Mom's Birthday Celebration

On Friday, my Mom turned 85. I started to think about how we will celebrate that day way-way in advance.

Most of the time when somebody is celebrating the 85th birthday, there are lots of friends and family members who can take part in the celebration. But Mom immigrated to the US less than two years ago. Moreover, she is extremely reluctant to develop new connections, and she firmly believes that she does not understand people around her. There are very few of my friends with whom she interacts on a more or less regular basis

I knew that an essential part would be having all grandchildren there, and because of that, everything depended on Vlad’s schedule. First, he said he will be able to do Saturday, but turned out that January 11 was going to be his first day back to work after nine days off. He suggested that we do Friday night, and I said it had to be in Palatine. After all, it turned out great, because it was easier for everybody, including Anna.

It was almost a surprise party for Mom. I told her that we would do “something” for her birthday and that she should be ready by 5-30. She did not know until the very last moment, that all of her grandchildren and her great-granddaughter will be there.

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One Very Special Present

It was a while ago when Igor introduced me to the Indiana Dunes, and since then we are trying to visit it at least once each summer. These trips are very special to both of us, which is why Igor bought this Christmas ornament for me. He bought it in summer 2018, managing to hide it from me on our way back to Chicago, delivering it safely to his home, and then five months later – to Anna’s home where we all celebrated Christmas.


This ornament made in from Indiana to Illinois, from Ilinois to Wisconsin, from Wisconsin back to Illinois – and then I dropped it on the floor in my house, and it broke!
Can you imagine how I felt? I suppose you can!


I told Igor we will fix it, I promise. So in summer 2019, when we were at the Indiana Dunes, we went to the same store and asked them whether they still have these ornaments, and they did! I purchased one because it was the thought that was important, and made sure to deliver it home safely, and now it takes it’s happy place o the tree!

All-birthdays Day

My older son birthday is on September 28, and my twins birthday is on August 23. And since for the past ten years it was challenging to get everybody together in one place, we stopped trying to do it twice, and ended up having one big “combined” birthday. This year the day was September 22 – we had the most lovely brunch at Maison Parisienne in Lakeview.

Dylan(Vlad’s boyfriend), Vlad, Anna, Hettie, Igor, Nina (Hettie’s Mom)
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A Trip to Indiana Dunes

Last Saturday Igor and I went on our traditional late-summer trip to Indiana Dunes. Igor was the first to discover this amazing place (I mean, it has been known for everybody except us, so we “discovered” it for ourselves. I love each, and single thing about Dunes. Each time we are taking this long trip (I am not driving long-distance, so it is really long, with two trains and lots of walking) I am asking myself, why in the world I am doing this :). Why spend several hours to soak yourself into the same Lake Michigan, just at the different part of it. But when I get here, I instantly remember: oh, that’s why! Because the water is so clear, and the sand is so white and overall – this place talks to you!

Most of the time I am trying to get a bigger crowd to come with us, but this time I get sick just before the planned trip, and I was not sure whether I would be able to go, so I didn’t invite anybody.

We have lots of stories about the weather and how it would interfere with our trips, one takeaway was – do not trust any weather forecast. However, when Saturday morning the forecast turned to “thunderstorms from 12 to 2”. I’ve called Igor and asked whether we are still going, and shouldn’t we postpone our trip to Sunday.

After some discussion, we decided to go, and I am so glad we did!

I packed my new rolling bag for the first time. I got it several months ago to deal with my current inability to carry heavy stuff for an extended period. It was advertised as being able to walk the stairs and to roll on the beach. Both proved to be true and worked wonderfully. However, I found an unexpected problem with dragging something relatively heavy behind me, rather than rolling four-wheel luggage. Still, I need to figure out what precisely is wrong, but I had to give it to Igor on the long stretches. It worked great on the beach itself though, because unlike regular luggage it can stand it in the sand, and I could take out stuff and put in.

From Chicago, we had to take the South shore electric line from the Millennium station.

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