Tag Archives: Chicago

Chicago Christmas Tradition

Before CJ and I were even married during the Holiday season we always went to Macy’s. They have a gorgeous tree in the Walnut Room and it’s fun to eat there to admire the tree a little longer. Then we would bundle up and check out the windows. For those who aren’t familiar, Macy’s always decorates the display windows and each year it is a different theme or story. This year was the different planets which Nola loved and if you know my husband that is right up his alley. Macy’s of course has Santa so we took the kids to see him there as well.

If you ever consider going, I would highly recommend going early in the morning. When we got in the line to see Santa I ran upstairs to get a pager for the Walnut Room and things timed out perfectly. Otherwise both Santa and the Walnut Room can have a long wait time if you go later in the day. We also went to Christkindlmarket at the Daly Plaza. If you want to see photos of our time there you can check it out HERE.

Here are photos of our time at Macy’s if you care to see:

DSC_0063 DSC_0016 in line to see santa DSC_0022 DSC_0035 DSC_0040 DSC_0043 ornament selfie DSC_0051 looking out the window in the walnut room DSC_0053 DSC_0061 family shot at the christimas tree Macys and for your viewing pleasure, us 8 years ago!!!! DSC_0069 checking out the windows

We had a really great time and hope to continue to go each year. Though I’m not going to lie, with school and just normal life, December’s really seem to get busy! I did my best to have my game face on that day, we mom’s have to do that sometimes, right? but I had a horrible headache which later resulted in a migraine which was no fun, but overall I still had a really great day and I think the kiddos did too.

Hope you are all starting to enjoy your Christmas break! We are over here!!

Chicago Getaway

Recently we were in Chicago and I felt like a little kid reminiscing about our life back in the day. This was pre-kid life and well, frankly, that was a pretty fun chapter, not that it’s not fun now…just a different kind of fun. We’ve been to plenty of different cities all over and hands down Chicago will always have our hearts and we will always think it’s the best.

One thing I really love about being in the city is people watching. Walking down the street seeing all the people, looking in the lit up apartments and condos. A lot of my thoughts start like this, “that’s such a stylish couple, i wonder if they have kids, do they have a nanny? oh that condo looks soo nice!! i wonder what job they have to afford that place? i wonder if they have google express for the winter? or do they eat out most evenings? oh the tv’s on, i wonder what show is their favorite?” See, I live in la-la land and it’s a fun place to go sometimes. It’s such a big world out there and so many different stories. It is all so fascinating to me.

While in the city I did have a loose itinerary of what I wanted to do with the kids, but since it was in the 70’s in November, all plans were thrown out and we decided to live outside. And places to eat, my greatest joy, forget about it. We couldn’t even figure out how to get drinks and appetizers on the J. Parker rooftop bar in the hotel where we were staying. When we travel and we don’t have the safest home base, meaning most things will injure our all-boy Jonas, we try to be out unless we need to sleep. In ways it’s a lot more work, but I also love it because it forces me to get out and it’s such great exercise!  Side note, if you despise working out just walk! When I moved to Chicago I lost 15lbs by just walking everywhere!

We frequented the Lincoln Park Zoo, the playground near the zoo (we went there five different times), North Avenue Beach and ate at the Old Town neighborhood. One huge highlight was seeing my dear friend. She is a sister in Christ and love catching up with her whenever I can.

Here’s an onslaught of photos of our little getaway if you care to see:

DSC_0101 DSC_0103 this little boy…he’s stolen my heart DSC_0104 this little girl loves to talk and my sweet husband is a pretty good listener Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset checking out the city IMG_8872 on our morning walk IMG_8877 trying out the selfie stick…i have no shame whipping that bad boy out
IMG_8890 IMG_8907 my ‘lovely friend’ (see what i did there, inside joke my friend’s will get that). but really she is truly lovely inside and out!
IMG_8917 at the playground near the zoo and this girl loved these pumas? cougar? jaguar? well whatever they were, she LOVED THEM. IMG_8927 as you can see… IMG_8936 mommy daughter hang out time while little brother was napping IMG_8937 sorry but i do love a good gallery wall IMG_8938 and if you have a 3 year old start playing ‘i spy’ this wall was a dream for that game IMG_8950 walking over to north beach DSC_0117 DSC_0119 in my opinion i think from north beach you get the best view of the city. back in the day cj and i played volleyball at this beach. our biggest dilemma back then was deciding if we were getting beers at the boathouse afterwards, now it’s making sure Nola didn’t jump in the water.  DSC_0123 my guys are so handsome
DSC_0138 i just love the look on jonas’s face and this picture shows you what we have to deal with trying to get nola to cooperate
IMG_7766 the struggle is real

