28 December 2013
Today we went skiing at Little Switzerland. It was in the upper 30s, sunny and perfect. It's a small hill, but only 30 minutes from our house. We ran into a number of people we know, including one of H's good friends, some people who's son plays soccer with C, and my friend Kari's (who lives in Alabama) entire family. So fun. H did great. He can go down anything there, and once he ran into his friend, we didn't see them for awhile as the hit the slopes alone. Then there is C. Skiing still isn't his favorite thing to do nor his forte -- but he had fun. Just like last year, after we got him to try going down some of the larger runs, we ended the day back on the bunny hill. Once there, he didn't even want to leave. I sure hope we will be able to get out a couple more times this year!
26 December 2013
After a nice, long night of sleep, we started our day by meeting up with some friends at the Nomad to watch the Liverpool soccer match. Later in the day, my niece and nephew came over. They are playing in a tennis tournament in our area -- and as they did last year, they are spending the night with us tonight. We all look so forward to it. First stop was SPIN to play an hour of ping pong before going out for a late dinner. We tried to go to Bel Air Cantina but it was too long of a wait, so ended up at Trocadero. I think the holidays have caught up with all of us. We are all beat!
This year, my parents hosted Christmas. My sister and I have taken it over, so it's been a few years since we've been there for Christmas. For the kids, especially the older ones, it's what they remember. We were all looking forward to it. Gift highlights of the day include the set of training wheels Brian received from my cousin, and the calendars my parents got from my nephew -- Sport Illustrated swimsuits for my dad, and Hot Guys with Baby Animals for my mom. Ha! The kids had all brought their snow clothes so they could go on a tractor sled ride with my dad, and we all just enjoyed being together. It was a very merry Christmas.
25 December 2013
The boys did well, waiting until 7am to wake us. They were as excited as ever, and besides the go-kart on H's list, got a lot of things that they wanted. Even an Xbox One. They absolutely freaked out when they opened it (note: hugging photo above) -- the reaction alone was worth it. They couldn't believe it, and I'm not sure I've ever seen them more excited. Even Storm received some gifts -- including a new bow tie collar. It was a pretty incredible, magical morning.
I love Christmas Eve. We celebrated with Brian's mom, sister and family -- then others joined us for a little appetizer party. Scott and Ali and kids, Ali's family, Terri and John and kids, our neighbors Sandy and Donn and my parents all stopped by. A little later in the evening, Mike and Kristyn joined us for a quick nightcap before we all went our ways to tuck the little ones into bed for the evening . It was perfect.
24 December 2013
22 December 2013
Brian and I were invited to attend a Holiday Bierklasse tonight at Cafe Benelux with Scott, Ali, Ali's family and some friends. This weekend has been spent preparing for the holidays and clearing away snow after getting completely dumped (on all day long), so were really looking forward to getting out and just enjoying some festivities. Five beer pairings and five delicious small courses -- plus hanging out with some really fantastic people. Such a great time.
C O U R S E O N E
Corsondonk Christmas Ale
Grilled Shrimp with Chili Oil
C O U R S E T W O
Lowland Brewing Company Santa Rampage
Pork Belly Skewer with a Herb and Citrus
C O U R S E T H R E E
Dark Horse 4 Elf Winter Warmer
Roasted Squab, Seared Foie Gras with a Sage Brown Butter Sauce
C O U R S E F O U R
Lakefront Holiday Spice
Cheese Plate with Cambazola, Comte, a Sharp Wisconsin Cheddar and Apricot Chutney and Crostini
C O U R S E F I V E
Dark Chocolate Fondue with Brownie Bites, Marshmallows, Strawberries and Angel Food Cake
17 December 2013
15 December 2013
Last year, my sister invited my mom, the boys and I over for an afternoon of cookie baking. We all had so much fun and felt very productive, so were super excited when she asked us over for another day of baking this year. She has the perfect kitchen for it -- even though it is always filled with flour and sugar by the time we leave. Whoops. My niece made toffee and hung out for a little bit too, which was nice. The boys took a taste test when all were done and declared the Italian almond cookies Christie and C made the winners.
13 December 2013
10 December 2013
Tonight was the sixth grade band and choir concert -- and this year, H was in both! That's right, no study halls for him this year. But he sure does love it. The band is quite a bit smaller than last year. The good news is, you could really hear him and his baritone. He really is quite good at it (if I do say so myself). The band played Round and Round and Round, Open Road and Ode to Joy. Next the Choir Small Ensemble, Chamber Singers and Jazz Band played, and then it was time for Choir. They sang Ching a Ring Chaw (and Great Gittin' Up Mornin'), Hine Ma Tov, Just a Single Voice and Spinning Wheel. Look at that happy guy!
08 December 2013
We've had our sixth annual holiday dinner with Scott + Ali and Andrew + Shelly on the calendar for months. Unfortunately, Andrew was under the weather yesterday, and they had to cancel. Bummer! The remaining four of us decided to still go, and we were able recruit our friends John + Terri to join us. We had been going to another restaurant since we've been doing this dinner, but decided to mix it up this year. We went to the Five O'Clock Steakhouse, which was the perfect amount of supper club kitsch we were looking for (although, we agreed that we sure missed the fireplace we used to sit in front of). I loved the giant salad bowl and relish trays each table gets. And I wish I had saved room for a Brandy Alexander, but no go. My bacon wrapped beef tenderloin was delicious, and Brian said his ribeye melted in his mouth. Lots of laughs + a delicious meal in a restaurant loaded with holiday lights (which are actually up all year) = a very fun night.