28 August 2016

C's Birthday Party

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C's birthday is tomorrow, so to celebrate, we had family over for dinner. It's always so much fun getting everyone together and C had a really great night. I even got a huge hug once everyone left. His one request was Qdoba queso and chips, so we planned a big Mexican taco bar around that. He also wanted a salted caramel ding dong cake and helped me make it yesterday. It really turned out great -- I think he was happy with his pick. Can't believe we only have one more year until this guy is a teenager. We are trying to savor every minute.

26 August 2016

Last Week in Moments

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The Dane County Farmer's Market -- my absolute favorite. It is seriously amazing. Even some rain wouldn't stop us from getting there this year.

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Our nephew/cousin goes to school at UW Madison, and moved into his first apartment the weekend before. So happy we were able to see his new digs and introduce him to shabu shabu. It was such a fun day, and we all loved seeing him. That evening, we had some friends over dinner. Ironically, they had just driven back from Madison too. Such a cool town.

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Sunday was Surf Atwater. The boys were looking for Costa Rica sized waves, but only were able to catch a few tiny ones on that day. They did take part in the SUP races though!

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After the beach, the boys made Brian and I a 5-course dinner. They have been scheming this for a few weeks. I took them shopping so had an idea of what would be served, but I was absolutely blown away. They made grilled octopus with zucchini -- beer-battered blue gill on cole slaw -- brown butter scallops -- seared tuna with sesame soy sauce -- oreo churros. They even made their own whipped cream. Everything was cooked perfectly. It was such a treat! We were not allowed into the kitchen at all. Until clean up. :)

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H had his first JV2 high school soccer game as a Nicolet Knight. They tied 1-1. Half of the team plays on H's club team, and pretty much the other half went to middle school with him, so he's having an absolute blast.

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You know they must be getting bored -- they have reverted to old school outdoor play. For the past couple days, they have spent a ton of time cleaning out part of the wood behind us and building a fort. C is pretty disappointed, however, that we won't allow him to start a fire there. Unfortunately, it's right below an evergreen. We are such mean parents.

20 August 2016

Last Week in Moments

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We've been getting some much needed rain. This is how Gretel prefers to spend her time on those days.

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The Frigs came to town! We always look so forward to their visits. We made a picnic and went to the Hubbard Park Beer Garden. It was our first time visiting this particular one, and is by far, my new favorite.

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M is really good with hair, and asked if she could get her hands on C's. She ended up doing a bunch of braids. Despite this photo, he loved it! Too bad I have no idea how to replicate it. He's already asked.

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Per tradition, we went to German American Days at Carl Schurz Park. We met up with my parents, my sister and her family. It's always such a great day, and so fun watching how excited the kids get about it.

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Tuesday was a sad day in our house. Bill, C's goldfish, took his last breath. He's had Bill since 2011, when he won him at a carnival. Those things usually don't make it past the parking lot, but somehow, this fish was with us nearly 5 years. C actually took it really hard. After all, Bill's been with him for nearly half of his life. After soccer practice, we had a proper burial for Bill. He's resting peacefully in our back yard.

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On Wednesday, C had his last day of tennis. We took advantage of a beautiful day by spending some time on our favorite lake. It was the perfect day for it. Sadly, we had to rush off to high school soccer practice because we honestly could have stayed all day. Speaking of high school soccer, H had tryouts Monday & Tuesday, and I'm happy to report, he made JV2. Of course, he would have liked to have made JV, but he's pretty excited to get to play with all of his Bavarian teammates and friends from school who are all on the same team. We can't wait to cheer #52 on this season.

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H had a dentist appointment on Friday. We knew he was getting braces and started the process a couple of weeks ago, but didn't know he was getting them that day! He's in a lot of pain right now, but is pretty excited to have them on before starting school.

12 August 2016

Last Week in Moments

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Last weekend, the Bavarian Soccer Club hosted the USASA National Championships. The boys signed up a few weeks ago to be ball boys at the final game. Fortunately, the Bavarians Major team made it! Sadly, they lost. But we all had a blast cheering them on. C also participated in a 3v3 tournament with some of his new teammates. Brian and H were his team's coaches. They all had a blast.

