Ramsey County Fair

My entire family went to the Ramsey County Fair this year. All of us. Every single one. Including both of my brothers. It was so strange. I really cannot remember the last time we all went out and did something together.

We went on a Thursday night, my first full day of not working at Globe.

This has been so long ago now (July 22 I started typing this, about 10 days after it happened…it is now September 25, over two months later) that I am not sure I can remember everything. So I am just going to post the photos and caption what I can.

My three favorite children.

In this one, the uncles took the kiddos down the slide. Nick holding Cam, Zack holding Arionna (they were too short to go by themselves) and then Simon went alone. But he was scared at the last second, so Uncle Zack is holding his hand as they slide down.

Arionna and I on the Tilt-A-Whirl, ready to get spinning.

Simon and I on the same ride….we wouldn’t all fit in the photo, so we did it in increments.

This little boy won this green dog all by himself and was so proud. And a ticket for rides was covering part of my camera lens.

Playing a game we know Cam can win.

Cam won the hammer at the fishing pond.

Just because.

IN this one…I wanted to ride the Tilt-A-Whirl, because I love it. My favorite ride. So I asked Simon and Arionna but they wouldn’t go on it. So I shrugged and grabbed Cam to go do the ride. As soon as they saw us lining up, they were all in. So I took all three kids. Unfortunately, I forgot how much force Tilt-A-Whirls exert. By the time the ride was over, Cam was bawling. Ooops. Not for 18 months olds. But the bigger two liked it, so we went again.

I also took all three on the carousel. I still love carousels as well. I never grew out of them.

And thus endeth the brief tale of how my entire family went to the RC fair. It was fun, and a beautiful summer night. Ranks as one of the good memories of the summer of 2014.

Cleaning Email

I was cleaning up my email this morning and I saw a folder marked “Arionna”. It seemed weird to me because I couldn’t imagine what I would have in that folder. Turns out, it’s a folder of email pictures from before I started using Flickr.

So there are such gems as:

S/W Ver: 9E.01.17R

That’s my darling niece, at one week old. Kind of takes your breath away, doesn’t it? Also, that is the onesie she was wearing during her newborn photos (including the one framed in my house) which must have been this day.

Today, just over four years later, she looks like this:


And she’s still my darling girl. I am so grateful for photographs, it’s amazing to be able to look back and remember.

Four and One

I have birthday posts coming up for them, but until then, here’s photos of Arionna turning four and Camden, turning one.




(I included that even though I don’t love the black and white here, the reason to use the conservatory is for the great light and amazing colors, which you lose in BW).


This is a beautiful photo, even though she looks stiff as a board. This other one is better…my favorite of her.


Yep, love that.

Little guy? Far less cooperative. He would not sit for a picture without Arionna, so there are none of him alone. All the solo shots she had to get by zooming or getting closer to cut out big sis, and he didn’t love that either.


Even though he is not smiling, I do love that pic, I used it in his frame.

This was one of my favorites of the two of them together.


But not my all time favorite, that honor went to this little gem.


Kierstie was trying to get him standing and her sitting, but right in the middle, he just bent over and put his head on her shoulder, snuggling in. It melts me. Such a perfect capture of their ages. He could care less and she’s still trying to sit and smile like she was supposed to. Four and one.


Thirty Five – Part IV

Can you believe it is my actual birthday already?

For this day, I decided to have lunch with my family. My mom was making her famous corned beef and cabbage, which she makes for St. Patty’s day, but I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it on the holiday, so my birthday it was. Simon was going to be there to celebrate, and I invited Kelly and the kids to join us.

Lunch was excellent, as always. The kids were a bit thrown by the food, it was not food any of them are used to eating, but they still did well. Then we did some presents. Victoria, Christian, and Brecken got me a beautiful purple watch. I haven’t worn a watch in years, so it was surprising, but I also don’t have one, so it was great. I’ve worn it far more than I expected to!

My amazing mother MADE me beautiful wine glasses. She hand painted them in different colors. They are so me. If I had seen them in a store, I would have probably bought them.
My sister and her family got me a gorgeous silver bracelet from Stella and Dot. It, too, went perfect with my planned evening outfit.

Then, of course, I wanted photos with the kids for my birthday, like last year.
Me Kids Edit

And since they were there, I wanted pictures with Kelly’s kids as well. I don’t know if I have any of me with all three of her kids…but I do now.
(Notice B and I coordinated the rocking striped look!)

And I love this photo, me with my only niece…and Simon in the background.

My sister took this of Brecken because very little is as cute as a baby sucking its thumb. I’ve said this to Kelly over and over again and how much I wanted a pic of him sucking his thumb. But she had never given me one, for whatever reason. I think she thought she had. Anyway, that comment got me an addition to my birthday present.

My birthday cake (the second one!).

What I enjoy about that photo is the two lonely sippy cups in the picture.

And then after everyone had left, it was just me and my mom and Simon hanging out. I asked for a photo with my little buddy because he’s getting so big and we don’t really do that anymore. And that is another treasure from my birthday experience.

(and you can see my new purple watch in that picture)

So the rest of the afternoon was just chatting, talking, and hanging out. It was so relaxed and low key, I absolutely loved it.

Boy, even writing about all my celebrations is exhausting….imagine how I felt living them!

Thirty Five – Part I

Well, it’s official, I’m 35. I’m feeling pretty good about this year. The festivities for this year were unusual. We began the week prior with a birthday dinner. Tom and Mindy hosted, Elena, Niki, and Finn were the other guests.

Mindy made an amazing meal, tarragon chicken with harissa sauce and braised black lentils.


It was as beautiful as it was delicious.



Me with the little lads. Lewie was determined not to look, though you can clearly tell he IS smiling. Finn and Clay were much more cooperative.

