The Finest Thing a Person Can Do

Miss MalarkeyA few days ago, my 8-year-old daughter checked out the library book Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind by Judy Finchler and Kevin O’Malley.  Per our nightly routine, I read to her before bedtime.  There’s a wonderful line in the beginning of the book:

“Reading is about the finest thing a person can do.”

After reading that line, I told my daughter I agreed with that sentiment.  She quipped back, “I think eating is about the finest thing a person can do.”

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Messing with Nature

Spring LakeWe recently returned from spending a couple of weeks at our Spring Lake cabin in the Adirondacks.  All the cabin owners on the lake make a great effort to keep the lake and surrounding land as pure and pristine as possible.  There are no motorized boats. We do everything we can to maintain the health and purity of the lake.  Our kids have grown up spending summers at Spring Lake, and for the most part, they’ve taken this sentiment to heart, so we were surprised one day when our 10-year-old daughter came into the cabin and asked…

Daughter: “Can I have a Sharpie marker?”

Her Dad: “What do you need a Sharpie for?”

Daughter: “To draw on some rocks.”

(We were picturing graffiti on the large boulder-like rocks around the lake.)

Dad: “Don’t draw on things around the lake, Sweetie. We don’t want to mess with nature.”

Our daughter exited the cabin muttering: “You’re messing with my playful nature.”

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Nick Cave at Celebrate Brooklyn

Nick CaveLast weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at the Celebrate Brooklyn concert series in Prospect Park.  This was the third time I saw him perform, and as always, he poured every ounce of his energy and charismatic presence into his performance.  The playlist was incredible, with a well balanced blend of new songs and old favorites.

The venue at the Prospect Park bandshell was an unexpected gem.  Walking through the scenic park before the show and enjoying a picnic on the lawn with food provided by local vendors was an absolute delight.  The opening acts for Nick Cave were Nicole Atkins and Devendra Banhart.  I enjoyed the company of my brother, cousin, and good friend, which made the night even more special.

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Moving to Guam

Guam world mapBig news! My husband took a job transfer to Guam, the island where my father was born. We’ll set up house there for the next few years. We’re looking into distance education options for our two daughters, so we will have the freedom to travel the Eastern hemisphere and return stateside as often as possible to stay close with our Western family and friends. We’re very excited about this new adventure!

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Trip to Sitka, Alaska

IMG_3126A few weeks ago, we had the good fortune of being able to visit friends in Sitka, AK.  I had never been to Alaska before, and I didn’t realize that there are coastal islands with considerably more mild winters than we have in Chicago. The scenery was every bit as breathtaking as we had heard. While we lounged at their beautiful home, we saw bald eagles soaring outside the living room windows with rainbows arching across the coastal waters in the background.  If we looked out the window on the other side of the living room, we had great views of the volcanic mountain range.  We went to wildlife sanctuaries where we got to see a variety of birds of prey and bears.  We took hikes through the forest and walked along the beaches at low tide to admire the plethora of marine life in the tide pools and along the shore.

The best part of the trip though was enjoying the opportunity to visit and catch up with our good friends.  They have three kids in close age to our two daughters.  With the sun still up at 11:00pm, the romping and ruckus never quite seemed to settle down, which was somewhat okay, considering the adults got a couple of nights out on the town too.  My daughters are still talking about what fun they had, and we will treasure our memories of Sitka.


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Trip to Seattle, WA

Space NeedleWe recently traveled to Seattle, WA to visit some of my husband’s relatives.  Our two daughters loved Pike Place Market, where we grazed on a variety of the delicious food available for sale.  They enjoyed spending the day with their cousins at the zoo, despite my 10-year-old still limping after her recent foot surgery.  They were, however, confused about the space needle.

“That doesn’t look like a ship.  Why is it round?” queried my 7-year-old.  “Is that what a space ship really looks like?”

“Yes,” I replied, “Every space ship that abducted me looked just like that.”

Perhaps I didn’t help alleviate her confusion.  My 10-year-old gave me her typical “crazy Mom” eye roll, which I’m seeing more and more everyday since she became a tween.

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Updated U.S. Travel Map

visited 42 states (84%)
Create your own visited map of The United States or Amsterdam travel guide for Android

The last time I posted this map, I had visited 40 of the U.S. states, which accounted for 80% of the country.  Since then, I’ve seen a couple more states.  I’m now up to 42.  I still need to see the rest of the Great Plains states.  I love the scenic diversity that a country this large has to offer.

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