Monthly Archives: April 2011

Enough Of Her Wedding, Let Me Tell You About Mine…

All week we’ve been inundated with details of today’s nuptials between Prince William and Kate Middleton. Well I married a prince of my own on Aug. 10, 2002. Click here for our story.

If you’re thirsty for even more wedded bliss, here’s our website.

Tosca Reno’s Turkey Meatballs

I’m not much of a meatball girl, but these are yummy. Also it was a lot of fun to make them with Logan. The side dishes are broccoli and quinoa mixed with onions and orange bell peppers.

Turkey Meatballs
The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground turkey or chicken
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 T. fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 T. fresh basil, finely chopped
2 T. fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, place egg and breadcrumbs or oat bran.  Add spices and mix well.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Using an ice cream scoop make meatballs and place on prepared cookie sheet.  Place in hot oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

Wordless Wednesdays: Make Me Wanna Holler

My boys are like their mama. They have very clear ideas on what they do and do not like.

Logan at 2 1/2 months old and not too happy with his Halloween outfit.

Ethan at 3 months old, equally pissed at Mom.

Finding My Way Out Of A Funk

For days, I had been in a bit of a funk and what annoyed me is that I really couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I’m sure you’ve been there before too.

It led me to do some navel gazing. Running down the list of obvious reasons for happiness: My health? Check. Healthy kids? Check. Good husband. Check. Financial Stability? Check. Great Friends? Check.

Not to mention I’m on a glorious maternity leave that feels like a very long vacation. Well then, what the truck is wrong with me?

Who knows. The funk seeped in last Sunday, I thought a good night’s sleep was in order. Come Monday, my attitude still stunk and I felt like Eeyore. I was growing perturbed because before when I’d get in a funk, it was largely work-related stress, that was understandable. This time I had nothing to really pin it on. … Well that was something else. I set out to battle my blues.

I tried to find a drinking buddy for Tuesday night, nothing like a little girly time to bring on the sunshine. Then I decided I was long overdue for crossing items off my Chicago bucket list. I chose to hit up the Garfield Park Conservatory and emailed many of my mommyfriends to see if anyone wanted to come along.

First, my hopes for a date with my gal pal fell through and then the monsoon season struck the Chicago area that night. I considered staying in, but thought no, I need this Me Time. I’ll feel more like Me once I get to spend time with Me.

I swung by the store to pick up the latest Vogue, sloshed into a Latin-fusion restaurant and enjoyed my table for one.

At the Garfield Park Conservatory.

None of my mommyfriends were up for making the trip to the city on such short notice to visit the conservatory, so Ethan and I headed down alone. It was great to take my time and absorb the only place in Chicago where Spring existed.

Also I simply love being in the city. It’s got a steady hum of excitement and possibilities that somehow grounds me. I get twitchy out here in the suburbs. (Granted there’s a lot of comfy perks out here, but I still get a little antsy.)

On our way home, Ethan slept and I let my mind roam. I thought about being happy and how I’ve spent these past four months in a wonderful family bubble. And now that I’m on the tail end of my maternity leave, it looks like my bubble’s about to burst.

Even though I was initially disappointed no one could come out and play with me, I’m glad I still did what I intended. Spending quality time with me, myself and I was just what the doctor ordered.

Bowling For Jesus… Um, Kinda

This Easter morning we woke up late like usual. We got all dressed up and headed out to spend a couple hours with strangers. Instead of sitting in the pews, we were lacing up our bowling shoes.

Despite the look on Logan's face, he had a great time.

Yep, this Easter She’sWrite went bowling. There’s an awesome bowling alley not too far from our house called Pinstripes. It’s not the typical alley that’s decked out 70s style and serves greasy pizza and plastic-cheesed nachos. This spot is trendy, has tasty food with great presentation and offers high-end wines.

What’s best is that it’s not pretentious. They understand that kids will be kids and make messes and throw fits.

When my friend told me about their Easter brunch, I thought, what a great way to spend a special day with family. We don’t have a church home and weren’t up for dealing with a crowd of people and praying neither of our kids lost it while we listened to the inspiring words about The Resurrection.

