Tuesday, September 30, 2014

devil's lake all by myself








Last Sunday I had the pleasure of going up to Devil's Lake all by myself.  It was a gorgeous day and I had such a good time.  I am a little fearful of hiking alone but this is the most popular state park in Wisconsin so I knew I wouldn't ever be alone for long.  :) 

The park was busy but there were plenty of moments (especially on certain trails) that there was no one around.  I only got off a main trail once and was starting to wonder is this right?? when a couple met me coming from the opposite way.  They told me what I was climbing now was "nothing" compared to up ahead and they didn't think it led anywhere.  I guess I had something to prove (to myself) so I kept going and it was steep but not awful and it did meet up with the other trail.  Yay!  This last photo shows the East Bluff, which I hiked up and over, seeing Balanced Rock and Devil's Doorway along the way.  There are tons of places to stop and enjoy the view.  (but so many cliffs and bluffs and danger! danger! danger!)  :)  I would have a hard time bringing my kids to some of these places but there were a fair amount of children.  (makes me sick just thinking about it.)

I think I hiked about 5 miles total and didn't really feel done until climbing down the very steep "Potholes" trail.  It basically goes straight down the side and was hard on my knees after a while.  (old.) 

I was struggling a little on Saturday with something.  transitions? hormones?  who knows.  I wanted some time alone to think but really, I didn't think much at all on my hike, except about what I was doing.  I felt a whole lot better afterwards, though. 

It hit me last week that I am really missing summer and being outside so much with my kids.  On the weekends I am ready to GO! after being home all week and everyone else is ready to STAY HOME and RELAX after being at school and work all week.  We will figure it out but it is harder on me than expected.  Yesterday I made myself a list (of course) and am going to make it a priority to get out during the week more.  (we are outside a lot but seeing beautiful spaces is important to me, I think.)

Time to get everyone up now.  I am taking Nick on a hike this morning with some friends.  Wish me luck.  :)

xoxox

Friday, September 26, 2014

Nick just told me to finish up so, sorry! no clever title. ;)

Good morning, dear ones! How are you today? I am good.

Well, we are fully into our new routines over here.  I am still working out my free time and struggling a bit with only having one work day per week.  I want to relax a bit and do house type stuff on the afternoons he is in school but I feel like I should work, too, so it's a little hard.  I am not worrying too much about this but it is on my mind.  I've decided to give myself a little more time to figure it all out.  :)

The kids are all good.  James really loves his teacher and is showing excellent responsibility with his homework and such this year.  I don't need to tell him to do anything in the mornings...he just knows and does it.  Love that.  He is reading like crazy.  I keep feeling a bit surprised in some of our conversations & interactions...it can feel just like I'm talking to a friend or another adult.  super strange.

Ruby likes her teacher just fine.  It's not the mad love affair that she had last year but that is okay.  :)  (her kindergarten teacher told us last night that her and her 2nd grade teacher argue over who Ruby loved more.  :)  )  Math can be a struggle for her (and therefore, me) but we get through it.  The common core math program is tough and teaches them how to look at problems in different ways.  I kind of love that.   (even though some days I'm like GAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!)

Nick loves 4K.  His teacher says he's doing great and works hard.  :)  He asked to be called Nicholas at school so that is what they call him.  I love that.  He is also learning to write his whole name.  He has been having major whining/freak out sessions but they have tapered off a little this week.  I know this is a huge adjustment to his little world so I'm not worried or anything, it's just exhausting some days.  I love our mornings together and am thankful for the beautiful weather so we can mostly spend them outside.  (he loves to do yardwork.)  :)

The biggest change I made this fall has been no TV/electronics until after dinner on school nights.  There have been a couple of exceptions (of course) but for the most part this is what we do and I really like it.  (and they are getting used to it.  ha. )  After school they have a snack and then play/fight/work on their homework for the next couple hours until dinner.  They definitely always fight when they are playing together, someone usually gets hurt, but they are interacting and I love that.  They usually have fun and I don't want them to forget that they can do that together. 

