Thursday, July 21, 2011

Visiting the Land of Lincoln

While I love living in Virginia, I sure do miss being close to family. We had the chance a couple of weeks ago to spend 6 days with my parents in Illinois and it was awesome.


I don’t think Brendan really remembers his cousin Mary from when they would play together in Utah since it’s been almost 2 1/2 years since then (wow) but they hit it off right away. Despite Brendan’s face in the above picture, he really did love having Mary around and they played so well together. It was adorable!

IMG_8519 I think Mary liked Alex too. But then again, who doesn’t?

IMG_8506Grandpa sure did love him. Alex took a strong liking to my dad.

IMG_8508Even though Alex stuck his little dirty hands in his mouth at every opportunity or made a grab for his glasses, Grandpa was still happy to have him.

IMG_8546Grandmas are always happiest when their grandchildren are around, so my mom was extra happy to have all three under the same roof.

IMG_8528Being back in my hometown meant eating lots of food and Alex was happy to partake as well. He loved all the goodies that people kept giving him but I did not love all the poopy diapers. It was gross.

IMG_8657Here’s Alex chowing down on a fry at Smoque, a BBQ place in Chicago we had to try out because we saw it on Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives. It was delicious and if you happen to be in the area, I’d recommend it.

IMG_8663A shot of my sister and Chris enjoying the food- I especially love that Chris looks like he’s in a BBQ-induced haze. The brisket was extremely good.


We also got to watch the fireworks since we were in town for the 4th of July. Can you believe that Brendan had never seen a real fireworks show before this? It was quite exciting for him.




We also did lots of other fun things like visit a small petting zoo,



collect pine cones on a walk, jump on a trampoline, go see Super 8 (which was very good),

IMG_8699 and fishing with Grandpa. I asked Brendan was his favorite thing was and he answered: “Throwing worms in the water with Grandpa!”


It was such an awesome visit and I loved every minute of it, as did Brendan and Alex. Brendan was crying as we drove away, saying he didn’t want to leave Grammy’s house. It broke my heart.

Thanks to my parents for putting up with us and letting the kids tear up the house! And hopefully this time, their cat will not have another nervous breakdown because of Brendan.


  1. I've heard so many great things about Smoque! Your post made me hungry for some good bbq :) I'd love to see you the next time your in Illinois, but I also know how hard it is to do anything besides family stuff. I just had 24 hours in utah after ben's family reunion and felt really torn about not letting friends know we were in town. It looks like you had a great trip!

  2. I love the pictures you take, they always make me feel like I'm reading a really fun story. Looks like such a great trip