2nd Day: Stories of Santa and Sentiment

Our second day started with a fun check-in on our youngest!  We had an ultrasound first thing in the morning.  The kids love watching their younger sister on the screen as the ultrasound tech pointed out all the details to them.  Brad, having missed all the ultrasounds of Vi, doesn’t take a second of this for granted as he holds my hand tight and fixates on his youngest daughter.  Measuring about the size of a large zucchini, Francesca Corinne is on track and looking so beautiful and healthy.

After getting to spend sometime studying every feature on the ultrasound, we headed to the Twin Cities for some holiday fun!  The first stop was to stop in to visit with my Aunt C.  Her house is always a favorite of the kids because of her small dogs and always having treats on hand.  She gave them Santa straw cups and cookies; they loved it.

We checked into the hotel for the kids to take a nap before the evening’s activities.  Our favorite hotel in the Twin Cities is the Hampton Inn & Suites in Minnetonka.  Clean, modern, spacious rooms for a great price.

For our kids, staying in hotels alone is an “adventure” as Marshall says.  They run amok in the room, jump on the beds, and raid the snacks we bring in the mini fridge.

Marshall was running in circles with the wheelie chair, giving his ninja turtle a ride. Vi just running around aimlessly, excited to be staying in a new place.

After their naps we had a snack and headed to Barnes & Noble for their pajama storytime.  We so miss living close to a B&N, they have such nice story times for kids and always free of charge.

The kids wrote letters to Santa with their wishlists. Marshall carefully wrote out “Paw Patrol” and signed his name.

Vi looking around for ideas to put on her list to Santa

Our little elf and Santa pajama’d kiddos patiently waiting for story time to start

They handed out sugar cookies and hot cocoa to all the kids. Marshall only likes chocolate chip cookies, so he politely declined and opted just for the cocoa. Vi eagerly took both her and Marshall’s cookies and dipped them into the cocoa- she loves dipping food.

Participating with gusto

Once we were done, we grabbed some dinner on the go and drove to a pretty iconic St. Paul location that holds a special spot in our hearts.

The St. Paul Cathedral

Marshall is a city kid through and through.  Mads constantly tells Brad that he made a bad choice by moving us to the country.  When in a metropolitan area, he fawns over the architecture and tall buildings.  So when we pulled up to the St. Paul Cathedral he was already oohing & awing over the gorgeous lines of the building and dramatic lighting.

Then Brad and I explained that this is where Brad proposed to me.  On a wintry night, we went out to dinner and then walked, he walked me up those stairs and in front of the middle set of doors he got down on one knee.  It was December 6, 2008; lightly snowing and we were perched to look out over the majority of the sparkling city lights.  It was perfect.  Brad, kneeling before me, had tears in his eyes as he told me how much he loves me, how our future would be, and asking me to be his wife.  It was an amazingly beautiful moment, I fought tears as I said yes and he got to his feet to put on the ring.  Once standing he looked down at the box and it was empty- I grabbed the ring as he was getting up and was already wearing it.

Eight years later, we have been through the highest of highs and lowest of lows.  I have no doubt that I made the best decision of my life on those stairs though.  There is nobody I would rather weather storms and paint clouds with.

Marshall loved hearing of how papa proposed.  He smiled as he studied the Cathedral “that’s our start of family!” he exclaimed.  Our little romantic said that’s where he’s going to propose too.

The kids finished their dinner on the way home so we held up the deal of “late” night swimming at the hotel’s pool.

Pool time! Vi was too excited about swimming to be bothered to smile for a picture. She’s our summer baby through and through.

Super Papa helping two kids swim at once- now he just needs to grow a third arm by the time the next on comes!

After swim smiles and snuggles

Everyone washed up and put pajamas back on just in time to use our North Pole communicator.  This time it was Mrs. Claus who answered.  She talked about how Santa told her all about the talk he had with them yesterday and asked them to remind her where they live.  Marshall impressively recited where he lives.  Then they talked about favorite cookies and Vi was all over that part of the conversation.

It was an exciting day of travel and visiting; listening to stories from books and from our own family history.  The second day was pretty dang good with a perfect balance of silly fun with a pajamas story time and pool fun, as well as sentiment with seeing our newest addition, visiting family, and sharing a special moment at the Cathedral.  Our city loving boy has literally been skipping everywhere we go.  We look forward to another fun-filled day skipping around the metro!






Shout out to my husband, who after almost a decade of being together, still does little thoughtful things for me.  Like insisting I take one bed to myself and he sleep with the two kids.  Pregnant-me loved sleeping in a mass of blankets and sheets with no little feet or hands kicking me (other than the one inside that is).  It’s the little things!


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