Sunday, October 7, 2012

My birthday

My sixth birthday was pretty awesome. It was my first real "friends" birthday party, and my mom made a Flintstones-themed birthday cake. We played pin-the-tail on the donkey and the party eventually dissolved into the boys chasing the girls in our smocked party dresses around our house.

Thirty years later (oy), I am happy to report that my birthday Saturday was awesome in its own right. It's all due to my great husband for making good plans and watching the kids. The day was peppered with phone calls, text messages, emails and Facebook posts from friends and family. Each of those greetings only took a minute for the person to do but it added up to a day of love for me - I was overwhelmed by it all. Thank you if you were one of those kind souls who reached out to me - it meant the world to me!

As I am a mama blogging about my family's life living in Chicago, I wanted to share with you some of the great experiences I had in my city Saturday:

Cake decorating class at Give Me Some Sugar. I don't think I've taken a class since Jack was born, so this was literally and figuratively a treat for me. The class is a basic 101 on cake decorating and they provide you with a cake to decorate and bring home. The owner-instructor was helpful, approachable and sassy. My dear friend Emily and I practiced row after row of design and were proud of our final work. If you live in Chicago, the owner promises there will be a Groupon out for a group class after Thanksgiving. The store is based in Chicago's Roscoe Village neighborhood.

Autumn fun at Christy Webber Landscapes - Farm and Garden Center. Formerly Grand Street Gardens, this garden center welcomes each season with fanfare. In the springtime, there are pastel-colored flowers and wind chimes for gentle breezes. In the summer, there are vegetable plants and garden tools. In the winter, the cold wind makes the festive party lights twinkle and smells of earthy pine fill the air. And in the fall - my favorite - there are piles of orange, white and green gourds and pumpkins, a haystack maze for the kids and some city free-range chickens walking around.  Jeremy, the kids and I filled our red wagon with mums and pumpkins. This center is based in Chicago's West Town neighborhood.

Dinner for two at Chez Joel. Nothing like a romantic dinner for two in a French bistro on a brisk autumn night. Chez Joel had excellent service, a lovely atmosphere and delicious, honest bistro fare. The restaurant - believe it or not - is located in Chicago's Little Italy neighborhood.

Jazz and drinks at the Jazz Showcase. Jeremy and I love seeing live jazz and it was one of our typical dates in college and our young married life. We haven't seen live jazz since Jack was born (sensing a theme?) and we were excited to visit the new location of the Showcase. While it didn't have the grit of the old location, it was a great place to see pianist Benny Green and his trio. We had front row seats, and it was the perfect nightcap to my birthday. The Showcase is located in Chicago's Printers Row neighborhood.

All in all, a great day!

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