The Unabbreviated Weekend Recap


College Roomies At Levato’s

Looking back at the pictures from this weekend I can’t believe all the things that we did in just one, (almost) regular length weekend! So if you want the Cliff Notes version here it is: Car AC breakdown, Chicago, Zoo, Levato’s, stuffed bunny mishap, Nana’s 80th birthday party, potty training, dinner with friends. Well I guess technically our adventure started on Thursday as I drove to the gym. Really hot air was blowing out of our air conditioner.


My grease monkey

I thought, ok hopefully after I turn off the car and get back in our AC will work better. What did not happen: that. What did happen: it was much hotter by then. And it also just so happened that I had plans to drive to Chicago the next day. So I started a very sweaty drive around town to find somewhere that could fit us in that day. After being told by 5 places that we couldn’t be seen before Tuesday, I finally found a great place, (shoutout North Liberty Automotive!) that could get us right in. So Leah and I drove over, drenched in sweat (it was a heat index of 100 degrees that day) and with a newfound appreciation for AC. After a while we had some amazing friends come pick us up and deliver us back at home.

This left me wondering how I was going to get to Chicago the following afternoon to see a few of my best friends, one of whom was visiting from Manchester, England. I was so surprised and relieved when my mom hatched a brilliant (if not complicated) plan to get to my house and lend me her car to make the drive. So Friday afternoon, 4 hours late, and a couple more hurdles behind us (forgetting the car seat in Mike’s car at the hospital, said car seat having a twisted latch and finally fixing it) Leah and I had dropped off my mom, all her supplies to throw my Grandma’s 80th birthday party, and some of my sanity at my grandparent’s house and we were on our way!

Thankfully Leah slept most of the way there, and we pulled into the Brookfield Zoo around 6:30 and finally got to see our friends! Leah and Nicholas had the best time seeing the few animals that we caught before they went to bed, and the adults enjoyed delicious Grapefruit Shandy’s. It was a beautiful night and I am so thankful I got to spend some time with such great friends, even though Mike was back home, on call and holding down the fort with Jelly.

The next morning we let the kiddos play, had a great breakfast and got to catch up a bit before going for the world’s slowest walk around the block to see the Choo Choo.

Afterwards we got to visit our friend Ashley in her brand new salon in Hinsdale. The salon was beautiful, I can’t wait to go and get my hair done, or get a facial. I’m also super excited becuase she’s carrying Kevin.Murphy products, which I first used the day of Kara’s wedding, and fell in love with them. Seeing Ash making her dream come true made me so proud and again, I feel so lucky to have such great friends in my life. Before heading back to the Quad Cities we enjoyed a little lunch at the Corner Bakery, and Leah taught Nicholas a very important life skill – how to cheers.


The car ride back to my grandparents went pretty well, Leah only slept about an hour but thanks to the new Daniel Tiger iPad app I downloaded, there was mostly peace in the car. Seriously, what did parents do before you could use technology as a crutch???

We rolled into my grandparents house in time to help with a little set up, go to church, and have an AMAZING dinner of BBQ ribs, Southwest corn from Schwan’s (that everyone had second helpings of), garden tomatoes and cucumbers, and of course Oreo Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake that I was sure I didn’t have room for, but managed to lick my plate clean.

That night as I put Leah to sleep she asked for her stuffed Bunny, and I told her if she laid down I’d go get it for her. This got her to lay down, and allowed me to rejoin the adults downstairs. I decided to wait a couple of minutes before getting the Bunny. But then, she was almost asleep, and who was I to go break the spell by delivering Bunny? She had probably forgotten about it by now anyway. Fast forward to 2am. Leah wakes up, in a strange room, sees me sleeping next to her. First words out of her mouth? “Bunny??? Mama! Bunny!?! WAHHH” I tried, and failed, to close the subject by telling her that the Bunny was asleep with YaYa in the other room, but she’d lay back down for half an hour and get back up. Unfortunately Bunny was out in the car and I was pretty sure the house alarm was on, so I rummaged through the basement with my cell phone as a flashlight to find Miss Piggy that became Bunny for the remainder of the weekend.

Sunday morning we set up tables, pool chairs, flowers, drinks and appetizer stations until Nana’s 80th Birthday Party was ready and the family and friends started arriving. We had so much fun eating some of Nana’s favorite foods and swimming. My sister put together a beautiful book with letters from everyone in our family to Nana about some of our favorite memories and our favorite things about Nana. The book turned out so awesome, I am going to do a separate post about that so if you need thoughtful gift idea stay tuned!

Another surprise of the weekend was that Leah decided she was ready to start going in the big girl potty. To this point we’ve done it here and there just for fun, but after a stern lecture about not pooping in the pool she has only wanted to go on the big potty. I was not planning on tackling this for at least another few months, but I’m coming to believe that my plans actually have an inverse effect on reality. So off to Target we go for a little potty and something that resembles training pants for a kid who weighs about 22 lbs and wore a 9 month outfit this weekend.

After the party my Dad drove us back to our house and we wrapped the weekend up celebrating another great friend, who’s birthday party we missed on Saturday. Dinner was sooo good, salmon, cauliflower, quinoa, salad, macaroons…and the great thing is that the diet started Monday! Doesn’t it always? Oof. Sorry waistline!

Wow I am tired just remembering all that! Sorry for the long windedness but that’s just how this went down!

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