Category Archives: Family

Life on the Multigenerational Compound

Well.  Here we are.  20 days later, still living together as one.

We closed on our house last Friday so now, there’s really no going back.  A few weeks ago we saw four houses in one weekend and three of them had strong odors.  Last weekend, there were really no new houses to see.  So that’s where we’re at with that.  As I’ve said before, someday, we are moving.

The full cable package has been enjoyable.  Now that we’re not packing and cleaning constantly, we’re watching…more TV.  And you know, cleaning up all of the address change stuff (OMG never ending and we’re going to have to change it AGAIN when we move).  On Sunday night, we watched Independence Day: Resurgence.  If you’re an Independence Day-lover, 11/10 would recommend it.

Mom and I got the plague.  She still has it, it’s finally leaving me.  And then, just as I announced that my nausea was leaving, it came back with a vengeance and I spent the weekend wanting to hurl and a decent bit of it curled up in bed.

Like, honest to God this pregnancy is so different than the last that I was Googling the symptoms for appendicitis.  I wish I were kidding but I really was not.

So that was pretty fun.  On Sunday, Dad bought me some ginger candies and they are repulsive, but I can’t say they’re making the nausea worse so I will keep eating them.

On the bright side, spring is here for good.  I’m so glad that we can start taking daily walks now until October.  As I was explaining to Critter just today, because we are Minnesotans, now that the nice weather has arrived we have to be outside all the time now.

Anyway, our life is not that glamorous right now, but it is still good.


Someday We Are Moving: Basement Dwelling

We survived the move into my parents’ house and everyone is still married.

Critter had let me know that he is totally fine with everything because anytime I I dare to venture more than 10 feet away from him, he screams.  We are well and truly joined at the hip right now.  BFFs for sure.

If you were to look in our “closet” you would see that I am probably still living in some sort of low-grade denial because even though all of my things on hangers are hanging, all of the dresser things are in suitcases and I just cannot be bothered to organize them.  Related/unrelated, I really probably could straight-up pack up all of my running gear for the time being since I am not…running.  Just not mentally there yet, people.

I will not lie, there are some perks.  Mom cooks dinner.  There is full cable (we cut ours and switched to Sling in January).  We planned our first date night!

On the other hand, it is still exhausting because we have movers coming on Sunday (we’re set to close on the 24th) so every night after dinner we have to head back to the house to pack.  Who would not want to do such a thing after a long day of work/Critter tending?

Over the past month, we’ve toured four more houses.  Two were absolute “nos” and the other two were definite possibilities if the price drops.  All of this is to say that we have no idea where we’re going next.  At least open houses give us something to do on the weekends?



This is me, trying to write a normal blog post.

As you can see, Uncle Billy was home this weekend!  Critter was still on the mend, but he was happy to sit next to him and play, pet his beard and even gave him a cuddle at one point.  It was pretty cute to see.

What else happened?  Martha was in town so we went to Bacio for dinner on Friday night with a group of our sorority sisters.  I wore adult clothes and my hair down and it felt very glamorous.  After a LONG week, it was a great thing to look forward to.  One of the mamas in my mama group declared an impromptu wine night on Saturday, so after dinner was finished and put away I headed over to that.  It was nice to catch up with those ladies WITHOUT having to keep an eye on the little ones.  We laughed so hard we cried and it was a beautiful thing.  Since Critter was sick for Zayde’s 60th birthday, we missed his brunch (Marcus went, we stayed behind).  On Sunday morning we got to go to breakfast with him at Fat Nat’s.

It was busy.

And the rest of the time when we were not eating, Billy and Marcus were hauling things to the storage unit and re-arranging some things in my parents’ house so that we can move there.  In one week.  I wrangled Critter and it was just a whole thing.  By the time that Sunday night arrived, we were on the couch and done with all of it.

Reverb | November | Give Thanks

Sarah and Kim have been sharing Reverb prompts and  Meredith and I are back in the saddle.  Because writing can be fun.  And we all have a lot to say.  Join us.

Give Thanks: Even in the hard years, wonderful things happen. What has filled your heart? What will fill your stomach at the Thanksgiving table?

I think that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I don’t think I really knew that until midway through college, but it is.  I am pretty sure I also read somewhere about how the Thanksgiving story wasn’t totally true at all (a quick Google search just confirmed) so I really just love that there is no actual point besides family and eating a lot of food.

I feel like every year, I read at least article deriding traditional Thanksgiving foods as being “tired” and it breaks my heart!  Stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, relish trays, all of it.  Cozy, comforting food to its very core.  Honestly, I am somewhat shocked we do not enjoy this feast more than one time in the course of the year.  I am already confident that Critter will be delighted by it too.

And lots of hand turkey art (no, seriously…LOOK).  The Truest American Art Form.  That Critter can now participate absolutely delights me.

