Monday, March 27, 2017

Photo Recap - Fall

In all my twenty-five years, I don't think I've been so excited for the temps to drop. Even though summer was pretty great, I'm always giddy at that first hint of cool air. So much good stuff happens during the fall season! There's so much pent up excitement about upcoming holidays and seasonal activities. My crazy little heart could burst. 

This year I had my eye permanently glued to the newsletter the county that Sammy's department is in emails every week. The towns throughout the county have so many adorable fall/winter events, and since I can't relax about anything, I insisted I took part in as many as possible. Meaning... I dragged anyone who would come with. 



My company kicked off Labor Day weekend with a company outing to play bocce ball where my team took first place and I've never been more proud of anything I've done in my entire life. I also let my coworker's (most adorable and hilarious) child hold my trophy for four seconds before I demanded I have it back.


Did some seasonal Target runs which are the best kind of Target runs, obviously. I think it's clear what I "went as" for Halloween. I think it's also clear that I insisted on making purchases that would only prove to embarrass our dog in the name of Halloween. Also, I was convinced that if I didn't buy these things in September, they would be "snatched up" by October. This is who I am. 

I took a day trip with my mom, Sammy's mom and sister-in-law to an orchard for an early apple picking session.


I was honored to be asked to be a bridesmaid in another summer wedding! This would be the beginning of many a shower/wedding/event that are now lined up every weekend from late March until the end of July. SO much to celebrate. 


Sammy and I went with my family to the Taste of Melrose which is our favorite Italian festival in the Chicagoland area. My Dad and I especially look forward to it every year. It's changed a little in recent years, but I still get that nostalgic, old-school Italian vibe whenever I'm there and I love it.


I got my Scudiero's and some sfingi, so I was a happy girl. If you live in the Chicagoland area and haven't been to Scudiero's, you have no idea how much you're missing out on. Unbelievable food and the family that owns the restaurant (for over 60 years!) couldn't be nicer. All firemen and cops (they run the restaurant on their off shifts), so right up our alley ;)


I went with Chelsie to check on her beautiful wedding dress and we picked out our bridesmaid dresses! I'm in love with them.

We left the windows opened a lot.


My mom and I went to the Johnny Appleseed festival in Crystal Lake which sounds extraordinarily nerdy but it was actually really cute and festive. There were food trucks and farmer's market buys and we stopped into a few stores in their downtown. A girl's night sushi date followed.

Sammy and I took many walks to our elementary school. Sometimes we took the dogs who walked passive aggressively next to one another.

At the end of September I went to Ravinia to hear one of my Queens speak. The Chicago Botanic Garden has a lecture series throughout the year and when I saw Cheryl Strayed would be one of them, I bought tickets immediately and took myself on a date night. I stayed after to have her sign my book, and as you can see, I died. She was amazing to listen to in person and I'm so glad I went alone and got to experience it that way.

I got to with Chelsie and Dan to the tasting at their venue and I took photos obsessively. Chelsie has included me in every step of the wedding planning process and I'm always so grateful. It's been so fun/crazy/surreal to watch her plan everything.


This October marked our first holiday season in our new space, so naturally I insisted on showing my coworkers how nuts I get about decorating for holidays. 


Luckily I sit near a coworker (and now best friend because I am constantly blessed with amazing people coming into my life) who is as obsessed with holidays as me, so our whole row of cubes looks like each holiday as thrown up on it.

Sammy and I visited our old high school because we have nothing better to do than walk around where we aren't supposed to and find our old lockers (JK, we were there watching his cousins volleyball game, not that it makes this less embarrassing). Sammy and I are the most nostalgic people of all time, so this walking down memory lane is our shit so to speak. Also, why does he look cute in sweat pants? Like. Who. And why.

There were many beers had (and drunkly taken photos of said beer) in October as we rooted for our Cubbies make their way to the World Series!


There was hammocking and couch snuggles.

Sammy's brother and sister-in-law, along with my favorite cousin and her husband, announced their pregnancies this fall and I couldn't be more thrilled for these babes to make their arrival (due one week apart!) this June. I can't believe I'm going to be an aunt. Crazy town.

Because I just can't give it up (and I work for an amazing company that extends the coolest opportunities to me), I started the process of obtaining the editing certificate from the University of Chicago. The first class was a condensed 3-day class and I really enjoyed being back in a classroom setting. I had missed it after only a few months. I also promptly purchased a University of Chicago shirt so people would think I'm much smarter than I am.


Chelsie and Dan received their nutso-gorgeous engagement photos. Is she stunning or what? Yours truly wrote the date on that pumpkin. Thank you.


