Showing posts from 2016

{hope & happiness} from the carlsons

Happy Holidays! 2016 was a good year for us, and hope it was for you as well ~ Below is a quick summary of our most memorable notes of the year (in no particular order): Had some great travel time in San Diego and St. Louis - highly recommend both!  Shipped the kids to the Grandparents (in Iowa) to get their little hands dirty on the farm. Then Mom and Dad HIT THE TOWN. And slept. A lot. Kevin became a magician after graduating from Magic University (lesser known competitor to Hogwarts). He volunteers regularly at the University of Chicago Children's Hospital (Comer), bringing home inspiring and sweet stories with each experience. Tracy planned to pick up tennis again -- purchased a membership, gathered gear, and made court reservations. Then fell down some stairs, twisted her knee, landing her in physical therapy. Trying again in 2017! Chase loves Kindergarten, has become a confident reader/writer, and recently started making his own dinners (always with a "t

Homework for Adults

The other day we took the boys to see Zootopia, an undeniably fantastic movie. Which you already know, so that won't be dissected today. But here's the thing.  I went to this movie like all other films I watch -- with as little preparation as possible. Loving the surprise factor, my best-case scenario is knowing nothing pre-show. Yet early into this movie, it became clear my tactic may not be ideal when it came to kids' films. The movie had many themes expertly woven throughout and laid a fantastic foundation to have discussions around stereotypes, teamwork, and grit. And I wasn't prepared. By walking blindly into the movie, this dumb bunny missed an opportunity to have those questions and conversation starters ready to go as the credits rolled. You may be thinking this has never been a problem for you.  Well, I am happy for you.  Sort of. While many parents can quickly convert what they see and hear into appropriate dialog for their children on the s

San Diego - A Review

After finishing up an amazing trip to San Diego, wanted to share our experience and tips so you can have a great time as well! Quick Facts: We are a family of 4 living in downtown Chicago: 2 boys, ages 5 and 3.   Our trip was short, limited to 4 days. We like to save money & time where we can We wake up at the crack of 6 am (or 4 am San Diego time), so we over-prepare and plan to fit in everything we can into each day before the kids tire out and/or have melt downs.  This has continuously worked well for us and wanted to share some of the tips. Assume for each section, we arrive at or before the place opens. Accommodations, Transportation, & Misc: We stayed in downtown San Diego for 3 nights and then La Jolla for 2 nights. We scoured Trip Advisor for good hotels for kids and good proximity to where we were visiting. Hotels: Courtyard San Diego: This location was good: close to Balboa Park/Zoo, Beaches, Downtown, and grocery stores, restaurants.  The hotel