So this weekend we packed up the family and went to Minnesota. Originally we had set this date so we could make it to Julie and Tony's "Swim for water". It turns out we know a lot of people in Minnesota and, since we were driving 6 hours anyway, thought maybe we should try to see them all.
Our very good friends, Greg and Emily, moved just outside of the twin cities a year or so ago. They were very generous and offered us a place to stay (though truth be told I think they sincerely regretted it when they saw how much stuff we bring). I must say, the ride is a lot more fun with Zach taking half the drive time and talking to me the whole time.
Saturday we spent the morning shopping in the cutest town of Hudson, WI. Seriously, they have the most ideal downtown in the world. We loved every shop we stepped in, our only regret being we didn't have enough disposable income to do as much damage as we would've liked.
Arguably my favorite store, a local bookstore. The kids' area was AMAZING!
The kids watching the glass blower.
When we tell them to "say cheese" this is what they look like 9 times out of 10.
For lunch we, of course, had to visit one of the many Ethiopian restaurants. Greg and Emily had never had the pleasure of trying the East African cuisine. We all loved it and the wait staff loved Tariku (how could you not, really?)
Tariku with our hosts.
Doozie with hotflawedmama.
After the extended lunch we traveled a short pace to Sara and Andy's chiropractic clinic where we met up with several ET adoptive families (most of whom we traveled with). The clinic was the perfect place to host the get together as it had an apartment attached.
Zach throwing around Tariku and Eshetu (remember they were "the twins" at the care center).
I know I've mentioned this before, but Zach is an amazing dad. The thing is, he transcends fatherhood and just takes on this role to every kid who meets him. Shown here demonstrating terrific magic skills. Look at the kids swarm around him.
I made sure Eshetu's parents were looking the other way when Zach introduced Eshetu to the Klipsch way of life.
This little guy, Titus, has the great parents I've mentioned before. Titus came home the same time Tariku did and my has he grown!
We had the opportunity to meet this little princess for the first time! I became friends with her mommy in June when last we traveled to the cities of twins. Tirfe (pronounced tear, as in tear-the-paper, fey; tear-fey) is a beauty to behold.
As I'm sure you've all guessed, Dailah was a smitten kitten. Talking to her in her "mommy voice". Basically doting on her and smothering her with kisses whenever she could.
Then Dailah met Silas and they promptly began calling each other "best friend". Sharing the vacuum cleaner and other thoughts on life, love and the pursuit of happiness.
She also loved Samry, who we met for the first time. Since becoming friends with her mommy when we traveled to Ethiopia together, I've been holding my breath waiting for Samry to get home and then to meet her. She is striking (obviously) and was just precious.
I snapped this pic just before I was leaving. Tiffany and Dave changing their two youngest. Though most of our lives are spent wishing for stages like these to go far, far away, I'm guessing the two of them will mourn the loss when the boys refuse to hold hands anymore.
Do you know how difficult it is to take a picture of seemingly 50 kids? This is most of them. The only reason it turned out this well is because Zach was in the corner entertaining them. Have you ever seen so much beauty in one picture?
In short, Tariku thrives when other Ethiopians are around (he does all the time, but even more so). Talking to other adoptive parents is a special time for me too! Some random ones of the weekend.
What is he doing?
Ugh, makes me insanely happy and insanely jealous in one moment.
We stopped at a good little buffet (did I mention it was in a casino?) on the way home. They had unlimited ice cream. We were in love.
And mine was gone before Zach could take a picture.
Maybe my favorite of the weekend. What is it about footie pj's and a Christmas tree that makes me want to turn them all into baby models?