father’s day weekend with grandpa

My dad and his wife Julie came to visit for Father’s Day weekend and Harper had such a great time despite feeling under the weather. Teething again. We went to the pool and Harper jumped off the side of the pool into my arms for the first time! That girl is fearless. We toured a cave – the 5th largest cave in Texas just happens to be up the street from us. We had fun running around at a local winery too and went out for barbecue.

Father's Day

Grandpa reading to Harper




Harper with her grandma


Harper and her grandpa



summer days

Harper is enjoying her summer so far – playing at her water table and in her little pool and lounging around.

Water fun

Not such a fan of her sun hat though…

Doesn't like her sun hat

Water fun

Water fun

Water fun

Playing in the cat bed.

Playing in the cat bed

Summer days

Summer days

Summer days

Summer days

Summer days

Summer days

our words are strong and our hearts are kind

Last weekend we made the long trek down to Missouri for a much anticipated wedding – Annie and Keith’s! Annie is Drew’s cousin and she’s the first girl on that side to get married. I had a good time tagging along with the girls for our mani/pedi’s and lunch the day before. As always, it was nice to see all the family. I met all three new babies – Molly, Layne and Avery. So cute!

Here are some of the highlights from the weekend.

Cutting the cake

Kari (my sister-in-law and the Maid of Honor) and the Bride

Me and my dapper date

First dance to “You Are The Best Thing” – Ray Lamontagne

Father/Daughter dance

Grandma with all her granddaughters

See more pictures of the weekend on Flickr.

*Blog post title is a lyric from the song “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne

together, forever, that’s how it should be

The 3rd of July marked two special occasions. First, my husband’s birthday. I took him to breakfast that morning and then we played tennis (and he let me beat him in one game.) Then we headed to Wheaton for our friends Stefanie and Adam’s wedding rehearsal.

I was her Bride’s Assistant. I was put in charge of corralling the ring bearer and flower girl and handing out all the boutonnieres and corsages. Plus I got to skip around and snap photos, which I would have done anyways. Except for the skipping part. Drew hates when I skip. (Inside joke…)

We rehearsed at the Klein Golf Club for a planned outdoor ceremony, weather permitting.

The bride and her bridesmaids

After working up an appetite, we went to Gino’s East for the rehearsal dinner.

The bride’s assistant and the bride

Well, the weather did not permit. It rained on her wedding day. But that’s good luck right? (Personally, I just think that’s something made up to make the bride feel better.) The morning of the wedding, they decided to move the ceremony inside the tent where the reception was set up. Most guests sat at their dinner tables, but the VIP’s sat in chairs on the dance floor. I think it turned out beautifully and I must say, the bride handled the change of plans superbly.

The wedding was a success. And I think their marriage will be too.

I can just tell these things.

Who needs fireworks on the 4th of July when you get to spend the evening watching sparks fly for two dear friends on their wedding day?

See the rest of my pictures from the rehearsal and wedding day.

*Blog post title is a lyric from the song “I Say A Little Prayer For You” by Dionne Warwick

running through the garden, i’m running in brilliant colors

I finally made it out to the Chicago Botanic Garden on Sunday to really see what my DSLR can do! How have I lived 10 minutes from this garden for 4 years and never set foot in it before? It was a great day for picture taking, and boy was I a shutterbug! I took over 500 pictures, which I cut down to under 400 after deleting some duplicates.

How can I choose only a few to showcase? Let me start with a montage of flowers:

These tiny thumbnails don’t do these flowers justice. Check them out in larger view on Flickr.

The garden was sprawling, with paths every which way and themed sections like the Japanese garden, English walled garden, aquatic garden, rose garden, waterfall garden, etc. Here are some highlights:

By the afternoon, I was too busy shooting everything around me to notice that I was starving… until I came upon the fruit, vegetable, and herb gardens!

There were even plenty of creatures to photograph – if they stood still long enough. I wasn’t afraid to get close to the bumble bees – with all the flowers around, I knew they’d leave me alone!

(Can you spot the fake birds?)

Seems that I found my new favorite place to visit – a not-so-small oasis in the middle of the suburbs!

bring your good times, and your laughter too

This past weekend brought out the whole family for Jeff and Heather’s wedding in Columbia, MO. Good times were had by all – lotsa family means lotsa dancing and fun.

Even the little girls joined in!

Giving our best gangsta faces. That’s how we roll.

The next day, the newleyweds opened gifts and then we all gathered at Hail Ridge golf course for a cookout and a little bit of golf, despite the heat.

Max tries for a birdie but decides he needs a smaller club.

We then drove out to Lake Ozark where I spent only one day before heading back to Chicago for class. But we packed our day with tennis, jet-skiing, swimming, and a nice dinner out!

try to set the night on fire

To celebrate Drew’s birthday, we tailgated at the Chicago Fire game vs. Toronto this past weekend. The rain held off for our cookout of burgers, dogs, and brats – and of course my mother-in-law’s famous homemade birthday cake! It was Blanco bobble-head night – even though the bobble-head looks nothing like him. Luckily, for the first time spectators, the Fire didn’t disappoint! Rolfe scored early in the game and then Thorrington scored in bonus time through the goalie’s legs to win it 2-1! GOOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!!

Lined up in our second row seats ready for the game!

Blanco decides where to put his corner kick.

Mapp holds off his opponent.

touched down in the land of the delta blues

Spent a relaxing, long weekend in Tennessee visiting family for the 4th of July. We hiked a bit at Ozone Falls near Spring City and spent the rest of the time relaxing in and around Watts Bar Lake. We did a lot of eatin’, drinkin’, and chillin’ – my kind of vaca!

My cousin’s two cutie-patootie kids (Brighton and Natalie) joined in on the fun!

Traveling back via a flight from Nashville was uneventful for us, but Lisa and BK were not so lucky. After numerous delays, rebookings, and taxiing, they finally arrived back in NY 18 hours late!

In other news, congratulations are in order for my friends Stefanie and Adam who got engaged this past week during their trip to Sonoma!

make no mistake it’s our future we’re making

Congrats Barb! This past weekend in Chicago, we attended the commencement ceremony for my mother-in-law as she graduated with a Doctorate in Education. We came back to our place for a cookout and Cakebread wine from my in-laws. It was great weather for just such an occasion – just in time for the summer solstice. Good timing for the longest day of the year, because our summer is getting to it’s busiest point! We’re looking forward to my friends’ Jill and Sean’s wedding this coming weekend!