Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

A special gift from Pops and Mema, a Paddington Bear carried all the way from England. M was loving chewing on his "From Darkest Peru" tag.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

American Idol weigh-in

One week ago, America crowned Jordin Sparks her newest Idol. My take: she deserved to win, she continually grew stronger each week, she has an amazing voice (what a gift!), and by far, she's the most marketable; Aron says she is a pop producer's dream. I'm glad she won because frankly if Blake had, he'd be relegated to singing what the man wants him to sing and he needs to do his own indy track. He'll be far more successful as the runner-up. Tam, this post is for you. Weigh-in now. Shey, you, too!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Michigan, Michigan

Alas, we did not listen to the Sufjan song as we drove into Michigan, but it seemed an appropriate title for the post. Our family spent 2 nights in Saugatuk, Michigan this past Friday and Saturday. We enjoyed a nice dinner out at a seafood restaurant (we were the only customers) on Friday and Mags did great, playing for a bit then sleeping peacefully in her carseat. The room we rented was recently rehabbed, but wasn't quite ready for guests (no pillows, DVD player, and the stove didn't work), so the management upgraded us on Saturday to a 2-bedroom suite, which was fantastic so Mags could have her own space and we could have ours. We spent Saturday in Holland, Michigan (missing the tulip festival by a few weeks), drinking some tasty coffee and doing some shopping, though the sky was overcast. That night, when we got back to our room, Mags and Aron napped and I drove into downtown Saugatuk and shopped alone, finding a delcious spice store and promptly purchased some Hungarian paprika for a chicken dish we love. I walked through some art galleries, and overall just enjoyed some quiet time to browse. Overall, it was great to get-away, even though Aron has been fighting sickness, so wasn't feeling his best. But, he amazes me because he never once complained. We are enjoying exploring some neighboring states and cities here in the Midwest.

Mags sleeping peacefully in the car (though we are finding that she won't nap as long in there as she once would)

Playing with a toy on the bed
Yummy cafe Americanos served in large, glass steins

Chilling in Holland

Our lodgings, which overlooked the little bay below

A ship museum that we did not get a chance to walk through, but hey, it's still a cool shot!

The bay

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Rolling Over

The product of four weeks of regimented practice; roll Mag roll!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

wordless thursday

Sorry, the day got away from me yesterday!

Monday, May 21, 2007


Mags is loving bathtime and has recently discovered how fun it can be to sit in the water, watch the suds, chew on the cup I rinse her with, and give a little splash here and there. I just love her face in this shot, though not sure what prompted it.


I believe I have mentioned that I am a part of a book club here in Chicago. We had our first meeting last week and it was my book pick (Peace Like a River). I made magnets with my favorite quotes from the book and gave them away as momentos of the story. They turned about pretty good, ifI don't say so myself. I enjoyed the process of creating them and they were well-received. I need a super cutting system like my friend Patty has, but for free-handing them, not too shabby (just don't look too closely).

Sunday, May 20, 2007

first sleepover

Mags and I headed to a neighboring suburb of Chicago, Naperville, last Thursday and Friday. My new and good friend Kathryn grew up there, so we stayed with her folks. Kathryn and I have enjoyed getting to know eachother better these past few months; they live about 1/2 mile from us. We walk together weekly, quite often to our favorite Starbucks. She has a daughter named Amelia, who is 6 weeks younger than Mags. Amelia is a total doll and has the most amount of hair I have ever seen on a baby. It's lovely!! Kathryn showed me around downtown Naperville, which is a beautiful; it has a nice balance of quaint and mod (with a river and riverwalk too). We shopped, grabbed lunch, and talked over Americanos at Starbucks (of course). I enjoyed Naperville tremendously, and therefore, took Aron back on Saturday night; we ate at a fantastic fish plce and walked around afterwards.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

American Idol

While it was disappointing to see Melinda leave (she by far was the most consistent singer; she's the professional), I was thrilled to see Blake make it through to the top 2. Next week, we'll either be singing the praise of Lewis or Sparks!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

another week

Aron left on Mother's Day (I know, the horror!) for a week-long training seminar in California. It's Tuesday afternoon and I'm surviving, having had my mom's group yesterday, spent time with one of the moms afterwards, and now today, we are just having a lazy day indoors, where I am working on creating magnets as a momento of the book we read for book club. The first meeting is tonight and the book was my choice, so I'm excited to talk about it (Peace Like a River--one of my all-time favorites) and hear what everyone has to say. It's my second read through and I've actually been reading it to Aron, who is thoroughly enjoying it (if you have read it, how can you not love Swede and her vernacular?!). Tomorrow we will probably go for a walk to Starbucks and Thursday, I'm headed to the suburbs with my friend Kathryn, to hang out with her folks for the day (and maybe even spend the night). Overall, we are doing well, but I know come Thursday, I'll be itching for Aron to come home. I hate it when he's gone! As a mom, I value his presence in new ways. He is such a good dad and Mags and I miss him terribly.

Friday, May 11, 2007


We arrived home two weeks ago from a week-long visit to see family in Oklahoma City. My mom and dad flew out from Orlando and Shannon flew in from Reno. Overall, it was an incredibly low-key trip, just what I had hoped for. Most days, we hung around the house. My aunt Peggy and Uncle Bill played the generous hosts, giving us a place to stay and several wonderful meals out (many, many thanks, you guys! we can't wait to come back). As a quick sidenote: my uncle will tell you that he really isn't a "baby person" but he did like Maggie!). Daily, Dad, Shan, and I went to Starbucks to get our caffeine fix for the day (his treat). We all enjoyed talking in the hot tub one night and spent many days on their gorgeous porch out back, talking and connecting. I am quite envious of that porch and am eager to have my own some day! Mag was able to meet a ton of family, including the extra-special time with her great-grandparents. They were so thrilled to *finally* meet her. On Saturday, Shan and I cooked up a tasty brunch for my dad's family, who drove in from Tulsa. This was one of my favorite trips and once again, Maggie was a fantastic traveller.

