25 November 2012

Raytown Visit

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We didn't get to see my mother-in-law or sister-in-law and her family on Thanksgiving, so went down to Racine for a little visit. We spent the afternoon walking around downtown, grabbing some lunch and doing a little shopping. It was a little chilly out, but such a fun day. I particularly love the photo of the kids in the giant chair that makes my guys look like little teeny tinys. Funny.

23 November 2012

Christmas Tree


We spent the night at my parents -- true, we don't live far away, but it's so wonderful to be able to just get comfortable, hang out and talk, not worry about having to leave, then at the end of the night get a good night sleep. We had a lazy morning, then went to Riehle's Tree Farm to cut down our tree. Can't believe it's that time of year again.



We had such a great Thanksgiving. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, so H, Storm and I started our day by taking a long walk while Brian and C played a little soccer at the club. Later, we went over to my mom and dad's house where they hosted Thanksgiving dinner, as they do each year. My sister and her family were there as well, and later, my cousin and his family stopped by for a bit. We had a little excitement when a bat somehow ended up in the house. H looked up in the living room and thought a bird flying around. My sister stunned it with a broom so we could get it out of the house. Crazy. It was a day filled food, family and fun. Perfect. We have so much to be thankful for.


21 November 2012

Chef H in the House


Rustic Hash. This was the second meal H has made for us, and it was delicious.

18 November 2012

Mice & Trains


It was such an amazing November weekend! The weather was beautiful. When I woke up today, all I wanted to do was grab the dog and go for a long walk. I asked H if he wanted to go with. He didn't. I asked C if he wanted to go with. He didn't. And then before you knew it, it was 4:00 pm and I never went. I should have just packed myself and Storm up in the car and left first thing, but I didn't, and that's what happens -- there's always something to do. Brian went into the garage to fix one of our doors, and discovered mice have been there. It is not surprising, but we didn't have this issue last year. The difference? We had some bird seed in the garage, and I guess the mice love it, because it was everywhere. He ended up clearing most of it out. Due to lack of storage, one of our prized possessions was still in the garage -- my Dad's old American Flyer train set. So H and I took it all out to make sure it was all ok. It was, thank goodness. Needless to say, we found a much better -- and safer -- place for it now. After H played with it a bit, of course. He was in heaven. It will be fun to set up some day.

17 November 2012

Look Who's Back


My parents have been in Florida the last few weeks. They came home a couple days ago, and stopped by for dinner last night. H said it felt like they were gone for 200 days. It's really nice to have them back.

15 November 2012

Happy Birthday - Woof


It's Storm's 6th birthday today. He may not like getting pictures taken, but he's the best.

11 November 2012

14th Birthday


My youngest niece turned 14 years old on Friday, which is just crazy. MY YOUNGEST NIECE! Anyhow, tonight we joined them with my cousin's wife and their kids, and my brother-in-law's parents to celebrate. There's nothing like a birthday party that lasts an entire weekend. She's really such an amazing young lady. It was such a pleasure celebrating her special day with her.

A Frig Visit


This weekend, our friends The Frigs came for a visit. It's been awhile, and it was so great just to hang out and spend some time with them. Friday night we simply stayed at home and had pizza night. Saturday we went to Discovery World -- which was the perfect place to entertain all of us aged 3 to 43 years old. We had a late lunch at Cafe Benelux, then a quick trip to Glorioso's before heading home. It was just so great to spend some time with them. In the car on the way to H's soccer game, C said, "Well, that was fun." And H said it just wasn't a fun coming home without them there. I agree. It was a great time.

08 November 2012

Inspiration Files :: Brooklyn Brownstone

As I look around my house -- with homework, soccer gear and paperwork scattered around -- I've got to say, this Brooklyn residence is especially appealing. Designed by Elizabeth Roberts (via Bliss Blog).

04 November 2012

First Packers Game


We loaded up the car this morning and headed to Green Bay for the boy's first ever Packer game. Actually, it was Brian's first time to Lambeau too. Dork alert -- the only other time I was there was when my high school marching band played a half time show. I had also been to a Green Bay Packer game with my dad and sister back when they would play at Milwaukee County Stadium (now Miller Park) a couple times a year. The boys were super excited to see a real live football game, especially H who is quite the football fan. We started the day by tailgating in the parking lot of a printing company outside of the stadium. After making our way to the stadium, we found our seats right in the nick of time time to be able to participate in a stunt thanking the veterans. It was pretty cool, actually. The day was perfect. Definitely a little coldness in the air, but the sun was shining. As a bonus, the Packers ended up beating the Arizona Cardinals 31 to 17.

03 November 2012

Tae Kwon Do Tournament


We've been doing tae kwon do for nearly a year now. We started because of the kids. But it's definitely grown on Brian and me and it's something I really enjoy doing. Twice a year our school hosts a tournament. We missed it last spring, so decided to go all day long and just compete in everything. (Except for C -- he only participated in two events). Brian, H and I started out with family forms, where we came in 3rd out of 3. Someone (I'm not naming names, but it wasn't me or H) messed up, but overall, we did ok. After a demo from the instructors and the demo team, it was time for us to go on. Here was the results breakdown from the day:

H - forms 2nd (out of 3), breaking 1st (out of 3), sparring 1st (out of 3)
C - breaking 1st (out of 3), sparring 2nd (out of 3)
Brian - forms 1st (out of 4), breaking 3rd (out of 4), sparring 2nd (out of 4)
Me - forms 3rd (out of 3), breaking 3rd (out of 6), sparring 1st (out of 3)

The boys did great. They were strong and confident and it showed. C ended up sparring for 2nd place against his friend (in the photo above) who came in 1st. H ended up getting a bye and then sparring against one of his friends too, who unfortunately gave him a bloody nose which automatically disqualifies them. But they had so much fun, and did really awesome.

I had been having dreams about forms for a week. I had to do two different forms -- one for family, one for individual. It had been messing me up a bit and drove me nuts. I thought I'd love doing forms, but in the end, I bombed. I was doing so well too! One of my moves brought me right up to the judges and the minute I got there, I went blank and forgot what I was supposed to do next. I was so ticked, that I probably had the loudest kiap (ending yell) I've ever had in my life at the end. But honestly, I wasn't expecting much out of board breaking or sparring so really wasn't thinking about it much. Guess what -- those are the events I did best on. Besides missing a kiap at the end of my step-over front snap kick, I nailed it. Broke both my boards first try. (My other kick was a reverse ax kick...). I was actually super proud of that third place win, because it was out of six and against some pretty amazing competition. And sparring.... Right before I went on, a friend of mine tore her Achilles during a fight. It kind of shook us all up, because frankly, while you have to spar at least once in tournament to get your black belt, my over 40 age group just is not interested in getting injured, which is extremely easy to do. It's why I did it now -- to get it over with. I ended up being grouped according to height, and at 5'9" we were all about even height. Height tends to help in my favor normally, but not this time. I was paired with a very fair, very decent group as it turns out, which actually made the experience quite fun. This sounds really dumb, but I really had no idea the entire time who was winning the match. They call points, but I wasn't really paying attention. I just did my thing, and ended up winning it. It was a pretty great feeling. Such a fun day.

02 November 2012



Honestly, raking leaves may be one of my most favorite chores as a homeowner. I love being out in the fresh air and the boys are usually a great help so it's fun spending time with them. Last year we tackled this job on our own. But our next few weekends are jam-packed and I have no idea when we'd ever get it done. Plus, truthfully, we were all sore for days after raking our yard last year. This year we hired clean-up help, and after seeing the massive leaf pile they made, I've got to say, I'm pretty happy with that decision.