30 September 2010

Mid-Century Modern

I have so many items starred in my Google Reader that I want to start archiving. Some are from months ago. Here's one of them. Check out the before shots of this fantastic Mid-Century Modern house in Salt Lake City! Pretty amazing. All photos by Tyler Gourley -- here's the rest of the after shots. (via Black*Eiffel)

29 September 2010

Lots of Money


Today, the third grade had a field trip to the Federal Reserve Bank. Each of them came home with a little bag of Fed Shred. But H got this big bundle as a souvenir. This bundle has about 200 shredded bills, worth approximately $2158 per inch. Kind of cool. He said it was a great visit.

28 September 2010

Ant Farm


Well, we got ourselves some new pets. At least for 1-3 months. C got this ant farm for his birthday. The ants arrived via US mail a couple days ago, and seem to be acclimating just fine. Did you know the ants they sent bite? True. You have to stick them in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to slow them down so you can just dump them in the ant farm. Also, they will kill each other if the ant is from a different colony. How do you know? I'm kind of glad I ordered them instead of collecting some from our back yard! The boys are totally intrigued.

27 September 2010

Belly Button Tattoos


Yep! C did this all by himself.

26 September 2010

Moon Dance

Last night, one of our neighbors had a Moon Dance Party. Melissa & Leif had invited me over for dinner beforehand. Brian's been in Las Vegas for a week for work. I've decided that four nights is about all I can handle until I start losing it a bit, so the last couple days have put me in a bit of a funk. But enjoying a nice meal and a evening with friends was exactly what I needed. After dinner, we left the boys in the capable hands of Emma (and her helper, Finn), and walked four houses down to the Moon Dance Party. It was a bit chilly, but a beautiful night. Plus, I have a total weakness for the little white lights they had strung across the back yard. Gorgeous. When we came home, the boys were crashed out on the sofa. Emma has a magical touch, that's for sure. Melissa and Leif helped me carry the kids to the car, and by the time we got home, Brian was waiting for us. He had arrived about five minute earlier. And now, we are looking forward to a great day, just hanging out at home together today.

25 September 2010

The Sharks Today

The Sharks had a great day today. It started with team photos. Unfortunately, there were two boys and the head coach missing, but it still was a nice picture. Next, they played at game at our favorite field -- the one by our house, with a playground and bathrooms -- and won. The score was 6-1. But what was really great was that 5 (maybe it was even 6) different kids made the goals. H wasn't one of them, but it was really fun to see.

Blog Book


I received my second blog book in the mail today, and absolutely love it. Honestly, it takes quite awhile to put together, but it's something I really treasure. As I've said before, this blog is meant to be a way for me to take time out of my day and try to focus on the little things, and simply what makes us happy. Sometimes it's just a place for me to post about stuff I like and don't want to forget about. I'm absolutely thrilled some people like to read it, but really, it's mostly for me. The book is a great keepsake that I look forward to getting each year. And I thought it was great to see H & C as excited, if not more, to take a look at it. (By the way, I order my blog books through blurb.)

24 September 2010

Art by C: Me, C and Storm


He said he didn't have room for the others in our family. Glad to see Storm and I made the cut! And I'm a bit surprised. Boy, have C and I been butting heads the last couple days. Brian's been gone all week, and finally comes home tomorrow. Thank goodness.

23 September 2010

Johan Thörnqvist

These pieces combine photography and illustration -- and I think they are completely awesome and really fun. I'm digging pretty much every piece by Johan Thörnqvist. (via Where the Lovely Things Are)

22 September 2010

Fall Flowers


I know I've said this before, but I love Fall. Everything about it, really. But I always find these flowers that bloom just as everything else is changing colors, absolutely amazing. They attract a swarm of the largest bumble bees in the world, but I totally think it's worth it.

21 September 2010



When my parents visited this weekend, they brought a box filled with stuff of mine. Mostly artwork, writing projects, cards I made them (something I did for a long time), and so on, from nursery school through middle school. For fun, I would put together little recipe books and illustrate them. Or draw about things that reminded me of Christmas. There was some pretty funny stuff in this box. And some was actually pretty good. The boys, especially H, got a huge kick out of it and loved seeing what I made when I was his age.

