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ADELE!!!!!!

Adele has been a staple on our music playlists for YEARS! When we found out she was kicking off the US leg of her Live tour right here in St. Paul, we were determined to be there! We got our hands on some tickets back in December and I have been excitedly awaiting the concert. It finally happened!

It was date night for Brian and I. We had dinner before the concert at Pazzaluna….an Italian place a couple blocks from the Xcel Energy Center. The food was great! The weather was not! It was a downpour and crazy thunderstorm! Luckily, there was a skyway/tunnel to get us from the restaurant to the X so we didn’t even have to step foot outside!

We arrived at the X, picked up our VIP merchandise that came with our tickets, then found our sweet seats! 2 rows up from the floor and right between the 2 stages!

 

Our merchandise included a photo, lanyard, drawstring bag, and a throw blanket! Nice stuff!

Our merchandise included a photo, lanyard, drawstring bag, and a throw blanket! Nice stuff!

 

Ready!

Ready!

 

While we were waiting, I gave Facebook Live a try! That was a hoot! I captured the start of the concert and my reaction! I was SO excited to be there and to see & hear her! That comes through in the video as that is me you hear screaming! The video isn’t the greatest as it was a weak signal from inside the arena, but the video is pretty hysterical!

 

Adele was phenomenal! First off, her voice is just incredible! But it went beyond that. The way she draws in the audience with her charm, humor, laugh, stories, and a few f-bombs is hard to match. It was great hearing the stories behind the songs as she wrote them. “Sweetest Devotion” is for her son. It is so sweet watching her sing that one! Adele is very humble and grateful. I lost count how many times she thanked everyone being there and she truly meant it. She teared up a couple times as well. I left feeling like we were supposed to be BFFs! :)

A few more photos:

View from our seats

View from our seats

Singing the opening song, "Hello."

Singing the opening song, “Hello.”

During "Hometown Glory" she had video of St. Paul on the screen. Nice touch!

During “Hometown Glory” she had video of St. Paul on the screen. Nice touch!

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This lucky family got invited on to stage! They got to chat with her and take selfies! I would have died....!

This lucky family got invited on to stage! They got to chat with her and take selfies! I would have died….!

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She sat for a few songs and told us to as well.

She sat for a few songs and told us to as well.

During "Make You Feel My Love" she had us turn on our cell phone lights..."torches" as she called them! :) She had started the song once, then stopped the band and told us she had forgotten to tell us to turn them on...that it's her favorite part! It was beautiful!

During “Make You Feel My Love” she had us turn on our cell phone lights…”torches” as she called them! :)
She had started the song once, then stopped the band and told us she had forgotten to tell us to turn them on…that it’s her favorite part! It was beautiful!

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During "Chasing Pavements"

During “Chasing Pavements”

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She made a lap around the secondary stage posing for selfies....here is ours! LOL!

She made a lap around the secondary stage posing for selfies….here is ours! LOL!

Set Fire to the Rain

Set Fire to the Rain

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Confetti during Rolling in the Deep to close out the show!

Confetti during Rolling in the Deep to close out the show!

Bye! Please come back!

Bye! Please come back!

I picked up a bunch of the confetti. It was just your standard confetti. There are handwritten lyrics and notes on it! One says, "thanks for coming" and another 'all my love--Adele"

I picked up a bunch of the confetti. It was NOT just your standard confetti. There are handwritten lyrics and notes on it! One says, “thanks for coming” and another ‘all my love–Adele”

I’m posting the set list for my own memory:

The setlist:
Hello
Hometown Glory
One and Only
Rumour Has It
Water Under the Bridge
I Miss You
Skyfall
Million Years Ago
Don’t You Remember
Send My Love (To Your New Lover)
Make You Feel My Love
Sweetest Devotion
Chasing Pavements
Someone Like You
Set Fire to the Rain

Encore:
Video of Prince’s The Most Beautiful Girl In The World
All I Ask
When We Were Young
Rolling in the Deep

 

She did a tribute to Prince by playing the music video for “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World.” She joked she thought about doing a cover as a tribute but then said, “It’s F*cking Prince! I can’t do that!” She’s real. Love her!

