Monthly Archives: July 2010

Hope

Posted by Katie on July 29, 2010
Travel / 1 Comment

During our recent trip to Virginia, we took a family field trip to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.  I would have previously only asked to go the Smithsonian, but my public school education did not inform me that there are quite a few museums in the collection of Smithsonian Museums in Washington DC.

And on our field trip, we got to see the Hope Diamond.  Pretty, sure.  But the experience reminded me of the time I visited the Louvre in Paris and saw the Mona Lisa.  Did you know that the Mona Lisa is only 30″ x 21″?  I didn’t know this fact until I was standing in front of the painting in Paris, shocked not to see a mammoth work of art in front of me, but a swarm of tourist huddling around a small portrait.

I am not writing this to minimize great works of art or natural wonders.  Quite possibly, I am simply further revealing my public school education by saying that I was expecting a bigger diamond.

The Hope Diamond is cool.  And with its current 45.52 carat cut, it is actually less than half of its original size.  But I was surprised that wasn’t the size of a small melon…or at least an orange.

What can I say?  I had envisioned a bigger diamond.

The cat came back

Posted by Katie on July 28, 2010
Moxie / 1 Comment

Dave and I aren’t the only ones who have been on vacation this summer.

The single time we boarded Moxie was for my sister’s wedding almost two years ago.  We did lots of research.  Found a place that specialized in cats.  Paid lots of money.  And Moxie just spent five nights ignoring the nice people who were trying in interact with her and not eating.  When we picked her up, she was the sweetest, most affectionate and loving little house cat we had ever seen, and she spent several full days following us around the apartment crying.  Exact translation, “Mommy, you left me.  Mommy, it was terrible.  Mommy, you left me.  Mommy, it was terrible.  Mommy, you left me.”  Yes, we felt horrible.

With so much travel on our plates this summer, and Moxie’s clear aversion to living in  a cage, we had to find an alternate solution to boarding the cat.  My parents were happy to oblige, and Moxie has been living in Indiana for the last six weeks.

She’s now back in Chicago where she belongs.  She has lost a bit of weight (three story house, with lots of stairs to run up and down) and she is very nice and shiny (lots of people to brush her multiple times every day, plus the raw fish someone has been sneaking her).

Welcome home cat.

Vacation was good.

The calm after the storm

Posted by Katie on July 28, 2010
Family & Friends, Summer, Travel / No Comments

This summer has been lots of fun.  Travel.  More travel.  Family.  Old friends.  New friends.  Lots to blog about.  No time to blog.

We recently spent a weekend celebrating the marriage of a mutual college friend, while joining in the ten year college reunion that accompanied the wedding.  Turns out we do still have a few things in common with our friends from ten years ago, with one glaring exception…we don’t have four kids.

Mom and two of my sisters just spent a few days with us, visiting Chicago for a little relaxation and shopping.  I’m so glad we’re in a location where people stop by!  Sadly, I’m so behind on everything, that I never actually cooked for them while they were here.  Well, I did make a salad to go with the pizza I ordered for dinner one night, but I burnt the homemade croutons.  Oh well, my family is good about not caring about burnt croutons.

So with all our fun activities and my work schedule, which has included a bit of weird travel lately, Dave and I are looking forward to a vacation from all our summer vacations.

I am happy to announce that for the foreseeable future, I get to sleep in my very own bed.  That’s right.  That’s what makes me happy.

Uh oh, having just typed the last several sentences, I can feel the jinx that I have placed upon myself.  Well, let’s hope things are quieter for a little while!

Meet Daniel

Posted by Katie on July 15, 2010
Family & Friends, Travel / 2 Comments

This is our newest nephew and godson, Daniel.

Dave and I just got back from a five day trip to Virginia to hangout with the Pickles.  We spent most of the time kid wrangling, with a few real conversations along the way.  We traveled for Daniel’s Baptism, and so did Dave’s family.  So the Baptism turned into a mini family reunion.  It was great to visit with everyone, although through all the kid chaos I feel like I missed an important adult discussion somewhere.

