Dale’s mom, Jackie, came to visit in December. We took her to some fun, traditional Chicago Christmas events! This is us (as seen reflected in a mirror) picking out ornaments at one of my favorite Chicago traditions–the Christkindle market.
Who doesn’t love an outdoor winter market?
We also took her to lunch at the Walnut Room at Macy’s–Marshall Fields!–downtown.
We took the quickest of trips back to Flint for Christmas. We were there barely 48 hours.
Like any good parents, we were excited to get home and give Molly her presents! She was excited, obviously.
Dale had so much fun taking these pictures that I have to post the whole series. Molly removes the bow…
What is it!?
Ooh, new glasses! A gift from Grandma Jackie!
Already wearing her new glasses…
And onto the next present.
And what could it be?
It was a whole new outfit! This pic is hilarious creepy. Dale LOVED setting it up. Ha!
That’s me. Last year I was…not into blogging, I guess! So I thought I’d put up a few photos Dale gave me that I never got around to posting so I can move forward as a better blogger post graduate school!
Dale’s cousin Erin came to visit with her whole family–husband Jerry, and sons Connor and Logan. We had a lovely visit!
Dale and I made quick trip to Minnesota’s North Shore in July! It was lovely. We stayed in Grand Marais, Minnesota. It was during a pretty serious heat wave in Chicago. We lucked out and enjoyed 70-something weather along Lake Superior.
Lake Superior was soooo beautiful in July! We spent the day on Isle Royale and it was gorgeous. The boat ride back? Memorable in a bad way. My tummy does flip flops just thinking of it!
In August, Betsy, Bryan & their kids–Sophie, Owen & Fern came to visit. Such a bunch of cuties. We had a fantastic tea at American Girl.
Fern at The Cheesecake Factory.
When the girls headed to American Girl, Bryan and Owen got to enjoy opening weekend at the new Lego store next door. They got to put some pieces together that would become part of the store’s flagship display.
Betsy, Fern, Sophie and I enjoyed tea at American Girl. And Dale and I brought home a new member of the family: Molly!
Me & Molly. She’s the best.
We also went to the park, and Sophie showed off her mad playground skills.
More in the following post…
We had a great trip back to Michigan between Christmas and New Year’s but we somehow didn’t take any pictures–ridiculous, right?
Dale snapped a few of Christmas dinner at my Aunt Diane and Uncle Randy’s house…
Aunt Diane, baking biscuits
Aunt Diane’s mom–Grandma still going strong! Love her apron!
Look at the gorgeous table setting!
The ladies fussing over the fabulous meal they’re preparing.
Uncle Randy is always manning the video camera!
The super cute Christmas tree!
Dale liked his feast so much he took a picture of it!
We were very excited to have the family here for the weekend. Here they are in front of Dale’s huge ass fish!
While they were here we went to the museum (see post below), we took them for a nice, long bike ride around our neighborhood and before they left on Sunday we took them into the city to check out Millennium Park–always a good time for the kids!
Here’s Ian splashing through the reflecting pool–his shorts got wet but he had a good time. I got very close to the fountain and Lauren declared, “You are a brave woman!” Ha!
We also took them to the Buckingham Fountain downtown. We had such a nice day. It was gorgeous and sunny afternoon with a lovely breeze so we didn’t feel too hot despite the sun (that didn’t keep me from breaking out in a random heat rash later that day–sexy)!
Ian and Lauren checking out their reflections at the “bean” at Millennium Park. We had fun feeling dizzy as we stared up at the inside of the freaky bean.
Finally it was time to head back to our place so they could get on the road.
And for all the cool stuff they saw? Harry Potter, everything at the Museum of Science and Industry, Frank Lloyd Wright Houses, two playgrounds, a huge silver bean, a reflecting pool with video screens, and a large fountain…I think they liked riding the train to and from our house best of all. Ian especially…
This is Ian doing his best Mick Jagger before getting on the train to head back to our house. He’s a hoot!
Dale’s mom Jackie and brother Wayne came to visit. Wayne brought Lauren and Ian along and we all went to see the Harry Potter Exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. Ian is a big fan of Harry Potter. Sadly, we couldn’t take any picture of the inside of the exhibit. However, Ian came dressed as Harry Potter and he got to put on the Sorting Hat and was placed in Harry’s own house, Gryffindor!
