$wpsc_version = 169; holidays | Rebecca & Dale

Rebecca & Dale

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Thanksgiving Weekend Pt. 1

We had a great holiday weekend!

We went to Lara & Tony’s for Turkey! Thanks so much to them for the incredible hospitality and generosity they have extended to us by having us over for holidays! It was great to see them and Lara’s parents.

On Friday we were pretty busy around the house—we organized closets and revamped the office closet, the bedroom closet and the hall closet—and created a huge mess. We now have bags and bags of goodies for charity and a hallway full of milk crates and other short-term storage containers that have been displaced and may now be going to charity, depending on how some further reorganization shakes out. And the office is trashed as I reconfigure everything. *whew*

Friday night we went to Glen Ellyn to eat at Thipi Thai (which was delish and is very cute) and it happened to be the little town’s holiday walk.

They lit their Christmas Tree and it was quite a huge crowd for the size of the area. The street was closed off and every store had attractions and activities for families.

A skinny snowman greeted the kids and a Santa played second fiddle in the window.

It was quite the scene, considering how small Glen Ellyn is. It was all very cute. Dale stopped in at the local bicycle shop and it was a madhouse because they were giving free balloon animals to kids—made on the spot!

On Saturday we went to Milwaukee…more on that soon!

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Gingerbread House!

Dale bought me a gingerbread house kit waaaay back in January because we’d seen one of those gingerbread house competitions on the Food Network. Fast forward 10+ months to a lazy Sunday in November. It’s time to get ready for the holidays, right? I pull out the kit. I put up the walls. Dale put on the roof. Then Dale did the piping and I added the candy…

We decorated the walls first and then the roof. The wreath above the door? Was a NIGHTMARE! But it looks pretty cool.


The final product! Dale did an awesome job on the roof piping and the “icicles” along the roof! I am proud of my work on the roofline and the front yard! Ha!

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Happy Halloween!

Dale and I are having a great Halloween! We met for coffee after work in the city, took the train home, dropped off our bags and went for a nice long walk in our neighborhood. It was great to see all the houses decorated and all the little Spider-men, Jokers, and princesses running the streets. Our favorite might have been a little pink unicorn with a light-up horn!

After our fun walk we stopped at Penny’s for a quick dinner and now we’re watching The Great Pumpkin! Hope your Halloween night is going as well as ours!

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Fourth of July in Oak Park

Sarah G. came to visit for the 4th of July weekend! This is us waiting for the fireworks to start at the high school in Oak Park.

And, of course, this is me and Dale waiting for the fireworks to start.


Sarah and I had a lot of fun running around Chicago. We went to Taste of Chicago (and did not get food poisoning, which is awesome), to Marshall Field’s/Macy’s and saw the huge-normous American flag they had on display for the holiday (seriously, that thing is like five stories tall), and had ice cream at the Ghirardelli chocolate shop on the opposite end of Michigan Ave. We were too lazy to walk all those blocks so we hitched a ride on the free trolley. Good times!

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Happy Easter, Peeps!


Happy Easter! We spent the afternoon at Lara & Tony’s–and would you believe I forgot my camera? Lara said she’d email me a few pics. At any rate, this was a present from Dale–a whole bushel of tiny chicks! He really gets me, that Dale!

Hope you all had a lovely day, too!

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Dale’s Speaker Project

A post from Dale:

I have had the below set of speakers for about 16 years and though these 20+ year old speakers are not exactly attractive, I absolutely love the sound and it would cost an absurd amount of money to replace them. Why? Because I am NUTS!

So, like most men, I prefer function over style so the big ugly boxes did not bother me much until Rebecca noted they were an obvious eyesore. She reminded me of this OFTEN – and I realized I had to do something about them.

I launched a scheme to wrap the original black boxes in new wood in an effort to make them more attractive. It did not take long for my nutty mind to decide I needed to build brand new cabinets out of walnut and take what was supposed to be an easy project and create a major endeavor over the Christmas holiday.

