Sunday, October 30, 2011

Trivial pursuit card, Rich Uncle Pennybags from Monopoly, Operation, Checkers

Board games costumes

The group dwindled a bit this year, but we are back at it after a year off. We went to a couple of parties and had a great time.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


This week marks three years in our house. Each year we always intend to make a fall display on the front steps, but the fall just slips away from us. Well, here it is... finally. Might take another three years to do it again.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The new Mr and Mrs Laughlin
Jon and Lauren had a great ceremony and reception at a Chicago production studio. They adapted the blank white studio space to reflect their fun style just like their wedding materials. The previous weekend we had a chance to get breakfast and spend some time with them while they still had wedding plans to iron out. It was wonderful to see them so happy and relaxed at their wedding a week later.

Did I say relaxed? Ha. It was a fun wedding reception complete with stations of different food that allowed for lots of mingling with the guests. Jon made sure some solid beers choices were available, and the night ended with sliders and mini Chicago hot dogs. I knew several folks from high school and a good group of Jon's Chicago mates as I attended his bachelor party back in August.

My friend Chris's daughter Sophia and Harriet had a chance to meet earlier in the day before our final wedding. They were nice enough to stand still for a moment for this snapshot. During the wedding, our friend Emily stayed with Harriet at our hotel. We really appreciated it.

This is a photo I took on the way from Minneapolis to Chicago. If Harriet had known we weren't going to be returning home for a week, she probably wouldn't be smiling. We're very appreciative to all the friends and family that helped us make the trip possible. Christina and I are happy we could take part in two great wedding celebrations. We're all overjoyed to be home!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Chicago Part 2

On our way back to Chicago we decided to stop at the Chicago Botanical Gardens north of the city. We both haven't been back since we got engaged here almost 4 years ago. A trip down memory lane for us. It was a bit of a chilly day, but Harriet slept most of the time in the carrier so we had no complaints. The fall colors were just starting and there were a bunch of events going on like a bulb sale and a harvest festival.

You know it's fall when you see gourds.

What a pretty backdrop. This had potential to be a cute picture, guess not though.

An interesting way to train an apple tree. Very European.

From there we headed to our hotel in downtown. Overall we didn't much time to do too much, but I was able to go out and walk around Michigan Avenue during nap time time on Saturday and then we went over to Millennium Park, which was just a few blocks away.

This is kind of a where is Waldo. Do you see us?

The obligatory picture in front of the kidney bean sculpture.

One final post to come from the trip about the third, and final, wedding in three week marathon. To summarize the trip, it was a hard one for us with some highlights sprinkled in. We felt honored to be invited to our friends' intimate weddings and enjoyed celebrating with them. We saw some interesting things, visited friends and family and tried to maximize our time as best we could given weather, naps, attention spans and bedtime. Going in we knew it wouldn't be easy, but I don't think we could have quite anticipated the enormous toll the trip would take on Harriet and in turn, us. We are happy to be home in our own beds and back to our regular routine.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Marshy Mayville

To kill some time in between the weddings, for the next few days we headed to Mayville, WI, a sleepy town somewhere in the lower portion of the state. We stayed in a lovely, historic inn in 'downtown'. The main attraction in the area is the Horicon marsh nearby, which is one of the largest freshwater marshes in the US. An Everglades of the north, if you will. We took a guided boat tour to see the wildlife and vegetation. Unfortunately for us, 85% of the birds had already migrated, but oh well, can't win 'em all. It was still scenic and we learned quite a bit about the area, preservation, etc.

I include this photo to illustrate Harriet's mood during our stay in Mayville, and well, basically the entire rest of the trip. I'm not going to sugar coat it, she was miserable. Ten days away was too much for this homesick kid. That or she missed Jacque. Hard to know.

Trails around the marsh while we visited the education center.

Day two we headed over to a nearby town, Theresa (the H is counter intuitively pronounced, so it's like THER-esa) to a cheese making factory. I know it seems cliche to visit a cheese factory in WI, but entertainment options were, uh, limited. This is a third generation business and they make the cheese twice daily in the morning.

We also went to a local apple orchard as a diversion, but because there had been so much rain, the majority of it was closed. Above, a rare moment when she wasn't crying, but note that she isn't smiling either.

After our stay in Mayville, we headed to Steve's hometown to visit with family for a few days, but didn't take many pictures. Below is a photo of Harriet and Grandma Laeh enjoying a meal together.

On Friday we headed back to Chicago for wedding #2.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Chicago Part 1

We began on excursion by staying with our friends Pat and Jacque in their Wicker Park condo. We spent the weekend walking around the neighborhood, going to a local park and hanging out inside due to rain. Jacque graciously offered to babysit twice, once so we could go tour pat's office and again while we went to the wedding. The two of them seemed to get along famously. Pat and Jacque have two bulldogs, Bloke and Raleigh, who were really gentle giants, despite their tough looking exterior. Harriet was a bit scared of them at first, but quickly warmed up to them and the three crawled all around together. We didn't take too many pictures this weekend, but here are a few from Pat's work. They just moved into a new office overlooking Lake Michigan and it was pretty cool.

The floors were painted in a tattoo-esque style.

Romper room for brainstorming.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Bobblehead Bride and Groom

This is the first of many posts from our recent trip down to Chicago for friends weddings two weekends in a row. In between we spend some time in WI so we wouldn't have to drive down to Chicago twice.

The first wedding was of Steve's high school friend Matt and his new wife Rebecca. The ceremony was in a small, beautiful chapel at the University of Chicago. The chapel was only open for use by alumna, but since Matt's late father went to college there they were able to use it. The reception was at a manor also on campus. We didn't know many people, but everyone was very friendly and we had a great time. As favors they gave everyone bobbleheads of themselves since Matt works for the White Sox and Rebecca used to intern there. Very silly.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

link of the month!

I've been reading the blog Chezerbay for a few months now. Two architects fixing up a 1910 home DIY and posting all their well thought out design plans.