Monday, November 26, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Kitchen - It's Getting Close

The kitchen is coming along! It's still waiting for a few finishing touches (backsplash tile, pantry door, curtains, bench cushion, and chairs--and in these photos we were still waiting for a few drawer fronts), but all the major stuff is done. I must say that I do love it very much. Our cabinet maker, Tim Pollard from Heirloom Cabinetry in St. Charles, IL was amazing. He does incredible work and is so delightful to work with. Thank you Pinterest and Houzz for all the beautiful photos of beautiful kitchens that we could gleen ideas from. It's so fun to see it all coming together.
 Pay no attention to our yucky old barstools. We've got plans to spruce them up so they look a little better.
 Same goes for my old pine chairs that don't match so well anymore. A little paint project is on the docket for them.

 Still wating for the backsplash tile to be delivered. Here's the sample:


The mudroom is the current project we are working on:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Winding Down Summer at Wrigley Field

Brent came home from work with a few Cubs tickets, so off we went tonight for one last ball game for the summer. It was a beautiful summer night at Wrigley Field and great way to spend a Tuesday evening with the family before weeknights become dominated by homework and kids sports. Next Tuesday night will be our first "School Night" of the year. Yuck!

 Ethan, our Sox fan, broke down and bought a Cubs t-shirt after the game was over. It remains to be seen if he'll actually wear it.

The final score was sad--but the Cubs aren't having a great season, so we weren't expecting a win anyway.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I Love to Braid

It's true, I really love to braid hair. Especially when I can do something fun and different. About seven years ago our family was waiting (and waiting) for a Memorial Day parade to start. To pass the time I played with Morgan's hair as she sat on the curb. That day we invented the spiral braid. Since then the spiral braid has made me very popular at girls camps. And I'm happy to oblidge all the girls who'll let me practice on them. Today I'm chaperoning Morgan's team to gymnastics training camp in Kalamazoo, MI. Lucky for me the girls were excited to have matching spiral braids. It took about 90 min to braid all six girls. Well worth it for all the oohs and awwws they got from other girls (and strangers) today.

(Props to Sheree, Rebekah and Rachel, my three little sisters who allowed me to hone my braiding skills on their heads)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Make It or Break It

Today as I cleaned-up heaps of papers scattered around the office I discovered a folder with Morgan's name on it. Inside was a whole year's worth of writing assignments that she never bothered to share with her parents (probably because she knew her mom would embarrass her by gushing and even shedding a little tear). Growing up my my mom always told my siblings and I that the best present we could ever give her was the gift of our writing. I couldn't agree more. This folder was indeed a gift. Here is my favorite (coincidentally well-timed with the Women's Olympic gymnastics competition coming up tonight):

Make It or Break It
By Morgan 4/25/2012 (7th Grade)

I stand and wait as I hear familiar voices
Shouting my name.
I look at the four-inch beam
Wondering ho I have the courage each day
To trust my arms to support the weight of my body,
And trusting my hands to find the beam,
After flying four feet in the air.
I wipe my sweaty palms on my thighs,
Impatiently waiting for the dreaded salute.
I breathe deeply and close my eyes slowly,
Trying to calm myself down.
Quickly, I say a prayer in my head
Asking for confidence and strength.

The judges organize their notes,
Take a deep breath,
Smile at me,
Then one of them raises her hand in the air.
"Morgan?" she calls out.
I shoot her a fake smile
And salute.
I let my mind relax,
And let my body do what it does most:

I begin with the mount.
Heart racing,
Palms sweating,
Muscles shaking.
Switch leap to a straddle jump-
Toe turn-
Here comes the flight.
Back-handspring, back-handspring-
Connected, though a slight wobble at the end.
Split jump to a three quarter jump-
Stuck it.
My round-off to layout dismount
Is what stands between success and me.
I take in a whiff of cool air
And begin my run.
I hurdle,
Lay my hands on the beam,
And hope my feet don't slip off.
Clearly, my feet made it on because now I am off the beam
And flying in the air.
I prepare for the squishy landing.
My feet find the ground and stay there.
I stuck it.
I smile to myself,
For I know that I did a great routine.
I lift my chest and give the judges a real smile and salute.
They smile back at me,
And quickly consult with each other to find the right score to describe my routine.
I walk back to my team with a huge grin on my face.
I give my coaches and teammates big hugs
As they tell me how well I did.
I sit down and patiently wait for my score-
Though I don't care because in my mind I already got a 10.0

