Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Brief Stop in Chicago

So . . . as it turns out, you really can go home again. After 5 1/2 weeks of what turned out to be a four stop tour of Latin America, we are back in Chicago for 3 weeks. More specifically, we are back in Oak Park - in our old condo. We are so fortunate that our dear friends (and renters) David and Rodney have agreed to take us in until the end of the month while we touch base with my mom and reorganize ourselves for the trip to Spain.

It's funny to think that this condo was our home for 10 years. It is where we began our family - it was our first home, where we brought our babies home from the hospital and where we created so many memories. Because of the boys' impeccable decorating abilities, the condo looks nothing like it did when we lived here, but there is still something very familiar about it. Though I know it isn't here anymore, I keep looking at the wall in the kitchen where we hung our clock to try to see the time (it is now a chalkboard). We had so much dirty laundry to take care of when we arrived yesterday, so I decided to use our big washer and dryer in the basement. It had not been used in 2 1/2 years, since we also installed laundry in the unit and D&R use that. However, much to my delight, the bottle of laundry detergent that I bought before we left was still sitting there - waiting for me! I also ran into an old neighbor while I was in the basement, and we talked as if we had never left (except for how shocked he was at seeing how tall Henry has grown).

I still can't gauge the kids' reactions to being back in the old place. They definitely see it as D&R's home, but they are extremely comfortable here. On the train from the airport yesterday, Caroline said that she feels so much safer in Oak Park than she did in Chicago. I'm not sure where that came from, but I'm glad she feels it. Henry and Caroline absolutely love having D&R's dog, Lars, to play with (he even slept on their bed for a while last night) and are thrilled that they are now old enough to walk over to Mills Park alone (together, but with us watching from the balcony).

We'll be here for 3 weeks - unpacking, repacking, visiting with friends and family and spending as much time with my mom as possible. We leave for Spain on the 28th of September, and are VERY excited. We have learned a lot these past weeks and look forward to using that knowledge in the adventures ahead. Our focus now is trying to ensure that D&R still like us as much when we leave as they did when we arrived!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Presenting the new Mr. & Mrs. Jordan

Tic-toc, game is locked - all of the t's are crossed and i's are dotted. Yesterday, we welcomed a new Jordan into the mix, as Matt and Jackie celebrated their love in front of 45 friends and family in Cancun. The day could not have been more perfect! I have never seen Matt happier than he has looked this past week and by the time the ceremony rolled around, he was absolutely glowing! Surprising no one, Jackie was completely radiant.

There was not a dry eye in the house as Bill serenaded the newlyweds during their first dance as husband and wife. Several months ago, Matt asked his dad to sing Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling In Love" while he and Jackie danced their first dance. I have to admit, I was very nervous that Bill would not be able to get through the song without completely breaking down, but he did a phenomenal job! Many people later told me that they thought it was actually a recording of Elvis until they saw Bill's lips moving. I may be a bit biased, but it was my favorite part of the evening!

Matt asked Henry to be a Junior Groomsman and Caroline was one of two flower girls. They both did a great job in their roles and their participation made the day even more special for them. They both love Matt (Bubbie) and Jackie so much, and are so excited to have a new sister. Caroline was hoping that having a new sister would mean that Jackie would come and live with us, but we explained to her that this is the start of Matt and Jackie's new life together, so they might want a little privacy. She didn't much like that answer!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wedding Prep

The sun is shining, guests are arriving and anticipation is building. In less than 72 hours, we will officially welcome a new member to the family as Matt and Jackie say their vows in a beachfront gazebo in Cancun, Mexico. I am in awe of their calm, yet celebratory demeanor as they hustle to finalize the few remaining details of their wedding. As Matt pointed out, it has already been a year of planning, so most everything has been taken care of. Still, though, I remember the effort that went into making our wedding so special, and it seems daunting to imagine having to do it from 1,000 miles away! However, both the bride and groom-to-be are glowing and are showing no outward signs of fatigue.

Matt and Jackie selected a very nice (yes, I said nice) all-inclusive resort to be the site for their wedding. Once again, our little family was upgraded to a room that is far too nice for our hillbilly ways, but we are trying not to embarrass ourselves (or anyone else). It is a Master Suite, so Bill and I are enjoying having our own bedroom for the first time in a month! I am a little worried, though, as Henry and Caroline keep mentioning how much they love staying in resorts. I'm afraid they are in for a bit of a rude awakening . . .