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Showing posts from November, 2006

My little eater...

When Brea was born everyone was amazed at how much she resembled her older sister, looks and temperament. Over the past few months her own personality has really started to shine. Much like her sister was, she's a happy baby and she loves to giggle. On the flip side, she has a bit of a temper and wants what she wants and NOW. There are other small differences that a parent can easily pick out, but three of the biggest differences we've notices between the girls at this age:

1. Brea likes to make it known when she's around. She loves to just scream to hear herself scream. Put her in a space that echos a bit and watch out!

2. Brea is more of a dare devil. Lexi was always a careful baby. Not so careful that she wasn't willing to try new things, but the type of careful that resulted in a relatively bruise and bump free infant and toddler years. Brea on the other hand...well let's just say she doesn't see the distance from the couch to the floor as a barrier…

Holiday cooking...

As I sit here typing, the pumpkin pie for tomorrow is baking away in the oven. Food has always been an important part of the holidays for my family. I find that over the past few years, the years when we've started to build family traditions for our girls, the years when I've not be able to spend the holidays with my mom and brother, food has played an even bigger part in my holiday preparations. It's a small piece of "home" that continues to be special to me even miles away from the rest of my family. When I look back through my childhood, most of the memories I have of the holidays involve food. The past couple of days I've really been thinking about that fact. And well, here's what I think it boils down to...

Growing up in your average dysfunctional American family, the holidays were a time to celebrate, but often in a general air of stress. Family dynamics were complicated. Finances were sometimes complicated. General logistics, depending on where…

A day to celebrate...

Yesterday marked the end of my dear hubby's daily 110 mile round trip commute to work. After almost 6.5 years of making the hour drive each morning and night, this morning he made the 5 minute drive to his new job at ASI Modulex.For the first time in our oldest daughter's life (not counting those occasional days when daddy went into work late for some reason) she was able to have breakfast with her daddy before he headed off to work. So many simple pleasures come with this change: breakfast and lunch with daddy on a regular basis; a shortened drive, less miles on the car, and much less spent monthly at the gas pump; the chance for Scott to feel more part of the community in which he lives; the ability for him to be in town for doctor's appointments, school programs, etc; the opportunity for him to spend time taking the dog for a walk in the morning and to go play some hoops over the lunch hour a couple times a week; and let's not forget, a little more sleep each day a…

Back on the wine trail...

The third stop on the Wine Trail this past Saturday was definitely my favorite, Park Farm Winery and Vineyard in Bankston. It was the most difficult to find, nestled in the Iowa countryside, but the beautiful French style Chateau (pictured above) is like an oasis in the middle of the desert. A beautiful tasting room, complete with comfy furniture and a large fireplace, leads out onto a deck from which you can look down over the vineyard and out across the valley to the hills beyond. To add to the magical ambiance, we were invited on a tour of the wine making facilities where Lucas, the winemaker, talked about how the winery and vineyard had grown over the past several years. If ambiance contributes to your desire to buy on your way through the retail store, then call me a sucker as I left happily carting 3 bottles of wine and a new CD. The wines at Park Farm are more to my taste, plenty of deep, dry reds AND surprisingly, I even purchased a bottle of white, a rare occurance f…

A day on the Wine Trail...

Over the past decade or so, the number of vineyards and wineries have grown steadily in the state of Iowa. Twice a year 7 wineries in the Northeastern part of the state come together for a 2 day event called the Iowa Wine Trail. This fall a group of our friends decided to partake of the festivities...after all, what better way to get ideas for your Holiday entertaining! After several weeks of planning (thanks MB), Saturday morning 9 of us loaded into our rented 15 passenger van and headed north. Destination: Winneshiek Wildberry Winery in Decorah. The first of 4 wineries we would visit that day.

For those of you who have never traveled in Northeastern Iowa, it's amazing. You gradually leave the rolling hills of the central part of the state for rockier, tree cover hills which spill dramatically into beautiful valleys. Along the way you come upon small towns and family farms fit for a Grant Wood painting. Fall is a particularly beautiful time of year and even though we're past p…