Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lovely Bake Shop

So many new faces came by from the Saturday Snapshot, which completely made my day!
I loved hearing from all of you.
Thank you for saying hello as you came by!
 I though you might enjoy a few more glimpses of Lovely, because really, I already want to go back myself.

What I didn't even notice about Lovely until looking through the pictures is that Reed's Ginger Brew is on the menu!
Meaning that Lovely and I are even more of a fit for one another than I thought.
I drink a lot of ginger brew.
In fact, there's a ball jar sitting on my desk right now full up with the tops.

Thanks again for coming by on Saturday!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday Snapshot

I'm linking up again today to Saturday Snapshots at Yellow Songbird
This picture just speaks quintessential Saturday, hmm? 

{Lovely Bake Shop}
Besides everything I love about this picture, I think what I love most is that it didn't take place on a Saturday.
It was an after-work-chocolate-scone-and-hot-chocolate kind of indulgence just this week.
I sat across from husband and read Harry Potter (book 5 now) as if I hadn't a care in the world.
And best of all, I think I found one of my new favorite spots in my whole city.
Chicago, I do love you indeed.
Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Taking Advantage

I took advantage of a day called "husband-nor-I-have-to-work" and it was a swell day.
It was also a Monday, how very swell is that?
We felt like free birds, flitting about the Chicago History Museum while the rest of the city compressed into button-downs and suits and splashed coffee on their shoes while rushing about the industry called Monday.

We felt like love birds, ducking into our favorite cafe and ordering the exact same menu item, "Diablos House Tacos with a side of soup" and whittling away the hours in the empty restaurant.

More to prolong the already slow feel of the afternoon than for something else to eat, I ordered a chocolate chip scone.
 Changed my world.
For the better, my friends, for the better.

So tomorrow is back to work, but in terms of taking advantage, I think we did it.
Oh, and one more thing. Taking advantage of a slower day probably means meandering into your favorite used book store on your way home.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

First Off

First off, thank you so much for all your sweet and supportive well-wishes for my new job!
All of your texts, calls, facebook posts, notes, and even a drop off of macaroons completely blessed me.
I had no idea just how not alone I am going into this new transition! 

So, besides being reminded afresh of community and how sweet it is, after my first week at my new job, I learned a little something.
And not just the expected learning curve about therapy sessions with the mentally ill, progress notes, case management, and treatment plans.
I found out that working hard makes off time so much sweeter.

Here's what we did with my first day off.
Just kidding!
I mean, that will be reality soon enough for days off, but not on the first day off that brought Chicago out of hibernation with its spring sun and 60 degree temperatures.
After the conservatory, we sat out in the sun on the Lincoln Park bridge, and there was a moment that I felt that sun-burning-through-the-jeans quintessential spring sensation.
You know what I'm talking about?
It was just for a moment, but it was there.

What was there even stronger was my awareness that I had walked those grounds of Lincoln Park so much last year in angst, trying to sort out my life in the midst of the significant health issues I was having.
To sit there, happy with my new job underway, was so gratifying.
It was a life-is-bittersweet burning through the senses kind of moment, when the remembrance of the bitter makes you still & quiet, and the taste of the sweet makes you glow from the inside out.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

First Day

Tomorrow's my first day of my first counseling job.
Not internship, not volunteer work, but job, hooray!
Translation: This week feels both exciting and daunting at the same time, for sure.

Starting a new job is no walk in the park, but I've been waiting for this for a long time.
I'm ready to get started, ready to learn a whole lot, and ready to find my place in the counseling and psychology world.

Of course the daunted, nervous part of me wants to panic and wear pajama pants and read Harry Potter instead, but I know that what I really, truly want is waiting for me at that first job tomorrow.  

Here goes!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday Snapshot

I'm linking up today to Saturday Snapshots over at Oh, Sweet Joy.

My snapshot is from today, and is lacking one thing.
A green Chicago River.
Chicago, being the Irish Catholic city that it is, dumps bright green dye in the river every year the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day.

This sounds like just the kind of thing I'd like to see.
And as a Chicago girl, it sounds like just the kind of thing I must see, at least once.

But I found out something today.
The dye fades pretty quickly!

By the time I got there, the river looked like this.
But this view is still worth a look, don't you think?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Close to Home

Campus is clearing out for the oh-so-wonderful 2 week spring break.
I have to admit though, I have to strain to taste a sense of that freedom, a sense of that elation that so many are feeling right now.
Probably because this spring break, husband and I are once again staying close to home.
Right now I so miss that high of packing up the car and heading to the airport or taking off on a road trip, in pursuit of warmer places.
But the reason we're staying close to home is a very, very good one.
On Monday, I start my new job!

In other news about "close to home," there was an incident surprisingly close to home (as in on the corner of our building) that happened recently and made the news.
The typical "close to home" nouns are for our corner of the street are
Lake Michigan
Paper Source
Michigan Avenue
Washington Park
and more Starbucks.

But one Wednesday afternoon, the noun "gunshots" entered the vocabulary, for the first time since I've lived here.
Nine gunshots.
There was definitely a scene, and after the chaos was sorted out amidst tons of red tape, ambulances, and cop cars, the story stands that two police men in an unmarked car had picked up a panhandler for aggressive behavior.
 From the backseat, the panhandler pulled out a concealed gun and shot the policemen, who returned fire and killed the passenger.
Later that night, we got a pounding knock on our door from a detective, trying to gather information from those who might have witnessed the event.
Never a dull moment.

Here's a few pictures I snapped from our 18th floor apartment of the aftermath.
"Close to home" was pretty interesting that day.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

No Elbow Room

Chicago is not giving March much elbow room lately.
No, she's standing in salute to gray and cold as unblinkingly as ever.
Weekends hold the form of blankets and books and a window view of the skyline, shrouded in dingy cloud cover.

I see pops of color in stores windows and spring color palettes, but Chicago is just not yet willing to commit.
And experience with my city tells me it could still be quite some time.

So, our weekends are spent like so.

1. Clean sheets
2. N: Painting day at the cathedral downtown that's just been given (given!) to our church.
3. A: Prep day for teaching a seminar to 50 student leaders this week.
4. Sneaking in a few more chapters of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
5. Friends (Tremont reunion!) and Pioneer Woman's cobbler
6. Campus stand-up comedy show
7. Manning the Walk in the Word counter at church
8. A, not kidding, 2 1/2 hour Sunday nap for both husband and me
9. More Harry, Ron, & Hermione and being really surprised by the ending of book 3
10. The Maker's Diet smoothies
11. N: bakes oatmeal bread and we have warm oatmeal bread with butter... mmmm!
12. Last but not least, talking to my sis Tiff on the phone for the billionth time in the past two weeks and officially booking our vacation- something we've wanted to do together for so long!

With such a restful weekend, I have no explanation for why I've been melting down so easily yesterday and today!
Thank goodness our friends Kirra and T spontaneously invited us over for homemade pizza last night.
We laughed until I was afraid the neighbors would be grumpy.

Until spring edges out winter, we might all be a little grumpy, but while Chicago refuses spring, it looks promising that husband will be baking more bread on the weekends.