29 August 2014

Happy 10th Birthday C!


Today is C's 10th birthday, which is just too crazy to believe. Double digits. How did that happen? He's a super funny, goofy guy. He doesn't let much bother him, is a hard worker and friends with most every one. He's a pretty special person, and we couldn't be more proud of him.

C ' S   F A V O R I T E S    A T   1 0   Y E A R S   O L D :
Color // Gold
Food // Pizza and sardines
Drink // Milk
Toy // Soccer ball
TV show // English Premiere League Soccer
Subject in school // PE
Book // None
Animal // Pig
Sport // Soccer
Song // None
Place to be // Soccer Field
Day of the week // Friday

If he could visit anywhere in the world, it would be California. When he grows up, he wants to be a professional soccer player and live in Manchester, England.

28 August 2014



I pulled out this week's photo album, found a picture, and remembered that I actually had posted it on this blog way back when. I can't believe it's been nearly seven years that I've been recording our lives in this space. Crazy! This is a 3-year old C,at the Wisconsin State Fair in August of 2008. He sure still loves his pigs!

26 August 2014

National Dog Day


Well, what do you know? It's National Dog Day. I didn't even know this was a thing, but I'm in. Here's what it has looked like in my house most of the summer. Storm & Gretel play fighting.


Mid-play break. Storm is super loud, and Gretel is ruthless. She loves dragging the big guy around by his collar. He's such a sport about about it. Just look how happy they both are!


Post-play snack time. Look at those faces! I kind of (totally) love these two goof balls.....

25 August 2014

Family Dinner


My cousin and his wife live about two miles from my parents. You would think we'd see more of them, but let's face it -- life is busy. Their daughter, who is C's age started school today. So as an end of the summer hurrah, they invited us all over for a little swimming and dinner. C and I met everyone out there later after his soccer game, and were greeted by H, who looked like he had just finished the Color Run. He was covered in wet chalk. I was beyond exhausted after the weekend, but it was so great to see everyone. Wish it happened more often.

Soccer Weekend


The boys have started up their soccer seasons, kicking it off with a weekend tournament. C is U10 this year. For the first time, he's got a new coach -- which means C mainly played defense, which didn't make him too happy. Honestly, he played great, but I know he's not comfortable back there. Their team ended up winning all four of their games. H is playing U13. It means he plays full fields, which is honestly a blast to watch. They ended up coming in third -- only a point away from the second place team. The best part was that H scored the first goal of the season for their team. Way to go boys!

21 August 2014



It seems most of my photo albums are filled with H photos, because here's another one of him! He loved wearing these big yellow glasses, and would even wear them walking down the street. Adorable. Can't believe I just registered him for 7th grade yesterday. I blinked and it happened. (Summer 2003)

17 August 2014

Sunday Hike


Brian got home at 12:30 am last night after five days out of town for work. New York City and Pebble Beach, California. After a travel dry spell, he's been gone most of the past month. It's always nice to have him home. After a relaxing morning, we dropped C off at a laser tag birthday party for one of his soccer friends, and H, Brian, the dogs and I headed to Lapham Peak for a beautiful Sunday hike. Brian and I each had a dog, and H was armed with the camera. So besides the last one, he is the one responsible for all of these photos. I took Gretel here a couple weeks ago, but we were able to explore a little more today. It is a fantastic cross country ski trail, which we walked on for quite a ways. We also hiked the Ice Age Trail -- which I actually wish we would have been able to spend more time on. It was absolutely beautiful. Afterwards, we went to Le Ducs, then picked up C, who had a great time. Fun day.

Summer Days


Just a little more than two weeks left of summer break. I've got to be honest, it snuck up on my a little bit this year and I was a little panicked. Nearly three months is a crazy amount of time to have off. But now that it's ending, I'm super sad. Once school starts, our life is pretty scheduled until June. It's ok, but there's something absolutely beautiful about staying up late, and having pretty much the entire day in front of you without anything going on. I'll miss it, for sure. I think I might be in mourning... This photo was taken last week out at the lake. Between traveling with Gretel all the time, and the cooler weather, I've only been in in it once this year! So sad, considering it's one of my happy places. But the boys have taken advantage of it, which is so great. And, we still have a lot of great stuff packed into these next couple weeks. Good stuff.

14 August 2014



Brian studied Fashion Design at SAIC. It's not a profession that many straight guys choose pursue. One of the benefits of that for me, is that he got to hang out with some really awesome girlfriends who were also in the program with him. For awhile, we got see each other quite often. The photo above was from the Summer of 2003. We were in NYC for Jenny's (not pictured) husband's 40th birthday party. H was one year old, and it was the first time I had traveled without him. I remember being super anxious about leaving him, but of course, had a blast. It's been forever since I've seen these ladies. Andrea (middle) lives in San Francisco, and Yvonne (right) is in LA. Sadly, Jenny passed away from cancer not much longer after this trip, which is so not fair. We all sure had many good times together. Makes me think that it's time to pick up the phone.

