Monthly Archives: October 2015

Our Love for Wineries

****Can I just start out this post by stressing to all my dear family and friends please not only back-up your photos, but ORGANIZE them as well. We have been good about it for 2 years now, but man trying to look back earlier than that it is a hot mess!! If I ever complain about being bored, which I have 2 little one’s I probably will never say that, but if I do, just remind me I have thousands of photos to organize (insert sad emoji face). Thanks for letting me get that off my chest, I feel a lot better venting over the internet already.***

Now to the real topic of this post. I want to talk a little bit about wineries and how much we love them. Now I know what you are thinking, ‘Ok so missy and cj know their wine’ but let me set the record straight. Yes we love wineries, but we are very far from being experts in wine. Let me explain, the reason we love wineries so much is typically the location is absolutely gorgeous, you are drinking outside all the while being in great company. That pretty much equates a good day for our family.

One of the many many reasons we loved living in CA was that we weren’t too far from Napa or Sonoma and would often make day trips on the weekends. San Francisco is much cooler than the Napa/Sonoma area so it was a real treat to warm up and soak up the sun, all the while enjoying the most amazing vistas sipping on wine. So to document our love for wineries I wanted to share some photos with you. DSC01102 Believe it or not this was actually a kayaking/winery tour, ha! We did this at the Chesapeake Bay when we lived in Norfolk, VA. If you go to the website it shows people drinking while kayaking which we thought we were going to do, this was pre-kids mind you. Which doesn’t sound so smart now, but actually what it was, was you kayaked to a winery, did the tasting and kayaked back. We had a blast. 11.04-17 DSC_0208.JPG Had we had known we were going to end up living in San Francisco we probably wouldn’t have our 2011 vacation be San Francisco and Napa. But regardless we had an awesome trip and this was all pre-baby so it was a whole different life/experience back then! Look at us, we look like we got 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep! This was somewhere north of Napa, if only I started this blog earlier!! 11.08-23

DSC_0407 Here we are at a winery in Door County. Thankfully if you live in WI you still can find wineries throughout the state. And bonus the tours and tastings are so much cheaper than Napa! 11.10-18

DSC_0019 2 Do I look a little pudgier here?! Not a trick question, I promise! We went to Sonoma for our baby moon. I liked Sonoma a lot and it’s on the top of our list of places we would love to retire. Because of my very apparent dutch ancestry (adopted dutch person here) one of the places we went to was Dutcher Crossing Winery. It was so absurd not only was the owner from WI but so was the entire tasting room! We had recently moved and you won’t believe how great it felt to be around people where you grew up. I was pretty prego at this point, we had nola a week later, and we felt a lot of, ‘your life is over, good luck’, etc. etc. from people. But one guy who was giving CJ a tasting just was so excited for us and told us being a parent is the greatest thing. I have to tell you, that was just what we needed to hear and he was right! 12.07-1 IMG_0465 See little Nola in this photo? She was only 1.5 months old!! At first we were nervous going to wineries with a baby, but that quickly went away. This winery was kid-friendly, meaning they had a whole section for kids. In fact there were so many kids there we felt it was like a daycare! Here was my first sip of wine after having Nola. I was breastfeeding Nola outside before going inside and so paranoid what people were thinking. 12.09-02 San Fran Photos-35 copy Here we are in Napa when CJ’s family was visiting. Nola bear was around 4 months! Visiting Napa during the fall is absolutely gorgeous and I highly recommend it! I think this was taken at Artesa Vineyards & Winery. 12.11-24 IMG_3581 This visit to wine country was with our dear friends Todd and Michael. I don’t remember the winery, but clearly that day it was pretty hot looking at our child. 13.08-31 DSC_0133 DSC_0168 Hands down this was one of our most favorite wineries, Scribe Winery. We went to this gem when my family was in town. This is a small winery and if you visit you do need to make reservations. In fact call well in advance! The person giving us our tasting went to UW-Madison! You can tell how passionate all the people are who work at these smaller wineries. And can we mention they hand out blankets and had a wood swing?! 14.05-17
DSC_0132 DSC_0133 2 Here we are at Wollersheim Winery. It was a gorgeous fall day and I just couldn’t do another pumpkin patch! We were so glad we did this and it’s only 45 minutes away from Madison. After our tour and tasting we got a bottle of sparkling grape juice and had the best picnic outside. If you have done the winery tour in Cedarburg (which I think we had done at least twice now, feel free to pass on this tour, it is very similar since they are the same owners). 15.10-11

I tried my hardest to find photos of all our trips, but I know of a few that I can’t find any of. There was one time we went hiking and stopped at one and another when we went back to Sonoma where we went for our baby moon. But I have to say that though this was pretty painful searching for all these photos and took way too much time, it was so much fun looking back! Oh well, I am proud of what I found and most excited about this post because now I have all these memories documented here!

IMG_2680 Is this photo not hilarious! It looks like she’s drinking while all the while thinking about life. Of course she wasn’t drinking wine, btw. I just felt this photo seemed fitting for this winery post.

