Whew! Ten Years.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Last weekend, as we traveled the same [albeit updated] roads that connected Tony and I while we dated long distance through the last 1 1/2 years of college, I couldn't help but reflect. Isn't that the result of all road trips? And while I had the head knowledge that my 10 year high school class reunion was taking place this year, it darn well took my breath away in amazement to recognize that it has been ten years since I first started college.

Ten years since I:
- Gathered my precious belongings and packed up my black Saturn SC2 coupe.
- Was freaked out that I couldn't complete my soccer team's time trial [1 3/4 miles in 13 min 30 sec]
- Finished my time trial and surprised myself!
- Said goodbye to my family and high school love.
- Went grocery shopping by myself, for myself!
- Broke up with my high school love.
- Began a string of decisions I knew would hurt myself.

To say that I'm a different person than the girl who started college 10 years ago, is a horrible understatement, but I still can't believe, it's been 10 years.
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Thank you God!

It's kind of a John Deere

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Last weekend we made it on down to the farm, for Tony's family reunion. His family is quite good at gathering regularly in the Twin Cities, but it's so nice to see the family in SW MN and SD.

We didn't get quite as early as a start as we'd liked, but still headed out decently early and everyone was in good spirits the first 45 minutes. We borrowed my Mom's DVD player for Isaac, but unfortunately we still heard "The farm's too farm away!" at least a half a dozen times.
He's pretty excited to be in control of the DVD player . . . But we've already heard "The farms too far away!" 5 times.

The highlight of course though had to be the boys exploring a real farm.
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Which included 4 wheel rides with Grandpa [last year he was too scared to go on Rachel & Joey's!].
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The main attraction though was Great Uncle Joe's huge Case, which Isaac told me was "kind of a John Deere." At least that's what he was telling himself for betraying his beloved green and yellow.
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His fast soccer shoes helped him sciddaddle right on up!

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I think the tongue helped though too. :)
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And then they were off. I think he was just plumb amazed!
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He was so excited to tell Tony all about it.
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It rained off and on the 6 hours that we were there, but I had so much fun on the trampoline with Isaac. Of course I could barely jump, but he loved that I was doing it with him.
Minutes of feeling like a kid again . . . With my kid. #trampoline #jumping #instafun

Of course all of the that play and skipped naps for the big guy meant that within minutes of driving, he looked like this.
We listened to him sing the beginning of Veggie Tales, followed by a slam which was him closing the DVD player and looked back within seconds to this. So . . . Isaac liked the farm. #tuckeredout #carnap #tractorridesaretooexciting

He rebounded though, thanks to a shrieking Ezra, and insisted that he had to wear his sunglasses to watch his movie . . . in the pitch dark!
He's too cool for school and he doesn't even know it! [well sometimes he does ] #threeyearsold #stud #sunglassesatnight

And that's how we spent weekend #1 of my being wedding free!

Minnesota State Fair :: 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tony and I are pretty insistent on consistent family traditions and so far, we can say two things with certainty. Since their birth, our boys have attended 4th of July fireworks and the Minnesota State Fair every year. We intend to keep it that way.

Isaac was kind of a grumpy pants for 80% of the trip, which meant all other time than spent at Machinery Hill, but what can you do?

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We got a later start than most recent years, but scored on nabbing $9 prefair tickets for only $5/piece outside of the gates!
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Gina was on hand to grab our awesomely awful 4th installment of a family picture in front of the Corn Roast. With out fail, this picture has been terrible, since the beginning with a crying Isaac, but I must continue it. ;)
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I failed to immortalize every food choice this year, but we went a little lighter on our fare. We only got: a corn dog [Tony's first purchase, every year], roasted corn, turkey to go pulled turkey sandwich, milk, poutine, veggie fries, dole whip and strawberries & cream. It sounds like a lot more when you don't consider it was split 4 ways!
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And then, after all of that fuss, Isaac finally laid eyes on his happy place aka the John Deere section of Machinery Hill.
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I LOVE this shot of my guy! After 2 months of him insisting on wearing the same three shirts [green/soccer] and the same three comfy shorts, I finally grew wise to him and added this green #3 to a blue hoodie. :)
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Awww, a big Fontaine hug, as we call them!
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Ezra grew a little antsy pants after being cooped up in the stroller, so he enjoyed some time browsing Machinery Hill as well.
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Gina peeled off to take some fun pictures of Levi & Bethany, since she'll be shooting their wedding in just 2 1/2 months and we went to check out the DNR building. Isaac asked if there were any whales in the tank.
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Ezra thoroughly enjoyed checking out the fish too and kept squealing and pointing!
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We couldn't decide on our final food purchase, so we made a quick loop through again and came across the kiddie midway. Isaac really wanted to try the new ride and Tony bolstered my confidence that it'd be fine, since Isaac had gone on the Tilt-a-Whirl with Tony's parents just a month earlier . . . too bad Mama knew better. If this picture doesn't just say it all?
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Needless to say, Tony lost his appetite and we left shortly after.

Until next year!


