The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Black Panther

It snowed in Minnesota on maybe Wednesday last week? And we were supposed to get more snow on Saturday. The new snowblower I have wouldn’t start. My dad was giving me ideas on getting it fixed, but hauling a snowblower to the local hardware store is not on my list of things that I can do. And yet, I really didn’t want to shovel another 10 inches of snow. Short story short, my dad called the hardware store and had them deliver me a snowblower on Friday! I gave them my garage code and didn’t even have to be home for it! It was amazing since we totally got 8 inches of snow and the snowblower took care of it in 20 minutes.

So Saturday. We had a few things going on during the day. My new R+F team member had her launch party! I know R+F isn’t a party company, but I do love doing events and talking to people about the products and how they can help with their skin issues. It was super fun and successful, and it’s always fun to see her friends that I only reconnect with occasionally.

Afterwards the girls and I headed to the West End for dinner and Black Panther! A few of our friends were going to go with us, but with the snow coming they rightly backed out. The movie was amazing, but by the time we got out of the theater we had six inches of snow and the plows hadn’t been out at all. If we didn’t have our new truck and it’s amazing AWD, we wouldn’t have made it home. I love so many things about our new car (possibly a post on that this week!) but the way it handles in snow is number one for me right now!

So the movie! It’s amazing. I’ve talked before about how my girls love graphic novels. They read everything, but we’ve very specifically requested everything in the Black Panther series. They love that storyline and were so excited to watch it come to life in the movie. You know that scene in the trailer where there’s a car chase? As soon as that came on Caden started giggling and got so excited. She’s definitely my action comic girl. Both girls very much loved the movie. I especially loved how there were so many amazing female characters. The sister far and away stole the show for me, they both loved Nakia.

A quick side note, I can no longer sit close to the front of the theater. We were in the first row of the back section and I was wishing I had my cheater glasses with me. It was just too close for me to be able to see everything in focus. Waaaa!

Sunday was a chill day, but not nearly as productive as I hoped it would be considering we had zero on our calendar. I hate those days! We did make a great Target run where we crossed a lot of things off our list, but I didn’t get things cleaned like I wanted to, and I’m not really sure where the time went.

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I need a reboot

So. I’ve been feeling pretty crappy lately. My diet has gotten off track and I’m eating more and more dairy, often without taking a dairy pill so I feel the effects for hours after. I’m not exercising, not even getting walks in like I was when we had Ramsey. I’m not sleeping the best. My mood is all over the place. I’m cranky, I’m sarcastic, it’s been awful. You guys, hormones are no joke and at almost 45, I have years left of this craziness.

I was reading an article about lessening perimenopause symptoms and I’m doing none of it. Exercise? Nope. Cut your caffeine? Nope. Cut out sugar? Ha! Get more sleep? Not that either. I’m trying to manage this myself before I go back to my doctor, but it’s clearly not working.

I’m contemplating a Whole30. There’s part of me that thinks if I can get my eating back in line and put more focus on that that, overall I’ll feel better and that will translate into more sleep and exercise. But a Whole30 is a lot. I’ve tried to do these and it’s just so much prep work. The girls are also in a phase where they are very willing to try new foods, so I hesitate to throw that off track.

It’s clear I need to do something though, so for now I think I’m going to get rid of the dairy. On a good week I’ll eat dairy once or twice, small amounts that a dairy pill can manage. Lately it’s been every day. I’m also hoping to focus more on our dinners. I’ve been punting a lot lately, forgetting to take meat out or planning something that will take too long or too much energy to make. I need to find some solid, healthy meals we all like to eat that are protein/veggie focused. Hopefully if I can do some Sunday prep, our evenings will be smoother.

Anyone have any good mental hacks to exercise in the morning? I just cannot get up and do it. I know I need to get to bed earlier and get more sleep, but when my alarm goes off I just do not want to get out of bed. I know it’s not a priority for me, and honestly, there are times when I think I can’t add one more priority to my list, but I also know I need to get up and move. If it weren’t so cold I’d force my little dogs for walks but that is not an option right now!



Guys, this is Tito. He’s our newest foster. I’m going to cry so hard when he gets adopted. He is Foster Gold. He is small, mostly potty trained, gorgeous, and has the best personality. It’s come out more and more each day and last night he was playing with Annie, climbing into my lap, sitting like a champ, and snuggling with us on the couch. Fosters don’t get any better than this!

So locals, can we do this? Can someone we know adopt him? I’d like to keep in the family. He was found in Alabama in the woods in an abandoned logging camp. The woman who found him took him in and fostered him until we could take him. She was very attached and I can see why! He had big dog siblings there, and has small dog siblings here, so he gets along with dogs of all sizes.

When he first got to our house he fell asleep on the hardwood floor. It took me a while to get him to sleep on the blanket, and then finally to realize the dog bed was where it’s at. He’s still a little independent at this point. He is just figuring out that the couch is good, but likes to sit on the chair or in his bed where he has his own space. He doesn’t like the cold, but doesn’t mind coats and sweaters. And he looks good in pink. He hasn’t barked yet, and sits quietly in the kitchen waiting to see if food drops. And he gives the best kisses!

