Recent Happenings

I don’t have a formal post but thought I’d check in! We moved last weekend so it’s been all consuming. We went from 1400 square feet to 2400 square feet so we have much more space and need to fill a few empty rooms. Unpacking with a 10 month old is challenging but I’ve been keeping him entertained with random boxes and Tupperware, and doing most of the unpacking during his naps. 

We renovated our new house so I plan on doing a full post of before and after pics and survival tips for anyone doing a renovation. 

We are currently just unpacking and putting together our new furniture. It’s fun but also I just want it all done! 

Setting up furniture requires wine! Haha


Ive been enjoying homemade cookies a little too much lately. They are just so delicious straight out of the oven. 

My brother’s best friend got married and I got to be my mom’s plus one. It was so fun and I just love weddings! The whole night was just beautiful! 


Jim made a yummy dinner of pasta with meatballs and we had a delicious bottle of wine from Kamen wines in Sonoma. It was a nice way to end the weekend. I got to take home a centerpiece from the wedding and I’m obsessed with it! I aspire to be able to create flower arrangements like this! 

Finally, we got our first real tree this year. It was really fun to pick it out and it smells amazing! 


I hope you had a great weekend! 

Another Wedding in the Books

My brother Paul got married this past weekend! That means 3 out of 4 of us are married. It’s crazy how fast time flies! Their wedding was in Cleveland at the Wyndham in the theater district. Cleveland is a really cute small city and it was fun to explore. They are rebuilding after losing a lot of their population after a lot of their industry left and there are lots of cool restaurants and bars to try out. Anyways, some highlights are below! 

Road tripping! 


My brother Peter  and his wife Felicia  live in Copenhagen and came in for the wedding. We decided to drive. I was a little worried about smooshing 4 adults and a baby into a small suv but it worked out great. It was really fun to hang with them and they were the best entertainment committee for Connor! 

Heinens Grocery Store


We stayed right down the street from Heinen’s.  This store is awesome! We have one near where we live but this one is extra special. It is located in an old restored bank building and it’s gorgeous. Also they have a really fun wine tasting you can do. You purchase a card for whatever amount you want and go to the wine tasting area. You insert the card and serve yourself wine. They had tons of different types of wines to taste and it was a fun way to taste different wines from around the world. Sometimes it’s nice to not have to learn a lot about the wines and just taste them :)

The Wedding 

It goes without saying that the wedding was the highlight of the trip! The wedding was simple and beautiful. Jim and I were both in the wedding. Madeline just said she wanted us to wear black dresses, and the guys wore back suits. Easy peasy! Everything turned out so great! It was really fun to enjoy the wedding and see lots of my cousins. I definitely cried through their vows.


Indians Game

We rounded out the weekend with a trip to the baseball field. We saw the Indians play the Tigers. I love baseball and the stadium was a 5 minute walks from our hotel! 

My Trip to Kleinfeld’s

I started blogging after I was already married, so I thought it would be fun to do a few wedding posts now.

Wedding planning was both fun and stressful. For the most part I really enjoyed it, and loved putting my vision to work. We didn’t have a wedding planner, and my mom and I did all of the planning ourselves! One of the highlights was our trip to New York to go to Kleinfeld’s! My mom and I both love Say Yes to the Dress and had said for years that we would go when I got engaged. Once I was engaged, we decided to do it! We planned a quick overnight trip to the big apple.

We arrived on a Saturday morning and walked around, went to eat, and to the big Macy’s to work on my registry. Then we went to Cafe Un Deux Trois, and saw Once.


  
  
  
The next morning was a little hectic. Our flight was cancelled due to a blizzard that was coming to Chicago. They said they could only get us on an early morning flight which meant we would have to miss our Kleinfeld’s appointment! After lots of back and forth we were able to get on a later flight. The funniest part was when we arrived back in Chicago, all the schools were closed for the next day, so we could have stayed an extra day anyway.
I was so happy our appointment was still on! It was so exciting to be at this world- renowned store! Our consultant was Diane and she was a nice as could be. I tried on lots of dresses and they were all pretty traditional. Diane said she pictured me as Grace Kelly- how flattering :-) she saved the best for last- a gorgeous Augusta Jones dress, Pnina Tornai belt, and cathedral length veil with lace. I was in love and we said yes to the dress!


  
  
  
It was a magical weekend, and I am still so happy we went for it and did it. I absolutely loved my dress, and the accessories, and everything felt absolutely perfect.


Weekend Highlights

This weekend couldn’t have been any busier, but it was a fun one! Friday we babysat my cousin’s baby and it was fun to hang out with him and get some practice. After he went to bed we watched The Leftovers. It is such a creepy show!! 

Bright and early Saturday morning we headed out to the burbs to go to the pumpkin farm with Jim’s family.  

   
After we got home we got ready to go to my friend’s wedding at Navy Pier. It was a beautiful venue and so fun to see all of my friends. We have had so many weekends together it will be sad to get back to normal after this!  

    
    
    
 
   
 
Sunday we went to my aunt and uncle’s house to get some furniture they got for our nursery! So excited to set it all up! We ended the weekend with a delicious dinner of lobster tail, mussels, and asparagus. And for dessert we had some delicious coffee cake my aunt made! All in all it was a great weekend!  

