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What I’ve Been Up To, Part 1

May 7, 2010

During the last two weeks I’ve been privileged to spend quality time with two dear friends whom I don’t see often enough mostly due to geographic constraints.

Firstly, my sister-in-law, Karen (formerly of Boston, recently of San Jose), came to stay with us for about 24 hours.

Karen officially joined our family when she married Jeff’s oldest brother, Doug, in 2007. It has been a joy getting to know her these past few years, and wonderful to spend some extensive 1-on-1 and 2-on-1 time with her during this visit. During her time with us we took the dogs on a neighborhood walk, enjoyed eating Yagööt frozen yogurt, watched a video/slideshow of Karen’s recent trip to Australia, went thrift store shopping, enjoyed food and ambiance at Melt (my favorite restaurant), and talked lots and lots about food, family, dogs, life, and God’s plans. Thanks so much for making the special trip down to see us, Karen!

Secondly, I drove up to see a college friend, Kristin (primarily of Philadelphia, presently and semi-temporarily of Chicago), for two days at the beginning of this week.


Windblown on the shore of Lake Michigan


Kristin and I met our freshman year of college when we lived in the same hall (and continued to be hall-mates during the following two years as well) and quickly discovered a shared love of The Lord of the Rings and all things Tolkien, among other things.

It was wonderful to catch up on life, talk extensively about all manner of things, and laugh and cry together. (We are both movie criers, so of course we had to watch bits and pieces of Return of the King and share the kleenex.) When I first arrived in Chicago, I ended up going straight to the home of some other college friends, Matt and Brandi, where I met up with Kristin and two more college friends, Josh and Cindy. We had a little mini-reunion while eating delicious French food in celebration of Matt and Brandi’s recent sojourn across France.

The next day we made our way downtown (and I finally got to ride the L!) to take advantage of a free day at the Museum of Science and Industry. While at the museum, we toured the U-505 Submarine, the only German U-boat in the U.S., captured during WWII. It was beyond cool!



A grainy, slightly blurry picture of us with U-505


Kri made us a wonderfully delicious red pepper risotto for dinner that night, and we fell asleep in the middle of Ponyo, partially due to the blissful, though sleep-inducing, risotto coma we were in. We finished the movie in the morning (ahh, the joys of vacation!) and eventually made our way over to the beach for a relaxing afternoon.

To get to the lake, we walked through a tunnel with gorgeous mosaics (the first one is my favorite):

Then we enjoyed the view for awhile:

Kristin explained to me how the ocean feels different from Lake Michigan, as I’ve always heard people from the coasts say it’s not the same, but have never understood how or why. Now I get it, but I still love the lake. We grabbed paninis and chai at a local coffee shop before I had to head back home.

I grew up in the shadow of Chicago, so to speak, and I always love visiting the city.


from 'Chicago' by Carl Sandburg


Thank you, dear friend, for inviting me up to stay with you and opening your heart to me. I am so thankful that our friendship has continued on from those first four years and now through these last five.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. jaimieteekell permalink
    May 7, 2010 12:56 pm

    It’s awesome you and Kristin got to spend time together! Sounds like a blast.

  2. Rick permalink
    May 9, 2010 8:03 pm

    It looks like you caught such a perfect day! Fun that you keep with old friends. Kudos to you!

  3. June 3, 2010 7:51 pm

    the melt looks super yummy…

    what does Jeff do when you “movie cry”?? I do all the time (worse since I’ve been pregnant/had babies)…and whenever Rey catches me, he “snorts” in disbelief, which TOTALLY ruins the moment. The other day, I was shedding a tear at a part of the amazing race. Not wanting to be snorted at, I went to the next room… Rey actually followed me, joking about the emotionality of the moment–not realizing I was actually sniffling. Ooops! ;)

    • June 3, 2010 10:17 pm

      Well, actually, Jeff’s used to my crying at the emotional moments and usually just silently passes me the kleenex box with a look on his face that says, “It’s okay. I understand that this is just one of those things that you do.” I think I got lucky! :)

      You’re right: snorting would totally ruin it! Sometimes you just need a good cleansing cry!

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