By Laura  /  January 1, 2018
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By Laura  /  December 7, 2017
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By Laura  /  December 6, 2017
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By Laura  /  November 20, 2017
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By Laura R  /  August 16, 2016
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By Laura R  /  July 8, 2016
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Winter Lakefront

A few weeks ago when it was bitterly cold, my friend Karin (in her classic Prepared Friend fashion), texted me in the car line at school: “Want to take the kids to the Bradford Beach? I heard there’s some amazing sights.” Um, no. I don’t. It’s, like, -20. It’ll be even colder at the lakefront with the breeze coming in off the lake. But since I’m trying harder to get out and do things in the winter, I sighed. Yes, I’ll go. This will fill up my girls’ little love cups and will make me feel like I am winning at parenting. (Also, when the girls complain that they never get to do anything fun, I can remind them of that one time we went to the lake when it was -20 and saw all the beauty and had somuchfun and now it’s time for you to fold laundry and make your bed because all the fun is over now). A short drive later, we’re in the middle of a frozen tundra with our seven collective children. Lauryn (who is nearly as tall as I am) was wearing ballet flats with no socks–no bueno for walking through snow drifts. Problem solved. My lakefront excursion objectives […]

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Four Types of Friends

Something in me seems to have shifted. I don’t know if I’m able to articulate this well, but after 12.5 years of pregnancies, potty training, chasing toddlers, foster care, adoption, child-induced insomnia, moving, and renovating a house, I feel like I can look at the people who have been walking with me and I’m finally able to sigh deeply and say “Hey, I don’t feel like I’m in a crisis right now. How are you?” And as I consider the people who have walked with me through all my crazy, I started to see a trend emerging. It turns out I have four types of friends, with some overlaps: 1. Prepared Friend: I highly recommend that every person finds a prepared friend. Prepared Friends always know what’s going on over the weekend and where to find a Groupon for it. They always carry band-aids, tissues, ibuprofen  and snacks. Their phone is always charged and always have a water bottle. They know all the best events in the city over the course of the next three months and will send invites to your calendar. Prepared Friends remind you that this Friday is a half day at your child’s school because you forgot. […]

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A New Year

I got cancer, you know. I thought ‘I might die of this’, so I decided I’m going to eat that chocolate cake. But I didn’t die, so now I have to lose 25 pounds. -My Aunt Laura  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. I celebrated with family and friends over many meals and presents and conversations. Did I ever tell you that one side of my family is so large that we have to rent a school to host Christmas? It’s true–we use the cafeteria and gym for all our Christmas festivities and it’s pretty great. We were also invited to our first Hanukkah. I admitted to  our hosts that all I know of Hanukkah is what I heard in that Adam Sandler song. The food was delicious, the girls now kinda know how to play with dreidels, and Sage was invited to light the menorah, which she thought was pretty rad. We had such a wonderful time. And now it’s a new year. The new year has always been my favorite time to think about what I’m trying to do in my life. I’m really a details person on a day-to-day basis, so thinking about my life from […]

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Family Photos at Home

It started last year–through some rabbit trail of clicks–I was following Milwaukee photographer, Hannah Toldt. Over time, I noticed that she and I had some mutual friends and I figured it would be cool to know her in real life, so I messaged her to see if we could take a crack at getting to know each other. Hannah agreed and we met for coffee. We talked for a couple of hours, which is pretty unusual for two complete strangers but she was just so dang likable. And when we decided to do family photos this year, I thought Hannah would be a great person to ask. When we do family photos, we typically head somewhere pretty, snap some poses and go home. This time round, I thought it’d be nice to have photos taken at home. I thought it would be a bit more chill and I’d be able to deal with the usual kid meltdown scenarios easier at home. BUT. The night before the photos, we were on our way to a surprise party and I realized that my house was a complete wreck and that a photographer is coming tomorrow morning and I have to have myself and […]

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