Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What happened to July?

 This past weekend was a cold and rainy one --- very un-July like for sure. We had made plans to go to the cottage with the Knapps - so despite the weather that is just what we did. However, instead of the normal boating and swimming activities, we found other ways to entertain ourselves.   
 James wasn't feeling 100% so he enjoyed multipled naps with Buppa on the couch :)

Saturday afternoon we did some Redgranite and Princeton shopping. A central-Wisconsin treasure called Moisier's is located at the only stoplight in Redgranite and it is a gem! (I would put a website link in here, but I highly doubt there is one!) You never know what you are going to find here - but you can bet whatever you do find, will be totally awesome!
Case and point - on this particular trip --- Andy walked away with a brand new pair of waders! Now this was a truly incredible find - the fact that there was only ONE box, they were Andy's size, AND they didn't leak?!? ---- AWESOME!

This guy is ready to fish!

Patrick and Andy spent some time practicing their fly fishing techniques and fishing in general. Heidi and I sat in chairs on the deck wrapped in sweatshirts and blankets.
It would have been a lovely day if it was October!
 We also took advantage of the cooler weather to make some fun food for the weekend.  Homemade pizza: Sausage and peppers, pesto/chicken/ tomatoes/ mozz and sausage/ pepperoni/ mushrooms. We grilled the crusts and broiled the tops - they were delicious!
The next morning Mom made Elvis Freedom Toast - Peanut Butter and Bananas -  to which some of us added nutella and blueberries and syrup! It was so tasty :)  


Sunday afternoon we pulled out a puzzle and actually put a pretty good dent in it too! Mom is on the hunt for a puzzle table so we can have one going all the time and not interrupt dinner!
And James and Buppa got another nap in :)

Overall it was a great weekend - just not at all what we expected for the last weekend in July.  Here's hoping summer returns this weekend and we can wait to enjoy another weekend like this until football starts!

Friday, July 26, 2013

DC part 2

Anne got some great photos as well so wanted to share a few more from the weekend.

 Here is Patrick coming out of the water --- and there I am waving at him :)

Before the swim started, while we were hanging out under the stage, we ran into some friends from Mt. Horeb.  Eric and Tara call them "the other Pat and Jen"!  Jen was racing that day so Pat and the kids were gearing up to follow her around the course. 

This is Megan, Molly and Zach --- they were super great at entertaining James while we waited out the rain. Such cute, sweet kids --- we all looked like we could be related  too :)

A quiet snuggle moment with Daddy ---- could it be time for bed?

Just kidding --- still ready to party!

James cheering on the racers on the side of the road!

These guys don't even look tired!

James - just chillin' in the stroller - post race!
Still can't believe what a good boy he was - thanks buddy!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Door County!

It was the 3rd weekend in July and for the last few years, that means: 1/2 Ironman weekend!

In 2011 Patrick and I traveled to Racine for his first 1/2 and stayed in one of the sketchiest motels I have EVER seen! I don't think either of us slept much that night - Patrick with anticipation and me watching the deadbolt on the door!

Last year we made our way with the Hebels and Scheidts to lovely Door County and stayed in an adorable "Cozy Cabin" outside of Fish Creek.
  Less nerves, a great rental and a tired preggo belly provided better rest and a lovely weekend. 

This year - we again traveled to Door County with the Hebels and Scheidts and added two more couples to the mix. Our group was now 5 couples ---- 10 adults - 1 preggo, 1 baby and 2 dogs.
Good thing Derek found the ultimate vacation rental.
It was a terrific weekend!

Check out this fantastic place!

This was the Ellestad room - plenty of beds for Patrick, Jeff, Jenny, James and I to spread out.
Plus two ceiling fans and windows on 3 sides - we slept great!

Patrick, Jeff and Dusty before the swim.

This was the first time we did not watch the guys go into the water. 
About 5 minutes before their wave, the rain started. 
We quickly seated ourselves under a portion of the stage and waited out the drizzle.
Happily, the rain stopped before the came out of the water and the weather was overcast and cool -
perfect for the race!

Derek and Scout cheering on the guys. 
Derek recently got a new job and life got in the way of training. So he was "Coach Derek" this weekend. 
 I am sure it was weird to be a spectator this year - but we enjoyed having him on the sidelines with us!

Patrick waving at Jimmy James at mile 4.

Jenny and James cheering on the runners. 
Jen and I had a system for the day - directions, traffic patterns, getting James in and out of the car, popping open the stroller, entertaining James...we did it all together. 
 She was fantastic and I couldn't have done it without her!
Thanks Jen!

Jeff on the bike --- you can tell he was having fun!

Post race - celebrating with James!

