Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day

Stephanie and I love family holiday traditions--especially where food is concerned. We've come up with a few of our own since being married: cinnamon rolls and hot cocoa for breakfast on Christmas day, heart-shaped pizza and orange julius for Valentine's Day dinner, and green eggs and ham (with a bunch of green side dishes) for dinner on St. Patrick's Day, to name a few.

As chance would have it, we were in Chicago yesterday during their famous St. Patrick's Day parade. We decided to skip out on the parade, partially because of the frigid wind, but also so we could spend more time checking out the museums. So this year, we celebrated the holiday with our usual all-green family fun dinner.

Stephanie and I were looking through family photos the other day and realized that our St. Patrick's Day tradition is our oldest tradition--we've done it every year since being married!

Here are some pictures from tonight.

This year's fare: green eggs and ham (as always), green mashed potatoes with green gravy, garlic lemon roast cabbage (yum!), and green milk.

I do like green eggs and ham! I do, I like them Sam-I-am!

The Windy City

I just blew in from the windy city
The windy city is mighty purty
But they ain't got what we got, no sirree 
Calamity Jane

That song was stuck in my head the whole time we were in Chicago this weekend. We decided to go up for a few days "spring break" weekend (although Daniel had to work most of the week). We had a great time. I was able to catch up with one of my college roommates, and we were able to see lots of cool stuff, and attend the temple there. 

Day 1: This photo pretty much sums up our day.

It was cold and rainy. We got soaked. We were lost. Daniel and I felt like awful parents and friends (especially because it was Josh's birthday, and my old roommate was hanging out with us). Kids were ornery (understandably). And it was just plain unpleasant!

We thought to save money and probably time, it would be good to ride the "L" (subway/elevated train. It was both!) downtown. We realized on the train that we had forgotten our stop (what kind of disorganized people do that?!), we tried asking for directions, but no one wanted to talk to us, so we just picked one that sounded similar to what we remembered and got off. It was the wrong one. This is what we spent the day doing...

ok. So I took some artistic license with the loops and stuff, but this is actually pretty close to what we did.
Finally. Finally! We got to the Field museum, only to find that it had just stopped admitting people for the day!We had trudged through freezing rain, only to finally get to a museum that had just closed?! You can imagine how upset all of us were. Luckily for us, my roommate was a good sport, and she had a cheerful attitude the whole time. That helped us out a lot. As I look back, I see that we could have walked the magnificent mile and been there. Unfortunately, we didn't know that, and the GPS was telling us to go one way, when we couldn't, then it would freeze, and...well, it was just a mess! But now we are experts! We got to see a lot of the city that we wouldn't have otherwise taken the time to see, and that was nice. It is so awesome! I loved looking at all the old buildings.

Daniel: I know why Friday was a horrible day. (In a creepy voice) "Beware the ides of March!"  

On the upside, we were able to get a photo of the beautiful sunrise (near Lafayette, IN) that morning. 

Day 2: The fun day!

Since we were super familiar with the city (the part we were in anyway), and the L, Saturday was a much more fun and exciting day. We hit the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum, Millenium Park, and finished the day off with pizza at Giordano's (of course!). It was a fun filled, WAY less stressful day! But we didn't see half of the stuff we wanted to see in either of those places, so we want to go back before we leave the midwest. Here's what we did:

Checkin' out the trains at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Driving(?) a ship

On board a (huge) train engine.

On a trolley.

The city.

Learning about waves.

Someone's way too excited!

At the Windy City

Watching the waves.

Our geneticist(s?)

Flying like an airplane!

Checkin' out the baby chicks.

Josh loved seeing all the trains and the airplanes!

From above

We thought these were cool...

Our photographer Mr. Rock got his finger in the picture, and couldn't shoot straight...

Loving the kids area at the field museum!

Rocking her baby dinosaurs to sleep.

Cooking maize.

One hand, two hand drumming on drums...

Dum, ditty, dum, ditty, dum, dum, dum...

Josh, Heather, and Daddy banging out some rhythms.

Heather wanted a photo by the giraffe.

A motorcycle that had a boom box and tapes on the back.

At the Bean

How many Standages do you see?


It was SO cool!

Delicious pizza. A little on the expensive side, and a very long wait, but delicious!

Chicago, we had fun. We'll do it again soon!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Josh turns 2!

Joshua is now a two-year-old! Wow, it's hard to believe how quickly time passes.

Since visiting Stephanie's family over Christmas break, Josh has become a lot more chatty and sing-y. When Heather started talking a few years ago, she learned word-by-word---Joshua seems to be picking up entire phrases at a time. Sometimes it takes a bit for us to figure out what he's saying, but it's always cute. And in the vocal performance department, likes to sing primary songs and Disney princess tunes with Heather...I'll have to teach him some manly Disney tunes I guess. Either way, it's really cute and we'll try to post some video soon.

Our celebration for Joshua's birthday this year was kinda spread out. We had a joint party for Heather and Joshua on Tuesday (Stephanie already posted some pictures for that) and opened some of Josh's presents later that night. His actual birthday was on the 15th, we were on a short family vacation in Chicago (pictures coming soon) and we must have sang Happy Birthday at least 5 times: once for breakfast, once for presents in the car, once for presents at the hotel, once for cake in the hotel, and at least a couple of other times.

So without further ado, the pictures...

Presents Tuesday night. Josh is really excited about his Little People parking garage!

Mom showing Josh how it's done.

The morning of March 15, Josh's real birthday. We left early to drive to Chicago,  and had birthday cake pancakes in the car for breakfast.

We stopped at a rest stop on the road, and took a moment to open some of Josh's presents. This is a superhero cape from grandma. Woo-hoo, now he can dress up with Heather!

A cool little bag for carrying Josh's toy cars, and a Lightning McQueen toy. Ka-chow!

After a long day of sight-seeing, we opened the rest of his presents in the hotel.  He loves construction equipment!

...aaaaand some cake.

He can be whiny, and boy he can be ornery. But he is cute, fun, and a very good boy. We're glad to have Joshua in our family. Happy 2nd Birthday, Josh!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Between Birthdays

March is such an exciting month for the kiddos! Heather has been gobbling up all the attention that she has been getting about her birthday. We have one party for the kids (if we do one at all) between their birthdays. We did it yesterday. For the week between her birthday and the party Heather often said, "Everyone's gonna come celebrate ME!!" You need to imagine that the intensity of the sentence gradually increases until its a high squeal at the end. She's so cute. :)

Josh has been talking a whole lot lately. He has also been singing a lot. He learning to sing "Happy Birthday" yesterday, but I don't think that's much considering that he knows almost all the Disney princess songs! (I don't know where he gets it!)

March is depressing for me because just when you think it's going to get snows...on the upside, the kids are thrilled!

She wanted me to take a photo of her snow angel...which you can't see very well.

Shoveling off the car.

Josh putting the nose on our snowman.

Posing with Frosty.

It was fun to sing "Once there was a Snowman," and watch while he melted the next few days.
Pretty sure he was singing.

Their awesome cake! Heather wanted a Strawberry cake, Josh likes trucks right now, so it's a strawberry cake with strawberry filling and construction everything else. Both Heather and Josh loved it! Score!

Happy Birthday to Josh!

Happy Birthday Heather!

Yeah! She blew out the candles!

Eating yummy cake with some friends.