Monday, October 31, 2011

not quite the dream Halloween

Every year I get a little overly excited about Halloween. Not because of the candy or the cute kids in costume or even because I really even care about the holiday at all... It's because I like the excuse to dress up the dog. Yep, you heard me right- Banks in costume makes me laugh harder than a lot of things in this world & it is always a jolly time... at least for me. : ) 
Well this year I was doubly excited because I now have 2 dogs to dress up... a duo to ponder! I thought it over for a couple weeks & came up with the perfect plan! I don't care how you ridiculous you think I am, I was honestly excited. Here are a few successes from the past:

You can't tell me a bulldog dressed as a bull doesn't make the corner of your mouth curl a little. ; )

Anyway, this year had to be even better than before! So my perfect idea came in the form of The Dark Knight & the Joker! What a perfect pair for the pups! Except.... it didn't quite go as planned... Lenny absolutely hated his costume & I actually felt I may be traumatizing him a bit when I tried to hold him down to get his cape on. Then, the usually quite photogenic Banks was terrorized by the traumatized Lenny as he was trying to eat Banks' Joker hair. My photo dreams with the 2 of them together were shattered even after soliciting a friend to come over & aid in the shoot. Banks made his usual rendezvous to the restaurant to show off his duds while Lenny stayed behind.
This is what they should have looked like:

And this is all I have to reflect on the occasion...

I suppose, some ideas are better left to the imagination.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Another whirlwind of a week come & gone but oh, what progress we've made! We started off the week on a personal note with a trip to the Obstetrician. And this was not just any trip but the first ultrasound appointment! My excitement swirled as we were hoping to find out whether my belly was growing a boy or girl but even more enlivened that this would be the first time we would visually see our little human. to describe this experience.... as tears streamed down my face & Caleb squeezed my hand, the technician stated very confidently, "Congratulations, you are having a boy!" 
I don't really remember anything else that happened that day...

Tuesday was filled with a trip down to Indianapolis. Meeting after meeting about the development of our new Indianapolis restaurant location consumed most of the day. We met with the developers, our project manager, our architect, & then dinner with our broker. The meetings were optimistic & progressive & we feel that we are being trusted with our design. We have been given a lot of freedom to express the creativity that embodies Cerulean & we are SO grateful for that. Above all else, we want to stay true to who we are & what we believe, no matter how big the city. : ) 
We also drove around the project site to find construction moving along... finally!!!

The restaurant will be on the corner of South & Delaware (right where we are parked). That is Conseco Fieldhouse up & to the left. 

The week followed predictably as busy filled with: 
  • A sub day at Headstart (love the minis!) 
    • And what a change of pace from the restaurant world! My favorite moment of this experience was the little 3 year old boy who emphatically stated & pointed, "You have a big belly." Upon agreeing with him & explaining the current logic behind my belly, he asked very politely to poke it. I said yes.. and he poked it.
  • New server training 
    • I have decided that it doesn't matter the season of year, time of the month, day of the week, or hour of the day... I will be constantly interviewing, hiring, training, testing, repeating... I have resorted (after 5 years) to the fact that this is just the way it will be in the restaurant world. Great people don't last forever, they move on....Therefore training must remain efficient, productive, effective. Repeat.
  • The new beer menu for the fall/winter months came out! It is innovative each time we update & continues to push people out of their box to try something new. I love it! Check it out here: Hooray BEER! 
  •  A supportive visit to the opening celebration of Maple Leaf Farm's new Corporate Headquarters 
    • They are a local farm that we source our duck from & fabulous customers. They are actually the largest duck farm in the world & are practically located in our backyard. I guess sometimes it pays to live in the Midwest!
  • A last minute visit from the college roomies! 
    • Friends from NYC & Chicago made their way to the good ole W.L. & despite all we have to offer is decent food & bulldog farts... it makes my year every time they come to town! Thanks for the visit Teeny & Shoop- it is so refreshing to have you & your men around!
    • P.S. Banks & Lenny miss you already. : )