Cooling off his toes after the race.
This is one of my favorite pictures from the weekend - what a great smile!

And here is our whole group!
Congrats to Tyler and Jeff on completing their first 1/2 Ironman!
Everyone did a fantastic job and we had a fabulous weekend. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Great Grandma visits!

This past weekend as we were driving up to Door County
 we stopped in to see Grandma Ellestad and Grandma Herrmann.
It was great to see them and give James some time out of the car seat at the same time.

Both Grandmas were pretty impressed with his tricks and crawling/ walking skills!

Can you tell he is teething? Fingers in the mouth in lots of pictures from the weekend!
The trick is stopping him before he sticks those fingers in too far and gags himself!

Thanks for the nice visits Grandma E and Grandma H - hope to see you both again soon!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Enchanted Barn Wedding

Patrick and I got our first official over night getaway since James was born last weekend.  Patrick's buddy from high school was getting married at The Enchanted Barn up near Rice Lake - so we dropped James off at Pearl lake with Mom and Dad and made a short weekend out of it. 

For those of you that haven't heard of the Enchanted Barn - here is their website.
The wedding was beautiful and everything was so perfectly themed. I am so curious to know how they do everything so wonderfully since this barn is in the middle of a ton of corn fields!

The whole event location was a page out of my dream book - maybe some day we could own a farm like this - Patrick could fulfill his dream of owning and running a farm and I could throw fantastic parties in the barn... though now I am thinking we might need TWO barns to make that happen!

This was the view from the back yard. The house on the right I believe has the kitchen, office and honeymoon suite. Then there is a beautiful stone courtyard in between and  the barn has an upper a lower area that they are constantly switching to accomodate the crowd. Ceremony upstairs, then down to the bar and appetizers (the biggest bowl of shrimp I have ever seen and bacon on a stick!) then back up for a sit down dinner, then down for cupcakes and coffee while they reset AGAIN for dancing.
It was truly a site to see.

Mr. and Mrs. Brusky

Their first dance --- I love this photo because you can see Dr. and Mrs. Brusky
with their heads together in the background. So happy :)

Sunday we started out day with pie for breakfast at the Norske Nook!
Patrick has enjoyed this treat before with Andy and Beth in Osseo - but this was my first time. 
It was delicious!

Then we made one more stop in Chippewa Falls at the Leinie's Lodge.
Pie for breakfast - beer for lunch!

We didn't go on the tour - just sampled a few beers and did some shopping.

It was a fun weekend and nice to have some time together.
James was certainly much happier at the cottage with Grammy and Buppa
- thanks again for watching him :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ellestad Family Vacation in Minocqua

We spent the second half of our 4th of July holiday week in Minocqua with the whole Ellestad family.  Amy and John have an awesome cabin in Tomahawk so we started there on Sunday and then spent the next couple of days on White Sand Lake. There were a few more people this year (two new babies, plus the Conlons and Jo-jo) so we had a full, fun house!

Patrick and I slept in a 3 season porch last year and loved it. 
We were hoping it would work for us again this year with James too. 
 I was so pumped to see it had been re-decorated over the winter - comfy new futon and everything.
All 3 of us slept great with all of the windows open - lots of sunshine and fresh air made everyone tired!

James did really well - this was of course the weekend he really started to move - crawling everywhere and walking with the aid of anything strudy enough to balance him.  He spent some time in the pack n play - playing, crawling, standing --- he loved it and more importantly he was contained!
Other highlights from the week - breakfast at Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty - Minocqua Salt Water Taffy - water skiing - and a delicious fresh fish fry courtesy of the uncles and Grandpa :)
Thanks for a fantastic vacation - looking forward to next year already!

Jenny and Elise enjoying the sunshine

Landon playing with James in the "play pen"

Jack and James - just about 1 year apart - these two are gonna be trouble. Favorite toy of the week - the boom box! Quickly learned how the buttons worked, what they did and how fun CDs are to play with!

Successful fishing trip!

Ellestad assembly line - dinner prep, step one!
Ted pointed out that the pier is the best place to clean fish - you can stand at the height that works for you, easily rinse your hands and there is always a cooler filled with beer at your finger tips!

Lunch on the boat

James giving Elise kisses

Tara and Landon enjoying the sunshine

Jenny and Jeff

John and Jack riding the pontoon boat

Joe and Amy

Uncle Jo-jo and Uncle Eric

Grandma Carol and the big kids with their fish!

Who loves vacation?!?! We do, we do!

Grandpa Ted and Jack driving the boat

The whole crew at Paul Bunyan's!

James' favorite meal of the vacation!
Nutrition, entertainment and a teething toy - all in one!