Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Sunroom

We're not done with it yet; Bob does not like the color I chose for the room, so it will probably get repainted, but it's still progress. I did not like the yellow.

Here's the before:

And here's the after:

Next up: changing out this light fixture. Not my style.

Monday, July 26, 2010


So for Christmas, Jon & Tomo gave us a gift card to the Four Seasons Hotel, with the hope that we could get away to Chicago for a child-free vacation sometime.

I began hoping we could go for our anniversary in July, but the timing just wasn't right. We ended up scheduling the trip for about two weeks later, when we could go for a Monday-to-Tuesday, and my parents could come up and watch the kids. ("Watch." Heh heh. More like "chase." Or "feed and change and bathe and read books endlessly to.")

I felt free the minute we got on the road. Bob got a little annoyed when we hit some construction on the interstate (or the InterNates, as Caroline calls both the internet and the interstate), but I enjoyed it all. Vacation! No deadlines! Just rest, sightseeing, luxury.

I will admit I felt a bit like an impostor checking into the Four Seasons. My family has always stayed in places that are as cheap as possible, and this is really far on the other side of the spectrum. Everything about the place was beautiful and luxurious. Even the maintenance men wore bow ties.

When we got to our room, we discovered that they'd upgraded us ... as I'd suspected they might. When I booked the room, they asked me if we were celebrating any special occasion, and I told them we were celebrating our anniversary. Sure enough, when we opened the door, this is what we saw:

Yes, champagne chilling in ice, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and a card addressed to us, from the Hotel Manager, wishing us many more years of happiness.

Our suite was gorgeous. A marble-floored foyer, two marble bathrooms, a living room, a long hallway with three closets, and a big beautiful bedroom. (With a mattress so comfortable that I now want to buy the Four Seasons Mattress. I'm pleased to learn that you can!) And our rooms looked out to Lake Michigan.

We walked to Millenium Park, past all the shopping on Michigan Avenue, caught a bus to Hyde Park, and walked around the [BEAUTIFUL] campus of the University of Chicago. We ate dinner in a popular little restaurant there, where the waiters wore t-shirts that said "OBAMA EATS HERE." The food was nothing to write home about, but we had a great time. We caught a bus back to the hotel and crashed for the night.

The next morning, we ate breakfast in the Seasons Restaurant. They seated us at a little table for two by the windows overlooking Michigan Avenue. Our food (and my hot chocolate) was excellent, and we lingered on and on. Our waiter was wonderful, exactly what you want in a waiter, and we had a great time. I don't know when I've had such a relaxing breakfast experience.

After breakfast, we headed to the Apple store, where Bob checked out the iPhone 4, and I looked at all sorts of things. We'd seen a young boy walking with his family on Michigan Avenue, cradling his new iMac in his arms, and Bob couldn't resist a trip there. He could have spent a lot more time there.

We headed back to the hotel, packed up, and checked out. It was sad to leave; there was so much more to explore, and we loved the hotel, and I could have stayed & stayed. (Well, no. I could not afford to stay and stay.) We also were missing our children.

It was such a great time, and now I get it. Before staying there, I did not understand why anyone would pay so much more to stay in a "fancy" hotel. I get it now. Everything about it was perfect and restful, and the service was fantastic. I loved it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Coming Soon

(I hope. I thought I'd have this done by now.)

I'm planning a post on our trip to Chicago, sans enfants. It was wonderful, and I don't have the energy to do it justice tonight.

But soon. I promise.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Typical Annie

We had friends over for dinner tonight, and since Bob's been painting the kitchen & sunroom, I had a lot of work to do before they got here. Like moving furniture by myself (nothing too heavy, I promise!), among other things.

I always forget what I intend to do, so I made myself a list. Lists help me a lot. And I got almost everything done.

It wasn't until I was cleaning up tonight that I realized that my list was out on the counter, in plain view. How embarrassing.

It seems to me that I've done this before. I think the last item on my list should now always be "Put list away!"

But, like the last time I did this, at least they knew I'd taken my shower.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pickles & Ice Cream

Yup. That's right.

There's a bun in the oven. I'm barefoot & pregnant.

