28 March 2017
The day started with a training session at Real Madrid City with the Realmadrid Foundation coaches. While C was busy there, I went for a quick run, then headed to the market and wandered the streets of Madrid a little bit. I had grand plans of hitting the Prado today, but realized I would hardly have any time so nixed that plan. It did feel good to get my bearings a little bit anyway since the last couple of days were jam packed. When C returned, we went out for ramen then came back to the hotel to rest a little bit before leaving to for their first international match. The match was held at Pedro Galán in Cobeja. It was seriously in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately, both teams lost but it was such an amazing experience. The team C's team played were mainly 14 year olds. They were good, and considering C's team has 12-year olds on it, they didn't do bad. After the games, there was dinner at the soccer complex with the opponents. The boys loved hanging out with the other team. Unfortunately, by the time C's team got to eat, there wasn't much left (only Spanish tortillas) so we were starving -- but what a great experience. The night ended with pizzas in the hotel lobby.
26 March 2017
Big day today. Breakfast at the hotel, then we were taken to Alfonso Perez Stadium for a La Liga 2 match -- Getafe vs. Lugo. It wasn't Real Madrid or a Champions League game, but still fun. Afterwards, we went had lunch at Real Madrid Cafe then toured Bernabeu Stadium, which was pretty amazing. We left at 10:30 am and didn't get back until 8:00 pm. Long day but really fun. We did't have much time for dinner since C had to be in bed by 10:00pm, so ended up with some other players at a market where C had octopus salad and I had a couple fish tapas. Good stuff.
C and I made it to Spain! We are here, traveling with his soccer club for the next week. It's the same trip H went on a couple of years ago with Brian. We are both so absolutely excited to be here. On Friday, we met a group at the airport and flew to Madrid via Philadelphia. We were brought back to the hotel, then the players were shuttled off for a brief training session. I, and a few other supporters, decided to take a walk instead and ended up at Chocolateria San Gines for churros and drinking chocolate which totally hit the spot. We met the players back at the hotel for lunch, got our rooms, then headed out on a bus and walking tour of Madrid. It was really great. Unfortunately, the boys were exhausted and delirious, so I'm not sure many of them -- myself included -- were able to take much of it in. But it was good to be out and about to help with our jet lag. We were on our own in the evening. C was losing his mind, so we ended up picking up a sandwich and fruit for him to eat back at the hotel and I went out for tapas with the coaches and a couple parents. A good night sleep is exactly what we both need.
23 March 2017
On Friday, Brian turned 46. It's hard to keep track of these birthdays nowadays. No big plans -- just our annual corned beef and cabbage dinner (note to self -- cook double the corned beef -- my big guys ate every last bit so no left-overs) then Brian took C to play soccer. Oh, I also made an Irish Cream cake that was pretty delicious.
These two. They really love each other. Morning snuggles every day.
Unfortunately, H woke up not feeling great. He had a referee course he had to complete, which was a total bummer. His temperature spiked to nearly 105 later in the day, which landed him a trip to urgent care. The diagnosis? The flu. What a nightmare. Fortunately, Saturday was the worst of it. It's pretty much taken all week though for him to feel normal. I can't even say he's 100% yet.
Papa was in town! Against our better judgement, H insisted on coming. So far, he's the only one inflicted though, so that's good. Papa took us all out for dinner Sunday night. Was really great seeing everyone.
17 March 2017
H participated in a Spanish Pronunciation Contest so had to leave the house early on Saturday. He was thrilled, as you can imagine. This guy decided to make the most of a lazy day. He had two soccer games on Sunday, and was supposed to have a soccer tournament this weekend, but it was cancelled thanks to the snow. Both the boy's schedules are insane after Spring Break, so we are making the most of these days when we get them.
Yep, it happened again. So pretty, but insane. So much snow! Brian had to travel this week and ended up stuck in New York City an extra day which meant he didn't get to come home as planned and instead had to go directly to Charlotte for the day on Wednesday. It worked out ok, but I've got to admit, this was a loooooonnnnngggggg week for some reason.
10 March 2017
The Chicago Fire Academy team drove up to scrimmage C's soccer team. So cold! They had a great game, with C's team winning 3-2. (Of course, it helped that the two players who scored and the goalie play on the the U14 team.) They did really great though. Fun to watch for sure.
On Sunday we drove to Oak Park to watch our friend M perform in her first Momenta show. She did so great and looked absolutely lovely. So glad we could see it.
Buddies. Love that these guys have grown up together. Seriously, I first spied Penny across the street moving in when she was pregnant with M.
Crazy winds swept through the area this week, and Wednesday much of our area lost power, including all of the schools. Our outage started at 12:22pm and was caused by a damaged pole. Fortunately it got fixed -- at 11:15pm! We were able to rescue most of the food and stick it outside. That's always my biggest concern. Otherwise, truthfully, we all loved it! It felt great to unplug, hang out by the fire together, read by headlamp and go to bed early. Turned out to be a really great night.
