30 June 2010

Chasing Fireflies

The fireflies are out in full force. We tried to see how many we could catch. And then we let them go, back into the night.

29 June 2010

Taste of Chicago

I've got to admit -- the Taste of Chicago is just not very appealing to me. I really don't have any food issues, but dodging the crowds of people walking around while munching on turkey legs and buttered corn on the cob kind of grosses me out. However, I work not too far away, so we try to sneak out to the Taste for lunch once a year just to check it out.

I didn't think there were too many interesting options this year, but we did our best to scout some out. My co-workers all opted for an Irish Egg Roll (kind of like a Reuben egg roll), which looked good. I had "taste portions" of Gazpacho with Avocado and Chopped Chives from The Grill on the Alley, a Pork Filled Banana Dumpling from Sabor Latino (the Mini Jibarito Sandwich -- pork, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and cheese surrounded by two fried plantains and covered with oily garlic sauce -- that Moira, Ted and Kari looked even better), a Spinach, Mushroom and Feta Crepe from Shokolad Pastry and Café, and full-sized Rainbow Cone.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day, and really nice to be out. The city is totally alive right now -- I think I need to make a point of getting away from my desk more.

26 June 2010

Summer Block Party

I've got to admit, when we first moved to the area, the idea of a block party kind of freaked me out. I'm not sure why, considering when I grew up, I was part of a group of kids in our neighborhood who created a fall neighborhood festival, complete with hay rides, bonfires and musical productions. We even did Annie one year. No joke. And there were only about fifteen homes in the entire neighborhood. It was annual event for years! Six years after owning our home, we all really look forward to the block party. We live on a particularly long block, on a corner at one end. We don't even see half the people all year long, and the block party is a great way to hang out and meet some of our neighbors. Honestly, we've got a lot of really great people who live on our street. Fortunately, someone had the brilliant idea to take a photo of all the kids this year. It will be fun to look back on it some day, I'm sure. The boys also had their faces painted (H got a US flag, and C got an eyeball and a flag). There was the standard bouncy house. One of the elder neighbors organized a bingo game (also a tradition). This year, the kids also decided to put on a talent show. H was emcee (I'm pretty sure he got the idea from his friend Finn, and he took his role pretty seriously). It was a really fun day.

25 June 2010

24 June 2010

Art by C: Robot

C gave Brian this robot for Father's Day. He made it in school, and it was attached to another present -- a big stack of folders with all of his school work over the past semester. It's pretty amazing going through it and seeing what he did. Just so you know, the purple pipe cleaner on the robot is a tail, not what you might be thinking it is. (I asked.)

23 June 2010


I grew up in Wisconsin, in a pretty rural area. I remember major storms and tornado warnings every summer. I would grab my sticker collection, favorite stuffed animals, the dog, and run to the basement for cover. Storms always have made me nervous (no comment, people who know me well.....). I've lived in the Chicago area for over sixteen years now, and I don't remember ever having to run for cover (ok, once). But the last week around our neighborhood has been really crazy. I got home from work just in time to avoid the rain. I heard that the weather was going to be pretty nasty, so drove our babysitter home. As soon as we got home, the the sirens started, so the boys and I (and the dog, appropriately named Storm) went for cover in the basement. Brian was on his way home, and said he's never driven in anything like it. We stayed put for a good 45 minutes. Fortunately, everything is fine and after dinner, a gorgeous rainbow appeared.

But right before it turned dark, the clouds turned a very strange shade of orange. (My photo doesn't do it any justice -- check out Marketing Mommy's images). I'm done with this weather. My parents called to make sure everything was alright, and H gave him the full run down of the weather. He also announced that he is going to be a storm chaser ("tornado chaser" as he called it) when he's older.

Katie Daisy

Images from The Wheat Field. (etsy - website :: via s a s s)

22 June 2010


C's dirty feet.

21 June 2010

T-Ball Trophy

H was thrilled that his t-ball coach stopped by today with his trophy for the year. It's official - t-ball season is over! The Nationals won only one game, but had a great time. Honestly, it was better than I thought it would be -- just quite the major commitment. He had a really nice team. His coach knew how to play up everyone's strengths and make them feel great. He let everyone play, unlike other teams who sit some kids out pretty much the entire game (can you believe it?). There weren't any crazy parents -- except me, that one time I told H to push a boy off the base because he was blocking the base and smack talking to my son (don't worry, H didn't hear -- just a few parents, and Brian lectured me the entire car ride home. I learned my lesson. Geesh!) I can't say I've every seen a bobble-head trophy before, but H couldn't be happier.

20 June 2010

Father's Day

Look at this guy. The one with my oldest boy. We think he's pretty amazing, and couldn't wait to wish him a Happy Father's Day this morning.

Even C, who decided he would rather play with rolly pollys instead of take a photo with him, thinks he's a pretty great guy. Brian woke up and went on a bike ride -- it's just so nice to ride by my parent's. Then we headed over to my sister's for a delicious Father's Day brunch.

We really wanted to get a photo of my dad with the grand kids, but someone (C!) was not cooperating, again. He's getting quite the reputation, I must say.

The other kids had a watermelon eating contest.

My niece won.
H came in last. I don't think that bothered him one little bit. It was a really great day.

Happy Father's Day Brian and Dad!


I'm not quite sure what the deal is with my family, but they are obsessed with fireworks. My parents and my sister always have a stash, and the boys think it's the coolest thing ever. I'm the worrier of the group, so anything with fire makes me nervous. Of course, I'm also the one who always has something happen to them. When we came home from the golf outing, I almost got nailed with firework disguised as an airplane. Nice. Fortunately, the boys switched to sparklers. Although, I've got to say, I'm surprised C even comes close to them. Considering he has a big scar on his foot from a sparkler incident. See what I mean?

The 9th Annual Player Invitational

Saturday was The 9th Annual Player Invitational. It was started in memory of our friend Jeff Schwebel, who was a childhood cancer survivor, and benefits the One Step at a Time Camp for children battling cancer. It's all around a great event.

Brian golfed, and I was asked to volunteer, which I was so excited to do. I worked the putting contest with my friend Shelly. It was a gorgeous day, and so much fun getting to hang out with friends.

Every year they do a helicopter drop. Here's Ali getting ready to drop the golf balls.

A few years ago Brian actually won a trip to Las Vegas during this event. We weren't so lucky this time around.

Last year was the only time we missed The Player. We were very happy to make it back this year. It was had a great time and are already looking forward to the 10th Annual next year.

17 June 2010

Perfect Night

Tonight we were invited to the 2nd Annual Backyard Ballet at the Elsmo's. We missed last year's production, so were super excited to be able to make it this year. These girls are great friends and fantastic dancers. It's a pleasure to be around them, and just a really fun evening. The boys really got a kick out of the emcee, Finn. I particularly loved when he said his dancing days were over, and that he came out bouncing his soccer ball, just in case there was any doubt where his true passion lies. This year the girls were raising money for the Everybody Can Dance program at their dance academy. You can tell they put in a lot of time and effort. Great job, guys. Thanks for inviting us.

15 June 2010

Day Dreaming

Isn't this house absolutely amazing? La Petite Bastide is located near Lourmarin in Provence. Dreamy. (via Desire to Inspire)