Merry Christmas Court! (Chicago Photo Dump)

Sorry for the radio silence the last little bit, I have been out of town for the last 2 weeks.  First I was in London with Cricut, and then 3 days later Court and I left for Chicago. 

Let me tell you a little story, a story about a wife who always seems to fail when it comes to the gift giving department.  I try really hard, and usually over think it and end up completely to the left or right of my target.  Remember this?  Awesome example.

This year I was DETERMINED to not let that happen again.  I thought and thought and thought about something that he would love, I saved my pennies, and I closed my eyes when I hit the purchase button.

Christmas morning Court opened a series of seemingly unrelated stuff.  A jar of peanuts,  a bag of Cracker Jacks, some gum, and a toy bat.  (Can you see where this is going!?)

Then he opened a present that had this little note inside:

This is a story of Christmas redemption
Of one wife, who has hid this secret, without exception.

So it begins, and here is how we’ll stort*
Let me start off my saying how much I love you dear Court.

I know that this life isn’t what you want at all times,
but I am SO VERY grateful that you are forever mine.

Though you may not have noticed all presents until now,
have one simple gift in common, something I’ve always wished could be yours,
but how?

So please look at your gifts and let’s make a quick list:
A huge jar of Peanuts, a bat and a ball with a twist.

Newfangled Cracker Jacks (old ones are impossible to find)
Wrigley’s Mint Gum brings up the behind.

So have you guessed yet? Do you know what this means?
How about if I throw in a giant silver bean?

I know that you said you didn’t want to go on a trip.
But just between you and I, you don’t need another rifle grip.

So, coming this May we are headed to Chicago
To watch your beloved Cubbies play the St. Louis Cardinals!

Tickets to the game are not the end of my trick…
We will be cheering them on from Third Baseline row 6.

The stress of this gift has been causing much strife,
And if you don’t love it, well then, you’ll just have to find a new wife.

And because I don’t want your Christmas to end without toys,
I also got you a pair of guns with exploding balls,

Perfect for my Christmas Boy.

Court has loved the Cubs his entire life and a trip to Wrigley was just what I had in mind.  He wont admit it but I am pretty sure that I saw a tear in his eye when he saw the field.

IMG_3489     IMG_4316


So that is where we have been.  Soaking up all that the windy city has to offer.

We have eaten EVERTYHING in sight.

Our favorite was The Purple Pig, it was amazing!

The Purple Pig


We also went to Kuma’s Corner for burgers.  Again absolutely amazing, the environment was a little “we’re not in Utah anymore Toto” but the food was so good.



There was a donut shop right by our hotel that we went to every morning called Do-Rite Donuts.  Our favorite was the chocolate glazed and the bacon maple crueler. 


Other than eating (which was our main activity obvs) we went to a lot of the recommended spots. 

The Bean (aka Cloud Gate) at Millennium Park was so cool!  I mean, HOW did the artist even make it? Why is it so shiny?  Did anyone else almost hit their head on it because the objects in the Bean are closer than they appear?




We took the rivers and lakes boat tour, it was freeeeeezing.  And totally worth it.


We also enjoyed a few museums and a musical.

What post of selfies would be complete with out my favorite kind?  You guys know that nothing in this world makes me happier than hilarious pictures,  this one is my fave.


Needless to say, I have missed you my internet besties.  Real life VR starts back up tomorrow!   Man,  I am glad to be home!!

Is there anything that we missed doing that you would recommend for next time?

Love Your Guts


  • Melanie 06.05.2014 at 15:56

    Cute, cute, cute!! Fun photos!! And yes, we have missed you too.

  • Kelly 06.05.2014 at 16:14

    That picture of you two smiling in front of the bean makes me so happy. You look so happy and healthy and knowing what you’ve been through in the past really makes it special. And gives me hope for others in similar situations. Thank you for sharing your real life story with us (along with DIY awesomeness of course.) And good job on the Christmas gift!

  • Tonya H 06.05.2014 at 16:16

    So. Much. FUN!! And you look gorgeous! I did this for my hubby with Vegas and his 30th birthday…I’m a little worried I’ll never top it. :) Oh well, right? I think you hit this gift RIGHT on the nose!!

  • karen 06.05.2014 at 16:28

    well geesh Mandi ! That was so sweet it “put a tear in my eye”.

  • MeganM. 06.05.2014 at 16:56

    I LOVE Chicago!!! Seriously. I’m from CA and have friends that live there and I love visiting them. There is sooo much to do and the jellybean was one of my favorites. I was bummed we didn’t have time to do an architectural river boat tour though. I also loved the Art Museum across from Millennium Park. There is a hall of miniatures that is incredibly detailed. Anyway. Now I’m dreaming of visiting Chicago again. *sigh* Glad you guys had such a total blast.

  • ManonD 06.05.2014 at 17:16

    So, who won the game? 😉 This is an incredible meaningful gift! You have pressure for next christmas… 😉

  • Tressa Ferrella 06.05.2014 at 17:25

    I’m so sad Mandi, if I knew you were coming I would have baked a cake! Actually, I would have set you and your hubbie up with tix to our festival Chicago International Movies and Music Festival ( Looks like you had a blast here ;-). So maybe next time you’ll give a holler out to the peeps in Chicago who think you’re amazing like me so I can treat you with more of what makes Chicago amazing!