 

Brian compiled all our video clips into one and put it on YouTube. We didn’t video any song in its entirety. We were there for the show and for her and did not want to watch through a camera. 11 minutes of awesome I like to call it!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0VDpLXTJ48#action=share

 

I seriously considered hopping on a plane to Chicago to see her tonight. 😉

 

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Visit to DC!

Brian’s sister, Missy, and her family live in the suburbs of DC. We thought it would be fun to go out and visit them and see some of the sights! Grandma Dora and Grandpa Fred came with! What a fun weekend!

We flew out on Friday morning, April 15. We landed early afternoon and after quite the run around at the car rental place, we headed over to the Udvar Hazy Air and Space Museum where we met up with Missy and her kids, Brandon and Ellie. We wandered around for a few hours checking out awesome airplanes, the space shuttle Discovery, and went up into the observation tower to check out the view. Many very cool sights in this museum!

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Discovery!

Discovery!

Retired Concorde

Retired Concorde

Cue Top Gun music!

Cue Top Gun music!

awesome!

awesome!

view of Dulles airport from the observation tower.

view of Dulles airport from the observation tower.

Cool sculpture outside

Cool sculpture outside

On Saturday, we went to the National Zoo! So many great animals to see!

Panda!

Panda!

Elephant! Loved the crossed feet

Elephant! Loved the crossed feet

silly sea lions

silly sea lions

the kids watching the sea lions swim. They were so fun!

the kids watching the sea lions swim. They were so fun!

bear

bear

beautiful lion

beautiful lion

Orangutan being given lunch. It was fun watching him sort what he wanted to eat!

Orangutan being given lunch. It was fun watching him sort what he wanted to eat!

On the walk back to the train station from the Zoo, Dora took a nasty fall on an incredibly uneven sidewalk. She ended up with a broken wrist and mild concussion. Here’s the culprit:

She slipped right off that huge uneven spot!

She slipped right off that huge uneven spot!

The unevenness was as tall as Brian's foot!

The unevenness was as tall as Brian’s foot!

Sunday we checked out a bunch of the monuments! We took advantage of the DC Circulator bus which goes between monuments and we were able to walk/ride as much as we wanted. So many cool monuments to see!

Visiting the Washington Monument

Visiting the Washington Monument

Allison saw some people doing this, so she wanted to give it a try!

Allison saw some people doing this, so she wanted to give it a try!

I couldn't resist!

I couldn’t resist!

Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

Inside Jefferson Memorial

Inside Jefferson Memorial

FDR Memorial

FDR Memorial

Joe, Brandon, Allison, and Adam checking out FDR Memorial

Joe, Brandon, Allison, and Adam checking out FDR Memorial

Lincoln Memorial from Washington Monument

Lincoln Memorial from Washington Monument

In front of Lincoln Memorial

In front of Lincoln Memorial

There was a band playing on the steps of Lincoln Memorial

There was a band playing on the steps of Lincoln Memorial

Inside Lincoln Memorial

Inside Lincoln Memorial

View of Washington Monument from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Awesome!

View of Washington Monument from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Awesome!

Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial

Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial

White House. We didn't see the Pres

White House. We didn’t see the Pres

DC War Memorial

DC War Memorial

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Korean War Memorial

Korean War Memorial

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Vietnam Memorial

Vietnam Memorial

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World War 2 Memorial

World War 2 Memorial

Smithsonian Castle

Smithsonian Castle

Garden outside Smithsonian Castle

Garden outside Smithsonian Castle

Sunday evening we got to see Brian’s uncle, Dan, and his family that live a couple hours from Missy. They drove down for a cookout and chatting. We also saw Fred’s brother and his wife.

We had such a nice weekend seeing so many wonderful people and sights! The kids were great travelers and had a blast!

