Saturday, August 26, 2006


My birthday present from Shawn this year was an Amazon gift certificate so I could pick some things from my wish list -- I had been researching stove top espresso machines for a bit before my birthday so it was just a matter of narrowing it down. I got the espresso maker pictured here along with the frother (I had the beautiful mug already) and it came this Friday!!! :-) So, now I can indulge myself any time I want to (and I can do it w/ out the actual coffee if I want to also -- )

As Nessa watched me with the wonderfully frothed milk ... she wanted some too...

Darn Paparazzi

Okay that first picture was actually the second one I took. This was actually going to be a post about how Nessa always want what we have (the burger in a bun rather than cut up on her tray), but then after the camera came out -- whoa did I get the looks!!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Sleepy Nessa

There's no better pick up on a tired Monday than sweet Nessa pics (at least in this house!).

When I got home form work today Nessa was VERY grumpy and VERY ready for a nap. Nessa seems to have just a little teeny bit of understanding that she can't have everything that Mom and Dad and other grownups have, but if Megan or another child has it -- then it MUST be hers. And if Nessa cannot have it, then Nessa often throws an A1 tantrum! Ahh, yes, the second year ... is SO "fun!" :-)

After her tantrum Nessa melted in my arms as we sat down to rock and nurse ... she eventually fell asleep of course and after I put her in her bed I couldn't resist a few photos. Enjoy...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Brooks Family photos

Finally a few more pictures from our visit in Annapolis. The first one is a picture of Grandpa Bob (Shawn's dad) on his 70th birthday along with Grandma Jan, Kevin and Shawn.

Later in the week we attempted some family shots....

Above from left to right are: Tami holding Nessa, Megan (in front), Shawn (behind), Grandpa Bob, Grandma Jan, Aunt Jo, and Uncle Kevin holding Max.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Weekend to, in, and returning from Michigan ...

Now that we're home again it's time to try to play catch up this week (with more than just blog posts!) ...

Everything EXCEPT the driving was wonderful about the trip. The driving was however, if not construction traffic hell then at least purgatory! We hit construction as soon as we crossed into IL and it took us about an hour to drive about 5 miles ... then it was two hours through Chicago ... then MORE construction ... and then after I left Shawn in Kalamazoo (Shawn spent time there with our friend Morrie and while he really enjoyed the time there you'll have to ask Shawn for any other details) -- thinking it was just a mere 2.5 hours to Detroit and my hotel ... yep, you guessed it MORE construction and stand still traffic at midnight!!!! So, it was after midnight before Nessa and I made it to the hotel that night but she was a trooper about it all. Luckily the drive home was MUCH better.

Saturday I spent the day near Detroit at a friend's home along with some other friends. Some of us had met IRL (in real life) before and some of had only met through our online ICAN group. It was a great day seeing everyone and spending as much time as possible talking to some real friends and wonderful women. And of course it was fun to see all of the kids too!

We spent much of the day outside in the beautiful late summer weather, including grilling hot dogs and hamburgers (thanks Misha!). Luckily after eating we were able to move to the back yard which is fenced in because Nessa kept me going chasing after her as as usual she only wanted to run in one direction -- away from me! Nessa also attempted to master climbing while we were there ... she wasn't always successful though.

The kids all had a fun day too -- directly above are Nessa and Asa having a wagon ride -- or at least wanting someone to give them a ride! For awhile Asa pulled Nessa in the wagon! :-)

Below is the whole gang! If you count 11 kids, you're close as the eldest was actually taking the picture. :-)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Off to Michigan ...

Well we're off (but not by much) ...

Yes, we're packing again. We'll be visiting friends in both the Kalamazoo and Detroit areas. We leave early tomorrow morning (Friday) and will get back Sunday night.

Then next week it's settling in and cleaning and organizing around here ... and maybe some more blog posts with the rest of the vacation posts as well as regular updates which I'm behind one. I hope everyone else has a great weekend too.

Happy August!!! :-)

Washington D.C. pictures

Remember that trip we took? Well I'm finally getting around to sharing a few photos ...

Wednesday July 26th we spent the day in D.C. -- it was hot and humid and sunny and we walked A LOT (ask Megan about her blisters) in part because Nessa hated the tour bus and SCREAMED the short time we were on it ... luckily the bad parts are quickly fading from memory though. :-)

Here's Megan in front of the White House or at least as close as we could get to the White House without getting tickets months earlier (we didn't try). When I was a little younger than Megan I went with my parents and sat right on the steps of the White House -- times have changed since the 70s.

Shawn took this picture of the rest of us at the FDR Memorial. I'm ashamed to say I didn't even know this memorial was there until we went there (it was built in 1997 -- I had last visited D.C., well, um maybe 1991 or so) -- and it was the most moving memorial for me and walking through it was a very emotional part of the day. I highly recommend going to see it if you are in the D.C. area. Here's a link about it:

And here Megan and I are at the Lincoln Memorial which we found out is how Megan expected all of the memorials to be (big statues of *people*).

