Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Windy City.

This past weekend I got the awesome opportunity to go to Chicago.  A couple months ago my mother in law offered to take me with her there to meet up with Matt's aunt and cousin for a weekend get-away.  It did not take much convincing to take her up on this offer, and yes I have the best mother in law ever.
I was very excited about the trip, but always apprehensive about leaving my family.  I worry about being away from the kids and Matt and get a little anxious before any separation from them.  I know I'll miss them like crazy.  This particular trip I also felt some sadness the night before we left.  Most girls away weekends have been with my mom and sisters.  I couldn't help but feel sad it wasn't with them and knowing it may still be awhile before it can be like that again.  I let myself feel sad about this and then moved on from it.  There are things I simply cannot change.  I gave my babies  and hubby one final kiss goodbye and was off to Chi-town.

I have never been there before...only driven through on the way to Detroit with Matt a couple times.  What a fun city it is.  And so pretty where we were at right by Lake Michigan.  Our room overlooked the lake and Navy Pier.  It didn't take long for us to make our way down to the beach so we could stick our toes in the water...

It was one of those really fantastic trips.  I haven't seen Matt's aunt or cousin in a decade, however it was as if no time had passed.  Easy and fun.  Good company, sunny skies, amazing food and a vibrant city.  A city where you get caught up in the energy of it all and try to soak it all in.

The sights...

Living in a town where our tallest buildings are the university dorms I am always in awe of a city skyline.  The tall buildings that stretch to the sky.  So many of them.  So many things going on inside them...people living, working, shopping, eating...I am fascinated.  

The company-

Spending the weekend with these three ladies was such a treat.  We laughed, talked and enjoyed each others company.  Over the past couple of years I have found I can learn so much from others.  I like to listen and understand how different everyone is.  Contribute my own thoughts and opinions but really appreciate individual women and how we live our lives.  Celebrating differences because that is what makes the world go round.  

Other company I got to spend time with was my cousins I haven't seen in a very, very long time.  Like we were kids last time I saw them.  Now we are grown-ups and I got to meet her absolutely adorable baby....

Thanks to the wonderful world of Facebook we have all reconnected over the past few years.  Following each others lives on social networks and getting a peek into the women they had become.  If it wasn't for that, I may not have thought to even get in touch with them while in town.  I'm so happy for the reconnection and for getting to see them.  Spend a morning together and realizing even though miles and time separates, family is family.  Their dynamic was so similar to that of my sisters and I.  Genetics are a funny thing.  One day my sisters and I will make a girls trip to Chicago and all the Reed girls will hang.  One day.  

On our final night, after an amazing dinner of cheese, wine and crab cakes we went to see the show Evita.  Oh my, how I have missed going to the theatre.  Each time Matt and I lived in a city I made sure to take advantage to go to any shows playing.  Growing up and living in Bozeman, it is just not something you get to do.  It was the best.  Getting dressed up, walking into a beautiful theatre, ushers leading you to your seats, the lights, the live orchestra...all leading up to a phenomenal show.  I was captivated.  I felt like the only person in the entire theatre and they were singing just to me.  It was so, so, so good.  Like chills on my arm, tears on my cheeks good.  

What a lovely trip it was.  I am so very grateful to have gotten to go along with these ladies.  Simply saying thank you to my mama-in-law doesn't quite seem to cut how thankful I feel about it.  Her generosity cup runneth over.

By Sunday evening and a long day of travel I was happy to be home.  I had missed Matt and my girls so very much.  It's always good to be away here and there...it makes you appreciate all you have.  You know the "distance makes your heart grow fonder" type stuff.  

While I was gone the girls had their annual Fun Run at their school.  I wasn't there to cheer them on, but they rocked it.  Ava with 37 laps and Layla with 36...little rock stars.

And, with cool weather coming we took out the garden.  We now have a few or a thousand tomatoes...

They will continue to ripen in the warmth of boxes in our house.  Today I made my first batch of oven roasted tomatoes that I froze and will toss into pasta and pizza sauces throughout the winter when we need a little taste of summer.  We also have a couple dozen pumpkins decorating the house.  Some will be hidden for the scavenger hunt we have at our annual Halloween party.  The rest will be made into pumpkin pies and bread.  Before I left I made our first...

It was gone before I made it back.  

I end with a sign I saw while in Chicago.  It was at a restaurant at our last dinner.  It's pretty much our family motto...


Thanks Chicago for a good time.  I think I would like to visit you again sometime.

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