As part of the Christmas gift, Steve agreed to watch the kids while we went to Chicago on Saturday. For those interested in visiting and think Chicago would be a great side trip, you are exactly right…however arrange your trip accordingly because I won’t do Chicago again in February. FREEZING! And it was the warmest of the five days that she was here, 20 degrees. I can handle 20 degrees, I do it all the time, but not being outside constantly for hours on end. We had to keep making pit stops inside stores and museum to give our ears and noses just enough time to thaw where they hit that hurting stage, just to go back outside to experience it again. I think the temperature would have been fine had it not been for the wind, yowsers! Amidst undesirable conditions, we had a blast. We hit up a few museums, millenium park (the big mirror bean) and of course the shopping. I would love to go down in the summer time and rent bikes and just ride for the afternoon, how fun would that be!?

Anyway, it gave us time to hang out and chat without having to worry if we need to change a diaper or if it’s past naptime! It felt as if for an afternoon we were back living in Rexburg (cold conditions helped the visualization!) taking the afternoon away from studying and such just to chat, it was as if time stood still, we hadn’t been apart for years. And we couldn’t help but talk of all of our other roommates (who we wished so dearly could’ve been there as well, but like I said February does not produce ideal conditions) and who we can’t wait to see and catch up hopefully soon.

Friends have played such a large role in my life, I’ve always been fortunate to have meaningful friends. And it feels good to reconnect with those friends whenever I get the chance. Stacey and I stayed up so late every night just talking, we’d look at the clock and see it was getting late and then a new topic would be brought up until we exhausted that one and we’d move to another one. You always wonder what it’s going to be like to spend a significant amount of time with someone after being apart for years. Will it be awkward? Will there be lulls where you’re trying to fill time? Will you realize you’ve grown apart? But in my case it was exactly what I expected- absolutely wonderful and fun. Steve asked me after the first night in a somewhat concerned tone…”Well how is it going?” I replied, “Awesome, there’s some people who you just know will be a lifelong friend, and she’s one those.” Which I’m happy to say, I have many lifelong friends, how blessed am I?!

Stacey- Thanks so much for the fun, and Justin, thanks for giving up your wife for the week, I cherished the time we shared. Sadly enough this is the only picture we have together for the whole weekend…of course a self portrait!