Saturday, August 23, 2014

First Day of School 2014

Michigan Ave with our 6th and 3rd graders!
August 2014

Theme Days

It was a fun summer in the office! We had two theme days: Black & White Day and Hawaiian Day. We tend to dress very casual - jeans, shorts, athletic wear, etc - when the students are not present.

State Meet

Motor Mouth wrapped up the Long Course season with a relay at the State Meet. I asked him to take these selfies while he waited for his race. That's his team State Meet shirt.

Angriest Boy in Chicago

Heehee! Motor Mouth was SO angry with me. I don't even remember what he wanted in the store that I said no to. He was NOT pleased at all. I just couldn't resist when I saw the name in that DVD!

Fire Pit

Love our little fire pit. Summer nights in our backyard with the moonlight and, yes, stars in the city sky, is just divine. I love sitting out there with the kids and J. Sometimes, just J and I hang out with with a glass of spirits and just chill.

Easy Summer Evening

Loving the family time at Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavilion. Weather was perfect for an evening of jazz music on the lawn followed by dinner at Park Grill.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Nieces and Nephews

My beautiful nieces and nephews!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Something Old

Something new, Something old...

When we renewed our vows, I was excited to carry my grandmother's ring. My grandparents had been married for almost 55 years when my grandfather passed away. They were so much in love until the end. I didn't have the ring with me the first time I walked down the aisle because my grandmother was still alive and wearing her wedding ring. My grandmother told me that she wanted me to have the ring because I was so close to my grandfather that she knew it would mean a lot to me. And it does!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

1 Day to 15 Years

On our wedding day, people kept asking me if I was nervous. The ladies at the hair salon, the ladies that did my make up, the ladies at the bridal salon where I dressed. At first, I was taken aback. Why would I be nervous?
I knew the man I was marrying. I knew why I was marrying J and not the four other men that had asked me to marry them. I knew J's belief system, his family and their belief system, and I knew how much fun we had together. I knew he was hardworking, kind, edgy. I knew his family liked me, I liked them, and my family liked him. I knew that I had asked him all the hard questions and trusted his answers.
I knew that a man that would wipe my snotty nose with his bare fingers would lovingly care for our children and that he would take care of me through the icky life stuff. I knew how he treated me and how I felt when I was with him. I knew that I had told him my worst transgressions years before and he had stuck around. I knew that I would be enough for him.
No, I wasn't nervous. I was happy, calm, and at peace. I was marrying my best friend. How awesome was that?

Monday, August 4, 2014

2 Days to 15 Years

The Proposal

J and I were best friends since Nov. 1995. In May of 1999, we both went to his little sister's high school graduation. Actually, J's dad paid us to work the graduation party by doing the decorating, setting up, catering, etc.
J's dad had one of his pilots fly J back to Missouri, where J lived at the time. He had to get back to produce a graduation ceremony there. I went along for the plane ride. I had heard that this pilot had had a few plane crashes and I was feeling adventurous.
Sitting in the back of the plane, J and I talked about our ideal weddings. I assumed we were going to marry other people b/c J refused to leave the town he was living in (and I was kinda dating someone else). I was willing to live anywhere with J except for that one town. We were deadlocked.
The next day I was still in Tulsa. J called and spoke to his dad for a LONG time!!! FINALLY, it was my turn to talk to J.
J: "I worked it out with my dad. I'm moving back to Tulsa at the end of the month and I'm going to work for him."
Me: "That's awesome! I'm so happy for you!!!"
J: "I told my dad we love each other and we want to get married."
Me: "You did????!!!!"
J: "Yeah. I gotta go do this graduation. I'll talk to you tomorrow."
And THAT was my marriage proposal and how J and I went from being best friends to being engaged over a phone call.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

3 Days to 15 Years

I Knew
I knew J was the one b/c of two things. 

1: In 1996, J's cousin was colossally mean to me. I was crying and telling J what she had said. J reached up, wiped my nose with his bare fingers and continued to listen to me tell my tale of woe. No man had ever done that for me. That's love!

2: In 1998, J and I reunited after almost 3 years. Towards the end of that week, J held me. When I was in his arms, I felt like I was home. That I belonged in J’s arms. I literally remember thinking: "I've come home."

Saturday, August 2, 2014

4 Days to 15 Years


"There is a mixed race baby at the hospital. Do you want it?" It was 5:10 pm on Monday, March 20 and I had just received a call from our adoption agency director. 
"Yes. I'll confirm with J but the answer is yes." Sight unseen. Gender unknown. Didn't matter. This was our baby.

We met the most beautiful baby girl the next morning. She was, and is, perfect. Little Miss Mini Me completed our family.

Parenting Mini Me is hard!!! You can't phone it in with her. You can't make stuff up. Mini Me will call you on things. She asks questions that make you question your long-held belief systems. She challenges you, not to be rude, but to fully understand the concepts and processes. At the same time, Mini Me is a sweet, delightful treasure.

Everyone needs a Mini Me in their lives

Friday, August 1, 2014

5 Days to 15 Years


We had to prove to immigration that we had a bona fide relationship. Seeing as we went from being best friends to being engaged (on a phone call), and this was more than a decade before selfies, we didn't have the typical bf-gf pics, etc. So, J and I brought a file box filled with wedding cards & Xmas cards to us from friends and family, emails, pics. It was a nerve-wracking experience watching the immigration agent go through EVERY piece of paper we brought. Fortunately, they fell for it and we were good!!! LoL!