Friday, June 28, 2013

A Glimpse of Emma...

...and her peeps.
By the looks of this merry band of dancers, I imagine it is going to be pretty hard for Emma to come home in a couple of weeks.  We'll have to come up with something tempting to lure her home.

After the Rains...

No Joke...this was the prettiest rainbow I've ever seen.  It was a full double arc that appear across the street from our house after some very vicious wind and rain yesterday afternoon.
Seeing it made me feel like a kid again!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

French Connections....

We are welcoming a French exchange student into our home next week and this evening we had the chance to meet the other folks who will be playing host to the students who will be staying in Oak Park for three amazing and jam packed weeks.  We are looking so forward to expanding our global family!

Representing...

Finn has been a soccer machine these days!  He has been attending the strenuous OPRF Huskies camp all month long and even has Leif representing the new club he will be playing for in the fall.  Finn has also been  saving his money diligently for months on end and plunked down a very significant amount to purchase a slot at Northwestern University's soccer camp.  He'll get to stay in the dorms and get a taste of the Big Ten soccer experience!  He is even using his left over money to purchase a new pair of cleats for himself.  How fun is that?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sample Texts from Emma...

"All of my friends came over tonight and we laughed out butts off. We ate the strawberries.  It turns out they were frozen so we had fun with that!"

"Well I am going to get frozen yogurt and then to CVS and then dinner at the hotel and then back to my room to just CHILL."

"Oh my gosh! Soooo good! Haha...the rep today was awesome and the teacher was only 18.  He is a member of Hubbard Street Two."

"Mia Michaels' dance. killer.  amazing.  look forward to it."

"Is 11 too late for me to call you?  I had unexpected visitors.  Pleasant surprise.  So my friends are staying until a little before bed checks."

"I may be half dead, but I am still alive!"

"This is me, Lissa, and Brandon who were our rep teachers this week!"
"I went and thanked the modern teacher and he said You're welcome. Great job today!  Thank you for listening; it really shows you care."

Cooking Class...

I am not sure if the chef at Sur la Table knew what was in store for him when this crew showed up for a cooking class, but it was a good thing he did a good deal of advance prep work because we could hardly stop talking and laughing long enough to listen let alone whip up dinner!
The wine was flowing and somehow Leif went straight to the head of the class...
...he has quite a way with a whisk!



And we even managed to make a lovely little seabass with Asian butter sauce and a strawberry salad!
Thanks to the Pettits for hosting us overnight, the Willms for organizing the class and to the Schwebels for hosting the after class party at their house.  It was so fantastic to spend some time with so many of our favorite people all at the same time! Too much fun.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day in Iowa...

 On Sunday morning we scooted fifteen miles outside  of Iowa City so Leif could enjoy a hearty farm country worthy breakfast at The Augusta in Oxford, Iowa.  The popular small town eatery is actually owned by the brother of one of our Oak Park neighbors and has received many culinary awards.  Leif had a local favorite called "The Haystack" and a big ole' Bloody Mary garnished with bacon to celebrate Father's Day. We also made a stop at  Northern Ridge Berry Farms to pick up some chickens, homemade jams, and fresh strawberries!  We enjoyed our time in the country and look forward to returning to the restaurant and the farm in July!
The Augusta
101 South Augusta
Oxford, Iowa
52322

New Address...

Yep, she is all set up for 27 days of hard work and fun; I could not have pictured a better place for Emma to spend a portion of her summer.  University of Iowa's campus and quaint downtown area are totally adorable and I know Emma is going to relish in every moment of her summer dance experience with Hubbard Street. Seeing all of the dancers arrive en masse yesterday was pretty spectacular...the group of gorgeous people Emma met in the first few minutes hailed from Florida, Massachusetts, Colorado and California!  I am going to look forward to her updates more than I even say; we are just so excited for her!  Sure we'll miss her like crazy, but this seems like the perfect place for Emma to be at this moment of her young life.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hotel Good Morning...



