Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Snowman Christmas!

How adorable are these cuties in their matching snowman jammies? A wonderful Christmas memory! I just wish there was a sweet little two-and-a-half year old red-headed beauty in this photo with her cousins, a perfect spot for her right between John and Marian. The sting is still here on this third Christmas.

You are missed, baby girl.

Merry Christmas everyone!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Barrage of Activity.

We have been enjoying our time in Nord Dakotah. Lots of family time and fun and some screaming. Much bonding happening and I've taken around 300 photos of the cousins. Uff-da.

But here's a quick recap of what we've been up to...

Meeting our godson for the first time! Daniel Ryan, you are a sweet, chunky little joy!
We love you and your whole family!

This is what Eli thought of his first real experience with snow. No smiles during our sledding outing.

All the grands!
A quick visit with my Aunt Ruth. So special! Also got to see my grandparents' burial place.
We took a few hours to drive to Dickinson to see Chris' new house!
And a fun lunch with college friends! They look great even six years later!
Plus I got knoephla soup!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Floor In.

We are in ND and it's great but I wanted to mention the accomplishment we did before we left!

We got new flooring installed in our kitchen/entry way. No more linoleum. Not real wood (because we aren't that fancy) but some Pergo that I am loving. Super great.

These are the dudes that installed it:

And here's the sweet lady that entertained our boy so the big boys could get work done:

She was a favorite for sure! We are so glad for these friends. Wishing so much with them that Nathaniel, their son, was here for his first Christmas.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

We Three Kasowskis.

We made it to the tundra last night with all our luggage! After a day of flying with Eli, we are ready for a vacation. Uff-da. This morning we had an all-group photo shoot (glad that's over) and that got me thinking to share our us three photo shoot from a few weeks ago.

Here's a couple more shots that didn't make the "official card" cut.

He was seriously just wanting to run into the lake.

And the one that made the cut, the cutest one:

Thanks again to Michelle for her time and talent! If you didn't get a card in the mail and would like to, please let me know! Plus I had the place ship them directly and I know some addresses weren't current... so those cards could be stuck somewhere, en route to the North Pole, who knows.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chuck E Cheese.

Since we are heading out on Saturday, we are missing a few things here at home. And one of those important things is two sweet girls' birthday. Chloe and Mercy will be one next week! Since we are missing the party, we had our own party with them Tuesday at Chuck E Cheese. Greg, Eli and I had never been to this establishment before. I didn't know what to expect but we had a blast!

Trying to get all three in one sketch... not easy!
Some serious riders here!
Now they are having fun!
We all know Daddy was having more fun than Eli.
They all loved the merry-go-round.
This isn't weird, is it? We do LOVE this family!
Eli and Chloe were freaked out by ChuckE. Really, Eli is trying to run away. But Mercy loved that guy! 
Happy Birthday girls! We love you!
Jonathan and Rachel have a wonderful opportunity coming up in February to head to Uganda to work with orphan care there. Read about it here. Would you consider supporting them on their journey? Rachel is even having a little giveaway you can read about on her blog here. These friends of ours are some of the most giving people I know and I'm so happy to support them (and their mission) in this. If you have any questions, do ask me.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Last week I attempted to make the cookies (my MIL's sugar cookies). They were no where near her status but we made do. Luke came over to help decorate. I gave Eli a cookie to decorate and he ate it in 10 seconds flat. Shoulda known.

I told Luke he could use as many sprinkles as he wanted. So he did:

Eli did finally decorate a cookie and it turned out cute:

But then he really got into the sprinkles, too...

So we call it quits and made them head outside where this happened:

Then we had baths.

All in all, a very fun day with Eli and Luke.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012


When I say the word that describes worn clothes given to you, I call them "hammy downs." I think it was awhile ago when I realized that was not the case and recently Greg informed me again when I had it written on a list. "Hand-me-downs" just doesn't seem right to me, however, so I'm sticking with "hammy downs." Laugh at me, I don't care.

On a completely unrelated note, on my someday-to-do-list is to figure out a recipe for "hammy sammys" like my mom used to order every time we went to Burger Queen. It was ham and lettuce and some special sauce on a bun and it was good. Also, if you read Burger Queen and knew what I was talking about, obviously you are from around Williston. If not, you thought I was going loopy this morning. Burger Queen did exist, though, and it was pretty awesome in it's day. I would pay big money to go there with my mom and sister and share a milkshake today.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Party People.

Me getting photos organized this weekend did not happen. So much to share, so little time.

But I didn't want this to go without being documented. Today we had a 'lil Christmas party with our home group of friends. Last year Eli was the kid. And that was not the case this year!

We got a Darth, too. Can you spot him?
Eli, Caleb (9 mon), Chloe & Mercy (1 yr), Sophie (the newest at 6 weeks), Abigail (4 mon)

Grateful for these friends!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Stores and Shops.

I have enjoyed Christmas shopping because I truly love finding gifts for people. If there was a job shopping (online) for people, I would totally do it. I'm almost done with our lists (which feels good, my how I love a completed list) but I'm always up for a deal.

