Category Archives: Holidays

A Day in the Life – Summer 2016

Sunday July 3rd, 2016

Steve is 39

Laura is 35

Kai will be 2 in 12 days (hold me)

This day in the life was recorded as we were camping in Door County for the holiday weekend. It will probably be slightly less detailed than usual but I will do my best. Also WordPress editor is being a jerk and will not let me add spaces between paragraphs. Maddening.

7:37am – I hear Kai awake on his side of the camper after rough night of sleep. He was up crying for a few minutes seemingly every hour starting at midnight. I’m pretty sure it’s because he was over tired from camping (this was our second night of three). I change his diaper and get him dressed, and then pour his milk and set him up with his videos in the camper.

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8:05am – Kai is ready to head outside, so I help him out of the camper and he goes to sit with my mom. I make much needed coffee for my mom and myself.

While drinking my coffee, I whip up some pancakes on our outdoor camp stove. I forgot to bring syrup, so my mom rides her bike over to my aunt and uncle’s campsite to borrow theirs.

Pancakes are literally one of Kai’s two favorite foods, along with mac and cheese. Today he is being a stinker though, and refuses to eat anything for breakfast until we offer him cheerios.

After breakfast we get ready for a bike ride. A bunch of family members arrive at our campsite on their bikes and we are ready to go. I load Kai into the Burley bike trailer and put his helmet on. He selects a dinosaur, a giraffe, and his yellow car to accompany us on the ride. Kid loves bike rides.


9:00am –  We leave for the ride. We take a scenic road with great views of the water and decide to make a stop at the lighthouse to enjoy the views. Please excuse my sweaty helmet hair.


10:15am – We arrive back at the campsite. My mom and Joe leave to go play tennis. I start packing up all of our stuff to head over to my aunt and uncle’s house. We are bringing Kai’s pack n play and all of his sleep equipment in hopes that he takes a great nap over there so it will be possible to take him to the fireworks tonight. He probably had a snack and watched some videos so that we could get ready.
11:15am – We leave and make the 10 min drive to the house. I get Kai’s stuff set up in my cousin’s bedroom and we hang out for a bit.
11:45am – We walk over to the tennis court/playground area where Kai watches a little tennis before hitting the swing.

Though you can’t see it in his face, Kai loved swinging with Auntie Beth and Grandma Joanie.

We all played at the playground a little longer, just hanging around.


12:15pm – We walk back to house. There is a conversation about the perfect blue sky today, and how we could not have asked for better weather this weekend.


Back at the house, Kai eats strawberries and string cheese for lunch. There is also half of an iced donut on his plate that he refuses to touch. Crazy kid.
12:55pm – Kai goes down for his nap and everyone else attacks some snacks that have been put out on the counter for lunch. We all just hang out for a bit, and I sit down on the couch. I am so tired. I also have no pictures from this entire part of the day apparently. Oops.

2:00pm – Steve leaves to go golfing with a few of the guys on the little community par 3 course. Almost everyone else goes to the pool, and I take full advantage of a quite house by falling asleep on the couch for 30 mins or so. When I wake up, Kai is still asleep and I browse the internet on my phone. I find a sweet pair of shoes that I decide must be mine. You know, for the olympics and such.

3:15pm – The guys are back from golf. I show Steve the shoes and he basically offers to get them for me. He’s a keeper, I tell ya.
3:25pm – I crack open a Mang-o-rita. OMG is is so sweet, like drinking syrup. Not until I am almost done with it do I get the idea that it would be much better mixed with a beer like Corona or something. Too late. Kai is still asleep. I am SO glad he is taking a long nap as he needed it so bad.


4:00pm – Some of the family returns from the pool and my cousin’s dog starts barking so freaking loud. Kai is awake. Oh well, three hours is a pretty darn good nap. I get him changed and he wants to find Grandma of course. I get him a plate of chips and pretzels and he goes out on the deck to eat.

For the next couple hours we all hang out, eat snacks, and drink wine. At some point before dinner we all shower. Normally Kai loves being in the shower with Daddy, but today in an unfamiliar shower you would think he was being tortured with razor blade water or something. He screams the entire time, and Steve does his best to get him clean quickly so he can get out. Very traumatic. I enjoy my solo shower and actually get to shave my legs (it’s kind of difficult in our tiny camper shower). We are all fresh and I hang out on the couch for a bit with Kai.

