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Happy Mother’s Day!!

We returned home from our beautiful vacation (more on that later!) in time to celebrate Mother’s Day! Before we left I had made a reservation for brunch with my parents, Brian’s mom & Fred, and Brian’s sister, Crystal and her family. We went to Jimmy’s Food and Cocktails and it was very yummy!

I was so happy to be with the kids! I had missed them! It was nice to just hang out and hear about their time with their grandparents while we were gone. Late in the afternoon, Adam had his last session of his swimming lesson and he passed level 4! So proud of him! Throughout the day, I had been tackling the huge mound of laundry. In the evening, Brian and I caught up on some DVR shows. It was a great Mother’s Day!!

My bloody Mary with my brunch!

My bloody Mary with my brunch!

Happy Mama!

Happy Mama!

My card and gifts from Adam that he made!

My card and gifts from Adam that he made!

They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach!

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!

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Allison made this for me at daycare!

Allison made this for me at daycare!

It was a great day! Thanks, family!

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Easter, A Lost Appendix, Frozen, & A Lost Tooth!

It has been a craaaaazzzzy week!
Let’s start with Easter! The kids woke up to see what the bunny put in their baskets and find the hidden eggs! Allison was totally getting into it and Adam had fun helping her!

Adam and Allison on the egg hunt!

Adam and Allison on the egg hunt!

Allison way too busy spinning in her dress to pose with Adam

Allison way too busy spinning in her dress to pose with Adam

"I spin!"

“I spin!”

The girls!

The girls!

We got her to stop for a second!

We got her to stop for a second!

We had egg bake for breakfast. Later in the day, my parents came over for dinner. It was a laid back gathering with some yummy food! The sun came out for a bit and we tried getting some pics of the kids. It’s tough getting any shots of Allison not moving!

The next morning, Brian rented a car and drove down to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for a business trip. After the kids and I were done with dinner, Brian sent a text to let me know he was in the ER with severe abdominal pain in Cedar Rapids! We talked a short time after that and he was obviously in agony. I felt completely helpless and so bad for him. He ended up having appendicitis and had his appendix out late that Monday night. I was able to make arrangements for grandparents to come Tuesday morning and hang with the kids so I could drive down to Iowa. I got there about 2. Brian was discharged from the hospital in the early evening. We spent the night at the Holiday Inn and made our way back home Wednesday. It was a horrible ride home for him. I just wanted to get him home and it’s amazing how many bumps the roads actually have! One quickly realizes that when there is a surgical patient involved! We got home early afternoon and Brian slept most of the afternoon which was good.

Thursday, the day after we got home, we had tickets to go see Frozen on Ice with the kids. Brian wasn’t quite feeling up to it so I took the kids to see the show. It was wonderful! The kids loved it! It was so fun watching the show and watching the kids watch the show. A few pics:

Our selfie!

Our selfie!

Anna and Hans

Anna and Hans

Anna and Elsa at the coronation

Anna and Elsa at the coronation

Kristof and Sven

Kristof and Sven

Elsa during Let it Go

Elsa during Let it Go

Intermission. Allison enjoying popcorn AND cotton candy. Adam sportin the Olaf hat

Intermission. Allison enjoying popcorn AND cotton candy. Adam sportin the Olaf hat

My view of the kids during most of the show: Allison eating popcorn, and Adam snapping pics!

My view of the kids during most of the show: Allison eating popcorn, and Adam snapping pics!

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"Fixer Upper"

“Fixer Upper”

Anna is Frozen!

Anna is Frozen!

....but not for long!

….but not for long!

Allison parked on the steps for the last bit of the show. I know it's gross, but I figured it was less annoying than a meltdown that would ensue if I tried to make her stay in the seats...

Allison parked on the steps for the last bit of the show. I know it’s gross, but I figured it was less annoying than a meltdown that would ensue if I tried to make her stay in the seats…

Last night, Adam pulled out his own tooth! I thought it was totally icky, but he thought it was awesome!

Adam's tooth!

Adam’s tooth!

Brian went back to work today and did pretty well! We are falling back into our normal routine. He and I are getting pretty excited for our 15th anniversary trip (and also very thankful the appendix came out BEFORE it!). More on the trip later….:)

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Allison is 2!!

Our Peanut is 2!! It seriously feels like just yesterday I had her!

Allison is growing so fast! She is outgrowing 2T size clothes and moving into 3T. She is still an incredible sleeper (knock on wood) and a great eater. She is getting better and better at talking which is great! I feel so bad that I don’t always know what she is saying! Clearly, she knows what she wants but I sometimes have trouble interpreting.

