Category Archives: Family

The Holiday Card I Didn’t Send This Year

Well, to be honest, we have yet to ever send a holiday card.  This was not going to be the year I started in on this tradition even though our mailbox has been stuffed with gorgeous cards and little life updates from friends and family everywhere.  Nor was I able to hang them all up because we are still a household in transition, with most of it Not Decorated, which is fine, but I simply don’t have a place to put them at the moment.

If I were to have sent a card, it would have gone something like this.

Hello dearest friends and family,

If you were with us right now, you would be marveling at the constant stream of cars driving down (and parking on) our street to watch the Christmas light show that of course, our house is a part of.  Yes we knew about this before we wrote the offer for the house, no we were not thinking about how many party buses and limousines would be cruising down our street between 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM each night in the month of December, most certainly we were not thinking about how this light show would be covered by most a number of area news outlets.  It is really something to behold.

This year, Critter turned one, Glitter was born, we sold our townhouse, moved in with my parents, and then moved into our “forever home” exactly two months prior to Glitter’s arrival.  Marcus got a new job.  I kept my same job.

Our card is a letter and not a picture because honestly, I don’t think there is a picture of the four of us in existence, though we are planning to remedy this in late January.  It’s good to have goals.

Who can know what will come in 2018?  Actually we do!  We plan to have one frisky toddler, one teething baby (but seriously when will the teething end?), and still no pets.  We hope to each return to one hobby of the many that have fallen by the wayside since having children.  We plan to survive exactly one trip to the cabin with our children and take exactly one trip without them.  We’re looking forward to it already.

Wishing you and yours a blessed 2018,

Marcus and Kat

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Things I am Thankful For: Part I

My house is full.

I have spent the last eight weeks with a happy heart because my house is full. Which is not to say there isn’t at least one point each day where both children are crying, because there is. On one recent day, both of them pooped within five minutes of one another and then Critter sacrificed a Tupperware bowl to the sink, which he Mourned Intensely for 10 minutes.

But Glitter is here. Critter is here. Marcus is here. I am here.

We are all here.

When people ask me how I am doing it with two I usually give some sort of bland answer about just putting one foot in front of the other which is partially true and the other half is that I just have no idea how we survive each day but somehow we do.

This is the hardest it will ever be, I continue to tell myself.

They are days full of More Crying Than I Would Prefer (from my children) but they are also days of wrestling and roaring like lions and running from the hugglesaurus, reading books, singing songs, a newborn who naps on me.

They are days when my husband and I sometimes spend one hour together at the end of the day, but usually not. It is exciting if we get to eat a reheated dinner together. We are tired. We are happy. We are sometimes frustrated. We are always surprised that we have two children now because how on Earth did that happen.

We are glad.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Fundraising for Brain Tumor Research

No, friends, I have not been hacked.  However, as we are still adjusting to Glitter’s arrival into our family this will lack the narrative flair I am usually given to but please read on. 

Very long story short: my friend M (since this is getting blasted across the internet, I’m trying to give him some privacy) discovered he had a brain tumor in 2013. I remember visiting him that weekend in the hospital and as I wheeled him up and dowm some of the halls, to the cafeteria and back, I remember thinking This Shit Makes Absolutely No Sense, We Are 26 Years Old. 

His cancer went into remission. 

In January of this year they discovered tumor regrowth during a scan.  Four months before his wedding day.  Currently he is undergoing chemotherapy. 

I have known M for more than half of my life. He is one of the best people I know, he is one of my oldest friends.  So if somehow, at 30 we now need to walk for brain tumor research and awareness, I am there. If we need to fundraise for that (and I will be honest, I made a vow a long time ago as a runner to not fundraise on my own, but to give generously to my many friends who do), I will ask you all to give. 

The page is HERE. (I’ll be honest, I didn’t jazz it up because the whole story is here).

Some items: when the walk happens, I will not even be three weeks post-partum. Physically I cannot walk a 5k right now. If I can walk a mile with Glitter that will be great. With that in mind, since I have a newborn, all walking is weather dependent. However, our whole family is registered as are my parents. At a minimum some combination of us will be walking. 

Anyway, if you have it in you to give $5 or even $10, I know we’ll all appreciate it. 

She is here!


At 8:51 PM on Monday night, Glitter arrived. We have a daughter and she is  8 pounds 9 ounces and 22 inches long.

Our world is forever changed again. 

The (Longest) Weekend

So.  My last day of work before Glitter arrives was last Wednesday.  That is because Rosh Hashanah started that evening and ended on Friday.  I was obviously hoping to have a baby by now, but I don’t and realistically where we are at right now she is coming this week.  What would have been an ordinarily long four-day weekend is now part of a longer lead-up into my maternity leave.

By Friday, we felt like it was Sunday and now that it is actual Sunday night, I am sort of in disbelief that tomorrow is actually Monday.

Like the last two weekends, we didn’t make any formal plans for this one because we didn’t know what our life was going to look like.  Unlike the other two weekends, we knew that this one would be the last as a family of three.  So we did our favorite weekend things.  Sprinkled throughout with one toddler who had his first daycare cold (which happened two weeks later than we thought it would!) and was on some sort of hunger strike that resulted in one trip to urgent care five minutes before closing.  This is real life!


