I promised Tory we'd go for donuts Saturday morning, so I checked Yelp! to find a bakery in our area. On the rare weekend we're in the Twin Cities, we usually stop by a little French bakery not far from our neighborhood. I heard recently, however, it closed so I set off to find a new place to fill our bellies full of pastries and coffee. I bundled Tory and Aden into winter coats and boots, and drove to an old-fashioned donut shop I found a few miles away. (Look at me go, discovering new places to eat in the area! How very "Andi" of me). When I pulled up to the bakery, of course, I noticed a hand-written sign on the door that read "Cash Only." Great. I never carry cash, so I rummaged in my wallet until I found enough coins to buy Tory a donut. We walked inside the bakery only to discover there were no table and chairs -- only a pastry counter with two little old ladies working behind it. I was determined to give the kids a fun breakfast outing, so we took Tory's donut to-go and ate at a nearby coffee shop.
It was still ridiculously early and the "how in the world am I going to entertain these children all morning" panic was setting in, so we cruised by Target for a morning shopping trip. Turns out, Target before 9:00am is the jam. We practically had the store to ourselves, so Tory, Aden and I roamed the aisles and looked at toys and shoes and purses and dollar spot items at a snail's pace. Tory was cracking me up pretending to talk to Grandma Janie on her toy cell phone. "Oh, hi Grandma! Are you having a good time in Cow-ifornia (California)?"
Aden, cheese-ing it up in his sister's sunglasses ...
I've never gone to Target and had such a fun time spending so little money. We laughed and meandered around with zero amounts of regular weekday stress over buying groceries in crowds of people.
My sister-in-law Lindsay invited me to a Soup Swap Saturday afternoon, so I hired a babysitter for a few hours so I could attend. It was such a fun, low-key party and I came home with several quarts of soup to stock my freezer. Win/win!
The party concept was simple: each guest prepared 4 quarts of soup, plus a little extra for sampling. We drew numbers and participated in a snake draft to pick the soups we'd take home. I made my favorite Tomato Tortellini recipe and other guests brought homemade Vegetable Soup, Chili, Chicken Wild Rice, Creamy Curried Cauliflower, Roasted Corn Chowder and Booya Pazole. Sometimes it feels like I'm the one always hosting parties, so it was a nice change to show up and enjoy conversation with some of Lindsay's favorite friends without doing all the party prep work.
Sunday morning, Tory, Aden and I paid a visit to Andi's Grandma Marion. We try to get over to her house to visit every few weeks, and there's usually a crowd of family at her house whenever we go. On this day, Andi's cousin Megan was there with her three-year-old son Connor and her newest addition -- three-week-old Baby Colton. Tory was smitten with the baby and it melted my heart watching my sweet girl hold the baby so gently.
Andi joined us at Grandma Marion's house a bit later, and our family was reunited once again. To say the kids were excited to see Andi was an understatement. They were so, so happy to have Daddy home...and I was, too. Later that evening, Tory was rewarded with the newest floppy member of the family ...