Jul 26 2012

Meet the State Champs!

stateOh, the jubilation that preceded this picture! Makes every iota of driving, of sweltering or freezing on the sidelines, of washing long stinky black socks totally worth it. And really, truly, the title couldn’t have gone to a sweeter group of kids. Good sports, hard workers, soccer lovers. They are good in many ways.

As far as championship games go, it could not have been more dramatic and nerve wracking. 1:1, into overtime and then a shoot out. I literally had to do some yoga breathing it was so intense. I’m not sure I’m cut out for this kind of sports stress.

They sure are, though. HURREFFINGAAAAY!!!

Jul 23 2012

Music Monday: Electric Guest

i-rCBzhWL-L-590x393I love this song. Pure and simple. I love it. Love it. This is summer shimmy music. You shimmying? Ya? Because I’m shimmying.

Out of L.A., Electric Guest played here on Saturday night. I was trying to shimmy Dash into going with me, but we were on family-stay-at-home-and-chill-out lock down in preparation for Saint James’ early morning game on Sunday. The Minneapolis United U12 team has made it to States. One more game and we’re in the finals, baby!!!

Nevertheless, listening to this song again, I should have shimmied over there myself. I’M not the one playing soccer.

In. Fec. Tious.

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Jul 22 2012

Summer Snaps – Part 1

Summer. It goes so fast that the only thing I can possibly do to catch it, is to try to be still when there’s time, motivate to do new things when there’s time, run from one thing to the next when there isn’t time, and take a few pictures along the way.  Last year, when I did a Summer Snaps post, I realized that our summer was indeed chocked full of moments, good moments – we were just careening through with nary a second to dwell. So here it is. A second of dwelling.

We kicked off summer with Devil Baby’s birthday. Sweet six.


Later in June we watched the Euro 2012 Championship on the rooftop at Brit’s Pub. España v. Italia, lots of heat, humidity, wild gesticulations and cheering. I’ll say this: it is good to spend time with soccer people. Never have I been more content to sweat under a patio umbrella with a Crispin Cider on ice. Saint James and Dash were in hog heaven.santiscarfloumiasecuredownload-1

The kids swimming with Foxy Brown at the hidden beach on Lake Harriet is pure joy to watch. The doodle can swim. Wish we knew more places to take her where we didn’t have to be so clandestine. Anyone?

foxyswimI love the Fourth of July because it involves swimming, barbecues, beer and fireworks. This year it fell smack dab in the middle of a brutal (by my standards) heat wave, but we managed to squeeze in all the elements anyway. Nothing like a steamy night with kids and friends, watching magic light up the sky.fireworksAfter too many days of slogging through air as thick and warm as cotton candy, the heat wave broke and this mama felt ready to conquer the world. Dash was on nights, so I took the kids for a hike at Dodge Nature Center, where we had the place to ourselves, save the quietly grazing barn animals. By some stroke of luck, everyone was happy to explore, take the more tangled looking paths and generally feel our way around the pretty grounds. We had never been there before and were lulled and welcomed by the humming insects, the whispering grasses and the cool dappled woods. Not every adventure works out, so when one does, I know to say a little prayer of thanks and put it in my pocket as a small triumph.


deerAfter the nature center we were famished, so we stopped at Mandarin Kitchen for dim sum – another first with all the kids. We sat down and were immediately enswirled in the cacophony of the restaurant. The flurry of cart drive-bys was so quick and confusing, that we just kept saying yes, yes, yes to anything that looked good, and within minutes our table was covered in mysterious delicious crispy things. A moment of stunned silence was followed by a fit of giggles as we surveyed the feast ahead of us. The kids were so game to try it all, it made me happy. We are definitely going back with Doctor Dash.


Jul 19 2012

Summer Girl

Lou_Sunset_069Photo by Kathy Quirk Syvertsen

When Red Vogue emailed me this picture she took of Supergirl, I gasped. It’s so beautiful . . . and those legs. Those legs are no longer the awkward flailing crazy legs of a little kid. They are the legs of a big kid. A coordinated, water loving, game-for-anything bonafide big girl.

Oh, my heart. We are on the verge.

I suspect Red Vogue already had this picture in her mind’s eye when she proposed a dusk dip and photo sesh to Supergirl. She knew Supergirl would do exactly this, because Supergirl approaches everything in her life from a place of yes, why not? and then how about . . . ?

I need to be more like her.

