Monday, November 24, 2008

Day in the Burbs with Great Friends and the Bears!

Sunday afternoon we left Chicago with the Petersen's in tow to head to Bloomingdale to the Hoyner's home for some chili (a chili cook-off actually) and the Bears game!

I must note that our SIU friends group has grown with husbands, boyfriends and SEVEN children that attended the party, yes 7! And all three years of age and younger to boot!

Cogski and the Petersen's left our kids at home because apparently to get in at this party you needed a child, j/k. We love all of the kids and it allows those without kids to "practice" or like myself get your fill in one afternoon and that'll do me and be thankful for my freedom while I still have it, LOL! Just kidding Tamie, Liz and Donna!!!! :-)
Here is a pic of Ryan getting some "practice" with Edie, these two were attached all day
I didn't watch one second of the game actually and spent most of the time rotating holding a baby, shoveling food in my mouth, eating chili or talking.Love getting together with the girls, all of us have been friends since college, met in the sorority and are super lucky that most of us live in the Chicagoland area. There is Jessica and Meah that live in St Louis, Barr in Texas, Nina in So IL and Nadia in Los Angeles who miss dearly and have them there in spirit and maybe one day if we wish hard enough they will move closer. Also luckily our boyfriends (or I guess I'm the only one at the party who had a boyfriend) and husbands get along as well! Here is a pic of them escaping in the other room to watch the game.A few weeks ago Tamie had the brilliant idea of having a chili cook-off! Since Chris has really gotten in to making chili lately we were all over this. There were three pots of chili and a gold, siliver and bronze award were appointed to each crockpot. If you're wondering, Team Cogski WON!!!!! The prize was a glittery Christmas tree and I think we should have a chili cook-off/Bears game party every year and pass the tree trophy on to the winner each year - great idea!It was nice to hang at the Hoyner's, visit with the children and our friends and not watching the game at some bar! My, my how things have changed! :-)

Team Glomp is Gearing Up to Get Hitched! Congrats Sam & Lena!

Saturday night was a BIG night for Sam and Lena!!!! They...Got...Engaged!!!!

Chris and I knew the big question was coming and luckily I don't live with Lena and had not seen her this week at all because not that in a million years I would have ever spoiled such a secret but I just can't hold secrets in. Although Chris told me I could not tell a soul about the upcoming engagement or else he would kill me because whoever I told somehow magically it would have gotten back to Lena, this is true because it always happens to me :-) So I kept my mouth zipped and if you've seen her pics over email or on Facebook they are sooooo cute recapping the event!

The two of them had gone to Starved Rock two years ago when they first met and how fitting to get engaged there! Lena thought they were going there to celebrate her new job but little did she know....
"I'm Engaged!!"
Chris and I are so very happy for the new Team Glomp (they may hate that I'm putting team in front of their name but too bad) and are excited for their big day happening sometime in August or September 2009.

Chris and Sam the next day at a small engagement celebration gathering

Excuse the fact that Chris can barely keep his eyes open, after our dinner w/ Bob&Leah and drinking all day for the Bears game he's really struggling.

As most of you know Chris and Sam have been bff's and roommies for 11 years so I know Chris is a bit sad (but happy for Sam) to be "losing" his better half (good thing he has me, haha) and although Lena did not ask permission to take Sam from Chris that's ok, Chris is adjusting well :-)

Congrats Sam and Lena!!!!

Dinner with Bob and His New Lady Friend :-)

Saturday night we met up with Bob and his new pretty lady, Leah. They met through someone that Bob works with, they have been hanging out for a couple weeks and Team Cogski always loves going on double dates so we were super excited for our double dinner on Saturday!

Chris and I went up to Bluebird (I love that bar) had a few drinks til Bob and Leah met up with us there. Then we were on our way down the street to Duchamp (love this place too) for dinner. We had a late reservation and had to wait a bit as this place was packed and people were really not getting up from their seats. Finally sat and had a great dinner!!
Then we went back down the street to Northside to have a few more drinks and Chris and I left around 1.30-ish. We were exhausted and knew we had a long day ahead of us in the burbs at a friends Bears party so we said farewell to Bob and Leah and were on our way home!
But was so nice to meet Leah and looking forward to seeing her and Bob again at the Christmas party in a few weeks!