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On Saturday the rescue we work with got in a transport of 17 dogs. These dogs came from a shelter in Alabama that was at capacity, so they were a little exhausted after the long drive. Most of them were puppies. Tiny puppies. Fluffy puppies! Really fluffy puppies! They were so sweet and snuggly. Our job was to get pictures of each of them for the website. The girls came with to be my helpers and they did such a great job! Delaney even took a few of the shots since the dogs seemed to want to look at her but not me! One of the girls managed a list on my phone so I knew the order and the names of the dogs, and the other was the puppy wrangler, trying to get them to sit and look at the camera. There was pee, there was slobber, and I somehow got blisters on my knees from crawling on the floor to get shots, but it was SO much fun.

If you want to volunteer with a dog rescue but don’t want to foster, taking pictures can be a great way to help out! We always need photographers since great pictures help the dogs get adopted faster!

Here are a few of the dogs that we took pictures of! I was going to post outtakes, but then I realized I deleted all of them from my laptop! I took 555 pictures, so I had to ditch whatever I didn’t need. They aren’t on the site available for adoption quite yet, but they will go up in the next few days so keep an eye out here!

Diggs. He looks a little like a beagle, but his mom is definitely not a beagle.

Harry Pawter. Adorable shih tzu! Posed perfectly.

Keenum. It was so hard not to smuggle this one home. Her coloring!

Paris. Check that proud lab out!

Thielen. This guy was a tiny bit shy, but so sweet!

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New Car!

We bought a new (to us) car!

Our old car was a 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor. It only had 152,000 miles on it, so I thought we had a few more years of driving it before I’d need to purchase something new but, last fall it started going through oil a little faster than it should, so I knew our time together was ending.

I had been researching new vehicles that fit our criteria (SUV, 3rd row, large cargo room with 3rd row down, excellent gas mileage) and had decided to get a Toyota Highlander. I was watching the used market to see what we could get for the money I had allocated but man, most of the cars in my price range had 100,000 miles on them. It seemed not smart to get a car with a few thousand miles less than the car I was trading in? So I extended my research. I’ve driven Mitsubishis for 20 years and have had a really good experience with them. I was noticing that I could get an Outlander that was just a year or two old for the same price as a 5 year old Highlander which intrigued me.

I figured I’d wait until May or so before pulling the trigger, but this winter the Endeavor handled the snow horribly and the shocks were so bad I thought that my tire had blown multiple times going down the pot holed streets. And so, the time was now. The first task was to test drive the Outlander. If it drove really badly then I would refocus on the Highlander. But, it didn’t! And the dealership had a Highlander in stock so we were able to compare the two vehicles literally side by side. The Highlander was bigger, but not really bigger inside. Done! Except the sales guy was kind of slimey.

Long story longer, the Cadillac dealership across the highway from us had an Outlander that fit my criteria perfectly (leather interior and sun roof). The sales guy was really nice, and I was crazy excited to be able to get my car serviced 5 minutes from my house AND get free car washes for life! The new car has bluetooth, a backup camera, and heated seats. It feels good to join the 21st century! We’re still figuring out all of the buttons, but we’re all excited about it and everyone has pledged to keep it clean.

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Almost Ten

Ramsey required twice daily walks. His morning walk was non-negotiable and honestly, I was barely awake and so we just went, even when it was really cold. I think it helped that there was rarely a strong wind in the mornings, unlike the evenings. But, Delaney often came with me on our evening walks. Our walks were never super long because no one was up for that, but we’d walk for 15-20 minutes and she would chatter that whole time, telling me about her day. She got really excited when she saw me getting ready to take him out because she loved that time with me.

Delaney is definitely on an upswing. She’s maturing. She’s more aware of time in the mornings and doesn’t like being late, whereas previous years she was just late every day and didn’t really care. She did her breakfast dishes yesterday even though it almost made her late because she knew I would appreciate it. Tuesday evening I had a virtual launch event for a new team member. It meant I needed to go live on Facebook, and then had to post and comment for the event. They gathered all the dogs in their room and made sure the house was quiet for me while I did it. When it was over I tucked them in and she said “Are you a Level 1 now?” She even knows my next title promotion! And the cherry on top? She’s super into trying new foods. She even ate something that was spicy the other day and liked it!

Caden is a little behind Delaney, but that doesn’t surprise me. She has always caught the upswing closer to their actual due date at the end of April. She has a lot of rough days. I try to make sure to listen, but not let her stay down in the dumps. She does see Delaney getting praised, which makes her want to try new foods as well. She had salad at lunch and was super proud of herself! She’s already on time every morning and asking what she can do to help out, but she’s always done that. Right now she prefers alone time on the couch versus going for walks, but I find her in bed with me at least a few nights a week, so clearly she has her own way of getting time with me.

