Friday, May 24, 2013

To the North

With both of us traveling so extensively this year (especially Nick) our little family saw a huge need to escape together and spend some quality time together. Hence, we eagerly trekked to our favorite spot in Minnesota on the North Shore. Not far from Canada, right on the pristine shores of Lake Superior, we hiked and cooked and laughed and played games and just enjoyed our time together. Removed from it all in a gorgeous setting - it is always soul recharging for all of us. And, yes, there was May! :)

A stop in Duluth on the long drive

A toasty fire and a game of checkers 

The sunset for our cabin deck on the shores of Superior

A Family hot cocoa break on a hike

Great hiking kiddos 

Kiddos watching over Superior

silly family on our way inland for a wild hike

Wild indeed! Tough terrain, snow, mud, and timber wolves!!

Climb every mountain...

Kiddo cuties 

Liam and nick hiking thru snow swath

Mother's Day treat!!!

With Kate on a snow swath

Love them!

Old school air hockey


Fire and game night

La La land

A recent work trip to California allowed me some time to visit friends in California! I got to spend some time with a Theta sister in San Diego, saw my flower girl and junior bridesmaid (children I nannied in college!) in Venice beach in L.A, and took a trip to the Getty villa with an old pal from Boston! Incredibly blessed!

Musical gal

So very proud of our sweet girl and her commitment to Piano. We enjoyed a small recital at school tonight. We are so blessed to have a school that supports music education so thoroughly! Kate takes lessons during school and loves to practice at home. She is one fantastic kiddo. :)

(Trying to get video on here - it is being crabby)

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Sound of Music

We can now add guitar tunes to the piano tunes that we get to hear in the house. The boy has wanted to learn guitar for years and we decided he was finally old enough and responsible enough to manage the instrument. He is just a TEENSY bit excited. We love it!


If you are ever in Vegas - get thee to the show "la reve" in the Wynn/encore. It is extraordinary! So lucky to have a couple hours with Nick during his business trip to have an amazing date night! :)

Racing along

The handsome hubby has a new role within 3M. I don't have the exact title at my fingertips, but essentially he is managing the 3M partnership with NASCAR and the work with the 3M race team.  As such, he will traveling- a LOT - to NASCAR races, meetings, and events. A lot of the travel is over the weekend and it will probably be close to half the weekends in the year. That is a lot. But you know what? He loves the work! And he is right for the job! And I am SO SO SO SO proud of him!  All I want is for my husband to feel energized and valued in his work - and he does. So the rest is just details to manage and we will get by just fine. Plus, let's be honest, the boy child who has worshipped hot wheels since he could crawl now thinks that his Dad has the coolest job ever.

I was fortunate enough to join Nick on a trip recently. We went to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a race. Well, he was working and I bought my own ticket (wouldn't dream of mooching off the company). But I did get to zip on down to the track for some cool sights and interactions.  I got to be on the track pre-race and in the pits for the start of the race. I watched the rest of the race from the stands and it was SO MUCH FUN.  Racing is highly strategic, and when you listen in on a race radio you can hear all of it. It was a bunch of fun.

Congrats to the hubby on his role. It was great to meet so many terrific people that he will be spending so much time with.

Me next to the 3M car pre-race. They had donated the design to the American Red Cross that week to raise awareness. Community partnerships at their finest!

3M's driver, Greg Biffle

Jimmy Johnson walked right past me. 

So did Carl Edwards.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway!

In front of the 3M Car - on pit row

Inside the 3M hauler. SO NEAT! A whole office and workspace inside a semi! The cars ride above.

I saw Nick during my tour. Fun to see the hubby at work.

The boy just a teensy bit excited at the goodies we brought back for him.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Finding the happy everywhere.

So - over the holidays both kids got extremely sick. High fever for days. Coughs that made a good night's sleep tough.  The conversation at the pediatrician on Christmas Eve (!) went something like this:

Doc (kindly and with great feeling): Oh, too bad you are feeling so very crummy over Christmas. You are just burning up! :(

Kate, to doc (earnestly): I had *perfect* attendance at school so far. If I'm going to get sick, then now - or the weekends - is the time to do it!

Doc (with admirable straight-faced delivery): Well, certainly if you were a Type A personality, yes.

Kate (in awe): How did you know?!

