Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A year ago today

A year ago today, Sally's water broke. 5 weeks early. Matt was in Peoria with his menfolk and Jack and I were in Florida with his dad. 
Wow. 
I remember well the stress and unknown of the next 36 hours or so before Ellie came into the world. 
Beth drove Sally to the hospital last August 23rd and today she is babysitting for Ellie. 
So thankful for how it all worked out, to say the least! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Transition Monday

My new school year officially started last Wednesday with our Institute Day. I enjoy this opening day. It's a chance to see my work friends and listen to speeches. It's not much effort on my part.
Lisa and me

Today was the first day I "worked" and by that I mean a half day, starting with a fun breakfast with Cath and Christy. Love our catch up breakfasts and love these ladies. 
girlfriends 

I worked in my room from 11am on. It was hot. No AC. Not good for my hair do. It'll be ok, though. 
my new work home Mon-Thurs this year

I'm transitioning to a new home for my classroom and to a new school year. The key is to be open minded and flexible. 
I've got this. Right?

Saturday, August 13, 2016

True confessions of a grandmothering fail

I experienced a huge grandmothering fail this past Wednesday night. Under my watch, Ellie crawled off of a bed and did a header on to the floor. I don't want you to be too stressed, so I will tell you that three days later, she is fine other than a skinned nose. But I assure you that Wednesday night was very traumatic for Ellie, me, Matt and Sally and Jack.
Here is what happened:
Matt and Sally are having a bunch of painting done at their house and Sally was starting work on Thursday (two full days of meetings on Thursday and Friday, then classes start on Monday August 15, so I offered to babysit those two days). Things were a bit hectic with the painting, so Sally decided that she and Ellie would spend the night at our house. Matt came to pick up Otto to take him to his folks' house. I offered to change Ellie into her sleeper and took her into the bedroom to change her diaper and put on her pjs. The diaper change went well, but when I reached down to get the sleeper, Ellie scooted out of a sitting position in the middle of the bed and sprint crawled to the edge of the bed with a giant smile on her face. I tried to grab her, but she was too fast and she crawled right off the edge of the bed and landed on her face on the floor. There was a huge thud, Matt and Sally came running and Ellie started crying, I picked Ellie up off the floor and handed her to Sally and just buried my face in my hands and kept repeating "I am so sorry".
I thought I was going to throw up.
It's a terrible feeling being responsible for someone else's hurt and it's even worse when it's your granddaughter. It did not matter how understanding Matt and Sally were.
There wasn't any blood and all of Ellie's body parts appeared to be working. Her forehead and nose were red, like a rug burn. Matt called his dad who just happens to be a pediatrician (as I might have mentioned a time or two). Bob was reassuring and told him what to watch out for. I prayed more than usual Wednesday night, that's for sure. On Thursday morning, Ellie was acting like Ellie and I was very thankful.
The scary thing was how quickly that tumble happened. It was so so so fast. It made me realize once again how life can change in an instant. I felt like life is one big accident waiting to happen. I know, however, that that is no way to live life, worrying about what might happen, what could happen. I have to control the variables that I can and trust in God.
I am so thankful for our positive outcome and for everyone being forgiving and understanding.

shortly after the fall #toughcookie
the next morning
36 hours after the fall/Friday am

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Birthday and anniversary weekend

It was a holiday weekend for us. Jack and I celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary and I had another birthday. 
It started off Friday night with dinner with Chuck and Teri, our annual anniversary and usually one or two birthday(s) celebration. I think we have been doing it pretty much every year since 1986. Somewhere I have pictures from almost all of those years. It'd be great if I could find them and organize them sequentially. I did not get a picture this year, though Teri did ask someone to take our picture. It wasn't the best shot because we were sitting in (as Chuck called them) kindergarten chairs. Anyway, this year Chuck and Teri treated us to dinner at a restaurant named Travelle, in the Langham Hotel. It was a super fun night. We always have interesting conversations, with more topics than time to cover them. I really treasure these times together. 


Jack and I spent the rest of the weekend at the Union League Club. We were planning on staying just Friday night, but on Saturday morning, I suggested we stay another night. Yes I did. I am such a homebody and so frugal that it rarely happens that I throw caution to the wind like that and suggest we extend our stay. Good for me! I was pretty proud of myself. We ended up having dinner at Twin Anchors, a restaurant for which we had heard many rave reviews. Afterward, we took a walk through Old Town, then ubered it over to the Gold Coast, where we enjoyed a lovely bottle of champagne at the Ritz lobby bar. We had had a drink there on our first date back in 1982. It was the perfect opportunity to people watch and relax and contemplate all of our many blessings. 
selfie in the elevator at the Ritz
selfie in the Main Dining Room at the Club, 33 years to the day!


