Monday, July 30, 2012

Pre-Show Treats

 In typical form, I took pictures of the food I served to our fabulous guests this week-end and not our fabulous guests!  On Saturday evening Billy and Lora (some of our favorite folks  in the world) joined us for and Asian inspired dinner on the deck before Emma's performance.  The evening was further enhanced because Nancy, Jim and Sue came to dinner, too.  

We enjoyed Vietnamese Salad Rolls, Thai Shrimp Dumplings, Peanut Sesame Noodles, and Maifun Coated Hailbut with Red Chili and Scallion before heading out to see the show.  We sat up laughing talking long enough to eat some early morning shrimp toast and caught a few hours of shut eye before having a leisurely late morning breakfast.  It was a delicious week-end in so many ways!


(Photo by Cora D. Mitchell)
After a summer filled with dance and choreography, Emma closed out the Young Choreographer's Workshop with a rousing finale created by Cora D Mitchell.
This week Emma will participate in the 2012 Doris Humphrey Summer Intensive.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Some Like it Hot

Husband:  This is like the hottest thing I've ever seen.
Wife:  What?  I have a bug in my bra.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love being married?

Power Issues.

 To say we have been expereincing some pretty ridiculous issues with electricity over the past few years would be an understatement.  In 2008 a storm damaged a transformer on the corner of our alley and literally fried out our neighbor's entire house. It was a dramatic scene as downed power lines danced like fire spitting snakes in the alley before things were under control; it was one of the scariest expereinces of my life.  

Even scarier, it happened a second time without warning.  The same main power line simply fell out a few months later during a quiet December night and fire once again rained down from the sky starting yet another fire on the property adjoining ours. It just fell out. We were losing faith in Com Ed by the minute.

In subsequent years we endured the occasional storm resulting in downed power lines and fallen trees and while occurrences like these are not all together unexpected each one served as a reminder of the scary explosions in our past.  Over the past couple of months we've lost power on multiple occasions (sometimes for more than 24hours and often more than once in a given week) and a transformer to the north of us exploded in the middle of the night without warning. Without warning.

And last night I heard an all too familiar rumble and immediately knew something electrical was amiss. 
There wasn't a storm brewing, there wasn't a lick of lightning in the sky, there wasn't even a breeze.
 I walked out my back door and this what I saw...
...a fiery display caused by an exploding ground transformer two blocks south of our house.  This scene was no where near as scary as electricity charged scenes from our  past and thankfully we didn't lose power (for once), but all of these events are a little too close for comfort if you ask me.  It feels like we spend a lot of time thinking about power lines around here and frankly I am more than a little tired of it. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Costume Fitting

My friend has been sewing diligently to bring Emma's vision for her piece to life!  Yesterday Emma's dancers had the chance to try on their custom made skirts for the first time and they all loved them.  Emma said they exceeded her expectations in every way!
She would not let me watch the piece because she wants it to be a surprise.
I am really anxious to see how all of these amazing elements come together!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Momenta Shows

(Photo by Cora D. Mitchell)

Emma has been hard at work at the Academy this summer and will be performing this week-end.
She loves all the pieces she in in, but is most excited to see her own choreography come to life on stage this week-end.  She has been guiding six younger dancers as she develops a little social commentary piece about individuality to an instrumental version of Katy Perry's Teenage Dream and I cannot wait to see it!  She has had the help and backing of dancer, choreographer and photographer,Cora D Mitchell throughout the process. The sewing expertise of my amazing friend Sue will ensure the costumes add the perfect finish touch to Emma's dance.

Summer MOMENTA shows always have a youthful sense of fun of fun about them and we would love to see you there! 

