Sunday, November 29, 2009


Dan was really hopped up about Thanksgiving and begged and pleaded with me to have us host. I finally caved, so we had our parents and siblings over today for a Thanksgiving feast. Once we decided to host I went full bore with menu planning. I LOVE to cook, so I was having a great time figuring out what we were going to have.

Here's some background: Most of you know that I don't just come from a big family - I come from a huge family!! Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter have traditionally been spent at my dad's parents house in the farm lands of Wisconsin. My dad has 4 brothers and 4 sisters, most of whom are married and have kids and we all come to Grandma and Grandpa's for a fest. This year we weren't able to go because my Grandma was just diagnosed with cancer and had surgery on Tuesday of this week, so she was in recovery mode and not really in the mood to have 40 people looking for food in her house.

Okay, back to our Thanksgiving. I have helped cook a Thanksgiving meal before, but never done it on my own, so I was really worried about the amount of food and if we would have enough (do you see where this is heading?). Dan and I bought a ton at the grocery store, including a 10 pound bag of potatoes and a 16 pound turkey. All week I've been wondering if we had enough food. Even today as I'm peeling potatoes I was worried we didn't have enough food. Turns out, nine people don't really eat that much! We could have easily feed another nine people and maybe even then some! Dan and I were laughing about it tonight - I am so used to seeing a Thanksgiving spread for 40 that I WAY over planned for nine! Oh well, we are both very thankful to have leftovers for lunches for the next month. :)

All in all it was a great day and we had an awesome time with our families and boy do we have a lot to be thankful for this year. I love the holiday season and can't wait for more time with family and friends! (and maybe a few yummy hoilday drinks too...)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I have the worst job in the world

It's true. Just look at what I have to put up with on a daily basis:

This is Patrick. He's never happy.

Neither is Aidan.

And he's definitely never good for a laugh or six.

They sometimes look at me like I'm crazy

And when you put them together? Get ready to shield your eyes. It's an awful sight to spend the day looking at.



I just can't seem to muster up one tiny little bit of love for these two. Sigh. It is so darn hard to be me.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


They all seam to be crazy weeks these days, and the last few have been no different. Here's our very overdue update on life around the Ritter house.

Our family grew again! We are now a household with 12 legs and we are loving it! Little Shiloh joined our family three (maybe 4?) weeks ago and she is such a joy! Willow LOVES having a little sister. In fact, I'm not convinced that she knows Shiloh is her little sister. She seems to think that we got her a great new toy that plays with her and speaks her language. They are so funny to watch together! The first night we had Shiloh, she was playing with one of Willow's toys when Willow came up and took it away. We were worried for an instant, until Willow promptly dropped it and waited for Shiloh to pick up the other end so they could play tug of war. It was adorable! Shiloh is a sweet and cuddly little girl and is already picking up on this potty training thing way better than Willow did! She is a great addition to our family!

(For curious minds, Shiloh is a Cockapoo mix, just like Willow, and despite the way all the pictures look, she is not black but a very dark chocolate brown)

In other news, I finished up the marching band this past weekend with our big trip down to UW-Whitewater. We had a great weekend and the kids preformed better than any Hudson group has since I started working with the group six years ago. I was (and am!) so proud of this group and what they did! Great season guys! The only downside to the trip is that I spent two days on a bus with about 60 different versions of the flu, one of which was confirmed as the H1N1 flu. Needless to say I was feeling pretty crappy by the time I got home and was down for the count by Monday morning. My fever finally broke this afternoon and I am feeling a million times better. Because they don't want you to go into the clinic with the flu, the triage nurses and I can only guess which flu I got, but judging by the rediculously high fever I had they are guessing I had H1N1. I am usually not one who gets sick, but this was nasty! Here's the real lithmus test on how sick I was: as of right now, I have not had a Coke since bright and early Sunday morning!! I can't remember the last time I went even a day without Coke, so I'll be happy to return to my normal self. :)

My parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary earlier this month! My parents aren't ones for big parties and such (although once they hit 50 years, I make no promises ;) ) so we decided to have a low key day and do a family photoshoot. My Dad's parents started a tradition on their 25th wedding anniversary where each 5 years, around their anniversary, they had the whole family get together and have pictures taken. It's still going strong now, and they are about to celebrate their 61st anniversary! My dad has 4 brothers and 4 sisters, so it's fun to look back and see how the family grew between each pictures. We decided to carry on the tradition and had our very first family pictures taken. We had them done by a friend of mine, Emily Steffen, and they turned out great! There are some great pictures that totally capture us as a family. We even included the dogs in our pictures - so funny! Anyways, if you want to check them out our gallery is here: and the password is my maiden last name (with a capital G). Congrats Mom and Dad on 25 years! If your nice, I might add some grandbabies to our next family photoshoot in five years! :)

Just so I don't leave him out, know that Dan is doing well. He's been a wonderful caretaker while I've been down with the flu. Yesterday he came home with my all time favortie cure all - Chicken Wild Rice soup in a bread bowl from Panera. Yum! And today he brought me home new fabric and a pattern to make a bag I've been drooling over so that I have something to do while I'm waiting to be fever free for 24 hours (we're on 12 and holding steady!). He's such a great husband and I am blessed to have him around, especially on days I'm feeling crummy. Thanks for taking care of me, Buns! You're my favorite :)

That's all I can think of for now. Stay tuned for pictures of the bag Dan got me supplies for - I'm almost done!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Willow's New House

Willow got a new house! We've been having LOTS of problems with accidents while we are gone during the day, so we invested in this little house for her.

It has enough room for her to run around and a washable base incase she does have any trouble. We also put a water bottle and a little bed in there for her, along with her toys so she is entertained during the day.

We've been playing with her in it and we left her in it last night while we went to a marching band show and it was a success! No accidents!! Let's hope it is the start of a fully potty trained puppy!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Our Week as Pretend Mom and Dad

As I mentioned before, Dan and I spent last week doing the full time mom and dad thing with the two sweet boys I take care of. Aidan and Patrick are the two most lovable seven month olds you'll meet and we had so much fun having babies in the house!

We took them on lots of walks with us. Patrick (right) really enjoyed looking around at all the new scenery, but this particular night Aidan was not feeling it. :)

Ever since I've started taking care of the boys, they haven't been the best nappers. We're lucky if they sleep an hour and a half all day. Something must be different about the air in our house, because they slept a ton! Patrick couldn't even stay awake to finish eating, which is one of his favorite things to do!He was totally zonked out and took great naps. I love this picture and the cute little baseball butts they have!

The boys LOVED our hammock! I sat them out there and rocked them whenever I could. One of the neighbors came by and asked when the heck we had two babies and how did they get so big without anyone noticing. I got a good kick out of that! (Even better was when I made a Target run with the boys and someone said, "They look just like you!". I said "Thanks" and figured it just wasn't worth explaining, but I wanted to say, "Yeah, and don't I look great for having given birth to twins seven months ago?!" haha) Anyways, I love this picture. Baby Gap models here they come! (Patrick's on the left, Aidan's on the right)

We were a little worried about Willow, because we didn't really have any time to prepare her for the boys coming, but she was amazing! She spent about the first hour sniffing them, and then decided they were great. She loved kissing them and playing with them, and was really good when they got a hold of her hair. She'd just back away until they were interested in something else and go right back to kissing them. The only slight problem was that she didn't understand the difference between their toys and her toys, but honestly if that's all we have to worry about then I am thrilled!

Willow meeting the boys

Willow especially loved the boys after they ate cereal and their veggie/fruit. Here she is trying to get Aidan to share.

Giving some full on love to Patrick

The boys showed her all about tummy time. (I think this is too cute!!)

The absolute best part about having the boys here was seeing Dan with them. He's never been around babies before and was nervous about how to handle them and such. I know it took some stepping out of his comfort zone to help me with them, but he is a natural and the boys loved him! He helped with everything and even changed his first diaper! During their bedtime bottles we sat on the couch upstairs and each fed a baby while Willow played at our feet. This parenting thing is definitely something we could not only get used to, but be really good at together. I can't wait until it's our turn!

We had the best time and they are such good babies. I am so totally head over heals in love with them that I just about can't stand it. I was telling Dan that I know I'll love our children even more, but right now I just don't know how that's possible. I can't wait to find out... someday! ;)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Having a baby changes everything...

