Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This Picture...

....needs to speak two million six hundred twenty-nine thousand seven hundred forty-four for every second she'll be gone. I miss my girl already.

Blue Lake Drop Off

Well...Emma is safely tucked away at Blue Lake Fine Arts camp! She seemed thrilled and eager to get to work! Good thing considering her first ballet technique class was scheduled just hours after her arrival. Her cabin counselor, Sade, seemed ready to embrace whatever her first week with a cabin full of girls might bring. Emma picked out a top bunk near a breezy window and I'm pretty sure she'll settle in nicely. I think she and her friends are going to have an amazing time! I am counting the moments until her first letter arrives!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dancer's Last Dinner

On the Menu:
A half slab of Mom's BBQ ribs
"Lots of those really good potatoes you make"
Green Beans and Tomatoes
Lots of Conversation
Golly I am glad she liked it because she'll be eating cafeteria mystery meat for the next 30 days!
After dinner we watched Pretty Woman and I tucked her into her own bed for the last night before she leaves us to dance until her legs fall off!

Brother and Sister Goodbye

Saying goodbye to Emma for a month wasn't easy for Finn, but the only thing that could possibly make him smile was knowing he is going to spend a week with Grandma and Papa!
Have a great week guys!
You all deserve it.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Two New Apps...

Last night I cooked up a mess of very spur of the moment hors d'oeuvres for a birthday celebration at House Red in Forest Park. Despite a power outage in the days leading up to the event and a micro nervous breakdown as a result, the dishes were divine. I especially liked my new Goat Cheese, Artichoke, and Roasted Red Pepper Crostini above and the little seared Ahi tuna bite below. You can read more about that special dish at Inspire Mel.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Good Catch!

Our Java girl might be getting on in years, but she hasn't lost her agility quite yet!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Calm during the storm

Keeping Little Lu calm during storms has been a next to impossible task since she joined our family. At times she becomes so restless she makes herself physically ill. Given the weather over the past couple of weeks and especially during the crazy storm we had yesterday afternoon, we couldn't be happier that we discovered wrapping her in this flannel shirt of Leif's calms her right down...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Woody's Hat

Finn spent the better part of his formative years looking for Woody's hat. Toy Story, especially that cowboy sheriff, had a profound influence on Finn and his worn Woody doll was his favorite childhood companion. He went everywhere with us and usually without his hat. That missing hat was a constant source of distress for our little man. On rare occasions when Finn found the hat it was practically assured Woody, himself, would be missing. Finn would wander though the house clutching the small plastic cowboy hat calling out to his missing pal. To this day I find this delightful back and forth an irresistible memory of Finn's youth. Woody is tucked into picture after picture of Finn in our family photo albums and even still I can practically hear him singing Woody's Round-Up. My parents were so taken with Finn's obsession with the rootinest tootinest cowboy that they gave him an offical Woody costume for his third birthday. After his exhausting party he put on the outfit, hat and all, and fell dead asleep. This photo, taken moments before he drifted off, is one of my favorite pictures of Finn during his Toy Story years...
Last week-end, in a fitting full circle family moment, all four of us went to the theatre to see Toy Story 3. It was hard to imagine the same little boy who was earnestly concerned about the location of his doll's hat seven years ago and so loyal to his cartoon hero that he dressed like him, was now sitting next to me in the theater giggling and asking if a joke in the picture was an example of a pun. We all loved the film from start to finish. The message of the movie underscored that, save for fleeting moments, recapturing the past is an impossible task, and growing up is a complicated and emotional journey. It hit home hard enough I needed a Kleenex and reminded me that classics...movies and memories...never lose their luster.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Meal for Musicans

Yesterday afternoon, I had the honor of cooking for an intimate group of people including members of the The Grant Park Music Festival's board of directors, supporters, musicians and conductors. It was an honor to meet and cook for everyone in the room, but meeting principal conductor Carlos Kalmar (below) and chorus director Christopher Bell were definite highlights!
This was a fantastic way to spend an afternoon and I am sure to pack up a picnic and see these great men in action as soon as I can! Want to join me?
(These simple ginger spinach dumplings were my favorite dish of the day)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

His Day.

Emma and Finn bring joy to my life every single day and they wouldn't be the people they are without the father they have. I am fortunate to have a husband who is the loving father every child wants and deserves. He is a tremendous role model for Emma and Finn and handles most parenting challenges with grace. He will always buy the children gum and Funyuns. He is quick to laugh, show affection, and make school lunches. He legally downloads music with Emma and plays Fifa 10 with Finn reliably. He always knows where the pump for the soccer ball is and never misses a dance recital. With each and every moment Leif spends with his children they become a bigger source of joy for me; his influence helps them become better people every single day. I know Emma and Finn appreciate him more than words can say and so do I. Happy Father's Day Leif! We wouldn't be who we are without you!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Blown Away.

Mother Nature blew her top yesterday afternoon as a wicked line of storms made their way through our village. Winds in excess of 75 mph were reported and trees were downed all over the streets surrounding our house. Power lines were ripped down and we were literally left in the dark.

Pizza, candlelight and card games, however, provided a sliver lining in the wake of mother Nature's Temper tantrum. Finn commented, "This is lovely and disturbing all at the same time."

Friday, June 18, 2010

Front Row Artistry.

Photographs like this are what come of putting an accomplished dancer/photographer in the front row! Thanks CDM! Receiving this made my morning!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Little 1 year.

Last year Arose made her debut at the Backyard Ballet.
What a difference a year makes! make some pretty gorgeous girls!

The Backyard Ballet

The second annual backyard ballet went off without a hitch this evening! The girls put on quite a show and Finn fulfilled his emcee duties perfectly. The pieces were all unique unto themselves and featured music by The Freelance Whales, Michael Jackson, Ziggy Marley,The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, The Beatles and Coldplay. The girl's added a fundraising effort to the Backyard ballet this year, too. Thanks to their generous guests they raised more than $150 for Momenta's Everybody Can Dance Workshops!

All of the guests in attendance are very important people, but notable (and official) VIP's included:
Cora D. Mitchell and Gina Sigismondi (Momenta dancers and Academy instructors) and Miss Carla (Former Joffrey Children's Ballet Master)
and Ms. Payton (Finn's 4th grade teacher).
One guest commented the girls were dancing from their souls and I simply have to agree. Guests were even getting a little teary now and then and seemed to delight in the innocence of the entire production.
Thank you for another memorable show!
This is fast becoming one of my favorite days of the year.

You can learn a little more about the work Momenta is doing from the video below:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Emma & Co are getting ready for tomorrow's second annual backyard ballet.
They look more than ready to me!

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