We celebrated Allison’s birthday on Saturday with a brunch at our house with the Grandparents and a couple cousins. Allison is totally into Minnie Mouse, so i went with a Minnie Mouse theme. She had fun! She really likes the Happy Birthday song. 🙂

Today, the 25th, is her actual birthday. We went to Culver’s as a family for her birthday dinner. She was pretty stoked to get the ‘ice cream!’ Here are a few pics from the last few days:

I made Allison's Minnie Mouse cake!

I made Allison’s Minnie Mouse cake!

Minnie Mouse party gear

Minnie Mouse party gear

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Allison in her party dress and Minnie Mouse ears

Allison in her party dress and Minnie Mouse ears

Opening presents!

Opening presents!

Minnie Mouse pillow pet and a big Olaf!

Minnie Mouse pillow pet and a big Olaf!

More Minnie toys

More Minnie toys

all her Minnie loot and the table & chairs from Grandma & Grandpa Tracy!

all her Minnie loot!

Singing 'Happy Birthday." She liked this part. :)

Singing ‘Happy Birthday.” She liked this part. 🙂

Pancakes for breakfast on her birthday morning!

Pancakes for breakfast on her birthday morning!

Allison on her birthday in her new Minnie outfit

Allison on her birthday in her new Minnie outfit

I also had her in to get her 2 year photos taken! They turned out pretty cute! I have to wait another week or so to get them back…

Happy Birthday, Allison! We love you!

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The Making of a Theater Room…

When we moved in to our house a year and a half ago, we really loved our basement. Up to this point, it has been used for guests. Our official guest room and bathroom are downstairs and the we have put up air beds to house other guests. It has been great! However, it became time to really spice it up! We decided to make the main area into a theater room! We absolutely love the end result!

So, if you know Brian, you know this is right up his alley! He researched all the techy portions of this room and did a great job! I still laugh at how the decision on a projector went! He ended up choosing FOUR (4!) projectors to try out and choose our favorite! We chose some super comfy furniture, an awesome screen that drops down from the ceiling, speakers, and a fridge to keep many beverages cold.

I was in charge of decor. I picked out movie posters to hang on the walls. I went with Top Gun, Forrest Gump, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Frozen, and Grease! I picked out plates, silverware, wine, beer, & margarita glasses, and we chose popcorn making supplies. We have also acquired quite the shot glass collection over the years of various places we have been and places our family has been. We have some random built in shelves in the basement that were a perfect spot for the collection.

Our theater room is a great place to be. We hang out as a family many evenings watching movies or sports. Our first big event was the Super Bowl. We had the room done just in time. We planned to have a few friends over for the game, but poor Adam was sick, so we canceled. As I type, I’m watching the Oscars! It’s like I’m there! I’m planning a Bachelor finale viewing party as our first official big gathering! So here are a few pics of the room:

Furniture! The ends rock and it all reclines. Brian also wired the front with power so we can charge phones, tablets, and laptops!

Furniture! The ends rock and it all reclines. Brian also wired the front with power so we can charge phones, tablets, and laptops!

Jack got a new bed...so he now has 1 for each level

Jack got a new bed…so he now has 1 for each level

Shelves with the shot glass collection

Shelves with the shot glass collection

New mini fridge!

New mini fridge!

Installing the screen

Installing the screen

This is what the room looks like when you first walk in. Can see the posters, the screen is hidden....

This is what the room looks like when you first walk in. Can see the posters, the screen is hidden….

The 'after.' The screen is down and we got black curtains that close along the walls so there is less reflection.

The ‘after.’ The screen is down and we got black curtains that close along the walls so there is less reflection.

Watching the Super Bowl!

Watching the Super Bowl!

Just an attempt to show how big the screen is! Here is the Pink concert! She's bigger than I!

Just an attempt to show how big the screen is! It’s 125 inches! Here is the Pink concert! She’s bigger than I!

We are so happy! It’s a great room to be as a family or to hang out in after the kiddos are in bed! Thanks for all the hard work, Hon!

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DANCING!!

I was on a ROLL!! I was lucky enough to score some amazing seats to Dancing with the Stars and Shaping Sound!

