Todd Family Blog

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Meagan's Cabin Initiation and Other Stories

Though I have known Louis Sowinski since 2nd grade when we started riding Bus #5 together, I feel like the evolution of our friendship is now complete. For years I’ve heard about his family’s famous Michigan cabin and the hilarity that inevitably ensues every trip. It’s always been one of Brad’s favorite spots for a guys’ get together. A few weekends ago we realized that we all just happened to be free (a miracle), so we met at the cabin – wives included this time! It was everything I was promised it would be. We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends. As you will see below, it’s a true shame that we have no fun together.

Most of the crew (this was the second night, after Chad and Kate had to take off with Little C). Brad and I brought a special bottle of wine to toast the weekend.



One of Brad’s Purdue friends, Keith, asked after reading the blog last month, “Do you guys ever do anything except eat?” Fair question. Louis and I, who are kindred spirits in our love of cooking, had way too much fun feeding everyone.

Great food started the first night with Louis’s steaks cooked over the fire and cucumber/jalapeno salad from my garden.



For night two, I brought corn and green tomatoes, which I fried up with Ethiopian spices!, from the garden. We had an all finger food dinner with the FABULOUS bbq Louis cooked up for us. Oh, and I discovered that Amanda and Heather are great sous chefs. Thanks, girls!







The only time we left the cabin was on Saturday for lunch by the river.

The whole crew was there this time: Brad, Nate, Kyle, Chad, Heather, Louis, Kate, Amanda and me (behind the camera).





Little C (that would be Christopher Jack) came along with his parents, Chad and Kate. Basically, that means that he is 32 years ahead of me in making his first appearance at the cabin. Bob and Bonnie sent him a giraffe toy that was a huge hit.




Not only did we eat a ton, but there may have been some dancing that weekend. Forgive me, all, for posting these. They were too good to pass up. I know, we have no moves.




All the boys had fun trying on the various hats that were available around the house. Kyle had a couple different looks going, and then Heather caught a fabulous shot below.





Blue steel. Some of you may have seen a similar picture around Christmas time last year. It’s a good look for us.



General merriment





Heather and Amanda are ridiculously, annoyingly, photogenic.




Half the fun was reliving the weekend via pictures and video. The morning before we all left we gathered around Louis’s computer to go through them and laugh. Great, great weekend.



The garden is going strong into August. As some of you saw on my Facebook posts, I picked 100 cucumbers one week. Yikes! As you'll see below, pickles were in order. And everyone I see has cucumbers shoved upon them.




It's also been tomato time. Yay! I wait for this every year. There is literally nothing like an Indiana tomato - red all the way through, no need for salt, pepper, olive oil, anything. Just perfect.



Always have to include a couple dog pics. Luke has been especially cute lately!

Luke cuddling with his "brother", Cal:

Luke hogging the beds below. Gracie doesn't seem to mind.


Okay....I still have more pictures to go! I'm going to start another post to cover those. If you made it to the bottom of this post, you are too kind.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fun in the Hot, Hot Sun

The fun continues this summer. Gorgeous weather, great friends, fun holiday traditions, and just enough rain to keep everything green and the garden growing.

A few weeks ago Ellen, Miriam, Jen and I all took a Wednesday off work to go up to northern Indiana. Our intention was to visit the dunes and hit the outlet malls. We had our beach bags packed, coolers ready, but we weren’t quite able to drag ourselves away from the deals at the outlets! So, we shopped all day and hit a great little gourmet spot, Bartlett’s Grill (highly recommend), in the middle of nowhere for dinner. It was so much fun we decided it needs to be a biannual trip. Only we’ll try to actually make it to the beach next time!

We loved the sign for Bartlett’s.


We sat outside on the cute patio enjoying the lovely evening.


Recently we helped celebrate Lincoln Hoskins’ birthday! We popped by the Hoskins for the big cake moment. So cute. Lincoln wasn’t quite sure what to make of the giant cake, but as you can see he got the hang of it.

Bill, Lincoln and Abby


This is the best dessert ever!


This is my favorite Lincoln expression. He gets the cutest pensive look.


Bob and Bonnie treated us to a performance of Jersey Boys here in Indy at the start to the month. What a great show! I highly, highly recommend it if it comes to your town.




We have such a fun tradition going for the 4th of July with the Brown’s, and the tradition is growing! This year we had two tables at Symphony on the Prairie reserved and 20 of us celebrated together. The kids join us and it is fun to think that they will grow up going to the Symphony all together.

One of our tables with the Miriam, Brad, the Metzings and Yanceys

The Browns, Broughtons and Muellers.

Alli and Isaac. He’s growing up fast!

Kyle and Isaac goofing around.

One of my favorite moments every year is when they play the theme for each branch of the armed forces. Anyone who has served stands for their branch. This is the father of the baritone who sang with the symphony that night. He was so proud. I always get teary during this.

Me and Miriam

Think you know these people….

Ryan and adorable Lucy-Lu, as I like to call her

Lilly and Monique. Gee, see any family resemblence?

I loved watching the kids enjoy the fireworks.



We had so much fun at the 4th we had to go back the next weekend for the Symphony’s John Denver tribute! They had a singer who looked – I’m not kidding – exactly like John Denver. Not surprisingly, sounded like him, too! As you’ll hear in the video, his music sounds great with the symphony behind him.

Bob, Bonnie, Jason and his brother-in-law, Rob, and father-in-law, Carl, joined us.


video
video

I always have to harass you guys with pictures of my garden. It’s just so fun to have it going in the summer and fall! As you can see, the weather could not have been more perfect for it. I literally do nothing more than weed a bit, plant and pick.

The tomatoes are now easily taller than me. Like my sloppy gardening clothes?
And the cucumbers are going to take over the world.




The corn was certainly more than “knee high by the 4th of July”. We’ve already been enjoying some of it.


The day’s pickings – sweet peas, beets, red onions and cucumbers.


Adrianne and Tyler had a great housewarming cookout at their adorable downtown Zionsville home. Thanks for hosting us, guys!

Adrianne found a Polaroid camera! How very retro.


Hanging with the Smiths and the Metzings


Zoe LOVES Brad. She runs right up to him and jumps in his lap.


I know, I know. I have a thing for pretty skies. This is over a field just down the street from our house. Happy summer!