he said/she said

oh em gee!!!

our one year anniversary photos are featured in utterly engaged magazine {page 82}!  how exciting!!!!

it’s a feature called he said/she said!  the editor of the magazine asked us to answer the questions separately, honestly, and privately to really have some fun around comparing answers!  we did, i promise!  no cheating on our replies!

it’s so much fun to read our individual answers.  i’m quite succinct and hubby charming was very verbose!  it makes me smile to read our responses and feel the connection through our words.  of course, jen huang did an amazing job capturing our love through the photos we took in central park this past fall.  i’m so happy with how they designed the spread and so ecstatic to share our story with the world!

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[photos by jen huang]

i hope this happy article helps brighten your day!



fulfilling warm day

another warm, lovely day to be had!

i got up early {gasp!} and did many tasks!  it’s always so satisfying to check things off my list {i know, i’m a list kind o’ gal!}.  i think i was trying to fit too many tasks into my morning, as the clock was ticking, i was feverishly rushing to get things done.  i needed to get out the door before noon to go see my dad!  yikes!  i’m so tenacious and steadfast, i let my determination get the best of me!

i finally completed my projects and rushed to get dressed.  ugh.  i still had to throw out garbage, recycling, and carry some obtuse items down to my car!  i finally made {just a little past noon!} and was on my merry way to the ‘burbs.

i picked up lunch for thuy and my dad.  we ate, we conversed, and then we just hung out.  it was fantastic to be able to lounge around outside in the warm sun!  after lunch, thuy left back to work and i just hung out with my dad for the rest of the afternoon.  i waited for my mom to come home to say hello and then off i went to meet kim for dinner.  of course, you can’t let a day off go by without a stop at target!

i met up with kim at her place, hung out for a bit, and then we headed on our way to dolce to meet up with thuy and then eventually terry and the boys {reagan had his first baseball lesson!}.  drinks, apps, pizza for the boys, and delicious meals for the adults.  it’s always a pleasant and relaxing time here!

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[we didn’t even realize we all had a nautical theme going on until terry pointed it out!]

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[the rich and delicious mushroom, spinach ravioli]

reagan and bennett just love being there!  it’s like they own the place.  they are too funny and cute.  they totally get lost in their own world.  it’s so cute to see them so engrossed in their conversations…and most of the time you just can’t understand b!  but always too cute to watch!

well, it was another successful and fulfilling warm day!  tootles.


al fresco

the other day, after a very long day, i was driving back home to chicago.  it was such a beautiful evening!  it was warm outside, a perfect night to hang outside!  i called dear dana back and we chit chatted for a bit.  she was telling me how she was packing for a short get away to new haven and some other news dans sa vie.

i told her we had to grab dinner!  how could we not eat al fresco tonight?!  it was too lovely an evening to not eat outside!  so, there i was, driving by dana’s and picking her up.  we headed to southport and decided to go to any restaurant that had open seating outside.



we ended up at crosby’s kitchen.  burgers and beers it was.  well, dana got the turkey burger and i just did the cow.  the fries were so yummy, i was a little greedy and annoyed that there wasn’t more on my plate {hungry hungry hippo}!  i so i had to eat dana’s fries as well {hehehe}.

we chilled and just soaked in the warm night.  we people watched, we cooed over doggies walking by, we counted how many girls had on maxi dresses, and what fashion faux pas’ we spotted.

it was a quick get together but so worth it!  it was my first meal al fresco for the year and the start of many more to come!


service day

this past saturday, we participated in service day at st. clement!

it was an all day event that turned out amazing!

we started out by heading out to st. clement, by 10:30 am.   team captains were required to get there early so we could greet all our volunteers.  we walked inside and found our sign and assigned pew.  we waited, patiently, for all our teammates to arrive.  one by one, we greeted everyone.  it was great to chat and get to know one another before we started our prayer service.