Soooo - we had been blessed with great health for all of us during the school time, pretty much.  Kate's right - if it has to happen, it is best to happen when I am off work and the kids are off school. But it really stunk to not have them energetic and bouncing around and able to go out and do things. A lot of fun activities that we had planned for break were canceled - no Ice Castle trip. No snowshoeing. No going to see the Terracotta Warriors at the Art Museum. Even hanging with friends was out as at first they were viral/contagious - -  and then it turned bacterial and they were super gross. :)

THANKFULLY they are healed and fine.  ALL is well. BUT. Boy did Nick and I need to get out of the house. I realize there are parents with very sick, desperately ill kiddos and we had it SO easy by comparison, but we HAD to get out of the house. To highlight this need please understand that the kids were so sick and I was housebound with them for so many days straight in a cold Minnesota dark winter that my car battery died from misuse. :)

Once the antibiotics were administered, Nick and I got the chance to see the US Air Force Academy hockey team play the Minnesota Gophers hockey team.  We went to a USAFA alum gathering first and it was so fun.   Of course Nick was rooting for the Falcons....and I had hopes for them as well. But the Gophers ARE ranked Number 1 in the country. AND literally half the hockey team are former or current students of I was pretty pleased to see the Gophers perform so well (and win the game). It was such a fun - and needed - night out.

But truly - though the kids were sick for almost 3 weeks...I loved cuddling them. I loved being able to care and provide for them. I loved watching movies and snuggling with them and reading to them in bed. I know absolutely that those moments FLY by and that sooner than I want there will not be those opportunities for cuddles and whispers and hugs around the neck because they will be bigger and more independent and grown - as I want them to be. I know that I will not always have the chance to sit on their bed while they sleep and kiss them on the forehead and marvel at their eyelashes on their sweet rosy cheeks without them opening their eyes and saying "Oh my gosh Mom you are so weird and embarrassing!" And the fact that a night out to a hockey game felt like the most special, cherished date with my husband is something that I LOVE. Because we enjoy our time together no matter where we are, no matter what we are doing. And that is special. And rare. And wonderful. And I know it.

Why not find the happy everywhere? What's the point in doing otherwise? We are so very abundantly blessed with love and care.

Here is a snapshot....Nick has his "I'm on vacation" scruffy beard that I actually love on him. Lucky me to have a guy like him. Don't I know it!

The Kids Ski. The Kid Skis. Kidskis!

For Christmas, Santa brought Snow Helmets and Ski Lessons!!!!

The kids are so excited to learn to ski. We do, after all, live in a Winter Wonderland! It is important to have the skill to take full advantage, yes?  They are loving lessons and are doing really well. Liam is fearless, but gets mad when he falls. Kate is extremely technical and wants to be perfect immediately, but has incredible tenacity. We fully expect Kate to be a beautiful, calm technical skier in the end - and for Liam to give us regular heartattacks on the slopes with his bold, daring style. It's exactly who they are. And we adore it!

Merry Merry

Some pics from Xmas. The kids were thrilled with some terrific toys, books, games, and new gear for their sports and dance activities! Though poor Kate was soooo sick over the holidays, we all had a lovely, low key, simple, wonderful holiday. So blessed.

Books from Grandmother!

Cool kits from Auntie Madelyn and Uncle Joe!

Dance Gear from Nia!

Skylanders Giants!!! "THE" toy! :)

Percy Jackson secrets from Grandmother! Perfect timing as she is REALLY into this series!

 Oh yes! The much desired Lincoln Logs! Old school from the Best Auntie Ava and Uncle Tommy!

Daddy/Daughter Dance

One of the terrific events that Kate's Girl Scout Troop has done every year since she was a Daisy Scout in Kindergarten is the annual Daddy/Daughter dance. It is so darling. Every year there is a new theme. This year's theme was Luau!  The dynamic daddy daughter duo had a great time going on a double date with Kate's "BFF" and her Dad and then heading to the dance for some boogying! Dressed in theme-wear OF COURSE!

I am so in love with these two! Nick is such a wonderful father. I am so lucky. Our children are SO lucky.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy New Year!

Warmest wishes for a wonderful New Year from the Harris Family! May 2013 bring many blessings.
Maggie and Nick - celebrated 11 years of marriage and countless kiddo joys!
Kate - 9 years old, Third Grade
Liam - 6 years old, First Grade

Go Gophers!

Not sure if I mentioned it, but I have been working at the University of Minnesota for 2 years now! I am blessed to teach courses in Leadership Development and absolutely LOVE my job. The people I work with are terrific and the students are a joy.  This truly is a dream job for me.  It is great fun to be a part of a University and our kids love supporting the teams when we get the chance to visit a sporting event or two. I am lucky to have the most amazing husband in the world who supports my endeavors completely. Go Gophers!

A New School Year!

Time flies. We have a third-grader and a first-grader this year! Kate loves reading (especially if it is Harry Potter related) and math and basically anything having to do with school. Never have I seen a child so excited each day for homework.  She is involved in dance class (jazz and tap), swim team, science club, and french club. Liam is a reading machine, as long as it is non-fiction material, and is loving being a Tiger Cub Scout.  He is also doing swim team, french club and science club and loves his activities. He was a little leaguer this summer and loved his baseball time.  If he can spend time building or crafting or engineering things, then he is a happy guy.  We adore them, their brains, their hearts, and their enthusiasm. So proud to be their parents!