Archive for the ‘Fun/Vacation’ Category

Wartburg Homecoming

This past weekend was my 10 year reunion at college.  It’s so hard to believe it’s been 10 years!  So much has changed!  I’ve moved across the country, gotten married, traveled to Jamaica and Hawaii, lived in 11 different places, welcomed 3 animals, and last but CERTAINLY not least, had 2 babies!

With the kids left safely at home with Grandma Sheree entertaining and chasing after them, we headed on out to Waverly, IA (about 5 hours away).  On our way there, we couldn’t decide what excited us most: seeing old friends, dining out without children, or sleeping in.  We then realized that I agreed to meet up with everyone at the parade on Saturday morning so our sleeping in dreams were taken away from us (at least for Saturday).

It was so much fun to be back on campus to see all of the things that have changed and all of the things that have stayed the same!  We snuck in to our old dorms, visited where we spent the MAJORITY of our time… The FAC  (Fine Arts Center), watched the football team dominate their homecoming game against The Dubuque Spartans, and ate very expensive croissants!

Engelbrecht Girls

Galena Girls +2

We were blessed with such a beautiful day so sitting through a great football game was a lot easier that we thought it would be at the beginning of the day when the temperature was in the low 40′s!  Before the football game, all of the alumni gathered in a tent to enjoy a very expensive croissant with veggies and apples while sharing our memories of days in the past.  It was almost like the past 10 years never happened and we could just jump back in to college mode.  It was so much fun!

Renee and I at the Game








Since we were SO far ahead in the game, we decided it was ok to head on out for supper!  Back in the day, we’d go take a nap for a few hours before heading on out for supper around 8!  BUT, our 10 years older bodies liked the idea of supper at 5 instead!  Renee really wanted some good Mexican food and I wanted Queso Blanco so Britta made sure to find just the restaurant!  Los Cabos in Cedar Falls was the pick and it hit the spot beautifully!  Margaritas and Sangrias all around for this group!  (But don’t worry, nobody had more than 2 as that’s all our parent induced tolerance allowed – except for Britta and Tory – they don’t have kids yet, so they can tolerate a bit more than us tired parents!)


Back at home…

Max ~ Tayden ~ Will

The kiddos seemed to be having a great time!  Grandma Sheree met up with Grandma Teresa (who was also entertaining her grandkids because their parents left them for a Pearl Jam concert!  I’m thinking Seth probably would have preferred to be with his cousin in the Cities at a concert instead of good old Waverly, IA… but he didn’t ever complain!) and Aunt Neen and they had so much fun!  They made Halloween cookies, a ghost family which currently resides in our kitchen, went to the zoo and played outside.  We were anticipating arriving home to some very happy, yet tired kiddos!

Now, back in Iowa we had finished up our supper and decided to convene back at the hotel for after dinner drinks.  I mean, back in the day, we surely would have headed to Joe’s or something to dance the night away, but that was in no way going to happen tonight!  As the night wore on and the clock neared 10pm we started yawning.  We managed to make it until around 11pm before we called it a night!  That’s late for us parents, you know!  We finally got to sleep in the following morning (you know, past 7am) and met at Ihop before departing in our separate ways for our homes to be reunited with our adorable kiddos!

All in all it was a great weekend and we look forward to our 15 year reunion!  We hear that we actually get to eat our reunion meal inside and might actually get served food on real plates!  Wahoo!

Tayden and Evalyn were so happy to see us when we got home and I’m sure Grandma was ready to go sleep in her own bed again too!

Evalyn is still enjoying the swag I brought back for her :-)

Future Wartburg Cheerleader?

We went on Vacation!

For the third year in a row we headed to The Dells as a family so Seth could attend That Conference. While we played at the Kalahari water park, Seth would network and attend sessions (and occasionally meet up with us for a trip or two around the lazy river and a ride down the water slide).  We were lucky enough that my mom was able to come with to help out with the kids which was so great because then one of us could stay back with Evalyn while she napped and the other could go out to play with Tayden.  We also met up with one of my college friends, Renee and her two boys Jackson and Max as well as Seth’s Dad and Sandi.  That’s what so great about our little vacation in The Dells!  We have family and friends so close!  Each year it also gets to be more fun because the kids are older and able to enjoy the rides more!  Tayden even finally realized that when you put tokens into a machine, you can actually play the game!

Evalyn, our sweet little 13 month old baby girl is FEARLESS!  She went up and down the slides without abandon and got water in her face like nobody’s business.  We were so proud of her as Tayden cried during his baths up until – who am I kidding, he may still cry if he gets too much water in his eyes! (Sorry, these pics are blurry – they were the best we got!)












