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In all of the major events that happened in August (the addition of my first nephew, flying to Oklahoma with Canaan to meet this nephew, moving! from our apartment to Keystone) I forgot to write about the first fun event of September.  Two of my best girlfriends from college came for a short visit.     Amanda (2nd from the right), known as Commander by us, was visiting her home in Canada during a summer break from classes in Cambridge and decided to "swing by" Chicago. Jeanine (2nd from leftO...

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I've long been a cupcake fanatic.  I know it's uber-trendy, but I just don't care.  I've loved vanilla on vanilla since I was a little girl.  Something that comes in that flavor combination and is perfectly portioned and decadently decorated was made for me.  While nothing will ever beat a vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream, I'm game to try almost any combination (after all, you can always eat two, right?).  My friend Em shares my love of cupcakes (she goes for chocolate) but we have ...

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Labor Day weekend marked a change from the non-stop summer weather. Not that I'm complaining about the sunshine, but it was kind of nice to pull out a pair of jeans instead of the rotation of three shorts I wear as a full-time mom. Each weekend day Nate and I would remark that this was a "Quito" day because of the perfect temperatures with a slight breeze.     Labor Day 2010 was celebrated like many past, in the Keystone backyard with Eric & Em, Katie & Bill, and Beth & Charlie thi...

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Part of the cooking frenzy from a few weeks ago was due to the fact that my very first sister-in-law, Laura, is getting married!  I was happy to help her celebrate bachelorette style by making some appetizers for everyone to enjoy.  Laura has been a great sister and I wouldn't miss being able to support her in this way.  And now in just about a week we'll have a new marriage and a new addition to the family in Garenne.       Some of the fun! Gorgonzola, pear, and apricot tarts, brie and ra...

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10 years!  It's been 10 years since Nate & I left Ecuador, 10 years since we graduated from high school.  That meant that this summer was reunion time.  Our class reunion was in Costa Mesa, California where the reunion planner lives.  People flew from all over the US, including Maine, Texas, Colorado, etc.  We had people come down from Canada and up from Ecuador for the event.  Just over half of our class was able to make it.  And wish us we brought new spouses and a pile of kids.   ...

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This weekend we did a very mini-getaway to Lake Geneva with Eric and Em.  We really like going out of town with them, getting to do something different, and having quality time together, but it's hard to come by with 4 schedules to coordinate and one 3-year-old to find care for.  But we were determined to make it happen one last time before that number turns into one 3-year-old and 2 newborns between the four of us.   It wasn't a well-planned trip, as I've noticed my decision-making skills an...

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Labor Day weekend was pretty perfect, as far as weekends go. An extra day to get all of the errands and house stuff done. The perfect balance between time spent with friends each day and time to lounge at the house working on projects. The farmer’s market, bocce ball, appetizers with friends, a Labor Day cookout with some delicious food. I made pumpkin crème sandwiches and pumpkin cinnamon rolls just because I could. There is something really satisfying about getting your hands into a yeast...

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This Saturday I finally checked out the Lincoln Park Farmer's Market with my friend Stephanie.  I've been wanting to try it for years, but then always end up at the Oak Park Farmer's Market instead.  Big mistake.  I loved the LP one, despite the fact that it did not carry the same disastrously delicious homemade doughnuts that the OP one does.   We got there in time to see a chef's demo, which they do every Wednesday and Saturday throughout the season.  We watched a well-known Chicago cater...

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I had a really refreshing Sunday morning.  We had a guest speaker from one of the other New Life locations who gave the most motivating and personally convicting message I’ve heard in a long time.  Possibly one of the most refreshing aspects of his talk?  He brought with him a non-Christian friend to speak.  It truly made me wonder why we don’t invite that perspective up front more often.   He interviewed this friend about his background with religion and Christianity and why that l...

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This weekend we helped celebrate my friend Mel’s birthday by heading out to the world’s largest corn maze. Only in the Midwest do we pay to go lose ourselves in a giant field of corn. Besides the maze, this farm boasted a 50 foot slide and a 700 foot zipline that some of our group tried out. Me? I was pretty exited to feed the goats! It was a little anti-climactic when they gobbled half of what was in my hand and pushed the other half onto the ground within ten seconds. We had a nice bonfire...

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