I’ve managed to get some little stuff done here and there in between all the big stuff…I picked up an Ethan Allen antique pine side table for a mere $25 (they sell on ebay for $225-$275) and I picked up some fabric for a song and made a new curtain for the mudroom and finally put up some new hooks (our old ones kept breaking). It’s slowly coming together! I put in the mudroom before and afters because it’s really fun to see how different the house is from when we bought it!



I know you are waiting for the next vacation post, but it’s just been a busy week! I had to hit the DMV with both kids (thank goodness it was fast), the grocery store, get the house back in order and now I have to take care of a few hours worth of financial aid stuff for my school (which would be easier if I wasn’t interrupted every 5 minutes) and register Conrad for his school! So….the post is coming and is half written, but I’ll get to it when there is a bit more time. James also started his new job this week, so he’s been gone every day for just about 12 hours, but so far so good!



James went downtown to work his last day while I finished packing up the kids and getting the three of us to the Metra for our downtown commute. James met us at Ogilvie train station and we began our day of walking! We met up with a friend for lunch at a Thai place, hit James’ old office to grab our suitcase and say hellos (and goodbyes!) and began our walk to our hotel. We checked in, hung out for a little bit, then began exploring the Magnificent Mile! We hit up Crate and Barrel, the Disney Store and Trader Joe’s before heading back to our room for the evening to swim, eat dinner, watch a movie and enjoy some hot cocoa. It was nice! Though it was hard to settle down and fall asleep…the city is really loud and busy and the kids aren’t used to that anymore. Here are some shots from our first day:


Our beach plans got rescheduled thanks to stormy weather, but it worked out for the best since we toured the Montessori school instead! Conrad really loves it and we think it will be a good fit for his kindergarten year. After our tour, we hit up Kyoto for lunch (the kids love nabeyaki udon and we get to eat sushi!) and then we headed home for the rest of the day. We had some friends over for cake and it was a nice time!

Today is James’ last day and then we’re off on our downtown weekend adventure! The kids and I will be cleaning and packing up so that tomorrow’s walk to the train can be smooth and trouble free. Some friends are in town this weekend as well, so we’re excited to catch up and eat dim sum in Chinatown with everyone!

The weather seems to have finally cooled off a bit, so we’ll enjoy that as well. I’ll post again with photos from our little weekend get away!

Our girl and a basketball

James loves basketball. Before kids and even when Nat was a wee toddler, he played in a league. I used to go either very pregnant or with a baby (and then toddler) in tow to watch and wander around. These days he doesn’t get much playing in and while that is more related to injuries than having the time, he does enjoy watching it on tv!

Lately, Natalie has been interested in practicing some skills and has been dribbling on our driveway and up and down the sidewalk. She’s really improved in the last month and can now dribble without watching the ball. I took a series of shots –

She was really proud of herself because she hadn’t realized she wasn’t looking! James is hopeful that she’ll want to play it at school and we have plans to get a basketball hoop once we get a new garage. All good stuff!

So long apple tree

Our apple tree has some sort of disease and along with many things in our yard, wasn’t cared for very well. Our bushes on the east side of our lot need to be trimmed pretty badly and while we thought we could get to it, we simply haven’t. We have limits! So, our lawn guys are coming to the rescue and shaping these up for us, along with taking away all the limbs from the apple tree and a pine tree that we’re also taking down. The kids wanted to help though, and help they did! We’re considering decorating what’s left of the apple tree in a spooooooky way for halloween!


Next year we plan on installing a privacy fence along the entire length of the back of our property, clearing out the rest of the day lilies, and spreading grass seed. It’s all part of our plan to make the play area feel larger and more open, while giving me some separate and well defined garden areas. This will also go along with our attached garage plan too!

Happy Monday!