Mini Amsterdam – Groningen

Hi there!

Yes, I’m alive. (#momlife)… I’ve been neglecting this space and I miss it. I’ve promised myself to get on here and write at least once a month. I always have people mentioning they love that I have all of this too look back on and in the back of my head I’m sad that I haven’t got to writing much this “year” or  rather,”season” as we hockey families refer to years. I have a draft on here for London, life update, breastfeeding, the list goes on… I’m the worst!

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(PC: Carina Conrad Photography)

Andi and I (and Jerry) are so lucky to have found friends here in Bremerhaven that we consider family. Andi’s babysitter and her family have been wonderful to us all year. I just wish we would have met them sooner (last season) because they have truly been a blessing to us. Liia is Andi’s babyistter, I don’t even really like referring to her as that because she’s so much more than that!… they have the cutest little relationship.

Andi and Liia on Christmas:

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We had planned to head down to Augsburg (about 30 minutes from Munich) to watch Jerry’s team play Liia’s dad’s  (he is the assistant coach in Augsburg) team back in January. It’s not very close and would have been a lot for just a couple of days. So, we settled on going to Groningen (Netherlands). I’ve been dying to head that way so we made a girls trip out of it while the boys were out of town. Groningen is about 2 hours from here (1 hour before Amsterdam).

We stayed at the cutest little hotel right in the city (The Student Hotel). It is actually half hotel/half short-term lodging for students. SO many students in Groningen from all over the world! It was great to hear people speaking English for a change.  We didn’t need anything special as we were just spending the night. The decor throughout the entire hotel was beyond amazing! The rooms are decorated as if you are in a dorm room. A really cute dorm room! There is a restaurant downstairs that has an amazing breakfast and at night you can get drinks at the bar. At night all of the college kids were downstairs hanging out in the common areas, drinking beers & doing homework. Overall, great place! AND to my surprise… very very quiet.

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The hotel is in the perfect location so after Andi was in bed, Liia stayed with her so Anke and I could grab some drinks. There are some cute bars very close to the hotel.

De Garage – So cute! Renovated space in an old garage (hence, the name).. and throughout the week they do a “pot luck” style lunch. They were closing but the nice lady let us come in and have a beer.

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De Toeter – An amazing whiskey bar! Over 300 whiskeys to try and over 100 different beers! Definitely a spot to hit in Groningen if you are looking for a fun time.

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We had the whole next day to explore! It was still pretty cold out but we were more than happy that the SUN was shining!!!

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I was dying to check out this “kids” store that’s home base is in Groningen (A Little Lovely Company)… it is every bit of lovely! I’ve followed them on Instagram for a long time. So I was happy I finally got to check it out for myself! They have two stores in Groningen. If you have kids, the flagship store is a must stop. They have a play area for kids and a mini cafe for coffee and relaxing! I wanted to live in this store….or buy everything.

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AMAZING! Right!? Check out the link to the store I posted above. You won’t be disappointed.

Groningen is a lot like Amsterdam. If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with Amsterdam….so that is quite a compliment. Canals, coffee shops (and by coffee, I mean joints), amazing stores, great restaurants, delicious cafes, bikes & more bikes… everything good. The Dutch people do everything right! Not to mention they are all very, very nice people. I just LOVE everything about the Netherlands. I have nothing negative to say about that country. Whenever I’m in the Netherlands, I hope to never leave. I fall in love a little more each time.

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I’m so happy we did a mini trip with Liia and Anke! It made for good memories that we will never forget.

I traveled a lot before Andi came along and it was great, really great. But… there is something so so so special about doing all of this with her. One day I hope she looks back at all of these memories and it makes her smile. I hope it pushes her to travel and maybe even visit all the places she was when she was little and living in Europe. We are lucky, that’s for sure. ❤

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Until next time, Netherlands!

What Day Is It?

I truly never know what day it is. I guess we call that, #stayathomemomprobs. I woke up on Wednesday and thought it was Friday. So, that’s that. Here we are, it’s December… and we’ve done a lot since I last posted. Halloween, LONDON!!!, Thanksgiving and now it’s almost Christmas… a lot to catch up on.

