We Went To The Cabin Again.

Happy Sunday, kittens.  I am currently sitting on the couch with my feet propped up and it is So Glorious.  We are once again at that part of Sunday where if we haven’t been lazy, we need to become The Laziest.

This weekend, we went Up North To The Cabin once more.  This was trip #5 for the season, and I know for sure I’ll be up two more times before the summer is over.  Especially now that Little Critter is on the way, I really want nothing more than to be in a place where I sleep The Best Ever, the sun is always shining, and the food is always delicious.

Marcus was actually at a camp reunion this weekend, so it was just Mom, Dad, Billy and me.  I honestly don’t know the last time we were together at the cabin just the four of us so it was a pretty special trip in that way.  Obviously, had Marcus not been at his reunion (+1s were not invited!) he would have been with us too.

The weather was frighteningly nice this weekend.  Like 80 and sunny nice.  Like Be Outside All Day-nice.

Cabin 1

The hummingbirds really had a lot of energy.  I spent a good hour on Saturday morning watching them wage war against one another.  At my last count there were a total of 10 (1o!) of them.

Cabin 2Their hatred of one another and their love of hummingbird food far outweighed any fear they had of me.

Honestly they’re hysterical, so I probably could have watched them all day, but we had other things on our agenda!

Big Pine Lake is on the Pine River and so this year, Billy decided that we should try trapping for crayfish.  Obviously we headed down to the river.  This is the dam at the end of our lake.

Cabin 3

And here are the traps that Billy sourced.  I sourced the chicken.  We rigged them up and then Billy took them out to the spots we identified as “acceptable.”

Cabin 4

Cabin 5

Cabin 6Apparently you are supposed to set the traps where the current is not.  So that is where Billy put them.  While we were wading in the river, we saw one crayfish exoskeleton and two live crayfish.  When we checked the traps on Sunday morning? No crayfish.  Lots of chicken.  Clearly, we need to refine our strategy.

The fish were biting like crazy as well.  Over three trips, Billy caught six fish, I got five.  I pulled some of my usual shenanigans like catching a fish on the first cast, or reeling in my line to fix my worm (it was not in the “weedless” position) and discovering a Northern on the other end.  Billy, of course, did his part by catching fish that were consistently bigger than mine.  You will also notice that while I am militant about documenting my fish on film, Billy is…not as militant.

Cabin 8

Cabin 7  Cabin 9  Cabin 11 Cabin 12

Cabin 13 Cabin 14

Cabin 15

Can we also please take a moment to discuss how lovely this sunset was?

Cabin 10

It was such an 11/10 backdrop for our final fishing outing of the day.  Without sounding super cliché, generally, when we are up at the cabin, I am just so thankful that we even have this place to come to.  While Billy and I were sitting in silence casting our lines with the sun setting next to us, I really felt such an overwhelming sense of gratitude that we were able to have this time together and to share this thing.  Of course, then we had to get back to shore because I knew that there was a homemade ice cream sandwich waiting for me.

Friday Food Round-Up!

If a dinner gets eaten at home and I don’t take a photo, did it even happen?

On Sunday evening, I was so wiped after our day of adventures (another visit to Hmong Village, a trip to the MIA to see the DaVinci Codex exhibit, a stop at Surly’s Beer Hall, and a visit to Babies R Us) that I just had to sit down and put my feet up.  What is it about pregnancy where there is this point in the day where you just cannot remain physically upright for even one second longer?  So I assembled half of dinner and left Marcus to boil corn and cook up chicken sausages.  I then proceeded to eat all of the best parts of dinner AKA corn, green beans, and Dijon potatoes but NOT the chicken sausage and went back to my restive state.  I’m sure you can already imagine what it looked like.

Anyway, this was one of those weeks where we spent the rest of the week apart, so I made some salads.

Wednesday – Corn and Avocado Salad


I was headed off to monthly wine night with my girlfriends and I had all of the stuff I needed for Corn and Avocado Salad.  Or so I thought until I went to the freezer to grab the corn and there was no corn in sight.  So, off to Cub for another bag of frozen corn!  This may also have been fueled by the cherry tomatoes and avocados that were languishing with no real purpose for the week.  Still a third motive may be the fact that I deeply desired jarred queso dip and I felt like offering up a healthy option would disguise my true wish to eat queso dip for dinner.

Miscellaneous – Chickpea Salad


It’s the easiest dish to throw together for lunch leftovers.  End of story.

Bullet Journaling

A few weeks ago, I was at Target picking up a bridal shower gift when I found myself walking through the notebooks/planners aisle just for fun.  Does anyone else do that?  Or is it just me?

I spied this Mara-Mi notebook and it was $4 and I bought it because I figured I would be able to find a reason to use it later.  Possibly for writing out blog posts (I write out hard copy drafts frighteningly often because it’s just the way that words flow for me), possibly for taking care of some To Do lists.

Bullet Journal 1

I will also say at this point that I REALLY love new notebooks.  I am that person who gets maximum joy out of writing on the very first page. But then what?

