Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Celebrating across the Midwest!

My cooking blog has been a bit slow lately, because in the last two weeks my personal life has been a whirlwind of traveling and seeing old friends. My Abstract Algebra final was May 5, and as soon as it was over I started running around like a crazy person! My good friend Chris came to town to be sworn in as a lawyer with the Illinois bar, and we joined him and his parents to celebrate his accomplishment. What a fun night we had! The next day I taught a cooking class with Common Threads (which you can read about here), and then we joined a group of friends to celebrate our friend Dan's graduation from grad school. After a busy semester of studying and working too many nights and weekends, I really enjoyed just hanging out and catching up with friends!

Joe & Chris enjoying some brews at Rock Bottom

We decided to check out The Roof at the Wit Hotel. It's an open patio bar on the 27th floor of the hotel, offering amazing views of the city. We agreed this was an awesome spot to go, even if we were under dressed and totally not cool enough to really hang out there!

Congrats Dan!

After all that celebrating in Chicago, I took the train down to St Louis for the next week. My mom was on her last few days at the rehab hospital, and I was able to help my dad get the house ready for her homecoming. I also made easy, portable, healthy dinners to bring to the hospital, since my mom had grown really tired of bland hospital food. I was so happy to have the opportunity to go down to lend a hand, because I knew the last month had been really challenging for my family. I was there when my mom finally came home from the hospital, and helped her start the transition back to living at home. Thankfully, the wheelchair is only temporary, so she's only having to learn to live this way for a measured amount of time! Joe came down for the weekend, and we all joined together to celebrate my sister Colleen's graduation from high school. It was so uplifting to celebrate these accomplishments with the people who are most important to me!

Welcome Home Mom!

Celebrating with my sisters... brother didn't make back to StL until waaay later that night.

My aunt and grandparents also came to St Louis to see my mom and celebrate with Colleen.

After Colleen's graduation party, Joe and I snuck out to see some old friends. Josh was Joe's college roommate for 3 years, and was in our wedding. We've known him and his girlfriend Christy for years, and it was fun hanging out like old times!

Once things calmed down in St Louis, my sister Laura and I went to Kansas City for a couple days. Laura and her husband Dan are starting grad school at KU this summer, and Laura needed to find a place for them to live. Since I lived in Kansas City after graduation, I volunteered to help her with the apartment hunt. I also knew this trip would be a chance to catch up with other old friends, like my college roommate Jess and our friends Kieth and Tara. We also had lunch with Joe's brother and his wife, who are expecting a baby this summer! Once again, it was a wildly busy two days... with a lot of fun thrown in the mix!

Jess just bought a townhouse, and we were honored to be her first guests!

Kieth and Tara have an adorable little guy named Jack, and I finally got to meet him. He looks pretty darn cute in this picture, and is really even a million times cuter than that. I had so much fun playing with him!