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Visit from Friends

Our friends Carson and Amber Dickson came to visit last week. We've known them since early in our California days. In fact Brent and Carson worked together at Ernst and Young and Amber and I were job share partners at Palm. They did a 2-yr grad school stint in Hyde Park just after we finished and moved to the burbs. In fact they lived in the apartment right across the hall from the apartment we lived in while there (we wished that timing would have coordinated better and we would have been there at the same time). They've since moved out to the East coast so it was fun to have them in town for a visit. We had fun with all the boys in Chicago (Morgan was at gymnastics camp).

My Builder

One of the most used toys in our house is the Jenga game. We've played it as intended a few times, but more often it's used for building. Last week we were wandering in Chicago and stumbled upon the Target family tent in Millennium Park with many fun stations including a Jenga block-like building corral. Isaac was happy to show off his building skills to an audience of onlookers. As his tower's height increased, so did the interest of onlookers. Finally it got so tall he really couldn't reach the top any longer and it came crashing down. Other kids tried to recreate Isaac's tower but they just didn't have his awesome touch :).

Go Chicago Fire!

Isaac spearheaded the super fan effort. Both boys are hoping for a cameo on the jumbotron. My little soccer fans are clearly excited to be at the game. Well worth the hour drive (even though we just got home last night after two days of driving home from Utah).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

It's Easy to Make a Friend

I intended to post months ago, just rediscovered it today. I love how uncomplicated it is to make a friend in first grade.

"It's easy to make a friend. First, you find somoen. Next, you ask the prsin. Last, you play tgather. Making a frand is fun." -by Ethan

Brotherly Love

Brent's brother, Rich, came to town last week. We sent him up a huge ladder to help install a new chandelier in the front entry. That's brotherly love for you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Falling Asleep in the Car

When I was a kid I loved it when my Mom or Dad carried me up to bed after falling asleep in the car--sometimes I faked asleep to be carried. Sometimes Ethan fakes for the ride too, but Brent is always happy to oblidge him with a ride up to bed. Being the baby of the family has its perks.

Monday, May 21, 2012


I just read this quote and absolutely love the perspective it offers;

"When times are challenging and the Lord asks us, 'Do you know why this happened?' It is wonderful to be able to say, 'No, but you do.'" -Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Warm Welcome

This note was waiting in my bed when I came home from Utah today, "Dear Mom, Did you know that I love you to the moon and back 100 times." Ethan knows how to melt his momma's heart. Love him!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

It Has to Get Worse Before it Gets Better

Yup, that's my kitchen. About six weeks (fingers crossed) of construction ahead of us. Swiffer and I have been spending a lot of time together.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Now That was a Cool Pack Meeting!

Race car driver, Tony Schumacher, came to speak at Isaac's cub scout pack meeting tonight. The boys were drooling listening to him talk about driving 300+ miles per hour (that's 2 football fields per second)! When he showed video of races (and crashes) they were thrilled. What an awesome speaker! As you can see Isaac was excited to pose for a photo.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

Making Me Smile

If you are considering making stilts from your Crocs, you might like to know that Coke Zero cans are not as sturdy as Mug Root Beer cans. Isaac and Ethan highly recommend a stronger can, so your stilts don't collapse. I absolutely LOVE the creations these boys come up with. They make me smile! The white tape, I was informed, is not for structure. It's only to make them look cooler (as if homemade stilt shoes weren't cool enough to begin with!).

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Great Article on Gratitude

I loved this article from Sunday's Parade magazine. A perfect reminder at the start of a new year. (Link to article: )

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Lazy and Not So Lazy Christmas Break

750 piece puzzle completed tonight...lazy. Four rooms of new hardwood floors laid ourselves...not so lazy. Overall makes for a perfect holiday break. Happy New Year!