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Summer Wednesday

I love my summer schedule and having some flexibility and open time during the day. I sometimes spin my wheels trying to figure out what I am going to do with my unstructured time and end up doing nothing of any importance.
Not today!
For today, I made plans to meet Jenny for breakfast. Since Susie died, we haven't really been in the mood to go out for a sister lunch. We all loved those times together. They were so special and always included a picture of the three of us. Suz wanted to see the sister picture up on Facebook within hours of our lunch date. Makes me smile to think about that. Jenny and I talk pretty much everyday, often while I am on my way to work and only for 10 minutes or so, but we get into some deep conversations during those short calls. Yesterday I texted Jen to see if she wanted to grab breakfast or lunch and we decided to meet at Egg Harbor at Yorktown. It was a great way to start the day and we left wondering why the heck we don't do things together more often. We did not take a picture, though.  Fail.
After breakfast, I went into work for a little while. I am assigned to three evals tomorrow and I wanted to preview the files. That was productive, but I was done by 11am with unstructured day ahead of me. I decided to call Sally and offer to watch Ellie while she got some stuff done. Sally said yes and I headed over to her house after lunch.
Ellie is growing so fast!! It is amazing to witness. She is crawling all over, pulling to stand, babbling, laughing, demonstrating object permanence and joint attention. Wow. Just wow.
Because Ellie is so mobile now, I decided to put her in her crib while I was in the bathroom. I came out and there was Otto, laying in the nursery doorway. I think he was protecting her! So sweet.



While I was writing this post, we had a storm pass through, followed by some brilliant lighting. Sally called to see if we had a rainbow. Jack and I went outside and there it was, the most glorious rainbow!


No one loved a rainbow more than Suz. Gives me great comfort to think she was watching over us and watching us enjoy this sign of God's covenant.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A different sort of Fourth of July

Our family is known for our love of traditions. We have lots of them. One of our favorite traditions is the Fourth of July parade in our town. Jack and I had not missed one in 29 years. I love that we have traditions, but I also love that we are flexible and know what our priorities should be. We missed it this year for a great reason. We wanted to spend time with Jack's dad.
I met Jack down in Florida on Sunday, July 3rd. We were able to see fireworks this year as Jack's brother Paul invited us to watch them from his condo. It was a great display and the local radio station played patriotic music that was synced with the fireworks. Paul provided snacks and some drinks and it was a lovely way to celebrate our country's birth.
fireworks reflected in the lake
Jack and our host, Paul

Our week with Bucky was fun, meaningful and productive. There is something so special about spending ordinary moments with family. We had fun planning out meals. As soon as we finished breakfast, my question was always,"What are we going to have for lunch?!".  Of course! Jack's dad's condo has a fabulous view of a lake and is also just two blocks from a darling downtown area that has lots of shopping and great restaurants. So fun. Each night we enjoyed the sunset and the beautiful cloud formations and great conversation.
the view from our table everyday

love the lighting
cheers to another great breakfast!

I wouldn't trade our time together last week for anything- not even a parade.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Beautiful Summer Weather (so far)

The weather this summer has been incredible so far. I always qualify "so far". It's something I learned from my Friday Friends so that I don't jinx anything. :) Some summers start out rainy and cold, others super hot, and often there are lots of bad thunderstorms and tornado warnings. We have been incredibly blessed...so far. It is fascinating to me how much more motivated I am to  get out and do things when the sun is shining and the sky is blue.

I am making a concerted effort to make the most of my summer this year. During the school year, I find myself thinking "Oh, I would totally do (insert fun activity here) if I wasn't working full-time". Then, summer comes and I lose my momentum to get anything done, fun or not fun. So I am making myself say yes to more invitations this summer.

I had the most fun summer Friday yesterday. It started with a great walk with Jean (of course). I did some private speech therapy with a sweetheart of a kid from 9 to 10, then did some housework. At 12:30, I joined Jean and Teri at our friend Pam's country club for some pool time and lunch al fresco (I can hear Wayne and Sallly making fun of that expression now- al fresco. Yes, we ate our lunch outside!). It was such a beautiful day! Blue skies, green grass, white wine, fun times! I left there around 3:30 to meet Sally and Ellie at our house. I had volunteered to babysit Ellie if Matt and Sally wanted to go out on a little date. Jack was out of town, so I had no plans. Sally, Ellie and I went to Burns Field, the same park my kids went to when they were little, then stopped at Kramer's to pick up a few items. Everyone stopped to say hi to Ellie! She is such a charmer. And in a very exciting turn of events, we ran into Lisa Loo, my dear friend and coworker. So fun!!
We left Kramer's in a hurry to pick up Matt from the train. It was so sweet how happy Ellie was to see her dad! Matt and Sally left for their date and I fed Ellie some dinner. She was busy crawling around and exploring, not the least bit tired. I texted Mike and Jean to see if they wanted a quick visit and they did! It was a great way to tire out our little party girl and it was fun to get out. I want to reiterate that the weather was gorgeous!!!!! Ellie and I came back home, I changed her into her pjs and gave her a bottle and that was all she wrote. Matt and Sally came back around 8:30 and we had a glass of champagne together and a quick visit and they took off. In case  you are wondering, yes, Ellie transferred easily to her car seat and then to her crib at home. God bless her!!
girlfriends
my girls at the park
Ellie, meet Lisa

Hi, Daddy!


I love me some summer!