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I haven't been making it to the gym as much over the summer, but had a pretty good week. I even PRed my deadlift. 245#. Yep, I lifted this!

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Our garden is going tomato crazy. There is still one variety left to fully ripen, but check these out! The purple heirlooms are my favorite.
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Despite the lack of photos this week, it was an incredibly busy one! H was in a pre-season high school soccer camp for three hours every day. I showed up with C the first day. (We were on our way to buy him a new soccer ball since his club training started this week.) The Director of Coaching at their soccer club puts this camp on, and as soon as he saw him, he asked C if he wanted to be his assistant for the week. So every day that I dropped H off, I dropped C off too. He rode around in a golf cart with the DOC, passed out water to the coaches and filled up the big jugs for the players. It's amazing what an 11-year old will do for Powerade and a new Chelsea jersey. He loved every bit of it. What a cool experience. H had a great time at camp too. Historically, camps are not his thing. Most of the time though, he had a blast at this one. There were a couple rough moments (there were only 4 freshman there) but overall, he did great. He even had C's club coach one of the days, who confirmed he played really well. And H agreed it was a great way to start the season. Tryouts are next week! Crazy. I'm super proud of him.

Brian has also been traveling this week. Three flights in three days, all before 7am. Milwaukee --> Baltimore --> Dallas --> Milwaukee. I have a feeling he'll be happy to be home tomorrow morning. C was supposed to have tennis today, but it rained non-stop. It worked out though, since we still got to see my mom, and C got to fulfill his water boy duties at the camp this way. He also had the second round soccer ID camp for the Wisconsin Fire tonight. He felt he played well but not as well as the first time, so he's hoping they base it on that one yet too. We'll see! He feels pretty lucky to have been asked to be there in the first place. See? It was a big week. But a good one.

05 August 2016

Last Week in Moments

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We made it to Oak Park last weekend. Brian and I stayed with Chris & Penny, while the boys spent the night at the Elsmo's. In the evening, we actually had an adult night out! We ate dinner at Green Street Meats, then finished the night with cocktails at the Soho House. It's been a long time since we've spent time in our old hood, and even longer since we've all gone out for a night on the town together.

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The next morning, Chris & Penny had a delicious Spanish style breakfast for us. It was so delicious -- by far my favorite breakfast of the summer.

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We walked over to Vals Halla Records. Brian was completely in his element. Such a happy guy.

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We also ate Pete's for lunch. They have the best chicken sandwiches! The day before, we also walked over to Gina's to get some Italian ice. Some of our favorites. And it was so fun running into people from the neighborhood. Miss that.

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So happy we made it to Quarry Beach. Even I took part in the action. True, I may have been one of the only adults, but it was a blast.

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This week, I also took H to his high school for registration. It's official! We walked his schedule a couple times. It definitely made him feel better, and he's getting super excited.

29 July 2016

Last Week in Moments

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Brian took off on Friday, so we spent the afternoon at Panga and rented SUPs for 4 hours. H & C got dropped off after tennis so used them too.

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Look who else joined in the action! She wasn't perfect, but did better than we thought. She preferred being on land and shallow water, and spent most of her day swimming.

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We had the best weekend! Yvonne flew in from LA, and Bill & Raluca came in from Chicago. On Saturday, they came over for lunch then we went to the Lynden Sculpture Garden. It is such a great place. Here we are under Quartet by Forrest Myers. That evening we went to Centro Cafe -- another one of our favorites.

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On Saturday, we went to the Milwaukee Art Museum, and had so much fun. We spent 5 hours there, and even the boys lasted. I could have spent all day in You and I, Horizontal (II) by Anthony McCall. It was magical.

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The boys and Yvonne. Cuties! H&C were absolutely smitten by our friends, and I don't blame them. They are pretty great!

