Matteo’s birthday fell on a Saturday this year and since it’s already on Cinco de Mayo…well…I got a little carried away with the party. But it went off without a hitch, and everyone seemed to have a great time. A big thank you to our friends Carrie and Joe for all of their help. Carrie helped set up and took these amazing photos, and Joe played a live set for the guests that included several kid-friendly songs he taught himself just for the occasion.
Matteo and I met up with Stefanie, Adam and Ayla this afternoon for the downtown Madison Halloween family fun festivities.
Our haul: six pieces of candy, a temporary tattoo, a key chain that says ‘tree hugger’ (very appropriate), and a DC comics Superman trading card from 1978.
So this was kind of cool. This is the guy was who gave us the Superman trading card. Instead of candy he was giving away vintage trading cards and stickers for his store. I did a little research on him and it turns out he’s a wealthy philanthropist and antiques collector who owns this little curiosity shop downtown. When he handed me the card he said, “Watch out now, that could pay for college. You never know!” Of course, as soon as I showed it to Matteo he snatched it and put creases all over it. Sorry Matteo, there goes college.
Fun times with the Grieve family!
Last night was the first game of our softball team’s fall season (yes, you heard right. fall already! blech.) and to celebrate we all wore jorts. We ended up losing the game, but a jorting good time was had by all.
Group shots – courtesy of Alicia:
And, a post game doozy of three of our best jorters – courtesy of Carrie:
He even got his own hand stamp at the door.
Waiting for the show to start. Yes, that lady on the left is 39 weeks pregnant and she made it almost the whole night with us. She wins the prize for party guest of the year.
I had no idea what to expect from the show but it was amazing! Yes, it was pasties and feathers. But it also was acrobatics and feats of strength and comedy. One of my favorite acts involved two women dancing to the song ‘Bill Cosby Sweater’, wearing Bill Cosby sweaters and Reebok pumps. At the end of the act they took off their Bill Cosby sweaters to reveal pasties made out of pudding cups. Brilliant.
(Never heard the song ‘Bill Cosby Sweater’? It’s awesome and so is this video. Check it out.)
The best performers, however, were Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey, from Baltimore no less! Represent, Charm City!
During the intermission we took Fabio out into the lobby with us and Stefanie worked the crowd, inviting strangers to get a picture with him. (No, we never charged for photos but we would have made a ton if we had.) People loved him. It was hilarious to watch them approach him, somewhat tentatively, then get really into the photos.
Our full group:
After the show we brought Fabio up to the stage and got several pictures with Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey. Yes I have uncensored versions of this photo and no you can’t see them. This is a family blog, people. Let’s keep it real.
to be continued…
Whoah Nelly. I’m still a little foggy from Saturday night. Stefanie and I threw a bachelorette party for Carrie and it was a doozy.
But that’s the end of the night, and I need to set the stage and go all the way back to the beginning. When we first asked Carrie how she wanted to celebrate her impending nuptials with her nearest and dearest, her requests were simple: keep her far away from male strippers (easy), and give her an opportunity to wear a floor-length hot pink ball gown she found in a vintage shop. That one was a slightly taller order. This was a dress that needed to hit the town and then paint it red (and hot pink). Only the best would do for a gown as fine as this.
When Stefanie and I first started planning, we decided we wanted the night to have multiple surprise destinations for Carrie. We wanted to start with dinner and drinks, take in some kind of show or entertainment, and then, finally, shut it down at the local gay dance club.
Lo and behold, in a wild stroke of good fortune, the night we reserved for the party just so happened to be the same night a burlesque revue was being held in our neighborhood! After that it was easy. Since Carrie is a very accomplished, wonderfully talented writer we decided to tie it all together with the theme of ‘Steamy Romance’.
(And yes, a tavern may seem like an odd place for a lady party, but this tavern had a back room that perfectly suited our theme and sexy fries on the menu. See?)
We wanted to give everything a very personal touch, so Stefanie doctored up some steamy and romantic reading material.