We also saw a few of the other memorials while we were there and saw Union Station because that's where we parked because it was close to the tour bus -- you know, the one that we were hardly able to ride after that initial trip ... it was a longer walk from the White House to Union Station than I thought. :-)

All in all it was a nice day though and we ended it by sending Megan home with Grandpa and Grandma Brooks while Shawn, Nessa and I had a wonderful supper and delightful evening visiting friends in the D.C. area.

More vacation photos soon ... and as always, you should be able to click on the pictures to see them larger (will take awhile to load on slow connections)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Anniversary Flowers

Remember that wonderful man that I married two years ago this past Monday? He sent these to me at work on Friday (surprise, surprise!) Did anyone notice what colors my bouquet flowers were in the wedding picture I included? Yep-- yellow, orange and red ... how sweet, how cool, how romantic ...

For anyone that was like me (when I was young and foolish) and says that flowers don't matter -- they do!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Megan and Ahnika on the pedal boat

This was Megan's first time taking the pedal boat out on her own ... she did great (Ellen was watching; she didn't go far).

More photos from fun on the lake this past weekend

Cumberland, WI -- Sand Lake -- Grandpa Don and Grandma Karen's pontoon
(also known as a weekend with Tami's parents ... aren't we lucky ... Mom & Dad, thanks for the great weekend)

Nessa on the pontoon

Well, the rest of us were having fun!

Monday, August 07, 2006

2 years ago ....

It was two years ago today, August 7th, that I married my best friend --

Shawn, as I did then, I again promise --

To share with you whatever life brings us
To support you with strength if you falter
To stand behind you with pride when you achieve
To comfort you with tenderness when you are sick
To encourage you with hope if you despair
To rediscover you with joy as you change
To hold hands with you when we are old
And to love you on each tomorrow as much as I do today.

Happy Anniversary my love --
Always and Forever,

Friday, August 04, 2006

What's new (and old) this week!

Forgive me for not yet getting vacation photos up here -- this week has gone by in a blur and now we're getting ready for a weekend on the lake in Cumberland with my parents.

In quick news --
Shawn did indeed get a part in the upcoming La Crosse Community Theatre Play, Epic Proportions and will be rehearsing most nights between now and Friday September 8th when the play opens.

Megan had her 9 year check up appointment and is officially 4 foot 8 inches so she only has half a foot to go before she's officially as tall as her mother. The only concern we had was her recurring bloody noses and her large tonsils causing her discomfort and making her snore. As I expected the tonsils aren't really a concern at this point since she has been quite healthy this year and we haven't noticed any actual obstructive sleep apnea, and we were told that at this point we could pursue treatment for the bloody noses at any point that they become "too annoying." We also signed up for a healthy lifestyle program (I can't remember the official name at the moment) and Megan and I both received pedometers to wear and our goal is to work up to 10,000 steps in a day. After yesterday, I know I won't be able to get there without lots of walks, stair climbing, or dancing (thank you desk job).

Megan is also thrilled to be going to spend some time with her Aunt Ellen, including some time shopping! (Shopping is more fun with Aunt Ellen than with mom, trust me on that one.)

Nessa continues to learn new things every day and once in awhile she'll come out with new words and then promptly refuse to say them the next day (the look she gives makes me think she does this on purpose). The cutest thing she does lately that I need to try to get a photo of is that she dances around like a ballerina with her hands above her head and she puts her head down in "somersault" position (some day she'll surprise herself by following through!). Of course she's also full of the not so cute toddler demands of doing things her own way and has become proficient at throwing herself on the floor as well and I'm sure this will make my parents smile this weekend as they remind me of my own childhood tantrums.

In the what's old this week there's the birthday thing I had on Wednesday. I didn't think about it too much before my birthday (we've been a little busy) and I don't objectively think 35 is really that much of a milestone (or seriously that old either but I am feeling my age these days ... not to mention spending money on hair color) but I found myself thinking back to how I felt on my 30th birthday and the thoughts and plans I had for the next 5 years back then. To say a lot has happened in the the last 5 years would be an understatement!

More photos and updates coming soon -- I promise -- after all, I'll have to do something with myself this next week while Shawn is at rehearsal! :-)

Spa day photos

Well nearly a month ago now (!) all of the "Groth girls" had a wonderful spa day in honor of our Mom's birthday and Mother's day (it obviously took us awhile after Mother's Day to find a day that worked). So on Monday July 10th we all met up in the cities for a day of pampering -- mom had a complete pampering package, we all had spa pedicures together, and Megan and I added manicures as part of her birthday treat and megan also got her hair cut! Then we all went to a VERY late lunch at Macaroni Grill. It was quite a day and next year I think we should just schedule an overnight event! :-)

Here are a few photos of us getting pampered and of our beautiful toes afterwards.

Above is Ellen, Tami, Heidi, Karen, and Megan getting pedicures.

Above is Megan during her haircut. Megan was thrilled to be included in Spa Day! :-)