Just a little spark.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tony and I are both very competitive people. You tell me you can do 30 pushups, I will without a doubt try to beat you that day. I have tact enough that I'm not going go about telling you if in fact I did, but the self satisfaction is enough. My coworkers took the elevator 4 floors up, so automatically I had to take the stairs . . . and beat them.

I remember a road trip that I took with 3 high school teammates our freshman year of college. Laura, Rosie, Nancy and I discussed the probability of our having non competitive or non sports minded children and just how "awful" it would be to have say a dancer or a braniac. We laughed and cajoled with each other over who would get who and how we would cope.

And 10 years later, I think about that conversation from time to time as Tony and I gauge the competitiveness of our son. We will not be those parents. We won't. We can't. We're incapable, because we love the individuality of Isaac and what we see in Ezra so far, but we'll of course help them explore sports to find what they love . . . if they love any of them.

We've had a t-ball set for Isaac for quite awhile, but he'd always hit the base and grew very frustrated with it. Recently he started to hold the ball in his hand and successfully drop it in time to hit it.
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It was as he was doing this one night that I decided to ask if I could pitch it to him. At first he was very dead set against it, but within a couple of minutes, he was begging me to throw the ball to him.

And you know what? Within the first five pitches he hit the ball. And then he hit it again. And again and that's when I ran to get Tony out of the house, because he couldn't miss his son's first time hitting the ball! Since then, in addition to riding his gator around out back, Isaac loves to hit the ball. I do the whole "Hey batter, batter! Swing batter, batter!" and he loves it!
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I'm not saying he's the next Joe Mauer [oh wait, yes I did ;)], but I love that he finds so much enjoyment in the simple thrill of connecting the bat to the ball.
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The look on his face says it all. all.
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Allergies AND a Cold

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Oh my, I've gotten hit hard. It took me a few days to accept that I was plagued by not just allergies, but a cold as well.

The good news is that I have 4 weeks off from weddings and I won't be sniffling and sneezing while working this weekend. Better yet, hopefully I'm feeling better by the weekend!

Happy Wednesday! 

Monday MishMash

Monday, August 20, 2012

Well, I survived the past week . . . barely. But indeed, I do believe I survived.

Tony and I make a habit to try to not share when we're gone from our house, but especially to refrain from sharing when Tony is gone. I'm getting to be a little more of a big girl when my husband is gone, but I still hate it and sleep with the shotgun within easy access.  

So, Tony left for the BWCA [Boundary Waters Canoe Area] which is an uninhabited and undeveloped area between Minnesota and Canada. This also as you can imagine, left us out of communication for 5 days. Five days. Seriously, five days. It's so hard to be apart, but worse yet to be unable to speak to each other to top it off!

I started out strong on Thursday, by getting Ezra dropped off at my Mom's, jetting over to drop Isaac off at preschool, but I had to succumb to a freaking migraine before I could even get into work. I was so annoyed because I was actually going to be on time and I was already taking Friday off for a wedding. After sleeping, medicating and caffeinating the headache away, the boys and I managed an alright evening.

And the next day, I had one of my most amazing weddings ever. Period.
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Can you even handle it? I couldn't.
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My Mom watched the boys and I returned home, super late, stayed up super late uploading cards and then got up super early with the boys to continue uploading cards. My Mom and Dusty took Isaac and Ezra to the Nowthen Threshing Show [aka the John Deere Show aka Isaac's version of heaven], while I . . . I got to shoot this amazing wedding.
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This bridal party was one of the most fun of the year, and how could it not being that my good friend Abbey was the matron of honor! My bride Jenni ordered these Ray-Bans for the bridal party and they came just in time [literally the day of]. The guys killed it.
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Yesterday was pretty low key, as I tried to keep my head above water with both weddings, the boys and seasonal allergies. The highlight was probably teaching Isaac how to "slingshot" his underwear. We had way too much fun going back and forth in the living room.
I taught Isaac how to "slingshot" his underwear. Guess what were now doing? Back and forth and back and forth!

And for the grand finale.

My husband returned!
@fontainenine is HOME! #BWCA #gonetoolong

So there was a time . . .

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

When I actually edited my own personal photos and always had a recent image of my boys, from my real DSLR.

I miss those days.  

Updates on the Boys

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's been called to my attention that I never really updated on Isaac and preschool or how it happened that Ezra started sleeping in his crib.

Did your heart skip a beat? Because mine stopped beating. Who is this kid? #deadofcuteness
For this guy, Isaac? He loves preschool. While he has started some shyness in new surroundings, he is such a social little guy. I must admit that when I finished reading Dobson's Bringing up Boys, I immediately felt clutched with the desire to homeschool . . . especially because I grew up in a private school, which isn't an option for us currently. After these few months in preschool though? I sincerely doubt how wise of a decision that would be for Isaac. He thrives on a fast paced environment, other people and new facts. If I try to tell him new things, his response "Mama, I didn't ask you that." aka "Why are you bothering to tell me that drivel?"

