Monday - September 30 did September fly by sooo fast?    Love this time of year and the weather has been just terrific.    After several days of cooler temps here in NC, it really warmed up today,
Blair has been wearing little dresses and leggings and today we returned to the onesies!    Cool mornings and evenings - warm afternoons!
Mark exercised and then hung some pretties in Blair's room.    Brooke and I got a bit of pampering (pedicure for her and manicure for me) and then to the grocery store.    Grandpa and Blair had fun together and she was awake the entire time we were gone!!!    But she was happy, so....
Brooke ran a bunch of errands in the afternoon and Grandpa, Blair and I took a little nap and read.
Liam and Connor's school was evacuated this morning when smoke was detected - something about a burnt motor, but all is well.
Blair loves to listen to and watch her mobile when she first wakes up - no big rush to eat!

Grandpa's girl - good pals while Mommy and Grandma were getting their toes/nails done!   

Little Miss wearing a dress and leggings (several outfits from TEA) all with an
Asian flair
Vera Bradley Baby 
New picture of our Florida baby, Luke (5 months)
Blair and I stayed home - rest went to the "D's" soccer game which they won 6-1.   Ate supper on the porch!    Boys play outdoors before dark, homework, showers, reading time....busy household!
Brady brushes Blair's hair after her bath


Sunday - September 29

Beautiful Sunday in North Carolina.....Davis, Brady and I went to 11:00 Mass at St. Aloysius (Mark and Drew went last night).    After lunch, the boys played outside, I did some laundry and enjoyed sweet Blair.    Michael and Brooke arrived home from Florida around 5:15.
Doing my morning stretches and kicks
Thanks Grandpa....this is good stuff

Watching Baby Einstein
Davis loves his baby sister
Hi there Blair....
Everyone loves my sweet cheeks
Mommy so happy to see her baby girl
Grandpa and kids doing face time with Anne, Patrick, Liam and Connor
The whole gang....
Have a great week!


Saturday - September 28

Mixture of clouds and sun today - when the clouds took over, it was cool; otherwise, nice 'n warm!     We got our exercising out of the way and after breakfast, Grandpa and Drew went to town to buy some foot supports he needs for all his shoes.    Blair ate at 10:30 last night and then slept till 4:30 - nice treat for Grandma!   
We all went to Brady's soccer game - he played goalie for 2 quarters and had some great kicks.   His team won 4-0 and they are now 3-0 for the season,.  Stopped at Cookout for milkshakes - never saw so many flavor choices and very good!
Did some laundry in the afternoon, Drew worked on a school project, Davis and Brady played soccer with friends and Blair took a good nap.    Grandpa and Drew went to 5:15 Mass.
Here are a "few" pics I took today....
I'm such a happy girl when I wake up
I'm wearing a little pink sleeper with ruffles, dots and tiny crowns - perfect for the
Princess and Queen Bee that I am!!!
Brady and Blair watching Saturday morning cartoons
Brady had a great game.....after the big win with Davis
At start of game Blair was so charming cooing to the ladies who stopped by to see her; then she slept thru the entire game and all the way home!
Drew is so attentive to Blair's needs.....great big brother.  He does not like to have his picture taken, so Grandma had to be sneaky with this one!!!
Later in the afternoon - Little Miss is all sacked out in her coordinating lavender accessories from socks all the way to passy....
Our kids having lunch at the Back Porch today in Destin, Florida
Definitely my granddaughter....."Born to Shop"

Friday - September 27

Another super-duper day in the weather department!    Michael and Brooke left at 7:30 for the airport and flight to Fort Walton Beach, FL for a weekend of wedding festivities with Brooke's family!    They are having lunch with Ryan tomorrow at The Back Porch in Destin (we had rehearsal luncheon there in June before Kassie and Kyle's wedding.)
Excited that we got tickets today to Martina McBride "Joy of Christmas" show coming December 20th with Bob, Linda, my cousin Dick and Mary!
I did some laundry and played Sorry and War with Brady - he beat me big time!
Mark got a haircut and took Drew to the orthopedic doctor.   He had 2 sprained tendons in his foot but they are healing and he is cleared to play soccer and other activities!
Grandpa and boys went bowling and to the arcade this afternoon!    Mark picked up pizzas from The Mellow Mushroom for supper - sooo good!
On their way to a fun weekend AND celebrate their 15th anniversary!
No school today - teacher conferences....   Brady was up to see his Mom and Dad off, but the "D's" slept in till 10ish!
Out of the mouths of babes.....this morning Brady said to me "Grandma, isn't Blair cute?"   I said "Yes, she is" and he quickly replied, "Well, she's better than I expected"!!!!!
Sweet baby girl in pretty pink flowers

Blair loves her toys and bangs and grabs them!

