Sunday, June 30, 2013


Green fields, warm sun shining down, the faint smell of sunscreen, and piles of strawberries at the end of the day.....or something like that. 

If something is more like pouring rain, sixty degree weather, and muddy feet, muddy everything. But in life we make the best of things. Not ideal, but we still came away with some good memories and a boatload of berries. 

We washed them up and we now have a years supply of strawberry jelly along with some dried mud on the bottom of our shoes. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Bets and Beer

We had the pleasure of hosting some of our best friends over the weekend. It always feels more at home with a full house of family.

The long weekend started off a bit wet with a sudden downpour on Friday as soon as they arrived and lasting into the evening. We seeked shelter indoors, along with a few good brews (and water), and good food. We carried on our Friday night tradition and settled in with popcorn and a movie. Because really, who doesn't want a good dose of The Little Mermaid when they are on vacation?

Saturday we made a quick stop at the farmers market for some strawberries, and then made our way out of town. To hedge our bets against the potential rain we thought an afternoon at the horse tracks seemed an appropriate adventure. 

We ended the evening on our porch. A full table of people, good food, and a lot of laughter. In other words: perfect. 

Sunday morning was a spent painting itty bitty toes with sparkly polish, and a visit to one of our neighborhood brunch spots. Add in an afternoon with the sitter for C, a visit to the Chicago Craft Beer Fest (a fail), an improptu BBQ with new friends and a late night pizza order and you have a successful Sunday. 

Thank you Chris and Gayle for a fantastic weekend! We miss you already!

That's our horse in last

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Family Reunion 2013

A couple weeks after last year's reunion we received an email from our gracious hosts that they were somehow not scarred (or perhaps it hadn't sunk in) from hosting a all of us and were not only thrilled with the turn out, but were inviting us back the following year. Fast forward one year and I give you this weekend.

This year was different. Whereas last year's reunion was taught with loads of introductions, semi-awkward small talk, and "which sibling do you belong to's" this year was more like getting together with old it should be. It was small, more intimate. The turnout wasn't as great, but it really opened the door to catching up on a deeper level with the family that was there.

It's truly humbling to be reminded where we come from. As I sat across the table from my great aunt and uncle, hands embraced, I listened to stories from generations passed. These stories, some of which have been told so many times that half of the table could recite them verbatim are my favorite parts of reunions. Out of everything these are the pieces that I wish so badly I could bottle up and store away some place safe.

We're stockpiling the memories like crazy around here. Summer is just getting started and it's gonna' be a great one.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Exhausted in a Good Way

I'm spent. Physically, mentally, emotionally exhausted...and it feels fantastic. We've spent the last 4 weeks vacationing, moving, hosting, driving, cooking, -ing, ing, goes on and on. We've relaxed, or tried to, a few times in between, but my how it feels good to be on the move and getting things done. This weekend was our first spent at our new place without people visiting. While we should have made a point of sitting on the couch and recouping we did the opposite.

In fact, a good friend recently brought it to my attention, that we're not capable of relaxing these days. Harder than hearing that was admitting that she was 100% right. We used to be masters of relaxing. We owned relaxation. We didn't plan it, or make room for it. Instead it settled in like that old ratty quilt that has made it home on our couch. It was just there...begging to be taken advantage of.

The truth is, I think we relax in different ways these days.

Troy brewed his first batch of beer this weekend. Frantically running back and forth between the conversion tables on the computer and the mad scientist looking kitchen. Tubes and pots running every which way, and I think at some point I spied a garden hose sneaking out the back door. At the same time, I was building a headboard for our guest room.

Venturing out into new things, new challenges. This is how we relax now.
This and a shared bowl of ice cream on the park bench.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Friends from Far Away

We made a special trip back to Grinnell recently to visit Aunt Erika and Miss Avery. Such a doll!

The trip was too short, but we made the most of it. We saw a lot of old friends, and some new additions. 

The mister even found time to screen in Oma's porch.