I managed to get Dad to agree to all of this – I think he just might be a little nuttier than I am; thankfully it did not take a whole lot of convincing, honestly. He is a pretty easy mark, sometimes.

View below exhibit A, the 24-year-old ugly black box:

Following are a few shots of Dear Ol’ Dad working his hide off on yet another one of my projects. Thankfully he has not charged me for glue and fasteners over the years or I would be in the poor house.

Think we have enough clamps on it? Honestly I think we could have used a few more of them but we made do.

Here is 50% of the finished project – sans the finish. The other one was in the confines of about 10 clamps allowing the glue to dry. Pretty darn hot looking if you ask me.

Yeah, about the finish; Dear Ol’ Dad left me to fend for myself in that regard – I must be losing my touch with him. Actually, he is smarter than I give him credit for because finishing these SOB’s was a lot more work than I had originally imagined they would be, which is usually the case.

Here they are on the dining room table – note the subtle orange wall in the background – waiting for the walnut banding to cover the plywood edge.

Test fitting the banding before permanently attaching it.

Now here they are really coming together, each cabinet has a couple coats of Danish Oil to really bring out walnut figuring. This is what I had in mind when I selected this wood – great looking grain and a deep warm color. It is just a shame that I will be covering the front of these with fabric.

After getting three coats of hand rub polyurethane on them it was time to take them for a test drive; I am pleased they sound and look better than ever.

Here they are completed with vintage fabric fronts. As mentioned above, my goal was to get these to better fit with our mid-century modern style and I think I have successfully done so. In fact, a coworker saw this picture on my computer and asked, “What’s with those old speakers?”

I honestly think this past Christmas has been one of the best; I got to spend a ton of time with my dad doing something we both love – working with wood – and I will be able to see and use these speakers everyday for years to come. Nothing beats the pride of accomplishment.

Of course, working on speakers was not the only thing I did over the holiday; I also managed to whip my mother in a few games of scrabble, which rarely happens. No doubt she is chomping at the bit to reestablish her dominance on the scrabble table.

Nothing beats doing what you love with people you love.

Now I wonder what project I can sucker my dad into next year…

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More Christmas Photos…

Dale finally gave me the pictures he took at Christmas. More family pics below…

I took this one–Dale and his Grandma Murray on Christmas Eve.

Grandma Murray helping Ian with his new keyboard.

Ian unwrapping an exciting present.

On Christmas morning we went to Wayne & Lisa’s to play with kids. Lauren kicked my butt while playing Operation!

For dinner we went to my Uncle Randy & Aunt Diane’s. Here’s a picture of my cousin Randy with his boys, Jack & Colton.
Jack & Colton playing with my Aunt Diane’s mom in the background.

Our last stop was to stop in and see Melissa & Matthew, our niece and nephew from Dale’s stepbrother, Tim.

Melissa and her very pretty long-haired kitty!

This is Bruno, Dale’s mom’s dog. He’s a beauty! And was very affectionate and excited to have company.

Dale’s mom asked for a new Better Homes & Gardens cookbook for Christmas. She said her old one was “worn out”–she was NOT joking!

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Merry Christmas

Just a quick note to all our friends & family: Merry Christmas!

We loved seeing everyone–pictures to come soon!

Rebecca & Dale

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Christmas Cards…

It seems I sent some Christmas cards without actually signing them! *dies of embarrassment*

If you got such a card, it should have read, “Love & Friendship, Rebecca & Dale”.

So, yeah. Sorry about that.

Generally speaking you shouldn’t start your Christmas cards right after finishing a round of “Thank you for your sympathy” cards. It makes you flaky, I guess.

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Fourth of July in Oak Park

Dale and I enjoyed the fireworks in good ol’ Oak Park this year.

To celebrate the midweek holiday, we slacked all day. It was pretty great. We walked just a few blocks to the Oak Park/River Forest High School stadium and the fireworks were let off from the football field.

We got to sit in the bleachers and watch the show. Dale took his camera, of course.

We enjoyed the show. It was loud! And it was neat to see a nice medium-sized fireworks display.
I forget how pretty the smaller fireworks can be.