Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fall Fun!

Last weekend Jason and I stole away for a Saturday afternoon trip to the Cubs vs. Cardinals game. If you're just tuning in, Jason is a Cardinals fan (boo) and I'm a Cubs fan (yay). Cubs won, of course, although Jason was quick to point out that it doesn't matter since they are both out of it anyway. Three months ago, when we got the tickets with Jon and Lindsay, it was a great idea. Oh well, it was still a fun afternoon. I headed back home after the game to get Marin who spent the day ringing in fall with Grandma and Grandpa.

Grandma and Grandpa took Marin to the Autumn Festival in our town, put on by the park district. They held it at Peck Farm, which is a historic farm that the city purchased to maintain for historic purposes, along with acres and acres of wet land and prairie. It was the perfect place for the festival, which included pony rides, two uncaged calves that the children could walk right up to and pet, cows, horses, pumpkin painting and more. A child's paradise.

Marin had a blast, and has a beautifully decorated pumpkin to prove it. I'm told that she especially loved the cows, and seeing her neighbor Parker. But I think what she loved most are the people who dedicated their day to taking her there. Does this kid have the greatest Grandma and Grandpa on the planet? I think so.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

We've got class!

Two classes, actually. Art and Music.

I signed Marin up for some classes through our Park District this fall, and we are having a blast at art class on Tuesdays and music class on Thursdays. Marin's the youngest in her art class, so I was a little taken back the first day when one little girl explained in perfect diction, that she was drawing a butterfly out of circles and it was pink! I looked down at Marin's page where she had scribbled a few lines with her marker and was one quick save away from eating her marker. We've decided to make it a great introduction to colors, shapes and art appreciation- even if most of our take home projects look like Jackson Pollock's.

Thursday are a little more our speed, and you know music is Marin's absolute favorite. She's one of the oldest children in this class and it showed the first day. All of the children were asked to sit with their adult (mom, dad, grandma, nanny- we have them all) in a circle on the floor. But as soon as the music started to play, Marin popped up to the middle of the circle and put on a dance show for everyone. This class stresses sharing, borrowing, rhyming, dance and music. Marin's in heaven. She really liked the week when we sang twinkle twinkle little star and she got to run under the parachute to put her star in "the sky". Thursday totally redeems Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lucky (In Love) In Kentucky!

Did you miss me? Come on; you know you did. :) I'm alive, just behind. I'll get you up to date lickity split, and it will be like we were never apart. Deal? Here goes....

Two weekends ago, Uncle Jake and Aunt Katy came to watch Marin all by themselves all weekend long, while Jason and I headed to Kentucky for Dana and Tim's wedding. Marin had a blast with Uncle Jake and Aunt Katy, and Jake and Katy survived the weekend unscathed. Marin received the royal treatment from Uncle Jake and Aunt Katy all weekend long. They went for walks, out for lunch, got new coloring books, and even made a craft for mom and dad- a ceramic hand print keep sake. How sweet are they? What's more, when we got home, Katy had completely scrubbed this place from top to bottom. How's that for free babysitting?!

Jason and I stopped half way through our road trip in Indianapolis to visit our friends Mike and Becky, and we had a great time seeing their new home, and visiting. Becky made a delicious dinner, and their son Joel is cute to boot! But it was a quick trip, because the next morning we headed to Louisville to witness Dana marry the "business man by day, cowboy by night" that she had always been looking for.

It was also great to be together with my college girlfriends- we were only missing two girls (one home with a brand new baby, and one celebrating Yom Kippur). And after all shedding tears of joy for Dana and Tim, we kicked the party off strong out of the gate and danced the night away! The reception was at Dana's parents horse farm, under a big white tent decked out with bright colorful flowers, and paper lanterns. There were touches of Dana at every turn, including a second gorgeous wedding dress just for dancing, capped off with to die for red heels. And, as Tim toasted to everyone, I think the day was what she'd always dreamed of.

At the end of the night, Sarah pointed out that this was our last family wedding. Of course that made me cry and beg everyone to stay until the very last possible bus ride back to our hotel. And so we did...

Congratulations Dana and Tim! We wish you oodles and oodles of happiness for many, many years.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Football Season Kickoff!

We headed down to Champaign, Illinois on Saturday; home of my Alma Mater, the University of Illinois! Our opponent was Jason's Alma Mater Southern Illinois University. It was a day of good fun, great friends and an usual football rivalry between Jason and me.

Since Jason grew up near Champaign, he really is a huge Illinois fan- more so than myself, to be honest. But since he went to SIU, Saturday was his day to represent the Salukis in his maroon and white. Marin cheered for the Illini, mostly because I dressed her, but also because her ratio of alumni relatives Illinois to SIU is 10:1.

Since it was a night game, we enjoyed a nice long day of tailgating- both with our friends Rich and Lindsey and also with Jason's parents. Aunt Vee graciously picked Marin up about an hour and a half before game time, and she and Marin and Uncle Bob had a great time at a sleepover together on the farm. Jason brought all of the fixings for genuine Winston's bagels, a late night treat for SIU students, designed by a guy with a portable bagel cart and grill that students line up for blocks and wait even in the freezing winter for- grilled bagels topped with cream cheese, sunflower seeds, raisins, bacon bits, cucumber, apple, onion, garlic salt, cinnamon and butter. Jason introduced me to Winston on a trip to Southern years ago, and I have to say, based on rave reviews by Saluki and Illini fans alike, I think Jason played the part of Winston well. Jason and I season seats are with my mom and dad, and we loved watching the game together and singing our Alma Mater cheers. Illinois proved the game's victor and although we skipped reliving our youth in campus town, we hit the downtown Champaign bars to celebrate with our age group. And to prove that our college days weren't totally lost, we ordered a round of pokey sticks before we fell asleep in the hotel.

Oskee Wow Wow Illinois!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Festival of The Vine 2010

Geneva hosts a Fall Festival every September called Festival of the Vine. It highlights local restaurant food specialties as well as wine tastings for three straight days. There are also fall floral displays, live bands day and night and an area for kids to make fall crafts, jump in bouncy houses and ride on small toy tractors. It's a lot of fun and it's all just a short block from our house.

Marin, Norah and I walked through everything on Friday afternoon and Jason and I send Marin to Grandma and Grandpa's Friday night so we could enjoy an adult evening with Erica and Craig and Ron and Laura. We met some neighbors there as well, and I sufficiently stuffed my face with all of my local favorites. We went twice again on Sunday afternoon to make sure we hadn't missed anything.

Good times!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Who Me?

I love Marin's many faces. Recently, she has learned to look at the camera with a really fake smile where she scrunches up her nose and shows her teeth. It cracks me up. It is just one of many faces from her very expressive self.

When I was little, and I pouted or frowned, my mom used to kid me by sharing with me what her dad told her, "Careful; your face might freeze like that." Imagine if Marin's face froze like any of these...