The Summer 2016 Digest

MILESTONE: my birthday

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Y has a surprise for me. “Get dressed up,” he says. “Drop Rue off at daycare, and I’ll pick you up there.”

He pulls into the parking lot in a bright red vintage convertible which is perfect because I hate being the center of attention and a bright red convertible fits right in at a daycare center.

Y has set up a photo shoot downtown, and afterward we drive to charming Stillwater for a milkshake, get lost, get stuck in the rain, and then get stuck in traffic. Best birthday yet.

DIY MOM WIN: stickers

These Matisse-inspired vinyl window clings keep Rue occupied for MINUTES at a time. I enjoy a cup of tea without reheating it (rare these days).

HABIT: working out

Thanks to an army of alarm clock apps, I start waking up at 5:00 am three times a week to go to the gym. Six months later, I think I can safely call it a habit. 

TRIP: carol convention

In Houston we cry at Soul Cycle, chug wine in a parked car outside of an Escape Room, fail at said Escape Room, pump together, eat all of the tacos, and laugh harder than we have all year.

PHOTO: patio season

Our favorites: Wiseacre and Tiny Diner. One morning, we try to eat somewhere else, but a drain burst and the restaurant is closed. On the curb, we consider our options with a family from Pittsburgh. "Colossal Cafe is amazing," we tell them, "but it's really small. Tiny Diner is great too, and much bigger." 

They laugh, and it takes us a moment to realize the unintentional joke we just made. But it's true—Tiny Diner is not, in fact, tiny—and Colossal Cafe is. 

WEEKEND RITUAL: bike. sugar. caffeine. slide.

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We pack up Rue in the bike trailer, and take the city trails to the corner of 42nd and 28th. Y heads into Baker's Wife for the best donuts in the city (sprinkles, please), and I take Rue into Angry Catfish, a combination bike store and coffeeshop for coffee. We either eat our donuts on the patio, or get back on our bikes for a short ride to the playground overlooking Lake Hiawatha.

TWINNING: father daughter sandals

MOMENT: butterflies at the state fair

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One of my oldest friends, Leila, comes to visit and we pay three dollars to enter the butterfly exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair. There must be thousands of butterflies in this room, covering plants and people, the walls and the ceiling. Leila and I sit down with tiny, sugar-dipped q-tips for five minutes. People are so covered in butterflies you can’t even see them. Not a single butterfly lands on us. 

“If I had known this would be like seventh grade all over again, I would never have walked in here,” says Leila glumly. 

Maybe it’s our shared memory of middle school, maybe it’s the breakfast wine slushie clouding our judgment, but this is suddenly a popularity contest—and we are losing.

(Meanwhile, Rue is in my lap screaming "MAMA! BEE!" frantically overtime a butterfly gets near us.) 

OUTFIT: this zara jumpsuit.  

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MOMENT: glasses

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Coincidentally, I buy Y sunglasses for Father's Day... the day after Rue learns to say the word "glasses." As we walk into the store, she screams in delight, then runs back and forth across the store screaming GATHETH! GATHETH! 

MILESTONE: our fourth family fair photo