Anyway, this is all to say I’m loving this age! We watch Top Chef and they remember the names of the contestants who were booted off. They are aware of the things I do for them and thank me over and over. It’s been really nice, and has me super excited for our trip to California in March!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

I love planning special things for Valentine’s Day! We were going to do heart shaped pancakes, but we had pancakes for dinner last night so maybe just heart shaped strawberries? And for dinner, it’s Caden’s favorite – steak and baked potatoes! I have mushrooms and asparagus for me, but the girls have been very brave with new foods lately so maybe they’ll try them?

A few weeks ago we went over to our neighbor’s house and she took a bunch of Valentine themed pictures. They turned out so cute! I kind of love how Delaney’s glasses match her dress. We all got a kick out of Caden’s socks. I didn’t think they’d show up in the pictures! Thank you Jaime!!

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Sunday evenings have become my R+F planning nights and I’ve been so focused on that side of things I keep forgetting to write a blog post!

Friday! We had a Rodan + Fields corporate event downtown. The local consultants that I’ve connected with were going, and my new consultant came and it was so fun to introduce everyone and get to hang out. And! Some of their leaders flew into town as well. I’ve heard about them and how amazing they are, so it was really nice to meet them.

I’m just going to take a second here and say how much I’m loving my side gig, the friendships it’s opened up and the passion in me it’s reignited. I said it on Facebook but I went into this thinking it would be some extra money selling skincare, and hopefully be a Plan B to give me more time freedom. You think you’re going to post on Facebook and have some conversations and help people have the best skin of their life, but it’s so much more than that. There are the amazing people I’ve met, who are so giving with their ideas and knowledge. There is the strategy side of things that I get a slice of at my day job, but I get the whole deal with my own business. And building my team? I knew I’d love that! If there are any hustlers out there looking for something more, let’s chat! There is so much I’m loving about this business and this business model and I’m here to share!

Saturday we went car shopping after piano lessons. The Mitsubishi is on its last legs, although it isn’t dire straits yet. I’ve been researching and price comparing for a few months, but my shocks are getting really bad and I’m ready to pull the trigger. I’ve narrowed it down to a specific car but wanted to test drive it to make sure it was everything we wanted. I had zero intention to buy the car that day, but I’m not sure if that’s poor form or what but the sales guy (who was already smarmy (and smelly)) became quite condescending when he found out he wasn’t making the sale that day. Ugh. Won’t be going back to that dealership! I talked to a guy at work and he said to aim more for the end of the month, since they may be more willing to negotiate then.

Sunday was an adoption event/fundraiser at a clothing shop in St. Paul. We took Ramsey and he got a lot of attention! There were a few times when I was trying on clothes and I could hear him howling so I had to run over to calm him down. Poor guy just wanted to play with all the dogs! He also went home with his new foster mama. Our house just wasn’t the best for him, he really needed to be with bigger dogs that he could play with. While we tried having a bigger dog in the house, I’m realizing that that mix is difficult. Hopefully the big guy gets adopted soon so he can just settle into his forever home.

Beyond that it’s been a lot of Olympics watching at our house. I’ve realized that I can watch just about any sport for at least 10 minutes.

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New horses for February

When we got out to riding lessons last night the girls were assigned different horses than we were expecting. Patrick had a sore leg, and RenoBob was switched to someone in an earlier lesson. The girls were now going to be riding Truman and Rocky.

Caden got Truman. Delaney rode him much of last year. I love Truman! He’s gorgeous. His coat is a dark brown, and he has black socks. He’s also a huge flirt! I do love a horse with personality! He snuggled right into me and was all in for kisses which I love.

As soon as the lesson was over Caden was gushing about him. He’s a great horse, and she loved his fast trot. She was absolutely in love with him which made me laugh. Every horse they ride is immediately their favorite horse. This definitely didn’t use to be the case, but I think now that they’re more confident riders they have a better connection with their horse and work better as a team.

Rocky! I rode Rocky for my lesson with the girls over the holidays. He’s awesome, but you need to be confident or he will do his own thing. Delaney fell in love with him! Apparently he has a bumpy canter, but she loved riding him and couldn’t stop gushing about him. He is now her favorite horse, and Ziggy has gone to a close second. I still made sure to give Ziggy lots of love though!

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Creative Night

For the past few months, the girls have been working on a lot of creative projects at school. The projects run from poems to paintings to sculptures. I’ve been hearing a lot about them, and a few first drafts made it home so I had some idea what they were doing. Last Thursday was the night at school when all of the projects were displayed and it was so amazing! Everyone in all of the classes did a really great job. And seriously, there were so many projects to see.

They did three poems, a drawing, a painting, a mask, and a sculpture. I brought my phone and my camera, but batteries on both devices died while we were there so I don’t have pictures of everything. My favorite piece was a color poem where the kids talked about a color through all five senses. Of course I didn’t get a picture of either girls’ color poems!

There obviously was a format for this poem, and you could tell the kids were supposed to write something about their families because some of the comments about siblings were hilarious. Love Laney’s “Sister of someone who is like me but different.” Isn’t that perfect for an identical twin?

They drew their hand on a piece of paper, then divided the paper into sections and made designs in those sections. These turned out really cool!

This was their art with a purpose. Both girls painted about climate change.

Here’s Caden’s poem. “Daughter of a project queen” I like her thinking!

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