Taking a break


Well, to be honest with you, it does not include plans to become a full time blogger. This blog started as a way for our family to document our life in OTR, but has turned more into a chore that I have taken on (ie, “blog post” is included on my weekly to do list). That’s no fun.

Thanks to everyone who has read and commented on this blog – we appreciate it tremendously.

We may update here occasionally…but we may not. Catch up with us in person sometime. :)

OTR is everywhere

I am currently sitting in the Charlotte airport waiting to catch my flight to Raleigh/Durham…and just bumped into Sara Bornick of Streetpops fame.


Streetpops will return this spring, people. I know we will be there when the doors open again. :)

Winter days

I love winter…up until Christmas. After the rush, it usually turns into cold, dark, dreary days. The one highlight in the crappy month of January is my birthday. “What to you want?”, my husband asked me. I thought about the standbys of chocolate, clothes, jewelry, books…but what I really wanted was something to do. Steam Whistle Letterpress is a full service press shop who has been in OTR for over a year, but we had yet to make our way in there. I knew they did workshops so asked Chad to sign me up for one. Postcards – fun, right?
Yes, it was fun. It’s a sweet little shop with tons of light, and tons of old stuff. You know, the stuff that makes you smile inside because someone cares enough to treasure a piece of our past. Old presses, type, phone, a record player (imagine setting type to the sounds of John Denver and Doris Day spinning on the turntable). It’s beautiful.
Brian talked us through the process of placing the type, inking it up and running our postcards through the press…and then he set us free to create whatever we wanted.
I walked away with 20 postcards, varying between 3 designs.
Brian also sells postcards he has made (without the smudged fingerprints that adorn some of mine) and can customize any printing project you have. Check out the place…well worth it.









Random thoughts…

1. This may be my favorite piece of jewelry…besides my wedding ring. You can find it at MiCA 12/v.


2. I just signed up to run the full Flying Pig…lots of time ahead of me to explore OTR/downtown/northern Kentucky/Walnut Hills…

3. What is the story behind this sign, which I am assuming to be a ghost sign on top of a ghost sign?


4. Enough of the 60 degree weather. We want more snow.


5. My cousin visited us on Thursday and wrote a lovely blog post that included her thoughts on OTR and the city in general. Read it.

6. Though we didn’t trek up like we did in the past (we weenied out and took the car), this remains my favorite view of the city (I know the shot is dark, but Chad is pointing out where our home is).


7. If you haven’t already, check out True Theater at the Know Theater. Monday we heard the story about the Cincinnati daguerreotype – totally fascinating.


8. How does this happen?


9. Christmas decorations still up. Love on this 60 degree, rainy day.


10. Though its kind of hard to see, Chad has a basket on the back of his bike full of bacon from Kroeger and gelato from Madison’s, and I had a basket on mine full of fresh apple cider from Madison’s and fish from Heist. I love that we can do part of our grocery shopping on bikes (really need to do all). We are still on the hunt for the perfect shopping day/time though so that we don’t have to fight the crowds, but can get everything we need (ie, blue oven bread?) Thoughts? Also, fill me in on your favorite venders and why?



We have a couple visitors arriving this month…thoughts on the must dos in this great city of ours?
1. Nature Center


2. Bellevue park


3. Mural tour


4. Mercantile library


5. Brazee


6. Washington Park


7. Museum Center


8. Findlay Market


9. Segway tour
10. Eden Park
11. Library
12. Fountain Square ice rink
13. Others?

Yes, Sophie…

The question was there this year. You know, the question of “Mom, so and so says that Santa isn’t real. He said that all the presents under the tree come from our parents”. Crap, I thought. I handled it as any scrambling parent may…by answering with a question.

“What do you think about that?”

“OF COURSE he’s real.”

Whew. We have this Christmas. Hopefully.

We have at least a few more days of magic making, of imagination, of creativity, of faith. ¬†We have a few more days of believing that there is a small red elf who flies to the North Pole every night to report on the kid’s behavior, and then returns to create havoc in our home, or to write responses to her heartfelt gifts of cookie chunks or m&m’s. We have a smidge of fear in our hearts because Santa sent a video this year reminding her that school has not been focused on exactly as it should have been, but he’s pretty sure the elves are working on her gift. And we have that ultimate excitement in counting down the days until she prepares a plate of homemade, decorated cookies for the big guy, a plate of carrots and apples for the reindeer, and digs out the little jar of reindeer dust so she can sprinkle it on our deck to guide them in. 7. Please stay this way forever, kid.

