Saturday, February 14, 2015 mine..

Too much illness here the last couple of weeks...ugh. Whatever virus has plagued our family has been a bit of a bear to get rid of. Thankfully, I have not succumbed yet to this bug (knock-on-wood), although I am feeling a tad snuffly. We shall see.

There's been a bit of making, nonetheless, and that includes the yearly valentines.

This year I had the kids choose and make their own valentines. I may have gotten the supplies ready, I may have printed said valentines, and I may have used the hot glue gun and the exacto knife to prevent any nasty injuries. But the rest was all them.

Isaac chose a 'Yoda Best' valentine, that was simple and not overly mushy. These are very important qualities to a boy teetering on the edge of middle-school-dom. Stay cool...and do no more than you have to.

Evy chose another simple valentine, utilizing only a chocolate heart and the alphabet. This was not her first choice, however. She would have preferred to make tic-tac-toe games for everyone and attach a package of tic-tacs to each. Perhaps if she was in a class of 4 students it would have been more cost-effective.

Margot chose the most elaborate of valentines. These little gnomes were too cute to say no to. And I had everything on hand but the kisses. She created little heart "feet" so that she could put students' names on them, and it worked out marvelously. She is my little artist, and fully enjoyed every step in making these beauties.

Rich and I had a nice valentine's dinner with friends (on Valentine's eve), which also involved some gambling. There were high hopes of winning 300 billion dollars, but alas, it was not meant to be. Maybe next time, eh?

We will be spending our valentine's day as a family, enjoying tennis, and laying low. Maybe we shall be rid of the viral beast by weekend's end? One can dream, yes?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 6, 2015 fun..

I do love the quiet rural life that we have embraced, but it is fun to venture out and travel to more populated cities, too.

A week or so ago, Rich and I took a weekend trip to Chicago with our neighbors. We were without kids for the first time in a long time, and it was a wonderful break from our otherwise busy life.

We left Friday afternoon, with a minivan full of 4 adults, 3 kids, and a yellow lab. We were packed in. Our pit stop in Rockford relieved us of the children and dog, we said our goodbyes and good lucks, and promptly got back on the road to head to the big city. My sister is a saint for taking responsibility of our kids and the beast, although much fun was had by all during our 44 hour mini-break.

I cannot speak for my children and the dog, but I can say that from Friday to Sunday, I enjoyed:

~ Chicago-style deep dish pizza

~ French greyhounds, mochas, lattes, and red wine

~ a couple of simple, yet relaxing, spa treatments (hello, scalp massage..)

~ Millennium park

~ Chinatown

~ Ubering, for the first time

~ the Chicago Art Institute

~ seeing an old friend, and making some new ones

~ safely returning to the ground floor from the 96th floor  (geez, I seriously hate heights)

~ an unseasonably warm January day, which made walking almost 6 miles around the city delightful, albeit tiring.

It was a fun trip. It's nice to get away, expose yourself to people and places that are different and unfamiliar. Chicago holds many memories for me, and I was glad to add to them.

Thank you for your hospitality, Chicago...see you again soon!

Friday, January 30, 2015

..knitting, for him..

I am a procrastinator. It's no secret, really, that I have an abundance of ideas, and then will abandon them mid-stream, as more ideas come to pass. More times than I can count I have tried to "work" on completing things left unfinished. I have come to the conclusion, however, that not everything (for me) is meant to be finished.

 Like I said before, I am idea person. I enjoy thinking up ideas. Committing to finishing them is a whole different story -- but one that I am trying to change, one project at a time.

I have been knitting now for a number of years. I started off small, with scarves and simple blankets. As a rhythm developed with my knitting, so did a need to challenge myself, little by little. I have been terrible at documenting my progress, but to date, I have knit a small cardigan for both of my girls, a couple of cowls for myself, a couple of blankets, hand warmers, bibs, and some scarves for my sisters. Knitting for girls is easy, really, and I feel bad about that. Mainly because I have a son and husband who I am leaving out, but not intentionally.

Right before Christmas, I finally finished a sweater for Isaac. It's the pattern Tea for Jam and Bread, and it appeared to be an easy sweater. I knew Isaac would like it because of the pockets. Mothers doing laundry? Not so much.  I did not follow the colors exactly, as I tried to use up some leftover yarns in my stash. But I am quite pleased with how it turned out.

Shall I tell you how long it took me to finish this guy up? Oh, only 10 months.

Now, we had a lot going on in the beginning of the year, and certainly that could be my excuse, but, really, it was just the p-word. I put things down, walk away, and get distracted by other things. I didn't forget about this little guy, though, and it did cause me some anxiety. Picking up stitches? The mere mention of that is enough for me to put down the project and leave it to collect dust for a few days, or weeks. Funny thing is, it is never as difficult as I make it out to be in my mind. And I am getting better at it, one sweater at a time.

All in all, it was a fun project to work on. I am quite happy it is now done, and I am on to the next male in the household, so that everyone in the family has their own mama-knit creation.

Hopefully it won't take another 10 months...

Friday, January 2, 2015


Yikes. 2015.

I've abandoned this little blog for awhile, and really I haven't gone's just that life has zoomed by so fast and I haven't taken the time to write about it. That's all.

The second half of 2014 brought  2 birthdays, some small trips around Wisconsin, visits with numerous family and friends, the start of 5th, 3rd, and kindergarten, the death of my father-in-law, tennis, dance, a new graduating class, numerous holiday celebrations, and now here we are starting a brand new year.

Like opening a crisp, new notebook, 2015 is a relative blank slate. It will fill up quickly. Our first adventure will be to drive home attempting, at all costs, to avoid winter storm Frona (as we drive back home from Florida, where we have been visiting family for the last week).

The frigid days of winter lay before us. It is my hope that I will take the time to document my little adventures -- big, small, happy, sad -- through each of the seasons that 2015 brings.

May your 2015 bring an abundance of happiness and health!