Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I heard on the radio not too long ago that the way to make a weekend feel longer is to actually DO more things over the course of the weekend. 
Not necessarily run yourself ragged, but having some plans can stretch those 2 and a half days. Not that I'm ever ready for Monday to roll around but I didn't dread it as much as some weeks. This weekend was SO great: full of tons of fun events and yet relaxing at the same time. This weekend was all about that guy I married, M! 
On Sunday, M turned 30, so I planned us a whole weekend of surprises. 

Friday night (not pictured) we went to dinner with his mom and step dad to kick off the festivities. 

Saturday morning we got up bright and early to hit the road to Surprise #1. I was concerned about the weather but thankfully the forecast proved true: overcast, but no morning rain, which was perfect for a morning of hiking at Taylors Falls. Taylors Falls is about 40 minutes straight north of Minneapolis/St. Paul, followed by another 20 minute straight east, until you hit the Minnesota/Wisconsin border. 

The only thing I was disappointed with was that the trails weren't LONGER. This was seriously the most beautiful trail I've ever seen (not that I've done a TON of hiking), but wow. I honestly felt like I was in Montana or somewhere significantly more rugged than a typically farm-area of Minnesota. 
After hiking we devoured lunch at Romayne's in town.. all that exercise worked up quite the appetite. 
We hopped in the car and made the long, rainy drive home to shower up and get ready for Surprises 3, 4, and 5. 

Surprises 3 and 4 were stops at 2 local breweries in town: 612 and Indeed (for you locals). M loves beer, and finding new beers, so I knew this was right up his alley. A selfless date-idea indeed for the girl who doesn't drink beer (and poo on 612 for having nothing besides water from a Culligan stand for us non-beer drinkers.. womp). Thankfully Indeed had flavored San Pellegrino. 

After encouraging him to nurse the second beer a bit longer (he slammed his beer at 612 in about 20 minutes.. I had allotted about an hour for each brewery.. haha.. I think he was just excited to keep the day rolling :)) we drove over to Surprise 5: Dinner at Hola Arepa. Ho-ly SNOT that was a fabulous dinner. For locals- Hola Arepa was (still is) a food truck during the week in downtown Minneapolis and they recently opened a restaurant on 35th and Nicollet. It was out of this world tasty. 
Surprise 5.5 was going to be dessert after a walk around Lake of the Isles, but we took home dessert from Friday night's dinner so we went home and scarfed that and watched The Wire instead. 

It's quite possible I was more excited about Sunday's surprise than Christmas morning, but first, Sunday morning. We woke up early and walked to the Caribou that's about 8 blocks from our house, where we sipped coffee on the patio and split a lemon poppyseed bread. 

By the time we got home and showered I knew Surprise 6 was close. M's dad lives in Moorhead, MN (about 3 hours northwest of where we live) but emailed me and told me he was going to be at a motorcycle rally in Iowa and would be passing through on Sunday on his way home. It worked out perfectly to surprise M with a birthday lunch with his dad. He had NO idea, I was very casual about everything... right up until I saw the motorcycle drive by the front of our house to head out back and park. M wasn't expecting anything so he didn't glance twice at it but I hopped up and began pacing as M's dad took FOREVER (it was probably 7 minutes but OMG I was jacked up) taking off all his cycle gear and coming inside. I honestly thought I was going to pass out I was so excited because I know how much M loves spending time with his dad. 

I opened the back door and motioned him in, but put my finger over my lips to tell him to not say anything.. and as we walked into the living room I said "Surprise #6 is here!" and the look on his face was PRICELESS. It was similar reaction to the surprise trip to Florida reveal

I had arranged for M's sister who lives in the cities to come to lunch, too and realized I never told M's dad about it, so that was a fun surprise for both of them when she showed up. His dad had told me he wanted to be "in and out" since he had a long drive in front of him so I picked a place nearby with fast service typically (Rojo at West End, for locals- again!). We got back home around 1:45 with plans to visit for a little bit when the guys realized the World Cup final was on at 2:00. Well, "in and out" slowly devolved into all 4 of us watching the final together (and when I say I watched I mean I watched the entire first half then napped through the second. woops). So, he hit the road later than expected but I know how much M loves watching sports with his dad, too.. so that was extra special. 
By the time his dad left we only had about 45 minutes until the 7th and final surprise of the weekend, which was going to be a casual surprise get together with some of his friends. Nothing huge, just about 12-14 of us in a back room at a local restaurant. Except, unfortunately 6 people bailed shortly before so it was a smaller group of 8 of us.. but it was almost preferable that way.. it was a small enough group that we all had one big conversation and it was an eclectic mix of his friends so it was nice to chat with people I sometimes wouldn't. We also got to hear some big news from 2 of his friends- they're 12 weeks along and expecting a baby in January! This is the first baby in a while, and they just got married in April 2013, so I'm excited to see the wave of kids start, now that almost everyone is married in the group! 

That was the last surprise of the day- after which we head home and watched more of The Wire- duh. 

I'd be remiss to not mention that it was also TJ's honorary birthday. We got him in late August and he was about 8 weeks old so we estimated his birthday back to be around early July. Since I was a bad cat-mom and spaced it until this past weekend, we celebrated tootie's birthday too. He's 3! So he was treated to some sloppy smelly wet food and just wolfed it down, squealing and purring the whole time- hilarious. 

It may have been M's birthday weekend but I had SO MUCH FUN planning it and enjoying all of it with him. I love doing things like this and I think he had a fantastic weekend. Make me want to plan weekends like this "just because" more often! 


  1. What a great weekend! You guys were definitely busy!

  2. I loved following along on Instagram over the weekend. I also love that M and I were born just 10 days apart. You get the awesome wife award for doing all this! :)

  3. What a wonderful weekend!! That hiking trail looks seriously spectacular.

  4. You did such a great job! Sounds like a really fun weekend. I will have to check out Hola their menu looks good and of course Rojo is always a good option.