Research time

December 9th, 2017

As part of a big third grade project on San Francisco landmarks, Avery has been assigned to research and write about the Ferry Building. The first step was to visit and take lots of photos – and that’s just what we did today.


Gala time

December 7th, 2017

Last weekend the four of us went to the Jewish Contemporary Museum’s annual family gala. We had never been before, and I loved all the kids activities (candle making, crafts, dancing, a virtual reality station, etc.) – and the girls especially loved how many of their classmates were there.



“When do I have time to just be a kid?”

December 5th, 2017

Avery has what feels like the right amount of homework for a kid her age: Each night, she reads about 20 minutes and solves a few problems in a weekly worksheet due back on Friday. And yet she’s not always so enthusiastic about it. When I recently reminded her about that night’s work, she huffed, “So much homework! When do I have time to just be a kid?!”

(I couldn’t help but smile at that one.)


Chicago, part III

December 3rd, 2017

Before we headed home, we took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and visited a few other spots in Chicago: The Navy Pier and Crystal Gardens (which we last visited when the girls were much smaller) and Cloud Gate, known to locals as “the Bean.” With most people back to work or school by then, it felt like we had the city largely to ourselves – which was pretty fabulous.


Chicago, part II

December 2nd, 2017

Chicago is one of my favorite cities, so we built in some time to walk around and explore upon our arrival. Also on our itinerary? A birthday dinner at the American Girl store on Michigan Ave. – an event for which the girls schlepped their dolls all the way from home.



December 1st, 2017

As mentioned here previously, Zoe got really into art – and, more specifically, Impressionist paintings – during our trip this summer. After a conversation with her about pointilism and Georges Seurat, it occurred to me that it would be super fun (and super doable, given its proximity to Madison) to take Zoe to the Art Institute of Chicago. And, so, in honor of her 11th birthday, we tacked on a visit there to the end of our Wisconsin trip. Not only did Zoe see the famous Seurat, but she got to see two Mary Cassatts (her favorite), we all got to enjoy a beautiful Marc Chagall window, and Avery made a new friend.


Cousin time

November 30th, 2017

The girls’ cousin Tanner was born just a few days after Zoe, and he had a little birthday party at Rockin’ Jump when we were in town. I had to do some work, but Q took the girls – and it looks like they loved both the place and the cousin time!


Hello again, Madison – part II

November 29th, 2017

One of my new favorite shots of the girls, taken in my parents’ backyard…


Hello again, Madison

November 28th, 2017

As mentioned, we were in Madison for Zoe’s birthday and Thanksgiving. Here now, a few photos — including our traditional just-arrived photo from the airport and some outdoor pics. (It was way warmer than it normally is there this time of year!)


Extra special day, part II

November 25th, 2017

Zoe’s officially 11, and we celebrated her birthday after a Thanksgiving dinner in Madison. It was the first time she’s spent her birthday with Grandma and Grandpa since she was a toddler (and the first time ever with Aunt Sandy) – and, of course, her sister was on hand to celebrate too.


Extra special day

November 23rd, 2017

Today’s a big deal for Zoe: It’s the first time that her birthday has fallen on Thanksgiving since she was born! I’ll never forget that holiday eleven years ago: no turkey or stuffing for us but instead a little baby with a squished nose. Our lives have never been the same, and I’ll forever be thankful for that day (and, of course, for June 19). I’ll have more to say about Zoe-at-11 during a more quiet moment, but for now: Happy Birthday, Zoe! And Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Under the rainbow…

November 22nd, 2017

As we drove to the airport the other day Avery commented that she hoped we would see a rainbow. It wasn’t even really raining so I didn’t think much of it (nor did I expect to see one) – so imagine our surprise when we looked outside and saw this. A good travel omen for sure!


First birthday celebration

November 20th, 2017

She’s almost 11 – and she had her first birthday celebration the other night in Vegas…



November 18th, 2017

After our time in Carlsbad, we took a quick trip to Vegas (where Q had a work conference). Among our activities there: enjoying the gardens and fountains of Bellagio (where we stayed), exploring the Hershey store and hanging out with (or, more accurately, jumping on top of) Cousins Isaac and Dorothy.


Legoland, part II

November 16th, 2017

As mentioned, our Legoland trip was the biggest hit with Avery. She loved the miniature landmarks made of Legos (“This is so amazing!” she said when she first saw them), and she was also very into the Lego Friends section of the park. She even got to meet the “real” girls, and she proudly told me about one of them, “We were both wearing stars on our shirts! She told me that means we’re besties.”

I love that the innocence is still there!