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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

I’ll skip the “omg so busy and that is why i haven’t updated in a billion trillion years” part since I’m pretty sure no one is reading this anymore.

Not much has changed since my last update. I am still working hard, still loving most of it and not so much the rest of it.

Things I love –

The kids. They are so cute and so much fun. Even when I’m tired and dreading work, being in class with the kids always perks me up because even if not all of them are on point, at least a few of them are going at life full tilt at any give time. That sentence is terrible, but I don’t feel like fixing it. Plus I feel that it gets my point across anyway.

The teaching. I find the subject matter interesting and I enjoy the process of teaching.

Things I don’t love –

Grading. Uuuuugh. No teacher loves grading. If you know a teacher, you’ve heard them bitch about grading. It is so boring, but it has to be done!

Coworker drama. I haven’t had any direct drama myself, but I’ve witnessed some. There is something specifically ugly about seeing teachers be ugly to each other. Most of my coworkers are lovely, but there are a few who could stand to chill out. People can also be weirdly competitive and insecure about their subject area and how much teaching time they get. It’s exhausting. The kids are fine! They are learning all the subjects just fine! If they like your subject, they’ll pursue it regardless of how many hours they spent on it in elementary school. But what do I know.

Things I hate –

Paperwork. Working in a public school means you have an insane amount of paperwork. As you slog through forms designed to hold you accountable for any small failure you might encounter, you have the odd sensation that you are doing someone else’s job as well as your own. Not to mention the fact that this is yet another in a long list of amazing plans to make each teacher the best teacher ever, and it will soon be followed by a new plan that means you have to recycle all your paperwork and start again. On the upside, I can complain about it. The administrators all have to pretend that they thing it is all an awesome idea. I’m frustrated, and I know that every single one of my fellow teachers is frustrated. We spend twice as much time filling out paperwork and sitting in pointless meetings as we do planning lessons, teaching, and grading.

All in all, I find it hard to believe that I’ll stick it out in public school for my entire career. The pay is much, much better (I’m talking nearly 20,000 a year better). But is it worth the trade off? It doesn’t feel like it right now.

And so I sit, the things that I don’t love and the things that I hate revolving around my mind, making me wince at the idea of going to work tomorrow. But I can find comfort in the fact that my classroom feels like a haven, even when invaded by evaluators, and I like standing in front of that room. It is tiring to think of standing in front of a class for hours tomorrow. In reality, however, I’ll be energized  by the subject and the kids, and too busy to think about being tired or hungry.

But I can’t just talk about teaching all the time, there are other things going on in my life! Just kidding, there really aren’t other things going on in my life. The cats are basically the same. They are cute and fluffy and scratchy and annoying and totally spoiled. SleepyHusband used to pretend that cats were, like, fine, like, I guess. But now he’s totally mushy about them.

I haven’t read anything new lately. Too busy reading stuff I’ll be giving the kids. Things I’ve read before. Soon I’ll be teaching a book that is totally new to me. It should be exciting, but frankly, it is just freaking me out at the moment. I keep feeling like I might snap if I’m given one more challenge, but so far I’ve just kept chugging along. Let’s hope my nervous breakdown is not incoming. And now I’m talking about work again.

I saw my whole immediate family for Thanksgiving, which was something that hasn’t happened in about 5 years. Amazing how time can get away from you like that. It was fun, and it was quite nice to be able to escape to our own house when the festivities were over.

We have a Christmas tree! SleepyHusband dragged me out on a Friday afternoon to pick out a tree and I may have lost my shit a little bit in the Christmas aisle of our local Walmart. But our tree is lovely. There is something soothing and charming about having a Christmas tree in the room.

I won’t end with a promise to post more. This blog is one of the last things I think of when I thing of ways to spend my free time. I’m also willing to admit that the recent release of two sequels in two of my favorite video game series ever has eaten up a decent amount of my lazy weekends. Uncharted 3, which I got through relatively quickly, is the last of a great platformer with fantastic voice acting and engaging plot. I don’t know if I’d say this was my favorite of the three, but the game play was noticeably improved and I was thoroughly entertained. Bethesda has also, FINALLY, released the next in it’s line of Elder Scrolls games, Skyrim. It is truly a game unlike any other. Apparently it is supposed to take 250 hours to finish every available activity in the game. I haven’t gotten even close to that, but I’ve been enjoying the heck out of it when I find the time. I’ll try to write a proper review sometime soon.

