Thursday, September 27, 2018


Amsterdam: 36 hours is not enough
I unexpectedly had the opportunity to visit this week with work. 
What an incredible city. I'm already excited to go back along with the family.

I didn't take my camera along, but I grabbed a couple shots along the way. Below is a shot from a chocolate factory that I stopped in to grab some treats for home. The other is the REM Island. An old pirate radio transformed into a restaurant.

So many bikes. So much architecture. So many bridges. None of which I stopped to take a photo of.
Not to worry. I'll be back.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Roadtrip to Ohio

Ohio. Home of the Buckeyes, Browns, a lot of flat space and wind turbines on the way, and most of all, our incredibly dear friends.
We celebrated the Mister's birthday with kites, kitties and s'mores. Turns out kites are a lot of work, but Ellis and I got a whole lot of laughs out of the deal and the kids loved it.

We spent the weekend lounging around, hitting up the park, and searching for neighborhood kitties that need cuddles and names. The trip was too short to try cramming much in, so for the mili-second we considered going to the museum or downtown, we quickly shot it down and opted for a movie afternoon on the couch cuddled under blankets instead.

These two. They always deliver. How lucky are we to have found these people to call our friends. Our kids worship them, we adore them and I'm so thankful they are only a drive away. I only wish we could see them more often.

Happy birthday Mr. H. We love you to pieces. Thank you for making us smile every day.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Birthday Celebration

In lieu of a party, we celebrated the birthday girl with a day downtown.
We drove in early right after breakfast. Our first stop was a visit to one of our favorite bakeries we used to frequent for a mid-morning cookie...or two.

Next we headed to the Lincoln Park Zoo where we spent the better part of the day wandering around. There are a handful of things that I truly miss about living here, and this place is near the top. AA morning and afternoon spent wandering around the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Evan an impromptu visit with Nicole and Paul to add to the celebration.

A great day had by all. Lots of sun. Lots of smiles.
Happy Birthday, Gracie!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Letter to Grace: Happy 5th Birthday

To our Grace,

As I always do, when birthdays come around I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that its been five year. When I close my eyes I can see you as a baby, as a toddler. I can hear you giggling, I can hear the sound of your feet hitting the floor and running down the hallway in the morning. I can remember the nights in the hospital after you were born and the first time your sister met you. Most of all my memories are flooded with your smile.

You are silly. You are resourceful. You are incredibly thoughtful and clever beyond belief. You are confident in who you are and most of all you have kindness intertwined in every fiber of your being. It is these things that I hope you hold on to as you grow older and you are faced with tough decisions and find yourself in hard situations. It is these things that will define who you are more than the brands you wear, the style of your hair, or how active your social networking page is.

I think a lot about the way you and you sister will grow up and how much different your world must seem than it did to Dad and me at the same age. I won't pretend to understand the hurdles you'll be faced with. Social media, an overwhelming amount electronics, and more pressure than ever to follow predefined, pre-paved, paths that may or may not be something worth pursuing. Through all of this, what I can do is promise you two things. First, you will never regret kindness. Always choose kindness; even when it's the harder choice which at some point it will be. Second, we will always be here for you. Here to be your biggest cheerleaders through the highs, and here with open arms and open minds to listen through the lows. We will be here for it all.

So to our cheetah, to the one that completes our family; we love you.
Happy Birthday, Love.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Lake Time

We won the neighborhood lottery, hands down. When we moved here a few years back, we had hoped to find a neighborhood that better fit our family. Really all we were looking for were a few kids that ours could hang out with from time to time and maybe someone we could share a cocktail or glass of wine with once in a while.

What we ended up with reaches so far beyond this it's hard to explain. We're feeling pretty lucky to say the least.

For the second year in a row we've joined one of our neighbors for a weekend away at their lake house in Michigan. Mother Nature spoiled us with summer like temperatures over the holiday weekend and we soaked up every second.

Saying good-bye to summer with a bang.