One month

That’s how long its been since I posted to my blog.

Holy shit.  Time flies.

Part of me feels like I need to apologize for such a long absence, but the other part of me realizes that my life demands that I be present and in the moment.  My family and my other responsibilities don’t always accommodate the time I need to put together a decent blog post.  We’re all busy and we all prioritize differently.  So instead of apologies, I’ll just say, HELLO WORLD!  I’ve missed you!

21 kidsThe past month has been a whirlwind of activity.  I’ve resumed my volunteer work as the garden docent for my son’s Kindergarten class.  I was also suckered into being the room mom for his class as well, so now between the school garden and working in the classroom to help his teacher, it’s like I have an almost full time job.  The upside is that now I’m openly revered by twenty one small people who look at me with undeserved wonder and admiration, thrilled that I know all their names and tell them how great they are at drawing stick people and gluing pasta to construction paper.  It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

12019874_869646123089790_8745768548767870345_n[2]A few weeks ago, Dan and I snuck off to Chicago one more time for one last wedding among my college friends.  It was beautiful and amazing.  The weather was perfect for fall and the trees were just starting to change colors.  The bride was stunning and we were all a bit better behaved than at the last wedding.  I’d like to write a full post about it but I fear that I’d really just be repeating myself from the previous wedding post.  We drink a lot, we’re super badass, we love each other, we’re friends for life.  You know the drill.

And of course, there was Halloween!  Halloween is a big deal at our house.  We love it!  This year was especially awesome because the day fell on a Saturday, so instead of the usual week night rush to get dinner done, kids jammed into their costumes and start handing out candy to the toddlers who start trick or treating before dark, we had the time to really set up and participate in the evening.  My husband decorated the driveway with strobe lights, a smoke machine, black lights, and glow in the dark cobwebs all over the garage door.  What was super badass was my costume.  I was

Yup, I looked just like her.  LOL!

Yup, I looked just like her. LOL!

Maleficent.  When the kids rounded the corner of my driveway the first thing they saw was Maleficent standing in front of a strobe light surrounded by billowing smoke and eerie glowing cobwebs.  It was so fun!  The kids loved it and so did the adults.  Some of them asked to take their picture with Maleficent, which was a little weird for me but still fun.  We also driveway party with our neighbors on Halloween, so when the kids are done trolling the neighborhood, we all hang out in the driveway and drink wine.  At around 10pm a neighbor we hadn’t met came over to introduce herself.  She said she just had to come check us out because our driveway was the talk of the neighborhood the whole night.  Seriously!  I told my husband, “Did you hear that?  We’ve got a rep.  We’re the cool kids now.”  LOL!

Anyway, it’s been a busy and fun month.  With Thanksgiving coming I know things won’t be slowing down any time soon.  I look forward to catching up on all my favorite blogs and hopefully I’ll throw together some fun stories myself to share with all of you.  It’s not like I don’t have a ton of material.  Teaching gardening to a bunch of five year olds?  There’s a mountain of hilarity in there somewhere.  😉

Labor Day weekend, a wedding and a lot of wine!

chicago-skyline[1]Labor Day weekend Dan and I went to Chicago without the kids for a wedding.  One of my college roommates was getting married and we haven’t had a grown-up only weekend in almost a year.  It was fantastic!

When I travel without my kids everything is different.  I can drink wine on the plane, only pack for myself, and read smutty chic-lit on my Kindle instead of entertaining two kids for four hours with snacks, Ipad games and constant reminders to stop kicking the seat in front of them.  I relaxed, enjoyed the flight into my favorite city, and did my best to get over the fact that I had to sit in the suck-hump-middle seat in order to sit next to my husband on the flight.  No one likes the middle seat, on any airplane, ever.

Chicago was amazing, as always, and the wedding was so fun.  I’ve been blessed in my life with the gift of incredible, life long friendships, and my college friends are some of the most outrageous, hilarious, intelligent, dynamic, beautiful women I know.  We’ve all gone on to do different things with our careers and family, but when we come together it’s like no time has passed and we’re all nineteen again with fake ID’s trying to sneak into bars and pick up hot guys, except now those hot guys are our husbands.

10403139_880825068611248_7951955788546716562_n[1]

 

Here’s the recap, and nicknames have been given to protect the guilty.

On the way to the wedding, TSGHLM’s (This Summer’s Gonna Hurt Like A Motherfucker-her requested nickname) dress split up the side.  Dr. Evil and I took turns sewing her back into her dress on the Uber ride into downtown Chicago.  Unfortunately,  Dr. Evil gets car sick, and trying to sew TSGHLM’s dress caused her to become extremely nauseated.  She managed to hold it together, I took over the sewing, and no pre-wedding car sickness occurred.  TSGHLM’s dress was repaired and I can now add car seamstress to my list of party tricks.

