Today I had some guilt about blogging, because I am wearing my shirt that says "I am so blogging this" and in reality I haven't blogged in over a month!
So, here I am. :)
I am all moved, mostly settled in, and life is good.
I've unpacked lots of stuff (almost done!), decorated, rearranged, and more. The house is still in disarray, but at least it's organized, livable chaos.
My life is busy with the some of the usual things, but mostly lots of new fun things. My days (and nights) are kept busy by the following:
1. Grad school homework (only one year to go!)
2. VBS (this is my last year...I mean it this time!), which I am planning from afar- still at the Moody Church in Chicago. I'll head back there in August to witness the event!
3. Internship: I've been interning with Congressman Phil Hare's Moline office on Mondays and Tuesdays and will do this through the end of July. I absolutely love it! It's a lot of that "intern" stuff...filing, mailing, sorting, but it's really interesting and I'm learning a lot. I've also never worked in an office before, so this is a fun new experience.
4. Babysitting: On Wednesdays through Fridays, I am taking care of my BEST friend's baby. It is so fun that my best friend (and our other mutual best pal) have all moved back to Moline and are having babies. I'm watching her baby and then our other friend, who's having her baby in early July, will add her little one to my Wed-Fri gig starting in August (after VBS). This is going to give us a little extra income so I can stay home with Sprout when he/she comes in November. It has been so fun spending the days with Kennedi and I'm so blessed to get to do this.
In attempt to get organized, I've made us a chart, so I don't lose track of the baby, Kedzie, or myself. This will really come in handy when I'm taking care of three babies at once!
5. Last but not least, I am kept busy with my puppy, Kedzie, with whom I am just smitten! She keeps us busy, but she is soooooo cute and fun and doing SO well with training, so we are very proud of her!
I'll keep ya'll posted on Sproutie's sex, which we will find out in a couple weeks. Here is a picture from two weeks ago when I was officially 4 months.
This pregnancy has been an interesting one for me, to say the least...with everything else going on and dealing with some past issues, it has certainly been a time of relying on God for strength and peace, which is always a great, but difficult learning experience.
One more pic...before I moved my team at work threw me a delightful shower with Sprout as the theme! It was so cute!!
We just love the new little addition to our family. She is so much fun and so darn adorable.
She is extremely curious, hyper, energetic, and all puppy!
One of the cutest things about her is that because she is so lively, she crashes frequently, completely wiped out.
Here are some of her adorable...and somewhat strange sleeping positions.
It's fun because we're both always so sleepy these days!
Sleeping on my brother's amp in the backseat of his car.
Fast asleep while I do homework.
This breed is known for being somewhat catlike. :)
She literally slept like this for about 30 minutes in the car. :)
The last thing on my countdown is something that has been a part of my life since moving to this area in 2001. I listen to this radio station constantly and as lame as it sounds, I feel like I know the hosts! I've had the pleasure of visiting the studio a couple of times too and I get all giddy when I see the "celebrities" of this radio station around church or at various Moody-related events. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be getting the WMBI WiFi radio which lets you listen to the Chicago station anywhere in the world! :)
If you don't listen to this station, I encourage you try it!
This sounds kind of lame, but I really will miss this! Obviously, Chicago offers diversity that just isn't in Moline. Besides the actual city of Chicago, the suburbs are quite diverse as well. Many people in our apartment complex speak other languages and over half of my third graders speak a language other than English when they go home each night. I love looking across my classroom and seeing children from China, Korea, Georgia (the country), Russia, and many more places around the world.
Continuing on...(I'm getting a little bored of this series, to be honest). :)
#8- Trinity Community Philharmonic Orchestra
People always ask me if I watch American Idol. My answer is, no, not since the first season. Why? Because since the fall of 2001, I have played in the TCPO every Tuesday night during a school year!
It has been a pleasure playing horn in this orchestra, first as a student for four years and then as a community member for four years. I have enjoyed playing under three conductors and with many different people in the horn section throughout the years. It's been so fun to get to play regularly with this group.
#7- Apartment Living Apartment living is great. The space is small, the cleaning is minimal. If you forget something in another room, it's only a few paces to go get it. I really like living in a small place and the thought of having to go "all the way upstairs" to retrieve something at house is something new to me. Also, if you hear sounds in an apartment, it's okay, because you're supposed to hear sounds. In a house, when you hear sounds, they can be creepy because no one else is supposed to be in the house besides you!
We have lived in this apartment for almost five years. Marcus moved into in May 2005 and I moved in after our wedding in July. It's been a wonderful place for us to start our marriage and I'm going to miss it!
Okay, so I complain about teaching horn lessons almost every time I go to teach them, but, if I'm honest, I'm going to miss these girls. I teach four eighth grade girls in Deerfield, Libertyville, and Glenview, and they really are a lot of fun. I've been working with a couple of them since they were in fourth grade, which is weird for me to think about! A couple of them I've really gotten to know after seeing them weekly for years. Besides the "easy money," I really enjoy encouraging these girls to keep playing, keep practicing, and to work toward their best potential. I hope I can hand them off to a good teacher when I leave and that they will continue a lifelong love of playing.
The only pic I have of any of horn students is this one, when she starred as Mulan in her middle school's production of the musical. :)
There are so many things I'm going to miss about our lives in Chicago, but for now I want to describe...
