Pinch Me

It was only the second place we looked through last weekend. It had only been listed for 11 days when we walked through its front door.

But yesterday we signed a lease that made us Chicago residents.


{images: these are the shots posted on the MLS website that tempted us to walk through the place}

There are so many things we love about it, not the least of which is a {drum roll please...}spot in an ATTACHED  PARKING GARAGE that is included in the rent! I'm sure from the pictures it's obvious that it is a wee little condo (just about 950 square feet). But we're gladly giving up square footage for the following:
  • A corner unit on the 7th floor with nobody above us and only one shared wall
  • Views of Soldier Field (Go Bears!) and Lake Michigan from the living room
  • Hardwood floors throughout
  • A double vanity in the bathroom and a separate shower and tub (translation: when I don't use the tub I don't have to clean the tub)
  • A garbage disposal (oh how I've missed having a garbage disposal) 
  • A washer and dryer INSIDE our unit - not inside our building, inside our apartment. It's right there in a closet outside the bedroom.
  • We're less than a mile from Mecca Trader Joe's.
  • There's a sushi place at the end of the block.
  • We're less than a block from a bus line and blocks from the train.
  • It's on a quiet street and we've already made a "friend" in the building.
  • Wait, did I mention there's an attached parking garage?

Now, I anticipate some growing pains as we transition into a much more "urban" lifestyle. But I'm certainly up for the challenge. And honestly, I'm just still kind of amazed that nearly every item on our wish list is included in this place. I mean really, does that even happen?

Any tips on how to comfortably transition into a place with half of the square footage you are accustomed to? 


Getting Over My Own Expectations

Over the past few weeks I've started and abandoned countless posts. There is no denying, I have plenty to write about. Life is changing. There is excitement all around. Prayers are being answered clearly, unquestionably and differently than we might have ever imagined. We're in the midst of an "ebenezer" moment in our lives. I am certain we will look back on these days and months for years to come and remember the joy, the provision, the excitement and the growth.  But as I stare at the computer screen and consider sharing the day to day details of the experience here on the blog, I'm overwhelmed with a sense of responsibility. I worry that focusing on things like the daily minutia of our move, my emotions or the little gifts that we are worshipfully receiving would be doing a disservice to the bigger story. Because, people, make no mistake I recognize that this move is big. It is BIG for our relationship, BIG for our faith, BIG for our present and BIG for our future. I've convinced myself that focusing posts on the daily minutia ignores the magnitude of this experience in our lives. The problem is, whenever I try to tell the big story it feels so big that all my thoughts get jumbled. Nothing I put down seems quite right. None of my words fully capture our reality. I struggle, uncertain how much to share and what parts of the story to keep close to my heart. Since I've been unable to tell the entire big story effectively, I've stayed relatively silent. Thinking that I won't be able to communicate everything perfectly, I've chosen not to communicate much at all. But, now I realize that that kind of thinking is a crock of crap.

Truth is, I'm just too close to do the big story justice right now. Being chin deep in all this transition, doesn't afford me the perspective necessary to tell it properly. So, I'm letting myself off the hook. The big story will have to wait for another day. Someday, with a little bit of distance, I'll have the perspective to share it all. Someday I'll be able to communicate the full impact it has had on my heart. Someday I'll be able to do the big story justice. But for now, I'm going to enjoy living in the story as it continues to unfold.


Happy Thoughts (24)

A Different Kind of Thanksgiving
This year our Thanksgiving "feast" will consist mainly of a picnic basket eaten in our car. Tomorrow we're making the 10 hour drive to Chicagoland to spend the weekend searching for a place to call home.

Hope your turkey day is magical and delicious!


My Latest Quest

I have recently become a bit obsessed with the idea of earning Klout in David Hasselhoff.

If that sentence meant next to nothing to you let me back up a step. Klout is a San Francisco based company that provides social media analytics to measure a user's influence across their social network. (I totally yanked that definition from Wikipedia). Annnnnd, this is David Hasselhoff:

He's the tall one

Tracking one's Klout score, it turns out, is the latest way to stare at a computer screen and hand over countless minutes of your life. The slightly competitive and seemingly arbitrary nature of a Klout score makes it both intriguing and pointless. Obviously, I'm all in.  Based on the company's super secret algorithm, a user can have Klout in a variety of topics. Then, dependent upon what those topics are, a user can earn Klout perks that correspond to his or her "expertise." Other users who you influence or are influenced by, can also share "+Ks" in your areas of expertise just to muddy the system make it an interactive process.

