Entries tagged as ‘family’
My mom’s favorite hobby is moving. I would be shocked if you have moved more than she has. One of the advantages to moving all the time is that she doesn’t accumulate clutter. There isn’t a heaping pile of crap to sort through before each move. She just keeps things she needs or loves.
One of the many disadvantages of moving is she never really invests much time in decorating each place. Collecting art and photos for the walls never really happens because she isn’t sure she will stay in that space. Two weeks ago, that hopefully changed. She is now the proud owner of a cute little house with a great yard in a neighborhood that she has been eyeing for years. And it is in my hometown of Kalamazoo. This one feels like the perfect home that she will live in for the long haul. Energy and love are already being put into the interior and the yard. And long-term plans for a playroom/game-room in the basement (for the non-existent grandkids) have been discussed.
So I think it is safe to call it home.
Justin and I went to visit this weekend. The highlight of the trip was tearing out the carpet from the living room to reveal hardwood floors. In the world of home improvement shows, nothing is more satisfying than the last five minutes, where they show a montage of before-and-after shots of a space that has been “re-done.” And we got to live that this Saturday.
Ten-thousand husband points were awarded to Justin for spending his Saturday at his mother-in-law's house tearing out carpet/tackboards/staples/nails in his Cole Haans.
We also packed in some other hometown goodies such as a trip to the wine bar (in Kalamazoo??!?), the farmer’s market, antique shopping (goodies will be photographed shortly), dinner with my friend Alicia, the ballet, and brunch with my grandparents. Whew. There are more DPH’s from the weekend in the second half of this album if you are interested.
Categories: Daily Picture
Tagged: carpet removal, daily pictures, family, hardwood floors, kalamazoo, mom, moving, new house, weekend trip
My dad and his wife, Carole Anne moved to Australia a year ago. They just now came back to visit the U.S. for a couple weeks, and spent a nice weekend in Chicago with us. What do you do in Chicago when people come to town? Take them to the bean of course. (You only call it “Cloud Gate,” if you are the artist or the artist’s mom. No one else will really know what you are talking about.
Looks like the city could pop at any moment.
You have to wait in line at the park on Mother's day to get this photo. These tulips grow behind the most popular bench in the city to have your engagement/wedding/senior prom/family picture taken. Does it look like the tulip on the right is burping? Yes, I think it is.
And the crowd goes wild.
Across the street is the cultural center. Have you been there? It's gorgeous AND free. The designs on the walls are all mosaics. Ridiculous!
Gilded stairway craziness.
Archway and mosaic madness.
Then Jordan had to take his shoes off to rest his messed up feet. He was wearing 7-inch heels the day before.
To further injure Jordan, we kept walking through Gotham. Here is the CBOT building that creeps me out on a daily basis. It is smack at the end of Lasalle street and has a scary statue on the top.
We did eat massive amounts of food at great places like Andies, Park Grille, and Karyn’s Cooked, but I was so consumed in the deliciousness of it that I didn’t get any photos. If I visit my dad in Australia though, I promise to take a picture of my dinner. And I would certainly get a shot of a wallaby–maybe even a koala, although I heard rumors that they are more angry than cute. I will have to be sneaky.
Categories: Chicago · Daily Picture
Tagged: Chicago, family, Daily Picture, photography, Millennium Park, the bean, cloud gate, chicago cultural center, australia, dad, CBOT, mosaics
Aren’t they precious in their matching attire? We should go to Sears immediately and get a family portrait taken for the Christmas card.
As I was sitting on the couch with my little family here, I realized that it is going to be 64 degrees on Friday. Can I expect another “spring” day in the park? As my friend Casey would say:
I am beside myself with excitement and can barely type.
Categories: Daily Picture
Tagged: cat, Daily Picture, family, justin, photography, porpus, signs of spring
I am about to leave my mom’s condo in Kalamazoo, when she opens up Megagood just to check for updates and reminds me I am behind. Well, yes, but I had clearly been visiting the family all weekend and there are no magical blog elves that posted in my absence. Elves are also notoriously bad at cropping photos.