While going through this post I thought I’d give you my two cents on visiting Napa/Sonoma if you ever go and you should:

1. My first advice was from a sweet old man at one of the first wineries we visited on our vacation, make sure you start at the farthest winery and make your way back to where you are staying. Simple enough and makes sense!

2. CJ and I preferred wineries where you they allow you to purchase a glass or bottle of wine and have a designated area where you can eat a picnic lunch. Make sure you research though, not all wineries have a license to eat outside.

3. For us personally the smaller intimate wineries are our favorite type to visit, however you probably should go to at least one of those castles or fancy schmancy wineries in Napa too if you are in the area. They are pretty impressive.

4. After going on a handful of tours you will realize you can just start to skip them and rather ask the owners if it’s cool to walk around (usually it is) buy a glass or bottle and hang outside enjoying the view!

5. If you are going for a weekend my tip would be go on one recommended winery tour and then do tastings at the rest. Three wineries is a good number to try and visit a day. After kids we realized 2 was more doable.

6. And don’t think you need to do purchase tastings for each of you at every winery, you can share!

7. My last bit of advice is don’t think you can’t take the kids. I mean if you plan to get plastered, sure that’s probably not a good idea, but for us that was never what it was all about, and when they are little running outside is fun for them as well!

2015 Apple Picking

We did our annual apple picking trip on one of those perfect fall days we had this year. In fact by the time we were ready to leave we were sweating, it got so warm. We always tend to go to Door Creek Orchard because it’s so close to where we live. It has a pretty good variety of apples and even grapes. We picked just a few grapes, but I wouldn’t recommend getting them if you have toddlers because after awhile pitting those little itty bitty grapes…well you just want to chuck them out the window. Those grapes were delicious though!

Nola was able to reach some of the best apples with the help of daddy’s shoulders. We are a big apple eating family around here. However I wish the saying was true about an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Since Nola started school she and Jonas pretty much always have some type of cold, it’s unbelievable! I don’t usually make anything with the apples we pick because I can hardly keep them stocked the way it is. I did however, make some applesauce for Jonas boy, which I didn’t realize was so easy! The other thing we love about going apple picking is getting the apple cider. Warmed up and with a little brandy, that’s the best!

Here’s some photos of the day if you care to see:

IMG_8477 IMG_8482 IMG_8489 IMG_8532 IMG_8508 we always try doing a family photo and i needless to say i always forget my selfie stick!!!

Friday Ramblings

I am so thankful it’s Friday you can’t even believe it. This week has been so insane and I’m hoping this weekend we will all be able to relax a little.

Guys, my Jonas boy is a solid little man child and my back is paying for it these days. My real worry is I still want to carry him when he’s 2 or 3??!?! Concerned mama here, kind of, but no really.

I am sooooo tired. We all are tired, I know and it’s nothing new, but it’s slightly comical around here these days.

And the reason we are all tired is because Jonas is teething. It seems that he always is…teething blows.

I know I have mentioned it before but Jonas doesn’t eat a lot of the food we give him, however, he will try to eat anything he finds on the ground. Anything. CJ said we should just scatter his food all over the floor and then maybe he’ll eat it, and with my lack of sleep thought that was the funniest thing I have ever heard and died laughing.

The other day I was cleaning up the deck for fall/winter and found a dead mouse floating in a pail. I had Jonas on my back in the ergo and I literally ran away screaming bloody murder. The rest of the day I was jumpy and had such bad anxiety. I really hate mice. I was repotting some plants the following day and had to have Nola check around for mice, my 3 year old, I have problems man.

So we haven’t had cable for about a month now and not going to lie, I miss it! But I have about an hour of free time these days and so it’s not worth it for that small window, but I really miss you food network channel, discovery channel and tlc!!

I was reading to the kids and mid sentence I told Nola I will be right back. I ran to google red spot on babies eye. Freaked me out seeing a red dot on Jonas’s eye! It’s the one time Google didn’t scare me more and assured me this was ok, broken blood vessel, and it should go away on its own?? Please let me know if this happened to anyone else?!

The leaves colors are so beautiful lately on the trees by our house.

I’ve made this oat and wheat bread for the second time and I really like it. What I like even more is knowing everything that’s in it and feeling good about giving it to Jonas. I don’t care as much what Nola eats…haha just kidding.

You ever have a moment where you realize how frivolous your life is? I read an article and it just made me mad about how much time I focus on getting things, wanting a certain house or needing to take a vacation, etc. This week I was busy looking for winter clothes for the kids, coordinating halloween events and costumes when it hit me hard, these things can be so petty while so many kids are suffering in some serious ways!! Like truly I was disgusted at the time I spent on what and I really want to be spending a whole lot more time serving others. I want my kids to know and see that too. That is something that is weighing on my heart. I feel like my biggest excuse is time, because it really is, but I still need to be better and figure something out. By the way, I think making sure my kids have clothes to wear and fun holiday activities are great, don’t get me wrong, for me personally I just need a more balanced pie chart…my service wedge just needs to be bigger.

