* Happy 2015!

New Year, more posting!? Yeah... probably not for a little while yet. I mean... I have YET to even blog about Halloween, that's a DEAD ringer for me just not having the time!! I can't say I'll be back soon but I can say that some day, ONE day I will return. My blog will wait for me and that helps me feel better about posting once every 3 months about random topics.

So for now, I just wanted to post my favorite family photo to date!

I want to cherish my beautiful little family and remember this moment of love and warmth- literally we were doing "fall photos" on a GORGEOUS Sunday afternoon September 28th- it was the last day of WARM fall temps and the leaves around our yard were out of this world- the perfect backdrop.

A few big time events that I must must MUST find time to blog about this year, and not in any particular order, will include; Avrie in dance, MOVING to Denmark Township, Halloween (costumes, events, party!), The Holidays of 2014, an update on all things Avrie, and to share more of our fun family photo session here at home on "Dead Branch Ranch" ... With our move, we will really miss all the beautiful colors that our property full of trees provides!

With life currently in crazy status and 1000% chaotic we look forward to what 2015 will bring for us- stay tuned!


* Our dog, Demie!

This past Spring we made the family decision to add a plus [furry] one to our family... a DOG!

With having owned a dog pre-Avrie and than having to endure the loss of our beloved dog, Tiki. We went back and forth [for a LONG time] on the pros & cons of getting and having another dog around again.

In the end, the list of pros won and in April we were reserved a Female German Shorthair Pointer born on Easter in Braham, MN. Aaron, Avrie and I were able to visit the litter before it was time to take our pup home. That was such a fun day for us AND Avrie. Being able to see the puppy so brand new was TOO CUTE! AND to be able to see/meet both the momma "drew" and daddy dog "ted".


Then the first weekend in June we went to pick up our new dog!! While on the drive home we all agreed on naming her Demie! The name has fit her from the start. Avrie LOVED having a cute new puppy napping beside her on the car ride home and Demie couldn't get enough of Avrie either.

Welp, fast forward now to 5 months later and Demie is 7 months old- kind of in the awkward teenage stage. Doing things that she KNOWS is naughty but doing so just to make us mad. She can be moody and gets REAL hangry at times. So in a nutshell, we know her antics pretty well at this point. Being dog owners again has it's challenges and while I say that I have to admit a couple of things. Demie is A PAIN IN MY BUTT!!

Having a busy toddler and a puppy is not exactly a walk in the park. Potty training/disciplining a puppy, caring for a toddler AND working from home is the perfect combo for a REALLY STRESSED OUT MOM! ME... That was the case for most of the summer. While we still have our moments, we are all getting better and adjusting to the additional responsibilities that come with having Demie. We have a routine established for the her. She getting the hang of knowing her role in the family. She has her spaces within the house (mainly the office and her spot in the garage) and Aaron built her a really great kennel outside.

Now with winter here and cold temps we have had to skip over nights outside and time spent in her kennel during the day. She spends a lot of her day in and out of the office and her spot in the garage near the fire. #princesspup

Demie's worst habit at this point is the jumping... she is getting better each day (i think i let her jump on me more than she should so she still tries it on my all the time) but she learned VERY early on that jumping up to Avrie is NOT ok so she has been REALLY good about not jumping up to knock Avrie down, being crazy around her or anything like that.

For the most part, Demie is very independent. A common characteristic of the breed. While she is a working dog, during the long colder days (aka not a TON of time outside during the day) she is getting into things and eating/chewing/destroying things that are NOT OK!

Avrie LOVES her dog... most days. Once in a while she wants nothing to do with the dog, and we think that's OK. They do love to play outside together.

Demie LOVES bubbles... she will jump up biting bubbles for hours if we were to let her. Avrie even gets a little annoyed that Demie pops all the bubbles before she can get to them! LOL! We also recently found out that Demie LOVES playing in the leaves. We had a ton of fun one afternoon a couple weeks ago- we captured some great pictures and some hilarious videos. She also REALLY like playing with her hula hoop! She also loves cats and people- she's a pretty social & happy dog.

The only that we have found to not be her favorite is riding in the car. She gets a bit anxious (VERY DROOLY) and without Dramamine- she barfs. Poor thing. And also, she does NOT like her sister dog, Allie (Brad & Kris's GSP) as in, they do not play well together. They don't hate each other, but they are WAY TOO rough with one another and can't really be left unsupervised while together.

I feel like I could go on and on about her, but basically she's been a great addition. Stressful at times, but she's a great dog that sleeps through the night and always has. Potty trained really well right from the start. It's nice that nothing ever really seems to bother her- we've heard her bark MAYBE 5 times. She sounds weird when she barks because she does it SO little.

