Thursday, June 24, 2010


We used Hailee's graduation as an excuse to fulfill a long time wish of mine. A two part wish. 1.Go to Chicago. 2.Go to Chicago with my girls. It met every expectation. We had a BLAST!
The very first thing we did when we got settled was find and obey the 11th commandment.

Did we ever EAT PIZZA! Not just any pizza. Chicago deep dish pizza from Giordano's. The toppings are inside-the sauce on top. We ordered two small pizzas and an appetizer. I thought for sure I would never eat again. And I didn't...'till breakfast.

On the way back to the hotel we enjoyed another little taste of Chicago...which would be the comments we heard people make as these girls walk by. As in... (under her breath) "I gonna kick you in your little blonde butt."
Day two was the perfect weather for a stroll to the Art Institute of Chicago.

This is the Chicago bean. Actually I have no idea what this was really called. But it was cool.

This girl could make a living doing jumping pictures. She's that good.
The museum was incredible. I love this one by Gustave Calliebotte. Paris Street: Rainy Day
I did a report in college on Toulouse-Lautrec. This is his At the Moulin Rouge piece.

Hailee never much cared for her profile till now.
We were blown away by the Thorne Miniatures collection.
The harp had all the parts: pedals, strings, etc. Everything was built absolutely true to the time period and piece depicted. The curtains, tapestries, chandeliers, etc. were just so...cute. HOW is it that some people can have such an abundance of artistic talent not to mention focus and patience? I just can't relate. But I can appreciate. Thank you Mrs. Thorne for sharing.
Are we having fun yet?

Is it any Small wonder that I adore my Big girls? Just look at how cute they are.
Okay...One more. I loved this! I would like it for my birthday. It is called Thanksgiving, by Dorris Lee.
That night we saw a Broadway play at the incredible Oriental theater.

It was all about the dancing for me.
Day three: THE AMERICAN GIRL DOLL STORE. And yes, these girls are technically adults and mere years away from being parents themselves, but boy was it fun to reminisce about the good ol' doll days. (Whch for Hailee was not that long ago :))
Okay, so Hailee was trying to keep control of herself but looked like Christmas morning the whole time.
This is her new pick. She said she would share with Christian who, for a long time now, has wanted us to adopt. A little black boy.

The Hancock building, although not the tallest in Chicago, has a fabulous observatory at the top with a guided tour of what you are viewing on tape. This is a view of Navy Pier.
This is a view of my girls looking at the view. I LOVE their faces. Identical. And I think I know where they get it from.

After our architectural boat tour (of which I took 20 pictures that I hate), we found a little spot to gather our thoughts about dinner.
We found a local guy who suggested the famous Chicago landmark, the Billy Goat Tavern. (Made famous from the SNL skits). CHEEZBORGERS anyone?
I was quite happy with my cheezborger (double's the best), but the CHEEPS-no fries- thing was a little harder for me to be content with. I NEED fries with my burger.
And then we met up with Brittney's boyfriend, Taylor. It looks like he found out about that other guy she has a crush on and is kinda bugged.
That night -pretty much all night-Chicagoans everywhere (but especially right outside of our hotel room) celebrated the momentous win of the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team of the Stanley Cup. It was CRAZY! The honking, yelling, cheering, and sirens blaring went on pretty much most of the night. I thought we would be the only ones up and sober the next morning. That we would have the whole Miracle Mile to ourselves. I was wrong. It didn't even slow them down.

The last day we were there, we rode the subway to the Cellular Field to see the White Sox play.

After the game we made a stop at this famous institution. Really, it was incredibly cool. Nothing quite like it here. But the food tasted the same.

The Rock N Roll McDonald's (formerly The Original Rock 'N Roll McDonald's) is one of the most famous McDonald's locations in the world and was once the busiest in the United States.[1][2] It is a flagship location.[3]Near North Sidecommunity areaChicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States a few city blocks west of the Magnificent Mile, has been a tourist attraction since it opened in 1983.[4] The site has a Rock & Roll exhibit in a building adjacent to the restaurant and a small upstairs McDonald's museum display. The restaurant has a maximum occupancy of 300, which is about three times the standard patron capacity.[5] The building features the first two-lane McDonald's drive-through, relatively luxurious decor, a cafe, plasma displayflat screen televisions and a green roof.

Although nothing could compare to the Rock 'n' Roll McDonald's (kidding), the architecture in Chicago was unbelievable. We (okay, I) was in awe.

Have I mentioned before how much I loved having my girls all to myself for 4 days? I loved that we all love to eat..the same foods. I loved that we all love to shop-but not too much. I loved that we could curl up together at the end of every day and watch a chic flick that we all agreed on. I love watching these two sisters strengthen their relationship with each other knowing that it will become more and more valued and important to them as the years go on. It is so fun for me to watch them experience life and the world around them and each other. I love being their mom.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I know it has been forever since I've blogged. So much to much to share. I couldn't move forward though till I had made one last nod to the elementary school phase of parenting. My baby, my youngest, Gabe, is moving on.To Junior High! All of my children lived what was always my dream growing up: they attended ONE elementary school for all 6 years. (7 counting kindergarten). When that happens, you're bound to make some lifelong friendships. Gabe is no exception. Hardly a day goes by that doesn't include a get-together with friends. And lucky for us all, they are
amazing kids.
Speaking of lucky, I got to hang out with Gabe and the gang at field day at the end of the school year. It was so fun to watch him interact with everyone. I loved his humor and his confidence. (Please, oh please can we keep that going in Junior High?)
At the limbo event, Gabe proved that taller isn't always better. His (lack of) height was working to his advantage.

Height or not, this boy can shoot.
For Gabe, it was the 'Year of the Converse.' The brighter, the better. The latest request is for yellow or purple.

Good friends=good times! Good-bye elementary school days....Look out Junior High!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


These two cousins are High School graduates. They have gone to different schools with different friends but have always dreamed of ending up at the same university together. Guess what? They made it happen! Do they look excited, or what?
We celebrated with the crew here....
Maddie represented the Radman side. This girl is like my 3rd daughter. I adore her. When she lived with us for a couple of months at the end of her senior year, she and Hailee shared a room. Their easy going temperaments was the only combination that could have made the cramped quarters in Hailee's room work. When I would go in to wake them up in the morning they would be sprawled all over each other with not an inch of extra bed on either side. They looked so uncomfortable to me but I never heard a word of complaint. I love that she was there and part of the graduation festivities.
I spy: Sophie putting lip gloss on for the 50th time and Lori's lens cap tucked into her belt.
Can you feel the love...?

It was also Jodi's birthday! Brandt wishes it was his birthday.
We had Italian. Who doesn't like a pepperoni pizza?
Oh for Heaven's sake...
Caleb and Sophie were playing, Rock, Paper, Scissors. Jill was absolutely mesmerized!
The decor was awesome.