Saturday, June 30, 2012

Keepin' Busy in Kalamazoo

We've been spending plenty of time outside enjoying the beautiful weather this summer!

 Look how nicely they're playing together!

 Ed cleared some brush out of the "woods" in our backyard. TJ helped stack cut wood pieces.

 Wrestling with the lion

Wrestling with Daddy

These pajamas are size 3 but very small--they barely fit TJ last summer. I had them in Jojo's drawer, and TJ found them and put on non-matching pieces. What else could I do but put the other non-matching pieces on Jojo?

I had grand plans for dinner one night--we were having steak and I found the appetizer pictured in my cooking magazine (Cuisine at Home) and thought it would be a great, light side dish. It's a grilled nectarine, topped with fresh mozzarella and basil, wrapped in prosciutto and drizzled with balsamic syrup. Yum! you have any idea how hard it is to cut a nectarine in half? Ultimately we decided to skip the fancy appearance and just cut the nectarine into chunks. It didn't look as pretty, but it tasted just as good!

We've started using the boat to explore some good skiing lakes here in Michigan. We're lucky to have a number of really good options very close to our house. And that first ski run of the year? Fantastic!
 Driving the boat!

 Dining al fresco

Swimming with Daddy

Friday, June 29, 2012

Debbie and Seth's wedding: KD reunion

Our summer wedding jet-setting continued as I flew to New York with my friend Diane for another college reunion wedding. Fourteen KDs happily gathered to celebrate Debbie and Seth's wedding on Long Island. A gorgeous weekend and fantastic couple!
 Beautiful setting for the ceremony

All the Kappa Deltas

The whole Northwestern crew

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Week in Wisconsin

The boys spent the Memorial Day weekend at Pearl Lake with my parents and Jenn and Pat while Ed and I were at the wedding. I don't think they missed us at all! 

 Playing in the sand

 Swinging. Love the tongue! 

 Jojo in the laundry sink/tub. 
Compared to (below) TJ in the same tub, at 4 months.

Driving the Model A 

 Refusal to wear a hat calls for drastic measures! Sunscreen in the hair creates a great mohawk.

 TJ and Buppa sailing

 Something about a jet ski is so soothing...TJ falls asleep on almost every ride!

Down the slide into the lake

Tubing with Buppa. He wasn't a huge fan.

I spent the week in Milwaukee with the boys before heading to another wedding the following weekend. Everyone had fun at Grammy and Buppa's house!

 TJ is giving Jojo rides. Note the hitch on the truck--added by Buppa at TJ's request.

 TJ wrestling with his friend Nathan

 Practicing the art of dunking with Buppa

Jojo loves Ozzie!

Check out this sweet display of brotherly love. I'm pretty sure it led to a headlock.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tom and Liz's Wedding, AKA DU Reunion 2012

Warning! Another kid-free post (part of our kid-free weekend). Those of you who visit only to see adorable pictures of TJ and Jojo will walk away disappointed today. :)

Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, we headed out to the St. Charles area for Tom and Liz's wedding. Tom was in Ed's fraternity, and there were probably 15-20 DU guys at the wedding. Add in the rest of us Northwestern grads and we probably numbered close to 30. It was great to catch up with so many people, and the wedding was gorgeous and filled with fun and themed dancing (a specialty of Tom's). 

It was also interesting how much everyone seemed to have changed. Not looks, so much, but many people are married, and many have kids. These guys, who I fondly remember doing Century Clubs and kegstands, now brag about their little daughters and sons. So cute! And there were 10 pregnant women at the wedding as well, ranging from ready to give birth on the dance floor to about 4 months along, so more kids are clearly on the way for this group! 

The happy couple

This picture is blurry but I wanted to include it because you can just see the fun these two have performing on the dance floor. Tom and Dustin also did a version of their famed Dance Marathon routine from 1999 (I think?). Lots of fun dancing! 

