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.

Untitled
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.

Untitled
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:

14246349826_861f3abf73_b

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.

809101325005_921643989005_1000_0002

809101333005_921645069005_1000_0010

809101336005_921190123005_1000_0013

(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).

809101346005_921645073005_1000_0023

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

809101364005_921645082005_1000_0041

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.

809101362005_921190137005_1000_0039

809101359005_921190132005_1000_0036
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.

809101370005_921644035005_1000_0047

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

809101372005_921644039005_1000_0049

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.
P3150193
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.
P3150195
2014
Me Kids Edit
2013

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.
P3150203
(Notice B and I coordinated the rocking striped look!)

And I love this photo, me with my only niece…and Simon in the background.
P3150192

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.
P3150206

My birthday cake (the second one!).
P3150207

P3150209
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.
P3150211

(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.
Untitled

 

It was as beautiful as it was delicious.

P3080161

 

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:

P3080170

 

Clay was kind enough to take these for us.

Then he asked if he could take some more.

Here’s just the ladies:
P3080166

 

Yes, we look a little weird….

My amazing birthday cake that Mindy made and Lewie decorated.
P3080158

Then Clay took this one of Finn and me, one of my favorite birthday photos.
P3080176

Then we wanted a better ladies pic, so we enlisted Tom to help us out.
P3080184

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.

Untitled

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.

photo

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.

photo

 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.

photo

 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.

photo

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

Happy Birthday, Cam!

Love forever,

Auntie Livi