Friday, April 4, 2014

Deep Into Illinois

I haven't said a whole lot about it, but tomorrow is my birthday.  My 31st birthday.  I have mixed feelings about it.  I don't mind getting older, in fact I usually have to actually stop and think about how old I am in the first place. But for some odd reason I'm having a harder time swallowing the number 31 than 30.  It's MORE than 30.  But I've been rolling with it but was feeling down for multiple reasons last night and reached out to my MOPS friends about how I was struggling.  So being the wonderful women they are, they put together a huge surprise for me this morning.  I had taken the Bean to the mall to meet up with some of the ladies and their kiddos to play for awhile (we decided to burn off some energy instead of storytime this morning) and I pulled into my driveway at home to find a HUGE happy birthday banner, maize and blue forks in my yard and a fabulous Monkey balloon floating off my flamingos.  Instant waterworks. Then I had just put down the Bean for a snooze and was thinking of catching 30 minutes myself when the doorbell rang and there stood Alyson, Michelle and Amber with cake and presents!  I am still feeling the love as I write this and am SO thankful for each and every one of them.  With friends like I have, I'm ready for 31 and then some.

After we figured out who had done the wonderful house decorations Kayla helped me put together Illinois' scrapbook page.  (I'm going to be gone tomorrow with my Mom and Shell and Kayla had asked about helping me with it again like last week, so wanted to make sure she got the chance.)  I have to say, every time I see them I love our license plates a little more.  Illinois has been a lot of fun this week.  And yes Beth, they are STILL playing with the fans.  It's only 40 degrees and raining but my kids are fanning themselves...

Tonight I made one of the most famous Illinois dishes - Chicago Deep Dish Pizza.  I found a copycat recipe online for Uno's Deep Dish which is what I most associate with authentic deep dish pizza.  According to Uno's website: The Uno® story begins in Chicago in 1943 when Ike Sewell developed deep dish pizza and opened a new type of restaurant at the corner of Ohio & Wabash. It was here that Ike served a pizza unlike any that had been served before. Buttery 'out-of-this-world' crust that had a tall edge like a fruit pie. He created a recipe that combined authentic Italian spices and quality tomatoes with more cheese than people could believe and then baked it for nearly an hour. When people tasted it, they wanted more of the same and the lines have been forming ever since to get into the restaurant.

So we of course had to give it a go on our own.  While Noah still claims that the Pizza Hut pizza is his favorite, no one here will ever say no to pizza, so it was a hit.  And Grant, who grew up on it, claims that it was a very close second on the original.  I'll take it!

With the pizza we decided to watch "Rookie of The Year" which is about a boy who becomes a pitcher for the Chicgao Cubs.  I love this movie and the kids are sitting here giggling watching it right now.  They are watching and enjoy the State Snack of Illinois as they do, popcorn!  I take my popcorn pretty seriously around here, so this is fresh off the stove, made in my pan that I ONLY use for popcorn.  The one that never gets soaped.  Yes, very serious about popcorn.

Well, birthdaying it up with my Mama and sister tomorrow, think Grant and the kids have activities of their own planned.  Not sure if I'll get a post up or not, we'll see how the day goes.  So until then...

Illinois Fun Fact of the Day:  The 4 stars on the Chicago flag represent Fort Dearborn, the Chicago Fire, the World's Columbian Exposition, and the Century of Progress Exposition.

Playing at the Mall

I am so loved


Helping with the scrap book page

Illinois is done!

Presents and cake too!

Deep dish ready for the oven

Um, perfection??

That is one DEEP dish!

And one yummy looking inside

Popcorn and a movie - I love Friday nights!

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