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Rebecca & Dale

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Winter 2011–Worst Blogger Ever, As I said!

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!

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Worst Blogger Ever?

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!

Last year…

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…

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Christmas Dinner

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!

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If it's Christmas? It's a road trip…

I forgot to take pictures for most of the weekend–I was too busy socializing! But I did grab a couple of photos. Here they are…

Pipi lives in the sunglasses case in the car–she is always excited for a road trip!

Those of you who were curious about the giant present under the Christmas tree? It was for Dale’s dad. It was some Gorilla Gear for his car. It’s almost impossible to buy for him so we were super excited to have something we knew he might like–and since he put the gear in his car asap we think we made the right choice! It’s a heavy duty liner for the back of his car. He liked the Gorilla Gear we got with Betty.

The kids were rather excited to get Nerf guns that quickly turned into a non-stop game of finding the Nerf sponge bullets.

On Christmas morning we went to Wayne and Lisa’s house–and everybody got to play with the Wii, which was fun–Barb is obviously kicking ass here…

Lisa even made a turkey! We had a tasty turkey lunch before heading over to my Aunt Diane and Uncle Randy’s for ham and all kinds of family favorites. Amazingly, I never got around to taking any pictures there! Can you believe it? I’m super sad I forgot to do that. I got to meet my cousin Ryan’s little baby Riley–he looks like a Gerber baby! And got to catch up with the family. It was really nice!

The day after Christmas we stopped in to say hello at the bowling alley where Lauren and Ian were enjoying the annual “Day after Christmas Bowling” that everybody does. Right? Dale got some cute pics of the kids bowling.

That evening we took Dale’s mom out for dinner–the 27th is her birthday and so we feasted at a steakhouse called Lucky’s–it was good! I didn’t get any pics of that either. Gah!

Trying to take a serious portrait of the children is not the easiest thing to do!

Ian throws the ball pretty much straight up in the air–he’s lucky it doesn’t take out his toes. Even so? He’s still a better bowler than I am. Sad, but true. In other news, I got my mom’s bowling ball with the custom bag that my father made for her. So now I have my own purple ball with my initials on it and a leather bag with my initials on it! My mom and I shared initials for those slower kids playing at home…I got the bowling ball from my Aunt Judy. I met up with her and my Aunt Charlene for lunch last Sunday and it was so great to see them and hang out. I wish I’d had more time with them!

Dale and I took a little time between visits with people to check out the slowly-revitalizing downtown Flint. Very cool! The ol‘ town is lookin‘ pretty good, all things considered. I wish we’d have had time to check out the restaurants there.

On our last night in town we met up with our friends Meghan and Bravin and had a FEAST at the Japanese steakhouse at Great Lakes Crossing called Miyako. It was quite tasty! We really had a nice time catching up with those two and stuffing our faces. Seriously, that place is delish!

We wish we could have seen more people and spent a little longer with everyone we saw!

And, after several days of eating out, I’m ready for one of those detox diets or something. Wow, we feasted our way around Michigan and had a really great Christmas! Thanks to everyone for hanging out (and for the presents and the food, of course).

Dale and I are celebrating our Christmas together tonight so we can savor them over this long weekend. Is there anything better than having four days off with no plans but to relax?

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Dale's family visits Part II!

 
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!

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A Day at the Musuem of Science and Industry with Dale's Family

 
 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!

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Aunt Diane and Uncle Randy visit!

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.

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Dale's Mom and Grandma Visit!

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!

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Remembering Grandma Cutcher

We got news today that Dale’s Grandma Cutcher passed away. We’ll be heading to Michigan for her funeral this week. Thanks so much for thinking of us.

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Miss Margaux's First Visit to Auntie's House!

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.