Nieces Pieces: September Spectacular

by Jenn (eating bender) on September 9, 2012

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.”


{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kelly @ Kelly the Culinarian September 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Glad to hear you made it there!


2 Jenn (eating bender) September 11, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Thanks, Kelly!


3 Lauren September 9, 2012 at 8:01 pm

So glad you guys made it! Can’t wait to hear more about the move.


4 Jenn (eating bender) September 11, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Thanks, Lauren!


5 Karla September 9, 2012 at 8:22 pm

You and Bobby seem like the coolest aunt and uncle EVER. It looked like a wonderful family- and fun-filled time!

So glad to hear you made it to AZ safe and sound—now take some time to kick your feet up and relax after a whirlwind month! :)
Karla recently posted..A Delicious Ice Cream Sandwich Health Upgrade!My Profile


6 Jenn (eating bender) September 11, 2012 at 2:28 pm

You are very sweet, Karla! We love our aunt and uncle roles. :) And yes, we are definitely due for a bit of down time after the craziness!


7 Melissa @Tryingtoheal September 10, 2012 at 8:02 am

What a great time with Claire and the family before getting to az! Looks like you had a ton of fun and great food! Past two weeks for me? In the jungle of course, button I’m out of it and done with research til next year! Vacation time!
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8 Jenn (eating bender) September 11, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Hope you’re having an AMAZING time on vacation! I will email you back soon!


9 Erica September 10, 2012 at 8:44 am

So glad yall made it safe and sound to az! Very exciting. Claire could not be cuter-what a great personality. Glad yall had a nice trip.
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10 Jenn (eating bender) September 11, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Thank you, Erica!


11 Caroline September 10, 2012 at 8:45 am

Glad to hear the move went well and you’re enjoying AZ!
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12 Jenn (eating bender) September 11, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Thanks, Caroline!


13 Megan (Braise The Roof) September 10, 2012 at 10:53 am

Glad you made it safe and sound to AZ! Looks like a nice and relaxing Labor Day weekend- I can’t say mine was very relaxing, but it was fun!
Megan (Braise The Roof) recently posted..Gumbo CouscousMy Profile


14 Jenn (eating bender) September 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Glad to hear you had a fun one!


15 emily (a nutritionist eats) September 10, 2012 at 11:24 am

Yum, Pizza Luce!!! I miss that place.
That picture of your niece in the “pool” is so cute!
I have been on a long blogging break, but am coming back this week! Life has been busy and full, trying to enjoy it all!
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16 Jenn (eating bender) September 11, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I’m so glad that someone else knows how delicious Pizza Luce is! Hope you’ve been enjoying your blogging break immensely. Can’t wait to hear more about what’s new with you!


17 Cara (Twinthusiast) September 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Love, just love, all these pics.
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18 Jenn (eating bender) September 11, 2012 at 2:31 pm

:) Your phone call made my day!


19 Irina @ Chocolatea Time September 10, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Congrats again on the big move, I’m happy to see you made it there alright! Your Labor Day looks perfect – filled with family and good food :)
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20 Jenn (eating bender) September 11, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Thanks, Irina! We miss Chicago but are excited about what’s to come. :)


21 Susan September 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Me again! Comments en masse! What a great post – you always take such cute pictures of the Bear. :) We had an awesome time with you guys, and we’re already looking forward to Christmas!


22 Erin September 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm

1. Happy belated birthday to B-d!
2. Can’t get enough of nieces pieces – they are so cute – and the nickname is so clever :) I love it
3. Hi Kellen!
4. You look beautiful, Jenn!
Erin recently posted..Last weekMy Profile


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