Dancing with the Stars was at Mystic Lake. I went with my friend, Joan. We had dinner at Mysic Steakhouse before the show and it was delish! We had seats in the first row, but off to the right side. If you’ve seen Dancing with the Stars on TV, you know I’m talking about! This show included Emma, Kym, Val, Witney, Mark, Sasha, keo, and some of the troupe dancers. Alfonso served as the host. He also danced a few times! The show was so entertaining! They are some great dancers! They talked to us a lot too. And as a special, fun surprise…Tony Dovolani was there! He had had an appearance at the Mall of America earlier in the day, so he stopped by to say hello! Here are a few pics:

Joan and I enjoying our front row seats!

Joan and I enjoying our front row seats!

Emma!

Emma!

Kym!

Kym!

Dancin

Dancin

Mark, Val, & Dylan

Mark, Val, & Dylan

Val came to the edge of the stage at the end! I slapped his hand. He had even smiled for this pic, but my camera was too slow!

Val came to the edge of the stage at the end! I slapped his hand. He had even smiled for this pic, but my camera was too slow!

The Mirror Ball trophy was in the lobby!

The Mirror Ball trophy was in the lobby!

The following Saturday, I went to ‘Shaping Sound’ with my dance teacher from high school, Lori Dahlman! We again had front row seats at the Orpheum! And we were right in the middle. Travis Wall is one of the stars of this show and I love him from So You Think You Can Dance! This show was completely different from Dancing with the Stars. It was a story from beginning to end, and no real pauses for conversation with the audience or applause. It. Was. Incredible. They are a very talented group! And with our amazing seats, we could hear them breathe, and see sweat flying. They made eye contact with us too! It was great! Some pics:

Lori and I front row!

Lori and I front row!

Bohemian Rhapsody. This was so cool!

Bohemian Rhapsody. This was so cool!

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Jaimie

Jaimie

The cast. Loved it! Travis is in the dark blue shirt.

The cast. Loved it! Travis is in the dark blue shirt and tan pants.

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!

We had another wonderful couple of weeks for the holidays.

Our cuties all dressed up on Christmas Eve

Our cuties all dressed up on Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was spent at Dora & Fred’s for dinner. Delicious Swedish meatballs with lots of other good stuff. Yum!

Allison eating with both hands cuz it was so yummy!

Allison eating with both hands cuz it was so yummy!


The kids played and opened gifts, then we hit the road for home so we could get ready for Santa to come!

Christmas morning was fun! Adam isn’t the kind of kid that asks for things, so it was hard for him to think of what he wanted to ask Santa for. He decided to just see what Santa brought him. He was SO happy to receive a Peyton Manning t-shirt!

Adam was thrilled with his Peyton t-shirt! He threw his head back and laughed with excitement

Adam was thrilled with his Peyton t-shirt! He threw his head back and laughed with excitement

Christmas morning fun!

Christmas morning fun!

We went out to my parents’ house for Christmas Day. We hung with a couple of my uncles and had a delish dinner!

I worked a 12 hour shift the day after Christmas. That evening my brother and his family came up from Omaha, and my parents came to our house as well. We spent the weekend playing, chatting, and hanging out! It was wonderful!

Saturday afternoon we went snow tubing at Buck Hill. The view from the top of the hill!

Saturday afternoon we went snow tubing at Buck Hill. The view from the top of the hill!

Saturday night we had dinner and opened presents. We also managed to talk the kids into sitting for a photo. 🙂

All the Tracy grand kids: Ashely, Allison, Adam, Taylor, and Lauren

All the Tracy grand kids: Ashely, Allison, Adam, Taylor, and Lauren

Sunday morning we went sledding at Staring Lake park which is right by our house. Adam got a new sled for Christmas and totally flew down the hill! Seth, Brian, and the girls had so much fun going down the hill. Allison even went a couple times with Brian. She loved it!

Adam

Adam

Brian and Allison

Brian and Allison

Adam tackled Allison at the sledding hill. Totally cute!

Adam tackled Allison at the sledding hill. Totally cute!

We watched some football, then went bowling before having supper at Old Chicago. The next morning we went to our favorite breakfast spot, The Original Pancake House, then everyone hit the road for home. We had such a nice time! Thank you all!!

I worked evening shifts on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The 2nd was Brian’s birthday! We decided to take a trip up north to visit our friends, Eric & Shanna, and their 2 girls. It was so great to see them and to catch up. All the kids played and had a blast! There was even more sledding!

We spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday hanging out and getting ready to get back into the routine. Adam started back to school today and Brian returned to work. It’s ridiculously cold! It was -15 this morning, with a ‘feels like’ temp of -30! As a bonus, our furnace was out this morning! Luckily Brian was able to get a part and fix it.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year! Stay warm!

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Deck the Halls!