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So much to say…

It has been a looong time. Turns out I had plenty of time to blog when I had a part-time job, but when I have a full-time job that is crazy busy, it becomes less important to record the minutiae of my life.

That was not, incidentally, a crack at bloggers. That was a crack at how pointless my blog is/was. I have lots of friends who do cool things with their blogs, and I still read several of them every day despite being too busy to write in my own.

I last wrote here over a month ago. So short version since then –

The apartment search continued to be a complete nightmare. At one point we planned to move to a place down the street, then into another place after that. Then the one month place emailed and said they had found someone to rent for longer instead. So bleh.

Then I had an interview with a school where my parents live. While I didn’t think I had much of a chance, I was more optimistic than usual. To explain –

There is one cliche in my life that has usually worked out for me. When one door closes, another opens. My husband and I got together a day after another relationship fell apart for the 20th and last time. When I got this interview, I had the feeling that apartment after apartment had fallen through for a reason. This isn’t to say I was walking around thinking, “hey, no problem, I totally got this.” It’s more that I felt that if this job worked out, it would make sense.

Lo and behold, I got the job. It couldn’t be more exactly what I was looking for. But, to balance out the universe, I got it in the most complicated way possible. For awhile it looked like I couldn’t take the job because of licensing issues. Then I had about 6 days to prepare. The coworkers are the nicest, but they can only coddle me for so long. I pop into various classrooms a million times a day, probably making them crazy, to ask a million questions. The kids are a.maz.ing. I mean, all 8th grade kids are going to drive you crazy here and there, and they do. But there isn’t a single student in this (admittedly, quite small) group who hasn’t made me smile and/or said something interesting and insightful in class.

When we got here, we stayed in my parents guest room. Another apartment was acquired and fell through. This was a moment where I really had just had enough… And when I got home that day, after hearing the “perfect” place we had found wasn’t going to work, I arrived and discovered that my mom and grandmother had cleared out all the stuff stored in the guest room and put away all our clothes in the dresser and closet, so we could stop living out of suitcases and feel like we were at least semi-home. They couldn’t have found a better way to keep me from melting down. At this point, SleepyHusband was still working at his old job and staying with our friends, so I was on my own.

At last, we found a place that is just great. While I’m sure it will have it’s downsides and quirks, so far the biggest problem is that we don’t have enough furniture to fill it.

As for my job, it is almost harder now that I’ve settled in. While I was working every waking moment to prepare and keep up, looking for some place to live, moving, so on and so on… That was adrenaline. I didn’t really have time to be stressed, tired, or frustrated. Now that things have calmed down, I feel all of that! This is not to say I’m not enjoying myself. I know how lucky I am, I really do. And I value my weekend sleep more than I have in years.

I did not see my life going in this direction. I loved Boston. I thought we’d be there forever. The apartment search led us further and further into the suburbs and I thought that would be a huge change, weird to be living so far “out there.” Now we are in a house (because here a house goes for what a nice one bedroom would in our old neighborhood) in a tiny, tiny town. Depending on whether the former teacher who had my job comes back, which is about a 10% chance, this could be my life for awhile. I couldn’t imagine being here forever, no matter how idyllic it is, but who knows how things will go.

No matter what, I’m taking cliches as my friends right now. One door closes and another opens, don’t count your chickens before they hatch, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth…

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Since tomorrow is our 3rd anniversary, I thought I’d write a little bit about SleepyHusband and me.

We met in college in a language class. It took me a couple of weeks to notice him, since he always sat all the way in the back and, ahem, missed classes here and there. Once I noticed him, I really noticed him. Partly because his hair was long and crazy curly, but also because he was cute and really good at talking the teacher into giving us less homework.

We were both clearly interested, but it took awhile to do anything about it because he was a senior in his spring semester so most of his social life revolved around hitting the bars with his friends. I was only 20 at the time, so no bars for me. Eventually his roommate, who was also in our class and apparently also interested in me (awkward), called and invited me to hang out with them. We ended up at a party, had our first real conversation, and the rest was history.

