Sunday, February 7, 2016



I absolutely want to start out by thanking everyone for the wonderful birthday wishes.  You are all such good friends.  It definitely makes getting older much sweeter!  After celebrating the night before, I met with my friend/partner in crime/fellow grandmother to Elsie, Peggy, the next morning for a trip to a second hand bookstore that we both love.  Nothing like being friends with another reader.  After a lot of browsing and some purchases we headed off to a little cafe near the Metra station to downtown Chicago.  Just a small place but it has the most delicious soups, salads and burgers.  Since it was my BIG day I indulged in a hamburger (ask The Husband, other than the very occasional Quarter Pounders when we are on the road and desperate, he's never seen me order a burger at a restaurant nor do I make them at home).  This one was special...sautéed spinach on a 1/2 pound Angus burger with feta cheese and grilled red onion.  That's all I needed besides my Diet Pepsi, no fries or chips, it was plenty.  I stopped at the grocery on the way home and picked up a container of chicken that's made up fresh everyday and a container of broccoli cheddar soup-- this was our simple no fuss dinner.  Great day. :)

Elsie's first birthday party was coming up on Saturday and although I had contributed a bit by getting the paper items like plates, cups and napkin, at the last minute I wanted to do more.  The party was being held at the home of my son and daughter in law, Jeff and Deirdre.  They have a ton of space.  One day I'll give you a tour.  So I had a few last minute ideas and made the mason jars filled with candy (see above) the day before.  Even more last minute I decided to make some cookies for the kiddies to snack on before cake was served but when I found some cute little glassine bags, I made little favors with them.  I think poor Elsie is in for a heart shaped/borderline Valentines Day theme for many birthdays to come. ;-)

Emily texted me pictures as they set up.  She and Mary Clare are very creative and have so much energy.  I have a fear of standing on chairs after my near fatal fall in June (ha ha ha!), so it was so neat seeing all of the decorations hanging everywhere.  Can you believe you are looking at simply the foyer?  Behind is the open living room, kitchen and dining area.  His home is unbelievable.  

The hearth was decorated with cute pictures of Elsie on doilies as well as a framed pictures for each of her 12 months in our lives.  I can't remember how it was before her!

Beautiful cake and I love how you can now get the separate one for the birthday girl/boy.  That's simply the sweetest part, watching them dip their chubby little fingers into the first really sweet treat they've ever had.  Isn't that cake precious?  Peggy contributed this.  

Here are the proud parents and grandparents around our girl...

...and another I just saw in one of our shared family albums on my phone, a great picture of my kids and their loves.  Clockwise:  Elsie, Abby., Mary Clare, Kevin, Mike, Emily, Tom, Jeff & Deirdre. 

Finally a picture of me and our birthday girl.  I posted this on FB and IG so if you are tired of seeing it, apologies.  Neither of us will ever be this young!  We really had a great time.  Friends, family...this little girl has a lot of love all around her.  Again, it's hard to imagine life before her and it make me look forward to our family expanding even more, soon I hope!!! ;-)

We had a quiet day today.  Abby was here for the party and left to go home and then The Husband and I slipped out for dinner.  We've been doing that quite a bit I think recently in spite of my claims to the contrary in my last post (!!!).  I just know that we never have much time together during the week.  He works long days and I really like to create good meals for us in the evening.  He likes to read in bed and go to sleep early and I like to stay up until at least after the 10:00 news.  But I really need some getting out and with temps consistently in the 30's of late, I'm feeling a little housebound.  

We are working on our 2016 Travels (I feel really important wording it that way as we usually don't go far or long).  I am really excited about trip to Vancouver in April, The Husband is receiving an award for a paper he wrote with a doctor/colleague and it's very exciting, I'm so proud.  We are pencilling in a lot of sightseeing.  Stay tuned.  We hope to get to our place in Asheville in June and I need to map out a fun route to take in some new states/cities/towns/ to see along the way.  The lakehouse will fill our weekends soon and then we will take our usual 2 weeks stay in August which I know will be very busy.  Hopefully we can get away to some of the  Lake Michigan shore towns for some change of scenery.  Yet, the lakehouse will be perfect enough.  I sometimes wonder how Milo and Layla will feel to be back inside and out.  Work has been going on for over 8 weeks now and is moving along quickly.  In my next post I'll share some of the things I've picked out for the new kitchen, bath and loft area.  