Davis getting some Blair cuddle time

Out for a sunny stroll with Grandma in flowers and smocking...
and then we both took a little snooze on the patio

Kicking the soccer ball around the front yard with Jinx
Blair did sooo good today at not spitting up, so no major wardrobe changes!!!    Grandpa and Brady are playing Chutes and still in progress!

Thursday - September 26

This North Carolina weather is wonderful.......left some really good stuff back in IL, so nice having more spectacular fall temps and sunshine.
Fun day with Miss Blair.....Brooke had a bunch of errands to run and Blair and Grandma had a little fashion show - she was spitting up some today, so changing her outfits was "meant to be".
Drew has a foot injury so couldn't play in the boys after-school soccer game (Drew and Davis are on school team)..   Michael and Mark went to the game which they lost 2-1 (they needed you, Drewby!)    Brooke took him to the doctor and tomorrow Grandpa will take him to an orthopedic surgeon to see what's what.    Brooke played in a tennis tournament tonight. 
Here's a few pics I took today...
After my morning bottle, I'm a happy girl
Blowing bubbles
All tuckered out while out strolling with Grandma
I'm such a big girl sitting in my Bumbo seat
Sweetie Pie all ready for dreamland
No school tomorrow for the boys (teacher conferences) and Michael and Brooke will be off to Florida for family wedding.    So a busy day around here for sure!    
Reading more on the horrific fire in Georgetown, SC yesterday.    Doodlebugs, one of the best childrens' shops and where we Grandmas had so much fun, suffered a total loss, along with 3 restaurants, florist and others.....sooo sad



Wednesday - September 25

Pretty day for traveling to O'Hare with a stop for breakfast at The Wishing Well Cafe in Odell.     Good flight to Charlotte where it had been raining off and on.    Great to see the kids but Miss Blair greeted Grandma and Grandpa with some screeching screams!    Ouch....time to get reacquainted?
We are shocked and very sad to read and see pictures about the horrific fire early this morning in Georgetown, SC's downtown destroying 8 historic buildings.   Just can't believe this as Mark and I so enjoyed our visit there on Catrina in May and then just this past Friday, Linda, Vicki and I shopped, ate and stayed overnight.    Some of the buildings lost date back to the 1700's.   Fortunately there were no deaths or injuries, but 7 families are homeless.
Didn't take long to be on the receiving end of Blair's sweet coos and smiles....
So we are settled in with the kids/kiddies in NC and will start posting pictures tomorrow, the day after and on and on....Ha!   I'm planning another fashion show, too

Tuesday - September 24

Great Autumn the laundry caught up, bunch of paper work to sort thru and take care of and packed.    Tomorrow we are off to NC and babysit Blair and the boys....CANNOT wait!!
Mark took Daisy back to storage with a brand new TV installed which Mark has been working on.

We rode our bikes on the trail and left them at the cycle shop for a good tune-up and adjustment.    Walked back home (1.5 miles).    I had a good visit with neighbors, Norma and Darrel.

Good news that Vicki is home!   Another doctor visit coming tomorrow.

Finished packing tonight and "think" we are ready to go....


Monday - September 23

Another very pretty day.....exercised, met the neighbors for breakfast (Brenda treated us to a delicious coffee cake in honor of Marty's birthday).
Mark and I rode our bikes on the Constitution Trail - it was awesome and been a long time since we've been on the bikes.   Had lunch outdoors at The Garlic Press.   On home and then a haircut and had planned to donate blood, but the Red Cross said my hemoglobin count was too low!    So.....till next time.
Thinking of my sister-in-law Vicki who is in the hospital - running a bunch of tests (she had shortness of breath).   We were just together last week!    Talked to Ron a short time ago...stress test coming tomorrow!
Went to Biaggi's with Monday Night Friends for dinner and chatter

Sunday - September 22

Happy First Day of Fall....
and what a beauty with upper 60 temps and sunny skies.    After a good night's sleep at Bob and Linda's, we 4 went to Cindy's in Mendota for  a good breakfast and ran into some of my fellow Sublettians, Anita and Mary.
Mark and I drove on home, yakking all the way about the past the suitcases unpacked, laundry started and sorted thru mail and other stuff.
Went to Liam's baseball game - they won (Liam got 2 good hits and he was hit by a pitched ball) and it was soo nice sitting outdoors this spectacular day.
We went to 4:00 Mass at Historic St. Pat's and home to just enjoy being "home"