Sammy and I went to an event called Autumn Drive in Woodstock where you drive to participating residences, farms, or businesses all within reasonable distance from one another where they're selling various items like crafty stuff, homemade treats, and/or antique/flea market finds. They do this event every year and I enjoyed it! Some stops were misses, but I like to browse at events like this so I didn't mind.

Afterward, we met his brother and sister-in-law for some apple picking at a nearby orchard. Best apples of the season, for sure.

I took some instagram-y photos because fall is arguably the best season to do so.

Oh look! More photos of beer I took while slightly tipsy! Also! The Cubs made it to the World Series! And I may have absolutely cried about it. My girlfriends and I went downtown to watch the determining game and it was so much fun to be down there while the energy in the city was palpable. Plus being with my girlfriends made it that much better. 

We had our annual carving date. And so begins our "tradition" dates. They start in October and into December. I'm hoping to get more for each season instead of ones that only happen during the big holiday season. They are some of my favorite days out of the year.


So this happened. Poor guy
Since I'm half Italian and German (among a few other things), I pretend Benny is too. 


We headed back downtown for one of the World Series games which ended up being the most discouraging game of the entire series. Obviously it didn't matter though ;) 
And Sammy, a (hopefully former) White Sox fan, wore a Cubs jersey, so I was thrilled.

My favorite coworker and I read some of our Halloween titles at the Crystal Lake Barnes and Noble at the end of October. We were stupidly nervous to read to six-year-olds, but I think we rocked it. 

My department decided we would all dress as famous authors dressed as pirates for our company Halloween party. I went as Ernest Hemingway whom I have a deep love and semi disgust for. I also realized, I dress like Ernest Hemingway on the daily. Also, I did not bring the Black Label. #DidItForTheInstagram


My boss (and former boss when I was the intern in another department) organized the cutest party ever.


We did played monster bowling, guessed candy corns, and played pin the eyeball on the zombie which are illustrations from books we've published.

And as usual, I force ask Sammy nicely to participate in an unnecessary amount of festiveness for two adults who don't have children yet. I made jack-o-lantern stuffed peppers in an attempt to be healthy and the stuffing kind of exploded out of the eyes and mouth cut outs which has to be the universe saying "who do you think you are? stick to what you know: carbs and candy". We also watched Willy Wonka (candy=Halloween movie) and Hocus Pocus because Gene Wilder is a genius and we're kind of really into Willy Wonka and because I hadn't seen Hocus Pocus since elementary school (I know, I know) and wasn't remembering what all the hype was about. And then I remembered SJP was in it, and I didn't even care anymore. #ForeverQueen



I celebrated my birthday the next day with some pup snuggles and new cookbook reading in bed. 


My Dad, brother, and Sammy took me to Freddy's which is my favorite restaurant of all time. If you ever find yourself in Cicero, or actually just make a trip over there, seriously, please go. You will never be disappointed. I want to get engaged there and then have them cater my wedding. That's how much I love it.


And because I got my "can't relax" personality from my Dad, he found two other places in the area to go to and get snacks from. Love that guy.


I celebrated later that night with the rest of my family by cooking my own birthday dinner which such a "classic me" thing to do. What's more control freak than needing to cook your own birthday dinner? As I say, I'm a lot of fun ;) We had two kinds of chili, spaetzl or elbow noodles, and a plethora of toppings for both the chili and baked potatoes. Also corn bread because corn bread. 


Swapped out the Halloween decor at work for some Thanksgiving inspired decor. All thanks to the blessed $1 section at Target.


And a few days later, I got the best birthday present of all time. Which I definitely cried about.


Later in November, we celebrated one of my cousins at her baby shower. Her husband is from Peru, so it was a Peruvian themed shower. The little details were really sweet. 

And I got to see my favorite doll.

I was beyond, beyond thrilled to vote for a woman on November 8th. And I can't wait to vote for Senator Warren in 2020 and watch her become Madam President.

We welcomed another season of books into our office! I was most excited about this season because it was the first time I had my hands in and on all the titles on the list. Such an honor to make books that end up in the hands of children. I can't believe I get to do what I do.

Right before Thanksgiving, we had a send-off party for my cousin who has joined the Navy. She's 18, finished basic training already, and is now studying to be a Naval nurse. She's my hero. (She's in the back next to my Dad with the little top knot.)

My dad found his new favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant.

I attended my cousin's annual Pumpkin Party which includes a candle swap and many, many pumpkin flavored treats.

Did some Black Wednesday partying with these guys.

Thanksgiving 2016 at my grandma's :)


My girlfriends and I had our annual Friendsgiving the following weekend <3

Best looking dish if I ever saw one. 

Well Fall, you were a good one. I have a feeling they're going to get better and better. 

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