Archives for July 2012

Mini Posts- The Middle Ground

Mini-Posts

Sometimes I have  something more to write than tidbits of talk on Fridays, but not enough for a whole blog post.  So enter this post.  This week you will more than likely be bombarded with posts from me. Although I don’t post consistently, I write a lot and have a couple of posts ready to go for this week.  
With rain in the forecast and earlier in the morning, I made a last minute decision to take Brady to the Morton Arboretum on Thursday. 
It is a haul from the city, but oh so worth it.  I had no clue how to get there or what there was to do, but a quick text to a best friend confirmed it would be worth it.   



There were frogs and turtles and lily pads and streams to wade in.



There were simple moments and silly questions. 



There was a mama and her son.



Our street’s block party was Saturday and the day was picture perfect.  We have been in charge of balloons for two years now and Brady was eager to help. When we returned from a family party late in the afternoon, Brady wanted to stay outside and he entertained himself with this balloon and I just snapped away. 

Isn’t it amazing how something so small, so simple and so inexpensive can bring an almost three year old so much pleasure. 

I find myself wishing I was out from behind my camera more. I feel like I have very few pictures of my kids and I. So I try to capture myself with Cate and Brady when I can…or I just end up capturing her.  Because how can you not? 

This is the face of a little girl determined to get the balloon her brother is playing with! 

Tidbits of Talk

Tidbits of Talk {Volume WHO KNOWS}

Hi! Is anyone out there? Probably not since I have been so inconsistent about writing on this think I call a blog. I have so much to share so I am going to get some tidbits up with some follow up posts coming next week.

~My sweet girl is turning 11 months next week. Not sure how it happened but holy cow. More to come about her and all her doings.

~I have been really in to Yoga Sculpt at Core Power Yoga.  It is an awesome workout for your entire body- essentially yoga with weights which requires me to sweat a ton and focus on me for one hour a day.  My hairdresser is a loyal, five day a week yogi and at her urging I tried it over winter break. I couldn’t fit it in this past spring, but this summer I have been able to do it at least once a week. 
~Yoga is one type of exercise that feels good right now. Long story short, I went to the doctor last week to find out that I need to have a series of surgeries on my right leg this fall. I have some vein issues that I keep telling myself are not serious but they are and need to be dealt with. I thank Cate for these issues…more to come on this.

~ Our house sold for the second time and we bought a house for the second time. It happened at lightning speed and we are ecstatic, sentimental and overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done. I am working on a post about this major event as well.

~ Our weekend plans include birthday celebrations, block parties and packing.

Happy Friday Friends! 

Vacation {Where I Have Been}

I am writing this from the screened in porch of a house that we are renting on the shores of Lake Michigan. I am rocking in a chair as I type, drinking a Coors Light and struck at how many things are going on in our life at the moment that make me dizzy in anticipation, sick with fear and crazy with “what ifs” yet how I keep focusing on right now as people trek past our house to catch the sunset on the beach and I watch as sun kissed kids burn those last bursts of energy in the street on bikes.  

We were fortunate that Glenn joined us with the intention of staying the week.  He needed it.  We needed him. And we have soaked up every minute with him.

Our days have consisted of early morning coffee, lazy breakfasts, rides on the golf cart to start and end the our adventures, naps, beer and the pool. We have spent every morning at the beach to this point and it is worth writing about.

{Edit: I am now home.}


I never finished writing this while we were on vacation because it just did not seem important. I don’t know why but when I am on vacation I find that I just am not inspired to write like I am at home. I have plenty of thoughts, reflections and things to tell you but I find myself overwhelmed internally but wanting to verbalize any of it because I am nothing but present.  

When we arrived we watched how people got to the beach. My dad called it a parade.  And it was.  All day long people coming and going from the beach in a disorganized parade full of inner tubes, coolers, chairs and towels.  The beach was up a hill from our rented house…people loaded wagons, strollers and kids with stuff trying to get there. They would hitch their wagons behind golf carts then park the golf cart in the designated lot and take the wagon to the beach. 
The first day we noticed a lot of wagons at the top of the beach/walkway that never went in the sand.  We didn’t think much of it and took ours down a long wooden walkway, down a steep and hill and out to the beach.  It was a bad idea and never done again the remainder of the week. Do you know how hard it is to pull or push depending on who you were a full wagon in the sand? Virtually impossible. See said hill below. 

We got smart after that, leaving it at the top and carrying our stuff and kids down. The sand got hot, really hot like and Brady outsmarted us all by asking to be carried which resulted in a mega thigh workout for me.  Burning sand, a 40 pound toddler on my shoulders resulted in me running and muttering the words “oh sh*t” which were instantly repeated.  I was actually okay with both of us muttering it because it was fitting for the moment we were in together daily.  

This picture can’t describe the dumb game Todd and Brady played the first day at the beach.  It consisted of Todd throwing buckets of water up in the air the same direction that Brady would run and it showering him with droplets.  He would squeal in delight and beg for more.  They played for what seemed like eternity and he smiled the entire time. This is a moment, a memory that I will remember.

We learned our lesson about sand and swim diapers realizing that the easiest and the best option was to hose  him off naked upon returning from the beach.  That white tush and tan body screams that he has had a summer of fun. And while he will kill me years from now for this photo it is a small reminder that he is still a little boy.  
Cate is and will be my water bug. Content to be in a float or swim in the water with us she was fearless.  She played in the sand, rode in the stroller and even missed a nap or two.  She really showed me how flexible, portable and content she can be on a daily basis. She ate well, slept well, and got a little sun in her adorable suit. 

