Tag Archives: ice cream

The perks of a long weekend

Bet you didn’t think Tuesday could feel like a Monday, did ya? Neither did I but here it is. The dreaded post-Labor Day Tuesday that feels like a Monday. At least we’re all in it together. Well, except for those smart people who took the whole week off. But they’ll be right there with us next Monday. You can trust that.

I’ve decided that all weekends should be four days long. And yes, I realize that this would then make my Tuesday feels like Monday situation a regular thing but I’m OK with that.

If not all weekends at least one per month. Let’s consider the benefits:

  • You would be able to visit your family more often (this is assuming you like spending time with your family. If not please skip to bullet #5)


  • And while visiting your family you would have time to pick up your nephews from school. And within minutes one would open the car door into the other one’s forehead. Aunt of the year material right there. I can’t make this stuff up.

baskin robbins ice cream

  • You could eat ice cream at 3:00 in the afternoon. Mostly because you planned to do it, but also because it’s 100 degrees and you feel bad that you are returning a damaged child.

springfield illinois running trail baseball game

  • You get to spend more time outside. Enjoying a hot and humid nice long run along a water-less beautiful trail and enjoying an even hotter lovely baseball game.

incredibly delicious vanilla strawberry cake, thumbprint cookies, young house love book, blueberry lemon poppyseed scones

  • A chance to celebrate with presents, birthday cake and thumbprint cookies. And if a holiday is not cause for the weekend, you can justify the cake because a 4-day weekend is a holiday in itself. You’re welcome.

greater swiss mountain dog finn

  • Naps.

sunset country roads illinois

  • More time to experience sunsets like this. A chance to roll the windows down (if your 4-day weekend occurs from May-October) and find beauty in the place you were raised.

So now that I’ve made you hot, hungry, tired and reconsidering children with my Tuesday that feels like a Monday post I’d like to remind you that tomorrow is….

And we can all find humor in that. Have a great week!

Christmas in July?

I spent the better part of the weekend making chili, watching football and picking out pumpkins.

Time out.

What the heck is up with this weather, July? Apparently we set a record low in Chicago Saturday night. Meanwhile, we had plans to go to the beach.

Ok, so I didn’t spend the weekend raking leaves and looking for unique and non-trashy Halloween costumes, but the cold weather sure made me consider it. Don’t get me wrong I love fall and everything except the dreary winter that follows it, I just prefer it to come when it is supposed to and not in the middle of my summer.

Now that we’ve gotten that weather rant out of the way we can move on. 

My sister and nephews came up to visit this weekend so instead of heading to the beach, we took advantage of a few other kid-friendly activities the city offers: museums and tall buildings.

With a late-Friday arrival, I was fully expecting us to have to carry half-sleeping children up the stairs and softly lay them into bed. A quiet evening before a fun-filled weekend. Instead I got this:

simply social blog boys wrestling

Wrestlemania 2K13

And this:http://instagram.com/p/cQXcclTaUa/

Since the weather was less than summery come Saturday morning, my sister and I decided to take the boys down to the Museum of Science and Industry so they could spend the day exploring the exhibits, watching the baby chicks hatch and watching the baby chicks hatch. I had only been to the museum recently for a social event so I was excited to…wait for it…watch the baby chicks hatch.

Baby chicks museum of science and industry Chicago simply social blog

chicks, man.

It’s hard to describe the feeling you get when you see one of those little birds finally break through that hard shell after what had to have been an exhausting few hours. And we were fortunate to see two hatch while we were visiting on Saturday. I hope the boys remember the experience when they get older. If not the chicks, perhaps the water guns or farming equipment.

exhibits at the museum of science and industry Chicago simply social blog

Saturday evening we had a nice dinner and then stopped by a new ice cream parlor in my neighborhood. I’ve been wanting to check the place out for a while but there’s something creepy about a girl in running clothes just stopping in to “look at the decor.”

cone ice cream parlor west loop chicago simply social blog

I believe it is the role of the Aunt to spoil her nephews as much as possible when they visit. This increases the likelihood of future visits as well as financial support when they make it big some day as an engineer or a backup dancer for Justin Timberlake’s glory days tour.

On Sunday morning we decided to go up to the Skydeck at the Willis (it will always be Sears) Tower. 4 sections, 1 movie and 1 hour and 42 minutes later, we were finally at the elevator. 60 seconds after that we were up 103 stories and 1,450 feet in the air in one of the world’s tallest buildings. Approximately 2 ring pops and 12 minutes later we were back on the ground. How’s that for numbers?

skydeck chicago sears willis tower simply social blog

We also managed to make it out on the ledge without me anyone freaking out. The boys didn’t even think twice when we asked them to walk out for a picture, which surprised me because I’m pretty sure my fear of heights was solidified by that age. If not by that age then shortly after the great log flume ride of death I narrowly survived at Valley Fair in the early 90’s. Definitely by then.

skydeck chicago sears willis tower simply social blog

We wrapped the weekend by singing “Go Cubs Go” at the top of our lungs in front of my building as we loaded the kids into the car. Owen had been waiting all weekend to belt out “Hey, Chicago, what do you say…” while pointing to all the big buildings around him. And as a good Auntie should, I begrudgingly belted out with him, only stopping to insert “Cards” at the appropriate times.

And then like that baby chick after an exhausting weekend, I took a nap.

baby chick napping museum of science and industry chicago simply social blog

Are you afraid of heights?