What am I so glad for this year?  Our Boy Baby.  My husband.  Our parents.  Our siblings.  Our friends.  Our health.

We have plenty.  Enough.  An abundance.


Reverb | October | Ghosts

Sarah and Kim have been sharing Reverb prompts and  Meredith and I are back in the saddle.  Because writing can be fun.  And we all have a lot to say.  Join us.

Ghosts of Octobers Past: The trees are dying and so are you. We want to know what you plan to do with your remaining years. In the alternate, tell us about your favourite dead relative.

In college, I took a creative writing class to meet my freshman writing requirement.  In the class, the instructor told us that college students write about three things, when mining their lives for experiences to retell: relationships, blackouts, and grandparents.

Grandparents.  How about that.

I remember my Grandma Juaine’s dying words to me, which were “You find your man and hold onto him” and a beseeching that I return to the Catholic Church.  As my parents rebelled and baptized us as Episcopalians and then decided to join-up with the Lutheran (ELCA) church when I was in the seventh grade (eighth?) this was the culmination of a lifelong spiritual battle for my soul.  I will confess, I was only moderately successful in these endeavors.  I did hold onto my man when I found him but instead of returning to The Church I became Jewish.

My Grandma Boots died of Alzheimer’s and a host of other medical complications and hers was a longer, slower goodbye over the course of 80 days of hospice.  There were no last wishes.  Just Dr. Peppers and Cheetos consumed en masse from the nursing home vending machine as a sort of maudlin post-Confirmation party of sorts (hand to God, I got Confirmed the night before my grandmother died) while we prayed Our Fathers around her bedside.

While I had the chance to get to know my grandmothers, into the beginning of high school and the beginning of college, it is my grandfathers that I wish I could have known more.  You see, when I married Marcus, I re-added three grandparents to my tally including two grandfathers.  Over the last eight or nine years I have gotten to love them and be loved by them.  We have shared stories and holidays and firsts.

Having lost Papa when I was barely a toddler and Grandpa at the start of third grade, I can only guess how I would have felt about them as an adult.  The conversations we would have shared, the things they would have done that would have made us crazy.  What traditions they would have been adamant about upholding. How they would have loved Critter.  How many more times I would have gone fishing with Grandpa.  What types of spiffy outfits, my jeans-despising, depression-era, subsistence-hunting Papa would have continued to don.

I know how big they loved me.  I know how big they still do.  It is the little, seemingly inconsequential things that when viewed as a whole are what I will always wonder about.

Labor Day Weekend

Since we didn’t head up to the cabin this weekend, I wanted to be sure that we didn’t “waste” the long weekend at home.  Not that it’s really possible to waste a weekend with a seven month old, but I wanted to make sure we had the chance to do some fun things.  I also didn’t want to sit around at home the entire time.  It is too easy to fall into the tired-trap. 

Behold, a list complete.

When I showed it to Marcus he thought it might be a little much (and to be honest, the only thing I really thought I was 100% guaranteed to achieve was the donuts/coffee point) but we just kept on working our way through it and by 11:30 AM today, we had accomplished our final To Do.  Going swimming.

Which is to say nothing of the pick-up game of Ultimate Frisbee Marcus went to, or the yoga classes I took, or the date night we scheduled for this evening.  For those of you sitting on pins and needles at home, we are participating in our annual tradition of using my Benihana birthday coupon.  You could not out-cool us if you tried.

Were we Up North?  No.  Was it sort of weird?  Yes.  Was it nice to not have to pack all of the stuff we now need to haul for a long weekend several hours away?  Absolutely.  There is always Next Year.

Reverb 16| June | Summer Lovin’

Sarah and Kim have been sharing Reverb prompts and frankly, Meredith and I are making an effort to type blog posts again because we need a kick in the pants.

Summer Lovin’: What do you love about the summer? Do you switch up your routine? What does summer mean to you?

My summers have been about splashing.  Yes, I have the odd memory of bike rides or playing in the backyard, but from the time I was tiny, I have been in the water.  I have a swimming mother so Billy and I had to become swimmers too.

Summers at the cabin, swimming in Big Pine Lake.

End-of-summer trips to the Wisconsin Dells for 96 hours of chlorinated relaxation.

Weekly trips to Lake Independence to swim and splash with friends.

Trips to Lifetime to ride down the waterslide and bob about in a quite-overcrowded pool.

Summers spent lifeguarding on Lake Charlotte.

Canoeing.  Fishing.  Some really bad water skiing.  Kiddie pools. Sprinklers. Slip and slides.  

This is just what we did.  In the water. Out of the water. In the water again.  Days and weeks spent in swimsuits. 

While Critter is far too young to have any sort of real pool adventures, this is just one of the many things that I look forward to doing with him when he is a bit bigger.  It will be the best fun.