I packed our van until opening any of the doors was an At-Your-Own-Risk endeavor, searched for a certain middle child's shoes for at least 10 minutes (sigh), piled the kids and more junk in, poured the rest of the cold brew in the fridge in a to go cup, and headed out early last Monday morning. When we emerged onto Lake Shore Drive from Lower Wacker the kids started cheering and I started...... crying. Oh, how I have missed Chicago. I needed this week.
I know this lament may seem trivial because we live only 30 miles outside the city but the truth is everything seems so different. And while there is much I do not miss about the city there is so much known I dearly miss. The time was right for a different adventure for our family but we will always be so connected to this city and these people that were our place and our people for our entire married life (minus the island years).
This week in the city was good for my soul and also gave me peace that for now our family is in Westmont and God has so much for us here as well. My dear friend Laura let us crash at her place all week and the girls attended Spring Hill camp at our old church. Other than the camp our days included eating ALL the ethnic food, coffee and park play dates, catching up with friends, and beach and city time. A couple of photo shoots made me feel like not such a slacker but fo' reals we were in full on vacay mode and made the most out of precious Chicago time. I'm so grateful for dear friends who made time for us and for our shared history and lives that makes that time so special.
we were regulars for the week at a new coffee shop in Aville
This year Evy got the Sincerity Award and Annikah got the Dependability Award. And I always tear up hearing their counselors talk about these girls.I think one of the best things about motherhood is seeing others acknowledge and notice how special these amazing kids are.
double fisting at the BBQ: a bot dog & a Popsicle..... it is how Abishai rolls.
friends since they were in utero.
Thankful Unity took these pics and I love this one of my sweet man.
love these ladies!
And before heading home on Friday we had to hit downtown and Evy's face sums up how we feel about the bean and the Crown Fountains.
a selfie with the bean & my boy
and guess who walked over after work?
Can I wall paper my house with this last image? I sorta love it that much.
It was an exhausting in the best sort of way week and I came home feeling grateful for friendship, for history, for a place we love so much and feeling excited for God to build and create a new story in our lives where ever He takes us. When you live and love in a place for years it becomes part of who you are and I am realizing that Chicago and Africa are part of our family AND we can hold those experiences are sacred and precious while still opening up to know and be known every where and anywhere God takes us. He designed our hearts to hold at all: the loss, longing, memories, beauty, lessons, challenges, fears, and hopes all together in one jumbled but beautiful mess and there is always room for more.
Hope all your exploring is fabulous,