Something else that was in that box were my report cards. I'm one of those people who really needed to work hard in school for pretty average grades. It just didn't come easy for me. But I forgot how average some of those grades really were. Especially in middle school. I don't remember ever getting a C -- and there they were. About 4 in one semester. I must have been devastated. But I really didn't remember getting them, so I guess I've moved on. I definitely learned something though -- H and I are pretty much the same person when it comes to school. He is so conscientious and such a hard worker. But his report cards tend to read like mine did. I struggled with reading -- as noted in some of the comments -- and it's something he definitely needs to work at all the time as well. I love reading, and so does H. It's just something doesn't quite click when it comes to the testing. I also did horrible in social studies. What the...? And from what H said, it's not his favorite subject either. Then there math. Loved. It. It's something I didn't have too many problems with, and something he likes doing as well. Let's just hope he doesn't get another trait of mine -- not wanting to participate in discussions. I was so shy, that I absolutely hated raising my hand. So far I haven't seen that one on his report cards -- but I was surprised that they already had made it onto mine in 2nd grade. It was very interesting.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all of this stuff (thanks Mom & Dad), but it's been really fun going through it.

20 September 2010

Waiting for the Tooth Fairy


As soon as I picked H up from after-school, he flashed me his new grin. He lost his second front tooth today at school, and couldn't be happier. Now, he's tucked nicely in bed, just waiting for the Tooth Fairy.



C just built the most massive Tinkertoy creation ever. He actually built it over the weekend, but has to disassemble it to fit it in his room at night. He put it together again today and was pushing it along our upstairs. Look way down at the end of the hallway. Can you see the back set of wheels? It's about 11 feet long. And this photo also cropped how tall it really his. It's a pretty cool thing. I asked him what kind of car it is. It's a limo!

19 September 2010

On Top of the World


It was a wonderful feeling -- waking up and realizing we didn't have anywhere to be today. We spent the morning playing. Then I talked on the phone with a friend who I really needed to catch up with. For an hour. And the boys didn't even pester me. Too much. After lunch, we worked on a big project that H has to do, and C's homework. It's like pulling teeth with that boy to get him to do it. Does anyone else have that problem? H has always been so conscientious about doing homework, and I'm not really sure what to do. Anyhow, then we had an early dinner and just relaxed. I think we really needed it. It's another busy week ahead!

18 September 2010

Not the Best

The Sharks played another team from their school today. And got absolutely creamed. I think the score was 13-0. The other team was really good. And bigger. And older. Our boys played well too -- and were good sports about the whole thing. I think the craziest moment to me was when the head coach of the other team argued -- I mean in your face argued -- with the poor little middle/high school girl referee about a call. It happened twice. And the score was already 10-0, so really? I'm not sure that was quite necessary. I don't think the outcome of the game affected H much. He seemed to have a fun time, and honestly, that's why he's playing. Also, he had two cheerleaders on the sideline who made a visit from Wisconsin. Nina & Papa drove down to watch the game, so he was in heaven. And I didn't mind -- check out the cute line judge!

15 September 2010

13 September 2010

Art by C: Self-Portrait Sleeping

C's art assignment was to draw a self-portrait sleeping. When I asked why he drew a beard, he said that it wasn't a beard. That he couldn't find the right color for his face, so decided to use black. But then his teacher helped him.

12 September 2010

A Day at the Zoo

Today was absolutely gorgeous out. I woke up and went on a nice longer (for me) run. Then, since Brian had to go into work today, decided to take the boys to the zoo. They went a few times this summer with Leanne, but it's not my favorite place to go when it 90 degrees and packed with people. I'm more of a winter zoo person. It was still very crowed, but nonetheless, a great day. We didn't stay long, but had a really good time. We were super excited that the stingray exhibit was still going on, and happened to be there during public feeding time so got to try our hands at giving the stingrays some fish for lunch. H & C were freaked out at first, but it was a pretty cool experience. The day ended with an amazing dinner and surprise visitors throughout the evening. It was a pretty excellent day.

11 September 2010

Last Night

Brian and I had an absolutely fantastic evening last night -- our 11th anniversary. Around 7pm, we brought the boys over to the Elsmo's, where they were spending the night. Melissa was also hosting a 7-course dinner party for M&M, and invited Brian and me to stay for the beginning. We had a lovely burrata, with figs, a yummy spread, and crostini. Next was a Momofuku-inspired pork bun. Oh my gosh! Delicious. That's what I tried to take a picture of above. Sorry it didn't work. At least you get an idea of the ambiance of the evening. And I can only image how delicious the rest of the courses were. After the second one, it was time to bid our farewells, kiss the boys good night and go on our date.

We had made dinner reservations at Blackbird. It's been around for a long time, but Brian had never been, and I went for lunch about 13 years ago. We were super excited about our night, and it didn't disappoint. We had:

Salad of endives with crispy potatoes, basil, dijon, pancetta and poached egg

Glazed veal sweetbreads with lime onions, tamarind, bee pollen and fried chocolate

Roasted australian sea bass with green papaya, dandelion greens, walnuts and charred beef vinaigrette (Brian)

Grilled berkshire pork loin with caramelized white chocolate, beets, plums and sea beans (Me)

Brown butter cake with red raspberries, borage and goat's milk caramel ice cream

It was perfect! Everything was delicious. We didn't feel too full afterward. In fact, we came home and sat on the deck with another bottle of wine until 1:30 in the morning. Probably not the best idea considering H had soccer bright and early this morning. But it was a great time.