One of our favorite markets,”Freimarkt” is in October in our bigger city, Bremen. It basically represents the beginning of the fall/autumn season. Very similar to our Christmas markets minus all the Christmas-y stuff. So we get to enjoy hot wine a little before the christmas markets begin!

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We have always carved pumpkins one night in October as a tradition. Then we bake all the pumpkin seeds and drink wine! This year we added a member (Harbor) and let her join in on our pumpkin carving.

What she really did was: eat all my fruit and watch all my cartoons.

What we told her mom she did: carved the best pumpkin ever!

No surprise that andi was happy to dig her hands into the pumpkin and pull out all the guts. The child loves being messy.

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We got to celebrate Halloween the night before we left for London! Surprisingly German peeps are really starting to get into the “American Halloween”. The stores have Halloween stuff (costumes, candy, decorations). It’s fun to see people getting into the holiday in a different country where it isn’t really celebrated. Andi was the cutest puppy dog! We had Taco Night with our Lampls and by then our babies were ready for bed and we had to finish packing anyways. I loved seeing everyone’s kids dressed up on social media, so fun!

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Our original flight to London was bright and early the following day but got cancelled in the middle of the night and got pushed back to later on. It was a bit of a bummer to the start of our trip but we made it work! I will do a completely separate post for London. I could probably do 10 posts on London but I will spare you from too much information. London needs a hockey team ASAP and to hire my husband. Because, I’m IN LOVE. Jerry is going to laugh when he reads this, because I seriously fall in love with every place we visit. But, I fall in love with them in different ways.

Anyways, London is an amazing place and I can’t wait to share what we got to see and do while we were there!

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We celebrated “Martins Tag” with Andi’s classmates and school. All of the kids make “lanterns” and we went through park singing songs to celebrate St. Martin. At the end we had tea and pretzels (naturally). It was really special to me to partake in a german tradition with Andi and her school.

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Our Miika girl turned FIVE! Can you believe it? Actually some days I feel like she’s ten and I’ve had her my whole life. So far miika has spent her birthday’s in Slovenia (2 years), Italy, and her last two birthdays have been here in Germany! Lucky dog.

I had planned for Andi to throw some confetti and get this super cute photo but … that was a fail. So here is Andi, crying at Miika’s birthday party.

Happy Birthday Miika Kuhn! 

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We had a chill Thanksgiving this year. Andi wasn’t feeling great (thank you, school) and Jerry had a game the next day. Hockey life at it’s finest y’all. My bestie, baker extraordinaire,  made us pumpkin pie and apple crisps so, we were happy. I did my annual Skype the fam at night-time. Of course they were all disappointed because Andi was sleeping already. Schedules people, schedules! Can’t believe this is my 6th holiday season away from home. Sadly, it’s starting to not really phase me anymore. It used to be much harder on me. I think the fact that we have started to create our own traditions has made it  easier for us.

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The past couple of Saturdays I’ve been taking Andi up to the rink to see Jerry after his practice. I’m glad I have been.. the first time she was freaking out about the ice (I mean it’s a little intimidating!) and she still gets a little nervous around Jerry in all of his big gear. Last weekend she was ready to full on jump on the ice! Can’t wait for Andi to get her first skates and get out there one day.

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It’s hard to believe it’s December and were just a short time from Christmas! We have our tree up but someone’s little hands keep taking all the ornaments off. I won’t mention any names. We have been enjoying our Christmas market and all the yummy gluhwein (not andi, she sticks to her water cup)! But she suckered her dad into letting her try a candy cane and now she’s addicted!

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Last weekend Andi and I went to her babysitters house to make cookies with her and her mom! It was a great time! Andi was surprisingly behaved for not being in her own house. It felt so good to walk into a nice, cozy home. For a little while I felt like I was “home”. Andy’s babysitter never really gets to see her since by the time she gets to my house on game nights Andi is tucked away in bed. So it was so cute to see them together!

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I found myself feeling a little down in the dumps, slightly depressed and having little episodes of anxiety. All things I have never really expereinced, especially feeling depressed. So, I truly didn’t know what route to take. We don’t see the sun much here, I learned that last year. So, this little fam is all fuled up on Vitamin D. It can suck the life out of you when you don’t get any sunshine! Also, I know that many changes were/are happening in my body since I stopped breastfeeding andi 2 months ago. On top of that I think life has just changed drastically since having a baby and I’m really trying to find my way right now. That can be a little overwhelming. No one ever talks about that stuff and I didn’t ever expect to have any of these feelings. I think it’s something that should be talked about because I know that it isn’t just me.

