All I want for Christmas…

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!”

Yes, feel free to sing that in your head…it’s ok, I did.

This weekend’s mission with the boys was to get our Christmas Tree, and with the addition of some snow, what better way to enjoy it than taking some pictures too!

So after a slight detour to Kohl’s to pick out some items to complete their outfits, we set out in the mild 29° weather through the tree farm! Which shout out to Hansen Tree Farm and their amazing location!

As the boys and I were walking through the endless rows of trees, the conversations were abundant and completely random. Discussing footprints, animals tracks, different kinds of trees, why some trees were purple, chemicals and ingredients in hand warmers, what they want Santa to bring them, tractor rides, and the list goes on and on.

But it made me think about about one thing from my childhood growing up.

Family.

I don’t remember the toys I got from Santa, the gifts from my parents, the latest craze that every kid seemed to have after Christmas vacation was over.

I remember the home cooked meals that Grandma would spend all day and night preparing which no one could reproduce. I remember the nonstop playing with all of my cousins that we saw only a handful of times a year. I remember the staying up all night building forts with every pillow, sleeping bag and blanket we could get our hands on. I remember long car rides to and from Chicago to Wisconsin.  I remember my mom making breakfast for my brothers and I and building snow igloos using 5 gallon buckets and freezing water just to have a place to play.

I remember being with family.

I’ll bet money that 20 years ago I would have a different perspective, but as I reflect over the past as I get older, I’d take family over anything else in a heartbeat.

Material things are replaceable. Family is not. Would I be heartbroken and upset if my camera were to get lost, stolen or broken? Oh absolutely! I’d probably even cry. But I could always get another.

So as the holiday season continues, I know that I can always rely on family and friends. I know that I can cherish every second I have with the boys and capture the moments of their silly faces when dad makes them always take pictures, which I might add, they really seemed to like the vests.

I hope everyone is fortunate to have someone to spend the holidays with and be able to live, love, and laugh and know that in a moments notice, anything can happen.

Merry Christmas everyone!

 

 

DEAR NANCY ALLEN

Nancy Allen. A name you may have heard of, a face you’ll remember, a laugh and smile you’ll never forget, and one of the most influential people I have ever met.

For those of you who don’t know Nancy, she is Music Education Professor at Viterbo University,  founder of Platinum Edition Show Choir, an extremely talented musician, a dedicated and loving friend, and a mom to every student that steps into her life.

I have known Nancy for just over 10 years, and it all began on the campus of Viterbo University.  Within my time at that College, which I’ll be honest, I really only went to Music and Show Choir classes.  Sorry Mom and Dad…but it’s the experiences that make us who we are today right?!

But anyways, my time at Viterbo seemed to have one thing in common, Nancy.  Between singing in Show Choir, Barbershop Quartets, Choirs, A Cappella groups, dog walking Max, palm readings, and just having someone to look up to and have guidance from, Nancy would always be there supporting any and everyone along their journey.

So I just want to say thank you.  Thank you Nancy for leaving a footprint in my lifelong path of who I am today.  It is a blessing I am still able to work with you, and continue to see your work as you inspire so many students on a regular basis.

Below is the song “Season of Love” performed at Nancy’s 20th Anniversary Alumni Celebration show this past fall.  Among the performers are 13 of the original Platinum Edition Members, along with over 30 alumni that came back for this special 20 year event as well as the current Platinum Edition members.  Enjoy!

 

 

Meet the Osterman Family

For those of you who have lived in Minnesota long enough, you know better than anyone that one day it will be 50º and sunny, and the next day it would turn to 10º with mother nature covering the ground in beautiful white snow.

Luckily for this adventure, the Osterman Family and I were able to roam the forest of Elk River in 40º weather!  There was mud, there were laughs, and there were two boys who may or may not have run off into the woods and gotten a little lost, but all in all there was no blood shed.

I have known this family for a few years and have grown pretty fond of them.  You could say they bring out the little kid in me and honestly I’m not entirely sure how these two parents keep up!  The energy of these four kids alone would be enough to put any triathlon athlete to sleep!  Speaking of… we need another night of Ghosts in the Grave Yard at your house!

Anyways I can’t thank you enough for the smiles, laughs and crazy photo adventure!

Meet the Amundson Family

Many people walk in and out of our lives on a daily basis and whether it’s planned or pure fate, I believe there is always a purpose and a reason.

If you’re lucky enough to know the Amundson family, you already know they are a strong dedicated team.  They are family driven with high morals with love that overflows to anyone who steps foot along their path.

I was beyond grateful to meet them 9 years ago, and even more blessed to have my two sons be cared and loved by this family.  Words cannot express enough how much of an impact you have made on my boys, and no doubt to any other child who has been under your roof.

You all are truly amazing and I want to thank you for letting me spend the afternoon with you…in the 40º weather…which for Michael was extremely cold, because he got too fond of the warm weather in Costa Rica!

Much love to you all 🙂

 

 

 

 

We’re Expecting!

Disclaimer…This single dad is not expecting any baby in the near future.  So here we go…

First off, thank God for family!  I mean seriously.

Secondly I have to state I probably have the worst memory out of everyone in my family.  Perhaps it’s the abundance of fun I had when growing up, or perhaps the creative mind that gets distracted too easily.  Either way my brother texted me tonight asking if I could send the link for the video I created several years ago to announce my youngest son’s birth to my family, and I had completely forgotten I had even created it!

So as most curious minds are, I set off on a mission to dig through countless files on my Mac, and finally found it!

It’s always fun to revive something created from the past.  It usually can bring back those lost forgotten memories which can be good or bad, but in my case, a very critical critic of my own work examining everything I shoulda woulda coulda have done.

But if anything, I can look back and relive the day I forced my family into the living room of my parents house to show them this video I created.  It was a fun moment in time, and all I can remember is that my mom was the last person to pick up on the message that we were actually having a baby.

So I hope you enjoyed!  Again…no baby for this guy anytime soon.

Meet the Avery Family

Last night the snow couldn’t have made a better debut to set the scene for this morning’s photos.  The mom of these two little rockstars set in motion weeks ago to get their pictures taken, and the days have been counting down since.  After a few exchanges of what they should wear, where should we go, I think in the end, we couldn’t of asked for better scene!  Thank you, as it was a pleasure to capture the moment, aside from it being so cold!