Year in Review

This is how my 2015 went…

January

In January I decided to start a blog.  I had no idea what I was doing.  Actually, I still don’t know what I’m doing… not much has changed there.

first blog postHere’s a screenshot of my first blog post ever.

February

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All I can remember about February is that we celebrated Valentines Day

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and Mark’s Birthday.

They didn't plow our street!

We also spent most of February shoveling snow.

March

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In March, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

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Played march Madness

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And almost blew up our house trying to install this light fixture.

April

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Lilly for Target happened on my Birthday!

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We enjoyed the nice weather.

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And began the never ending yard work.

May

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In May we kicked off baseball season.

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And continued to work on the yard.

June

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In June we celebrated Father’s Day.

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Went on a Fishing trip to Wisconsin.

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Where we fished.

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Toured the Leinenkugel’s factory.

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And ate ice cream.

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In June we also had the chance to finally enjoy all the hard work we put into the yard.

July

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In July I ran my 5th half marathon.

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Took selfies with Taylor.

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And watched the White Sox.

August

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August was the month we discovered night golf.

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We saw Australian Pink Floyd.

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And ended the month celebrating our second wedding anniversary.

September

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I’m pretty sure Mark would agree with me that September was our favorite month of 2015!

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This is when we became German.  Ahh…Oktoberfest!

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Berlin, you are amazing!IMG_8601

London, take me back!

October

We did lots of Fall activities in October.

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We went apple picking.

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Took a hay ride at my sisters engagement party.

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And took a quick trip to Orlando for work.

November

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In November I was lucky to have lots of lunches with this little one.

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And took a little road trip to St. Louis to cheer on the HawksIMG_0047

And the Bears.

December

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We decorated our house for Christmas.

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Pretended we were back in Munich at the Christkindlmarket.

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Celebrated the holidays with lots of parties.

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Kept up our annual tradition of dinner under the Christmas tree at the Walnut Room.

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And made it to a Bulls game!

Wow! What a busy year!  Can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for us!

Happy New Year!!

Life Lately

This is my life lately…

Mark is getting a mouth guard so he’s had quite a few dentist appointments in the city lately.

That means week night date night dinners!

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Last week we went to Greek Islands.  Doesn’t get much better than saganaki, calamari and gyro!

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Our basement has been flooding.  After living a full year in our house the basement decides to surprise us and start flooding all the time.

 

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The window well has been filling up like a fish tank and pouring into the basement.  I guess it’s a good thing we haven’t finished it yet.

Friday night we volunteered at the Meals on Wheels Chef Ball.  I don’t have any pictures because I didn’t have my phone with me (we were volunteering!), but this event was amazing!  There were tons of restaurants with taste portions of some of their signature dishes.  This was a lot of fun and even better we got to do it with our friends!

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Saturday morning we woke up and headed to St. Louis for the Hawks and Bears game, gotta love when two Chicago teams are playing in the same city the same weekend!

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Saturday night we watched the Hawks game at a bar.

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Then Sunday we tailgated

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Then went in the watch the Bears Game!

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Mark and I both took Monday off, we put away the patio furniture and got the outside of the house ready for winter.  After a quick trip to Home Depot we also THOUGHT we fixed the basement flooding problem… wrong, basement flooded again last night.

I’ll be mopping the concrete floor if you need me.

European Vacation Part 3 – London

Greetings from London!

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On to the last stop of our trip – London.

Our hotel was in the best location, we stayed in Trafalgar Square right behind The National Gallery –  We were right in the middle of everything!

The first day we got there we got something to eat then headed out to explore London.  DSC_0319

We checked out Trafalgar Square then walked over to Big Ben,

The House of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.

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Next we headed across the river to the London Eye!

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After taking in the amazing views from the London Eye we wandered back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.

For dinner, Fish and Chips!

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After dinner we wandered around Soho checking out Piccadilly Circus, Chinatown, Covent Garden and all the bars along the way.

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The next day we took a Hop-on, Hop-off double Decker bus tour.

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We saw St. Paul’s Cathedral (where Princess Diana’s wedding took place!), the Tower Bridge, Downing Street, the Horse Guards, Buckingham Palace,The Tower of London and much more.

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We stopped off at Buckingham Palace just in time to see the changing of the Guards!

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Then we took a tour of the tower of London (which wasn’t anything like I had expected, it’s amazing!).

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When we were heading back to our hotel that night we noticed they were setting up for an event in the square. It turned out that the NFL was in London that weekend, made Marks day!

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We finished off the night with some champagne and dessert at a fancy little tea place near our hotel.

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On our third and final full day of our trip we made our own adventure.  We headed to Kings Cross Station to check out Platform 9 3/4.

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The to St. John’s Wood to check out Abbey Road.

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And Charing Cross Road to see Diagon Alley and the Leaky Culdron.

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We stopped and toured The Churchill War Rooms.  clash-war-rooms-we_623

Then headed back to the hotel for a nap/snack and to get packed.

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That night we went to Harrods to do some shopping then to a cute little pub for dinner.

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This was a trip of a lifetime, not we need to start planning the next!

