New Years Eve 2014/2015
I love doing A Year In Review, I think I've done a few over the past few years and they're always fun to reread. Whether you use your blog to document moments or crafts or projects, how nice is it to have a little wrap up of what you accomplished in a year? If you are a treasured friend to my blog or just visiting for the first time to listen to my normal drivel, this is a post for you. In any event, I love writing and I hope you enjoy seeing something new or just having your memory jogged.
The Husband and I usually have a really quiet New Year's Eve. We've been known to go to bed before midnight only to wake up to neighborhood fireworks and even the clanging of pots and pans from porches (yes, we also did that when our kids were young, too---they loved their part in the celebrations!).
For a bit of fun, I make a little spread, usually the standard cheese and crackers left over from Christmas and a few dips and spreads. Last year I embellished our cheese board with cookie cutter cut cheese slices. Sort of festive, don't you think? Just today I invited the kids to pop over early if they were or weren't going out on the town, perhaps to get together early. Today I made a wonderful Asiago and White Bean Dip that you can find later in this post, lobster cakes, and I have various cheeses and fruit along with some extra bubbly from Christmas. Happy, Happy New Year from all of us here!
January--A Baby Shower
January marked the first of many celebrations with a baby shower for daughter in law, Mary Clare. Emily and I did our best to make it an occasion for her to remember. We do have catering for so many of our parties especially with restaurants on every corner. For this we worked our little bums off making homemade sandwiches, spreads, various trays of savory bites and delicious sweet treats. Some family members contributed to the menu as well. Here is a photo of some of our spread. I made a variety of small finger sandwiches, it was time consuming but fun and I learned a lot, especially about presentation. We saved tons of money by purchasing items from The Dollar Store of all places, like these faux silver trays, which I washed up and saved, as well as cute little signs we picked up at Michael's to write the names of the different foods on. I think we pulled off a successful party.
Katie, Mary Clare, Nora and Mother Peggy...a beautiful family!
A much awaited birth
And then Elsie Jane arrived February 10, 2015. Is she not the most beautiful baby? Love, love, love.
February, Downtown Chicago
My own birthday is February 3. Figures I'd be born in the most miserable month of the year. Want to hear something crazy? There are six girls (siblings) in my family. Two of us were born in February, two in August and two in October. My parents couldn't have planned that if they wanted!
I like to spend my birthday in downtown (Chicago). I love the Knickerbocker Hotel, we've been longtime guests, in fact my 40th birthday party was a surprise there. Last year we had my birthday lunch at Ralph Lauren's restaurant, 4:00 tea at the Drake Hotel and a light dinner at our hotel. We took a walk across the street at the start of a huge snowstorm (another perk of a February birthday) for cocktails, again at the Drake Hotel. My kind of celebration!
Disaster at the lakehouse
Havoc ensued the first week of March. A neighbor who keeps an eye on our lakehouse in Michigan called us one morning to tell us to get there quickly, a major disaster had occurred. We arrived to
find out that a pipe in the wall of the upstairs bathroom had broken and that water had gushed for approximately three weeks. You can only imagine the devastation we found. The above pictures are of the hardwood floors we had just laid a few years ago.
The cabinets in the laundry/mud room completely fell off the walls. Floors buckled and drywall was soaked. Within days of the insurance company stepping in, walls were stripped down to studs as the house was dried out by industrial size fans and mold treatments were applied. Every piece of furniture and decorative piece in our house was taken away in a moving van---not sure where.
So here we are in late December. After a lot of negotiating with the insurance company, demolition has started. We missed a whole year at our place and the work is not expected to be finished for 6 months. Very sad but I have to keep a perspective. We were never without a place to live as some people are after a major flood or fire. We were quite happy to find that spending a summer here in the city after 25 years at the lake wasn't so bad after all. We kept quite busy. No boating or kayaking, no long days daydreaming on the dock or bonfires in the evening. But heck, we had a roof over our heads and in the long run, our lakehouse will be complete in a few months with nothing left to repair or redo for a very long time. :)
Spring arrived in April and my daffodil and tulip beds always makes me smile and think of new beginnings. Each year I add a few more bulbs...I love to get out into the fresh air but truth be told, April in Chicago can still be in the 40's. But we are a tough bunch!
By mid-May we are adding flowers here and there, I love my planter boxes. This year I went for a bit of the blowzy feel. So pretty.
I added a trellis to a brick wall along the back of my house and in spite of it being westward facing, my clematis grew beautifully. I was so happy to see it bloom from June until September. What a beauty!
It was a very sad and scary time when our Milo had a huge lump on his thigh diagnosed as a cancerous tumor. The surgery was 'iffy' and very expensive but we love him so. He made it through with flying colors and our veterinarian was very sure he got all of the tumor. Once thought to be a fatty tumor by another vet, please consider getting another opinion. Milo is doing fine but we keep a close eye on him. As far as the cone he wore for two weeks, my heart ached but he survived ! :)
Oh---and how can we forget klutzy old me. The last week of June I made the bad choice of climbing on a chair to turn off a ceiling fan. The chair was on a hardwood floor and it totally slipped out from under me. I tried to break the fall with my left arm. The next day The Husband took me to a small random clinic where after X-rays I was told I had a sprain. 10 days later and after cleaning, shopping and preparing for a 4th of July celebration for 30, I was still in miserable pain. I made an appointment with a specialist only to find I had fractured my arm in 3 places. Could you hear me cursing? This wrap came off and a cast went on. After three weeks I started physical therapy. 6 months later I still have a lot of pain, especially with movement around the wrist area. Once things calm down in a few weeks I may have it looked at again...just not sure it healed properly.
This is a gorgeous, healthy and delicious tomato salad. Below you can find some of my concocted recipes and links. It was a great year of making and sharing recipes. These are some of my best loved and Pinned dishes.
White Bean, Asiago and Onion Spread
Last but not least was Elsie's christening. Her gown was made with a piece of Mary Clare's wedding dress. Isn't it precious? It's hard to believe that little girl is now 10 months old. We had a wonderful Christmas with her and all of our family. I will share that in Part 2.
I want to wish everyone a wonderful, healthy and prosperous New Year. I simply love and appreciate all of you. There are times when I feel that my time and energy for blogging is waning and then I remind myself that writing is my true love and that knowing great souls like yourselves make it all worth it.
I'll be back next week with more from July to December. I hope you've enjoyed this post, especially so many new friends-and you know who you are. So many adventures ahead...so many great memories behind. And every day a new beginning.
Love to all and Happy New Year!