Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Food Talk

My favorite conversation from this past week.
Brie image via 

Me: "So, you're telling me that your relationship with chocolate milk, is like my relationship with cheese?"
Roommate: "Exactly."
Me: "That's powerful."

In other news, this is just not fair. Look, but no touch? Nuh uh. 
Recipe and image via

Monday, July 30, 2012

As of late in Minneapolis

Minneapolis has been quite pleasant lately. I'm really trying to savor these summer days before teaching starts up again. 
Here is some of what I've been up to...
I played on a softball team. And we didn't win a single game that I played in. However, they did win a game when I wasn't there. Coincidence? I think not.
I developed a fascination for Head Start school buses. Those vibrant colors.
I've really prioritized my purchases. Buying St-Germain once in a blue moon is one of them.
Kicking butt in bowling is definitely new for me. But, I'll take it.
Hanging out with friends, like Allison here. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lil Cousins

The best words you can hear after spinning your little cousin in the air are, "Again, again." It just shows how much they are enjoying life. Hearing their tiny laugh and seeing their tiny hands reaching up for another shot at touching the sky is the best. And once one cousin is seen enjoying the ride, all the other little cousins want a go. Within 30 seconds I had a pack of 4 lil cousins wresting my legs and telling me it was their turn. Gosh, I am so popular. 
 Hannah Banana posing pretty
 Madeline, Anna and Hannah
 Kelly with CeCe, Hannah and Madeline
This is art from a 2-year-old. Very hesitantly I let Madeline hold my camera. I showed her which button to push, and this is what she took. Pretty good for a younin'. 

This was taken last weekend.  My cousins and I are definitely related. 
I asked Hannah how a princess would wave and this is how she responded... Shortly after, Madeline, the linebacker, tackled me for no apparent reason.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


I love this. If only we all could have a meadow and a guitar playing, sweet crooning fella in our life. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A beautiful life was lived.

My Aunt Sharon led a life of compassion. 
A mother, wife, sister, aunt, grandmother, friend, teacher. 
She passed away on Monday after battling cancer for several months. Without a doubt, she went straight to heaven.
I have countless letters from my aunt. Letters just checking in to say hi. Letters remembering my birthday. Letters remembering a special event in my life. 
The last email I have from her is one of my favorites. It was sent in March before she was diagnosed. She wrote to me and my brother Kevin simply saying... 

Hi Kevin and Kathleen, 
Just wanted you to know I've been thinking about you, and hope all is going well in Minnesota and Boston. Look forward to seeing you soon. 
Love, Sharon

I remember my aunt taking me to garage sales in Long Beach, Indiana. Numerous garage sales. And I mean numerous.
I remember her taking me to Dairy Queen once when it was storming outside. 
I remember her saying she was so proud of me when I received the honor of crowning Mary in 8th grade. She told me, "I always wanted to do it, but some other brat got it instead.
Can't remember her name, but, I wasn't too fond."
I remember her making me sandwiches at her kitchen counter while I sat at the table and read one of my American Girl Doll books out loud to her.
I remember she was the first one to hug me when my grandpa passed away. No words, just a long embrace. 
I remember her and my uncle Jim visiting me in Madison for a football weekend. Waiting on the terrace, popcorn in hand.
I remember her at my surprise 21st birthday party at Benihana. 

I remember a lot. Mainly how she made me feel loved. 
Rest in Peace, Aunt Sharon.
Aunt Sharon (far right) and the rest of the gang.
Aunt Sharon and my uncles.... Uncle Pat's comb over is outrageous. 
Looks like it was a fun day. Pasty Irish skin all around! 
The Sullivan clan
Aunt Sharon in the yellow protectively holding on to my Aunt Maureen
 Aunt Maureen, me, Aunt Sharon on my 21st
 The Sullivan gals visiting me in Madison
The whole group!

I sent this song to my Aunt Sharon once because the lyrics reminded me of our grandpa and a particular tree that he loved. When she responded to the email, she wrote, 
"This is beautiful."
To Build a Home
There is a house built out of stone
Wooden floors, walls and window sills
Tables and chairs worn by all of the dust
This is a place where I don't feel alone
This is a place where I feel at home

'Cause, I built a home
For you
For me

Until it disappeared
From me
From you

And now, it's time to leave and turn to dust

Out in the garden where we planted the seeds
There is a tree as old as me
Branches were sewn by the color of green
Ground had arose and passed it's knees

By the cracks of the skin I climbed to the top
I climbed the tree to see the world
When the gusts came around to blow me down
I held on as tightly as you held onto me
I held on as tightly as you held onto me

'Cause, I built a home
For you
For me

Until it disappeared
From me
From you

And now, it's time to leave and turn to dust

Friday, July 13, 2012

Take Care

{Image by Gene from Geneoh Photography. Absolutely amazing work and located in Minneapolis. Check out his work!}

I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to take care of someone.

