30 September 2014

Gretel - 6 months

Remember the tiny 13 pound puppy we brought home four months ago?


Well, she isn't so tiny any more.....


In fact, the last time I had her at the vet, she weighed over 50 pounds -- which is really large for a female German Shorthaired Pointer, by the way. Her feet are larger than Storm's, which means, there's growing still to be done. Today, Gretel is officially 6 months old. Spit and vinegar, but absolutely adorable.

Brian's been working with her on the bird hunting part of things. From what I hear, she's doing really amazing. It's what this breed is meant to do, and they love it. I measure my training success differently. Namely, we don't have many accidents in the house anymore, and the only things chewed up so far are a fishing pole and her crate pad. That being said, I cannot keep my eyes off of her for more than a minute. She looks for trouble, and by the end of the day, I always have a collection of shoes, boots, scarves, purses, etc that I have confiscated from her. The past couple weeks I've really seen her go from puppy to dog. For example, when she runs, she no longer looks like a fawn taking her first steps. You can still tell she's young. In fact, everything I read about GSPs say she'll act like a puppy in a big dog body for years to come. Great. But we all -- I'm speaking for Storm too -- pretty much adore her.

25 September 2014



Brian on the road, with a pit stop at Andy's Pink Elephant in DeForest, Wisconsin. (1994)

24 September 2014



We may be just a tad behind on some house maintenance -- including weeding. Along our front exterior stairway, there were just some tiny leaves we should have picked. This photo was taken a couple weeks ago, after a crazy cold spell. Who would have thought that some of those weeds we have been picking from the stairs, actually are flowers. Funny. P.S. The stair has been fixed since that photo. Thank goodness!

19 September 2014

Saggy Arm Tree


The Saggy Arm Tree. At least, that's what I call it. A couple weeks ago, a village arborist was walking around inspecting the trees that border the streets, and asked me if I realized we have the most special tree in the entire town. He said he first saw it a few years ago and had to take a photo of it even. I asked what caused it to form like that, and he said it's just some different cells. It's a very healthy tree though. And here I always thought it looked kind of funny.

18 September 2014

Middle School Soccer


Besides H's club soccer, he has signed up for his middle school soccer team ... and is having an absolute blast. The middle school team is no cut, so there are many levels of players. It's co-ed, but only one girl is on the team, unfortunately. (She's pretty good, as you can imagine.) The players are in 7th and 8th grades. H is the only kid in his grade who plays for his club. There are some 8th graders who do, but he doesn't play with any of his school friends. This is a great opportunity to do so, since many of them are on the team as well. They take the bus to the games, have jerseys. It's pretty fun. The first game was on Tuesday at University School of Milwaukee. Today was a home game against Eastbrook Academy.  Both were shut out games, with H's school winning. Today was particularly fantastic. H scored two of the goals -- one was his very first penalty kick. So cool.


Last night, in lieu of regular training, H's coach had them meet at the Marquette vs. UWM soccer game, which was super fun. Such a great idea. It was a packed house for the cross town rivals. I'm happy to report that my alma mater won, 3-0. (That would be Marquette -- although, a bunch of our friends played for UWM, so I can't help but cheer for them too. H's coach played for MU, however, so I did have someone on my side last night.) Anyhow, we all had a great time. This has been a fun week of soccer.



Me, snorkeling in Cozumel, Mexico with some crazy pelicans watching on. (November 1994)

15 September 2014

September 15th ... ish

September 15, 2013 -- We spent the evening at Oktoberfest

September 15, 2012 -- H got to help Brian grill pigs at Oktoberfest

September 15, 2011 -- Storm watching his boys leave on the school bus

September 15, 2010 -- A sleeping Storm


September 16, 2009 -- C was in K4 (and "afternooner" at his montessori school which meant a full day of school) and had a hard time staying awake during dinner

September 16, 2008 -- C got a ride to school


I totally forgot to do my months over the years this summer! Whoops.

14 September 2014



Friday night was the ice cream social for the boy's soccer club. Great ... except it was 44 degrees and raining. The boys and I still went over, planning on meeting Brian and some others for some food and beer. We ended up leaving after a few games, and met Brian at Pizza Man instead. The next evening was much nicer out, so we decided to have dinner there (Rollbraten --yum!) before Brian and I went to see Foster the People. I've got to be honest -- I really don't enjoy going to concerts much anymore. But Brian loves them, so we went. Last night's show was pretty incredible. I may need to get out more often. Our weekend also consisted of Brian and H volunteering at the grill station Saturday morning, while C and I went to his soccer games ... all day long. H also had his first league soccer game today. It was a great start to the season, with both teams winning all of their games. Fun.