On Saturday morning, we went to Bellecour’s bakery to pick up some treats and then walked down to Wayzata Beach where Critter played on the playground, spied on the people walking their dogs, and ran back and forth over the marina bridge.

And, on Sunday morning, we took him to the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market, where I got flowers, Marcus got his Tollefson breakfast brat, and Critter and I split an order of egg rolls (his fave).


Baube took Critter for a good chunk of the day on Sunday, so we got to go on a lunch date and nap.

We formally introduced Critter to TV and his delight in the Netflix show Spirit (it’s about a horse) was so beyond what I could have imagined, that my only regret is that we didn’t do it sooner.  He spent half of the episode cuddling, wide-eyed and in awe of the fact that horses were galloping in our family room and the other half loudly neighing at the TV.  I know that this is a phase that will pass, but it was too cute for words, really.

It was A Nice Weekend.

Picking Family.

So, last weekend we were generally quarantined because Critter had hand, foot and mouth.  This weekend we’re generally quarantined again because I have hand, foot, and mouth.  Even if it wasn’t highly contagious, between growing Glitter and my non-existent immune system fending off this virus, I have no energy to be a wildly “fun” mom anyway.

If you don’t follow me on Twitter, this is what I had to say about the matter.

I will also say that you should find yourself a mother-in-law who will basically let your child live at her house for a week.

Last Monday, with Marcus on a business trip, she offered to let Critter spend the night (and most of the following Tuesday) with her so that I could sleep in and also do some variety of self-care.  Honestly, it was the first day of self-PTO that I have had since Critter was born since all of my other “PTO” has either been to travel for weekends away, deal with mastitis, or go to doctor’s appointments by myself.

I ate breakfast on the deck off our our master suite for the first time.


It was nice.

I got a much needed pre-baby haircut.  I got a pedicure.  I bought myself a shirt I had been eyeing in a shop for a while.  I treated myself to a sprinkle macaron and lunch.  I napped.  It was a beautiful, beautiful time in my life.

And then, when we determined that I had hand, foot, and mouth, yesterday she offered to let Critter spend the afternoon/night/morning AGAIN.  Which was a huge blessing because my body is falling apart and also, Marcus went away for the annual family fishing trip.  He has one more round of travel scheduled before Glitter arrives, so let’s all just pray that everyone is healthy for that, okay?

I am bad at asking for help.  I am thankful that I receive it despite this.  I will also say that even though I am not overly thrilled to be sick right now, I am glad that all of this happened before Glitter’s arrival, when I actually do have the time to recuperate.  I am tired now, but I know I will be More Tired soon.

Starting Month 3

It is May and we are at the beginning of month three of living on the multi-generational compound.

Everyone is still married.

We have seen 21 houses now (22 if you count the open house Critter and I went to without Marcus), have seriously considered putting offers in on two, and here we are.

Still living in my parents’ basement!

Our housing requirements continue to be as follows: yard that is at least .3 acres, separate dining room that is big enough for our four leaf formal dining table (or opens up into the living room so we can extend it at the holidays), space to put the treadmill. Not a split-level.

This seems like it should not be very hard, but apparently with all of this open floor plan stuff, literally no one has a dining room anymore. I will be honest, this along with people who argue against china and formal silverware hurt my soul.

From a financial perspective, by not living in our townhouse/paying utilities/cable/whatnot we are currently saving $1,700 per month so that’s a pretty great perk too.   Every month that we live here helps increase the purchase price (and down payment) of our future home OR it provides the financing for my upcoming unpaid maternity leave OR it is money to save for the new (used) car I’ll likely need in the next two years because my CRV is 11 years old.

So, all good things.

Two weekends ago, mom and dad headed Up North and Marcus, Critter, and I had the house all to ourselves. It was…really quiet. Because apparently my parents watch more television than we do (which is none during the day) and just having two less people around will do that for you. We had some friends over for dinner the first weekend (Billy: we are allowed to have friends over without parents home now?) and when they went Up North again this weekend and I hosted a baby shower here along with another girlfriend.

So, we are sort of doing some normal things?

We’ve also been doing our best to keep up with date night. I’d say that we are going out at least every other week if you average it out. That said, when I looked at the calendar last Sunday, I realized we had not planned any dates for the upcoming weeks so I wrote those down promptly.  We need to continue to take advantage of built-in babysitters as much as possible while we still can.

Marcus honestly finds the most bizarre part of this entire experience to be the fact that we eat dinner with one or both of my parents probably four nights per week.  Mostly just because we’re used to eating just the two of us.

Meanwhile, Billy has set-up an anonymous complaint hotline and I will confess I have made two false accusations: (1) That someone had consumed my BBQ Kettle Chips without my knowledge and (2) That Mom took all of the Belle Vie (ALDI label La Croix) to the cabin, leaving me with…no Belle Vie.  No one is perfect.

Anyway, here we are.