The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Loons

The loon is Minnesota’s state bird. They are gorgeous, and their calls are quintessentially summertime at the lake. On my parent’s lake, they put out loon nests to help them find safe places to have their babies, so there are a ton of loons on the lake. It’s amazing, and it never gets old to see and hear them up close. Last year I tried to get pictures of them, but my lens wasn’t enough. I bought a 55-250 lens and this summer was the first time I was able to try it out. I brought it on our Monday evening boat cruise and we came upon a mama and her two babies! We slowed way down to check them out and by the end, I wouldn’t have even needed a big lens, they were that close! Unfortunately, I was shooting into the sun (I think?) and the water was reflecting off the lake and the trees were dark behind, and I suck at editing, but out of my 50+ pictures, there were two that came out kind of okay. Not what I had in my head, but it’s a start.

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And now there’s two

Here’s one for the you can’t make this shit up column. Early Wednesday morning Caden climbed into bed with me for the last hour of sleep. When Midas woke up he crawled across her face to get to me. In doing so, he scratched her eye lid (not her eye ball). Her eye hurt so throughout the day at school she rubbed it, with her germy hands. And gave herself pink eye. Not even joking. She woke up Thursday morning with one eye matted shut and the other gunky. Luckily at this age it’s easier to deal with and not as contagious as when they’re younger, so she won’t even miss school today.

While we were at Target picking up her prescription, we also picked up her glasses and got them fitted. We picked up Delaney’s pair too, which means I have two in glasses! Delaney has been wearing them around the house and I cannot get used to seeing her in glasses. It’s so weird. Target Optical has a much smaller selection of frames than our other place, but they’re covered by our eye insurance so Target it is! Both girls got Ray Ban frames. Caden’s are a deep purple, Delaney’s are red/grey. They both suit them perfectly.

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New Lens

I didn’t bust out my manual this weekend, or take close ups of the girls (they wouldn’t let me). But, I did grab my new lens and take it out for a spin while they were scootering.

Last fall when I bought a new camera I also bought a new lens, a 55-250mm. To be completely honest, I wanted a lens that would help me get a shot of the loons that are on my parents lake. They are gorgeous, but I am always too far away. But of course once I got the lens, I didn’t see any more loons.

I almost always shoot with my 50mm prime lens, so it was weird having a zoom! Very fun to be able to get different perspectives without having to run all over the place though.

55mm. I stood on the front porch and took pictures from there.

250mm. It’s snowing right now so it’s crazy to look at these and realize two days ago they were in tank tops!

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I got my snow shots!

There’s nothing like a freezing cold day on a frozen lake with beautiful blue skies to get my photography mojo back.

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Grand Canyon – Day 1

When I was looking at flights last spring, they were significantly cheaper if we left the week before Thanksgiving than if we flew out the week of. I called my mom and asked if it would be cool if our stay was a little longer? And we both agreed it would give us the perfect opportunity to hit the Grand Canyon. None of us had been before, it was just never a trip on anyone’s list. I did some research but honestly, we all said the next time we head up there we would do a few things differently.

The one thing we got right was staying at the Maswik Lodge. In case you’re like me and don’t know how things are set up, there is a Grand Canyon Village with five different hotels. I believe Maswik Lodge is the only one without views of the Canyon, but given that the sun went down at 5:20, we knew that wouldn’t be a big deal. The rooms were fine, we were only a five minute walk from the Canyon, and the Cafeteria was fabulous. We’d definitely stay there again.

I did some research on hikes, but most of the info out there was more on the hikes that go into the canyon, and not necessarily about just walking around the rim. I knew there was a shuttle that ran, but I wish we would have hopped on the shuttle right away and rode it out, then walked back. We wandered the trail, but we didn’t go as far as I would have liked because the sun was going down and we needed to head back. Next time.

The weather was mid-50’s while we were there. We dressed in layers, wore gloves and hats, and were totally fine.

My parents are both fairly scared of heights. I didn’t know that before the trip. My mom did fine, but my dad was really freaked out. He didn’t like the girls too close to the edge, and when we hiked down into the canyon on Sunday morning, he only made it about 20 yards before heading back to the top. The second day we managed this better, but on the first day both of my girls were scared by how scared/nervous my parents were. If you have people in your group that are scared of heights, definitely figure out how you’re going to handle that ahead of time. Caden couldn’t figure out if she too was scared of heights, or if she was just taking on their fears.

Pictures!

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As we walked up to the rim, this was our view. It is certainly breathtaking.

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My dad was really good about making me get in the picture!

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Caden was the map reader this trip. She was very into it, and kept going over our route.

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Look at how happy my children are! There were at least two other families there spouting similar “We did not drive this far to just sit in our room!” missives to their children. Delaney was mad that Caden was always the leader, although truthfully, she was probably just hungry.

