Mother's Day really started for me on Thursday as my boss told me to take a half day one day last week. I'd been working really hard on some new products and was picking up extra work since a couple members of my team transitioned to new roles. So on Thursday I left work at noon, ran some errands which took no time at all (is that what it was like pre-kid?), and then headed off for a massage. I was in dire need of a massage as I was dealing with a pain flare up that was on week 2 and didn't seem to be letting up. I decided to book the massage at Benessere, a place a friend recommended as they provided myofascial release massage. This is EXACTLY what I needed, but so many places don't know how to do it right. This place was right on - not only did I feel like she worked my trigger point/knot out of my back, but I felt totally zen when I left the place. I will be going back for sure (for those in the Minneapolis area, this place offers your first massage at half price).
Since I had a little bit of time (and my camera with) I went across the street and took some pictures of the river. I used to live in this area and walking down by the river is one of the things I miss most. Note to self: come back here soon when you have more time to stroll (and take more pictures, of course).
Then on Friday, Jesse and I got some alone time when Riley went to a carnival with a friend and her family. The carnival was at the school Riley will be attending next year so I think it was good, not only because she had fun, but because it provided her with more exposure to the building she'll be in for kindergarten. She had a blast, and came home with a goodie bag, her nails painted, a butterfly temporary tattoo, and her face painted like a cat.
On Saturday, I basically told Jesse some of the things I wanted to do for the weekend and we did them. I got time to myself, time as a family, one on one with Riley, time to work on a project, dinner out, and a visit to the park to take pictures - it was a busy day, but we pretty much did everything I wanted to do.
We started out the day at the gym, then went to Menard's to pick up some paint for Riley's room, and some pillows for our new deck furniture. Afterwards, while Jesse mowed the lawn, Riley and I hung out on the deck while she had a snack lunch (she absolutely did not want lunch - she wanted a snack. So I made her a snack lunch in an ice cube tray. It was a hit).
At some point we all headed inside where Jesse and I ate some of the beef stew he made and then I got some free time to work on Riley's room. We are doing some updates and the first step was clearing a few things out of her room and washing a wall where there used to be a wall sticker. I know it doesn't sound like a glamorous or relaxing time to myself moment, but the fact that I could be productive and not worry about what my kid was up to (or have guilt that I wasn't hanging out with her) was marvelous.
Riley eventually needed to rest so I was kicked out of her room and think I watched an episode of Vikings, some photography tutorials (I learned like 3 more editing techniques - so exciting for me!), and probably did random stuff around the house like laundry until I had to go wake Riley up.
We had yet to go to a park and take pictures as I requested so we decided to get dinner at McCoy's which is right next to Wolfe Park - one of my favorite places for Riley to play and for me to take pictures and it's close to home so that's a bonus.
They cut down all the weeds and grass around the pond which made it look a little rough, but it allowed me to get fairly close to these turtles. Glad I decided to bring my 50 mm lens for these pictures as my 35 mm lens has been living on my camera lately (the 35 mm is a great lens, but the 50 mm was better for these pictures).
My wish out of all this picture taking was to get a picture with my daughter. I don't have a lot of pictures with my mom and realized that I'm usually behind the camera myself so I am trying to be more intentional about getting in front of the camera, especially with my family.
I had to tickle her here to get a genuine smile out of her.
And then it turned into this.
Ok, I'll play along too.
This may look like a quiet father/daughter moment on the edge of the pond, but if you look closer you will see that they are spitting into the water. Apparently, the fish would all rush to the surface thinking it was food... and maybe it was for them.
Not sure if I'm proud of this or not, but she was pretty talented at this.
Riley was really into us taking pictures and often made suggestions as to where we should stand. She asked to wear my scarf so I had to capture a picture of her in it. She was beyond giving me a 'normal' face and was deep into goofball status at this point. So dramatic, this girl. "Hey Riley, can you bring it down a notch?"
"Like this mom?" Ugh, apparently my aristocratic daughter is ready for prep school, daaarrrling. I should also note that the next day Riley 'helped' me edit these photos. I tried to show her a little of what I was doing and would ask her for feedback, but her favorite part was when I asked her to name the picture for when I saved it. This one she dubbed "Mr. Face". Lolz.
Might as well capture pictures of my husband however I can.
Trying to leave the park, but silliness continued to prevail.
More turtles! Usually we see more ducks here, but this was certainly a turtle night.
We passed by a stage on the way out and I thought "this would be perfect for her silly pictures", but when she got on the stage she was suddenly all business. Go figure.
On Sunday, Jesse got up with Riley while I attempted to watch network TV in bed, but there wasn't anything worth watching so I headed downstairs and decided to make french toast. My crew had already eaten so it was all for me, but Jesse couldn't resist the smell and had a small piece himself. Such an easy thing to make - why don't I do this more often?
Jesse and Riley also gave me the sweetest card ever. I totally got all teary eyed as it listed out "what we love about mom". My favorite was when Riley wrote "she reads stories with meat night". Lol, actually, it said "she reads stories with me at night", but it looked like the first version which is almost better. Because of it, Jesse has suggested we start a meat night. Uh, ok. Another favorite was "we take pictures with mommy". Yes, we do.
Gifts with sentiments like this are the best. Its not so much about getting a gift, but being made to feel special. And these two made me feel super special. I love them so much. (Side note: I should mention that Jesse and I celebrated our 6th anniversary recently and he got me a book and a card while I got him nothing. I mention this since I totally called him out for not getting me anything for my birthday. We've never really given gifts before on our anniversary, but we always try to do something special. I've realized that the anniversary for Jesse is probably like the birthday for me. It's just a really special day.)
The rest of Sunday morning was pretty lazy - although I will say I transitioned out of my PJ's and into jeans way too early. That was a big miss on my part - I say one should stay in your pajamas or comfy clothes as long as possible. At one point we went to Byerlys, ate lunch and both Riley and Jesse took a nap before we headed out to an early dinner with my in-laws. We came home and went on a walk where we barely made it back home when it started pouring seconds after we got in the door.
Such a great weekend which ended with a tasty cup of tea and an intended half (but really an entire) scrumptious chocolate cupcake. The best way to end this wonderful weekend. I'm one lucky mommy.