Week in Review – mid- to end of July

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**LOOKIT MY KIDS HAVE FINALLY EMBRACED THE LUCHA LIBRE MASKS I BOUGHT THEM FROM SOME NICE OLD LADY IN OLD TOWN SAN DIEGO**

Anyway. I don’t know why I still title these “week in review” when it’s twice a month at most.  I guess after 8 years of “Week in Review”,  writing that out is a hard habit to break…

So!  The end of the month was dominated by cousin gatherings, that was in fact the only time I busted out my camera.  Mahni does not allow for me to not have it on me at all times 🙂  We caught up with the cousins at their hotel one weekend, where they invited us over for a swim.

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Can’t get enough of that face.

After swimming we changed all the kids and ordered some Jets (yassssssss, Jets) and ate doughnuts while we waited.

Mahni and I had a mini photo sesh in the parking lot because HELLO DOUGHNUT AMBULANCE and also we can’t get together without at least one photo shoot of some sort.  What can I say, she’s a budding supermodel.

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The following weekend, my sweet niece Nicole got married (I KNOW).   We drove up to Appleton and once again it was a major cousin meet-up event.

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They clean up okay (and I’m sorry but I was sorely disappointed when Linus’ tux shirt showed up in the mail and THERE WERE NO TAILS ON THE SHIRT.  What is that about, SERIOUSLY). So he was a Bluto-level slob that day.  Sighhhhhh.

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I bought these little Paw Patrol characters at the Dollar Tree one day, a few months ago. I squirreled them away for this exact purpose. Linus loves Paw Patrol and I thought that it would keep him busy during the ceremony, SO SMART OF MEEEEEE.  And I mean, they did?  But they were hard plastic and he kept accidentally dropping them which made this very distinctive, loud noise when they hit the floor, and bounced over and over, which was kinda counter-productive to what I was trying to achieve, and UGHHHH.

Thank goodness it was a short, yet heartfelt, ceremony.  Sorry for the constant loud PING-PING-PINGing noises, guys.

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After the ceremony we hung out, peeked at staff prepping the reception, hung out a bit, and went back to our hotel for a short breather before the reception.

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I’m not sure I mentioned about our room yet – we booked a room at the Residence Inn and Suites (just a normal old room) but they didn’t have our room ready when we did our check-in, so they gave us an “upgrade”. Our upgrade was a 2-bedroom SUITE, with a full kitchen, separate living room, and 2 bedrooms/2 baths.  It was HUGE and way fancier than I’ve ever had before in a hotel and I wish we were there longer to truly enjoy every minute.

(And by ‘longer’, I mean longer than getting checked in, marveling at HOLY CRAP THIS IS A WAY BIGGER ROOM THAN I THOUGHT THEY’D COMP US, then struggling to wrestle 2 kids into dress clothes, then putting some Nickelodeon on the TV for them as a distraction while we sprinted off to our own room to spend a grand total of 7 minutes wiggling into clothes and me slapping on make-up, then flying out of there to catch the ceremony.

Then we spent about an hour there in-between ceremony/reception during which Scott and I split a beer while our children completely disrobed which meant yet again wrestling them back into clothes, etc. etc.  PARENTING, IT IS JUST SO FUN, IF YOU DON’T YET HAVE CHILDREN THIS SHOULD TOTALLY CONVINCE YOU, YES.)

Long story short: we were back to Lawrence University in no time flat, and ready to party.

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There were cocktails BUT OMG ALSO KIDDIE COCKTAILS AND CHEEEEESE to be had during cocktail hour and that’s all anyone needs to get excited, really.

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Except for Jojo, all she needed was a nap.  Whatever.

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The reception, it was nothing short of completely lovely.

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Linus eating butter (because: of course).

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Mike and Cat made the cutest wedding party entrance EVAR.

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Jojo is a bit of a dinosaur connoisseur, as it turns out. Our kind of people.

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Once dance time hit my boys were LIT.  They danced the night away, along with their cousins.

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And then Linus was flitting in-between completely joyous and total meltdown, so we knew it was time to leave. Womp, womp.  Oh well, Muzzy stocked our hotel freezer up with Klondike bars of all types, so not all was lost.  We got back, the boys passed out within 10 minutes of stepping foot in the door, and Scott and I had a nice beer-and-Klondike-bar nightcap.  Then I crawled into our bedroom area (TWO BEDROOM SUITE LUXURY) and watched Forensic Files from bed while I drifted away to sleepyland.  BLISS.

(I miss cable sometimes. Mostly for my murder shows. Judge away.)

And then it was Sunday morning. The kids were up at the crack of dawn (annoying) but kept themselves busy watching Nickelodeon in their room.  Thank baby Jesus.

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Then they had Klondike bars for breakfast because hell why not.

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(Then we all went downstairs and hit the free breakfast buffet as well because HELL WHY NOT LIVING THE SUPER-LUXE RESIDENCE INN AND SUITES LIFESTYLE.)

Linus did NOT want to leave the hotel.  I took this picture about 2 minutes before we forced him out the door; he kept insisting that we could totally just move into the suite and live there forever if we just told the front desk that was what we wanted to do.

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Now: we were gonna just head out, but my sister had told me about the Cozzy Corner last year so I knew we had to hit it up before heading out.  THIS WAS THE BEST DECISION EVAR.  I am so thankful she clued us in on this amazing spot.

If you want to learn more about how there is such a great little Soul-food spot in the middle of Northern America, watch here.  Long story short: some Southerners moved up and with hard work opened this lovely little Southern food spot in Appleton, WI.

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I mean, the decor is pretty awesome.  The food, even better.

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We pretty much ordered half the menu.  Hot chicken, regular fried chicken, hush puppies and 2 orders of mac n’ cheese and the fried okra, collared greens and the homemade baked beans with bits of meaty goodness and the cornbread made with sweet potatoes.  Everything, you guys.  It was all amazing. Scott and I were sweating from our hot chicken and dousing our sides in hot sauce and the kids stole my mac n’ cheese while they devoured their chicken and sides. It was all just really damned good.  I 100% recommend if you are in the area.

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_DSC2416 Oh lort we rolled our way outta there and GO CHECK IT OUT IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY YOU GUYS.

Then we walked around the ‘hood a wee bit (walk off those calories, yo) and I can’t turn down a solid mural, as you know.

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That was some damned fine cold brew from the spot in the last photo, by the way.  So yeah! That’s all you get for cousin time, Appleton time, and the entirety of July.

August, coming up hot. Another update soon, friends.

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