28 July 2011

An evening with bubbles

It's amazing the joy and fun that $15 bubble machine can bring on a summer night!

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Some non-bubble shots from the evening 

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The Birthday Party

We celebrated Mallory's birthday with family and some neighbor friends!  Mallory had a blast splashing around in the pool and running around the backyard with all her friends!  I still can't believe she is 3 years old!!  We are so blessed to have her in our lives!! 

These photos were taken with my point and shoot so the quality isn't that great! I always have good intentions of using my slr at special parties but being the hostess I usually end up having little free time to capture the memories! Oh well- the photos still tell the story!!

22 July 2011

Mallory turns 3!!

My baby girl turns 3 years old tomorrow!!   Every year on my girl's birthdays I make a birthday video to showcase all the memories we made in the past year. 

We will be having her birthday party tomorrow and I'm certain  I will have lots of pics to share of that but in the meantime here is her video.....

 Happy Birthday to my sweet Mallory Rose!! 
13 July 2011

4th of July Weekend

We had a great 4th of July Weekend celebrating with family and friends.  The girls splashed around in the backyard kiddie pool, we saw fireworks at Arlington Park, went to the towns festival "Frontier Days", walked to the town parade, and had a bbq with local friends!  Last year we went to the same parade but we weren't residents yet. We were just beginning the selling and buying home process.  The day of the parade this year I kept thinking how we've come full circle in just one year and also how much we've been through this past year (in terms of the home journey) to get where we are today.  If someone would have told me a year ago that this is where we would be today I'm not so sure I would have believed them!  But here we are, in a home we love, in a neighborhood we love, in a town we love....our kids our meeting friends that they will go through all their school years with and we are meeting family friends that we'll have wonderful memories with as we sit back and watch our kids grow up together!  It feels like a sweet victory, we sold our house and conquered the odds in this crazy market!  Needless to say that little town parade had lot more meaning to me this year as I watched it with my little family and new friends!!  On this 4rth of July I am so grateful for my freedom, for my country, for the privilages I often take for granted, for the troops and their families, for my town, home, and the little family I love and adore!!!  

10 July 2011

My kind of town

I love Chicago!  I lived there for nearly 10 years and have had some of my all time favorite memories happen there!!  Having moved there right after college it's a place where I really came into my own.  I lived in first time crappy apartments. I was a wide eyed twenty something exploring the city as if I was a child in a new playground!  I gained confidence and experience in my teaching career.  I jumped feet first into working in the inner city Chicago Public Schools.  It was the hardest job I ever had yet I look at those years as a tremendous time for personal and professional growth.  It made me love Chicago even more because I loved and adored my students who lived in these neighborhoods. Neighborhoods that had I not been employed there I never would have stepped foot in!  It made me want to be the best teacher for them because gosh darn it they deserved it as much as the kids in the near by private schools or the swanky suburbs!  I was proud of my work and I knew I was making a difference!  I also made life long friendships during my years living there.  When your single living in the city friends were your family!  Long before Sex and the City made it trendy, my girlfriends and I would explore new restaurants, bars, festivals, etc.. We met boys and dated lots!  All the while sharing and laughing at our experiences together.  I was a joiner...I somehow always knew this was my time for me!  I had a career, I had a great apartment in a great neighborhood, I had great friends and family and I lived in a wonderful city with so much to offer!  I volunteered with Chicago Cares- working every other Saturday at place called The Living Room Cafe- a food shelter for the homeless, I took up guitar lesson for years at a little place called The Old Town School of Folk Music.  I was on a volleyball team where we played in the summer every Wednesday at North Avenue Beach.  I attended plays and improv shows at quaint little theaters.  I got involved with my church and went to Guatemala with Habit for Humanity to build a house!  Eventually, after many years of being single I met my husband in the city at the Old St. Pats Block Party...we later that evening had our first conversation at a friends party- on a roof top with The Sears Tower as a backdrop.  Yes, indeed I will forever have a special place in my heart for Chicago and the countless memories it brought me!

On Saturday, June 25th I was a tourist in Chicago going sailing with some friends.  It was a fantastic time and reminded me how fun it is to take advantage of all the city has to offer!  While we were driving through our old stomping grounds I was reminded of all the memories I made while living there. While I sometimes miss those days I take comfort in knowing I left no stone unturned... I whole heartily embraced those years there!  While I write all this down as sort of a love letter to my beloved city I also want to remind myself that I experienced so much before I got married and had kids.  It's something I'm very proud of and it's a lesson I want to teach my girls someday.  While I was waiting for love to come along I didn't stop living until I found the one.  Which reminds me of two favorite quotes I often referred to back in the day: 

"How wrong is it for woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than set out to create it herself." - Anais Nin

"People often understand love only as a need.  They begin to see love as something that flows to them rather than from them. The secret to love is that it's a gift and can be made to grow only by giving it away."

Some photos from our sailing excursion-

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