Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Dave!

My wonderful husband turns 32 today! I am so lucky to have such a supportive, thoughtful and understanding husband. I don't know what I would do without him. He's a wonderful father to Dylan, always patient and takes time to read to him and play with him.

So if you see Dave today tell him Happy Birthday, or call, text, email or FB him. He would love to hear from you.
BTW, I am so happy he's not skydiving this year!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Two-fer Tuesday

Our senior year of college, way back in 2002!

In Oxford, UK at The Bears Head Tavern in 2008.

What a difference 6 years makes! Happy Birthday tomorrow Dave! Love you!

Monday, July 26, 2010

What shoes?

Melea and Bob's wedding is going to be here before we know it and I really need to get on finding some shoes to wear with my super cute bridesmaid dress. (Yes, those words can go in the same sentence!)

The dress is on its way... (only no broach and it's slate blue in dupioni silk)

Now, what shoes to wear? What do you guys think? Boonkers or Lava?



Here's my dilemma. I like the Boonkers better, but I think they won't be as comfortable as the Lava. I ordered both to see what shoes are more comfortable. Or does anyone else know of any other dark silver/pewter colored shoes that would look cute?

Photos from and

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chicago Part 2

We slept in a bit on Sunday morning, but awoke to the sounds of breakfast being made. Sandra is excellent at making breakfast, so we were in for a treat. She made the standard monkey bread, which was wonderful, eggs, bacon, and sausage.

After our huge breakfast we decided we should head back out on the lake for some fishing. We all piled into the boat and went out to Sandra's fishing spot, where we were guaranteed to catch a fish or two. Sarah was the first to catch a fish, about 14" and 7 or 8 lbs. It took me a while, but I also caught a little smaller fish. He sure felt really heaving when I was reeling him in though. Allison was not so lucky and didn't catch a fish, something about the pregnancy hormones scaring the fish away...

Sarah and I got our photos taken with our fish so we can grace the wall of fish in the basement. Now we just need to get the photos from Sandra (hint, hint).

After we were done fishing Sarah and I said our goodbyes and headed back into the city to go to my sisters house. We did get slowed down by traffic, so it took us a little longer than we had hoped to get to Dana and Paul's house. Luckily they live right off the interstate so their house was easy to find. You certainly wouldn't know that they live right off the interstate though, there is no noise from the busy road and their tree lined street looks like something out of a story book. I didn't know these neighborhoods existed so close to the city!

It was great to see Dana and Paul and their new house. I had seen pictures, but it looked even better in person. The house is older, but has great details in the woodwork, built ins, windows, and just the rooms in general are very open letting in lots of light. Unfortunately, Charlie, their cat was not so excited to see me and hid most of the time I was there.

Not too long after I arrived we all started getting ready to head out for an afternoon and evening at Rivinia. If you don't know, Rivinia is a huge outdoor amphitheatre and space where concerts are held all summer long. It is right next to/in the Chicago Botanical Gardens. Everyone that goes to these concerts packs up food, drinks, tables (fun fact, most of the people had the same Rivinia table from Crate and Barrel, the table was named for the place!) chairs and blankets. The gates opened at 5pm and by the time we got in at 5:30 we could hardly find a place to set our camp up. And it was HOT and sunny and we didn't find a spot under a tree. But it wasn't actually as bad out as I thought it would be. It was fun just to sit and people watch and catch up with everyone. We had an excellent assortment of food, Dana brought cheese and crackers, and brownies. we also had taco dip, hummus and veggies, turkey and cheese wraps, Popeyes chicken, corn and mashed potatoes and lots of wine and beer.

Paul, Dana and Holly trying to beat the heat!

Sting started promptly at 7:30 and sounded great. He was playing with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and while we couldn't see him (seriously, this place is huge!) the sound was great since we were close to speakers. The sun had also started to set, so we could enjoy being outside a little more.

We didn't have a problem leaving Rivinia and traffic was light.

Monday morning Dana went in late to work so she would walk me to the train. We had a pretty relaxed morning having breakfast and me getting packed up.

