Up North 2017
After the wedding day, we spent a couple weeks at my parent's cabin on Lake Belle Taine in Nevis, MN. I can't believe last year's trip up North was what I documented when I first started this blog. I never thought I'd keep up with it as much as I have but I'm so thankful for it. The pictures are a constant reminder of how fast time flies.
Mostly though, blogging has been a break from the monotony of raising babies. Whenever I finish one post, my mind starts working on the next. Other mamas have other things that keep them going, I guess this is mine.
Here's a little run down of this year's Minnesota trip outside of the wedding festivities.
First we made the commute with our niece Rachie who was an enormous help throughout our travels. We learned how key her extra set of arms was when we flew on the return trip without them.
I have no idea what this young man's name is (pictured below) but he volunteered to model our gift bags that we handed out to nearby passengers. It's hard to see but the bag says "Dear Fellow Passenger, Please enjoy these treats and try to ignore our children. Thank you!"
We had some empty spots around us and this young man would have been the most likely to be caught up in our storm. He told us he comes from a family of 12 so our tiny family was nothing compared to the chaos he grew up with. He seemed to enjoy the chocolates though.
We noticed other people were kind of skeptical of taking candy from strangers. Even though they might have thrown out the bag when they got off, everyone seemed very kind despite our two-year-old tornado, Levi. The babies were easy...I can't imagine flying with the twins when they hit Levi's age. Yikes.
Grandpa Richard and Grandma Jean met us at the airport and graciously gave us their truck to use during our trip. They also gave us this donut as a welcome present. Objects in this picture are exactly as large as they appear. It's a Northfield Crazy Daze donut!
After making a pit stop at Shawn and Mandy's house in Maple Grove, we headed North to the wedding destination, Breezy Point, Minnesota. Right away Evy and I boarded the pontoon and hung out with all the ladies. I love this picture of me, my mom, and Ev. So fun!
We celebrated another woman in our lives later that evening. My Grandma Gladys (I always called her Grandma Goochin), had a birthday on the night of the rehearsal so my mom got a special cake and we sang. What a way to bring in year 45, right Gma!?
Skip past the wedding and here we are in Nevis, MN at the cabin. We were so thankful that our cousins shared their baby stuff with us. These high chairs were key during the trip, along with baby bouncers, pack and plays and other items. (Thanks Shawn, Jayme, Lynda, and Jim!)
And just like the babies, the big kids and adults like to eat too, so we headed to our favorite donut shop in town, Chops n' Pops Bakery. Yum.
Evy spent hours reliving her moment of glory. Here she is climbing on rocks in her flower girl dress, which she wore at least once every day.
And here she is enjoying the little park in Nevis with her brother. This is one of our daily stops when we visit the cabin. My parent's place is walking distance from town, which is great for little kids. They love riding the Ranger (my parent's four-wheeler) to the play set and then stopping for a treat at Muskie Waters.
The kids are having lollipops outside of Muskie Waters in the picture below. Levi took two licks and dropped it on the ground. Then, before I noticed he dropped it and long after the 5 second rule, he picked it up and continued to lick it.
In our house the 5 second rule has become the 5 minute rule.
Here are some fun moments in and around the lake. We had my friend Michelle and her kids come visit for a day, which has turned into a little tradition when we're at the cabin. Evy and Isla get along really well and connect over everything princess. Will and Levi will hopefully connect someday. At this point Levi is more into setting boundaries on who can touch his trucks. That whole sharing thing is a challenge (for all of us). He's getting better everyday though.
After Michelle's crew left, we had lots of family come up to play. The Schulte-Wieber side provided tons of fun. Lulu was in charge of braids for the week so Evy could be twinsies with her big cousins (that she adores). Everyone got lots of baby time, and it was interesting to see how the two handled all the attention. Carter is definitely our social guy. If he sees a face, he will smile at it, no matter if he knows that face or not. Beckett is more of a shy guy and likes to feel comfortable with people before he opens up.
I wonder if these traits will last sometimes, but for now they are very different both in looks and personality. I just love how unique God makes our little people. Honestly when they're babies it's hard not to think they'll be just like the bigger ones, but it doesn't take too long for the differences to appear. It makes everyday feel like I'm waking up to a Christmas tree with presents underneath filled with new quirks and personality traits. I love this part of parenting most of all.