Anyways, I had only been to the gym about 3 times total since having Andi. If you remember… I worked out until I was about 37 weeks pregnant and then I couldn’t breathe easily anymore, lol. Even after that I walked 4 miles a day. I didn’t know if I was really missing the gym and thought it wasn’t really my thing anymore. I was totally wrong. I got back into the gym about a month or so ago. It took Jerry going with me on his day off for me to realize that it was what I needed back in my life again. Luckily my hubs writes me everything to do before I go. I miss my workouts with him but enjoying it as my own thing now. I’m going 3 or 4 days a week and I’m finally starting to feel a little bit better. Much different from the way I was feeling a few weeks ago.

And incase anyone needs proof: here’s me feeling better at the gym.

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We are halfway through the hockey season which is insane! Time is flying. It has been really amazing to watch all of Jerry’s hard work from this summer show in his hockey games. We are proud of him, always.

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Now it’s time to get Christmas presents wrapped and under the tree. Where does the time go?! We have our team Christmas party next week which is always a nice time for everyone and this weekend the girls on the team are doing our own little “white elephant” christmas party, wine included. Should be a great time!

I’m so glad I got on here to catch up a bit (can you believe this small post was created over three days…..lol, #momlife). I just don’t have the time like I used to but I want to make sure that I have things to look back on. I always go back in read my old posts and most of them put a smile on my face. So, it’s important that I do small posts like this (even if I’m the only one reading). Next, some London posts – so I don’t forget all the great spots we got to see!

I hope that everyone takes some time to enjoy the holiday season. I know it can get stressful and we forget to just sit back and relax. But it’s important to find the time to enjoy the “holiday cheer”.

XO

Summer To Fall

It’s been very quiet over here because we’ve been enjoying our LONG summer. To our (very big) surprise, we had two months of pure sunshine here in Bremerhaven. Everyone enjoyed it to the fullest. We were outside all afternoon soaking up every inch of sun. We knew that it wasn’t going to last forever and that rainy Bremerhaven days were just around the corner. Andi loves the sunshine and enjoyed playing outside with the kids every day.

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Flying with daddy!

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We stumbled across a farmers market here that is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, year round! It’s great for fresh flowers, fruit, eggs… meat…. or just a nice walk through to catch some fresh air with the kids.

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Since we’ve been back we’ve managed to hit up some of our favorite nearby towns, with our best friends in tow of course.

Hamburg:

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Bremen:

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Oldenburg:

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The season is in full swing, we are about 4 weeks in! The boys had a “fan” day to finish off their last weekend of preseason games. Andi was happy to go and support her daddy!

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Ellie and I got to enjoy our first game with NO babies! Thank you, babysitters! It was a crazy feeling but felt good for this mama to get out. Friday night games are way to late for baby Andi who hits the hay at 7 PM. Wine, please!

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A lot has changed at the Kuhn house since I last wrote. I have officially stopped nursing Andi, it’s been over a month now since we stopped. I’m sure my family still can’t believe it but it’s true! I woke up one morning and decided it was time. Cutting out nursing little by little wasn’t working for us. So unfortunately for Andi, it was cold turkey for her on the boob milk. I have a post saved in my drafts to talk all about this so I’ll keep this part short. It’s getting harder for me to post personal things now.  I’ve become more private, quiet and less opinionated. Part of growing up? Yes (maybe some other people should take notes?). But also something that has happened to me over the past five years of being an expat. So I keep blogs and never post them. Anyways, Andi did great and we made it!

Naturally, a few days after I cut out nursing Andi got very very very sick. So sick that we ended up at the hospital one night at 3 AM with a 104 degree fever. She was tested for everything and all they could tell us was that she had a 7-10 virus because everything came back negative. Which is great but.. we were worried about her. She had a fever for NINE days! It was awful. We enjoyed the snuggles and really enjoyed learning all the words to Peppa Pig (sarcasm). Andi got better on the 10th day and finally woke up with no fever but a heavy addiction to a pacifier. UGH!!!!!

