Monday, November 30, 2009

Much to be thankful for...

Great Thanksgiving visit to New York; here are some highlights:

-Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade from a residential apartment along the parade route...seeing floats right outside the third floor windows while sipping coffee in my socks. I had to tell Jack a million times that this is not how we'll always see parades.
-Indulging in a fabulous manicure and pedicure with my mother-in-law.
-Sharing a fantastic breakfast with Jeremy at The Standard Grill (a favorite of The Food Network stars, whose studio is close by in Chelsea) and then walking the new High Line (I highly recommend both!)

-Seeing Renee Rosnes perform at The Village Vanguard; this was my first time seeing jazz since Jack was born - such a treat
-Watching Jack with his NY family

Thursday, November 19, 2009


(The title is a shout-out to my sister Laura who contends I'm the only person left in America using the word "grody.")

Being a city gal and taking the train every morning, I am pressed up against humanity's window. In the last few weeks, I have spotted this one younger couple (I'm going to assume they are newlyweds) a few of the mornings saying good-bye at the el stop with a big, sloppy kiss. Ew.

On one hand, it's like, "really? Here of all places?"

But I guess on the other hand, if someone really makes your toes curl, makes hearts come of your head, etc. and you actually have that person in your life, it makes sense to show your love.

In fact, did I kiss Jeremy this morning? Did you kiss your honey bunny this morning?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Jack ate cactus

Yes, Jack ate cactus today with his nanny Maria at a Mexican joint in West Town. He also had dim sum in Chinatown last week. His favorite drink is "farkling" water (a combination of sparkling and fizzy), he likes brie on crackers and loves Puerto Rican food. And he's two. I'm not sure where we go, culinary-speaking, from here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm done, thankfully

Since Labor Day, I have had three major work events (like major...weekend-long activities....700-guest luncheons...), guests (whom I love) every weekend in October, one trip to Cleveland and one two-year-old's birthday party. And I have an extremely lovable cat who likes to wake me up at 4 a.m. on a regular basis. I am tired, gentle reader. I fell so asleep during an afternoon nap yesterday that I didn't even notice when Jack started covering me in toys. I woke up cradling his ukelele.

But I am done. Yes, I still have work, a toddler and the holidays soon upon us (get ready for some turkey placecards, people) but life is calming down. I'm looking forward to the upcoming weekend. All of my favorite activities: organizing closets, getting a facial and a date with Jeremy. Give me a call if you want to catch up!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Happy birthday, baby boy

To my sweet boy - you are two today. It is a beautiful day in Chicago today - near-record temperatures of 70 degrees and sunny. It is one of those delicious fall days, just like two years ago when you were born. I remember the weather that day - watching the sun rise over Lake Michigan from our labor room to watching it set in the late afternoon and knowing my life was about to change forever. You were born at 5:29 p.m. and for one moment the world stood still for us as you were placed in my arms with Daddy by my side.

We love you for so many reasons, Jack. We love you for your passion, your love of attention, and your tendency to be bossy. You are a lovable guy who will now say "love you" unprompted, which just warms our hearts to no end. Happy birthday, sweets!

A Tale of Two Events

Saturday morning prelude
Jack and I are standing at the sinks in my bathroom, brushing our teeth. I asked him how old he is and he looks at me solemnly and says "two."

Act one
A late-morning birthday party with five toddlers, one newborn and an assorted group of parents drinking coffee. Jack's sitting seriously by the Old Town School of Folk Music teacher who is trying to engage the children in singing. They are not buying it. Lots of birthday cake ground in the carpet, sippy cups strewn about and one dear little friend shredding birthday tissue paper.

Act two
The sun sets, I'm standing in my lovely new dress and heels on the beach of the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve at a donor event, a kir royale made with Veuve Clicquot in hand. A program on the night sky, so we have telescopes and binoculars. Lake Michigan is still as glass; it's a crisp, cool autumn event and we dine in a heated, clear-topped tent.

Saturday night postlude
I snuggle under the covers; Jeremy is watching ESPN. This was truly the ultimate working mommy day...of course you can guess what my favorite event was.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Speaking of sweet

I love to bake. My mom and sisters love to bake. My sister Laura and I are baking a blueberry crumb cake for Sunday morning breakfast right now as I type this. Rather than disdain bakeries, our baking skills make us appreciate bakeries even more. With Jack’s birthday days away, I thought I would share my favorites (in no particular order):

  1. Wild Flour Bakery, Rocky River, Ohio – My mom, sisters and I were first introduced to this bakery for its roasted red pepper dip; we stayed for the baked goods. Jack’s Cleveland birthday cake is from this bakery; visit the decorator’s blog to see a picture of Jack’s musical note/guitar birthday cake (disclaimer: my mom typically makes all birthday cakes for our family’s birthdays; it just happened this week she’s recovering from a cold and I asked her if I could order a cake instead to keep things easy).
  2. Sweet Mandy B’s, Chicago – cupcakes….big, sloppy buttercream-slathered cupcakes; need I say more? Jack’s Chicago birthday cake will be coming from here.
  3. Lovely, Chicago – Creative pastries with lots of good savory foods for breakfast and lunch. This is my favorite place to sit.
  4. Bittersweet, Chicago – A little more reserved but very beautiful desserts.
  5. Tag’s Bakery, Evanston, Ill. – I heard a rumor once that Charlie Trotter thought Tag’s cookies were the best in Chicago. Those little buttery treats certainly top my list. And the little old ladies in their aprons who are behind the counter make me happy.
  6. Floriole, Chicago – A vendor at Green City Market, they are committed to using only local ingredients. Beautiful creations!

All treats

Halloween was so nice yesterday. It was the first time in awhile we were able to set aside the daily things of life and celebrate and be joyful. The day was the reason you work so hard the rest of the year – to have special days like these. Jeremy and I attended the wedding of my childhood friend Chris and his lovely bride Eileen. They are beautiful people, inside and out, and have loving, strong families. It was a wonderfully warm affair. How special to see those two looking so happy as Eileen walked down the aisle. It makes me teary now to even think about it!

Since the wedding was in Cleveland, my hometown, we’re spending the weekend with my family. Jack had his first honest-to-goodness trick-or-treating experience. I was sad to not be part of it, but the fact that Jack had so much fun with his cousin Andrew and my family far outweighed any sad thoughts. This picture may cause a few cavities; it is just so darn sweet.