Ben’s Week Off

This past week I’ve been spending a lot of time with Ben. While his brothers are all still in school, he had one glorious week off before his summer session begins.

It was probably for the best, as we could really tailor the time Ben had off to suit his needs.

In his pursuit of all things culinary, he wanted to try a few new foods.

We visited Antique Taco to sample the fish taco, a cod tempura with spicy tartar. We also sampled the pork carnitas and steak taco!IMG_0407We also took him to Greek Town, the Greek Islands, to try taramasalata, fried cheese, grilled octopus, gyros and baklava.IMG_0426 IMG_0423

We had many play dates.

One day, he played soccer with a buddy by the Lakefront, then came back to the house for a nerf gun battle.IMG_0399

Another day, we met a friend at the Lincoln Park Zoo.IMG_0418

Soccer was also involved that day.IMG_0415

We played at Maggie Daley with another friend.

IMG_0458 IMG_0454That day I even managed to take Ben to a new burger place, The Shake Shack, which both kids loved. A play date and new food together! IMG_0455Ben went back to school Wednesday for summer session. He moved up a classroom and when he came home from school that day, I was happy to hear him say summer session is fun! There a a few new kids who love what he does – soccer and drawing. And a few old faces from classes past that he was happy to see again.

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Adam’s 50th birthday

Yesterday my husband turned 50. Now that’s a weird sentence to type. Probably, it’s even weirder to say out loud. Especially when you are the person who is actually turning 50.

However, I don’t think Adam felt funny about it at all. At least, he seemed to take the milestone year in surprising stride.

Even all my teasing didn’t rouse him.

The morning before his birthday, Sam pushed Aaron off our bed. Aaron said, “You threw my back out!”

I cracked up laughing and turned to Adam, “That’s what you get for having old parents.”

Adam threw his back out last month. And everyone in our house learned what that phrase meant.

He didn’t think it was as funny as I did.

We started with our usual celebration donuts and egg sandwiches. Adam opened up all the birthday cards that had been trickling in all week. Many had gift cards to his favorite places – Nordstroms and Fleet Feet. He also got a huge stack of gifts from me.IMG_0468Mostly I bought him much needed clothes and shoes.

New Sweater. It was so cold this summer solstice that Adam wore it around today.

New Sweater. It was so cold this summer solstice that Adam wore it around today.

He never spends money on himself. But with the gift cards and a rare day off sans kids, that afternoon we were able to go and find many things he needed.

Yesterday was also the last day of school for the twins and Jack. Both schools had field day celebrations which we visited.Version 2 Version 2 Then we stopped by RJ Grunts for a quick lunch. We even split a naughty shake. Yes, naughty at 50 is having a shake for lunch.IMG_0523

At lunch he reflected about how much he had to be grateful for. Great kids, a fulfilling career, and his wonderful wife made him feel like a very lucky 50 year old.

We went through the afternoon school pick up and bus deliveries, followed by the afternoon rush of settling back home.

Ben and I cooked up one of his favorite dinners, Thai Basil Chicken. I added a special Beef Red Curry too.IMG_0524We sung him happy birthday and shared his favorite dessert, Key Lime Pie.DSC_0310 (1)And for once, Adam had some down time to just hang out. Not much by anyone’s standards, but for Adam, sitting on the couch for 30 minutes is a pretty big deal.DSC_0311 (1)

When I was younger, 50 sounded really old. But now that we are all rounding the corner of this big number, I also feel very grateful for the way things have turned out. When I look around I see many of our contemporaries flaming out either of their own doing or through no control of their own. I also realize how truly blessed we are to have our health and our happiness. To have our kids who are healthy and mostly happy. And to have most of our parents still around, also healthy and happy.

And I feel very, very, very lucky to be married to such a modest, patient, hard working, kind, witty husband. Happy Birthday, Adam!

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Father’s Day 2019

After checking the weather forecast, we had to forgo our normal Father’s Day beach outing ritual this year. The high was 56° with scattered rain throughout the day.

So poor Adam had to go through the same thought process I had to do last month for mother’s day – finding an activity suitable for all the kids that would not result in push back and tantrums. I was sad that our family, well one member in particular, makes planning celebrations so fraught with anxiety. I was also secretly pleased that it wasn’t all just in my head, Adam struggles as much as I do.

That is not to say the day wasn’t busy. I mean, it is ADAM we are talking about. His trick of having a normal day is to under plan by his standards. So he ‘under planned’ to play monopoly, take an afternoon stroll, get lunch out, get afternoon treats at a donut shop, fly the drone with Jack, read with Aaron and plant a bamboo plant with Ben.

We started with presents and cards.IMG_0429For his father’s day present, I got Adam a set of four artisan mugs off of Etsy. It was as close as I could find to his favorite mug, of which we only have one. If it’s in the wash and he has to use another mug, the tea somehow never tastes as good.

Then it was onto Monopoly. They barely let him finish his breakfast before they were begging to fulfill this request.IMG_0431We took a stroll over to Soupbox for lunch. IMG_0438They have Cheerwine at Soupbox! I had to get one to remind me of all those summers I spend at overnight camp in North Carolina.IMG_0439On the way home, we stopped by Stan’s Donuts for an afternoon treat.IMG_0440In the afternoon, Adam spent time with each kid, playing video games, planting plants, flying drones, and reading.

He also requested we take the picture where we all stand in line according to height. This was the first time Jack surpassed me.DSC_0305To our shock, the timer takes three photos at a time, so we were a little surprised and unprepared for the next shot….DSC_0306We had dinner at home, followed by a ‘make your own ice cream sundae’ dessert.IMG_0443

Happy Father’s day Adam!

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