Tuesday, August 15, 2017

a quiet birthday celebration and fun with cousins

(me, NC cousin, local cousin, sister)

A low-key and lovely birthday last week for moi...
The perfect new shoes for this Crazy Cat Lady - Bobs by Skechers and Pad Kee Mao at my favorite Thai restaurant. That was followed by a weekend of family togetherness...

Family from North Carolina were in town for a few days and we had a get-together at my sister's house. Is there anything cuter than a little girl (my second cousin) in a summer dress and cowboy boots playing cornhole? 

The next morning, I headed to downtown Chicago with my sister, our cousin who lives locally, and our cousin from NC. I hadn't seen my NC cousin in almost 19 years! The four of us sat at a table by the beach and talked and laughed for two hours. NC cousin couldn't get over the fact that buildings were right there at the beach. We had a perfect view of the John Hancock building from our table. After lunch and drinks and people watching (side note: thongs on middle aged women are not pretty), we walked around and made our way to Water Tower Place, which is basically a seven-story shopping mall. We eventually wound up on the seventh floor and found Garrett Popcorn - a Chicago must that I've never had! My sister warned me that it was very rich. I got the cheese-caramel mix and she wasn't kidding. A couple of handfuls and I was done. More walking around where we spotted Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago and were awed by its outside beauty amongst the highrises. We crossed the street to take a look and lucky us, the doors were open so we were able to go inside. Of course, my phone camera couldn't do the interior any justice, but wow. I was immediately struck by its reverence and beauty. 

I wish I could bottle up these long days and brilliant sunshine and family memories.


  1. The little one is a doll, but I've never heard of that game.

    Happy birthday to you, Melanie, and what a gift to celebrate it with a cousin you hadn't seen in so long. I love seeing pics of Chicago as my grandson and his bride of 2 years live there now and are absolutely loving it. He'll be home for a family wedding in a few weeks and I can't wait to hear all about their experiences there.

  2. Happy Birthday, Mel!!! Sounds like you had such a great time with those special gals. I love your new canvas shoes...very fitting!

    The pics of Chicago are magazine worthy. We live in a great city. Just wondering when you were there...we spent this past Saturday and Sunday there as we had a concert Saturday night.

    I love Garrett's. Al brings it home way too often. My fave is the cheese caramel, too. However. I can devour a whole bag!!!

    Happy Birthday again!!!


  3. I love posts like these. It sounds like you had an amazing birthday! Which restaurant was right on the water???

  4. Adorable shoes.
    Belated birthday greetings to you. Your celebrations looks like a wonderful time. How nice that you were able to get together with your cousin after all those years. When I saw the photo of you four gals, I instantly thought the one on the right had to be related. You and your sister bear a strong resemblance.

  5. Happy Birthday! What a great celebration and reuniting with your cousin. I love those cat shoes!!

  6. Melanie, those shoes are soooo cute! Happy birthday to you! It sounds and looks like a wonderful time. I've not been to Chicago, but a dear friend is moving there this fall, so I'm hoping for a trip there at some point.

  7. Perfect birthday celebration! Family time is always so special. Oh and those shoes...LOVE!!

  8. Happy birthday sweet girl! Sounds like a very nice weekend and oh, love the shoes. They are perfect!
    Connie :)

  9. Happy belated birthday, Melanie!! It looks like you had a fabulous time!!

  10. It sounds like a wonderful way to spend a birthday, Melanie! And I just adore your kitty shoes!

  11. What a lovely and happy birthday! I can't believe you've never had Garrett Popcorn before! I love it. Everytime someone in our family flies to or through Chicago, they are required to bring back Garrett Chicago Mix Popcorn.

  12. Happy birthday, Melanie! It looks like you had a lovely day. Today is my husband's birthday, the big 4-0. I love Garrett's Chicago mix, and you're right, it's really rich. Would you believe I've never actually been "on the ground" in Chicago, though, only in airports where I always find the Garrett's somewhere on the concourses and stop for a bag to eat at the gate. :)

  13. Belated Birthday wishes dear Melanie! It looks like you 4 girls had a great time. A gourmet popcorn shop, amazing!


  14. It sounds like a wonderful birthday for a wonderful girl :) Happy Birthday, my friend and Happy belated Birthday to your husband.

    Glad to hear that Zippo is doing better

    And agreed on the thongs lol!



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