It has been a rough few months with being too busy, neglecting the most important for the most immediate, & in general not making time for real connection as a family. We were feeling it and sensing the need to just be together and be intentional so we cancelled our plans and headed to Chicago for the day to be together as a family.
Chicago is such a part of our story and we will always come back and share it with our kids. We spent our first few years of marriage falling in love with this city and stayed for years. We both found ourselves job-less with rent to pay and we had to learn more about how to trust God here. We walked along the lake front in Rogers Park after work many summer nights dreaming about our future. I taught kids and alongside teachers that changed me forever here. We drove to Swedish Cov Hospital when I was in labor with Annikah and I screamed at him for driving over potholes (that are unavoidable). We became part of a church that formed us and taught us about community. We went to Foster Ave Beach 1 million times and it never got old. We explored and ate ALL the things in ALL the neighborhoods. We learned to appreciate and value difference- even when- no especially when it made us uncomfortable. We worked, volunteered, met and became dear friends with people from all over the world, made life long friends, and lived and loved here for years. Chicago is formative to who we are today.
We needed a break from our normal routine to explore, reflect, and adventure together. Jason and I reflected on the car ride home that again and again when our kid are acting the craziest and seemingly fighting non stop is just when they need us and this time the most (this for me is such a HARD part of parenting because it is precisely the time I want to run away and “take a break” from the kids). When any of us stray from true connection we forget the best parts of ourselves and just how we are wired to be together with others.
Through tears and sharing at our little church service and family meeting lakefront yesterday it was apparent how much we ALL needed to remember why we love each other so much. We talked about God’s creation, brokenness in the world and war, shared about our current wins and challenges, asked forgiveness of each other, prayed together, ate snacks, and laughed together. Even the rain could not stop our adventure vibes and after exploring our downtown favorites including dancing a bit at Blues Fest (YASSSSS) we headed to Pilsen for some fabulous Mexican food.
More than crossing a few things off our summer bucket list we connected and enjoying being together which is just what needed to kick off summer 2019!