Saturday - September 21

The Birthday Guy with his sweet little boy (a few months ago)

Hot and sunny here in Georgetown .   Printed off our boarding passes at hotel and found out flight is delayed 1.5 hours.   After breakfast we headed downtown to shop – had a ball at Doodlebugs – wonderful children's  shop and we Grandma’s went a bit C R A Z Y!!!!!     But Christmas is just around the corner, so….
Had lunch a  "Alfresco Georgetown Bistro " and sat in the alley with lovely table décor and fortunately a roof overhead as it started to rain and then poured.    Not sure where that came from, but we so enjoyed our lunch and dessert.   This was our last hurrah of good eating here in Lowcountry.  
Fantastic lunch in Georgetown 
  Left Georgetown for Pawley’s Island and stopped at The Juggling Board (another very nice children’s /adult shop).   Arrived at the Myrtle Beach airport, turned rental car in (enjoyed driving our little black Chevy Captiva SUV all week.)    Flight has been delayed another hour…..ugh!!!!
So we were 2.5 hours late leaving but arrived back in Chicago where my brothers were there to meet us.   Mark will be meeting us in Mendota (he’s been with his family all day) and we’ll spend the night with Bob and Linda.
What a great week – the lodging, home tours, sightseeing, shopping, wonderful food and of course, meeting Paula Deen were so fun in the beautiful cities of Charleston, Savannah, Beaufort and Georgetown.  We sisters-in-law will long remember this special week of being together in beautiful Lowcountry.

Friday - September 20

It's Friday already and our travels are winding down.   After another yummy breakfast in the Atrium, we gals checked out of the Marshall House, loaded up the suitcases and away we went saying goodbye to beautiful, historical, fun Savannah and taking with us happy memories.    We drove to Beaufort (about one hour) and glad the gals enjoyed this little historic town as much as Mark and I always have.   Shopped (much warmer today) and had a delicious lunch on the porch of Plum's overlooking the beautiful Beaufort waterfront.
Vicki sat by the water swinging away while Linda and I hit some more shops.....then we all took a 50-minute carriage ride thru the historic district - fun (Sue the driver and Doc, the horse).    Mark and I did this same tour a few years ago and it is a good one!
Doc, Vicki, Linda, Pat 
We left Beaufort around 3:30 for Georgetown ( 2.5 hour trip).   Georgetown is another favorite from our boating travels this spring.    We checked into our hotel, freshened up a bit and drove downtown.    Neat shops are awaiting us tomorrow!   But had a fantastic dinner at Wildfish Grill and enjoyed chatting with the new owner, Trevor.    We had fish tacos (blueberry bar-b-que mahi mahi and grilled shrimp) - absolutely delicious along with their bleu mac and cheese (oh my)!!!!    Fun place and highly recommend it if and when you're in Georgetown.
Excellent tacos and bleu mac and cheese
Spent rest of this Friday night reading - tomorrow afternoon we fly home (after checking out the shops, of course)!
Mark is with his family tonight in Dixon....the majority of his siblings and spouses are together for a big ole rib fest, visit, game playing, etc.    He had a fun morning taking Daisy to Holy Trinity grade school at Connor's request.   This week he was "Saint of the Week" and did special things each day, but today, he had asked Grandpa if he could please bring Daisy to school for his classmates to see, check out the inside, etc.    Thought Mark would take a few pictures, but between keeping track of 18 little 2nd graders and answering their many questions, taking pictures was forgotten!   Mark really enjoyed it all as did Connor.   I will be anxious to hear more about this when I get home!
Have a fun weekend!

Thursday - September 19

Happy 15th Wedding Anniversary to Michael and Brooke.... 

