Lizzard Loves Blue Sky Snow Covered Vail

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Unique friends

I love the postcard I got in the mail this week.
Lizzard Loves this postcard.

It made me so glad for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is I like the couple announcing their wedding VERY much! Chris & I went a far more traditional route in our engagement/wedding announcements and I was (& am) quite happy with how we did things. When I found this postcard in my mailbox though, I was reminded yet again of how many unique ways there are to do EVERYTHING!! I love that my friends did their wedding their own way, I love their cheeky postcard, I love them together as a couple. 

In a world where so many of us spend so much time fretting about what everybody else is doing, my friends postcard was a lovely breath of fresh (frigid) January air. As much as I can, I am striving in 2014 to be me, without the fretting, comparing, and worrying that I am sometimes susceptible to. I wonder if others have similar "resolutions" in 2014? Share in the comments if the mood strikes!

Cheers to my newlywed friends; to many many years of wedded happiness.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Quiet snowy mornings

I love Chicago in the winter.

Lizzard Loves Snowy Chicago Days and Nights
I love the snow! I don't mind the cold, because I love bundling up in my warm clothes. I love the way a cold, snowy, gray day can inspire us to hunker down in our cozy apartment. But I also love going out to explore the quiet beauty Chicago has to offer while getting walloped by snow.

We had a great mix of the two during the snow storm precursor to the polar vortex's arrival which quickly turned our city into Chiberia.

We went to Gene's Sausage Shop to shop for stocking stuffers (we were somewhat belated in our Christmas celebration....) and I was struck again by how much I enjoy that store. If you haven't visited- please take the time to do so. It is a Lincoln Square institution, offers a crazy amount of delicious beer in the 2nd floor, makes & sells delicious soft pretzels, stocks a get selection of our favorite gummy candy brand Haribo, has a chocolate bar section that is literally amazing, to say nothing of the actual deli counter. The deli counter is chock full of encased meats, (it is a sausage shop after all :) plus a solid assortment of normal meat/cheese. Alas, fresh encased meat does not a stocking stuffer make, so we didn't venture there on our recent visit. Winter or not, quiet snowy morning or hot summer day; Gene's is worth a stop.

Lizzard Loves her husband,books & coffee
Next up, The Book Cellar, a local book shop. Shocking I know- but yes indeed- you can still buy honest to goodness books in real stores! I am embarrassed to admit after living approximately a mile and a half from this place (for over 5 years!) I didn't venture in until this past weekend. Major neighborhood fail on my part. I suppose better late than never applies in this case. Cozy chairs in the front window afforded us access to beautiful books and magazines along with the view of the snow swirling around outside their front windows. Hot coffee and friendly folks behind the counter rounded out a perfect neighborhood stop.

Finally home to celebrate Christmas with more coffee, a good breakfast, and an immense amount of snow.
Lizzard Loves "Christmas" breakfast at home

On a related note, has anyone else noticed (and/or appreciated) how much the snow brings out the city's friendliest side? I find that I chat much more to the waitress, bartender, & shop clerk than I do on a regular day. Many of you know that I am, by nature, quite chatty- so this is saying something! I notice it in other people too. Just walking around our neighborhood I am offered many more hellos during a snowstorm than I am on an average weather day. Maybe because the sidewalks shrink to a 12 inch wide passable stretch, or maybe we all join in the feeling of "we're all in this together", or maybe its something else entirely. Bottom line; I like being "in this together" with you Chicago. I am happy & proud to live here, even in the cold & snow, scratch that, especially in the cold & snow.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Help from my husband

I love help from my husband.

Obviously.....but particularly when I am 1 thumb down. While celebrating New Year's Eve in Wisconsin, I sprained my thumb. I **did not** drunkenly injure myself! I fell down while cross country skiing at Kettle Morraine State Forest. Side note, if you ever find yourself visiting southeastern Wisconsin; take the time to visit Kettle Morraine (or "the Kettle" as our family affectionately calls it). It is a beautiful place full of tall hills, deep forests, and lakes. 
As per usual, I digress.

Chris not only helped me up from my fall, cheered me on while I skied the 1/2 mile back to our car from where I fell, and drove me to the ER.......but hasn't made fun of my really great looking hand wear this past week! 
Lizzard Loves...wearing my cross country boots in the ER!
Lizzard Loves...Swollen fingers and Freddy Kruger mask :)
Even more helpful? He was willing to learn how to braid my hair because I couldn't (& still can't) do it myself! As you may have heard, we are rocking some incredibly cold weather in Chicago (Chiberia, home of the polar vortex!) and in order to keep my head and ears warm, I have been rocking a hat nonstop since New Years. My crazy curly hair does not take well to being crammed into a hat; so I wrangle it into a braid to keep it from looking too ridiculous. 

There are many things you need 2 working thumbs to do, it becomes quite clear once you are lacking 1 of the 2. On Friday night though, the most pressing need I had was to get out of the house to go to dinner with a friend at Sepia (delicious, delicious place- absolutely visit it when you have time. Order & enjoy one of their craft cocktails and drink in the liquid thoughtfulness they offer. Don't skimp on your food order either- you will be increasingly happy with each passing course! Do not fault the restaurant for the fact that their website plays music when you visit. At least it is in keeping with their overall old school image!) Darn it, digressed again. 

Back to the helpful husband, who was more than willing to watch this video from Real Simple to help him learn. Look at what he did! New year, new skill for Chris!

 I was out the door on time, into the cold, but appropriately bundled up in my hat with my hair staying put :) 

Lizzard Loves my husband's help!
Mission accomplished. Thanks honey!