Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Time to give thanks

Last year, I declared Thanksgiving my favorite holiday. I think it's still holding onto the top spot in 2016. So far, at least :)

We celebrated at our house again. Same crew, same menu, though we did try a new recipe for green beans (with potato chips!) and added bourbon glazed sweet potatoes. Both were keepers and will be back on the menu next year.

The rest of the weekend was fun and low key ... 5 days off felt like a week!!

Happy Thanksgiving from Evanston!!
Getting back into college hoops with an NU win vs Bryant the day after Thanksgiving. Molly was more into the cheerleaders than the basketball players, but at least she has expressed interest in going to more games!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Fly the W

I have no words to describe this!! Cubs win in 10 innings. 8-7. World Series Champions!! One of the best -- most stressful -- games ever. But they did it. Go Cubs Go!!

Happy Halloween from Molly the Cat and Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits

Here are our 2016 efforts ... what will we dream up next year?
Molly wanted to be a cat and wear a gown :)
This was Jason's idea -- I think he just wanted to wear an Art Garfunkel wig

Friday, October 28, 2016

"Are sports important?"

Molly asked me that question yesterday, and my answer was "Yes. To some people, sports are very important. They are important to me and they are important to Dad."

I know she's asking because the Cubs are in the World Series (let me repeat that ... the Cubs are in the World Series!!!!) and the excitement in this town is just out of control.

I know there are MORE important things in life, certainly, but to me, sports have always been a really big deal and a source of so many happy memories. Even the losses give you something to talk about with your friends and family (Bengals ... I'm looking at you). 

I remember growing up and listening to Reds games on the radio while my parents did yard work outside. We had partial season tickets along the first base line (to this day, that's where I prefer to sit, in any stadium). I would check the stats in the paper every morning to see what was happening with Barry Larkin's batting average or to see which Nasty Boy was the pitching hero of the night. I can still tell you the line up from our 1990 World Series team.

But it's not just the big stuff. I also remember going to a game with my mom where we got so soaked running to our car in the rain that we ended up taking our jeans off in the parking garage. Laughing all the way ...

I remember the year the UC Bearcats went to the Final Four. Everyone else was talking about Michigan and the Fab Five, but to me, it was all about Nick Van Exel, our superstar junior college transfer from Kenosha Wisconsin. I can close my eyes and still feel the excitement of him draining 3 after 3 when we needed it most.

Or, as an adult, I'll never forget the magic of the Federer/Nadal Wimbledon 5 setter that had Jason and I on the edge of our seats, watching from a bar in Colorado.

Ah, sports. I know I'm not alone. Culturally, historically, sports of all types have mattered to all types of people. They're a way to get away from the worries and struggles for a few hours ... or weeks, as in the case of this current baseball postseason, where Cubs fans all over are walking around with a new sense of optimism and purpose.

I hope Molly ends up with happy memories from this World Series. I know Jason and I will :)

Jason and Kabance in Cleveland. Game 2. Cubs win!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fixer upper

For an old house (built in 1917), ours is in pretty good shape and previous owners did a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of remodeling and updating. But there are 2 large projects we plan to take on while we're here. The kitchen will be next year's project.... This year, we're going to combine our current master bedroom and tandem room into a master suite with a full-size bathroom and walk-in closet.

I am a little nervous about taking on a large project like this, but SO excited about the possibility of having a bathroom that's big enough for both Jason and I to brush our teeth at once and a closet that can hold clothes for all 4 seasons.

We have a contractor lined up and are close to finalizing the plans. It's probably still going to be a while before we get underway, but now that we have the plans, it's starting to feel real.

Here are the before pics ...

The tandem room.
Currently the location of my closet and Jason and my dressers.
The plan is to rip out the closet and turn this room into the master bedroom.
Current master bedroom.
Right now, we only have space for the bed and a small closet for Jason.
In the new plan, part of the space will be used for the master bath and the rest will be converted to a walk-in closet and sitting area with a vanity for ME :)
Our current master bath. Looks like it belongs in an episode of Tiny House Hunters!
The toilet is so close to the shower and sink, it's not even up to code according to the contractor.
In the new plan, the shower will be approximately twice the size and we'll have room for two sinks and shelving for towels. Heaven!

Sunday, September 25, 2016


Molly promised she'd cheer for Northwestern this weekend, but as soon as Uncle Joe, Uncle Keith, and Dianne showed up wearing Husker red, she was all about Nebraska. She chose well ... Nebraska won this year (again) 24-13. But Northwestern played their best football of the season and it was an exciting game. Regardless of the outcome, we had a wonderful weekend hanging out in Evanston and feeling the school spirit.
Posing for the camera -- Molly insists on making a goofy face for every photo
Our crew ... despite her purple face paint, Molly was chanting "Go Big Red" all game

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Rainy first day of first grade

What a difference a year makes. Last year, we had tears. This year, despite the rain and chaos of getting dropped off in the gym, Molly was nothing but excited for her first day of school. Last year, we had numerous park dates and meet and greets with other Kindergarten kids and teachers. This year, I had no clue who was going to be in her class and still haven't met the teacher. Ha!

I took a half day off work today and told Molly I'd pick her up at 3:30 with the rest of the kids ... she told me not to worry about it because she wanted to see her after care friends. What's this? I'm actually getting vacation time back?

Here's the first grader:
It's no wonder she wants to work at D&D, our neighborhood grocery store -- they treat her like a princess there!
I'm sure this year will come with ups and downs, but for now, it's feeling, as Molly would say, "easy, peasy."