Friday, June 29, 2012

5 years

I really can't believe that tomorrow will mark our 5 year wedding anniversary.  I am so lucky that God blessed me with Weston to be my partner in life.  He is my best friend.

I know it sounds cliche, but it really feels like this day was just yesterday.  But then I think of where we've come in those 5 years.  How we've worked so hard to build this beautiful life together, and I know there is so much more to this story that we've just begun.

We're headed to Gulf Shores this weekend for a friend's wedding.  I think it will be fun to celebrate our anniversary while listening to another couple making their vows to one another.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Diaper Party for the Potters

On Sunday Weston and I hosted a diaper party for our sweet friends, Will and Sarah.  Will is in anesthesia residency with Weston at UAB, and Sarah is expecting little boy #2 in July.  We decided to have a casual party to celebrate the new baby and help stock them up on some diapers.  Because in a few weeks, they'll have two in diapers!

This diaper cake was so fun and easy to make!

Homemade tissue poms to decorate.

And a party is not complete without your mason jars and striped straws.

And monogrammed sugar cookies for "Liam".

Weston made some delicious batches of mint mojitos which really hit the spot in 100 degree weather.

Asher is Will and Sarah's adorable little boy and soon to be big brother!

I found this little monkey jumping on the bed.
Feeling really blessed to have such sweet friends here in Birmingham.


Best wishes to the Potter family!  We can't wait to meet Liam!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Monkeying Around

Saturday was our last day to get in everything we wanted to see and do before we left on Sunday.  Our friend from back home, Jess, just happened to be in Chicago house-sitting, and she met up with us a couple times.  Jess is really familiar with Chicago and took us to get our deep-dish pizza and then to this amazing piano bar with incredibly talented musicians who played all our heart's desires.  She also recommended us checking out the Lincoln Park Zoo which is a really nice zoo with free admission!  Before we took the bus up to the zoo, we stopped for breakfast where I ate the world's biggest omelet, loaded hashbrowns, and pancakes.

And Weston opted for the crepes topped with chocolate, bananas, and powdered sugar.  Jenny and Jakob went with the giant omelets like me.

Next to the restaurant was a bank named after me!  Their slogan was the best.  "MB means business"

After we ate way too much, we headed up to the zoo to walk off our breakfast.  Here we are at one of the entrances to the zoo.

 The zoo was really incredible.  The monkeys, like always, are my favorite at the zoo.  And they didn't disappoint at the Lincoln Park Zoo either.  These little guys braid their tails to help balance them on the limb while the sleep.  It was so cute!

And who doesn't love a monkey with a grey beard and a nice unibrow??

And last but not least for the monkeys are these guys with their awesome mohawk and sideburn combination.  They entertained us so much as we watched them eat the leafs of lettuce set out for them.  Most of them wouldn't share with each other which made it entertaining to watch them chase one another around and leap from rope to rope.  True story: I communicated with one of the monkeys and showed him where there was a  piece of lettuce.  It was so funny him watching me pointing at something and then he cocked his little head while he was processing what that strange girl behind the glass was doing.

The other entertainer at the zoo was this polar bear.  He seemed to know he had a captivated audience and would entertain us by gliding through the water while doing barrel rolls.

After we checked out the zoo, we headed back towards our hotel to try Chicago's famous hot dog and Italian beef sandwiches from Portillo's.  They had four registers going and people taking your orders before you even reach the register.  We decided to order a hot dog and an Italian beef and split both so we could get a taste of each.  After you order they usher you over to the side where a woman yells out the order numbers each with a rhyme.  For example "One-twenty-eight, you ain't gotta wait" or "Two-forty-nine, it's time to dine."  It was hilarious!

I think Weston and I agreed we liked the hot dog the best.  They were both delicious, but the hot dog wins the prize in our opinion.

After our lunch, Jenny and Jakob headed back to the hotel to relax before we went out that night, and Weston and I headed down to the Magnificent Mile to shop.  We went to this huge Sports Authority that was 8 floors tall.  On the outside, they had handprints for all the famous Chicago athletes.  I had to take this one for my brother, Joe, who grew up a big Cubs fan.

