Blog Archives for category Friends

Facebook, friends, and scallops—oh my!

I had a major kitchen crisis (nothing fits anywhere and I was losing my mind) and jokingly asked on Facebook if anyone wanted to come help me figure it out…

And Jami volunteered! And then was serious! (She lives about 1:30 away so it wasn’t completely insane.)

She’s an amaaaaazing cook and has bragged about her perfect scallops so, since I LOVE SCALLOPS, she brought them to teach me how to do it! So I learned how to make perfect scallops with a saffron wine sauce on fresh spinach Fettuccini. It was divine!! Of course, she also brought snacks and wine…and a cast iron pan and avocado cooking oil and cream because my kitchen isn’t up to par yet.

They were so beautiful they really deserve a full-size shot:

She had brought cookies to Owen and Katie. When she handed them out, age called them by name. Katie asked how she knew her name and I said she knew her from the day she was born. (I had told the kids previously that Jami was from the same group of friends as Uncle Eddy, Aunt Sheryl, Miss Nancy, and the whole group of people that came to our house a few times). 

Owen waited on his cookie, but Katie was all in. 



Owen being silly after tasting other desserts.


Then we played with makeup a bit, did an unplanned Facebook Live video, she bought two new lip colors and a blush, and we drank wine.

I had to get creative since we forgot to keep it chilled. Yes, that plastic ice cube is from a boo-boo bunny. 


Oh yes, we did also get some kitchen stuff figured out (also with Linda’s help).

Dinner, wine, and s’mores with the neighbors. 

Our two next door neighbors could not be more welcoming. Aside from letting our kids play together all the time, this happened tonight…

Stacey came to collect her kids and I happened to mention that Tom was gone so I was ready to pop the wine and she said her husband was going to be really late so we should do a patio dinner. Yes, please! She would do hot dogs and pizza sticks and I’d bring wine and fruit. She even had frozen peaches for the wine! The middle neighbor, Ines, joined us and felt guilty for not bringing anything, so she offered s’mores at their house after! Yes, please!!

Braving Chicago, Day 2: Shedd Aquarium

Starting the day with bear hugs.

Going into the pool (aka basement) for breakfast.

Arriving at Soldier Field after parking in the garage (it’s kitty corner from the aquarium).

Waiting patiently while we get our free (!!) tickets! 


Getting ready for a 4-D movie short.

Do you know what these are?

How about now?

Shark eggs!

We got a stranger to take our group pic…

But of course I had to do a selfie!

After a somewhat agonizing drive home through rush hour traffic, we arrived to this:

I’m glad we got to see our friends, but after two full days in Chicago I cannot understand how people there don’t go postal. Between traffic, bikers, and congestion, I had a headache almost the entire time I was in a car plus I got stuck in rush hour coming home today so that made it a sucky ending. I understand there is a crap ton to do there but it’s just not for me. So I was right, I will be visiting even less then I visited DC because at least DC was only 20 minutes away. Caitlin, I love you, but next year you’re coming to the ‘burbs. :) :heart:

I wouldn’t brave Chicago traffic for just anyone.

My good friend Caitlin (that I just had to leave in Virginia) and her kids came to Chicago (they were already in Indianapolis) so we drove down to explore some touristy stuff with them. I hate traffic and congestion so it was a mini nightmare for me… But I did it.

Our first stop was the Museum of Science and Industry…where we spent seven hours (egads, I know). The kids had fun but it was a long day.

At the Toy Maker area, it cost $5 to get your own personalized gravitron—and you could watch as it passed through each station. It was cooler than we thought it would be.

There was a Fault (you can’t see the red light on in the photo) so the human operator had to come in and fix it.

And I was thinking it was just a top but it’s a gyroscope—so much cooler than a top. They had a little station to test it out so we all played with it. Then it was back to the exhibits.

Katie got to create her own fireworks display!

Wind tunnel! Owen wanted no part of it (even though he had to do it at the $2 machine in Virginia at swim lessons).


I should have recorded more of this—the kids had an absolute blast with it:

Ice cream for lunch because why not?!

The kids loved the big tractors SOOO much.

If you stood still, butterflies would land on your shadow.

Then it was finally time to head to the hotel… The drive was a bit precarious with all the traffic and insane bikers…but we all made it in one piece. The hotel was really neat—it was all sports-themed and the rooms were like dorms.

And then after a brief rest, it was off to Navy Pier! The kids really wanted to do the Ferris wheel (like we did at National Harbor).

After we walked around a bit, it was time for dinner—and we wanted to sit down and waste time since we had to wait until the fireworks at 9:30. I figured I deserved this:

The traffic wasn’t actually that bad getting out after the fireworks (thank heavens for small favors) and soon we were back at the hotel, where the kids were all super excited to sleep on the top bunks!!

The kids finally quieted down around 11 and Caitlin and I stayed up chatting until almost 12:30.

First time at the water park!

Our neighbors invited us to the water park and we eagerly accepted. Unfortunately I didn’t have my waterproof camera so missed being able to take pics of the little ones going down the kiddie slide and Owen going down the big water slide! This was the only pic I got of them—the other two were off playing in the grass.

Also unfortunately the day was cut short because of weather. Kind of. There were darkish clouds in the sky…

And apparently Katie has now turned into Maggie and completely freaks out at just the mere thought of dark clouds and potential rain so she was a hot mess crying to go home. I put it off as long as I could but when it actually started to sprinkle ever-so-slightly out was game over.   

Returning mail leads to this. 