There was a day where the local zoo brought animals in for the kids to pet and Tayden loved that!  He was up in the front the majority of the time (unless he was following the tortoise around) trying to pet the animals and listening to what the zookeepers were saying!  It was adorable!  It just reminded to him that he really did want a fox birthday cake!  It seems to be all he can talk about whenever his birthday is brought up!

Petting the tiger

Grandma Barb and Evalyn

Makin' music on the tree!

Our trip to The Dells sure was a fun one and we cherish all of the memories we made!  There were water slides, lazy rivers, dippin’ dots, pizzas, musical turtles, hot plates meals, cool neighbors, vanilla lattes, tigers, beach balls and so many more! We look forward to our 4th annual trip next year!  Tayden’s wish is to take a Duck Boat tour!

Underwater swimmer

Tayden got an owie

Eva and Petey Boy

Renee and her boys!

Renaissance Festival

This past weekend I went with Roosevelt HS Marching Band for our first competition in the cities at Rosemount HS.  We did ok for our first show, but we are excited to keep on working towards a better show. :-)

Seth and Dan drove up with Tayden and met up with my High School friend Jayme to get Tayden settled in for the night.  Then Jayme left them after making them an amazing pizza to come get me at Rosemount HS.  The next morning we headed to the Festival after a great breakfast of coconut pancakes (amazing), bacon (Even better) and bear sausage (you’ll have to ask Seth how it tasted!).  Yes, you read that right, she made a GREAT breakfast which included BEAR sausage!  Her boyfriend Joel and his dad are avid hunters and I believe this bear was Joel’s dad’s catch up by their cabin in Northern Minnesota.

Anyway, the Festival!  It was a lot of fun and there were SO many people there!  I think Seth is getting excited to bring Tayden back when he’s a bit older so he can show him actual swords and all things Renaissance-like!  Even though I did not eat a turkey leg, I managed to eat a bunch of unhealthy foods such as caramel apples, a corn dog (because Tayden would eat it), a raspberry chocolate truffle, some of Seth’s Salted Caramel Cupcake and I had no regrets!  We were running out of time and Seth and Dan requested that we at least make it to the other side of the Festival Area.  I wish we had gone there sooner because the crowd was much more spread out and the animals were there (hence Tayden’s favorite part!).  I didn’t take many pics but here is what I got!  You’ll have to use your imagination when it comes to the kinds of sights (and people) we saw there, these are just of Tayden!


Trip to Wisconsin Dells Part II

As promised, here are the remainder of the photos from our Dells trip!  Grandpa Marc came to play with us a bit and enjoyed a nice dinner with us before heading  back home!  We had such a good time in the Dells and are already talking about our trip next year!

I love this picture of Tayden!  If you look closely, you’ll see his mouth is open as he’s super excited to be up this close to the gorilla!

These two photos ^^ were taken the last night we were there in front of the Elephant.  i had the 3 conference attendees jump in for their photo op. too!  (We were headed to the water park – hence the swim trunks!)

And below are the remainder of the pictures from our water park trip!  Grandpa Marc playing with Tayden and me watching!  (Note to self: if you don’t try to keep a smile on your face, you sometimes look upset!  Re: A picture taken of me at our wedding listening to the amazing Jasmine sing our unity candle song and I look so upset when in fact, I was just listening intently and loving every minute of her solo!)

Photo for reference:

1st Annual (hopefully) vacation/conference in The Dells!

This was a last minute decision for us, but it ended up that Tayden and I were able to join Seth and his two coworkers Tyler and Jackson on their trip to the Wisconsin Dells for a Conference.  I’m so glad we did!  We got to stay at the Kalahari Resort which is one that you drive by and wonder how much fun it would be to actually stay there!  Well it’s just that fun!  There are so many things to do and we weren’t even able to begin to do them all as Tayden was still a bit too young.

We were able to do the indoor and outdoor water park though.  Only one of the days seemed to be warm enough to go outside as the water out there is REALLY cold and Tayden wasn’t too fond of that!  The thing we noticed, however, was that there was a lot of spraying water on most of the kid’s slides and Tayden still isn’t over his fear of water splashing in his face so it did prove to be a bit of a challenge to get him up the steps and down a slide.  We did find one part of the park entitled “Tiko’s Watering Hole” that Tayden liked.  Seth and I had a chance to take Tayden down a few family slides and he LOVED that but time was limited so we only got to do those a few times!  Maybe we can try tonight as Grandpa Marc will be joining us at the park!

