G and G both retired in May!! Nog big parties… but a trip with our family of 5 is the gift  after spending the weekend with us, I’m not sure it’s a gift they will want  just kidding! But our house is pretty busy 🙂  congrats Mom and Dad on a long time of working  I still remember when my dad got his job with the county and I thought he looked like a police officer in his navy work clothes  and lots of visits to moms work over the years – including going in on a Saturday where she typed my Notre Dame application very precisely  I thought that would look better than handwritten!! 

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Natalie’s spring performance

Natalie has her first dance performance in 3 years. She is a beautiful dancer. My only complaint was that I wish she was up on stage longer!! Maybe I can see her on pointe for a private performance next week!

nana pop and dad went to Friday nights performance    Grandpa grandma Alison Elliott Kenzie and I went to saturdays  jordan and Conor got to see her part too and then snuck out


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Funny Conor isms

“Here you go BOSS!”

(movie quote from paw patrol movie – from someone who has Mayor humdinger as a boss)

he says this a lot


tonight he told me I have big teeth    Big teeth like a farmer

Where did he get that from?!?




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Memorial Weekend with the Marx fam and Grandpa

My mom is in Alaska with Leah for her first trip of retirement! The rest of the GB fam came down. Grandma sent the crew with a tiger for Conor since tigers are his fav animal. Conor – who has never come up with his own name for a stuffed animal – named it papa! With no hesitation. That’s funny bc that’s what I called my mom’s dad!

Great cousin time. This is round 1 of pics from Sat.

also funny. Conor just told me: I love you anymore.


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5th grade ceremony

Natalie had a fifth grade memory ceremony at the high school. It was a nice event and fun to see her on stage, laughing and having fun. Nat wasn’t a shorty in Longmeadow but the Midwest must breed some tall stock    Elliott decided he wanted to come – I think to get out of school a little early but then seemed to regret it when I picked him up and he was missing a movie!  Jira was so kind to make a beautiful bouquet and Nana was able to come!

We are so proud of Natalie for acclimating so well to a new environment  for a gift we got her a lock (to practice for middle school), bath and body works products (she loved it), and a coupon for a “The Originals” lunch (aka Dad, Mom and Natalie)

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Third grade picnic

Elliott worked so hard to prepare for the third grade picnic. He made a parents book. It was awesome to have lunch just with him. He requested a McDonald’s quarter pounder with cheese (plain), fries and a Diet Coke. It killed a little bit of me to load up my beloved child with all that junk but it’s rare so okay.

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Charleston, South Carolina

  • Charleston

A huge thanks to G and G and N and P for splitting childcare duty so that J and I could go away for 4 nights to Charleston, SC!  We haven’t been away this long since we went to Aruba in 2015!

We had an awesome trip. It’s sad how hard it is to unplug from parental duty and work, but we found our way.

Day 1

Strolling the shopping/ historic district. J actually purchased a pair of jeans over $50. We had an excellent dinner at The Establishment.

Day 2

Easy morning. Got bikes at Bildabike (highly recommended) and then met a friend from college for lunch at Leon’s (a bit off the beaten path: highly recommended). We leisurely lunched for 2 hours and then took a 20 mile round trip bike ride to Sullivan beach. Great way to see the area. We refueled at a restaurant at Shem Creek park on the way back. View was great. Saw dolphins in the creek. We didn’t do it but a kayak tour there would be cool on a subsequent trip. Then we play darts at a bar on King street. Jordan was victorious but it was close.


We got our church on. We went to St Patrick’s a historically black church that has merged a couple times. There were about 8 first communicants there! The music was really good and it was the most diverse church setting. It’s obvious the area is gentrifying a lot. In general there is so much building going on in Charleston.

Then we rode bikes through the historical district along the beach (south of our hotel in liberty square). We wanted to peak in at the cathedral (gorgeous) and happened on the exit of the new bishops first mass. SC diocese has had 14 bishops. The last one was here for 22 years. Bishop Fabre is the first black hatian descendant bishop in SC history. We joined them for a celebratory lunch!

Then we tried to bike up to a park in North Charleston but it was industrial and run down residential so we didn’t make it all the way. We stopped at revelry brewery on the way back (also recommend). Then we cleaned up and went to dinner at the ordinary on king st which is an oxymoron. J loved loved a fried oyster mini sandwich so much that he ordered a second. The food is pricy and fancy though so only go if you are a foodie. Then we broke our local-stuff only rule and ate dessert at insomnia cookies. And went to the dewberry for a Drink and great views of Downtown 


We rented a car and drove to Middleton plantation. It was interesting but not a must see. We did learn more about the lives of enslaved people. Other ideas if you rent a car would be to go to folly beach or isla palms beach. Then we had massages which was awesome after almost 40 miles of biking that weekend and dinner out at an Italian place where we got flat bread pizza and discovered brevazzi – an alcoholic Italian soda which was delicious.


Leisurely morning. I worked out and did some personal work. Nothing else to report.

We also squeezed in a few episodes of Ozarks at night. If we would ever go here with younger kids, the Childrens museum or aquarium would be good. We saw the naval destroyer and fort Sumter at a distance but didn’t make an effort to see them. History buffs would love though.

Awesome trip. Rejuvenating and fun to explore somewhere new.



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Cute Conor observation

while jumping on the couch with his eyes closed

mom: wow. You are brave to jump with your eyes closed. Are you scared

conor: (looking a bit perplexed) no there’s no snakes



the basket pic is where he chose to watch a show one day.
that last pic shows the rosary he picked up from church in Florida!


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we haven’t seen Lala in 4 or 5 months so we were so lucky to get 28 hours with her. Conor adores her and she got more snuggles this weekend than JENE have gotten in a week! Her awesome cheer squad ability extends to bowling too.

she also let J and I meet us with a good friend from Kellogg and his wife for a double date

Unrelated but as you can see C is all about wrestling


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Elliott’s Birthday Parties

Elliott’s 9th birthday was celebrated across 3 states:

  • Medieval Times in Chicagoland on March 5. Natalie, Grandma, Dad, Miles, Joe, Luca and I joined you for an afternoon of eating oversized chicken wings and other food with our hands while cheering for the Black Knight to win.
  • St. Patrick’s Day Party – turned Elliott bday party in Florida on your actual birthday. You started with parasailing that morning (on the scary scale, where 1 is you’re sleeping and 10, you’re so terrified you’re peeing in your pants, you said it was 1.5… but you gave it a 10 on the fun scale). You built epic sandcastles on the beach with Clayton and Natalie.  And Florida family came over for a dinner of brats – and best of all, french silk pie.
  • Sonny’s Place in CT/MA on March 26. Ethan, Teddy and William joined you for laser tag and minigolf – with a rain delay half way through which turned into an ice cream break.

He’s a pretty lucky guy, in my opinion!

I also wrote him a birthday limerick:

There was a sweet boy named E-man
The mighty rhino he was a big fan
He parasailed up high
Ate lots of french silk pie
I thank God he’s part of my clan.

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