30 October 2014
C waving to the ducks in Whistler, Canada. Such a beautiful place. Brian used to travel there once a year for work. Twice, we were able to met up with him. This photo was taken during the first visit. Brian was already there, and the boys and I flew to meet him. I remember feeling like a super woman -- flying with a 4 & nearly 2 year old alone to Vancouver (looooong flight), getting through customs (we had to the leave the line at least once for H to go to the bathroom), got a rental car (by law, I had to install the car seats, even though I rented them -- while wrangling the boys), then drove the 2 hours to Whistler. It was crazy, but so very worth it. (The next time, I was much smarter. We spent the night in Vancouver, then took the train to meet up with Brian.) (August 2006)
26 October 2014
This was our big Halloween weekend, and we sure did have a great time. Friday night, the boys carved pumpkins.
Saturday, C had his final fall soccer games in Sheboygan, and did great. They won one, and lost won, ending their season 10-2-1. Not bad. They are a fun team to watch. That evening our friends threw their annual Halloween party. It was much smaller than previous years, and a total blast. The theme was "Thowback." I teased my hair (it looked ridiculous -- but I have picture to prove I really wore it like that), C went as Spicoli (clearly, he has never seen the movie, but it was his baseball nickname), and H went kind of as 80s. Brian sported some eyeliner and a top hat. Basically, we threw our outfits together in 15 minutes.
Sunday was trick-or-treating. I still think this tradition is totally lame -- especially since Halloween is actually on a Friday this year. But after 4 years here, I'm trying to embrace it. H met up with a big groups his friends, so we didn't see him from 1:00-4:30pm, and C went out with a group of his friends. H was the same costume as last year (Ronaldo) and C was Ibrahimović. Afterwards, we headed over to our friend's, Lynn & Gino's, for a post trick-or-treat party. So much fun. They have two boys who are H & C's age, and both of whom play soccer. Needless to say, we have a ton in common and both of our kids are really great friends. It was such a great time. Sad to see the weekend come to an end.
23 October 2014
22 October 2014
Last week, the boys had off on Friday for conferences. I'm not sure how it came up, but H told his math teacher that he was going pheasant hunting on the day off. His teacher told him that he makes a mean pheasant pot pie and that if H brought in some birds, he would make him some. Towards the end of the school day, H popped into the teacher's room and asked him if he was being serious. He said he was -- so on Monday, H showed up with a bag full of pheasants. This morning H asked me if I could drive him to school since Mr. C was bringing in the pot pies. We showed up, and were presented with 6 of them. How cool is that? He made a bunch for himself too. H is really interested in cooking, and was so excited a teacher would actually do this. I still cannot get over it myself. So amazing.
21 October 2014
While we were all enjoying our evening out, the boys were at the Leif & Melissa's, and the girls were at Chris & Penny's (where we stayed too). The next morning, Melissa invited us all over for brunch at her house, where we got to retell tales of our night. Let me just tell you -- my kids are very jealous.
20 October 2014
Over the years, we've shared many milestones and memories with our friends. The mastermind behind most of these special times is our friend Melissa. Finally, it was her turn to celebrate -- a 40th birthday. Melissa is not one to turn down a good time, but she does come with some stipulations. She hates surprises, so wanted to know when the celebration would be happening. She wanted to keep it small. And she didn't want anyone to feel burdened. Now, the big question was, what in the world could we do? Leif recruited Amy and Penny to help, and together, they ended up with an absolutely brilliant plan.
The day started at Amy & Graham's, with appetizers and a signature cocktail -- which I was responsible for. I have to say, the Rosemary Old Fashioned's turned out delicious. Melissa still had no idea what was going on, and just as she was getting comfortable, Leif blindfolded her and lead her outside (they only tripped twice) where we all met up with her by our ride for the night -- a ridiculous and awesome (ridiculously awesome?) Hummer Limo. I can only imagine what was going on her mind at that point....
