29 July 2016

Last Week in Moments

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Brian took off on Friday, so we spent the afternoon at Panga and rented SUPs for 4 hours. H & C got dropped off after tennis so used them too.

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Look who else joined in the action! She wasn't perfect, but did better than we thought. She preferred being on land and shallow water, and spent most of her day swimming.

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We had the best weekend! Yvonne flew in from LA, and Bill & Raluca came in from Chicago. On Saturday, they came over for lunch then we went to the Lynden Sculpture Garden. It is such a great place. Here we are under Quartet by Forrest Myers. That evening we went to Centro Cafe -- another one of our favorites.

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On Saturday, we went to the Milwaukee Art Museum, and had so much fun. We spent 5 hours there, and even the boys lasted. I could have spent all day in You and I, Horizontal (II) by Anthony McCall. It was magical.

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The boys and Yvonne. Cuties! H&C were absolutely smitten by our friends, and I don't blame them. They are pretty great!

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That evening, we had had dinner at Goodkind. I was dying to try it, and it did not disappoint.

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Yvonne was going to spend two nights with us, then find somewhere to stay and write. She ended up staying the next two night with us too though. Frankly, this made me so happy -- I would have had a hard time knowing she was close by and that I wasn't seeing her. Bill & Raluca left to go back to Chicago on Monday. We went to the pool and had dinner at home. On Tuesday, we took the boys to see The Secret Life of Pets. So funny! Afterwards, we took a walk in Lions Den Gorge. The water was stunning.

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We all could have spent hours just sorting through rocks, and taking in the trees and lake. It was gorgeous. On Wednesday, C had tennis so we went there and spent the afternoon out on the lake. Then I had to take Yvonne to the airport (insert sad face).

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C had tennis again on Friday, so H played golf with Nina & Papa. After tennis, they went to the driving range. Can't believe how good they have gotten! Way better than me. That's for sure.

21 July 2016

Last Week in Moments

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We went to Racine for our nephew's high school graduation party. He leaves for college in a week or so!

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The party was at Grandma's house. Someone was running around the garden, tripped over a brick and fell on to another brick. Brian ended up taking him to the ER where he had to get 4 stitches. We all, including C, are shocked this is his first bout with stitches. The good news is, he survived, and got to get them taken out just 5 days later.

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On Sunday we went to our friend Mike's house. C was bummed he couldn't go tubing, thanks to his accident the day before. But H had a blast -- he went tubing a ton, and even got up right away water skiing.

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Swimming at dusk.

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C decided to have a lemonade stand to help start raising funds for his airplane ticket to Spain this year (yes, it's his turn). He made a simple syrup, squeezed the lemons, added fresh mint, and sold out within a couple of hours.

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C had tennis on Wednesday, so we spent the afternoon on Beaver Lake. We took the raft and tubes and swam around looking at the houses. So lucky. It was the perfect place to be.

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It was a perfect day for it. Today is in the mid-90s. This kind of weather makes me absolutely crazy. Hopefully the 70s and 80s will return soon.

15 July 2016

Last Week in Moments

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The dogs had to be boarded for a night, and Gretel couldn't get enough of the fresh air on her way over. She rode like this the entire 25 minute drive there.

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The wedding was held at St. John's Military Academy in a gorgeous church, and the reception was at the Rustic Manor 1848. It was a perfect, laid back space.

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Here's the bride! My friend and CrossFit trainer, Emma. And these other people are some of my favorites from the gym. Minus Brian, who "retired" from CrossFit awhile back after a short stint. Anyhow, it was such a great night. We got to hang out with a really fun group of people. There were about 14 of us (including spouses) from the gym there. Some came later for dancing. Speaking of dancing, I haven't danced that much in years. As soon as the music came on, I was there. And I didn't stop until the night was over. Such a blast.

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Our Monday adventure consisted of finding these bunnies in our window well. Gretel spotted them, actually. Last Friday, Gretel killed a rabbit in our yard. The next day, we found a newly demolished bunny nest. And as I was walking over to the window, I noticed a dead bunny. I'm thinking these were all from that nest, and was hoping they hadn't been in the well all weekend. So H and I took them to the Wisconsin Humane Society Wildlife Clinic. The good news is, the vet said they were very healthy, and actually old enough to release! So we took them to the park and let them go. That was pretty exciting.

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On Tuesday we drove to IKEA and Mitsuwa to meet Melissa for ramen. Unfortunately, her kids were not around, but thankfully Amy & Graham's daughter was staying with the Elsmo's for a couple days, so we got to surprise her! You should have seen her face. So much fun. We ate ramen for lunch, picked up sushi fixings for home, and had a green tea ice cream mochi sundae. So good.

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The end result of our roll-your-own sushi night. The boys had a blast, and it was absolutely delicious.

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A view of my favorite room (the screened in loggia) at night. It is really quite an amazing space, and where we spend most of the summer.