We're thrilled, as are Caroline & Lucy. Caroline's had a hard time keeping it a secret, though to be fair, she only slipped once. I was congratulating my brother-in-law's brother-in-law, upon finding out that he & his wife are expecting, and Caroline asked me why I was saying congratulations. I said, "They're having a baby!" And she said, "We're having a baby!" I said, "No, they're having a baby." She said, "We're having a baby!" So much for that. I covered her mouth then, but it was NOT subtle. This was a couple weeks ago. We'd had an ultrasound, which is why the kids knew (they went to the appointment and saw that little heart beating).

Anyway, thanks to weakened abdominal muscles (yes, this is my fourth child), I'm already showing a bit, so Bob said, "You don't have to tell people yet, but they'll probably start guessing." I'd rather tell people.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Why I Married Him

Yesterday, when I was at work with Bob for a short time, he gave two different people two different reasons for why he married me.*

It made me create my own list.

I married Bob because:

  • I love him. (That's the quick obvious answer. And true, of course.)
  • He makes me laugh. My family sets a pretty tight boundary around what's funny and what's not, and Bob is always pushing past those lines. I love it.
  • He's very capable. Our dining room table? He built it. My desk? He built it. The lamps in our living room? He built, wired, assembled them. He can paint, he can design, he's an engineer.
  • He is not as introverted as I am. I really love that he can engage in meaningful conversation with just about anyone.
  • In our house, I'm the one interested in cars, and he's pickier about paint colors. It works for us. Of the cars we've purchased together (a Honda Civic, a Ford F-150, a Honda Odyssey, and 2 Toyota Corollas), I selected each of them but MY FIRST CAR, the Civic. He chose that one, convinced that I would love a stick shift, though I could not drive one. It pains me to admit that he was right. If I ever come across a minivan with a manual transmission, I'll snap that baby up.
  • He cares. About the environment, about our family, about the church, about politics, about other people.
  • I knew he'd be a great dad. And he is.
  • He really values that I stay home with the kids, despite the obvious fact that having a second income would make a fairly significant impact on our finances.
I could go on, but I bet he'll be annoyed that I've written this much. He's not a sentimental guy.

*He told one person at work that he married me for my handwriting. He told another person it was because I was so strong. (Which reminds me of when we arm-wrestled for the first time. Have I told that story yet?)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Eight Years Ago


I married Bob. July 7, 2002.

And eight years ago yesterday evening, I was lost in Yonkers. I'd dashed out to find a nail place to get my manicure redone. (I'm so not the mani/pedi type ... well, not the mani type, at least. I could get used to pedis.) Anyway, my sister had treated me to a mani/pedi about a week before the wedding, and in trying to drive home (from the salon that very day) (in a truck with a manual transmission, which I really couldn't drive at that point), I messed up the fingernail of my left ring finger. Go figure.

So I had the job redone a week later on July 6th, but then (maybe due to one-way roads? I don't know. I usually have a really good "bump of direction," as my family calls it.) I got lost. I could not figure out how to get back. I think the Metro North Railroad played a role in it, too. I was on the wrong side of the tracks, but couldn't find a way to get across them. I finally stopped and asked for directions at a cell phone store, but the employees were too busy talking amongst themselves to bother with what could be their next customer... They finally deigned to address me, and then, with much impatience, told me how to get back to the SVOTS chapel, where I was currently late for my own wedding rehearsal. By the time I got there, I was in tears. Of course, it was no big deal. They were hardly going to start without me...

I don't remember much about the rehearsal, but then we all headed down to Central Park, where we had a picnic with Chinese take-out. Lots of fun. I wish I could remember the fortune from my fortune cookie. It was hilariously a propos (how do you make an accent grave, for French words??), saying something reassuring about "tomorrow night."

Then Bob headed back to his apartment in Brooklyn, and I headed back to Yonkers for the night.

Does anyone sleep well the night before the wedding? I didn't. It was just so hard to imagine what my life was going to be like. I was 21, still in college, moving from Florida to NYC, marrying a man I'd known for 10 years, but dated for (maybe?) 10 months.

Big, big changes.

The best decisions of my life.

No regrets.