Category Archives: Weekends

A Very Lincoln Weekend

Mrs. Lincoln speaks about the Battle of Gettysburg

This weekend, we went to Civil War Days.

Actually, I need to back up a little on this story …

This winter, Darcy’s school presentation assignment over 7 weeks was to work on memorizing a famous historical speech (her history major mother did a little happy dance, I assure you).  We settled on The Gettysburg Address and got about 2/3 of the way through.  This piqued a Lincoln interest in her and so we decided after a very Lincoln-focused Winter/Spring that we needed to try out Civil War Days.

I can honestly say that I’ve never seen anything like it.  In case you didn’t know this about me already, be warned: I didn’t just major in history – I’m a complete history geek.  As we strolled through the town along the green, I shared the street with the likes of Generals Custer, Sherman, Jackson, and Lee.  I also saw Mr. Jefferson Davis, and of course, our beloved Mr. Lincoln.

It's Mr. Lincoln!

Our time culminated with a view of an afternoon battle between really amazing re-enactors (or re-en-actors? or reen-actors?) posing as Union and Confederate soldiers.  Very real.  In fact, so real that my kids at 6 and 3 only made it past the first few minutes of the full artillery before they were asking if we could please take it all in from a sizeable distance.  Judging by my son’s grimace, I equate “sizeable distance” to some 50 miles give or take.  Luckily, they were both comforted with some kettle corn – leading to a discussion of whether the kettle corn they were eating was actually around during the Civil War (uh, sorry, FDA…) .

Enjoying the porch on the Mitchell Manor

Such a fun afternoon … even the discussion on 150 year old kettle corn.  If you ever get the chance to re-live history this way, jump at it!

Weekend in The ‘Wauk

My wonderful husband and I celebrate our anniversary in the Fall and due to school starting and babies, and school starting and babies (it feels like a lot more than it actually is; trust me), we took a weekend away a little earlier this year. 

Why do we take time away even in this crazy season of life?  Because a couple we greatly love and respect told us to.  When we were first married, they counseled us to make a habit of and fight for going away regularly to be just the two of us … and to start early lest we turn around having passed 10 years with nothing more than a “Hey, we should really get away some time.”  We never go anywhere exotic or super exciting, but it’s us … and it’s rest … and it’s no kids. 

Speaking of kids; my parents (despite what I may otherwise intimate at times) are heros!  Heroes … and the keepers of our sanity.  …wow, never thought I’d say that about the ‘rents.   My 15 year old self would be greatly surprised.

Anyway, this time we escaped to …[drum roll please] … Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Will somebody please explain to me why I feel the need to apologize for Milwaukee?  Somehow it’s synonomous with something uncool in my head … which is not at all the real-life case.  Maybe it’s the name?  Or the association with cheese and brats?  At any rate, The ‘Wauk (as I prefer to call it at this moment) is the town that surprises you, and they have a great Third Ward (see Chicago’s North Side for reference) even if you do want to choke on all the Packers’ references and collectibles that are EVERYWHERESidenote:  I think every other street is named “Green Bay Something or Other” or named for an NFL player or coach.  We were also subjected to a documentary on the making of the cheesehead hat (and how there is apparently one in the Smithsonian now).  It’s everywhere, it’s crazy … I don’t get it.  But then again, the last time my NFL team of choice won the Super Bowl was 1985.  Ahem, moving on …

Some random things about our time away:

  • Small irony of our hotel … last year, there was a conference / job fair for the rehabilitation of convicts.  This year, there were dual conferences for women in law enforcement and an academy of forensics.  Ah, irony.  It’s the little things that tickle my fancy.
  • Also, go here:

Here = Alterra on the Lake.  A beautifully refurbished old building right off the Lake that sells a Starbuck’s-kicking coffee.   This was also right across the street from the central stage beach for the city’s annual Air and Water show on Saturday.  Nothing like a relaxing latte over the scream and afterburn of an F-16 fighter jet right out your window.  …really opens the mind to reflection and meditation, I’m sure.  




  • Also, here:

Here = a place called Amy’s Gourmet Chocolates in Cedarburg (just north of Milwaukee … a please that will make you think the 1950s still exist somewhere).  Their apples will make you call your Mama.  I actually have no idea what that should even mean, but they’re good.  So good that Bob and I don’t share. 