Merry Christmas to Cogski!

Chris and I had discussed a couple months ago getting an LCD flat screen tv....and thought why don't "we get that for eachother for Christmas!" GREAT idea!!!!
So we left it on the back burner til a couple weeks ago. Chris is very big on researching and analyzing, pro/conning his purchases. This can be good and I'm glad he does it because I just go with whatever is best in front of me. Somewhat an impulse buyer somewhat not, always definately has to be on sale, I never buy full-price. Thank god for TJ and Nordstrom Rack - two of my faves! I love the "searching" aspect of both of those stores and scoring a good deal, really makes you feel good and have a sense of accomplishment. But back to the tv. He had done some research on his own via online and taking a trip to one of the Circuit City stores closing in Chicago. We also visited Costco and went to Circuit City another time and ultimately JPMorgan came thru for us giving us the best deal! His work allows discounts on various things at various times. Luckily this was a good time for us to get the tv thru JPM.
So last week we bought it, split the cost and said Merry Christmas!! It arrived on Friday and the HD cable man was here Saturday to get it all set up. I like the tv and think it's great but I'm fine with any tv. Chris has said once or twice a day how excited he is about the tv and how great it is to see all the detailing on his NFL friends. I love it so I can see my bff, Oprah a bit clearer :-)

Another Fun Filled Rockford Visit!

Last Saturday Ritchie had summoned the guys to come out to Rockford with their significant others to go to dinner and then go to his house to watch the UFC fight! Luckily pretty much everyone was available so we all met up at Maria's, a small but delish Italian restaurant in Rockford (RF). The girls sat at one end and the guys at the other, probably was best this way as neither sides were likely talking about anything the other side was interested in. The food was great and with a table of 18 we were sat quickly and had a nice time!!

Next stop was to Ritchie's house where his wife Lindsey and some more friends were waiting for us to get there to continue the party! Poor Lindsey had just found out earlier in the week that with her preganancy she is on bedrest!? :-( So she had to skip the dinner but remained rested thru the party, poor Lindsey but at least she can use this time to catch up on her latest US Weekly's and what Oprah and the ladies on The View are talking about. I think any girl would be slightly jealous :-)

The guys watched the UFC fight, which I have NO interest in what-so-ever. Thank god Michelle brought games! We played catchphrase and continued on to trivia pursuit and battle of the sexes: guys vs the girls. I have no idea who won but if I had to guess I would say it was the girls.
Party dwindled around 1/2am and everyone was on their way home! Thanks Ritchie and Lindsey for allowing us all to come over and hang out! Loooooooove your house!!!!!!!!! If we were moving to Rockford we'd FOR SURE be next door neighbors!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Visit to Shedd Aquarium

Earlier this week Chris and I went to visit the Shedd Aquarium. I believe I have been there but it had to have been a century ago as I don't remember it. So it was like a first trip for both of us!

Not sure if anybody knows but it is free admission on certain "community days" each month, you should check out their website to see what days are free of charge each month if you are thinking about visiting. Although it does not include the shark exhibit - fyi. And the worst part about our visit was that the dolphin, whale and penquin exhibit is closed for renovation until June 2009?! So I guess we may be visiting Shedd again someday because I would imagine that is the best part of your visit.But either way was fun! There is still PLENTY to look at and see. The best part was that we went on a Monday so it was crowded but not that crowded. Still a fair amount of kids running around and getting in your way to look in the glass exhibits but if we had gone on a Saturday or Sunday - forget it! I don't think I would I can only imagine the amount of people there! Some people came with their small babies and were showing them the exhibits....I wanted to be like hello? They have NO clue what they're looking at!?