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Where we were, there were the red/purple parts of the canyon straight ahead, and then the cliffs off to the side that were more brown with green trees. I tried to get both backgrounds in our pictures. While I’m partial to the red/purple parts of the canyon, I do love this shot.

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Seriously. How amazing is Mother Nature. Those stripes! That canyon/river thing that’s running through (it’s the Bright Angel river I think?). I loved it all.

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Delaney was very excited to climb this tree and pose!

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It was just after sunset and Delaney had gone ahead with my parents. The purple colors and Caden’s purple sweatshirt, I had to take a few pictures. This was also right after we finally found a pair of binoculars for the girls and they could not stop using them. It was super adorable.

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Sunset

We had dinner outside Sunday and it was such a perfect evening. As we were finishing up I realized the light coming through the trees at the back of the yard was perfect, so I ran inside and grabbed the camera.

I’ll take a few goofy pictures to get the good ones! I was this close to asking the girls to change into coordinating outfits thinking I could maybe snag a shot for our holiday card, but we’ve got time for that yet.

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Chill Weekend

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Both days were top ten weather days this weekend and we had basically zero plans! It was amazing. We totally soaked up our outside time, or at least the dogs did. With four dogs in the house, one of them being a puppy who pees a lot, I just kept them outside as much as possible. I did yard work with them, I read my book, I played Candy Crush, I chatted up the golfers. Poor Baron is ready for his long Monday nap at this point! (That look on his face is “Why won’t you just let me sleep??”

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Midas is a hard dog to photograph, but this picture of him! His eyes are clear, his ears are up, and he’s looking right at the camera. I may frame it I love it that much.

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Note to my father, the hammock swing keeps falling down. I think they play too hard on it because I rehung it three times this weekend. Once, Delaney fell pretty hard on her back – oof! They were able to spend a good amount of time outside this weekend. Sometimes the games they make up are super interesting, and other times I have to intervene because someone’s going to get seriously hurt. Eight is an awesome age.

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This is Annabelle’s default mode. Those $@#$! bunnies taunt her from the next yard, it cannot help that she can see them through the slats. I think she only jumped the fence twice this weekend? We have to be super diligent with her because she knows exactly when you’re not looking and that’s when she goes for it.

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Crazy Week

We have had a lot going on lately. It seems like there is something every night. Sometimes it gets a little crazy, but overall I think it’s better for us to be out and about than holed up at home.

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Friday. Park pride day! I thought we were out of orange and black, but Delaney found the perfect t-shirt!

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Monday. Just Caden. Doesn’t she look adorable in her dress?

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Tuesday. Coordinating Old Navy jackets and head bands.

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Wednesday. Delaney is wearing their new Under Armour leggings. I bought each of them a pair last spring and they wore them so much I bought another pair one size up. They are so cute!

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Thursday. As part of their school supplies I had to buy a sketch book. I thought maybe it was for art? But they get to sketch every day after lunch if they choose to. Caden has been loving this and sometimes brings it home to sketch on the bus too.

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Week Two

Week two of school is almost in the books! We do not have a regular bus driver yet, so there is some, shall we call it suspense?, around when the bus will arrive morning and afternoon which maybe isn’t the suspense I need in my life.

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Last Friday, September 9. Delaney remembered her orange and black this week! We are going to have to get creative after this, possibly moving onto softball jerseys?

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Monday, September 12. I’m unsure what Caden’s eating here. She always eats breakfast before we leave, did she sneak some candy and I didn’t notice?

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Tuesday, September 13. This was the morning of our dentist appointment and I’m rather proud that we left the house with enough time to grab this!

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Wednesday, September 14. Caden was crabby? And already in the vehicle so it’s just Delaney with jazz hands!

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Thursday, September 15. Delaney is wearing my favorite shirt. It’s adorable and I’m hoping we get warm enough weather that she can wear at least one more time.

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Morning Pictures!

When my camera broke, taking the morning picture was the thing I missed most and what really drove me to replace it quickly. I do love this little capture of their personalities every morning.

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Last Friday. The first pic with the new camera! The kids are supposed to wear black and orange every Friday. We don’t have much black and orange (why couldn’t their school colors be blue and white like I grew up with?) so we’ll see how well we do with this. (Delaney forgot the first week so clearly, not a good start.)

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Tuesday. It was rainy, so a quick picture under cover before we waited for the bus. At least they’re excited to take these every morning!

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Wednesday. Don’t let Delaney fool you, she was going for the serious pose. Also? She actually asks me to do specific things with her hair now. Love.

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Thursday. Work from home Thursday means Annie comes to the bus stop! One of the other parents said “So that’s the dog I was chasing the other night?” Yep, she’s our fence jumper. Also, look at her look straight at the camera! Pup knows what to do when the camera comes out.

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