When we got home Nola asked what our next adventure was, ha! She’s such a good sport and loves traveling. She told us she wanted to stay at the hotel forever. I love that and at her age she actually is pretty easy going places. Jonas on the other hand, oh mylanta! That boy and putting everything in his mouth and pulling himself up on anything that could be unstable or tobble over the guy. 10 months keeps you on your toes, that’s for sure.

We are heading back to Chicago at the end of this month to see the Macy’s Christmas Tree and to go to the Christkindlmarket at the Daly Plaza, which I can’t wait to show the kids. It’s a tradition CJ and I did for years while we were dating and into early married life before we moved all over the country. I have to say it’s pretty fun to continue these traditions on with our kids!

p.s. if you want to check out our last trip to chicago with the kiddos you can find it HERE. jonas’s moccasins are from freshly picked / nola’s fox socks you can get here / jonas’s hat is from june and january 

Chicago Love!!

IMG_7180 copy

I think we mentioned it before, or you just assume from our track history, but we don’t ever know what we are doing in regards to where we will be living next.  That being said we could stay in Madison forever…we are just trying to figure things out and praying God gives us a clear picture of what His will is for our lives.  Not ever knowing, however, does give us this urgency to really live life where we are at.  This summer we strategically have things planned out and we are busy.  So far we have camped twice at Devil’s Lake, made a trip to Milwaukee, had family and friends visit us and a couple weekends ago went on a quick trip to Chicago.

Guys, Chicago will always be a special place for both CJ and I.  It’s where we met, dated and started our married life.  It will always be our most favorite city and thinking about all the good memories we made there…there is just so many good ones.  We had all these grandiose ideas of how we could take our kids to our old neighborhood, shops and most importantly restaurants, but lets be real here…kids certainly whip you out of that dreamy mindset to reality very quickly.  Honestly our kids did pretty good and we were able to eat at some of our favorite spots, walk around the neighborhood, take the kids on the EL for the first time and meet a friend and her sweet family at Millennium Park.  It was a jam packed really good day!

There are many moments where I feel my kids need to be more urbanized and I told CJ I could move back to Chicago, but then we did the EL with the stroller, and eh, that wasn’t easy.  Lets just say trying to carry a stroller up the stairs with your very heavy infant in a carrier is no easy feat.  I still could live in Chicago, but don’t expect me taking the stroller downtown on my own!!  Wicker Park/Bucktown in many ways felt like it never changed, but surely it did.  Lots of new donut places it seemed along with many places of course.  But for the most part our favorite spots are still there and it’s pretty fun visiting and reminiscing the old times with my partner in crime and even sweeter making new memories with our kiddos.

Here’s some photos of our day if you care to see:

IMG_6611 First stop was at Milk & Honey.  One of our favorite brunch spots!

IMG_6623 The fountain in Wicker Park.  If we ever need to produce distraction and happiness for this girl we try and find water.

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset Heading downtown on the EL!

IMG_6633 We met our friends at the Maggie Daley Park and it was pretty amazing.  It has all these different sections for different age groups and the slides, etc were top notch!  It made me miss Delores Park, hands down, my favorite park of all time!!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Isn’t this girl gorgeous?!  She has a beautiful heart too, such a good mama and a Sister In Christ.  I appreciate this girl!

IMG_6652 The infamous ‘bean photo’ at Millennium Park.  This is such a tourist spot, but every time I go there I love it so much!

IMG_6657 Here’s a selfie with the city reflecting on the bean behind us.

IMG_6661 On the way home both kids were sleeping so when walking past Magnolia Bakery I told CJ I needed to get me some banana pudding.   IMG_7182 Last stop of the day was at Big Star Tacos.  Their al pastor tacos are top notch and we dream about them all the time!  Nola seemed to approve as well.