Adam’s 47th Birthday

Adam’s birthday landed on a Monday this year. This meant the hours of celebration were limited by an annoying thing called work. But we made up for it by celebrating two nights.

On his actual birthday, Adam made a plan for us to run 10 miles. This time we ran south. I never run this way and it was incredible to see the many different things our city has to offer.IMG_4228

Beautiful view of the skyline, the summertime vibe at North Avenue beach, the men on benches ogling bodies as if it were a sport. We passed the triathletes training in wetsuits on Oak Street Beach, and shortly after the group of youths smoking skunky pot. Adam showed me where the Chicago Yacht Club was, on a boat permanently anchored in the harbor.

IMG_4232Finally we reached our turn point, Buckingham Fountain. After we snapped a picture Adam pointed up and behind the fountain and said, “There is where we are going for drinks tonight.”

We ran back home, showered and dressed and headed right back to where we were an hour ago, this time stopping at Cindy’s Rooftop in the Chicago Athletic Hotel.

IMG_4236Chicago’s rooftop culture is growing and this one is a very welcome addition. After having drinks and a little food we went outside to observe the moon. It was a rare confluence of the summer solstice, a full moon and a Strawberry Moon, the last strawberry moon was observed in 1967 and the next one won’t be until 2062.IMG_4239

From the balcony you can see Grant Park, Millennium Park with it’s Cloud Gate, Crown Fountain and Petrillo Bandshell, Buckingham Fountain, Lake Michigan and so much more. Including a huge strawberry moon!

For Adam’s birthday present I gave him the choice of a new suit or tickets for us to see the Copa America Semi-Final between Chile and Colombia. Guess what he chose?

IMG_4263We arrived at the game just in time for kick off with a very gloomy weather forecast looming in our future.IMG_4260

The first half finished and everyone was evacuated to the lower levels to wait out the extreme weather. Heavy rain, thunderstorms and possible tornados.IMG_4264

We decided to leave, as we didn’t see any chance the weather would let up anytime soon and asking Jack to stay up until midnight seemed like a parenting fail.

Turned out the delay was 2 hours, and the final score was the same as the score when we left.

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Father’s Day 2016

This father’s day marks a once in a lifetime moment for Adam. He is at the halfway point, halfway between the time when his first child was born and when this family unit will break apart and Jack moves away for college. (I’m assuming even if he goes to school somewhere in the area, he will want to ditch us to live on his own!)

First thing in the morning we gave him his presents. Besides the cards, I ordered this gift from Custom Gifts by Anna Brown. They are all pictures taken in the past year.image1

Jack made him these two gifts at school, a rock that says ‘My Dad Rocks’ and a list of 5 things he loves about him. It was so sweet that he liked having him as his soccer coach. I’m pretty sure I would find that embarrassing as a kid.DSC_0551DSC_0550

After that we went about trying to fulfill all of Adam’s Father Day wishes. Here they were:

Breakfast at Walker Brothers in Highland Park. We were lucky to have his mother and husband up from Arizona to help celebrate with us.DSC_0555

A stop at Deerfield Bakery to order Ben’s birthday cake. Bubbie and Bill treated the kids to a cookie while were were there. I was shocked Aaron could still scarf it down after just finishing all his chocolate chip pancakes and two pieces of bacon!DSC_0556DSC_0559

Then over to downtown Glencoe for a romp in Friends Park.DSC_0563DSC_0566

It was super cute and different enough to make it a special event for the kids. They especially liked the scavenger hunt on one of the play structures.

Next we headed over to Northbrook to see Finding Dory.IMG_4186

Great movie, just as good as the original if not better.

Finally we headed home for some down time. Adam got in a little reading and a nap while I bathed the kids and got dinner going.

At dinner, we celebrated Adam’s birthday a little early (it’s tomorrow) with a request he had for one of his favorite childhood desserts, Haagen Daz Vanilla Ice Cream with berries.DSC_0574

After Dinner Snuggles

After Dinner Snuggles

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Soccer Fest

At the end of soccer season, there is the option to sign up for Soccer Fest.

In previous years, Jack’s team did not participate. But this year Jack’s coach was Adam. And this year’s team had a pretty good track record (11 wins, 2 loses, 2 ties).

So, they AKA Team Phoenix signed on for soccer fest.

It’s a 2 day event, with 4 games. You play twice the first day then twice the second day. The last game you play is based on the record of your previous games.

Yesterday Team Phoenix won their first game with ease, the final score was 3-0. This gave them 7 points (out of 7) towards the tournament rankings. You get 3 points for the win, 1 point for each goal scored up to 3 goals, 1 point for a shut out.

