November 7, 2015

New Hats

I've started wearing a couple of new hats, that of a work-at-home-mom and the other of a blog contributor.  I know.  That last one seems almost laughable considering how frequently I've updated my own blog lately.  My first contributing post albeit short but sweet went live yesterday.  I was asked to shoot some photos initially and this just sort of happened.  You can check it out at 

Kind of like work.  I wasn't looking for a job.  One just happened to find me.  The arrangement is right for a busy mom with littles that still need a whole lot of little kid sort of attention.  I work  from home in the afternoon while Maxwell naps and/or at night once both boys are in bed.  

So October passed in a blur of foodie photo shoots, a weekend at the cabin to help chop wood for winter, a trip to the neighbor's family farm, trick-or-treating and a myriad of other adventures big and small that keep us Flynns hopping.

You'd never guess from some of these photos that this is October at Horseshoe:

Yep.  Our kids were IN the lake.  Swimming.  In October.  It was crazy.  Those kids are crazy.

And the Landelin Farm.  Oh my.  I shot well over a thousand pictures that day.  Seriously.  We took Gator rides, played hay stack tag, made friends with horses and kittens, picked pumpkins big & small and got a first-hand view of what a real, honest-to-goodness, all-American farm looks like.  Agriculture.  It was incredible. Awesome.  This, friends, is how food gets on our tables.  It's pretty amazing to think about.

Halloween brought with it the appearance of Bat Max and Super Chan.  (Don't tell Channing I called him Chan.  He much prefers Channing and is very vocal about it.)  It was chilly.  The boys had a whole lot of fun though.  And candy.  Way.  Too.  Much.  Candy.  Of course.  That's what Halloween is all about.

Right around the corner is Channing's birthday.  We're going with a Scientific Celebration this year.  He's inviting a few friends from the neighborhood and a few more from his class at school.  We've traditionally invited parents and siblings too.  It's hard to break away from that.  This year felt like time to do it, especially since the kids will be doing hands-on experiments at the party.

And that, in a nut-shell, is October.

October 1, 2015

On Turning Three

Maxwellie, our charismatic little man, is three.  Three!!  In the blink of an eye, it's happened.  I caught these sweet images of him on his birthday a few weeks back.  He tried so hard to get his little fingers to cooperate and was incredibly proud of himself when they finally did.

We celebrated with family and friends on a warm fall day with a tractor themed cake and hay rides.  We got lots of waves as our neighbor, Trent, drove our riding lawn mower around the neighborhood loop pulling the kids behind him in a borrowed trailer.  Maxwell was delighted by every bit of it.

And, his birthday celebration continued yesterday with the arrival of Flame.  The Flynn Family aunties, uncles and cousins got our critter-loving boy his very own (soon-to-be) frog for his birthday. Surprisingly, it came in a box in the mail.

Without even opening the package, he declared its name was Flame.  Little Flame had quite the welcome.  First, it went to the bus stop and then to the grocery to get a couple of jugs of spring water so we could appropriately set up its habitat.  Together, Max and Channing put everything in its place and eventually Max released Flame into his new home.

For the time being, Flame will live in this little cube.  Once its tail all but disappears, it will be moved to a larger tank.  Regardless of living arrangements, Max is absolutely delighted.  

August 19, 2015

No Buddy

These two.  There are days when they're at each other from the moment their eyes open in the morning.  And then there are days like this.  They're the best of best friends.

It was drizzling as we left our house and headed out in search of a frog or two.  These guys didn't mind one bit.  They were decked out in their rain gear, and with their red Radio Flyer wagon, butterfly nets and animal cracker tub turned critter keeper, they were ready.

On the path to adventure, they stopped to pick flowers for me and to speculate where the leprechaun was as they discovered a nice, thick patch of clover.

With Channing trolling the edge of the path and Maxwell hauling the gear, they managed to nab a few creatures for their always-evolving collection.

Maxwellie has a soft spot for anything that creeps or crawls.  I kid you not.  Papa Doug found him out front one sunny afternoon with bumble bees pinched between the thumb and forefinger of each hand.  A big, fat toad spent the better part of another afternoon blasting into outer space, as with Max's help, he flew the rocket ship from the space station play set.  And today was no exception.  He found himself a 'gwasspapa' as big as my middle finger, gave it a kiss and told it, 'It's OK.  I'm a nice boy.'  (Despite Max's assurances, that grasshopper made a hasty escape the first chance he got.)

Nearly two hours and a mere half mile later, we made it home.  Muddied boots were cleaned.  Bugs were again carefully inspected.

And, this mama's heart smiled, as truly 'there is no buddy like a brother.'

July 23, 2015


After five years, I can still smell her sweet baby perfume and feel the weight of her little head resting on my shoulder.  

Today, we celebrate her.  Happy fifth birthday to our sweet, bitty girl.  We love you, Sophie!

June 8, 2015

To 'luth

The boys are always, always asking if we can go to 'luth, as Maxwell calls it.  Friday, we packed up the car and headed north.  Duluth was calling.  The lake was singing it's siren song.  Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Melissa, Andrew & Olive were anxiously awaiting our arrival.  We had important business to attend to, like meeting this little cutie.

Olive.  She's Andrew's new puppy.  So cute.  And squishy.  And both boys loved playing with her.

Mom & I celebrated the pending arrival of Baby H.  Or Wenceslas Steven as he's fondly referred to by his glowing mama.  (And, no, that is not the name Shanda & Ryan have chosen for him.  That's still a secret.  Shhh...)

The whole family took a ride on the pizza train.  We settled into our vintage train car, watched the rainy lakeshore scenery pass by and had a slice of pepperoni or two.  There was even live music.  If you follow WM on Instagram, you may have seen me singing along.  I just couldn't help myself.

And, of course, we had to throw rocks.  On Saturday's bitterly cold morning, we braved the wind and waves on Brighton Beach.  Today, we enjoyed the warm sunshine and calm waters in Canal Park.  Papa even talked Maxwell into putting his toes into the big lake for the first time.  Channing followed suit insisting the water was hot.  I tried explaining that it was so cold it burned.  He just told me I was wrong the way that six-year-olds do & went about his rock throwing business.

It was good to be home.  It was better to be in Duluth as a family. And even better still to be making those oh-so-important childhood memories.