Memorial Day Weekend


This has been a wonderful (long awaited for) weekend with just the three of us.  At home.  Together.  No obligations other than spending time together.


Last year my mom and step-dad gave us their old ride behind (tandem style) bike attachment with the intent for us to use it with Zoey.  Well, Zoey (as those of you that know her well) takes awhile to warm up to things that may require a wee bit of bravery.  She wanted nothing to do with it last year.  Today however, we got it out and Ethan put it together and we told her we were going to give it a try.


She totally tried to get out of it.  She just wanted to bring her bike...what if it falls doesn't look very SAFE dad!  She tried it all.

But we loaded up the 4 runner with bikes and helmets and bottles of water and headed out.


Much to Leo's dismay, we did not bring the dog.


Here we are at the beginning of our journey getting our helmets on.  She was in good spirits here, she had about a 15 minute car ride to psyche herself up for the challenge she was about to embrace.


Here she is!  Not to sure of herself at this point because the bike WOBBLES!!  :)


And then here she is with a hint of a smile on her face!  She ended up loving it!  We were all so giddy with excitement as it just means a whole other avenue of things that we can do together as a family.  It was fun riding at a normal pace.  We rode the Vilas County trail starting in St. Germain (near the elementary school) so that we could come back and play on the playground afterwards.



We packed her pink basketball too and she shot some hoops when we were finished biking.  She actually made some baskets too which was another first for her!


So awesome to see her taking interest in things that Ethan and I love as well.  It was such a fun day for all of us.


She was totally pumped too to realize that she could DO this!



Oh, yeah...





After working up a sweat we packed up the bikes and the ball and headed for home to have a little outdoor picnic that included one of Zoey's favorites, sweet corn.


I still have memories of sitting outside at my parents house growing up shucking corn and then making little dolls from the corn husks and silk just like Laura Ingalls Wilder did in the book Little House on the Prairie.  I shared those memories with Zoey as we shucked our own corn.




It was a beautiful this beautiful life.


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American Girl Doll Fairy Accessories


A quick post here to share some adorable fairy accessories that were given to Zoey by a friend of mine (who happened to make them as well).  My good friend Misty sewed up these precious felt fairy shoes for Zoey's doll...aren't they beautiful?


A fairy wouldn't be complete without a fairy hat and wings...Misty made these by dis-assembling fabric flowers and adding some glitter glue and doing some simple sewing using some elastic bands for the loops for the arms.


Are these not just the sweetest things ever?  Zoey of course loves them!!


Zoey made the fairy wand herself to match the other accessories.


Be sure to check out Misty's blog often as she will be setting up an Etsy shop soon and perhaps some fairy items will be made available...

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Cupcakes, a Bath and Some Fairy Playtime


How's that for a blog post title?  Today was a wonderful day...once Zoey got home from her sleepover (which she had SO MUCH FUN at and stayed up WAAAAAY too late at!) we had a little cook-out here for lunch where we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and had some other fun things to celebrate it being Mother's Day.  After lunch I made some cupcakes for Zoey to take in to school tomorrow since they are celebrating her birthday tomorrow (she has a summer birthday hence the reason they celebrate early).

They were looking a little plain so I added some little pink flags to the tops and Zoey added some glittery stickers.


After making cupcakes I decided to give Leo a bath since he was starting to smell like an old goat.  He was not the least bit thrilled about this turn of events.  You can't tell can you?


After the adventure of bathing Leo we headed back outside to enjoy the beautiful weather.  I sat and read for a bit and Zoey played with her fairies in-between riding her scooter.


I love how serious she is when she is playing.




It was a wonderful day spent with my little family here...thankful for every moment!

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Leaps and Bounds


It hit me today as I was running around trying to get this little girl ready and out the door (her dance photos were today) that she is growing up into such an amazing young lady.

I had her stop before getting into the car so that I could snap a few photos here at home before heading to the dance studio, because truthfully...these are the photos that I love the best.  The ones that capture her being Zoey Raen, the queen of life, in all her glory (and in her rain boots).


And I've been getting to play some more with her hair some more now and am slowly starting to look like I know what I'm doing.  I had to take a picture of her hair since I'm just a little bit proud.