We loaded our Hummer, and off we went -- lights flashing and music pumping. Our first stop -- Kai Zan. They even opened a little early for us, which was behind incredible. Chris & Penny chose this restaurant and set the bar high with incredible eats and an extremely touching toast to our guest of honor. The course we had there was an Oyster Shooter with Quail Egg, Bride of the Fox Sake, and Shaved Ice with Yuzu. After 30 minutes, it was time to load back up in the limo and go to our next destination -- Irazu. Brian and I picked this restaurant. (Are you getting the theme of the evening here?). While nothing fancy, it is one of our favorites. We were definitely regulars there during our Chicago years. The dishes selected were Patacones, Costa Rican Sandwiches, Pepito Sandwiches. The next stop of the evening -- Joong Boo Market. Melissa is a huge fan of the humble dumping, and this corner shop was completely fitting. At only $2 a piece (and so, so filling), we each had a choice of Spicy Kimchee, Pork or Red Bean. Our forth stop was The Pork Shoppe, where we had Pork Belly Pastrami Sandwich, Fries, and Pickles. And PBRs... Delicious! Next on our journey, was Cafe Versailles. Amy & Graham picked this destination, where they let Melissa make some authentic French crepes. We enjoyed some espresso and an assortment of savory and sweet crepes: Banana & Nutella; Kiwi, Honey & Pistachio; Chicken & Caramelized Onion; Tomato, Olive, Egg & Cheese. Ooo la la! I've got to be honest -- we can all hold our own when it comes to eating, but at this point, we were all feeling a bit glutinous. We swung by Herma's Kitchen and picked up some samosas (which we were able to enjoy the next morning), then headed down Lake Shore Drive in our limo while listening to Chicago before ending back at Amy & Graham's. There, we got to enjoy some dessert and continue celebrating.
Seriously, it was one of these nights that you have to ask yourself over and over again if it really even happened! It was absolutely perfect. Happy 40th Birthday, Melissa!
P.S. Melissa has a way with words, and has great documentation of the evening over on her blog. Check it!
16 October 2014
15 October 2014
October 12, 2013 -- Apple Picking with H & C
October 17, 2012 -- I was in New York City getting ready for the SRAM pART PROJECT
October 15, 2011 -- Family apple picking excursion with Scott, Ali & A
October 14, 2010 -- H created "Water Island" for his community project at school
October 15, 2009 -- Leaves took over our back yard
October 15, 2008 -- A picture of my four guys
09 October 2014
05 October 2014
We had another weekend filled with soccer and other activities. On Saturday, Brian and H drove to Madison for H's game, while C and I were closer to home -- in Cedarburg -- for his two games. It was absolutely brutal out. 39 degrees and raining. Not cool, Mother Nature. Today was much nicer. H & Brian took Gretel for some bird training. C, Storm & I enjoyed the peace and quiet before going to soccer training for C. My friend Ali had gone the Milwaukee Art Museum last week, and I realized, it's been awhile since we've gone as a family there. We are even members! So despite the moaning and groaning from the boys, off we went. We didn't have much time, but it was perfect. And actually, H & C had a great time. It was the perfect way to end the weekend.
03 October 2014
Leaves. They are going to be the death of me. It is nearly impossible to walk Gretel right now. She goes after every leaf that falls on the ground, and pulls. The other day she was going stir crazy, so I ended up at the dog park again. (You can only walk a dog so much). He favorite way to get there is by sticking her head up through the roof and let her ears and lips flap in the wind. It's actually pretty hilarious. Thank goodness she's so cute.
02 October 2014
As I mentioned this summer when we went camping, we have been doing that trip for a number of years. Sure, we all missed a few years here and there. But for the most part, it has been a highly anticipated trip for all of us. This photo is the second year we went with the group. H was 4 and H was nearly 2 -- we went to Buckhorn State Park. You could not pull your car up to the sites, but had access to this handy cart, which provided hours of entertainment. The boys loved sitting in the back, getting pulled around by Emma and her friend. It was another great year of camping. (June/July 2006)