This was a little over seven years ago. He graduated, but moved back to the area to see where things would go between us. It was big, him moving halfway across the country solely because of me. I wasn’t nervous about it though, it really just strikes me now as being a little crazy. We’d only gotten together in April, and been apart all summer. We weren’t even really “serious” before I left for the summer. When I found out he was coming, however, I was 100% happy about it. Being young college/just out of college kids, we had a few ups and downs. As of my senior year we were together for good.

We moved in together when I graduated after about 2 1/2 years of dating. We were engaged 1 1/2 years after that, and married only 6 or 7 months later thanks to my mother’s crazy wedding planning skills (more than one of my friends asked if she was renting out her services). We spent our first year of marriage in another country. Can’t believe it’s been 3 years, it’s cliche but time really does go so fast. Soon, SH will be entering his last year of his 20’s.

Tomorrow we are going to the aquarium, and then a restaurant. No clue where we are going to eat yet. I’ve been poking around restaurant ratings. We want to try something new instead of the same old favorites. They are favorites for a reason, but the same places year after year get a little stale. As I’ve gotten older I’ve also found that fine dining to a college kid isn’t necessarily fine dining at all.

Like any couple, we have our arguments and flaws. I’m always reading that men want to solve problems while women just want to be able to vent and get some sympathy. It is the opposite with us, I want to solve every problem logically while SH sometimes just wants to complain about something without getting 20 suggestions of how he can fix it thrown at him. Despite this, we’ve been happy together and I think we will continue to be happy together.

SH and I have an in joke together that we have to ask for relationship extensions. Marriage was at least a two year contract, with extensions given when the current contract runs out on our anniversary. Right now we are debating whether we should have a one year or two year extension. Of course none of this is serious, just teasing. But I think the two year extension is looking good 🙂

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There is so much to love about summer in Boston. At least before it gets gross hot later in the summer. Just some things I’ve been enjoying so far this summer, despite not enough Rhode Island time.

Patios – I love eating on restaurant patios. They aren’t as plentiful as they are in warmer cities. It isn’t really worth paying rent on the space when it is too cold to eat outside most of the year. Right now we are living right down the street from a nice place that has a huge new patio, so I drag SleepyHusband there on pretty much any nice evening when he isn’t working (which is far too infrequent these days). There are fairy lights and plants and good food. They also make a decent sangria, which is always a plus. And goat cheese pizza. Ok, I have to stop now. Hungry!

Summer drinks – Like a hot cup of good coffee on a winter morning, there are many drinks that just seem to taste better in the summertime. Last night we opened a bottle of prosecco and drank it out on the steps of our apartment, waiting for the food we ordered to arrive. Tonight we plan to break into a bottle of Rose (I don’t know how to do the fancy e). Other happy summer drinks include sangria, margaritas, and much other brightly colored fun.

Ice cream cones – I don’t eat much ice cream. I’m not much of a sweets person and I rarely eat dessert (except flan, I freaking love flan) But an ice cream cone on a hot day is perfect. Hilariously, SleepyHusband has no idea how to eat an ice cream cone. No, seriously. Like it melts all over his hand and then he gets annoyed and throws it away. Ha! It is amazing to watch. I’ve tried to explain that you have to frequently lick around the bottom to keep it from dripping down the cone, but he can’t get the hang of it! It cracks me up.

Rhode Island – Heading down to RI when we can is brilliant stress relief. Some if you may be familiar with my family’s house there from attending my wedding, it is really lovely down there. Hanging out on the beach, playing with the various dogs and cats running around the place, grilling fresh fish from the shack down the road (fisherman come right up and and sell them freshly caught fish off the boat). It is nice to go down at any time of year, but summer is special.

Right now it is perfect out. Blue skies, warm temps, a light breeze. In fact, I think I might leave my computer alone for awhile go out and enjoy the rest of the sunshine.

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I’ve started and abandoned a few blog posts in the last month or so. Somehow, I just couldn’t get focused enough to finish any of them. They are lurking about as drafts, maybe I’ll finish and post some of them eventually.

This, incidentally, is what unemployment does to me. I suddenly can’t focus, can’t finish anything I start. And look, I’ve been working for three days and I’ve already cleaned the apartment and now I’m writing a blog post. I have no idea why this is. I can do only nothing when I am doing nothing.

I now have a three-week gig teaching a group of Japanese teenagers. They are giggly and spacey and always speaking Japanese to each other. Typical ESL class when it comes to teens. But I’m having a great time, and I’m already getting rather attached to them.