What did you do this weekend with unseasonably cold temperatures in the Midwest?

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? 

Have a wonderful week!

Vacation Recap: full heart, tired body

My body is tired. My heart is full. I may or may not be reconsidering having children of my own someday. These are just a few of my symptoms after a weekend spent with my family to the (slight) northwest. It was a Murphy/Gleason weekend and it was lovely.

Give me a weekend filled with little more than a long run and some time in the kitchen and I can give you a witty, recipe-filled excerpt sure to make your Monday (ok maybe not yours but mine at least) awesome. When it comes to documenting a big weekend however, I struggle.

How do you explain the amount of love laughter and mosquito bites shared throughout a weekend with family? How can you illustrate the joy that comes with watching young cousins become friends, celebrating two families become one or seeing someone get sprayed in the face with dirty puddle water?

What I lack in words today I make up for in photos. For those of you who were overwhelmed by my Instagramathon this weekend, I’m sorry I’m not sorry. For those of you that weren’t, prepare for an overload of cuteness. Lets call it Gleasapalooza.

Hit it.

Derecho delayed our flights. Well some of us more than others. But that left time for a few things I usually don’t have time for in the middle of the week. Like sleeping in or a mid-morning run or locating the beaver that someone obviously let into my condo the night before.

chicago lakefront swiss mountain dog
Since I was first to arrive I had the privilege of picking up the rental soccer mom mobile car and getting to know Minneapolis traffic during rush hour. Totally different from Chicago traffic but annoying just the same. Especially with that carpool lane just wide open and screaming for someone in a minivan (hey that’s me) with passengers (oh shoot that’s not me) to cruise down it. My family lives near Lake Minnetonka so that evening we just grabbed a bite to eat at a local spot and spent some time catching up and looking at old photos.

while my cousins may look short-statured, that's just poor camera angle on my part. Oopsies!

while my cousins may look short-statured, that’s just poor camera angle on my part. Oopsies!

On Friday we went shopping. There’s no sales tax in Minnesota on clothing so we always seem to make a little time for a trip to the mall.  Shoes were on the agenda for the boys but we ended up with watches, slap bracelets and sour gummy worms. And not necessarily in that order. Then it was off to Nana Pat’s where Owen and Jake wasted no time testing the structural stability of each of their cousin Jon’s toys. 

IMG 2157[1] from Sarah Murphy on Vimeo.

Friday afternoon, my cousin Jennifer’s boys Jack and Ben came over to play. A lovely mix of giggles, sword fights and ‘your not the boss of me’ ensued.


no cues needed for this shot. This comes naturally to them.

That evening we had an ice cream date/photo shoot along the lakefront. Special thanks to Ben & Jerry’s for the props. I cannot get over how tall the boys are getting. I’m getting old.

lake minnetonka minnesota wayzata simply social blog ice cream

Saturday we celebrated Jennifer and Jason’s wedding at local Noerenberg Gardens. My cousin Kate and I were in charge of the chairs so we arrived early to set up and catch a few glimpses of the details and the boys before the ceremony.

noerenberg gardens bouquet poenies

It was a beautiful and simple ceremony. And I just adored the way that they incorporated the kids, having Jennifer’s boys walk her up the aisle, and Jason’s girls walk him.

noerenberg garden wedding

After the ceremony we were invited to Jennifer’s sister’s house for a afternoon reception. The whole day felt comfortable and welcoming. A playground set in place of a dance floor. A sprinkled cake that wouldn’t show fingerprints and a general sense of comfort and love.

sprinkle wedding cake

I believe everything looks better with sprinkles. Sprinkles and peonies.

The real treat came that evening, when the new Mr. and Mrs. went off to celebrate and all of the kids (6 of them including Owen and Jake) headed back to Nana’s house for pizza and a sleepover. Here are the numbers:

  • 2 lawnmower rides with Papa (Uncle Jim)
  • 4 sleeping bags
  • 3 snapping turtles spotted (weekend total)
  • 6 pairs of shoes (few of which were actually worn)
  • Countless repetitions of you’re not the boss of me, Ben hit me, I’m hungry, I’m thirsty, I had it first and I can’t find my underwear. 
sleepover stats

sleepover stats

I managed to get a few hot and humid runs in on a nearby trail over the weekend as well. It was then that I spotted snappers #2 and #3 so I felt inclined to stop to take a few scenic photos. Because of the turtles. Not because I just wanted an excuse to stop and rest. Never.

lake minnetonka minnesota

The flight home was short and sweet. I even managed to get a brief nap in thanks to the white noise in the back of the plane. After all, when you just spent 24 hours with 6 yelling children, 1 screaming child is as soothing as a sweet lullaby.

I’d like to think it was careful planning on my part to save this post for today so I could properly wish my parent’s a Happy 35th Anniversary. That or exhaustion, but either one works. 35 years ago my Dad finally put a ring on it and my mother said yes after 6-plus years of dating. Poor Nana had to get that ring ready so many times she even told my mom to just move on. But she didn’t and I thank her for that because well, that’s how I happened and if I hadn’t happened then you wouldn’t be reading this blog. And wouldn’t that be tragic? Back to the marriage.

35th wedding anniversary simply social blog

Mom and Dad. You have shown me that a successful marriage is filled with hard work, love and a whole lot of laughter and for that I thank you. Happy Anniversary.

Have a great week!