Saturday, August 23, 2014

2014 Minnesota State Fair

We got up early today and headed to the Great Minnesota Get-Together, one of my favorite times of the year!  We arrived just after 8 and the weather was actually pretty nice.  It was mild and cloudy which made the humidity tolerable!  It was breezy later in the morning which felt good too!
 We explored a bit, then headed to the Kemps Little Farm Hands exhibit.  We thought about going a couple years ago, but realized he was far too little to enjoy it.  He enjoyed it, but still moved to the beat of his own drum!
 We gathered corn, moved hay bales with the tractor, fed chickens, got an egg...
 Planted a seed...
 Watered it, then harvested our crop.
 and then we milked a cow!
 Finally, we sold our goods at the farmer's market....
 and used the profit for a special treat!  Thanks Kemps!
 We went to the giant slide next.  I was a little worried it would scare Parker, but he loved it (so did Jimmy!)
 We checked out the animal bars last and even took a picture with some cows!  I love cows!
 Parker got the best tattoo at the Moo Booth.
 And I got a souvenir at the Oink Booth.
 It wouldn't have been the fair without a plethora of delicious eats!  I think we kept it pretty tame this year.
Parker's favorites were the donuts...
 and Sweet Martha's cookies!
He was very well behaved considering we kept him tied up for close to 4 hours.  Just a few minor melt downs.  We can't wait to head back next year!

Date Night at the Mall of America

We love the Mall of America, maybe a little too much!  We aren't even big shoppers, we just like to get something fun to eat and people watch.  We indulged a bit for date night because I had a $25 birthday reward on my Landry's rewards card.  We don't have a lot of options in MN, but one of them is Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.  We started with the hush puppies, even Parker was excited!
 Parker got his own little shrimpin' boat (minus the shrimp) with pizza, fries and jello!
 I got Shrimper's Heaven which has four kinds of shrimp: peel and eat, tempura battered, coconut and fried.  I definitely was in heaven.
We stopped at the Lego play area before heading home.  I love the two pictures below!  Parker grabbed Jimmy's hand to ask for help and was so happy when he got it on!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

...and Other Things...

I got a bit caught up in the other festivities of the week and forgot to post about the fun we had last weekend.  On Saturday, Parker and I met our friends, Shannon, Simon, and Daphne at the Farmer's Market for a play date.  The mini donut vendor there is the BEST!  You get twice as many donuts as most places for the same price.  We may have to go every week, just for these.
 One of the vendors gave each of the boys a free cucumber (I think that's a cucumber...)
 We walked over to a park next to let the boys run off some steam.
 Parker was helping spin Simon!
 We headed out the the free family fun day at Country Daze in my parents city.  Parker is getting ever more independent so it is getting hard to keep him entertained and contained.  The monster truck was one of his favorites!
 There were also fawns that you could feed and pet.  Parker was heading towards their water dish here...
 Parker built a birdhouse with my dad last year.  We built a bird feeder together this year.
 Jayden and Cody got in on the action as well.

I had a family picnic for work on Sunday.  There was a great bounce house that Parker loved (once he got comfortable.)  He thought the other kids were a riot!
He could jump all day...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Today is Jimmy and my birthday!  I love birthdays and today was perfect.  I got some extra time with Parker this morning during the second half of his re-evaluation this morning.  My afternoon at work zoomed by, then Jimmy and I grabbed dinner at Benihana with his parents.  I look forward to Benihana all year!  Shrimp Sauce!
We stopped at Nadia Cakes before heading home and I got a Tropical paradise, a pineapple, mango, and coconut cupcake.
My mom was at our house with Parker so we opened gifts with them when we got back from dinner.  Jimmy got a new razor from Parker, "the Dyson for your face," as he calls it.
 A new Huskers shirt from me that was purchased during our 4th of July trip.  I am not good at keeping gifts a secret, but I did it this time!
 And the complete Seinfeld series from my parents!  We are both excited about that.
 I got some wonderful gifts too!
 We were even able to get a really great family picture!  Only one year left in my 20's so I better enjoy it!

Monday, August 18, 2014

What A Year

A year ago last Friday I was broken.  I spent most of that evening balling.  Not just crying, balling!  I was mostly inconsolable.  We got Parker's autism diagnosis on a Thursday.  The only positive part was I only had one day of work to try to muscle through without melting into a puddle of tears.  I remember it took weeks for everything to feel real and a month before I felt I had any grasp (it was a very tiny one at that point) on the journey we were just thrust in to.  11 months later that journey has just become life.

We are in the middle of our 1 year re-evaluation and that has brought a lot of emotions back to the surface.  All of the appointments and therapy have been focused on learning new things and praising the progress.  This evaluation is all about how he is still delayed and the things that we need to be concerned about.  My heart is breaking again.  We have had so many great successes in the last year.  So many tiny little baby steps that a lot of parents just glaze over (not because they aren't important, but because most kids breeze through them.)  Filling out all the surveys reminds me of all the things he isn't doing yet.  I know that the outcome of his re-evaluation is not going to be as emotional as last year, but I still don't want to hear those words.

No matter what I am going to maintain a positive attitude.  That is what has kept us moving forward over the last year and will continue to be key in the years to come.  I am so proud of the progress that Parker has made and so excited to watch him grow every day.  As I was putting him to bed tonight I was overflowing with love and joy watching him play.  I am so blessed to be his mom and I can't wait to see where his super powers take him.

I have said it before and will say it again, thank you for being with me on this journey.  Thank you for letting me vent to you when needed and for listening without judgment.  Your support has meant the world to our family.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


I got a little buck wild on Friday night!  I went to downtown Minneapolis to attend a bachelorette party for my friend Stacy.  By "buck wild," I mean having one drink and heading home at 10:30...

We were meeting at the Foshay, which was built in the 20's.  It served as an office building for most of it's life and was converted to a hotel in 2008.  They have an observation deck on the 30th floor that I have been wanting to go to for a while, so I arrived early to take advantage.  It was a gorgeous day and I got some fun pictures!
Back on the ground we enjoyed some happy hours drinks and Stacy opened some gifts.
 We went to Ike's for dinner!  I have heard so many good things and was excited to try one of their signature burgers.  Stacy ordered the Monster burger and it was a monster!
 I got the patty melt and it was amazing.  I will have to bring Jimmy here!
 We went back to the hotel for dessert.  There little bits of perfection are from Tortes and Truffles in Anoka.  We will be paying them a visit very soon.
 After a quick group photo I had to hit the road.  It was such a fun night and I am loving all the pre-wedding fun we've been having.  There is more to come!