A day in the life of a Southwest Minneapolis Mom

In honor of this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Every day life, I spent the day taking photos of a “day in the life of a Southwest Minneapolis mom” (otherwise known as me!).  We happened to have a lot planned for a gorgeous fall day and I certainly enjoyed myself. It was tempting to use my old standby photos from lovely Minneapolis but I decided this time to stick with the theme. Some photos aren’t the best but they still represent everyday life.

Following is a photo documentary along with some humorous commentary of my everyday life. Hope you enjoy!

The morning for me starts at 7. Just like clock work, my son Max calls “Maaaaaaaa-Maaaa” in chants from his bed where he refuses to get up until I enter. He needs his cuddle time. It is our daily routine and I’ll take it until he’s too old and no longer thinks it is cool to hang out with me.

I enjoy my morning cup of Joe while Max watches his favorite cartoon and I begin writing. An hour later, it is time to wake up my sleepy head daughter Sophia and get her ready for school. It takes at least five minutes to detangle her nest of bright blond hair. By ten to nine, we’re out the door and on our ten minute walk to school.

Walking to school is one of the highlights of my day. The air is fresh, the birds are singing and my kids are crazy with pent up energy from too much syrup on their pancakes. Before we head to school, we stop in our backyard to check out the status of our pumpkin tree. Yep, you heard that correctly. We have a pumpkin growing up alongside our lilac tree and yippee, it has finally started to turn orange!

Have you ever seen a pumpkin growing in a tree? Maybe we can use this one for Halloween!

Then it is literally off to school. My daughter makes me carry her pink kitty backpack so she can run faster down the hill to school. Max is already way ahead by now as I am desperately trying to keep up in my sandals. And I thought I was the runner in the family?

Heading down 49th street we usually meet our friends on the way to school. I love the sense of community! I could never live in the suburbs.

Sophia promptly stops at my favorite houses along the way. It is a lovely black and white stucco with a gorgeous garden.

Minneapolis is a very liberal city and people like to advocate with their political signs. We have a monumental vote coming this November on gay marriage rights. “Vote No” signs (vote no to changing the Minnesota State Constitution to not allow gays to marry) have popped up everywhere, making me proud. We have one in our front yard too. (Vote No is another post coming at a later date).

Even the temples have the sign! This temple is right across from school. My kids pointed it out first saying “Mom, look at their big sign!” I’m glad to be raising politically aware children!

Burroughs Community School at 50th Street.

We arrive at school by 9 am. I walk the kids inside and will be back in three hours to pick up Sophia after kindergarten. Max ends at 3:40 sharp.

Over the next three hours, I succeed by cramming in as much as possible. I go for my daily run around the lake, come home, write, shower, eat and am out the door to pick up Sophia. There is a tent sale going on at a local ski shop so we face the insane crowds and succeed in finding two great deals on winter coats for the kids. (If you don’t have children, then you don’t understand how much they grow and how expensive they become when you have to buy them a new size every single year!).

Sophia has fun trying out a new sport called Slackline which is being featured outside the tent sale. You can buy your own Slackline for the basement for a good $250. I told the guy we’d have to move to the suburbs if we bought one because our basement isn’t that big. Ha Ha.

Sophia giving a whirl at Slackline. She is also wearing her new blue ski hat which I got for 50% off. Yeah!

After the tent sale, it is back into the car and back to the city to make it to my son’s “Beachcomber” Day. Burroughs has the best pair of gym teachers in the world who utilize everything wonderful Southwest Minneapolis has to offer. Today the kids are running, scootering or riding their bikes to nearby Lake Harriet and spending time playing in the sand at the beach.  Every kid at the school-all 800 of them- get to enjoy in the fun but there is usually only two classes at a time.

Waiting inside the gym at Burroughs. Love all the bikes!

Scooters too.

The kids take a break on the bridge over the dried out creek. Max is holding on to my jogging stroller and Sophia is in front. The kids learn the rules like “No pet the puppy”. Its lots of laughs.

There they go, running after the gym teacher! I can hardly keep up!

The kids at the beach, listening attentively to Mr. Peterson.

Minneapolis off in the distance with only the tallest buildings peaking out. In a few weeks, this view will be spectacular when the leaves turn colors. I can hardly wait!!!!

Chaos! There’s Max digging (in the red t-shirt). He loves to get dirty to my chagrin.

After Beachcombers, it is the end of the day. Max and Dad head off for a special “boys weekend”. They are going to my alma mater University of Wisconsin-Madison for the Badger Football Game. It is where Paul and I met and it is Max’s first time to Madison. Meanwhile, Sophia and I are headed off for our Girl’s weekend here in Minneapolis. We have a special date for dinner, just the two of us, at my favorite local haunt.

Driving around Lake Harriet to Linden Hills for dinner. (I know, I shouldn’t be taking this photo with my cellphone while I’m driving but I slowed down!)

