Fall Weekend at the Cab

Made it to the cabin this past weekend. It was a more eventful ride up than I had anticipated, as we hit a really bad thunderstorm, some incredible lightning (have you ever seen horizontal lightening? I now have), and pummeling hail. Good times. Thankfully Coops wasn’t freaked out at all due to the wonderful invention that is a portable DVD player. Actually, that caused us some drama, too, because he was excited about watching a movie and when D.Jones broke out the DVD player, it hadn’t charged. No big deal since we have a car plug-in for it. That we didn’t bring. Drat. A quick stop at a mirage with a big red and white bullseye on top of it, and we were good to go. I love me some Target!

On our last trip to Grammie & Papa’s cabin, Cooper was a “hard-working man” or at least he kept telling us that, as he searched the yard for sticks to put in Grammie & Papa’s wheelbarrow. On Saturday morning they presented him with his own cool red wheelbarrow. He proceeded to “work hard” for a large part of Saturday.

Saturday D.Jones hit the casino for college football and poker…his two favorite things. While he did that, the rest of us attended the annual Hackensack Chainsaw Sculpture Contest. Folks from all over the U.S. come to tiny little Hackensack, Minnesota to compete and some of them are amazing. Coops saw a nearby park, though, so Saturday I didn’t get to watch since he wouldn’t get out of the swings. We made a return trip Sunday morning, though, so I could check things out, and D.Jones took over the swing pushing assignment.

Cooper also discovered the joy of jumping in leaves, so he would use his new wheelbarrow to make a pile and then leap right in. He also got D.Jones to jump in, to which Doug sat there stunned for a minute and then said “um…I haven’t done this for many years, and I thought I remembered there being a lot more cushion.” Hilarious. Not sure he totally appreciated my laughter at that…

And my parents in on the action…

Coops also got his first opportunity to evening fish off the dock with his Dad. It was semi-successful. Cooper got to touch a fish, and help throw one back in. Unfortunately, he also saw fit to toss one of my Dad’s tools off the end of the dock, too. My Dad, having that weird MacGyver ability to like, rig up anything necessary to get a job done, found a big magnet he tied a string to, and voila! Tool saved. Weird.

It was just a perfect autumn weekend, my favorite time of the year, and I’m hoping we get the chance to make one more trip before the snow flies.

*For a ton of more pics of the weekend, check out my 365 photo challenge blog here*


A Lovely Surprise

Today I find myself packing fast and furiously to try to get everything ready in time to pick up D.Jones from work a bit early and head up north to my parent’s cabin for the weekend. I always hate the prep work, but I love being at the cabin. Especially in the Fall.

Late last night D.Jones remembered to tell me that the cat is out of food, so that added one trip to the grocery store to my already long list of to-do’s.

As I returned from the grocery store and was schlepping groceries up the stairs to my front door, I saw that the mail had come early. Nice! Then when I approached the mail slot, I saw something from Paris. Paris!?! I started racking my brain for what it could be!

Turns out it was the happiest of little surprises. A super sweet note from my friend Adam! Adam and I started corresponding in a roundabout way through my friend Brad and through my previous work with a local magazine. Since the time I “met” him, I have become so fond of him. I love his writing, and he has this amazingly positive outlook on life. Add to the mix that right now he’s away at a university in Paris, my favorite city on earth! His life is incredibly exciting and the most wonderful thing about it is that he appreciates every moment of it. He takes nothing for granted and always finds the silver lining when challenges do arise. If you want to read for yourself, you’ll find him here.

So anyway, Adam took some time out of his busy schedule to send me the most beautiful of cards in black and white and pink, simply for being a friend. It made my day. No, scratch that. It made my week.

Now I am almost ready to head out the door to the cabin, and I can assure you, my step is a little bit lighter…all because of a kind gesture from a friend. Thanks Adam~

And Another!

A follow-up to yesterday’s thank-yous. Seems my good friend TattooedMommy also nominated me for the same award from Cathy. Once again, when you admire someone else’s talents and then they recognize yours, it means a lot. Thanks so much Alicia!

Very Tardy Thank Yous

I am so late on this, and I have no excuse, so it’s time I get to it and give thanks where thanks are due.

My friend Dawn who is a well-known blogger with lots of followers saw fit to actually offer me an award. Me!? I am at a loss as to what to say since I love her blog, her upbeat personality, her kindness, her friendliness, her writing, her picture taking. So…needless to say…I am honored. Thank you Dawn!

So, here’s my award and some rules to go with it…

Now, the rules state that I am supposed to nominate 7 other blogs for this award. I always (okay, most of the time now that I’m 30-something anyway!) follow the rules, which is another reason I haven’t said my thanks in a timely fashion. Seems the award has made it’s way through many of the blogs that I love, and well, add to that that I’m lazy. So, I am hanging my head in shame and admitting that I’m going to break the rules. That doesn’t mean I’m any less happy to be a recipient, though, and I thank you, thank you, thank you, Dawn!!

Round 2

Seems my beautiful and mutli-talented friend Cathy also nominated me for an award.

I guess she is happy that I jumped into the 365 photo challenge with her, and in turn, sent me a pretty little award. Since she is someone whose talents I greatly admire, this too means a lot to me. But, I’m not passing this one on, either. Everyone beat me to the punch, and honestly, since I follow so few blogs myself, I run out of folks to send it to….but suffice to say, that once again I am happy to be the recipient of recognition, and it means a lot to me that these fine ladies thought of me.

Thank you!!