We played a couple of games that were personalized for the lovely couple. The first was a matching game – match the summary of the romance novel to its title. An example:
Joseph was the husband Carrie had dreamed of – handsome, powerful and wealthy. Until she overheard something that made her realize he’d ruthlessly seduced her into marriage for his own ends. She decided to go… Six months later the fugitive bride comes face-to-face with her husband once more. Well, he looks like her husband, he makes love like her husband…but he claims he’s her husband’s twin brother! (answer: Fugitive Bride)
We also created a personalized mad lib, with lines directly from the pages of our romance novels, for each guest to fill in.
The first two lines:
Illuminated by the orange-gold of the dying sun, Carrie saw a colossus of a man with an ebony _______________ between his thighs that he urged on with a joyful “_________________!”. It was Joe, the daredevil, the lover of women, the playboy. He had returned to her. (first blank: ANIMAL, second blank: VERBAL EXCLAMATION!)
After we were finished with the dinner and games we posed for some pictures with Carrie’s date. Over the course of our evening, I think about half of the east side of Madison posed for some pictures with Carrie’s date. I would imagine in our little corner of the world, there are a lot of people wondering why Fabio is suddenly such a popular facebook profile picture.
Finally, we presented Carrie with an envelope revealing the next destination and her ticket for the show.
to be continued…
Last night the three of us went to an engagement party for our dear friends Carrie and Joe. The party was a charming backyard BYOpicnic dinner on Lake Monona. As a gift, the hostess asked guests to contribute a dish for a special picnic basket for Carrie and Joe’s dinner. She packaged the food with recipes for each dish, special food & love related quotes, and personal notes from friends.
Tuesday night we met Stefanie, Adam and Ayla for dinner. Look at our little blue-eyed bugs!
Unfortunately, we went to Red Robin for its family-friendly atmosphere only to learn Matteo is afraid of the Red Robin character. While Ayla laughed and high-fived the Red Robin, Matteo sat as far back in his seat as he could and grabbed for Matt’s hand.
After dinner we went to then went to Olbrich Gardens to hear an Afro/Cuban band. Stef took these photos of the three of us while we were at the concert. I love photos of Matteo (obviously), but candid family photos are even better.
This is how summer evenings should be.
Friday night we went out to an art show closing party where a couple of our friends were playing music and there was free beer and snacks. Matteo went with us and was all over it (the party, not the beer). He was running around outside with some bigger kids he met, went right up front when the music started, and spent a good part of the evening weaving through the crowd looking for hugs and goldfish crackers. He was in heaven.
Lucky for us we were both able to enjoy the free beer because there were about 10 of our friends there to help corral our wild baby. At all times someone was there to take him outside, share some snacks, or grab him when he started to eat things off the floor. At one point our friend Carrie turned to me and said, “It’s so cool to see everyone looking out for him. He really does have his own little village of people who love him!”
At the end of the school year one of Matteo’s teachers told me how wonderful it is to see him growing up with such confidence in himself. That has always been one of my biggest hopes – that I would raise children who are sure of themselves and comfortable in different social situations. I know so much of pesonality is innate, and that some children are just shy no matter what and that’s totally okay too. But Matteo has always been a little sparkplug and I definitely attribute a lot of his confidence to being surrounded and nurtured by many, many awesome people who love him.
We feel really lucky to have such a good group of friends here who are helping us care for this amazing little guy. We seriously couldn’t do it without them.
A couple of months ago Matt and three friends spent a long weekend surfing in Santa Cruz. Our friend Dan was part of the group and took some amazing action shots.
The two friends in these photos are pretty experienced surfers but fear not! Matt picked it up pretty quickly and managed to get up a couple of times himself. That’s him! (At least I think it is.)
(I know, these photos are awesome! But they were taken by a professional photographer. Please don’t use without permission. Thanks!)
It was a great day – cabin fever begone! We tried out the new sled in the backyard, went on a long walk with a stop at the park, met Carrie and Angela at Olbrich to watch a Haitian dance and drum group perform, and then finished off the afternoon with coffee at The Victory. Matt has my camera so all I had was the flip, but I made a little movie of the things we did – want to see?