30 September 2011

Strong Men


This is the last weekend of Oktoberfest, so of course we had to go again. We met up with Ali, August and her dad, as well as Bela and her kids. So fun. Friday night is definitely the time to go if you want less of a crowd. It was chilly out, so we didn't stay long. Just enough for dinner, a drink and a few games. Even Brian tried his hand at one. At least we didn't come home with another goldfish!

Pablove Across America

Today marks the last day of September, which was also Childhood Cancer Month. When our friend's son was diagnosed with cancer, they founded an organization called The Pablove Foundation.

The mission of The Pablove Foundation is to fund pediatric cancer research and advances in treatment, educate and empower cancer families, and improve the quality of life for children living with cancer through hospital play, music and arts programs.

Pablo passed away a couple years ago, right after his 6th birthday. I cannot even imagine the heartbreak of first, watching your child fight such a horrific battle, and second, burying your baby. It's not ok. Yet so many children go through this every day. I know there are so many organizations asking for support. We get asked all the time, and unfortunately, just can't do it all. But this is one we are completely behind. We know the people who founded and run it. And we support the cause because we can't imagine going through this with our boys.

A couple years ago, Brian joined Jeff for part of the inaugural Pablove Across America ride. It really was something he enjoyed, and very powerful. In three weeks, he'll be joining the ride from Nashville to New Orleans. That's 526 miles in a week. Whether you have $5 burning a hole in your pocket, or are looking for a big tax write-off, any support is appreciated. Or, just visit Brian's page, and just leave some encouraging words. Thanks.


29 September 2011

Discovery World


The boys had off of school for Fall Break today. Once H & I finally convinced C to get out of his pajamas (at 1:00), we decided to visit Discovery World. The setting is absolutely gorgeous -- right on Lake Michigan. The impressive Denis Sullivan was still at homeport, but leaves soon for winter in Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean. The Milwaukee Fire Department was having some sort of dive training. It was pretty cool to see. But what I'm really appreciating more and more about our new city, is the ease of everything. It was only a few minutes to come downtown to the museum. Parking was simple (and cost a whopping $5 for our entire visit). And even the though the boys initially said it was really small (they are used the Museum of Science and Industry after all), it was the perfect size and had exhibits that completely kept their attention. I'm sure it can get pretty crazy on the weekends (many other schools didn't have off today), but I felt like we owned the place. We spent the most time at the Reiman Aquarium, and even got to touch sting-rays and sharks. But the boys also loved the Challenge, a re-creation of a 1852 schooner built for the Great Lakes. And H tried his hands on an airplane simulator ... and crashed. I really can't wait to go back.

27 September 2011



C has started a new nightly ritual -- giving the family massages. We have a choice between shoulder, neck, "old-fashioned" (he hits your back really quick), and foot massage (which is actually him walking on our backs). Oh, and the best part is we can pick multiple versions. It actually feels pretty good. The kid is a natural. We didn't even need to train him.

26 September 2011

Rain & Leaves


I feel like it's really early -- or maybe it's because we are further north -- but the leaves are starting to come down like crazy! The rain is not helping either. Doesn't Mother Nature know I have some yard work to do before our entire yard is covered? At least it stopped a bit so the boys could play their daily soccer game while waiting for the school bus to come. On another note, the little doodle came home wearing a crown. He was King for the day. Everyone had to address him "King C." Unfortunately, he said he didn't want me taking a picture of him in it. You'll just have to take my word for it -- it was really super sweet.

Update: King C came home this week with a poster about him. Here's what it said:

King C's favorite ice cream is watermelon sherbet. He likes to go to Florida. Power Rangers is his favorite TV show. C enjoys playing soccer. His favorite animal is a big fat pig. (Gosh, I love this kid).

25 September 2011

The Other Guest


Part of the package of getting to have my niece and nephew over night, was that their dog, Lulu, had to come too. Other names for Lulu include Lu and Lucifer. Get the picture? She actually can be a very sweet thing, but never, ever -- unless she's staring a wood pile for non-existent chipmunks -- stands still. She really doesn't have good manners either. She barks during the night does very inappropriate things to C and Storm. None the less, she was funny to have around.