Friday night began with wine at happy hour and then running to the Metra again. Why? This is an important lesson that needs learning. The happy hour had a cast of characters that was a mix of old-world and new-world, and I think I may have missed the majority of the good time from what facebook is telling me. And there is some kind of inside joke about 4-h camp that I am totally clueless about. Anyway, duty called and laundry and packing was to be done.
Justin and I rode the Amtrak to Kalamazoo and it arrived…early? This never ever happens. Amtrak shares tracks with freight lines, and that is just an awful system, so we generally anticipate some delay. We arrived in Kalamazoo with plenty of daylight left and time to grocery shop for the Sunday birthday dinner. I planned to make the Italian Sausage(fake for vegetarians) and Tortellini soup of course.
Saturday night, we headed over to my brother’s fabulous apt, which is the finest in Kalamazoo. Guaranteed. Better/more photos would have been captured if I’d known that rushing to dinner at the restaurant Mangia Mangia was totally pointless. We were starving upon arrival and then RAVENOUS upon being seated. The wait was grossly underestimated and the hostesses narrowly avoided being eaten. Yes, I’ve been reading a lot of vampire books. Yes, it seemed like a perfectly logical solution to the hunger.
“Mangia Mangia” is excellent fun to say, and slightly less fun as a restaurant. But besides the wait, it was a pretty good meal. The bottle of Malbec was possibly the highlight, and did wonders to calm our mood and boost the blood sugar. We were also introduced to the incredible Strandbeests at dinner via the ever amazing iPhone that Jordan proudly owns. No, I don’t have one yet. I am practicing patience.
Sunday was the birthday dinner for Jordan(23), Justin(28), and Grandpa Jim(87!). My uncle, Craig(28?), also has a birthday in February, but sadly, he is a plane ride away and couldn’t make it. It is clearly the popular month for male birthdays in my family. The meal was delicious, but spicy according to certain Hoosier taste buds. Sorry about that. I tried to tone it down. However, no one took any issue with the layered raspberry Boonzaaijer Bakery cake.
After dinner Grandma and Grandpa were trained on their first cell phone. Hopefully, at 87-years-old I will also be able to embrace new technology that might make my life better. I am a little worried about this, as I cannot properly use the remote to my TV. Let me please have patient grandchildren. Or a patient 85-year-old little brother who will still be hip. It is likely.
The view of Woods Lake from my Mom's place
Jordan's baby and my niece, Lula. She has fine lynx ears.
Weird pillow at Jordan's house.
The instructions were to decorate it with "man colors." Really? Pastels? Delicious regardless.
Don't be afraid!
Did you click the Strandbeest link yet? Watch the videos.
Categories: Daily Picture · family
Tagged: birthday, cake, cats, daffodils, family, jordan, kalamazoo, mangia mangia, photography, strandbeest
I don’t have to go to work tomorrow, so that means I am in charge of the whole day.
Today, I have spent a lot of time being excited about this day off tomorrow. This happens to me all the time. This “looking forward” to something makes today just as exciting, if not more. Tomorrow is idealized in my head. I have a grand list of things I want to do. And tonight they all seem possible.
However, tomorrow I will inevitably start thinking about the work week, and the excitement of my day off will be a bit tarnished. Why does this happen? I just want to fully enjoy my time in the moment. Why can’t I just live more presently? The last day of an extended vacation is always a bittersweet too. I certainly don’t feel alone in this irritating human quality. Bah!!
BUT today is fantastic because my mind is filled with the endless possibilities of tomorrow. I’m thrilled to be sitting in bed right now with the alarm set for 6:30, plotting the activities that will follow the morning coffee. I plan to document the day and enjoy it, find happiness in being in charge of myself, and not worry about it all coming to an end without my list being completely accomplished.
In the spirit of anticipation, and my love for looking forward to things, I actually looked into the past. My old photo albums (pre-Canon and pre-DPH photos) document hundreds of happy moments that I can remember looking forward to during the days that led up to the happenings, enjoying them as they occurred, and certainly didn’t ruin them by realizing the day(s) would come to an end. Documenting and revisiting them remind me that I have more of these moments to come. Thus completing the cycle and sending me off into a state of anticipated happiness all over again.