Big smile for Marmie
Cousin time--Laura and Alycia and one of Alycia's boys, Cameron. What sweet, sweet boys she and her hubby have! They are polite and thoughtful and genuinely just really fun to be around. Laura, Shannon, and I have so many great memories of swimming in Grammie's (dad's mom) pool when we were younger.
4 generations--although, I must admit, I wish Shannon were in this shot. I mean, why not? It's all the Brooks family through my mom's side. Next time I guess.

Mags and mama; Aunt Peggy has such an incredibly beautiful backyard so we took a ton of pics (although, my one regret is that Shan and I didn't get any together!).

Looking like daddy!

Maggie getting lots of grandparent love!

The Kirk clan, my dad's family. His two sisters are pictured here: Jackie, standing next to him and Judy, third from right. Judy's daughters are pictured, the two standing on either side of her. Cherri, my dad's 2nd cousin (and Sara's mom), is pictured next to my mom. This is only part of the Tulsa crew (Jackie's family wasn't there). Anyway, lots of fun catching up!

My cousin Sara and Mags. Sara tells me that she looks forward to Wordless Wednesday every week. :) She really enjoyed some M time and loves children. Shan and I actually hadn't seen her in like 12-15 years, so it was fun to reconnect, especially since we grew up playing together.

Lunch one day with the Brooks clan (mom's family)

Gigi (great-grandma) and Mags enjoy some bonding over feeding. My grandparents actually argued over who would hold her first! How cute is that?!

G-pa (great-grandpa) and Mags. He loves her feet ever since we sent out newborn pics of them. He was thrilled to finally meet her!

Grandpa and M--I just really love this shot

Playing in the carseat with Marmie

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Ready to eat in new pjs from Auntie Shannon. Love this picture, as Mags has just started to stick her tongue out all the time, like seen here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

maggie update in words

She's approaching 5 months this week! Here are some updates about sweet girl:

*Has in two, bottom front teeth
*Started rice cereal this weekend (video coming)
*Laughs all the time and has even been known to do it for no apparent reason
*Exhibting personality likes and dislikes: arching back when she is mad or wants to do something different and cries if we leave the room (sometimes) or if her mobile goes off
*Getting so strong, using her hands to hold herself up when sitting; sat alone this weekend for the first time (granted, it's not like you can put her just anywhere and you need to spread her legs a little to give her some balance, but hey, she sat on our bed for a good 10 plus minutes)
*Wearing size 3 diapers and clothes sizes 6-9 months (does anyone really care about this?! :)
*I swear she says "hi." We say this to her alot and she often responds to ours with a sound that sounds like "hi." It's not another sound, but definitely a distinct "h" sound. Brilliant child. :)
*Alas, still dislikes tummy time; we are trying to give it to her every wake time to get her more adjusted and it's working, but she still doesn't like it for longer than 10 minutes. I'm open to suggestions because another alas, she def. has a flat spot on the back of her head.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

a new first for Mags

Today, we introduced M to rice cereal. It was so fun to put her in a bib and sit her in the high chair. She looked so much older to me. Of course, we pulled out the camera.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

American Idol

I haven't had much chatter for this show in a few weeks, though we are faithfullly watching it. I'm just more and more convinced that Blake is the next American Idol; I've been a huge fan of his from the beginning, esp. since he is probably the standout with having the most unique sound/style. His rendition of Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" this week blew everyone else out of the water. I loved his own creative flair he added to it (Mel, did you watch? The song is a throw-back to RC days and made me think of you:)). I must admit, that even though Phil got the boot this week, he really had stepped up his game the past 3 weeks, finding a niche in country and even sounding pretty rockin' with his Bon Jovi song. I was so anxious to see who was going to get the second boot this week, Blake or Chris. And how FANTASTIC was their exchange on stage?! They both said they were "best friends" and "whatever happens, so be it--we'll be touring together anyway." I especially loved, loved it when Chris said, "I'll leave right now for him." Their humility was so evident, it actually gave me chills. Heth, I'm hoping for some Blake input! I know you love him, too. He's the one to beat!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Aron and I took a lesisurely drive north on Sunday afternoon to the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Neither of us had ever been to WI, so it was a fun first. It's only about 90 miles away and we followed some suggestions from May 2007's issue of Cooking Light magazine (they ranked it the 8th healthiest city to live in in the US: see here). We first ate lunch at an authentic Polish restaurant called Polonez. Another first, as neither of us have eaten Polish about delicious! Potato pancakes, stuffed cabbage, cheese, meat, and saukerkrat-filled perogis, and homemade dill-pickle soup tantalized our taste-buds. I chatted with the owner's wife when we were finished, telling her the food was amazing and that we had come at the suggestion of the magazine. She was very flattered and hugged us both! We then drove aimlessly around the city, enjoying the various old buildings (see below) and views of Lake Michigan, and lastly, stopped for Kopp's famous custard (turtle sundae for us both). Tasty! The cows, below, are poised outside the shop. Overall, the day proved to be a fun adventure and we are hoping to explore neighboring states/cities more frequently this coming year. As usual, Maggie was a champion traveler (though a bit fussy at times due to teething).