A Needed Reminder

There is a saying in Minnesota, and many other parts of the country, I’m fairly certain, that goes “don’t like the weather? Just wait a minute and it’ll change.” So true, right? Lately I’m convinced that you can replace “the weather” with “my mood” and it would be just as fitting. Not like I get angry on a regular basis or anything crazy. I’m more a victim of my own inner workings.

I’m sure it’s just the nature of the world, isn’t it? Like how yesterday I was on top of the world. The weather was perfect, there was good news from the doctor for my Dad, Cooper and I were having a blast, and all of the small “challenges” of the day didn’t seem like any big deal at all. Cooper recently moved to his new “big boy bed” a la Lightning McQueen, and although the first night went by without a hitch (or a late night visit from Mr. Cooper Jones, as the case may be), yesterday’s nap time didn’t go so smoothly. The end result was me moving his mattress back to the crib, which I left up for just such occasion, and him getting really pissed at me for doing it. He was warned. So be it. It was no big deal and I didn’t even blink.

This morning was a whole ‘nurther story, making me wish that those days of smooth sailing could be simply wished for and they would return. Perhaps it was being up lots of times in the night because Cooper has gotten his second cold in 3 weeks, and his coughing was freaking me out. A lack of sleep causes all sorts of issues for this girl. Or maybe it was waking up to Coops telling me there was puke in the hallway, and sure enough…there was. Animal puke. I still haven’t found the culprit. I suspect the cat. Maybe it is the fact that it’s just a dreary day weather-wise, or that I’ve grown tired of my house shaking for 12 hours per day due to the heavy machinery at the end of my driveway. Whatever. The result is the same. Not such a great day.

And like that old story that involves one person yelling at someone at work, and that guy going home and kicking his cat, and the cat scratching the kid, or whatnot, the domino effect is true.

So before long, at the House o’ Jones you’d find a grumpy, sick toddler, a grumpy overtired mom, a Yorkie hiding from the toddler who keeps slapping her with his “gaga blankie” and a scared Beagle who is freaked out by all of it. Good times, right?

Then I paid a visit to my friend Cristina’s blog and found this entry from her, that referred back to me…in a roundabout sorta way.

See, how it all happened was that yesterday I told her about a blog that I regularly read. A blog written by a guy who married my aunt and uncle’s niece. Didja follow that? You didn’t really need to. Suffice to say that this guy, named Matt, writes this blog
about hsi journey in single-parenting. Not single parenting by choice, either. His wife Liz, (that’s my aunt & uncle’s niece), passed away the day after she gave birth to their daughter, Madeline. She never got to hold her. Now he’s doing the Daddy role and the Mommy role. And writing about it.

Although there’s a slight familial link to them via my Auntie Marcie and Uncle Gene, I only met her once or twice when we were kids. I didn’t know her, and thus, I’ve never reached out to him, either. And I’ve never referred to his blog here, though I read it all the time. When I saw that Cristina referred to his blog, I reflected on why I hadn’t. I mean, I love his writing. I love his photography. I love his humor when it comes out. And I love so much more about his blog. Why would I not tell others about it?

The reason seems that I felt like his journey was such a private one that I didn’t want to intrude. And certainly didn’t want to play a role in others intruding on his life. Um…hold on there a second, Jones. He’s putting it out there for a reason. Many reasons, I think. So, here’s my mention of Matthew, Madeline and Liz. And my reason for doing so is this. My issues of malcontentedness, tiredness, grumpiness and whatnot are nothing compared to what this brave man faces every day. And he shares it in sometimes brutal honesty with the world. Reading his words brings me outside of myself. It reminds me that, though it’s human nature to have days like I’m having today, one also needs to remind oneself of all we have to be thankful for and how cat puke in the hall and a cloudy day are nothing to be upset about. I need to remind myself to have some perspective and to remember that my child being cranky because he has a cold actually gives me the opportunity to comfort him and take care of him. And to remind myself that I need to be thankful that I’m here to do it. Which actually turns a nose wiping into a gift. A remarkable gift.

Elevator Hysteria

No intro needed on this one, other than to say that there is nothing better than the sound of a little one’s laughter…. This is Cooper playing with Grammie.

Oh and P.S. I felt just as giddy when my Dad returned from getting the results of every medical test known to mankind today and got not only a clean bill of health, but a “stellar results!” from his doc. For those of you out there who understand the “history” behind this post, I’m sure you understand when I say “Whew!”

Lightning McQueen Arrives!

I spent yesterday afternoon assembling Cooper’s new “big boy bed”. He selected a Lightning McQueen racecar bed (no surprise there, right?) and it got delivered on Monday. He waited patiently until Tuesday afternoon, when he could no longer take it, so I dragged out D.Jones tools and got to work.

I am happy to report that I was actually able to assemble something with no swearing, muttering, stripped screws, or any other catastraphes…and it turned out well! Now that’s a surprise!

Cooper was playing in the living room while I worked fast and furiously in his room. When I yelled out “it’s all set, Coops!” he raced down the hall at the speed of light. His reaction was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen and I was so caught up in the moment I didn’t think to grab the camera. After a few minutes just enjoying him excitedly say over and over “I love my new bed, Mommy! Thank you thank you thank you! I love you Mommy!” I remembered and ran to grab the camera. The initial excitement had worn off by the time I got this vid, but you can still tell he’s overjoyed…

Later I snuck into his room to get a shot of him actually using the new bed…this was at midnight. He slept fantastically and didn’t come out once. I did not sleep so soundly…having irrationally convinced myself that he would roll off the bed, and the whopping 8 inch drop would injure him severely. Ahh..the irrational “joys” of motherhood!