Monday, April 19

waiting for baby

I'll never forget the image of my sister as Sean and I entered the maternity room where her and Jeff were waiting for Mason to arrive. Elizabeth was hooked up to about 5 different machines with cables going every which way and eating a red popsicle. Her lips were bright red as she smiled at us and giggled a bit. Obviously the drugs had kicked in... "Do you guys want a popsicle!?" she said. I couldn't help but laugh at my beautiful older sister, who was about to be a mama. And she did look beautiful - perfect makeup, hair fixed with her newly cut bangs pushed to the side, and wearing diamond studs. She was prepare to have this baby in style.

I remeber the funniest thing she said to me while we were sitting in the room with her and Jeff. She looked over and smiled, "You can so do this...this isn't bad at all!" Again, obviously the drugs talking. After six hours of waiting at the hospital Mason finally arrived into the world! He was the cutest thing ever and as he grew over the months it has become evident that he is the most handsome, stylish, coolest baby on the block.

Things that Mason likes to do:
  • Dance.....a lot
  • Says "mmmm" after every bite of food
  • Eat my glasses
  • He can apparently wrestle you to the ground being only 10 months (I have yet to witness this)
  • Says dada when you ask him to say mama
  • Sings or mostly hums to Jason Maraz "I'm Yours" (the Sesame Street version)
  • Likes to stare at Sean for an uncomfortably long time
  • Wears MAN-ly accessories - sunglasses & hats
  • And now he is a crawlin' fool! Soon he will be walking & my poor sister better have her running shoes on!

    Tuesday, April 6

    hopleaf magic

    On St. Patty's Day, Sean and I were running all over town, going from pub to pub, until I dragged him to a local favorite that I heard about at work, the Hopleaf. Right off of North Clark Street in Andersonville, lives this local favorite that is only a bus ride away from our apartment. Since we are both beer and wine enthusiasts, we were anxious to sample the variety of beers that the Hopleaf has to offer. This attractive, brick covered establishment carries over 250 bottled and draft beers from all over the world - North America, Belgium and the rest of Europe.

    Sean and I could not resist from trying something from the appealing and electric menu. One of the house specialties is Mussels served with Frites & Aioli. We graciously gobbled these yummy mussels up, ordering them Belgian - Style: steamed in Wittekerke white ale with sliced shallots, celery, thyme, & bayleaf. We then enjoyed a Duck Reuben that was just perfect for my duck cravings that I have been having since we left Oklahoma. The Duck Reuben was served on marble rye bread, with cranberry cream cheese, home-made sauerkraut, and emmenthaler.

    Delicious...we paired our meal with various Belgian beers suggested to us by our most accommodating server. I can't wait to take our friends to this very cozy and modern hangout.


    train bliss

    One of my favorite things to do in Chicago is to ride the train. I call it the train - not the subway or the 'L' - which it should be called, but the train. I am for certain this is very wrong to say around Chicagoans, since in fact there is a rail road train (the Metra) that runs out to the suburbs. But that is what I like to call it - the train.

    Now being an Oklahoma girl, I grew up driving on those long stretch of gleaming hot highways - I-35, I-40, I-44, and I do NOT miss them one bit. Let's be honest - I've never exactly been a great driver. I can be aggressive and loud when need be, but usually I drive slow and stay a car-length distance away from the person in front of me. I'm even worse when I am in the passenger seat...

    But riding the 'L' is just bliss...this meaning that I feel like I have my own personal driver every morning to take me to and from work. I say "hello!" to the train conductors in the morning and sit in my usually seat by the window. I have read almost 15 books since moving here, and have listened to entire albums on my iPod, all while relaxing and staring out into the beautiful cityscape of Chicago. One of my favorite past times is people watching - I swear I have seen an exact twin of everyone from back home on the train - even you Erin!

    My only scary experience on the 'L' far:
    Recently I was trapped in one of these train entrance gates. I scanned my card to get on, pushed through the jaw-like gate and BOOM! - I was stuck like a caged animal! Not only was I unable to escape from the teeth of this giant monster, but the train I was trying to catch was still in the station, with people on it, who were staring at me...or more like laughing at me, while the train creeped slowly out of the station. What was a girl to do!? In the end a nice women freed me with her card, and we both had a good laugh together.