest of the year though!

In the past week and a half, I have been nearly brought to tears when every night before bed, Skyler has chosen to read The Very Best Daddy of All by Marion Dane Bauer as one of his goodnight stories. I bought it for him on a whim several months ago, the day before Joe was leaving for a month training. It is a sweet story, and I think it helps Skyler when he is missing Joe. It must if he chooses it whenever his daddy is gone. Between the story and the countdown we make, we are able to cope, especially when we have to go days or weeks without speaking to Joe. 

One thing I do when we read the story is on the last two pages where the illustrations change from pairs of animal babies and daddies to people, I reach over and grab this picture of Joe and Skyler off his shelf. He holds it and looks at his daddy and when I am done reading we always talk about the picture. It makes it even more special. 

Skyler and Daddy in Laguna Beach, April 2013

Joe, today and every day, thank you for being the incredible dad and husband you are. I am so blessed to call you and Skyler my family. We love you more than we can say.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


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My Skyler turns two today.

It is incredible how fast the time has gone, but we have made so many memories in this time that when I look back, I can barely remember my life before motherhood. This sweet boy has been the biggest joy in our lives.

I am so lucky that I get to be the mama of this silly, smiley, and intelligent toddler. I am constantly laughing and smiling when I am around him, to the point where it hurts to smile anymore.

I see so much of my husband in Skyler, but as he has gotten older, I have been happy to see that he is a lot like me as well. One of the most wonderful things of the past two years has been seeing my husband as a dad. I have always known that Joe would be an amazing dad, and he has exceeded my expectations. He is such a sweet daddy, Skyler and I are so lucky to have him.

I love that my boy is both curious and independent, but still so loving and attached. He is always asking for hugs and kisses, and even though he plays very well on his own, it makes me happy when he asks me to play with him. Even if I only left his side for a moment.

My baby boy that loves books and vehicles more than anything. He gets so excited about music, sports, or crafty things of any kind. He is the happiest when we are outside, running around and playing. He thrives on the activities we do and the groups we are a part of. I swear, he remembers every one he has ever met and is always asking to see the people he loves.

Part of me wants the time to slow down. It is crazy to see my baby turning into such a big boy, but every day with him is more entertaining and exciting than the last. The past two years have been so incredible, and I cannot wait to see what the next year brings with this person that changed our family forever. There are so many things happening in our family this coming year, both exciting and not so exciting, and I am just happy that I will have Skyler right by my side through it all.

I especially love this day because I can look at the clock and remember what was happening two years ago, the day I became a mom. I am so looking forward to celebrating my little love today, and eating cupcakes with him at 4:36pm, even though it is right before dinner time, because it is our birthday tradition. Happy birthday, my Skyler.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Birthdays, Parties, and Babies

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If you checked out our Instagram at all this week, many of the pictures will be familiar. We had another full week outside, and were lucky to see many friends. Most of Skyler's little buddies have recently or soon will be turning two, and we have been happy to celebrate with them lately! We attended a birthday party last weekend and have another one tomorrow. Here are some of the other things we have been up to this week.

On Wednesday we went to see one of Skyler's friends, and we got to meet her sweet new baby sister. Skyler happily played with his friend, and mama got three-week-old baby snuggles. After a lot of water play, we walked across the street to play at the park and poor Skyler cried when we left. That boy loves playing at the park. Any park :)

We had such a fun morning getting birthday cupcakes and going to the park on Thursday. These sweet boys (plus an adorable six-month-old sister that Skyler just loves!) got to choose their own cupcake at Sweet Retreat Cupcake Boutique and they picked the same one, cookies and cream! Skyler inhaled his - they were delicious!

Today this little friend of Skyler's turned two, so along with another friend of hers, we spent the morning at the Minnesota Zoo. It is one of our favorite places, and extra fun when we have a friend to go with! These two are so cute because they will always walk next to each other no matter where they go, and there are lots of hugs exchanged whenever they are together. Last time we went to the zoo with them, they held hands the entire time. 

My mom got Skyler this easel for his birthday, so my husband and I spent Wednesday night putting it together. Skyler saw it when he woke up yesterday and has been going to it whenever we play in the living room. I used his first piece of artwork to make a daddy countdown while my husband is away at a training. Past daddy countdowns can be seen here and here.

I hope we had a wonderful week, and enjoy your weekend ahead!