Sunday, October 5, 2014

Chicago

A few weeks ago, Rick & I were able to sneak away for short trip to Chicago. I was reluctant to go but I'm so glad he persuaded me to tag along. It was a business trip but we also crammed a lot of fun in there as well.

My anxiety was terrible the morning we left. I was worried about the twins and how they were going to do staying at our friends' house. And no matter how exhausted and stressed my kiddos make me, I am always a hot mess when it comes to actually being away from them. It also didn't help that we were flying on 9/11 and my newsfeed was being bombarded with stories of ISIS threats. Yeah...I'm pretty sure I was close to having some sort of panic attack by the time our plane finally took off. 

And then God gave me this.


We ascended above the clouds and I witnessed my first sunrise from the altitude of an airplane. It was breathtaking and an immediate peace washed over me. I just kept thinking of how BIG God is and how little we are. Yet we get so distracted and focused on our circumstances and worries instead of turning to Him and reveling in his glory and trusting that He's got this. Little did I know that this reminder was preparing my heart for what was in store for our family the following week.

We got to Chicago around 9 and my first impression was not great. Ha! We flew into Midway, which apparently is not the best area of Chicago. We got into a cab that was so grimy that I was craving a shower just from sitting in the backseat. But by the time we got to our hotel I was definitely singing a different tune. We stayed on Michigan Avenue on the Magnificent Mile and I fell in love with the atmosphere.

View from our room. Lake Michigan in the distance.

So, the weather people lied to me big time. I checked the weather app when I was packing and it showed temps in the low to mid 60s. So I threw a couple of sweaters in for good measure. Uh, wrong.


See that tiny feels like 39 degrees up there? Yeah, it felt like that the whole time. It was rainy and cold and windy and neither one of us were prepared. But on the plus, it meant guilt free shopping for new coats and fleece-lined leggings. :)

And several of these cups of deliciousness:


We spent our first day just walking around and exploring. And shivering. And eating a lot of bad but oh so good food. And laughing and being silly and reconnecting. And although this was my view a good portion of the time since you never really get a day off work when you're the boss, I was just so grateful to be there with my honey and only my honey.

how did businesses ever survive before cell phones...
I had to text this one to the kids :)
I really liked this jacket but they didn't have it in his size...so he tried this one on to see if he could make it work. This man is always making me laugh!
Oh yes we did. I picked out a little somethin' somethin' for Rick to buy me...NEVER...since it doesn't seem rational to spend $9,000 on a right hand ring. But it was so pretty!!
Fourth Presbyterian Church. So beautiful.
 

Somehow I convinced a man who hates tomatoes to try this, and he loved it.
Hands down the best pizza I've ever had.
Our hotel
The huge tool convention was on the agenda for the second day. But after sitting though endless conversations about CNC machines and mills the night before at our hotel bar where I just smiled and nodded and pretended to know what they were talking about, I quickly took my opportunity to bail. :) It was funny because I felt guilty about not going and Rick felt guilty about me not going. He was pretty much in heaven there around all the vendors and exhibits (and I'm sure I would have been a drag) but he kept calling me to make sure I was okay solo. Ummm...honey? I have an entire day to spend by myself...with no kids or strollers or responsibilities...in a beautiful area that is known for its fabulous shopping...and you wanna know if I'm okay?! That would be a YES. It was so lovely. Walking around sightseeing and perusing all the of stores with my cup of hot cocoa in hand. Hearing myself think (and actually forming complete thoughts!!). Getting thoughtful texts from my mom and my friend letting me know the kids were doing great to give me peace of mind. And then meeting back up with my hubby for some delicious mid-afternoon grub before heading back to the hotel to get ready for a dinner cruise. SO. LOVELY.



This was my first time being on this side of the wining and dining and I gotta say, it was pretty nice! The company we just recently bought another new machine from took us out for a night on the town. We started with a dinner cruise. I'm a total introvert and not a big fan of networking and socializing with strangers, but I met some nice people and had a great time. The whole completely free part helped out a lot, too. :)  After the cruise, they made arrangements for a limo to take us and some other industry peeps out to a few different bars.



there was lots of good food and people watching

rainy view of the Chicago skyline


Oh, how I love this goofy soul.


This is our business partner. Obviously he's a little goofy, too. And did I mention all our drinks were free??? HA!

It was this night that I quickly learned that while I can handle taking care of 4 small kids, I am reeeeally not cut out for the party scene and night life. I'm a night owl, but I am definitely a homebody and I'm definitely a 1-or-2-drinks-only type of girl. We finally got back to our hotel around 3 or 4am and let's just say that we paid the consequences for our fun night out the next morning when it was time to get up and head to the airport...

the sunshine finally came out just as we were leaving

Very thankful for 2 nights away with my hubby. And very thankful to come home to our sweet babies.

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