More pictures of fun in the water. We played A LOT of volleyball, which was a dream come true for me. I love being active at the cabin. Whether it's volleyball, wakeboarding, swimming, biking, kayaking, or paddle boarding, I just love that I get to move and play all day. I'm so happy I found a husband who is the same way, with a family who loves to move too.
I have to give lots of thanks to all the helpers that made it possible for us to be so active. We had many willing babysitters and it made it really feel like a vacation from beginning to end. Thank you family!!
As if all the playing around the cabin wasn't enough, my mom went and signed us up for the Northwoods Triathlon that happens in town every year. Back when I was super pregnant and my parents were staying with us in our North Carolina home, my mom said how this race was on her bucket list. She convinced a bunch of us to join in, even me in my uber-preggo state. I figured it would be nice to have a goal and I didn't care if I came in dead last.
I recently saw the tagline "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." It definitely felt like I was riding that edge as I trained for this race. I am not a strong swimmer. Like I'm talking I can swim one lap of an indoor hotel pool and be completely winded. But I trusted my body enough to know that I could tread water, or do the back stroke, and survive 1/4 a mile.
In the two weeks we were at the cabin, we put in a lot of hours of training together. Having the Wiebers around made it extra fun. Mark's sister, Michelle, and brother-in-law Dave, are physical therapists and they own a practice in Faribault, MN called Wieber Physical Therapy. If you need inspiration, not only in your physical abilities, but also for life in general, you should contact these two. Their motivation is contagious and they are genuinely excited to bring health and wellness to everyone they meet.
I highly recommend "liking" their facebook page where they share blog posts that give great information about physical wellness, especially tips for staying active as you age. Be warned, you will be inspired to exercise. If you are comfortable on that couch, ignore this advice.
All that to say, it was nice having two experts around as us weekend warriors stepped up our training regimen. Here's a picture of all the competitors - from left to right - Shawn, Cindy, Mark, me, Dave, Michelle, and Brant (Dave and Michelle's son).
This picture above is of me, my mom, and my brother. We all finished without injuries! My time was around 1:48:13. I had a near panic attack during the swim when the next wave of competitors swam past me and kicked me in the head. It felt like the shore kept getting farther and farther away at times, but I made it. Yeah for the side stroke!
Here's me looking really great in my swim cap. Also, next time I won't stand next to a former collegiate, Olympic-level gymnast when I'm in a picture showcasing my arm muscles. Nice pipes Michelle!
This is the bike Dave loaned me for the race. I had never been on a true street racing bike before and I thought I had it figured out. But then during the race, everyone kept passing me on downhills, and I'd have to work my butt off to pass them going up. I kept wondering why Dave said it was such a fast bike and I knew I must have been doing something wrong. Sure enough I was working against myself. I somehow made the race even more difficult by only using the slowest gears.
Working harder, not smarter. A great motto to live by (as my dad always says).
Here's the Heartland Trail where the running part of the race was held. It's also where we spend a lot of time when we're up at the cabin.
As you can see, it's flat. Gloriously flat.
After the race, we went back to "cabining"...I'm making that a verb. We had more family up for the race weekend, including my grandparents (Kuehl, or Goochin as I call them), my uncle Greg, my uncle Brent, his wife Lindee, and my cousins Marshall and Tucker.
Here are the pictures I wanted more than any other pictures during our trip. The twins with the twins! Holy cuteness!
The picture above is of Brent with his boys. Brent is actually who got me started with photography a while ago. He asked me to take some pictures of the three of them and I was hooked. I love that we got some time with them during this trip. I miss these guys so much!
Below are some shots of the fishing crew. My dad arranges for Jeremy, a local fishing guide, to take people from the Schulte-Wieber clan for a big fishing excursion whenever they come. They catch the fish, then we have a big breakfast with sweet caramel rolls from Muskie Waters and fried bass, walleye, and whatever else they bring in. It's now a tradition and it started because Mark's dad, Richard, told us how this breakfast menu was one of his favorite memories growing up. Sweet rolls and fried fish. We all agree that the flavor combo is delectable and impossible for your taste buds to forget.
Evy had been asking for a camera for a long time so we finally got her one for our big Minnesota trip. She and I went on a photo walk one day and had fun comparing shots. You can check out what both of us captured on my instagram account - @mickandco.
The whole trip was a blast from top to bottom. We love our time in Minnesota. The place, the people, and the view can't be beat.