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Big kids being little kids. I love it. The were seeing who could jump the farthest from the swing.

08 July 2016

Last Week in Moments

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Probably my favorite photo from the cardinal nest.

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The Elsmo's were passing through town, and we got to meet them at Kopp's for lunch. Such a great surprise and so much fun. Miss these people so much.

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We met a few people from Brian's work at the Slinger Speedway. What a blast! That 1/4 mile track is quite something.

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The Stone Bank 4th of July parade.

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This one decided to attack a feather blanket. And today, she brought us the gift of a baby rabbit. Dead. Thank goodness Brian was the one home.

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We were out at the lake on Wednesday, and H caught at least 10 fish. This large mouth bass was the best.

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The boys went to my parents Thursday night. They typically go once a week, but we've been so busy that this was the first time this year. Brian and I went to Centro Cafe for dinner, and I got to enjoy one of my favorite dishes ever -- their gnudi. Such a great night.

05 July 2016

4th of July

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We had a great 4th of July weekend and are so sad to see it come to an end. It's definitely one of our family's favorites. Last year we were able to make a big weekend in Lake Country on the 4th. However, since it fell on a Monday this year, it was one big long day of non-stop fun. We left the house early in the morning, complete with the dogs who got to meet Bentley (my parent's puppy) for the first time. I'd say it went pretty well. Then we met up with my sister and her family for the Stone Bank parade which is always quite the spectacle. So many people! So fun. My brother-in-law, the master tailgater, had a pretty impressive Bloody Mary set up going on so that started our day. Don't et me wrong, I love day drinking. But wow it makes me tired. Anyhow, after the parade, we had lunch at my parent's, then went over to the CEO of Brian's company for a pool party in their gorgeous back yard. We couldn't stay long, because next we were heading to Chenequa for a beach party and fireworks. We met up with my sister again, as well as my cousin's wife, her family and their kids. Sadly, they moved to Texas today. (My cousin is already there.) It was great to get to see them one more time before the big move. I know I say this every year, but the setting at Chenequa is really spectacular. There's nothing like fireworks over the water. The kids were able to swim beforehand -- some in their clothes. My sister was quite the sport when she got thrown in, and actually stayed and played with them in the water for most of the night. Quite impressive, considering she was wearing a strapless dress. The fireworks were gorgeous -- Beaver Lake puts on quite a great show and I love me some good fireworks. And then, it was time to gather the dogs and head back home. What a wonderful day.

01 July 2016

Cardinal Nest

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For the past several weeks, we've had a cardinal nest in one of our bushes. It's been quite the challenge keeping Gretel -- the bird dog -- away. Admittedly, I'm not a giant bird fan. But I do feel quite lucky to have gotten to experience this. We spotted the first egg on June 6. The next day there were three. Then only two. Then suddenly, there were six gorgeous eggs. So exciting.

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The mom cardinal was there every day. We didn't see the dad very much while she was incubating the eggs. But it turns out, cardinals are very loud, so we knew he was hanging around thanks to loud chirping. In fact, over the course of the weeks, as soon as we heard a loud cardinal noise, we knew Gretel close by the bush and were able to get her away. They were a pretty good alarm.

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A couple weeks later (June 20), we found one of the eggs broken on the ground. Sadly, the bird was nearly formed, so I knew it would be soon before they started hatching. Sure enough, the next morning, we had our first bird. Adorable!

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The next day (June 22), there were two. Can you even stand this?

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On June 23, there were three. You can see the bottom bird is quite a bit larger already. I'm not sure what happened, but the smaller ones disappeared. Was it the mother? I have no idea, but it was pretty heartbreaking.

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I like to call this the awkward, ugly phase. Yuck. The crazy thing is, this was only three days later (June 26). They still aren't large, but what a change.

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And a couple more days later, it looked like this (June 28). Getting cute again. By the way, these eggs are the size of large marbles. To put the size of all of this in prospective.

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This morning, the baby was out of it's nest. Can you see it? From what I've read, they are supposed to hang around the tree for several days yet, but we haven't been able to see it. The parents are still in the area, and I'm hoping it's ok. It's been a long several weeks keeping things safe, but how amazing is this?

Last Week in Moments

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On Saturday, we picked C up from soccer camp (he loved it), then he proceeded to sleep for a couple of hours. Afterwards, we headed to the Tour of America's Dairyland iSCorp Downer Classic. Always one of our favorite events of the summer.

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Fell asleep while stalking birds from the sofa.

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A delicious Salmon Ni├žoise salad for dinner.

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This week just flew by! C decided last minute to sign up for the Bavarian soccer camp. The bummer was that he had to miss tennis, but he had a great time. H spent a night at my parents and got to go fishing and golfing. Not too bad. To wrap things up, here's a photo of Gretel with blond hair that I found on my phone. Poor thing.