Category Archives: Friends

Meet Jax

Pheww these past few days have been busy busy busy!

We recently hired 6 new people for our department and yesterday was their first.  Not only am I the supervisor primarily responsible for getting the new hires all situated when they first arrived, but I was scheduled to do yesterday’s training session as well, so I was on-the-go all day and had no time to stop in and recap the weekend!

Weekend

Better late than never, so here we go.  Friday and Saturday were pretty low key as far as my social life goes.  I played the role of a bookworm nearly all day Saturday and studied my butt off.

Highlights from Saturday:

yogurt cheerios bberries peanuts

Greek yogurt, honey nut cheerios, blueberries, honey roasted peanuts.

deconstructed kebab

Deconstructed chicken and veggie kebabs

I mean I love food and all… but the fact that leftovers were the most exciting thing during the day on Saturday indicates it was a pretty dull day.

Sunday

On the other hand, Sunday was full of fun stuff!

cake and presents

We went over to Dave’s parents house around 11:30 for Maddie’s 4th birthday party.

maddie bday party

photo (31)

We relaxed out by the pool most of the afternoon and watched all the kids play.

dunk tank

The dunk tank was definitely the hit of the party!  Even the adults loved it 😉

mac and jax 4

Meet Mac’s new friend, Jax!

mac and jax1

Dave’s cousin and his wife, Kevin and Diane, just recently added this little guy to their family.  He’s about 15 weeks old, only 7 or 8 pounds and will grow just a few pounds bigger.  Such a cute little guy!

mac and jax 2

Mac and Jax enjoyed keeping an eye on the kids while sharing Mac’s bed together.

mac and jax 3

Two peas in a pod! 🙂

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Later on, Dave, Mac and I headed over to my aunt’s house for a little family get-together to celebrate my cousin, Heidi, who just recently graduated from North Central College!

After a couple hours, we headed back home and were greeted with friends in the lot next to us!

deerA doe and her two baby fawns!!

deer2

We were able to get really close to them before they bounded away.

When we first moved to our house, Dave and I both would see on average 7-8 deer… per day!!  When springtime rolled around, all the deer were in hiding while they gave birth to their babies.  After I saw that one picture, I have been waiting (impatiently) all spring to see a fawn for myself and it finally happened!  Yay!

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Carmel, Indiana

I’ve been in Indiana since Monday and get to head home this afternoon.  Hooray!

During my stay, I’ve had quite the little tour of the suburban towns of Indianapolis.  Our hotel was in the very tiny town of Lebanon, while the audit was located in Whitestown about 10 minutes away.  A few days before I left for my trip, the idea popped into my head that I might be relatively close to my friend, Kali’s new house so I did a quick MapQuest search.  Only about 30 minutes!

kali and me

So of course we had to meet for dinner! 🙂

detour bar and grill

The weather was beautiful… a tad hot with the sun out but once it went down, it was perfect!  we sat outside at Detour Bar & Grille and each ordered a salad and a couple cocktails.  It was such a treat to meet up on a whim and I’m glad we got to catch up!

carmel in

We met about halfway between the both of us in the super cute town of Carmel.  There were so many little shops and restaurants that I wish we had more time to spend walking around.

Crossfit Carmel

I really enjoyed visiting the Crossfit gym during my last audit so I thought I’d check out if there was one in the area.  Since I loved the friendly town of Carmel so much, I decided to stop in for a workout at Crossfit Carmel this morning.

crossfit carmel

It’s really interesting to see how one box differs from another and is unique in its own way.

crossfit carmel box

Everyone was very welcoming and encouraging during the workout.  After a warm-up, we ran a 1 mile time trial and I was very pleased with my result – 6 min 47 sec!  Since my half marathon set me back a bit, this was the first time I felt good enough to run again.

crossfit carmel tire

Next, we completed the WOD (workout of the day) which consisted 3 rounds of 300 meters on the row machine followed by 30 box jumps.  It was tough but it definitely woke me up and now I’m ready for the day!

Third Time’s A Charm

It was touch and go there for a little bit with the weather, but we made it to my wedding dress appointment last night at the Crystal Bride!

crystal bride

Rain or shine (aka heavy thunderstorms and tornado sirens.) Sure didn’t stop us! 🙂

mom me crystal bride

A few weeks ago, I ended up going by myself to a last minute appointment at the Crystal Bride to try on dresses.  I thought I found “the one” but I needed some moral support before I went through with any purchases.  Last night was my follow-up appointment and I brought along a few extra pairs of eyes for a second opinion.

annie me katie crystal bride

I had 3 different dresses narrowed down from last time and modeled them for my judges, saving my personal favorite for last.

And the vote was unanimous, so I said, “Yes to the dress!!!”

crystal bride champagne

Woohoo! A little bubbly to celebrate!

Check it off the list! 😉

Adult By Day, Kid By Night

Hey there!

I took the day off work yesterday to get some major school work done for my online class.  My procrastination finally crept up on me and I realized I need to get my butt in gear.  Like for real this time.

scrambled eggs feta avocado cholula

I woke up bright and early and made myself a nice big bowl of scrambled eggs for some brain fuel.  My favorite mix of avocado, feta cheese, and hot sauce.

After working away for several hours, I finally got up to the point to take one of two exams and I somehow squeezed out a 98%!  Although I still have another exam and a paper to complete, I feel the biggest weight off my shoulders just to know that I’ve finally made somewhat of a dent in the class.  Wheww!

