no will power

I just ate a whole bag.  :(


a successful photo shoot

They're back!!!  The photos are back!  I love them all.  And I love that Christine was able to get Curt to join us for a few photos.  That has never happened before!

I secretly think he rather enjoyed having some photos of his lovely self taken.  :)

The girls did their best to let me stretch their patience to the limit.  Thank you girls ... and one day you will thank me for the treasury of photos I've provided you with.

You can see the rest of them here.

corn maze & pumpkins

I can't believe it's time for corn mazes and pumpkin hunting!  We went to Borzynski's in Racine last Friday night with the girls.  We had a great time with them, the weather was perfect, the sun setting slowly, we were in no hurry to get anywhere, there were no crowds ... it was just a great night.  Followed by cheese curds & ice cream at Culvers ... how could we go wrong?

I'm also super proud of myself for the photos I took ... I shot everything on manual mode, something that hasn't come to easy for me.  I think they turned out pretty good.  Take a look-see if you have a few minutes.


packers vs. cowboys

We had a great time at the Packer game.  Thanks Mark, Brigitte, Tiffany, Jon, Amy, and Ryan for joining us.

The excitement started when we flew into Green Bay and saw the Cowboys plane.  Followed by the sighting of Jay-Z!  Seriously, think about that ... Jay-Z in Green Bay.  Never spotted Jessica though ...

We drove over to the stadium and spotted a cheese curd vendor.  Luckily, Amy has the same attraction to fried cheese as I do, so she was all over it.  Turns out some guy bought them for her and let her skip in line and we were in curd heaven!

We headed over to the stadium, got inside and proceeded to walk around the entire stadium trying to find our suite!  We finally found it, ate tons of food, watched a good game {despite the fact they lost}, and chatted with friends.

I call it a successful evening.  You can see some photos here.


playground & a picnic

Hunter and I had a great Tuesday morning together.  We started out at the library for ‘story time’ ... only to find out we were an hour early!  So we walked to the furniture store where I had previously scoped out a sofa {calling out to me for my new office} ... only to find out they didn’t open til 10:00!

I sweetly asked a woman who was sweeping outside the store if it was possible to browse before they opened and she let me in!  Yay for her, as she got a good sale out of it!  :)
I’m super excited to have picked the color palette for my new digs!

Then ... we walked back to the library, only to find every toddler in Racine at story time!  It was hot and crowded and loud and Hunter was pretty uninterested.  {me too ...}

Then a quick stop at Moxie Child for some photo props {hat & socks for my friends little preemie twins} ... and off to meet Amy & Mallory at the playground for a picnic and some playtime.

I had told Hunter we were meeting them and she was so excited, it surprised me and it was super cute!  She kept saying, “I so happy!”

See some photos here.

{sidenote: Hunter apparently doesn’t care for Hello Kitty as much as Dora.  As she every-so-boldly peed all over that poor kitty tonight!}


we're at it again ...

Big girl underpants that is!  Hunter did not want to get Dora wet ... and she succeeded!  Yay Hunter ... and she earned herself some big candy!

When the time came, she ran as fast as she could to the potty, pulled up her dress, turned around and in her broken speech, whisper voice said, “I. Got my. Underpanties. Dwy.”

{sigh} ...


campfire & marshmallows

Something we have not done enough of since moving into this house is use the awesome fire pit in our back yard!

So a couple of times now {since it’s getting darker sooner}, we’ve lit a fire and charred up some marshmallows.

I hope we do some more of this before it gets too cold.


free family portraits

Yeah, okay ... you read right. I’m offering free family portraits. Taken by me, of your family.

Too much time on my hands? Definitely not.

Am I crazy? Most certainly.

Seriously, I really just want to better my skills and hobby. And what’s a better way to do it than with non-paying customers and no pressure {well, I mean, I’ll still be all full of pressure ... but I’ll have to remember, ‘you get what you pay for’}.

Interested? Shoot me an email and let’s set a date.

{p.s. this is also open to interested parties who may only be married and not yet have youngin’s ...}

another one bites the dust

I’m thinking that big gapping hole is explanation enough?

I’ll explain anyway ... that top tooth has literally been hanging by ... well, whatever it is teeth hang by ... forever!!  We’ve tried pulling it out {read, dad’s tried pulling it out}, but it just wouldn’t budge!

Then yesterday morning, dad’s brushing Piper’s teeth {cuz he’s obsessive like that}, and she throws up her hand to catch something and goes {through a mouthful of toothpaste} ... “my tooth.”

I didn’t put the kids to bed last night.  And Piper just walked in and informed me the tooth fairy left her nothing!  I had no idea the tooth fairy was invited for a visit last night!

Excuse me while I have a discussion with the man who did put them to bed last night ...


movie time

The girls have been all about the Jonas Brothers, Camp Rock, Miley Cyrus & Hannah Montana.

It’s actually kind of fun listening to them randomly bust out in song ... 

Click here to see a couple new movies.


vegas & a photography lesson

Wow!  It’s been a week.  A fulfilling, exhausting week!

