Sunday, December 30, 2012

From City Lights to You

I'm such a bad blogger during the holiday season, breaking pretty much all the "rules".... namely.... actually write posts.

But from City Lights to you we want to say,

From the City,
 to the Country,
to the Suburbs,
and all the places you and I have been in between, 
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cozy Town

Our living room is cozy town.
I wish I could say we've used all this mild weather to get out and enjoy Chicago Christmas while it's actually decent to be outside, but we've just been snuggled in here every night.
Can you blame us?
(At this point, we hadn't decorated our tree yet but we did this week!)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thanksgiving in Black & White

And... here's the last of the Thanksgiving photos.

Last night my brother proposed to the wonderful girl in the photo with him.
One of my favorite Thanksgiving memories from this year is sitting on the kitchen stools with him and my sister, with Ty sitting on the kitchen counter and trying to razz Parker up real good about telling us when he was going to propose (when Alyssa wasn't around, of course).
We had Mom laughing so hard, and while I don't think Parker was laughing, hopefully he can now that it's all over and no one gave anything away!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Baby of the Babies

On Thanksgiving morning, I got to play outside for awhile with my baby nephew Kaden.
My sister has four beautiful kids, who my family refers to collectively as "the babies."
"The babies" live in my home town, so they are always major players in our visits.
Kaden is the baby of the babies, and I got nothing short of lucky that he forgot about his mom for a little while while he was outside.
Thankful for the joy of being an auntie!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Home for Thanksgiving

Here are a few photos that explain "home for Thanksgiving."
Husband and I love taking holidays in the country with family.
Leave the city to the day to day; give me country for the cozy winter holidays.

Monday, November 26, 2012


(Our nephew Connor on Thanksgiving.)

We gave thanks down in rural IL with my family last week over the holiday.
Thanksgiving is my favored holiday to be home, I think because of the simplicity of gobbling up the people I love around a big tasty table.
If I could figure out how to say this I would, but Thanksgiving also mingles arrival and anticipation of the holidays in a way that I love.

Amongst the smudged penciled paragraphs in my journal these days about what I have to thank God for, I'm very aware of the fact that one of my blessings is that all four of my grandparents were around the table with us. 
And that they were the ones that lingered around the table to keep laughing and talking past pie.
When someone urged Gramp to join some of the boys in the TV room for football, he said "Naw, I can watch football any day.  I can't enjoy all these faces every day."
To which Granny replied, "That's right.  If you've seen one football game, you've seen them all."
And then someone tweeted that quote, hashtag Granny.

Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks for being here and for reading!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Larger Story

City Lights, here!
We've been up to the usual around here, along with some traveling on the weekends and some other city-style (and plain old life-style) shenanigans.
Thanks for being patient with my absence.

If I can stretch your grace a little further, let me tell you again about the book Living the Christian Year.
I recently picked up Living the Christian Year again after using it during the Advent-Lent seasons last year.
I don't know a lot of my readers personally and I would guess my readers represent various faiths or those of you who don't claim a faith at all, but if you are a Christ-follower or interested, this book guides me in the morning through quiet readings from Scripture that connect me to a larger story.

Order hereOr the e-book here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thank You, Susan B. Anthony

Facebook has not been a pleasant place to hang out in recent days and weeks leading up to the election, but I fell in love with this vintage poster and quote that I saw on Facebook today.

"We ask justice, we ask equality, we ask that all the civil and political rights that belong to citizens of the United States be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever."
-Susan B. Anthony, Declaration of Rights for Women, July 1876

Chicago is abuzz tonight of course, hosting Obama in his own home.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Christmas Kindle

I introduced Christmas talk here on City Lights when I put up a link about caroling at the bean, so why not keep going with it?

I bought a Kindle Touch last year with Christmas money, and I thought I would speak to anyone who may have toyed with the idea of putting a Kindle on their Christmas wishlist.

I'll keep it simple by saying this: if you've thought about trying a Kindle, do it.
No need to become overly philosophical or sentimental or anxious.
Owning a Kindle is not saying no to ever holding a book in your hand again or to collecting a shelf teeming with books.

Instead, I like to think about it as an open relationship.
You won't be exclusive anymore with books because you're also going to spend time with e-books, but it's really up to you when and which and why.

Since owning my Kindle, I buy both regular books and e-books.
I love the Kindle for traveling, for reading in bed (think light, one-handed, no manual page turning), for immediate and easy purchase (less errands!) and for rationing the space in my city apartment.

Happy (e)-reading!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Bean

 I had to be in the Loop this afternoon, so I took a few extra minutes to cross the sidewalk over to Millennium Park and the bean.
I am totally into the glitz and glamour that is Millennium Park, and I love to be there.
Some Chicagoans think it touristy-- and that it most certainly is.
But if you look closer, it belongs to the locals.

It's where the City that Works eats lunch at noon and sprawls on the great lawn on the weekends with babies, friends, and picnic blankets to listen to our own symphony and opera.
Instead of door-to-door, Chicago goes to the bean to sing Christmas carols and we watch fireworks together there like an exploded culdesac.  
 When the flashes of tourist cameras slow, you see the park of daily Chicagoans.

Can't wait to go caroling there in just a few short weeks!
Who's coming with us?

Do you like Millennium Park?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Julius Meinl

Monday night coffee shop dates.
Julius Meinl is a great one for those.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Weekends, This Way

Everyone has a way they like weekends.
Over hard, over easy, scrambled.

There are endless combinations that I like: traveling to see family, exploring the city, taking it slow, snuggling at home, or getting out with our friends.

This weekend though was the way I like to order it.
Dinner with friends, Pizano's date with husband, and a new brunch restaurant.

Husband and our friend Chris went out to breakfast at Brunch on Saturday morning, and they loved it so much that husband wanted to take me there the next day.
We both applauded the Chi-Town skillet (house sausage, cherrywood bacon, aged cheddar, roasted tomatoes, caramelized onion, and jalapenos) and the urban loft interior and natural light.
Can't wait to take family and friends there when we have visitors!

Weekends, this way.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


My brother and fellow Chicagoan sent me the link to this former church 
near his neighborhood that has been converted into a four bedroom home in Logan Square.
Resuscitate me.

Check out the Chicagoist for more photos of this gorgeous Chi-Town conversion.
If I lived here, I think I could manage to read a book or two in this living room.

Friday, October 26, 2012


His love speaks to me in every season.
(He brings me decaf-soy-half-pumpkin-spice lattes.)
For those of you who find pumpkin spice too sweet or strong, try asking for half the syrup.
Am I speaking your language?

Speak (or hug or kiss or serve) your love this weekend!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


We stole out of Chi-Town this weekend to hang in Naptown for a little weekend with husband's family.
They all hail from Indianapolis (which husband insists is called Naptown).

As hard as it can be to get away, we're always glad when we do.
His parents' house is the absolute coziest, and I slept in until 11:00 both mornings we were there.
I can't remember the last time I slept in till such an hour.
Naptown it is!
Sorry, husband.  I know, I know, it's not like that.

We sat outside around a fire pit on the back patio at night, drank cider, went on a long walk under fall colors, and I even got a coveted few hours with my mother-in-law alone at Rosie's Place for breakfast.
The cinnamon rolls.
The conversation.
It was the coziest time.

With the Chicago skyline in our rearview mirror on the way down, we stopped at Cunis Candies for caramel apples for the weekend.
Chicagoans, this is the candy shop for caramel apples, but you've got to think suburbs on this one.