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I think this month was one of my busiest ever.  Well, maybe not.  I’m sure I had busier periods in grad school and law school, but this ranks up there!  Lots of travel, lots of fun, lots of falling off the diet wagon, and lots of worrying because my Sadie had surgery (more on that in a bit!).  I love October because of the leaves, Halloween, the cooler temps, and the beginning of the holiday season.  It’s one of the best months of the year.

This post, like all of my others, will showcase Sadie.  I love that little fart.
Time to fall it uppppp.
Sadie turned 2 on the 6th!
She’s so fun.
October walks outside are the best. Crunchy leaves!
Made some cookies for the courthouse.
New mural in Oshkosh; and a little trip to M Schettl sales.
Denny and I were models for a photography class (what a hoot).
Pretty leaves and a plate full of cheese – what a dream.
Sushi dinner with Michelle up in Appleton!
October at the Paine.
My little pumpkin near a bunch of BIG pumpkins!
White chicken chili season is BACK! And I got new glasses! And carved a pumpkin for the Military Vets Museum!
SADIE HAD KNEE SURGERY!!  She tore the doggy equivalent of an ACL.  Major surgery.  I was a mess.  She was a tough cookie.  What a honey bun.  She still has a long recovery ahead, but she’s doing well.
I made Pete happy by going to see scary Halloween;  he made me happy by choosing the cutest little movie theater in all the land.  Waupaca for the win!
See ya next year, October.  I miss you already.

My momma and I spent an October weekend in Chicago.  We travel and spend a lot of time together because a) we like each other and b) we know we won’t have this time forever.  Spending time with the ones you love, when everyone is healthy and well — it’s magic that I know won’t last forever.  So here’s to seeing it all, doing it all, and never letting much grass grow under our feet.

Lincoln Park is so pretty.
I love the honeycomb.
We went to the top of the Hancock completely on a whim.  It wasn’t on our agenda but we had some time to kill and decided to go.  I hadn’t been up there in over 10 years.  It’s still completely awesome.  And this pretty view only lasted for about 3 minutes — then it clouded over.  Perfect timing from the universe.
You have to buy a drink in order to enjoy the views.  Twist my arm.
The Signature Room – if you want a fancy meal.
RAINBOW MURAL!
We visited the wndr museum — which I hated.  I’m usually all about cool visual displays, but this was just weird and I had no patience.
Our hotel, the Kimpton Gray, used to be the New York Life Insurance building.  It had a this-was-once-an-office-building vibe and I loved it.
Halloween parade going down State Street.
Early morning visit to the Bean.
Firecakes donuts! OMG
love murals. L-O-V-E.

Last October my mom and I visited Las Vegas to see Death Valley NP and Britney Spears.  This October we visited Las Vegas to see Zion NP and Reba McEntire/Brooks & Dunn.  We had a GREAT time!  Perfect weather, smooth travel, and lots of pretty sights to see.

  • We stayed at the Cosmopolitan, which is the same hotel we stayed at last time.  I love the Cosmopolitan and I’ll never want to stay anywhere else.  Why?  Because the rooms have private balconies and you can request a fountain view (translation: view of the Strip/Bellagio fountain show).
  • We picked up our rental car and headed straight to Seven Magic Mountains, which is a art installation 15 miles outside of Vegas.  I sent a photo to Pete and he said it looked like gay Stonehenge, which made me laugh.  In all seriousness, it’s a cool sight to see and I love it because… NEON colors!
  • Having time to kill before we could check into our hotel, we did what any mother-daughter team would do: visited the outlet mall!  The North Las Vegas outlets were just OK — J. Crew and Kate Spade were the highlights.
  • We checked into our hotel and relaxed for the rest of the night;  I went out and took a walk because I have a daily step quota to meet!
  • The next day we woke up early and headed to Donut Bar — so yummy!  We also drove around downtown Las Vegas (or DTLV, as the cool kids say) and got to see all of the awesome murals.  We had the neighborhood and murals all to ourselves because of the early hour.
  • After eating a few donuts, we hit the road to Zion NP, which is about 2.5 hours outside of Vegas. Much to our disappointment, it was RAINING at Zion. Cloudy skies and cold rain wasn’t what we had in mind, but the park was still stunning. We took some photos, spent a half hour trying to find a parking space at the Visitors’ Center, and then headed back to Las Vegas. A long day of driving but 100% worth it.  I’d love to return someday and spend more time at the park.
  • Our last full day was spent visiting more colorful murals, going to Target (yes, we stop at Target at all cities we visit!), and walking around the Strip.  There’s a weird phenomenon in Las Vegas where you look at something, say a hotel, and say, “oh, it’s right over there, we can walk.”  An hour later, you arrive.  Everything is further away and harder to get to than you think it will be!
  • We visited the Flamingo and enjoyed the open-air “mall” between the Flamingo and Linq. We stopped to see the floral display at the Bellagio’s Conservatory. And then we went back to our hotel for an early dinner before heading to Caesar’s for Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn.
  • The concert was great — I enjoyed Brooks & Dunn, though I will be honest, Reba McEntire isn’t my jam. She’s just too twangy — though I will admit, she’s got a great voice and a ton of talent.
  • We headed back to Wisconsin the next day!

