In 2007, Mike and I were living in Eau Claire, WI. It's where we went to college, where we met and became friends, where we ultimately fell in love, and it's the place we left to start a new life (he left first for Minneapolis, and I followed some time after).
Yesterday, we decided to take a spontaneous trip to Eau Claire to visit the Children's Museum, since it was cold and a little rainy out, and we had been cooped up in the house for nearly 5 days due to sickness. We never come back and visit the town where we met; it's got so many memories (good and bad) that it's hard for us to see it in a different light. Our experiences 10+ years ago shaped our idea of that city - fair or unfair, we tend to stay away. But yesterday, we drove the hour from River Falls to downtown Eau Claire and I started reflecting on the last 10 years.
10 years ago, we were leaving college, making bad decisions, spending money on clothes and alcohol, working out to look our best and to impress, spending our time with our friends, and definitely not thinking about starting a family.
8 years ago we were loving St/Paul Minneapolis living, laying by the pool, meeting friends for happy hour all the time, and spending our nights out and about.
7 years ago we were busy planning our wedding.
6 years ago we were leaving on a plane to Marco Island, Florida for our official honeymoon (we went to Las Vegas right after our wedding in September 2010 for a mini-moon). We were also welcoming Baci, our miniature poodle, into our first home we bought in St Paul.
4 years ago we had just sold our first home, and were living in a small 450 sq. ft green and yellow home in South Minneapolis while we built our 2nd home in River Falls. I was sick EVERY DAY because I was pregnant with Veda, and this was a tough stage of our lives. I also believe that 4 years ago today, the weather forecast called for 9-12 inches of snow (WHAT?!)
2 years ago we were raising a one year old and had recently found out I was pregnant with our 2nd child. We knew things were going to get even crazier in our lives!
1 year ago we had two children under the age of 3. Things WERE crazy!
Today, we have 2 children under the age of 4. We spend our weekend mornings watching cartoons and eating cereal. My children are starting to play TOGETHER which has been incredible to watch - even more incredible has been the bouts of boredom that lead them to become imaginative and creative.
Our lives are so different today than they were 10 years ago. Ok, I know that's the most cliché thing to say, and I reflect on it often, but there was something about going back to Eau Claire, if even for only 2 hours yesterday, that reminded me to be thankful for all that we've been through and everything we have now. I'm proud of how far we've come. And I was happy to tell Veda that mommy and daddy fell in love in this city that we were visiting.
The kids had SO MUCH FUN at the Children's Museum. I'm not sure I ever paid any attention to it when I was living in Eau Claire (was it even there? I have no clue) but was very impressed with the countless areas they had set up, from BodySmarts to Imagination Playground to WaterWorks (the kids' FAVORITE exhibit). It's so easy to watch your kids in this environment and imagine them in 10-15 years, driving a car, working in a grocery store, going camping/fishing, or taking care of animals. Right now there is a Groupon, but it's only available through tomorrow so I encourage you to purchase it and take your kids to this great place (the groupon expires August 29, 2017 so plenty of time to use it). I know that we will be going back soon!