Jul 15 2014

Clay turns 4

Published by admin under Clayton

You wanted “breakfast for dinner” and of course, ice cream. We had a little gathering in the backyard, where you got some great presents, played soccer and roasted marshmallows. We’re having a bigger party with all your friends in a few weeks.

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Jun 19 2014


Published by admin under The Family

We spent a fantastic week on a farm outside of Munich – the kids rode horses, fed the pigs, watched cows get milked and jumped on the trampoline to their hearts content. We also got to spend a ton of quality time with Nana & Opa!! For our second week, we stayed with Moni & Peter where we spend a day in an amusement park (Thank you Ines & Fabian), visited my Oma (doesn’t she look great for 92?!??!?) and took in some history and culture of the Heilbronn region. We rode a train to Salzburg; took a tram up the mountain for a hike and swam in the river. It was an absolutely unforgettable vacation and I so treasure each memory! And….Germany won the World Cup!!

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Jun 07 2014

Bucket List – Part 2

Published by admin under The Miscellany

I don’t like to run. Never have. Used to hate it in gym class. Have tried it over and over again throughout the years.

But one day, I decided that I was going to start training and do a 5k.

With a great running partner on my team, and Brad cheering me on every step of the way (including getting me some awesome shoes and socks that made running feel like walking on clouds…well, almost), I started training.

Our first day we ran for 30 seconds and then walked for 1 minute. Over the next few weeks, the running got longer, and the walking got less. I was reminded again about why I don’t like running.

One big motivating factor as I tied my shoes for every run was Brad….and a friend’s little boy who is battling cancer. Brad has run marathons but at the time I started running, he wasn’t able to walk around the block. My friend’s son was undergoing chemo treatments and blood transfusions. He had to stay inside, his legs would buckle under him and he couldn’t play with this friends. These two guys, for very different reasons, weren’t able to do even the simple task of getting up, taking a walk and being ok afterwards.

So we had shirts made that would remind us about who we were running for. And we stuck to our training.

We picked the Color Vibe to entice us with the additional fun that would keep us motivated on the day of the run. There was music and people threw colored powder all over each other. Our family and friends cheered us on. We’d never actually ran the entire length of the course without stopping. But somehow that day, the weather was cool, we felt strong and we did it!! It was a lot of fun….and although it’s a very, very small accomplishment – we stuck to it and got it done. Brad has since then started jogging and my friend’s little boy keeps on fighting…and smiling.

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May 07 2014

Bucket List – Part 1

Published by admin under The Miscellany

When I was 16, I asked my mom if I could get a tattoo. At the time, the answer was no. When I told her this past Christmas that I was ready to get one now, she said “you’ve been waiting for 20 years, go ahead”.

I’d been thinking about what I wanted for several years. It obviously had to have meaning. Something that looked unique. And on a place that I could hide if necessary, but still be visible anytime I wanted to see it.

After much thought and some research (plus my brother-in-law finding/recommending a very talented tattoo artist), I made the commitment to get it done and settled on the hibiscus flower. To me, it reminds me of a time in my life when there was love, peace and joy. Brad and I honeymooned in Hawaii and hibiscus flowers were all around us wherever we looked. He actually has a pic of me with a hibiscus flower behind my ear on his desk.

In any case, we’ve had a rough year of medical challenges, worries and sadness – I needed a reminder that there is hope, that our love will prevail and that happiness will return.

So with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law in tow for moral support, I got inked! And I love it. It reminds me of all that was good back then…..and all the goodness that will come surely again.

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Apr 27 2014


Published by admin under The Family

Egg Hunt with the cousins at Mom-Mom & Pop’s house!

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Dec 27 2013


Published by admin under The Family

For the second year in a row, we cut our own Christmas tree and the kids helped to decorate it. We opened a few presents on Christmas Eve (and promptly had a karaoke contest), had surf-n-turf for dinner and made cookies before turning in and hoping Santa would make a stop at our house. The next morning was full of giggles and joy for everyone. Thank You Nana and Opa for your visit!

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Dec 07 2013

Mama & Sophie Day

Published by admin under Sophia

I loved spending the whole afternoon together – just my little lady and I. I picked her up from school with a letter that I was so excited for our special day. We went to the mall where she picked Sub Way for lunch; she played on the play-ground, picked out a new shirt for herself and then was super, super surprised when our last stop brought us to an ear-piercing place. She was so excited!! A tad bit anxious…but very brave! Ice cream sure made her ear feel better too.

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Nov 07 2013

A day at the “newseum”

Published by admin under Clayton,Sophia

We love our Children’s Museum in town —

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Oct 31 2013


Published by Tina under Clayton,Sophia,The Family

We did our usual “Trick or Treat” event in downtown Naperville and good thing we did….because the actual night of Halloween was very wet and cold. Opa also came out to visit around that time and we treated him to his first Pumpkin Patch ever!

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Oct 07 2013

Miss Sophie – Fall 2013

Published by admin under Sophia

Gymnastics continues to be important to you. But so is playing with Clay. Dancing. And putting on a show. Oh, and you are now an excellent bike rider!!

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