Christmas was great this year! We headed to Frederic on Wednesday afternoon and then on Christmas Eve went to Coon Rapids for a few days. It was such a relaxing few days and we completely missed having to travel in any bad weather! It was great! The only downside of the entire few days was coming home to our driveway which was completely covered in almost 2 feet of packed down nasty frozen snow. Thankfully Jesse was around - it took Aaron and Jesse 3 hours with 2 snowblowers to clear our driveway!!
Above: our makeshift sled (a boogey board) Below: A cute picture of my mom and matea
Saturday found us with nothing to do - and a visit to Bentleyville to be checked off our list - so we picked up Brandon and headed down to the light display in Bayfront Festival Park. Personally, I think the display was talked up a bit much, but it was completely worth it to go. We think it is great that the display - and cookies, popcorn, marshmallows, cocoa, and coffee - are all FREE to EVERYONE. Thanks Mr. Bentley and Duluth! We were a bit chilled after spending an hour outside looking at lights so of course we had to stop at Starbucks on our walk back to the car!
Friday was the Christmas City of the North Parade in Duluth! Aaron and I haven't gone for a few years (too lazy, too cold, too boring...) but we headed down there this year with a bunch of our friends. The weather was PERFECT - low 30s, no wind. Anna brought cookies and we could actually see what was going on! Matea and Kylie (the youngest kids in our group) hung tight and did great until 8:45 when we FINALLY saw the end of the parade.
The highlight of the parade was a toss up between Matea seeing a gigantic Curious George on the PBS float or seeing our friend Jon, who was in the parade with his work, handing out carebeaners (I'm sure that isn't spelled right) in the shape of dollar signs. Yes, he is a banker. :-)
Matea needed a bath the other day, so we decided to let her "finger paint" with shaving cream. Which turned into a "cover your entire head with shaving cream." This video might only be interesting to family. :-)
Well, after getting some tips from Juli (braid UNDER not OVER) I gave cornrows an attempt! Here it is - they are short, loose, and messy but I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now I need to practice. Matea's hair was damp when I braided it today, I think dry would be easier, but I have no idea really. She was a pretty good sport which was helpful because it sure took me long enough to do these. I am excited to continue practicing - hopefully I'll get good at this and we'll have another go-to hairstyle that'll last a long time!
Last Wednsesday Jodi was over for dinner and we decided to carve our pumpkin. It was a little disappointing - there weren't that many seeds and our pumpkin was starting to rot even though we bought it on Sunday! Anyway, Matea was surprisingly really excited to stick her hand in the pumpkin and grab all the gunk that was in there. Aaron carved the pumpkin with a KNIFE - I was surprised he was able to make the face! Growing up we always used those little pumpkin saws.
Anyway....Matea couldn't say "Jack-o-lantern" so "Jacklyn" sat out on our step - and was still there this morning!!!
Two and a half weeks ago my parents and grandma came up for a visit! We had a fun weekend hanging out and relaxing - with the exception of our trip up to Two Harbors to go walk on the breakwater thingee. IT WAS FREEZING. I have been outside in the middle of winter and it has been more pleasant than it was that Saturday afternoon. The wind was INSANE - it literally was pushing Matea! Here are some pictures from our excursion!
On October 13 Matea FINALLY became a US citizen!! It took us a while to file the paperwork, but now EVERYTHING is complete. The court hearing took a whole five minutes - the judge was really nice and seemed to be fully sincere when he said "God bless your family." Brandon was able to take some time off of work to come to the court hearing, and then we went out to Starbucks afterwords since we were in the car driving away 16 minutes after our 1:00 hearing! Matea is now OFFICIALLY Matea Mimi!
The month of September really wasn't THAT busy, but blogging just didn't happen! We've had some fun weekends lately. A few weeks back Dan and Danica Troolin came to visit - it was a last minute trip and was so much fun! Aaron and I had a blast getting to know their kids, and I think Maddy became Matea's new best friend. :-)
I know this picture of Matea is a little out of focus, but I love her expession. :-)
The weekend after the Troolins were up Nate and Angie were here for a couple days! Despite the COLD weather we had fun going up to Enger Tower and just relaxing!
It has been such a blessing to be able to connect and re-connect with college friends - and we are thankful that they are willing to come up and visit!
Several weeks ago our friends Chad and Ajay organized a picnic for Ethiopian adoptive families in the Duluth/Superior area. We had a great time connecting with other adoptive families! Al and Lyndsey of On3Design were gracious enough to take some photos to document the event. Here are the ones of our family - thanks Al and Lyndsey!
We've been having some massive issues with all the pictures on our computer, thus the lack in blogging. Therefore, I decided to not only update the look of the blog (something new, I guess), I decided to do a Favorite Things post. Here goes!
Current Favorite Breakfast Food
I was watching Food Network's Giada At Home where she made this breakfast.I decided to try the ricotta cheese/yogurt mix, and to my delight I LOVE IT! I've been eating it for breakfast along with some fresh fruit and yogurt - delish!
Skype I got to talk to my sister when she got to Ireland this week -and hopefully we'll be able to talk periodically while she's gone. Enough said about that!
Favorite Quick Unhealthy Snack: A couple tablespoons of peanut butter chips and dark chocolate chips in a tiny dish or in my palm. Or sprinkled on ice cream. YUM!
Infant Tylenol This is currently one of my favorites, as Matea is getting several teeth in right now. Why don't they sell Tylenol in bigger bottles?
I'm digging this band... Need to Breathe We currently have both of their albums (The Heat and Daylight). Their music seems to be a perfect mix of upbeat, mellow, rock, alternative, melodic, rhythmic...I don't know. I like them.
And this song.... MatKearney's Closer to Love. Here's the video!