Sunday, March 30, 2014

Scenes From A Week: March 30

As I write this, it's almost sixty degrees outside and we have windows open.  Fresh air is good for the soul - and so are weekends.   This weekend was a nice mix - Friday night we went to a comedy show, and then Saturday did lots of chores around the house before touring two homes (contenders, I'd say) and having dinner/seeing a great play with my in-laws.  This morning I woke up before 7a, finished some things around the house that I wanted to get done, and then woke Scott up in time for brunch at his favorite local spot.  This afternoon we spent lazily enjoying spring.  A four mile walk in the sunshine.  Washing all of the linens in our house.  A long catch-up FaceTime with my parents who are abroad. Watching last nights SNL (Louis CKs opening monologue!!).  Lighting candles and opening windows.   Just a solid springtime weekend.

This week promises to be a little busier, but hopefully just as wonderful.

sunday night: clothes laid out for the week  (this is always my goal, but isn't
always executed)
an incredible mid-week dinner - kale / coleslaw / mustard sald
(better then it sounds - promise)
talking chicago real estate with my parents
seeing Amy Schumer's comedy at the Auditorium Theatre on Friday night
brunch with my boy
bacon scented candle.  awesome gift, mom.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Patrick and Kelly: March 22

This weekend Scott and I were thrilled to attend the wedding of one of our "couple friends", Patrick and Kelly.  The wedding was held at the Eaglewood Resort in Itasca, IL.  Also in attendance were two of Scott's really good friends from his time in Alabama so we arrived a few hours early so Scott could max out on his time with them.

The resort itself was beautiful, situated on a golf course which I imagine would be spectacular in the summer months.  The wedding was sweet and emotional (admittedly I've cried at almost every single wedding I've ever attended).  They had a really adorable ring bearer and two adorable flower girls who stole the show - the ring bearer had the most hilarious "cheese" look on his face as he walked down the aisle, and then one of the flower girls burst in to tears and wouldn't go down the aisle - it was so adorable.  I suspect that she'll be getting grief for that in 20 years ;)

After the wedding was a fun cocktail hour and wedding reception.  The wedding reception featured a "champagne parade" where a series of champagne-toting hotel personnel came out in a procession - it was a fun way to kick off the evening.  I love wedding receptions more than just about any other social activity, so I was in heaven.  It was fun catching up with Brian and Kevin, and meeting some of the other wedding guests.

On Sunday morning, I stole away and sat by a fireplace reading for an hour before Scott woke up (he stayed up partying a bit later than I did).  It was a really leisurely way to start the morning and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

A wonderful weekend wedding celebration.  Congratulations Patrick and Kelly!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Blog Recommendation

I highly recommend that you check out the newest blog on the block, Feelin' Special written by the one and only Mr. Special.

I know I'm exceptionally biased, but I think the blog reflects Scott so well - a myriad of interests and hobbies, a jack of all trades, and just so thoroughly interesting.

So check it out... you can tell him his wife sent ya ;)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Scenes From A Week: March 23

This past week was a total whirlwind - I spent 4 of the past six nights in two different hotels (one personal, three professional).  My alarm went off at 4am last Monday morning for a four-day work trip to New York.  The weekend was spent in Itasca, IL where we witnessed the wedding of two friends, Kelly and Patrick, who's beautiful wedding doubled as a fun reunion for Scott and two of his long-lost Alabama buddies.  It was a fun weekend, which flew by way too fast.

This week promises a slightly slower pace, and I am ready for it.

i had a great seat, but my luggage was in (literally)
the last row of the plane.  ughhh.
after a frustrating few hours of delays, i was very glad to be home in chicago.
guinness + blue nails = friday
balcony view from the eaglewood resort
bow tie bandits
i love love.  and weddings.
i spent a leisurely sunday morning reading by this
fireplace.  it was awesome.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Washington DC Trip: Day 3

Our third day in DC was a Saturday, and it started with a reservation at the White House.  A week later and I'm still smiling about it.  My mom got us on the list for a tour, and it was a total thrill.  We arrived promptly at our designated time, waited in line for security and then... we were inside.  It was really crazy to be walking in the front door and knowing that we were in this building with so much history - so many significant people and events in that house.  Just really cool.  Highly recommend the tour to anyone visiting Washington.

After the White House, we walked to the National Archives, where we saw the Magna Carta, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.  Mind boggling to see these documents that are hundreds and hundreds of years old, and directly impacted life today. After quick pit-stops to grab our purses (no purses allowed at the WH!) and change shoes at Joe's, we hopped the DC Metra and headed to Arlington, VA to see Arlington National Cemetery.

The sheer volume of white grave markers was inspiring, and incredibly sad.  The sacrifices that so many have made... makes me cry just thinking of it.

That night we found ourselves in the Georgetown neighborhood, seeing the Potomac, and most importantly, capping off our trip with Joe.  We found a restaurant called Mr. Smiths, and had one of the best beers of my life (two of them, if you must know).

That was my grandma Phyllis' 20 year death anniversary, and we raised a glass and told stories of her and of life back then.  It was a special way to remember, surrounded by two other people who loved her so deeply.

It was a really special trip - seeing Joe and his life in DC, celebrating some milestone birthdays (25/30/55!) and taking the opportunity to spend time together.  I cannot wait to go back.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Scenes From A Week: March 16

The week started with a crazy snowstorm, and ended with a 50 degree lake front run.  Seriously - a huge weather swing over the course of only a few days.  Not to sound like a broken record, but I am so darn ready for spring.  C'mon flip flops.

It was another good week, with several open houses/showings, an impromptu Saturday St. Patty's day gathering with friends, Saturday night sushi date with my brother and sister-in-law, and some QT spend with my husband.