...even if it's not yours! We had the twin boys I take care of here all of last week while their parents took a little vacation. It was so much fun! I have to say, I LOVE waking up to the sounds of a little one cooing! The boys were great, but boy are we tired! Here's some pictures of how our house changed - more pictures of the boys coming soon! (Although, if you want to see them now, I created their own blogger page for them so their parents can follow what we do each day. You can check it out at or just go to my profile and it is under the list of blogs I write)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Yes, I'm still here! You may have been wondering where I ran off to the past month or so. I wish I had a good answer and funny story to tell, but I don't. Things have just been really bust here around the Ritter house! Turns out working 50 hours a week makes you pretty exhaused when you get home. :) Here's a short (or probably not so short) summary of the last month around here:

August 1: Mike and Danielle's wedding!
We drove out to St. Clound with all of Dan's old roomates to see off fellow engineer, Mike, and his wife Danielle. We had a great time - the ceremony was beautiful, the food was good, and the company was the best part! Come to think of it, we probably should have all gotten our pictures taken together as a group... Anyway, it was a fun day and we are really happy for Mike and Danielle!

Some time mid-August: Dan celebrates his first year with Medtronic!
Hard to believe that it has already been a year since Dan started working. He's so happy, and so good at what he does. It's fun to pop in and see him because he's made so many neat friends and has a great department. I've even gone scrapbooking with his admin! It's so cool to be part of such a great place. anyway, a few times a year Medtronic holds a ceremony to honor those who have been with the company for a year. Dan got to go and was even give a really neat medallion. The best part for him, though, was meeting the founder of Medtronic and the inventor of almost all of the modern day bio-medical devices, Earl Bakken. Mr. Bakken's biggest claim to fame was that he invented the pacemaker. Dan said he told the story of how he came up with the idea: he watched Frankenstein and was listening to a metronome. So cool! After the ceremony he stood and talked with anyone who wanted to come say hi, so Dan made sure to get a picture. It was an honor for Dan to get to meet him. He's such a cute old man!

Last week: A huge quilt for our bedroom!

Dan and I have been looking at bedding sets for a few months now, and haven't found anything we love, so we decided I should make us a quilt and the n we can spend the cash on really soft and comfy sheets. Here's the fabric we picked out - lots of greens, browns and blues. I love the fabric and will post more as I get working on it!
This past weekend: Willow gets a pool!
We saw pools were at a super cheap end of summer clearance, so we decided to get one for our Willy since she loves the water. She was really not so sure about it, but seemed to have some fun as time went on. The flowers are sprinklers, so when we turned those on she have fun playing in them. I'm betting a few more outings to her pool and she'll be sold. Maybe for once it will even get hot enough around here for her to use it!

Otherwise, work is going well for me. I am LOVING every minute of being with the boys. They are 6 1/2 months old now and are so fun. I am so in love. :) Next week, their parents are going out of town so Dan and I have the babes here for four days. Should be fun being pretend parents! I'll document with lots of pictures and tell you how our practice long weekend goes!

And lastly, because nothing melts my heart the way these two do, he's Dan and Willow on the ride home for Dan's parents house. Dan wasn't feeling the best, so he dozed off and Willow curled right up on his chest. (She woke up when the flash went off - shoot!) These two are so sweet and I am so totally in love with both of them!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Our Wedding Party - Show Us Your Life Friday's!

I have been a silent reader of Kelly's Korner since her little Harper was born and endured a cruddy stay in the hospital. She has a series of Show Us Your Life Friday's where everyone posts about the dedicated subject. Like I said, I have generally been silent, but this week everyone is showing off their wedding party and flowers, so I couldn't resist!

My hubby and I were married May 24, 2008 at the church I grew up in. It's hard to see, but there is a cross above the alter that I have stared at countless times through my journey with God. My parents were married under it, I was confirmed under it, sang in church choirs under it, buried my grandparents under it, and said so many prayers of thanks and sorrow under it. To be married under that same cross was incredibly special to me.
I LOVED everything about our wedding, but if I had to pick something that really made me smile and feel like it was my wedding was bridesmaid's dresses.

When we first got engaged and started looking at dresses, they didn't have any in this green (which is my all time favorite color!) that would work for us. I had three very busty bridesmaids and one who was pregnant, so I wanted to find something that was cute and not matronly, but also comfortable for them. I settled for a black bridesmaids dress, but when I went to pick up the girls dresses from the store they had a display of the new dresses and these green ones were staring at me and saying "I'm perfect! You should get me!" After much discussing with the clerk, I was able to switch the dresses and still get them in in time for the wedding. I'm so glad I had these amazing dresses - they were a great backdrop for our spring wedding!
We also had an incredibly handsome group of men! Dan was surrounded by his best friend and roommate, Mark, his other roommates Rob and Eric, and his brother, Brian. My brother Jake and Dan's college friend, Mike, were our fabulous ushers.