Jul 16 2012

Music Monday: Little Dragon

little-dragonI haven’t featured any ladies on Music Monday for a while and that’s because I’m hoarding them for that thing I do over here. I love this song. The first time I heard it, I thought it might be a guy singing. Little Dragon is a Swedish electronica band and the singer is the cool, adorable Yukimi Nagano. Dig.

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Jul 10 2012

Magic on Wheels

Flying-Bird-1I just need to acknowledge that right now, at this point in this summer in this month, it is STILL a joy and a wonder to ride a bike behind Devil Baby. To watch a six year old pedal furiously, expertly maintaining balance, is nothing short of a small summer miracle. That their little bodies learn how to do this, is almost impossible to believe.

She’s been off training wheels for a very long time, yet she still looks small enough to need them, small enough to make me think of a little bird in flight as she leans into her turns, her pony tail poking out from beneath her helmet.

I bet she feels it too.

Jul 9 2012

Music Monday: Trampled by Turtles

securedownloadYou know me, I’m not usually a girl overly moved by the twang. The twang hits me somewhere around the bridge of my nose, where the bass, hits me in the chest, in the gut and all the way on down – where all those good chakras reside. But sometimes I surprise myself and find myself loving a twangy band. I’m not sure there’s any rhyme or reason to it, besides the fact that the flavor of twang presented hits in a place that makes me want to take a deep breath. Is this making any sense? I don’t even understand myself right now. The Avett Brothers, Mumford and Sons, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings and Trampled by Turtles are all bands and musicians in my regular rotation. They are kitchen music, and coming from me, that’s the highest complement.

securedownload-1We caught these guys at Rock the Garden a few weeks ago and they were awesome. Dash and I had already been fully blown away, sweaty, up close and personal-like, by Doomtree and had retreated to a sunny spot on the hill to snarf delicious food truck food and listen to TbT (as they’re called by their people). Notwithstanding the fact that this band attracts fans who may or may not be wearing a coonskin cap and/or an unidentified pelt wrapped around their waist, we were pretty much in heaven. Springy tunes, soft green grass, setting sun, garlicky falafel, lazy lolling. Shit. It don’t get any better than that.

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Jul 4 2012

Embracing an Ordinary Life

facesSomewhere along the line, it seems, we all put bumper stickers on our minivans that say Extraordinary or Bust. At least, that’s what this NY Times article posits. As a society, we are so fixated on success and accolades, on concrete, external and preferably loud and bedazzled celebrations of our (and our children’s) accomplishments, that we’ve forgotten what it means to live an ordinary, magical life. Everyone is a genius who is destined for greatness. Except that’s not true. So why not step into that chasm and live there, and live there well?

As someone who started out fully outfitted in the trappings of success, including the trim little lawyer suits, and dropped out, I HAVE to believe that the small and ordinary things I do for my family mean something. This blog is an attempt to find weight and truth in the things that don’t end up on a resume, that don’t get me a pat on the back from a partner in my law office, that don’t bring me money.

But even I, who has every reason to try to redefine success for myself, fall short when I start to feel like I’ve fallen short. Even I, whose last shred of self worth is tied up in this, does not know how to answer this simple question: Does she live up to her potential? Depends who you ask, I suppose. But certainly, don’t ask me.

I love this article and that someone is saying hey, there’s more to life . . .

I love the idea that my soups and sauces and swims count for something. I love that my kids know that I do serious food shopping at the farmers market, that before age 12, they know about fresh eggs and delight at the sight of a bright orange yolk. That’s because of me and it is not nothing. I may not be closing multimillion dollar deals any more, but I have a brood of food lovers, readers, dancers, swimmers and laughers. And it’s because of me.

Right here, right now, riding this jittery wave of my morning coffee, I’m taking credit. In this moment, I’m not going to be shy about not “doing” anything in the conventional sense. I’m taking back the little stuff and holding it high in the air like a banner.

Because it matters. It has to.

Jul 2 2012

Music Monday: Azalea Banks for Maestro de Bife

Azealia-Banks1This one goes out to my brother, Maestro de Bife, on his thirty-sixth(?) birthday. Can that be? Dang, bro, you’re getting up there! At least I’m not the only one. Sheesh! Nevertheless, happy birthday to you over there and down under!

I love this girl. She exploded onto the scene with this song last year and I’ll say one thing about her: SHE DIRTY. M to the B will surely appreciate her ferociously fast foul mouth.

I know I do.

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