Sunday, January 27, 2008

Turning 33 in the Windy City

I celebrated my 33rd birthday this past Thursday and had an amazing week spending time with family, friends, my husband & myself. The week started off last Sunday with a birthday dinner at my Mom's. She made all the comfort food that I love. Growing up, our traditional meal on Sundays after church was a beef roast, mashed potatoes & corn. That was exactly what I wanted and she even threw in a green bean casserole & sauteed mushrooms...two more of my favorites. An extra little treat for me on that day was having my son fall asleep in my arms. Now that hasn't happened for a long time. Caedmon has never been one to like a whole lot of snuggling so sometimes I have to hold him down and attack him with kisses against his will. I cherish any chance I can get so I kept smelling his skin and kissing his head. I loved it!
On Wednesday, we dropped the kids off at my Mom's at 7:30 in the morning and headed north. Kevin had an appointment in Sturgis and dropped me off in Shipshewana for a few hours. I had fun browsing around the little crafty Amish town. My most exciting purchases were a bag of popcorn from Yoder's & some homemade granola from the Blue Gate Restaurant.
From there we headed to Chicago for Kevin's annual business meetings and would spend the next three nights here in downtown Chicago. But first, we drove past Chicago and had my birthday dinner at the Cheesecake Factory in Shaumburg, Illinois. Why drive past Chicago to eat at the cheesecake factory when there is one in Chicago? Well, some of you already know the answer to that, but the rest can keep reading.
We just don't do this enough. It has been a long time since we've gone out...just us. As we were traveling that day, we decided to discuss our family's goals for the next year and one of those was HAVE MORE DATES.
We shared a salad & pizza. Kevin chose both items and I gave him a hard time since it was MY BIRTHDAY, right? But I was so glad he convinced me to try the chopped was delicious!
Right across the street there just so happened to be this big blue building that caught my attention.
IKEA is one of my favorite stores and we usually come at least once a year. It's the ultimate chic household item shopping center and their prices are good. They have great ideas for organizing in small spaces which is perfect for us right now since our space is small. It's hard to explain the feeling I get when that building comes into view. My heart starts pounding faster and I turn into a little kid. We had a blast cruising around the three levels and posing for silly pictures.
Kevin was having fun too as you can see. Some men have given him the advice to take two aspirin before entering this store, but I have to say that he enjoys it about as much as I do and is usually pretty patient. It helps to have a cafeteria on site.

Our favorite section in the whole store is the AS IS section where you can find the dirt cheap items. I found two medium size glass storage containers for forty cents each, and two curtain panels for my bedroom for three dollars each. They will replace the white sheet that has been hanging there. Kevin also found enough wood to build me a bench for our garage for $3.50.

Kevin was in meetings most of the day on Thursday. I spent most of my time that day scrapbooking. What a dream! I accomplished so much and loved the uninterrupted quiet time. I also caught up on all the news & daytime talk shows that I don't watch at home. That evening was "The Mixer", an event for the Northwestern advisers & their families. Big beautiful buffet style tables are set up all around the room and everyone makes their way around meeting new people and seeing old friends from the company. I absolutely love spending time with the group from Fort Wayne. They're truly like family. Great role models and people you just want to be around. We've gotten to know one of Kevin's business partners well. Rob & Jenny have two children the same age as ours and are expecting their third in March. Jenny and I usually spend time together while our husbands are in meetings. This is the first meeting that neither of us have brought the kids along to. Jenny & Rob, Kevin, Me & Kara G.

On Friday, Jenny and I decided to brave the cold and walk down Michigan Avenue. It was very cold, but fun to get out of the hotel for a bit. We had lunch here.

That night was the Dinner & Dance.

We were served a fabulous dinner. Here is the menu:

Chili Roasted Apple with
a Bouquet of Field Greens, Duck Confit,
Candied Walnuts, Wedge of Gorgonzola Cheese,
Plum Vinaigrette
Grilled Fillet Topped with
Crusted Vegetables, Blackberry Demi,
paired with
Crab Stuffed Jumbo Prawns, Coconut Beurre Blanc,
Pear Potato Croquette with Sun Dried Tomato
Bundled Snap Peas
Dark Chocolate and Bitter Orange Mousse
Citrus Pots du Cream
Rosewater Feullentine Truffle
Chocolate Pearls and Fresh Raspberries
Dessert is always the highlight for me.


My sweet niece, Maci, let me borrow her Christmas dress for the banquet. I felt so privileged to wear it and had several compliments on it that evening. Thanks Maci. Sorry no pictures of the dancing...I did get Kevin out on the dance floor for several songs which is a HUGE accomplishment in and of itself.

I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend my birthday this year. I feel so refreshed and ready to be a mommy again. Thanks so much to both sets of Grandparents for keeping the kids and for letting us spend a few days together.


heather said...

Oh Sherri, I've missed you while you were gone. Missed seeing your pictures and hearing your thoughts. Amazing Birthday!!! Wow and it lasted a week. I was interested in what was so beautifully wrapped in the package that was sitting on your parents table in the first picture. What all did you get for your birthday?

Lucky you to go to Ikea and I love the Cheesecake factory. Mmmmm scrapbooking and shopping, one long date with your hubby. It doesn't get any better does it?

You looked so beautiful for your fancy dinner. You really must show me how you did that to your about a step by step on a blog??? And what a beautiful dress!!! CuTE!

Great post. Nice to have you back!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY sweet friend.

Nicole said...

Sherri what an awesome time it looks like you had, all my favorite things to do wrapped up in one (eating, shopping, scrapbooking)
I am so glad you had a great time! You looked great, not a day over 21!!

Guatmama said...

Happy birthday! Sounds like a great weekend. You are so beautiful,too.

Lyndon Bontrager said...

I want to come over right now and hear all the details! I at least need to read your post again. What a dream! I am sure you were refreshed and ready for those cute kids again, but man, what a nice break. Thank goodness for companies and meetings! What a great dress to borrow and how many aunts can borrow their nieces dresses? Good for you, keep up that exercising! Can't wait to see you!

Sherri said...

Thanks everyone for your kind comments & birthday wishes!

Heather, I got a blanket for my bed & a salad serving bowl from my mom. A shirt & pair of shorts from my sister's family. A Marshalls gift card from my husband and waiting for me at the door when I returned home was a musical package from you full of bath & body items. I certainly feel spoiled & so blessed!

About the was funny because another lady asked me the same thing and I told her I wasn't sure how I did was the first time I tried that style. I just had lots of time to work on it without any interruptions. :)

Cottonista said...

Happy Birthday, Sherri! I'm glad you got the time to enjoy it.