I learned a tidbit about two stores that I wanted to share in case you didn't know either:

Bed, Bath & Beyond. I knew you could use expired coupons there but I didn't know you could use more than one in one transaction! As long as you have the corresponding right amount of items or cost, you can use as many as you'd like at one time. I used four $5 off $15 purchase coupons and one 20% off one item coupon together. I rarely go there but they send me coupons all.the.time. Now I can save them and use them together!

Jo-Ann Fabric/Crafts. You can also use multiple coupons in one transaction here. They just need to be different barcodes. They always mail and e-mail me coupons. I used five 50% off coupons and one 40% coupon in one transaction last week. They were all different coupons, no copies or anything.

Also, if anyone is shopping at LL Bean, I have two 15% off your entire purchase coupon codes. They expire 12.22.12. Plus they have free shipping, no minimum and a $10 gift card if you spend $50. Here are the codes so first use, first get: NJ0509595430 and GW7107232400.

And lastly, if you want to shop chefscatalog.com, I have a free shipping code that expires 12/31. Leave a comment if you'd like that code because I don't have it in front of me.

Happy, joyful giving!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Toddler Here?

I've been saying for a few weeks now... Eli is definitely becoming a toddler. He has opinions on life he didn't have before. He is not as easily distracted. And he knows what he wants. But he can't quite communicate those wants and needs and feelings so that can cause some interesting moments.

He's a complete hoot all the while. I bust out laughing often. I will try to capture some of his 'isms on video to share soon. Soon... as in, when our life slows down a bit next week. Our days and nights have been packed but it'll slow down this weekend. I think. I hope to catch up on the blog then.

But for a teaser... here's a shot from our photoshoot with our friend, Michelle, who graciously took our pictures last Friday. We met Greg near work to do a quick shoot. I had everything ready, a plan for our outfits (my mom bought Eli this adorable set, complete with gray cords), and I told Michelle I just wanted one shot of us three smiling. Simple. Quick. No biggie, right? Especially with our little man who is usually into photo-taking and usually ready with a smile.

Enter in toddler-Eli. He saw the lake we were near. He wanted in. It was serious business. The whole time, he was just eyeing that lake, trying to get to it and getting upset when we wouldn't let him. Well, he did get one foot in once.

So here is what the shoot mostly looked like:

And really, this is more representing of our life now than a happy, posed three-of-us shot anyway!


Friday, November 30, 2012


Here's me and the man of my dreams.

Well, I usually have really wacky dreams but if I had normal, movie-like ones, he'd be my leading man for sure.

This was our quick trip to Myrtle and it was cold. But the ocean is still beautiful. And us posing without the kid doesn't happen often so I thought I'd share.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

19 Months.

I had a cute bath photo but we don't want to post those on here... but I wanted one from him today... so I cropped it. Here's our sweet boy during tonight's bath. Such a great gift, these nineteen months with him.

And today, just for Uncle Jeff, he has been saying "uh oh" pretty much non-stop. New favorite for him. It's quite cute.


Monday, November 26, 2012


Having my parents around has been wonderful. They are super talented and wise and helpful. Mostly I love how they are lovin' on Eli, forming a bond with him, teaching him stuff, playing around, and let's be honest: watching him so I can get stuff done! There's a whole new meaning to productive when I have live-in childcare!

It will be a sad, sad day come Wednesday when Eli looks up and doesn't have doting Grammy or goofy Gramps around.

I've been too busy to be on the computer (except some online shopping... I bought toilet paper online today for a great deal... yes, I did). No time for facebook or pinterest or blogs, not when I can have real face time with family. Plus my mom actually did some of my pinterest projects, I'll show you some later. 

We did take (and order) their Christmas cards today. And Eli kept photo-bombing them. Hilarious. I think he may have a complex... like an "all photo shoots must be about me" complex. I have created a monster. Sigh. To keep you hanging, here's a shot from our morning:

Pretty A-dorable.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Bambino Land.

I like to shop. Usually. I used to like to browse through stores, get a (crazy) good deal, find the perfect gift, or just enjoy the walking. But post-Eli, I don't get to do that much. I can online shop much easier though! 

Well, perhaps you like online shopping. And if you have a kid or are going to have one or if you need to buy a gift for a baby... I have a must-have. Really, on top of my so-stinkin-glad-we-have-these list.

Eli LOVES his muslin blankets. They are awesome for swaddling because they are made of breathable fabric. They are large, light, soft. They are also great for absorbing spit up, wiping noses, soothing... really they are Eli's go-to item even now, much past the swaddling stage. I highly suggest them.

Bambino Land is a small company based out of Winona, MN and they have the bestest, softest muslin blankets. If they made big people blankets, I would want one. I would suggest getting their blankets over the others out there... we have the others and these are better.

If you use this unique discount code (Q4D7), you can get 30% off and I get a $5 credit for referring you. I think this code expires on the 29th but it may be longer?! Also, for Black Friday, they have free shipping. UPDATE: THEY HAVE FREE SHIPPING FOR CYBER MONDAY TOO!

