31 May 2012

Fourth Grade Farewell


Today, the fourth grade had a Final Farewell open house. Complete with cookies and juice boxes. It was really nice. My mom came with me, while H showed us some of the projects he's been working on recently. They really did some fun and interesting things. I'm amazed at how fast this year has gone by. It really has been a good one for H -- he's been thriving socially and academically. It's great to see. But only five more days left of the school year, then this big guy is off to a brand new adventure. Middle school .... *yikes*

30 May 2012

After the Rain


Memorial Day evening, a storm moved in. The after effect was a rainbow, and glimmering raindrops on our porch screens. It was beautiful.

28 May 2012

Memorial Day Celebration


We didn't have any major Memorial Day plans this year. Honestly, it's the only weekend we've had free in a long time, and the only one we'll have in awhile. It's felt kind of good to get some things done around the house and relax a bit. We did get together with friends on Friday night. And we went out to my parents for a little cookout on Sunday. It's been really nice. Today we celebrated Memorial Day by going to Pinelawn Memorial Park for their service. Besides a number of our Oak Park years when the Memorial Day weekend was filled with parades and swimming pools, we've gone to Pinelawn -- a cemetery that has been in the family for four generations and that my sister now operates. It's a day I absolutely could not wait for when I was younger. And it's definitely fun watching the kids all run around feeling the same way. The service is always really nice, and makes you stop and reflect on what the day really means. It's humbling to be surrounded by so many people who serve or have served in the military, as well as their families, and we are always honored to be a part of it.

The Newest Member of the Family


Last weekend, my cousin and his wife had a little baby girl, and we were finally able to meet her over the weekend. She's absolutely adorable. And sweet, and completely precious. Truthfully, I'm not normally a baby person. But this one! Oh my. She's definitely made me a bit gushy. She seems to have that effect on H too. Both times we've seen her over the weekend, he couldn't wait to hold her, and I've never really seen him like that. So sweet.

26 May 2012

Fastest Mile


The other day when we were at the school for the play, C pulled me over to a white board in the gymnasium that was showing who the fastest person in each grade was for a mile run they recently did. And guess who's name was there - his! I knew he came in first for his class, but had no idea he had the best time in the entire first grade. 7:32. Pretty amazing.

24 May 2012

The Jungle Book


For the past few weeks, H and a good number of the 3rd and 4th graders have been working hard on their production of The Jungle Book. There were tryouts, and while H didn't get the part of Baby Elephant (twelve people tried out for that part!), he was able to be in The Jungle. I know, compared to the rest of the kids, it looks like he's not in costume, but he most certainly is! He's a rock with ants crawling out from under. His nails are painted black (actually, navy blue, but you can't tell) and his rock role really was part of the production. And here I thought he was being lazy and wanted an excuse to wear nail polish. Of course, it might have something to do with the fact that I was a bit freaked out when he mentioned at the beginning of rehearsals that he wanted to be a prickly pear -- I begged him to choose something easy so I didn't have to make a complicated costume. A rock works for me! The play was super cute, and the kids did a great job. Nina & Papa even came to watch too. The performers seemed to have a great time, and you could just tell, were super proud.

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramels

Four of these chocolate salted caramels from Kehr's were part of my Mother's Day gifts from my boys. Two milk. Two dark. Say no more. They were delicious.

22 May 2012

Inspiration Files :: Floating Farmhouse

I know ... what am I thinking featuring a house that shows even the lightest dusting of snow. Who in the world wants to see that stuff anymore? Not me, that's for sure. But I also didn't want to forget about this amazing farmhouse which I absolutely adore. What is it about farmhouses and me? (featured in Dwell, May 2012 via Bliss)

21 May 2012

Soccer Youth Festival Weekend


What a weekend! The boy's soccer club hosted a tournament and between the two of them, there were nine soccer games. C plays U8, and typically they play 4 v 4 no goalie. I'm not sure how it happened, but during this tournament, they played 5 v 5 with goalie. Their team has a roster of seven children (they only had one sub for the first and last game -- none during the middle games) and the team played all four of their games in one day. To say they were exhausted by the end of the day is an understatement. But C was in heaven, playing his dream position ... goalie. He did really well at it too. Yikes -- it makes me so nervous. Something has clicked with him recently, and he's really becoming quite a good, solid player. It's really fun to see. H's team played five games, and overall, had a very successful tournament. The kids have a great time playing together. Their coach is doing some really good stuff, and H too, is improving each day. I really can see some amazing progress this year, and am so proud of him. Besides the soccer games, we also had to volunteer the event. Since I manage H's team, Brian said he would take all the hours, so he spent any free time bartending and being field marshall. We didn't have many chances to come home (Brian was there from 11:30am-9:30pm), but the couple times we did, I brought some of the boy's friends who live further away home with me so they could get a break from all the excitement. It was a crazy, crazy weekend. They sure had a blast though. In fact, when we were driving home yesterday after the last game, H said how sad he was that the tournament was over.

P.S. For some reason, I didn't end up taking one single picture of Hudson's team playing. But here you go ... their official team picture. Unfortunately missing one player.


18 May 2012

Rhubarb Meringue Cake


Last weekend when we stopped by Brian's mom's house, she sent us home with rhubarb from her garden. I had seen a recipe for rhubarb meringue cake on my friend's blog, and knew I had to make it for my rhubarb-loving husband. It was easy to make, I had all the ingredients already in my kitchen, the cake and was absolutely delicious. If you have some rhubarb and are looking for something to make, try this. Trust me.

17 May 2012

The Gorilla and the Monkey, by C


One time there was a monkey, he liked bananas. The zoo keeper had bananas in his hand. He brought bananas to the monkey. He put the bananas on the monkey's house. The gorilla took the bananas.