Rummikub was the game everyone was playing up there.  We tried it and decided to stick to what we know and like to play which were dominoes. 

We picked blueberries one morning.  Everyone eating some along the way.  
And making pancakes with them the next morning was a highlight. Brady would tell us they were “delicious”.  It had us all wondering where he he learned that word.  
And on the final night as we were talking about next summer and packing our bags the food poisoning plague hit my mom and I in a span of two hours.  Instead rocking for a final time on the porch watching the sunlight be traded for moonlight we huddled in the bathroom.  A memory for sure but not one I hope to repeat.  

Since before Brady, summer has never felt calm, recharging and fun.  This summer, these moments have really felt like summer and it fuels my soul as the school year approaches quickly.   I feel good about the experiences we have had, the memories we have made and the time that we have spent purposefully being a a family.   And there are still a few weeks left with big changes on the horizon.  

Happy Wednesday! 

Cate {10 Months}

We are headed to shores of Lake Michigan for a week and I apologize in advance if I don’t post all week. I am still debating if I am even going to bring my laptop. The idea of unplugging, being present without pressure from technology excites me. I read off my Ipad so it will make the trip and of course I will have my phone. But there is just something about bringing my work computer that makes it seem like less of a vacation. 

I wanted to write this huge post about how Cate is 10 months old growing before my eyes and I am trying to soak up the baby in her but I don’t have the time. Yes, I know we are all busy. We all have full schedules but to be honest we were gone for a week, back for less than a week and gone again for a week so needless to say I have stayed busy packing, unpacking, repacking, celebrating the 4th of July and trying to do the normal things that have to get done each day.

Every month I find myself wondering where the time has gone and how Cate has grown a month older and a month closer to being one year old.  I find myself trying to find small moments; little moments that I can remember about her being a baby worried that in a blink of an eye she will be off riding a bike with her brother forgetting that I am even watching from our house. 

She wakes up happy almost every morning; talking to herself in her crib, eating her loveys and rolling around until someone comes and rescues her.  Some mornings she will let me rock her right when she wakes up just for that first minute as her eyes adjust to the light when I pluck her from the darkness of her room.   Other nights she will let me rock her after she has finished eating and has drifted off. And still there are more moments than less where she is morphing from baby to toddler before my eyes. She is independent, curious and busy.

Usually once babies become mobile, they are content to be alone. They become happier, not needed to be held as often and independent.  She hasn’t crawled yet or even pulled up. I suppose if I was a new mom I would be worried.  But I am not. I am relishing in watching her clap for her brother, explore our kitchen cabinets wave to anyone or no one but thinking she is funny.  I am content that she is happy, playful and gives out hugs constantly. 

Things Cate LOVES
~Her brother
~ To throw things under the couch
~ To try to take her diaper off
~ To wave at anyone or no one 
~ To drink from her sippy cup
~ To be held and give hugs 
~ The bath 
~ Naps and Nighttime
Things Cate HATES
~ Lotion after the bath 
~ Being left in a room alone 
~ The car (sometimes)
As you can see, more good than bad and before I know it we will have a one year old. Wow! 
For now, I am off to the beach with my family, enjoying summer, enjoying my family and enjoying life! 
Happy Weekend! 

A Recap- Bloomington-Normal

I could write ten more posts about our time in Bloomington-Normal with my parents and I fully intended on doing so while we were down there. But as always when I am down there, I find myself living in the present, wanting to talk instead of surfing the web, relaxing with the newspaper instead of reading blogs and not finding writing a necessity. I manage to tuck memories in my head and that seems to suffice.  

We had a really great week in Central Illinois despite Mother Nature’s attempt to make things really hard or hot however you want to look at it.  The temperature hovered in the 90’s each day but it was the humidity that was relentless.

Small town equates to easier to get things done for me…usually.


We started the week at the Ropp Farms. For a kid who lives in the city, it was like books came to life in the blink of an eye. We saw pigs, baby cows and even goats.  When saw goats and even though he wasn’t daring enough to actually feed them he was totally intrigued and didn’t want to leave.  


The bugs and the smell were not exactly pleasant but the place was welcoming, quaint and perfect.  My husband thinks he is hilarious and assumes that since I am from south of Interstate 80 that I am from a farm.  What he fails to understand is that while I am from a town surrounded by beans and corn and animals I know nothing about them nor will I ever.   

We spent time at the pool and the splash park. Cate just loves the water. You can sit her in it and she will stay busy. And he will climb on anything. 

We went to the Children’s Museum.
We even made it to the fire station. Took a couple of tries but we got there. Brady is really funny right now. He gets so excited to do things and the then the minute we get there and he has the opportunity to experience things he clams up.  He wants to be held, gets shy and very quiet.  Cate is the polar opposite. If she was there, she would have climbed right in and put the hat on. 

We did simple things like eat ice cream, run on the trail, play in my mama’s mirrors, wear goggles, take bubble baths, and just be silly.  She let him brush her hair while I showered. 

She cracked herself up in this mirror. 
She could not stop laughing and my mama and she had her hand in the diapers and wipes bin all week.
And  while I was sad to leave, it was time. My parents are great grandparents but I think after a week they may need a couple of days to sleep and a vacation to relax.  I kid.  But seriously, it is good to be home but I look forward to the next time our travels take us there and we make more memories.