Saturday, June 30, 2018


We could hardly have had a more marvelous day than our Wednesday in Chicago.  Thursday didn't stand a chance.  And while it certainly didn't enjoy the hype that Wednesday got (the Dodgers at Wrigley! Hamilton!), Thursday was its own charming delight.  Here's the truth: when John and I get to be together and remember all over again why we like each other and play all day, it can only be good!


That said, the weather was pretty abysmal, which meant sleeping in was delightful but everything else we did was pretty wet.  And given that rain snuck into the forecast at the last minute, I was not prepared with great footwear to be tromping around puddly, slick streets.  I actually squished when I walked.

After a very slow start, which we savored, we headed out to a highly recommended (by Trip Advisor) brunch place.  It took a while to get there, and since it was a random Thursday morning, we thought it wouldn't be that difficult to get in.  We thought wrong.  There were people tucked into alcoves all over the street trying to avoid the rain while we all waited for tables.  And my phone kept issuing flood warnings.


Turns out, it was totally worth the wait.  And, as I noted before - since it was just John and I hanging out, we were able to enjoy waiting.  We could never wait 45+ minutes for anything with our children. The flight of french toast was completely divine, and I wish that Lobster Omelettes were more readily available to me at all times.


The rain had slowed considerably, so we decided to be regular Chicago tourists and head straight to Millennium Park and the Bean, which is actually known as Cloudgate.  It really is mesmerizing and so shiny.


We decided to walk to Navy Pier, because a flight of french toast does not exactly sit lightly and walking seemed to be in order.  Lake Michigan was cloudy and gray, and we could barely see the city skyline through the fog.


It was fun to see Navy Pier before heading back to our hotel to pick up our luggage and head back to the airport. 


Our flight ended up being delayed due to weather, and since the weather had been horrendous much of the day, O'Hare was packed.


John did spend a little time airdropping inspirational quotes to strangers to entertain us. 🤣


We made it to Little Rock well after midnight and to our house right at 1 a.m.


And while we were tired the next day, it seems that we might be reaching a new era.  For many years now, we've been too exhausted to do much tripping together that involves more than laying around (and there is definitely still a place for this kind of trip always).  This time we managed to work in fun activities, make friends with people around us and enjoy the adventure.  It is encouraging to feel that we are gaining ground on the energy front.

All of this was possible because John made magic happen, and because his parents were able to keep our children on short notice - we are so grateful!  And now that I fully understand how wonderful Chicago is, we will definitely be heading back!

Friday, June 29, 2018


It's no secret that High School Musical is a favorite all the way around at our house.  Violet, especially, loves to sing all the songs from 1, 2 and 3, and when she realized they were going to wear graduation robes "like Troy and Gabriella!", her excitement crystallized.  Even though V & W are children 3 & 4 for us, this was our first preschool graduation, and they totally rocked it.


It was royalty themed, and they walked in to "A Whole New World" as William and Violet waved to their admirers.  William was not a big fan of his crown, and the gum that Violet was chewing fell out of her mouth as she bounced onto stage.  They said the Pledge of Allegiance, sang several songs, and Violet needed a bathroom break from stage before they were all whisked away to put on their gear.


Both twins strode across the stage as their names were called, smiling all the way.


We are so very proud of what they have accomplished in the past two years.  Both William and Violet have come so far!  Also, if you have never attended a graduation ceremony for kids with developmental delays, let me just tell you that it is special.  So many of these kids have overcome far more than most of us will ever deal with.  It was precious and confirmation of the fact that we really are "All in This Together" as Violet keeps singing at me.  With motions.


We had our own little crowd, and so many of the staff that have loved our children so well.  Special shout out to the teachers and therapists who have contributed so much to us all!


It was a beautiful way to mark the end (almost) of an era.  I'm so thankful for the choice we made to do preschool, and it has set them up for kindergarten so well!  And seeing them in their graduation regalia was just about the cutest thing ever.

Sunday, June 24, 2018


A couple of weeks ago, we were throwing around the idea of a getaway, but once we looked at the calendar, it became apparent that we could not shove four days anywhere.  I was pretty disappointed and not entirely gracious about this.  😬🤦🏻‍♀️

The next morning, while I was at workout class, I got a call and then two texts - "Do you want to have the most fun day ever?"  Well, this was definitely John speaking my love language of fun, and I called back pretty quick.  He knew I would LOVE to see Hamilton, and upon further digging, he realized that the Dodgers were playing the Cubs at Wrigley Field in an afternoon game.  We planned the entire outing in less than a week.  (This is the huge benefit of having super gracious in-laws that live in town who were willing to keep the kids!)


We flew out via direct flight early Wed morning and were leaving our luggage at our hotel in downtown Chicago by 10:00.  We did have a brief mishap on the train and decided to kick brunch to the next day and head straight to Wrigley.  We also happened upon an urban CFA that was hopping.


Our Wrigley experience was pretty magical all the way around.  We got lunch and began to take in the iconic stadium.


While we were eating, we realized that a Dodger player - John's favorite Dodger player! - Clayton Kershaw, was signing autographs for fans.  John headed down and got his jersey signed.  It was such a sweet, unexpected gift for an already amazing day.


The Dodgers did not win, but it was still a really fun game.  We made friends with the security guard and the guys next to us and had the most perfect weather.


The game was over in plenty of time for us to head back to hotel and get changed and grab a quick bite at our hotel before Hamilton!


Let me say that Hamilton was everything and more.  It lived up to ALL of the hype.  And the feeling in the theatre was electric.  Everyone there was ecstatic to be in the room where it happens.  We made friends with everyone seated around us - none of whom were from Chicago, because people were there from all over, just like us.


Seriously - it was an unbelievable experience in such an intimate and beautiful theatre, and I am so thankful to have gotten to see it in person.


We hopped in a cab and headed to a rooftop bar (Londonhouse) for dessert that had been recommended to us by one of the many friends we made during the day.  The views of the river and downtown Chicago were fantastic.


Our first day in Chicago (1 of 2) was pure magic.  We could not have scripted a more wonderful experience from beginning to end, and we spent a lot of time just being in awe of how great it was.  We've had a lot of trips go sideways for one reason or another, and it was truly a gift from the Lord to have time away with no major trouble on any front.  We enjoyed being together, and we obviously were thrilled with our activity choices!