03 March 2017
C was invited to the Regional Free-throw Contest at Nicolet High School after being one of the top 5 free-throwers in his grade. He qualified with 15 out 30, but ended up with 12 on the big day. As soon as we walked in, he said "Wouldn't it be funny if a soccer player won the free-throw contest?" We had no idea he was so into basketball, but turns out he's kind of a NBA junkie.
Better late than never! Had our 8th annual holiday dinner with Ali/Scott and Shelly/Andrew. Tried out a new place this year -- Jackson Grill. We liked it! Here we are with the chef.
As part of Gretel's recovery, swimming is recommended. Luckily we live near The Feed Bag, which has a pool and provides recovery swim time. She loved it!
On Sunday we had dinner at Grandma's house. She made one of Brian's favorites -- chicken broccoli casserole. I brought a birthday cake to celebrate her 77th birthday, which was a couple days later. Happy birthday, Grandma!
I somehow started the tradition of getting a King Cake every year on Mardi Gras. This one may not have been the most traditional, but it sure was delicious. As a side note, I have never tried a paczki! May need to change that next year.
On Wednesday, it snowed! All day. This was the mood all around.
The snow was a total bummer. But look at the gorgeous day it made the next day.
Took Gretel for her follow-up visit. She's healing great, and can start going on short walks. Still another 6-9 weeks until she's back to normal, but it's nice to know we are over the hump.
24 February 2017
Just catching some sunshine and rainbows.
H and I tried out the new poké restaurant -- FreshFin. He made his own, while I had the spicy tuna bowl. So delicious.
The weekend was absolutely perfect outside. It felt like spring which was such a nice treat in the middle of February. We did a little exploring and finally made it to Black Cat Alley.
While H and I were taking in the sites at home, Brian and C were in Las Vegas for the Mayor's Cup Tournament, which C played at with his Wisconsin Fire team. They had 2 wins and 2 losses (to the same team -- the second time in the quarter finals). It was really such an amazing experience. Plus, it sounds like he made a bunch new friends from other clubs. Can't wait for Spring when they meet up again with their regular teams.
Monday was President's Day, which meant no school. H and I took a little road trip to Oak Park, and were so excited to meet up with my people at Ming Hin in Chinatown. Seriously, miss them so much!
C's futsal team took 1st place in their division in the Super League. They really played great. It was so much fun watching them.
The swim banquet was this week too. I know I've mentioned this, but what an incredible season it was for him. He earned his JV letter, and also got a trophy for Most Improved on JV! How amazing is that? I knew he had gotten better, but he cut off 8.18 seconds in the 50m freestyle, 16.6 seconds in the 100m freestyle, 16.15 seconds in the 100m breaststroke. Incredible, if you ask me. Here he is with the assistant coach, Krista, who worked a ton with him this season. We couldn't be prouder of him.
17 February 2017
Brian, H & I made a trip to the Milwaukee Winter Farmer's Market, then to the Haggerty Museum of Art on the Marquette campus. It was so fun being at my alma mater, and this museum is such a little gem. The business school is right next to it, so I spent a lot of time there as a little escape back in the day. Crazy, but this was the first time visiting it since.
It really is a great space, and the exhibitions right now are spectacular (and extremely relevant). Look How Far We've Come by Jeffry Gibson, We Can Make It - The Prints of Corita Kent and Lakota Voices - Collection Highlights from the Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School. I can't stop thinking about it.
On Tuesday, it was Valentine's Day. Can't believe that last year Brian and I were in New Orleans, and the boys were in Florida. Missed our annual <3 Day picture. Oh my gosh, do I love these guys.
After C's soccer practice, we celebrated together with a nice dinner. Buffalo tenderloin with herbed butter, oyster mushrooms, winter radish and roasted green beans. All of which (besides the beans and butter) came from the farmer's market, by the way! We also had a crepe cake and chocolate covered strawberries for dessert. Delicious.
10 February 2017
Cheering their team on last Friday night, as Grafton hosted the JV Swim Invitational. H swam the 50m Freestyle and 100m Breaststroke and came in 2nd place for both of his heats. He may not have placed on the podium, but the improvement since he first started was amazing, and he ended up shaving quite a bit of time off of his previous bests. Nicolet ended up coming in 2nd place overall.
Here's H and some of his swim buddies. See? His hair could have been worse, for sure. To celebrate, H and a couple of the guys went to Kopps for dinner. It really was a great season. The next day, they helped at the Varsity Invitational.
C's been working on a data project that entails making a company website. He decided his was going to be a cupcake and macaron store, so he's been busy making the goods to photograph for his site. These are chocolate and lemon curd macarons. I was pretty blown away. They even have "feet."
Tuesday was a particularly foggy day, which I happen to love. I even took a detour on my way home from the gym to take it all in.
Even on sedatives, Gretel is going a wee bit stir-crazy in her crate lately. We had been giving her a little more freedom and she blew it. She jumped on the sofa to look out the window as I was getting ready to take her outside, and screamed out in pain. She's fine, but it just goes to show that we can't trust her yet. She spent the rest of the day in her crate crying to be let out. The good news is, she was so tired she zonked out that night. Poor little thing.