I hadn't been back to Chicago to visit Mom since April and Jack and I decided this would be a good weekend to go. Ok, I decided it would be a good weekend to go! It's also my son Craig's birthday and he and his family were visiting his wife's sister, who also lives in Chicago. So we decided to have a birthday celebration on Saturday afternoon. But before I get into all that, I had to snap a shot of the lovely dinner my Sister prepared for us after we arrived on Friday. It was lamb (of course, we're Greek aren't we?) a beautiful salad,(I provided the tomatoes from our garden), and this yummy chicken number that combines chicken, feta cheese, Parmesan cheese, spices, all wrapped in phyllo..it was awesome!
On Saturday we got ready for a nice crowd that was coming around 3pm. We had Mom's yard all ready...the chairs, tables and deck were looking good..and the rain clouds were coming in fast. I wasn't complaining about the cloud cover because the day was hot and humid and it took the edge off..the breezes picked up too. The rain did hold off until after dinner...we ate birthday cake inside!
Since it was Craig's birthday we let him decide on the menu..all he cared about were the ribs and a special chocolate cake..well, we filled in the blanks with burgers, brats, salads and other goodies. Did you have any doubt?
The grownup cousins got a chance to talk over life, mothering, and just plain "catching up"...This is Katie (my niece on the left) and my daughter-in-law Amy.
Sophie was happy with a chip...
Katie and Jack took care of the grilling..
The cousins..Jack (my daughter-in-law's nephew) and my grandkiddo Taylor called dibs on the swing!
Brooke (my niece's daughter) showed me her cast..she broke her leg and was wearing a full length cast but just had a new shorter one put on..just in time for school..She's a trooper!
My Grandkiddos and my niece's daughter had a fun time together. I was glad they were able to get to know each other better.
When the rain came it was time to head indoors for cake, candles, icecream and singing...Way to blow out candles Craig!
Happy Birthday Craig!
Sunday morning we got A final goodbye from Craig and Amy as they headed back to Michigan.
We had so much fun on Saturday celebrating Craig's birthday we decided to continue with the family get-togethers. My brother Greg invited us on a boat ride down this lovely river..the Illinois river, on Sunday. The weather was perfect..very cool and sunny. Such a change from the hot and humid day before!
The gang was all aboard..my Brother Greg (driving), Jack, my niece Amy and her hubby Eric,(not in this shot) my Sis-in-law, Deidra (holding new baby Ella), and me of course (behind the camera..where I like it)..
The passengers also included these two crazy gals..my Sis, Midge, and my Mom.
Even this little monkey..Ella..enjoyed the day. Her first boat ride! She slept through most of it, only waking to eat..my kinda girl!
After cruising down the Illinois river we spotted a nice spot to stop and get off and enjoy a picnic.
The boat was secured nice and tight and we sat on the beach and enjoyed a delish lunch that my Sis had prepared. Food always tastes better in the fresh outdoor air doesn't it?
Eric and Jack thought we might need a little more shade. The beach was very shady and nice so we nixed the umbrella. (But it made a nice pic!)
Thanks "Capt." Greg for a wonderful afternoon of boating, sun and fun..
We left for home today and made it safe and sound. The temps have cooled down to about a high of 65, a little cool for some people, but not us!...Now back to the working world tomorrow. It was good to visit with Mom and Midge and all my family and spending time with Craig on his birthday was the best...I guess having a kiddo on Labor day is a "Labor of love" when you can share it with so many great people that I'm proud to call "FAMILY".