Look. At. That. View!
Some interesting wallpaper in our hotel room closets!
Arguably one of the most famous hotels on the Strip.
Flamingoooooo!
The Chihuly in the lobby of the Bellagio. It’s HUGE – the photo doesn’t do it justice.
First in line for donuts!
The pink one was my favorite.
It definitely can be.
Rainy Zion.
See that little blue speck halfway up the photo on the left?  That’s a person.
I love neon signs.  We drove to a little town outside of Zion and oooo, I loved the Thunderbird sign!  Our hotel is home to the neon sign for Milk Bar.
The hallway leading to Secret Pizza, a secret (unadvertised, no-sign) restaurant in the Cosmopolitan.
Loved the Alice in Wonderland theme.
Sex drugs and sprinkles.
The Chandelier Bar — we had a few drinks here and it was great.
LOVE Eggslut! The line is always long but it’s worth it.
Chinese and Mexican food under one roof.
More murals!  If there’s a cool mural to be seen, I will track it down!
The mural that I’m standing in front of is in the parking lot of the Graceland Wedding Chapel.
I just liked this building.
Next time I visit, I want to go on the High Roller!  Each pod holds 40 people and it takes 30 minutes to go around the wheel.
When near the west coast…
Dreamy primary colors.
Showgirls gotta get their ice cream, too.
The Conservatory at the Bellagio.
They change the floral theme 5 times a year and have a staff of 100+ people in charge of all the flowers.
More of the Chandelier!
Lobby bodies.
Starbucks strawberry refreshers are my new favorite thing.
Yet another photo of this view.  I can’t help it.
My momma – best friend and favorite travel buddy.
Arriving at Caesars!
All I could think of was the Hangover.  “Is this the real Caesar’s Palace?”
Reba + Brooks & Dunn!
The show ended with streamers and confetti – I loved it.

September is a transition month. Not quite summer. Not quite fall. Kids are back to school. The days start to get shorter. The smell of the air signals the change of seasons. It’s all weird but good.

September 2nd was my dad’s 71st birthday.  We went up to Green Bay to the car museum and to dinner at the Cannery.
Pete and I also stopped for bloody marys at the Beachcomber. And a photo op at the world’s biggest nut!
Jack, Gracie, and Sadie.  Plus an uplifting note.
Shopping in Milwaukee with my momma & a trip to Gilles.
Sadie enjoys her walks!
Ratch & Deb’s – I’d go there every week if I could! LOVE.
First Packers game of the season, a new sign for my office, and some Sadie cuteness
Happy hour with Marianne; and more Sadie cuteness.
Docktoberfest with the fam!
I started decorating for Halloween in mid-September.  Don’t judge.
Opening night at the Howard!
United Way kickoff time; and fall is creeping in.
It’s also flu shot season! Get yours!
My happiest place.
Waking up early often has its perks.
Cupcake pancakes at IHOP – cause… TREAT YO SELF.
Pete was a sweetie and went to China Lights with me.  Not his thing, but we got him a few egg rolls and he was a happy panda.
(sometimes it’s fun to drag the big Nikon out!)
And we wrapped up the month by attending the Packers/Bills game. We won but it was damn chilly!
Onto October – my favorite month of the year!
October will bring trips to Las Vegas and Chicago, as well as Sadie’s big knee surgery (gahhh!).

Oh em gee, August was another jam-packed month.  BIRTHDAY month!  Here it all is!
The month kicked off with the County Fair!
Colorful & fun.
Had lunch with Jillian at a new taco place in Milwaukee.
The Oshkosh Chalk Walk
My new and colorful (shocking) glass window hanging thing.  And a bunch of dogs!
Went to see Michael McDonald at Waterfest (not my favorite musician but oh well).
New t-shirt from my friend Lynn — and some pretty flowers.
Some quality eats.
Cherry dippee is my fav cupcake at Tamara’s.
Sadie’s back-to-school photos :)
Pete and I went to Door County to celebrate my birthday. FUN!
We went to the Death’s Door Maritime Museum, which was pretty interesting.
MINI GOLF! I beat him by 6 strokes. :)
Cherry margarita and a nice sunset at Fred & Fuzzy’s.  And I’ve found my dream home — decked out in primary colors!
Breakfast at Chop — my favorite part was the cherry butter. CHERRY. BUTTER.
Then we hopped on the ferry and went to Washington Island.
Went to the “famous” bitters bar. Money on the ceiling. And bitters, for the record, tastes like swallowing Christmas. Yeeeeeach.
Schoolhouse Beach
The plastic straw ban hasn’t quite made it up to Door Co. Yet.
Whitefish Dunes State Park
Must. Always. Stop. At. Al. Johnson’s!
Anderson Dock.
MY BIRTHDAY!
Pete knows the way to my heart: BALLOONS!
A little visit to the farmers market.  I’m there by 8am and gone by 8:15am.  No joke.
I also had my first banana split ever last weekend. EVER! Delicious!
Breakfast at Delta.  A new friend named Oreo.  And a military vets potluck dinner.
Snuggles. And pssst… fall is coming!
Sadie went on her first real walk the other day.  I took Pete with me (in case one of my MANY neighborhood pitbulls attacked).  She walked a full 2 miles.  I was proud and impressed.
Here’s to the end of summer – it was a fun one.  I can’t wait for all things fall.