Monday, July 18, 2011


David and I extended our travel time around the U2 concert to enjoy the sites of Chicago. I had not been to Chicago since high school so had a much different perspective of the city this go around. Plus, we had great tips from friends on places to see and eat that made our trip even better. This was our first trip away from both boys for a four day getaway...thanks to our parents!!

We enjoyed the beautiful view of the city from the Navy Pier.

You can't leave Chicago without some deep dish pizza (two times in our case)! We grabbed dinner one night with the family of one of David's friends. I am so sad that I didn't get a picture of all of us. I enjoyed finally meeting Pat and his wife, Holly and their three boys. David and he were friends the one year that David went to Butler. (They also went to the U2 concert!!)

Our first day in Chicago we strolled through Grant Park and also Millenium Park seen in the picture above.

A view of the beautiful architecture in Chicago during our architectural boat tour (thanks to all who gave us this tip!).

Another great view of the city from the boat.

We also toured the Art Institute and saw many famous paintings.

Our hotel was in the perfect spot for our stay. We were right on Michigan Avenue and had a beautiful view of the Navy Pier from our top floor window. We actually were able to watch the fourth of July fireworks from our room and didn't have to fight the crowds. It was also an easy walk back from the U2 concert which of course was key. :) Hoping to visit Chicago again...a little sooner than the last time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

U2 Chicago

The day after the U2 concert in Nashville, David and I headed to Chicago for the next leg of the tour. We are not groupies...I promise! For the two previous concerts, we had tickets for reserved seats. We decided to do General Admission for the Chicago show to try and get a closer experience. However, in order to get this closer experience, we had to give up an entire day of our lives to waiting in line. We arrived at Soldier Field at around 8:45 a.m. on the day of the concert. We were not the first to arrive...ha! We were #523 and #524. Thankfully, we were positioned in the shade so this was the first of many things we were grateful.

We quickly made friends with those around us who were from the varying states of Ohio, Wisconsin and Kentucky. Each group had a different experience with U2 and a different reason for being there. We came prepared to wait out the day with cards and books but found that the conversations with those around us moved the time more quickly and didn't even need these forms of entertainment. Due to the warm weather, the stadium and U2 were concerned for our well-being and wanted everyone in the shade. So, the first 700+ of us GA's were moved to the inside of the stadium. Here we are inside at our new spot in line.

Three different times we were given "markings" to determine our "place." We were given our "un"official Sharpie # that marked where we were upon arrival in line. We then were given green bracelets to mark that we were general admission ticket holders. The black stamp was given to us for entrance in/out of the inner circle once we made it inside.

We had to choose our spot quickly once we were let onto the field of the stadium. We decided on the back railing of the inside circle so that we could get a full view of the stage, screen and have a level view of the outside ring where all four band members at some point during the concert would walk past us. We also had the bonus of being able to lean against the back railing, which was a life-saver on our backs!!

Here are a few shots during the concert. I had hoped to get better shots but it's difficult when it's dark and they are moving quickly. But I was able to capture the proximity of ourselves to the band.

At then end of one of their songs, it began to sprinkle for just about a minute. However, it was long enough that they put up their umbrellas on stage. How cool are they?!!

The entire day was an incredible experience and worth every minute of the wait! I would do it, I don't have tickets for another show...yet! ha!

U2 Nashville

David and I are pretty big fans of U2...okay they are my favorite band. We saw them in Atlanta in '09 on this same 360 tour. After that show, all we wanted to do was see them again. So, we bought tickets for their proposed show in Chicago in July '10. Bono hurt his back and all concerts were cancelled for the rest of the year. Our show was rescheduled for July '11. THEN, they announced they were adding a show in Nashville just three days prior to their Chicago show. We couldn't NOT see them in our hometown. :) So here we are at the Nashville show.

We caught dinner with friends before going to the show in Hillsboro Village. It was fun walking from dinner to the concert and seeing so many familiar faces along the way. It seems like almost everyone we knew from Nashville was going to the show.

What a fun night, especially when Bono referred to having dinner the night before with people like Jars of Clay, Amy (Grant), and Michael J. Smith (I will now also refer to Michael W. Smith as Michael J. Smith...if Bono says it, it's TRUTH. :))

Thursday, June 23, 2011

construction zone

A couple of weeks ago, the boys eagerly went to a construction playday with other boys from church (despite the temps in the high 90s and no shade in sight!). The boys didn't care that the dirt was dried up and difficult to dig in because what could be more fun than permission to use their big construction trucks and play in dirt and with construction hats!