They are expensive. I remember people telling me they were a must-have and I gawked at the price. But now I know, totally worth it. Bambino Land sells other organic cotton items (I've never tried but I'm sure they are sweet too). They will also have deals periodically on their facebook page so like them to be in the know on that... though free shipping is rare.


Thursday, November 22, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for you, for reading my ramblings and caring about our lives.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day of Grandparents.

Sunday was a very special day for Mr. Eli.

He woke up in a hotel room in Myrtle Beach with his Grandma and Grandpa Kasowski.

And then he went to sleep for the night in his crib after a brief hello to his Grammy and Gramps Tysse.

It was THE DAY OF GRANDPARENTS! And it was legendary.

We got to spend a little over 24 hours with Greg's parents during a quick trip to MB (it was cold and completely not beachy, more pics to follow). And my parents are here for another week for Thanksgiving fun (more pics to be had).

Oh and the best news of the day is my Nikon was delivered, fixed and happy to see me. At least I think it is. I started taking photos within minutes of opening that box. 


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Welle Ladies Plus One.

One fun thing about being in MN visiting my sister and family was that Eli and I happened to be in the cities for the annual Welle Girls Weekend. A fun time for the females of Greg's mom's side of the family. I'm so very glad I was able to be there this year... and bring one little man into the mix. It was too short of time, but much fun was had with this crew:

Aunt Barb, Grandma, tired Eli, Great Grandma!, Me, Cousin Sarah, Cousin Emily, Amy
Thanks to Barb's exchange student, Elva, for the great photo. We had a blast and I'm so happy to be a part of this family!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Three Reds.

Three lovely cousins...

This was the best I got for photos in their cute outfits. Geesh. They are still adorable, of course, but I am quite out of sorts without my own camera.


Thursday, November 15, 2012


I sent my beloved Nikon in for service before heading to MN. Something has been finicky about it and I wanted it checked out before my warranty expired. Not having my camera with me is tough and I didn't take nearly the amount of photos I wanted while using my sister's camera. That also might have something to do with how we stayed inside most of the time. I like natural lighting outside photos, they are always the best. Sometimes you just have to let that go and capture the moment.

Here are a few of my favorite shots and favorite moments from our trip. I have no photos of our karaoke dance session. Darn.

First, my sister fed Eli some frozen custard from Culvers (I heart Culvers). Custard is ice cream but better. I didn't really know she was going to feed it to him... but she has the right to spoil I guess. He was a big fan. Big.

More!? She even got him to SAY more and thank you... which he has never done and hasn't done since.
He had a lot of energy after his sugar-fest.
Eli was dressed up in a bathrobe. Then Ava bossed him around some.
There was a lot of this too. Most of the time Eli was up for whatever shenanigans the girls could throw at him. Other times he just needed some peace and quiet.
And sometimes he was too quiet for awhile and I would find him into something... like the snack cupboard.
There was plenty of fun time with Uncle Jeff.

Aren't blanket forts the best?
And playing dress up?

I was going to get a really sweet photo of Eli and his aunt and uncle. I forgot. This is all I got.
More photos of the cousins soon...


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Toys.

At my sister's house are a few treasures of my childhood. And I thought to take a photo of Eli playing with these same things I played with. I'd like to find photos of me with these items and scan them... but well, I have laundry and a house to clean.

Our table and chairs (painted brown now)

Apra! Apee! If you ever were in my basement growing up, you saw our beloved giant stuffed ape.
Much great snuggling and pranks and Halloween decor with this guy.
Quite enjoyable to see Eli playing with things I once did.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Take 2.

Eli and I are back at home after a long day of travel yesterday.

We were stuck in traffic for a bit on the way to the airport because the roads were icy with a brushing of fresh snow. Then our flight kept getting delayed another five minutes, ten minutes, etc. It wasn't too bad but Eli was getting antsy waiting in the gate area. We made it on the plane, up in the air for 20 minutes and then heard the captain saying "We're going to have to turn back to the airport...something is wrong with the plane. Don't worry, though, the landing gear is fine. There will be fire trucks with lights following us when we land, but that's just a precautionary measure."

What?! But things were going so well! There was an empty seat next to us (praise God!) and Eli had already fallen asleep. Though to be fair, I was glad for them being safe. We turned around, landed with fire trucks and a police car escort, and unboarded the plane. And then waited (with no details or time frame) for them to fix the problem. They fixed it in an hour or so and we were off again... taking off the pilot said "thanks for flying with us, take two." This time we made it all the way to Charlotte with no issues I'm aware of. We were only three hours late I think, but it felt longer. The unknowns of it all and the twelve days of being on Eli sort of hit me like a brick the last hour of our flight.

Thankfully our little man flew like a champ. He had a few little moments but mostly he did great and was complimented on his good behavior by our plane-mates (consisting of all business travelers, one couple and a handful of hunters with their pheasant). To keep Eli behaved, I had the kindle with headphones (that he didn't keep on long), his new leaptop from the Lipperts, blankie, two books, and a whole lot of food. Plus, he basically got whatever he wanted.

Oh and that extra seat was still there. What a blessing. 

Love my traveling partner! More photos and stories from our trip soon.