Thanks for taking the time to read this post (if you are still here with me).  I may have been long winded about the party but if you know me well, then you know that family is something I hold very close to my heart.  I'm fortunate to have a big one but no matter the size, we all have a lot to be grateful and perfect moments spent together.  :)

See you soon!

Jane x


Val said...

What darling pictures! Happy birthday to you both. 'So glad you got everyone together. ♥

Sarah said...

Elise is such a cutie! I love the photo of you holding her. You should frame that one.
Happy, Happy to you, Jane! Keep celebrating. It's your birthday month!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Family celebrations are the best and give us memories that we treasure.

Sonia said...

OH what a beautiful child! Congrats on all the birthday celebrations!

KUNIs little white castle said...

Happy birthday little girl! She looks sweet like sugar and chocolate!

Mary said...

What a fun time in celebration of Elsie's birthday - and you too dear!
Great you're going to Vancouver - if it's your first time you will be spellbound. It's an amazing city, one of our most favorites in the world!
Looks like we may miss Asheville with you, boo hoo! We'll be crossing the pond in June so won't be traveling here at home that month. Always love seeing you - there will have to be another time in the not too distant future.
Love and hugs XOXO

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Jane both Birthday girls eyes are all aglow in the darling photo of you holding Elsie. Love that you share photos of your family and celebrations. Have a fun filled week ahead.

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Oh Jane, I have been so far behind in reading my Blogs. So tonight i have been catching up on the posts that I have missed. I just don't know where my time has gone this year. January just flew by and now here we are into February. I did have problems with both of my computers, but they are fine now.

Loved all the posts and I so enjoyed catching up on all your activities.
First let me wish you a Happy Belated Birthday. Love loved all the pictures of the Birthday Party. She is such a beautiful little girl and I loved the picture of you and Emily together. Great decorations for the party and I liked the candy in the jars. Looked good.

Your vacations plans sound wonderful and so much fun. I am looking forward to seeing pictures of how the Lake House is progressing. I know that you are looking forward to having everything finished so you can have great weekends there.

We had a temperature of 90 today and I was freezing. The Doctor gave me a Steroid shot on Thursday and then pills so take for 6 days and they really made me sick. Still feel a little under the weather, but I was freezing. We are going to have hot weather for the rest of the week. I would sure like to know what the hell happened to El Nino. Everyone got everything battened down to get ready for the rain. I think they really missed the mark on this one.

So glad that you have not had the winter that you did last year. Being cold isn't to bad, but all that snow WOW.

Well my Sleepy Time tea is making me sleepy, so will say good night and wishing you a wonderful week ahead.


I have been reading a lot of books also, so I know how much you enjoy.

KATHY said...

What beautiful photos! Happy Birthday to both of you!!


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Silvana Joanne said...

I really enjoyed this post Jane. What beautiful decorations for the birthday party... you can never have too many pink hearts! That's what I think any ways :-)That picture of you and Elsie is a great one. One to put in frame for sure! Happy birthday to your little grandaughter. She is a true beauty!!

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Gosh, it's hard to believe she is one already.

Stacey said...

Oh my goodness, this is all so adorable! I love the picture of you and Elsie. ♥

So many cute details for the birthday party. She's a loved little girl. :)

Courtney@Golden Boys and Me said...

Hi Jane. I loved seeing the birthday pictures, especially the one of you and your granddaughter. It looks like Elsie had a very special first birthday. I wish I could go book shopping with you! :)

Theresa said...

Sweet little ONE year old and I LOVE the picture of the two of you:) We are on the road a lot this time of the year and always grabbing food here and there! Some restaurants are memorable and some not so much:) I love a good hamburger once in a while:) Have a blessed and beautiful week ahead! HUGS!

Shelia said...

Hi Janie! Wow, what a celebration for little adorable Elsie!I'm sure she had a great time too. I would love a tour of that house - just the foyer? Have a great week.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Rita C. said...