Here is to a week of sunshine and springtime!

casual friday look

lake front apparel
saint patty's party apparel
guinness + incredible guinness/jameson/baileys cupcakes (insane!)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Washington DC Trip: Day 2

Our second day in DC was jam packed.  We hit the road bright and early, and headed out to see the sights.  We started our time walking down to the National Mall, with a few particulars in mind: namely the Vietnam Wall and the Lincoln Memorial (up close and personal).

Once we'd tackled those things, we took Joe's recommendation and visited one of the 19 Smithsonian buildings - the National Museum of American History.  That museum has a display right now (might be a permanent display, not sure) on the First Ladies fashion, and it was a thrill to see - Jackie O's dress and peals, Mrs. Grant's dress, one of Michelle Obama's gowns, a dress from Pat Nixon, from both of the Mrs. Bush women, etc.  It was very interesting to see.

We also paid a (very quick) visit to the Museum of Natural History where we saw the Hope Diamond... pretty spectacular, and 45 carats!

At one point that morning, we were walking near the Washington Monument with the White House in the distance, when we noticed a helicopter departing from the South Lawn.  Not terribly uncommon for DC, but was interesting was that another chopper took off at nearly the same time, and went in an opposite direction.  Joe had just told us that the Secret Service often uses that as a diversion tactic.  I am convinced that President Obama was in the helicopter that departed the White House and flew right over our heads :)

That afternoon, we headed to "the hill" where we walked inside the Supreme Court.  We saw the famous spiral staircase in that building, as well as the courthouse where the Supreme Court hears cases.  We asked an employee if there was only one courtroom in the building, and that was confirmed.  Kind of interesting, I think.

After the Supreme Court, we took the quick walk down the block to the Library of Congress Jefferson building, where we saw some of Thomas Jefferson's private collection (very cool).  The Library of Congress Jefferson Building has this incredible ceiling and marble everywhere.  It's a very impressive building inside and out.

We then hurried over to one of the three Senate Office buildings, where we were to meet at a specific senator's office.  (Shout out to my mom for requesting and arranging this).  We then received a 90-minute private tour of the capital!!!  It was a highlight of the trip, for sure.  Highly recommend that anyone visiting Washington tries to do this, as I learned so many interesting tidbits about the capital in particular, and Washington in general.  (The next time you're in DC and see a sculpture of Lincoln, check out his ears... I bet he only has one.  He was oft depicted as having only one ear, as a not-so-subtle insult to how popular opinion thought that he only listened to the North during the Civil War).  During the tour of the capital, we saw Speaker of the House John Boehner's office, as well as the Congressional floor where the President delivers the annual State of the Union.  So much history crammed in to less than two hours... and I loved it.  We even got to ride the trolley through the tunnels beneath the capital.  :)

At this point in the day, we knew we needed to wrap-it-up, since Joe would be getting off work soon.  The last few things on the list were seeing Ford's Theatre (where President Lincoln was assassinated) and the National Portrait Gallery.  We quickly walked through the Gallery, and then to Ford's theatre and the home across the street where he died the next day.

That night we were completely wiped out - about 30,000 steps (more than a half marathon) walked, being outside in the fresh air nearly all day led to some really early bedtimes... but it was worth it, because the next day was going to be another full one.

DC is just so profound - the amount of history in that town is just incredible.  I love history and politics, so the combination is pretty spectacular.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Washington DC Trip: Day 1

My mom and I just got back to the Midwest, after a jam-packed four days in Washington, DC.  We'd been talking about planning a trip somewhere in honor of our milestone birthdays this year (you may recall that five years ago we traveled to New Orleans for a similar purpose).  Anyway, we headed to Washington to celebrate our birthdays and - more importantly! - to visit my brother Joe in his new city.

After an uneventful flight, we arrived in DC and hopped a quick cab from the airport.  After a quick stop at Joe's office for his apartment keys, we made our way to his place to drop our stuff.  Joe's apartment is perfect and awesome (with a really cool city view) and was an amazing home-base for our trip.  After dropping our suitcases, we ventured out.  Our first step was the IMF, followed quickly by the Obama residence (otherwise known as the White House) as well as a few of the monuments and memorials that span the area around the National Mall (the Lincoln Memorial, the WW2 Memorial, etc).

I found it really interesting how kinda... nondescript the White House is.  Don't get me wrong, it's a gorgeous building, but it's in the middle of a city block!  I wasn't prepared for how much it blended in to the cityscape - even though I saw it as a child, I wasn't expecting it to be so normal.  Big home, tall fence - but other then that... I guess I just found it kind of surreal.  

In doing some research before the trip, I heard that viewing the WW2 Memorial at dusk was the way to do it, so that's exactly what we did.  At this point, it was getting cold and windy, so we found our way back to Joe's place.   We spent the evening drinking a bottle or two of red wine, eating dinner and catching up.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Scenes From A Week: March 9

Best week ever?  Yes.

The week started slowly, but ended with an extended weekend spent with two of my favorite people (my mom and my brother Joe) in Washington DC.  The DC trip deserves a separate post (separate posts?) but suffice it to say that it was an amazing trip, and a total blast.There is so much history in DC, and sharing it with two history buffs was a thrill.  We had official tours of the White House and the State capitol, went to two different Smithsonian museums, saw the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, saw the court room where the Supreme Court convenes, saw the congressional floor where the president delivers the State of the Union... and so very much more.  Most importantly, it was a rare opportunity to spend some time with two cherished loved ones.

packing - apparently i only wear black, white, grey
and blue (it's true)
an aerial yoga class mid-week
in front of the white house

ladies with lincoln
up close and personal with the white house

mr smith's ale at mr. smith's in georgetown
ending the week with my love