Category Archives: New Beginnings



I wish I could share a photo of our garden with you, but our house has no flowers.

Okay, that is a lie.  There is a peony bush on the side of the house.  But it bloomed approximately one week after our offer got accepted.

So, no flowers right now.

But here is this from our bedroom. It is like living in the tree!

Anyway, we are moved!  Our storage units are empty, all of our possessions have been evacuated from the multi-generational compound.  For the first time in five months, we are not living with two other people and for the first time in five months those two other people are not living with two other people and a boy king!

How freeing.

Because I am a pregnant and also we’re old now, we hired movers on Friday and that was a beautiful beautiful thing.  They hauled things about the house and as I watched them do it, I thought about how mad and sweaty I would be if I was moving things. But they weren’t!  Because this is their job!  And it was a miracle and then all of the things were in our house.

But then, on Saturday, we were blessed with nine people who unpacked everything (in addition to the two who helped us conquer our kitchen on Friday) on our main floor and in our bedrooms so that we could live like civilized human beings and also because I am having a baby in 7.5 weeks.

And now, since time stops for no one, we are filling our house with humans, moreso than is probably advisable when you’ve been living on the premises for less than a week.  First, Lindsey came over for dinner on Monday night.  Yesterday, I hosted the weekly playdate for my playgroup because Lord knows I owe them five months worth and what better way to christen the floors than with the shards of many, many Goldfish crackers?  Tomorrow, our ECFE friends are coming to play.  Angie is coming to breakfast on Sunday.

Between closing and last Friday (so, a week) Bruce painted Critter’s big boy room, Glitter’s nursery, ripped out a sliding glass door attached to the bathtub in the kids’ bathroom.  Painted the interior of our entryway closet.  Built shelves into the cabinet we’re going to use as a pantry.  Removed all of the mini-blinds in the house.  Installed cordless blinds on every window in the house.  Tomorrow he will start work on the next round of projects – he will replace some doors, paint the basement white (there are magic eraser spots everywhere), rip out the bottom shelf from the above-laundry cabinets so that we can actually store detergent and other such items in them.  Fix Glitter’s door so it doesn’t stick when you pull it shut.  Install a laser level safety thing on the garage door that is missing them.  Bolt our toilets to the floor (they’re not…it’s bizarre).  On Monday, another contractor will come out to build stairs onto our lower deck (right now it has none), replace the support posts and crossbeam on our master suite deck.  Re-do the venting on our dryer and fix some masonry.


But our house looks very spiffy now.

And to think we still need a kitchen table.  Rugs for many rooms.  Coffee tables for the family room.  A television for the main floor.  Lamps because there is like NO OVERHEAD LIGHTING IN THE ENTIRE HOUSE.

It’s a good thing that we have 7.5 weeks to finish getting settled.



This is not a “Lifestyle” blog.

Happy 2017 friends.

Here’s the thing.  I didn’t despise 2016 like some did.  It is the year I became a mother.  It was the longest-shortest year in which I lived a thousand lives and died a thousand different deaths.  But it wasn’t an peaceful year either.  I didn’t have an “easy” baby. Nearly all of our appliances (and one car) died.  I got some moles removed and biopsied and I got mastitis twice.  So I think it is okay to say I am tired.

When I was at yoga the other day, the instructor was extolling the virtues of letting things go that do not serve us.

Here’s the thing.  I have let everything go this year and most of it has not been by choice.  Running?  Let go.  My body?  No longer mine, nor will it be for the forseeable future.  Sleep.  Quiet time.  Friendships.  I have no intention to “let” anything else go because if I am going to be so honest, I am tired of having things taken from me.  When I was writing in the 365 day-five year journal I received before Critter was born, I remarked in response to one of the prompts that I was quite impressed by how much less I need in my current existence to survive/have some level of enjoyment and enthusiasm in my life/keep growing.

All of this is to say that I feel like I haven’t had a lot to say in the last two weeks and when I think about what I want to write or share with you all, I don’t even know where to begin.  Right now my “lifestyle” blog feels more like notes from a ship’s logbook. End dispatch. 

I have no resolutions and I have no “Intentions” because this is what my life looks like right now.

Toys and chaos, people. Toys and chaos. 

I have no idea what to promise you all for 2017.  I’ll keep posting what we eat because the Friday Food Round-Up! is something I have loved to do.  I’m sure there will be some updates on our finances and what that looks like with buying and selling a house.  And of course the odd missive about our boy baby who is soon to advance to the next level of big boy.  After that, it’s all a mystery.

If you’re still reading, thank you for coming along for the ride so far.  I hope your 2017 is a beautiful one. 

Be The Change You Want To See

If we’re going to be totally honest, I am still in shock over last week’s election results.  I haven’t yet listened to Hillary’s concession speech, I am trying to moderate the amount of news I consume.  Of the news I do consume, I am frightened by the stories I have read about the increase in hate crimes since the elections ended.  I worry for my own family, I worry for the families of people I do not know.  This is not the America I recognize.

As I scroll through my Facebook news feed, there are so so so many friends who agree that now and over the next four years, we need to come together and we need to start doing the hard work.  The place that starts for all of us is right in the communities we call home.