Have you had any GSP experience? Whats your favorite trait of this breed? Do you have any questions for us about Demie. Also, if you Insta- you can find all the fun photos and videos of her under #DemieGirl


* Our Preschooler

Being so far behind, I thought I would just ditch everything missed (for now) and just chat for a little while about the fact that WE HAVE A PRESCHOOLER!!! With preschool, comes a lot of really fun & CUTE things!!

School projects, book orders, school pictures, new best friends, new songs, backpacks, show & tell, field trips, etc etc etc... We love it all, Avrie loves it all! She attends a Lutheran Preschool program just minutes from our house three days a week for a couple of hours in the morning.
On September 4th we had so much fun anticipating the 1st day of school. After a day trip of "school shopping" we had the perfect 1st day of school outfit picked out. I made her a cute little sign to hold (which she loved and insisted she hold for a picture before school for the rest of the week). Her and I worked on a banner to hang as a fun & cute backdrop for 1st the day of school photos.

 [her excitement made for some really great pictures!]

The weather was beautiful, so no jacket was needed and she was SO excited to go to school. The 1st day was parent/student day, so I was able to tag along for day 1 to get an idea of how Avrie's school day will go.

The 2nd day back to school, she ran into her classroom hugging BOTH of her teachers and yelling BYE MOM!

[on the way to day 2]

Right there I knew that we made the right decision on both putting her in school at age three and we picked the right school as well. So far we love it and Avrie continues love it and to also be excited for school each day!

I look forward to hearing from her teachers in November at conferences. I am SO curious to hear if she is as independent there as she is at home? Does she get along well with all of her classmates? She talks about a couple of the girls in class, non stop and mentions a few others here and there. Is she enjoying the curriculum, how is she doing with it? What does she do well with & what areas can we work more on with her? Do her teachers have a good feel for her true personality- and do they think that she is just the CUTEST THING EVER- like we do!  ;)

[kangy was included in on such an important day!]


nights like tonight...

Tonight I was reminded of exactly why I haven't spent any extra time behind my computer this summer, like... AT ALL!! 
Even with the Summer days and nights ABSOLUTELY flying by us- we are soaking it all in, and tonight was no expection!


* #TrueStory: MN to IA/NE back to MN in 36 hours

Hi friends, it's been a while, huh!? Well... before catching up with life I have to hit pause and share a fun adventure that I took last weekend. I hopped into a car named "Harlow" and trusted one of my blogger buddies Kristin to drive all the way to Council Bluffs, IA/Omaha, NE with two other great blogger friends- Dawn & Carolyn.

You might be asking, or shouting, HUH, Why!?!?! .... well let's just say this- we [as in us bloggers] all have our favorite far away bloggers, that live in another state! #itsafact. AND if ever given the chance to meet them, you would, RIGHT!? That is exactly the case with "Katie Mango" one of my favorite far away blogger friends! She's the type of blogger that I tell other bloggers about. Saying something along the lines of, "do you read Katie Mango? No, well you NEED to start!" "Katie Mango" has great style, a fun job, an adorable family, she's BEAUTIFUL and has great values! So, you know you want to... get on over there and get to know Katie over @ Yellow Mango Life

I know that Kristin, Dawn & Carolyn will also share their stories from this weekend at some point- so be sure to pop on over to their blogs. I know I'm looking forward to reliving these 36ish hours with them!

My take on this CRAZY and ridiculously fun Sunday/Monday roadtrip- already has me laughing out loud. Words will never express the amount of fun that we had. So I have been thinking about the best way to go about this and I have decided to go with a timeline of sorts to share my story.

 Let's begin... as I mentioned we headed South to IA on a Sunday, so Aaron, Avrie and I had my cousin's wedding on Saturday (more on that another time) but I will share one little detail which allows for me to start my timeline at 11:45pm on Saturday night.

SAT 6.28 @ 11:45pm: Andrea has too much to drink, it really wasn't A LOT but I guess her body was telling her something, like "STOP you have a very important BLATE in the morning!"

Sun 6.29 @ 2:30am: Andrea wakes up in the car, in the garage. (ok, i'm done talking in third person) oh AND Aaron has photo proof of this that I will NOT be sharing.

4:30am: My alarm goes off. I cry. I then hit snooze...

5:20am: I force myself out of bed

5:35am: I talk myself into a cure... a good ol' fashion round of BARF!

5:45am: MUCH better... but now I am running late for this very important blate!

