t-giving in chi town

since we'll be going to LA for a good chunk in december, we are spending thanksgiving here in chicago. although i'm sad i won't see family, i'm excited about spending thanksgiving here. we're getting together with 2 other couple friends (we all live within 5 blocks of each other) for our t-giving dinner. and a baby will be there too!!!

will and i are bringing mashed potatoes, gravy, creamed corn and a pumpkin pie. we got the america's test kitchen cookbook from a friend and it is AWESOME. every recipe we've tried has been amazing, and i love it because they tell you everything they tried and why/how they came up with the recipe. so we will be using the book for all our dishes. except the pumpkin pie, which we'll pick up from costco because i love costco's pumpkin pie.

depending on my mood, i might also try to create a simple centerpiece for the dinner.

things i am grateful for this year:
  • a job in this economy, = a means to pay rent and living expenses
  • an opportunity to live in a new place during our first year of marriage
  • my church, our small group community
  • friends, both in LA and chicago
  • my husband and the ways i get to know more about him as the days go by.

it is no small thing to make friends and feel a sense of community in a brand new place, especially for someone like me, who lived in the same city for 28 years. i have a newfound appreciation for international students or people who transplant to a new city or country for work, school or life circumstance. i am so grateful that we have friends, not because that means we're cool, but because i know that friend chemistry and other such things are out of our hands. i feel grateful for people who took initiative with me to hang out in the early days. the other day i was reflecting with will on my first few weeks here. looking back, i was so much like a deer caught in headlights. i think on my 2nd or 3rd day here we went out to dinner with those same 2 couples we're spending t-giving with and i remember feeling really out of it and in a daze. everything felt surreal. my friend e is super busy as an ER resident but she took time to take me out to lunch and hang out with me during that first month. that meant so much to me, because at that time i had no friends, no work, no community, no car, no snow boots to even go out. haha. it is funny looking back at my own self just 11 months ago. now i have a job, friends, a community, i know my way around the city, i got all the fall/winter/cold weather gear and i know which grocery stores to shop at.

because of all of that, i think this year i've just felt so grateful for basic things like an income, friends, church and a warm winter coat. they are basic but so essential!

we've had the awesomest fall weather and it hasn't snowed yet. i checked the weather and it's supposed to snow on thanksgiving. i know i might regret saying this later, but i'm actually excited about it snowing on thanskgiving. it will be beautiful.


days past

i was looking up something on my blog today and i realized how boring my blogging has become. i used to be so good about taking photos and posting them and writing about different things. :(



i am going to attempt to describe a difference in life in chicago v. los angeles. i don't know how to label it. it's not necessarily "unity", but i'll just use it for lack of a better term.

first, i want to say that chicago does have major divisions, but i won't get into that here.

so here i go. i have contemplated this question a lot:

Q: what brings the city of LA together?
A: the lakers.

Q: what brings the city of chicago together?
A: downtown, pockets of the city, certain foods (i.e. pizza), the weather and events.

for example, if there is something going on in the city, you can bet that wherever you go, people will be talking about it, and most people will have gone to it. i remember when the taste of chicago was going on. everyone talked about it - at work, church, social gatherings. it was the same when the air show happened, when there was a bad storm, after the marathon, the jazz festival, the u2 concert, the 4th of july fireworks over the lake. there is a way in which it seems the city moves and breathes together.

that is all.

oh sushi

i can't shake this sushi craving i've had all week.

36 more days!


beautiful fall weekend + random

after a couple weeks of cold weather, we had a beautiful fall weekend here in the midwest. the sun was shining and it was warm. i spent most of my time outdoors, walking among the crowds in downtown, and hanging out with friends at maxwell street market where we enjoyed tacos, horchata, coke from a bottle and fresh churros.

on another note, my hair has gotten very long and i'm thinking about chopping it on my trip to LA in december.

friends r and e had their baby about a month ago and i'm so in love with her! i haven't seen her in over a week and i'm getting desperate. a visit is forthcoming.

last month we used our crockpot for the first time and made chili. and then will made chicken soup. the thing is awesome. i need to find more recipes.

i can't get over how much i love chicago. lately i've been realizing that it's been like a dream to live here for the last 10 months. some things i love about it:

work is 2 miles from home, church is 1 mile from home (yes!!!)
friends live close by: caddy corner from us, and 5 blocks away
there are so many cool areas around the city, each with their own personalities
i get to meet people from all over. more than half the people i meet here are not from here
the trees
the way the city comes together (i'll try to expand on this in another post)

also, i'm going to see the nutcracker next month with a friend. i haven't been to the ballet here so i'm looking forward to that.

peace out.