29 May 2014



When the boys were younger, there was an amusement park called Kiddieland that their pre-school always held a fundraiser at. It closed it's doors in 2009 and a Costco is there now. We are so lucky they got to experience it. Such a magical place for them.

26 May 2014

Boys and their Puppy


I've got to be honest. This was probably the least festive Memorial Days we've had in a long time. C and I got back from Oak Park early, so we had the entire day at home which was nice. My parents and niece stopped by to meet Gretel. Brian was a rock star this weekend, building six plant boxes for our new garden and making dinner tonight. We are all kind of in a puppy fog, and can't believe it's back to the grind tomorrow. Gretel is doing awesome, but man, is she ball of energy.

A Party for Penny


Yesterday, C and I packed up and headed down to Oak Park. C wanted to hang out with Finn and meet their new dog. I had a birthday party to go to. Penny is turning 40 next month, and Chris wanted to surprise her by having a birthday party. Melissa made the food. Amy hosted. It was a match made in heaven, and was absolutely perfect. The backyard was filled with friends of Penny's from all different areas of her life. To get Penny there, Amy planned a "Memorial Day BBQ" with Melissa + Leif, El + Dejan, Brian + me. We of course couldn't be there because of the puppy. Surprise! Penny even ended up bringing her own coconut birthday cake to the party! Too much awesome. It was such a fun night. I wish Brian could have been there too, but I absolutely loved hanging out with my friends, and seeing a bunch of people I haven't seen for a few years. Perfect.

24 May 2014

Introducing ... Gretel

Eight weeks ago -- March 30, 2014 to be exact -- we received this photograph, showing a new litter of German Shorthaired Pointers that had just been born. The sire's name is Axel, and the Dam is Hazel. Poor Hazel had 13 puppies in her litter!

It's only taken a year to sway me, but we decided to get one. The boys have been so excited, and even had a countdown on our wall.

The boys and Brian drove to Iowa, and had a fun night of swimming and go-carts, before picking her out today. She was awesome on the 5-hour ride home.

We had a busy afternoon exploring the backyard. And we finally picked out a name -- GRETEL! It was between that and Goosey, which C picked out and I loved. Brian and H didn't think she looked like a Goose though.

And meeting Storm. I was pretty worried about this one, to be honest. But it could not have gone better. I'm not sure he necessarily loves having a baby in the house. He's an old man after all. But overall, he kind of could care less that she is there. She seemed to feel the same way.

Finally nap time. Probably not the best place to pick -- that's Storm's bed. We did transfer and she's still out. So far so good. She's quite a sweetie.

22 May 2014

Spring Choir


Last night was the spring sing at H's school. Sadly, I can never get good photographs at these things, but let me tell you, it was a lot of fun listening to them. Unlike band concerts, choir is all grades combined. There were two groups of 7th graders who performed a duet and another was a trio. They were awesome. The 6th grade choir sung:

Down by the Riverside, arr. Brant Adams
This Land is Your Land, Woodie Guthrie arr. Jill Gallina
Brave, Sara Bareilles
Over the Rainbow, arr. Andy Beck (with the 5th graders)
I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing, arr. Greg Gilpin

We could barely see H. As one of the shortest, they put him in the very front row. Hmpf. And C missed the entire show, opting to stand in the back and take over the middle school with his friends.



Ah, back when we were all so young. Even Storm! And I adore the boys poises and expressions. Very typical of the times back then. My friend Melissa took this photo of us after she talked us into being in a house walk. It was the photo used in the program booklet. I was a little leery of having a bunch of people tour our house so made sure our dog was in the picture too. The house walk was actually was a ton of fun to do, and our house was a hit. So glad to have this photo to remind me of it. (May 2008)

20 May 2014



Back when I went on my girl's weekend in January, the boys did a little shopping. H & C purchased a deep fryer, and Brian got us a juicer. We don't put the deep fryer into use very much -- but I'm not going to lie, it is definitely nice to have. However, I've really made a point of making a juice nearly every morning. It's probably the natural sugars in the fruits and vegetables to get me going in the a.m., but I love starting my day with it. Here are some of my favorites:

