October 16, 2017

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Monday, October 31, 2005
What a full weekend. We don't have any money left, but we sure had fun :)

On Saturday, we decided to use some gift certificates that we had. I had one for Men's Warehouse, Christian had one for the DSW shoe store, and Neo had one for a toy store. It was a great day. We also had lunch at Olive Garden.

On Sunday, we got on a bus headed for the Renaissance Festival. Things there are insanely expensive, but it is something you only get to do once a year. Christian rented an amazing costume and looked awesome. Neo dressed up as a knight and looked really cool. I went as a monk again - I'm just plain I guess.

We did many things there, but the most important thing was to find "our tree" and take a picture by it again. For comparison, here is the pic from last year by the same tree. My costume is a bit plain, but Christian makes us look much better :) We also had a good family pic in Sherwood Forest.

There are too many stories to tell them all here, but one in particular stays with me. We sat down to watch a juggling show after just having bought Neo a funnel cake. He was tearing through it while people were taking their seats. I was showing him how to sop up the powdered sugar and had to explain to him that all that white stuff was sugar. He caught a surprised look for a second and immediately took his piece and started rubbing all the sugar off. He kept turning it and rubbing off all the white marks he could find until only the fried dough remained. I was confused, until he turned around and said, "Here ya go mom. Now you can have some."

Man I love that kid.

You can see all the pics from the festival here.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
This weekend is one of those weekends where you feel so blessed, you don't know how to accept it all.

What a wonderful visit with family. And today, God set the thermostat to "perfect" and we had the most amazing weather for the best birthday party in the park that anyone could ask for.

There was a moonwalk which the kids loved. Many of them also played in the park. Neo got an incredible (no pun intended) number of presents. The cake was awesome and the pizza was.. well... Domino's.

My friend Greg decided to give up his Saturday and make some really great cardboard cutouts of the Incredibles' kids. Thanks a million Greg. Those were great.

We want to thank everyone who came and also thank all of those who helped us so much to get this party together for Neo. He had a blast.

Of course, there are a ton of pictures here.

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Friday, October 14, 2005
After much confusion and delay, we have finally settled on a date and time for Neo's party. I apologize to everyone who was trying to work their schedule around this. Things have been pretty hectic around here.

The party will be on the weekend of the 22nd-23rd. Email me for the exact date and time. We would like to get an idea of how many people are coming from out of town, so shoot me an email at frankie@graffagnino.net if you plan on coming.

On Neo's birthday, he had one heck of a breakfast. Check this out. He claimed it was the best breakfast ever.

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Thursday, October 06, 2005
Birthdays, birthdays, birthdays. My goodness...

First there was Blake. Happy Birthday dood!

Then there was my dad. Congratulations on your 35th birthday pop.

Then, there was Christian. She had a good birthday, celebrated with dinner, some new CDs, a new blouse and jacket, and a gift certificate to shoe heaven. And maybe... just maybe... a lower car insurance rate.

Next was Kam. Happy birthday Kam!!! Neo can't wait to visit with you again.

Next was my mom. Also turned 35 this year. You don't look a day over 33 mom.

And now, coming up to bat, is my favorite mother-in-law. I'm not sure what her birthday holds for her, but I am absolutely positive that she will look fabulous doing it. :) Happy birthday Mrs. Pam.

And on deck, the big hitter. Neo's birthday is in a few days. As you all know, we had to post-pone the party. We hope to have a date and some invitation ironed out by this weekend, so we'll get back to you with the details.

Happy birthday to all of you guys. Perhaps next year we should all just have one huge birthday party where we shoot skeet, buy new shoes, go look at new houses, have a jewelry party, and finish it off with a fun-jump and spider-man cake?

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Saturday, October 01, 2005
What an evening. After work, Christian and I rushed to get dressed, drop off Neo at a friends house and get to a restaurant downtown for a 7:30 reservation. Luckily, we came to our senses and moved the reservation to 8:30.

That gave us much more time to relax and not be rushed. The restaurant we were heading to was La Tour D'Argent. I had called earlier in the day and made reservations. I told the guy taking the reservation that it was my wife's birthday and I would like a good window seat (in fact, our table is in the picture at the top of their website). Also, I asked if he could speak with the chef and see if he could prepare some sort of dessert that was sugar-free for Christian. He said he would talk with the chef and assured me that he could come up with something.

Upon arriving, a very courteous valet opened the door for Christian and parked the truck. When we entered, we were greeted by a very friendly hostess. She immediately wished Christian "Happy Birthday" and asked us to follow her to our table. On our way, we passed a gentleman who politely nodded and wished us a "Happy Anniversary". A little further down the hall, the hostess turned around, having heard him incorrectly label the occasion, and reassured us that she knew it was a birthday and not an anniversary.

We got a wonderful table and ordered some wine. Our server was incredible. He was very professional and never too intrusive. We also had three other waiters tending to us. One that delivered drinks and bread. One that delivered the food. And one that would check on us to see how everything was going. This was the "anniversary" guy and was apparently the same guy who took the reservation. Even though 4 people tending to you sounds a bit intrusive, it was very nice and we never felt like our conversation was interrupted.

We started off with escargot and warm jumbo crab as appetizers. All I can say is wow. The crab dish was the only thing I have ever eaten that was more incredible than the food on the cruise we took this year. It was incredible. The escargot was also very good.

After the appetizers, our server told us of one particular chocolate desert that we should think about because if we wanted it, it took quite a while to prepare. I told him that I had spoke with someone on the phone about speaking to the chef to make a sugar-free dessert. He said he would check on it. Shortly after, the "anniversary" guy came by and very politely apologized for not coming through on his promise for the dessert. He seemed embarrassed. I let it go and wasn't going to let it ruin the night.

For our entrees, Christian had a serrano ham wrapped prime rib with asparagus in an amazing sauce. It was awesome. I had lamb loin with Israeli cous-cous, red onion marmalade and shitakes. Wow. Also amazing. The portions were pretty big and since we had filled up on appetizers, neither of us were able to finish. After the meal, our server wished Christian a happy birthday. He told us about the deserts and assured us they were all zero calories. I told him we would have to skip because Christian can not have sugar. He asked if he could make her something with fresh berries. We agreed and ordered dessert and coffee.

Shortly after, he arrived with the dessert. Christian received a beautiful tall glass with fresh berries. The glass was on a huge plate. Along the edge of the plate, in gorgeous script writing made of chocolate, it said, "Happy Anniversary". I guess this was from the anniversary guy hoping to make up for his earlier mistake. He came by later and asked Christian if she had a good anniversary. There was a small awkward silence before Christian uttered, "Yes. Yes we did." It was pretty funny. At that point neither of us had the heart to tell him that it was her birthday. His intentions were good. He told us that we could fill out a card to be on their preferred guest list and possibly go back to see them for another occasion, such as a birthday.

So, besides not having the sugar-free dessert for Christian, I would say the night went pretty well. Neo had a good time playing with his friends. The restaurant was absolutely amazing. Since dinner ran a bit long, we weren't able to go see a movie as we had planned, but that's ok.

I believe Christian had a good time. I hope she did. We will always remember it as our anniversary dinner that wasn't. :)

Happy birthday princess.

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