6:00am - 6:50am: I am on the road to Farmington w/ zero traffic

7:00am - 7:05am: Hanging my head & being shamed by the group

We loaded up the car and after a stop by Starbucks we were on our way!

7:30am - 1:05pm: Time passed by quicker than one might think with a couple of pit stops, me falling asleep in the car (which resulted in a couple of unflattering photos- Dawn is SO nice to me!) mixed CDs to which Kristin & Carolyn were belting out BSB, all of us chowing down on Doritos (who knew nacho cheese Doritios would settle my stomach!?) I was proud of myself for not feeling carsick at all. 

We made it to Council Bluffs with about an hour to spare, so what does any girl do when she has the slightest bit of extra time... a Target run- OF COURSE!

1:05pm - 1:15pm: We stepped out of the car and into some sticky, sunny & humid weather. At this point I should mention that we were all STARVING but also SUPER indecisive...

Our plans were to meet [FINALLY] meet Katie Mango at her Yoga event. It was suppose to be outdoors, but early morning weather moved the event inside at another venue. We decided that we probably didn't want full stomachs before yoga, so we hopped back into the car and make our way to our destination. We had heard that there would be some free swag, so we didn't want to miss out on that.

1:30pm: We found ourselves circling the convention center's parking lot, to which we had a Katie Mango sighting... she DOES exist. 

This is where we could either face our random nerves & excitement & go in OR just turn that little Harlow around and head back to MN.

1:35pm - 1:45pm: Yoga Tailgating & selfies. That Kristin, she's the best.

Carolyn and I stood back saying NO WAY, NO HOW! 
Look close and you can see us being LAME in the reflection of Kristin's sunglasses.
We watched with judgy faces- but soon half gave in... HA!

1:47pm: We enter the building!
1:48pm: We see Katie Mango again!
1:49pm: We huddle together for a game plan...
1:50pm: Katie Mango disappears
1:51pm: Katie Mango is back in eye shot...
1:52pm: Kristin, energetically jumps up and down waving!!!
1:53pm: Katie Mango does not see Kristin
1:54pm: I DIE LAUGHING!!!

...seriously, I can't stop laughing as I write that BAHHH HAHAHA!!!

1:55pm: Kristin & I lock arms and march on over to Katie Mango.  
 this time she sees us! ;)

1:56pm: We meet, we hug, we laugh... we talk about how dorky we all are!

**it should be noted that Dawn & Carolyn are pretending they DO NOT know us at this point!

2:15pm - 4:00pm: All four of us successfully complete an awesome session of yoga. We thank the instructor afterwards, winning NOTHING as far as door prizes but spend time taking some pretty priceless photos! AND loving our free headbands, I guess I was sought out as the cooler one of the group and managed to get TWO headbands, one being pink, and loved by EVERYONE!

at this point, really the whole night, Katie HAD to have been like "who are these girls....???"

4:30pm-ish: We headed on over to the Horseshoe casino for lunch. We loved being escorted thru the casino and right to the cafe- we must have looked hungry. God knows our yoga attire, early morning wake up/all day car ride hair & makeup didn't scream "we are here to win millions!"

4:45pm-ish: We absolutely STUFFED our faces with lunch wraps and fries! YUM.

5:30pm-ish: We headed over to the casino Harrah's [that's HAIR-A'S and not HARRR-A'S] to check into our room.

We found our way up to the 5th floor and plopped our things into room 501. While letting phones charge we relaxed, unpacked, made cocktails (NOT for me... still not feeling the whole idea of alcohol... i was scolded for this unthinkable refusal...) we then arranged the order of getting ready for the night. After a while, Katie came up to our room looking as gorgeous as ever!

After a cheers to the evening & beautifying ourselves we headed up to the 12th floor for drinks. We found ourselves at Jack Binion's Steakhouse, where we had a great view, tall glasses of water (for me), a couple of drinks (i DID eventually give in!) and a couple delicious apps that Katie had ordered and we each stole a few bites.

While finishing up drinks/apps & a photo session- we were lucky to head up to the rooftop [not a public space, think VIP baby!] You can only imagine the photo opportunities that endlessly popped into each of our little blogger brains- most of which were beautifully executed.

9:00pm: Katie had us all pile into her Jeep and took us over the bridge and into downtown Omaha, NE. Let me just say... what a fun little downtown Omaha has!!! There were SO many fun places, it was hard to know exactly where we wanted to go! Luckily, Katie is a great host and knew all the right places.

The first stop being... a parking lot... we had a weeny truck spotting!!! Not something you just pass up. Again... the photo possibilities were ENDLESS! Here is where you are going to want to check in with Kristin, this little stop made her night!