#5- The Hawthorn School District
Back in 2004, I was first introduced to the Hawthorn District by the junior block program at Trinity. I observed in a first grade classroom at Hawthorn Elementary North two days a week and did some teaching at that time as well. I built a great relationship with the cooperating teacher and we made plans for the following year for me to student teach with her. In 2005, I student taught with Rachel and I grew to love the Hawthorn District even more. In the fall of 2005, I was hired as an instructional assistant at Hawthorn Elementary South. I met a whole host of fabulous teachers and administrators who helped me grow in my teaching abilities and make the connections necessary to land a job in 2006 as a third grade teacher at Hawthorn Townline Elementary.
What a life change this has been! I will always and forever cherish the friendships I have built at Townline (and throughout the district) and the hundreds of students I have had will always hold a dear place in my heart (although that's hard to say when it's almost May!). :) I have been so blessed to get to work in this district for my first job and I know that the foundation it has provided me will only lead to future success, whatever I do and wherever God leads me.
(The crazy third grade teachers I love working with)
Continuing on in my series, today on the top then things I'll miss the most about life in Chicago: #4- Erica
Many of you blog readers have the privilege of knowing Erica. I consider her my best friend in Chicago. We met in college when she transferred to TIU in 2002. We got along great then, but post-college was when we really developed our friendship.
I admire her in so many ways for her hospitality (I have "lived" with the Hangs before, and will again this coming May for a bit), for her mothering (she is an AMAZING, inspiring mother and I hope to attain to her standard someday), for her kindness and for her servant's heart.
She is such an amazing, inspiring, kind person. I absolutely love spending time with her. One of my favorite things about my friendship with Erica is our honesty. Together, we can talk about anything, even the "hard stuff" and get down deep into each other's lives. She helps me keep a Godly perspective and prays for me often. Summers with Erica will be something I'll miss the most. In the summers, we hang out frequently- sometimes we go weeks when we hang out every day! We do fun things together and we do nothing together.
She is a blessing in my life and I will truly miss her. I know we will continue to remain close friends, even though miles will separate us. She is an indelible, integral part of my life.
(Erica- this is like the only picture I have of us!!!)
I told you these were in no particular order. This one I'll miss the most.
#3- My Sister
My sister lives two doors down from us with her hubby. It is SOOO fun to have them as neighbors. I get to hang out with her at least once a week if not more. We go to church and small group together, we have dinner at each other's apartments, we play games together, we hang out, I visit her while she nannies, we run errands together and much, much more. It is SUCH a blessing to have my sister so close and I'm going to miss her terribly when we go. Thankfully, she and Dan will be right behind us in moving...well, in a couple years...but still.
The second thing on my list (in no particular order) of things I'm going to miss when we move is...
#2- Chicago and the suburbs
I LOVE the city.
I love going to shows, sporting events, shopping downtown, sitting in traffic, parking in garages, seeing the skyscrapers, walking along Lake Michigan, going to the beach, the zoos, the concerts, Ravinia, forest preserves, farmers' markets, the history, the character, the diversity, EVERYTHING. There is really not one single thing that I don't love about living in the Chicago-area.
This place is fabulous. Even though we haven't actually lived downtown, it will always be my deep down desire to do so. I love being a part of anything when we go down there, but the suburbs are also nice. I love the little "downtown" each suburb has and I love all of the public transportation that can be used to travel between them. I frequent to Metra and also enjoy using the El to get around downtown from time to time. I also like the cab rides and just plain old WALKING from place to place. I love our local library, local bike shop, bank, bakery, post office, and train station.
The place holds a dear place in my heart and I will truly miss all that Chicago, along with Deerfield and the rest of the northern suburbs, have to offer.
This list of the top ten things I'm going to miss the most when we leave Chicago is in no particular order.
Please enjoy. :)
#1: The Moody Church Our church home is so important to us. The ministries and people at this church have stretched us and grown us spiritually in ways that are indescribable. Just a few of the things we've been blessed to apart of for the past four years include: orchestra, praise band, Covenant (Sunday school class), small group, VBS, Angel Tree, softball, retreats, India STAMP trip, Charasia, and much more. The Lord has used Moody in our lives in a tremendous way and I know we will deeply grieve the loss of this in our lives when we move. We praise God for the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing place.
Friday night we stumbled into some free tickets to the Chicago Bulls.
We had never been to an NBA game, so we said, "Why not?"
My sis, Dan, and Marcus and I headed downtown Friday night not knowing what to expect with these free tickets.
They came with parking--- right in front of United Center (for free) and it turns out the seats were Club Seating in the lower deck. Pretty cool!!
So, even though I don't really care much about the Bulls, it was still a fun experience.
I must say, my favorite part was the entertainment between quarters and then also the mascot, who I mostly watched the whole time. :)
This morning I got up nice and early (I don't know why, I was just awake) and got ready for work.
I left the house by 7:00! (Maybe for some of you that is not super early, but I thought it was).
Last night's thunderstorms left behind a beautiful fog.
Spring is awakening every part of nature.
On my way to work, I drive through several forest preserves and this morning I saw a Bluejay, a Cardinal, a deer, and several other beautiful things.
I stopped and took some pictures for you all to enjoy. :)
I am a new mom, doing my best to make the right choices for my family by the grace of God and through His guidance. I know that there are many "good" ways of mothering and my ways are not the only ways, but we are doing what works for us. :)