Pictures went well...though it was pretty much organized chaos with all the dancers and their mothers running around, there was also a practice for each group afterwards so it pretty much ate up our entire midday.

This evening marks a pretty big milestone in Zoey's life (and mine too if I'm going to be honest), she's spending the night over at a friend's house for the first time ever.  Originally she had been invited to a birthday party that was a sleepover and we accepted the invite to the party but Zoey wanted to come home before the sleepover festivities started up.  Well, today, the day of the party...about 2 hours before it was time to go she asked me what would happen if she wanted to stay overnight after all.  :)  Long story short, we packed up her sleeping bag, pillow pet, doll and her stuffed Larry the Cucumber and she's having her first ever sleepover with the understanding that if she gets homesick all she has to do is call and we'll come and pick her up.  It's 10:09pm now and we haven't gotten "the call" so here's to hoping we make it through the night alright.  I did get a call from the mother sharing some bits of their evening...a little conversation that was overheard.  Apparently there was some clothing changes being made when she overheard this little bit.

Zoey's friend while walking up the steps: "Walking up the steps wearing a mermaid tail is NOT easy!"  Zoey: "Don't I know it!"

What a bittersweet moment!  I was so proud of her for making this decision for herself and for being brave and I also was just a wee bit sad that she's moving just a bit more away from us and into the world on her own.  Which I know is wonderful and amazing...but it makes my heart just a tinge sad.  :)  I know she is having fun and that I will hear all about her adventures tomorrow...if not sooner.  ;)

I love this little girl...this beautiful young lady so very much!

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Teacher Appreciation Week: Teacher Gift


It's Teacher Appreciation Week and it's the last minute here but we got something together for Zoey to  give to her teacher tomorrow.  I have some old fashioned popcorn boxes that I picked up quite some time ago because I thought they would be fun to use someday and so I pulled one out this afternoon  and my idea for the "movie night" theme went from there.

After school we made a couple of stops, one including the grocery store for some movie style microwave popcorn which we wrapped up and added the following little message...


We also picked up some soda (I think Zoey chose the Cherry Cola because of the cute bear on the front) and we added a little sign reading as so...


And we also picked up a couple of boxes of candy that can be found at the movie theater and added the following little tag as a topper...


We also swung by our local movie theater and picked up a gift card good for a  movie for two.


We did all this today, after school, before homework, dance and dinner.  Whew!  It turned out pretty cute too I think, and it was so worth all the running around we did.  We love Zoey's teacher again this year...we have really been blessed so far with who she has been placed with...hoping this wonderful trend continues!  And to all hard working, invested and caring teachers out there, give yourself a pat on the back and "a job well done" because what you do MATTERS big time!

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Sendak on Death (and Life)


"I'm totally crazy, I know that. I don't say that to be a smartass, but I know that that's the very essence of what makes my work good. And I know my work is good. Not everybody likes it, that's fine. I don't do it for everybody. Or anybody. I do it because I can't not do it."

“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”

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Old Photos


I was looking through some old photo albums today and came across some photos that hold some special memories to them.  The one above was taken at Buena Vista Park in Alma, Wisconsin (a place where when I was young we would go for a little family getaway) which is where Ethan ended up proposing to me.

Then I found some photos from Fish Lake where we would visit my Aunt and Uncle in the summers.


This is my cousin Mandy (red and white striped shirt) and I and here we were just chilling on the porch at the Fish Lake house...I remember bike rides, fishing , eating outside, always having a swimsuit on underneath whatever I was wearing.  Sunburns, staying up a little bit later than usual, many good memories.


I found this sweet one of my mom and I...not sure where it was taken.  When I think of my mom back when I was little I always picture her wearing long skirts and having a bun in her hair.


And then here is one with my all time favorite stuffed friend, Pooh Bear.  I loved this bear so much and he was always around.  He made the perfect pillow and was around for quite some time until he started getting some holes in him which mysteriously made him skinnier and skinnier...and all sorts of little styrofoam-y white balls could be suddenly found in my bed and stuck to my blankets.  Poor, poor, Pooh Bear.  


I love old photos!
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