Almost Spring

Spent the last week of April with our darling friends, Matt, Rachel & Jada.  Took them to all our fave spots in Chicago.  It was still freezing cold so that was a bit of a bummer.  

60 degrees

when chicago breaks 50 degrees in the winter months it is like God is saying being patient spring will come!  Honestly, you can get so depressed here with no sun and negative temps.  We are in the home stretch!!! This week we had some warm weather and it was amazing. We went to Maggie Daley & hung out with my cute friend Madi and her son, Mason.  Side note, I tinted my own eyebrows following this gal's tutorial, Mikelle Kennedy.  It was a little scary but I definitely am excited to be able to do this myself!

Love Day

I found this quote yesterday & it embodied exactly how I feel love should feel.  

“You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”
- Thich Nhat Hahn

That unconditional love is so important in a marriage and in any relationship.  I am going to strive to be more unconditional and freeing in the love I give to others.  I just want to let it flow from me.  I don't want to give them expectations, check lists and impossible demands for them to earn my love.  I want Chris and Jack to be them, who they truly are, and see that like our Heavenly Parents do.  See them and love them and therefore free them.  Jack and I visited our valentine downtown and had a picnic in his office.

shop the look

the weekend

Ended up hanging at the zoo with an old friend, exploring the houses in our neighborhood and having a spontaneous fire pit at the lake.  

This week was especially hard because Chris had a very busy work week.  One night he didn't come home till 5:30 AM!!! Yikes.  Anyway, we tried to make the best of it.  Did lots of laundry, cleaning and just enjoyed the "warmer" weather.

four more Years

4 years ago I walked into marriage with what some would call a naïveté.  I would agree with that for the most part.  I would probably call it more of a blind faith. But, in a way, I'm glad I had that faith and optimism.  If I were more cynical and logical I probably would have passed up on Chris.  I was 19 and many people thought it was a mistake.  What a relief that I listened to my heart and that my heavenly parents gave me confidence in my decision.

I've learned over the years that marriage genuinely is one of the most difficult and rewarding experiences.  Like any important thing, it comes with an array of emotions and experiences.  Similarly to your relationship with God, your spouse knows ALL your flaws, shortcomings and secrets.  One may find it difficult to love someone when knowing all the other's imperfections.  I would say that is not the difficult part.  The difficult part is letting your spouse love you for EVERYTHING that you are when you know you're imperfect.  Being vulnerable by telling them when you fall short, sharing the pain you feel and apologizing for the hurt you may have caused.  In our brokenness and honesty that is where the love is in our relationship.  

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”

- Brene Brown

 

I love that Chris has helped me in becoming my best self.  He sees me how God sees me, the good & the bad.  The instagram self and the sweatpant-wearing, house a mess self.  He has pushed me when I needed it and held me tight when needed it. These four years have been both amazing and mundane, comfortable and uncomfortable, joyful and sorrowful, easy and difficult and many more opposites. 

I am so grateful for the partnership we have formed and have loved being married to Chris for the last four years. All I keep saying in my head is "4 more years! 4 more years!" 

So in honor of our 4th anniversary, I thought I'd share a few photos from my favorite moments this last year as well as some photos of our wedding day.

Highlights from this Year:

Moved to Chicago | Jack turned one | Cruise to Carribean | LP & Oceanside | New Friendships | Hosting many visitors in Chi Town | survived 5 weeks a part | Fam trip to Portland | 30 Bday trip to Scottsdale | Reliving our first date at March Madness | Christmas with our Families | New traditions | So many sporting events | 2 months of the mustache

 

Feels like yesterday even though we look like 12 year olds.

Holiday Break

Our Christmas break was absolutely fantastic!! Utah and Idaho with our fams was much needed.  

Early Christmas Eve

We had Christmas early with Jack so we didn't have to haul his gifts back and forth between Chicago and Salt Lake since we will be in Utah over actual Christmas.  We had a blast! Having Christmas with a kid is so stinking fun.