It is amazing how quickly you can suss out someone’s personality in a classroom. W, who will always at least try to answer my questions, even if he isn’t sure. S, who will never answer my questions, even when she knows exactly what the answer is. I, who is whip smart and has a fashion sense that is bizarre and fun and somehow temporarily blurs the line between overalls being a terrible idea and a great idea. K, who always greets me with a huge grin when I catch him messing around instead of working. J, a genuinely nice kid whose name I must be butchering because the other students giggle every time I say it. The list goes on.

I am also volunteering at a local animal shelter. So far I’ve been on kitten duty, which, as you can imagine, is terribly difficult. I pop over for an hour or two a few times a week and let tiny kittens crawl on me and pounce on my feet so they will get used to people and be good pets. I don’t know how I soldier through, but somehow I manage…

I applied to my dream job the other day. I heard back from them a couple of days later when they informed me that they had selected someone else. The job search over the last two years (wow, have we really been back for two years?) has been, in a word, heartbreaking. If I could have back every minute I’ve spent applying to jobs that I didn’t get I could probably learn how to play the goddamn piano.

I’ve had moments when I’ve thought about quitting teaching altogether. I love teaching, but I am tired of being on the periphery of what I really want to do. Sometimes I think I should just look for a new thing that I really want to do. Law school was always a thought in the back of my head, I bet I would enjoy publishing, I’ve already written one crappy book and maybe the next one will be better… And so on.

Two saving graces at a time when I thought I might give up altogether –

1. My college reunion. I knew this would be a weekend of old friends, reminiscing, drinking, and so on. What I didn’t realize is that it would also be a weekend full of 27 year olds who, for the most part, are as lost and frustrated as I am. If not more so. I read somewhere recently that we are a new Lost Generation. We were set adrift just in time to see the economy fall apart. But what I think is that to be a 20 something after college is to be a member of a lost decade, no matter the generation.

My Mom likes to cheer me up with stories of her own 20 something years, when she lived on a friend’s unheated porch and worked as a cocktail waitress. Not to mention the 20 something years of her friends. At 25 one of her best friends (and still a best friend today) was working at fast food joint that specialized in salads. She had to wear a special salad themed hat. The place was run by evangelical Christians who hired mostly other evangelical Christians. So she spent her workdays surrounded by salad and colleagues who were hyper-focused on spreading the good word. Once, when a successful woman whom she had never liked in college walked into the place, she stuck herself head first and waist deep into a bin full of lettuce and stayed there until the woman left. The happy ending here is that this woman now has a fun husband, three great kids, a convertible, and a house here and there. Not that houses are everything, but if she went from salad ostrich to that, I can go from ESL to English lit.

2. I read a blog post a friend of mine wrote. Like my college reunion, it reminded me that I am not the only one who is adrift. It also reminded me that platitudes like “it could be worse” or “you are still young” can get really stale, but you will still find yourself thinking them when your friends have the same issues you do. The entry is here – http://andrewivers.typepad.com/theblog/2011/06/methods.html

I recommend reading it, it is good stuff. Andrew can turn a phrase.

As it stands, I’ll try not to let the job search break my spirit. I also promise to come back and read this entry in ten years and laugh at myself for being dramatic enough to use the phrase “break my spirit” in my blog.

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Job Woes

Bad news today.

Last month my awesome boss (no sarcasm, really love her) called me into her office. I was a little worried because I was making some last minute copies and she’d recently commented that I was leaving my lesson plans to the last minute (I went through a couple weeks of stress over something, I definitely let my job fall by the wayside a little and her comment got me back on track). Turns out I wish that was the problem.

Instead she had called me in to talk to her and another guy who works with the students outside the classroom. He does discipline, outings, and so on. There had been a couple times over the last few months when my boss had warned me that they might have to put me on “furlough.” In other words, temporarily lay me off. Summer is their busiest time, so when she called me in and regretfully told me that they had to let me go for May and June, I have to admit I was blindsided.

It wasn’t the best feeling, but they told me over and over that they loved having me, it wasn’t their choice (my boss’s boss made the decision, apparently to save the program), they thought I was a good teacher, and they would recommend me to anywhere.