Tune in tomorrow to see how it goes.
Here are some gems that pre-date the Daily Picture of Happiness project. Get ready for some major scrolling action:
Italy. Was there for work. Can't wait to go for vacation someday. Justin hasn't been yet.
Gelato. Want. Looking forward to eating it this summer.
Dining alfresco. Want. (Need?) What happened to that necklace?
Best. Wedding. Ever. (Biased?)
Seriously good day. Serious fun.
First discovering the Meerkat exhibit at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Outstanding.
Ravinia picnic food coma. Priceless.
Boley cruise in Alaska. (Food coma not shown).
How can you eat one? They are tiny. Go ahead and have three.
The porch opened up in the summer.
Pink peonies in the backyard. Girliest flower ever?
Winery #45847587 on our 2008 northern Michigan tour.
Remembering that plants can live outdoors for part of the year.
Categories: Daily Picture
Tagged: alaska, anticipation, Daily Picture, family, gelato, italy, lake michigan, lincoln park zoo, living in the present, meerkat, michigan, photography, ravinia, vacation, wedding, winery
January 18, 2009 · 1 Comment
Conversation about watching movies via streaming Netflix:
Jordan: you should watch it on the Xbox using Netflix streaming
me: we don’t have it hooked up to the internet
Jordan: oh my
you can stream netflix movies in HD for free
get a wireless network adaptor for the box
you can find generic ones for cheaper too
go to bestbuy and you’ll find it
So basically I need more/new/better technology. Rarely do I not need new technology according to Jordan. Many conversations end up with me at least $100 poorer.
Other topics include: Cats. Cute videos of cats. Chins. Decorating.
This looks like a red carpet picture, but it is surely at the opening of a Mac store
Jordan with a Monkey in a Diaper
Tagged: family, jordan, netflix, technology
This is my new extra-soft, extra-long, extra-pretty baby alpaca scarf knitted for me by my mother in law, Donna. It is so warm that I had to unzip the head-to-toe parka after walking to the train this morning. This is great, seeing as it will be a high of 5 degrees this Thursday, and we are under a blizzard warning as I type this. *Sad face.* I wore the scarf all day at the office, since I am lucky enough to sit by a window…which is beautiful, but cold.
Something very sad is happening to my little point and shoot camera. It is dying. The flash is done. And my favorite setting, macro focus, is on the fritz. It is also physically cracking in half. Little camera’s days are limited. Don’t tell the little guy, but I am secretly excited for it to break so I can get a digital SLR.
I would love to have a better camera that I have more control over. The daily pictures of happiness would look much happier, as my brother pointed out today. If you are ever thinking about buying new technology, but suffer from indecisiveness or guilt, call Jordan. He will point you in the right direction and make you feel like you need the best of the best. And then he will cheer when you hit the “add to cart” button.
Categories: Daily Picture · family
Tagged: camera, DSLR, family, Gift, knitting, scarf
I took a vacation not only from work, but from any kind of life in general for the last few days.
My in-laws came to visit for a few days and we ate a lot of good food and had some fun and relaxing times. We also saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It was fantastic and amazing and you have to go immediately. Mercutio the dog came along as well. Not the movie…just along on the trip. Needless to say, this was not a relaxing visit for our cats, although they weren’t as utterly terrified as I expected. Luckily Merc is a very good boy.
So after Eric and Donna and Merc’s visit, we decided to further test this “relaxation” theory and pretty much do nothing. It was fantastic, although I am kind of looking forward to life again. Today I left the house! Whoa. Granted it was in my pjs, but thanks to my long puffy coat, no one knew. Except now the Internet does I suppose. You can judge me from afar which I am much more comfortable with. This all may sound pathetic, but I actually feel more lucky than homeless. There are few times in life when you can watch the Netflix instant movies for hours and hours without being fired or unemployed. I will have great practice if I am part of any layoffs this year. Yippee skippy!
