Tag Archives: siblings

The Wilson’s Tackle Mpls [Sort of]

10 Aug

Ya know when my favorite time is to eat a banana in its life cycle? When they are so ripe that they’re starting to get those brownish spots or they bruise easy. Mmmmm. Ya know what I can’t stand about bananas? When you peel back the banana peel and expose the tips of each peel…you can see the little pores where the fibers were attached to the stem. EWWW. I despise pores. Bleh.

Anyways, now that I have successfully gained your attention without having to address my long blogging absence, I thought I’d share a few moments from my wonderful family’s visit to Minneapolis several weeks ago. My siblings are headed back to school tomorrow so I thought it fitting to savor a few of their summer memories as they head back to school. Most of these shots were from a bike ride one evening during their visit. I jumped through hoops and ladders to keep ’em busy while they were here…okay, not really. But you try keeping a 15-year-old and 12-year-old occupied in a city when they’ve grown up in the ‘burbs/sticks all their lives! Anyways, Minneapolis just started this Nice Ride Minnesota project earlier this summer so my family’s visit was the perfect opportunity to test it out. It was actually a blast and made touring the city so much easier!

How many Wilson’s does it take to operate a Nice Ride kiosk? Mmmm, 1, 2….

The best place to take visitors in Minneapolis is definitely the Mississippi River. You get a great view of the city skyline from the Stone Arch Bridge, there are incredible condos in the old mill buildings along the riverfront, the Guthrie is there, and so are the Mill City Museum and the ruins from the old mills. So we focused our evening ride along the riverfront and stopped to take some family photos. (It’s important to note that it may be nearly impossible to get a decent photo of a family of five when two siblings that know EVERYTHING in the world are involved in the equation–and if those same siblings still have braces and avoid smiling at all costs. Whew.)

Nick and I turned the camera over to my sister to get a shot of us together. Evidently my dad thought it would be humorous to ride his sweet green bike back and forth behind us while ringing the provided bell, sending my sister into hysterical bits of laughter. The only decent image follows. And I swear we didn’t plan on matching. Though the man at the gas station that night, who was also wearing navy and khaki, thought it was important to call us out on our fashion faux pas.

She looks more like mom and I everyday…muahahahaha!

My mommy and daddy. I love them. =) (My father looks very mischievous here. Not shocking.)

Ah, yes. My brother. He’s 15. He. Knows. Everything. So ya know, if you need all the answers to the worlds mysteries, call up my little bro…I’m sure he’ll have some wonderful intellectual insights. (Better yet, ask him the question in Spanish. I’d love to know how he responds.)

I have good genes. I think. At least I better age as gracefully as my mom has–seriously.

(If you did a double-take and thought that was me, I understand. I do the same thing when I look in the mirror sometimes!) A final shot to end the night. This quiet photo frame explains a brief moment in the typical nuances of my family life. –Dad sits and quietly contemplates. Everyone else follows suit with less intense contemplations and remains quiet for as long as they can tolerate. Then when mom can no longer keep everyone wrangled quietly, chaos breaks and the moment has passed.– The older I get, the more I appreciate these quiet moments. And the chaos. =)

Soak up the Sun

12 Jun

The other night, Nick and I were dashing through Target before they close, grabbing a few essential items. As we were walking out the door at 9:45 pm, a young, disabled, seemingly homeless man practically brushed my shoulder. Suddenly, I was immensely grateful for the gallon of milk, loaf of bread, 12-pack of toilet paper, and peanut butter M&Ms we had just purchased. Nick knows how I am with homeless encounters in the city. He looked at me, “Are you going to be okay?” And sure enough, I busted into tears. I should know better…these encounters have been frequent since we’ve been here. Several weeks ago, I was in the toiletry section when I noticed a man with his backpack and several bags counting cash in his hand. He was making sure he had enough to buy a bottle of mouthwash. It’s these moments that make me very, very fortunate for all I have in my life.

