Archive for July, 2011

As days go by

This weekend has been filled with downtime, a sharp contrast to the weeks preceding it. Between a crazy work schedule and trips to Las Vegas and Madison, the last half of the month has been hectic at best. So, while we collectively catch up on sleep (and catch up with each other), we are looking forward to a relatively quiet week ahead.

One of the items on my very short task list this weekend (which really only included dinner with friends and a couple of naps) was updating the family calendar that hangs near the back door. As I wiped it clean, there was a moment in which it was completely, happily blank—deliciously devoid of deadlines and responsibility, much like this afternoon feels.

Of course, though, the new month looms. August has the potential to bring some very significant changes for us, and most certainly for one member of our family in particular:

In 17 short days, Ava will start first grade at the public school up the street. And suddenly, our lives will be dictated by a different calendar, one that includes surprisingly strict—and relatively early—start times (not to mention a rather hilarious amount of “planning days.”)

In my life, thanks in part to long ties to one campus or another, the start of the year is signaled by football schedules and cooling temperatures, not the blare of New Year’s Eve celebrations.

I’m looking forward to what this new year will bring.



Congratulations to Tom and Katie! Tom proposed to Katie on her 30th birthday, and she happily accepted. We’re looking forward to a wedding sometime next year.

Happy 30th, Katie!

Vegas Vacation

Apologies for the lack of blogging lately—I am celebrating Katie’s 30th a bit early. We arrived in Las Vegas on Friday, along with Jess and Karyl. While I haven’t had a moment of success on the casino floor, we are having a great time. I’ll be back home tomorrow night, and I’ll so my best to catch up a bit. In the meantime, wish me luck!

Ava and Olivia

Sometimes, there’s a fine line between a hug and a tackle.

Thanks for the heads up…

I came home from running errands on Saturday to find these helpful signs posted around the house:

They say, “Wet floor—thank you for not stepping in it.”

My favorite part (aside from the freshly mopped floor, of course) is the smile on the woman’s face as she lays in the puddle. Though she clearly ignored this kind warning, she seems pretty happy. I bet it’s because she knows her floors are clean.

Brioche cinnamon rolls

As my mom will attest, I love to cook huge batches of messy food in other people’s kitchens. So, while on vacation, I borrowed Gramma’s and set to making four pounds of no-knead brioche dough. The recipe comes from a book Doug gave me–Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I knew I would like it based on the butter content alone (three sticks!).

Once I had the dough prepared, I rolled out four separate rectangles and covered them with cinnamon, sugar and orange zest. The recipe made about two dozen HUGE rolls, which we promptly slathered with cream cheese icing. I will definitely make these again . . . just as soon as someone lets me use their kitchen.

More from Minnesota

Olivia Fix

How Olivia spent (a fair amount of) her summer vacation:

At the cabin

I took this shot roughly 20 minutes after we arrived at the cabin in Minnesota. Ava–much like her mother–doesn’t mess around when it comes to time at Little Birch Lake.