Family Time

Irish Beef and Guinness Stew

3-11-18 mana & pap over for dinner9

Holidays like St. Patrick’s Day are so great because they are low low low stress. No gifts to shop for or extravagant meals to cook. Just a nice excuse to have a little fun! In the spirit of the season, we invited my grandparents over for dinner last weekend. I cooked a simple Irish meal of [...]

We Matter.

9-15-17 st adalberts cemetary44

It was an oppressingly hot September day when we visited the cemetery. The brittle grass pricked our feet, the blinding sun torched the inside of the car, the air dried the backs of our throats. We were there to visit the graves of two women we never met, but who will forever be a part [...]

Memories at The Music Box

12-9-17 white christmas as music box5

I’m feeling a little anxious about Christmas. With six kids in a Chicago townhouse, we just don’t have any more room for any more stuff. I really do try to keep the gifts thoughtful and at a minimum, but even minimum x 6 = a lot. I hate that so much of this time of [...]

The Merry Magic of Christmas

12-2-17 santa hustle 5k

Ok so I know there is a lot of terrible, awful, no-good stuff going on in the world, but something about the Christmas season reminds me that all hope isn’t lost (yet). Sure, we have awful politicians improperly managing natural disasters and man-made threats, but most of the everyday people I know are good and [...]

The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party at Chicago Children’s Theatre


The Christmas season is upon us. I’m so grateful for this time every year. It is nice to wind down after a busy year with the people we love most. Chris and I make gentle efforts to really enjoy all the hustle and bustle our city has to offer – there certainly is no shortage of [...]

Fall Fun + Buttermilk Pumpkin Bread with Apples


Every week, for the past 40 weeks, Ben has asked to make pumpkin bread. Last year we bought the mix from Trader Joe’s and it was the perfect activity for him – easy to make, easy to mix and perfectly tasty. It is a seasonal item, and sweet Ben has waited oh-so patiently for our local [...]

How We Travel With Six Kids + Minimal Stress


Since we took our family of eight on a two-week European holiday several people have asked me “how did you do it?” So, here’s how we did it: 1. Pack Light: For our trip to Europe, everyone packed about three days worth of clothes into their own backpack (including me and Chris!). To keep it [...]

Tearful Goodbyes and Joyful Hellos

9-11-17 walking home from school

My sweet Ben. He recently started preschool. Finally, he can join his siblings in the chaotic morning rush and the evening chatter of “what happened at school today?” As the first day of school neared, he talked about being scared – but then two minutes later he’d talk about feeling excited. He’s seen enough pick-ups [...]

Party Fun & Party Dip

8-26-17 party at the parker's house5

My parents have 18 grandchildren. Considering how young they are, I’d say that is quite an accomplishment. The only issue with having such a large family is that we can’t easily gather to celebrate all the birthdays. So, my sister Colleen offered to host a big birthday/end-of-summer party at her home in honor of my [...]

The Perfect Time to Take a Trip

8-6-17 paris

We recently returned from a whirlwind trip to Europe. 12 days. Six countries. Six kids. It was awesome! Before, during and after the trip people told us we were crazy for embarking on such an adventure. The kids are too young to remember it! Not much of a vacation with all those kids! You guys [...]

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