Christmas Eve consisted of jammies, the Grinch, putting together our neighbor gifts, Christmas stories, reading Luke 2 and a dance party to our Christmas Cheer playlist.

Christmas morning consisted of lots of claps, laughs, tears, blocks, ribbon and a yummy breakfast.

The Black and White wrapping paper you see I created! I wanted some Christ centered wrapping paper this year. So I made my own with my handwriting! It says “Come adore on bended knee, Christ the Lord the newborn King!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

subway adventures

You know those times where you plan to do something and it does not work out.  We had one of those moments on Saturday.  Tried to go to this parade and it was freezing and couldn't see a thing.  We ended up just playing in the subway station while waiting for our train.  Still a fun night.  Gotta go with the flow as a parent.

winter playlist

 

yesterday I felt pretty down. I felt like my life wasn't my life.  I started to be angry, questioning why I got married so young and why I already had a child, wondering if laundry and cleaning was my only point of existence.  It's hard playing the "what if" game.  I have no regrets, but sacrifice can be hard, and that's ok.  I'm thankful for the life my Heavenly Parents have blessed me with.  When I look for them in my life that's when I find myself.  Shout out to all you moms and women who feel like no one notices them.  I SEE YOU.

Lunch w/ Dad

Jack and I took the metra train to visit dad at work.  Chris works at an ad firm downtown, Energy BBDO and we love grabbing some lunch with him.  The Nutella Cafe is literally right next door to his office and because Chris loves Nutella he has been dying to go.  To be honest, the crepe was fine but I would never go again. Do yourself a favor and go to Eataly or anywhere else. At least they had a cool sign.  Chris had a few more minutes before he had to get back so we walked along the river and chased Jack.  I love my crew.

Caribbean Cruise

In 2016 we planned a Carnival cruise with our good friends, Kelly & Brock, over my spring break.  We wanted to have sort of a fun baby moon, as I was pregnant with Jack at the time.  Literally one week after booking the cruise, the warnings about pregnancy and zika were becoming more and more prevalent.  Soooo we decided to cancel and go another time, after Jack was born.  We ended up booking this cruise almost a year in advance and it felt like we were waiting forever.  We had planned to go to Puerto Rico, St. Thomas etc. But, hurricanes had other plans. We were rerouted to the western Caribbean stops and still had an absolutely amazing time.  Here are some photos and iphone pics of the trip!  

CarribeanCruise-(11-of-81).png

Before getting on the ship we ran some errands and got some yummy crepes at Cafe Club

First stop: Cayman Islands

Because of the wind we didn't tender boat from the normal location.  We tendered from the other side of the island.  Lucky for us, their was an amazing private beach to hang at while we waited to go on our excursion.  We went to Sting Ray City and it was one of the coolest things I've ever seen.  Huge sting rays just swim right up to you and you can feed them.  I wish I had photos but it was fun to be in the moment too.  DO NOT BUY THIS EXCURSION ON THE CRUISE SHIP.  You will pay twice as much.

Second stop: Roatan

The ship ports at Mahogany Bay which is owned by Carnival.  It's basically like being on the cruise ship, lots of alcohol, over priced souvenirs and sitting around.  We decided to get out of the port and do our own thing.  Instead of paying $30/person for a taxi we opted for the rental car.  It was $40 for the day in cash + gas and they kept an I.D. as collateral. We drove to Half Moon Bay and went snorkeling.  It has an amazing dive community I even met someone from SLC, UT.  We needed a snack and I needed a smoothie.  We grabbed some lounge chairs at Gingers and it was so so good.  They had delicious specials and amazing seafood that was caught that morning.  You'll have great conversation with one of the cooks, Sexy Marco as well as the owners, Ginger and Mr. Ginger.  They are from Houston, Texas and we loved talking to them about the Astros and the World Series.