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European Vacation Part 2 – Berlin

            Berlin, Germany – My new favorite city in the world!

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Have you ever been to Berlin?  No?  Go!

After three full days exploring Munich and partying at Oktoberfest we were ready to move on to Berlin.  We checked into our hotel, got some lunch and set out to see Berlin.

First stop, boat tour.

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Just a couple of tourists.  

The next day we toured Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.  Sachsenhausen is about 30 minutes outside of Berlin in Oranienburg, Germany.  This concentration camp was used primarily for political prisoners.

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This was one of the most interesting, meaningful and physically and emotionally exhausting tours we took.  Although it wasn’t the most fun part of the trip it was really important to visit and something we’ll never forget.

That night we stumbled upon Berlin’s Oktoberfest celebration.  Oktoberfest in Berlin is just like it is at home, more of a street fest and noting like The Oktoberfest in Munich.

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Since we only had a few days in Berlin we decided to take a bike tour of the city.  This tour was really interesting and a lot of fun, we saw places like Brandenburg Gate, the site of the Book burning, Hitler’s Bunker, the Watch Tower, Check Point Charlie

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Reichstag,

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and the Berlin Wall.

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I think I drove Mark crazy with all the photos…

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That night we went to dinner at Prater Biergarten, Berlin’s oldest Beer Garden.  This was such a unique beer garden with tons of outdoor seating, authentic German food and even a playground for kids.

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From the second we got off the plane I fell in love with Berlin.  This city is so unique, friendly and historic.  Berlin, I’ll be back!

Friday Favorites

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Today I’m linking up for Friday Favorites, here are some of my favorites this week.

one

J. CREW FACTORY – PLAID POPOVER SHIRT IN FLANNEL

Factory plaid popover shirt in flannel

Mark was traveling for work last week so I took the opportunity to make a visit to the outlet mall. I got this plaid flannel shirt from J.Crew factory and I love it! I wore it with jeans and a gap puffy vest  to an outdoor engagement party on a farm and wore it with a skirt and a cartigan for work.

two

toms – Brown Leopard Classics

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I love me some Toms!  Sadly the pair I took to Europe didn’t survive Oktoberfest and my other pair should have been retired a long time ago, this forced me to finally order a new pair.  I went with these brown leopard classic, I can’t wait for them to arrive!

three

Zulily – deal site

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I shouldn’t have discovered this site, I find at least one thing that I just have to have in their daily emails.  This is a members only discount site for moms, babies and kids.  I’m not a mom baby or kid but I love this site!

four

Elin Hilderbrand books

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The past few weeks I have been obsessed with Elin Hildebrand’s books.  I read the Blue Bistro and got hooked!  After I finished the Blue Bistro I read The Island, which was fantastic – now I’m on the Beautiful Day and so far I’m loving it just as much as the others!

five

Fall – The season and Weather

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I love everything about fall.  I love the weather, the way the leaves change and how everything looks outside, the decorations, fall food, fall activites and the three fall holidays – Oktoberfest, Halloween and Thanksgiving!

Happy Fall Friday!

European Vacation Part 1

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Almost a year ago Mark and I decided we wanted to book a big vacation.  We both wanted to go to Munich for Oktoberfest so planned our vacation around that!

We started off in Munich for Oktoberfest then headed to Berlin and ended our trip in London.

First stop, Munich.

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Our flight left on Thursday evening, we tried our hardest to sleep on the plane so we wouldn’t be jet lagged when we arrived in Munich.  We got in at about 11am Munich time Friday morning.  We went straight to our hotel, took a quick shower and headed out to explore Munich.

We rented bikes and headed out to Nymphenburg Palace.

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Mark saw this sign and wanted his picture taken with it

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Then we followed the canals out to the Olympic Park

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Where we checked out all the Olympic sights.

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And the Olympic pool!

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Checked out the BMW Museum

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Then rode through the English Garden to the shops to get out Dirndl and Leaderhosen.

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That night we headed to a Beer Garden near the Oktoberfest grounds.  We had half chicken, beer and pretzels.

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The next day we did Oktoberfest.

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Ahhh, Oktoberfest, take me back!

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The tents were beautiful.

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The Beers were giant.

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And the people were so much fun!

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I’m so lucky that I got to experience this with my best friend!

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The next day we rented a car and headed about two hours outside of Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle (what the Disney castle is based off of!).

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We rented a brand new Mercedes, this car was intense! IMG_8394

The views from the castle were amazing!

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Then we headed back to Munich, returned the car and headed to Augustiner Keller Beer Garden for Dinner.

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Then we suited up and headed back to the fair grounds for our final night at Oktoberfest.

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Munich was amazing, now on to Berlin!

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Life Lately

Life Lately!

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Apple picking is one my favorite fall activities.  We went a few weeks ago on a perfect fall day.  We took a tractor ride out to the orchard, picked apples for about half an hour then headed back to pick out a pumpkin, have an apple doughnut and listen to some music.

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We had some friends over to watch the Bear game, I made mini apple pies from the apples we picked.

