Sunday, September 1, 2013

How Marianne Spent Her Summer Vacation

A friend asked me the other day what we did this summer and I thoughtlessly responded, "Nothing much."

Then I flipped through the pictures in my phone and realized I was full of malarkey.

The start of summer had us bidding farewell to a dear friend:

Forget Harvard.  Barbara Vick Preschool is where it's at.

Then we said hello to Band Camp (or as I told my husband, Boxing Camp):

We attended our favorite summer charity outing, Play for Maeve, which benefits pediatric brain tumor research and awareness:

I met a Transformer:

Miniature Friend also succeeded in finally getting me in for a real haircut at a place that costs more than $8 a trim.  Julianne at George the Salon did an amazing job and I fear my days of cheapie cuts are officially OVAH.

I would have married Julianne after this cut.  But then we'd be Marianne & Julianne, and that's just plain awkward.

I feel pretty, oh so pretty....
There was romance:

Joe at our romantic getaway in Geneva, Illinois sporting my free Peapod shirt I scored at BlogHer.

We rocked the night out at some random bar where Jenny McCarthy's BFF was dancing 90's style.

Head. Hurt. Bad.
Our quiet return to the neighborhood.
Our welcome home committee & toilet paper vandals.
There were block parties:

And trips to the beach:

We road-tripped to Milwaukee.  Twice.

Irish Fest

Look carefully and you can spot Joe & two of the boys.  I almost threw up taking this pic.
Joe & pals at Milwaukee Summerfest proving he has a chin (which never photographs well in pictures)

We did another fundraiser, this time benefiting the Gold Badge Society where the Chicago Fire Department got destroyed by the Chicago Police Department.  Local legend and neighborhood guy Herbie Johnson was an honoree:

Fed up with the kids focusing too much on their gadgets, I evicted them to play outside.  Gadgets, it seems, can attract kids faster than Freeze Pops:

Joe and I also realized we are morphing into each other at a Listen to Your Mother reunion dinner in Naperville:

Photo credit: Lou Lohman

My 40th birthday festivities continued for most of August, and an old high school pal surprised the bajeezus out of me:

Me & Red
It took almost the entire summer, but Joey finally succeeded in passing the deep-end test at Kennedy Pool with his two brothers cheering him on:

Sadly, school vaccinations were soon to follow:

This would be the "before" picture.
I tried to bank a little good karma by donating blood, and I even recruited a pal to come along:

Happiest damn blood donor EVER.
Sadly, my hemoglobin was too low and they wouldn't let me donate.  I may need to increase my red meat intake or double down on my Flintstone vitamins soon.  The orange ones are delicious.

What's funny is up until I reviewed my summer pics, I really didn't think we had done that much. 

Maybe low hemoglobin makes you forgetful.

So if I accidentally tell anyone that I'm still in my 30s, please have patience.

And buy me a hamburger.


  1. That is a lot of fabulous! I often find myself having a pep talk with the kids..."Don't answer 'nothing' when people ask what you've been up to for goodness sakes! Give me a little credit"

    1. EXACTLY!! Moms get no credit, but all the blame. I'm coming back as a beetle next time!

  2. It's an embarrassing blank syndrome, I think. "What did you do this summer?" "Oh, you know.. breathe." That's why people must follow our blogs. I feel I'm more eloquent here. :P

  3. I LOVED this post. erm... excuse me?! How CUTE do you look in that polka dot dress!!! Love it. Oh and Joe, the big soppy romantic, glad you have been spoiled for your big birthday. Your troop of little ones always look so happy! Now it's september - put your feet up once the kids go back to school - it looks like you've deserved it! :) xxx

    1. Thanks, Elle. And for some reason, I still can't get my butt in gear. Maybe when they go away to college??

  4. 40 you say?! Happy Birthday! You look 30 and act like a bubbly teen.

    Love banning gadgets for your sons.

    As a retired teacher and now substitute teacher, I banned assignments like "How I spent my summer". This is like the question "How are you?" However I would give you an A+ for the assignment you posted here.


    1. Thank you, Carol, and I would LOVE if you taught at my boys' school! Chicago? Get on it!

  5. I will go along with that whole "still in my thirties" thing if you will.
    I have no idea what we did this summer. Pass the hamburger.

  6. Great summer! You need a break. Hurray for school!

    1. I wish you lived closer, Julie. We'd be rockin' the SAHM thing! And we'd probably be falling behind on our laundry.

  7. That note from Joe is PRICELESS. Hope you're framing that. :)

    1. Framing it? Nah. I had it tattooed to my arm. ;)

  8. Well this looks like a damn good summer to me. Thank God you upgraded to a "real" phone or these memories would be lost!

    1. Just don't ask me to turn on the navigation feature, Diane!

  9. Ha!! I LOVE the hair and I'm totally jealous of the romantic getaway note from hubby! I love the Geneva area. Phil and I visit there quite frequently. Our favorite restaurant is Villa Verone...did you eat there and meet Pietro?? Pietro and I are tight. We're even FB buddies. :P And they've got their marathon coming up in a couple weeks. I've been wanting to run it since it started a few years back, but haven't made it yet. Still on the list. Enough about me...your summer beat the heck out of mine!


    1. I couldn't get over how nice everyone was, Andi! We kept thinking we were in a Twilight Zone episode and the zombies were luring us into a false sense of security so they could eat our brains. Instead, we went to Bien Trucha's, the restaurant at the Spa, and some awesome breakfast place. Gained 6 pounds in 2 days. LOVE LOVE LOVE Geneva.

  10. LOVE the note from your hubby. So sweet, I assume you'll save that forever. Cutest thing, like high school and everything. :-)

  11. Love all the pics! It seems like a fantastic summer. You look so pretty in your new haircut. Julianne rocks!

    And I think I giggled like a little girl when I read the note from your husband. That is the cutest, sweetest thing. I especially loved the box at the bottom :)

  12. I may or may not have successfully posted a previous comment on this post--if I did, I used "it's" instead of "its" and IT'S going to drive me crazy all day. I tried to catch it, but I think I failed.

    Now that you know far more about my mental health than I ever intended to reveal, I hope you have a wonderful day. Thanks for sharing the pics of your summer! :)