Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


My mom made another fantastic set of costumes for these lucky kids. Liv enjoyed a moment of fame when hers was featured on the online version of the local paper.

Thanks, Gramma!

Owen Fix 

Every 20 minutes, Owen asks, “How many days until my birthday?”

We finally decided to take a page from Gramma Great’s play book and create a paper chain. As of today, only nine links left!


Owen: “I don’t need a bath!! I just had a bath last week!”

Olivia’s ninth birthday (rocked)

Early this year, Olivia settled on a mineral and gem party for her ninth birthday. I was on board in a big way (80 percent of what I’ve acquired in the last year has been gold, and the rest I’ve spray painted to match).  

We gathered with family in Nebraska over Thanksgiving and then celebrated with three of Olivia’s friends last week. 

At nine, Olivia is sweet and smart. She’s remarkable empathic, always inquiring about my day, and truly listening to my response. She knows just when to deliver a hug or a little love note. 

She’s also driven, and she’s set her sights high. She makes decisions for herself with the certain fact she’s a “pre-president.” (Also, a future mom, a “scientist-doctor,” and artist.) 
Happy day, Liv. I hope nine is your best year yet!


Olivia: “Hey Mom, tonight at football practice, I was doing a handstand into bridge and the boys tried to do it too, and the coach said, ‘Boys, don’t try to do anything Olivia does. You’ll get hurt.'”

(Flag football is “awesome” per Olivia, though she was disappointed to learn there’s no tackling allowed. First game is Sunday!)

A little bit of Minnesota love 

60 years

My amazing grandparents marked their 60th wedding anniversary last week, and to celebrate, their daughters pulled all 21 members of our family together for a weekend on the Platte River in Nebraska. It was truly a great time, and I’m really looking forward to what I think should probably be an annual celebration. Thanks, Mom and Janet, and much love to you, Gramma and Grampa Great!

New Orleans

Thanks to the generosity of Bryan’s sweet parents, I was able to join him in New Orleans for a couple of days following his most recent conference. The weather was warm but wonderful, and we spent the time touring various districts and eating truly amazing food. We even ran into a a famous bartender and dipped our toes in the Mississippi.

St. Louis Cemetery No. 2

These broiled oysters were among the best things I’ve ever eaten, and I even found a pearl in one.

This is Chris McMillan behind the bar at his new cafe, Revel. He poured us too many rounds of truly remarkable drinks.

I’ve been to a few new places this year–this is one to which I definitely want to return.

A day in the life

I arrived home to a frantic scene at 5:15 last night: Ava’s found a package of rat poison in the back yard; the obvious conclusion is that August has eaten it, and he is about to die. Ava and Olivia are hysterical. I’m hysterical. August is lounging in relative oblivion on the kitchen floor.

I call the vet (who we had seen a mere 90 minutes before due to a broken tooth). The vet asks for specifics regarding the poison, then says we have to induce vomiting(!) with hydrogen peroxide. It takes 10 minutes and a knee injury to get two tablespoons in to this 85-pound dog who has ABSOLUTELY NO INTEREST in vomiting, and as a result, will probably have pretty significant trust issues the rest of his puppyhood. I reload the dropper, and leave it on the table as I head up the steps to clean up after him. (Hydrogen peroxide, as it turns out, is quick and effective.)

August pukes twice; I puke once as I comb through it looking for blue/green rat poison pellets. Ava and Olivia are wracked with screaming sobs, and I continue to dry heave. In the midst of everything, Bryan and Owen arrive, and Owen immediately ingests the remaining hydrogen peroxide he found in the dropper on the table. Chaos ensues.

(Everything is fine now; we didn’t find any evidence of pellets, and Bryan believes he put the package under the deck many years ago so it was likely empty anyway. Remarkably, Owen didn’t throw up, and the girls and I eventually calmed down. August seemed confounded about the whole thing.)



Rebecca, while prying Owen’s hand out of the dog’s mouth (again): “Owen, can you PLEASE leave August alone?”

Owen: “He really wants to snuggle with me!”

Rebecca: “He doesn’t; he’s biting.”

Owen: “He wants to snuggle me with his teeth.”