Their second game was played in the middle of the day, in 90º heat. They played really well until the end of the game, leading 1-0.  The other team, who was playing their first game of the day, scored 3 goals in the last 3 minutes of the game. This gave our team another point, for a total of 8 points for the day. (This opposing team ended up taking 1st place in the tournament.)
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Team Pheonix started Sunday in 5th place, 3 points behind the next team, 6 points behind the first place team, and pretty much out of contention for a medal.

The team rallied back in the third game, playing inspiring soccer and winning 5-0. They got another 7 points and moved up to 4th place (tied with the 3rd place team) and entered the medal round.

The final game was played against the area director of AYSO’s own team. When they met before the game, he told Adam that had their 4th place medals for him. Adam replied, “Or third.”

In the final game they scored early against the team that was ranked first at the beginning of the day.

They tied the score and went into sudden death overtime. In sudden death the other team took a 2 goal lead but Team Phoenix came roaring back and beat them scoring 4 straight penalty shots to the other team’s 3, and taking 3rd place in the tournament.

The kids all ran onto the field and jumped on the kid who kicked the winning goal.Version 2

Adam found out later one of his players was picked up to play on the National team.Version 2

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Ben’s Furlough

After his school year ended and before his summer session started, Ben got a week and a day off of school.

We spent a lot of time planning the kinds of things he might want to do with his free time.

Then I went about trying to satisfy his every request, and even throw in a surprise or two. He has a lot less time off than Jack so I really wanted him to feel he got the most out of it.

Last Friday we went to the pool. Even Adam stopped by on his lunch break to give him some extra special attention.IMG_4092

This weekend, as I wrote about earlier, he was able to join Jack and Adam’s soccer team’s for pizza after the their last game of the season, and we took in a new park, Indian Bounty Park.

Then this week we spent a morning in and around the zoo. Ben requested a meal at the Original Pancake House first, then some zoo time, as well as a visit to the Lincoln Park Conservatory to see the hidden dinosaurs.

Pointing the dinosaurs out to Camila, our cherished sitter.

Pointing the dinosaurs out at the Conservatory to Camila, our cherished sitter.

Ben is in heaven - he gets to pet a bunny at the farm at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Ben is in heaven – he gets to pet a bunny at the farm at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Yes, they are all 'mooing'.

Yes, they are all ‘mooing’.

Feeding the cows. o

Feeding the cows.

Petting Goats.

Petting Goats.

We also spent most afternoons playing at Jack’s school playground after picking up Jack. Besides one day, every day was sunny and beautiful.

With his buddy Coach Mac.

With his buddy Coach Mac.

Every time Officer Brown sees Ben he smiles and says, "Ben is my friend 'til the end."

Every time Officer Brown sees Ben he smiles and says, “Ben is my friend ’til the end.”


On Thursday, the day it was rainy and we were stuck inside, I surprised them with the Zootopia movie and a new iPad. This time I bought two, one for Ben and one for Jack, carefully color coded in their favorite colors so there would be no more fighting about game sharing.

Today was unbearably hot so we decided to spend the afternoon at the beach. DSC_0509 DSC_0513 DSC_0535

Now I get my own week furlough before it’s time to start executing Jack’s summer time requests….

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Indian Bounty Park

Yesterday we visited a great park. One that we had never been to before. But I’ve been wanted to check it out for a while. DSC_0403 DSC_0407 DSC_0415

It’s got an old school playground reminiscent of our local stomping grounds, Oz Park.

But unlike Oz, it has a lagoon with ducks, orange coy and lots and lots of turtles.

Fish and Turtle spotting

Fish and Turtle spotting

And a second playground, a Nature Play Center.DSC_0430 DSC_0431 DSC_0433

DSC_0434There are lots of wide open paths and green spaces for biking, picnicking or tree climbing.DSC_0421 DSC_0436

There is also a spray feature, but it’s not on yet.

And most importantly, they have public bathrooms!

Definitely worth the drive to see this park. Indian Boundary Park, 2500 W Lunt Ave.

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End of the Soccer Season

Yesterday was the last game of the season for coach Adam and his favorite player, Jack.DSC_0389

He celebrated with his team by treating them to a pizza party.

Naughty spectators tuck into the pizza before the party starts.

Naughty spectators tuck into the pizza before the party starts.

He also handed out trophies to all the players, spending a little time telling them how they made the team special and helped lead them to victory.Version 2

The final score for the season was 11 wins, 2 losses, and 2 ties. Adam was lucky to have a bunch of great players, and they were lucky to have such a thoughtful, experienced coach. Great job Team Phoenix!

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