Allison and Ellie at the Air & Space Museum

Allison and Ellie at the Air & Space Museum

Allison & Brandon at the monuments

Allison & Brandon at the monuments

Kids' pizza party on the deck

Kids’ pizza party on the deck

Allison, Brandon, & Adam at the World War 2 Memorial

Allison, Brandon, & Adam at the World War 2 Memorial

Out for Mexican food our first night in town!

Out for Mexican food our first night in town!

Cousins Ellie, Allison, Adam, & Brandon

Cousins Ellie, Allison, Adam, & Brandon

Brian with his sister, Missy, and his mom with her broken wing. :(

Brian with his sister, Missy, and his mom with her broken wing. :(

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Punta Cana!

In early March, Brian and I took a parents only trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic! We had never been before but we felt like trying a new spot! We stayed 5 nights at an adults only all-inclusive resort called Barcelo Bavaro Beach. The beach was beautiful! We had an awesome ocean front room. The food was decent. We spent our days lounging on the beach or at the pool. Most days it was the pool as it was ridiculously windy the last few days. It was so nice to get away for a little bit and just enjoy each other’s company without worrying about kids, work, life. Thank you so much to the grandparents for taking care of kids! They had so much fun!

Great view from our room

Great view from our room

Beautiful beach!

Beautiful beach!

I love the Caribbean

I love the Caribbean

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We went horseback riding on the beach one morning

We went horseback riding on the beach one morning

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How we usually spend our time. Me in the sunshine, Brian in the shade!

How we usually spend our time. Me in the sunshine, Brian in the shade!

Hanging out at the pool

Hanging out at the pool

Our final dinner date

Our final dinner date

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Spring Break 2016

I worked a few days during Adam’s Spring Break. But on one of my days off, I took Adam and Allison to the Mall of America to visit Sea Life Adventures, a few rides at Nickelodeon Universe, then lunch at Rainforest Cafe! Sea Life was pretty cool. I hadn’t been before. We had a blast watching the stingrays and Adam even fed a few. The rides were fun, and lunch was yummy!

Touching stingrays as they swim by

Touching stingrays as they swim by

Adam feeding the stingrays

Adam feeding the stingrays

Shark!

Shark!

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On the carousel

On the carousel

On the Dora ride

On the Dora ride

Ready for lunch!

Ready for lunch!

Then on Thursday, we moseyed on down to Cedar Rapids to hang out and visit friends! Brian worked Thursday afternoon and I took the kids swimming. That evening we went to Tyler and Katherine’s place for dinner. The have horses! The kids (and I!) loved this! We got to give them treats and help feed them their dinner!

First dip in the pool!

First dip in the pool!

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Such sweeties

Such sweeties

They loved this!

They loved this!

Friday, Brian worked and I took the kids swimming in the morning then out for lunch. We had friends Steve and Melissa and their 2 kids come visit from Waterloo. Brian picked us up some pizza for dinner, then we went swimming. That night, the fire alarm went off at 2:30 AM!! The kids slept through it. If we started seeing smoke or firefighters, we would evacuate. It only lasted a few minutes though.

Getting ready for bed

Getting ready for bed

During the fire alarm!

During the fire alarm!

Saturday, friends Tim & Erica and their 4 kids came swimming at the hotel. In the afternoon/evening we went to their house to play outside and have dinner. Adam spiked a fever of 102.2!

Sunday morning we wanted to hit the road. Adam started throwing up, so we figured the sooner we get home, the better. However, our vehicle had different ideas. We went to start it after eating breakfast and the battery was dead! So thankful for AAA! We made it home eventually and Adam was feeling better by supper time.

All in all, a pretty good Spring Break!

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Birthdays and Holidays–Playing Catch Up!

In November, Adam turned 8! He celebrated with a family dinner at Red Lobster. Then he had a party with his friends at AirMaxx!

I decorated his room for his birthday

I decorated his room for his birthday

Adam is 8!

Adam is 8!

