// sharing the pictures // telling the stories //
Sarah and I and her doll, Emma, had a Mother / Daughter / Doll date last Friday.
I took the day off of work and the three of us headed up to the Mall of America.
We had lunch reservations at the American Girl Bistro.
We did a little shopping.
We went on some rides.
We had a ton of fun.
I wrote all about it in a separate post, so I won't repeat myself here.
When we got home Sarah helped me create a collage of all her favorite parts of the day.
Being at the Mall of America always brings back memories of when John and Kaitlin were little and we lived just five minutes down the road.
When they first opened the Mall of America, we locals called it the MegaMall.
It was a horrible monstrosity, a monument to consumerism and materialism.
I would avoid shopping there if I could, preferring to drive farther to a smaller, less touristy mall.
Did you know that people fly in from other states - even other countries - just to shop there because Minnesota has no tax on clothing.
Well, we had no tax on clothing... our socialist lifestyle has caught up with us.
...I'm getting sidetracked... what I meant to say was...
Fast-forward to when I was a stay-at-home momma.
I was so grateful for the Mall during the winter months.
Those long Minnesota winters.
Walking around Camp Snoopy back then (now Nickelodeon Universe) with my toddler and baby was a relief to this momma on those stir-crazy winter days.
Sometimes we'd just go to walk around Camp Snoopy and play at Lego Land for free.
But sometimes we'd take them on a couple rides, like this Ferris Wheel.
Or The Bus, which was their favorite.
It made those winter days so much more bearable.
Made me appreciate the MegaMall after all.
Did you know that the first indoor mall was in Minnesota?
Necessity is the mother of invention.
[end bonus feature]
While Sarah and I were at the Mall on our Mother / Daughter / Doll date,
I got the following text from JD, who was in Omaha with John and Kaitlin for a baseball tournament:
So I sent him this text:
Later, I sent him another picture I thought he would appreciate:
We continued to send each other photos of what we were doing through out the day.
It was like SnapChat without the self-destruction.
John's friends Mike & Ike were at the Mall.
After the Mall, we went across the street to IKEA.
Sometimes when I say IKEA in my head,
I say it sing-songy, like the first time Madame Blueberry sets her eyes on Stuff-Mart.
"Madame, your kingdom awaits."
In the background angelic voices sing: "IKEA."
That night Sarah and I pulled out the sofa bed and had a sleepover.
Kitty was really into the movie.
The next morning, as I as trying to have my coffee and read, our cat
- who is not snuggly at all -
was all over me and purring like
So I sent JD this text:
It may have earned me the moniker Breakfast Nazi, after one of our favorite Seinfeld episodes.
"Kitty, no breakfast for you!"
Don't get me wrong, I love strawberries with sugar. But it's a little too sweet.
For some reason I got the crazy idea to put some balsamic vinegar on my strawberries instead of sugar.
(Could it have been the summer salad I saw listed in the American Girl Bistro?)
It was yummo.
I spent some time being artsy this week.
Sarah, Bethany and I painted on the back porch until the Omaha crew came back on Sunday.
Sunday night we went to DQ.
As I took the picture JD surprised John with a kiss.
We all thought it was pretty funny.
John's expression after the kiss is priceless.
I'm so thankful that this guy is the father of my children.
Such a good daddy.
I came home from work one day this week and Sarah had all the ingredients for muffins lined up on the counter.
She recruited me to be her camera man for the cooking show video,
but she made me promise not to put the video on here.
You are going to have to take my word for it: She's gonna give Rachel Ray a run for her money.
#raphotoaday day 18: on my left // Oma
She's a very enthusiastic fan at baseball games.
And she's a bit of a ham for the camera.
Now that JD's not in the dugout, Reggie gets to come to the games.
#raphotoaday day 19: this song is my jam / this morning on my way to work
Breathe on me, breath of God, breathe on me.
I come alive, I'm alive when you breathe on me.
Speak to me, word of God, speak to me.
I come alive when you speak to me.
Awake my soul!
God resurrect these bones
from death to life through you alone.
Awake my soul!
A pretty sunset after a walk around Silver Lake with JD.
It's a pretty picture, said several people on Instagram.
What you can't see is all the goose poop in the foreground.
Sometimes things are prettier on Instagram than they are in real life.
One of my friends sent me a quick note and said, "it looks like you're doing great from your blog."
It bothered me a little bit because actually things aren't "great" right now.
I want to be real and authentic and I'm willing to acknowledge difficulties,
but I don't want or need to over-share specifics in this public place.
Especially not while we are walking through them.
I don't take Instagrams of the goose poop at Silver Lake.
I take pictures of the beautiful sky.
I don't tell the stories of the crap, I tell the stories of the beautiful ordinary.
It's important for me to be real, and I think I am as much as possible on a publicly shared blog.
Hopefully I am balancing authenticity with the beautiful ordinary in a way that doesn't come off as invulnerable.
I'm @annebickle on Instagram, linking up with @jeannettg for InstaFriday.
If you have a bloggy-blog, I invite you to join us. It's fun.