We have been safely and snugly at home since Sunday night and, although we had a lovely time and quite lovely accommodations (those Beckers and Cases know how to take good care of their guests!), there is just no place like home. We had a great time in Chicago and we are so glad to be back.
As expected, it's taking Oliver a few days to acclimate to being back at home with Mommy and Daddy after spending five days with his Granddad and Groovy in Michigan. I think it must be the combination of his age and the trip that has caused him to really give it all he's got when it comes time to meltdown. For now, we're just holding on tight, loving him well, and hoping he'll settle back into our routine soon. Wild man.
I have just a few more pictures from our trip. I wish I had more, but I just battled with my camera batteries all week long and have finally resolved that I need to replace our rechargeable batteries after their nearly two years of good service. It's just time.
While we were in Kankakee we stopped by our first home to see how it was doing. We bought this home when we were both 21 years old and finishing our junior year of college. We spent our senior year gutting and renovating the kitchen (three cheers for Ikea cabinets!) and bathroom and finishing the basement. It was quite a project and we learned so much about electrical and plumbing, installing cabinets and tile floors and so on. Ryan and my cousin Lee even built a fireplace with brick and mortar in the basement that we assume is still standing.
We bundled a whole lot of life experience into that year (our second year of marriage) and made a lot of memories. We got our first dog in that home, had some of our first dinner parties (and poker tournaments), and even opened a guest room to friends who needed a place to stay for three months, during which they gave birth to their firstborn. We suffered great loss in that house as we experienced for the first time the great grief of losing a pregnancy to miscarriage. We also had the great joy of growing Oliver for 7 months in my tummy in that house until we moved away to Tennessee.
It was nothing flashy, especially from the outside, but it was home. It will always hold a very special place in our hearts.
We spent Saturday downtown Chicago and, as is tradition, made a stop at the fountain where seven years ago this March, Ryan asked me to be his wife.
We love this place and it was so sweet to return together.
Here's to a lovely trip with the man I love immeasurably more than I ever thought I could seven years ago. And, to the sweetness of returning home, to our baby boy and to the promises of God's love and provisions, no matter what life brings.