Surprise! Happy birthday Kathy, my most gullible sister

Under the cover of 10,000 hogs, we pulled off the perfect surprise birthday party Saturday afternoon in Milwaukee. Planned with military precision by a three-generational task force -- the indomitable Grandma Peggy, Katherine and Erin -- the party required coded messages on cellphones and layer cakes, thirteen helium balloons and a tiny human carrier just [...]

Jackpot of Joy Part Two — Traveain, the Early Years

Often the quiet moments of our most desperate hours inspire impressive abilities. Such is the case with Traveain, an irrepressible flirt born three months early against great odds. "When I was born I was real tiny," he said. "I'm glad I made it." Weighing just three pounds and diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Traveain spent three months in [...]

A jackpot of joy (part 1)

We believe every family should have a Traveain, a consistent beacon of well-dressed optimism. Our Traveain turned 25 on Sunday and celebrated by hosting a growing gathering of friends and relatives that began in a quiet corner of his favorite restaurant, Cracker Barrel, and, to the consternation of a harried waitress, slowly grew larger until it [...]