State Fair! (Only about 7 weeks late!)

Posted October 16th, 2014 in Our City by Janelle

So…I’m posting this so late because I just found the pictures on my phone. Whoops! And I gotta post it because it was Warner’s first time at the fair!

First, let’s rewind to last year. Remember how it was crazy hot? There was only one day that the weather was good and I guess everyone else decided to go to the fair that day too. It actually ended up being one of the busiest days ever at the fair and we decided to scrap it.

Last year…


He looks thrilled doesn’t he? Then, this year…


Clearly this kid doesn’t know what fun he’s in for.

Anyway, we made it in and headed right for the animals.


Next, we nabbed some cheese curds at about, oh, 9:30am.


Then, it’s never too early for a pronto pup.


Last, more animals.



I think Warner got the hang of it, and I think he liked the curds too!

Happy Birthday to Me…

Posted October 15th, 2014 in Events, Trips by Janelle

Went to Chicago kid free!

Since we went to California for Josh’s birthday, I thought, “Hey, I want to go somewhere for my 30th!” So last weekend we headed down to Chicagoland for the long weekend.


We stayed at our neighbors’ condo that they still own in the Lakeview East neighborhood. This was the view of Lincoln Park, Near North and The Loop from the rooftop deck.

We arrived into Midway on Thursday. While the flight was a short hour, it took about the same amount of time to take the train across town to the condo. We spent the afternoon in the neighborhood and at Lincoln Park relaxing and enjoying the view.


We had dinner at a Diners Drive-ins and Dives restaurant just a couple blocks away at Chilam Balam. They served Mexican Tapas small plates and it was fantastic.

Friday was a full day. First, we took a deep-dish pizza making class at Pizzeria Uno. They were the original creators of the deep dish pizza. They teach the class before the shop opens, so nothing like pizza and beer at 10am!



Since neither of us have spent any time in Chicago, stopping at Navy Pier was a must. Our general rule is to only hit up tourist locations the first time we visit a place. Plus, it was the perfect place to find a magnet for our collection.


We didn’t stay long. I bought tickets to David Bowie Is, an exhibit produced by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, with items from David Bowie’s personal collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Then, with a tip from the class teacher at UNO (to not pay $36 to visit the observation deck level only 1 floor higher), we headed up to the Signature Lounge in the John Hancock building. Unfortunately it was happy hour and it was super busy. There was no way we were going to get a table at the window, so we took the elevator back down.

On Saturday, we slept in a bit. Now that’s a luxury with a 15 month old! Our first stop of the day was The Field Museum. The highlight was Sue, the largest, most complete, well-preserved, t.Rex skeleton ever found. She was on display right in the main concourse.



Then we made our way to Millennium Park to see the Cloud Gate. Probably better know as the The Bean, it’s a large bean shaped sculpture with a mirror finish. At this point on Saturday, the rest of Grant Park was closed due to the Chicago Marathon the next day. That also meant that all the tourist locations were crazy busy.



Then, we got out of that area. Too many people.

Saturday night we tried another deep-dish pizza at Bacino’s in Lincoln Park. We went there with my friend Keri, who now lives in Chicagoland. Then we went to a comedy show at The Second City. The Second City is famous club with alumni including Joan Rivers, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Andy Dick, Jane Lynch, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Tim Meadows, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Adam McKay, Tina Fey and Horatio Sanz. Whoa.

It was a late night. Then an early morning, Sunday, when we were woken up by people cheering for the marathoners. The route went right pass us on Sheridan.


We were pretty much trapped until the last people came through and roads opened back up around 11am.

Sunday afternoon we took the train out to Oak Park to the Frank Llyod Wright Home and Studio.


The home was restored to how things would have appeared in 1906 and the details were beautiful.


The wood-carved, parchment paper-lined dining room light fixture.


Tulip pattern glass window.


Children’s playroom skylight.


Master bedroom wall painting.


Studio cast bronze.

All in all it was a great way to celebrate my 30th birthday. Chicago was a lovely city, but we were happy to get back to our little city.

Dining Room 4.0

Posted October 14th, 2014 in Dining Room by Janelle

Well, I’ve gone and painted the dining room again.

It’s been a long time coming. I haven’t been happy with the living room since we painted it dark, navy blue. We LOVE the blue in the living room. But, having a dark navy room right next to a very dark purple room was just wrong.

So if you remember, we started out with tan.

Dining Room

Then purple and coral.


Scratch the coral, just purple.


Now we have gray, Benjamin Moore Gray Horse.


I really like it. I guess we’ll see what Josh thinks when he gets home tonight!!

Warner—Fifteen Months

Posted October 5th, 2014 in Family, Traditions, Warner by Janelle




Looking back:


Growing Up

Posted October 1st, 2014 in Family, Traditions, Warner by Janelle


I finally hung Warner’s growth chart up in his room. I actually made it in July. I made 2. One for my niece Wynn for her first birthday, and then I couldn’t resist making one for Warner too.

As soon as it was hung, I marked his birth height and his 1 year height. Ten inches!

Warner—Fourteen Months

Posted September 5th, 2014 in Traditions, Warner by Janelle




Looking back:


1 Year Favorites

Posted August 15th, 2014 in Warner by Janelle

Just a few of our favorite photos from Warner’s 1 Year shoot at the Lyndale Park Gardens.










Giants Ridge—Vacation on the Iron Range

Posted August 12th, 2014 in Family, Life, Outside, Trips by Janelle

Last weekend we spent some time on the Iron Range with the Tubbs/Blake family. We rented a house on Sabin Lake in the Voyageurs Retreat neighborhood of Giants Ridge near Biwabik. On Friday, Josh, Matt, Brie, Steve and Ryan all hit up the golf course, while Debbie, Christine and I stayed home with the little ones. We spent the afternoons down at our private beach and night up around the fire making dessert pies and other pie concoctions (ahem, Ryan).



Saturday, after a bust at the Biwabik Market, Brie, Wynn and I headed to Virginia to check out Mine View in the Sky.


This is looking out to Virginia over the mine. They also had a large truck on display.


I think everyone had a great time, including the kids!

Warner – Thirteen Months

Posted August 5th, 2014 in Family, Traditions, Warner by Janelle



Looking back:



Posted July 17th, 2014 in Events, Family, Janelle, Outside by Janelle

On Sunday, I ran in The Color Run at the State Fairgrounds with Shelby, Logan and Erika. Their website says it’s “the Happiest 5k on the Planet, is a unique paint race that celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality.”


There were 5 zones of color. In each zone you get doused in colored powder.






And this is after:

I don’t like running, but it was actually really fun and 3 miles wasn’t SO bad.