Adam's birthday breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes and cinnamon rolls

Adam’s birthday breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes and cinnamon rolls

Ready to go to Red Lobster for Adam's birthday. Allison had to wear a dress for the occasion

Ready to go to Red Lobster for Adam’s birthday. Allison had to wear a dress for the occasion

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Singing Happy Birthday

Singing Happy Birthday

Christmas was low key, but nice. We spent Christmas Eve in Hutchinson and we hosted some family and friends at our house on Christmas Day. The kids were so thrilled with what Santa brought and had a great time seeing friends and family.

The kids had fun decorating the tree

The kids had fun decorating the tree

Our crazy tall (10 feet!), fat tree with 1800 LED lights! It was awesome!

Our crazy tall (10 feet!), fat tree with 1800 LED lights! It was awesome!

We always visit Grandpa Gary on Christmas Eve and put out some lights for him

We always visit Grandpa Gary on Christmas Eve and put out some lights for him

Homemade goodies for Santa!

Homemade goodies for Santa!

Santa came! They were so excited! Adam got Pokemon cards and Allison got a shopping cart

Santa came! They were so excited! Adam got Pokemon cards and Allison got a shopping cart

Opening gifts Christmas morning

Opening gifts Christmas morning

Allison (Elsa) playing with her new kitchen on Christmas morning

Allison (Elsa) playing with her new kitchen on Christmas morning

Adam, Allison, Emma, & Linus on Christmas. We waited too long to try for a pic. They weren't interested!

Adam, Allison, Emma, & Linus on Christmas. We waited too long to try for a pic. They weren’t interested!

Allyson and I! Her baby girl is due in June!

Allyson and I! Her baby girl is due in June!

We spent New Year’s Eve at home and it was so nice. We had a fun dinner that included cheese fondue and chocolate fondue for dessert. We let Adam stay up with us to ring in the New Year! We played Rummikub until midnight. :)

Cheese fondue!

Cheese fondue!

Rummikub with the boys

Rummikub with the boys

Brian had a birthday on the 2nd. He decided on an ice cream cake from Cold Stone. It was amazing! He picked out all the flavors and decided what to write on it! :)

That says "Happy Birthday" in Spanish!

That says “Happy Birthday” in Spanish!

On Valentine’s Day, we decided to do a family date night to check out the Ice Castles here in Eden Prairie. We had never been. It was pretty cool!!

Family date night at the Ice Castles!

Family date night at the Ice Castles!

Found Olaf at the Ice Castles!

Found Olaf at the Ice Castles!

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Allison turned 3 in February. She was fully potty trained before her birthday and it has been awesome being a diaper free house!

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I made the cake!

I made the cake!

Family photo at Allison's party

Family photo at Allison’s party

We gave Allison a Jeep! Luckily it was a beautiful 60+ degree day the day of her party so she was able to try it out!

We gave Allison a Jeep! Luckily it was a beautiful 60+ degree day the day of her party so she was able to try it out!

It was a pretty wimpy winter in the weather department, so the boys didn’t get in much ice fishing. However, they started taking snowboarding lessons and both really like it! I’m impressed with how well they are both doing!

My snowboarding dudes

My snowboarding dudes

Adam is impressive!

Adam is impressive!

Easter was another delicious feast at Dora & Fred’s. And there were bunny cakes!!

Dyeing eggs!

Dyeing eggs!

Egg hunt at home Easter morning

Egg hunt at home Easter morning

Bunny was able to get up pretty high!

Bunny was able to get up pretty high!

Kiddos with their loot

Kiddos with their loot

Another egg hunt at Gransma's!

Another egg hunt at Gransma’s!

Bunny cakes!!! Carrot with cream cheese frosting on the left and white on the right

Bunny cakes!!! Carrot with cream cheese frosting on the left and white on the right

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Cancun Was Calling Us….

We did a 5 night trip to Cancun! My parents came along for this trip! Adam has been a couple times, but it was Allison’s first big trip and first time on a plane! She did great!

