Cabernet Cabaret

Arranmore Center for the Arts held the Cabernet Cabaret event today on the lawn at Arranmore Farm. The wine was provided by Coopers Hawk winery, and the music was provided by a fantastically talented group of performers. It was a great evening, the first of many.

Katra and I also celebrated our eighth anniversary tonight (a few days early). Happy anniversary!

The lawn during setup

The stage

Another view of the lawn

Event patrons were invited to walk over to the next county for a glass of wine. (Seriously. Fortunately the next county was not too far of a walk!)

The crowd begins to gather

After a brief drizzle, the musicians came out to begin what turned out to be an incredible few sets of songs

In addition to the countless hours Katra spent working on this event, I did some graphic design. Here’s one of the posters I made up for the event:

Last Blast at Park District Preschool

Ian’s last day of park district preschool was today. The kids did a big song-and-dance routine, prompted by their fantastic teacher, Miss Jen.

Ian does his best Michael Jackson

A big hug for his friend Sarah

The full set of rugrats

Ian Turns 4

Ian celebrated his 4th birthday today. Since we had already had the big Gymquest party with his friends in January, we just had a family party at home.

Peek a boo!

Ian opted for M&M-encrusted cupcakes as his birthday cake. Once the candle was blown out (with a little assistance from Kyle), the cupcake didn’t stick around for very long.

The Big One

The biggest winter storm since at least 1967 hit the Chicago area, resulting in up to 2 feet of snow.

The night of the big storm. The picture doesn't really capture the roaring winds or tempest of snow.

My car. This can't be good.

The morning after. Ian would be waist deep in snow if he were outside.

My car, in the middle of a 4 foot high snow drift

By the way, it was still snowing at this point

What used to be our patio. There's a table under there somewhere...

Didn't those chairs used to have legs? And seats?

Drapes of snow on the back door glass

Time to be silly.

I did eventually dig out the driveway, with a lot of help from my neighbor Chris who has a snow blower

Katra later braved the elements to snap some pictures from around the house

The fence at the back of the yard. That Katra took this picture proves that she can walk on the surface of the snow like a wood elf.

Our pergola, formerly 2 feet taller than this

Snow crabapple

Double Secret Birthday

This year we decided to have a combined birthday party for Kyle and Ian with all of their friends. We rented out Gymquest, a nearby gymnastics center that also does birthday parties.

We began with a party for Kyle with all of his friends. There was food, cake, and lots of presents.

After Kyle’s party, we moved into the gym for 45 minutes of absolute chaos. The combined energy of 32 caked-up kids is a sight to behold.

We ended the day with a birthday party for Ian with all of his friends.