The MalleyCats

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(2011) In which Nana and Corky come to visit!

My kids are incredibly lucky. They have a lot of people who love them. In addition to Mark and Vicki Malley (my father and mother-in-law) who are really fantastic grandparents, they have the unconditional love of Mark and Debbie Taylor (Chanel's mom and dad). They are known around here as Corky and Nana. And my kids adore them. Having never had grandparents myself, I am particularly grateful for the role they play in my kids' lives. So when they came to town last week for a visit we were all thrilled out of our minds!

The downside to their visit? The fact that they left! The morning they left Eloise woke up find them gone and just dissolved into tears. We definitely had a day of mourning. Luckily we had lots of fun new memories to keep us going.

After the Taylors spent a day sightseeing downtown, Seth and I had the chance to meet them for dinner at Harry Caray's. Aside from making one of the tastiest steaks ever, it's a Chicago institution and always a great time. Both Corky and I were eating for two that night: Me for my unborn child, and Corky for his mustache.

We also had a chance to go to the Last Fling in downtown Naperville. It was loads of fun, and Lincoln's dream of having his face painted finally came true. Corky and Nana couldn't resist his pleas to be painted like a tiger. Can you blame them? Look at this guy!

Lincoln was so incredibly happy. He stopped to say hello to every.single.person he saw the rest of the day just to show off his face. He was a total rock-star that day.

Bennett wanted to be a dragon

Eloise wanted a butterfly. While the really good face painting lady was busy on the boys, another lady stepped in to help. She did a one-inch butterfly on her cheek. But when Eloise saw Lincoln and Bennett's faces, she quickly realized her little butterfly just wasn't going to cut it. So the good face-painter lady took pity on her and added pretty much everything you see in that very blurry picture.

Oliver wanted a dolphin tattoo on his arm. I know. I was as confused as you are. But obviously he was really happy with the results!

As if that weren't enough awesome for the day, the kids were also spoiled with a train ride on the mini-train. And we were spoiled with the visual masterpiece that was the train conductor's outfit. Behold! the jorts!(that's jean shorts for those of you who don't regularly make fun them)

Do you see Nana giving it the thumbs up in that picture? I just need you to understand that this man was like 6'4". That's a lot of jorts people.

There were also balloon animals, and prizes, and bounce houses and petting zoos (is Bennett trying to wrestle a chicken in that picture?) and basically more fun than you could shake a stick at. It wore us all out. Having that much fun is exhausting.

The day ended with baths and story time, and went down in history as one of the best days ever.

And since we like to put our house guests to work, Corky fixed every squeaky door in our house along with a busted door frame and even killed a wasp's nest while he was at it. Not to be outdone, Nana worked on the kids' Halloween costumes and now we're all ready for the festivities. Don't you wish they'd come stay with you?!

We are so blessed to have them in our lives and can't wait to see them again soon! Thank you Nana and Corky!

Seth Malley