A quarter of a century ago this guy came into our lives. Happy Birthday Andrew!
I was 17 and following my mom’s tradition of making birthday collages when I made this for my mom. I don’t remember making it, but I know I did make collages — Just like Mom did for me and other folks.
After the busy weekend we took a bit of a break from activities on Monday. We were scheduled to get our photographs taken Monday evening by a professional photographer I’d gotten to know via his blog a few years ago, so we didn’t want to do too much during the day. We had lunch at Portillos where Jill* works because I’d heard that their Italian beef was better than Beef Villa. It was very good, but there is something about Beef Villa I prefer.
Then we drove to Sycamore to go to Farm and Fleet (a friend of ours once called it “Farmer’s Feet”, so that’s what we usually call it too). Bought some stuff we didn’t need (including a colorful pair of gardening clogs that I will wear the .001% of the time I actually garden).
We stopped by and said hi to my dad and grandparents on the way back to Elgin, then headed to the kitty farm** for our photo shoot.
Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate that day and we had to reschedule the photo shoot for the next morning — early the next morning since we had plans to visit Chicago later that morning.
Bright and early Tuesday morning we headed back to the kitty farm and met up with James Jordan who made us look fabulous with an old barn as and equally fabulous backdrop. What you don’t see in the photos below are the occasional dead critters in the straw. Dean’s brothers (The Twins) stopped by for a visit and got in on the photography fun.
After the photo shoot we picked up my mom and Brandon and headed to Chicago where we first visited Millennium Park and photographed the “Bean”, then visited the Art Institute. Unfortunately a considerable amount of time was spent waiting to be seated for lunch in the Art Institute’s courtyard cafe, waiting to be waited upon, and waiting for our bill.
Oh yeah, it was Dean’s birthday.
That evening we celebrated June Birthdays in the Follmann family at Sue and Dennis’ house in Sycamore. Then we went home on Wednesday.
*Jill is my ex sister-in-law who lives with my mom
**The kitty farm is the farm where Dean spent his formative years and where his brother, Danny and his family lived for many years. They always had dozens of cats running around — and that is where we got Joe and Halloween.
Eighteen years ago today my obstetrician said I could get out of bed and stop taking Terbutaline.
Eighteen years ago today I got up, showered, dressed and drove to the obstetrician.
Eighteen years ago today the obstetrician said the baby could come at any time.
Eighteen years ago today I stopped at my favorite greeting card store to buy thank you cards.
Eighteen years ago today I felt the unmistakable onset of labor in the middle aisle of the above mentioned card store.
Eighteen years ago today I quickly paid for my purchases and drove home, occasionally wincing in pain.
Eighteen years ago today I called my friend, Frances, and casually mentioned I was in labor.
Eighteen years ago today I finally called my husband and told him we were going to probably have a baby very soon.
Eighteen years ago today I packed a bag for the hospital.
Eighteen years ago today I made dinner, but didn’t eat much, if anything. My husband ate though.
Eighteen years ago today I called the neighbor who’d promised to take our daughter when I gave birth.
Eighteen years ago today we finally called the doctor, told her about the contractions. She said we should go to the hospital.
Eighteen years ago today I checked in to Alexandria Hospital.
Eighteen years ago today I wanted to watch Murphy Brown on TV instead of giving birth right then.
Eighteen years ago today the doctor showed up and grumpily delivered our son at 11:11 pm.
Happy Eighteenth Birthday, Andrew!
Today marks the 100th anniversary of my Grandma Green’s birth. I’ll celebrate by making macaroni & cheese and tuna fish for dinner because we discovered that taste treat together when I stayed with her in Chetek, Wisconsin one summer. I’ll also make banana milkshakes because she and I used to drink those and play cribbage. I’m not sure cribbage is in the plan for tonight, but you never know.
I wrote about Grandma Green last year on her birthday, so check that post out for more.
She had a huge influence on my life and I’m grateful for every moment I spent with her. I think about her often, and always with love.
Happy Birthday Grandma. I love you.
Here are some photos of her life:
My mom made me this poster for my 17th birthday. I don’t remember her making it nor actually receiving it, but I do remember my mom’s decoupage phase. She made posters for everyone — they were good too. She’d tailor them perfectly to the person. She was always saving magazines and clipping out the bits that she thought would be good on a poster for someone. We always had a jar of Mod Podge handy at home, in case we needed to decoupage something quickly.
Anyway, my poster. It had a pocket watch with the time I was born depicted in both the position of the hands and in writing along the bottom edge. Elgin, where I was born, was known for their watches, so perhaps the pocket watch also symbolized that.
The poster also had a copy of my first photograph — all 3 pounds, 9 ounces of me — with my astrological description pasted below. My daughter likes this photograph of me because of my pointy ear. She says it proves I am of either fairy or Elven blood. My dad’s name is Elvin, so perhaps she’s right.
Mom also included an image of my astrological sign on the poster. One of us, I guess, was into astrology at the time. I suspect it was her, but perhaps I was too.
Finally, the poster has a drawing of two women at the doorway of a room. One is older, heavy with glasses, and the other young and slender. A black cat rubs against the leg of the younger woman. The younger woman holds a floor lamp, frying pan and a goldfish bowl. She stands near a suitcase.
I think this depicted me moving into my new room. The drawing probably came from a magazine showing someone getting let into her first apartment, but my mom saw it and thought it could represent me moving to my new room. Either that or it was a not-so-subtle hint that it was nearly time for me to move out.
The cat is Cinder. I didn’t have a lamp like that and didn’t own a goldfish, but otherwise, she got it right!
The writing on the poster says:
17 Years Later
Love From Mom
It’s cool that I found this a few months before my own daughter turns 17. I think I know what my mother felt, having a firstborn daughter so close to adulthood. Pride. Disbelief. Sadness. Hope.
I guess it’s time to go buy a jar of Mod Podge.