Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas 2014

We are home and I am back at work today from a full week off and back in Chicago!  The 3 of us had a fantastic time, we got to see almost everyone (although some visits were way too short) and Rory really got into Christmas this year!

We drove home Saturday morning (12/20) bright and early.  I think we hit the road at 6:15am.  Our goal was make it home it time for GG's 90th Birthday Party.  Rory did great, although we expected her to fall back asleep for a little while and she never did.  She watched Mickey with her headphones on most the time.  Tim hung out in the back with her, and I drove and listened to podcasts (Obsessed with Serial right now!).

We made it in time for Rory to take a nap and we met everyone at the Restaurant for the party!  We then left Rory with Marybeth and went to our second party of the night.  Rory got to have a sleepover with her cousins which they all love!  

The next couple of days Rory and I stayed at my Mom and Michael's.  My Mom gave Rory a sled and these fake snowballs and Rory loved putting all the snowballs in the sled with all the stuffed animals in the house and dragging it around.

The unexpected highlight of the couple of days though was a trip we took to Jump Zone.  Rory (and my Mom) had so much fun jumping around on all the inflatables!

I had to catch her in the middle so excuse the awful camera work, but I think this video is hilarious!

We also got to see Nikki, Phil, Maddie and meet baby Sarah!  I finally got to give them the Sarah Bear-a blanket I had made.  After hogging Sarah for an hour we went to the coolest place for lunch with just the older girls!  2 Toots delivers all the food on a train!  Which Rory loved!  Tuesday night I met Loni for dinner, a highlight of the week because I miss her like crazy, got to catch up and eat horseradish crusted meat, yum!

Let's see, this brings us to Wednesday.  We got to see Amy and Caleb briefly at Blast Zone!  We had dinner at Andrew's house - personal pizza's (stealing this idea for my next party) and the kids got to run around and play.  Rory has such a blast with her 3 cousins, its so fun to watch them play together.  

Christmas morning was great!  Rory was the most grateful kid I've ever seen (not that I've seen a ton of kids open gifts Christmas morning).  Each gift she wanted to play with right away and showed genuine excitement about!  Rory's favorite by far was her own Christmas tree.  We are not sure where she came up with this idea, but it was the one thing she was consistent on whenever I would ask what she wanted.  She would say "A Christmas tree my size that I can keep in my room."  Rory got a set of lights, garland, and ornaments to decorate!  She put it all together right away!  Rory also got a LeapPad 2 which she really likes.  Amazing how fast she figured out how to use the stylus on it.

Tim did a great job too!  A pair of Sorel's, North Face sweatshirt, Spyder pullover and Starbucks cold cup!  So excited about all of it!  

We went to Marybeths house to have dinner and do the big exchange!  We had a great day and Rory did great.  She didn't get a nap so there were some questionable moments but she hung in there!

Friday we slept in a little bit.  We went to my Mom's to go see Auntie Pam for breakfast.  Tim and I got to get 2 workouts in!  A 3 miles walk around the neighborhood (48 degrees out!) and then later 3 miles at Lifetime.  We ate lunch at Franks for the Memories, made Fig Balsamic Pork Tenderloin and topped the day off with Frozen Yogurt.  Great Day!

Saturday before heading out we drove downtown to meet Lucy!  My Dad and Laura's new dog.  We knew this was going to be hard for Rory.  She is pretty afraid of dogs with the exception of a tiny dog named Nicki and the nicest dog ever Miller.  All other dogs she is afraid of.  She screamed and cried but eventually she got brave and gave Lucy the tiniest pet.  We had a great breakfast with them and then hit the road!

Rory did a great job on the car ride.  Sleeping for a couple hours then watching Mickey and playing on her LeapPad.

Sunday morning Rory got to open the rest of her gifts!  She got a Lego table, a couple stuffed animals, headphones, a hat with ear flaps and a few other things.  She loved everything!

Overall we had a fantastic Christmas.  I had Friday's off leading up and Tim and I really enjoyed having the day off and shopping together.  Ikea trip was a highlight!  

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tim and Erica Go To Garth!

You are going to get a lot more Daddy Blog Posts of Happening at the Husted Household.

Part of the "Husted Household" is that we now have the ability to do stuff without Rory.  This month, our big night out was to one of the Garth Brooks concerts at the Target Center.   We were joined by Ellen and Josh.  

Both Erica and I love country music.   And for me, my love of country music began with Garth Brooks and specifically Friends in Low Places and The Dance.   I'm 38, so Garth's career is tied to my high school and college years very closely.   