Posting links on Facebook and re-tweeting news stories is all right and good, but if we are going to change lives, we’re going to do that with our hands and feet.  I don’t often talk about my volunteer work on The Blog but it is something that has been such an important part of my life and one that has brought me great joy.  The non-profit I volunteer with works to bring food, housing and employment security to others in my community and truly there is nothing better that I could be doing with the time I am able to give them.

If you have been feeling called to action in the last week, but are not sure where to start, this is a chance to find your beginning.  Some of you might find that in volunteering with non-profits, others with mid-term campaigns.  You might be reviewing your existing charitable contribution budget, you might be deciding to start one.

I don’t know where we go from here, but I know that right now we all have to do the best that we can.  If you’re already giving your time and/or money, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section.  If you’ve started to make your own plan to get to work, I’d love to hear about that too.

p.s. If you live in Minnesota, the Minnesota Council of Non-Profits has a member list that includes organization websites and locations.

We’re Expecting!

We're Expecting!

4th generation Gopher arriving January 25, 2016.

I know that a month ago, I declared this to be The Most Boring Summer Ever.

Secretly, it has been The Happiest.

Back to Normal

America! 713

The day before we left for New York, I distinctly remember looking at Our Tree and being So Fussed that we would miss its blooming while we were away.

We got home after dark last night, which meant that when I woke up this morning, I was so pleasantly surprised by white blossoms just barely hanging on to the branches.

Snatching my phone off of its charger and running into the driveway to see it properly from the outside and to capture the moment was more of a reflex than a well thought-out plan.

All is well.

So we are home.  Finally.

I got nine hours of uninterrupted sleep last night.  Considering that on a good day I’d call a straight six an accomplishment, I’d say being reunited with my own bed was nothing short of magical.

I wouldn’t say that I’m a delicate sleeper.  Give me something functional and I’m usually good to go.

But apparently I needed this.

And today, the “weekend” day I haven’t had since May 12 or so.  Doing piles of laundry, attending to my mitts and paws, actioning some low-grade decluttering.  Dinner with family.

Restoring order to the nest.


Sometimes you just have to get out of the house.

On Thursday night, I thought I was tired because my eyelids were fighting a losing battle with gravity.  But on my way home from work yesterday, I realized that this week absolutely kicked the crap out of me.

The worst part?  It took no names.


Earlier in the day, Marcus and I had batted around the idea of going on a Dive Bar Date.  But then laziness crept in reality hit and we realized that with the amount of effort it was going to take to Plan and Organize, we really just needed to get out of the house.

Or else that bottle of Two Buck Chuck wasn’t going to stand a chance.

Armed with a Parasole gift card, we headed over to The Cafeteria to relax on their rooftop patio with a happy hour that runs until 7:00 PM.  What’s not to love about that, right?

And yes, for those of you who were wondering, Marcus was trying to channel Vampire Bill post-silvering with the bags under his eyes.

Lest you think that my weekend has been all cocktails and the great outdoors, this afternoon, I got to attend a baby shower for Stephanie and Baby.  She’s due mid-October, and the hostesses did a wonderful job of making sure that wonderfully sweet touches were included.

Instead of traditional shower games, we did a lovely activity where we filled out cards with hopes and dreams for the little one.

I think this should be mandatory at all showers.

And in addition to a lovely luncheon spread that Sara put together, Laura went to town and created a literal jungle of treats.

Obviously y’all know that I was in heaven 🙂

A little tale to close with: As the shower was coming to an end, I was bouncing Sara’s little daughter around.  I’m not usually the first in-line to hold babies because quite honestly, they overwhelm me.  But anyway, I’m bopping about with the little tot for a good 20 minutes or so, and suddenly I felt a trickle of water run down the back of my leg.

Yes, seriously, I was sweating.

Who knew that entertaining babies was such hard work?

What is your favorite game to play at baby showers?

On a scale of 1 – Insane, how would your rate this week?

Personally, I’d probably give it a 9.5 myself.

p.s. I’ll be drawing for the winner of the giveaway tomorrow!

Exploding with Flowers

People, I think I might have a problem.

I’ve been meaning to take a snap or six of the flowering tree outside of our house for the past few days now.  But procrastination, cloudy weather and outright laziness derail even the best laid plans.

So, imagine how astonished I was this morning when I was so moved by the natural light, I leapt out of my car in the driveway as I was leaving for work, to take a couple of shots.

I know.  I KNOW.

It’s not like I even have a game, but if I did?  It would be all over the place.

Game or no game, the tree in our grass patch “front yard” has literally exploded with flowers.

When I lived in the sorority senior year, there was a flowering crab right outside my window that I loved more than anything.  It killed me to think about leaving it.

When we saw this house and I saw this tree in front of our living room window?

I decided that it was probably love.

Our somewhat-reclusive neighbor informed me a couple of weeks ago that the tree was already two weeks late in flowering (I have no recollection of when it blossomed last year), so this has just been such a treat to enjoy.

As a little bonus, all manner of squirrels and little birds romp about in it, so it’s kind of fun to have such a close-up view of their tiny adventures.

Just think of it as  Meerkat Manor for the 45th Parallel, sans-any sort of consistent cast.

Okay, so there is That Robin that insists on flying into our window like it’s A Calling.  And That Red-Winged Blackbird who is constantly At War with every other varmint out there.  His way?  Is NOT peace.

No, I’m not kidding.  I’m actually that obsessed.

Do you have any flowering trees?

Do you have any varmints or critters that make a regular appearance in your yard?