Friday, April 17, 2015

Have a great Friday.

This week flew by.
On Tuesday we took a last minute train into the city and stayed for a couple days.
Jeff's cousin was here on business...we were so excited to visit with her.
Jeff was working nearby so he met us for dinner.

Jeff's cousin graciously gave us her room when she thought she was leaving..
...but at the last minute she was able to stay with us...or rather we stayed with her..Haha.
Thanks so much Heidi!

We live close, so we don't usually spend the night unless it's just Jeff and I.
It was a big treat for the girls....they LOVED being up on the 20th floor.

Frankie's first cab ride...documented for the baby book I don't keep up with. ;)

Their new favorite store...Dylan's Candy Bar.
We only visited two days in a row.

We are working outside in the yard Saturday and then grilling cheeseburgers in the evening.
Sunday we're visiting with some friends after church.
What about you? Big plans for the weekend?


Monday, April 13, 2015

Why didn't anyone tell me?

An Eataly opened in Chicago!!! Eataly you guys..Eataly!!!
You have NO idea how excited Jeff and I were.

I'm thinking we're going to be visiting often.
The Pizza..the Italian Sodas..the Cheese.

Frankie's got to learn early on the right way to eat...Italian, right?!
Buona Giornata!!!

Sunday City Lunch.

We spent part of the weekend in the city with Jeff's sister and her husband ^^^
and Jeff's cousin who is here on business.  It was Gorgeous!

We ate lunch at RPM Italian.  

My one complaint...they don't give you a bread basket!
In my opinion, ALL Italian restaurants should bring you bread sticks or rolls when you sit down.

Why? Because that's what Italians are all about...Food!...
..."Come on in, have something to eat...Immediately"!

I forgive them because their coconut gelato and stuffed olives are amazing!
...and their service is great too!

The amazing green olives....
...stuffed with sausage and mozzarella..I want one right now.

Flowers are in the city!...Impatients in pots and in the ground.
Hello spring. Summer is on it's way.

Thank you for the messages everyone sent asking if we were okay with
all the big storms that rolled through here last week.
It was crazy..the amount of times the sirens went off was the most I ever heard!

We are all fine, just lost internet and our phone for a few days.
I haven't had a chance to answer everyone back yet...I will..Just wanted to say..
Thanks for thinking of us! It was very sweet.

I do feel bad for the towns a little south of us, they are in bad shape. It's very sad.
Pray for them...there are so many people who have their lives completely changed after the storms.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Ladies Who Lunch...Outtake Edition.

How strange and exciting it felt to sit down one morning with a hot cup of coffee,
flip through the latest issue of Lake and Country Magazine and read a page about myself!
{A few pounds chubbier than I am now...but hey, that's part of having a baby, right?}

Such wonderful and talented ladies...
....what an honor to be invited to work along side them for this fun project.

Lauren, Lisa, Kaitlyn and I spent an afternoon/evening in Sophia's charming loft apartment
being photographed by the lovely Anna Urban.  Our make-up was applied by the beautiful Sunny.
..and all of those gorgeous flower arrangements were created by Lilypots located in Lake Geneva.

I thought I'd share a few photos not that weren't used in the magazine.

My baby has grown so much since this photo was taken!


Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter fell on our anniversary...or is it the other way around?

The weekend was gorgeous. Sunny and warm enough to be outside without a coat.
We were at Jeff's mom and dad's house Saturday to celebrate Easter.

Above ^^^ all the cousins {and Granny} post egg hunt.

My three youngest brothers and my sons Sunday morning. 

We do an Easter breakfast every year at church.
This year my contribution was Hostess donuts and Capri least I displayed them nicely.
Can I still use the "I have a new baby" excuse months later?

Family picture kid's edition Part 1 and 2....why my son carries around a cane I have no idea.
He has a collection of them.

My mom and dad's house Easter Sunday.

Some of the cousins...Pre-egg hunt.

Two of my little nephews.

You know how excited you used to get about your birthday when you were a little kid?
That's how I am about our anniversary!

It's been 18 years and for the first time ever our anniversary fell on Easter Sunday.
Last night after we came home from my mom's
we tried to watch a movie {Monkey Business with Cary Grant}...

...we fell asleep before the movie even finished loading!
We'll have a hot date next weekend instead.

I asked him for one picture of us....

...where I found out what was going on behind me..

 ...where I said forget it and started to walk away.....

....where he pulled me back and smiled like a normal person.
Man I love him so much.

Happy new week to you.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Sweetest letter from my Grandpa!

My grandfather and I have a long history of practical joking.
One day I will sit down and write all the pranks he's played on me over the years
that have left scars dating back to my childhood.

Yes, one day I'll tell you about the time when I was 11 years old frantically looking
for the switch on my basement wall that turned off the main source of power to my entire block...
...and how I had only minutes to find it before the transformer would blow up.

Or the time my "new neighbor" wrote a letter to me complaining about my kids.
Or how for years I really believed my grandpa was a famous singer.

I have given him back his fair share over the years, but now that my grandfather is in his 80's,
I've decided to slow things down. Not play anymore tricks.

Today is April Fool's Day. One of my favorite days of the year!
I always try and do something fun.

However, this year, instead of playing a joke on Gramps,
I thought I would honor him by sharing a very special email he sent to me just the other day.

I have never felt so humbled and honored.
{except for maybe that one time I won an Academy Award...anyway}

Here it is...the email.
I blush and hesitate as I publish this post.

