five months (and a midwest adventure)

5 month coverMeredith started her fifth month celebrating her older brother’s second birthday! We celebrated small with grammie and papa. But he enjoyed the best dairy-free cake we could find! Angel food! Always a fan favorite.Jack's 2nd BirthdayI had a little mom guilt not taking more pictures, or throwing a big party for our sweet boy, but maybe next year? We’ll see.

Right after Jack’s birthday we took the family on a midwest road trip. Much of our family is in the midwest, and we were lucky enough to have two weddings in a row to see much of them. We took the week in between to see even more friends and family to maximize the time spent in the northern states, while happily getting out of Texas during the miserable August heat!

Our first stop was Story City, Iowa! We hit up the local wooden carousel with our nieces. Jack was overjoyed to ride… and ride AND ride and ride again.DSC_0049

Story City CarouselWe headed down to Ames for our first wedding and some hotel fun. I remember the joys of visiting hotels as a kid. The two things always on the agenda; the pool, and the array of cereals they had available for breakfast. Jack enjoyed both with all the cousins.
swimming poolMeredith enjoyed chillaxin’ in the hotel room, too.hotel chillAfter relaxing, it was time to start the wedding festivities. There was a bride and groom at this wedding but these kiddos were so cute that I didn’t get a picture of them. Eeek.IMG_0471Ames WeddingOf course, there was a failed attempted to get a picture of my kiddos, and well… I can say, I tried. Jack looks super excited to be sitting doesn’t he!DSC_0150We ate cake, danced, and had a wonderful time seeing family and friends, including Jack and Meredith’s Great Grandma Johnson. DSC_0181IMG_3059We headed out the next morning to our next destination, another small town in Iowa with warm hearts and a fabulous meal waiting for us. We were greeted with open arms and Jack fit right in.Postville KiddosJack and Meredith met their Great Grandmother for the first time.GGKAnd Jack realized where that sweet Iowa corn really came from.Iowa CornWe said goodbye to our Iowa hosts and headed on yet another journey, this time to Wisconsin.Nancy + ToadOn our way to see friends, we realized we were just miles away from a famous brewery. New Glarus, home of our beloved Spotted Cow! We made a detour and happily walked our babies through a brewery tour. Ha.New Glarus BreweryAfter the tour, we made our way to Appleton, WI, where we met up with our dear friends and their new baby boy. We spent time reminiscing, laughing at our ourselves and our babies, but mostly soaking up as much time together with each other as we could. We spent our night by the campfire drinking Spotted Cow in jeans and sweatshirts and the day with our babies. It was fabulously simple and perfect… of course, we didn’t get any great pictures… Trust me, I’m kicking myself.IMG_0581 IMG_0604Travel hit us again, but Jack was an old pro by this point.Traveling w:TurkWe headed up to my hometown in North Wisconsin for the rest of our trip. We welcomed the super green grass, beautiful weather, and, of course, a ride on Grandpa’s “tractor”. The hubs and Mer looked on, a little less impressed with the lawn-mowing-tractor than Jack was.Mowing the lawnJack and Meredith’s cousins came into town, and they spent their days in the backyard (clothing optional) and on the grandpa’s boat.IMG_0638Boating wgrandpaIMG_0667IMG_0683There really isn’t anything better than Wisconsin in the summer. Oh, how I miss it. The lake, the green, and the family.Ellie + MerJack celebrated a belated second birthday with everyone and ate up every moment he could.IMG_0698Our last weekend was spent at wedding number two … again, just kiddo pictures and slim pickings at best.IMG_3082WI WeddingMeredith made sure she was on point during ceremony. Atta girl.IMG_0705Jack took over the dance floor for the first few hours. It was hilarious and sweet all at the same time. He clapped after each song and danced his little heart out. He made many friends, including the band who came up to me after, in admiration of his love for dancing and good music.Turk on the dance floorWe ended our midwest adventure by splitting ways. We said goodbye to the hubs and Jack, and I said a little prayer for us all. Jack was nervous and not excited to have to drive home. Sorry buddy.Pink Elephant Gas stationMeredith and I headed out in style on a first class flight back to Dallas. Meredith was so embarrassed for mom to ask the pilot for a picture, she closed her eyes. But she was super excited to have a piece of cheese on her head! Wisconsin genes run deep. First FlightWe all made it home safe and got back into our normal routine quickly. Bedtime stories with Dad is one of their favorites times of the day.Bedtime StoriesMeredith had her first taste of rice cereal served up by Mr. Jack. He was absolutely loving the process and Mer took her first meal like a champ!1st Rice CerealMonth five was a busy one, but we are loving every exhausting minute. The hubs and I have been awakened a couple times this month to Meredith just talking. We laugh as she cackles to herself, and I know there will be nights in our future we’ll tell her go to bed! But for now, we enjoy her spirited squawks. Here’s my little lady at five months!Five Month CollageHappy Weekend, Friends!


minnesota wedding

Our last stop on the Midwest adventure was another wedding in Minnesota! Jenni (the bride) is a professional event planner in the Twin Cities, so I was oh-so excited to see what her own wedding would entail. Needless to say, she did not disappoint; there was visual eye-candy all over the ceremony and reception… and this girl remembered her camera! So what if it doesn’t fit in my clutch, it’s coming! Now, I get to share all the goodness with all of you!
We checked into the hotel and were greeted with a sweet gift bag filled with goodies from both the bride and groom’s home states. Lucky for me, Jenni was adding another Wisconsinite into our family, and the bag came with my all-time favorite beer, Spotted Cow! It’s only sold in Wisconsin, so this was a pleasant surprise. There was a bunch of other goodies from both states, which were devoured on our trip home!

The ceremony didn’t start until later in the afternoon on Saturday, so we spent the morning swimming with our nieces and nephews and just enjoying a little time to breathe. Sigh. We headed out with the whole family and when the ceremony started, all eyes were on the bride and groom!

The ceremony was beautiful and Jenni took a page from my own wedding with her programs. It reminded me of my own wedding and made me happy that someone else enjoys the details. The subtle details throughout the church were perfect for the space, too! Molly and I really enjoyed the yellow poufs.

After the ceremony we headed outside to wish the newlywed couple off, with bubbles!

After the ceremony, it was off to the reception which was held in an old stable. Perfect for mason jars… which I was obsessed with. Add in gray and yellow striped straws – and I was in heaven. This probably makes me crazy, but I’m okay with that. Drooling over paper straws – it could be worse. We actually got to take them home, too! The husband and I got two, so all I need now are the straws! Ha!

We enjoyed our drinks outside, while the nieces and nephews found the photo booth. We didn’t know at the time, but these were props for the photo booth; we had fun with them outside! They were returned promptly after the photo shoot. He he. 

When it was time to find our seats, we were treated with escort cards propped up by wine corks! So cute. Each table corresponded to some place the couple had traveled and a little story of their adventure.

We got to leave the party with pictures from the photo booth and cake pops made with Packers or Vikings colors! Jenni doesn’t like cake, so she opted for an ice cream bar for everyone. Seriously, this girl didn’t miss a thing!

Don’t worry, I didn’t spend the whole time just taking pictures of objects! I had fun dancing and taking pictures of the whole crew, too.

I’m thinking I may ask Jenni to plan my next big event! She did such a fabulous job!

Congratulations Jenni & Adam! Cheers.