Two years ago I made a career change. I went from working a traditional 9-5 to becoming a barista. Because of my job change, I view weekends differently. The coffee shop customers usually comment one of two ways, either begrudgingly that it is Monday or optimistically when Friday has arrived. I try to console or encourage right along with them. Between Jordan’s freelance work and my schedule, we can’t always wait until the weekend to frolic (that’s what weekends are for, right?). We try to bend accordingly and become creative, so our weekend might be a Tuesday. Though to be honest, sometimes that bending requires Jordan to work late into the night after we’ve spent our day together. It’s give and take for us right now.
Having Saturdays off for most of the summer has been wonderful (I’m preparing myself for when that starts to change!). This past Saturday was ideal and the weather cooperated for the activities we had planned, attending the Kane County Flea Market. This flea market is open the first weekend all but two months of the year and is packed with furniture, crafts, records, clothes and even a small farmer’s market! It would be difficult to leave empty handed. After shopping for a few hours and filling our bags with new belongings (including a sweet brass lamp from the ’60s), we enjoyed walking through Geneva. Geneva reminds me of LeClaire, Iowa where Antique Archaeology (American Pickers) is located. They both boast of quaint buildings, quiet streets, and beautiful views of the Fox River (Geneva) and the Mississippi River (LeClaire).
I can’t quite pin-point when it happened or if it was a conscious choice, but while traveling, Jordan and I always look for a vintage/antique/flea market to explore. Our apartment isn’t completely furnished (despite the poor newlywed Ikea choices), but what we do have is a mixture of old and new. The old are either items we’ve purchased on travels or cool hand-me-downs from relatives. The dresser from my grandparents’ bedroom set, the yellow mixing bowl of Nana’s, and a set of chairs that belonged to my uncle’s fraternity are a few of my favorites. I often wonder about the lives of those who owned these articles we’ve acquired. I relish in the ability to appreciate an item that was previously enjoyed. Hopefully one day, someone else will capture some of our precious belongings.
This summer has been particularly special. Not because of any grand event, but mainly a bunch of small wonderful ones. Playing tennis in the afternoons, walks to the library (stopping at Dairy Queen perhaps) and lots of visits with friends and family. After experiencing a long work commute for a few years, I wanted to regain lost time and it is finally starting to come back.
Many have asked me if I was scared when Jordan began working for himself, but honestly I was more excited for the possibilities. This is the first summer in years that my work scheduled has leaned in my favor with very little coaxing. Having a few Saturdays off in a row has been amazing! Jordan and I have taken full advantage by turning off the computers, leaving the office (our house) and exploring outside. A few weekends ago we decided to brave the crazy July heat and spend time at the Lincoln Park Zoo. The LPK zoo is one of the few free attractions in the city. The zoo is lush (almost tropical) and displays amazing views of the Chicago skyline. The animals were lazily taking naps in the shade and overall unimpressed with us humans. My favorites were the kangaroos and camels!
Before we left in the morning, Jordan decided last-minute to throw towels in the trunk of our car. It was a good call. After walking the zoo (and enjoying the surrounding neighborhood) we journeyed to the beach and enjoyed the lake breeze. Lake Michigan is really quite beautiful. We can’t wait to go back!
It’s been about 10 years since my brothers and I lived in the same house together. That is hard to believe! Despite the distance apart, there are still aspects of me that no one else quite understands. I can relay a story to a friend but it’s not the same as the shared knowledge between siblings. Even after knowing Jordan for over a decade, we still find new information to tell one another. We are constantly filling in gaps from our childhoods (which is kinda fun).
A lot of those gaps have to do with his brother, Josh, with whom he shared a room for many years. With three sisters they had to band together and have continued to grow closer (literally and figuratively – Josh stood at Jordan’s shoulders when we got married and he is now taller!). I appreciate Josh for allowing me to take away his roommate. You’re the best!
As the baby of my family, I watched my brothers reach milestones but experienced them through a different lens. It’s been an enjoyable experience watching Jordan’s younger siblings reach important stages in their life. Now they are stages that I myself have reached (learning to drive, graduations, etc). This past weekend Jordan’s brother turned 21 and we were there to celebrate!
This was a special birthday, so a group of us gathered at Tavern on Rush in the Gold Coast for dinner Sunday evening. Jordan and I have dined there several times but only for lunch. The food was great, especially the tiramisu! We have a soft spot for that dessert.
Last week I was lucky enough to spend a day visiting with my best friend Lauren; celebrating her new baby and birthday! William is all kinds of wonderful and I enjoyed all the baby cuddles he gave me! We were able to take a few pictures before William decided he wanted to eat again.
It’s been really special watching Lauren become a mama. Please pardon the gushing that’s about to ensue.
Lauren’s been through it all with me and I mean Every. Embarrassing. Moment.(Remember the science fair we entered in 2001? Or the mono haircut of 2006?). Our journey began in Jr. High with a little nudging from our mothers, God Bless them. Because when you are in jr. high sometimes you can’t tell who the real gems are and need a little coaxing. It continued through high school, broken relationships, new friendships, college, marriage, babies, and moves. Our relationship is dear to me. I cherish the moments we are able to share with one another now that she lives in Nashville, TN.
After her visit, I had a great time looking through some old photos. I spared the really embarrassing ones because some outfits just don’t need to be relived.
I’ve learned a lot from you, Lauren but maybe we can learn how to take good pictures together? Maybe a picture where we’re both looking at the camera and not doing a funny pose. We’ll keep practicing.
