30 December 2014

Y + G // Day 3

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We hit the road early this morning to take Greg & Yvonne back to Chicago (boo....) and see the Bowie exhibit at the MCA (yay....). We could not wait to see it, and it did not disappoint. What a brilliant man! The exhibit took a couple hours, so afterwards, we were starving again. Imagine! Y+G are staying with their friend Bill, who lives the Fulton Market district in an ├╝ber-cool loft. The boys thought it was one of the most incredible places they have ever seen, and it was. Bill has impeccable taste, and it was wow. Afterwards, we went to la Sirena for a delicious lunch, and Bill joined us, which was such a treat. It was the perfect ending to our day in Chicago and our time with Greg & Yvonne. Such incredible people to be surrounded by. I for one, totally miss them already.

Y + G // Day 2

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We woke up and Brian had to take the car in to get our tire replaced. A huge nail thing was in it.  Ugh ... the timing of it all! On the bright side, it meant a little bit of a lazy morning since we had to wait to pick the car up. After the tire was replaced, we were starving (eating 24/7 will do that to you) so went to Hollander for lunch. Greg and Brian took off afterwards for the Harley Davidson Museum, while Yvonne, the boys and I went to the Milwaukee Art Museum. Unfortunately, the permanent collection -- which is the main reason we went there, and I know Yvonne would absolutely love -- is closed for awhile. But, we got to see a few cool pieces and the boys got to make New Years Eve masks, so all was good. Once we were all back at the house, I made a Veggie Arrosto Misto (and under-cooked the vegetables a little -- whoops), we played a new game H got for Christmas, and once the boys went to bed, watched This is the End. Funny.

Y + G // Day 1

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It's been three years since I last saw Yvonne and Greg. They are two of my favorites ever, so how in the world could this be? Brian's been lucky enough to travel to LA for work and see them. But is seriously been three years for me. That's crazy talk. They are spending Christmas and New Year's in Chicago, and we were so excited when they proposed spending a couple days in Wisconsin with us over the break. They took the train up on Sunday. We started their Milwaukee adventure at the St. Paul Fish Company for oysters, then went to Wolf Peach, where we had an amazing dinner. Final stop -- our house. Where we at a ton of chocolate ... and may have overindulged on several bottles of wine and stayed up too late. It was worth it. What a blast.

26 December 2014

Reinactment

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The kids found the upper photo on our mantel and decided to recreate it. My niece posted the photo above on her Facebook page, and I had to steal it. It's just too great.

Christmas Day

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We have been gearing up for a few days for Christmas, which we hosted this year. We had 22 people over --even the neighbors stopped by for a bit. It does get hectic in our cramped kitchen and tiny quarters, but I do love having everyone over. It's not that often that we all get together, and it is pretty awesome when it happens. The presents under the tree were insane. You could barely walk around our living room. We all had a great time.

Christmas Morning

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The boys woke up at the usual time of 7am to see if Santa came. We had a really nice, relaxing morning opening presents. They each received a few things from their lists, and were happy guys. Even Gretel & Storm got some treats from the big guy.

Christmas Eve.

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For the past number of years, we have alternated Christmas Eve. at our house and Scott and Ali's. This year was their year to host, and we got to spend it in their brand, new house. It turned out amazing, and is so comfortable and inviting. Her family was in town too, along with her sister, which is always a treat. It was a great evening, and a perfect way to start off the holidays.

19 December 2014

Ugly Sweater

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I present to you, the winner of the 7th grade advanced math Ugly Sweater Contest.

18 December 2014

#tbt

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Here's another picture of a picture I took at my parent's home over Thanksgiving. It's the farm my grandmother grew up on in Schweisdorf. I don't know who is who, but one of those little ones is probably her. My favorite stories from the farm were about the gypsies and hiding under the tables when they came. My mom's cousin and his family still live there.

15 December 2014

December 15th ... ish

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December 15, 2013 -- The boys and I baked cookies with my mom, sister and niece

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December 15, 2012 -- Fifth annual holiday dinner with Ali/Scott and Shelly/Andrew

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December 16, 2011 -- I was recapping our whirlwind trip to London & Manchester

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December 14, 2010 -- Lunch at Big Star with Melissa & Midge

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December 16, 2009 -- It was H's holiday concert, and he got to play xylophone

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December 16, 2008 -- I picked C up from school and he and his teacher were wearing reindeer noses.

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December 16, 2007 -- the boys made cookies for Santa

14 December 2014

Goofs

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The boys got Birthday Cake gum today's advent calendar treat, and decided to use it as fake teeth. Goofs.

Cookie Baking

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Last night, the boys stayed out by my parent's house. It was a busy weekend for us, with Brian's company holiday party on Friday and then our dinner and another party last night. This morning, Brian and I drove out -- he picked up C for his soccer game, and H and I participated in our annual cookie baking with my mom, Christie and my niece. My sister's house is perfect for it and makes cookie baking so efficient and fun. A great way to do it. We each made a few varieties and have a ton of cookies now. Sweet!

Annual Dinner

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Last night was our 7th annual holiday dinner with Ali/Scott and Shelly/Andrew. It is one of only a couple times a year we actually manage to get together, so it's really something we look forward to. Last year, Andrew was sick so we had a replacement couple (Terri/John) stand in for the evening. We had changed our venue to the festive 5 O'Clock Steakhouse, so this was the first time Shelly & Andrew had been there. It's perfect, and as always, we had a great time. Love getting to hang out with these people. (Family photo from our very first holiday dinner, back in 2008).

11 December 2014

#tbt

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Back in college, one of my friends had the idea to take snowboard lessons. Keep in mind, this was the very early 1990s (when you would wear a pair of Sorels, strap in and and go), and really, there were not many female snowboarders on the slopes. Usually, it was just my friend and me! We did it, and totally loved it. By the time I met Brian, I had been snowboarding a few years already. I have never been amazing, but I could hold my own. We used to go at least a few times a year and even went to Park City for New Years in 2000. That was the last time I snowboarded. It was just me and the guys, and I totally got frustrated. Call me crazy, but for some reason, I've been wanting to try it again. Who, knows! Maybe this is the winter for it!

09 December 2014

Monday Night Football

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Last night was one of those nights when you just cannot believe what is happening to you. We met the owner of Brian's company at the airport -- along with a group of his friends (some who know my sister, as it turns out) -- where we boarded a private jet (!!!) and flew up to Green Bay to watch the Packers vs. Falcons game in a box suite (!!!). Can you even believe that last sentence? Me neither. It was insane. H&C have both been to the suite, but it was finally my turn. And it was amazing. The view was pretty perfect. There was food. And drinks. Brian Noble made an appearance to our box. The Packers won. And, we were home by midnight. The entire evening was such an incredible treat. Lucky us!