There has been a marked change in his behavior as well. Which was all the more noticeable this week, as he had a break last week due to VBS being hosted at the church. We were all ready for him to get back this week!

Can we also talk about the above picture, that my Dad took last night? I honestly can barely look at it without tearing up. He's just such a little boy. It's like I can peer straight through to his teenage years and it's happened too fast. Entirely too fast.

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And then this kiddo, my super cuddly Ezra? Won't even let me rock him to sleep anymore. :( He'll cuddle in on the rocker, get comfy and then suddenly start flopping around, until he sits up in my lap. I then ask him if he wants to go to bed and he'll point to his pack and play.

SUCH a change from the battles of trying to get Isaac to sleep outside of our bed. I can't even truthfully say what clinched it. We did small intervals of cry it out [cio], I gave him a pillow and one night I gave him a sippy cup of milk. He hasn't gotten the sippy in a few months, but the pillow, plus a fan for white noise seems to do the trick. Plus his lion. :)

Huge Check Mark

Monday, August 13, 2012

Well . . . without much hype and missing many training updates, the Gopher to Badger Half Marathon was this past weekend on Saturday.

I shot a beautiful wedding with Jen and Andrew, up at The Refuge in Oak Grove on Friday. After being on my feet all day, I got home at 10:15ish and hit the hay, immediately, if not sooner. My morning alarm was brutal, but I got out of bed at 6:15am to make some coffee and fix myself a piece of peanut butter toast. I hadn't picked up my race packet prior to the race, so I had to hustle to get to Hudson by 7:15, but I just got in under the wire and loaded up in one of the last shuttle buses.

As we made our way to the start in Stillwater, I sat next to a crazy Irishman who told me all about his past as a professional lightweight fighter, his marathon and ultra-marathon history and how his goal was 1:34 for the day, since it was a training run for the upcoming Twin Cities. I told him my goal was to beat 3 hours [or before they closed the course on me]!

I've never done a race completely by myself. I didn't know a single person. And at my urging Tony kept his plans and stayed home with the boys, instead of lugging them everywhere to cheer for me. It was very odd. I didn't bring my phone or any music with, but thankfully it was only a short time before we were running. I knew I didn't have a chance in heck to come close to my previous times, so I wasn't too nervous. There was just a short burst while we sang the National Anthem, but it quickly left as I started chatting with the 2:15 pacer from Minnesota Pacers [they are amazing by the way].

Unfortunately the course was quite hilly, which I wasn't prepared for, but had been forewarned about. Who am I kidding? I wasn't prepared for anything! The last time I ran was the week of July 25th, when I wrote this post. My longest training run for this half marathon was 5 miles and I didn't run a step in the month of August. No exaggeration. I couldn't have run more than 20 miles in training for this over the course of 3 months.

I had a few friends suggest faking an illness or an injury, but it didn't even cross my mind. See, this run was suggested as a part of my Career Development Plan at work, as the discipline required to train for a half marathon translates so well to all facets of life . . . when you are actually able to be disciplined and train! Unfortunately that part didn't happen, but I knew that my like minded competitive and athletic boss would never let me live it down if I didn't finish it. Just like I wouldn't let it go either.

So I ran. And at 3 1/2 miles in a hill killed me. So I walked.  And I lost my 2:15 pacer group. For quite some time I was in no man's land between pacers, before the 2:20 pacer finally caught up with me. I alternated walking and running and running and walking. I drank water and gatorade at every aid stop, which I never do. I ran and I walked and I set arbitrary goals like running until a sign, or walking until a driveway. I counted seconds and then minutes and tried to do consistent intervals. I tried to encourage as many as I could along the way.

I blocked out miles 5-10.

But suddenly, it was mile 10 and I knew I would finish. The 2:30 pacer passed me at 10 1/2 miles, but I kept my sight on her and tried to gauge our distance. I ran almost all of mile 11 and then told myself I didn't care if I walked the whole rest of the way in . . . but then a girl who started with me at 2:15 called out to me as she started to run it in and I couldn't push aside my competitive drive.

So I ran. And I kept running.

And I finished a wholly untrained for half marathon with hills in 2:35:22.
Miraculously, not dead. 2:35:35 #halfmarathon #notimetotrain #gophertobadger

Hullabalu Review

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a company who offers unique plush toys. They asked if I was interested in doing a review, in exchange for a stuffed animal and I gladly accepted,    as Ezra was still without a lovey.

I got to browse their site, [which is super fun!] and finally settled on the Sampson Lion.
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Guys, I really wish that I had videoed Ezra reaction upon my taking it out of the box. I never expected it in a million years, he literally started kicking his feet and reaching for it. Upon giving it to him he immediately hugged it and.didn't.let.go.

Hullabalu is currently working on their own special inventory, inspired by similar items to the Sampson Lion [the lion pictured will not be available for purchase], and I am so excited to see what they come up with!

For now, you can take a peek at their store through this special invitation: link. They have a referral deal going on right now, so you'll be wanting to spread the word!

Like I said . . . Ezra loves his lion.
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Thanks again Chelsea & Hullabalu!

 

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