I was starting to get a bit sad at the fact that I was just able to watch people go down the slides while chasing Tayden and never really able to go down them myself until Jackson volunteered to watch Tayden so Seth and I could go play!  The park stayed open until 1:30 AM one night so the conference attendees and their families could go enjoy it.  And enjoy it, we did!  There is this slide affectionately known as the toilet bowl where you go through a covered tube and then into this huge bowl and you “swirl” down and fall through a big hole at the bottom.  The pool under the hole is 9+ feet deep!  I tried it and it was pretty fun but I only had the guts to do it once because it kind of hurt my back and man was I really disoriented after I fell into the water!!!  Seth did it a couple of times and then he was gutsy enough to do the plunge!  You go up to the tippy top of this slide and stand in this capsule and then the bottom falls from under your feet and you fall vertically!  Crazy Crazy slide!!!

The food here is also really good but tends to be super spendy so we (Tayden and I) are eating in our room as much as we can and trying not to get too jealous of daddy eating all of that nummy food at the conference!

Hopefully we can grab a few more pics tonight of how much fun we have been having!

Color Run!

This weekend my sisters, Seth and I met some of Traci’s friends up in Minneapolis to do the Color Run! We had such a blast!  Seth and Andrea decided that they would walk with Tayden so Traci and I could run as we kind of wanted to use this run as a mini workout to get us ready for our half marathon next weekend!

Tayden ended up spending lots of time on Seth’s shoulders as 3.2 miles does get tiring!  Andrea and Seth were such good sports to take him with and walk with him since we didn’t initially plan on taking him on the run and I didn’t bring a stroller to push him in!

After the color run we went to get some lunch and then headed back to the hotel to play in the water park!  We stayed at the Radisson in Bloomington so we got to enjoy the “Water Park of America” and it was soooo much fun!  Tayden is starting to become so much more brave in the water.  He went down a few slides and we even did the family tube slide which is a big huge tube that we all sat in and went down!  I think that one actually scared him though!  His favorite was sitting on our laps (which I don’t think was really allowed) and going down the body slides!  And he of course loved the little kid’s slide and become so comfortable with it that he was going down feet first on his tummy!!!  :-)

We didn’t get many pics at the water park since we used up most of our camera batteries at the color run!!

Race Weekend

This weekend marked the “2nd Annual” trip to Deadwood.  It was a very long drive there and even longer drive back!  Old Mc Donald Had a Farm was heard by all for about 45 minutes straight.  I kid you not!  My family was quite appreciative that I have a decent voice!  :/
Traci ran the half marathon while Kristine Dineen, Myself, Dan Overby, Andrea, and my Dad ran the Marathon Relay.  Aside from Mr. Bobby Dineen, Seth, and Dan dropping Kristine off at the WRONG starting point, the race went great!

Here is a picture of the finishers!  I think most of us were very happy with the way we ran.  I was probably the only one who was dissatisfied with my run.  I guess having a baby, crappy weather, and not training as much as needed didn’t help an uphill and very warm run.  Oh well!  It was fun nonetheless!!

After we all healed from our runs, we had a great dinner.  Then the next day we stopped at Reptile Gardens!  That was fun.  As you can see Tayden was prepared with his Alligator top.  We were able to meet Methuselah, the oldest turtle there.  She will be 130 in a few days!

Oh yeah!  And it was Seth and my 2nd Anniversary too!  :)   We didn’t get any pictures together though.  Oops!

So this past weekend Seth and I brought our friends Laura and Wes to Spirit Lake with us for a mini Vacation.  Well it was more like a vacation to them than it was to us, but that’s ok!  We had a blast.  We ate some Mexican food on Friday night when we got there and then on Saturday we did “Art in the Park” where I saw my old art teacher and his funky little tea pots and then it was off to the Ritz for fishbowls and pizza.  It was pretty cold that day so we didn’t end up out on the boat at all.  After the Ritz and a round of Mini Golf we decided to hit the movie The Ugly Truth.

It has Katherine Heigel and Gerard Butler and was much funnier than we thought it would be.  Seth was pleased that the comedy in the movie was geared towards both men and women!  The plot was basically about the womanizer (Gerard) who says he knows everything there is to know about women and men and challenges (Katherine) in saying that he can get her the guy if she does everything she tells him to do.  BUT after Katherine gets the guy, I bet nobody can guess what happens!  You’ll have to watch it to see!  :)   Anyway, it was a cute movie.

