Friday, May 28, 2010

A Day of Grace

My niece Grace is ALMOST 10 Months Old!

A few things we want to remember about Grace right now:

• She is Ms. Independent

• She is not a big snuggler; never has been and I have to say I always have an appreciation for a girl on a mission – when she is being held she doesn’t want to snuggle but use you to see what is going on from your vantage point

• She LOVES Bree, her G & G Coughlin’s dog – she literally shrieks when she sees her

• She has the most beautiful blue eyes I’ve ever seen

• She has brown hair – it’s slowly starting to fill in

• She has 3 number of teeth (two on the bottom; one on the top)

• She is wearing a Size 3 Diaper and 6 to 9 Month Clothes

• She weighs 18 lbs 6 oz; is 29” long (yes her height puts her in the 90%)

• She is has super long legs – it’s funny her body type already reminds me of Tracy; normal torso length with long long legs

• She has super strong legs and when she wants to stand will hold them strong

• She had an early allergy to milk but seems to have grown out of it

• She had an allergic reaction to Oatmeal – no oats for this girl! She seems to have grown out of this too!

• She has just had her very first taste of formula

• She has started clapping (see video) – LOVE IT!

• She is great at grabbing things and they pretty much go right to her mouth!

• She is a sleeper! She has been sleeping through the night for a long time now and I swear if you let her and/or she didn’t get hungry the girl would sleep until 10 AM

• She has started to become a little mobile – while not full out crawling yet she will move herself in a complete circle and has started ‘rocking’ – watch out Leffler’s I think she’ll be on the move shortly!
• She has a most wonderful laugh – how can you not smile when you hear this little girl giggle

• She goes to story time every Tuesday and has for a while now. She is so good and loves being with all the other kiddos

• She has two cousins that were born on the same day – exactly 4 weeks (to the day) after her, how lucky is she? (Connor and Grace’s other cousin Courtney were both born 9/4)

• She isn’t really into her Johnny Jumper – she'd rather sit on the floor next to it and twirl it from the outside

• She’s a good eater – she’s fortunate enough to also be given the blessing of homemade baby food – nothing but the best for our Gracie!

• One word: pebbles (this one is for her mom and she’ll know what this means – ha!)

• Music and Dance – she has rhythm and sing a song or turn on some music and the girl will seriously ‘dance it out’ – I've got a great video but I'm having trouble with it - will post later for all to see :)

• If they had frequent flyer cards for infant/lap babies Grace would be accumulating them up! She has been on a ton of flights already and does really well, even when just flying alone with her mom.

• She is a total charmer – when riding the Amtrak from Minnesota to Milwaukee she charmed her way through several cars on that train

• She is still riding in your infant car seat but will be moving to the next size up shortly!

• She is tolerating tummy time much better now and has great arm strength

• Grace loves kicking her legs up and down in her crib

• Gracie is ticklish…under her arms and on her sides – her Daddy knows just the right spots to get her!
• She has already been to the beaches of Florida to visit some of her other cousins

• She has the distinct honor and privilege to be at home with her mom each and every day. It is a gift that she has been given and I hope that one day both she (and her mom) will look back on this time and realize how unique it is (in this day and age) and treasure these days and memories.

• She has a very hard-working Dad and multi-tasker extraordinaire as a Mom

• She has the best aunt in the world (hey – how could I resist?)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Take a Good Long Look

So if you haven't seen Dan lately - take a good look - you probably won't be seeing him on a weekend any time soon. (Insert my sad face here)

Between working full-time, running Video to Go ( and hitting a few inline races he pretty much cannot be found with a full weekend off starting in May usually thru October and this year is no exception. So pick a weekend and make plans to come and visit us - you now know where we'll  be!  We're slightly less mobile than we were last year so we're encouraging anyone/everyone to come to Milwaukee :)

