Thursday, May 22, 2014

Project 365: Week 20

Day 136: Watching him grow.
 Day 137: The northern part of Lincoln Park is such a pretty and relaxing area, and one that a lot of people (us included!) often forget about.
 Day 138: Chicago spring tulips
 Day 139: Ellie & Augy.  Buddy bears.
 Day 140: Face.
 Day 141: Our book club read Donna Tartt's new book, The Goldfinch, this spring.  Fannnnnntastic.  Read it this summer if you're looking for great writing at 800 pages+.
 Day 142: Blooms on Moody campus.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Project 365: Week 18 & 19

Day 122: Morning reading with Grandpa.  Wakin' up.
Day 123: Mailed out invitations for Kirra's baby shower, made perfectly by Katy Girl Designs.
Day 124: We love walking up to Plum Market for their Glazed & Infused donuts.  Any day.
Day 125: Favorite L platform.  And it so kindly has a working elevator, unlike so many of the stops.  Which can basically give you a panic attack when you have a stroller.
Day 126: 9 months and it's like a light switch was flipped-- he is so into reading books now!
Day 127: Joan Cusack's store on Wells St.
Day 128: These two playing together.
Day 129: That's a lot of coffee.
Day 130: A new favorite.
Day 131: The Montrose view we love so much.
Day 132: August's dedication at church.
Day 133: First Mother's Day!
Day 134: Dark chocolate treats re-stocked. 
Day 135: Most fun person I know.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Psalm 19:7-14

On Sunday-- Mother's Day-- we dedicated Augy at our church.  It's something I've seen done over and over my entire life in church, and it seems ever so completely surreal that it was me up there with my son in my arms on Sunday. 

Besides feeling surreal, here's how else dedicating my child felt: Sweaty, from trying to keep Augy quiet in the service up until the dedication, a bit like a juggling act passing Augy between myself, Neal, and Pastor Brian, and feeling how bright the lights actually are in your eyes when you're up front.  Still special though, most definitely.  In a sweaty sort of way.

The verses we chose for Augy's dedication are also the verses from the reference that is engraved on the inside of my wedding band, Psalm 19:7-14.  It's my favorite passage in all of Scripture and has been for probably the last 11 years or so.  I first fell in love with the passage my second year of college.  I printed it out and slipped it into the cover of my binder that I carried everywhere for school.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

Choosing this passage for August and his dedication got me reading it again, and it reminds me of when I was pregnant with Augy.  What I remember is that when I tried to pray for my unborn baby, I was so surprised that all I could find myself praying for was that he would know and love Jesus so deeply.  Everything else literally paled in comparison that I couldn't even pray for those things.  I guess I was surprised because I'm a person who cares about those things.

Those things like health, good friends, great school experiences, good grades, a fulfilling career, a wonderful spouse, on and on.  And it's not like I won't do everything in my power to give August those things.  Heaven knows I'm into it all.  And heaven knows I have never felt more devoted to a creature in my life than this child.

But the thing I know too well in 30 short years of life-- the terrible wonderful-- is that circumstances come and go.  I also know that bad things happen to good people.  And that good people make bad choices sometimes.  That the world is full of heartache and toil and trouble and tragedy amongst its more pretty moments.  And that he will be no more in ultimate control of all of this than I am.

My prayer for him is that he know the Jesus who is an anchor for the soul in this terrible wonderful.  If he does, then I know he will be ok no matter what.  If he does, then I know he will be spiritually alive, wise and rejoicing in heart, bright-eyed and confident that his life is centered around what is true, lasting, and void of evil.  That he will be satisfied much deeper and more richly than riches can ever provide, and that he will taste sweet reward in this life and most assuredly in the next.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Neal and I spent the weekend in NYC!
Such a dream of mine for the past few years since I've come to love cities so much.
I'm still pinching myself that we were actually there.
It was my first time to visit and also our first night(s) away from Augy together since he was born.