My cousin Emily and her friend Nicole make banana cream pies and show them off.


6:00pm – The pizza’s arrive for dinner. The family completely demolishes five large pizza’s, two salads, and a vat of mac and cheese. Kai steps up his game and actually eats the Kraft Dinner even though it is not his beloved Annie’s mac. I am shocked, as last time he tried the Kraft he immediately spit it out and wouldn’t take another bite. After pizza we enjoy the pies with whipped cream and frozen custard. Kai says he wants ice cream, but won’t try it when I offer him chocolate custard.
7:30pm – We leave for the fireworks in Egg Harbor. It’s a 10 minute drive, and we find a parking spot that is about half a mile from the target area. We get one block away, and Steve realizes he left his phone in the car. He gets it, and I ask him if he wants to bring his fleece jacket since we are still right by the car. He responds that he’s fine, it’s not cold out. Earlier in the day, some of the family members stopped and set out a bunch of chairs and blankets to save our spot. It was right down in front, perfect.

Kai immediately demands to walk around with Grandma. My mom and Joe take him for a walk and are gone for quite a while.

We hang out in our chairs and drink a beer.

We are right by the water, and the sunset is gorgeous. As the sun sets, it gets chilly and Steve is cold. He walks back to the car for his fleece.

My mom and Joe return with Kai, and we pose for a picture with our firecracker shirts circa 1992. Not everyone still has theirs, but six of us busted them out for the occasion.

I give Kai his flag and try to get a picture of him smiling. Not so much.

Steve plays with Kai, giving him a shoulder ride and then flinging him into the air, resulting in my favorite pic of the day.

Kai plays with his cousins, and is especially smitten with Mason this weekend. Mason is 13, and he is so great with the younger kids, they all love him.

While the big kids do sparklers, we bust out Kai’s dollar store glow wand, and it is a big hit.


9:30pm-ish – The fireworks start. Kai is sitting on Steve’s lap, and after the first few go off, he says “again!” Great, he likes them.

Then they start going off a little more rapidly, and Kai says “turn it off!” Haha. He says it a few more times, then says “I sit by Grandma.” He went down and sat by my mom on the blanket, and then all was fine. From then on we got a running commentary through the whole thing. “A green one. Oh, a red one. White lights, etc. etc.

Towards the end of the show I look down to see Kai sitting with my mom next to Mason, and he is holding both of Mason’s hands. So cute.
10:05pm – The fireworks are over and we walk back to car. When we get there, I decide to lay Kai’s pack n play mattress on the grass and change his diaper and get his jammies on since it might take a little while to get out of there with all of the cars.
10:27pm – We drive back to the house to drop off my mom and Joe at their car. I also run in to grab Kai’s milk that I accidentally left in the fridge. He downs it immediately. We drive back to the campsite and let Kai watch videos for a few minutes while I quickly get all of his sleep stuff set back up.
11:15pm – We put Kai down for bed. I really hope he sleeps well tonight with going to bed so late. Thank goodness again that he had a great nap and we were able to make it though the fireworks. I am so tired at this point, my mom goes straight to bed, and Steve is making a fire. Really, so late? He says it’s our last night and he wants to enjoy one more fire. I agree to sit out there for a few minutes with him and Joe.

11:45pm-ish – I go to bed and leave the guys out there. Pretty sure I am asleep almost immediately. I do not even hear Steve come in to bed. Good night!

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Filed under Family, Holidays, Miscellany, Travel

Door County Half Marathon 2016

This past weekend, Steve and I went on a little weekend getaway to Door County and ran the half marathon there on Saturday. Steve got off work a little bit early on Friday, and when Kai woke up from his nap we loaded up the car and headed to Steve’s parents house, where Kai would be spending his weekend. We got him all settled in and hung out for a bit before hitting the road around 5:30.

We originally planned to eat dinner in Sturgeon Bay, but I realized we wouldn’t be there until around 8pm, so I consulted Yelp and found a brew pub in Green Bay instead called Titletown Brewing.

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The restaurant was across the street from the actual brewery, and inside of an old train station. The beer was excellent (we both had the IPA), and the food was delicious as well. I had a cranberry turkey melt which was served on freshly baked zucchini bread. Genius.

