Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Not feeling the sermon...

When I picked Amelia up from school today, one of the teachers pulled me aside. She waited until Amelia was out of ear shot and began to tell me a funny story. Keep in mind that Amelia is very quiet at school, so the fact that she said chose to speak up, surprised me, let alone what she asked for! Apparently, the children's Pastor came into the classroom today to give a children's sermon. I guess Amelia wasn't really feeling it today, because she politely asked "Can we please talk about 'Little House on the Prairie' instead? Or, 'Wizard of Oz' is OK, too!" I guess I know what her favorite books are!
This picture has nothing to do with the story, but what is a blog post without a picture, right? We were out walking and I asked the kids to turn around for a picture. On their own, they struck this pose! They sure do love each other! Currently, one of my favorite parts of the day, is watching the kids say good-bye to each other when Graham gets on the school bus (big hugs) and when Graham and I arrive to pick up Amelia from school (even BIGGER hugs)!


Thursday, September 20, 2012


Five years ago tonight, we arrived home from Korea with Graham. We were welcomed at the airport by VERY excited friends and family. The noise of their clapping and cheering is still extremely vivid in my memory. To say that Graham had fans waiting for him is an understatement. Graham made four very excited people grandparents for the first time, he made people Aunts and Uncles for the first time, he made Jeff and I Mommy and Daddy for the first time, and most importantly, Graham got his "forever family".
A small portion of our 'Welcoming Crew' in the baggage claim area

A very tired Graham...screaming for 15 straight hours on the flight home will do that!

First meal at home

So, now here we are five years later. The sleepless nights have been replaced with a kid who sleeps like a champ and still naps daily. Our extremely picky eater has been replaced with one of the most adventurous eaters I know. Graham can honestly claim broccoli as his favorite food and requested shrimp for dinner tonight. Gone are the days of him being too nervous to let me out of his sight. Instead, I wave good-bye to my smiling, confident Kindergarten student as the bus pulls away each morning. Thomas the Train has been replaced with Legos and 'Magic Treehouse' books have taken the place of board books.

But, I'm happy to still see glimpses of the little baby I carried on my back day after day after day in the Ergo baby carrier. Graham still sleeps with his 'Annie Blanket' the same blanket he slept with his first night home. He sleeps with at least 20 stuffed animals (some he's had for years) in his bed each's a wonder there is any room left for him! And, my favorite, is that although they are definitely much smaller than five years ago, I'm happy he still has his cheeks. Those big round cheeks that only seem to grow when he grins, that nobody can seem to keep their hands off of. I love them and I hope they always stay.
Happy Gotcha Day, Graham!!! We love you forever, and ever, and ever.....

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


We went to a Twins game last week which was quite a treat for the kids! We drive by Target Field all the time but they had never actually been to a game there, so they were very excited!
This giant glove has become the perfect photo op stop at games, not just for us, but all Twins fans. We actually had to wait in line for the kids to have their turn sitting here!

Perfect seats for their first game! It doesn't get much better than the first row between 1st and 2nd base!

Amelia felt like this was the perfect place to try out her ballerina arm poses. I can't say the people behind her appreciated her attempted artistry.

Graham and TC Bear

Things officially got silly by the 5th inning.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A New Chapter

Graham's 1st Day of Kindergarten
It's hard to believe that Graham has his very first week of Kindergarten (done 100% Spanish!) behind him. I knew that Graham was looking forward to school starting, but I don't think I really knew just how excited he was! Last Wednesday, while we waited for the school bus to come down the road, Graham was nothing but smiles. As the bus came into view, Graham's smile grew wider, and the lump in my throat just got bigger. How was it possible that the time had come for me to put my first baby onto the bus and send him off to school? The bus came to a stop, the driver patiently waited for me to snap a picture, I gave Graham a hug and kiss, told him I loved him, and he was off.  It all happened so quickly and it was probably a good thing because I'm not sure how much longer I would have been able to keep my own tears at bay. Yes, I will admit to having a good cry and yes, I pulled it together well before Graham came home. The mix of emotions I felt that morning are extreme. I was sad with the reality of just how quickly time passes but I was also filled with pride for who Graham is becoming. His confidence is something to be admired. He really believes he can do anything and I love that about him. This time is yours Graham, go take on the world!!

Day 2 and just as excited. When Graham got off the bus this day, the first thing he said to me was "Whew, another GREAT day!"
Day 3. I had no intention to take a picture this morning but Graham stopped and said "Aren't you going to take my picture? This is really big deal, remember?"

