Erin Virginia

Name:
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Friday, September 23, 2016

Summer Recap 2016

We enjoyed a wonderful summer this year packed with bike rides, walks around Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet, parks, backyard adventures, dinners out with friends and lots of play time together. We cheered Fiona at her first dance recital, spent time with visiting family, celebrated Eloise turning two and Fiona turning four and took a turn at being Minnesota tourist over Labor Day.

Looking forward to warm weather

As soon as the weather warmed and the days began to lengthen, we spent long afternoons and evenings in the backyard. The girls whispered to and watered the hostas until they transformed from small stalks of green to large leaves.

Painting pictures and each other was a major theme of the summer








Chris endured collaborative lawn mowing...

...and reading...

 ...and eating.





We dealt with a mushroom explosion this year all throughout the neighborhood. Chris reacted to the invasion by teaching the girls to pick the giant mushrooms and throw them on the ground or against trees in a giant splat!. A strange thing to do, but fun.



We spent many weeknight evenings at the various neighborhood parks. The girls especially loved for us to pack a picnic dinner and haul them behind our bikes to York Park where we would spread out blankets next to the Minnehaha Creek, eat a few bites and then race to the playground. We visited Chowen Park a few times, the first time hopeful that Chris and I could shoot hoops at the adult basketball courts, but Eloise insisted on trying to play and throwing the ball unsuccessfully at the hoop.

Monday night picnic



Catching each other


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Wagon ride to Carondelet school park, popsicles mandatory.


As always, we spent a significant amount of time near the water. One of the perks of living in Minnesota and especially Minneapolis is proximity to urban lakes with walking trails and restaurants and parks close by.

Fiona's first fishing adventure

Exploring Minnehaha Park


We spent many afternoons at the splash pad where Fiona pretended to be a mermaid, and Eloise liked to hop out every few minutes to be turned into a towel burrito.



Lotus Lake Adventures



I've posted many times elsewhere about our hours spent pushing the girls in the double stroller around Lake Harriet or Calhoun. My favorite times were waking up Saturday mornings and giving the girls breakfast in the stroller while Chris and I sipped coffee and pushed them in the cool morning hours. Towards the end of summer, we got into the habit of one night a week giving the girls dinner in the stroller while we walked around one of the lakes. It gave the girls a chance to relax after school and Chris and me the ability to talk about our day.

Our church, City Church, held a service at the Lake Harriet bandshell one Sunday morning. 

We attended a concert at the bandshell with the Taffe clan one evening.



Mid to late summer, Lake Calhoun became our preferred route to walk due to the slightly longer circumference and the presence of the girls' favorite park. We spent cumulative hours at the restaurant on the water, Tin Fish, where the girls furtively snuck the ducks bread crumbs and then at the nearby park. 







Jamie and Malia even joined us one evening

I took the girls to my parents' house in August for raspberry picking and in September for apple picking. The girls love the outdoor time. 





I took a few selfies with the girls.


We played "bear coming" hundreds of times...
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...and the girls made up a game they call "Huggy, huggy, we all fall down."
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Fiona endured her first hair cut/trim. Okay, it was maybe an inch of split ends, but it seems significant to me....

...because you have to be delicate with curls as beautiful as these.

We endured sickness and powered through...

...hand-foot-mouth...

...and random fevers...

...that required time tucked into mom and dad's bed.

We celebrated Jamie's 40th (!)...

...Fiona's first soccer game

...and time with friends. 



Chris celebrated Father's Day in pink


...and the girls cheered him on during his 4th of July half marathon that finished at the Stone Arch Bridge.


Eloise transitioned from crib to toddler bed...

...to beginning potty training...

...to getting her first driving lesson...

...and finally independently driving her own car.

Eloise is, if nothing else, a head-back, boisterous laugher. 

Fiona delighted in dressing up for school pictures...

...bedtime...

...and random walks.

Eloise and Chris are a dangerous combination.
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Just like Olivia, we love the museum. 


...and music...
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...and Daddy...
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And look, proof Chris still loves Greta!

Goodbye, summer.