When all is said and done, Klout is just about as pointless and entertaining as the Mr. David Hasselhoff.

If you follow me on Twitter or we're friends on Facebook - this post should help explain the recent influx of Hoffermation (See what I did there? I combined "Hoff" and "Information". Clever, right?) in my social media communication. I've posted a pretty epic video and a rather disturbing picture. I've shared interesting information about Baywatch and even retweeted a few gems from the Hoff himself. The sad news to report is that all this "work" on my part has done nothing to increase my Klout in the Hoff.

Would you hook a sister up already?

Have you jumped on the Klout bandwagon yet?


The Call

Back in September when we were waiting in line at the Statue of Liberty, the handsome hubby's phone rang. It was an unknown number in Gary, Indiana. I asked him who he knew in Gary, Indiana and he jokingly replied, "Well, Boeing's flight department is in Gary. Maybe they're calling." I laughed and said, "Ya, I'm sure that's who it is."

It should be noted that this phone call came the day after this post was published here. (it's worth checking out the link - it really makes the story a little more surreal.) This was also the same day that THIS happened. We should have bought a lottery ticket, right? It was quite a doozy of a day.

The caller left a message and after listening, the hubby told me that it was in fact Boeing. Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I asked why they'd be calling. He reminded me that he had applied for a job (he has applied for several jobs - I didn't remember this one) and they were interested in speaking to him about his application. A few minutes later he got an email from the caller too! Since we were headed up to the statue's crown, we figured this wasn't the best time to call back. Instead, he sent an email promising to call before leaving the hotel the next day. The next morning, the hubby had a 15 min "pre-screening" phone interview that led to an invitation to interview in Chicago the following week.

Now, the hubby's current job keeps him on call 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week. Getting time away is never easy. In fact, a few days before our NYC trip, the owner asked if we could reschedule it. (That's right, reschedule a trip we'd had planned for 9 months...) Anyway, I mention this because we were both a little unsure how on earth he was going to get to Chicago for an interview without arousing suspicion. Miraculously, it ended up being a non-event. He made it to the interview and the next day was invited to Dallas for a flight simulator evaluation that would happen the following week. Getting away once is impressive, but twice? The fact that he was able to make it to Dallas and back, no questions asked, was proof positive to us that something big was going on.

At this point I should explain, we have reason to believe that there may have been as many as 400 applicants for these positions. We believe fewer than 20 were called for the "pre-screening" calls. We heard 10 pilots were invited for the first round of interviews in Chicago. The field was narrowed to six for the Dallas round and we believe three positions were awarded. To say this is an amazing opportunity would be an understatement. Without taking away from the hard work and qualifications of the hubby, I think it's safe to say this is truly a gift from God.


You've probably figured out by now that he got the job. Not only does this mean amazing things for his career, it means that we are moving to Chicago. Needless to say, we're both pretty much over the moon! The last six weeks have been totally and completely surreal. And something tells me that the next few months are going to be no different. There are details to be ironed out and decisions to be made and much of that will be done with us in several different cities (He starts in Chicago on Dec 9th and will then go to school for three weeks after the first of the year in either Dallas or Montreal). Sound crazy? Well throw in the holidays for good measure and you have some wacky times ahead. But for now we are enjoying the news, taking each day as it comes and dealing with what is right in front of us knowing that tomorrow can worry about itself.

to be continued...


Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

When my sweet, sweet friend Cameron discovered that she was about to be the Mommy of a sweet, sweet baby girl we knew that a very feminine celebration HAD to take place. Since Ella Kate will be her second little one, she didn't want to have a huge blow out of a shower. So instead, we opted for a very intimate, very girly, very slumber-y party.

(decoration idea via Pinterest, of course)

On Friday night a handful of ladies donned their pajamas and gathered for the first slumber party I've had in twenty years! 

(Notice I used the balloon idea again? What did I do before Pinterest)

We laughed and talked and ate lots of yummy goodness. My generous general manager even donated Sticky Mosaic crowns for us to decorate! They were a runaway hit and we wore them all night long.


There's something to be said about purely girl time, don't you think? It can be so therapeutic and restful. Plus, having the whole night together allowed us to have conversations that went so much deeper than the usual "check in" types of interactions. There were even a few tears shed. Only this time, unlike my last slumber party, it wasn't because someone stole someone else's boyfriend. This time it was because hearts were shared in the safety of a circle of friends.

And even more importantly, there were fireplace s'mores.


Now we just count the days until we get to meet Ella Kate!!!

When was the last time you had a slumber party? 
Would you host or attend one as an adult?