Saturday, June 25, 2011

Taste of Chicago... NOT

So, I heard the Taste of Chicago started yesterday.  

I was trying to remember the last time I went.
I remember going there as a teenager with my mom.
We saw the Phil Donahue show and got really sunburned.

I remembered going there with friends,
 a few years later, before I was married.
But I couldn't ever remember going there with Lorens.  

I told him, "We have lived back in the Chicago area for 5 years now.
And you've NEVER taken me to the Taste of Chicago
and I want to go this year!"

He said, "Oh that?  I already took you to that!"   

I looked at him like he was nuts.
I said "WHEN did you EVER take ME to the Taste?!"

He said, "You don't remember sharing those ribs and pizza? "

 "Or those unique hot dogs?"

"It was all really good, but it was REALLY expensive."

I had no idea what he was talking about.  
He said, "You remember, don't you?
I took you there when we were dating."

I said "Dating?"
  "What are you talking about?  1988?" 
He said, "Yeah, that's right, it was 1988!"

I said, "Do you realize, that was 23 FREAKIN YEARS AGO?  
Maybe some stuff has changed."   

He said, "No, I heard they still sell small portions of over priced food."   

Then he said, "We can cook it ourselves, it will be just as good.  I'll go shopping right now and pick up some Vienna Hot Dogs and a slab of ribs we'll throw on the grill.  You start the side dishes.  It will be great, thanks for the idea honey, it will be Taste of Chicago Burbs!"


So I got to cook and clean this afternoon before I went to work.
It tasted nothing like Taste of Chicago.
I made sure of it.

But the portions WERE bigger, and there were NO crowds.
And I still have money in my pocket.
And I didn't have to walk miles after eating.

Glad I brought up Taste of Chicago ... NOT.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Our miracle baby graduates high school

A few days ago, on Sunday morning, I was cleaning the house.  Jennifer was scheduled to graduate High School at 1pm and we had her graduation party planned for 4pm.  I was still in my cleaning clothes, hadn't showered and had no make up on.  Jen comes downstairs and says, "come on mom, lets take a picture".  I look up and there she is, in her cap and gown.  My miracle baby.  The one we prayed for.  The one some doctors told me would never exist.  I was crying in this picture and continued to cry until after graduation.

She is funny, kind, intelligent, beautiful with a smile that lights up the room and striking blue eyes.  She's a gifted writer but most important to me is her compassionate heart of gold.   In her 4 years of high school, my favorite award ceremony was a few weeks ago when she received the Human Relations Award for "Demonstrating a strong belief about human rights and caring through exemplary service".  You had to be nominated by 2 or more teachers.

They had to write why they nominated you.  This is what 3 teachers said about Jennifer:

Brett Blair.    Jen has been an amazing leader on Speech Team, not only as a co-captain this year, but over her three years as well.  She often puts others before herself, and tirelessly works to bring the greatest success to her fellow teammates.  Jen will be greatly missed, yet her penchant for other people's successes will undoubtedly transcend beyond Willowbrook."

Chuck Sheridan:   Jen is such a wonderful person!  She's the student I could always count on to cheer me up on a bad day; that's just the way Jen is - even when she's having a difficult time, she goes out of her way to support others who need it.  More importantly, Jen is extremely compassionate and supportive of others; she is ready and willing to stand up for those who are being mistreated and is never shy about it.  The world needs more compassionate advocates like Jen, and knowing Jen, I'm confident that she will never lose that innate empathy, for which the world can be grateful.

Terri Woebel:  Jen worked incredibly hard for so many Willowbrook programs this year. Jen made me so proud during our spring play; not only did she make the audience roar with laughter as former Chief Inspector Wanda Dreyfus, but she also led warm-ups each night, helped other cast members with their parts, and assisted me whenever I needed anything.  She stepped up as a leader and was a role model for both the cast and crew.  The Pink Panther Strikes Again would not have been a success without her.  Largest ticket sales for a spring play in years.

She was voted "Best Actress" by her Theater Troupe, 
was voted "Funniest Person" and 
"Most Likely to Rule The World" 
by her Senior Class.  

Her room is filled with trophies and medals from her achievements in Speech Team, Theater and academics.  She's been accepted into one of the top 100 Universities in the U.S.A and was awarded their largest scholarship because of her achievements.

Jen walked across the stage and was given her diploma by the Superintendent .  Then, she was suppose to shake hands with her Principal.  Instead, she asked him for a high five and he said "sure Jen!"and high fived her!  That's my Jen!

She's going to major in Anthropology, the study of human behavior to help with human rights. She's going to minor in Creative Writing.  She's a gifted writer as well, witty with a great sense of humor.  We all think she could be the next Tina Faye from Saturday Night Live but she's decided,  after college, she plans on joining the Peace Corps.
Congratulations to "Our Miracle Baby"

(Jen with her Grandfather)

(My sister Dawn & Jen)

(Our niece Jacklyn & Jen)

(diploma in hand, after graduation, June 12, 2011)