  • The East Side of The ‘Wauk is as close to the West Coast as I’ll be this summer.  There was an open air market outside a great organic restaurant where you could buy soaps, hand-made jewelry, books and vintage fabrics while a guy with a guitar sang about how you can’t get from Milwaukee to Madison by train (a political protest song regarding the Republican governor’s recent decision to table a city-to-city rail plan).  And every once in a while, vendors and patrons alike would look up at the sound of the planes from the air show on the beach and cringe at the thought of war machines.  
  • In addition to all the relaxing we did, we both had a chance to work on some blog ideas.  True story:

This is how we roll.  Classy, huh?  Bob was perfectly comfortable with his technocological self.  His wife (no names mentioned to protect the paranoid) spent much of our tech time worrying that the other patrons of the coffee house would think we were taking over the world with all the computers lying around.  Apparently I think we look more like super spies than super nerds.

All the shanigans aside, being just the two of us for the weekend was wonderful.  So, whether it’s establishing a regular date night, or an annual getaway, I cannot encourage you enough to try this out.

Have a cool marriage renewing vacation tradition?  Please share!

Week @ Large (the tree and garden edition)

Time for another Week @ Large moment!

The majority of this week is something I have no picture documentation of … primarily because my hands were otherwise engaged … in hand motions … teaching 150+ kids songs at our church’s Vacation Bible School all week.  Stay tuned though … I’m sure some crazy “hands in the air” pictures will emerge sooner or later.

I did take some other pictures though!

Look at these roses.  Aren’t they gorgeous? 

This is my parents’ front yard, by the way.  We were over there this week and the roses were just so beautiful that I couldn’t help myself and had to snap a few pics despite the fact that I have NO idea how to photograph landscapes. 

We also (finally!) made use of one of the kid’s Christmas presents (yes, I said “Christmas presents” … don’t judge me) – a membership to Morton Arboretum this week.  In semi-unrelated news … hey, the mosquitos are back! 

Today is a special day because it’s my beautiful mom’s birthday!  However, this event is often overshadowed by Father’s Day in our household.  Don’t believe me?  I found this in my local Starbuck’s this morning … (have I ever mentioned that my dad, a retired educator, works at Starbuck’s?  He does.)

Yes, it’s a couple days behind … but it’s actually up on the wall over the coffee bar.  This is my father’s sense of humor.  Speaking of humor, I also received an email inviting my family to a Father’s Day celebration along with several high-ranking politicians and A-list actors and actresses stating that Dad had “taken the liberty of inviting several other close friends” to his “celebration“.  In addition, the email stated that all of his “gifts” could be parked on the street until he has more room in the driveway.  Haha … my dad is such a joker … as if you could drive a Father’s Day card. 

So, there’s just a bit of our week with a taste of the weekend thrown in for extra flair. 

And don’t worry, I will definitely update this blog if I end up having lunch with Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, and the Pope on Sunday.

My Project Update: the good, the bad, etc

Just to be clear, and very honest, here is what I should have been doing this weekend …

Look at all those clothes just waiting to be folded!  Actually, I believe that wrinkles, whether on your skin or in your clothes are good for your soul and character building.  It’s true.  Also, could you please note the clothes presence in the pac ‘n’ play?  What else do you do when you have a one year old who dumps laundry baskets?

Yes, so I totally ignored the laundry, most likely hurting it’s little feelings for this

Ignore the freak hands and bandaged finger.  I tried to wrangle an ancient drying rack and, well, it won.  By a significant margin.  I will now go hang my head in shame.  Moving on …

Did I mention I love this fabric?  Because I do!

Detail on the strap and boning around the neckline …

And … [drum roll, please] … FINISHED PRODUCT!

It’s a nursing cover!  But, not just any nursing cover … this is the Mercedes of nursing covers.  This thing is posh.  This thing is a tent!  I love it!  And when I’m done using it for nursing, I just may swing it over my shoulder and go fight crime.

Why make it on my fourth child?  First, I’m slow … and second, I’ve fought blankets for the last five years.  I’m done fighting blankets … the size, the smother effect, the too small to be functional issue … all of it!  If I go any further in this train of revolutionary thought, I’ll break into a song from Les Mis, so I’m going to stop.

However, if you’re like me at all and are still searching for that perfect cover up, check out this awesome pattern from Passionate Homemaking!

Seriously … still thinking about using it as a crime fighting cape …

The End.

Weekend Projects: Potential Addiction

Rejoice, it’s the weekend again!

I had so much fun with my little project last weekend, that I’m thinking of making this a regular part of my weekends. (if and when I can)

I won’t say too much about the project now, but let’s just say it’ll be using a little of this …

By the way, I love this fabric so much!  It’s hard to tell with the faux “I think I’m a photographer so I use cool techniques on my phone” coloring, but the background is a minty yet vintage blue color and the design reminds me of the brown in chocolate.  Yum.

