Dallas and I, along with my brother and his family, headed up to my parent’s house in Greenville for the weekend. While we were all visiting, my parents invited all of our relatives over for a huge barbecue. I hadn’t seen a lot of people for years and surprisingly, many of them hadn’t seen each other for as long, as well. Six of my mom’s seven siblings were able to attend, as well as a ton of my cousins, cousin’s kids and a good amount of family on my dad’s side, too.
My mom playing bags with Fiona, my cousin Sara’s daughter.
They were playing against my niece Jessica and Fiona’s twin sister, Elise.
Hmmmm… can I name everyone? On the patio: Aunt Deb, Aunt Connie, Aunt Sue, Aunt Wanda, Aunt Paula, Aunt Ali, Uncle Dan, Uncle Dave. On the lawn: Cousin Bill and his wife Karen, Cousin Kacey, Kacey’s son Dustin, Double(!) Cousin Anna and her boyfriend Andy. (Photo by Bethany.)
And again! Uncle Rich, Cousin Amanda, Me, My cousin Bethany’s husband Chad, Cousin Erica and her husband Greg, Dallas, Richard, Mom, Uncle Doug, Uncle Morrie, Aunt Deb, Aunt Connie, Karen. (Photo by Bethany.)
My Uncle Dan and my mom contemplating life by the corn field.
Me and Dallas (29 weeks pregnant). (Photo by Sue.)
Doug and Dallas were talking about who knows what forever. Something that was “yay big,” I guess.
Richard hiding in the bushes.
Aunt Sue and Aunt Paula. (Photo by Sue? Probably Aunt Connie or Wanda!.)
All of my cousin’s kids had a great time playing in the little stream/ditch in the way back yard. This is my Aunt Deb, Cousin Amanda, and Niece Jessica with Noah, Oliver, Ella, Brianna, Elise and Fiona.
There were a bunch of frogs in there and the kids were going crazy catching them!! These were all of my cousin’s kids: Sierra, Brianna, Elise, Noah, Brianna (there are 2! Actually, 3 if you count Brianne, who wasn’t there.), Ella, Collin, Fiona, Keegan, Oliver.
Richard & Dad.
Cousin Amanda and her husband Phil chatting with Uncle Doug.
Dallas was joking that you know you’re in Wisconsin when you see this many crock pots lined up! Also when you designate which sausage is “skinless”?
My niece Stephanie and my cousin Skyonna are just about the same age. I think Skyonna is 16 and Steph is 17. (Photo by Sue.)
Dad and my Uncle Dave. (Photo by Sue.)
Aunt Deb, Uncle Doug, Mom, Aunt Connie. (Photo by Sue.)
Keegan and his brother Collin are my cousin Anna’s boys. They’re twins, and so are my cousin Sara’s daughters, Fiona and Elise. Keegan and Dallas played this washer toss game many times and Keegan won most games. The 10 beers Dallas had by that point kind of leveled the playing field!
My Uncle Dan playing bags.
Spot the frogs on Bethany. Now you now what those kids were doing when they caught them! (Photo by Erica.)
The kids went crazy when the ice cream truck van showed up.
Cousin Amanda with my cousin Erica’s kids, Ella and Oliver. My cousin Bethany’s kids Brianna and Noah. My Uncle Rich and Cousin Bethany. (Photo by Erica.)
Uncle Rich and his granddaughter Ella. (Photo by Erica.)
Cousin Bill started up a fire in the pit. (Photo by Bethany.)
The kids started roasting marshmallows right away!
My dad made this pit earlier in the summer. It turned out really nice. (Photo by Bethany.)
Everyone gathered around. (Photo by Sue.)
Sadie and Jess enjoying some s’mores.
People stayed and visited well past dark…
.. but left before Dallas, Richard and my dad got all pyro on it. Apples?
Jess was having a hard time roasting marshmallows with Milo and Dakoda trying to bite the end of her stick.