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That evening, we had had dinner at Goodkind. I was dying to try it, and it did not disappoint.

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Yvonne was going to spend two nights with us, then find somewhere to stay and write. She ended up staying the next two night with us too though. Frankly, this made me so happy -- I would have had a hard time knowing she was close by and that I wasn't seeing her. Bill & Raluca left to go back to Chicago on Monday. We went to the pool and had dinner at home. On Tuesday, we took the boys to see The Secret Life of Pets. So funny! Afterwards, we took a walk in Lions Den Gorge. The water was stunning.

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We all could have spent hours just sorting through rocks, and taking in the trees and lake. It was gorgeous. On Wednesday, C had tennis so we went there and spent the afternoon out on the lake. Then I had to take Yvonne to the airport (insert sad face).

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C had tennis again on Friday, so H played golf with Nina & Papa. After tennis, they went to the driving range. Can't believe how good they have gotten! Way better than me. That's for sure.

21 July 2016

Last Week in Moments

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We went to Racine for our nephew's high school graduation party. He leaves for college in a week or so!

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The party was at Grandma's house. Someone was running around the garden, tripped over a brick and fell on to another brick. Brian ended up taking him to the ER where he had to get 4 stitches. We all, including C, are shocked this is his first bout with stitches. The good news is, he survived, and got to get them taken out just 5 days later.

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On Sunday we went to our friend Mike's house. C was bummed he couldn't go tubing, thanks to his accident the day before. But H had a blast -- he went tubing a ton, and even got up right away water skiing.

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Swimming at dusk.

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C decided to have a lemonade stand to help start raising funds for his airplane ticket to Spain this year (yes, it's his turn). He made a simple syrup, squeezed the lemons, added fresh mint, and sold out within a couple of hours.

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C had tennis on Wednesday, so we spent the afternoon on Beaver Lake. We took the raft and tubes and swam around looking at the houses. So lucky. It was the perfect place to be.

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It was a perfect day for it. Today is in the mid-90s. This kind of weather makes me absolutely crazy. Hopefully the 70s and 80s will return soon.

15 July 2016

Last Week in Moments

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The dogs had to be boarded for a night, and Gretel couldn't get enough of the fresh air on her way over. She rode like this the entire 25 minute drive there.

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The wedding was held at St. John's Military Academy in a gorgeous church, and the reception was at the Rustic Manor 1848. It was a perfect, laid back space.

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Here's the bride! My friend and CrossFit trainer, Emma. And these other people are some of my favorites from the gym. Minus Brian, who "retired" from CrossFit awhile back after a short stint. Anyhow, it was such a great night. We got to hang out with a really fun group of people. There were about 14 of us (including spouses) from the gym there. Some came later for dancing. Speaking of dancing, I haven't danced that much in years. As soon as the music came on, I was there. And I didn't stop until the night was over. Such a blast.

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Our Monday adventure consisted of finding these bunnies in our window well. Gretel spotted them, actually. Last Friday, Gretel killed a rabbit in our yard. The next day, we found a newly demolished bunny nest. And as I was walking over to the window, I noticed a dead bunny. I'm thinking these were all from that nest, and was hoping they hadn't been in the well all weekend. So H and I took them to the Wisconsin Humane Society Wildlife Clinic. The good news is, the vet said they were very healthy, and actually old enough to release! So we took them to the park and let them go. That was pretty exciting.

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On Tuesday we drove to IKEA and Mitsuwa to meet Melissa for ramen. Unfortunately, her kids were not around, but thankfully Amy & Graham's daughter was staying with the Elsmo's for a couple days, so we got to surprise her! You should have seen her face. So much fun. We ate ramen for lunch, picked up sushi fixings for home, and had a green tea ice cream mochi sundae. So good.

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The end result of our roll-your-own sushi night. The boys had a blast, and it was absolutely delicious.

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A view of my favorite room (the screened in loggia) at night. It is really quite an amazing space, and where we spend most of the summer.

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Big kids being little kids. I love it. The were seeing who could jump the farthest from the swing.