Tuesday morning I took Hunter to the Milwaukee Public Museum {for our weekly field trip}, only to find out it was closed.  We packed it up and headed to Discovery World instead.  We had about an hour to kill before we met Amy & Mallory for lunch and it ended up to be perfect timing and Hunter loved the ‘fishies.’

After a fun lunch with Amy & Mal, we quickly ran home for Hunter to take her ‘nukie naptime.’  While she was doing that I was quickly packing and getting ready to head to Vegas to surprise Curt.

I left at 2:00 and got into Vegas at 5:30, just in time to quickly run to the hotel, change and go down to a presentation by Chris Gardner {Pursuit of Happyness story} that Curt would be flying into for.

Curt had been in Minnesota for a board meeting, and was flying into Vegas for a trade show and big announcementhis company was making.

So ... I’m sitting in our seats waiting for Curt to get in {his flight arrived at 6:30}, so when he was ushered into the theater ... there I was!  He was super surprised and I was super excited!!

Then on Thursday morning, he headed home and I headed to Orange County to meet Jessica Claire for a one-on-one photography lesson.

It was SO incredibly awesome!  She taught me a lot about lighting, lenses, and some quick fixes to enhance photos in photoshop.  It was a great day.  She had a lot of patience for me and I soaked up all she had to offer.

I didn’t realize this was going to happen, but she arranged a photo shoot of her neighbors daughters for us to shoot together.  That was just plain cool!  The girls were just way too cute.  Ansley made every possible face she could think of.  And Addison reminded me of my girls, in the dirt, collecting rocks, and looking for bugs.

I shot close to 700 photos, but have narrowed it down for your viewing pleasure.  If you get a chance, let me know what you think.  Click here to view them.

Thank you Jessica and girls for a great day and learning experience!


another lost tooth

So Piper lost her tooth yesterday at school, eating a cheese sandwich.  I’m so shocked it was the bottom one, as the top one {can you see it in above photo} is just hanging there!

So what does she ask for breakfast this morning?  A cheese sandwich!  She just informed me it didn’t work ... she tried an apple too.  Too cute!

OH!  and when they lose a tooth at school, they get this cool little plastic tooth holder to put it in, and a sticker to wear prominently on their uniform to announce to the world they’re growing up!

And I forgot in my other post to include a couple photos of daddy’s little superheros ...



Just a shout out to my superhero ... Curt.

I had the girls photos taken yesterday morning at the house, and I was fortunate to have the lovely and talented Christine Plamann take them.  See a sneak peek here.

The girls were super troopers and the last shots consisted of these awesome superhero capes.  It was near lunch time when we finished and Curt was anxiously standing by waiting to take them to Chuck E. Cheese.  Have I mentioned how much he loves to have photos taken?  Yeah, I think I did ...

Anyway, I got caught up saying good-bye to Christine {and bending her ear for some photography tips}, when I see Curt pulling out of the driveway with the girls.

I spent the next hour or so cleaning up the pre-photo tornado that hit and waiting for them to get home.

My heart swelled when I saw them all walk in the door.  My girls were all wearing their capes ... with ... gymnastic bodysuits {complete with little undies hanging out the sides} and boots.  Curt was explaining that there were some boys there giving the girls a hard time about how they were dressed.  The girls didn’t care.  And neither did Curt.  And neither do I.

I’ve never been one to care too much about how they’re dressed {unless of course there’s a photo shoot at stake!}.  They go to church dressed up in fairy costumes, go to school in pajamas, and Chuck E. Cheese in capes.

I just thought it was precious to see this dad hanging out with his little superheros ... and for that, you’re my superhero!


summer's over

I feel like I was so negligent in posting the last half of the summer, that I thought I’d bore you all with one long informational post {complete with photos, of course!}.

So where should I start?  Let’s see ... there was the afternoon I came home from work {late} and Curt was going on a conference call, so I decided to take the girls on a picnic dinner at the playground.  We packed up our dinner and headed to the park.  The weather was perfect for pb&j and corn puffs!  See photos here.

Next up ... the hatching of monarchs!  Curt had taken the girls up to the lake and guaranteed ... they come home with some sort of creatures every time!  This time was a box full of monarch caterpillars.  The girls built a nice habitat for them, put them in the bug house and watched mother nature take its course.  We watched as the chrysalises were formed and slowly the butterflies were hatched.  It truly is amazing!  The girls carefully took out the ones that were ready and released them outside.  See photos here.

After the butterfly hatching, we took the girls {and honorary sis, Ana} to the Racine County Fair {you have to read that with a little bit of a southern accent ...}.  The girls loved the rides.  Hunter’s turning into quite the little adventure-mobile!  Wonder where she gets that from.  :)  See photos here.

All summer long we go out and feed the fish at the bridge.  The girls love it, the fish thrive on it, and it’s sort of become a tradition.  This time was a little different though ... it involved winter boots, a nakie fanny and a princess crown!  See photos here.

Then there’s the annual trip to the EAA air show in Oshkosh.  For some reason, I’ve missed the last couple of years ... so was glad to catch this one.  See photos here.

