A Weekend At Devil’s Lake

This past weekend we took our first family camping trip.   On Saturday morning, we packed up our car and headed to Devil’s Lake for a weekend of tent camping, hiking, and beach fun. On our way up, we made a little pit stop.
IMG_2696Wollersheim is one of my favorite wineries around. As many times as I’ve been to this place, I have yet to take a tour (on our Fall to-do list!)-I’ve only enjoyed the tastings. They offer a free tasting and then you can choose to upgrade to either a white wine tasting or red wine tasting for $3 bucks if you choose. We did our tastings: I chose white and hubs chose red & we shared :-) Madelyn was behaving exceptionally well-I think the homemade grape juice and crayons were keeping her occupied.IMG_2716After our tasting, we took a little walk around the grounds, explored the cave, and then sat and enjoyed some wine, cheese, and summer sausage (only in Wisconsin).
 IMG_2717When our time at Wollersheim was up, we headed up to Devil’s Lake to set up camp. It was quite the challenge trying to help hubs with the tent while trying to entertain Madelyn. Enter Goldfish crackers for the win.
IMG_2723That first day camping with a toddler was a little trying. It definitely wasn’t the relaxing camping trips we were used to. We brought stuff for her to do, but she wanted to help build fires and climb on things instead. By the end of the evening, I looked over at hubs and half-jokingly said, “Do you want to go home tomorrow?” Things got a little better once we settled down to roast marshmallows and had Madelyn eat her first s’more.
IMG_2758On Sunday, our teeny, tiny alarm clock woke us up at 6am. Hubs got the campfire going and I cooked breakfast over the fire. I premade an egg scramble at home on Friday night: eggs, spinach, mushrooms, bacon, goat cheese and milk. It worked out perfectly and tasted really good. 
IMG_2767After we were done eating and cleaning up, we ventured down to Devil’s Lake beach area and did a hike around the lake. I carried this not so little bundle on my back for the entire 4 mile hike. 
IMG_2772The terrain on this particular trail is pretty easy. There were a few spots where I had to brace myself and climb up a little, but we made it. Madelyn passed out about half-way through and then woke up about 20 minutes later. We ended our hike at the beach, ate some lunch and played in the sand and water for awhile. Later, we came back to our campsite, took showers and ate an early dinner. To avoid a repeat of antsy toddler syndrome, we headed into “The Dells” and walked around, saw some funny t-shirts, and ate ice cream cones. For the last year Madelyn has been dairy-free. Turns out the issue was actually her adenoids, so we started slowly introducing dairy back into her diet. So far so good and this past weekend she experienced her first ice cream cone. Strawberry for the win.   
IMG_2789On Monday morning we woke up a little later (6:30ish) to a yellow sky, tall blowing trees, and a torrential downpour. My first initial thought is we have to get the hell out of here! I drove Madelyn to the bathroom to change her and get her cleaned up while Larry started gather our belongings up. When I returned, I left Madelyn in the car while I tried to help Larry get stuff together. The rain was coming down even harder and the wind was picking up. I was a nervous wreck and wasn’t much help at all because all I could think about is a tree falling on our car with Madelyn in it. It was like he read my mind as that thought came into my head because a few seconds later he suggested we just leave everything, head into the dells for breakfast and come back when the weather lets up. So we headed to Paul Bunyon’s (in our pajamas) and ate a delicious breakfast of homemade donuts, coffee, eggs and sausage. It definitely hit the spot! I’m so glad we left when we did because on our way into town we saw trees and powerlines down. The storm was pretty bad. It let up a little bit by the time we got back, but we had to put everything away in the rain. Our tent is set up in our backyard drying out as we speak. Overall, it was a great trip and it was nice to create memories and start traditions with Madelyn. We’re soaking up every last bit of summer we can over here!   
The Friday before we left, I went on what was apparently a super-sweaty run. Just a quick 4 miles (the heat and humidity got the best of me) and when I looked down at my phone the colors were all distorted. I took it out of my armband case and the screen went blank. I turned it off, took the cover off and removed the battery. I tried the phone in rice trick and by Saturday morning, my screen was on but the touchscreen part of it was not working. The vacation gods forced me to unplug for the weekend (with the exception of 1 Instagram pic) which I am thankful for-it forced me to use our fancy camera. I’m not happy about having to pay for a brand-new phone (we canceled phone insurance a few months ago) but I am happy to have my iPhone back. The galaxy is a good phone but it just wasn’t for me. I also purchased a Lifeproof waterproof case to go with it, you know for all those extra-sweaty runs! ;-)
I’ll be back tomorrow with a healthy, camp-friendly meal!!
How are you enjoying these last few days of summer? BBQs, baseball games and weddings over here this weekend! 

32 Weeks and a Babymoon

8 months pregnant…really?? I know this is cliche, but where does the time go?  It’s hard to believe that in about 6 weeks or so, we’ll have a little one here :-) I’m definitely ready to meet this little person who’s been summersaulting in my stomach.

LC and I just spent a wonderful weekend in Door County, Wisconsin.  We celebrated our first year of marriage/babymoon and stayed in Sturgeon Bay at the Black Walnut Guesthouse bed and breakfast.

