Thursday, August 7, 2014

birthday buddies.

Adam and our niece Emeri share a birthday, August 1st. I still remember that day two years ago when Adam and I were mini-golfing for his birthday at Centennial Lakes Park in Edina. I got the call from Brittani. The call that any sister awaiting her first niece/nephews to be born could relate to. Active labor. Adam was getting upset that I wasn't paying attention to our mini-golfing, but he understood {for the most part}. After getting the call we rushed over to the hospital and met our beautiful niece a few hours later. I had given Adam a pin that said 'Birthday Boy' earlier that day, and he was ready to give it up, had their baby been a boy. Since then, it's always been special to celebrate both their birthdays on the same day. August 1st will always hold a special place in my heart.

This year Adam had the entire week off from school over his birthday. I decided to take Friday off of work so we could spend the day together and I'm so glad I did. We started off the day at Al's Breakfast. It is on the University of Minnesota's campus and was where we had our first date. They have amazing breakfast food. Huge portions, extra greasy, tons of toast. The type of place that puts you into a food coma and doesn't let you out until you take a nap. Some friends of our gave us a gift card there for our wedding and we finally got around to using it! We arrived around 8am and had to wait in line for about a half hour. This restaurant is quite literally the smallest restaurant I've ever seen. It consists of long counter top/bar with 10 barstools. Behind the barstools is two feet of walking space. That's it. There are 10 counter spots to eat and as people leave, they usher everybody to scoot down and new people sit in the newly freed end spots. The waitresses serve you from behind the bar and as people wait, they are standing directly behind you in that two feet of walking space. Definitely not the place you would take your grandparents to catch up on life or the place for a bible study to meet. It's unique, small, quick, charming, loud and delicious. A great start to our birthday adventures.

We headed home after that and succumbed to our food coma. We napped and leisurely packed our picnic bags for our next stop. We headed to the shores of Lake Minnetonka and found a great bench to post up on for a while {we may have also taken advantage of a Dairy Queen Birthday B.O.G.O coupon on our way there}. It was beautiful outside and we were not alone in our idea of taking advantage of it! We played with the volleyball, ate Triscuits, waded along the rocky coastline and eventually found ourselves a nice public beach to lay out on. We found spots in the sand, shaded by a giant oak tree and just talked. Our conversation ventured from how our weeks were, to our wedding day, how funny teenagers act at the beach, how cute the little boys make a sand castle were and everything in between. After spending a few hours on the beach, it was time for something else. Driving away from the beach, we took the long way home to look at houses around the Lake Minnetonka area. For those not familiar with the area, its it essentially mansion after mansion. All are beautiful and their styles are so unique. We found ourselves getting lost in thought, admiring and daydreaming as we drove along those windy roads.

Later that night we met up at our favorite little Italian restaurant, Mama's, with a group about 10 friends. A few friends were in town to run a 5k the next morning, so it timed out perfectly for Adam's birthday. It was so great seeing everyone, as most of us {our college friends} are fairly scattered around the Midwest. We dined on antipasto, pizza, mostaccioli, Italian fingers and ended our meal with their signature free ice cream cones! If you are ever in that area, I highly highly recommend Mama's. Their customer service is out of this world and the food is amazing. The cheese they use on their pizza and baked pastas is smoked and has a unbelievable flavor. Such a fun way to end Adam's birthday.

Saturday morning Adam headed up to Cragun's Resort on Gull Lake for our friend, Michael's, bachelor party. He had a great time and I got to spend my Saturday seeing friends and family! My friend Jackie and I grabbed lunch at Olive Garden, then I headed to Britt and Nate's house to help babysit and set up for Emeri's Toy Story birthday party. Brittani's decorations were spot on and it was so much fun having an evening with the little girls, while they attended an evening wedding. They are growing up so fast and I love every second I get with them. Instead of focusing on the fact that they're leaving in a few months, I try to live in the moment and soak up all their cuteness. They will never again be this little and I want to remember all the fun things we did together. I want to play with them, kiss them, tickle them and love on them as much as I can. It's the sweetest thing in the world hearing Emeri say 'Coco', while trying to get my attention. While I was putting her to bed on Saturday, I turned around to leave after putting her in her crib to her saying 'Coco! Coco! Tuck in, tuck in'. She wanted me to come back and tuck her in. I melted. It was so adorable. I turned around and as she laid on her back, I wrapped her pink blanket tight around her arms and legs like a little burrito. I kissed her goodnight and left again. I never want to forget moments like that. Her party the next day was so much fun. There were so many friends, family members and neighbors there. It was a madhouse! They rented a princess bouncy house and had a yummy taco bar. The decor was adorable and everyone had a great time. I can't believe she's two years old already! Time sure does fly by. I think birthdays are life's little way of reminding us to stop and smell the roses. It gives us at least one day a year to reflect on the past year, the ups and downs, the fun times and the hurdles we've overcome. Maybe this reflection isn't quite the birthday agenda of a two year old, but later down the road it will be. What a great day it was.

This pictures captures the charm and size of Al's

Lake Minnetonka

My Saturday night dates

Treat bags for the kiddos

Dessert Table!

Us with the birthday girl {grainy picture..}

A few of Adam's birthday presents. I was the 500th order on their website, so the entire order ended up being free! 

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