Nick got this new neon jacket and LOVES it.
James had to try it on.  :)
Nick is playing soccer in New Glarus with Jacob.  Here are some pictures from their first practice.


same shot, uncropped:  :)



They do a group field run at the end of practice and I took a picture not even sure where Nicholas was.  He found himself right away!  cute.
On a walk last weekend,
James didn't want to come with and ended up bringing his book on the walk.  Within a few minutes I was carrying the book (naturally) and he was messing around with everyone.  We got attacked by mosquitoes shortly after these pics were taken.
Ruby, just resting:
*************************************************

I gained a few pounds in August and was feeling so gross at the start of the month.  ugh.  The weather got cold and my jeans felt sooooo tight and icky.  I've been exercising regularly again for two weeks and am feeling so much better.  I (like usual) am doing random things but my main focus has been getting some weight lifting in and that is making me happy.  I wanted to add weights in all summer and never did!  Why is this stuff so difficult for me?

I started tracking calories again and that is going pretty well, well, except for the last couple of days.  but whatever.  ;)  I am SO good at maintaining my current weight.  SO good!  Like, if I am not on vacation or totally letting myself go, I am all set here.  I seem to know just how much exercise I need, just how much I can eat to just stay here.  But I STILL want to lose some more.  It's almost ridiculous how I "can't."  I know it's because I always give up but I keep feeling like if I could JUST get over this plateau but it feels so difficult. 

what else?

I kind of miss summer this year.  We had such a good one. 

Fall is good, you know, and I am finally getting into it (changing leaves will do that to you) but I find myself still thinking about summer and sighing a little bit.  That is such a good feeling.  So thankful.

Nick is up, gots to go.

xoxoxo


Thursday, September 11, 2014

hi

I am not sure how to blog anymore now that it's not a summer journal. Maybe it will come back to me???

Today is the drop off day for the consignment sale.  I finished pricing yesterday and everything is loaded up and ready to go.  I don't have quite as much as sales past but I am still hoping to be in the $900 ballpark.  fingers crossed!

School is going well for the children.  Nick loves it.  He fell asleep on the bus home one day.  :)  Ruby had to shake him to wake him up.  (did I already tell you that?)  James and Ruby both spoke sternly to me on Monday afternoon because Nick was not on the bus and they were worried.  (no 4k on Mondays)  I promised to tell them in the future.  I took their scolding with a serious face while feeling so thankful inside that they do actually look out for eachother.  I am the worst mother ever and didn't take a first day picture.  (except for Nick...first day ever for him so...)

Here are some pictures from our family takeover of the Kalahari.  A lot of them are blurry but I don't care, I love them.  I love that the 5 of us girl cousins have created such a crew.  I love them all so much and I just love being together. 








Here are the first day pictures:




James offered to take Nick's backpack and Nick pushed him over.  brotherly love.

I have a bad cold.  James and Ruby both had it and now I do.  I am having bad allergies, too, so it's particularly icky.  I think I'll make it, though.   I took an allergy med last night so now I am dry as the freaking sahara!!!

Nick just woke up and is asking to play my tablet.  ugh.  Gots to go!  xoxoxo

Thursday, September 04, 2014

I want to blog but

Something is wrong with my mouse today.  I hate pecking stuff out on my tablet.  Pooooooor me.  ;). Hopefully Patrick can get it working tonight.

I am loving this whole school thing.  Nick had his daycare day today (one morning a week so I get one full work day) and I heard it went well.  He had his first day of 4k yesterday.  Sniffle and hooray.

Busy with consignment prep.  Also went nuts on Tues and wed stocking our freezer.  Kind of fun.  Back at it, you know?

Xoxo

Monday, September 01, 2014

before I forget...

Stop me if I've already posted these but I forgot if I did and I really don't want to forget them:

James' friend:  what is a 5k?
James:  something moms do.  (hahhahahahaha!)

S: What do you want for breakfast?
N:  minecraft.


N:  Does Dad work today?
S:  no.
N:  Do you have, um, dirty girl?
S:  no.
N:  I yove days yike dis.



p.s.  just prepped this (minus the orange stuff) and cannot wait to taste it!

summer journal: days 83,84 & 85 (and a little of day 82)

First, thank you cousintine, Sarah, for your sweet comment.  Thank you for loving me so much...loving everyone so much.  You are the best!  xoxo

Now, let's see.  Last Friday would have been day 83 of our summer journey (or "4 more freaking days until school", as I now see it) and we stayed home.  We actually stayed home most of last week and it felt goooooood.  On Friday James kept falling asleep, it was odd.  His little body finally gave in and forced him into submission.  :) 

Thursday night had been date night and Patrick suggested we go down to Memorial Union for a beer & brat by the lake.  It was chilly and we had hoodies on and it was perfect.  It was a strange suggestion from him because it is usually too busy for his taste but I figured he just wanted to be by the water.