The neighbor kids brought over our mail which then led to our kids going to play at their house. About a half hour later the mom and I had this text exchange:

Stacey: Girls are putting on a concert on the trampoline.
Me: I’ll be over.

I walked in to them jumping in tutus (of course there was an outfit change—there’s always an outfit change). :) So we just sat and talked while all four kids played and rode in the power wheels. 

Ahhhhh, neighbors. ❤️

   

Cupcakes!

We brought cupcakes and frosting for Gramma to do with the kids… Grauntie Marge ended up helping as well, and then I got stuck frosting them and Katie did the sprinkles. 

We had them as birthday dessert for Katie after the Wednesday night group dinner when everyone came back to the house to visit. We even sang Happy Birthday to Katie and she loved it!

   
 

My heart feels better.

Both kids have been troopers about moving, but they’ve both been sad and missing their friends (as would be expected). It was weighing heavily on me, even though there was nothing we could do about it (as would be expected). So we took them out to ride their bikes and get their mind off things.

And literally within 10 minutes, neighbors with two kids (a 5yo girl and 4yo boy) walked over and introduced themselves. After talking for a few minutes, the kids were off riding their bikes together in the cul-de-sac and then were invited to bounce on the trampoline. The parents offered to watch them for a bit while we worked. 💕

They were the perfect welcome for the neighborhood. And their kids (plus another neighbor’s 7yo son) are just what mine needed after leaving their besties.

When I went to retrieve them about two hours later, Katie was on the trampoline in a gymnastics leotard and when I joked about it the mom laughed and said they had a costume change and they might also have makeup on. I said I would expect nothing less. :)

[Note after a few days: So both kids have apparently found their new best friends. Our very next door neighbor is the 7yo boy and him and Owen are already thick as thieves riding bikes, playing catch, and playing basketball. The little girl is two doors down and is also starting kindergarten! They both come ring the doorbell and ask if the kids can come out to play. We love it.]

Leave it to a kid to make me laugh.

So Caitlin had taken the kids for the afternoon so they would be out of our hair and able to play with their friends. After the truck left she dropped them off and we said our goodbyes and we were hugging and crying. After she left Owen asked why I was crying and I said it was sad to have to leave friends. And Katie pipes right up “Like Miss Julie who she drinks with all the time.” 😂 Leave it to a kid to make me laugh.

Water fun with neighbors!

Julie had promised the kids they could do water balloons and we were running out of time so tonight was finally the night! Of course it took longer to fill up the balloons then it did for the fight, but the kids had a blast.

They wanted to do more balloons but we convinced them that playing in the water wind be more fun!

Moving is never fun, but this one has the potential to be awful.

The moving company only sent two people to pack us so there’s no way in hell they can finish in the allotted two days (it took one guy an entire day just to pack the kitchen—and he missed a bunch!). Tom called them and they said they’d try to send more people for day two. Nope, they didn’t. When they left at 4:30, they hadn’t even touched the basement. So now the plan is to have two people come back Friday and pack WHILE THE TRUCK IS BEING LOADED. And yes, you read that right: Friday. So we get to live out of boxes and suitcases until then. It’s a total cluster.

Listen, I know it’s their business and you would expect they have lots of experience with estimating, but it’s OUR house and OUR stuff and we’ve seen it packed and moved 4-5 times now so you’d think you’d put a little more stock in what we tell you—and we told them more than once we need a crew of at least four. 

This has FAIL written all over it and you can bet it will be reflected on our post-move survey. They could still turn it around but I don’t have high hopes. 

A few pics of the current status of our house: 

   
  
 

Celebrating Katie’s birthday with the neighborhood gang.

  

  

One of my last driveway drinks here…

    

July 4th with the neighbors

Three happy kids tonight doing sparklers and watching the neighbor’s bigger (but still small) fireworks.

And some of the super cool pics I got with my waterproof camera on the Fireworks settings—these were just simple fireworks we did in the street. I was amazed at how cool they looked!

Movie night with friends

Friends of ours have a standing Friday Family Movie Night that Katie always wants to go go…so instead of crashing their Friday night, we had our own on Sunday night. We went over to play, watch a movie, eat pizza, and make popcorn… Which I think they only lasted through about 45 minutes of the movie before they lost interest and started playing.

Early 4th of July festivities

Our local fireworks were tonight, so we had our “F It Friday” group together for a “Suck It Saturday” instead! After some delicious drinks (and refills!) and dinner…

…the kids played in the water while we watched and tried to stay out of the spray zone. One dad (Eric) joined in the fray…

Then it was off on a caravan to the equestrian center (where we watched from last year, too). The kids ran around and played and did sparklers…and eventually watched some of the fireworks. I think Owen sat with me and Katie for about five minutes and then he was off with his friends.

Both kids had fun and were happy and I got to spend another night with our great friends…and that’s just about all I can ask for. (Well, if Tom would have been there it would have been even better!) :)

Another afternoon at the pool…

Getting sunscreen on…

When Owen gets the camera…

When mom gets the camera back…

And yes, I actually got in the pool. It was HUMID. And then the sun came out and I got HOT.

Our good friends…

Their toys had gotten sucked in but they were both to scared of the bugs in there to reach in. :)

Sitting out during the break (the last 10 minutes of every hour) plotting their next move in the water gun war with the opposing team.

A new hand-me-down suit from our neighbor Maddie.

Cuddling with Daddy

Duplo Ivysaur

We were at a friend’s house and this is what Owen came up with using the Duplo blocks.

Driveway drinking with a special guest.

Every so often Tom will join us…


 

A neighbor’s dog…and a neighbor. 

A neighbor’s dog…

And a neighbor.