Here’s a shot of the adults:



Clay was kind enough to take these for us.

Then he asked if he could take some more.

Here’s just the ladies:


Yes, we look a little weird….

My amazing birthday cake that Mindy made and Lewie decorated.

Then Clay took this one of Finn and me, one of my favorite birthday photos.

Then we wanted a better ladies pic, so we enlisted Tom to help us out.

After that, it was game time, we just sat around and chatted and played board games. I love that Clay is big enough to play adult trivia games, but is still little boy enough to sit on his daddy’s lap.


It was an amazing experience, full of laughter, friends, good food, good drink, and shots of whiskey. What more could a girl ask for?

***Edited to ADD*** I cannot believe I forgot to mention this as it was my favorite part of the night. Clayton, just shy of 10 years old, plays the trombone at school. He was chosen for the trombone because he has the longest arms. Anyway, I knew he played, but he would never play for me. But that day, for my birthday, he had gone online and printed the sheet music for Happy Birthday and then, in front of audience, never having played it before, he played the song for me. He did amazing. Then he played it again and everyone sang along. It was so special to me, I don’t want to forget it. I wanted to record it, but I didn’t want to embarrass him, so I just sat and listened and enjoyed. Thanks, Clay! I loved that gift from you.

You Are One

Happy Happy Happy Birthday, Cam-Cam!

Today, on this very day, you are a year old. A more gorgeous little boy, I’ve never met. And with your laid-back, sunny personality, you’re just a delight to be around. Even when you’re tired and crying, you’re still the best little boy I know.

One year ago, today, I wrote this post, to celebrate your birth. It’s not super long on sentiment, but chock full of photos. It was hard for me to write, because I felt so very much when you were born. You were the first baby I’ve ever seen born. I was there, in the room, watching as you slipped into this world. It was very, very, different than what I felt on the day your sister was born, or on the day that Simon was born. It gives you and I an extra special bond that I don’t have with anyone else.


Here’s what I know. Despite my best intentions, I did not do the monthly photos of you and blog them, rigorously, as I did for your sister. I tried. Evidently the old adage that things taper off for the second is true, I slacked on pictures. Not shockingly so, believe me, dude, at over 600 photos, I’ve gotten plenty of documentation of your short life so far.


 I also know that it’s more precious to spend time with you because you have an older sister. I love your sister bunches and bunches, but she demands a lot of attention (almost four will do that….you will too, when you’re almost four). While she is a delight and a joy and I can’t get enough of her (as you likewise feel) sometimes it’s nice to just be with you. To watch your face. To wonder what you are thinking of when you stare at me with that befuddled expression. To be curious as to what you feel when you touch my face or stick your fingers in my mouth.

You are a wonder and a delight, Camden, and you bring me so much joy. It’s kind of absurd, really, how happy you can make me, being so small.


 Your birthday party is this weekend and I know you’ll be overwhelmed and hugged and kissed to death. Your tiny family party is tonight and I know that you’ll be overwhelmed and hugged and kissed to death. In the sea of all these hugs and kisses, I’ll be there, loving you and wishing you happy. But, between you and me, on your birthday, I just want you to know, I simply could not love you more.


 (that’s my favorite picture of us….so far!)

Happy Birthday, Cam!

Love forever,

Auntie Livi

Sundog Birthday

Dear Christian,

This morning, when I woke up, I didn’t know what kind of day it would be. Do you ever feel that way? Maybe yesterday was a long day or a tiring day or a fun day and you just don’t know what to expect from the day in front of you. This is how I felt today. Then, I remembered that today is your birthday. It made me smile to think of you this morning and that good feeling helped me think that today would be a good day.

(my goodness, how BIG you’re getting!)

On my drive to work, I then saw something extraordinary in the sky. I saw a rainbow. Did you know that rainbows in the winter are EXTREMELY rare? They almost never happen. In fact, they are so rare, they actually aren’t even called rainbows, they gave them a different name, sun dog. I suppose that means I saw a sun dog this morning. On your birthday. For something that special, I knew it meant it would be a terrific day, to mark another year of a terrific, wonderful, little friend of mine.

(Do you see the sun dog?)

I hope you have a wonderful birthday, I hope you stayed warm on this, one of the coldest days of the year. I love you and I’m so excited to spend time with you as a six year old! Thank you for being my friend and always bringing a smile to my face. Happy birthday to you, Christian.

Love, Olivia



Nine Months

Yesterday was Camden’s 9 month birthday. I stopped by to visit him and took just a few photos. It’s also a chance to show off his new haircut, minus all his delicious curls (Halloween photos coming…so you’ll see the curls).


 Of course, he was more than happy to mug for the camera with his favorite Auntie!


He was so sleepy, ready for bed when I took that. But still on the verge of smiling….


 But, just a moment later….I got a huge grin and a brief shot of his baby teeth.
 And we’ll end with what is my favorite photo of the entire fall, taken just two weeks ago. (When he still had his curls!)

Happy birthday adorable boy! I can’t believe it is only three months until you turn one!
Love you! Auntie Livi

Say Cheese!

With Halloween creeping up (tomorrow!) I thought it a good time to post a cute Halloween costume. My cousin Sara’s daughter, Hadley. This is what she wanted to be for Halloween this year.

Tell me you didn’t smile when you saw that? Who doesn’t love a little girl who wants to go as CHEESE?!? It was Hadley’s idea, but Sara MADE THE COSTUME. She did a great job, right?
Hadley’s big brother, Hunter, wanted to be Sonic the hedgehog. Typical boy, but he wears it well, very cute.

And here are both kids, starting college.

Ah, they grow up so fast!
Happy Early Halloween!