Previous month:
September 2009
Next month:
November 2009

today was NUTS.

woke up.


got kids ready for school.

made henry's lunch.

packed up halloween costumes.

drove to henry's school to drop him off.

drove to harper's school to drop her off.

drove home for some coffee and to grab my camera.

drove to harper's school to help with her halloween party.


marc got to the school just as the party ended, so we all had lunch together.

went home to prep for henry's halloween party.

i was in charge of the gooey gastric eyeball hunt game and had to prepare the gooey guts.


harp and i drove to henry's school.

we watched the kids delve gleefully into the gooey guts.

IMG_8832 IMG_8836

we watched the rest of the festivities.

we drove to target.

the kids picked out a birthday present for marc.

we came home.

we wrapped the gifts and made cards.

we gave the gifts to daddy.


(longest nerf gun ever! and extra ammo with clip! henry's idea.)


we drove downtown.

in the rain. and friday night rush hour.

we ate at fogo de chao. marc's pick.

we ate too much. too much meat. oh lord, too much meat.

we drove home.

we lit the candles on marc's birthday pie.


(36 candles, in binary.)

(don't mock my pie. at least it tasted good.)

we sang "happy birthday."

marc blew out the candles.

we put the kids to bed.

marc and i ate some pie.

but we're still full.

now i'm typing this.

and marc's watching tivo'd ufc fights.

long. long. day.

tomorrow: swim lessons. pumpkins. halloween.

sunday: conclusion of october's photos of the day.

time to go talk the birthday boy into watching something else.



we're back!

(for the three of you who knew we were gone ...)

vacation is officially over. our 13th anniversary officially came and went. and somehow, october is about to do the same.

time flies when you're having fun.

door county was so, so great. so great. and i'm not going to go on and on and on with photos and stories, because i sort of did that in the photo album. one thing i never thought of: use the photo captions to tell the story. much more efficient than posting 30 photos and text AND an accompanying album. huh.

IMG_8196 anyway, we drove on monday, our actual anniversary. the trip was uneventful ... some chatting, some reading (on my part), some listening to pandora (the lisa hannigan channel - my pick) and blue collar radio (marc's pick. oy. man's had too much time in the car.).

we pulled into the blacksmith inn in bailey's harbor around dinner time, dumped our bags in the room, then walked to the harbor fish market and grille for dinner. thus began the week of some very memorable eating. the whitefish ceviche was fresh and delicious, the olive oil-poached char in tomato broth with leeks and carrots, shrimp and mussels, with roasted red potatoes and steamed broccoli was wonderful. cherry pie with custard ice cream was the perfect ending. (marc had something white with pasta, scallops, garlic cream sauce and asparagus. followed by creme brulee. a very marc-type meal.) we rolled ourselves back to the inn, played some backgammon, and called it a day.

IMG_8231 tuesday morning was beautiful, if a little chilly.

we started the day with a walk to the end of the pier behind the inn, and enjoyed the view of the water. (while trying to not blow away.) after that, we drove to the tip of door county and got onto a ferry to washington island. the ride was ... breezy, but we had a great time.

day two was also good for food. the fish and chips at kk fiske were fresh and amazing. even the cole slaw was good, and i don't normally like cole slaw.

after driving around the island for an hour, we decided to head back and see a few more sights, because the next day was supposed to be rainy. so we headed down the west side of the peninsula, with stops in sister bay, ephraim, fish creek and egg harbor. we decided fish creek looked like a good place to eat dinner, so back we went.

