Monday, June 16, 2008


It's a day late, but never too late to post about the most amazing person I know, hands-down!

Everyone who's met my dad, even just for a few minutes, understands why people refer to him as "Saint Art." I've never been able to comprehend how it's possible, but the man goes through life without so much as a shred of the ego and selfishness that the rest of us are prone to. Instead, his brand of humility and kindness is so rare that it's almost unsettling. People like my dad just don't come along every day.

Quite literally, everything has done in his life has been for the good of other people. He spent his entire career as a social worker who chose early on to work with the elderly, and became one of their most devoted advocates. I told you he's super-human.

Since the moment he became a father, his whole life has been about the four of us, and now his three grandchildren. Every day before school (since my mom had to be at work by 6:30), he would try so hard to style mine and my sister's hair into the smooth ponytails we requested. Then he endured our screams and whining about the fact that they had too many "bumps" and started over again until we were satisfied. We gave him so much trouble that a lesser man would have disowned us without thinking twice. But we never heard a single complaint. He made so many sacrifices along the way so that we could go to the best schools and have the most enriching experiences he could give us. Shamefully, all of us had been to Europe multiple times on their dime before he and my mom got to; we finally repaid the favor and sent them two years ago or they still wouldn't have treated themselves.

Every day, he packs my mom's lunch and includes a love note written on a napkin. He finds real joy in the simplest things that life has to offer, like sunsets and playing his guitar. Now that he's semi-retired, he spends most afternoons meeting with grade school kids who have fallen behind in reading to tutor them. Out of 9 children, he is the only one who goes to see his mother at her nursing home every single day without fail, decorates her room with flowers from his own garden and does her laundry.

It's no surprise that every time I run into someone who knows him, I am asked if I know how lucky I am. I do. And if I live a life with even an ounce of the compassion and love that he has, I'll consider myself lucky beyond measure.

To steal one of his signature lines (and one that showed up in every single napkin love note he ever wrote to me, from kindergarten through high school), "I love you best in all the world!"

Monday, June 2, 2008

My Kind of Town, Chicago Is

My family had an awesome Memorial Day Weekend in the Windy City.

My brother, Craig, and sister-in-law, Amy, have lived in Chicago for almost 9 years, and just bought a new 4 story single family home in Lincoln Park that they share with Lucy, almost 5, and Teddy, almost 2! We decided that it was the best place to get everyone together and celebrate my Mom's milestone birthday this year.

My sister Sar and her boyfriend Jon flew in from San Francisco, my sister Jen, her husband Matt and their baby boy Sam came from Philadelphia, and my parents, Matt and I drove up from...well, the obvious.

Here are some pictures from the weekend:

The courtyard outside of the gorgeous house:

Happy birthday signs made by the grandkids:

Nana, the Birthday Girl:

Lucy stopping to meet Lily the Bullmastiff on Armitage:

Sar and Jon waiting for the show to start at Second City:

Our walking tour of the Chicago lakefront:

A much needed break at the Field Museum after walking nearly 5 miles in slides. Much to the dismay of my feet, I'm just not a sensible shoes kinda gal :)

Lucy and her new bike! She keeps a water bottle and toothbrush in the basket at all times :)
The Bean at Millenium Park:


Lucy in the fountain: My darling godson:
The fam at Buckingham Fountain:

Cutie pie cousins:
Me and my silly girl:

...and hanging around with my boys!

I love this city almost as much as love these people :)

Is it Worth All Its Hype?


Sorry, I’m head over heels for Mr. Big and it’s his most memorable quote, after all.

What can I say, ladies? If you haven’t seen Sex and the City: The Movie yet, I’d suggest throwing on your most fabulous pair of heels and making a mad dash for the nearest cinema. I found myself holding back tears when the title music started playing and the theater erupted in applause and cheers, and it only got better from there!

All in all, it managed to live up to my rather high expectations. I laughed, I cried, I drooled ;) The movie was “heavier” and the characters more serious than the series, but as my friend Kate and I were discussing, that also made it feel truer to real life and it was nice to see the girls in their new life stages.

To me, the foursome has only gotten better with age, and the fashion is even more amped up than it was throughout the series, if that’s possible…it’s eye candy to the Nth degree! Carrie’s bridal shoot for Vogue is particularly spectacular. The lace Oscar de la Renta?!?! Delicious!! Even though the Vivienne Westwood gown she ultimately chooses has been critically panned by more than a few, I liked it. It’s Carrie. And I’ll say it: I even dig the peacock headdress! I may not get it, but I dig it! My husband just returned from the store with a copy of the June Vogue with SJP on the cover and in it is her interview alongside a photo spread of Carrie and Big by Annie Leibovitz. Gorgeous.

I also love, love, love that they worked into the movie the pink tutu dress that Carrie wore during the show’s opening credits. And speaking of eye candy, I was pleased with the guys who made the cut. I was hoping for a clean-cut Aidan cameo, but that really wouldn’t have made sense, he being a Baby Bjorn-wearing dad now and all. And as much as I loved him, he was a smidge too granola for my taste. Big is just so…grand :) I also thought that Jennifer Hudson was endearing as Carrie’s new assistant, Louise from St. Louis. Who knew that the StL would make an appearance? Impressive!

Really, the only negative was that it reminded me of how terribly much I miss this show. I spent last night watching the last two Paris episodes, where Carrie finally rescues herself from the clutches of The Russian (HATED him), and Big shows up in just enough time to kick some ass and then tell her that she’s The One…on a bridge overlooking the Seine. Excuse me for a moment while I faint and collapse...

I guess I’ll just hold my breath and wait for a sequel, and maybe see the movie a few (hundred) more times ;) Matt will go with me!

Ever the dutiful husband, he would have willingly accompanied me the first time (he likes the show), but I had a fairly good idea of what the theaters would be like during opening weekend, and I thought it best not to overexpose him to estrogen-on-roids. Besides, I looked at this movie as an event. And events deserve great outfits, delish nibbles and prettily garnished cocktails enjoyed with one’s best girlfriends. So, 20 or so of us planned a girls’ night out of epic proportions, starting with a matinee of the movie and then moving on to my place.

I did not take a single picture all night; I was having too much fun to remember to! But if you’re interested, you can check out the following blogs for some perspective:
Nicole, Nikki

It’s difficult to narrow down my favorite part of the day, but the top 3 would have to include the fact that Kate drove in from Chicago, that Mary happened to be wearing a Diane von Furstenberg halter dress that was actually in the movie!!, and those candy cupcake bite thingies that Sarah made. Oh, and the drinks…the DRINKS!

From what I can remember, the last of the girls left right around 3am, and I have to say that I haven’t slept in until noon – or had as much fun exhausting myself the night before – in a very long time! Thanks, girls :)