Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Brownies Go North

Since we befriended them, the Browns (Ryan and Marissa) have been our only friends to hold down a downtown apartment. They've always been close to public transportation and the views have always been amazing.

This summer, however, they decided it was time to move to the north side of the city—Ravenswood. They're new place is actually just across the street and a little west from our original apartment at Montrose and Winchester.

To honor their time in the pulsating heart of the city, we had one last party in their River North apartment. Granted, they had already moved all their stuff out, but the floor was comfy, the conversation was riveting (politics—of course), and the hummus was fresh.

Pics of the Brown's new place to come soon! But in the meantime, our final shots in the old apartment...

Heath's the Baker

While Heath is phenomenal in the kitchen, it is normally limited to actual entrees, with the very tasty exception of Nana's cinnamon rolls. Other than those delicious treats, the baking is usually my thing. No longer!

Over the summer, Heath developed a strong interest in breadmaking. From sourdough to French baguettes and pitas, he's really run the gamut. Our favorite though, is an Amish Sweet Bread (also, coincidentally, the recipe for our church communion bread).

We end up with fresh sandwich bread and rolls for the week—yummy!

A big source of inspiration has been a blog called The Fresh Loaf.

Jacque and Clyde Come to Visit!

The same day I flew back from San Antonio, Jacque flew in to spend the week with Heath and I. Heath gave her the official "coffeehouse" tour that included the Grind, the Jumping Bean, and Metropolis. A lot of reading, talking, and trying (but failing) to avoid talking about politics. :-)

Clyde flew in later in the week and we were able to make him a belated birthday supper of pork chops, homemade apple sauce and mashed potatoes...very tasty!

It's always fun when parents come to visit—especially for Violet, who has had two official weeks of more love than she can handle.

Overdue | San Antonio

I've been slacking on posting post-marathon. That is in large part because things have been moving so quickly since then. The day after running I had to go into work Monday and Tuesday since Wednesday I would be leaving for the American Dental Association's annual session in San Antonio.

While I was somewhat crippled at the beginning of the week, I was able to walk the show floor in high heels, as is stipulated in my contract as editor in chief (just kidding).

In addition to talking to plenty of dentists and manufacturers, we did find time to have fun, including a great BBQ dinner at this place called Rudy's and stopping by the Alamo which, by the way, is much less impressive in person.

Here are some of the take-aways of the trip...

Me with some fans of Modern Hygienist

Christine, Steve and I...Steve spent the evening telling anyone who would listen that Christine had left both her husband and the Mormon church just that morning—hilarious!

Christine with Ruben and Benny, the wonderful bartenders at the Marriott across from the convention center. Can I just say that the Red Snapper is one of the tastiest drinks I've ever tried?

Beautiful shots of the Riverwalk

My co-workers cutting a rug at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse...there was a band, so it made sense

Scenes from the Alamo

Me and Christine...not my best shot but it's a pretty smile from Christine

In case you missed it...

Bringing a very long election cycle to a stirring close.

And banking Saturday and hopefully a trip with fellow Obama volunteers to Indiana.

Monday, October 13, 2008

26.2 | Holy Crap

So, I finally did it — 2 years and 7 hours after I first decided a marathon sounded like a good idea.

Marathon weekend was fun, terrible and exhilarating all at once. It was hot (86°) and I was injured (I tweaked my knee on my last training run) but thanks to Heath, Violet, my mom, and a fantastic cheering squad...I finished.

I can't thank Sarah, Lenore, Susan and John enough for coming out and not just being with my family, but being my family on a very hot, difficult afternoon. John ran part of the race with me and Sarah actually crossed the finish line with me. It was all pretty emotional.

I love my husband for not only bringing Violet, but then bringing her along for the last 5 miles of the race, the three of us running together just when I needed the emotional support.

It was an experience...and one I will never, ever replicate. :-)


(pasta and bread pudding at Tuscany on Clark)



Marsden Retires

George Marsden is one of the "greats" when it comes to American religious history, and Heath has been fortunate enough to study with both him and Mark Noll since coming to Notre Dame.

George, however, is retiring, leaving just Mark to carry Heath's academic burdens. The university held a retirement party in his honor — complete with toasts and roasts — this past Friday.

Heath and George.

Laure and George (with George looking somewhat suspicious of Laura).

NYC | 25 Years

Not ones to waste a trip to NYC, Heath and I saw a ton of people...James, Marty, Gilbert and Rachel, and our new friends, Adam and Amy.

Rachel, in particular, went out of her way to make me feel special. Sprinkles cup cakes were baked at midnight — enough said.

There was guitar hero, brunch at the Spotted Pig, strolls in SoHo, chai, a bird pooped on Heath, old books, new books, drinks at the Art Bar, tasty appetizers, and a very special birthday dinner at the Blue Ribbon in Brooklyn. Fantastic!

And, to top it off...Heath and I got to live out our coffee shop fantasy on a rainy day in the city. We rarely get to just sit at our own cafes in Chicago, so this was a real treat. Heath wrote lectures and I finished reading "Jesus for President."

An all together fabulous trip.

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Well, we did...sort of.

We can't tell you what happened — legal documents were signed — but we can promise to tell you when to tune in. it should be around January 19-20.

What we can tell you is that we had a blast at ABC. My fellow on-air companion, Jerry, was a great conversationalist. He was there to cheer on his wife, Sue, who was in the back bonding with Heath over their pop culture knowledge deficit.

Meredith was beautiful in person and very kind. The comic "warming up" the audience was crude but effective. The stage was smaller than you'd think, but still quite intimidating. Heath was very cute while shooting his promo. :-)