Welcome to our Blog

Welcome to our Blog!
We plan to use this Blog to update our friends and families of our new adventures in the Big Apple and New Jersey.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Well, I am not even going to look at the date of our last post , just going to look forward because there is a ridiculous amount of happenings in our lives since our last post, probably including the birth of our 2nd son, Brooks Mowry and the purchase of our house in Elmhurst, Illinois. Maybe we will get around to doing a "recap" post on what all we have missed to document here (fingers crossed).   So we will just have to see how this goes, because life gets so busy with our 2 little ones, but I am going to try this again to start documenting some of really fun things that have been happening in Charlie and I's lives.

This past week we had a lot going on.  Brady turned 4 on Aug 1st (we can't believe it), so we first went to Chuckie Cheese on his actual birthday , then 2 days later for no real reason but just to have fun, we went to this restaurant called Two Toots in Glenn Ellyn where they bring your food out on a a toy train (every little boy's dream) and then of course the big birthday party with his friends on Saturday.  We had a great turn out for the party including Katie's parents came up for it as well.   Brady has several new school friends from his Montessori school that came and our good friends from the city came out to celebrate with us as well which means so much to us.  Despite being a little melt-downish because he skipped his nap, Brady absolutely loved his party.  He wanted a PJ masks theme (which for anyone reading this that has never heard of the TV show.....it is a pretty hot Disney junior show for the 4 year old crowd).   Having a summer birthday to me means playing in the backyard and that is exactly what we did.  We played musical chairs (didn't quite go over as well as I thought it would mainly because they were just wanting to be silly ) and attempted some organized games with water balloons.  The water balloons were a big hit but not so much the organized games.  We tried to do a relay race that sort of worked and then had them throw the balloons into laundry baskets without popping them.....but really all they wanted to do was to throw the balloons around and act silly....so we let them :)

Brady was in love with his cake.
Aside from Brady's birthday, we also had mommy's birthday to celebrate (we wont talk about which number birthday it was).  Mommy's birthday was on Friday Aug 5th.  Brady asked me if I wanted to go to Chuckie Cheese for my birthday (after just having been there for his) and luckily daddy knows his wife better than that and booked a reservation at a nice steak restaurant called Wild Fire near the Oak Brook Mall which is really close to us.   He said that he checked out all the nearby steak restaurants and found one that was appropriate for kids , which made it all the better because the whole family could go.  My parents were up for the weekend which made it really nice. 

And then the grand finale for the weekend was Brooks' baptism at our new church.  Alittle while back we found a Presbyterian church in Elmhurst that we really like and finally got Brooks' baptism on the books.  Brooks actually woke up Sunday morning a little sick we think from all the food he ate at the party so setting off to church was a little different than we imagined because Charlie and I were alittle worried on whether Brooks would be able to get through the service or not.  In true Brooks fashion, he was walking around the house playing and acting fine so we thought we would take our chances and hope for the best.  And he did great during the ceremony.   He seemed pretty confused when the Pastor put the water on his head and walked him up and down the aisle introducing him to the congregation but Mommy and Daddy were so proud of him and felt very blessed to have such a special boy. 
And aside from all this, Grandma Sue and Grandpa Bob got to have lots of fun quality time with the boys.  Brooks' new favorite thing is stealing people's had and walking around wearing them , so he was in love with Grandpa Bob and his hats.  Brady got to make blueberry muffins with Grandma Sue which made him really happy.   We are very lucky to have 2 sets of great grandparents for our boys.   We couldn't ask for anything more.  

Thursday, November 27, 2014

April 2014 - a bachelorette party in our city

After a quiet few months to begin 2014, we did quite a bit in April!  Katie started a new job on April 15th.  After commuting out to suburbs for 9 months, a good opportunity came along for her as a financial reporting manager at CDW, which is located downtown.  Her previous role was a small company and her position had many mixed responsibilities including approving invoices, reviewing journal entries, closing the books and to a lesser extent financial reporting, so she was excited to find an opportunity at a big company doing only financial reporting.  For those of you that havn't heard of CDW, they sell computers, printers and everything IT related to large and small companies, the government and schools and hospitals.  Katie's dad likes to tell people that she now works for Charles Barkley, because he is their spokesperson and does all the commercials.

The weekend right before starting my new job, I had a fun weekend planned for my friend Shannon's bachelorette party.  Charlie and Brady drove down to Cincinnati to stay with Grandma Leslie.
Several of the Labrynth girls came into town for it, including Ashley, LisaB, Sarah, and LisaW and all stayed with me in our apartment on Damen Ave.  Rachel and Kate who live in Chicago came out for all festivities as well.  Friday evening, we kept it fairly quiet and just went for pizza and drinks at a place called Homeslice in Lincoln Park.

Saturday, we had a very busy day planned.  In the morning we all met for a big breakfast at Eggsperience, next we had nail appointments at a small day spa called Spa Emilia in the Gold Coast, and then at 1:30 we had reservations at The Drake for "Afternoon Tea".  Since Shannon had recently moved back from London , it seemed like a very fitting thing to do and she had always wanted to go to the Afternoon Tea at The Drake.  The tea is held in the Palm Court of The Drake Hotel and has been a long tradition in Chicago, set in a gorgeous dining room we all sipped on teas and had mini finger sandwiches and scones.

Afterwords, we walked along Michigan Avenue for a bit and then headed back to my apartment for naps and to get ready for the evening.