As a 17 year old city kid from Brookfield attending Business World camp at Carroll College in Waukesha, WI.   My first real experience in that environment had me interacting with a lot of farm kids from all over Wisconsin.   It was at the end of camp dance that I found out that the majority of people there loved country music and i remember hearing those two songs, the two biggest songs of Garth's career.

Erica and I went to the early Saturday show on the last weekend of his 11 show run.

Here is the Twin Cities Newspaper summary of the show:

Overall it was an amazing experience to see someone who is now a music legend and although there were flaws the overall experience was awesome.

First Garth is now 52 years old.  He is not in perfect shape although was quick to talk about being out of shape.  But clearly the show is built around that, there were breaks between every song and Tricia Yearwood's set falls in the middle which from what I could tell is another way Garth can pace himself.   Now that said, he is doing 2 shows a night on weekends and as many shows as tickets sell so everyone can see him; so pacing himself probably is the right strategy.

Garth played all the hits, all the songs anyone wanted to hear.  This is no garden party, he plays 2-3 songs from his new album and those have the words on the screen so you can sing along like all the other songs.  

Garth is great at getting the crowd to cheer for him.   He worked the crowd all night although after a while it was annoying how "amazed" he was by the cheers he gets from every crowd every night.  

I also created the Garth Brooks drinking game for every time he takes off his hat as a sign of respect to someone or the crowd for cheering.  

The crowd was VERY amateur hour.   It seemed much of the crowd fell into three unique demographics:

1.  40 somethings who don't go to many concerns and in many cases don't get to the "big city" much.  There seemed to be a lot of Outstate MN, Northern Wisconsin and Dakotas in the crowd, a lot of people who don't get out much; this was a special occasion to come to town.  

2.  Late 30's females who have never been on a horse or walked on a farm but have the "outfit" and "love Garth" and "love Whiskey".  

3.  Country Kids, the next generation of Garth fans

The crowd was fairly poor at singing along even though the words of every song are known by everyone, nowhere close to the perfect pacing of a Pearl Jam crowd for example.

All in all it was a fun night and the ability to get a night with just Erica and I is always fun.   Rory had fun with Frankie so in all everyone was happy.  

If Garth is coming to your city, go see the show!


Friday, September 5, 2014

Elkhart Lake 2014

My favorite vacation of the year is to Elkhart Lake WI.  This year I got Rory all hyped up to go too!  She even told her teacher that she was going on vacation to Elkhart Lake.  Of course Rors didn't realize most people have no clue where that is.

We went with Tim, my Mom, Michael and my Auntie Pam.  We mostly ate, swam, walked around, hung out and took a boat ride.  Rory was a ton of fun the whole time!

Here are some photos from our trip...

Rory outside the hotel on the first morning (wish I knew what happened to those sunglasses)...

This kid loves swimming...

Lunch at Off the Rail with my Mom - note we switch sunglasses on this trip.  We might trade back in Sept.

Auntie Pam and my Mom becoming part of the art...

If you ever wondered where I get my goofyness from...

We saw this great band from Oshkosh at the Tiki Hut.  So much fun!

Showing off her cute hairdo that Bubba did for her...

Just a photo of "The Hard Left"

On the boat!

Auntie Pam Driving the boat...

All of us...

My favorite sandwich in the world... My mouth is watering right now...


And of course, every road trip ends with a sleeping Rory photo...

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So Much Catching up to do!

Work has been busy, life has been busy.  I have just not been in the mood to blog.  Excuses, Excuses I know.  But really I have many topics to blog on!  I wanted to write a post on Nightmares/Night Terrors, Elkhart Lake and Rory's 3 year old post.  Its all coming I promise!  Till then how about some random photos from the last month or so.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

End O Line Train Museum

On the way to Sioux Falls over the 4th weekend, we stopped in Currie, MN to visit the End O Line train museum.  We thought this would be a fun way to break up the drive.  It turned out to be a good way to spend an hour, I think all 3 of us thought is was pretty cool.

Rory was super excited just to get out of the car.  But she also thought going to see trains would be really fun!


Neither Tim or I had ever actually been inside a train like this so we thought it was pretty neat.  For some reason Rory was completely freaked out of sitting on the beds.

We climbed up to the lookout area to check it out.  She was less scared of this.

We then went into the train garage and learned all about hobos, I made some reference to Polar Express in order to relate to Rory but I still don't think she got it.

We learned about crazy inventions they used to work on the train tracks.

And got to see HUGE trains!  Tim took lots of pictures.

We saw the town school house.  Rory (and I) had fun sitting at all the desks.

We got a kick out of the Rules for Teachers in 1915.

And Rory got to sit at the teachers desk!

Fun pit stop for all!

Here's one other photo from a stop at a park earlier.  We tried to pose in the exact same position.

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