After dinner we made the rest of the drive up to Door County, arriving in Fish Creek around 9:15pm. We stayed at my aunt and uncle’s house and they have been having problems with their internet, so Steve worked on that for a little bit while I passed out on the couch watching Modern Family. Super exciting start to the weekend!

Saturday was race day, and I think I woke up a little after 6am. The race didn’t start until 10am, so it was nice not to have to rush around. I had my coffee and then around 7:45 I ate a larabar and a banana.

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We left around 8:25am and made the 5 min drive to the park. Once inside the park, we had another few miles to drive to get to Nicolet Bay where the race was starting. I was wondering where they were going to park all of the cars, and when we got there we found out the answer – on the campsites! We ended up parking on a site that was really close to the one we camped on last year. We walked over to the beach and picked up our packets, then headed back to the car to wait. It was around 54 degrees, and I couldn’t decide if I wanted to wear arm warmers or not. There was a cold wind coming off of the lake, so in the end I decided to wear them and ditch them on the course if I got too warm. I ate another half of a banana around 9am and sipped on water with Nuun until the race start.

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Pretty soon it was time to use the port-o-potties one last time and head to the start. Little did we know, the start was actually a 5 or so min walk from the beach, so by the time we got to the starting area (along with many many others), they had already sung the national anthem and it was minutes until race time. We snaked our way up in front of all of the slower pace groups because I didn’t want to get stuck running around people for the first mile or two. Pretty soon it was go time. I gave Steve a kiss and we were off.

I didn’t have a major goal set for this race. I knew that it was hilly and though I am in much better shape now than I was a couple months ago, I still don’t feel like I am in great running shape at the moment. I figured I would be happy with a 1:40, and my main goal was to enjoy the course. Peninsula State Park is my favorite place in the world to run (and one of my favorite places to be period), so I was excited to take in the scenery and see some areas of the park that I don’t normally get to see.

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I hit mile 1 in 7:38, and was surprised to see the 7’s. I felt like I was running over 8 min pace, so it was a nice surprise. The first 4 miles were fairly flat compared to the middle of the course, with some gradual and rolling hills. Miles 2-4 went by really fast, splits were 7:21, 7:14, 7:27. I thought maybe I was going a little too fast, but I knew there were some major hills coming up and I decided to just go with it since I was feeling good.

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The biggest hill on the course started just before mile 4 and ended just after mile 5, so it was pretty much uphill for a whole mile. My legs were feeling the lack of hill training that I did, and I knew I was slowing down. I made a new goal to have all of my miles under 8:00. My watched buzzed for mile 5 and it was 8:05. Dang. At least the huge hill was almost over, and there was an aid station at the top of the hill that was run by pirates, complete with a wooden pirate ship. I ate a gel here, hoping it would give me a boost. Miles 6-7 were 7:48, 7:55 and my legs did not feel like they were recovering from the big hill.

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Somewhere in these middle miles, my attitude about the race became really laid back, which isn’t like me. I just didn’t really care that I was slowing down. I was still enjoying the course and I guess I kind of decided that I wasn’t going to kill myself in the second half. My stomach was not feeling great (what’s new) and I just didn’t feel like pushing it. Not much of a race mentality, but whatever. Miles 8-9 were 8:01, 7:38. Mile 10 was 8:03 even with the start of a big downhill in there, and then we were back out onto shore road for the last three miles to the finish. I was kind of dreading the last miles thinking they would go by really slow, but they didn’t. In fact, the entire race seemed to go by really fast. Miles 11-13 were 8:02, 7:51, 7:36. Before I knew it, I was crossing the finish line.

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Official Stats:

Time: 1:40:39, 7:41 average pace

19/943 women

6/169 age group

I am happy with how it went (I did say I would like to run a 1:40 after all, but I would have like to be a little under rather than a little over). I hung out at the finish line waiting for Steve, who finished in 1:48. We walked back to the car to get our warm clothes (it was probably in the upper 50’s at this point and I was freezing). Then we hung out and watched the awards while drinking our free beers from Door Co. Brewing Company.

We stopped at the grocery store on the way back to the house for beer and snacks. At the house we devoured almost an entire wedge of aged apple cheddar with crackers and then his the hot tub. We also played a game of horse in the pool (I lost) before heading back to shower. We waited for the cable guy to come and luckily he was able to fix the internet problem. By the time he left it was almost 6:30 and I was famished.