We also had two of the most adorable ring bearers in the world. I have been taking care of Nick and Sam since Nick was just a baby. At our wedding, they were 5 and 2 and also stole the show! I just adore these boys and it was awesome to have them be a part of our wedding. Plus, who doesn't love the little baby tuxes?!
I had to add this one because it's one of my favorites. The photographer asked Nick if it was okay if we got the wedding started so Dan and I could get married, and this was his response! :)

Thanks for reading along about our wedding! It's fun to go back and relive it - I think I'll have to join into this more often!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Meet the Two New Men in my Life!

God sure is funny sometimes, isn't he?! I've been job hunting (like much of the rest of the world) and on Monday night of last week I signed up on a nanny service thing to see if anything came of it. The next afternoon, I got an eamil from a family looking for a nanny. I called them and they asked me to come over that night (Tuesday) and interview with them. I did, and had a great time. About an hour after I got home, they called and offered me the job! I started on Friday and am having a great time. I am taking care of twin boys who are just about 5 months old. They are a whole lot of work, but they are so sweet and full of smiles! Here are some pictures of my little ones:

Here's Aidan. He makes the funniest faces! He seemed pretty enamored with my camera :) He is a really sweet baby who likes to sit and talk to you all day long. He is also full of giggles and loves to be held so he can stand on his feet and practice jumping.
He was all snuggled up taking a nap today. So cute!
Here's Mr. Patrick. He's the more serious boy and has the craziest hair! It's hard to see, but his hair is almost three inches long in the back. He looks like a cross between a mad scientist and a rock star with his hair! I had given him a bath this morning, so it's pretty tame in this picture. He makes you work for a smile, but when you get one out of his his whole face lights up. He loves to be held and will definitely tell you if he doesn't like something!
All snuggled up and snoozing
I am so excited to spend my days with these boys! I'm sure there will be many more adorable pictures to come!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Welcome to the world, Bella!

Isabella Mae was born last week to two of my favorite people. Dan and I got the chance to hang out with the new family today and it was wonderful! Bella is a sweet little baby and the only niose that came out of her was some adorable little squeeks! She is a perect little baby, and I cannot wait to watch her grow up into a beautiful woman!

Here's Dan holding her. I caught Bella in a weird stretch so it looks awkward, but Dan did such a good job holding her! It was only the second time he'd ever held a newborn and he was awesome! Don't you think he looks good holding a baby?! ;)

I was having a blast holding her. She is so sweet!
Congrats Brian and Katrina - you made one beautiful baby!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Because who doesn't love cute pictures of a puppy

It's been a wwhile since I've posted pictures of our perfect little pup. Willow turned 6 months old last week and is definitley looking more like a dog than a puppy. She is such a sweet dog and we are loving having here in our life!

Dan was home with the flu yesterday and spent most of the day in bed trying to sleep it off. I went in to check in on him and here's what I found. She is so good at knowing how to help take care of us!

Dan gets up with her in the morning to feed her and take her out, and when he's ready to leave she comes back to bed with me. first she'll wait on the bed side table and watch him leave, then she comes over to his pillow and pushes it around with her nose until she gets underneath it. I think she loves the warmth and that it smells like here dad!

I took her to get her haircut the other day and asked them to trim her up for summer, but NOT to shave her. When I picked her up, this is what she looked like. We joke that she's the Heidi Klum of puppies - she's so tall and skinny! We had no idea such a little dog was hiding under all that fur!

We've had Willow in and out of the vet since we got her and it looks as though she has irratable bowel. It's not fun, but it's nice that we know to be more careful with what goes in! So, she got into something last week and was feeling under the weather and was so snuggly! I snapped this picture late at nice when she was curled up with me. It was so, so sweet!
Other than that, Willow's not up to much. We just got her an invisable fence that we installed last weekend and are trying to train her to know its boundaries. She seems to be really attracted to the beep and we're having trouble going about the training in the way they say to because all she wants to do is be near the beep. (We haven't turned on the electric part yet) Have any of you done the electric fence thing and have suggestions? We can't wait until she has it all figured out and can run free in our yard!