Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pete's Surprise Birthday Trip!

While the guys were rollicking around Denver, I held down the fort here in Chicago. Luckily, I had a visit from Pete and some of the other Chi Alpha guys from Virginia to keep me occupied on Saturday evening.

Andrew, Jeremy and the guys surprised Pete by flying him out here for a Cubs game, deep dish pizza and other Chicago fare. I met up with them at Dave & Busters — it's what the birthday boy wanted!

I want you to know that although I think I look absolutely terrible in this picture (bad angle, not self loathing), I'm posting it out of commitment to the blog. :-)

Heath Visits James in Denver

This past weekend Heath flew solo to visit our friend James in Denver. James takes off for NYC in August to start on his path to lawyer utopia as a second year associate at Cravath...very prestigious.

Anyway, the guys drank beer at several local micro-breweries (Denver is known as the Napa Valley of Beer); took in the beauty of the mountains and Western landscape; and discussed the merit (or lack thereof) of Ayn Rand's ideas and ideals.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

CSA Central

We haven't blogged much about the yummy meals we've been dishing up with fresh veggies from our CSA. However, we put both our meat and veggie shares to good use this past week (and I'm doing the post for the Just Food blog tonight), so finally...

CSA | Week 7 or 8 (?)

We're finally getting around to using our meat share. On Saturday night we used the sausage on homemade pizzas and it was fantastic! We were so inspired, in fact, that we defrosted the rib eye steaks for dinner this week.

Heath used a basic salt/pepper/garlic salt rub and then marinated the meat for a bit in steak sauce before throwing the steaks on the grill. They were superb! Extremely moist and flavorful.

We paired the rib eyes with a grilled potatoes, chives, mushroom and onion mix. The potatoes and chives came in this week's veggie share. It was a simple summer meal and it was delicious.

On a side note, we also put our CSA cherries to good use in a simple apple/cherry crisp. It's amazing how fruit, topped with a little brown sugar, butter and oats can taste so darn good!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Heath's Birthday at the Races

So Heath is making his way over the "mid 20s hump." This year he turned 27.

In celebration, we decided to head over to the Arlington Racetrack in the northern suburbs for a day of home-baked chocolate chip cookies, overpriced beer and horses. It was a blast!

Studying the stats

Ryan doing his best to educate the rest of us on "smart bets"

Exacta? Superfecta? Exacta box?

After the races we headed home and hosted a par-tay with homemade pizzas and friends from church, Notre Dame, U of C and beyond. Unfortunately, I left the camera in the other room, so you'll just have to take our word for it when we tell you it was a lot of fun!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Softball Season

It's taken me longer than I'd like to actually remember to bring our camera along to our weekly softball games. Finally!

While our team is struggling just a tad right now, we are much improved over previous years and I think we have a decent shot of making it into the playoffs if we can win all our games from here on out... We'll see...

Anyway, over the last two seasons my goal has been to avoid being the worst girl on the team. That strategy is working out quite well. Dena and I share duties at 2nd base. I play one half, she plays the next. It's a definite bonding experience. See below...

Violet is serving as mascot. She loves it and I think the team loves her. We had a jersey made for her so that she feels like part of the team:

Heath plays right field. He was injured in a recent game however (finger jam), and is on the disabled list. He tried to wage a comeback on his birthday, but that didn't go so well...

Here are some pics of our team in action:

Ben & Anna Get Hitched!

So you may be wondering...who are Ben and Anna?

Ben is our friend Lisa's brother. Heath and I felt very fortunate and honored to have been welcomed as "extended family" to their intimate wedding in Ottawa, IL, last weekend. The Cockrels exude hospitality and it was a treat to spend time with the whole fam, plus other "extended family" invitees: Andrew, Melissa and Anuj.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Violet's Summer 'do

Newly shorn and ever so cute, Ms. Violet debuts a new look, courtesy of the good groomers at Petsmart.

The bows were their idea...I was in Georgia at the time!

The New Car!

We almost forgot to post one of these pics...

For those of you who have been wondering about our new ride, check out our very own 2000 Suburu Forester. Woo hoo!

Lot's of space, all wheel drive, and pretty decent gas mileage. We're ready for a road trip. Any suggestions?