Hello friends, it’s so nice to have warm weather in Minnesota – we’ve been spending as much time as possible soaking up the weather. Of course, the kids have much more opportunity to do that than I do – swimming at the pool and playing outside each day. They’ve had a great summer so far, filled with fun activities and extra time with their Dad.

acting campThere have been swimming lessons and fun days just playing at the pool, which we try to do each summer. This year they tried an acting workshop by Stages Theater for the first time, which was a HUGE hit! They loved it! They were in the “How to Train Your Dragon” play and spent a full week learning all about acting – memorizing lines, making their own costumes, rehearsing and acting! Parents were invited to watch the play at the end of the week. Alex and Avery have already asked if they can go to another acting workshop next summer. I’m sure it helped build their confidence for acting and presenting – after being on a big stage in front of a few hundred parents.

Avery also took an electricity class and Alex was in a Harry Potter “class” (notice “class” in quotes) which they both enjoyed and now they are taking a computer game programming class this week. They love trying new things and meeting new people and that makes me very happy. They also loosely kept up with karate, trying to hit at least one class a week (instead of two) because they still enjoy it and I don’t want them to fall too far behind.


monarchWe also have been trying to raise Monarch butterflies this summer. My friend Darcie of Gust Gab has been doing this for quite some time and has been teaching us the ropes. Of course we’ve raised butterflies before, but it was a bit different because we bought the caterpillars online and they were shipped to us (still an amazing experience). This time we planted milkweed in the garden, courtesy of Darcie, and have been keeping an eye out for butterfly eggs. Once we find them, we bring them inside and take care of them until they hatch and watch the caterpillars grow until they turn into a chrysalid. We have had one butterfly make it all the way through the life cycle under our watch and we are now working on four more. Apparently very few Monarchs actually make it from an egg all the way to a butterfly – so every person who helps host them is making a difference and keeping the Monarch population from dying out. Keep an eye on my Marketing Mama instagram feed for pictures!

hedgehogSome of you probably know that my kids have wanted a pet for a very long time and I’ve been very hesitant because of my pet allergies. And, well, the great amount of responsibility that comes with having one. But this summer the kids got to try out being hedgehog owners! We hosted Jinx the hedgehog for one week while his owners were out of town. Alex and Avery were great about taking care of Jinx – feeding him, cleaning his cage and playing with him. But by the end of the week we realized that a hedgehog isn’t really the best pet for us for a few reasons. First, it can’t cuddle with you because they are spiky and it can actually hurt to hold them – the kids wore gloves whenever they picked up Jinx to protect their hands. Hedgehogs sleep most of the time and when you take them out to play with them, you are really just watching them run around. And cleaning up after them. It was a great learning experience for the kids and they really enjoyed it. But we won’t be buying a hedgehog anytime soon. However, we WILL be getting another type of pet (a very cuddly one) in a few weeks. You can see a sneak peek on Instagram (check the sidebar here) if you can’t wait. 🙂

tubingMy cousin Tara bought a new house on a lake this year, so we’ve taken advantage of the opportunity for the kids to experience lake life! They have a blast with their cousins and get to swim, kayak, float and go tubing behind the boat. We spent a night there a few weeks ago and it was so much fun for them be able to have unlimited time on the lake with their cousins. In fact, they were both surprised I was going to spend the night, too, since I usually leave them alone for cousin sleepovers! It really made me think long and hard about living on a lake someday. It seems so wonderful and I would love to be able to walk out on a porch in the morning and look at a lake. Not to mention boating around it all the time… well, when there’s not ice on it.

kayakingWe’ve spent time with Jason and his kids whenever we can – we like to grill, have bonfires and go out for frozen yogurt. We’re looking forward to taking some time off later this month with both our families to squeeze a little bit more fun out of summer.

I’ve been keeping very busy with work this summer, with some travel, and haven’t had as much down time to write as I would like. I try to keep up with Twitter and Instagram as those are less time consuming and fun.

indigo girlsOne of the highlights of my summer was going to an Indigo Girls concert (probably my 6th show). But this time was even more amazing because I was able to meet Emily Saliers, one of the Indigo Girls! My girlfriend Jenny had a personal connection to someone who knows Emily and we were able to get a pass to go backstage to meet her before the show. She was every bit of down-to-earth and friendly as I would have guessed. She was also very caring and kind and asked a lot of questions of us. I have loved the Indigo Girls since high school (especially Emily) and so it was a BIG highlight of my summer (life, really) to be able to meet her.

We’re starting to get ready for school, digging out uniforms this week and buying school supplies. Fall sports also started – Alex is in tackle football this fall and Avery is in soccer. Between the two of them we have activities four out of five nights a week. The great news is that it forces me to be outside and enjoy a little more summer (and fall) before it gets too cold.

Hope you’re all having a great summer, too. Looking forward to sharing our new pet news and pictures in a few weeks. 🙂

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