Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Once A Day

What are your daily rituals and personal routines? Do you have a way of beginning or ending the day, without which you feel a bit off, empty, irritated (or all of the above)

Rituals not only build relationships, they can build structure, peace and predictability in our individual lives as well.

My 13 year old got me (Carol) thinking about daily rituals this week when he revealed his latest video-creation, a compilation of self-portraits put into motion. Once a day, for an entire year, my little cutie-patutie has been taking his own picture. Not a day did he miss: rain or shine, home or away, holiday or not. Impressive (albeit a bit oddly adorable) daily ritual, eh?

Check it out!

P.S. 2 bonus points if you can name the state on Tony's favorite sweatshirt without watching the video twice.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Look what Carol made for Baby Kudak! Have you ever seen cuter onesies? We'll have the hippest baby on the block with these hand-stitched, made from scratch, with love onesies. They make us so excited for our little love to get here. Thanks, Carol!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Telling the Parents

How to tell them? How do you tell your parents that they're about to be grandparents? That they will have a new title and a new addition to their family? This took quite a bit of deliberation. We wanted to do something original and memorable. First, we had to figure out timing. We were almost ten weeks along, and we figured we had the perfect opportunity. My parents were coming through the Twin Cities and we had them over for dinner. We arranged to see Brent's parents only a couple of days later. Then we came up with a plan: We would capture their reactions on camera. While telling my parents, Brent would take the photo. After counting to three, I would announce "we're having a baby" while Brent continued to take photo after photo of their reactions. I took the camera when we told his family. Here are the shots. Please excuse the poor iphone quality!
Me telling my parents.

My mom figured it out first.

Finally, my dad gets clued in and asks, "are you serious?"

And then we told Brent's parents. Here's Brent about to tell them. They have no idea what's about to hit them.

Still no reaction. Brent's waiting for it.

Figuring it out.

Now they believe it.

But they're still shocked!

We're so glad everyone knows now! These pics will definitely be put in the baby book.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In February...

this couple (Anna and Brent) will become parents for the first time. When this picture was taken, nearly four years ago, we knew we'd like to have kids one day. And here we are. We're so thrilled! And a little frightened. Am I allowed to say that? Well, it's true. Our whole lives will change and we only have 9 months to get ready. And 3 of those months are gone already!

We're mentally preparing by reading a couple of books that my mom got for us. They came highly recommended by some other parents: The Happiest Baby on the Block by Karp and Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn by Simkin et al. Now we've got to physically prepare by making room for baby in our small house. Last night we were going through some drawers and found a stack of Brent's high school senior picture wallets, an old waterproof film camera, and some chords that belong to something, but we don't know what. Decluttering is good. Thankfully, babies are small. But I hear the stuff they need isn't. Uh oh. That's why we're going to try to keep it simple.

It hasn't felt very real, because at only 13 weeks, I haven't grown all that much yet. But one thing that makes it feel very real is all the items we've received from various people. A whole suitcase filled with maternity clothes from my sister-in-law, Julie, and her friend, Katie. A little outfit and frame from our friend, Michelle. A cute teddy bear from Jeff and Emily (you know them, the very smart savers from a previous post). And Carol is already making us a bunch of onesies! We're in for such a rewarding and fun adventure. Hope you're ready for more baby-related posts. I've got baby on the brain and haven't been able to talk about it for three months! Up next, how we told our friends and family...and their reactions.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Summer Wildcats

I (Anna) love keeping things comfy. High heels? Not so much for me. I'll wear them for presentations, but most of the time I like to rock my flats. In undergrad, I had a pair of extra large men's sweatpants that I wore after making the trek to the opposite side of campus during the cold winter months. They were thick. Too long. Tattered. And you guessed it, comfortable. By the time I started my Ph.D. work in Kentucky, I decided it might be nice to have an additional pair of super thick, too long, but oh-so-comfy sweatpants. Thus, I invested in the pants I lovingly call the "Wildcats."

The pants are infamous. My family in Kentucky expected me to change into them as soon as I got home (that's Jakey and Ty Samson with me above). My friends from school thought it was hilarious when I wore them to their homes for study sessions (or to the library. Yes, I was shameless enough to wear these in public!). My friends even pretended to hate them. But I know better.

The Wildcats got me through the Kentucky ice storm of 2009.
The power went out in my house for a whole week, so I stayed with 3 different friends; the majority of this time was spent at my friend, Rachel's. Thus, the Wildcats are associated with the cold, and sometimes I miss wearing them during the warmer months. Cue Rachel (pictured above acting "disgusted" by the Wildcats), who unexpectedly sent me the cutest pair of "summer" Wildcats! They're cut-off sweatpants.
I'm in love. I've been wearing them ever since I received them. Thanks, Rayray, for thinking of me and sending these all the way to MN. This is What Happy Women Do, which happens to be the title of our forthcoming book! It's about the rituals that sustain sisterhood. The ugly Wildcats instantly remind this group of friends of how close we are and how much fun we have together. Sometimes I miss them so much it makes me ache. Long live the Wildcats. Long live the bonds of sisterhood.

What rituals do you have with your "sisters" or close friends? Tell, tell.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


... is now 2!

Who's Max? Refresh your memory by perusing our blogs from one year ago when Max - a little guy who I (Carol) have been photographing since birth- celebrated 1 year of life.

Again, who's Max? Sorry. I can't tell.

We love Max.

Happy birthday, little dude. Hope you like your photos (and being blogged about by strange authors who like curly hair and big cheeks).