Asher's good friend Ethan joined in the fun (meanwhile Ethan's sisters were inside in the air conditioning learning ballet).

Thanks to Lucas, the boys played with this really fun excavator!

The older boys made a quick connection that with they could use the water for drinking purposes to make MUD!!

Jonas knew that all construction men needed adequate water breaks while on the job.

Very busy boys working in the construction zone...if they only had cones!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


So a couple of years ago, I posted this about blueberry plants. At the time, I was more than ready to plant a few of these bushes and start reaping the benefits since my boys (David included) have me buying frozen blueberries and fresh (when in season) on a weekly basis. Well, I am a procrastinator at heart so it shouldn't be surprising that two years later, I now have two blueberry plants finally in the ground. I was excited that they came bearing fruit and just needed sun and time to ripen. You can see above that we have harvested a few of these delicious berries. However, I failed to cover them with a net and so the birds have come and removed all the remaining fruit. Well, maybe in two more years, I will get some nets and we will actually have enough to freeze for the winter!! (I will probably need to plant three more plants as well. I read that for a family of four you need 5 plants to produce enough blueberries.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

star wars lego cake

My most recent cake order was for an eight year old birthday wars lego theme!

My boys had their first lesson on Star Wars characters. Jonas was running around the house saying, "d2, d2."

firefighters to the rescue!

Our local Chik-Fil-A was having a Family night with Firetrucks and a police car. We didn't want to miss this! We also ran into our friends Lila, Ruby and Levi!

One brave boy got into the hook and ladder firetruck.

Another brave boy shook hands with the fire cow.

Jonas wanted his picture with the cone!

We feel much safer now that we have been in and around a firetruck and learned more about what they do.

Wilson Family Reunion

Over Memorial Day weekend, we headed for the Smokey Mountains for a reunion with David's mom's family. This included twenty-three adults and children under one roof for four days and three nights!! Here is Kay preparing a meal for all of us our first night in the cabin (we took turns cooking each night).

To keep our sanity, we would all head out of the cabin in the mornings. For our first venture, we decided to hike up to the Laurel Waterfalls. The kids enjoyed any area where they could climb up and down a few rocks.

We also were privileged to see a bear during our walk. The bear was actually walking on the trail until it turned off and went down through the trees. You can see the park ranger in the picture so all were safe!

Our second day we decided to do try out a classic Pigeon Forge outing....putt-putt golf and bumper boats. Our family was the only one to do the golfing but the boys thought it looked fun (at least for the first three holes..ha!). Thankfully, they were free!

One night we headed to a creek and the kids loved playing in the water, finding rocks and of course, throwing rocks in the water.

I think Jonas could have moved to the creek for how much he enjoyed it.

One of many attempts to get a picture of all the kids.

Before we headed out of town, we stopped at a kids ride park. Jonas decided he wanted to do this...

We had a great time in the mountains and enjoyed spending time with family we don't see very often!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

david's cake

Okay, so I did not make this cake. It's from Whole Foods. After a busy week of making three cakes, David's birthday fell within this same week and I just couldn't bake any more.
We at least let him go get his favorite ice cream along with his cake...what a treat for the boys, too!

As you can see, Jonas is thoroughly enjoying David's birthday celebration.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

cake three

This is the third of three different baking jobs I had within a week! Wheww!! (See other two in the next posts.) This was a second birthday party for my niece, Skylar. There wasn't a specific theme so we just made it fun and girly. I think she enjoyed it!

cake two

So, this isn't actually a cake. I made this for the groom's cake at a wedding. The groom requested a brownie pyramid. This was my first time to make anything for a wedding. Thankfully, the bride and groom were very low key and made this a much lower stress event. Thankfully, I also had two helpers that worked with me on the day of the wedding to bake 6 dozen brownies from scratch. Thanks, Katie and Danna, I couldn't have done it without you (or your kitchen, Katie!). I also helped coordinate the wedding ceremony and reception, which made this day even busier. David was recruited to be the "tech" guy and started/stopped the music for me. I think we just started our new family business! ha!!

cake one

I made this cake and cupcakes for a wedding shower a couple of weeks ago. I took the flower design from the napkin that we used and the invitation had the hummingbirds on it.