Sweet Summer Time

I always go into summer thinking it’s going to be quiet and chill. I am not actually sure WHY I think that – I think the only quiet and chill summer I had was the summer of 2006, when I interned 4 hours per day and slept the rest (no joke, coming out of my first year of teaching, I was catching up on ten months of exhaustion) Otherwise I spend my summers working at TFA Institute, or moving across the country. This summer, I have done neither, but work and life have certainly cooperated to fill every spare moment!

Lots of gardening is happening, despite the miserable drought Wisconsin has suffered. Seriously, it rained for about 45 seconds yesterday, and I couldn’t even continue the conversation I was having. The peppers did not survive (something ate them to the ground, but the tomatoes and petunias are doing nicely. I have 9 tomato plants, divided between slicing and paste, and I think I will take up canning as a new hobby this fall – can’t stand to see a single one go to waste!

These little guys are hanging out in the shade and doing ok despite the heat and the dry. I have been informed that they are usually houseplants, so I’ll bring some in in the winter.

Family time has been amazing this summer – it’s so nice to be a short drive away from so many people.  Birthday parties to baseball games, it’s been wonderful to reconnect with my people!

I love this picture – the tiniest person and the bestest Papa 🙂

Cousins bonding over sunglasses – two handsome guys!

Cory keeping his eye on the ball.

Outfield is somewhat boring, however 😉

Brunch is on a summer hiatus – my little window a/c can’t really cope with the epic production heat, or the crowds, but the last one I threw, in May was a lot of fun – pancakes on the porch, enjoying the early summer breezes. Until the end of my days, I will live somewhere that allows me to sit outside.

The result! Chocolate chip, blueberry, and “plain” pancakes, bacon, eggs, and the requisite bowl of berries. Yum!

Using the last of my eggs from the Tinants – well traveled, and completely delicious 🙂

Best of all, Milwaukee has proven itself to be a truly excellent city to explore this summer! From custard, to Summerfest, to farmer’s markets, to the South Shore Frolics (this weekend!) there is always something great to do, something amazing to eat, and some excellent music playing.  In Wisconsin, we never quite forget that a long, hard winter is right around the corner, so we get out there and soak up every sunny moment!

Rarely the winner, but always our favorite – wearing number 5 – Chorizo!

We managed to get photos with every racing sausage that day, a minor miracle on a Saturday afternoon!

Taken inside the Northern Chocolate Co – right before I got yelled at for taking pictures…oops!

Lake Michigan in the morning

City Hall is amazing inside! This was also the tallest building in North America at one time.

Going here now! Kopp’s has nothing on this classic 🙂


2011: Recap and Resolutions

Phew!  2011 has about 13.5 hours left on the clock – what a crazy year!


January: Decided to apply for a new job/transfer – applied to 3 regions and 2 charter networks

February: Withdrew charter applications, BFF visited NOLA one more time

March: Travelled for job interviews to Milwaukee and Chicago, got first sunburn of the year at “The Fly” with Audrey and Heidi.

April: Waiting Game…waiting for job offers…went to Phoenix for a conference, said good bye to SPD team.

May: Job offers in Newark and Milwaukee – took Milwaukee!

The View from Bayview!

June: Rampant packing, good bye pool party thrown by TFA friends, deathly ill but packing, cleaning, and driving

July: First summer since 2005 without TFA Institute!  Move to Milwaukee, travel to Philadelphia, spent b-day eating chicken wings in Philly airport due to epic storm system, travel to Chicago, welcome new 2011 Milwaukee Corps Members.

Inside the Milwaukee Train Station. I love that I can take the train so often now!

August: New job craziness, met Darko and Indira, went to festivals, farmer’s markets, and started new hobbies, went to my first two Brewer’s games, reconnected with college friends.

September: Continued acclimation to Milwaukee, mom visits, me, discovered Sven’s, Indian Summer, reconnected with old SoDak friend.

October: Traveled to Detroit, Sandusky (Cedar Point!), BFF visits Milwaukee, mom visits, Cory’s birthday, Halloween decorations.

November: Traveled to Madison for Thanksgiving, had tumultuous experience with National Managers, but survived and grew from the experience. TFA Thanksgiving at Mitzi’s house.

December: Winter Break in Madison, team dinners, fudge, Darko broke a vase at TJ Maxx, spent last 2 days of 2011 in comatose state.

Heralding the New Year!

My absolute favorite part of the end of the year is resolutions and plans for the new year!  I know some great things will be in store! Last year, I made several resolutions, but the two that stayed with me were to: 1) Stop buying books for myself and use the local library instead, and 2) Go to yoga 3 times per week.

I did great with the first one – I’ve paid about 7.00 in overdue charges over the year, but that balanced against the potential cost if I had purchased every book I read last year seems like a step in a positive direction. I still give books as gifts to the young people in the family, but I work hard to buy from local book shops or companies and be a better steward of the dollars I do spend.

The yoga resolution went well initially. I was going 3 times per week when in town to Life NOLA yoga studio, which I just loved. I decided that I wasn’t going to buy anything to support this hobby – I already own yoga pants and T shirts, and the studio had mats to use. Everything was perfect.  It all fell apart when I moved though, I was really sick and missed my last week of classes in New Orleans, and then it took about 6 weeks to feel settled enough to even look around. Also, yoga is pretty expensive in Milwaukee, and I haven’t been successful in finding a studio that quite fits me. I’m going with Yama Yoga in the 3rd ward now, though I don’t love it – but I am not feeling as strong and healthy anymore, so I know I need something! Got an awesome new mat for Christmas, and bought a new membership yesterday, so I’ll be back on the health train come 1-3!

Thinking about the resolutions I will make for 2012 – some long term, some immediate changes. One will probably be about blogging more!

Leo made a resolution to make new friends. He may need a lesson on avoiding awkwardness.