My flight home was also uneventful. We left on time and I arrived into Knoxville a few minutes early! Nina was wonderful and picked me up from the airport since Dave was at a golf tournament in Nashville. It was great to see Dylan when I picked him up from daycare on Monday, I had certainly missed him!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chicago Part 1

Luckily I had an uneventful flight from Knoxville to Chicago. Sarah picked me up at O'Hare. It was great to see her after way too long. Our friend Beth works very close to O'Hare, so we stopped by to see her before we went to lunch. I haven't seen Beth in even longer than I'd seen Sarah, so just a few minutes of saying hi was nice (even if it was at a funeral home...).

After visiting with Beth for a little bit Sarah and I headed back to her neighborhood (Lincoln Square) to have lunch and catch up. Lunch was excellent, we both had salads and a glass of wine and caught up on friends and family gossip. We headed off to do some shopping after lunch at all of the cute stores and galleries in the area. Our first stop was a general store that has unique cards and gifts. I found a few birthday cards and a "Goodnight Chicago" book for Dylan. We also hit up a few clothing stores (a teal sleeveless shirt and over sized ring for me!) and a gallery that features Chicago artists (where a "Midwest is Best" t-shirt may also have been purchased).

When we finished shopping we headed back to Sarah's apartment to wrap presents for Allison's baby shower on Saturday and get ready for dinner.

Dinner was at a very cute place a short cab ride from Sarah's, Magnolia Cafe. They have an excellent menu of appetizers, drinks, salads and entrees. Unfortunately they were sold out of the beef short ribs, but we were not disappointed with the Crab Cake appetizer,
Sarah's Delmonico Steak, Au gratin potatoes,

and my braised pork shoulder with fingering potatoes.

Saturday morning had us up a little earlier than we would have liked to head to Indiana to visit our friend Sandra. After a quick trip to Starbucks we were on our way! There was a little traffic on the drive, but it didn't slow us down too much. When we got to Sandra's we started getting a few of the dishes we were having for dinner prepped, while lunch was also being made. (We are excellent multi-taskers!) Allison arrived just as we were getting ready for lunch and after a long drive from Iowa.

After a great lunch we suited up and headed out on the lake. We spent the afternoon lounging on rafts in the lake and catching up. And no, I did not leave my raft all afternoon, I had people handing me food and beer. What more can you ask for from your friends? :)

We all pitched in to get dinner ready, and we had a feast. While we were getting dinner ready Beth arrived. She had to work all day Saturday, but made the hour drive out to Indiana to hang out with us for the evening. We dined on asparagus with prosciutto and Parmesan, fingerling potato salad with green beans and bacon, chicken, pepper, tomato and mushroom kabobs, and cucumber salad. Everything was excellent. After dinner was all headed downstairs to the festively decorated basement for Allison's baby shower!

And Allison opened her gifts!
It was a great day spend with great friends!

Look for Chicago Part 2 tomorrow!

Two-fer Tuesday

The Chicago re-cap will be posted later today or tonight!
Dana and I at Rivinia.

Sandra, Beth, Allison, Sarah and I.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chicago friends and family

I leave for Chicago tomorrow and can't wait! It will be great to see friends I haven't seen in a while and also my sister and her husband. We have a big weekend planned, dinner on Friday night and a show at Second City with one of my best and oldest (and by oldest I mean I've known her for over 15 years, she would certainly correct me on this since I am 7 months older than she is) friends Sarah. Saturday Sarah and I are heading to Indiana to meet up with our friend Sandra, another high school friend to go boating and catch up. Allison (yet another high school friend) will also be driving from Iowa to Indiana to meet up with us for a mini-baby shower that Sandra is throwing for her. And after work our friend Beth is also coming to Sandra's for Allison's shower (Beth is yet another high school friend).
(ASIDE, there are 8 of us that have been friends since high school and we are now living all over the country, CA, FL, TN, IL and IA, so it's rather difficult for us all to get together, but amazingly after 15 years of living in different parts of the country we are still friends!)
Sunday I am heading over to see my sister Dana and her husband Paul (and cat Charlie) in their new house in Irving Park. They moved back to the states from London last October and we did see them at Christmas, but it will be fun to see their new house and neighborhood. Sunday evening has us heading to the Sting concert at Ravinia, an outdoor concert venue in Chicago.
And Monday I fly back to K-town. I know it's going to be a whirlwind of a trip, which will be good. It will keep my mind of leaving Dylan for the first time overnight. I know his daddy will take very good care of him so I shouldn't have anything to worry about. Right?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Two-fer Tuesday

One of my favorites of Dylan, apparently he looks a lot like me when I was a baby.
I think he was 6-8 months in this photo.