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We kept andi home from school one extra day to make sure she was 100% – we got out and headed downtown to enjoy the sunshine and Fish & Chips with daddy! He usually has Monday’s off so we like to spend the day with him. This little chick LOVES fish. Which is.. great!

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AND THEN WE BLINKED… AND IT WAS FALL!

It’s officially fall here in Bremerhaven. Were barely hitting 60 degrees and the sun is going down so early that we can barely keep our eyes open past 5PM.

With fall weather in Germany comes… festival season! Yup, food, beers, chocolate, ferris wheels… need I say more?

The girls and I hit up our first festival this past weekend while the boys were out of town!  “Kramerfest” in Oldenburg.

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Fall weather = Fall clothes!

Seriously.. these little girls are beyond beautiful… how’d we get so lucky?!

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Today I had a meeting with one of Andi’s teachers and they say she is doing great. Her teacher said she loves to observe and watch what all the other kids are doing and then she follows. A couple of weeks ago they sent home her sippy cups because she is drinking out of a regular cup at breakfast and lunch with them. She seems to learn something new every week and always comes home doing the cutest things!

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We are missing family and friends back home but love being able to keep in touch with everyone thanks to FaceTime. Andi loves calling Oma & Opa… okay, mostly Uncle Zach (since Uncle DJ is busy finishing up his last year at college!!!). We know before we know it, it’ll be summer again.

I hope to catch up again before the next season, (blah) winter hits us. But I’m sure I will be since we are heading to …. LONDON! For our November break this year. Stay tuned! ❤

Sending love and hugs to everyone back home.

XO

Back In Germany!

We are so happy to be back in Germany. It’s always nice to be home in the summer to see our family and friends (especially now that we have Andi) but to be honest, it’s a lot of work. I always feel like were being pulled in 500 directions trying to see everyone and fit everything in before it’s time to pack up and head out again. Life at home can be a bit stressful but gosh, do I love Sunday dinners at my parents house! That makes it all worth it. I’m drooling just thinking about it!

One of my favorite pics from summer: My Crew ❤

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I think we were mostly happy to be in Germany after that terrible flight with a one year old. I rather poke my eyeballs out than go through that ever again … but I better get used to it. Andi did great for the first 2-3 hours… but then she was basically up for the next 10 hours. :insert cry face here:… tears were shed, and not from just Andi.

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We obviously couldn’t wait to be reunited with our Lampl girls! We ran over to their apartment as soon as we got back.

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It was so nice to come back to our same apartment. Everything just the way we left it, it makes for a MUCH easier transition. The easiest we’ve ever had for sure. There was no stress of finding a grocery store, buying all the essentials (soaps, laundry detergent, etc.) it was all here!

We brought back a lot of Andi’s books from our baby shower – they are so special because inside is a special message from people that came to the shower. So that makes us smile when we open them each time!

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The team management put on a special lunch for all the guys and families last week. It was at one of our favorite places here in Bremerhaven, so that was a plus! It was good to meet the new faces and see some old familiar faces too.

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I had to snap a family pic since it’s probably the first time I put on real pants and did my hair since we got here! (haha)

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On Monday Andi started “krippe” (which is essentially like day care in America). She will only be going a couple of days a week right now from 9-1130 (for now)… She really has loved it so far but it’s throwing off her schedule quite a bit. Usually by 9 Andi is down for her first nap and right now were getting to school then. So, to say shes exhausted by 11:30 is an understatement. Yesterday was the first day they had me actually leave her. I left at 10 and she was there all alone like a big girl! I knew she’d do just fine because she LOVES other kids and plays really well. And is one of 8 kids in her “classroom” and is the youngest by one month. There are three teachers in every classroom which is amazing. I think this is going to be wonderful for Andi! I haven’t had a second to cry because I haven’t really “dropped” her off and left… I’m sure that day is coming.

Andi is starting to take more steps on her own. Finally.. not that I was ever in a rush but it’s been frustrating for her. So we are excited about that and have been practicing a lot! Her teacher told me she was “walking all over” but I’ll assume we were lost in translation. Haha! When Andi isn’t at school or taking a nap.. she loves being outside and playing at the park. No surprise, the kid has loved fresh air since day one. Remember… she used to only nap outside? So glad that has changed.