- Spinach, Cucumber, Pineapple, Mint
- Orange, Carrot, Strawberry
- Grapefruit, Carrot, Ginger
- Red Beet, Watermelon
- Red Beet, Orange, Carrot

18 May 2014

Youth Festival


This weekend was their home club's tournament -- and Bock Bier Festival. From Friday through Sunday, C played four games, and H had three. It wasn't the best weekend for the P boys and soccer. Between the two of them, there were several very close games, but not one single win. C's teams played up to the U10 category. Tough competition, but really great experience for them. H's team played against some stellar teams too. For some reason, they were missing several players this weekend, which never helps. Friday's game was the most exciting -- with a 2-3 loss, and H scoring a beautiful goal. This tournament is for U8-U12, which means it was H's last year participating in it which is kind of crazy. It's always really a fun time.

16 May 2014



Today was C's concert at school. Grades K4-4 performed 20 current pop songs. It was really cute, and the kids did a great job. They always blow me away with their talent. The third grade performed the following:

Ho Hey - featuring their Custodian on ukulele (pictured above)
Stereo Hearts

6th Grade Band Concert


Last night was H's school band concert. We are still trying to figure things out, but this may be H's last concert, which makes us all a little sad. The boy needs a study hall! He's part part of choir and band, so doesn't. And, he's definitely doing choir next year. Anyhow, we'll see. He really does love band, and if I can be honest, he's pretty good on that baritone. Anyhow, it's always fun hearing how much they progress throughout the year. The 6th graders performed the following:

Two Renaissance Dances -- Morley & Mainerio/arr. Mekel Rogers
I. Now is the Month of Maying
II. Schiarazula Marazula

Blunderbuss Battles -- Ralph Ford

Dem Bones -- Johnson/arr. Story (featuring the trombone section and H on baritone)

America the Beautiful -- Ward/arr. Higgens

15 May 2014

May 15th ... ish

May 19, 2013 -- C started playing baseball this year

May 14, 2012 -- Watching the storm

May 14, 2011 -- Splitting wood at Scott & Ali's

May 15, 2010 -- H's baseball team, the Nationals, finally won a game

May 16, 2009 -- Rolling down a hill while watching Dad and Mr. Chris in the Galena Triathlon

May 12, 2008 -- C and his favorite thing ever (he still talks about it) ... a rubber (Playboy bunny) chicken dog toy



Grabbed one of Brian's photo albums for this weeks #tbt. Don't know the story behind this, but it's a picture of "The Bomb Squad" -- a great group of friends even today, who have been tight since the grade/high school days -- in Door County, Wisconsin. How awesome is this?

13 May 2014

Art by H :: Flowers


I don't get too many pieces of artwork anymore from H. Makes me sad. A few weeks ago, he was supposed to be part of a "coffee house" show at his school. Besides playing his baritone, this painting of his was on display. Unfortunately, the coffee house took place the one day he was home sick, so he wasn't able to make it. Art is not really his thing, so when this piece was selected, he was proud. I'm so glad to finally get to see it.

11 May 2014

Mother's Day



My boys really know how to make me feel special on Mother's Day. This was the first year in awhile that we didn't have an 8:00 am soccer game somewhere, so I actually got to sleep in! And then, I even relaxed and read while they prepared breakfast in bed -- lox and bagels, fruit salad, coconut yogurt and a mimosa. Oh, espresso too. We had a pretty relaxed day that included a trip to the mall to buy the boys some black pants to wear to upcoming concerts they are in, a walk with the dog, and a little work around the house. Later in the afternoon, we headed to Miller Park to tailgate before C's Little League game at Helfaer Field against the Cubs. We were so excited! Last year, his game at this field was canceled due to rain. But once again the forecast was looking grim. We got our tailgating in, they opened the doors to the field, and what do you know? It started pouring. We waited it out. The rain stopped. But we were told the field was too wet so they couldn't let us play. What a bummer. The coach had even brought roses for the player to give their mothers. So sweet. Hopefully we'll be able to reschedule. Regardless, it was a great day. I just love being a mom and am so lucky.