Our days went like this: get up and have breakfast. Change into suits and put on sunscreen. Head to the beach or pool for the day. Lunch on the beach or poolside. Allison down for nap, and Grandma would hang out on the patio to listen for her. Shower and ready for dinner. Eat dinner, then hang out for a bit. Kiddos to bed. Grandparents to bed. Brian and I would read or hang out on the beach or patio then hit the hay. Wake up and repeat.

The weather was perfect! Hot and sunny every day. A couple of nights while Brian and I were hanging out a quick rain shower went through, but that was it. It was stunning!

One day, Brian and Adam went deep sea fishing. They caught a mackerel that was immediately put back on a line and used for bait. They also caught a wahoo that jumped off the line before it got into the boat….so no fishy pictures.

Allison was a great traveler!

Allison was a great traveler!

Dinner at Senor Frog's and we all got balloon hats. It was a fun night!

Dinner at Senor Frog’s and we all got balloon hats. It was a fun night!

Allison got on the stage with the staff to dance. She didn't dance, but she looked cute!

Allison got on the stage with the staff to dance. She didn’t dance, but she looked cute!

The kids with Grandma and Grandpa outside Senor Frog's

The kids with Grandma and Grandpa outside Senor Frog’s

Dinner at Mextreme. They carry drinks on their heads! Super fun!

Dinner at Mextreme. They carry drinks on their heads! Super fun!

Adam and Allison after dinner at Hacienda Sisal. One of our favorite places!

Adam and Allison after dinner at Hacienda Sisal. One of our favorite places!

Adam heading out on the fishing trip!

Adam heading out on the fishing trip!

Hanging on the beach in the evening

Hanging on the beach in the evening

Evening beach view from our patio

Evening beach view from our patio

Beach and pool randoms:

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View of our hotel from the water. It's short

View of our hotel from the water. It’s short

View from my beach chair

View from my beach chair

Beautiful sky

Beautiful sky

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View of the beach from the pool

View of the beach from the pool

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We flew home Thursday evening with a connection in Dallas.

Adam and Allison watching our plane arrive in Cancun to fly us back home

Adam and Allison watching our plane arrive in Cancun to fly us back home

The sun was setting as we were leaving Dallas. It was beautiful!

The sun was setting as we were leaving Dallas. It was beautiful!

It was a great trip and we can’t wait to go back!

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Halloween!

Happy Halloween a little late! We carved pumpkins Friday night, had family photos taken Halloween morning, then did some trick or treating and hanging with friends that night!

Allison loved digging the guts out of the pumpkins

Allison loved digging the guts out of the pumpkins

Adam loves pumpkin carving. He designed his own this year!

Adam loves pumpkin carving. He designed his own this year!

Finished!

Finished!

Minnie Mouse and Super Man!

Minnie Mouse and Super Man!

Minnie Mouse had a blast trick or treating!

Minnie Mouse had a blast trick or treating!

We met up with our neighbors while trick or treating! Kelsey as Anna and Colin as a fireman!

We met up with our neighbors while trick or treating! Kelsey as Anna and Colin as a fireman!

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State Fair!

I went with my friend, Allyson, to the State Fair! It was great! No kids! We wandered, ate, and drank our way around. The weather was great! Not too hot! Usually it is disgustingly hot and humid when we go! Thanks again, Allyson! I had a super fun day!

A photo tour of our day:

First stop of the day: Allyson's Pronto Pup!

First stop of the day: Allyson’s Pronto Pup!

MyTalk 107

MyTalk 107

MyTalk 107 Photo op

MyTalk 107 Photo op

Mini Donut beer

Mini Donut beer

Our brunch: mini donut beer and a cinnamon roll!

Our brunch: mini donut beer and a cinnamon roll!

Yum!

Yum!

Pickle dog. Pickle spear with cream cheese and pastrami wrapped around it. Way good!

Pickle dog. Pickle spear with cream cheese and pastrami wrapped around it. Way good!

Deep fried pickles

Deep fried pickles

Caramel apple Pi beer! SO GOOD!