Summer Momenta Performances
Friday July 27th and Saturday July 28th
The Academy of Movement and Music
605 Lake Street
Oak Park

Week-End Guests

On Saturday afternoon we received an unexpected call from one of our oldest friends informing us he and his son were stranded at a basketball tournament in Chicago.  We were quick to open up Hotel Elsmo (thankfully we had a couple of clean towels on hand) and Emma and I sacrificed our tickets to see the Fire play Aston Villa so Leif, Finn and our guests could make a boys night of sitting in Section 8 at Toyota Park.  We were happy to help Andrew and Aidan and it was great to see them even though it was such a brief visit.

Wild About Wellness!

Check out this little video I was asked to work on with Pioneering Heathy Communities.  PHC's Wild About Wellness initiative links directly to my passion for family dining and I was thrilled to be be a part of of their community out reach project.  The video will be used in key locations around town and busy parents will be able to get the recipes to make at home.  I usually don't like watching myself on video, but this turned out so well that I just had to share it here!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Italia Day Nine: The Colosseum by Night

 Four of my favorite folks and I headed out for what was supposed to be a "quick dinner and drink" near the Colosseum as a last vacation hurrah.  I am not sure what happened, but I can tell you what the Colosseum looks like at 4am!  Every time we thought about turning in Lynn would exclaim, "But we're in Rome!" None of us could argue with that fact and we'd continue sipping our drinks and dancing the night away.  We certainly made the most of our last night together and the 7am wake up call the following morning was more than a little painful, but the pictures I captured that evening are a true celebration of Rome and among my favorites I've ever taken.

Italia Day Nine: The Sistine Chapel

Italia Day Nine: Rome

 Our whirlwind day in Rome started with a viewing of the Piazza di Spagna.  Completed in 1725, the world famous Spanish steps are an iconic urban monument and remain the widest staircase in Europe.  From there we parted ways with the larger group and several of us enjoyed a stroll around majestic Rome!

 We made our way to Fontana di Trevi to throw our coins into the world renowned baroque fountain.  Legend suggests tossing a few euro into the fountain will ensure a return trip to Rome.  According to the BBC, an average of 3,000 Euro per day are thrown into the fountain and the funds are used to support a food pantry for those in need.

 After enjoying some delicious gelato and a long and lovely walk we happened upon the Pantheon built in 126AD.
 From there we made our way to Rome's oldest market, Campo dei Fiori and I made  a quick lunch for the group on the side of the road before sprinting over to the Vatican to tour the breath taking museums.  

Italia Day Nine: Clarity

Do you know how to treat a jellyfish sting in the days following the initial wound?  We weren't too sure either, but thankfully they keep things pretty straight forward in Italy.

Italia Day Eight: Riccione

 In an effort to put some of our tournament woes behind us we yanked our boys off the pitch and plunked them on the beaches of Riccione in the Adriatic rivera of Romagna.  One of the best known seaside resort communities in northern Italy, Riccione's beaches are gorgeous and the eighty degree blue water was simple perfect.  The boys traded their uniforms for swimming trunks without complaint and made the most of our day at the beach!

 After a hearty lunch of pasta and shellfish, the boys donned helmets and life jackets for a trip on a banana boat.  Finn had no idea what he was in for!

 Similar to tubing, the banana is towed by a powerd boat and the driver attempts to flip the passengers off the banana and into the water by making sharp turns at high speeds. They boys went flying with ease and Finn was surprised how something so fun could hurt so much.  When I asked him if he would ever ride a banana boat again he responded, "Totally, but not right now.  Seriously.  Not now."

 Rather than take a second turn on the banana boats the adults and kids rented two speed boats and took a riotous ninety minute ride through the sea and visited a calm clear alcove prefect for swimming and lounging!  One of our players even got stung by a jelly fish.  Lets just say "teamwork" took on a whole new meaning on the old Adriatic!

 After hours of boating and swimming the boys started a game of beach soccer with a group of Italian boys.  They were playing with such intensity that a crowd started to gather and even began chanting for our American boys!  It was a precious moment for sure and we let them play for as long as we could before heading back to San Marino for the coaches vs refs friendly game.

This day was a considerable highlight of our trip.

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