1338993291108_8649686[1]During dinner Dr. Evil kept trying to build a glass pyramid on the table with all the empty wine and champagne glasses.  The wait staff would calmly walk over and dismantle her pyramid without too much fuss and take the empty glasses.  She would wait until they walked away and we would drain our glasses so she could re-build her crystal masterpiece.  We had a lot of glasses.  When they finally reprimanded her for her inappropriate behavior, she responded by adding another tier to her tower.

Also, at some later point during dinner, someone who’s judgment was definitely questionable decided that the party favors on the table, which looked to me like crystal candle holders embossed with the bride and groom’s name and wedding date, were actually small wine glasses.  So they became wine glasses, and I’m still unclear on their actual function.

dirty-dancing-wallpapers-983074-2-s-307x512[1]During the reception, Trixie decided to re-create the Patrick Swayze/Jennifer Grey scene in Dirty Dancing by crawling across the dance floor, on her hands and knees, in her evening dress, toward another of our friends sitting at a table.  She completed the crawl but might have been too drunk to get back up.  I was laughing so hard I missed part of it, but I’m pretty sure she had to call for an assist.

Drevil_million_dollars[1]During an epic dance performance, I may or may not have allowed Dr. Evil to motor-boat my chest on the dance floor.   I’m super classy like that, and you may be realizing why we call her Dr. Evil.

The Bride, whom we shall call Ellie, got busted in the bathroom for smoking an e-cigarette.  The event staff had to reprimand her, at her own wedding!  She also had her sister cut the tulle out from under her dress during the reception.  Nothing says good times like vandalizing your own wedding gown on your big day!

There was a really beautiful moment when the DJ played Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper.  Our small, drunk army of roommates and friends gathered around Ellie and circled her on the dance floor.  We danced around her, singing at the top of our lungs while each of us took turns dancing with her in the center of our circle.  It was a complete and total love fest as well as a gesture of loyalty and solidarity that has remained unchanged for the past 23 years.

10375120_10152852902922819_24777841281501259_n[1]I’m pleased to report that there were no public displays of nudity or pressed ham.  And  believe me when I say that’s progress, folks.  At this point in my life, with this group of friends, I could never run for public office.  There is way too much photographic evidence of the good times we’ve had in life.  Dan showed me cell phone video of me rocking out with the ladies like a wannabe 80’s rock goddess on the dance floor, and I said, “Oh, that’s the wine talking.  That’s ugly dancing!  Delete that and we shall never speak of it.”

I woke up the next afternoon feeling like road kill.  We spent the day like we would’ve in college.  We laid on the couch, watched movies, ate good food and made fun of each other and our epically bad behavior.  We’re forty!  It’s like all maturity goes out the window when we’re together.  We egg each other on and enable each other for the sake of entertainment and bragging rights.   When I expressed this to Dan his most wonderful and appreciated response was, “I love your friends.”

Yeah, I love them too.

Wanda Says…Keep calm and head to Chicago!

Chicago-skyline-2[1]This past weekend I went to Chicago, alone, for a girl’s weekend with some of my college friends.  I needed a break from my stay-home-mommy-madness.  I needed a break from laundry, dieting, cooking, and repeatedly asking small people to brush their teeth and put on their shoes.

I love Chicago, and it is my favorite city!  Aside from being beautiful with endless cultural opportunities and diversity, there is a comfort and familiarity that always draws me in.  Lakeshore Drive, Michigan Avenue, State Street, Navy Pier, Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain and the Shedd Aquarium all hold memories for me that span the first 25 years of my life.

Millennium Park

Millennium Park

Some of my favorite memories include prom dress shopping at Lord & Taylor and Bloomingdales, attending the Taste of Chicago food festival, Cubs games, making a music video at Navy Pier (which I am still extremely embarrassed about), attending a friends fairy-tale wedding at the Hilton Towers, and endless nights of fantastically bad behavior while bar hopping with friends.

The weekend was amazing!

We spent time in downtown Chicago and went to Macy’s to look at the holiday windows.  We had lunch at the Walnut Room and I felt the holiday spirit begin to rear it’s glorious head as I drank wine and allowed myself to be sucked into the moment .

Macy's Christmas Tree in the Walnut Room

Macy’s Christmas Tree in the Walnut Room

wpid-2014-11-15-13.11.59.jpg.jpeg

I believe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We walked the city and visited Cloud Gate, or as the locals call it, The Bean, at Millennium Park.

wpid-2014-11-15-14.34.53.jpg.jpeg

The Bean!

We drank endless bottles of wine, ate tapas and sang at the top of our lungs in a lovely little dive bar.  We reminisced over old memories and we laughed until our sides hurt.

wpid-2014-11-15-14.38.41.jpg.jpeg

I froze my ass off, but it was worth it!

I want to thank my friends for making themselves available to me when I desperately needed to escape from my life for a few days.  Thank you, Jennifer, Katie, Amy N., Amy D., Jenn L., and Melissa.  Thank you for being the wild, wine-drinking, fun-loving, adventurous women that you are!

I also want to thank my mother-in-law for the first class plane ticket to Chicago!  You spoiled me rotten for my birthday and gave me a much needed boost to restore my sanity, and I can’t thank you enough!  🙂