The trip was in celebration of my 30th birthday, and I love that when I think of turning 30 I'll get to think of our time in New York City.

We only spent 48 hours there, so you can imagine that there was much, much more we would have wanted to see or soak in than we were able to.  But in such a short time, we saw so much and had such a good time doing it.  We were able to stay relaxed and in sync with each other and avoid rushing too much or stressing about getting lots of pictures or trying to see everything.  We couldn't believe our good fortune of beautiful blue sky and sun each and every day of our trip. We were freezing a fair amount of the time as well (big sad face), but that sun and blue sky was definitely the way to see New York in its spring bloom.

I could write paragraphs about what moved me about New York City in the two short days I was there, about how it differs from Chicago and not, and about how I unexpectedly felt on the verge of tears when I was about to exit Penn Station to step onto the streets of NYC for the first time.  It was such an incredible experience to be in the city that has such an impact on the rest of our nation.
But let's move on with photos.  Lots and lots of them!

 I'm going to say all these photos count for all of Project 365: Week 17, ok?
^^^ Flying ^^^
Our flight on the way there was sparsely populated, so we got to sit alone together.  I can't remember the last time I've been on a flight like that, if ever.  So relaxing!
^^^ Columbus Circle ^^^
As soon as we dropped our bags at our hotel (we got our hotel that morning using the Hotels Tonight app), we walked by a deli and grabbed sandwiches to eat in Central Park and then wandered into Columbus Circle to catch the subway.
^^^ Times Square ^^^
We didn't plan on visiting Times Square, but we ended up walking through on our way to dinner the first night.  On the way back, we went all the way up the red stairs in the square to see from a bit of a height (in the rain!).  It was so energizing, and I'm glad we didn't miss it.
^^ New York Pizza ^^
Delicious pizza date.  We rarely order deep dish pizza, even being the Chicagoans that we are.  Instead we typically opt for thin crust most of the time, so we were pretty happy.  Dad, I think this is the kind of pizza you're always looking for in Chicago!
^^^ Vanilla macchiato in bed :) ^^^
^^^ Tisserie ^^^
A coffee shop and bakery right next to our hotel that we loved.  Perfect to run in and grab breakfast, coffee, and hot tea before walking over to Central Park each morning.
^^^ Central Park ^^^
Our favorite place by far in all that we got to see of New York.  Absolutely magical. We kind of died a thousand deaths over this place.  Big respect for you, Olmstead.
^^^ City, city, city ^^^
^^^ City Hall Park ^^^
Smitten with the cherry blossoms here!
^^^ Ground Zero ^^^
So moving, so meaningful, and so well done.  So proud of our country and thankful for our freedom.
^^^ A quirky sandwich place we found for lunch in lower Manhattan. ^^^
^^^ Bus Tours ^^^
We were huge nerds about the bus tours.  We bought a two-day pass and rode constantly, with the little earbuds in our ears to hear the tour guide and all.  It. was. amazing.  I honestly think this was the way we were able to see so much in such a short amount of time.  We could not get enough!  Favorite.
^^^ Statue of Liberty ^^^
We sat at Battery Park for a bit and enjoyed a far off view of the Statue of Liberty.
^^^ Breakfast at Sarabeth's on Central Park ^^^
^^^ The Met ^^^
^^^ Bike riding in Central Park ^^^
^^^ Park Central Hotel ^^^
When we were choosing between hotels, I kept coming back to wanting to stay on the park.  I'm so glad I stuck to my gut on this, because it was so worth it.  We loved the location and the hotel.  Recommend!
^^^ Shake Shack ^^^
The type of food we dream about, ha.  And we hear there's one coming to Chicago!  That better not be a rumor, Shake Shack!
^^^ Madison Square Park ^^^
We loved the vibe of this park right next to the Flatiron building, and all its many pink blooms were just the prettiest!  Of course it's totally cliche to end this post by saying we want to go back, but I really would go back in a heartbeat!  Catch ya later, New York!