    
 

Weekend Highlights

This long weekend was a good one! Friday we went to dinner with my mom to celebrate her birthday. I forgot to take pictures.

Saturday we relaxed and researched strollers. There are so many options! We have narrowed it down to two- City Mini by Baby Jogger and Bravo Trio System.  We are going to make our final decision soon!

Later in the day, we headed to the suburbs for my friend’s wedding rehearsal!  We stayed at a Sheraton and it was a nice hotel for a wedding. Sheratons always have nice rooms and amenities for a fair price. I love weddings at hotels because it is so great to just go upstairs to your hotel room at the end of the night!  Sheraton  

We had the rehearsal and dinner and again I forgot to take pictures!

Sunday was the big day!  We started getting our hair and makeup done and it was so fun hanging out with some of my best friends in the world.  As with every wedding, the getting ready process flies by, and soon it’s time to get dressed and go!   

  

  

  

    
 The wedding ceremony was at Cantigny Park a beautiful outdoor site. There are gardens everywhere, and beautiful fall colors in the trees and flowers. We got so lucky with the weather, and it was 77 degrees out. October in Chicago can be freezing, so we were pumped that the weather gods were so kind to us! The ceremony was beautiful.  

  
  It was a Muslim ceremony, and I have never experienced one before.  It reminded me very much of many wedding ceremonies, and the bride and groom’s vows were perfectly “them”.  Soon we returned to the hotel for the ceremony.  We were led around by a Middle Eastern band to kick off the night.  The reception was so fun, and it was great to see so many of our college friends that we haven’t seen in a while. I especially liked the photo booth, and the ice cream bar.  All in all it was a great day!  I only made it until 11 that night, but tried my best to hang with everyone for as long as I could :) 

    
  

    
    
  
Monday was Columbus Day, so it was a day off!  We headed back to the city, but before we got on the road we stopped for breakfast.  Multigrain pancakes and bacon.  So good!   

 Later in the day we walked to Wrigleyville to experience the excitement. The Cubs haven’t been in the playoffs since 2003, so everyone is very exciting! It was fun to walk through a small part of the craziness.  I would love love love to go to a game, but alas, we don’t have an extra $1000 to spend on a few tickets.  We are really hopeful that the Cubs can keep going! 

  

  

   Monday night Jim made lamb on the grill with asparagus.  It was incredible!  So tender and juicy.  Definitely a nice way to end the long weekend! 

 

Wedding Festivities

Jim’s best friend got married this past weekend. It was so fun! I did a very bad job at taking pics but managed to snap a few. The rehearsal was Friday and the dinner was at Carnivale. It was so nice and they even had a guitarist and photographer! The food was delicious. I was really really tired after finishing my first week of first grade so I felt like a zombie by the time we left. Determined not to feel the same way at the wedding, I made sure to rest during the day on Saturday! The wedding was at the  W City Center. It is such a cool hotel, blending the old architecture with modern decor. Our room was quite possibly the tiniest room I’ve ever seen!  

   
We could have upgraded and paid more but it was just one night so it was no big deal. The room was still really nice and cozy! Jim’s friends from France were in town so they stayed with us Friday and Sunday which was an added bonus to the weekend!  

The ceremony was in a beautiful room in the hotel. The candles lining the aisle made it feel so intimate. 


  
 The room was gorgeous and the flowers made it even more pretty!   

   

    
The bride and groom were so busy that we didn’t get a chance to take a picture with them but they seemed so happy! All in all it was a great wedding weekend! 

Pregnancy Weeks 11-13

Baby Size

I wasn’t good about taking pictures because we were so busy these weeks!

Week 11- Baby is the size of a fig


Week 12- Baby is the size of a plum


Week 13- Baby is the size of a peach.  Definitely noticing some physical changes!  Starting to need to unbutton my pants.  :)


Weight Gained

Total gained so far:  2 pounds

Week 11- 0 pounds

Week 12- 1 pound

Week 13- 0 pounds

Symptoms

Week 11- Pretty much the same symptoms I have been having all along.  I am super tired, but have the luxury of getting enough sleep so I don’t feel completely miserable.  I have still been having headaches a lot.  Still have a super duper sensitive stomach.  I feel like I can’t eat anything even remotely “exotic”.  Peanut butter and I are not friends right now at all :-(

Week 12- Same as Week 11.  Headaches and upset tummy a lot, but could also be due to A LOT of stress in my personal life.

Week 13- Same as before, but I haven’t had as many headaches.  My stomach is still really off.  Maybe feeling little less tired?  I hope!!  Heartburn is returning with a vengeance.  I am definitely feeling thicker around the middle and if I feel around my tummy area I can feel my uterus which is as hard as a rock.  To me, I look super pregnant, but I know nobody else can tell. :)

Workouts

Week 11- Piyo, T25, walking, and yoga

Week 12- 21 Day Fix Extreme (modified), walking, yoga

Week 13- 21 Day Fix Extreme, walking

Food Aversions

My meat aversions have calmed down a little.  I even ate a pulled pork sandwich, and had some chicken!  I still can’t fathom eating a plain chicken breast on its own or chopped up in a salad.

