Genesee turns 2!

On the evening of July 25th, we tucked our little one-year-old into bed and woke up to find a two-year-old!


It was mostly a happy occasion, except for the fact that July 26th marked the official date listed in the one-sided, unsigned contract, outlining a non-mutual agreement that 2-year-old Genesee would surrender her highly-cherished pacifier – cold turkey. I was certain this plan wouldn’t end well, but since Genesee didn’t read the fine print, she was somewhat oblivious to the gravity of the situation and so the celebration continued. (Note to self: Always read the fine print!)


We showered Genesee with love, unicorns, and cupcakes, and then watched her grow up right in front of our eyes.

But before time completely escaped us, we paused it through the camera lens so we could remember the defining moments that preceded age 2… like, how Genesee’s hair curls in the humidity, how she sticks out her tongue to concentrate, how she adores me to pieces, and how “yellow” and “Ashlee” somehow became universal terms in her limited vocabulary.

And then we took another snapshot because we wanted to remember how much Genesee enjoys all condiments, creams, and lotions (mostly rubbed on her face and arms), how she is fascinated with coloring (also mostly on herself), how she loves walking and sliding and swinging through the outdoors, and how she’s always down for a good dance party or playdough session.

We also captured our sweet-tooth snacker, who’s not afraid to get messy, running more gracefully, showing increased affection toward mom (although the snuggle with dad is still real), becoming a light sleeper, buckling herself into the car seat, and earning stickers for her impressive potty-training successes.


Sadly, the rest of the snapshots are now a blur… mostly because time advances quickly, but also because our diva toddler is a mover and shaker and there’s no stopping her.

However, this much remains clear: Genesee is 26 pounds of goofy, stubborn, and sassy who will surely conquer the world with her independence, charm, wit, and silly faces!

So, go on, little G! The world is waiting.

CAF AirPower History Tour

You could go to Mexico if you want to get hot and sweaty, or you could just hang out at the La Crosse Regional airport in late July to view planes on display.

Fortunately, the heat didn’t melt my excitement to view specialty aircraft that was flown during World War II, like the B-24 Liberator Diamond Lil and the Boeing B-29 Superfortress named “Fifi.”

It was a trip down memory lane for Grandpa, our aviation enthusiast, who loved to take his family to the EAA Airventure Oshkosh annual event in years past.

Thanks for sharing your love with us, Grandpa!

Fair 2019

There were lots of ups and downs at Fair this year…. mostly on that dragon rollercoaster I rode like a boss, but the rest of Mr. Ed’s Magical Midway Amusement Park provided great entertainment too! Now that I’m older and braver and taller, I spent most of my time, my parents’ money, and my screams on all of the rides! But luckily, I saved my cheers for the dog show and horse arena because our main priority was being loyal members of Cortney’s fan club. Of course, we’re also big fans of the deliciously hot and wonderfully fresh mini donuts, so that happened too. (You’re welcome, belly.) Unfortunately, we didn’t get to cheer on Ashlee due to her torn ACL and meniscus, but we look forward to her comeback next year!

A Hitchhiker No More

Last weekend, we packed the family and my ready-for-a-road-trip suitcase into our trusty Highlander for an exciting and sweaty hiking adventure at Perrot State Park. We like to conquer Brady’s Bluff annually-ish to pay tribute to the treasured spot where Dad proposed to Mom. To celebrate, we arrived at the highest point and said cheers by clinking our homemade peanut butter and jelly crustless sandwiches before enjoying the rest of our fancy lunch of goldfish crackers, veggie straws, and fruit snacks.

And since, for the first time ever, I hiked the trail with my own two legs (instead of hitchhiking – no offense, Genesee) and didn’t whine one bit despite the steep climb and the humid 91-degree weather, the parents took us to Winona to commemorate and cool down with a fun run through the public splash pad and a refreshing dive into a bowl of cotton candy ice cream at the Acoustic Cafe.

Indeed, eating is the best thing about hiking.

Easy Money

Wanna know how to make a quick $5?

Step 1: Have your mom cover her eyes.

Step 2: Sit bravely on your dad’s lap (at the dinner table) while he extracts your wiggly tooth.

Step 3: Check in on mom to make sure she’s okay.

Step 4: Prepare for bed by brushing your teeth in record time since you now have two fewer teeth to clean.

Step 5: Put saved tooth under your pillow and keep hope alive in anticipation of a Tooth Fairy visit.

Step 6: Wake up at 3:00 a.m. to go potties and then reach under the pillow to see if the Tooth Fairy held up her end of the bargain.

Step 7: Become $5 richer.


Step 8: Brainstorm ideas for wiggling your remaining teeth into a profit so that you can purchase a new Nintendo Switch game.

Fireworks + Yogi Bear + Family & Friends

= The best 4th of Julystone celebration EVER, thanks to Grandma & Grandpa Goodenough, my Nicolai cousins, the Martinez family, and my partner-in-crime Colin!

Genesee and I truly had the time of our lives, sharing a snuggly blanket in the truck camper tent bed, eating all of Grandma’s made-with-love-and-chocolate baked goods, swimming until our fingers got wrinkly, fishing for the big keeper, paddle-boating around a frog-inhabited pond, miniature golfing our hearts out, and relaxing by the snap-crackle-and-pop of the evening campfires.

I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story, but let’s just say I suffered from Jellystone withdrawals upon arriving home and so I may or may not have convinced my parents to spend one more night in the camper… as it sat under the stars with a peaceful, remote, middle-of-nowhere view out the east-facing window, and an intimate angle of our garage from the west window.