I’m telling you all this as an explanation for the rest of my post today. Not only do I tell really detailed stories, I also have a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY big heart. Hence my frequent fits of crying I’ve put Nicholas through. He usually just calls me a baby. I don’t mind. =)

Yesterday, I was inspired to write this post. I heard the song, “Soak Up The Sun,” by Cheryl Crow, and it got my gears to turning. I was thinking back to a Spring Break some eight years ago now with my family in the Clearwater, Florida, area. The song flooded the radio stations that spring and summer, and I remember how every time it came on the radio during vacation, my mom or I would turn it up and we’d bust out singing. My dad probably wanted to rip the stereo out of the dash by the end of the trip. I’ve been really lucky in the fact that my family was able to take either a spring break or summer vacation (sometimes both!) almost every year growing up. Well, at least once my brother and sister came along…so since I was probably 10. And before then, we were always taking fun trips with my extended family. I used to pretend by grandparents van was an airplane. I was the flight attendant. I loved that CB radio.  What can I say? I was creative! And an only child…for a looong time!

But in due time, my little brother and sister did come along. I’m almost positive my parents were probably just sick of me begging for playmates. They turned out to be pretty great playmates…I could make them do anything I wanted! One of my favorite memories involves setting up the Little Tikes table in the kitchen with a sweet cash register my little brother, Austin, probably got as a 1st birthday gift. I made him walk around the kitchen and “buy” anything he pulled out of the cabinets. He loved it. As did I.

So of course it was hard at age eighteen to make the big move to Ball State. Hence, the frequent trips back home with my good friend Katie first semester; our excuse–why, to go to Mooresville football games, of course! Secretly, I loved sleeping in my never-changing bedroom at home. Especially knowing that in the rooms next to me were my incredible parents, my annoying little brother, and my precious, spoiled little sister, Abby.

Even harder were the comments from the growing tweens during my later visits home. “When are you going to move all of your stuff out of your room?” “Mom, what are we going to do with Ashley’s room when she finally moves out?” “Ya know you’re going to have to pay for your own cell phone bill soon, dontchoo?”

Even harder still, the day my little brother answered the phone and his voice was two octaves lower, the day I recently found out he officially shaves his facial hair (it has to be a single hair, because I have yet to see any semblance of a beard or ‘stache),  and right now, the fact that he’s in driver’s education. Or how ’bout the days I’ve tried to convince my sister that her friends’ fashion statements aren’t cool, the day she finally started to get serious about reading (after years of nudging from her big sis), or being forced to watch her blossom into a beautiful young woman during visits occurring after month-long hiatuses due to my life as an “adult.” I guess, I dunno, I feel like I’m just missing out.

I promise I’m not trying to give you the, “Oh, woe is me!” schpeel. I’m just simply noting the struggles of a much older sibling when trying to stay involved in younger siblings’ lives. For example, during my recent impromptu trip home for my grandpa’s funeral, I was able to attend my sister’s last day of school as a 6th grader—she’s headed to middle school next year. It was a wonderful opportunity to stay involved and watch her interact with her friends and teachers. (She’s growing up too fast for me to keep up…) And maybe one day she won’t remember the fact that I tagged along with mom to this big event, but I definitely will.

I especially miss soaking up the sun with my family this summer. Since they put the in-ground pool in several years ago (after I had “moved out,” I might add), my favorite thing to do at home is sit by the pool during hot, humid Indiana summer days. Last summer I sat pool-side a lot—margarita and a good book in hand. (Okay, so I’m a spoiled “adult.”) And this summer, Nick and I are battling rainy days on the weekends when he’s home and we have opportunities to hang out all day. We better be soaking up the sun soon here in Minneapolis. We have 10,000 lakes to choose from in Minnesota and my swimsuit is developing cobwebs…

So I’ll wrap things up by adding this: As I type, my family is on a trip out to Colorado for a few days. My dad has some classes to take for work. I’m missing out on some awesome verbal and physical car fights in the back seat, watching my brother drive across the state of Kansas, snuggling with my mommy and little sis in the back seat during an afternoon nap, and most importantly, verbal threats from my dad from the front seat. =) All things I miss when I’m out experiencing the real world as an official “adult.”