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My sister’s future in-laws threw her and her fiancé an engagement party on their farm.  There were fainting goats, horse rides and a hay ride – I haven’t ridden a horse is at least 15 years, it was completely terrifying and a lot of fun!

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I went to Orlando for a conference for work.  The hotel I stayed at had a great pool.

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Unfortunately I spent way more time at the conference than the pool.

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October in Orlando, pool and pumpkins.

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Halloween Breakfast, orange pancakes with halloween sprinkles!

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That’s my life lately, happy Tuesday!

Happy One Year House Anniversary to us!

Happy One Year House Anniversary to us!

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I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since we went from this…

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to this…

We got the keys!

and this…

Work in pregress Dirty Carpet :(

It was not an easy decision to leave our friends and the nightlife and being in the middle of everything in our apartment in the city.  In additional to that, the thought of actually purchasing a house was terrifying.  After all that saving to finally make a move and buy a house in a neighborhood that wasn’t familiar to either of us…  This was the biggest purchase we’ve ever made, we had no idea what to expect.

On that note, our first year in our house has been amazing!

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One year later I am happy to say this was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.  It has been so fun to make a home together.  We love our neighborhood, our town and our house.

This past year we’ve accomplished a lot:

We went from this…

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To this.

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We fixed a minor plumbing issue

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A few garage door issues

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And an electrical issue (that we accidentally caused).

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We did a little decorating

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A lot of yard work

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And got a few new “toys.”

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It’s been an amazing first year in our house, I can’t wait to see where the next year will take us!

Friday Favorites!

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After a few weeks off (to just sit back and enjoy the rest of the summer) I’m back to blogging!  Today I’ll be linking up for Friday Favorites.

  1. Night Golf – A couple of weeks ago Mark and I went night golfing.  Our tee time was for 9:30pm.  We packed up our clubs, threw a few beers in our bags and headed to the golf course.  We had no idea what to expect.

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Night golf exceeded our expectations!  We got glow necklaces and glow in the dark balls.  The whole golf course was lined with glow sticks and the flags were replaced with these really cool flashing flags (picture above).

2. Summer – Yard work is under control and the patio furniture has been purchased and built, now its time to enjoy!

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I love sitting out in our back yard, coming from the city it’s so so different.  There’s just so much grass and bunnies and squirrels and I love it!  We decided to buy this fir pit lounge set opposed to a typical patio table and chair and I think we made a great decision.  Its so nice to sit outside and read a book or have a glass of wine or have a bonfire and make a s’more!

3. Smoque BBQ – If your in Chicago this is a must try!

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They don’t just have amazing food (they give you two different BBQ sauces with your meat!) they are also BYOB!  I tried the Pulled Pork, Coleslaw (without mayonnaise!), cornbread and mac and cheese, it was all so so good!

4. Mini Golf – We had a pretty slow weekend last weekend so we decided to try out the mini golf course in our subdivision.  Mark and I are both very competitive so we decided to place a bet on the game.  I started out strong with a hole in one on the first hole – this really upped the ante.

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At the end of 18 holes I ended up losing by two strokes, stupid little houses with tiny doors!

Later that evening we were eating dinner and Mark asked if I wanted to play another round, double or nothing.  Clearly I accepted that challenge.

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This time we played a course we pass on the way to the gym everyday.  It was way more intense than our little neighborhood course.  Again, I lost by two strokes.  Yes, we played 36 holes of mini golf last Saturday and yes, I lost both times.

5. Northerly Island – Northerly Island has got to be my favorite concert venue in Chicago.  It’s right on the lake it has amazing views of the city and the water, it just doesn’t get much better than that.

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We went and saw Australian Pink Floyd (Mark’s a big Pink Floyd fan).  We bought tickets in the vip section that came with a parking pass.  Transportation was easy, our seats were fantastic and it was a beautiful night.

6. Mark – Yes, my husband is one of my Friday favorites!

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Mark has been traveling for work a lot lately.  I miss him so much when he’s gone.  We went on a bike ride the other day and stopped at the park on our way home.  The picture above is a selfie on the jungle-gym.

I just realized we do a lot of adult things, you know like mini golf and playing at the park….

Life Lately

Lately life has been a lot of fun.  I ran a half marathon, had floor seats to Taylor Swift and have been to quite a few White Sox games!

Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon

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  This year was my fifth time running the Chicago Rock n Roll half marathon.  Since our big move to the suburbs I have been spending a lot more time at the gym and working out.  I have been feeling really good and was excited for the race this year.

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In our corral getting ready to start.

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Pre race selfie.  “Why do we always do this to ourselves!?”

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Post race selfie.  “We survived!”

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Apparently the 5th times a charm.  I ran a personal best this year!

Now let’s talk about Taylor…

Taylor Swift’s 1989 Tour!

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We had pretty amazing seats for the Taylor Swift concert!

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You think you have the best tickets in the house (15th row floor seats!) and then the stage lifts up…

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and starts to rotate

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and all of a sudden Taylor Swift is on top of you!

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Selfies with Taylor

Such a fun concert!

Now it’s time for some Baseball!

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