Saturday, August 4, 2012

Part Two of Chicago (and Other Stuff)

You have been holding your breath, anxiously awaiting Part 2 of my Chicago trip.  Settle down, settle down! My apologies for any mental anguish the wait has caused you.   But I feel as if my head has just now stopped spinning since that trip so I will attempt to put together my thoughts in an organized fashion for the first time since we got home.  

Maybe you read the first post about our travels to the windy city?  Well, this one will not sound nearly as exciting because I am about as energetic as my four year old is for her gymnastics instructor...not at all.   Once our plane touched ground, I kicked it into Turbo Mommy Gear to make a pinkalicious princess party happen in forty-eight hours.  Big deal for this Momma who has never actually hosted a birthday party at home.  We just didn't have the space in our last house.  After every little girl was adorned with princess paraphernalia and all partied out, it was time to tend to the causalities.  Lulu had spiked a fever during the party and like a good sister she shares EVERYTHING with her sibling.  Soon all the females in the house were struck down with a case of the grumpies/uglies. So, don't be misled by my seemingly apathetic attitude.  It's just that being an unwashed zombie tends to bring a girl down (note to self: it is never a good idea to watch "Contagion" when you look like one of the cast).  

Chicago was...perfect.  Everything I didn't know I needed it to be.  Welcoming and unexpected like the fleece from college that still hangs in your parents' closet after all these years, just waiting for you.  

You always hear people say, "There are so few surprises in life!" Can I just say that I categorically disagree with that statement!  What is life, if not one big, crazy ride full of surprises.  They used to scare the crap out of me and now I am learning to embrace the crazy and throw my hands up on the way down.  Chicago was one of those true surprises and the biggest surprise of all? My heart broke just a little bit when I had to leave. 

Where to start?? How about the place where little girls' dreams are made and mommies' wallets are broken?  I'm talking about the American Girl Place located on Chicago's Magic Mile, a beacon that attracts girls from all over the country.  Lilah and Savannah decided for their August birthdays that they each wanted an American Doll, complete with adorable outfits, a bathtub full of pink, plastic bubbles and a doll potty (to use after the dolls have had too much $10 tea to drink at the American Girl Cafe).  Rather than blather on about my empty wallet, I will share our day in pictures.
Jessie, me, and the girls as we make our entrance! 

The Lovely Ladies Themselves
Might I interest your doll in some $10 chocolate milk?
Mommy and Grandma enjoying the doll food!
What a day! Nana, Lilah, and "Baby" Ana take a little breather with their dolls. 
As much as I like to walk around squawking like a senior citizen about what a racket this American Girl thing is, I have to admit that it was such a lovely day.  Exhausting, but lovely.   I got to spend the day with some of my favorite people and it is a memory that my girls will carry with them forever.  I know!  I still remember the trip I made to Babyland General (home of the Cabbage Patch Kids) as a little tyke.  And you know what?  I don't remember what my mom spent that day on dolls.  It really doesn't matter if she bought me one or not.  What we remember is the time we spend making memories with the people who love us.  Look at those sweet little faces!  They had a good day and that is priceless. 

After long, happy visits with the people who love me and love my kids, I began to experience the first nagging waves of anxiety that were long overdue on this trip.  The serenity bubble that I had been floating along in throughout the week finally popped as I began to pack our bags.  You see, there was no doubt in my mind that our departure would be a painful one for Grandma, Grandpa, and the rest of the family.  This was our first trip back in a year, and we have no immediate plans for another visit.  Mom and Dad are who I believe God had in mind when he asked us to be the salt and the light in this world.  The just oooze love for my babies and me, and we miss them every day.

And the friends.  Oh, the friends.  There is a knowing between old friends that have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly together.  An understanding that says, " We may not pick up the phone every week because we have jobs and husbands and little people, but if you need me, I am there.  In a heartbeat."  That will never change.  Maybe I was a little scared that after a year it had.  But, no.  These special girls that I can count on one hand are the kind that will always know me and call me friend.  Amen.

Now, it is back to the real world.  School out here practically starts in July (what's up with that?) so this week holds the promise of wading through the masses of disgruntled mothers at Walmart, all searching for the 3 ring/1 subject/ 90 paged/ wide rule notebook with just the right design on the cover.  I tried to get Savannah to carry the "Jesus is my homeboy" notebook, but she wasn't having any of it.  This year I will join the PTO (total deadbeat last year) and maybe volunteer for the music teacher and try to ignore the fact that I am doing nothing with my musical training right now.  There is also a gym membership in the works so prepare to see pictures of my new rockin' bod in a couple of months.  Don't laugh!! 

How was your summer, friends? I hope you feel refreshed and perky and ready for the fall.  No?  Then, I hope you have some sweet summer memories to carry you through the cold months.  Cherish them.  These seasons of our lives seem to pass in the blink of an eye! 


  1. This post just gave me a huge smile! I'm sorry you girls were sick when you got home, but so glad that the trip and the birthday party were a success. I'll be calling you come October so you can be sure to come here and recreate that party, ok? Thanks! ;) American Girl ... Ahhh how we love our AG dolls here. My girls want nothing for Christmas but accessories for their AG dolls. I'm sure they'd gladly love another doll too, but we shall see. Depends on whether Santa hits the lotto or not. :) LOL

  2. I adored part 2 and am glad the trip was so wonderful and full of love, compassion, family and friends. Glad your home safe, had a lovely joint party for your girls, and can now concentrate on getting them ready for school. Your an inspiration. Love you.