Growing up it's mom staying home with me when I'm sick, renting my favorite movies and making chicken noodle soup. It's making sure a friend feels included. It's letting your friends know that you appreciate them. It's letting your family know you love them and are lucky to have them. It's sending a note just to say "hi" once in awhile. It's asking people how they are doing. It's letting the little things go and knowing that deep down people mean well.  It's teaching kids their ABC's and not letting them fall further behind. It's giving a hug. It's sharing. It's compromising. It's making sure everyone is comfortable. It's giving someone space when they need it and letting them do their own thing. It's letting someone sleep in when you know they need it. It's switching your lesson plan at  the last minute to do something fun because you know the whole class (and yourself) need it.

It's going for a walk with a friend. It's getting a letter in the mail from your dad. It's getting text messages from your mom that, without fail, are always signed "love, mom". It's listening to your brother tell you fart jokes because he knows it will cheer you up.  It's quoting movies with your brother and butchering accents left and right. 

It's sitting by your wife's side as she lay sick in bed. It's offering to make her toast with butter and jam (just how she likes it), even though she hasn't had an appetite in weeks.

It's showing love, whether through words or actions, and not expecting anything in return.  It's a whole lot more than I'd ever be able to say.

This song is lovely.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Yellow Shutters

This picture reminds me of summer in my hometown in Illinois. The middle school years are always awkward. You got braces going on, weird clothing fads, obsession with Lip Smackers, and crushes on the boys who are 3 inches shorter than you. But looking back on it, I love it. I mean, you couldn't pay me enough to actually go back to those days, but now that they are in the distant past, I look upon them fondly. 

My friends Tricia, Steff and I use to bike to the local swim pool and lay out. They would get ungodly tan and I would burn like it was my job. We would meet up with some boys from our class. We'd sit at the snack shop at different picnic tables. They'd throw fries at us and we'd call them "stupid" or something. They'd get yelled at by the staff and then we'd have diving contests. 
The rest is history. 
Oh yes. There are the middle school beauties. I'm in the top left corner with the red scarf. Tricia is below me in the pea coat and Steff is in the middle with the blue scarf. All of us = babes. I remember when I bought that Gap blue jean jacket with wool on the inside and thought it was the coolest thing ever. I think I saw Emily VanCamp's character on the show Everwood wear something similar and I was sold. 

Note to parents: In case you didn't already know, middle school girls are very impressionable. They also spend too much money on stupid, cheap beauty products. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sam & Jackie

Two of my best friends from Chicago came to visit me in Minneapolis for the weekend. It was wonderful! 
I couldn't have asked for a better time. It always feels good to hang out with those you feel so familiar with and have so much history with. 

Our weekend sort of felt like this... 
We laid out at Lake Harriet and went for a dip in the perfect temperature water, got breakfast at French Meadow, had root beer floats, walked around Uptown, ate on a rooftop that had a perfect view of the city, went to the Basilica Block party to see The Head and the Heart and got caught in a downpour, snuggled 3 people to a room, laughed, played darts and shook our tail feathers on the dance floor. I miss them already. 
 Lake Harriet.
 Same, Jackie, me - United. 
 Pretty birds. 
 The hair was down for 1.2 minutes. And then I just couldn't take the heat. 
 Rooftop at Cafeteria
 Mi amigas.
 Jackie pensively looking out at the Mini Apple and contemplating whether or not to move here. 
Sam and me on a night of random adventure. 

What do you say, girls? Move to Minnesota?
Rivers and Roads... my favorite performance at The Basilica. 

Monday, July 9, 2012


I must say, I'm a Dolly fan. These rare photos of her before she was famous really highlight her beauty. 
Love this song. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012


"My favorite subjects are art, social studies, and Michael Jackson."

I cracked up so hard when I heard that line in the trailer. It reminds me of my student Eric who was in 5th grade and OBSESSED with Michael Jackson. Eric is such a bright kid and a heck of an athlete and a heck of a dancer. Any opportunity he had to do the Thriller dance, you can bet your bottom dollar that he took it. And by "opportunity" I mean usually at the most inappropriate times... like during my math lesson, my reading lesson, during quiet reading time, at a school assembly when it wasn't his turn to perform, or in the hallway on his way to detention. Gosh, I miss that kid. He was one of my favorites.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth!!!

The most patriotic goons in the whole wide world.
Happy Fourth of July, ya'll!
 Me with my brothers and some of my favorite cousins - me, Brendo, Matt, Kelly, Kevin, Sean, Colleen.
The discrepancy in shorts length is appalling and wonderful.
 Just a close up of a beauty (aka me) and the infamous hat that every girl my age was dying to wear.
My brothers before I was born. Look how bored, lonely and miserable they look without me. 
Tube socks will ALWAYS be in style. 

A song for good measure. Fast forward to 2:15.... The Sandlot + 4th of July + America the Beautiful.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Les Miserables

This movie looks amazing. Amazing, I say. The next book I shall be reading this summer. 
{Anna Hathaway as Fantine via}
{Samantha Barks as Eponine via}

I Dreamed A Dream
I dreamed a dream in times gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung
No wine untasted
But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
And they turn your dream to shame
He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder

He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came
And still I dream he'll come to me
That we'll live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong
I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed
The dream I dreamed.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Polyphonic Spree

I got a lot of work done today to this song. 
That is all I have to say.