We went to dinner at The Cookery because they were one of the restaurants that was offering a free beer to racers. Steve and I split fried cheese curds, pulled pork nachos, and a club sandwich, all of which was delicious.

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After dinner we drove into Peninsula State Park again to check out the campsite we have reserved for the 4th of July weekend. On the way out the sun was setting, so we parked and walked down by the water. Imagine our surprise when we saw two huge bald eagles sitting in the tree!

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So cool! Once the sun was set we stopped for frozen custard for dessert, obviously.

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I am slightly ashamed to admit that I could not finish that turtle sundae. We were pretty beat by this point, so we headed back to the house, watched a movie, and went to bed.

Sunday was Mother’s Day, and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to sleep in so badly. Of course I woke up at 6:25, womp, womp. I spent a nice early morning relaxing with coffee and my iPad before I finally woke up Steve because I was starving. We went out to a late breakfast at Julie’s before heading home, and it was just nice enough to sit outside.

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I was missing my little stinker pants and couldn’t wait to see him. He was still napping when we arrived to pick him up, so we went in to wake him. Instead of being excited to see us, all he wanted in his tired state was Grammy. Ha. Once he was fully awake he did seem happy to see his parents after all. We hung out there talking to Steve’s parents for a little while before heading home. We had stopped to get flowers for Steve’s mom, and Steve also bought me a beautiful waterfall orchid. My goal is not to kill it like I have every single other plant I have ever owned.

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Mother’s Day evening was spend unpacking, giving Kai a bath, and eating Qdoba (for some reason I was craving a burrito bowl). Even though Kai was really acting up last night (I’m sure he was tired and a little out of sorts from the weekend), as I put him to bed I couldn’t help but think about how lucky I am to be his Mom. He brings me so much joy and so much frustration and everything in between and challenges me on a daily basis to be the best Mama I can be for him.

I also can’t finish this post without a shout out to my own Mom (we gave her her Mother’s Day present on Friday before we left). She is the most selfless, generous, amazing lady around, and I don’t know what we would do without her.

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Filed under Family, Holidays, Kai, The run, Travel

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours!

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‘Tis the season

Well, here we are almost halfway through December. Sheesh. Though I absolutely love the holidays, I hate that time is flying by so incredibly fast. I know that I will wake up tomorrow, Christmas will be over, and we will settle in for a long winter. So far our Wisconsin winter has been very kind to us. It has been unseasonably warm and we have had only one snowfall thus far. Knock on wood, I know.

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The Saturday after Thanksgiving was our annual trip to cut down our Christmas tree. We found the perfect one, and I thought it would be great to get a family photo by the tree before we cut it down.

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Nailed it.

We actually did get one decent family shot despite the shadows.

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That night Steve and I decorated the tree, and Kai saw it for the first time the next morning.

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All of the little ball shaped ornaments have since been moved out of reach, because little man just could not keep his hands off of them, and as Steve found out while we were decorating, they do shatter. Kai has been pretty good with the tree, but he does like to remove certain ornaments over and over again.

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This past Saturday we took Kai and his cousin Aiva to see Santa. Kai was not impressed.

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There was no way he was about to sit on the big man’s lap, and could not be bribed with a candy cane.

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St. Nick stopped by our house on Saturday night, and Kai opened his stocking to find a pair of cozy dino slippers and some assorted snacks.

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Obviously the snacks were the best part, but we did get him to wear the slippers later on, and he didn’t take them off for the rest of the day.

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Kai wasn’t sure what to make of our first snowfall, but he did have a lot to say about it while looking out the window.

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We didn’t get a chance to play outside in the snow before it melted, but I’m sure we will have another chance soon. I love having a kid this time of year, and I can’t wait to show him our Christmas traditions, as well as make some new ones of our own.

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Filed under Family, Holidays, Snow

Halloween 2015

I have a lot of recaps that I need to write up for the sake of my own memory, and they might come a little out of order. We have just been so busy this fall I haven’t had time to gather my thoughts.

First up: Halloween! A couple of weeks ago Kai and I visited a pumpkin patch with Steve’s sister Jamie and her daughter Aiva. The place was really neat, with lots of activities for the kids. Kai started things off with a rousing game of pumpkin checkers.

We also spent some time jumping around on a giant bouncy pillow.