Friday, June 14, 2013

Our Prom Queen...

This evening Nancy got all dolled up for the Seniors' Senior Prom at the Oak Park Arms.  Considering she was recently named to the Sixty over Sixty list in Oak Park, it should come as no surprise that  Leif's popular mom won the crown at tonight's roaring twenties themed dance!


Past prom kings and queens lined up to witness this year's crowning moment...
...before Queen Nan and King Howard took a twirl on the dance floor.

Congratulations Queen Nancy! 
You wear it well.

These two...

...at the Seniors' Senior Prom.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Quick Visit...

 My mom came in for a quick overnight visit on Monday to celebrate Emma's birthday and take her for a quick shopping spree in the city.  We enjoyed a lovely family dinner and conversation on Monday evening before heading into the city on Tuesday morning.  We lunched on Prime Rib French Dip sandwiches at Bandera, picked up some new clothing for our dancer-girl and purchased these most memorable ice cream cone in history.
 My mom had been craving ice cream (which she rarely does) so we took her to Ghirardelli for a little Rocky Road.  We were walking down Michigan Avenue with our cones and my mom licked with such exuberance that she knocked the ice cream right of the cone.  She wasn't about to let  that ice cream go though!  When we heard her scream, "Wait! Wait!" we turned to discover her flailing about on the side walk; I though she was falling down and Emma thought she was wiping ice cream on her shoulders, but my mom was just bobbling that ice cream in her bare hand.  She finally caught it and put it safely back on the cone.  She was a comically drippy mess, but ate the whole thing!  After our laughter filled ice cream break my mom declared it would be a good long time before she needed another rocky road fix.
We had such a great day in the city!

Bloom...


Monday, June 10, 2013

Birthday Wishes...

Leif celebrated his birthday over the week-end with a fun dinner out at Hugo's Frog Bar and some much needed family time!  And Sebastian whisked Emma away on Sunday for her birthday outing.  The duo enjoyed a picnic at Ravinia and took in an show Indigo Girls performance.  I just love cozy birthday celebrations and this week-end was full of them.

Sunday on the Pitch...

Finn suited up in blue for the last time on Sunday.  He played two full games without subs and by the end of it all his legs felt like Jello!  He won't get much rest though; OPRF Huskies Camp starts up today and last year told me he loved the camp because it was "pure hell." I bet he'll sleep like a baby tonight!

Around the House...


 ...a pretty new tabletable cloth and an evolving dish...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Lunch Date...

Finn thought it was pretty cool that I took him to "work" with me this afternoon.
As he gobbled up his flank steak with blue cheese sauce he declared my job to be one of the best around. I have to say that I totally agree!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunday on the Pitch...

We drove out to the country today for one of Finn's final games with the Chicago Edge.
He has been making some pretty big decisions over the past few days that will have him wearing a new set of colors next year, but he does look handsome in that red jersey. So glad I captured this image for posterity's sake.

Little Waffle Man...

 Little Vikas brought his mom and dad over for a super casual brunch on Sunday.  "Kas" was happy as a clam with his waffles and so were the rest of us! We couldn't imagine having a cuter guest at our table.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Wedding in the Woods...



Wooden wedding rings, birch bark centerpieces, and casual picnic fare blended together to create a memorable wedding in the woods.  My friend El's sister asked me to help keep things on track on her wedding day and I was happy to oblige! Making things pretty is one of my favorite things to do!



Emma came along and acted as my assistant, but we all had to chuckle when she ended up holding a beverage and bouquet while the bride had some photos taken!  Emma's role kind of made me look like an irresponsible parent for a minute.  Despite a few showers and a couple of genuine  downpours,  this occasinally muddy outdoor wedding was a casually elegant affair worth remembering!
At the end of our very long day Emma commented that she just loved being a part of creating the environment that left the bride and groom with such a good feeling.  She's right! Creating memories is magical work and I am so glad that doing so is a part of my daily life.
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