Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Brilliant Idea.

Yesterday my {not so} little Allison turned 9.  I know it's cliche to ask, but when did this happen?
I remember being a mom of all boys...and then she came along. It doesn't seem that long ago.

Allison came into this world so quickly, she was 4 minutes away from being born in the car.
So thankful that didn't happen.. I think Jeff was more thankful than me. ;)

We had an afternoon birthday party yesterday. It was very rainy and chilly.
My sister (Auntie Caitlin) usually makes a cake for my kids..whatever they wish.
Sam had a Hobbit hole, Sophia had ballet cupcakes...etc. She's an amazing cake decorator!
{My sister's recent wedding cake was even more gorgeous in real life}

But for Allison, she had a surprise, a most Brilliant idea!
She brought all of her fancy decorating supplies, sprinkles, frosting...
and spray frosting! (big hit!) to the party and let the girls decorate their own cupcakes.

The had a blast! They loved it and when the cupcakes were all decorated,
they decorated paper and brownies and anything else they could find to frost!

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Train schedules can be tricky.

You're probably wondering why this family is wearing sweaters and layers
as they take the train into Chicago in the month of July?

Because the temperature was 59!!! degrees when we left the house.
The high for the day was 61. We broke cold temperature records this past weekend.

The kids were happy to take the train. It's a longer ride than driving, because of the all the stops...
but sometimes it's easier...which was the case this weekend.

An added bonus...while we were getting out of our car, someone gave us their passes!
We only had to buy one more ticket. Our commute into the city cost a whopping total of $7.

Hello people in tiny {from my view} glass boxes 1,400 feet up in the air.
{It's the Sears Tower..not the Willis, I'm sticking to it.}

So Blessed! that my friend Cynthia and her family came into Chicago for a visit.
It was nice to see her..even if it was only for a short while.
They are such an incredible family! She is such an incredible woman. She really is.

{A girl and her mom from London kindly took our picture...can you tell?
It has a little bit of a British flair, don't you think?}

Of course the Bean, I mean, you're in Chicago, how can you not?

And pictured below is what the train station looked like at 12:09am Monday morning.
Just a few hours later and the halls would be bustling with thousands of people coming and going. But at 12:09, it was very quiet, and we explored and drank water and ate popcorn while we waited.

We weren't supposed to be here at 12:09, we were supposed to be in bed...asleep.
Jeff needed to wake up at 4:00am. I think he may have mentioned this to me once or twice.

Apparently you not only have to look at the time the train leaves the city,
but also the time that it arrives at your destination. Oops.
Reading the correct day is also helpful...say Sunday instead of a weekday.

We've ridden it a thousand times..not sure what happened to my little eyes, it was their fault.
We did arrive home 3:00am.  Thankfully he still loves me. ;)

Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE this city?
Well, I do. XxOo

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Did you know if your sister-in-law takes your kids for a couple days....

{a few of life's little happenings from the iphone}

....and your husband is working really late,
your house will stay clean?
you will be able to write a new song in about an hour?
you can eat whatever you want at whatever time you want?
you can read through an entire magazine in one sitting...yes, one sitting?

Just make sure you don't watch a scary movie preview. That would Not! be a good idea.
If you do, just turn on all the lights in your downstairs and turn on music....loud. ;)

Happy Evening to you.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fashion Tip Friday ~

It has been a thousand degrees everyday this week. Hot, hot, hot and more hot.
My son was wearing a dark grey thermal shirt outside, the heat index was 200.
My neighbor asked "Doesn't your mom do your laundry?"
My son's reply...."Actually.....I have no clean short sleeved shirts."

Ding! Ding! Ding! And the mother of the year award goes to....

Oops. Somehow his laundry basket was passed over for quite some time.
And why didn't his mother ask about the thermal shirt? Sheesh!
Being gone all last week helping with my sister's wedding and busy the week before that,
my poor house and gardens (and son's dirty clothes!) have been neglected.

This was the week of catching up on laundry and weeding and trimming herbs.
It's also been the week of....
....finding our first cucumber, eating our first 3 cherry tomatoes, getting blueberries.
One of my favorite parts of summer. Pounds and pounds in the freezer for winter.