Food Cravings

I have been loving summer fruit like watermelon and cherries, but I don’t really consider this a craving.  I still have a massive sweet tooth, but that is not pregnancy-related!

Baby-related purchases

Week 11-Nothing!

Week 12- Nothing, but we did receive our first gift- an adorable onesie from Denmark!

Week 13- Nothing

Week 11-13 Milestones

I got to hear the baby’s heartbeat twice!! I went in during week 10 because of a UTI and was surprised because the nurse practitioner told me we could listen to it. It was AMAZING!  Then during week 11 I had my monthly checkup and my mom came along to hear it too.  Hearing the heartbeat was the first time I realized that there truly is a living baby in me!

We had so many people in town for my brother’s wedding, and they all knew I was pregnant and it was so fun to share our excitement with everyone!

I started telling the rest of my friends I am pregnant during week 13, and it is always to fun to let people in on my excitement!

Looking forward to:

I am finally starting to relax and enjoy my pregnancy now that I am further along.  I started reading more books, and am getting excited about having a baby bump and planning our nursery in the future.

I am also really looking forward to feeling better.  I can’t wait for that to start…any day now!

I can’t wait to publicly announce my pregnancy to the world, and to my colleagues.  It will be nice to be out of hiding and to be able to be able to talk and write about it!

Fun Stories

As silly as this sounds, receiving the onesie from my brother’s family in Denmark was so exciting to me.  Nobody had given me anything since I announced my pregnancy, and I just couldn’t stop looking at it!  It is still so surreal to me that there will be a real baby wearing that soon!  It made me so excited for what is to come.

We had 4 late nights in a row because of all of the out of town guests.  The first night, the party was at our house.  I managed to entertain and stay up until midnight–the latest I have stayed up this pregnancy.  I was very proud!  At my brother’s wedding, I danced and had fun (even without wine ;)) and stayed until 11 pm.  I considered this a major accomplishment since I had been up since 6, and was getting ready with the bridesmaids all day.

At my brother’s wedding, Jim was dancing with me and kept touching my “bump” and saying hi to the baby.  It was so cute and so fun to see him starting to get excited about everything.

Celebrating our First Wedding Anniversary

 Sunday was our first anniversary!  I can’t believe how incredibly fast this year flew by.  Our first year has been easier than I expected.  Everyone told me to have low expectations and to realize that there will be problems and growing pains.  I was pleasantly surprised, and think our relationship got stronger throughout the year.  I am so lucky to be married to such a wonderful man!


 

   To celebrate our anniversary we spent the whole day together.  It was lovely!  We were going to go out of town, but we have been so busy lately, so we decided to just stay here.  We started our day with our respective workouts- T25 for me, and a run for him.  Then we headed out to the bakery that made our wedding cake.  They have an awesome deal where if you send them some professional pictures from our wedding of the cake, they will make a new cake top for your anniversary for free!  After picking up our cake, we saw the movie Trainwreck, which was hilarious!  I laughed the whole time.  We had dinner downtown at RPM Italian, and totally forgot to take a picture all dressed up!   Afterwards we exchanged gifts, ate our cake, and watched our wedding video.  All in all, a great way to spend our anniversary.  I can’t wait to see where this year takes us!

  

Wedding- hotel bags and favors

I can’t believe my little brother is married! They are jetting off to Southern France as we speak! My mom, aunts, cousin and I had a great time assembling the hotel welcome bags and favors. Almost all the guests at the wedding were from out of town (from 3 different continents!) so we wanted to make sure to welcome them when they checked into their hotel! 



Inside the bags we put Cracker Jacks, because they are from Chicago, and they are an American classic!



My mom had special M&Ms made that said Peter and Felicia, and their wedding date on them. 





We put Chicago tour guides in for the guests who have never been to Chicago before. 



Burlap bags with coffee inside. Because Peter and Felicia are the perfect blend! 



Finally, wedding water bottles.



The wedding favors are a Greek tradition, because we are part Greek. In each tulle we put 5 Jordan Almonds. They symbolize health, wealth, fertility, happiness, and a long life together. Such a great sentiment for a newly married couple! 









Friday happenings

My brother and his fiancee are coming in town today!  They live in Copenhagen, and are getting married in Chicago next weekend.

I am SO excited because the distance makes it hard to see each other.  It has been a whole year since I have seen Felicia and I miss her so much!  Luckily modern technology makes it easier to stay in touch, but there is nothing like spending face-to-face time with the people you love.  I will be doing a full post about all of the wedding fun soon, but don’t want to spoil the surprises before everyone sees them!

We have done a lot of work to our home in the past few months!  There are lots of before and after photos to share, but one of the easiest (and cheapest) things we did was to switch out our giant, dark ottoman for a smaller, white coffee table.  I love the difference it has made!  The room feels much bigger, and the color is just what I was looking for!

And finally, this is a quote I have been thinking a lot about today.  There are plenty of not-so-nice people in the world.  Instead of stooping down to their level and being mean, I choose to be kind and live my life in a way I am proud of.

Happy Friday!  Have a great weekend!