And then I remembered a discussion I heard on the Girl Next Door podcast.

Bullet Journaling.

Some of you might know what that is, but I really didn’t.  So to see what exactly the bullet journal is all about in its highest form, check out BulletJournal.com.

For my synopsis, it’s an 11/10 way to organize a notebook full of totally unrelated (and sometimes related) ideas.  No pages/ideas get lost, and ideas stay separate!  Kind of like those disposable paper plates that have three sections.  Except less disposable.

As you can see, so far I have managed to establish my Index.

Bullet Journal 2

And I have started filling up some of those pages.

Bullet Journal 3

So far, I’m a fan!  Presuming I continue with this little experiment, I’ll be sure to report back on how all of this is going in a few months.

Based on what I have read, some bullet journal-ers are using their notebooks as personal calendars as well, but I don’t know that I am quite advanced enough for that (also, the idea of creating my own hand-drawn planner makes the perfectionist inside of me cringe).  That being said, I am in the market for a new planner next year because even thought the Whitney English Day Designer is pretty, the coil and paper quality are terrible.  I’m considering an inkWELL Press planner for 2016 but I would love to hear your non-Erin Condren suggestions.

What are you doing to organize your life lately?

What I’ve Been Reading (Pregnancy Edition)

You guys.  Can we please talk about the amount of stuff that exists for pregnant women to read.  On the internet, in books, on message boards.  Everywhere.  There are so many things.  Also, if you want to know where all of the crazy people on the internet are, they are located on the What to Expect When You’re Expecting message boards.  All I can say about that is that I Have Seen Things.

With that in mind, y’all know that I am a reader and of course reading is a great way to gather some information about the great unknown of incubating a fetus for nine months and the subsequent eviction process.  But through all of this reading, I have noticed several things.

Apparently publishers/authors have decided that pregnant women are not readers.  I have yet to understand how, exactly, the information in What To Expect When You’re Expecting is organized.  I think it’s organized by trimester (or month…or something) but on the top of one page you are reading about body art for two and whether or not to get a tattoo while pregnant and the next thing you know you are reading about weight gain.  I’m sorry, but I just am not following.  The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy, while written like girlfriend real-talk, could be essentially summarized as: Don’t worry!  Everyone’s pregnancy is different and you are doing ok!

The book I had the highest hopes for was recommended to me by Paula and it is called Expecting Better.  While the idea behind this book was the most appealing to me (make decisions based on evidence, assess risk and decide what your risk tolerance is, know what is sometimes okay versus never okay), after reading the first chapter, I came to realize that I didn’t actually have to read any of the words!  I could just look for the different boxes in each section highlighting important information/findings.  If something in a given box was confusing, I could read back a bit in that section to understand the rationale.

The other thing that I have noticed is that everyone is trying to sell pregnant women things that they do not need and there are lots of pregnant women buying really expensive things which we know is not my speed.  Exhibit A: $1000 cribs.  One friend recommended the book Baby Bargains to me as a great way to save money.  It cost all of $9 so if I save more than $9, then it was worth it.  I am confident that I can accomplish this task.  But back to the book.  The purpose of this book is to walk women and their partners through all of the different things you might need to purchase for your child, discuss the cost, and they ultimately rate brands/products for different items based on safety/price/quality.  After surviving the section on the ratings for all of the different crib brands (many of them costing at least $500, but a not insignificant number sitting in the $1000 range), I realized that with my dreams of a crib from IKEA/Target I was maybe not the right audience.

To that end, in addition to recommendations from friends, I’ve pretty much decided that I will be working heavily off of the information that Kate and Jenna (who no longer blogs) shared about their pregnancies and subsequent decisions to breastfeed and cloth diaper (both things we plan on doing).

Oddly, the most useful book we have in the house right now is Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy for Dummies.  Melissa loaned this one to us (her husband is now a father and no longer in need of such advice) and Marcus has really gotten a lot of good information out of it.  It’s amazing how as women, we spend our whole lives gradually gathering more information about pregnancy and motherhood and men all the while are NOT gathering this same information.  I distinctly remember one conversation that Marcus and I had right after I found out Little Critter was on the scene and thinking I don’t even know how to explain this to you and I have no idea what valid source this information came from because I have literally known this for years and it is known by all women.  Which is not a bad thing!  He has not needed to know this information!  But it does mean that this book is a godsend because it’s sort of like a way to fast-forward through all of said information.

What I’ve Been Reading

Summer reading.  Not always the most lighthearted.  Some of these were on the Amazon best of the month list.  Others were actual hard copy books that were handed down to me and have been waiting to be read for years.  Also, as I was cruising through my drafts list, I realized I had overlooked a pair of books that I read back in May/June, so it was time to get those posted too!

Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of The Mandan People by Elizabeth Fenn

Encounters at the Heart of the World

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

The Year of Magical Thinking

Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Hepola


Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box

The Children’s Crusade by Ann Packer

The Children's Crusade

Friday Food Round-Up!