Don't believe me? Here is what Dan's summer is shaping up as:
  • Weekend of April 30th:
    • Inline 10k in Two Harbors, MN
  • Weekend of May 7th:
    • Wedding - Ottawa, IL
  • Weekend of May 14th:
    • Wedding - Brookfield, WI
  • Weekend of May 21st:
    • Wedding - Milwaukee, WI (Saturday)
    • Dance Recital - LaSalle, IL (taping - not in it - ha!)
  • Weekend of May 28th:
    • Wedding - Brookfield, WI
    • Inline Race - Elkhart Lake, WI
  • Weekend of June 4th:
    • Photo Shoot in Greenfield, WI (Saturday Morning)
    • Wedding in Milwaukee, WI (Saturday Afternoon/Evening)
  • Weekend of June 11th:
    • Inline Marathon in Baxter, MN
  • Weekend of June 18th:
    • Wedding in Mendota, IL
  • Weekend of June 25th:
    • Wedding in West Allis, WI (Fri)
    • Wedding in Madison, WI (Sat)
    • Inline Half Marathon in Hilbert, WI (Sun)
  • Weekend of July 2nd:
    • Wedding in Milwaukee, WI
  • Weekend of July 9th:
    • Julie's Family Reunion in Chicago
  • Weekend of July 16th:
    • Wedding in Peru, IL
  • Weekend of July 23rd:
    • Wedding in Elkhart Lake, WI
    • Inline Marathon in Hoffman Estates, IL
  • Weekend of July 30th:
    • Wedding in Utica, IL
  • Weekend of August 6th:
    • Inline Marathon in Hayward, WI
    • Grace's First Birthday in Fridley, MN
  • Weekend of August 13th:
    • *Hopefully* Family Reunion with Dan's Family in the Dells OR St. Paul Inline Marathon
  • Weekend of August 20th:
    • Wedding in Milwaukee
  • Weekend of August 27th
    • Wedding in Bruce, WI
  • Weekend of September 3rd:
    • Connor's First Birthday!
  • Weekend of September 10th:
    • North Shore Inline Marathon in Duluth, MN
    • Wedding in Peru, IL
  • Weekend of September 17th:
    • Wedding in New Buffalo, MI
  • Weekend of September 24th:
    • Wedding in Naperville, IL
  • Weekend of October 1st:
    • Wedding in Lemont, IL
  • Weekend of October 8th:
    • Maybe off?
  • Weekend of October 15th:
    • Wedding in Wausau, WI
  • Weekend of October 22nd:
    • Wedding in Franklin, WI
And then...he'll take a nice long nap.

Makes you tired just reading it, doesn't it? 

Connor, one day when you are reading this I hope you will look at your Dad and are in complete awe of his work ethic.  He is a man of many many talents and finds love and passion in all he does. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Toast to me!

Wednesday May 19th served as my 7 year anniversary of working at GMR Marketing. What a wild ride the last 7 years have been!

I’m fairly certain that the start of my professional career was traumatic for those that surrounded me – you see on May 18, 2003 I proudly crossed the stages of the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and while that day was a proud one it also meant the closing of a chapter. I had accepted a job to start at GMR Marketing and my employment was contingent upon my being able to start on May 19th (as I was being hired to work on a specific/time sensitive program). So as my roommates (and others) can attest – I was in complete denial that college was ending and that was moving to a strange city where I knew no one and where I hadn’t even found an apartment to live. So the morning was spent in a cap and gown, pictures with great friends and family and brunch at Kennedy’s at Stone Creek…the afternoon was spent packing up 4 years of memories and lots and lots of tears. I recall sitting in good ole Blues Apartment crying as my mom and sister literally started packing my belongings in garbage bags (as clearly I had not prepared for this moment). I said good-bye and began the 4.5 hour journey to Milwaukee. We stopped in Peru to drop my dad and sister and picked up my best friend Nicole Frkol and she, my mom and I continued on. We stopped in Beloit, WI (about 1 hour from GMR) where we would spend the night in a hotel. On Monday May 19, 2003 we were up early and drove the last hour and I started a career.

Flash forward 7 years and I’ve now held 4 different positions and had an endless number of amazing experiences. They recently posted on our company website a short video that gives you a better insight to what we do at GMR:  and then click the “GMR Reel – GMR Philosophy” in the top right hand corner.

Here are a few of the amazing experiences I’ve had in my 7 year career here:

• Taken my mom with me to Hawaii to work a one day event

• Taken a Tour of the ESPN Corporate Headquarters including sitting at the desk of Sports Center

• Worked the Aiken, SC Lobster Races (yes you read that right…lobster races)

• Created “Human Energy” at Super Box XLII in Phoenix

• Had lunch on a glacier outside of Vancouver

• Been to a Yankees game, countless NASCAR races, Monday Night Football games, golf tournaments and more

• Coordinated private concert with James Blunt at the Beverly Hills Hilton

• Raised money for Hurricane Katrina victims in Boston

• Given away free cups of coffee to commuters in San Diego

• Been to 5+ amazing automotive events held in the mountains in CA, VA and WI

• Stayed at the St. Regis in New York City

• Police Concert at Madison Square Garden

• Visited the kitchen table at Tom Colicchio’s restaurant Craft

• Hosted cooking demos in countless home improvement and appliance stores

• Driven both a 15ft and 24 ft box truck

• Taken both medical and road tests to get a Federal DOT card to drive said trucks

• Run meet and greets for Reba McEntire

• Worked on recipes and marketing for prototype kitchen appliances

• Hosted and watched sweepstakes winners experience a trip of a lifetime

• Met my husband

• Made wonderfully amazing friends

• Worked with some of the greatest people I’ll ever know

I'm excited to see what next fun adventure awaits me.....

Friday, May 21, 2010


Cousins are those childhood playmates who grow up to be forever friends.
Cousins are many. Best friends are few. What a rare delight to find both in you
Cousin to cousin we’ll always be, special friends from the same family tree.
Promise you won't forget me, because if I thought you would, I'd never leave
A better cousin I could not find
Cousins are friends that will love you forever
God made us cousins, because he knew our moms couldn't handle us as siblings
Cousins are those childhood playmates who grow up to be forever friends.

Thursday, May 20, 2010