Tuesday night Jordan and I braved the impending storm to spend the evening in Chicago. We shopped a little, ate dinner and took a nice long walk through the Gold Coast which is one of our favorite downtown neighborhoods. Those are my favorite kind of date nights. Sometimes it’s fun to have a fully planned agenda, but the summer months cultivate a sense of spontaneity in me. The streets are alive with a specific energy and if you feel like turning left you can turn left or stop at a park bench and talk. This is much harder to do when it is cold!
The rain was intense only for about 15 minutes, but it forced us to finally purchase that umbrella we kept telling ourselves to buy. We are now fully prepared for the next summer night storm.
P.S. I’m loving the resurgence of hats this summer. Why did they ever leave?
If you visit my parent’s house during the summer, please expect a tour of my father’s garden. Mostly likely after the meal, but certainly before dessert. It is a beautiful little journey, full of colorful, lively flowers and a variety of delicious vegetables.
Over Father’s Day weekend, Jordan and I spent time capturing my dad’s handiwork.
I was lucky to grow up eating vegetables and fruit grown in my own backyard. Cucumbers, lettuce, onions, beets, green beans, radishes, so many herbs, apple and pear trees and the list continues. Between my mother growing up on a dairy farm and my father’s love of gardening, an appreciation was cultivated in my brothers and I for where our food is grown. Hopefully one day, their green thumbs will rub off on me and I won’t kill my house plants anymore!
Jordan and I celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary during our stay in Paris. The original idea was to visit The Louvre, but unfortunately they were experiencing an employee strike. With no real plan for April 12, we continued to wonder that enchanting city. First stop was to visit the English-speaking bookstore, Shakespeare and Company. Pictures aren’t allowed to be taken inside, but if you want a peak, the bookstore has been featured in a few movies, including the Woody Allen film, Midnight in Paris. Our lack of extra luggage space was the only thing stopping Jordan from buying the whole store!
Continuing on from the bookstore, we walked right into the Luxembourg Gardens (I had forgotten it was so close!). Spring literally sprang for us on that day; the gardens looked so lush. We bought baguette sandwiches and McDonald’s Cokes (because sometimes you need something familiar) and enjoyed lunch on the lawn with the locals.
Many of the large parks in Paris have these green lawn chairs sprawled about to use for picnics. I love the idea! The Parisians seem to take full advantage of any public outdoor space. This is the Tuileries Garden, located outside of the Louvre Museum. Even though we weren’t able to go inside of the Louvre we were able to see many statues, including a few Rodin, that were sprinkled around the garden.
After lunch, Jordan wanted to walk to see the location of the Bastille prison. The only remains left are surrounded by a park but this is the beautiful July Monument, marking the event that pushed forth The French Revolution.
Maybe you can see the huge storm that was brewing in these clouds because right after visiting this monument the rain fell hard and we were drenched! In fact, the rain fell so hard part of the roof in a local grocery store (we took refuge for a few minutes) starting caving in! An employee and I had an interesting interaction where because I greeted her with a simple bonsoir, she continued laughing and joking about the rain in French. I enjoyed being considered a local for a few minutes!
Those two days in Paris, where Jordan and I were able to wonder leisurely, were some of the best days.
The need to slow down has hit me recently. My soul is craving quiet moments, despite the warm weather beckoning me to be active. Jordan spent the week working on a fun new project and so we decided to recharge on Saturday. The weather was perfect. We spent the day walking and shopping. Purchasing necessities (groceries at Whole Foods – my first nectarines of the year!) and a few special treats.
My perfume collection was consisting of empty bottles, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to repeat or select a new scent. SeeBy Chloe is a fragrance I had tested during our time in Europe. I enjoyed it but wasn’t ready to commit at the moment. After testing it again last week, I didn’t need any more convincing. It’ll be the perfect smell for this new summer.
At work the next day, I passed my jacket a few times, I could faintly detect my new perfume. Instantly, I was reminded of my recharge day. This perfume will remind me to slow down and enjoy the present moments.
My family moved from Ohio to Illinois when I was seven and it was very difficult on me.
In Ohio I was a social butterfly. Most of my days were spent at various friend’s houses playing until the sun went down. Our neighborhood was overrun with kids. The first street we moved to in Illinois lacked children my age and so I spent more time on my own. Often, while learning to play by myself, I would spend time in the basement with a particular dresser. This dresser had also been my changing table, but my mom repurposed it to hold pictures. The pictures were of friends and family that I missed and also of earlier times before I was even alive. These weren’t fancy photos, they were often out of focus or had people with their eyes closed, but they were mine.
Fast forward 18 years… Jordan and I discovered my parents old Canon AE-1 (35 mm SLR) camera and surprisingly it still worked. In the 90s my parents switched to a simple and lesser quality point and shoot, which is hard to believe considering the camera they already owned. The camera hadn’t been used in years and so they gave it to us. I’m excited to continue experimenting with film; perusing the unpredictability of the developed rolls just as I did as a little girl.
I had many obsessions growing up. If I saw a new movie or tv show I would research it to death until I knew the origin and every actors home town. The internet felt very new and unused. Often the research would lead me to the original source material, a book or older film. When I was about 15 the Tudors and Henry VIII 6 wives were the most intriguing. I used them as the topic of many school papers/presentations. Earlier this month Jordan and I visited the Tower of London where Anne Boleyn was beheaded! My 15 year old self was very excited.
The summer before my freshman year of high school I saw preview for a new TV show that I was certain my mom wouldn’t want me to watch. I would record the show on VHS and watch them in secret. That is until my mother walked in during an early episode and surprisingly loved it! Starting then I would watch each episode with my parents. As I graduated high school and left for college my parents turned into roommates and even my husband. Gilmore Girls ran for 7 seasons and a lot happened in that time frame. Watching the show now is such a joy because it reminds me of a wonderful simple time in my life.