  • Laurie 06.05.2014 at 17:28

    I took the river architecture tour a couple of summers ago and it was ROASTING, but an extremely cool tour. I’d even do it again because it is hard to soak up everything that was going on in a single trip.

  • caroline [the diy nurse] 06.05.2014 at 17:51

    What a good wife!! I totally know the meaning of redemption gifts. A little, ‘let me try this again.’ Looks like you knocked it out of the park 😉 #couldnthelpmyself

  • allison 06.05.2014 at 18:11

    I’m not from Chicago/had never seen the Cubs play before a trip to Chicago 2 years ago and I nearly teared up at Wrigley – it’s a gorgeous stadium (unlike Toronto…but at least we don’t get soaked or have rain outs)

  • Cgubler 06.05.2014 at 19:23

    Dear wife, please understand, I did not cry when I first saw Wrigley I was only slightly choked up.

  • Jill Hoffman 06.05.2014 at 19:50


  • Amanda 06.05.2014 at 23:10

    Hope you enjoyed Chicago! I love it here and my home is so much better thanks to your inspiration. Nice to see people all over the country are Cubs fans.

  • Janelle Bess 06.05.2014 at 23:44

    Awesome gift, and what a clever delivery too! Have only been to Chicago once, but the world’s BEST pizza is there… Lou Malnati’s anyone!??! I would use their pizza as an exfoliate and body scrub, for real…it is that amazing. Glad to have you back sister! :)

  • Sarah O. 07.05.2014 at 00:21

    I LOVE Chicago! I also grew up as a Cubbies fan and about wet myself the first time I went to Wrigley. Lol. Also the Bean is my favorite place in Chi-town. A couple years ago my husband took my to Chicago for my birthday and I made him walk miles through the rain with me so we could see it. It’s borderline obsession. Haha :) Also if you ever go back, you MUST find the Flirty Cupcakes van. Nothing says “big city” like buying cupcakes from a van… right?!

  • Trish G 07.05.2014 at 03:57

    I wish I would have known you were in Chicago! I live 45 minutes from there and totally would have tracked you down! I was there with my family just Sunday, having a day in the city, Eating.

  • Lisa 07.05.2014 at 10:40

    I live in northeast Indiana and go to Chicago several times a year- Chicago is our temple! I just have to say no Chicago trip is complete without PIZZA!!!! Seriously? No Chicago pizza on your trip? That’s practically a crime! Our fav is Giordanos. And if you skipped it you totally missed out. Just one more reason to come back! Reason number 2- Garret popcorn. My hubby and I go into downtown just to get a bag. Carmel Cashew is our fav. And we have to eat the whole bag on the 3 hr drive home bc our 9yr old has a severe cashew allergy. So it’s a little like getting to be naughty on a temple trip. Ha!

  • Kelsey 07.05.2014 at 15:39

    Looks like you guys had a blast! We have waaaay too many good food options here. Next time, I’d suggest going up to the Andersonville neighborhood to check out all the home stores (inspiration galore!) and, of course, more great restaurants.

  • Seriously Sassy Mama 07.05.2014 at 15:43

    What an awesome gift. i would love to do something like that for my husband.

  • mary w. 07.05.2014 at 16:52

    It is appropriate to say that you knocked that one out of the park! My husbands family moved to Chicago when he was 19, so we visit at least once a year. There is a tour offered that highlights the locations from the 1893 world’s fair, called the Columbian Exposition. If you are weird like me, you will love that it also includes info about H. H. Holmes. I keep forgetting to sign up for it ahead of time, it’s nearly always sold out!

  • mary w. 07.05.2014 at 16:53

    Oh! And let me second that invitation to Detroit to see my Tigers! Maybe they play the Cubbies this year?

  • Giao 07.05.2014 at 17:36

    Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art. They have a cool gift shop adjacent to the museum. Also do the architecture boat tours. Once you have kids, visit the American Girl Store & Land of Nod.

  • Cindy garrard 07.05.2014 at 21:42

    Thanks for the vicarious trip for a single mom who can’t afford to travel at this time…so cool…always wanted to see it Thanks …loved the frozen spy and babooska on the boat tour….haha!

  • mara 07.05.2014 at 23:06

    garret popcorn! and deep dish pizza! i’ve only been once, but hubs and i loved it and can’t wait to go back. but seriously – the caramel popcorn at garret popcorn…….totally worth all those calories.

  • kathleen 08.05.2014 at 05:13

    I live in the northwest suburbs. You need to watch them turn the river green, but then you’ll have to be here for ST. PAddY’s Day!

  • Rachel Rardon 08.05.2014 at 18:34

    Chi-Caaa-go! (think Ace Ventura style) Phil (my hubby) and I have been wanting to go to Chicago for a few years now. We finally decided we’re going to plan the trip for early fall this year. I’ll definitely be taking a peak back at this post when we start planning the details. Love all the silly pics!

  • JAMIE 09.05.2014 at 01:41

    I love this. Like love love love this. You two are so freaking adorable and hilarious

  • Kelly P 14.05.2014 at 19:59

    Looks like he’s also a Tigers fan! I love, love, love Chicago, but I’m a Detroit girl born and bred I have to say the Tigers are where it’s at 😉


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