Our Visit Home + What I Ate

Summertime in Chicago

Leading up to our visit to Chicago, homesickness had really set in; The three rounds of infertility drugs I recently finished, while mild compared to some, took me on more of an emotional roller coast than I cared to admit. Our trip home came at just the right time. Jordan and I finagled our calendar to pack as much as we could into our week. Somehow we managed to accomplish almost all of our plans — including visiting grandparents on both sides!

Jordan and I stayed in Chicago on Friday night, the first evening of PitchforkJordan had a photography session scheduled for sunrise at Millennium Park on Saturday morning. Chicago is a magical place and it wasn’t until we walked the streets early in the morning that I realized how much I missed this city. Nashville is wonderful, but the cultural diversity, Lake Michigan, architecture, and FOOD Chicago offers is incomparable. Thankfully, we’ll continue to visit so I won’t have to ever say goodbye.

mother and daughter

^ My dad’s garden makes for a beautiful background!


On this trip I decided to give myself a pass on adhering to my gluten and mostly dairy-free diet. My indulgences were few and carefully selected, but they certainly happened! After our photo shoot was over, we walked to Intelligentisa Coffee. We had to wake up extra early to ensure we were prepared for the sunrise, which was a struggle at first, but we also had plenty of time afterwards to enjoy our coffee and prep before leaving for Pitchfork.

Intelligentsia serves my favorite espresso and this vanilla latte was everything I remembered and more!

Shake Shack opened two locations in Chicago last fall. I forgot about it until we walked right past one! Jordan and I decided to eat lunch there Saturday before making our way to Pitchfork. I didn’t want to go too crazy with gluten and dairy (I wasn’t entirely sure how my body would react) so I chose a Chicago style hotdog and ate it without a bun. It was delicious!

My skin didn’t immediately freak out, but I currently have a few breakouts on my face from this trip.


^ His and hers.


On Tuesday, Kate (one of my favorite people!) took family photos of Jordan and I. I’ll share more about that later, but after the shoot wrapped, we had time before we needed to head home. At this point, we still hadn’t eaten any pizza. Chicago is synonymous with deep dish pizza, but most of the time locals eat thin crust cut into squares. Don’t get me wrong, deep dish pizza with a corn meal crust is something to seek out, but it’s a lot of commitment for an average Tuesday. To get the full experience, you really need to dine-in.

Our favorite pizza place downtown is Pizzeria Uno, but the cooking time is a solid hour — event dining at its finest. We didn’t have that amount of time, so we chose Lou Malnati’s instead. Their pizza isn’t as thick as most deep dish, thus the wait time is closer to 25-30 minutes. I do love LM. The sauce is sweet and their crust has just the right flaky texture.


We celebrated birthdays and new beginnings, reconnected with friends and family over Dairy Queen blizzards and rounds of Scattegories. There will never be enough time to do it all, but I couldn’t have asked for a better visit.

Until next time, Chicago!

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*All photos (besides the one in the garden) taken with our iPhones.

20 thoughts on “Our Visit Home + What I Ate”

  1. I have only visited Chicago once, and it truly is an amazing city. Seeing your photos makes me want to go back for another one of those hot dogs! Also, Dairy Queen Blizzards are the best!

    1. It’s hard to see everything in Chicago in one visit. The public transportation within the city could be a lot better!

      The DQ in my suburb is a stand and it’s only open from March-October. It makes their treats extra special!

  2. As soon as I saw the headline for the post, I HAD to read it! It sounds like you picked your indulgences quite well. I indulged in a little Lou’s this weekend too — SO good. Their crust is hands-down my favorite. I’m glad you guys had such a fun trip after a taxing couple of months of treatment. I’m praying that these interventions work for you!

  3. i’m so glad y’all were able to go spend some time “home” and really soak it all in (including those delicious food indulgences!)
    chicago looks like such a fun place to visit!

  4. Ah, the blessings of a well-timed visit home – and even better that home for you is this fabulous city! We spotted the Shake Shack by Room & Board when we were doing our furniture scouting trip recently and I was very tempted… will have to celebrate with some lunch when we go back to actually order the sectional 🙂

  5. This looks like such an awesome trip! And the pictures are gorgeous. I love spending time visiting family and friends in a different state (my parents live in Florida). It’s always an adventure and although there is never enough time, it makes me so happy to know I can always go back!

  6. The best trips always include some really delicious eating! Chicago is a city I enjoy exploring, although I don’t have the “home” feel in that region that you have, I can definitely understand what draws you to it!

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