Sophia and I grab a table at Tilia’s. She loves it because the kids get a box of toys to play with. I love it because it is amazing food and a cool ambiance.

I nearly faint….they have VIN DE SAVOIE! Hey, just like being back in France. I have to order a glass and take a picture of the menu to annoy my dad who would be envious. Vin de Savoie is hard to find back here in the States.

Life is good! I have my glass of Vin de Savoie is Sophia is coloring a picture of us at dinner. Perfect!

Now for dinner! Mmmmm good! This is a polenta ragu. It is incredibly tasty.

What does my daughter eat? Her favorite thing. Pasta. Unfortunately that is all she ever wants to eat. Buttered noodles.

Ok, stop now! This isn’t appropriate dinning etiquette! Then again, what do you expect when you are out to eat with a five year old?

Next door the table is having nutella rice crispy bars.

I love how the waitress sits down with her customers when explaining an item on the menu. Nice touch!

I couldn’t resist the blueberry tart for dessert. There goes my run! Oh well…

After dinner we have to stop at our favorite children’s bookstore located right next to Tilias.

There is even a kid-sized entrance.

The bookstore has tons of animals including chickens, tarantulas, birds, ferrets, and cats. This above is a hairless mole. Isn’t he cute?

Linden Hills is getting busier. It is only six o’clock. But there were no tables left open at Tilias. Got to eat early with a kid!

After dinner, we make a visit to the Bandshell park on Lake Harriet. Sophia enjoys being a monkey for awhile before bed.

Then we spot Spiderman! I nearly passed out laughing. He was going to a kids birthday party at the park. What a get-up!

On the drive home, I had to stop to take a few photos. It was absolutely spectacular out! The sun was setting and the light cast golden hues over the lake. This is what I love best about fall in Minnesota!

This post is in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life. To read more entries, click here.


  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life | Even A Girl Like Me

  2. Sas

    Your neighbourhood looks great! I try using the slackline at our local climbing wall, but Sophia looks like she is doing a much better job at it than me 🙂

    • Thanks! I love Minneapolis. I adore the seasons and love the lake. There are bike trails everywhere and they even plow the running trails in the winter so I can run year round!

      • after a 15-year absence, asthma has tormented me for the past week. now i well remember that i could always run in cold weather once, but the coughing escorted me after that.

        i sent your post to a good friend w/two lovely high-energy children. she wrote back to say that they helped paint the lower 4-feet of wall space while she did the ceiling. she was in the zen of painting, and when she checked on the ‘urchins’ they had painted not only the walls but also part of the floor and the bricks. like you, she was not too happy!


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  5. O.K not only beautiful, but now you make me want to visit. I love that your kids get up late, my child has inherited my insomnia, and wakes up at 5am and wants to be outside by 5:05…

    • Well, it took years! My son got up at 5 am sharp for a long time and woke up nightly for the last six years. Now that he is almost eight it is better but he doesn’t go to bed until 10pm…not a good life for a couple! I love Minneapolis. It is a wonderful wonderful city! 🙂

  6. BTW, you did a great job showcasing the wonderful “non-suburb” neighborhoods of Mpls (my favorite! — my husband and I lived in the 40th & Grand neck of the woods while in grad school!). Cheers from a fellow Minnesotan (now an “outstater”)!

  7. What a hectic day, but one filled with happy and productive moments… I bet this resonates with lots of bloggers; especially moms with little kids still… I shared a typical day but somewhat differently. Great post! 🙂

  8. What a great place to bring up a family, and what an amazing job you seem to be doing, Nicole. I don’t know how you can switch off to write like this as your day goes by.

    • Thanks Jo! I feel really fortunate living here. yes my wanderlust would have me all over the place but in terms of raising a family this is a wonderful place to be. We have culture, urban, nature, and a strong community. Education is very important too and people in the city tend to be fairly liberal. I try my best to do a good job and hope I’m achieving! As for writing, now that my kids are getting a little older it is easier to fit an hour here in the morning and an hour there in between school. I just really love to write and it seems to be kind of an obsession!

    • Thanks! It is a wonderful place to live and raise a family with a great sense of community, urban environment and a ton of nature thanks to our thousands of lakes. You can do a post like this as it is part of the WordPress Weekly Challenge: Everyday life! Everyone is welcome to join in on the fun! 🙂

  9. What a hoot! I loved this whole series from the Pumkin tree, the bikes and scooters, the gym teachers would have been adored by me as a kid, to the pasta and spider man. You are a great mom and loved your images… this blog is gonna be a fun one to watch.

    • Why thank you! Glad you enjoyed the post. Yes our gym guys are amazing. We got sledding, snow-shoeing, ice-skating and even ice-fishing! They truly use the urban area and the parks. 🙂

  10. What a great collection of everyday life. Great in number and beauty. Still not believe your everyday life is this beautiful…

    My everyday post is about batik, Indonesian traditional clothing. Hope you can visit and read it sometime.

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