Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A win for Coach K

With only one kid, Scott and I find ourselves saying "we have one shot" at many situations.. we aren't going to get certain moments in time back and we won't have another chance to "do it right" with another kid....  In an attempt at "not throwing away our shot", we have tried to make sure we take advantage of all opportunities.  Scott has volunteered as his basketball coach for the past few years.  He had a few rough seasons but this past winter, it was all worth it.  The Bobcats won their division in the Wilmette Community league and the boys were so happy.  Fun to see my men create lasting memories!

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Josh turns 12

It seems like just yesterday that our baby was born .. and now he is 12!!!!   I feel like every year we debate it we will do a party... decide we aren't going to..  say we will just have a few friends over/take them to dinner and then realize that it will cost the same as a party... get lazy and just pay to have it somewhere where we can just show up... party and go home with no clean up. 

We booked Hot Ground Gym sight unseen which was a little risky and walking into the small gym, i was concerned if I made the right decision.  After 90 sweaty minutes and the kids telling us and their parents they loved it, I think we made the good choice!   Run by former military, the workers really provide structure for the kids while having fun, working as a team and helping them regardless of their abilities. 

No one got hurt, Josh was able to cut the cake with a sword and have his buddies there to celebrate with him!  Thinking about him being in our lives for 12 years is definitely a mind warp... it feels like yesterday but forever ago.. but one thing is for certain  -->  we are better because of him. 

I am excited to see what these coming tween years will bring.  Sure there will be some tears (from him/me/both) and yelling along the way, but look forward to him continue to mature and develop into a young man!

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Fall/Winter Wrap up

The fall and winter of 2016 went pretty quick after the Marathon was over.   Scott worked most Saturdays and I stayed busy with the FDA study I am helping with along with taking josh to his various activities.  I think I can say now (Feb 1 2017), we have re-adjusted to our new schedule.  Things are pretty regimented at our house which seems to work for all of us. 

My personal highlights to wrap up the year included:
  • Taking josh to the aquarium for a solo improptu trip.  Josh has always enjoyed the aquarium and seeing the difference marine life.  Petting the sting rays was one of our favorite things of the day
  • Bears game with friends.. do i really like the bears?  ummm... not so much but do live sports especially with good seats
  • Lots of runs with friends... We have all joked we would take a run and post race breakfast anyday over a late night out
  • Taking an afternoon to myself and seeing Fun Home.  While Hamilton is all the rage on Broadway, this won Best musical in 2015 and was simply amazing. The two shows were totally different but loved them both.   
  • Thanksgiving in Ohio.. a tradition we have had most our of married years which included a 5K in Chardon. Lucy, Josh and Liza kept things lively around the house and we dined on filets, crab cakes and many other goodies!  On a whim, we decided
  • Christmas in Chicago where we went to see Charlie Brown's Christmas and ice skated at Maggie Daley park.  Perfect weather for Christmas and really enjoyed our quiet weekend.   
  • My parents came in for New Years and we went to see Star Wars (again) and closed out 2016 by falling asleep before midnight.  
It was a great year and looking forward to an even better 2017!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Chicago Marathon

This post deserves space on both this blog and my nicolekesten.blogspot.com.   Never in a million years would I have thought that Scott and I would run a marathon together but somehow ... that miracle happened last fall.  Since I had a guaranteed entry, we decided Scott should run for a charity to bank on both of us running in the same year.  We chose Team Cure It who focuses on childhood cancer research, programs and support groups.  We were fortunate to meet our fundraising efforts fairly easily with help with loved ones.  Cannot thank those that donated enough!

I will get around to doing a full write up on the other blog in a bit but for now, our weekend in pictures!

Snuck in Hamilton after Packet Pickup

We did it!
So happy Tia was able to medal us!

Hobbled out of the car to get some pizza.... and 2 cokes

Sunday, January 22, 2017


This past October Scott received a promotion with Chase.  It was great timing as he was growing out of his former role and he was ready for another challenge.  He turned down a position last year at another bank and so far, I believe the wait is worth in.  It was a 2 step promotion and he is actually training in NYC now for the second step.

Since neither of us travel often for work, when i heard he was going to NYC, my natural reaction was to invite josh and i along.  Booked a combo hotel and flight package and we were off!  This was only Josh's 2nd or 3rd time to NYC and the last one was for the marathon where that was the main focus.   So, we decided to make this a "Josh planned trip."  It kindof killed me inside not to set the plans but we asked Josh what he wanted to do and went with it.

We stayed downtown by 1WTC and Oculus.  We had great views from our room that had two sep sleeping spaces that was nice for josh and us to have some space. Nice to give him some space when he wants it and we aren't on top of each other all the time.

Main highlights were:  Statue of Liberty where we climbed the pedastal, Ellis Island, St Patricks, visiting Hamiltons grave and Josh's favorite... TIMES SQUARE!  (UGh!)   Funny to see Times Square through the eyes of an 11 year old and find it quite ironic that was his fav.  We even got a picture with a costumed group of avengers (with costumes that were walmart specials).  Gack!  But, we still had an awesome time and loved making the spontaneous trip!

Cheers to Scotts next chapter!

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Poconos/Philly Weekend

First weekend in August, we took our last summer vacation to Poconos!  Rev3 has a race there and with my brother now living in PA, we made it a family vacation.  It ended up being a fun trip that was jam packed with family time, race time and history time!  ... does it get much better?
Team Tall White Brother Round Asian Sister relayed the oly!
SBR Attack at the swim practice... pants optional
Race morning as the fog lifted.  The swim was really good with minimal river grass that I was nervous about

Ryan and I with some of the awesome volunteers!
With 2 of the final finishers that I had the pleasure to run with.  Man that 13.1 (that ended up being 14.9 for me) was a killer with those hills!
HIGH Fives to El Capitan Eric Opdyke- Awesome race!

Pj's required, eyes open - optional

After saying goodbye to family on Monday, we had about 36 hours in Philly that we took full advantage of before flying out of PHL Tuesday morning.  We stayed at the Kimpton Philadelphia and I took the bait to upgrade to a "parkside room."  After getting up to the room, i was so happy I did.  The views were perfect and the room had a super modern feel but hint of traditional colonial touch which i enjoyed.   The afternoon was spent at the Constitution Center seeing an original copy of the Bill of Rights along with learning about the electoral process and seeing a live show about the price of liberty.  We also took another pass (get that pun) at the Liberty bell (i think it was Josh's 3rd time seeing it), visited Elfreth's alley and got cheesesteaks at Jim's. 

Tuesday morning, we grabbed some breakfast at a hipster diner near the new LDS Temple and attempted to sneak into the open house but had no luck.  We felt actually sneaking in might be bad gugu so we enjoyed the views from the rooftop terrace and surrounding grounds.  Perfect time away and lots of memories made.