I firmly believe that a large part of the magic continues for the kid because of this man. I strongly encourage the parents out there to avoid the mall lines where you are harrassed by a large elf to spend more money then you should on crappy photos of a man in a red suit with a fake beard, and take the time to get to Macy’s at Fountain Square. Soph assured me that this guy definitely isn’t a helper. This guy…well, he is the real deal. He even had a lengthy conversation with her about school and how she has to focus. He sat with her, opened up the letter that she had written and read it with her…through the pencil and eraser marks that littered it. He took the time.


We believe, Santa. We do.



This is what December looks like in OTR.



IMG_4174 IMG_4175




Nothing compares

The kid is now 7… and was completely incapable of riding a bike until recently. Frustrating to say the least. I recapped most of the trauma a year ago here. Since that time, we invested in heavy duty training wheels from Reser bikes, but the kid remained a nervous Nellie and we could go nowhere except around in very slow circles in the parking lot out back.

One of her past teachers gave us a copy of a book about teaching your kid to ride a bike “the Montessori way”, so we took her bike recently down to Reser (seriously…having a bike store as your neighbor is AWESOME) and asked them to take off the damn training wheels and the pedals. Though there was some hesitation, the balancing dawned on her quickly and within a short time she was flying 1/2 way around the Washington Park civic lawn without putting a foot down.

Chad took her and the bike back 2 weeks ago, where the pedals were put back on and after a few hours of sweat and perseverance in the park…this happened:



“The hardest part of raising a child is teaching them to ride bicycles. A shaky child on a bicycle for the first time needs both support and freedom.

The realization that this is what the child will always need can hit hard.”

~Sloan Wilson


414 Walnut St.

Yep, the address of the Mercantile Library. If you haven’t been there…go. Now.
Chad and I have been trying to get there for several months, but when we had a babysitter, it was closed. Every time.
Saturday, out babysitter whisked the kid away and we wandered downtown for lunch with plans to head out of town for the weekend after we had eaten. During our wandering after lunch, it dawned on Chad (this is a huge reason I married the man) that this would be a great day to see the Mercantile Library.
I am a huge reader, and though I do have a few books on my iPad, I remain quite conflicted about ebooks. I love books. I love the feel, the smell, the ability to read a book in the bathtub, the ability to scribble notes in the margins (or read what others have written), etc. The Mercantile Library is a luxurious space for bibliophiles…a space where you can wander the shelves of books from the early 1900s or today…a space where you can attend literary events…a space where you are welcome to bring in food or a drink while you bask in the beauty of natural light flowing through the ginormous windows…a space where you can surround yourself with the love of reading.

The librarian was incredibly friendly and shared with us the history of the library as well as other various facts. He allowed us to wander freely throughout the place and we were encouraged to touch the books, sit in the comfortable seating, chat,… (“yeah, we tend to be pretty laid back here”)

The kids section was filled with classics from different time frames. I pulled out a copy of “Alice in Wonderland” that had the original check out card in the front…clearly noting the multiple times that it was checked out in the 30’s.

Though I am somewhat nervous about checking out a book that was held in young hands 80 years ago, I also fully expect that a book like that will have meaning to our kid and a feeling of reverence and appreciation that cannot be achieved with a paperback book of “Fancy Nancy” (which was lying halfhazardly on a other shelf. We will be returning next week with the young one so she can make her choice of reading material.

The books are not bar coded or electronically checked out…which I love. Another patron told us that being members insured you of having your own personal librarian (which was echoed by Cedric, the librarian on staff). “Just email me if there is anything you want to read and I will get it ordered for you.” Seriously?
Anyway, I guarantee that we will be back…often…and hopefully will see you there as well.
PS. Besides, doesn’t this spiral staircase intrigue you?

Or doesn’t this quote draw you in?

I must say though…the lock and key hanging on the wall from the original building that housed the Mercantile Library was one of my favorites. Drop by sometime and see the place. You won’t be disappointed.


Some favs












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