Last night we baked our first blueberry pie of the season.
We also made a blueberry crisp which made our house smell like October.
But I am pushing those fall thoughts out of my mind and focusing on fresh squeezed lemonade. ;)

Onto the fashion tip.
I really don't have one today, so I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite items concerning fashion...since it is Friday and all.

If I had an endless amount of funds to shop online today,
My closet would boast 100 dresses from here.

This would keep me warm on those upcoming crisp fall days.
(Did I not just say I was pushing fall thoughts out of my mind?)

I would order some cute new sandals from here.
{If you need or want new flats, these are the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned!}

Happy Friday.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

She's Married.

I had no camera. No camera! at my sister's wedding. It was left behind at the church.
All pictures here taken with my iphone. 

A few facts about the day.

~ Her wedding party consisted of...
11 Bridesmaids, 3 Jr. Bridesmaids, 11 Groomsmen, 10 Flower Girls
1 Ring Bearer, 1 Miniature Bride, 2 Ushers
39 people total.

~ It was a beautiful outside.
The first wedding in our family that didn't involve rain or drizzle.

~ My Grandma baked the entire sweet table herself.
She has done this for all her grandchildren's weddings.
Billions of her Italian cookies on display. 

~The reception took place in a gorgeous, old building.
I want to live in it! Oh I want to live in it so badly...{I wasn't the only one who said this.}
They say the building is haunted...OOoooOOAAaaaahhhAAHhhoOO...we didn't see any ghosts. ;)

~There was a separate room for hors d'oeuvres,
 you had to walk through an old elevator shaft to get to the dining hall.

~ My sister made her own bridal bouquet.
Her friend Stephanie made all of the bridesmaid bouquets...they were absolutely gorgeous! 


{the hired help ^^^ working hard}

{Can you see why I want to live here? }

~ We took pictures at an old airport my sister loves.

Late in the evening, right before my sister left for her honeymoon.
Such a beautiful bride she was....I can't believe she's married.

~ Dancing to The Tarantella and other old Italian songs, the little girls had a ball.

~ The {very handsome} DJ for the evening...along with his little nephew apprentice.

I love weddings. They are a lot of work, they can be stressful, but always so much fun.
I'm so happy for my sister and her new husband as they start this blessed adventure together.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

She's getting ready.

Saturday at 3 O'clock in the afternoon my sister Stephanie will be getting married!
I love weddings. How special to witness and celebrate two lives becoming one.
What a wonderful gift our God has given us....marriage..I'm excited for my sister to experience it.

I lost my voice Saturday night and haven't been able to talk since.
Not being able to talk when you are a talkative person is no fun. ;)

This week has been devoted to "getting ready for the wedding".
What have we been busy doing?

{Just in case you are as observant as my children...
No, that is not a naked lady on the back of the home decorating magazine.
she is wearing a gold dress. Ha.}

{Not pictured}
Us running to a thousand stores a thousand different times.
Decorating. Place cards. Gathering centerpieces. Tux renting. Dress altering.
Shoes you should have bought weeks know, those sorts of things.

Happy Thursday.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Fashion Tip Friday {this one's rated}

This is one of those Friday posts....If you're not a woman, you may want to stop here.
I'm going to be a little candid in the name of helping out my fellow brassier wearing audience.
To my own dear husband this subject ranks right up there with a discussion about F.P.'s.
F.P.'s being feminine products for "that time" and I have even heard him call them  "thing-ies"  

So if you are uninterested in "thing-ies", this probably won't be your cup of tea read this fine Friday morn.
(Also, this post may be intermingled with pictures that have nothing to do with anything I'm writing about. ;)

(Like this ^^^ little nephew Hudson, isn't he just the cutest?!?!)

With that being said...let's move on.

So, in need of a new bra off to Victoria Secret I went.
{with of course an unlimited budget given to by Jeff....
"Buy anything and everything you need or think you will need!" wink, wink he said}

While browsing around the store, this pretty little salesgirl dressed all in black with a measuring tape dangling from her neck starts approaching. I hate this..I already know what she's going to ask and my answer is no.

"Do you need some help with sizing?"
"No thanks, I'm good."