13 August 2014

The Garden


Ever since we moved to Wisconsin, Brian has been wanting to build a garden. This year, he finally did it. And it looks amazing. You've probably seen glimpses of it here and there in pictures, I'm sure. I took these photos a month ago. You should see it now! The tomato plants are crazy. The watermelon has taken over the yard (and are actually producing what appears to be watermelons). We've eaten fresh lettuce, cucumbers, peppers and herbs nearly every day. It's pretty fantastic. We didn't necessarily plan what we were growing. My next door neighbor mentioned she had a friend whose husband grows plants from seed, and was giving them away. So we have an abundance of eggplants, pepper and tomatoes that we got for free. Can't beat that. I cannot wait for the tomatoes to be ready. Most are some incredible heirloom varieties. They should be pretty terrific. The best part of this entire thing has been watching H in action. He has become the resident gardener. He's researched and knows most everything about these plants. He also is the one who tends to them every day. It's really fun to see him in action.

10 August 2014

German-American Days


Today we took our guests out to Moose Lake for German-American Days. They loved it! I knew they would, but am still so excited that they had a good time. There really is nothing like this place, which is open to the public once a year. It's been awhile since we were last able to go. We met up with my sister, brother-in-law and niece and my mom and dad. My mom grew up going here during her summer visits (she grew up in Germany), and I have some fond memories of it too. Not much has changed, which is what makes it so charming. I absolutely adore it here. We spent a ton of time in the lake, which was heaven. The kids had a blast playing the games -- their favorite was the penny toss, where a nice lady kept giving us a penny here and there so we could play. H ended up winning an entire roll (50 cents), and helping out behind the counter. All of our kids ended up helping clean up, which earned them a dollar to buy an ice cream. So cute. I think we all have the date on our calendar for next year. It was a blast.

Frig Visit


Our friends Chris & Penny and their girls spent the weekend with us. We had such a fantastic time, and are so sad it actually had to come to an end. On the day they arrived, we went to Lion's Den Gorge. We brought Gretel with so she could burn off some steam, which worked out great. Our hike led us to Lake Michigan, and the kids (and the dog) had a blast swimming. Our evening was simply spent relaxing, catching up and watching a movie. It was perfect.

07 August 2014



When H was one year, one month old, we took a trip with some friends for a long weekend in Florida. He was the only little guy there so everyone spoiled him like crazy. It was awesome. On the way home, he was listening to music and made this goofy face the entire time for some reason. No, he wasn't going to the bathroom. It was pretty funny. Such a goofball. (May 2003)

05 August 2014

State Fair


Today H, C and I made our annual visit to the Wisconsin State Fair. I love the fair. At least for our once a year, few hour visit. More than that, I might go crazy. But I love the pigs, and the cows. The fried food on a stick. You know -- typical fair stuff. We started our day at the Milkhouse, where you can get a glass of flavored milk for 25 cents. The boys had birthday cake, while I opted for root beer -- per the suggestion of our server. There was also fruit hoops, chocolate and strawberry. Throughout the day, we also had deep fried Oreos, deep friend pickles, corn on the cob (or in the cup, as was the case of C, who is sporting braces this year) and H had potato pancakes. Next we visited the animals. C couldn't help himself and even pet a pig's tail that was sticking out through the fence. The kids rode the Giant Slide, played some games, and rode the Genesis (they are 5 and 6 from the left). All day long C had been talked about buying crickets from All Things Jerky, which was on our way out of the park. Many of the booths offered a tasting menu today, and fortunately, they were able to buy a small container of worms and a cricket for $1, which seemed to tie them over. See that worm hanging from C's mouth? He was all over it. It was a super fun day.

04 August 2014

Brown's Lake


Our friends from New Jersey are in town for a couple weeks. Both of their families live in the area, so when they are in town, they have lots of people to see and places to be. Kim and Jesse called to say they were going to be celebrating L's 7th birthday today at Brown's Lake, and the boys and I jumped at the chance to go see them. Even if we could only join them for an hour and half. We all had such a blast. I cannot get enough of this family! We adore them.

03 August 2014

Italian Dinner


My parents are currently hosting some of our relatives from Italy for a few days. Laura is excellent with recalling years (I am not...) -- and said that the last time we saw each other was way back in 1998. Brian and I were living in Chicago, and she stayed with us a couple days. I do remember that! I'm also pretty sure she had to sleep on a futon or something uncomfortable like that. Sorry Laura! I cannot even recall the last time I saw her parents. And I've never met her husband or daughter before, so was very happy to get to meet them. It was great seeing everyone -- I sure hope our paths cross soon again. (P.S. The little girl that Laura is holding in the bottom photo is actually my cousin's daughter. She's super cute too, isn't she? Laura's little one is sleeping above.)

01 August 2014


Yey! I am one happy person today. My friend Kari and her family were in town from Birmingham, Alabama visiting her family this week, and stopped by for a quick visit tonight. Thank goodness both her parents are originally from this area, because it means our paths are likelier to cross every once in awhile. It's been about 1.5 years since we've seen each other, and I cannot even explain how awesome it was to have her, Austin and their adorable son (who reminds me of my boys, to be honest) stop by. Kari and I used to work together in Chicago, so there was a time in my life that I was very spoiled by getting to see her almost every day. I really miss her! And every time they leave, I just can't help but wish they lived closer. I already cannot wait for the next visit.