The Pickles kiddos are some of the sweetest and most well behaved kids that I’ve ever had the pleasure to be around.  Bravo parents.  Someday I will call you and beg you on bended knees for your secret sauce.

And every time the kids see me, they warm up to me a bit more.  It’s lots of fun to be “Aunt Katie”.

Our summer seems to be turning into a whirlwind of travel.  Tomorrow we’re heading to a college friend’s wedding.  We’re looking forward to the wedding, and the mini college reunion that comes with, but I am starting to worry about the extra pounds and all that maturity (ha!) that we’ve gained since college.  What will we have in common with friends from 10 years ago?  Dave assures me that everyone else has had 10 years to change too!

Victrola

Posted by Katie on July 09, 2010
Chicago, Weird / 5 Comments

I don’t talk about work on this blog for an exceptionally good reason.  Remember when Dooce got, well “dooced”, for telling her work stories to the internet?  Yeah, well, my stories would beat up her stories any day…except I don’t want to get fired.  We need to pay the rent.

Anyhow, what I will tell you about my work is that we recently moved offices.  It was hectic and unorganized.  And after a full week and a half in our new space, we still do not have internet or phones.

Close eyes.  Take a deep breath.  Walk away from coworkers.

Through the move, lots of things were thrown out.  This is one of the things that I found in line for the dumpster…

A quick call to Michael (the guy with a pickup truck) and we are now the proud owners of fully restored 1904 VV-XI Victor Talking Machine.  It does have a few minor dents, but the mechanics seem to work perfectly.  I can’t quite test this theory, however, because it requires old 78 rpm records…of which I have none.

I have no idea what to do with it.  I simply didn’t have the heart to see such a beautiful piece thrown in the dumpster.

Chicago fireworks

Posted by Katie on July 05, 2010
Chicago, Holidays, Summer / 1 Comment

Why fight the crowds downtown to see the official fireworks when the neighborhood kids put on such a lovely illegal show?

Yay Chicago!

Happy 4th of July

Posted by Katie on July 04, 2010
Holidays, Summer / No Comments

We should invest in a proper kite.  This free one is pretty to look at, but a real challenge to fly.

Proper vacation coverage

Posted by Katie on July 03, 2010
Anniversaries, Birthdays, Marriage, Travel / 4 Comments

I plan on making a digital scrapbook of all our pictures and souvenirs from our vacation, somewhat as a trial run for those wedding and honeymoon scrapbooks I have yet to make…oops.  But until the scrapbook happens, here are more pictures from our recent trip.

Niagara Falls!  We learned that 20% of the world’s fresh water resides in the Great Lakes…with most of it flowing over Niagara Falls.

Journey Behind the Falls.  Yes, we got wet.

Maid of the Mist.  We did take the boat voyage, which is pretty much just like an amusement park water ride.  And yes, we got wet here too.  That’s why I didn’t take any pictures from the boat.

We stayed at a bed and breakfast in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a small town on Lake Ontario right at the point that the Niagara River joins the lake.  It was only a 30 minute drive to the falls, and it was nice to stay away from the tourist traps of the falls.  Plus it gave us the opportunity to explore the local area a bit more, including…

Visiting a winery.

Hiking along the Niagara River.

Biking along the Niagara River.  We are on Canadian soil, with the United States and Old Fort Niagara in the background.

We took lots of time to relax.

Enjoy nature.

And eat lots of gourmet food.  One of the best things about this bed and breakfast was the AMAZING breakfasts.

Vacation was a nice break from reality.  This summer is turning into a hectic one, but it was nice to do something to properly celebrate Dave’s birthday and two years of marriage.

Wait, TWO YEARS?  That doesn’t seem possible.

I know, I know, you’re thinking that you’ve been married for five years, or thirty-five years, but you probably knew what you were doing when you got married.  Dave and I have been completely winging it these last two years.  I’m sure it’s obvious!