Sunday, October 23, 2011

So proud of my pilot

The past 3 weeks have been slightly anxiety provoking for my diligent husband. He has been studying & training to get his pilot's license for about 8 months now. He has books thicker than any college text book; manuals with numbers that, I assume, make sense to someone; & flight coordinate applications on the computer that look like a bunch of different colored squiggles when I open up the screen. Did you know that there are over 5 different types of fog?? I always just thought it was fog. 
He has been learning another language that I listen so intently to try to understand but have merely come away with the recollection of "Charlie Tango" which is the name of his training airplane! A few weeks ago he took his 2 hour written test & passed (hooray) & then last week he took his 2 hour oral test with a flight examiner & passed! We celebrated each victory accordingly. Then that just left the actual flight component of the licensing to be completed. Obviously this component is a bit more challenging- weather conditions must work accordingly & flight plans must be filed in a timely manner. During this test he not only had to be able to recall all the verbal information needed to impress the instructor but relay that confidently while actually flying the plane. Due to the week & a half of dreary rain, his test got postponed & rescheduled 4 times! Each time provoking anxiety, nights off to study, & flight plans to be refiled. 
Finally... we had a beautiful day....

... so off he went! And 2 hours later, I got a phone call.... He passed!!!

His mentor/flight instructor was there to eagerly congratulate him when he landed as well as his examiner who rarely passes a student on their first try. I have to admit that tears came to my eyes as I sprinted to my car to make my way to the airport. He has worked so hard, & I am so proud! We celebrated with red velvet cake & sparkling lemonade!


 And then I got to go up for the first time with my pilot husband as his first "official" passenger! What a fun day we had... and how special it is to witness the fruits of diligence, hard work, & perseverance.

Charlie Tango.. ready for lift off! ; ) 
(or something like that)

Friday, October 21, 2011

The post I hate...

Well I have officially become one of thooose bloggers.... The kind I feared I would be if I started a blog but then swore I would not when I made the commitment to enter my second post and continue at a reasonable posting speed. Well it has now been over 2 months since my last post... and I am embarrassed to say that I let it happen. It is not excusable... but I have had a bit going on. So, where do I begin to relate the past 2 months of this restaurant life... stick to the highlights & all that is continuing to make this life expand....

We served a lobster on a snow board!
plates are just not good enough anymore

We threw a benefit dinner for Cardinal Services & had a BLAST! We typically have decided that we will not work on Sundays. We decided from the beginning that we needed to set a boundary to have a day where we separated ourselves from work. However, this Sunday, it was totally worth it!

Caleb & I took a much needed post-summer mini vacation to Traverse City, MI. We have some very generous friends who let us use their cabin for a few days! So, we slept & ate & read & watched movies & played Scrabble & then slept some more! 

our humble dwellings (yes, that is Caleb sleeeeping- not a common sight)

Dune ride adventure on the Rhino

The best darn pie you've ever had (from Cherry Republic) on the beach
When we arrived, they said, "Oh, we should have told you that you were welcome to bring the dogs." Thanks, but that's ok... The trip was a much needed break from reality including the responsibilities of these 2 boys.... don't tell them I told you...

this is the look of "i'm getting a mind of my own & you can't stop me"
and guess who figured out how to get on the couch
aaand, don't worry, i will mimic everything big brother does

We have also had the pleasure of being SLAMMED with catering. And while many staff may tell you otherwise, it is truly a blessing to have so much work. : ) The most honorable catering as of lately was our expansion to catering for former First Ladies. Yes, we had the secret service check us out & everything!

And for the record, Mrs. Bush is a very refined & classy lady! 

That very same week we also threw our second annual 10k Hash Run & Ride followed by Oktoberfest in the Garden. The details for this event will remain for a post all of their own... but man, what a HUGE turnout we had! Riders, runners, bands, kegs... lots of the community out & about on a sunny Saturday!

We couldn't have ask for more community support even if we wanted to. It was an incredible day! So we took a break on Sunday....

... and then came out with our new fall/winter menus the next week. : ) 

....and thennnn, Caleb took is oral flight exam & PASSED!!!
and Burge came to visit!!!

...and thennnn (although i hate the pose) I have decided to post a few descriptive pictures of myself to show the real reason I can (maybe) excuse my pathetic state as a blogger...

... this expansion has been a little distracting... : ) 

So, I will end this post with a new commitment to not "cram" 3 months worth of photos & arbitrary words into one... With so much in life to remember, it needs a little more detailed attention.