(seriously, did we do anything besides eat for four days?!)

dinner wasn't as good as i'd hoped. marc loved his shrimp with spicy noodles at mr. helsinki's, but i was underwhelmed by the beef and veggies in oyster sauce. the sauce was so overpowering that i couldn't eat it. the irony is that i was going to order what marc had, but the waitress stressed that it was HOT, and i decided to opt out rather than not enjoy my food because it was too spicy. then when marc got it, he said it wasn't hot at all, while i sat there pulling red chilies out of my dinner. ugh. however, dinner was redeemed by dessert: a scoop of pumpkin cheesecake baked on a ginger cookie. oh my. heaven.

see? i paused just long enough for a picture:

again, we rolled back to the inn, played some backgammon, watched "the waitress" (how good is that movie?? loved it.), and zonked out.

thursday, as predicted, rained. a lot. we tried to run in and out of a few shops and galleries, but the rain was relentless. we had a ho-hum lunch of swedish meatballs at al johnson's (loved the goats on the roof the previous day; didn't love the food.), then spent about an hour at the fine line art gallery, listening to the rain beat ever harder against the roof.

we finally cried uncle, drove to sturgeon bay, and went to a movie. after that, we had another lackluster meal, drove back to bailey's harbor, played another game of backgammon, ate an apple cider donut from seaquist orchard, and went to bed.

Photo1 thursday, sadly, was our last day. as with the previous three days, i woke an hour before marc and used that time to eat breakfast (our inn had GREAT breakfast ... fresh fruit, freshly baked muffins, boiled eggs, amazing wisconsin goats' milk yogurt - caprine supreme! demand stores carry it! (ha ha) - juices and coffee), read the news, then wander the inn's grounds and pier. i dragged myself back to the room, woke up marc, and started packing.

once we had checked out, we headed back to ephraim and fish creek. there were so many little nooks and crannies to explore, we felt we hadn't yet scratched the surface. it was a relaxing day of moseying about and ... eating.

wow. thursday was, by far, one of our best eating days ever.

(is it sad that we know that?)

IMG_8586 lunch was at a restaurant called the cookery, and seriously ... if i could eat there every day of my life, i think i would. we started by splitting a cup of whitefish chowder that was simply amazing. the hints of red pepper really set it off. i had roasted vegetable quesadillas with tomatilla salsa, and marc had a grilled salmon sandwich with homemade potato salad and a roasted apple compote. and we split a plate of eggplant french fries. to say the fries were good would be a disservice to them. they were life-changing.

as we sat there eating, the topic came up of whether marc could cover his red hat territory from door county.

that's how good that lunch was.

after lunch and a little souvenir hunting for the kids, we headed to appleton, wisconsin. marc's big driving experience day was friday, and we wanted to be closer to the track. and he's in appleton all the time for work and knew of - surprise - a great steakhouse.

(how we don't weigh 300 pounds is a mystery.)

we got to appleton, wandered through an outdoor gear outlet (new columbia mittens for harper - $1.99!, new snow boots and gloves for marc), then headed to fratello's for the steak marc had been craving since sunday. and was it good? um, yes. perfect filet, roasted fingerling potatoes, and asparagus. and two glasses of vouvray. yum. and we opted a share a flourless chocolate cake that was so rich that about three bites in, i had to quit.

friday morning we awoke to ... rain. cold, hard rain. the outlook for driving fast was not good.

IMG_8611 an hour later, we were pulling into road america in elkart lake for the richard petty srt track experience (between this and larry the cable guy, the reality of how much time marc is spending alone with his thoughts smacked me in the face. i need to watch him more closely before i lose him to the redneck side altogether.), and the rain was still coming down. but the guys were undaunted.

we ran to the tent at the first stop - the performance drive on a four-mile track - and put on helmets (size small for my pinhead, thankyouverymuch.). marc crawled into a challenger, buckled in, and off he went. 110 mph down a rain-soaked track. i tried to see the joy in it.

after that, there was an agility course with hundreds of little orange pylons around a twisty track, a challenger head-to-head race (marc kept jumping the gun on the brakes, assuming he would skid, and misjudging the brake box. other than that, he kicked butt), and a drag strip. the drag strip was his least favorite (as he says, he floors it every day of the week at some point. awesome.), but despite that, the relentless rain, and the fact that they canceled hot laps with pro drivers in vipers due to weather, he had a blast. and, i have to admit, there was a bit of fun to be had from hearing people say good things about my husband's ability to handle a car. i may not like his hobbies (driving, shooting, etc.), but there is a certain element of pride to be had from hearing of his prowess with manly things.

speaking of which, happy 13 years, sweetie!! it's been great so far, and thanks for a wonderful week!! and ... see you sometime thursday night. because, yes ... it's back to normal around here.