Caramel apple Pi beer! SO GOOD!

Breakfast burrito with chorizo, eggs, and cheese. Surprisingly didn't have a lot of flavor. Disappointment.

Breakfast burrito with chorizo, eggs, and cheese. Surprisingly didn’t have a lot of flavor. Disappointment.

Minneapple pie with cinnamon ice cream. Good stuff!

Minneapple pie with cinnamon ice cream. Good stuff!

Butter sculptures

Butter sculptures

Wine flights! I had the 'fruity' flight and Allyson had the 'white wine' flight. Mine was better with the Raspberry wine being the fave! We didn't finish them...

Wine flights! I had the ‘fruity’ flight and Allyson had the ‘white wine’ flight. Mine was better with the Raspberry wine being the fave! We didn’t finish them…

In "The Voice" chair....

In “The Voice” chair….

In the KARE11 barn....

In the KARE11 barn….

with TV personality Pat Evans.

with TV personality Pat Evans.

Minne and Paul!

Minne and Paul!

Cheese curds a must!

Cheese curds a must!

Me with Fish from KS95

Me with Fish from KS95

and me with Shannon from KS95 with a pretty awesome photobomb!!

and me with Shannon from KS95 with a pretty awesome photobomb!!

Allyson had deep fried Snickers and I had deep fried Peanut Butter Cup. So good!

Allyson had deep fried Snickers and I had deep fried Peanut Butter Cup. So good!

Brought home Sweet Martha's cookies for the fam!

Brought home Sweet Martha’s cookies for the fam!

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A Pretty Awesome Couple Weeks!

We had lots of fun with family and friends the last couple weeks! It started with the Shania Twain concert on July 28th for Brian I! Gotta love date night! We had dinner outside at American Burger Bar, then made our way to the Target Center for the concert! I love Shania! Loved the concert and can’t wait to go again in September! :)

VIP gear...posters, books, lanyards, and bags.

VIP gear…posters, books, lanyards, and bags.

Mama got a new dress for Shania!

Mama got a new dress for Shania!

Gavin DeGraw opened for Shania

Gavin DeGraw opened for Shania

I thought it would be funny to get a 'selfie' with Shania as she flew by!

I thought it would be funny to get a ‘selfie’ with Shania as she flew by!

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Brian and i enjoying Shania

Brian and i enjoying Shania

On Friday the 31st, the kids had dentist appointments to get their teeth cleaned. Adam is an old pro and loves going. This was Allison’s first trip. She went after Adam and did great! She loves doing whatever he does!

Allison thought the dentist was fun

Allison thought the dentist was fun

Adam was always close by.

Adam was always close by.

On Saturday, August 1st my cousin, Kelley, got married! It was a beautiful day at Minnesota Harvest Apple Orchard. I am so happy to see her so happy! Congratulations, Kelley & David!

Kelley walking down the aisle

Kelley walking down the aisle

Allison and I with Kelley.

Allison and I with Kelley.

That night, our buddies from Phoenix flew in! Brent, Becca, and Brady arrived to our house about 10PM. We haven’t seen them since I was pregnant with Allison! We had a super fun few days! Boating, disc golfing, Valley Fair, batting cages, and talking smart! Thanks for coming to visit, guys!

I missed my Becca! P.S. She and I invented the 'selfie' in college. We should be gazillionaires!

I missed my Becca! P.S. She and I invented the ‘selfie’ in college. We should be gazillionaires!

Kids having boat picnic

Kids having boat picnic

Disc golfing!

Disc golfing!

Almost got all of us in the selfie at Valley Fair. Adam ducked.

Almost got all of us in the selfie at Valley Fair. Adam ducked.

The boys' favorite ride at ValleyFair!

The boys’ favorite ride at ValleyFair!