We arrived around 11 a.m. and were first to get assigned a lane. Tons of people were already there, but most of them were sitting at tables with fancy centerpieces. Me and my brood plunked our stuff down on the couches by our bowling lane. A mimosa quickly arrived for me along with a Peroni for Hubby and lemonade for Logan.

One look at the buffet tables and I knew my diet had to go on pause. It was over-the-top, like they have on cruise ships. One side had everything you’d want for breakfast and the other side had everything you’d want for lunch. There was even a chocolate fountain. (Hubby and I were very proud that we at least abstained from that bit of decadence…)

Going for a strike on a previous trip to Pinstripes.

The bowling was fun too. Hubby and I have always enjoyed competing with each other, the only thing better than winning is the smack-talking, but we’ve had to tone it down now that Logan’s older. Good thing too because I suck at bowling.

We were using bumpers because of Logan, but it’s good for me too. I’m so bad I’ve managed to perfect a bank shot off the bumpers that knocks down an amazing amount of pins. I’d like to think that being able to develop such a move requires talent.

Though we didn’t go to church this Easter, I loved that we spent the day being just us.

God is love.

Wordless Wednesday: Chasing Spring

Chicago’s had an on-again-off-again relationship with spring this year. This week it’s been more than off since it snowed two days and the temperatures have generally been in the lower 40s. I decided to find myself a little spring and summer in the only place it stays all around. Also, this was one of the items on my bucket list.

Garfield Park Conservatory

A Farewell To Old Friends and Their Twisted Lives

When I first heard the news I thought it was one of those bad Twitter rumors. You know, like the kind that killed off Sinbad, Jackie Chan and Morgan Freeman.

But alas it was true. Two suburbs of Philadelphia were going to close their fictional gates: Llanview and Pine Valley. ABC announced that it was ending two of its soap operas, All My Children will be done in January and One Life To Live is over come September.

I grew up on these soaps and have been watching them for years. I loved how I could go days, weeks, months, even years at a time without seeing an episode. Then when I tuned in, it felt like an old friend because we could generally pick up where we left off.

I remember being in kindergarten and my mom would braid my hair while we watched All My Children. <insert wistful sigh> There was Erica Kane and her never-ending string of suitors. I was barely a tween, but took note that men told her she was so beautiful when she was angry. I thought: that’s when I’ll know a man really loves me. He’ll think I’m beautiful when I’m mad. (Though when Hubby says I’m beautiful when I’m mad, it’s no where near romantic, it’s annoying.)

The residents of Llanview and I got acquainted in high school while I was visiting a friend in Colorado. It was compelling TV because it was the start of the gang rape trial. Gang rape? It gave insights to something that no one ever talked with me about: the aftermath of rape. A shattered Marty Saybrooke against the well-coifed fraternity boys. It was complexly heartwrenching.

As I got older, it felt like soaps were things that “smart women” didn’t watch, so I became a partly closeted soap fan. Plus, I apparently liked “old lady” soaps, as my friends watched Days of Our Lives or General Hospital. It seemed no one my age liked All My Children or One Life To Live.

I’d record them when I couldn’t watch live and had a little VHS system of soaps. My system was quite flawed and Hubby’s seen how ugly things got when I’d accidentally record over one that I hadn’t yet seen.

As work got more demanding, I kept falling more and more behind in my soaps, so I dropped them entirely. Besides, what self-respecting journalist watches soap operas?

Then into my newsroom walked a proud soap fan. We’d start gabbing about the soaps and I’d interview her on what was happening and quickly got up to speed so I started watching again. And I was glad I did. After a long day of corruption, murder and heartache, it was a twisted escape to watch fictional corruption, murder and heartache.

Now I watch about an episode a week and though it was only a matter of time with reality TV and social media filling up people’s days, I’m sad it’s ending. I’m going to miss my favorites, the wonderfully bitchy girls: Erica, Skye, Kendall, Greenlee, Blair, Tess and Tea. And to all of the residents of Pine Valley and Llanview thanks for all of the laughs, tears and love.