fr. ken started our short prayer service and reinforced our thoughts for the day.  how important it is to pray, serve, and give, st. clement’s mission statement.

after that, we headed on our way over to bishop conway residency.  we piled ourselves into two cars, jaimie {who so graciously volunteered} was our second driver.  the traffic down fullerton was obnoxious {as to be expected!}.

what felt like forever later, we finally arrived at our destination.  we walked in and jaimie, kelly, and jen were already waiting for us.  we received a cute little wooden box {painted and decorated} as a gift from the residences, which was so nice!

we headed downstairs and i found aixa, the head cook, and introduced myself to her.  we needed to eat lunch, so she showed us a room we could sit down in and eat.  after, lunch we headed back into the kitchen to start working!  aixa had us clean up.  we cleared plates, glasses, food.  some of us did the dishes, a few swept and mopped.  the boys took out garbage.  we set the tables for dinner.  we prepped food for later.  after all the clean up and prep, we then played games with any of the residences in the game room.

there was uno, dominos, and rummy going on!  kelly and i joined a group playing rummy.  we watched, we learned, we asked a lot of questions.  our group was so funny.  especially robert and linda.  oh, did they love to bicker!  linda felt robert made up his own rules and robert was always eagle eyeing everyone to make sure they weren’t cheating!  bernadette seemed to be sleeping the whole time {although she wasn’t and was funny and kind}.  charlie was a serious player with a knack of not enunciating any of his words and rosita, who i sat next to as well, was so stinkin’ sweet!  she constantly smiled at me and always included me in everything.

after several rounds, robert asked if i wanted to play.  i was still confused because it seemed like they made rules up as they went!  but i was biddable, so i agreed and here i went with my first game of rummy!  it was great, rosita helped me out a lot.  time really flew by and before we knew it, we had to leave and head back to st. clement for the 5 pm mass.  it was sad to go, we had so much fun!

we then went upstairs and had our time for reflection.  i led the prayer and provoked our thoughts.  how did we feel?  how did we see the lord’s goodness in today’s events?  i quivered a bit while reading, it got a little emotional for me!  as we left, the officer in the front handed out little handmade thank you cards from the residences!  it was so cute!

our trip back was quicker and we got there with plenty of parking left {smallest parking lot for a really big parish!}.  we all sat together for mass and the group volunteered me to walk in the procession!  ha, no one wanted to, so of course, they said, ‘you’re the team captain, you do it!”.  so i went to the vestibule, grabbed our sign {each sign had the location of the place we volunteered at} and waited for the procession into the church to start.  all the little kids, who participated in service day, went first {they planted their ‘fans’ into the pots around the alter} and i led the group of sign holders into the procession.

after the wonderful mass, that was led by fr. manny, we heading into the school for dinner {beer, wine, pop, pizza, pasta, bread, salad, + dessert}!  it was so great to mingle, see everyone, and really revel in the day’s activities.

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[cinco de mayo decor]

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[sweeping and mopping! kelly..rich..tammy..jen]

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[allison + jaimie doing the dishes]

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[allison, eric, + jen playing dominos]

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[bridget + jaimie playing uno with perl // she was sassy!]

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[kelly watching the rummy game // linda is to the left and bernadette to her right]

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[handmade thank you cards from the residences]

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[dinner at the school]

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[rich + i are dead center, three rows down from the top!]

it was such a wonderful day.  it was so fulfilling, fun, happy, joyous, and a very humbling time.  the biggest service day to date, 400+ participated this year!

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1thessalonians 5:18


happy may!

happy may!

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what a wonderful start to may!  warm weather, sunshine, and a day off!  woooo!  i love all the flowers blooming and the warm sunshine on my skin.  so fantastic.

it's time for dining al fresco.  
it's time to get in some cubs games. 
it's time for some long walks.  
it's time for open windows and breezy winds 
to flow through the home.

i love, love, love not having  a million layers on!

anyhoo, happy may y’all!  i hope it’s a good month for all my lovies!