Monthly Archives: January 2017

Milwaukee Vacation, Part 2

We headed north to Milwaukee in the fall to attend Keith’s cousin Katie’s wedding to her love, Matt. We woke up Henry from his afternoon nap to rush over to the ceremony at the Three Holy Women Catholic Parish. We walked in with a crying and cranky Hen and sleeping Elliot just as the mother of the bride was being escorted down the aisle. Keith walked around the back of the church to calm Henry, and then Elliot awoke, wanting to nurse. So I headed to the back of the building, too. Needless to say, we were distracted during the ceremony, but the parts we saw were beautiful. Everyone in the place was so happy for the couple, and it showed. 



We piled in our cars to head for the reception at the Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery, chosen in part because Katie and Matt are big beer drinkers and Matt works at the the Lakefront Brewery. It was a cool building with stained glass windows and cells in the basement. The cells made for a quiet place to nurse away from the party. Henry danced up a storm at the reception with everyone – he definitely has some signature moves! Keith and I alternately wore Elliot so he could sleep while we ate, drank, and danced. It was one of our favorite wedding receptions ever, but the best part was hanging out with extended family who rarely have the opportunity to all get together in one place (because there’s so many of them)! Milwaukee and the Meister-Krajnaks, we love you!


Milwaukee Vacation, Part 1


Back in October we took our first plane ride as a family of four up to Milwaukee to attend Keith’s cousin, Katie’s wedding. Making a mini vacation out of it, we hung out in downtown Milwaukee for a few days with our extended family, exploring “the good land” and eating and drinking our way through the town.

We’re members of MOSI in Tampa and one of its benefits is reciprocity with other science museums all over the country, including Discovery World. Located on Lake Michigan, this museum is amazing. One building houses an aquarium filled with fun and informational exhibits about the Lake Michigan watershed, and a second building focuses on science and technology exhibits including hands-on music (Les Paul) and physics areas.


Keith and I loved the aquarium, which Henry wanted to blow through, of course. Henry liked racing cars using air pressure, and Brent humored us by joining our adventure (I’m not sure what he liked the best). Henry keeps asking when we are going back, it was that awesome.


We also toured the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan by boat, which was fantastic. Our guide gave a synopsis on the history of Milwaukee and its buildings along the river and lake, and local beer was available for purchase. Henry performed an impromptu dance, and we all loved spending additional time with the newly married couple and extended family – Miller and Meister cousins reunited!


Luckily, we happened to be in town on a Sunday when our friend, Alexis, was preaching at Lake Park Lutheran Church, so we drove up for worship with her and her congregation. We spent time on two different days with her; it was totally bonus donuts on top of an already wonderful trip. 


Finally, we ate at several delicious restaurants (Milwaukee Brat House, Colectivo Coffee, Stubby’s, and Cafe Benelux were favorites) – lots of beer, cheese, and sausage consumed by all. At one meal, Henry ate bacon, sausage, and chicken tenders – he was in food heaven. We visited the Public Market and picked up yummy cheeses to bring a bit of Milwaukee home with us – I wish we had cheese curds here; I could eat them every day!


What’s Next?

My blog revolves around raising my boys in the Tampa Bay Area. Mostly it provides an accounting of our weekly activities and milestones, which are similar to other stay-at-home-mom’s experiences. I like looking back to see Henry’s stats versus Elliot’s, and reminiscing over our field trips and vacations.

But growing a kid involves more than just play (which we definitely excel at doing). It requires teaching my boys to be kind to others as well as to stand up for (with) the oppressed. Henry’s middle name comes from the minor Old Testament prophet – Micah – who told the people of Israel what the Lord required of them to do good in the world: 

Seek Justice. 
Love Kindness.
Walk Humbly with God.

Micah 6:8

With this verse in mind, I’ve been formulating an Action Plan for myself to hold President Trump’s administration and the legislative branches of the federal government accountable for their actions. One part of my plan is to compile a list of three issues that matter to me each week. I’m doing my best to do my research, but I don’t have tons of time with two littles. Any help here would be greatly appreciated!
 
Using my issues list, I plan to call my senators and representative’s offices weekly to let them know my concerns (and praises). This is kind of a big deal for me because I HATE to talk on the phone. BUT making your voice heard is a key part of democracy in action, and speaking directly with someone in your legislator’s office is one of the best ways to let them know how you feel about an issue. Your legislators care about what you care about – it’s why they have jobs!
 
Finally, I’m holding myself accountable to doing this by posting here. I don’t care if anyone reads it (although I plan to share each new post like I usually do) because it helps me to write out my thoughts before verbally discussing them with others.

Talking Points This Week:

Vote No for Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education (my friend, Rudy, an educator working on his PhD, has an excellent blog post on this topic)

  • No training or experience in education. 
  • She supports school choice privatization schemes, despite a lack of evidence they provide better education. 
  • She’s invested millions lobbying for laws that take money away from public schools.
  • She’s fought against regulating charter schools.

Vote No for Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

  • Threat to civil rights
  • Republicans thought he was too racist to be a federal judge.
  • Supports voter identification laws, which are a form of voter suppression akin to poll taxes and literacy tests.

Vote No Against H.R. 193 – Restore American Sovereignty Act of 2017

  • This Bill would have the U.S. terminate its United Nations membership and prohibit the authorization of funds for UN peacekeeping or otherwise.
  • It’s a global world, and removing ourselves from the UN would be disastrous for everyone.

Contact Information for My Senators and Representative:
Sen. Bill Nelson – DC: (202) 224-5274 or Tampa: (813) 225-7040
Sen. Marco Rubio – DC: (202) 224-3041 or Tampa: (813) 287-5035 
Rep. Charlie Crist, FL-13 – DC: (202) 225-5961

This is only Phase 1 of my plan…stay tuned for more.


Miscellaneous Websites I’m Following Right Now:

  • Swing Left – https://swingleft.org/
  • Women’s March 10 Actions in 100 Days – https://www.womensmarch.com/100/
  • Showing Up for Racial Justice: Tampa Bay – https://m.facebook.com/SURJTampaBay/
  • Southern Poverty Law Center – https://www.splcenter.org
Books I’m Currently Reading With My Boys

    Inauguration Day Musings

    I woke up this morning to my infant son smiling up at me from bed. He has a cold right now, and has multiple teeth pushing their way up through his gums so he is not at his happiest, yet he still smiles. I do not feel much like smiling today. My heart is heavy as President Obama (the first president I voted for who won the presidency) steps down from office as part of our country’s peaceful transition of power. He most certainly was my President. Did I agree with all of his policies? No. I wish he accomplished more, did more things he campaigned on. But I’m proud to call him my President.

    President-Elect Trump, who will be taking the Oath of Office in the next hour or so, is not the person I want running the country for a myriad of reasons. But it’s our reality and I’m still trying to come to terms with it.
     
    Luckily, today I’m spending our last full day of vacation with some of the best people in my life – friends from seminary. We mourn, but we cry together. We rage, but we rail together. In spite of Inauguration Day, we will find laughter and smiles today, because we are together. And moving forward with the next four years, we will resist together, because that is how our hope for the future, and for our kids’ futures, will remain steadfast.

    I searched the Psalms this morning for a chapter that could summarize my feelings and help me through the day. I couldn’t really find exactly what I needed, because while I remain angry and sad, I also NEED to find hope. Psalm 121 was too optimistic, and the 22nd Psalm too bleak. I think I’m going to use a hybrid of the two.