Ah yes, the Friday Food Round-Up!  I am sure that at this point, y’all are wondering was she eating this whole time?  Was she not eating this whole time?

  1. With the exception of the pollo asado we made last week (I just couldn’t do it for whatever reason), I have eaten everything I have shown on the blog.
  2. Despite the fact that I managed to make and eat everything, there were a few weeks that were fraught and probably I should have just stuck to French fries.  Also, 100% chance I should not have eaten the leftovers.  Specifically this week and this week.  Those were some bad times.

The best news of the week is that this Sunday was the first week for sweet corn at Gregor Farm.  This of course means that we will be feasting on local vegetables for the rest of the summer and LOVING it.  I am in heaven.

Sunday – Knock-Off Mimi AKA Grilled Pizza Crust and Caprese Salad

SundayMarcus was actually off to a movie with his guy friends so I was on my own.  I didn’t mind having a dinner to myself, but I will say that it is 100% easier to make grilled pizza crust when you have a clean-up crew!  He generously offered to help with that if I were to make grilled pizza crust again.  :)

Monday – Corn Cakes with Soft-Fried Eggs, and  Corn and Avocado Salad


You Guys.  This corn salad continues to be one of the tastiest things I have ever eaten and it is the most perfect summer side (or meal, depending on your opinion).  Please make it.  The original recipe actually calls for it to be served over steak, but we have never even made it that far!

Wednesday – Grilled Chicken Thighs with 4-3-2-1 Spice RubKnock-Off “Chicken Bucket” Coleslaw, Grilled Corn, Dijon Potatoes


Until I smelled the chicken cooking on the grill, I was not 100% sold on the idea of chicken for dinner so we must be onto something here.  With the return of our summer trips to Gregor Farm, we also have a return of dijon potatoes, which are such a fresh tasting way to serve potatoes.  And, as we all know, it’s a nice switch from our go-to oven fries!

Catching Up On All Of The Secrets

First, I must say that yesterday, it was like love was raining from the internet.  Marcus and I are both just beyond touched by the well wishes and offers of advice and assistance.  We will be taking advantage of all of them.

Also, to whoever added me to the Jewish mom group on Facebook, thanks a bunch.  It’s sort of like Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and the answer is yes, yes, they are and now I can join that party.

I probably could have put all of this into one post, but now that I’m not busy “pruning” blog content to keep this Baby M-sized secret, we’re just going to have… a lot of stuff to discuss.  I present to you some answers to some questions.

When did I find out?

May 18.  So, basically right away.  One warning sign was the huge Perkins breakfast I had eaten four days prior in its entirety.  Exhibit A: the breakfast.


No regrets.  Also that waffle maker I bought the same night.

The other symptom was breathlessness.  I was sitting at my desk at work and was winded and I thought to myself…something has changed.  I took a test as soon as I got home from work and that was it.

How was first trimester?

Honestly, not bad at all.  My biggest symptom was (and continues to be) insomnia.  I also feel like one of my left glute muscles is separating from my tailbone.  It’s worse at night, no it’s not sciatica.

From weeks 6-8, I had awful aversions. There was a point where I could not think about the food I was about to consume, the food I had just consumed, or any other food, really.  There were two terrible days of nausea, one day of actual barfing, and one week where I really only wanted to eat french fries.

How is Marcus?

Excited!  He was reading a pregnancy book for fathers and got through the chapter about preterm labor complications and birth defects and then I told him he wasn’t allowed to read that book anymore.  He also asked if we could take a class on diaper changing and baby CPR so, I need to pull out the Amma brochure that Park Nicollet foisted upon me and get us signed up for those things.

Will we find out the sex?

No.  That’s between the little critter and God.

How is running going?

Great.  I’m still running three miles a day, five times a week.  I’m really hoping to run the Twin Cities 5K in October, though that will probably be around the time that I have to start phasing out running.  I also want to take a moment to pour one out for yoga and core work because those were the first (and only) casualties of insomnia.  When you are only sleeping ~4 hours a night, you’re just not going to roll out of bed bright and early to open your hip flexors or attempt crunches in five different positions.

Weight gain?

4.8 pounds.  So that seems pretty normal.

Maternity clothes? 

Um, no.  These are early days still.  I did buy a few maxi dresses (my God, so comfortable) and a few pencil skirts from Target a size up with stretch fabric.


Nothing really consistently.  There was one point probably three weeks ago when I went on a shopping binge at the grocery store one evening for things containing calcium.  The initial mission was just for pudding pops, but clearly that expanded.  Exhibit B: my basket.


I have also become a worshipper at the church of peanut butter toast for breakfast.  No shame in that game.

Am I going to do a weekly update?

No.  In keeping with the idea that The Blog Is An Internet Scrapbook, I cannot imagine myself wanting to read a 40 week blow by blow of my pregnancy in one year, much less five.  That being said, I’m sure I’ll write about it quite a bit since, you know, this is a big part of my life right now.  I just think that it will all flow more organically.  I guess you’ll just have to keep reading!