I was pretty sore from the long drive two days in a row, but it was totally worth it to see everyone. Hopefully we can do it again next summer and it won’t be YEARS before everyone sees each other again!
Trent and Loden are expecting a baby days before us so our mutual friends threw a joint baby shower/barbecue for us. I guess the term for this is baby-que. At least that’s what my hairdresser told me! Don’t be alarmed, no babies were actually barbecued.
We celebrated the coming of our babies with a bunch of friends over at Jen’s, who graciously co-hosted along with Jess and Caroline. Luckily the weather was perfect! We had catered barbecue from Pork Shoppe and Kristin made an adorable (and delicious cake). There were matching koozies and Jess set up a craft table where people could make custom onesies. Thanks to all of our friends for being there and being so generous. We had such a fun day!
P.S. If you were wondering, I was 28 weeks pregnant in these photos.
Last weekend was my 3rd annual visit to Miller Park to see the Cubs take on the Brewers. Sara, Kristin and Cousin met me at my house for the drive up to Milwaukee. Alden was at his parent’s house in the Milwaukee suburbs and was going to meet us at the game. Except, when I went out to the garage to leave, this is what I found:
Ok. Plan B. Kristin drove to my house so we took her car to my brother’s house. Then we switched cars because his fit all of us in it and he had a premium parking pass.
Note to self: Don’t place the jalapeno poppers on the grill this way. We lost a few!
My brother also bought and prepared all of our tailgating stuff and we threw in money on it. I was expecting a few brews, a few sausages, some cheese curds… but he went all out! We had fresh, homemade guacamole, brats, Italian sausages, some jalepeno poppers, three kinds of cheese curds, a ton of chips and all the condiments. We had not only one, but TWO grills! Also, not one but TWO kinds of cookies. I made a chocolate mint one and some snickerdoodles.
Also, my brother didn’t just grab a case of Miller Lite and call it a day. He brought so many different Wisconsin microbrews. I took photos of some of them. I think there were a few more that I didn’t get. A Leinies one for sure, but I can’t remember which. These are the ones I know for sure:
We mixed the Sand Creek Hard Lemonade together with the New Glarus Belgian Red and it was so delicious. It tasted like a tart juice.
Richard, Rachelle, Danny
Danny and Caroline were tailgating nearby with Caroline’s parents and they came over to visit for a while. I meant to go visit their tailgate but got caught up in our stuff. Sorry!
Sara & Alden. Check out all the Cubs fans!
The weather was perfect. A little windy, but sunny and very comfortable. My brother brought his urban horseshoes/washers game and we played that for a bit. Somebody (not me) managed to toss a washer down the sewer, but otherwise it was a fun game. I guess a sewer hazard is appropriate for urban horseshoes. Sara had never tailgated before and had never played urban horseshoes and had never been to Miller Park, so it was fun to show her the ropes!
AAA to the rescue!
After two games of urban horseshoes it was time to head in for the baseball game. We packed everything into the car and my brother was going to roll the window up… well, I mean press the button that puts the window up. Time for car problem #2! His battery was dead and we couldn’t put the window up. We tried to have the guy next to us jump our car (note to Alden’s mom, he didn’t jump ON our car), but it didn’t work. We tracked down the free AAA service at Miller Park and somehow the guy got our car started. We then had to run it between 10-20 minutes to make sure it would start later on when we wanted to leave. We ended up missing 2 innings of the game, but at least we got it sorted out.
On the walk to the stadium, we found this file folder on the ground. For some reason it was HILARIOUS. Someone had made this folder, slipped in their tickets, and filed it somewhere up until VERY recently. The 7 almost looks like a 9. Very dangerously close to going on the wrong day! We made up a lot of stories about this folder before throwing it back on the ground.
Ok. Inside the park, finally, we were headed for our seats when we ran into these degenerates:
Lycke, Trent, Biefel
And I mean degenerate! They had been drinking since about noon (it was a 6pm start for the game) and it showed! I ran into them a couple times, actually. They didn’t have seats even. Just standing room tickets.