On Friday, then, when he suggested we go to Devil's Lake after work, I knew I had to say yes.  (he would roll his eyes at this but I feel like he was craving more water time as summer winds down.)  So I made some brownies, thawed out some hamburger and picked him up at 5:15 to head up to the lake.  We ended up staying for a couple of hours and it was really fun.  We got home around 9:30 and I went straight to bed.  :)

On Saturday I took Ruby and her friend raspberry picking and to Culver's for lunch.  After that I dropped them off at her house for a sleepover.  Patrick dropped James off for a sleepover as well so we were down to one kid for the night.  How odd!  After an afternoon nap and a couple hours of Bachelor in Paradise (hilarious!), I made some freezer jam and Patrick and I shared a jumbo Apple-ahhh-rita.  (sounds gross but it was actually good.)  Then we had a fire on the patio and then we extinguished the fire to see all the stars.  Then we put Nick to bed and then we stayed up too late.  the end.

On Sunday, the kids wandered in and out and I started working on my fall consignment sale items and went through fall clothes and got them washed and ready.  We went to church and out to dinner and cheers!'d (??) to summer and our favorite parts.  Then we had fro-yo, then I almost threw up on the way home because Patrick was purposely driving crazzzzzy.

Today is Monday.  THE LAST DAY OF SUMMER.  PRAISE GOD.  I have had quite enough of the little darlings and cannot even believe that on Wednesday afternoon I will have the whole house to myself for THREE hours.  (Nick doesn't start until Wednesday, the other two, tomorrow.)

I am trying to imagine my life with 3 free hours in the afternoon and I can't quite do it.  does. not. compute.  I will be working on Thursdays this year (only one day due to day care issues) but will have time to work on those other 3 afternoons if I choose to.  Which I probably will.  But I also want to volunteer at school again this year (loved taking last year mostly off but missed it, too), read, watch trashy tv, exercise, meal prep and 1000 other things.  So, instead of getting bogged down in allllllll I want to do, and frustrated when it doesn't happen, because let's face it, 3 hours goes fast, I am just telling myself to STFU and enjoy it at first. 

I need coffee.  or maybe I don't, because I seem a little wound up already (LAST DAY) but I want it.

xoxoxo

p.s.  we are going to be by more water today.  :)

p.s.s.  did you see the secret life of walter mitty?  I loved it (didn't expect to) and so did Patrick.  It got us talking.  that says a lot because NOT MUCH gets Patrick talking.

p.s.s.s.  OH YEAH.  We watched walter mitty on tuesday which was our 19 year anniversary!!!!  cheers to that!  Patrick said it sounds long but has felt short.  love.  (also, some of it has felt damn long but I didn't say that.)  (manners.)

xoxo

xoxoxo

Friday, August 29, 2014

door county, in photos (aka: our favorite places in door county) (aka: pretty much everywhere we went)

After opening up our rental house and unloading the van we took a ride into Fish Creek, even though it looked like rain.

Here was our first stop:
Pretty amazing. 
The kids liked it, too. 


Once the rain started we headed back to the house for some wine and Risk.  James and Ruby made up their own rules and played this game for over an hour.  New record.  They actually played together the whole night, while Nick slept.  It was a cozy, happy evening.   (even after they started dropping poker chips off the balcony.)
Patrick made us fires every night and even one drizzly morning.  LOVE.
Pixie Stix were quite popular.  I loved these as a kid, too, and remember playing them all the time with my uncle Frank.
The next morning we drove into Peninsula State Park, stopped to enjoy some scenery,
and climbed Eagle Tower.

I like this one even though he is picking his teeth:


After that we drove north and ended up at Door Bluff Headlands County Park.  This picture doesn't capture what a steep descent this was.  We ate sandwiches in the van while Patrick went on a short scouting mission.  He said he heard waves so we headed down!
I noticed a lot of daddy long legs spiders on the way down.
Nick needed a little help but J&R pretty much bounded down this slope.  I tried not to look.
This is what we were met with:
It was gorgeous!  I would like to know what kind of rock this was...it broke easily and was layered.  Really cool.

At first I loved seeing these cairns everywhere.  After a few days I had to resist the urge to push them over.  :)
Nick wanted me to take his picture standing on anything & everything.
That is Ruby.  We wandered off to explore what looked like it might be a cave.  (it wasn't.)