Sky High Sports

Around 2pm, I took a much needed break to meet some coworkers at Sky High Sports.

sky high trampoline

It is a facility located in Niles, IL with lots of giant trampolines to jump on and have fun!

sky high trampoline 2

One of my coworkers, who has been to this trampoline park before, saw a coupon deal on Living Social and invited several of us to go since it is pretty close to our work.

sky high group

I was a little skeptical at first but we had a blast for the entire 2 hours!

foam pit rachel flip

In addition to the normal trampoline area, there is a section to jump in a giant foam pit.

foam pit lauren flip

The kid came out in all of us and we were all doing flips into the pit.

dodgeball 2

Another trampoline area was set up for dodgeball.

dodgeball1

As you can see, we were playing with kids averaging maybe 12 years old.  But that didn’t stop us and the kids enjoyed kicking our butts!  (I promise, we weren’t the ONLY adults 😉 )

sky high csf group

All of us had an absolute blast and were talking about going back again sometime!  Great place for kids…maybe even better for adults! 😉

Burrito Bowls for Three

Wheww this morning has been a bit hectic!  But I thought I would pop in real quick for a weekend update.

Friday

My friend, Julie, came over after work on Friday so we could work on creating Save the Dates for the wedding.  She has a degree in Interior Design and is very knowledgeable with Adobe Photoship and Illustrator so she was able to navigate around quite easily to create some super cute Save the Dates.

We ordered a pizza and drank a little wine while working away on the computer.  I am very pleased with the results!  Now we just have to get them printed and send ’em off!  I’ll share those later. 🙂

Saturday

After Julie spent the night at our house, we headed to Wisconsin around noon on Saturday.  Our friend, Dom, turned 30 this weekend so they had a big surprise birthday party up at their lakehouse.  Around 7 pm, a big school bus full of friends and family headed to Alpine Valley to see the Zac Brown Band concert.

julie jess me zac brown band

zac brown band concert

Unfortunately, I forgot to pull out my camera nearly all night, but I can assure you, we had a blast!

Sunday

While we were gone, my parents watched our sick little Mac who was still not feeling well when we got back on Sunday afternoon.  Dave and I took him to the vet to get him checked out and make sure he was alright.  The vet did some tests and found he had a little bacteria in his stomach so he prescribed some medicine and a chicken & rice diet for the next few days.

mac food prep

I cooked up some chicken breasts and mixed it with some already prepped rice to make Mac’s meals a bit easier for the week.

mac chicken and rice

Ironically, Dave and I had Chipotle for dinner, while Mac enjoyed his own version of a burrito bowl. 😉

sunday food prep

While prepping Mac’s food, I also whipped up some food for myself this week which helped me get out the door quickly this morning.  Pays off to plan ahead! 🙂

Madhouse on Madison

Dave and I had a little Sunday Funday yesterday!  We began our morning with some engagement pictures, courtesy of my dad and his lovely assistant (my mom), and then headed downtown Chicago.

dave and i at roots

Our first stop was Roots, one of our very favorite restaurants down the street from where we used to live.  We usually would have dinner at least one night a week there, so we’ve been missing it like crazy since we moved!

roots build a salad menu

I, of course, ordered my usual creation from the “Build A Salad” menu.

roots salad

Baby mixed greens, roasted red peppers, red onions, tomatoes, pistachios, goat cheese, grilled chicken and cilantro vinaigrette.  Oh, how I’ve missed this salad! 😉

madhouse on madison 2

After hanging out at Roots for a couple hours, we headed over to the “madhouse” (aka United Center).

hawks game girls

We met up with our friends, Will and Julie, and Julie’s sister and mom, and also ran into several other familiar faces.

hawks game

hawks score

hawks score 2

hawks score 3

The Hawks played great!  Upon arriving at the stadium, everyone was handed red Stanley Cup Playoff towels and every time the Hawks scored, the crowd went wild!

dave and i hawks game

Go Blackhawks!

They Grow Like Weeds

What a great weekend!  Full of friends, family, food, relaxing…. and weeding!

weeds 4

Admittedly, this overgrowth of weeds is a little embarrassing.  There were some spots where the weeds climbed about 3 feet high!

weeds 5

AND to make matters worse, they were the prickly kind!  But in our defense, the majority of these things popped up in a matter of about 2 weeks and we finally took care of them so I’m not feeling too bad anymore.  😉

Here’s a few before and after shots to get a visual of how wild these weeds were:

before and after weeds 1a

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before and after weeds 2a

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before and after weeds 3a

Crazy, right?  I now have a full appreciation for the expression, “Kids grow like weeds!”  I mean, one second they’re tiny (or non-existent) and then before you know it, they’re 3 feet tall!

mac kong

Mac kept himself occupied with his kong for part of the afternoon.

mac kong lick

Unfortunately, he had to stay on a leash so we didn’t have another MIA episode like last time.  But hopefully very soon, we’ll have a brand new fence put up so he can roam free in the backyard!

Despite many hours of back-aching work, we still need to get our hands on the weeds on the side of our house.  Dave and I were both really sore, so we finally called it a day once the main back patio area was finished.

Once the weeds are good as gone, project #2: mulch!  Exciting stuff, I know.  The perks (?) of owning a home…

Recipes

In other news, Dave and I grilled an amazing dinner this weekend.

grill

Zucchini, sweet & regular potatoes, and Mexican Flank Steak.  This meal was absolutely delicious and the marinade for the flank steak is TO DIE FOR.  (Recipe coming soon! 🙂 )

kitchenaid cookie dough

I also baked a rather large batch of cookies, which lasted all of about 24 hours or less.  I mean, they were just THAT good and no one could stop eating them until they were completely gone.  (Yet another recipe coming your way!)

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Hope you had a fantastic long weekend!  I’m looking forward to a short week ahead of us!