Our second stop was to Sake Bombers Lounge. We enjoyed lemondrops & a variety of sushi, it was all REALLY super good! Being that it was Sunday- the bar wanted to close down so we didn't end up staying here for drinks. We were all bummed by the slackers server & buzz kill but end up with full bellies, none the less. All we do is eat- just another reason I get along SO great with these girls!

After Sake's, we walked to a hole in the wall Irish pub, it may have smelled like potatoes, had a scary dungeon, a rowdy 21st birthday and bad dancers- but pretty much the perfect spot to people watch and chat the rest of our evening away.

ok, back to my timeline...

Monday 6.30 @ 12:30am: We all hit "The Mommy Wall" we were tired, we simply exhausted ourselves with all of the fun & excitement that the days events brought to us. We had an absolute blast, and as much as we didn't want it to end, we figured Katie didn't need to be out THIS late with us on a Sunday night. She was more than happy too- which makes her pretty much the coolest!

1:00am: Back in room 501 the four of us recalled some of the fun[niest] moments of the day & took one last ridiculous group picture for the day.

... bed time!! ...

The next morning, 9:30am: Sleeping in felt GREAT!! In record time, we all managed to get up, get ready & pack in just over an hour and be out of our hotel before checkout. No one was dragging, no one was hungover, we all felt rested & rejuvenated. Which was perfect, because we had another big day of EATING & a long drive back home!

11:10am: We met Katie for lunch at Blatt Beer & Table. Oh my gosh... let me just say this. BEST. FOOD. EVER! We had soft pretzel bites, homemade potato chips, burgers & mac & cheese. All of it was so good, my mouth is waters just thinking about it! I'd go back JUST for the German Mustard dipping sauce!

Our time in Omaha, NE was nearing the end. After we finished up lunch we said our goodbyes [until hopefully another time] and Katie was off to work! It was SO fun meeting her, she was SO NICE & went above and beyond in showing us such a great time! We are hoping that we have her talked into coming up to MN sometime! We're pretty sure MN isn't as cool- but we'd do our best to make it a blast!

After a walk around the block and a weather check-in w/ Aaron and the radar we were headed back to MN. Aaron mentioned that we might run into trouble with a storm, so told us to keep an eye on the radar as we drive out of NE/IA.

12:30pm - 7:30pm: SUCH A BLUR... we stopped a couple of times for bathroom breaks, gas & Caribou. We were driving in rain the entire drive in Iowa- at one point we hit some one lane traffic in Adair & Casey Iowa where some pretty heavy rain & damaging winds had moved through. THANK GOD we missed the worst of THAT and only had to deal with facing some threatening looking clouds that sent all four of us into a MAJOR panic attack. I called Aaron [my weatherman] to help calm all of us down. It seemed that we were just behind the storm and would only be hitting rain. He was right so we did make it out of Iowa nice and safe. WHEW. Kristin & Harlow ROCKED that rain!

[i know this photo already appears in the beginning of this post, 
but it's too funny too see again if you made it through this post! ;)]

We knew were home SAFE when we managed to survive the MN welcome sign selfie aka mosquito attack! After our last rest stop potty break we all became a little antsy in the car. We were so close to being done in the car we almost couldn't stand it. We each couldn't WAIT to get home to our little ones & frankly I think our humor is enough to wear anyone out! HAHAHAHA. 

For the last leg of our trip & before we bid our farewells; we distracted ourselves with #ThePinkHeadband this is just a little something that became highly coveted and will remain so as long as we are friends. You WILL be seeing her again, and again... but the question being, WHEN!?

Kristin, THANK YOU to you & Harlow for safe & fun travels. I knew you were fun but never knew just HOW fun... you & your goofball ways crack me up! Keep that T.W. of yours in check! Dawn, What can I say, BBB... you are so mean to me but I can't imagine living without you! Me & my dead sleepiness were way too tired to care about those LOVELY photos... but I'll get you back my little pretty, THREE times! Carolyn, Let's NEVER do yoga again, k!? Oh and let's NEVER give into YOGA tailgating peer pressure either... AND please wear something WAY 'cooler' the next time we go out, something along the lines of a pink headband, maybe!? & Katie, There aren't enough Thank You's and I hope you know how much I (we) truly appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to hang out with us dweebs for couple of days! You sure did find your way into our hearts by keeping us well fed! And remember.. NO ONE EVER.... puts Katie in corner, except us MN blogger crazies!!

:: all photos were taken and shared amongst the 4 of us ::
check out #MNmeetsMango for the #instamadness