Bye Bye Bar! Hello Family Time!

John finished the Bar. It was really, really hard (apparently). He won’t know if he passed until October. But it’s over.

Now we are just soaking up our time as a family again…taking things a bit slower… Relishing every moment. Especially when it involves watching our two favorite cuties together:



Two Peas in a Pod

Aivry and Ben are two peas in a pod. (You might remember when they first met). They’ve always been good at giving hugs…but last weekend they reached a new level of adorable toddlerhood friendship when they decided it was a good idea to hold hands on the hike back from the river:

And a fun time throwing rocks into the river:

Fonda came to visit last weekend (here we are by the river)…you know you have a dear friend when they are willing to drive 8 hours through ridiculous traffic to see you. LOVE YOU FONZ!!! And another dear friend when they are willing to walk their 8+ month pregnant self all the way down to the river (and all around town) with no complaints. LOVE YOU JENNA!


In addition to drinking up the yummy Milwaukee beer and coffee Fonda brought, we went to White Lotus Farms (goats, music, ice cream, fun!), played around the River @ the Arb, walked around downtown and toured campus, and enjoyed some AM breakfasting @ Afternoon Delight.

It was quite a wonderful way to pass time as Ben and I were evicted from the house so John could have his final few days of quiet for bar studying (speaking of… in about 2 hour he will have finished the 2-day Bar Exam…HAPPY DANCE!!!)




A thousand memories

The things we (Ben and I) have been talking about non-stop lately:  Camping. Nana’s sand toys. The ice cream truck. The beach. The fishing pole (a stick). Uncle Patrick’s fishing. The cool spider webs on the dock. Cameron and Daniel (cousins) and how old they are. Grammy’s amazing basement. The inflatable pool in Grammy’s back yard. Grandpa’s helicopter that didn’t work so he needs to go fix it (with a screwdriver, to be specific). Grammy’s tools and the bugs (hexbugs) she turned off in the basement. Being pushed on the swing at the park by Grandpa. Getting wet in the splash pad. Taking a walk with Audie and Nana and Papa. All the mechanical parts of the camper/trailer. The fires (so many firpits!). Making a marshmallow. The baseball game with grammy and all the homeruns. The silly bird (Louie the Loon). Running to first base. The little girl’s happy birthday (the whole crowd sang to her) and seeing her blow out the candles (which she did not do in front of us I might add, but Ben remembers it nonetheless).

I literally cannot quiet this boy down. He made so many memories in the past five days and he is unpacking all the memories rapid-fire, jumping from one thing to the next.  Tonight when he was lying in bed he was blabbering on the whole time I was singing and all of a sudden he exclaimed, “We found Fr. Don’s campsite!” It was hilarious. There were so many of my parent’s friends up at the campground that I never really talked to Ben about Fr. Don specifically, but he must have taken a walk with Nana at some point and walked by Fr. Don’s campsite. And that little sliver of memory decided to consolidate at that moment and that is the beauty of a two-year-old mind.

This little dude is a sponge and right now he is SOPPING WET! 🙂






Ben Dan Cam

Ben at Beach

Studying for the Bar.

John has been working his butt off for weeks now to prepare for the Bar exam while working full time. This month has been daunting for him (and us) on many levels, but he is doing an amazing job of keeping his spirits up as best he can. The poor guy is living in a cave though, saying no to every social activity, in order to save any spare time he can squeeze out for Ben.

Poor guy. 😦

We’ve been trying to keep his spirits up with things like this:

And this:

And a grocery trip, snack run to the store for him yesterday to procure as many possible comfort (read: unhealthy) foods we could find.


It was a(n) ______ day.



Today our 2-year-old let the dog escape out the door, locked us out of the house (in our pajamas without phone or shoes), and then rounded out the day by pulling over his dresser onto himself (without any injury thank goodness!). I think it’s time to toddler-proof this new place… Thank you Kory Dodd Zhao for adopting us for the day and taking such good care of us!! And Kevin Kevin Zhao for the diapers, clothes, and dinner. Luckily, our little dudes were chill all day despite the drama.




The day is over and tomorrow is new.

CSA Wk 1

We are up to our ears in vegetables here. We decided to share a bushel CSA box with friends Erika & John (who have done this before, I should add) for 12 weeks. A newbie to this, I don’t think I knew exactly what we were in for. Our refrigerator has turned GREEN!

CSA Wk 1

So much healthy food to cram in our bellies, but so little time. Only
7 days until the next deluge of plant matter invades our fridge.

And what the heck do you do with Swiss chard?  Thank goodness for google. I couldn’t even figure out what was what in this box without it.  Armed with just the list of contents, I thought the fennel was dill and the red-green onions were ridicchio.

I’m already stoked about being forced to expand my veggie repetoire.  Goal: waste nothing. Outlook: unlikely.

But feeling optimistic.

First salad w/ mixed greens & radicchio:

CSA Wk 1 SaladThink I might have to start super-sizing the salads…


We had a wonderful weekend with John’s law school buddies and families in Minneapolis… I have plenty of pictures and such to post… hopefully by this weekend!

In the meantime, here is Ben singing the ABC’s with his daddy. (the picture is not good, but turn up your volume) Ben can’t do the whole song by himself quite yet, but he’s getting closer!