Back to the Elsmo's. I was in such a rush to leave (not that I wasn't enjoying the company -- I was just looking forward to my date), that I had forgotten my camera. When we picked up the boys this morning, Leif handed me the camera back, and right away I turned it on to look at the pictures, because I knew -- I just KNEW there would be some pictures on it that I didn't take. I was right. Here's a sampling of what I found:

And there were some Leif, some of Melissa, and a lot of Matt. I think my favorite was this.

You have to know, that if I leave a camera, and you take photos, they most likely would end up on the blog. Too funny.

We picked up the boys this morning and the first words out of C's mouth was "Hi Mom. I didn't even miss you." They had an absolute blast -- thanks Elsmo's! On the way to soccer, C also had a very important question for us. Here it is: "So, did you guys kiss on the lips?"

10 September 2010

You + Me = Us for 11 Years

(photo taken in NYC photo booth, circa 1995/6 - I honestly can't remember)

Today is our 11th Anniversary. And without getting sappy, all I'm going to say, is I absolutely adore the life we've built together. Love, Me.

09 September 2010

Work Space

A number of years ago, I had an office. My own office in the John Hancock Center. With a solid wood door that closed (and locked). And a window looking south with amazing views of Michigan Avenue and the Lake. It was pretty sweet. I changed jobs six years ago, and since then I've worked in an open environment. Ok, fine. It's a cube. Besides the fact that I talk really loud on the phone, driving my co-workers nuts, it actually isn't too bad. But the thing that gets me the most is the view. The nearest windows look across a courtyard (20 stories below, with no green space), to the other side of the building. I have to walk into other people's space in order to see outside onto the street. For some reason, these offices in the forest look pretty appealing to me. It could be because we just spent a weekend in a tent. Or the fact that fall is right around the corner and I think it would be great being surrounded by the changing leaves. Of course, it's still an open space -- which mean my poor co-workers would never the less be stuck listening to my loud phone voice. (architecture offices of Selgas Cano, via Swiss Miss)

08 September 2010

Camping - Governor Dodge State Park Day 3

The final day of camping. It also happened to be my birthday. Yep, I'm one year older. I woke up to a candle on a Hostess cupcake, homemade cards from the Tillotson girls, a Governor Dodge State Park baseball cap and a lovely bar of soap from the New Glarus Brewery -- all courtesy of the Elsmo's and Tillotson's. It was a great way to wake up. That and the meat breakfast didn't hurt (bacon and farmer's sausage from Ruef's). After taking down camp, we headed over to the beach and the kids spent the rest of the morning playing in the sand and water. A pretty good way to end the day. We parted ways at the campsite. The Elsmo's ended up making a little side trip, and we rushed home to pick up Storm. When we got back, the boys got a bath ready for me (which was completely heavenly, especially after camping for three days), while they went and picked up some dinner. It was a perfect day. And an absolutely fantastic weekend. Thanks friends, Brian and boys!

07 September 2010

Camping - Governor Dodge State Park Day 2

After a chilly night of sleep (my sleeping bag is quite amazing though), we woke up and started the fire, put on a pot of coffee and a had delicious breakfast burrito meal. There's nothing like it, really. Later that morning, we decided to take a field trip to the New Glarus Brewing Company. Their new operation is only a few months old, and it's really quite amazing. We enjoyed a little beer tasting in the garden (thanks Amy!). I tried Moon Man, Stone Soup, and Wisconsin Belgium Red. We also hit the shop, and loaded the trunk with Totally Naked and Staghorn Oktoberfest. After the brewery, we stopped in New Glarus -- a charming little town of Swiss heritage. The Wilhelm Tell Festival was going on, but we didn't stop and see that. We did, however, go to Ruef's Meat Market and the New Glarus Bakery, where we shared a delicious Bienenstich cake (among other things -- like a cream horn, and an almond horn). I have a request in to learn how to make it -- will definitely need to try it out soon! That afternoon, we went for another little hike, then went fishing. H caught a bunch of little fish, but C wasn't as lucky. In the end though, H's prized fishing pole went falling right into the water, and we couldn't save it. He was crushed. But we reminded him that it's probably time for him to retire the Spiderman pole anyhow. Dinner was hot dogs and brats from Ruef's. Absolutely amazing. It was a fantastic day.