Good golly, Jane, how did I miss your birthday and last couple posts, I don't know, but it won't happen again! I thought I fixed that once before, but I am signed up for email notifications now. The snowstorm may have blinded my vision for a week or two, maybe.
Happy Birthday to You! Really, everyday is a new gift, right? And Life is Good, from what I'm reading of and Elsie are simply beautiful (HB to her too!), and your plans for 2016 (including the lake house) look full of dreams yet to come true.
I've not heard of Gladys Taber, but she sounds like a trailblazer of what eventually became blogs! It'll be interesting to hear your final review after finishing the book you chose.
My wish for your birthday is a year of good health and good times!

Bluebird49 said...

Oh, my friend! You have such a busy life, and such a beautiful family---and especially you! Having your family around you makes you positively radiant, and what a lovely, big family it is. I'm certainly glad you had someone else with the camera, because we get to see a few pictures of YOU!

I hadn't heard about the paper you husband co-wrote with a colleague. I hope you can tell me little more about that sometimes. It's simply wonderful, and I'm sure you're very proud. (Two writers in the family, huh.) Sounds like you've a busy year planned, and as though I'll have to "catch you on the fly!" That'll be fun now that I can!

I didn't think you talked too much about our one-year-old beauty in the least. (Every grandmother knows there's no such thing as too much talk nor too many pictures of "our own grands"! Lol!) It's just hard to believe she's a year old.

I hope we'll be 'talking' much more. It means so much that you're such a real and caring person that you could tell I was getting much too far into "my shell", and you put your hand out to help me venture out. I've done that for others at times, and so, I know how much it meant to them. I've been told it was "better and cheaper than therapy." And, yew---it truly is. (I know people say it's "cheaper", but actually, it's so much more valuable that using the word "cheaper" in this case, really "cheapens" the word friendship so terribly. There's no price one can put on good friends and loving family. And you cannot choose your family.....

Have a restful, happy week 'across the way', my friend. Take care of your wrist---and oh, I wish we could get a tour of Jeff's home!
xxx Trudy

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

First of all, I hope you had a wonderful birthday, Jane! I love the beautiful photo of you and Elsie! She is adorable and her party looks like fun...time really does year old already!

Susie said...

Blondie, OMG what a bunch of beautiful people. Especially that little grand doll of yours. I love the decorations for the party too. I loved Elsie's cute outfit too. Blessings to all of you, xoxo,Susie

podso said...

The party looks wonderful and I can't believe Elsie is one already!

It's me said...

Owwww what a sweetie.....congratulations Ria x ❤️❤️❤️

White Lace and Promises said...

What a great idea for a party. Love the banner of hearts and all the decor but especially love that little cutie!

Kathy Moreland said...

Lovely photos! Fun times with family, nothing like it. Happy belated birthday to you and Elsie. Can't wait to see your items for the lake house. Looking forward to hearing about more fun times there. Take care, friend!

Kathleen George said...

Family celebrations all around! 1st Birthdays are always a milestone and what a cutie the Birthday girl is:) and the older one too;)
How exciting for your husband and his friend! Vancouver is a beautiful place to live and visit.
Happy days ahead! Kathleen in Az

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

That sweet birthday girl looks so cute. The entire family must have really enjoyed celebrating her first birthday.

Primitive Stars said...

How adorable is Elsie, so so cute. Beautiful family pictures, so special. Those heart cookies looked so yummy, blessings Francine.

Dewena said...

I love the picture of you and Elsie together! That pink stripped top with the pink tutu is adorable on her and you can already tell that she's going to love fashion. I loved seeing part of their house and yes, please more photos. It's wonderful that both you grannies enjoy little excursions around town together and have even more things in common than an adorable granddaughter!

Vee said...

What an adorable little grand to celebrate! February birthdays are great.

Kim said...

Happy Birthday, Elsie! It looks like a wonderful day filled with family and fun times.

Debby said...

The first grandchild is always so special. Not that the others aren't. She is adorable. I like the picture of the grands and parents. She looks like she would just rather eat that cake. Do they have marble floors. Beautiful.
I can't wait to see the cottage when you are finished.

Beth said...

Hi Jane, Little Elsie is absolutely adorable! I love the mantel and hearth decor - it's creative and simply perfection! I enjoyed seeing the family pics and especially love the one of you holding Elsie. Stunning!