I started applying to jobs for September. I figured working July and August would be good enough, and didn’t really look for summer work. Unfortunately, I got a sad email yesterday. Boss wrote to let me know that boss’s boss had decided to not rehire any of the old staff (I wasn’t the only one “temporarily” let go). Instead, she is going to hire a bunch of recent grads who will work for 3/4’s of what I was being paid. They didn’t ask me if I would take less money, but there is a good chance I would have said no anyway. I can hopefully get that salary or at least better than 3/4’s of it elsewhere.

I’m sad because I did love that job. It was a small, intimate program with a group of teachers and students who had a great rapport. I genuinely hope that the program stays afloat because I think my boss and the other guy who works with the kids are great people who really care about the students and want to create a great experience for them.

So now instead of being temporarily unemployed, I’m actually unemployed. I am teaching two classes at a local college in the fall, but honestly, I’m already losing my mind. I hate being unemployed, always have. June 2009 to February 2010 when I got this job were some of the most miserable months of my life.

Things that suck about being jobless –

1. Boredom. I try to stay occupied, but on a rainy day with no new books (I need to join a library) and no good TV, there is only so much to do.

2. Lethargy. Without structure, I am bad at getting things done. Maybe this seems counter-intuitive, but the more I have to do in a day, the… more I do. If I have nothing to do all day I’m likely to do nothing. But when I work, I get home and go for a run, then do some dishes, etc. Not sure why that is, but it is the way I am.

3. Broke. How can I justify a new, fabulous cocktail ring when SleepyHusband is the only person bringing in a paycheck? To be clear, he would never have a problem with me spending money he earned as long as we could afford it. But I don’t feel comfortable spending money on anything frivolous if I didn’t earn it. If I was taking care of kids or better about cleaning or so on, I would probably feel differently. But as it is, no, I’m lame.

4. I love teaching. This one is simple. I love teaching, I don’t like not being able to do it.

Ok, for balance, some things that aren’t so bad about this situation –

1. As corny as it may sound… I truly do believe that when one door closes, another often opens. Sure some things are just straight crappy, but I’ve run into a few situations in my life where a good thing (like getting together with my husband) would never have happened without a bad thing first (getting dumped shortly after meeting my husband). I have real hope that this sad experience will lead me to a happy future somehow.

2. I have time! I am not going to have a meltdown this time. Last time I was unemployed I was totally unprepared for how much I would hate it. This time I know what is coming, and I’m making a genuine effort to put this free time to use. I called my Mom today to tell her about what happened. I’d already decided that I wouldn’t go for a run today, even though it had been over a week. What was the point? I could always go tomorrow. But one of the first things she said to me was, “don’t let it get you down. Organize your bedroom, go for a run, use this time in a valuable way.” I never would have put on my running shoes without that comment, but I did and I’m glad.

3. I should write something. I tried to do nanowrimo this year but I was genuinely too busy with work and family obligations. I should revisit that novel, or start a new one. I doubt I’ll ever get anything published, but I enjoy writing and this would be a good time to put some serious time into it.

4. Day drinking. Kidding! But I will have a lot more time for my friends, which I am happy about. Some of them have weird schedules, and now I’ll be free to hang out whenever.

5. My parents live in the UK but spend a lot of the summer in the US. If I am still without a job at the end of June, my Mom offered to take me back to the UK with her to hang out while she does a few things she needs to take care of before spending the rest of the summer here. Europe! So in.

Maybe my dream job is just around the corner, or maybe I have another year to wait. We’ll see. Either way, I won’t stop hoping that my future is going to start any minute now.

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Before we found out that I was getting laid off (or put on furlough, or hiatus, or whatever) we bought tickets to visit SleepyHusband’s brother in Chicago. I’m glad we decided to get the tickets before we knew, because if we’d known in advance that we’d be a tad short on cash, we probably would have done the responsible thing. But instead of the responsible thing, we got to do the fun thing without the guilt! Win win right?

On Thursday afternoon we got in a plane (there was a 30 minute delay, the first time I’ve seen a 30 minute delay when it was genuinely a 30 minute delay.) When we got into Chicago, it was rush hour, so instead of sitting in traffic we grabbed a subway train into the city and H’s brother picked us up from a stop near his apartment.

SleepyHusband’s brother, who I’ll call BIL (for brother in law) lives with his girlfriend who I’ll call Providence. They have a 9 month old dog named Max and HE’S ADORABLE. Sorry, had a caps lock moment there.