We had dinner reservations at an Italian restaurant downtown in the River North district called DaVanti Enoteca.  There were 8 of us girls, and Dominick (Shannon's husband/fiance) came to dinner.  Since most of us hadn't met Dominick yet, I planned a "newly wed" game with questions for him and Shannon and each time they answered a question wrong, they had to take a drink.  It was a lot of fun getting to know their relationship more from this game with questions like where was their first date, what was Shannon wearing on their first date, what are their favorite foods, etc.

After dinner, Dominick went home, but the night was still young for the us girls.  We bar hopped along in the River North disrict and eventually ended up at Howl at the Moon , a dueling Piano bar, which is one of my favorites.  Katie even got the piano players to play the Darlin' Song at the very end of the night.

It was such a fun weekend to celebrate my friend's wedding!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

St. Patrick's Day 2014

After we got done with the 2014 busy season, one of the first fun things we did was celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  St. Patrick's Day is a fairly big deal in Chicago, which has a lot of Irish heritage.  The city is most famous for dying the river green - which Katie went to see with friends this year  (Charlie has yet to do so).

For the second year in a row, we spent the day at our friends the Gottfreds.  They typically have people over for St. Patty's - and this year it was a bunch of friends with infants and toddlers!  We had a great time, and Katie even met some friends out afterward while Charlie and Brady went home to nap off the excitement!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A quiet start to 2014

After we got home from Ohio for Christmas, we had a fairly uneventful next few months.  New Year's Eve was even that way!  No parties this year - we went to dinner with just us and Brady.  We ate at an Irish restaurant about a mile from our house in Lincoln Square called the Grafton, which was very good.  We did stay out later than Brady's bedtime - but he is still quite a few years away from seeing the New Year :)

January and February are busy season for us accountants.  We have lots of deadlines at the end of February.  Katie was busy filing the 10-K at her job, and Charlie was busy auditing various mutual funds.  February 27th was an all-nighter for Charlie, which is par for the course.

This was the first year that we both worked and had Brady, so we did need some help.  Charlie's mom came up on two separate weeks, taking Brady to and from daycare and cooking us a number of frozen meals - all this was very helpful and saved time!  Katie's parents came up for two weeks as well, taking Brady to daycare and helping catch up with housework.

Monday, October 13, 2014

December 2013 in Columbus-Visiting Friends and Family

All these Christmas posts are really getting me (Katie is writing this one) excited for Christmas this year.  To follow up on the most recent post, after we spent some time in Eaton, we went to Columbus for a few days to see friends and Peter and his family.
We first went to see Peter and Becca and the kids and wow it is crazy how time is flying and how much older they are all getting.  Little Tommy was 9 years old last Christmas. It was fun seeing them again and opening presents.

Afterwords, we went to see Katie's college friends, Sarah, Cathy, Lisa, Ashley with husbands and kids.  Cathy and Joey had just moved into a new house in Plain City (outside of Dublin) and had just had new baby, Max.  It was so much fun seeing everyone and meeting the newest Labyrinth baby.  Brady loved chasing their dog around the table, the kids had a dance party in the living room to Gangnam Style and then Brady had a party in the bath tub with Lily and Zane.

From Left to Right (Elliot, Brady, Zane, Lily, Parker)
Elliot and Parker are twins born a week after Brady, Zane and Lily are year older than Brady and the twins.

Just three bengals fans, getting along.

And we also made some time to stop over and see our good friends, the Rost's who had also just had their 2nd child.  Brady and their son Will are about a year apart and Brady loved his train table.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Christmas 2013 in Ohio

We made our way to Cincinnati for Christmas at the Mowry's after Charlie wrapped everything up for work.  In what has become an annual tradition, we went to the Wyoming Presbyterian Church for Christmas Eve.  Brady was not nearly as quiet as he had been the year before; instead of falling asleep on Charlie, we had to bring him out to the play area as he was trying to squirm around and show off his newfound powers of walking!

Brady also got to see some old Wyoming folks - like the Bartells, Charlie's friend's parents.  Paul was playing the violin as part of the service - and Brady was intrigued by that!

After church we continued the tradition of dinner at the Mowry's house.  The Caricos, Grumpa, Grandma Dorothy, Abby and us all enjoyed a nice meal put together by Leslie (and Tom said the prayer!).

Christmas morning, we woke up and opened presents.  This was the first time Brady was mobile and really able to participate.  He didn't completely understand everything - the act of opening the presents often was more exciting than the present itself!

Of course, a fun time was had by all...

Movies are the popular theme for Christmas night for us; Charlie and Mom went to the Hobbit, while the rest of the family went to see Saving Mr. Banks - the Disney movie about the Mary Poppins author.  

The next day, we went to Eaton for Christmas with the Caricos.  Brady loved his presents, there as well.  He particularly liked the stuffed animal dog he got - it was much bigger than him!

Also, he really liked playing with things at Bob and Sue's house.  The train tracks around the Christmas tree were a harbinger of things to come as far as his love of trains!  He also loved playing the piano downstairs, and dancing to the TV upstairs!

We stayed in Eaton for a few days, then headed to Columbus to see some friends up there.  But that's for the next post!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

2013 Holiday season in Chicago

Unlike Thanksgiving last year, we did get the chance to travel back to Ohio for the Christmas holidays.  However for this post - we did put up our Christmas tree in our house in Chicago, and the standard stockings to decorate the house.

Brady's big present from us was his own chair!  He also got to open a few other presents while we were still in Chicago.

We got ourselves a brand new couch - which you can see behind Brady's chair here.

We also went to see Santa at Water Tower Mall the weekend before Christmas.  Brady actually did pretty well and didn't freak out.

After the trip to the mall, however, he was very exhausted!

It was good to catch up on some rest, though - we were heading to Ohio for Christmas 2 days later!