(for more pix, details, and stories, check the album!)

taking a photo-a-day hiatus ...

i haven't gotten around to doing one for yesterday or today, but i do have one from friday:

mchotness. grizzly adams. he had an in-office week last week and just didn't shave. and no, he can't grow hair on his cheeks; goatee only. but still, the scruff is hot.

we are heading off into the sunrise to celebrate 13 years since this happened:

stories and photos later.

and becca put matt on a plane for three weeks, so we'll get back to her pix later, too.

like i said ... hiatus.

have a good week!

today today today ...

i tend to do things in threes ... i like my elipses, i repeat things three times, three coffees a day ...

anywho. photo-of-the-day:

becca (ie matt) got a little groove goin' on in the baby's room today.

a little modern. a little antiquey. that gorgeous green. i'm still thinking this bedding needs to be going in the room, but so far i'm being shot down that it's too "girly" and they aren't finding out the gender.

fine. so be it. how about this then?


and tonight, while debating forgoing p-a-d altogether because i just wasn't feelin' it, i stood up to get my camera and walk around the house when i saw this:

um, ewwwww! so i sat there staring at it patiently until marc came out of the bathroom, and i asked very politely yet firmly if he would be a dear and get a tissue and slay the be-legged beast. he did. and now i'm happy. and check it: photo of the day. nice.

photos of the day ...

i posted enough yesterday, so i'll skip that and add today's:

we repainted harper's room in the spring, and i bought her a few canvasses so she could create her own art.

on sunday, becca was faced with all the unpacking that accompanies a weekend away ...

and today ... today she faced the most horrifying prospect possible in her life: NO ICE IN THE ICE MAKER!!

quelle nightmare!!!


so, october 10th: what's new with you?



sorry, snapdragons. you look chilly.

vinca, where are your sweet pink blossoms?

my apologies, decorative grass.

hollyhocks, you look downright pathetic.

lady rose, looks like you had a rough night.

i can practically see you shivering, little sedum.

cottage rose, you were developed by U of M to be hardy. by golly we're gonna find out.

on the upside? three seasons on one tree at the same time. green summer leaves, golden fall leaves, and ... snow.

10-10m and in other gorgeous scenery news, this is what my brother-in-law gets to run in for 26.2 miles tomorrow during the cleveland towpath marathon:

not too shabby.

oh, and also?

he's home. feeling a little better. battled a minor migraine this morning (fourth in two weeks ... trying to not freak out about that ...), but he's home.




in other p-a-d news, yesterday happened:

harper had a field trip to the orchestra and got to try her hand at some stringed instruments.

and becca thought it might be a good idea to go to bed.


what a day.

first: pix.

becca saw the reason why trying to keep her windows clean is an exercise in futility:

and i saw some happiness at target.

yes. brandi. i've been gushing over her for three years now. and this cd is just as amazing as the other two.

but today ...


marc left for washington, dc sunday morning for a week-long red hat certification class. unfortunately, friday he'd had a double migraine, loaded with other gastro-intestinal-type stuff. he was still feeling pretty weak and congested on sunday. he slogged through three days of classes, leaving early on tuesday because he couldn't focus or keep his eyes open. today he felt so bad when he woke up that he immediately went back to bed. after lunch he tried to study but felt so horrible that he decided to find an urgent care clinic. and ... pneumonia.

