Monday, June 28, 2010

Minnie-Sooooaaatah!

My mom and sisters took a trip to a special place that is near and dear to all of our hearts...



We were all born there and spent our formative years in a very special town that no one has heard of when I'm asked "where were you born?", which makes it an even more special place for us all; like it's this little secret slice of heaven right under our noses. It's a small town called Waseca that oozes with wholesome goodness everywhere you turn.



and the house I was born in along with my sissies... we stalked, i mean, contacted the current owners of the house and they were MORE THAN HAPPY to give us a tour of the inside. of course we had to watch this video just before the visit to increas emotion, nostalgia and meaning. We like to do everything with an added dose of happy tears:)



as we toured the city, this is what you saw at every turn...



cornfields that went for acres and acres and super soft grass. it felt like you were walking on clouds. They say that the grass isn't greener on the other side, but after visiting Minnesota, I beg to differ...




our dear friend Dottie planted Lily's plant just after Lily's baby shower on 2/2/08 and it's still growing every year and just about to bloom....was such a neat reminder of how far we've come in just 2 short, but life changing years.


this is the house that my mom, sister and brother grew up in and so nostalgic for my mom to go back with her 3 daughters.....holy full circle batman...


they even deliver your mail by foot....i felt like Laura Ingalls was going to step out any minute...


and words like 'rubbish' were used to replace the typical garbage chute...



I packed light because I didn't want to pay the extra luggage fee to check my bags, but I made sure I packed an extra love cup to catch all the overflow...i should've brought 5 more. Seriously, feeeling like i could float up in the air with how much love was poured into my cups. Big thanks to Bridgid and the fam for being the greatest host to the Irish Mafia. It was like being in our home away from home...



we went to this yummy mexican restaurant where we were encouraged to go behind the bar to self-serve our own drinks. Then when we paid the bill, we were asked how many margaritas/beers/mixed drinks the group drank (minus me of course) and then the owner pretended like we said a smaller number...not sure how she comes out in the black every month, but we'll be heading back there for sure...



the best part of the trip was that NO ONE knew we were coming. They all expected to see just my mom, but the 3 girls would pop out individually and the surprises/gasps/shock/awe/excitement/disbelief built with every one. We moved away from MN 33 years ago and haven't been back probably in 25 years so it was QUITE the surprise to say the least. Nothing like being with family and friends where there really is no difference in the two titles


the tables were turned when my mom was surprised to see her long time friend and mentor from 40 years ago. we wanted to just drive by her house, but Millie happened to be outside and it was like time had never passed when they saw each other...



I thought my camera and flip were going to explode from all the snapping, videotaping and number of times I passed it off to another Minnesota stranger to take our picture...


We moved away when Jen was 10 so she had the most memories of Waseca and she really got into it. She wanted to relive every memory so we went to our favorite family park to play like kids again.



we did lots of this with Bridgid's sweet twin boys who are almost 7 and seemed to have grown up so fast. I remember when they were born like yesterday and to see them today was another full circle experience...



Their dog Gem was the sweetest and cuddliest dog ever. I think she suffers from a little misunderstanding of how big she really is because she'll hop on any lap and lay there like a small kitty cat not realizing she's fully grown and almost as big as the lap she's sitting on...


this sign above the couch just called for instant snuggles... such a cozy house...



then we visited Brian at his fire station; he's like our brother from another mother who visits us during the holidays with his dad Bob, so it was cool to have the tables turned and see him on his turf. He's a firefighter, but Jen wanted to get in on the fun...


I couldn't control my sisters who wanted to play with all the toys...


okay, so maybe I was guilty of it too...



then we all joined in on the fun...



and trooper of the year went to my Aunt Kathy who hung with us all day and added lots of laughs to the day...


our sister from another mister, Teresa (Brian's sister) joined us too at the mall of america. I needed an extra dose of my ritalin after visiting this mall because it was like if you pictured 4 malls-in-one plus a ferris wheel, roller coaster, aquarium, mini golf course, flume water ride in the middle in case you needed a break from shopping. I swear it would take 2 weeks of shopping to get from one end to the next.


The visit completely exceeded any expectation I had of Minnesota and I came home with a full love cup and a renewed excitement to write on Lily's (and baby's) blank slate of life to create the same childhood memories, friends, family ties and allow her to grow up in life filled with family and friends who show her how to love. A gift we were lucky enough to be given growing up by all these people, places and memories.

It is just so exhilerating to pay it forward.

Thank you Minnesota.

We'll be back for sure!

Life is good.

9 comments:

Crystal said...

I'm so glad you had a wonderful time in MN!! I'm headed up that way in a couple of weeks and there is just something to be said about the midwest. I too LOOOOOOVEEEE the grass up there! I want to walk, roll, do cartwheels, or whatever 24/7 in that grass :) hehe So glad you had a great time!!!

PS love your growing belly bump :)

Tracy Balderach said...

I'm so glad you guys had such a great family get together.....your pictures and words make me want to jump over to the calendar so I can count how many more days until we head to Florida this summer! Welcome back home! xxoo

Anna Ruth said...

I have chill bumps... I love the song and to think you really went back to the house you grew up in makes me smile. I'm so glad you were able to take this trip and enjoy with the ones you love.

Kelle said...

I laughed at so many of these pictures. Love Jen in the fire suit. Ha. How special for your mom. My mom's family reunion is next week and EVERYONE's going to be there except me and I've dreamed of surprising her...just isn't going to work out, but still...I bet your mama was beaming. But a post with no Lily? That was hard. Had to scroll back one just to see a pic.

Tisha said...

hadnt heard that song before, what a great one for this post!

what an awesome surprise for your family! Oh...we neeed a baby bump update photo. your pics didnt emphasize the belly.. need belly pics!

Bridgid said...

We miss you all already......it was an amzing weekend and I truly hope you come back again soon.......my boys are rearranging the blocks all of the time.....little boys and wooden blocks....whooda thunk it? Just so they don't find the Mi.. word. I will let you know if we make the billboard!!

Love you....Bridgid

The Manrings said...

oh wow kel...what a special trip. so memorable!!!! you can feel the love from your family in all of these pictures. glad you enjoyed every second and got to do all those things with your sisters too. xo

Mary said...

OK, now it’s my turn. What a beautiful gift it was to have these
girls with me for 4 straight days, and watching them enjoy and
revel in their roots. All 3 of them got into it more than I would
ever imagine. Every little detail about Minnesota thrilled them.
So fun to watch them drink it all in. It truly was an emotional trip
of a lifetime all around – from our family looking back on
memories to family and friends who love my girls so much and
were blown away seeing them there. This family really gets into
surprises and we pulled off a doozy this time.
It was a trip beyond measure and that they got so much out of it
was more than I could have ever dreamed.
Thank you for all my Minnesota family and friends, who put the
icing on the top. You are loved beyond measure and thank you
for loving my girls the way that you do. A special thanks to Bridgid
and her family for opening up their home and making us feel so
welcome and loved.
I am one happy lady.
Love, Mom

amypins said...

Came across your blog from Kelle's, trying to fill myself up with lovin', positive, mommies to help keep myself on track. I live in Minnesota and absolutely know where Waseca is! Glad you could get a fill of "home".