15 years....where oh where do the years go?
and....happy 2 months to Blair
What a treat this morning to have Blair do face time with Grandma - she was so animated moving those little hands and arms!    Made Grandma's day....
After breakfast in the atrium,

Beautiful breakfast room at the Marshall House

we walked to Oglethorpe Square and sat in the park waiting for the Owen-Thomas home to open.   Unfortunately 2 buses pulled up and dropped off lots of passengers there.    Next available tour time was 11.....Vicki stayed and did that, but Linda and I shopped and had noon reservations at Paula Deen's (Lady and Sons) for lunch.    Food was excellent (especially asparagus sandwich on pumpernickel bread) and then.....just so happened that today Paula Deen was making her come-back 1st appearance in Savannah since the fiasco with racist charges which were all dropped.    We waited in line for 2 hours to have Jamie Deen's new cookbook signed and got to meet and shake hands with Paula, her husband, Michael and sons Jamie and Bobby.    It was all worth the wait.....Paula was very gracious and thanked us for coming and for caring.    We could not use cameras or phones, but they took our picture with the family and that will be available online next Tuesday!
Walked to the City Market with that area being mostly artsy......onto the River Walk where we met up with Vicki and did some browsing the shops and then had happy hour and dinner at the Chart House - wonderful meal sitting outside overlooking the Savannah River on a lovely evening.

Large container ship passed by as we were having dinner
Had 2 pedicycles take us back to hotel and now ready to collapse after another BIG day in this beautiful southern city.

Wednesday - September 18 it, love it!!!    This entire Low Country is just sooo awesome and since Monday when it was very hot in Charleston, the weather has been incredibly gorgeous!    After breakfast in the atrium at the Marshall House, we took the trolley around the historic district this morning (90 minute tour) which was very interesting!   24 squares in the historic district - each one named and so unique and of course love all the beautiful homes and architecture.
  Then to  Mrs.Wilkes a renowned Savannah institution that serves family style lunch every day from 11-2.    Oh my, 3 meat dishes, 22 side dishes (that's right, twenty-two) and dessert!    We sat at large round tables and got to visit with other tourists as we scarfed down all this wonderful home-cooked food!    We waited in line 1 hour and long line when we left!
After lunch we shopped at a very nice children's shop and then walked to the Andrew Low home (his daughter-in-law, Juliette was the founder of the girl scouts.)  Lovely home with a very good docent, Eve
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah is currently undergoing major renovation - have never seen such massive scaffolding with many flights of stairs.
Finally back to our room at the beautiful Marshall House to relax a bit - but just for a bit and then Linda and I walked down Broughton Street browsing the shops.    Back to our hotel for wine and then enjoyed some appetizers at 45 Bistro.
As if we hadn't eaten enough today......we walked down a short block to Leopold's (Savannah tradition for fine ice cream since 1919) and it was wonderful!
Whew....big day of fun, especially all the good eating and now we are all in need of a restful night of good sleep so we can do this all over again tomorrow!!!
Our Savannah home
The Marshall House

Tuesday - September 17

We sisters-in-law were on the move today.....all day long starting with a lovely breakfast at the Ansonborough and then walked to catch the carriage ride which took us on a delightful 1 hour tour of the historic district (Ashley was our tour guide and Dave was our horse)    Vicki's son is Dave, married to Ashley!!!!!!!   There are 5 carriage ride companies in Charleston and each morning the driver (tour guide) checks to see which route he has for that day.    So you could take a ride with each company and REALLY see the city!   Anyway, we enjoyed Ashley and Dave (Ashley looked so much like Jackie, my Tiger Cruise roommate).

Vicki and Linda outside the Ansonborough with beautiful overflowing window boxes
Vicki, Pat and Linda with Dave who took us on a very interesting tour
The Nathaniel Russell Home
Enjoyed touring this lovely home - one of the most popular in Charleston
We rode with Andy on the tricycle to and from the Russell home and then to Cru Café
Andy taking the girls for a bike ride 
Excellent lunch at the Cru Café topped with this heavenly orange sherbet cake with yummy frosting and coconut that tasted like a dreamsickle (we shared).
After lunch, Linda and I shopped a little bit more in the Market shops and then we were off to Savannah.....2 hour trip with lots of traffic thru Charleston, but then cleared out.
Arrived at 4:40 and we are staying at the Marshall House - lovely old hotel.   After unpacking, we went downstairs in the beautiful meeting room for wine, cheese, crackers and grapes. 
We walked to the Olde Pink House which we were told was a "must eat" at place - well, it was superb....11 dining rooms in a very old pink house with top-notch service, food and ambiance!
After our delicious dinner
This dessert was just phenomenal - a crust of pecans and pralines filled with homemade ice cream and mango sauce surrounded by fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries and strawberries)!  We shared.
Entrance to the Olde Pink House
After dinner, we walked around this lovely place and went to the basement (tavern) 
 sooo quaint and charming!
Nighty night!