From: Frank Savino
Sent: Monday, March 30, 2015 8:23 am
Subject: Our Favorite Grandchild

Dear Elizabeth,

     You know you've always been our absolute favorite of all the Grandchildren.
No question about it!You are so wonderful and kind and well spirited. You're so special to us.
You showed us what a true grandchild should look like.
You are the one who made us love and enjoy being grandparents!
Without you, we would have given up this gig long ago.
      Grandma and I have thought hard about what I'm about to tell you.
I don't want this to be shared with everyone because I don't want hurt feelings,
but I guess they'll all find out eventually..I want you to know that Grandma and I
have sat down together and have taken the time to rewrite our entire last will and testament.
     We've decided to give you all the good stuff. In addition to all the good stuff,
we want you to have the Victrola. Don't let your parents or aunts or uncles
pull that "generation ahead of you"'s yours Elizabeth.
They're just our kids, but you, YOU are the Granddaughter!
   We love you so much we want everything good to go to you. Take our money,
buy something real nice for yourself...or a few nice things, we're loaded.

  Don't worry about cleaning out the garage or the basement or the floors of our closet..
...we know you have no use for our old shoes...let the others do that after you take the good stuff.
We want you to have all the good stuff, because to us, you are the best!
We love you so much darling granddaughter. You're the favorite.

Much Love,
You dear Grandfather

P.S. How's little Frankie doing? Tell my little namesake and the rest of the family hello.

Yeah, so like I practical jokes for me this year.
Well..I did do the frozen cereal thing I saw online to my kids this morning,
but that doesn't really count.

Happy April First!!!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Grapenuts were stuck all over the kitchen window....

...not a sponsored article by Post Cereal....they were shot out of a straw. It was disgusting.
The bathroom garbage was over flowing...but, I only said to empty it 4 times, know.
The sink was full of dishes even though my kitchen was spotless at 7 pm last night.
{okay...the popcorn pot and bowls were mine}

I told them to get up and out of one stirred.  It took three times...
{ they're going to wash the trim in my dining room.  When I say get up I mean business.}

Bickering started over who gets to hold the baby first...because she had him first yesterday and he had him after we got home from church first and she fed him but he held him before bed....
....yada, yada...etc.

Welcome to Monday morning. to life. to motherhood. to raising a family.

Some mornings I want to be selfish. Wake up. Think of me.
Work out. Grab a cup of coffee. Watch the news...alone.

Oh dear Yes! Watch the news! But..every single time I turn it on...
"Imprisoned divorced male leading a drug ring with a meth lab in his basement raped and murdered
a woman who was part of a prostitution ring and by the way Santa Clause isn't real kids...."

Right there wrapped up in 5 seconds is a whole lot of questions to answer
should a child walk into the room while their mother is watching the news.

So...the television stays off. and Facebook remains my main source of information. Ha!

Okay..I'm exaggerating a little and honestly I don't care that much about watching the news.
I prefer talk radio and/or reading. So... how about an early morning home decorating show? ;)
That would be nice.

Yes it would be nice, but it wouldn't be profitable.
It's empty. It's meaningless. It's not eternal.

Isn't that what all of our complaints are? Meaningless.
Not all, but let's be honest...Most.

They stem from us wanting our way and not getting it.
They stem from us wanting time for ourselves....which isn't a bad thing, time alone...
....but very un-realistic every morning from 6:30am-9:00am...which is when I want it.

Last week was a struggle.
Not every second of everyday...but hard moments sprinkled throughout the day, throughout the week.

The kinds of moments that slowly build and build until we can't see through the tired, the exhaustion.

We think we're drowning and we yell at our husbands that we can't take it anymore.
{or maybe that was just me? Poor Jeff..and hey,thanks honey for the sweet potato fries}

When things are going focus is usually wrong.

When I'm looking for I looking to the mountains?
(or the sky?...I live in Illinois, there are no mountains, I'm stuck with looking only to the sky ;)

Psalm 121:1 ~
I will lift my eyes up to the mountains;
     from where shall my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,
     Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to slip;
    He who keeps you will not slumber.

God! He won't allow my foot to slip. He will give me all the help I need.
The help He gives isn't the same kind of help I always want...but it's what I NEED!
The help He created me to need.

It's strength to get through whatever it is I feel I can't do. or don't WANT to do.
He gives comfort and peace and sanity.
{That last one I think He gives for the sake of my children..bless them they're all still alive}

When I step back and look at my situation, look at my kids....
...when I look into their eyes I realize they aren't here to destroy me. ;)
They NEED ME!!!

They are growing and learning and I am the one to guide them and teach them and train them in the right direction.
It's all up to me! {and Jeff of course, but I'm talking to Monday morning moms here}

If I walk around acting exhausted and stressed out all the time...
How will they learn to handle things?
They'll think it's normal for a mom to be cranky and angry and complain-y.

I don't want my kids to think that's what a mom looks like.What THEIR mom looks like!!!...
...a strung out woman in sweat pants trying to keep a clean house and mad that things aren't perfect.

I have incredible kids that I love to's just sometimes I let this world get in the way of that.
I bet you do too. Don't let it!!!
You're the one in control...Take it!

How you ask?

Start small. Get cleaned up, get dressed.
Say a prayer and ask God to please give you the strength you need to get through the day.
Lift your eyes up and remember....

Life is about more than a clean house, a perfect schedule and a perfect life.
If you're striving for that...your plan will fail.
Be realistic and accomplish what you can.

It's Monday. A brand new start to a brand new week!
Hope your's is a good one.