I really hope I can watch these moves this weekend: Trainwreck and Jurassic World. Hope you all have a great weekend!

IMG_8417 this season is a lot of things and sometimes really overwhelming, but i know i’m going to miss it when it’s gone too. here’s my little crew and love them silly.

Kids Update

Jonas – 8 Months

Our sweet boy is teething like a champ. I think I counted 3 new ones coming in along with his other 3 that already cut.

Remember when I was always saying this second kid thing isn’t very hard? 8 months is getting interesting. Jonas loves finding danger (it should be his middle name) in every possible way. He also will try to eat anything he finds. Nola never was like this so this is kind of freaking us out. You can’t take your eyes off the kid! We have daily scares and then I get this urge to clean frantically b/c this kid will find or get into anything (like toilets!!!).

Interestingly enough, though Jonas is the most adorable thriving-chunky baby, food isn’t his favorite. Sure he likes yogurt and cheerios, but veggies, fruit, meat…not so much.

Jonas has some pretty killer dance moves, shakes his head no, and gives kisses.

He is still a horrible sleeper, but since we co-sleep things aren’t as bad.

Still in size 4 diapers.

I try to get him to take 2 naps, but that’s not always consistent and depends on our schedule (nola’s mainly).

Jonas is a mama’s boy. When he’s tired it’s pretty hopeless to have someone else watch him. He loves his mama and I love that too (except when we want to go on a date). When we play he will regularly come and have me hold him one sec and then he’s ready to crawl and play. This action fills my heart because it seems like he’s giving me hugs and telling me ‘hey mama, I love ya!’

Oh and this is a big one, Jonas still is very easy going, but as of late he recently found his voice. If he’s frustrated or doesn’t like something he will let us know!!

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Nola – 3 years old or threeanger

Nola…I can’t even tell you how much I love this girl. She’s sassy but has the sweetest heart…but age 3 is hard man!

School has been so great. I love her school so much which gives me a peace of mind. And having Nola being in a school setting has been such a great thing for thing. Her teacher says she’s doing great, so we are thankful for that!

She’s in dance class and it’s during the witching hour of 5 and that’s been hard. I will never, ever, ever do another class in the evening!

Nola rocked when we had Jonas, like surprisingly well. But I think we are starting to maybe see some behavior to his existence starting to play now?? Or it is just her being 3??? Regardless she is a huge Jonas lover and truly a good sister, her rebellious actions are more against her parents.

I cut her hair for the first time.

Nola loves wearing dresses, still loves tigers and her favorite food would be anything sweet (face palm). We are really careful monitoring how much candy and sweets she consumes and not going to lie dreading that part of the holidays.

I noticed when I give Nola my undivided attention and play with her or do something nice she will later tell me, “thanks for showing me that book mom” or “thanks for giving me that flower”. She is such a sweet heart and melts my heart when she tells me these things.

Nola is now really good on her scooter and it’s amazing how much more coordinated she is! She’s got the directional thing down, we just need to work on the brakes. One night she told cj, “I want to show mom my skillz”.


In this crazy world where we are all living different lives, something we all have in common is time. I know I’m not the only mom out there who hates how quickly our kids are growing up. And I’m sorry I keep on complaining about it over here, but truly it just makes me sad in so many different ways. But since I can’t stop time I also don’t want to waste my time feeling bummed about it all. Rather I’m trying my damnedest to just appreciate my two little kids and be in the moment with them as much as I can.

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2015 Pumpkin Patch Fun

For our family, fall in WI is the most wonderful time of the year (cue the music….no, that song’s not for fall?!?). Anyways, along with our love affair with this time of the year our favorite activity is going to a pumpkin farm with the kiddos, which is a family tradition. I remember taking Nola when she was 3 months old and CJ being a little nervous about taking her, BUT it’s fall AND pumpkins AND we had a kid!

Last year we went to Eugster’s Farm and loved it so I tend to like going to the same place. But if we are being real here, by the end of fall we will probably go to multiple pumpkin farms, it’s just such a fun activity to do with the kids on the weekend.

Here’s some photos of the day if you care to see:

IMG_7450 IMG_7450 copy this is a cropped-zoomed in portion of jonas b/c he’s so stinkin cute here. he is so proud b/c we are letting him do what sister is doing and he’s standing up on his own, gah i love that boy silly! IMG_7423 IMG_7458 IMG_8557 always a highlight feeding the animals the bottle IMG_8549 making her papa proud here IMG_8566 Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset it was a struggle getting her out of the kitty barn. she most likely will grow up to be a cat lady. IMG_8573 watching the most ridiculous and entertaining puppet show. just imagine hit radio songs with animals dancing and signing to the words- it worked somehow. IMG_8580 finding our pumpkins IMG_8586 jonas is sleeping and nola isn’t looking, but hey it’s a family photo, those can be rare on an outing so we got to post it regardless!

One of the main reasons I love blogging is looking back and seeing how the kids have grown, so if you want to see the previous year’s of us visiting a pumpkin farm you can check out this post and this post.

Happy Fall Peeps!!