Miller Park at Sunset
Miller Park Scoreboard
Sara had a hankering for some ballpark nachos so we asked a lady where she got hers and scoped it out. They were no ordinary ballpark nachos, though. They were piled high with meat and peppers and everything. We picked up a couple Lites and a couple Leinies Honey Weiss while we were up. Actually, that was the only beer I had all game. One beer, because I thought I was driving back to Chicago.
Miller Park Sausage Race
Miller Park Sausage Race
It was a gorgeous night in the ballpark. I brought a light long sleeved shirt but I didn’t even wear it. During the 6th inning, the sausage came running out right in front of us.
Miller Park Sausage Race
I cheered for chorizo like always, and Sara cheered for chorizo as well. Too bad he got spanked! Polish sausage smoked everyone!
Take Me Out To The Ball Game, Roll Out The Barrel
During the 7th inning stretch they played Take Me Out To the Ball Game, but the people who’d never been to a ballpark in Wisconsin were surprised with the Roll Out the Barrel follow-up song!
A few notes on the players:
1. I really wish the player called Corey Hart would play Sunglasses at Night for his at-bat song.
2. Alfonso Soriano was fielding right in front of us and gave Sara a nod when she was screaming “FOOOONNNNZIIIIEEEEE GO FOOONZIIIIIIIIEEEE!!!!” I don’t know much about Soriano, only that he wears the tightest pants in the MLB.
Miller Park Scoreboard
3. I love the scoreboard at Miller Park, which is new this year. It shows a huge photo of each player when they’re at bat and shows the stats so far for each player. Sara taught me what Strikeout Looking is when a guy’s stats said at one at bat he struck out swinging and at another turn he struck out looking. She definitely knows a lot more about baseball and the Cubs than I do, but the big board definitely helped me keep track of what was going on and helped me get to know the players better.
The Wrigley Field Road Tour
In the stadium there must have been a hundred(s?) of people wearing this same red tshirt. They’d biked to Miller Park from Wrigley Field in Chicago for The Wrigley Field Road Tour. I think I’d have been sleeping in the stands if I’d done that.
In the end, the Cubs lost 4-6. They made a rally in the 8th inning when they made 3 runs, but it wasn’t enough. The Brewers actually swept the Cubs in the series. But that’s ok. We all still had a great time.
Miller Park at Night
After the game I had to go to the bathroom so I said I’d just meet people at the car. I didn’t even make it to the car when I found that everyone I was with had made new friends and was drinking all their beer. After the game is pretty much like another big tailgate. We’d run out of beer, so how convenient that these fans were willing to share. They didn’t want to share with the Cubs fans, but they were convinced when I broke out the extra cookies I’d baked. Also, they liked that Alden and I were from Wisconsin. Also, we met a couple from Milwaukee whose daughter lives a few blocks from Alden in Chicago. Alden asked if the guy would put in the good word with his daughter, but the guy said the daughter was getting married in a matter of weeks. He said he’d let Alden know in October if it didn’t work out. He also asked that Alden please refrain from stalking his daughter now that her location had been revealed!
Sobriety isn’t an accident, but getting drunk many times is!
I drove the car back to my brother’s because he’d had a few too many. On the way Alden was texting his mom and she invited us over for more drinks, but I vetoed that plan. My brother and cousin and Alden were all for it. Of course, because they were the drunkest ones! My brother was busy typing Alden’s parent’s address into the GPS and when it was shouting out instructions it was so confusing to get back to my brother’s place! It would have been fun to visit the Almagro family, but it was getting late, especially since we still had to drive to Chicago. At my brother’s house we all made a pit stop. Alden had a special moment with Milo, the dog, and then we were off to Chicago. I thought I’d be driving but Kristin insisted. We all knocked pretty hard on wood and it worked because that car made it home without incident. I think we got home at about midnight? Long night, but so fun! Thanks to all my friends for making it a fun day and special thanks to my brother for organizing the tailgate and getting the tickets for us! A new set of washers in IN THE MAIL!!!