As a kid, Weston was a big Bulls fan and loves Michael Jordan.  Who doesn't love Michael Jordan?  Anyway, his handprint as well as Frank Thomas' were inside the store.

Our last night we spent at the Navy Pier with Jess.  We ended up eating at Harry Caray's restaurant where we saw on display Sammy Sosa's corked bat.  We thought about doing the ferris wheel, but the line was a little long.  So we decided not to go on it, but we got some great pictures!

And the pictures with Jess are on Jenny's camera.  I would ask her for copies, but she's on vacation right now at the beach.  Yes, I haven't even finished blogging our trip, and they're on another vacation.  I wish I could have snuck in their suitcase!

Our Chicago trip really was a great vacation with wonderful friends!  I can't wait for our next couple's trip!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Police Activity at Roosevelt

Our day 2 in Chicago was jam packed with more fun. Yesterday, on our way home from Sears Tower, we familiarized ourselves with the public transportation by taking the train back to our hotel.  It was a most pleasant experience, and we were ready to take it again on Day 2 to head north to the Field Museum. was a little different experience the second time around.

So as we passed the turnstiles, we noticed a cop and police dog patrolling our stop.  Another passenger glared at the police dog, and he erupted in a crazy bark at this guy.  I was kind of surprised that they had a K9 unit in the train station and wondered if something was up.  Well we boarded the train and made it one stop before the train stops, lights go out, and the air conditioning stops.  An announcement is made that the train system will be stopped for an indefinite amount of time due to "Police Activity at Roosevelt".  Roosevelt just so happened to be our stop.  Perfect!

Well just as we were about to clear the train and hail a cab, the train started back up again.  We got out of that Roosevelt Station faster than all get up and headed to Chicago's Natural History museum to see Jakob's other love.  Meet Sue. 

She's the largest, most-complete T-Rex in the world.  It was pretty impressive, and Jakob was in heaven.  He loves dinosaurs.  He even took a course in college on the evolution and history of dinosaurs.  I wish I had a picture on my camera of Jakob with all the dinosaurs.  Jenny took some great pictures of him though.

The outside of Field Museum.

The main hall of Field Museum.

And of course, we had to stop by the DNA exhibit for Wes!

After the museum, we decided to walk to the famous Cloud Gate sculpture in Millenium Park.  This walk was a few miles long, but luckily we found some pretty gardens and this beautiful fountain on our way.  These lovebirds are still in love after 5 years of marriage!

10 million miles of walking later we make it to the "bean".  I love this picture of me taking a picture of Jenny and Jakob taking a picture.  Welcome to the vortex.

Next up we decided to head back to the hotel to clean up before heading to Magnificent Mile for some dinner and shopping!  And that is where my fondest childhood memories came back.  American Girl dolls pretty much defined my childhood.  I played with them every. single. day.  They vacationed with me.  They tea partied with me.  They went to school with me on show and tell days.  I got one every year from Santa, and I loved them.  So to be standing inside the original American Girl store was really awesome!

The store had everything!  It was like its own AG city with a cafe, doll hospital, and salon where they really cut and style the doll's hair.  If I ever have a daughter, I'm taking my mom and little girl for a full American Girl experience.

After I got to relive my childhood, we walked right across the street to have drinks and appetizers up on the 96th floor of the John Hancock building.

We got up to the top at the perfect time.  It was just starting to get dark, and we saw the city come to life at night.  The martinis for the girls and Manhattans for the guys were really delicious too.  I think this experience ranks one of the top on everyone's lists as best thing we did.  Here's our view from the north.

The best views from the John Hancock is from the south side of the building.  We heard the ladies room had floor to ceiling windows of this view.  So of course I grabbed my camera and headed to the bathroom.  It was pretty incredible, and the guys thought their bathroom should have a view too.

I love Chicago.