Last September in MN with cousins Kaelin, Gabe & Madison and Great Granny B.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hitting and pinching and bruises

Dylan seems to be in a hitting and pinching phase. Whether he is mad because I am changing his diaper or he is playing with friends in the sand box, hitting seems to be his method of expression right now. I am hoping it's just a phase he is going through (a very short phase) and it will let up soon. He is talking more and more everyday and I know he just doesn't have the words to express all his emotions right now, but it frustrates me to no end to see him whack a friend he is playing with for no good reason.
I tell him that we don't hit our friends or parents and that it hurts them and it's not nice and he'll look at me for a minute like he understands what I'm saying and then he'll go pinch his friend.
He has always been very sweet and gentle with other children and that has certainly changed. He'll be two in a little over a month, hopefully the so called "terrible twos" aren't really on the way.
Dylan does seem to hit and pinch more when he's tired or upset, which I understand more so than when he seems to be playing fine with other children and then out of no where he'll hit them.
I know there are other parents out there who are dealing with this, does anyone have any suggestions? We've tried time-outs, talking to him and even just ignoring the behavior (which seems to work the best, especially when he's pinching or hitting me when I'm changing his diaper, but it's much harder to do when he's hitting a friend over the head). Maybe he's just hitting and pinching for attention? Any suggestions you have are welcome, my bruised arm can't take much more of the pinching!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Yard Sale

Shamless self promotion...
We are having a yard sale tomorrow so stop on by! It will be from 8am-12:30pm on Saturday, July 10th. We have golf bags, golf shirts, kitchen stuff, baby stuff, clothes, golf clubs and more. Our neighbors are also having a sale so stop on by. I promise I'll give you a good deal.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Parades and Fireworks

We started our 4th of July holiday weekend off with the annual Farragut 4th of July parade. It was Dylan's first parade and he had a great time. We met our friends Stacy, Tyler and Cooper and the parade and Dylan had a good time playing with Tyler. There were lots of floats, boats, cars, bands and all the usual parade fare. And there was Elmo. Dylan loves Elmo, but I'm not sure what he thought when he saw a huge Elmo in person. I think he was a little scared, but that wore off rather quickly and he gave Elmo a big hug. He also loves the Chick-fil-a cows. He ran as fast as he could to the cows and gave one a huge hug. I'm surprised he didn't knock the cow over as fast as he ran at it!

Sunday night we went over to our friends Meredith and Lukes house for a 4th of July BBQ. They had great food and we had a really good time running around the backyard with Dylan and playing bags and badmitten. Dylan also had lots of fun kicking the ball around the yard with Luke.

Meredith and Luke live close to a golf course community that has fireworks every year, so as it started to get dark we walked over to claim our spot for the fireworks. Since it was Dylan's first time seeing fireworks I wasn't sure how he would react, but he did great! He was a little scared when they were first shot off, but then he was fine. He just stayed very close to me the entire time. We didn't get home until close to 11pm, so Dylan had a very late night and luckily slept in until 8:30am on Monday morning and then took a 3.5 hour nap on Monday afternoon!

Two-fer Tuesday

Dylan and Tyler saying hi to Elmo at the Farragut 4th of July Parade.

Dave, Dylan and I on the 4th of July.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Saturday Dylan and I made our usual trip to the Market Square Farmer's Market and came home with TOMATOES! I can not tell you how excited I was to see tomatoes at the farmers market. One of my favorite dishes is fresh tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, it's out of this world! My tomatoes in the garden are just starting to turn, so we'll have a few more weeks of purchasing the farmers market tomatoes to satisfy my tomato and mozzarella obsession. I really do like trying different varieties of tomatoes and the farmers market usually does not disappoint.

I am growing Red Beefsteak, Celebrity and Brandywine tomatoes in my garden. I love the big slicing tomatoes, they seem to go best with the mozzarella and toppings. They are also excellent for another summer favorite, BLT's!