Here’s Ian dressed as Harry casting a spell in front of the bewitched car from one of the Harry Potter movies.
We also enjoyed the rest of the musuem. This is Lauren hanging out on Boeing 727.
Ian fits neatly in the 727!
There was also a sweet exhibit of landmark pieces of architecture–made from LEGOs! So fun. This is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water.
And these are the most iconic buildings in Chicago–both those that exist and those that are under construction. Pretty cool.
Wayne showing Ian the inner workings of a real space shuttle at the museum.
Lauren and Ian checking out the model trains.
They stayed for the weekend so more pics to come!
Two weeks back my Uncle Randy and Aunt Diane came to visit! It was very exciting because it was their first visit with us.
It was also the first time we’ve hosted a doggie! This is Pooh. She’s an itty bitty Yorkie that is very sweet–unlike my beasts, who promptly ganged up on poor Pooh! We had to keep them separated. Oh, well, maybe the beasts will be nicer next time!
Uncle Randy brought a spectacular gift for Dale–a HUGE ASS FISH! It’s a long story but Dale has long wanted a Blue Marlin, preferably about 7 feet long. It turns out that having a taxidermist in the family is very useful if this if your dream! Uncle Randy surprised us with it. And Dale LOVES it. He hung it the first night they arrived and we have marveled at it ever since. It’s BIG, let me tell you.
Saturday we went to the Field Museum. I like the Field but I know it’s not for everybody. I was very happy that they enjoyed it so much.
It turns out that Aunt Diane is a major nerd for dinosaur bones! She loved it.
She also enjoyed seeing the Man Eating Lions of Tsavo
–the movie The Ghost and the Darkness is based on them. They were in the midst of a huge section of taxidermied
animals, many roughly 100 years old.
Dale liked this one best of all!
Not entirely surprising, Uncle Randy really enjoyed the taxidermy–he spent some time pointing out the stitches to Dale. It was pretty interesting to see it all from his perspective.
Finally, we took a drive to find a few famous gangster spots. This was Al Capone’s house back in the 30s and 40s–Uncle Randy is pretending to shoot his finger gun. Heh
And this is the Biograph
Theater where John Dillinger was gunned down right out front!
We tried to go to Al Capone’s grave but the cemetery was closed–however, Dale and I made it back there on Memorial Day–I have a pic I meant to post on Memorial Day but will have to add it later.
Dale’s mom, Jackie and his Grandma Murray came to visit last weekend. We had a nice Mother’s Day time with them.
Us gals got pedicures on Saturday morning. Just like we did last year!
Then we went to this cute little suburban town called Long Grove and did a little shop. To enter the town you have to go under a covered bridge!
Many of the shops are converted residences. It was pretty adorable. Thanks to Lara and Trish for suggesting it!
Jackie, at the old-fashioned candy shop.
Grandma Murray and myself picking out our chocolate goodies.
On Mother’s Day, we took them to White Fence Farm–but we forgot out camera! Our meals looked just like the ones pictured, however!
Our evenings were largely filled with Scrabble–Jackie is very serious about it! But on their last night in town, Dale got schooled on how to hem my pants! I’m terrified of the sewing machine but Dale is quite handy with it, believe it or not. So now I have two more pairs of pants I can wear than before the ladies arrived. I made out like a bandit, obviously!
We had an exciting Valentine’s Day at our house! It was Miss Margaux’s first visit to our place. She brought her own chair and DVD and several changes of clothes–she comes prepared!
She was chillin’ in front of the TV watching Baby Einstein while her mom, me and Dale get ready to take some pretty Valentine’s Day pictures of her.
Margaux’s regular blog can be found here. And I’m sure those Valentine’s photos will make an appearance very soon!
As for me and Dale, we had a lovely afternoon with Rebecca and Margaux, then went out for dinner at Cucina Paradiso (our favorite place). Today we’re going to Borders to slack and drink coffee. I told you we are creatures of habit despite our best efforts to stir it up here and there!
That said, we did get some sad news last night. Dale’s grandmother (his mom’s mom) is in the hospital and it appears to be quite serious. We just celebrated her 90th birthday last April. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.