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Open House

Tonight, I survived Kindergarten open house. I've been anticipating this open house with mixed emotions of excitement and dread. Mostly, I just can't comprehend how my little guy is old enough, and more than ready to attend school full time. But on the other hand, I'm excited for Graham. I have clear memories of my own Kindergarten experience-my teacher, my friends, the holiday parties, and I'm excited for Graham to experience these things.
 I love how Graham marched into school tonight clutching his bag of school supplies like he owned the place. I love how Graham insisted on wearing a broken Mickey Mouse watch because "that's what the big kids do", despite the fact that he has no idea how to tell time. I love the fact that Graham insisted that he wear his hair spikey with gel because "that's what Daddy does". I love how confident he is!
 Walking into Graham's classroom was a SHOCK. Graham is attending a Spanish Immersion school and yes, even the open house was completely in Spanish. Graham went completely silent and got wide eyed as he studied his teacher and tried to figure out what she was saying. I whispered over and over to him that it was ok to not understand her, and that with time, he would learn. Kindergarten is a big adjustment and Kindergarten in another language is a HUGE adjustment. Not just for Graham, but for his Mama too!


This is exactly how I'll remember Graham at this stage of life...dressed up in a costume. In this case, he was all dressed up to play 'Memory' with me.

We have a golfer!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Amelia's Newest Accessory

After a morning visit to the eye doctor including lovely eye drops which led to her sporting these stylish shades.....

It was determined that from now on, Amelia would need a brand new accessory!

It's hard to tell from the picture, but they are purple with polka dots on the side. Amelia was fitted and had a few good options to choose from. Once I snuck the pink plastic Disney princess frames back to the display, Amelia chose her favorite. We think she looks pretty cute!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

August Already????

Get ready for pictures, because I have a lot of catching up to do! July literally FLEW by! We stayed extremely busy and before I knew it, August was here! Our month was full-Halmoni and Haraboji were in town from Korea, Uncle Jon and Auntie Catherine were in town from Colorado, we celebrated the 4th of July, spent time at the lake, made time for a visit the Children's Museum, rode some amusement park rides at the Mall of America, enjoyed a quick trip to Duluth, and played a lot of soccer.

Our August is shaping up to be just as full and we're going to squeeze every last bit of fun out of summer as we can! That means you'll find us indulging in lots of frozen treats, stopping by the pool every free evening that we have, enjoying our last few weekends out on the boat, and spending time with our friends because all too soon, that thing known as school is going to change our daily schedule. Whether it's preschool of kindergarten, it's coming!

Amelia caught a fish and wanted NOTHING to do with it!

Even our enthusiastic swimmers didn't want much to do with the cold water of Lake Superior!

A Goal for the 'Blue Lightning'!

Amelia looks like she could melt after playing hard in HOT weather!

Graham and Amelia show of their awards

A Happy Birthday dinner for Uncle Jon

Amelia clearly thought riding the balloon ride at the Mall of America was amazing

This is how we shop these days. It does make for slow going, but I don't hear a single complaint about tired legs as Amelia is too focused on her baby to consider how far or long she's been walking! A win/win situation!

Two of Curious George's biggest fans so we had to check out the new exhibit at the museum!

Outdoor museum fun

Happy campers at the Mall of America
No, Amelia didn't eat all of these hot dogs. But, you won't find a bigger hot dog fan anywhere on the planet!  She was thrilled to pose with the hot dogs grilled to feed our 4th of July crowd

This is the first summer the kids will jump off the boat directly into the middle of the lake. A perfect way to spend hot days!

Amelia is all about safety. With a life jacket and an inner-tube, this girl takes no chances! :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Happy (VERY belated) Birthday to Amelia!

This post is late. Very late. As in almost embarrassingly late. Amelia turned 4 on June 26 and I'm just now getting around to blogging about her celebration...oops!

I'm still in awe that my "baby" is 4. More days than not lately, I want to freeze time. I want to freeze time because Amelia loves nothing more than to cuddle up with a book so we can read together. She loves nothing more than to hang out with me in the kitchen while I'm cooking. I often lose track of how many unsolicited hugs and kisses she gives me each day. I'm told constantly "Mommy, I love you so much!" Amelia is my little shadow and I love it! I am so lucky and I often wonder, how I got so lucky. I have no doubt that Amelia was meant to be my daughter and I will be forever grateful that I  have the opportunity to watch her grow and see what life has in store for her!