Adam and Brady at the batting cages

Adam and Brady at the batting cages

Allison ready to try out the batting cages

Allison ready to try out the batting cages

The following weekend we went up North to visit our friends, the Bachs! Eric, Shanna, Lily, and Harper live on a lake so we had a fun couple days fishing, boating, and catching up. As an added bonus, Allison actually slept really well at night AND naptime! Thanks for letting us invade, Bachs! It was wonderful to see you!!

the Aanderud/Bach kiddos: Allison, Adam, Lily, and Harper

the Aanderud/Bach kiddos: Allison, Adam, Lily, and Harper

One of the million fish caught off the dock

One of the million fish caught off the dock

Adam fell asleep in the car on the way home first

Adam fell asleep in the car on the way home first

Miss Allison exhausted. They played hard!

Miss Allison exhausted. They played hard!

See, it was a great couple weeks!

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15th Anniversary Vacation!

We decided to try a new spot to celebrate our 15th anniversary! We decided on the Turks and Caicos Islands, and stayed on the main island of Providenciales. It was a gorgeous 8 night stay!

Our flight left at 6:50 AM on Friday, May 1st. We had a connection through Charlotte, NC then landed in Providenciales about 3 PM. We got through customs and immigration and made our way to our hotel which was The Sands at Grace Bay. Oh, and we had booked first class flights round trip! It was nice to get off the planes quickly and the meals & drinks weren’t half bad either! :)

Enjoying First Class flight and rooting for the Wild!

Enjoying First Class flight and rooting for the Wild!

Our hotel reservation was for a studio ocean front room so would have a kitchenette, sitting area, bathroom, and sleeping area. Upon check in, we were happy to learn we received a complimentary upgrade to a 1 bedroom ocean front suite! So we had a full kitchen, full living room, and 2 bathrooms!

View off our patio

View off our patio

Standing in entry looking over living room and kitchen

Standing in entry looking over living room and kitchen

Standing by patio looking over living room and kitchen

Standing by patio looking over living room and kitchen

Some of the seating on the patio

Some of the seating on the patio

We were able to spend a couple hours on the beautiful beach after we checked in. We made a trip to the grocery store before dinner to stock up on essentials…beer, water, milk, cereal, limes, and a few snacks! Danny Buoy’s was where we had our first meal. We had a late dinner and watched the Wild take on the Blackhawks in the first game of the second round of playoffs. They lost. But we had fun!

Watching Wild game 1.

Watching Wild game 1.

Saturday and Sunday we sat on the beach all day. We went for long walks on the beach in both directions from the hotel. It’s a beautiful place! Saturday night we had dinner at Mr. Grouper’s and Sunday morning we tried the brunch next door at Bay Bistro. We headed back to Danny Buoy’s for more hockey Sunday night after we had dinner at Big Al’s. (I know most of you don’t care at all about our restaurants, but I’m writing them down for our own memory.;) )

Brian's snapper at Mr. Grouper's

Brian’s snapper at Mr. Grouper’s

Our breakfast view at Bay Bistro

Our breakfast view at Bay Bistro

Monday morning we went horseback riding! It was very cool! I was nervous cuz, well, it’s a horse. And they’re big. But the staff at Caicos Corral paired me with a very sweet, calm horse named Ike. Brian was paired with Ike’s BFF, Turtle. We road along the road, then down a trail onto the beach. We walked along the beach for a while, then went into the water with the horses.

Brian on Turtle and Me on Ike. Super cool experience!

Brian on Turtle and Me on Ike. Super cool experience!

Monday’s dinner was at Mango Reef. We were able to sit at a table right on the beach. It was so awesome to have dinner with our toes in the sand and enjoy the beautiful sunset. Our dinner was delicious!

Our first dinner at Mango Reef

Our first dinner at Mango Reef

Our first Mango Reef sunset

Our first Mango Reef sunset

There was a reef about a half hour walk down the beach that we could go snorkeling at. Tuesday morning we walked there and checked it out. It was great! We saw a ton of fish! Brian even saw a lobster. We had lunch on the beach from the on site restaurant, Hemingway’s. There was a manager’s reception by the pool that evening, so we had some appetizers and drinks there. Then back to Danny Buoy’s to watch the Wild lose game 3. There was also karaoke that night. We participated. It wasn’t pretty. I also won a round of musical chairs!