Oh.  The spiders got worse on the beach!!  They were EVERYWHERE.  It was crazy and creepy.  We now call this "Spider Beach."  We are clever.
He is just adding to this one:
Patrick had to build the mother of all cairns.  I could barely watch him lifting these huge rocks.  sigh.  Men. 

He is planning on checking google earth in a few months to see if he can spot it.  His was the biggest one there (of course).

Then we had to climb back up.  Ruby wasn't feeling the best at this point but she was a trooper!
On the way home we stopped in Sister Bay for gelato at Door County Cremery.  Their Lemon Cookie flavor was AMAZING.  Patrick and I also had really good coffee from Drink Coffee, right up the street.  We sat by the water and enjoyed the sunny afternoon.

By the time we got home, Ruby was feeling lousy.  She definitely had a fever and was in no shape for our fish boil that night.  Patrick volunteered to stay home with her and I took the boys to Pelletier's in Fish Creek.  The boil over was fun to watch and the food was delicious.  I brought Patrick's meal home for him and he liked it, too.
Ruby was sick and feverish all night.  I sat with her (by the fire) and read A Discovery of Witches.  (really loved that book!) It was kind of perfect but I wasn't the one with the fever.  :(  Poor Rubes.

Thankfully, Ruby was better the next morning.  We headed off to Newport State Park and drove along the famous curvy highway:
The water is high this year so the beach was pretty small.  It wasn't really warm enough to swim anyways (but Patrick did) so it was no big deal.  We just hung out and walked in the water and played for a couple of hours.

Before we left I researched Door County and looked specifically for places that might not be as busy.  At the Headlands park we only saw 3 other families the whole time we were there and at Newport, only one other one in this same area.  I bet on a hot and sunny day there would be more people at Newport...it would be an amazing place to swim.  For Lake Michigan, the water was warmer than I expected.




My sister gave me a buck to buy a new Rocketbal at goodwill before we left.  It became the most treasured/fought over toy ever.  :)  Everyone had fun with it and I only launched it into my face a couple of times.  Here is James, throwing it to Patrick:
The woods were amazing. 
We had an icky dinner this night (Casey's BBQ in egg harbor...GROSS) but went home to have delicous apple pie and ice cream in front of the fire while we watched a shark show.  Ruby says that was her favorite night of the trip.  xoxo

On our last full day we went to Cave Point County Park.  My friend Teresa had told me about it and how gorgeous it was...she was not kidding.  We loved it here!


James, launching the Rocketbal:

See it flying towards Patrick?  heehee
ugh, more cairns.  kick, kick, kick.
Nick, being totally amazing and standing on stumps:
and rocks.  On one foot!!
Cave Point is becoming quite popular (for good reason) so there were a lot of people by the main entrance point.  We headed to the left, walking on the rocks and in the water, and eventually came to a quiet sandy beach:
I went back to the van to get swim stuff and we set up camp.
I decided to wander around a little and could not believe how beautiful it was:
Look! Another, even more deserted, sandy beach!
I rounded up the family and we made our way over there.
I was happy.  :)
We stayed for the afternoon and loved it.  The kids didn't really swim but Patrick and I both went way out in the water and it was sooooo cool.  The bottom of the lake is one huge, smooth rock.  It reminds me of the (above water) lava flow at Gooseberry Falls in MN.  I'm really curious about what it is.  I wasn't going to go out (only about 70 and no sun) but Patrick told me I should and I am so glad I did.  You could walk out so far and it was so quiet out there and kind of eerie.  Also, it was a nice break from the bickering/playing/loud children. 

The fog cleared out later on.  When you first get there, this is the view to the right.  We totally want to kayak there.

We ate dinner that late afternoon (early birds!) at the Wild Tomato and it was FANTASTIC.  Totally loved it.  We drove back to Sister Bay for more lake time/coffee/gelato and then home for our last fire.  sniff.
We loved Door County and are already thinking about next year!  It's fun because there are so many different things to see in such a relatively small area.  There are tons of little towns filled with tons of little shops and restaurants but this was not the trip for that.  :)  We just loved being outside together in some amazingly beautiful areas.  We loved our cozy house with the fireplace.  so fun. 

This trip made me so thankful for where I grew up.  Minnesota and Wisconsin are both so beautiful.  I am grateful for my parents for spending time with us outside...I hope our kids grow up and love it as much as we do.

xxooxxoo


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