But a great way to spend an afternoon at a great price! The Field Museum, Adler Planetarium and Museum of Science & Industry are steps away as well so there's plenty of history to visit in this area on a boring cold Sunday afternoon.Got a few pics of the animals there like the frog above that pretty much matches the color of the leaves EXACTLY! And this fish above...I was snapping away with the flash on and later saw signs everywhere that says no flash - oopsy!

Nat's Last Night Out as a Single Lady!

Nat with one of her gifts!
The infamous "Mrs" Hoodie....I think I have bought this for
almost every friend who has gotten married.Last Saturday was a dear former sorority/SIU friend and former roommate's (aka Damen Girl) Bachelorette Party!! Natalie will be getting married on November 29th!!!

I have known Natalie for years as we met in the Sig Kap house and then I lived with her again in two different apartments with Ann in Chicago. She then made the move out to the burbs to Naperville where she teaches at one of the high schools.

Saturday we all met at Abby her maid of honor's apartment in Chicago for a few games, laughs, drinks, conversation, more laughs and then on our way to a "drinking show" called Bye-Bye-Liver in Chicago. It's right off of Chicago Ave and Halsted and I thought it was hilarious! It kind of has a Second City feel but more about drinking and interactive with the audience. I would highly recommend it if you are looking for something to do on a Saturday night. It's super reasonable and so are the drinks once you are there.

After the show we hung around, had a few more drinks and were on our way to a bar in Bucktown close to Abby's place. We ended up at Tavern! Had a few more drinks and after the wee hours of the early morning came were on our way home. Another bachelorette party for the books and now anticipating Nat's big day on November 29th - Can't wait!!!!

Nat with SIU Girls: Kelli, Me, Aimee, Nina, Nat,
Ann, Heather & Tamie

Congrats Natalie!

A Friday Dinner Among Friends....

Last Friday we all had the pleasure of a lovely dinner at Francesco Forno in Bucktown! Nina with the infamous Greg&Vic duo (aka her parents) along with Mike Scanzano in tow met up with the two hottest couples in Chicago right now, Cogski and Ann&Ian (we really need to get these two a "name" they tried putting their names together but I forget what it was?).
Nina and crew were in town for the big plastic manufacturing expo in Chicago this past week, her parents own a company that manufactures plastic. We had a great time talking, laughing and talking as always! And I will say the food there is great if you are looking for a good italian restaurant. It is from the Franscesca chain of restaurants so you know it's gotta be good!
Always nice to visit with G&V our favorite parents! And of course a night is not complete without Chris sharing his leave his car running over night in front of Flash Taco story that I have heard about a billion times...YET I will say that is one of his repeated stories that I do enjoy hearing over and over again because frankly WHO would ever do that??? But we had a view of Flash Taco from our table so the story came up in conversation....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Halloween FirepitFriday BOO!

Well last Friday on top of it being Halloween was also FirepitFriday at Cricket and Cortney's place. This was my second "firepit" at C&C's, always a good time!! We had plenty of food and drinks, grilled out, Chris made chili and of course Cricket and Monkey heckled trick-or-treaters as they passed. There was even a pumpkin carving contest to boot at firetpit this night! Granted there were only two pumpkins submitted in the judge-less contest. One of the pumpkins (Monkey's creation) I cannot even post on my blog because it was a vulgar decorated pumpkin and was later thrown in the air and smashed to pieces. The pumpkin above that I am stabbing with the knife was Cricket's creation and this poor guy was later burned in the fire. I guess too much alcohol consumed brings about resentment and anger towards pumpkins :-)
This was not a costume Halloween gathering although Cricket managed to dress up and play the role of Chad Neuhaus. Chad's wife, Bridget had originally planned on attending the firepit but then couldn't and I think Cricket was really looking forward to playing the role of "Chad" for her, LOL. Notice he is all decked out in his hunting gear. Two of Cricket's neighbors came by....the husband of Scottish background and so those two were quite entertaining to say the least.

We stayed til about 1am and then it was time to hit the road but it was a fun and as always an entertaining time and lucky for us the weather agreed.
Here below is a cute pic of the Sterrenberg sisters, Jill & Amy
Twinkies in their matching jackets :-)