Saturday, December 22, 2012


October was like a celebration sandwich, stacked with layers of firsts, a farm, finding out what matters, a favorite breakfast, finally meeting a "new" friend, and following a pirate and a parrot on a quest for loot! Here's the highlights. Hold the mayo!

Picture Perfect

The month began with Pre-K Picture Day. Isla is no stranger to a camera, but sitting for an official portrait was a first. And so it begins...the possibility of awkward photos and Isla totally blaming me for the hair styles and outfit choices. I can't wait.

Practicing her smiles before we headed off to school...

Success! She's smiling, her hair is pretty much the way it was when I left her and those eyes are beaming blue! One down, fourteen to go.

Making this day even better was spending some time with Paul's Aunt Mary Jo, in town for a quick business trip. We took advantage of every minute with her, even soaking up this Indian summer sun! 

Marathon Expo

The Chicago Marathon is a designated holiday in our house. And going to the marathon expo is like Christmas Eve (at least to the runner of the house).

Paul and his good friend Jay picked up their "winning" numbers. Jay is in the Elite corral and is so fast (as Isla kept reminding her daddy) that he gets to wear two race chips, one for each shoe, to make sure there is no disputing his finish time. Why do I get the feeling that someday when Isla's of qualifying age, I'll be taking a very similar picture?

Hey, Nike Runner Recognition Wall, could you please print Paul's name in bold next time? It would make it so much easier to find. Thanks.  

I took a picture of this sign because I thought it said it all. I must have known that Paul was more than ready to do just that...

Where's Gannon?

It's like looking at a floating head and legs with all that camouflage!

The Great White ZAB

Well, the day has finally arrived. After logging 855.1 miles this training cycle and making everyone tired of hearing about his run entries on Facebook, Paul is ready to run his 15th marathon. Wow.
Though this Great White Hope may never beat the Kenyans, he has worked very hard to beat the three hour mark with a coveted sub3 time.

The beloved support crew. A little light this year, but still as mighty as ever!

The skies were gray and the air was crisp, perfect running weather. Seems as though everything was falling into place for a sub3.

Ah, but then the nemesis runs by! Minnie Mouse be damned!

Then the GWH appears! (just above the backpack on the big guy in blue) Off to a great start!

Mooove over, runners. This guy was totally milking the "run in a costume" idea. 
Hee Hee.

And there he is again! Still looks like a he's just taking a jog around the block.

Next stop Chinatown! We had to move fast to keep up the GWH. We did not, however, have to hear Gangnam style repeatedly. But we did.  

 This guy is the best ZAB sign holder in the business.

This guy is the best behaved little ZAB supporter in the business.

This guy is the best. Period. 
On pace, on time and looking like he could run forever. 

In between smiles and cheers (and a quick kiss from daddy as he zoomed by), Isla took copious running notes.

The GWH delivers! 2:57!! Sub3 and then some!

Basking in their glory. After all, Isla "won" this medal too.

Words simply cannot express the pride, admiration and love we have for you. You're so much more than an inspiration. And you've left quite a running legacy for our kiddos to follow. Congratulations!

 Mission accomplished!

Down on the (pumpkin) farm

The October weather has been too kind to us this year. And we picked another great day to go to Goebbert's Farm to pick our pumpkins!

Isn't there pumpkin pie in there?

Isla was happy to see a few of her old buddies, but they kind of just stood there with silly looks on their faces.

There's gotta be pie in this big one! Crack it open, Isla!

Gannon, there's just a bunch of goo in there.

"Maybe if I sit on it, it will turn into a pie! Isn't there a fairy godmother to handle stuff like this?"


The original pumpkin, sweet as pumpkin pie.

Honey pooh, Honey pooh and Gannon Boo.
Translation: Honey pooh is how Isla refers to Winnie the Pooh. Paul now calls her Honey Pooh. And Gannon Boo is how Isla refers to her little brother. He likes to be called that, according to Honey Pooh.

Well, we picked the perfect pumpkins for the impending Karve-off and loaded up the truck. See you next time, Goebbert's!


The Things That Matter

I am a huge Nate Berkus fan. I've loved his design style for quite a while, registered for some of his collection when it was featured at the now defunct Linens N Things and watched his show regularly. And you can bet I was at Target bright and early when he launched his new line there on 10/21! (I am not obsessed, really, I'm not.) So, when I saw on Twitter that he was scheduled for a book signing at the Old Orchard Barnes & Noble, my amazing husband sprung into action. He purchased Nate's new book, The Things That Matter, and reserved my space in line for it to be signed (#45!).

Nate looked the same in person as he does on TV. He's so genuine and passionate. It was refreshing to hear him give his take on design, not following trends and making your home YOUR home, surrounding yourself with personal treasures that truly matter and reflect who you really are.

Oh my goodness, I'm about to meet him!

And here is the new addition to my bookshelf, where I proudly display many of the things that matter to me and my little family. Now, I'll always have a little bit of Nate around!
Thank you so much, pk, for this awesome opportunity! As you say, Nate is my guy, but you are my man! Ha!

The best part of wakin' up...

is a strawberry frosted donut with sprinkles,
and milk in your cup!
Isla loves when she wakes up on a Saturday and Daddy announces a trip to Dunkin Donuts is in order. Then she can catch up with her old buddies, Greg and Craig Dunkin, the "owners" of all Dunkin Donuts. (Yeah, we're not sure how she came up with that one either.)

Sweet baby CC

At the end of the month, we made a quick trip over to Valpo to meet our newest friend, Camille Christine Fryer. This visit was a long time comin' since she made her debut on September 11th.
Oh, the smell of a new baby! This may be the closest I ever come to another tiny one again.

Don't worry momma, I'll always be your baby boy! Yes, you will, you little hambone!

Time to take a beverage break. Having so much fun playing hockey in the basement!

Gannon shared his thoughts on the hockey strike with Uncle Fryer. Here's hoping the whole season isn't a loss!

See how good you look holding a baby though, pk? 
It was great to meet you, little CC. You're a precious little girl!

Ahoy, mateys!

"Give me all yur booty, or you'll be walkin' the plank!"
"Squawk, give yur booty, Squawk!"

The pirate and the parrot anchored their ship in Alsip and headed out to find treasure!

Isla greeted everyone who opened their door that way, followed by a quiet, sweet "trick or treat".
Then Gannon followed it up with an "Arr" with his hand extended for the candy. Guess he learned from the best.

Parrot want a pretzel? Sure and more Kit Kats please. He was actually searching people's candy bowls for them by the end of our trip.

The captain and her first mates.

The captain and her super candy hunting crew.

Check out the loot!

Four, five, six, seven Kit Kats! Better bury this treasure!

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