Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Valentines Day!

A play by play of my Valentine Birthday from the lens of my IPhone via Intagram!

Valentine treats for the kids, at the breakfast table when they got up.

NOT PICTURED - The pretty Bachman's box also at the table, with a glass bird globe inside from Mark and the kids, and the fun cards for ME!

 Breakfast for the Twinners included red raspberries, red cranberry juice with red maraschino cherries and strawberry pop-tarts with fake red filling. The pop-tarts a special one-time-only treat.

My little cutie pie.

My other little cutie pie.

NOT PICTURED - My cutie pie husband Marky-Mark!

Twinner cutie-pies posing together before school.

Me in my Valentine find - The PERFECT blouse for the occasion purchased off of ModClothe.

STILL NOT PICTURED - My cutie pie husband who took the photo for me!

My drive to work through the picturesque, snow covered trees along Riverview Lane.

Valentine cheer for my co-workers, including BOGO fru fru coffee drinks for Kenna and I from the 'Bou and flowers for Barb and Kathy purchased from the Mercy Hospital Auxilary fundraiser after the regular Thrusday Leadership Meeting.

My shoes! Not practical for a snowy MN day, but too perfect to pass up for a Valentine. The shoes are courtesy of Dee Schendzielous, who bought them at a garage sale, gave them to Gretchen, who gave them to me, because they were more than a size too small.

NOT PICTURED - volunteering at the kids Valentine Party at school.

Back at home - The grow garden Mark and the Twinners gave me to kick off my birthmonth, with Valentine and Birthday cards in the background.

 At 4:30 pm I called Maverick's to see if they had room that evening to eat.

At 5:30 pm we were seated at a reserved booth at our favorite local watering hole, in the lounge, for dinner.

At 6:30 pm I had a chocolate Valentine matinee for dessert.

See??? Mark was a part of my very special day. That is his hand and arm behind the nearly empty matinee glass.

Me and the Twinners .
I make them take a picture with me EVERY Valentine's day.

And finally - Here she is. My new BABY! I love her. This beautiful tangerine purse is my birthday gift from Chris (and my Dad). We picked her out shopping a few Saturday's back after lunch and mani/pedis. She looks so charming and chic hanging from my elbow!

(Yes I am spoiled. I will own it! Thank you Chris (and Dad)! I get sooo many compliments about her!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hearts Abound

The holiday I have claimed as MY OWN is almost here again this year.

now using Instagram!
 The hearts are hung.
 The buffet is dressed for the occasion.
 The Twinners' Valentines for classmates, Mrs. Loveridge, Queen Susan the kindergarten helper, Mrs. Bicks the other Valentine classroon party-helper mom, the bus driver, karate and dance instructor, and Ms. Warner in the cafeteria are ready to go.
Now it is time for me to send my Valentine wish to you.

To my dear friends, my family, my husband, my children, and to those of  you who touch my life in little ways that are so very significant - I wish you a joyfull Valentine's Day.

I wish for you to see and take note of the love and blessings in your own life.

I wish for you to smile, to laugh, and to be happy.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mr 'Bou goes to Costa Rica

In the first month of 2013, Mark has been jet setting around the globe. Early in January (before our planned family vacation) Mark took a work trip to a Costa Rican coffee farm.
Mark and 6 other members of the 'Bou Crew visited Hacienda La Manita.
He earned the trip for his high performance and sales for Amy's Blend.
The farm provides all the beans for the popular Caribou seasonal bean blend of the same name.

 Hacienda La Minita is perched on the side of a mountain, which is a three hour truck ride from the San Jose airport.
While there, the 'Bou gringos picked beans with the farm workers.

There was a picking contest.
It should come as NO surprise Mark won the competition amongst the 'Bou Crew.
He is as driven in the fields as he is in his career. 
After picking, the beans are cleaned by machine, then hand sorted by a room full of women with 'delicate' hands.
By the time we buy a pound at Caribou, 75 people have come in contact with those precious beans.
It was an amazing trip for him.
Some of the Costa Rican stories Mark returned with revolved around a Mexican friend.
It seems Jose Cuervo is a tough guy to shake at Hacienda La Minita. The hosts bring him out for many games for the guests.
Of course there were delicious meals served in the Main House before the games.
Juanita is pictured on the left (above). She has worked on the farm for 30 years, and holds a position of esteem in the kitchen.
(Not pictured - The Gringos also attended a small-town local festival, put on to celebrate the bean harvest.)
The farm had a pool, which the 'Bou crew took advantage of after the games with Jose Cuervo late one evening.

Then, after four quick days away, it was time to head down the mountion on the winding farm road, to the coast, and onto a plane.
The 'Bou Crew gringos returned to their more "corporate" lives back in the United States.
The States - where we drink high quality EXPENSIVE coffee, made from high quality beans, picked a world away. A place where those people who pick the beans have NO IDEA what a latte or mocha is!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


The only time we left our resort was for a morning tour to Tulum.
 Sunny skies after a day with ran.
 Dean enjoyed nature more than learning the history.
 And the iguanas.
Dean is pointing at one below.
 Even after he had seen about twenty iguanas, we was still excited for each new one he discovered.
 Our tour guide was a passionate about his Mayan history and sharing it with us.
 Mom and kids, smiling faces, dad behind the lens.
On the beach below the ruins.
 A few minutes of swim time before heading back to the van for the ride back.
 A few big waves and giggles of delight.
Oh yes, and cocunuts!
Dean spent the whole vacation picking them up and dragging them around.
Back to the room, to the beach, or discarding it when he found a better one.
...and still more smiles.

Monday, February 4, 2013

On the Beach!

The beach is the place to be (when we weren't at the pool)!
Enjoying the sun!
Enjoying the sand!

Smiling and laughing!
Building a castle!
Spending time together!
And for Dean... playing some beach soccor with the Barcy Kid Club crew!

(I also did yoga on the beach and water aerobics!)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

More from Mexico!

If you asked us what we did in Mexico.....
We would tell you we swam in the ocean.
We swam in the pool.
We layed in the sun.
We played in the sand.
We came home with a tan.

Dean got his picture taken with two monkeys, parrots, and a huge Iguana that visited the resort lobby and beach.
We shopped for souvenirs at the hotel mini mall area.
We walked the property and strolled the beach.
I got a massage.

We drank beer, and margaritas, pina colados, and kiddy cocktails.
We went to the swim up bar and the beach bar.
We went to the lobby bar after dinner for popcorn, bar bingo, and a nightcap.
Once and a while mom and dad relaxed with a book, in the sun, or at the lobby bar on our own, while the kids hung out at the Barcy Club.

At Barcy Club, we might return to find a Zombie and Hello Kitty.
After Barcy Club, the kids wanted to swim and play at the Barcy water park with the new friends they made.

We ate breakfast every day at the buffet.
We ate omelets and DONUTS, and so much more.
The donuts were warm, and fresh, and had delicious frosting, and the kids would sneak back for a second one each day, after Mark ate most of their first.
The omelets were made to order.
Some days I drank a Bloody Mary with my coffee.

We ate lunch every day at the Coral Grill.
One day I loaded up a plate for all of us and snuck it to the beach, so as not to miss a minute of sun.
Every night we got dressed for dinner.
The kids wanted to swing in the hammocks each evening.
We walked to the Brazilian restaurant, Caribbean restaurant, French restaurant, or Italian restaurant.
We had a few more drinks, a glass or crappy house wine, or another sugary kiddy cocktail.
We ate desert and ice cream.
We strolled along the ocean by the light of the moon.

And then we went to bed, woke up the next morning, and played REPEAT for seven glorious days!


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