Saturday, January 27, 2007

Got What I Asked For: Tropical Island Getaway!

Can you guess where we went? To Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. Ahhh!!!!

Swedish Pancakes (and more!) at Tre Kronor

Nothing is more precious to me than spending time with my family! This morning, for my birthday, Wes, Anne, Jed, John and I met at this wonderful restaurant in the North Park neighborhood. Yes, I had the Swedish pancakes; yes, I had a whole cinnamon roll for myself; yes, I had samples of Wes's and Jed's potatoes and Wes' omelette. And, yes, they all treated me with great gifts, lovely cards and good wishes. Thanks, made my day!

My Sister, My Friend!

My sister and I had a sleepover this week, and we had a blast! We went to the gym together, worked together, watched a movie together, ate together, played with an adorable Ava together, visited our Mom together...we could hang out easily together for days and days! I LOVE LOVE LOVE having a sister like my sister! My sister is a fabulous grammy to two grandchildren...and she shares Ava with me and suggests the two of us have a cup of tea! Taking care of the needs of our mother binds the two of us together in ways we'd never have imagined just a couple of years ago. Can you find my sis in this picture? We are in Mom's storage unit looking for something. Diann is remarkably agile and daring to go in pursuit of needed items. We went to the theatre where we could eat while we watched the movie DREAMGIRLS. Afterwards we had our picture taken with the Blues Brothers! No Matter what we do, no matter where we go, we always have the best time together! She's a remarkably generous sister, and here's what she gave me for my birthday...along with custom-made poems and artfully created tags with each gift. I'm the luckiest sis in the world to have Diann as my older sister!

Monday, January 22, 2007

"So, Where Are You Going on Your Cruise?" Part 1

Here you see what I bought that prompted that question by the store employee when I laid everything out on the moving conveyor belt headed towards the cash register. See Part 2 as to the answer to that question!

"So, Where Are You Going on Your Cruise?" Part 2

Here we are in front of the fitness center, not on any cruise ship. Who'd ever guess we had creaky bodies and/or questionable cholesterol levels needing attention? Okay, so this place we joined is rather swanky compared to what we're used to at home. This is the "waterfall" as you enter the women's dressing area. Wes tells me there's one on the men's side, too. After passing through here, we did some walking/jogging on the treadmills... ...pedaling on the bikes... ...stretching on a mat. After such a strenuous workout, we had to unwind in the lap pool and whirlpool spa. We're kinda thinking we are getting away to an exotic locale right here in our hometown! Life is good! (And, if you feel the need to join us, we've got some FREE guest passes!)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Nifty Fifty

January 20th is the 50th birtday of one special guy! Wes' brother, my brother-in-law and uncle to Anne and John. This is one man who has made the world a better place as the result of his birth! We wish we could be celebrating with him and his special wife and three dear children. Kudos to you, Paul! We love you!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Winter Wonderland

Today I just had to get out and take a walk while it was softly snowing outside. Beautiful, just beautiful...and oh so quiet and still. A gift to behold for free!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

You Just Never Know

You just don't know when you are raising a son what he will choose to be when he grows up. Does he like firetrucks (fireman)? Does he have a passion for dinosaurs (paleontologist)? Does he love the outdoors and is great at identifying plants, rocks, animal life (forest ranger)? Or perhaps he has a passion for learning and books(librarian)? Or even loves computers and technology (Bill Gates)? Well, our son has a love of all things Swedish, so he's decided to become a NORTH PARK VIKING "Carlson Crazy"!!! (We are really really really hoping this won't be his permanent attire...)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Vision and Memory Problems

Not long ago, I placed a pair of reading glasses I was wearing on the nightstand. I started laughing out loud when I realized that I had 5...count 'em FIVE pairs of glasses resting on that nightstand. (I snapped this picture right at that time, with no rearranging of eyeglasses, but didn't fit the 5th pair in this picture!!) So, not only is my age manifesting itself with the need for close-up reading glasses, but apparently I am also forgetting to leave the kitchen eyeglasses, the family room eyeglasses, the basement scrapbooking eyeglasses and the powder room eyeglasses where they belong!!! Anyone else out there with me on this one?????

Sunday, January 07, 2007

January 7th...a Good Day to Get Married!

2007:Today at our church, Jen and Chris were married. Theirs was a lovely ceremony and we wish them much happiness as they begin their journey of married life together! (Let's go back to exactly one year ago today now...) 2006:Drew and Laura were married in Massachusetts. All five of us were able to attend this beautiful wedding (Carol and Mark's son) and as it was soon after Anne and Jed got engaged, it was special to witness Drew and Laura's vows in a beautiful ceremony. Congratulations on your first anniversary, guys!!!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Family Get-together: Gastronomic Bliss

Jennifer, our Colorado niece, came for a visit to Illinois Dec. 27 - Jan. 4. We admire her spunkiness in traveling here especially after she was one of the ones to be stuck in NYC after her school let out, and she was stranded at the airport there for TWO nights! (Remember the huge snowstorm in Denver???) Yet, only a few days later, she once again took to the air to fly here. We had a wonderful time together and had to wrap up her visit with a trip to experience pizza...different than the usual "Chicago-stlye" pizza we usually encounter. Five pizzas of various combinations for just 8 people, plus appetizers and desserts....gastronomic bliss!! Here's the group of cousins at Pizza D.O.C. on W. Lawrence Avenue. We all would highly recommend this expereince...great food and funky ambiance! We love you and will miss you, Jennifer!!!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Hangin' Out with Seniors

We ushered in the New Year in Minnesota with Wes' parents. While there, we had the chance to hang out with a lot of cool senior citizens...a famous Pietisten writer, a dearie who loves to read biographies, a blue-ribbon quilter, a substitute "Mom" when Wes was in grad school in the late 1970's (Carol's mom), a retired Covenant pastor and his wife, a church organist, distant relative cousins and a couple of distinguished retired business men! You all made us feel so YOUNG!!! Thanks for your kind ways, thoughtful questions and bravery in dealing with issues of your ages.