Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Weekends away

School starts in less than 2 weeks -- I can't believe it! But the summer sun is still shining and I'm hoping to make the most of these last few days before 2nd grade.

We got off to a good start in August with 2 weekend trips -- Tennessee to visit my grandparents and then the Wisconsin Dells in all its cheesy glory with the Brandi fam.

The trip to visit my grandparents in Tennessee was really nice. They moved into a new condo, and while I know it doesn't really feel like home yet, I'm glad they're in a nice building surrounded by friends. I just wish they lived a little bit closer! The drive is 9 and a half hours on paper, but with all of our stops, it ended up taking about 11 hours each way. Next time, Jason made me promise we will fly. Though I must say, I enjoyed much of our time in the car, checking out the Kentucky scenery, playing hangman with Molly, and listening to the S-Town podcast with Jason (while Molly was either sleeping or wearing headphones of course).

It felt like we were hardly even home before we packed up the weekend bags again and drove up to the Dells with the Brandis. Shorter drive this time :) We rented a cabin instead of staying in a hotel and I'm glad we did. It meant the kids could run around freely and the adults could all stay up and hang out together after the kids finally went to sleep (no big struggle there after a long day at the water park). 

Here are a few of the happy pics from our weekends outta town:
Post putt putt photo with Gordon + Janelle. Miss Molls even scored herself a hole in one ... perhaps all these golf lessons are starting to make a difference
A paddle boat designed to look like a duck ... perfect for our duck-loving girl
Molly with Lainey and Nick - another pic by an animal statue and another year of water park fun in the Dells

Monday, July 24, 2017

Renovation celebration

And, we're done! Finally. We got the ball rolling back in October when we picked our contractor and started drawing up plans, started demolition in early April and now, at the end of July, we finally have our finished master suite! Please click that October link to see the "before" pictures and marvel at the difference 9 months of dust, sweat, and tears can make :)
A master bedroom with a little bit more breathing room. We still need to get artwork up, but the big pieces are in place.
The glorious--and enormous!--master bath
I think I'm most excited about this big a$$ closet. All my stuff in one place. What?!
All in all, it took a little longer than expected, but we stayed pretty close to budget and were very happy with our contractor. We'll probably take a year off before tackling the kitchen, but I must admit, I'm getting antsy for it. We've got the team. We've learned a thing or two. And we desperately need more counter space and updated appliances ... stay tuned :)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

She's 7!!

Can you believe it? Happy birthday to the Molls! We've been celebrating for weeks ... water park in Denver, family celebration at home, manicures and ice cream with one best friend, and an afternoon at the arcade with the other. Whew. We spoil this girl, but can't seem to help ourselves. She's sweet and kind and always appreciative. I've loved every minute of her first seven years.
Family birthday party at home - opening presents under the close supervision of cousins James and George

Enjoying her gifts

Relaxing at the water park with Cousin Will. She's starting to look SO grown up!

More fun with Cousin Will

Solo shot of the birthday girl

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Portland part 2: The gorgeous gorge

We probably spent more time outside of Portland than we spent in it ... but that's because the Pacific Northwest is absolutely beautiful. We took a half day waterfall tour and then spent a full day with my friend Jeremy from college hiking in the Columbia River Gorge and then exploring the awesome breweries around Hood River.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves for now, even though they don't even come close to capturing the beauty of the area.

Portland part 1: City pics

We're finishing up the Portland part of our 10-year anniversary trip and have absolutely loved it out here. People are kind, the food is outstanding, and there's so much to see and do.

It's a smaller city and pretty easy to get around. We walked along the riverfront and Pearl District, visited the Saturday market, walked along Alberta Street, hit up the food trucks for lunch and the breweries on Mississippi Street.

We haven't made a wrong step for restaurants, so I'll list them here in case anyone has plans to visit.
  • Han Oak - inventive Korean food in a converted garage
  • Departure - food by Top Chef runner up Gregory Gourdet and a fantastic view
  • Pine State Biscuits - because ... biscuits
  • Deadshot - Monday night cocktail and bar food pop up from the restaurant Holdfast
I feel like we've barely scratched the surface, so will just have to come back!

Friday, June 23, 2017

This is how we do it

Sometimes it feels like no time at all has passed since high school. Natalie and Dana came in town last weekend for Lindsay's Boys and Girls Club charity event and we had So. Much. Fun. I totally paid the price the next day, but didn't even care. It was worth it to have had a night out with these girls :)

Fun in the photo booth with Lindsay, Dana, and Nat

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Fast five

1. What I'm reading:
The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead. I'm in full agreement with the Pulitzer Prize Board ... this is one outstanding work of fiction. It's a re-imagined history, where the underground railroad is an actual railroad and our heroine's experience in each state conveys a different aspect of the horrors of slavery. It's focused on the past, but somehow also feels very relevant to our current day. Not an easy read, but worth it.

2. What I'm watching: 
Breaking Bad ... finally! I'm finishing up Season 3 and, although it's probably the most stressful show I've ever seen, I can see why so many people consider it a masterpiece. Walter White is the star, but Jesse is definitely the best character, yo.

3. Where I'm shopping: 
Athleta. Home to all things cute and quick dry for summertime mom duty. It's slightly overpriced, but I make sure to take advantage of the sales. And, I was lucky enough to have B and Sus treat me to a couple of items for my birthday. Thanks, sisters :)

4. What I'm playing:
Country club sports all around! I'm signed up for cardio tennis classes every Monday and have a season pass to the local golf club down the street from our house. Little Miss Molly is on board with my 2 favorite sports as well. She fell in love with the unrestricted access to Gatorade at tennis camp and even won the girls' effort award at the end of the session (I beam with pride!). Junior golf is up next. 

5. Where I'm going:
We're trying not to go much of anywhere this summer so we can enjoy beach life in Evanston ... but ... we do have a few fun trips to look forward to. Jason and I have our 10-year anniversary trip to Portland in July (finally), we're planning a Wisconsin weekend with friends in August, and Molly and I are also taking a special summer road trip down to Tennessee to visit my grandparents in their new home. Hoping to hit the right ratio of time away/time at home. We'll see how it goes! And so will you ... I'm planning to post more often this summer. Please remind me if I forget :)