Pretty soon it was time for a hayride out to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins. I only succeeded in getting a blurry selfie to commemorate.

The kids had fun running around the pumpkin farm and picking out pumpkins.

Note that Aiva is exactly one year older than Kai and they are virtually the same size.

Eventually we selected our pumpkins and boarded the hayride back to the main area, where the kids were super thrilled about having their picture taken.

I tried to have Kai stand in front of the ruler so we could start a tradition and recreate this picture every year, but this is the best I could get. Kid does not stand still. Ever.

A few days later Kai decorated his pumpkin. I bought some washable paints and taped off the eyes, nose and mouth of the pumpkin.

Then Kai went to town painting. He was skeptical of the wet paint on his hands at first, but once I demonstrated what to do he got into it a little more.

After he was finished, I let the pumpkin dry for a few minutes before peeling off the tape. Once it was totally dry I took it outside and sprayed it with a clear coat spray paint to set it. I think the finished product turned out great.

The day before Halloween, Kai wore his costume to Kids Club at the gym and he got to be in a parade around the indoor track. My mom came to watch and we both ended up walking with him and the other kids. It was super cute.

For Halloween itself, we went to a party at my cousin’s house. We surprised everyone by showing up as a family of minions. It was a huge hit.

Unfortunately the weather was pretty crappy, but we did walk to the downtown area to see the parade, and luckily it stopped raining for trick or treat. We weren’t sure how Kai would do trick or treating, but he was an old pro.

He insisted on walking and carried his own pumpkin the whole time, which was basically the cutest thing ever.

We only went to four or five houses because Kai obviously doesn’t need any candy (and neither do we!). Back at the house, we changed Kai into his skeleton jammies and he was able to enjoy the fruits of his labor, a dum-dum.

I can’t wait to do family costumes every Halloween from now until Kai is old enough to be too embarrassed by his parents.

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The holidays 2013

Just over a week into the new year, it is hard to believe that another holiday season has come and gone. Also hard to believe: next Christmas we will have a freaking child which will make my favorite holiday all that much more awesome. I can’t wait to start our own family Christmas traditions and to see our kid’s face as they experience the magic of the season. We are in store for so many firsts this year, it’s kind of hard to wrap my head around the whole thing.

Check out that bump! I think it looks pretty legit. I don’t know how much of it is baby and how much is delicious holiday food, but either way it was noticeable. Christmas was magical as always, and baby even got some unexpected gifts.

Ducky outfit from Great Grandma Joan.

And baby’s first Badgers outfit – perfect for Badger football season next fall. Love!

New year’s eve was spent at my aunt and uncle’s house as usual. Nothing better than being together with family, eating delicious food, and having a dance party, not to mention a massive sleep over complete with breakfast (monkey bread!) the next morning.

I got down with my bad self and my sparkling grape juice at midnight. It was a small miracle that I made it until the clock struck twelve, seeing as my normal bedtime is now creeping towards the eight o clock hour. The advantage of a sober NYE = waking up on Jan 1st and pounding out 5 miles on the treadmill to start the year off right! And with that, bye bye 2013! I have a feeling 2014 is going to be the best year ever!

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Filed under Holidays, LunaBaby

Run Into the New Year

Steve and I, along with my friend Cara all ran in the Run Into the New Year 10k today. What better way to usher out 2011 that with a race? Believe it or not, I have never actually raced a 10k on the roads before, and I was a little nervous about how much it was going to hurt. I ended up having a great run, and finished in an official time of 41:24, or 6:39 average. I felt like I could have pushed it a little harder at the end, but overall I’m happy. I took 8th overall female and 2nd in my age group. Cara won her age group! (She is still a youngster for another month or so).

Steve did great as well, despite not putting in too many running miles over the last few weeks.

This race closed out a great year of swimming, biking, and running for me. I just checked my totals for the year, and because I am a numbers dork, here they are:

In 2011:

1663 miles run

2035 miles biked

96 miles swam

I can’t wait to keep training and racing in 2012. I have some big plans up my sleeve, so stay tuned!

I hope you have a wonderful and safe New Year’s Eve, wherever your plans may take you! It will be a small miracle if I can stay awake until midnight, but I will try my best.

Here’s to 2012!!

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Filed under Holidays, Races, The bike, The run, The swim