I’m sure there will be a dramatic post on Monday (or thereabouts) with a complete crafting update.

In the meantime, enjoy your weekend!

A Slice of Our Holiday

As promised, I updated our Memorial Day pictures this weekend.  Hey!  In my defense … I remembered yesterday that we didn’t have pictures from last year because we were in the middle of a cross-country marathon drive.  I’ll have to tell that story another time … I’ll also have to figure out my excuses for the other three years not having pictures at a later date as well.

We started out our morning with a parade…

And, the “A++ Father Award for Standing in The Hot Sun On a Parade Route” goes to … my husband!  I say this because I was over here for about 98.5% of the morning …

…sitting on the step of a dentist’s office in the shade of the building right behind Bob the whole time.   PS: I wish I could tell you why Aidan makes that face at the camera, but I can’t, because I don’t know why.  I think my two year old is officially “too cool for school” … or the camera … whichever the case may be.

A funny thing about my family …

We love to cheer on a parade.  Side note: look at my prim and proper mother with her backwards hat!  I have no idea why it’s like that in this picture, but I’m sure she’ll die just a tiny bit when she sees it.

Anyway, we love to cheer a parade!  Please notice my dad’s wide open mouth … he spends a large amount of any parade we attend calling out to the participants.  There’s one parade we attend every year where we’ve started noticing that the same people sit by us year after year.  I think it’s because my father is almost as entertaining as the parade.  When we were younger, he’d call out and cheer to all the church and school kids we knew in the marching bands, etc.  Now, he calls out to people he knows from the city … everyone from the mayor to the marching veteran whose coffee he pours at Starbuck’s and recognizes by name.  We laugh and it’s entertaining, but my dad has a great gift for making people feel special, even those he doesn’t know … as evidenced in this picture: he’s calling out to the flute players and telling them what a great job they’re doing.  True story.  He often calls out to the parents marching alongside the groups and bands with “Way to go, PARENTS!  You guys make it happen!!”  I love my dad.

We finally got out of the heat for an awesome lunch that included an addictive spinach salad (a recipe I WILL be posting in the future) and then a little of this …

I’ll just let this picture speak for itself.  Powerful in it’s total lack of action, right?

After a little siesta, we let the kids hang out in the sprinkler.  I should just preface this by saying … I LOVE these pictures!  I love them so much that I drool over them a little every time I look at them.  Okay, I’m done.

Side note: THIS is why you cloth diaper.  Green, Schmeen … do it for the awesome pictures of your babies’ little bums in adorable colors, that’s why.

If this picture had sound, you’d hear Darcy and Aidan laughing while Chase shrieks at the top of his lungs while clapping his hands.

Try as they might, the kids could no longer be patient after a while and so it was time for dessert … and by “kids“, I may mean “adults“, and by “dessert” I definitely mean “s’mores” … oh, yes.  However, the kids (the real kids) aren’t big on s’mores yet (yes, I know, something is genetically wrong) so they got ice cream cones.  Which probably made for better pictures anyway …

Not one to do things by half, my youngest ignored the “licking” concept and moved into the more intense ice cream consumption phase of trying to put the whole cone into his mouth.

Which didn’t really pay off as he ended up with more ON him then in him …

Please note the totally hair-tastic look of this child.  Gracious, he’s going to hate this picture some day!  However, for his mother, it will always be a work of art.

Hope you all made the most of your day and enjoyed it!

Have a funny Memorial day story or pic?  Feel free to post it below!

A Weekend Project

Photo: Passionate Homemaking

Isn’t this beautiful?  I can almost see a little one snuggled into it.  Of course, that could be just me … I seem to have babies on my mind recently.  Not sure why …

I read about this beautiful blanket over at Passionate Homemaking and haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since.  It looks amazingly simple … the perfect project for somebody like me: the “I-think-I-learned-how-to-sew-a-long-time-ago” seamstress.  Of course, mine won’t be in these rich feminine colors, a moment of silence, please.  …okay, moving on… Mine will also take significantly longer to complete than the couple hours truly needed.  (see also: something about interruptions and small children) 

This will most likely be my Saturday.  What’s on your list today?

Over The Weekend

Hey, stay tuned!  We’re chilling over the weekend, but, coming on Monday: the newest epic battle story since the winter.
It’s epic … did I mention this?
Starring yours truly and this little guy …