Remember how Piper was on swim team?  Well, the club had awards night and since everyone got an award {and Piper did a great job} we needed to head over there.  As soon as the awards were handed out, we boogied out of there and over to the Ophelia Project run.  Piper and Wynter ran in the ‘kids dash’ ... it was so sad {cute} that we put these kids at the start line, we head down to the finish line and then ask these kids to run for their lives ... right into a sea of screaming fans!  A lot of the kids started crying just as they were nearing the finish line.  Gotta prepare them better for that one next time.  And then after the race was over, I had to take advantage of the beautiful night, Hunter’s great dress {thank you Trishie}, and the beach.  See all photos here.

Let’s see ... then there was a day off with the girls.  We were trying to think of what we could do.  I can’t remember now what the first thing was that we were going to do, but for some reason that didn’t work out.  Then I talked them into going to the Mitchell Park Domes.  I hadn’t been there in years and thought it would be fun.  It wasn’t super great weather ... so I thought it would be perfect.  We headed out and just as I was getting on the interstate, decided to call to make sure they were open.  Nope, they were in fact, not open.  Closed for renovations.  Okay, what next?  We decided to try out Apple Holler.  Turned out to be great fun!  See photos here.

Oh yeah ... and then my {very weak} attempt at potty training Hunter.  See photos here {yeah, there are photos}.  And no, she’s not potty trained.

If you didn’t read herehere or here, I took Taylor on a trip to Los Angeles right before school started.  I think it’s important that she and I spend some alone time together, without Curt and the other girls ... so I asked where she wanted to go, and she decided on LA.  We brought Ana with too.  It was a really great time!  See photos here.

And lastly, the day before school started, I took the girls to Six Flags.  I hadn’t been there in forever and have really wanted to take them this summer.  It was just the four girls and me, and we had a great time.  The weather was perfect for it and I’d love to make it a ‘day-before-school-starts’ tradition.  See photos here.

OH! One more thing ... I took the girls to the State Fair.  I didn’t want to bring my camera along, and then of course regretted it ... but here are a few photos I snapped with my phone.  The first one is of Hunter on a trampoline bouncy thing ... you have to look kind of carefully, but she’s on the top of the photo.  The other two are of the girls eating cream puffs.  Fortunately, no one got a photo of me eating one!  :)


a day with my baby

I treasured the days I had off work and spent on our ‘field trips’ ... I still remember those days with Wynter, when we towed along baby Hunter in her carrier.

And now Hunter’s getting to that fun age that I treasured so much in taking these trips with Wynter.

Yesterday was our first official field trip.  No big sisters to get in the way.  Just some mommy, baby bonding time.

It was a gorgeous day, so we went to the zoo.  Click here to see some photos.

It was so special to hang out with her.  And this fall, I’ve decided not to take Kindermusik with her, so that we can enjoy doing other things on our day together.

I’m looking forward to creating special memories with you, my baby ...


heaven {in the form of 3 brothers}

For her 13th birthday, Curt got Taylor six awesome tickets to see the Jonas Brothers in concert.

She was beside herself excited!  That is until she received an email from the fan club stating that the boys were holding auctions for a meet & greet before some of their concerts.

Taylor somehow convinced Curt to start bidding on the auction ... we tried 3 different states and were outbid for all of them.

Then they opened the auction to the Chicago crowd {the concert Taylor already had tickets to}.  Curt started his bidding ... and left for Alaska.  He knew if he left it in my hands, I’d get all caught up in the moment and bid like a crazy woman, so he put a max bid on it and I couldn’t go any higher than that.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry about it, he won the bid!  Taylor was absolutely crazy excited!

She took Amanda and Ana with ... we had a limo ride down ... it was at Tinley Park.  Pretty cool place, I hadn’t been there before.

The proceeds for the auction went to a charity that Nick {Jonas} started himself to help children with Juvenile Diabetes ... Change for the Children Foundation.

So we finally make it inside the concert gates with a billion young, adoring fans ... and find the line with about 500 other meet & greet guests!  Fortunately, with the donation we made {won}, we had a contact number of someone to call, who came and got us and put us third in line to meet ‘the boys.’ ... so that was pretty cool.  We saw their dad come out and talk to the people in line behind us {sounded like they were old buddies}.

And then it was our turn to meet them.  And lickety-split, it was over.  And Taylor was crying.  Oh my ... she’s got it bad!

She wrote Nick a letter, gave him her picture and phone number and was convinced he was going to call.

Actually, last night she found a phone number and has been texting it and is sure that it’s Nick’s.  The guy signs off as -Nick.  But really, how many people sign their texts?

But you know what?  I love these boys!  And I pray that Taylor {when the time comes} meets someone just like them.  At least from what the press portrays of them.

During the concert, their mom was rocking out off the side of the stage.  Their dad came out and introduced them.  During one song, their younger brother Frankie {otherwise known as the ‘bonus Jonas’} came out and played the tambourine with the boys.  They all wear purity rings.  Nick’s been quoted as saying his favorite book is the Bible.  And Taylor informed me today that the boys are known to be praying for their future wives.

It’s a son-in-law made in heaven!

You can see photos of the concert here.