 You'll see this dress again--it's my spring/summer 2012 wedding dress!

Me and Nicole. She, Derek and their son Ben are visiting from Germany for 8 weeks. We're looking forward to seeing the at Pearl Lake in a few weeks!

 Me and Kelly. She's one of the pregnant ladies!

 Ed, his freshman year roommate, Sanjay, and Sanjay's girlfriend. 

 Ed and Derek boogying.

 Dustin dancing. He also gave a great best man speech. He's very good at that, and likely for hire if anyone is looking for a stellar best man.

Did I say earlier how much things had changed? Well, maybe not everything. There was a photo booth at the wedding for the guests to use. I'm thinking the rest is self-explanatory. We may all be in our 30s, but we're still kids at heart. And no need to identify the pants droppers here. It could be anyone.

Here's a short video. This little move is something Ed and Tom always did at fraternity and sorority formals in college. Good thing I brought a wrap to the wedding so they could continue the tradition!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend, Part 1

You'll notice one common theme in this post: food.

Before I get to the good stuff, I'll explain the logistics of the last 10 days of May, because we were all over the place and you'll see just how nuts we are. Trust me, the food pics will be a reward if you make it through the next paragraph.

We had a college friend's (child-free) wedding outside of Chicago on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, so Friday after work we made the trek to Milwaukee to drop off the kids with Grammy and Buppa, with a pitstop at Dustin and Kelly's to drop off an extra car. Early Saturday morning, Dad took TJ up to the lake. Ed and I hung around to "babysit" Jojo while Mom co-hosted a baby shower. When she returned, we headed back down to Chicago to spend the night with friends Matt and Di. (That's where the food comes in!) After a lazy Sunday morning, we headed out to St. Charles for Tom and Liz's wedding. Great times, with about 25 of our college friends. Monday, Ed headed home to Michigan in the truck and I trekked back up to Milwaukee to spend the week there with mom and dad and the kids. Because...on Friday I was headed to a wedding in NY, flying out of Chicago, and it was just easier to leave the kids in one place the whole time, especially after I'd just been gone five days for work the previous week, leaving Ed and our babysitter on massive kid duty. So Friday I drove down to O'Hare and flew to New York for Debbie and Seth's wedding. (Did I mention yet that we have 7(!) weddings this summer? Yup.) Sunday was the true icing on the cake: I left the hotel on Long Island at 10 am, flew to Chicago, drove to Milwaukee to pick up the kids, and then drove back to Michigan. A measly 12 hours in transit.

So back to the food.
Amy and Mike joined us and Matt and Di in Chinatown. Besides a huge load of appetizers and entrees, we had bubble drinks. Yum! It was great to have a "grown-up" dinner out with friends where we could just sit and talk without distraction. And it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who doesn't enjoy sharing food with others at restaurants, something much discussed while we contemplated what to order. Di's excuse is that she's an only child; not sure what mine is!

Matt's dinner, shrimp something, came in a neat little container.

After dinner we headed back to Matt and Di's to try out their new backyard fire pit and roast s'mores. It was a perfect night to be outside! And you know you're with good friends when you can happily eat seven roasting sticks' worth of marshies (so 14 total) without being embarrassed. To clarify, those weren't all s'mores--some were just roasted marshmallows. Thanks to Matt for whittling us some sharp pointed sticks!

We then enjoyed a bit of the great outdoors in Chicago by camping in the Knoepkes' backyard. I do have to point out that we were graciously offered beds in the house. But Ed is allergic to cats and they have two, so on this lovely night we camped, something we haven't done in six or seven years. Definitely need to take the boys camping, but need a bigger tent to do so!

And we topped off the first half of our child-free weekend with a relaxing breakfast at a local favorite, Lumes. Check out my stuffed French toast. Yum!
You can see Matt's egg skillet in the background. A much smaller meal (ha!) with "only" four eggs on top. We all needed to be rolled out of the restaurant.