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why yes, i carry canvas bags to the farmers market.

only, saturday i carried a camera instead.

my friend sue and i decided the weather was way too perfect saturday to not do a walkabout with cameras at the st paul farmers market. luckily, we were both half an hour late to our meeting spot, breakfast at golden's deli across the street from the market. we giggled about that, giggled some more over our yummy veggie breakfast burritos and cappuccinos, then began our quest for shots of produce and flowers.

we were not let down.

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marc and i used to hit the minneapolis farmers market quite frequently when we lived in town, but i've always loved the st paul one more. truth be told, i kinda love st paul more. something about the history, the old buildings, the quiet little streets, the beautiful city parks ... love st paul. and the market has much more of a community feel to it.

see this guy?

IMG_7167 he's the roasted corn guy. he told me a joke about a cow:

what do you call a cow who's had her calf?





ha ha ha

so i had to tell HIM a cow joke in return.

knock knock

who's there?

interrupting cow.

interrupting co-


ha. get it? it's all in the delivery.

but he loved it, and immediately told it to the next lady in line.





and see this little sweetie? i don't think she trusted me or sue and our cameras that loved her so much.


no matter where her dad went in the family's booth, she kept her eyes trained on us. and MAN was she a cutie!


from the cute little old lady that one vendor greeted by name, to the couples holding hands, to the little kids who were sitting at the picnic table that is just for them and coloring pictures, to the local firemen ...


everyone loves the market. and sue and i had the best time.

and all the veggies looked delicious, and all the flowers were stunning. and there were so many different types that i couldn't pick a favorite. (see album here)



so gorgeous, in fact, that i will go back this weekend with my canvas bags. not the camera. and i will make my house beautiful for $20 or less.

i love the farmers market.

and now it's henry's turn:

while the kids were watching a show this morning, i heard henry speaking to his sister in a tone of voice we typically discourage. then i stopped to listen to what he was saying:


"harper! stop your auto debt NOW! stop it NOW, harper!"

he's mocking commercials. nice.


then, in the next second, he skipped over a commercial for a tinkerbell toy, causing a certain amount of distress to come from his sister. at which point mommy removed the remote from his hand and sent him upstairs to clean his room.

how can he go from funny little nut to no-more-tv-until-after-school-starts-in-10-days guy in a matter of nanoseconds?



"wow! that's america!"

harper's new catchphrase.

what does it mean? that's ... amazing? that's ... incredible? that's ... got some internal problems and some issues that need to be addressed in a logical, common-sense manner, but overall is still pretty darn great?

who knows.

but this morning, while eating her cinnamon life, she discovered a triple piece of cereal and exclaimed,

"wow! that's america!!"

well said, sweet pea.

back to my obsession

the very MINUTE we got home last weekend, my head immediately started obsessing over the housing situation we'll face in 18 months. the entire time we were gone i forgot to think about checking out different builders, i forgot to download floor plans and then rip them apart, i forgot to mock up decorating schemes for the different house options we're pondering.

you think i'm kidding about that last one? ho ho, you don't know me very well:


we got home saturday night, and before bed marc listened to all the messages on our answering machine. one of them was from the sales agent we've been working with at one of the builders. she said that the house we've gone through twice during construction is now finished and we could go through it one more time to see the final product. we've pretty much decided that if we go with this builder, we will go with this house plan, so we really wanted to see what the floor plan looks like in real life. so sunday afternoon we headed over.

this is the house:


(yes, harper came along.)

when you walk in the door, this is what you see:


the foyer is two-story, and while the open concept is lovely, i would rearrange it so that my laundry room is at the top of the stairs instead of this open space. i really feel the clothes should be washed on the same level where they are put away. so ... picture a washer and dryer topped by a counter for folding just under the windows, and a wall and door where the railing and open space are:


the dining room ...

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would actually be closed off from the foyer with french doors, and this would become my in-home studio. that arched entry on the back wall leads to a small powder room ... perfect for clients to change a baby.

on the other side of the foyer is what is now a den/flex room:


however, we would open it up to the great room to which it is connected by the back wall, leave out the doors to the foyer, and use this as game/tv room so that that doesn't have to be in the great room.

(thinking about how we use our space, this makes the most sense. i, personally, do not want the space where we sit and talk with friends to compete with the space where people will play wii or watch a show. thinking holidays, here.)

speaking of the great room, the kitchen opens up onto it. our thought is that our dining room furniture would have to be replaced with a rectangular table seating 8-10 people that would fit in the eat-in area, so that the kitchen/dining/great room spaces would all open into each other. thinking, again, about holidays when all the family visits. we love to be together, and this would make the space so user-friendly.




(see the wall opposite the windows? that's what we'd open up into the tv room at the front of the house.)

going up the stairs, we find three bedrooms, a bathroom, and the master suite. yes, i said suite. our current "suite" is a 12x11 room with a small bathroom down the hall which is shared among everyone in the house.



bathroom the kids would share ...



how much do i love this window seat?? this room has my scrap space/extra guest room written all over it!!

and the master ...



personally, i would want a rectangular soaking tub instead of this corner thing, but we'll get to that later.


finally a shower space big enough for marc's arms!

one area we would change ... on the main floor behind the kitchen is the laundry room/mud room. i would actually use the laundry space for walk-in pantry/storage. you can never have too much storage, especially when coming from a house that has ZERO. and the butler's pantry by the dining room would be lost to the bathroom attached to the studio, even though i would adore that space as a breakfast center. but that can be added into the kitchen since the pantry will be expanded so much.

