Hello from beautiful Arizona!!
It feels so good to be blogging again! I certainly did not mean to be gone for so long, but these past two weeks of packing, traveling and road tripping have been incredibly busy and a small hiatus was necessary. The good news is that we are officially settled in at Casa Bender, and I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things!
There is a lot to catch up on, but I’ll start with our Labor Day visit to Minnesota and work my way forward. What better way to restart my posting than with pictures of the nieces pieces? Claire Bear, in particular. This lovely little lady has grown up so much since the Easter trip. She has a beautiful singing voice (her specialty is a lighthearted tune called “La La La”), a passion for shoe collecting and an eye for adventure. We had a lot of fun together.
We arrived at Bobby’s parents’ house on Friday evening and woke up the next morning for some tower building and backyard walkabouts.
Then it was off to Tom and Mickie’s home on Lake Minnetonka. We had a great time at the lake – Claire enjoyed dipping her feet in along the shore.
I also drove a jet ski for the first time, which was a lot of fun! Slightly terrifying at first but the lake was calm and the weather was beautiful, so it made for a very pleasant speed rush on the water.
Claire also enjoyed her personal pool, complete with fun toys.
The adults took turns saying hello to the newest addition to the family, Kellen Michael. He was very handsome and a sound sleeper. I could have held him for hours.
Big thanks to Tom and Mickie for hosting us! We had a really great time. Other highlights from our weekend include an early birthday celebration for Bobby, who turns 26 on September 13! Barb (Bobby’s mom) made a delicious chocolate pie, which we enjoyed outside in their gazebo.
When it wasn’t dinner time…
…or silly time…
…the Bear was expanding on her musical skills, dressed in her Sunday best.
We visited the park and Bobby took another trip down the slide! Between John, Barb, Adam, Susan, Bobby and me, Claire had quite the entourage in attendance. Don’t you just love her pink daisy hat?
We wound down each night with a “marigold walkabout”…
…as well as some bedtime stories from Uncle Bobby.
On the last day of our trip, we hung out with Aunt Jeanne and cousin Tommy before throwing on our suits for a sprinkler run. Claire also enjoyed another dip in her personal pool.
For dinner, the entire group headed to Pizza Luce, also known as Minnesota’s best pizza.
Claire enjoyed coloring – taking after her mom the artist – while we dined on delicious artichoke dip, as well as the “original” pizza with Italian sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, black olives and mozzarella on red sauce. We also had the Spanish chicken pizza with mushrooms, smoked gouda, red onion, marinated chicken, toasted garlic and mozzarella cheese.
Everything was excellent! After our bellies were full, we indulged in one final marigold walkabout.
Thanks to Barb and John for hosting a great Labor Day weekend! We unfortunately had to say goodbye early on Tuesday morning, but knew it was only a matter of hours – literally – before we’d see Claire, Adam and Susan again. Their house would be the first – and by far the best – stop on our upcoming road trip!
And so we arrived back in Chicago around noon for our last day in Printers Row…
…and the moving frenzy began! More to come.
What have you been up to in the past two weeks?
I’m feeling out of the loop, so give me all the details. Can’t wait to get back to “normal.”