11 September 2014

Anniversary Dinner


Well, would you look at us? We made it out for a little anniversary dinner last night. The boys both had soccer practice, with the last one getting dropped off at 8:15pm. It was the middle of the week. We were tired (just look at us! -- and this was the photo where we looked awake). I have to admit, I was just going to make us dinner. But how lame? Especially for 15 years of togetherness. Granted, we only made it out to the sushi restaurant that is five minutes down the street, but we had a great time. It was a perfect celebration.



My boys ... searching for toads while on vacation in Minocqua. That was such an amazing trip. It was raining most of the time. But we stayed in the house Brian grew up going to, which was super special. And it was during a time that Brian traveled a ton, and I worked full-time too, so just being together was incredible. (June 2009)

10 September 2014

15 Years


Today Brian and I get to celebrate fifteen years of us. Nearly twenty-one years together. So much has happened over the years -- children, dogs, houses, loss of loved ones, new cities and new jobs. Yet, I cannot even believe how fast the time has gone by. Here's to many more years of the adventure!

07 September 2014

Tennis Awards


The boys had a great time playing tennis this summer. It really was the highlight of their summers. The instructors were supportive and just really awesome. While we were at my parent's yesterday, they got a message that C would be getting an award the next day. We weren't even planning on attending! But we were there for H last year, so thought it was only fair. We had no idea what he would be getting. He ended up with the doubles championship! Way to go C! My niece also won and award for most improved, which was pretty awesome. My mom was getting a couple golf awards too, but unfortunately, we couldn't stick around for that this year. Pretty exciting night!



45...it's so strange to say that number and realize it's my age. I honestly don't have much of a problem with growing older, but saying my age blows me away regardless. My birthday this year, happened to be on a most beautiful Wisconsin day. The morning was spent doing our things. Walking the dogs, homework, roasting pigs (Brian was volunteering at Oktoberfest). But in the afternoon, C had soccer games out near my parents. When we found that out, I kind of invited ourselves over to celebrate. It's not very often we get to spend birthdays as a family anymore, and it was perfect. Brian picked up a bunch of delicious food from Glorioso's and made dinner. My sister and her family were able to join us -- even my nephew was there from college, which was a nice surprise for everyone. I can't imagine a better way to spend the day. Thank you, family!

04 September 2014



One of the cool things about when Brian worked for SRAM, is that he got the opportunity to travel to Whistler, Canada each year for Crankworx. Twice, the boys and I met up with him, spending a few days in Whistler, and a few days in Gibsons at our friends the Enga's house. (More of that vacation can been seen here...). It is absolutely breathtaking there. The air, the mountains, the water. It was invigorating. And something we all looked so forward too. I crave going there again. (Gibsons, British Columbia -- August 2008)

02 September 2014

Wisconsin Weekend :: Day 5


Sunday was absolutely perfect! The three remaining camping families hiked a gorgeous trail to the Cave Trail. Not a big fan of closed in spaces, the cave nearly did me in. Nearby, however, was a overlook to Twin Valley Lake. Breathtaking. After hiking back, we went swimming and met up with the Elsmo's, who had spent the day at Taliesin. It was a perfect opportunity to bring out the piƱata for C's birthday -- his only request each and every year. Our evening was spent feasting on sausages from New Glarus. It rained again that evening, and into the morning while we were packing up. There may have been some glitches this year, but it was an amazing weekend. We are still so sad to have to say good-bye to our dear friends who we miss already, and are looking forward to next year.

Wisconsin Weekend :: Day 4


After a night of rain -- which surprisingly is not too bad to sleep in -- and a run in with a donut hole eating raccoon (H spotted it in our screen house, and it ran off with the goods), we met up to enjoy some amazing Bloody Marys and breakfast burritos with the gang. It started to rain again, which resulted in a pretty impressive fire as Melissa was cooking up the bacon. Yikes. Unfortunately, one of the Elsmo's woke up quite sick, so they ended up packing up camp too. So sad. The good news is, they didn't get too far and ended up checking into a hotel just down the street. The under the weather camper got a chance to sleep all afternoon, while the rest met up with us in New Glarus. It was supposed to rain all day, but ended up being gorgeous -- perfect for enjoying some beer, bienenstichkuchen and landjager.

Wisconsin Weekend :: Day 3


We woke up on our last day at the Seth Peterson Cottage on C's 10th birthday. We had opened some of the presents at home, but saved some for his birthday morning. After some chocolate chip pancakes, it was time to move on -- and meet our friends for our annual camping trip. Before we even got there, we had heard word that one of the families had the stomach flu. And Brian was still not feeling great and was on the brink of booking a hotel room for himself. But he made it, and one by one the remaining three families showed up. First were the Elsmo's. Once they set up their site, we went to the lake and rented a paddle boat while waiting for the others. After a little while, the rest arrived -- all with supplies to make C's birthday a memorable one. Streamers, bubble gum balls, silly string, glow stick and crystals that made the fire glow different colors. It was awesome. I think it's safe to say, I think C had a great day.