Wednesday morning we walked to the reef again to snorkel. We had met a sweet couple at our hotel from Charlotte and they’re getting close to retiring. We snorkeled with them. We sat in our beach chairs the rest of the day. We had lunch in our lounge chairs from Hemingway’s. For dinner, we had made a reservation ahead of time for a private dinner on the beach at Bay Bistro. Brian had a steak and I had almond pecan crusted grouper. Another delicious meal! We considered this our ‘fancy’ anniversary dinner and had a toast at sunset to 15 years!

Our Bay Bistro meals

Our Bay Bistro meals

Fancy at Bay Bistro

Fancy at Bay Bistro

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Cheers to 15 years!

Cheers to 15 years!

Drinks, lantern, tiki torch, and sunset.  Beautiful night at Bay Bistro

Drinks, lantern, tiki torch, and sunset.
Beautiful night at Bay Bistro

Thursday morning we went on a half day snorkel tour. We were taken out to the reef (deeper water than the shore reef we had been to) and snorkeled along there for 45 minutes or so. Our guide dove down and collected a couple of conchs, then we went to Iguana island where he cracked the conchs open and used the meat to make us fresh ceviche. We were able to wander the island and look for iguanas as well as look at the beautiful beach. After we left the island, we made another stop and could dive off a diving board on top of the boat or slide down a slide. I was too chicken, but Brian had a blast! Brian and I rode back to the hotel with our Charlotte friends on top of the boat! It was SO awesome up there! Once back to the hotel we hung out on the beach. For dinner, we tried Bella Luna which is an Italian place. I had a yummy sausage penne pasta dish and Brian had a seafood trio. Mine was better. :) Back to Danny Buoy’s for the 4th loss for the Wild.

Our guide cracking open the conch

Our guide cracking open the conch

One of the iguanas we saw on Iguana Island

One of the iguanas we saw on Iguana Island

Stunning beach on Iguana Island

Stunning beach on Iguana Island

Selfie on Iguana Island. So beautiful!

Selfie on Iguana Island. So beautiful!

Friday breakfast we tried Shay Cafe in the shopping/restaurant area. It was pretty tasty! We did some souvenir shopping, then headed for the beach for our last full day of relaxation. We made our way to Somewhere Cafe for lunch. This restaurant overlooks the snorkeling reef. We had way good banana rum punch and lunch. We returned to Mango Reef for another beach dinner for our last dinner. Brian had seafood pasta and I had Jerk Chicken. Delicious once again! We got to see a beautiful sunset. We lounged on our patio for our last evening.

Somewhere Cafe

Somewhere Cafe

View over the reef from Somewhere Cafe

View over the reef from Somewhere Cafe

Our last Mango Reef dinner and sunset

Our last Mango Reef dinner and sunset

Our last sunset at Mango Reef

Our last sunset at Mango Reef

Saturday was our day to leave. We had breakfast at Hemingway’s at the hotel, then hit the beach! We checked out of our room at 11, but stayed on the beach until about 12:45. We showered, then hopped in the taxi back to the airport. We had a tight connection in Charlotte, but we made it! We got home and found handwritten notes from Adam on our pillows.

Charming airport. No jetways!

Charming airport. No jetways!

Good bye, Paradise!

Good bye, Paradise!

Adam's note

Adam’s note

We crawled into bed, happy to be home. I couldn’t wait to see the kids in the morning….on Mother’s Day!

Thank you thank you thank you to the grandparents for staying at our house with the kids! Adam had so many activities to get to! They had so much fun with you!

A few more randoms:

Our hotel, The Sands, from the water

Our hotel, The Sands, from the water

Such a beautiful beach at the hotel!

Such a beautiful beach at the hotel!

Gorgeous, clear water

Gorgeous, clear water

In the Caribbean

In the Caribbean

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