At 4 years old, Miss Amelia is still as girly as they come. She loves pink, and dresses, and nail polish, and purses, and princess dress up clothes, and jewelry (more on this later), and shoes. Seriously, this girl loves shoes! In the past year she's also developed a love for all things pony. Pony toys, pony books, pony art projects, and cow girls who specifically ride ponies, not horses. So, it seemed fitting that Amelia celebrate another year in cow girl style with all her friends. We hosted her birthday bash at in indoor play area and served Amelia's very favorite dogs and chips (I never claimed it was a healthy choice!) Cupcakes topped with ponies wrapped up the night and I'm confident that Amelia had a great time!
Let dinner begin!

Make a wish!

Graham loved this slide!

Watching the party clean up...they were too worn out to even move!

Now, back to Amelia and her love of jewelry....I have a specific necklace that Amelia LOVES. She often asks to wear it and I'll occasionally let her if we're at home, but it's from Tiffany and Co., and to be honest, I'm afraid she'll lose, it so more often than not, she's stuck just admiring it. Leave it to Grandma and Grandpa to make her 4 year old dreams come true though. Amelia is now the proud owner of her very own mini Tiffany bean necklace. I'm quite confident that she's the youngest, and happiest owner around!

Amelia also enjoyed her very first trip to the American Girl Cafe. Seated next to Amelia,  is her trusty side kick "Amelia Bedelia" (creative naming on Amelia's part, right?). This cafe was made for my girl. Pink walls, pink booths, pink tables, and pink lemonade. Can it possibly get any better for a pink loving girl? It sure is good to be 4!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Team Olson

Tennis lessons started this morning, so let me introduce you to the newest doubles team in the neighborhood!

They aren't really a doubles team (I'm pretty sure one needs to make consistent contact with the ball to be a member of any team), but they did stick together like glue during their group lesson! As we were leaving the courts and heading to the car, Amelia looked at Graham and said "We're best buddies, right Graham?" and Graham said "Yep we'll always be best buddies, but that doesn't mean I always have to share my transformers with you!"

 I'm LOVING the stage we're at with the kids right now. For the most part, they really do get along and act like best buddies. But, I'm not going to pretend that we don't have days where I insist they play on different floors of the house just to give myself a referee break. These days, I'm doing my best to be deliberate with family time in an attempt to create lasting memories for the kids (and myself, who am I kidding) and my fingers are crossed that they enjoy each others company for the rest of the summer. Fall will be here before we know it and with it will come a new stage of life for us....ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

What we've been up to lately...

Graham ate an entire head of broccoli and he loved every single bite. He finished his lunch so I asked him if he'd like dessert and he asked for a huge helping of vegetables.

Amelia and this new pony "Pinkie Pie" are inseparable these days.

We LOVED the new dinosaur exhibit at the zoo!

After a busy afternoon playing in the sprinklers, the kids wanted to pretend they were relaxing on the beach.

All dressed up for Graham's piano recital.

Graham received his very first trophy at his performance.

Happy Amelia after a bike ride.

It's official...the training wheels are off and Graham can ride on two wheels. Hopefully, he learns to stop soon because watching him ride at full speed up and down the street then standing by to catch him when he decides he's done is getting VERY old. :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Playing catch up....

No surprise here, but I'm once again behind on the blog. Consider this picture heavy post my best attempt to catch up!

Amelia was so excited to go on her very first field trip. We went to the zoo but I think the ride on a school bus and a picnic lunch in a princess lunch bag was the highlight of her day!

Last day of preschool for the year!

Last day of preschool stop kindergarten! I'm glad Graham is ready for the next step because I'm sure not!

Preschool Diploma Time

Happy Graham

Amelia and her wonderful, fantastic, amazing teacher. Graham had her last year and I LOVE her!

Daddy Jeff and I attended our reunion at St. Olaf and it was a fantastic weekend catching up with old friends. The kids joined us for a bit so we of course had to document their visit to campus with a picture in the chairs.

 This picture won't mean much to many, but to our family and I'm sure other Oles, can it get any better than watching my children run and play with other future Oles on the hill behind Old Main?

A good trip to the dentist meant a trip to the donut shop. And yes, I'm fully aware that we just put all that sugar back onto their teeth, but it sure was fun!

Spider Man and Ariel the Mermaid shopping at Target.