Now let me tell you. I have never been fitted for a bra, nor did I ever want to be!
I have been asked a thousand times by pretty girls dressed all in black.
I had my own theory of what goes on in those dressing rooms and it goes something like me taking my top off for a perfectly formed 19 year old perky girl who has never breastfed a baby in her life!
Not going to happen to this 30 something year old mother of 5.
Nope! Never. No.

But when persistent measuring tape girl roped me in faster than I could flee I found myself stuck in a conversation I didn't want to be a part of. The next thing I knew, the Liz I know, the one who usually doesn't have a problem saying no in situations like this found herself standing in a fitting room wearing a nice little "fitting bra" with a tape measure wrapped around her chest! Yikes!

...but guess what?
It was the BEST thing that could have happened!!! I learned things I didn't know.

First off, I was in the wrong size!
I always thought A,B,C,D went something like small, medium, large, extra large.
That's not how it works. The cup size isn't how much is out, but around.

My new undergarment is so much more comfortable! because it's the right fit.
So worth letting the pretty girl in black size me. and my new size is quite impressive I must say.
It was fun to call my husband and let him know
I had gone down a number and up a couple letters since I'd left the house. ;)

Now if only VS can do something about my thighs......

So today's fashion tip.
Go get fitted! It's not embarrassing at all. They made me feel very comfortable and I was so glad I did it.

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Concerning my kitchen. He said he was being a realist.

A Realist? Pessimistic people call themselves "realists". He was being pessimistic.
I said he needed to be more me. See me smiling?
Five minutes with my new Country Living magazine, that's all it would take I told him.

He said it entailed a lot more work than I thought.
Again...peeeeeessimismmmmm. I said we could wrap this project up in an afternoon...he said days.

Then he started with all this negative talk.... things like the cost of my little idea. {emphasis on little}
What does my carpenter/contractor/construction business owning husband know?
So he's built and remodeled billions of kitchens over the last 18 years....yeah, yeah.
I've been to The Home Depot too, I know how much paint costs. Psh.

I made a list of what I thought were the necessary steps to painting the ugly kitchen cabinets.
1. Wash and sand them down a little.
2. Buy paint with primer in it. Two coats. Voila! The job is complete.

His list was a little different than mine.

It involved things like removing drawers, emptying cabinets, (whoops, hadn't thought about that) lots of sanding, oil based primer SEPARATE from the paint! wood filler, mineral spirits...the list went on and on.

My dining room this morning.
{Not pictured..the school room, half the kitchen and some of the living room. Yikes! It's a mess here!}

Friday evening I am hosting a personal shower for my bride to be sister.
Tomorrow we'll be gone half the day at a 4th of July party.
That gives me....not so much time to finish.

Am I stressed? I don't think so.
Jeff did mention {while laughing} something about the attitude he thinks I may have Friday afternoon before the Party. Ha! Again...negative talk. ;)

Finally if you have followed my other blog for a while you may have heard me complain a time or two or twenty about the gargantuous microwave the previous owner so kindly left behind for us. {11 years ago}

Guess what? It's Gone! Oh Glorious Day! Hallelujah! It's GONE!!!
My hero removed the 3 ton white mammoth yesterday afternoon..
For this I would give him the world. Yep, that's all it took. ;)

Off to sand and mineral spirit and prime and paint and clean and and and.....
Happy day to you.

Monday, July 1, 2013

What we have done. are and will be doing.

Have had...
...lots of people visiting our house lately.
...two cases of poison ivy. (boys ;)
...SO much rain! so many thunderstorms. and really cool temperatures this summer. with cousins yesterday afternoon.

Are and will be doing..... again. I'm not so busy though. Only one market on Friday and filling in when someone needs help.
{as much as I love them, with Jeff's busy work schedule, our family needs the break this summer} sister's personal shower at my house this Friday night. Her wedding is less than two weeks away!!! :)

Today I started washing clothes, windows and floors at 6:30am. It's been a productive morning here.
The windows are open, the temperature is 74 and the sun is shining like the star it is.

Mondays are usually the dreaded day of the week....but for some reason, in the summer they aren't so bad.
Hope yours is a blessed one.

*If you feel like complaining today, check this article out.