the hotland

josephine and i returned this week from a trip to minnesota.  i took over 500 pictures during our five days there and approximately 80% of them were of this mug:

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can you blame me?  this picture, by the way, was taken about two seconds after my sister walked in the door from work and he spotted her. that’s love.

i also took a few pictures of this little monkey:

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she wasn’t always so dour. in fact, she was grinning most of the trip. who wouldn’t be, with lots of people paying rapt attention to all of your rambling stories and nonsensical songs?

i was happy, too.  it was good to be home and to squeeze some fat baby thighs and kiss baby fuzz.  and to see all the rest of those lovely people i call family, of course.  we went on a boat ride (finally!) and had a picnic on a beach.  my parents threw a great party and burned their mortgage.  my mom pulled out all of her old dolls and doll clothes and josephine had just a little bit of fun with that.  she also enjoyed the enormous tub of stuffed animals that she selected new “buddies” from each day.  she waded in the pool and hung out by the river. we visited my aunt and uncle at their farm; josephine helped grandma pick garlic scapes, my aunt read to josephine and my cousin’s daughter, and my uncle gave me enough book recommendations to keep me reading well into 2015.

not pictured but still very much enjoyed: a kid-free dinner with my dear friend anna who regaled me with stories of parenting older kids and reminded me how lucky i am to have such good friends. also, a very brief but very nice visit with matt, while sipping malts.

it was hard to leave. but nice to be home. but hard to leave.

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more (adorable) photos (of rowan) on the flickr page.

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