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We needed a break from cooking at home so we headed downtown the other day. We went a little early to take a stroll by the water. It was a windy afternoon! The weather here has been shit.. for lack of a better word. Last year around this time it was still summer. I was so excited to take Andi to the beach when we got back but it doesn’t look like that will be happening. Boo! Oh well.. They say were getting some warm weather next week. I’ll take anything warmer then 55-60 like we’ve had!

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The boys preseason is in full swing. Which means two-a-days .. which means I feel like single mom, professional dog walker. Next weekend the boys head to denmark for some preseason games and the following weekend they head to Belfast! (jealous? yes! me too.) Wish me luck on those weekends alone. I’ll need A LOT of coffee.

Until next time….

Baby Andi – 8 months

I know, I say it every month… but “where does the time go”? Really, where does it go. My tiny human is 8 months (and not to rush, but that means 4 months until her FIRST birthday!) Make TIME SLOW DOWN!

Since here we don’t do another doctors appointment until 1 year, I have no idea if Andi has grown in length but I’m positive she is 20+ lbs.

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Fun things: Andi is “talking” … Yes, “da da” was her first word. She is getting on her knees and preparing to crawl (until she falls flat on her belly and starts screaming for us, haha!) Likes to use her hands to “wave”. She “growls” for fun and is starting to play “peek a boo”.  She’s doing great at swimming, kicking her feet and “jumping” to mommy into the pool!

Other things: Andi is in a definite clingy stage. Cries if I leave the room. Loves her daddy but if she sees me she lunges (lol). Everyone loves that Andi always has a smile on her face. Still not a long napper and enjoys her cat naps. 2 or 3 throughout the day which is fine because she sleeps through the night with the occasional waking up to nurse (which is fine because I HATE pumping!). Andi is still breastfed exclusively, not eating a lot of purees and has now moved on to a more “baby led weaning” type of eating. She eats whatever I prepare for her.. loves sweet potatoes, papaya and beets… and bread (typical german girl).

February flew by. 

I had the cutest Valentine. Jerry and I have never celebrated Valentines Day but now we kind of have a reason to make it a day full of extra love! Jerry was on the road but we sent him lots of pictures.

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We had a visitor this month! Andi’s great-grandma came to see us. We had a great time and made a lot of memories. We even took her to our new favorite city, Amsterdam! She loved it.

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Jerry always gives Andi “spider man” kisses and… I think she’s caught on. I love being this little monkeys mama!

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Andi loves our lunch/dinner dates with daddy. She sits at the table our entire meal and goes through lots of snacks, banging spoons, and chats our ears off.

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She was so great on our trip to Amsterdam. I think she will be quite the travel bug when she is older. Enjoys being out and about in her stroller! She is a little “nosy” and doesn’t like to miss a beat. So lucky to have this cute travel pal on my side!

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This picture is so important to me. I know breastfeeding can be a touchy subject (I don’t know why)… it should be positive talk. 8 months of BF through dinners, hockey games, long nights. I never thought we’d make it past one month but here we are. We deserve a pat on the back, Andi. I love this bond with you and I’m forever thankful I’ve been able to give this to you. ❤

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We finished off February and started the Month of March with Jerry’s last regular season game before playoffs start. Andi no longer sleeps a wink at daddy’s games I used to get her to sleep at least a period in her stroller. It can be tiring (especially Friday night games) but we are here to support Mr. Kuhn and that’s what were going to do! He wants his girls there in the stands, how could we say no?! Andi (ask the fans) sits on my lap, smiling and “flirting” with everyone around us. She seriously loves watching! But I think her favorite part is seeing her papa after a big win…

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Here’s to a good March & playoff go! We are ready to support our #35 and the rest of the Pinguins! Send them good luck wishes and keep them in your prayers. 

March will be a very busy month for us and I have a feeling by the next month update I’ll be telling you Andi is on the move! I’m going to be soaking up every minute with her because I feel like time is just flying every, single, day.

We are off on a mini “vacation” before playoffs start. Excited to see old friends and enjoy a nice massage. But mostly excited to relax with my little fam! Miika is going to be so excited when she realizes where were going…

Until next month… XO