So as my vacation comes to a close, I have been thinking about real life again. There are some things that I want to work on this year. Hopefully, I can read this post in a year (from my couch in my pajamas) and be satisfied that I actually did something (besides watching nearly all the episodes of The Office and 30Rock in record time from my laptop. I <3 the Netflix Watch Instantly feature by the way).
Things to do in 2009:
- Go to the gym regularly again (very original, yes).
- Not use as much butter. (I just read this sentence again while reviewing the list and am disturbed by the choice of the word “use”)
- Read more…I was reading books like crazy until the weather changed…then mostly ate food and sat on the computer. Maybe I can substitute books for butter on occasion. Paula Deen would be pissed.
- Paint the paintings I have been thinking about for about 6 months already.
- Go on more dates. (With husband).
- Go on a trip as a couple only. We have never done this. This one may not be in the budget but I want to keep it on the list. Maybe we can start with just a weekend getaway. Glorious Gary Indiana is nearby.
- Work on children’s book.
- Learn to live in a cube for 8 hours a day.
- Take down Christmas tree. Before Valentines day.
In other news, our cats are now being referred to as Sytherin and Gryffindor. Justin and I are not really big Harry Potter fans (I just had to google Sytherin and Gryffindor for proper spelling), but this is what happens when you spend many many hours speaking nonsense to one another. I am glad no one can hear us. They would be concerned I think.
Categories: cats · family · goals
Tagged: butter, cats, family, goals, gym, justin, movies, netflix, new years resolutions, Paula Deen, reading, vacation
December 30, 2008 · 1 Comment
My inlaws, Donna and Eric, are visiting for a few days so I am behind. I will have several daily photos to catch up on.
If you are looking for me, I will be consuming as much butter as possible before New Years, when I will be undergoing operation seasonal butter recovery.
If you ever come to Chicago and want to eat at a neighborhood spot that is AMAZING, go to the Hopleaf. Go for many hours. Wear elastic waist pants. Try the mussels. Try the mac’n'cheese. I think there at also about 2394934 beers on the menu. I am about to have a food baby.
Tagged: andersonville, Chicago, family, food, hopleaf, restaurant
We just got back from the Christmas rental house that my mom’s side of the family rented in Michigan city. I am lucky that I didn’t have to travel to 4 different Christmas celebrations like many people have to do these days. It makes for a much more relaxing holiday when you can just wear your pajamas and eat food with your family for a few days. Here are some happiness photos. There is more than one…this is bending the rules slightly. Again, get your own blog.
Meerkat in stocking!
Jordan and Justin making "Bienchers"
Justin rolling out the dough
Cutting the dough
Ice walk to the beach after dinner. 3-6 inches of ice on road.
Shoreline where the waves created ice waves.
There is one more photo of a certain gift of a certain special squirrel that will be uploaded soon. His name is Patrick and he has had a long journey. He is resting now and in no mood for a photo shoot. Yes I got a squirrel for Christmas. He is one of a kind though…you will see. Yes, this may happen again. Yes, I have asked you not to do this.
Overall the Christmas house was a success. The hateful pull out couch mattresses a dreadful bruise inducing failure. The puzzle a success. The ice a failure. The gifts a success. The paying off of one’s brother for a better sleeping situation a failure. The walk to the beach a success…unless you were improperly dressed…I of course was properly wrapped in down. The slipping on ice and falling on head a failure. The bienchers* a success.
*This is a dumpling that my grandparents have made for special celebrations or holidays since I can remember. My grandma grew up in China and brought the recipe back over. It is not spelled or pronounced bienchers…but we are mostly hoosiers and can’t help it. You have to roll out the dough, but circles, fill the dough with the meat and veggie filling, pinch closed (called bowing the bienchers), boil them, dip them in soy and vinegar, and eat no less than 50 of them if you are doing it properly. Grandma and Grandpa are passing down the recipe and would like to see more participants in the production of the bienchers. We are slowing catching on. It was fun to see Justin and Jordan rolling out the dough.)
Categories: Daily Picture · family
Tagged: beach, christmas, clementines, cooking, Daily Picture, family, lake michigan, meerkat, winter