SleepyHusband and I have been excited for this trip forever, and it really didn’t disappoint. When we got to the apartment we met Max, who did a little guard dog barking but warmed up quickly when he realized he was going to get some new people to play with. We headed straight to the roof deck of their (really nice) apartment and enjoyed a beer while watching the sunset. This would prove to be the last of the nice weather for the weekend, but I’m glad we got to watch one beautiful sunset before the rain came!

I grabbed a shower, because how nice does it feel to wash off that stale plane feeling? Then we had some margaritas, then some beers, then I realized I wasn’t going to make it to dinner and crashed relatively early.

Friday we went out for a nice greasy lunch of burgers, gyros, and lazed around a bit, then went out to an early dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Fuego. No complaints from anyone about our food and margaritas, great meal all around! We went from there to a bar where some of BIL’s friends were playing, a band called Kickbush (gonna look them up on iTunes). They were really great and we had a blast, followed by another bar for a DJ friend of BIL’s group of friends. We headed back to the apartment instead of hitting the band’s after party, since it was late and we wanted to be functioning the next day.

Saturday was a slow start for some. SleepyHusband and I took the opportunity to order some Jimmy John’s, because they have incredibly awesome sandwiches. The Beach Club sandwich is my personal favorite. Really, if you have the chance to get Jimmy John’s, jump on it. We had some cheapy tickets for the Cubs game that night, but unfortunately the weather was miserable. One of these days I’m going to check out Wrigley, but the others and I were not keen on sitting in the rain. If I had had access to all my warm clothing I might have decided to go, but we didn’t really pack well enough for the yucky weather, and Providence was coming down with a cold while we were there.

In the afternoon we hit up the grocery store for grill supplies. My brother was passing through town on his way to a summer trip to the Sierra Nevada mountains. He’ll get school credit, and right now he is taking his time driving across country with a friend. They left 20 days before they have to be there so they could take it really slow and explore. We overlapped in Chicago, so he came over that evening to join us. Max spent a lot of his visit barking and growling at him, it was pretty funny. He would bark and bark, then let my brother pet and cuddle him, then go back to barking. Not the most effective guard dog, hehe. He had warmed up by the end of his visit. Belly rubs don’t just come around every day (or, actually, they pretty much do with BIL and Providence as parents).

One of SleepyHusband’s roommates from college also lives in Chicago. He’s a great guy, lots of fun. He came over as well with his girlfriend. The seven of us made steak, pasta, artichokes, and salad. Of course, when I say the 7 of us, I mean I had absolutely nothing to do with any of the cooking. Pat took care of steak, Providence did pasta, BIL did a bunch… I really wasn’t paying much attention. It was pretty much the three of them. We all hung out, chatted, watched TV, and ate the awesome food that SH, BIL, and Providence turned out. The steak was great, but I have to give a shout out to Providence’s pasta. She called it balsamic cream with mushroom I think? I have to email her and snag the recipe. It was really unique and delicious.

BIL and Providence were nice enough to offer my brother a spot on the couch for the night, so he stayed over. The next day we all slept late, then headed out for some brunch. My brother had to be on his way, but the rest of us ended up at an Irish pub. Everyone else went for the totally delicious sounding burgers (I tried some of SH’s, so good). I couldn’t resist the chance at an Irish breakfast. It included eggs, toast, beans, bangers (sausage, but it was listed a bangers on the menu, going for authenticity!), tomato, and last but very much least… black and white pudding. Google it if you are not familiar, but black and white pudding means they are really committing to the authentic Irish breakfast. Blech. I skipped eating those, but the rest of it was so very good.

We still had a couple hours before our flight, so we watched a Netflix movie that BIL and Providence hadn’t watched yet, Due Date. It was entertaining I guess? I went back and forth between finding parts really funny and thinking parts were terrible. Overall, I’d say I won’t watch it again.

When the movie was over, we packed up and headed to the airport. Unfortunately, due to some bad weather here, our flight was delayed a few hours. We got in at around 1 am, then had to wait in a looong line for a cab. But we did finally make it home!

It was a really fantastic weekend. A weekend that reminded me that Chicago is a city I could really see myself living in, we both could. BIL says he gets that from his visitors from lots of cities. I guess Chicago really appeals to people from everywhere. I already can’t wait to go back!

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