so now, five days into his trip, half a day of class missed, full day of review missed, other days of class barely registered because of feeling crappy, the big question became: take and likely fail the test tomorrow, or say screw it and just get home. or is flying a bad idea, and maybe stay one more night and let the antibiotics start to work and get a flight on saturday.

sigh. all options suck on some level. we hate to see six days wasted, but i hesitate to encourage him to get on a plane full of people, and with lungs and ears full of fluid. but i really would rather have him home tomorrow so i can take care of him.

i got a call from him a couple of hours ago, and he decided to not even try the test, sleep in, and he got his ticket changed to an afternoon flight, so he can be home about five hours earlier than originally planned. and with any luck, he can do enough self-study that someone can proctor the test to him here in minneapolis and he won't have to do another week-long trip. this is the last red hat-sanctioned certification he needs, and i know he was hoping to do it before review comes up, but darn it ... it isn't worth the agony for him. he's passed every certification test he's taken on the first try, and i know him: he would rather not take the test than try to gut it out, knowing he doesn't have all the information he needs, just to say he did it.

i'm worried about his ears on the flight, but the doc gave marc the okay to travel, so what do i know.

it will just be good to have him home, even if that means he immediately goes to bed and we don't see him until sunday.

because even though his laundry always ends up here ...

which drives me crazy, having him  home is much preferable to going it alone. especially when he's sick. it's MY job to make him feel better, and i can't do that when he's halfway across the country in some hilton.

time to end this day.

prepare for mental whiplash.

ie nothing i'm about to type goes with anything else.

consider yourself warned.

photos of the day:

today i saw really pretty trees and brilliant blue skies, for the first time in more than a week.

and today becca saw the inside of her car. a lot. when all she really wanted to see was Home.

yesterday i mentioned something about driving around in the country, sorta lost, and happy as a clam. well, i went back out today, following the same route, hoping to enjoy it even more with the sun shining instead of the deep gray clouds and pouring rain from tuesday.

and while i DID enjoy it, there's something about taking new roads the first time that's just ... special. that first time you follow your nose and see where you end up is exciting, and the new sights are exhilarating.

marc and i joke that if we ever get on "amazing race," he'll eat the funky stuff and i'll navigate. play to our strengths, you know? i tend to not get lost; somehow, i can always feel which direction i'm pointing. except in suburban neighborhoods, then all bets are off. the one movie line that gets oft-repeated around here is, "rabbit is good, rabbit is wise," from twister. because cameron, i mean rabbit, (sorry. alan ruck will always be cameron to matthew broderick's ferris.) is the super-navigator-map man. that's me.

anyway, yesterday i had 90 minutes to kill while harper was at a community ed class, and figured i'd use that time to explore how the township where we want to build relates to the town where henry goes to school. so i headed out on one road, then turned to follow a sign to something. then found a neighborhood of multi-acre lots starting around the half-a-million mark (decided we won't build there, even though it was a pretty amazing place to browse.), then kept going and found fields and gently rolling hills and trees and small creeks and horses and split rail fences. i just kept following and turning and turning and following. pretty soon, i hit the road we take to get to henry's school, and realized if i turned left and headed further south, i'd hit the neighborhood we like. and so i did. and there it was.

it was wonderful to discover that so close to where we want to be is country. rural. pretty. and that was kinda neat.

today i did the trip again, and it was very pretty. all the rain had washed away the dust and grit that built up during the summer of no rain. another week and the trees are going to be amazing. i think i'll do the trip again in a few days and take my camera. and maybe the kids.

(i took my camera today, too, but didn't stop too often.)

and speaking of beautiful ...

10 Jazz Dress i've never wished so badly i was emaciated as when i saw this dress. it's by an australian designer, thurley, whose stuff is just amazing. seriously. google "thurley decadence wrap dress" ... you'll thank me. or hate me. it's a $700 frock. the whole collection is called "the beautiful and the damned" and was apparently inspired by the 20s/30s, fitzgerald, gatsby. perfection.

how harmful IS anorexia ... ?