When we bought our house, we commented how fun it would be to put a huge Christmas tree in the living room! We may not have furniture, but for the last 2 Christmases, we have gotten pretty sweet trees!

We found this year’s tree Saturday after Thanksgiving. It’s tall. It’s fat. It’s crazy! I put 2400 lights on it. then put the ornaments on. Adam helped with the ornaments. We had to be careful to put anything breakable up higher. Allison is on the prowl and VERY curious! The tree looks beautiful!

Got the tree in the stand. Adam was excited to cut off the webbing

Got the tree in the stand. Adam was excited to cut off the webbing

2400 white lights and a bunch of ornaments! Love the red pops of color!

2400 white lights and a bunch of ornaments! Love the red pops of color!

I had put up the outside lights a couple weeks ago…before it got crazy cold and started snowing. After I had the tree up, I put the lighted garland on the railing. It’s my favorite decoration!

View of our house from the street. Can even see the fat tree through the window!

View of our house from the street. Can even see the fat tree through the window!

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garland on the stairway railings

garland on the stairway railings

Thanksgiving was late, so it’ll be Christmas before we know it!

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Adam is 7!

I totally believe a kiddo should feel special on his/her birthday! We tried to make that happen for Adam for his 7th birthday, and I think we succeeded!

His birthday was on Tuesday, November 25th, so he had school. I let him choose what he wanted for breakfast (pancakes!) and tried to make it special by adding candles. Then off to school he went!

Birthday breakfast was chocolate chip pancakes!

Birthday breakfast was chocolate chip pancakes!

While Adam was at school, I frosted his birthday cake. I decided to go with a Vikings theme and had kept it a secret from him.

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When I got him off the bus, the bus driver even said, “You have a birthday boy!!” I was so happy to hear that! He hopped off the bus and was wearing a birthday crown and told me his teacher had been gone for the day, but came to school to give him a birthday hug! Love that! Thanks, Mrs. G!

Adam with his crown from school and his surprise cake I made him!

Adam with his crown from school and his surprise cake I made him!

He had decided he wanted to go to Old Chicago for his birthday supper. He ate a great meal, then he was brought a chocolate chip cookie that had been baked in a pizza pan! He loved it! and so did Allison! They had matching chocolate smeared faces. 🙂

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That evening, he opened gifts sent by friends and family. Thank you all! He loves them! We gave him a new, bigger bike. He can’t wait to ride it in the Spring!

New, bigger bike!

New, bigger bike!

Adam had his birthday party with his friends at AirMaxx a few days before his actual birthday. Unfortunately, he had 3 friends call that morning to say they were sick and couldn’t come! But it was still a fun time! The kids enjoyed jumping on trampolines, playing glow in the dark mini golf, and going bowling. He also had a chocolate cake (that was actually super yummy!) He received more wonderful gifts and was so happy to spend time with his friends.

His AirMaxx birthday cake

His AirMaxx birthday cake

Adam's friends singing Happy birthday!

Adam’s friends singing Happy birthday!

And of course, more birthday celebrations happened on Thanksgiving! He was given even more presents and had yet another birthday cake!

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Adam was so cooperative and let me take his picture before school on his actual birthday! Sheesh! Seven years have flown by!

Our amazing 7 year old!

Our amazing 7 year old!

AND…the boys got out ice fishing for catfish the weekend before Thanksgiving! They had a great time!

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They went the following weekend as well! Adam caught a 23 incher!

I love how much he loves fishing!

I love how much he loves fishing!

We love you, Adam!! Hope you had a great birthday!

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Happy Fall! (Winter??)

Clearly, I’m terrible at keeping up on the blog. I’ve accepted it and embraced it. Moving on… 🙂

Adam started 1st grade in September! Of course, he is doing great and loving school!

Adam on the first day of school!

Adam on the first day of school!

Adam's first grade photo

Adam’s first grade photo

Once again, Adam was named ‘Student of the Week’ by his teacher. She said he is a great role model and helper in class. Gotta love that!

Adam receiving his 'Student of the Week' award from Principal Knorr!

Adam receiving his ‘Student of the Week’ award from Principal Knorr!

We took a trip to Minnesota Harvest apple orchard! It was a beautiful day!

The boys trying out the apple launcher

The boys trying out the apple launcher

Picking apples

Picking apples

Adam with the apple stash

Adam with the apple stash

Allison had at least one apple in her hands at all times!

Allison had at least one apple in her hands at all times!

We had a pretty nice stretch of Fall weather. Warm, sunny. Perfect for playing in the leaves!

Allison being totally cute

Allison being totally cute

We had a LOT of leaves!