24 September 2011



The soccer club the boys belong to are in weekend number three of their Oktoberfest celebration. Only one more to go. Last night I manned the Volunteer and Groupon check-in. I'm really amazed a how many people in Milwaukee own lederhosen and dirndls. This morning, Brian was up bright and early for Grill Station. He smelled like a bonfire when he got home, and put pigs and chicken on spits. He was in heaven. His shift was over in enough time to make it to H's soccer game. It was pouring rain the entire time, but the team won 5-1. Afterwards, we picked up my nephew and niece, and brought them back home with us. Of course, we had to take them to Oktoberfest! We met up with the Schwebel's, and ran into several parents from H's soccer team tonight, which was fun. We dined on Brian's roasted pig (there he is, above, with his creations - ok, those were probably long gone, but you get the picture), and my nephew downed a couple bratwurst on pretzel rolls. Delicious. The boys have been talking since last time we went about winning a fish. C & my nephew each won one. C would line his hand up like an arrow then throw the ping pong ball. Clearly, it was all based on skill and technique. H was bummed out, but ended up getting Jacob's fish after all. They are both in fish bowls now. Happily swimming around for (hopefully) a few days. We'll see how long they last. H named his fish Goldie. C's, is Bill. (That one's for you, Papa!)


Introducing, Goldie & Bill:


22 September 2011

Around the House - The Outside


Compared to the postage stamp size yard we had in Oak Park, our new one is humongous! It's almost like living in a forest, for us, filled with little gems. We have giant trees (and we thought raking was bad before....), a huge granite rock below the ground, tree roots, moss, ferns, tons of birch trees. Which are changing by the way. Fall is here! We even have a Japanese stone sculpture and lantern. Not sure who left those behind (the architect, long-time owner, or the people we bought the house from), but they are perfect. We love it.

18 September 2011

One Sister Underground Dinner


bubble tea

Salad Sponge
Honeys, goat milk, homegrown


manchego-edamame, nasturtium, spice cubes


Smoked watermelon, roe


Potato, truffle, homemade cheese


Shrimp Carpaccio
almonds, peaches, herbs


Your Hand
(Prosciutto and Scallop -- eaten off your hand)


Oyster Centerpiece
Foraged items


Corn Chowder
encapsulated, clam, pork belly


Farm and Garden
Pork, veggies


1 Pill Makes You Larger and 1 Pill Makes You Small
Mushroom Tea


Shrimp Scampi

Oatmeal Dashi
chia seeds
("It's like Ihop in a cup." Graham)

Hand-cut Pasta
duck, raspberry


Ice Cream Cone


Lamb Prosciutto
fennel, lemon, corned leg


Veal Cheeks
hot mustard, granola, cherries


zucchini, honey dew, banana pepper


Chocolate Balls
blueberries, eggs, gruyere

Wow, right? Yesterday afternoon, after two soccer games, we drove to Oak Park to meet up with five other couples and go out to one of the best dinners I've ever had. We seem to be having a lot of those this year, I know. But really, this was an experience like no other. For one, it was an underground dinner. Meaning, we went over to the chef's house. Back in July, Alma wrote about the best dinner ever. Well, that's all it took to get Melissa's head spinning. She organized an incredible group of friends so we could take over Chef Iliana Regan's dining room. The Chef is a forager and farmer, and many of the dishes featured items she grew or found. I'm still amazed we ate mushrooms from a forest in Chicago. The dishes were innovative and delicious. Eating in someone's apartment was surprisingly comfortable. And since we knew everyone, it was like having a dinner party but not cooking for it. Interacting with the chef to find out about the dishes and thought process was intriguing. It really, truly, was an incredible experience. We are so lucky to have gotten to experience it.

(My photos sadly do not do the dishes justice -- especially towards the end of the evening after several wine parings. Please visit the One Sister site for some really nice shots.)