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and below all this, a walk-out basement for marc's office, server room, entertainment space, and private guest room and bathroom. and more storage.


this weekend we are off to builder number two to talk about their house plan that is also at the top of our list. theirs is actually slightly bigger, requires less moving around of things because the space is already pretty perfect, but we have no idea what their construction is like or their standards are. builder number one comes with raving reviews.

so who knows.

but the obsession shall continue in full force until it's all signed, sealed, and delivered.


i could make an album. or not.

what a crazy, crazy summer it's been. the last two weeks were spent in indiana, and they FLEW. i'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that school starts in three weeks. henry ended third grade, then BAM! we were busy and june was over. then summer camps filled july, and BAM! it was over. and two more weeks of crazy later, BAM! less than a month until fourth grade.


but indiana was the good kind of insanity.

we started out in indy with marc's family, who luckily live in a neighborhood with a fabulous pool. we were down there several times playing and sunning. henry even decided to ... very cautiously ... try the diving board.


... but only after daddy showed him there was nothing to fear.


and speaking of no fear, there's this girl:


all summer long, while hanging out at our gym's pool, she has been perfecting the Underwater Eyes Open Dog Paddle. at grandma and grandpa's pool, however, the water was too deep for her to swim without floaties.

there was a zero-depth pool where she played ... very briefly ... with her cousin kayla.

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then harper's little brain forgot about the depth of the big pool where everyone else was having fun,



lucky for her and us that she's been working on that underwater dog paddle, because it came in handy. she popped up twice, then started in on her third sink when daddy got to her and pulled her out. she was nonplussed, but did have to have a chat with dad about pool safety and waiting for someone to swim with her.


on saturday, we drove an hour to muncie, indiana to watch my brother-in-law play in a softball tournament. four games, two kids, no shade, 85 degrees.

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it was more fun that it sounds, but that pool was sounding mighty good to us as we drove home.

sunday, we dropped off marc at the airport so he could spend the next five days in dallas with the other red hat solutions architects, and the kids and i drove north to my parents'. more busyness ensued.

day one of the visit, my dad went out to water the flowers and harper joined him, which soon turned into my dad spraying and harper dancing around to avoid the water.

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then dad made the mistake of actually spraying harper. not good.



harper has this skulk that she does when she's mad or annoyed, that soon turns into what we affectionately call her "kate face" (heather, you'll be the only person to get that! lol) ...


this skulk/face thing has overstayed its welcome, and she now gets trouble for pulling it.


luckily, there were non-irritating activities for her:

baking cookies ...


taking a gander at hibiscuses (hibiscusi?) as big as her head and using them as an umbrella ...

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and where was henry all this time, you might ask?

hiding. from me, from harper, from the world. my parents' house has a room in the basement that is my dad's office and has its own bathroom. that's where henry sleeps, so he just grabs his gameboy and some books and disappears. i let him ... it's good to have your own space now and then.

i did pull him out long enough to spend a day with us at the warren dunes in michigan, though.

now, floridians and gulf coastians and californians, you can keep your oceans. i love love LOVE lake michigan and its beaches.

this was henry's second visit to lake michigan, but the last time he went he was three. no memory of it remains in his head. and this was harper's first visit. all she talked about for a week, when she heard we were going to the beach, was finding seashells and sand dollars.

umm ... uh oh.

but then they saw the sand and the water and all they could think was,


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as henry swam, harper started to dig a hole in the beach. between digs, she would run to the water with her bucket, fill it up, then dump the water in the hole before digging again.

on her fifth trip back to the water, grandma hid a special surprise under the sand in the hole.

as harper dumped the bucket of water in the hole, she noticed something ... what is that? ... wait! it can't be!! ... it IS!!


a sand dollar!!! her day was made, completely.

(and she didn't let go of the shell for two days. honest truth.)


as the afternoon wound down, we dried off, packed up, and headed back to the car. but before we could go, the kids just HAD to try to conquer the ginormous sand dune beckoning from across the parking lot. grandpa bet them a dollar each they couldn't reach the top.

ha. he has no idea what the promise of a dollar can get my kids to do.

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roughly fifteen minutes later, including a few pit stops along the way, the kids had reached the top, run back to the bottom, and were scampering toward grandpa with triumphant smiles and outstretched hands.

good day.

IMG_6967 the next day, my grandma came to spend the day with us. i haven't seen her for nearly three years, so it was great to spend the day with her.

we drove to a&w for some coney dogs, then ate them picnic-style at the huntington reservoir, near the dam that was built because of my grandpa roush's efforts in congress to protect his district from flooding, the dam that now bears his name.












after quesadillas with grandma for dinner, she headed home and the kids headed to bed. the next day would be our return trip to indy to meet daddy, and saturday morning was the start of our trek back to minnesota.

crossing that bridge from wisconsin over the st croix river is always our favorite sight ... regardless of how much fun we had during our visit to indiana. and this was a pretty darn good visit. even so, home never sounded so good.

sunday we went through a house that is at the top of our list, tied with another, as possible plans to build. we've seen this house in various stages of construction, but now it's done and the sales agent thought we'd want to see the final product. i'll talk about that tomorrow.