Doreen@househoneys said...

I hope you're not getting tired of hearing how adorable Elsie is, because oh my goodness, she's beyond precious! You know what? She looks a lot like you Jane. Do you get told that a lot?

Did Peggy make the cake or buy it? It is amazing!

I think you're going to have a busy summer! You need to give me some tips on Michigan. I'm considering planning an RV trip there late summer.


Carla from The River said...

Hi Jane,
Wow, Elsie is one year old already! She is so sweet. I love the cake too.
I am so excited to hear about your trip to Vancouver. My husband and I are starting to plan our 20th Wedding Anniversary. We have a few Canadian cities picked out and have to narrow it down. ;-)
Enjoy your week,

Kathleen Grace said...

Those little gold shoes and pink tutu! Elsie is so adorable and her party is beautiful. Congrats to the husband on the award he won. You must be so proud of him :)

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

What a precious birthday girl! Looks like she had a wonderful time! I'm looking forward to seeing pics of the lake house! Congrats to your hubby on his award!

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Hi Jane, Happy Birthday to that sweet little girl! Didn't the year go quickly? Think ahead to 22 years as they go by that fast. I know!! Congratulations to hubby on his award and can't wait until you show what you have got going for the lake house. What a dream come true..Happy Week to you..Judy

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Happy Birthday Sweet Little One!
Joyful, joyful is what these darling grandbabies bring to our lives!
Blessings beyond our wildest dreams and fill our hearts with hope and gladness.
We just celebrated our three year old's Birthday as well (photos and post tomorrow)
Glad you are feeling well and that the lakehouse is coming along nicely.


chateau chic said...

Jane, you have a lovely family and that little birthday girl is so so precious!! She is definitely blessed to have such a loving family around her. Loved seeing all the family photos...never get tired of that!
Mary Alice

Mereknits said...

The photos of your beautiful family celebrating that darling little one are so wonderful. You are right you both won't ever be this young again! Isn't she lucky to have all of you. All of your plans are sounding wonderful. I would love to explore Vancouver.
Hugs to you,

Melanie said...

Hard to believe your adorable granddaughter is one year old already! That first year sure flew by quickly. I'm sure her party was a whirlwind of excitement. Those heart cookies you made are so pretty!

Carol said...

Oh my goodness, Jane, little Elsie is so adorable. Soak up as much of that sweetness as you can, because they grow up way too fast!

Warm hugs,

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Your little grand is just precious. You two came close to sharing birth dates! Looks like little Elsie had a fabulous birthday party. Wonderful photos of the birthday girl and all the family!

June said...

I can't believe how darling the photo of you and Elsie is Jane!!! This is just precious! I loved the photos of her party! It was so much fun to see all the wonderful decorations and all the family there. She surely does have a lot of love around her my dear. You are all such a wonderful family who loves spending time together. I just admire you so much.
The trip sounds awesome and I am happy for your husband's accomplishment and I already knew how proud you would be before you wrote it :)
sending hugs your way....

I finally posted about me winning your giveaway. It took me long enough :(

Cyra said...

Happy Birthday !!

Heather Lindstrom said...

Absolutely darling!! What a sweet photo of you and your little grand. She obviously has your sparkle, Jane. Happy belated bday...we've had lots going on around our house with Scott's injury so I'm a bit behind. Congrats to your sweet hubby and enjoy your travels!
xx, Heather

Lulu said...

It seems only yesterday Elsie was welcomed into your family and here she is celebrating her first birthday. Makes you aware of how fast time flies. As you celebrated your own birthday, I'm betting it was with gratitude for the fullness of your life.

deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

Actually it's too short, ha ha ! I was hoping for a nice long newsy post while I ate my lunch and you did not disappoint! It seems like only a while ago that you found out that you'd be a grandmother and here she is a year old....and such a little cutie pie! :)

Scribbler said...

The baby is such a little doll! What a lucky little girl to have so many people who adore here, and what a lucky woman you are, too, to have all these wonderful people in your life. I hope you have a fabulous year!

Marisa M said...

nice blog :-)
following each other via gfc ?
have a nice weekend,=)

JP A Quiet Corner said...

All I can say is..."Oh Jane!!! She is gorgeous."...:)JP

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