I would highly recommend this B&B to anyone with a gluten allergy.  The owner was VERY good in making sure that I had a lot of gluten-free treats.  From GF & vegan cookies to GF muffins and granola for breakfast.  Everything was truly amazing.  The breakfasts were very “light”, which I appreciated in the hot summertime heat.  The first morning we had muffins, fresh fruit, and fruit parfaits.  The second morning we had made to order omelets, fruit and GF toast.  The breakfast was brought to our room every morning which I really liked.  One thing that worried me about going to a B&B was having to sit with total strangers in the morning and eat breakfast.  That was not the case here.

When we arrived in Door County on Saturday, we grabbed a snack at a local cafe and went to a fish boil for dinner.  LC’s never been to one so that was on our list of things to do.  We also spent the day walking around Egg Harbor, checking out the local shops.

Hubs got to sample some of the local brew.

While I go to taste different types of olive oil.  Things got CRAZY people :-)

After we enjoyed our Door County fish boil, we headed across town to the outdoor movie theater for a double feature of Disney Pixar’s Brave & Avengers.  Brave was a really cute movie and I stayed awake for maybe 10 minutes of Avengers.  When I was younger and my mom used to take my sister and I to the drive-in, I could never hang long enough for the second movie.  I guess some things never change :-)

Our second day there was spend doing more shopping, walking, and driving.  It was relaxing and perfect.  Even though we enjoyed our B&B experience, we decided if we go back again in the summer time, we’d like to stay somewhere closer to the beach and enjoy some water sports like jet skiing.

Even though it was only two days, it was a nice change of scenery.  It was also a nice getaway before the baby gets here.  It gave us a chance to just enjoy each other, talk about what we’re excited about and what we’re both a little nervous about.

This week, Baby C the size of a large jimaca (just learned what that was today!) Baby is nearing 4 lbs and is about 16.7 inches.  Baby’s main job right now is gaining fat to survive outside the womb.  All major developments are pretty much complete.

How am I feeling? HOT! I would be pregnant during one of the hottest summers on record.  I prayed for a cool summer and got the complete opposite.  My fingers have also started to ache randomly throughout the day.  I do a lot of work at my computer, so I try to step away every hour and go for a little walk.  This seems to help.  I’ve also had a few Braxton Hicks contractions.  I started feeling them toward the end of the second trimester. Then, it felt like my whole stomach got really hard and tight.  Now, they are kind of uncomfortable and feel like very mild period cramps.  They aren’t regular and go away after I’ve had a snack, water, or changed up my activity.  In 5 weeks I will be considered “full-term” which means the baby can come out at anytime.  I know there are health benefits for the baby to stay in there past 37 weeks, but physically, I am ready.  I LOVE watching my stomach move around like crazy, but I’m getting anxious now.  Anxious to have my body back to myself, to find out whether this little one is a boy or girl, and anxious to start a new chapter in my life.  It’s been a blessing and a wonderful journey, but we’re ready for our outside baby.  We just have a few more loose ends to tie up (like finishing the nursery).  Big pregnancy craving right now? WATERMELON!!!! I can’t get enough.  We just bought our 4th one for the season.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th of July!  I’m off to get a workout in and prep for a little BBQ we’re having here :-)


It has been a week.  On Friday, I flew from Milwaukee to San Angelo, TX.  My sister has been there the past few months for military training and on Monday she finally graduated.  I’m so proud of her!

Shortly after her graduation, we set out on what was THE longest car trip of my life.  We drove from San Angelo, TX to Milwaukee, WI with minimally stopping along the way.  I played DJ while Melissa drove most of the trip which I am really thankful for.  I’d rather play DJ and keep her company with car games than drive, especially at night.

As far as food goes, we packed a lot of snacks to munch on in the car.  String cheese, apples, and gluten free breakfast bars were crowd favorites.

Monday night, we stopped in Wichita Falls, TX and ate dinner at a place called Carinos.  It’s a chain restaurant that I’ve only noticed in Texas that is very similar to Olive (I definitely just wrote Oliver) Garden.  The food was really good!  I had an Italian pot roast served over potatoes instead of pasta.  It  was definitely more than I could eat and Melissa and I both agreed that we could have split it.  I was so hungry, that I forgot to take a pictures BUT I did get a pic of their gluten-free menu :-)

Tuesday, was our long day of driving and I helped this time.  We ended up in Collinsville, IL…more than 1/2 way home! We were both super tired and hungry so we just did a quick Qdoba run.

 Naked burrito bowl with lots of veggies, a sprinkle of cheese and a dollop of guacamole.  I’m a big fan of Qdoba & Chipolte because they’re both really good and can be somewhat healthy, sans the flour tortilla.  I don’t like the way the meat tastes at Qdoba but I do love their vegetable options while I LOVE chipolte’s chicken but wish they had more to choose from veggie wise.

After another restless night of sleep (I could not get any sleep on this trip to save my life), we were finally on our last leg of the trip…home! Or rather WI.  After I dropped off my sister, I then had to load up my car and drive back south 2 hours to Chicago.  Where my husband, dog & a gluten-free pizza were all waiting for me with open arms.

Although it was a long trip, I cherished the quality car time that I got to spend with my sister.  We talked about so much: life, her plans for finishing school & all the fun and exciting things we both have to look forward to in 2012 :-) This year has been absolutely wonderful but I have a feeling that next year will bring even more excitement into our lives.

Tomorrow, I get back into the car and hubs and I travel back up to WI to spend Christmas Eve with my family and then back to Chicago for Christmas day with his.  After this weekend, I’ll be staying put for a while and I couldn’t be happier about that.