We had a LOT of leaves!

Adam finished out his season of soccer. He had a great time!

He just scored a goal!

He just scored a goal!

Adam with his team at their last game!

Adam with his team at their last game!

Halloween was pretty fun! Adam decided to be Batman. I had to chuckle cuz he didn’t want a costume with any of the muscles. Adam’s thoughts on that… “Ewwwwww!” Allison went as a black cat. She walked a lot and rode in the stroller a bit. Both kids had a blast!

Old school style pumpkin carving

Old school style pumpkin carving

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Allison trick or treating

Allison trick or treating

Adam is turning 7 in just a couple days! Crazy how time flies! We are in the midst of celebrating. He had his party with his friends yesterday. On his actual birthday he wants to go to Old Chicago for dinner. So easy to please! I’m also making him his birthday cake!

I went to one of the Garth Brooks concerts on 11/14 with my friend, Allyson! He did 11 shows in town! Garth was someone I had always wanted to see in concert. He did not disappoint! It was a great show! Just being in the building with so many fans and enjoying his energy was great! I loved singing along with him and just having a really fun night! Thanks, Allyson!

The boys are out ice fishing tonight! We have had a super cold stretch of weather, so their winter cat fishing spot is frozen and ready for them. They were so excited.

I’m hoping to do a post birthday blog, but don’t hold your breath!

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Summer Fun!

I love Summer! Even though we are not having the warmest summer ever, it is still wonderful to be outside enjoying the beautiful days!

We got the boat out for the first time one evening. It has been in getting a new floor since we got it out of storage. It was a lovely night. Allison liked the ride which is good cuz she’s an Aanderud. It’s a requirement. 🙂

My fishing boy!

My fishing boy!

We have since gotten her a different life jacket. This one wasn't too comfy.

We have since gotten her a different life jacket. This one wasn’t too comfy.

Big brother keeping his sister safe

Big brother keeping his sister safe

At the end of June, Adam had his last Tball game. They had actually been doing coach pitch for the last couple weeks. He is doing great!

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Team photo. Brian was one of the assistant coaches!

Team photo. Brian was one of the assistant coaches!

Adam continues to lose teeth! He and Brian pulled the top 2 in one night! Eek!
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My brother and his family made the journey up from Omaha for the July 4th weekend! We played at mom & dad’s house and lake for the 4th.

Happy girl eating her meal!

Happy girl eating her meal!

Seth taking the girls out on the pedal boat

Seth taking the girls out on the pedal boat

Kiddos playing on the tube

Kiddos playing on the tube

Allison LOVES this floatie!

Allison LOVES this floatie!

That evening, we got home and tucked Allison into bed. Then we had our own fireworks show in the cul de sac!

This was our 'finale'

This was our ‘finale’

On the 5th, we all went to the Twins game! They played the Yankees and actually WON! In 11 innings!

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View from our seats!

View from our seats!

I decided to get a membership to the Minnesota Zoo. We live closer now and it is about a half hour to get there (one playing of the Frozen soundtrack!) I took the kids for the first time a few days ago. It was mostly good. I learned I should NOT let Allison out of the stroller if I want her to get back in. Both kids loved seeing the animals. We didn’t see everything and that’s ok! We could get home so Allison could get a decent nap and not feel bad about missing something. We can just go back!

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There is a 'big bugs' exhibit going on. This pic cracks me up

There is a ‘big bugs’ exhibit going on. This pic cracks me up

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A couple night ago, I went to the “Move Live on Tour” show with my friend Joan. This was an awesome dance show starring Derek & Julianne Hough known from Dancing with the Stars. It was nothing like the show, which I knew going in and it was fantastic! We were dancing and having a blast the whole time! Thanks, Joan for a fun night!

Whole cast during the opening

Whole cast during the opening

Julianne

Julianne

sigh...

sigh…

...and they sing!

…and they sing!

"Anything you can do, I can do better!"

“Anything you can do, I can do better!”

It's Derek! He came up to see us! I was totally star struck. After I snapped this, I had my arm around him & was going in for a hug, but Joan beat me. Then he had to go back on stage. I felt his abs though! :)

It’s Derek! He came up to see us! I was totally star struck. After I snapped this, I had my arm around him & was going in for a hug, but Joan beat me. Then he had to go back on stage. I felt his abs though! 🙂

The end! Awesome show!

The end! Awesome show!

We have some more fun stuff coming up! We are going to the air show next weekend and the boys are going fishing in Canada for a few days in August! Yay, Summer!

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