Wow it has been far too long since I tried to update. I have nothing to do at work right now, so I'll give it a go.
Last week our family met at Stephanie and Louis' new apartment for Mother's Day/Chris's Birthday brunch. Stephanie and Louis had been living in student housing in Hyde Park since last summer, while Louis attended grad school, but when he decided not to continue his studies at the Lutheran seminary, they had to move. Unfortunately, Louis' grandmother passed away recently [she had been declining for some time] and they had to schedule the memorial service for the same weekend they had booked the movers. So that was difficult. I drove down to Hyde Park after they came home from the memorial service and luncheon to help them pack.
Now Stephie and Louis are northsiders once again, and live on a gorgeous block in Old Irving Park with beautiful old houses, gardens, deep lawns and shady sidewalks. I would swear her landlords are Polish, especially since I saw the garden -- flowers all in bloom, Virgin Mary statue, the whole deal. The garden looks like Grandma's [but her landlords are Irish, Stephie says]. There is even a coachhouse with a spiral staircase connected to the yard.
Their new apartment is wonderful! It's very Old Skool and reminds me so much of the 2-flat we owned on Kenneth Ave when Joe and I were little kids. Stephie and Louis live on the second floor of what appears to be a regular house with 2 stories added to it. They have a large deck off their study which runs the width of the house front and gives a view of the street but is also shaded by a large tree. They have 3 bedrooms, a full dining room, living room and kitchen, a small study off the living room for their computer, access to the yard, and the private deck. The street is quiet; they live very close to St. Viator's [where Monique went to grammar school and where Joe and I had our First Communion].
We all came by on Sunday, Mother's Day, in the afternoon. Christen drove up from Kansas with her friend Penny and they stayed the weekend with Stephanie and Louis. Mom and Pops came to tell us all of their recent trip to Virginia. Joe was at his in-laws' as it was his FIL's birthday as well as Mother's Day, so we did miss his family, but there were still plenty of us. We all enjoyed a large brunch of eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, croissants, raspberry scones, fruit salad, coffee from Dunkin' Donuts and juice.
While we were waiting for brunch to be ready, there was the exchange of gifts. Mom and Pops gave all three of us beautiful copper fairy items they had bought us on their trip. Mine has a votive candle holder, Stephie's has a Welcome sign, and Christen's is actually a frog night light. We gave Chris her birthday gifts -- I went shopping for her at the Sanrio store and got her some Chococat purse accessories, and a bottle of Bath & Body Works Vanilla Creme handsoap. We all also gave Mom her Mother's Day gifts. I found her a wildflower candle in a hand painted pot with her name on it, and I also gave her a diamond journey pendant on a white gold chain. In the midst of all this girlie-ness, Louis and Wally sat and watched the ball game and were manly.
After we exchanged gifts, toured the apartment, shared all the cards and and laughed, enjoyed the sunshine on the deck, and ate the good brunch, we finished off with a box of pastries Christen had brought over from the famous LUNDT Bakery. These goodies were HUGE but so sooooo yummy and decadent. I was totally and completely stuffed, and that was after I deliberately avoided overeating the brunch. Yum.
I finished off the day with..... becoming a redhead! Or actually, a burgundy/pink-head. I asked Stephie so many questions about coloring her hair she finally offered to do mine for me. So after Mom and Pops drove home, Chris and Penny packed up and left for Kansas and Louis left to take his mother to dinner, Steph and I headed over to Walgreens to pick a color. I chose this one and in 1 hr I was officially RED. Since my hair is so thick, there was not enough in one box for all of it, but that is ok. The burgundy and my own dark chocolate brown blend together very nicely and I am extremely happy.
My new red hair on Stephanie and Louis's deck
Other bits of news -- Mom and Pops took a long vacation down to Virginia and visited Jamestown, Yorktown, Virginia Beach and Colonial Williamsburg. Mom said it was gorgeous and they really enjoyed the trip. We are still waiting to see the pictures, though.
I had dinner at Joe and Char's house this past Sunday and gave Jake a big present of art supplies from Auntie Chrissy. He particularly loved the twist crayons and dug right in. Joe tried to persuade him to write his name for me, but he wasn't in the mood just then. Since I never found the Christmas gift I'd bought him, I went out and got Jake something else -- a plug-n-play Star Wars video game in the shape of Darth Vader. Joe set it right up and he and Jake had a lot of fun playing the 5 games on it. Joe mentioned he has again been invited to take Jake camping with friends in Wisconsin Dells this July, and I am again planning to go with them [the heat is not good for Char so she stays home and watches the pets].
Christen still hates living in Kansas. :-) She has been talking about attending beauty school and becoming a hair stylist. I think that would be a great plan for her, since she loves doing hair. She colored her friend Penny's hair while they were staying with Stephie and Louis.
Dad went back in the hospital again but I heard the doctors say he was not having heart attacks, but some kind of pancreatic problems. A change in diet is supposed to improve him. I called a couple of times to see how he was but he did not call me back so I am not sure.
Monique has sent us all invitations to a party. She will be graduating from Lane High School and turning 18 the same weekend. She is having the party at Dad's house so I guess he is feeling better, if he is up to having people over.
My condo has been on the market since mid-March but has not sold. There was a flurry of interest right away, but no one has looked at it this month. I did find a great place in Rogers Park and put down the earnest money, but it was a contingency offer and when the contract expired the seller opted not to extend the terms. The typical time frame for selling here is 3-4 months so I am still hopeful of settling into a new home this summer.
It's been great that the condo did not sell yet, though. I have been on medical leave from work this whole spring, and going through treatment for some health issues at a nearby hospital. I am getting much better and have been in transition back to full time work this week and last week. The hospital is less than 5 minutes from where I live now, so if I had to deal with selling and moving while undergoing treatment, that would be very hard, and Rogers Park is almost 90 minutes away from here. So I am thankful I didn't move yet.
I will be in the hospital again later this week, and am scheduled for release on Tuesday. It's been strange, getting used to not being at work every day... and now trying to get used to being back at work again. I AM FINE. I am not 100% better but I am much better than I was and my condition is stable, at least.
So that's what's been going on around here. Wishing you all a happy Memorial Day.