I didn’t have any great pictures of our friends as the one I took turned out pretty poor, but I do have these two!!  One is of Traci and I, and the other is of Seth and I.

blog-009 blog-008

My first official week off!

Well, since the wedding I’ve found my self quite busy with giving lessons or attending summer education camps or playing in the summer musical or working with the middle school or high school marching band…

I feel as though it would be a bit odd to write tons about the wedding/honeymoon  since most of you who cared about how it went were either there at the wedding or have since asked about the honeymoon!

AND..if you want to see pictures, Seth has a link on his blog to the picasa website  :)
(Yes, that’s me being lazy on figuring out how to link it myself)  To be honest, the lack of blog entries is due to the fact that I don’t sit down at the computer very often unless I have to!

Here is a recap of what has happened for the past month in my life…

~About a month and a half ago I became a Larson it was exciting and everything I’d imagined it would be!  I had a blast
~I went to Jamaica and had great food and slept a lot…Seth was there too ;)
~I’ve given 3 weeks of summer lessons and have one week left (next week).  I give them Monday-Thursday from about 9 until 4
~I’m in the Summer Musical Production of Sound of Music.  When I say “In it” I’m actually playing for the orchestra, so I’m having tons of fun.  I’m considering auditioning for a singing part next summer, so we’ll see if I actually get the courage to do so!
~I’ve been working with the MS Marching band students to get them ready for the Sounds of Summer Parade on Aug. 22nd and the HS Marching Band to work on their music for the upcoming Marching Band Season.  My summer officially ends on Aug 3rd in which I will spend almost every day with the HS students and the staff to get ready for their fall competitions.  I’m not quite ready to be done with my summer!
~I GOT NEW RUNNING SHOES TODAY!  I met my mom and sisters in SF prior to the show (Sound of Music) and did a little bit of shopping!  I can’t wait to try them out!

Oh and Seth and I are reviewing all the Harry Potter movies since I’m horrible at remembering movies so when we go see HP6, I’m not asking 50billion questions!  We’ve watched the first 3, so we now have to find time to watch the other 2!

Ok, for those of you who read all of this, sorry!  My life is boring and well quite busy.

Maybe I can be better and keeping it more up to date and learn how to post pictures so you are less bored with all the typing!

k, peace out

Also, for those of you who care,  Sheldon was nominated for an Emmy Award for his acting on Big Bang Theory!

29 Days left!

So last weekend was my first shower/bachelorette party and it was a blast!  Traci, Renee, Sonja, Jayme, Sara, and Erica all took me out to a fabulous dinner at Ichibans (a Hibachi grill) and then to various ‘clubs’ in downtown Minneapolis.  The girls did create list of things for me to do and I got everything done!  I think the hardest ones to complete were the ones that included me having to ask men to buy me drinks!  I don’t like asking for that and most single men out there seemed to be cheap and only wanted to spend money on something that ensured them a good time.  Well obviously since I had my whole bachelorette ‘garb’ on and a ring on my finger, the men weren’t super excited to buy drinks for me!   Heh, oh well, I got it done anyway!  :)

Then I had another work shower on Monday and that was very nice!  Two of the ladies went together and bought me plants for my front yard and then one of the ladie’s sons came and planted them for me!  So now the front of my house is beautiful!  We won’t get into the inside of it as I’ve been so busy that my house seems to be a place to sleep lately!  Oh well, it’s a good busy!  It’s ok though because my back has been bothering me since this past weekend (too much dancing in heels, I think) so I can’t really clean like crazy anyway.  Folding laundry last night was a chore.  :(

Since my back is so sore, I’m debating on kickboxing tonight.  I ran on Tuesday night and I think that made it worse because yesterday was pretty bad and today isnt’ any better!  Ugh!  I can’t maintain a beautiful wedding figure if I can’t work out!!!

Plans for the next few weeks!!!  (This is mainly for Seth!!)
This weekend shopping in SF on Saturday and Surprise visit to Seth’s mom for Mother’s Day on Sunday
Next Thursday May 14th band concert
Saturday May 16th SF Shower (Sonja are you coming out with us that evening?  YOU SHOULD!!)
Week of the 18th Crazy beginner band week…meetings galore
Saturday May 23rd SL Shower, final fitting, meet with cake lady etc…
June 4th all groomsmen arrive and pick up tuxes and make sure they fit and then we procede to the Rehearsal at 6:30 (I think) and followed by the Groom’s Dinner
June 5th Marry Seth!!!!