The monkey did not see the gorilla. When he could see the gorilla, he grabbed the bananas that the gorilla had. The monkey ran away from the gorilla. The gorilla chased and chased and chased the monkey! He caught up but the gorilla fell. The gorilla bumped his head.

Then the zoo keeper brought the gorilla a banana. The gorilla hugged the monkey. The gorilla jumped happily. The gorilla tried to hug the zoo keeper, but the gorilla couldn't hug the zoo keeper. He got mad. Then the gorilla followed the zoo keeper, he let the gorilla out. The gorilla hugged the zoo keeper.

16 May 2012

Watching the Storm


Home in the knick of time from soccer practice. The boys were thrilled watching the pouring rain, and even got to see some hail. C jumped every time there was thunder, asking for his blanket. H slept with his blinds left open, hoping more storms would pass through during the night.

13 May 2012

Mother's Day


Despite the fact we had to be at the soccer field by 7:30 a.m. this morning and were gone all day, my boy's still figured out how to spoil me rotten for Mother's Day. First, C came into my bed to snuggle. Turns out, he was the distraction for me getting breakfast in bed! They picked out what was served (lox and bagels) and presents (a new tunic/dress, chocolates, rosé wine). Brian said they've been having "boy meetings" for weeks planning this. They sure know how to take care of me. After the soccer games, we drove to visit Brian's mom for a bit. We couldn't stay too long unfortunately, but were happy to get to see her. And then we went to my parent's for dinner, along with my sister and her family, and my cousin and his family. (To be clear, Amy is pregnant -- due any day now -- and I am not....). It was a perfect, exhausting, beautiful fun day. I'm so thankful for my two little guys, who make this day, and every day,just so very special. I'm so honored to be their Mom. (And thanks to my husband, for helping them pull this all off!)

Soccer Weekend


May is the month of soccer tournaments. C had one last weekend. H had one this weekend. And they are both in their home club's tournament next weekend. One of the families who lives near the club where the tournament was held this weekend invited us all over to their house for lunch. It was so nice to be able to talk with some of the parents outside of the soccer field and I think the kids felt the same. They had a great time running the neighborhood with squirt guns and riding bikes. Genuinely, they have a great time together. Unfortunately, neither H or C won a game all weekend. But both played hard and well. It was really fun to watch.

12 May 2012


My sister, my Mom, Me circa 1976

My mother-in-law with Brian

About to run off in different directions, to multiple soccer games, birthday parties, etc. I'm already looking forward to meeting up as a family again later tonight because so far, it's been a crazy day. The good news is, we get to spend all day together tomorrow. Although, one of the soccer games starts at 8:00 a.m. How mean is that? Anyhow, in honor of Mother's Day tomorrow, I found these classics in our photo albums. Our mom's are pretty great -- and without their guidance, we certainly wouldn't be the people are today. We can't thank them enough. 

11 May 2012

Freckles & Dirt


Always my little boy -- thanks to some freckles and dirt...

Indiana Buttermilk Pie


Honestly, when I got this book, I kind of thought it would be kind of fun to make every single pie in the book. All 300. You know, kind of like this? But then I realized, that is kind of crazy. How many pies can a person eat? Once in awhile, I'll pull the pie book out and make one. But it's really not that often. Recently, however, I did make one -- and froze one of the pie crusts. Then I realized I had some extra buttermilk, so thought I'd try this Indiana Buttermilk pie before the buttermilk expired. The pie was delicious. And I might be on a new pie kick again. Watch out summer.

09 May 2012

Inspiration Files :: Loggia House

Loggia. 1. a gallery or arcade open to the air on at least one side. 2. a space within the body of a building but open to the air on one side, serving as an open-air room or as an entrance porch. I had never heard of a loggia until we bought our house. It has a loggia. And I just love saying "come over for drinks on the loggia." I get a kick out of simple things, I suppose. But honestly, it is one of my favorite rooms in the entire house. Unfortunately, we can't use it all year round due to the lovely Wisconsin winters, but we practically live out there during the summer, and I kind of can't wait. The Glass Loggia House above has been hanging out in my archives for awhile, but it sure has me craving for some outdoor time. (architects: Allen Jack+Cottier, photos: Nic Bailey, via Desire to Inspire)

08 May 2012

Art by C :: The Starry Night

The Starry Night
by C

Vincent Van Gogh

04 May 2012

Milwaukee Art Museum

????? (forgot to write it down)

Nancy, 1968

The Green House, Murnau, 1911
Street at Schöneberg City Park, 1912-13

Dandelion, 1970 & Untitled, 1970

Homage to the Square-Early Rising, 1961
Josef Albers (I'm a big fan of his wife, Anni's, work too)
Paysage (Landscape), 1952

I've mentioned before, that one of my favorite places in the world is the Milwaukee Art Museum. Despite the fact that we are members, I haven't been since summer. When the boys went back to school in the fall, one thing on my to-do list was to visit the museum. By myself. Do you think that ever happened? Of course not. So the beginning of this week, I told myself that today would be the day I went there. I can't remember the last time I've wandered the museum by myself, and I left wondering why I don't do it more. It's beyond inspiring, and kind of my happy place. The museum has an excellent collection, ranging from a mummy coffin dating 500-250 BC, to current works. But my favorite pieces, by far, are the photorealism paintings, their collection contemporary artwork and German Expressionism pieces. I honestly think I could live in the Mrs. Harry L. Bradley Collection wing. I also caught the last few days of the Accidental Genius exhibit, which was quite inspirational, featuring self-taught artists. Some of them didn't even start painting until 41 or in their 70s. Amazing. I only spent a couple hours there, but wish I could go back tomorrow. Honestly, it was an excellent day in so many ways.