Eurotrip Day 1: Chicago-style anniversary

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And we’re off! We packed up all of our stuff yesterday, made a strategic plan about how we’re going to transport said stuff, went to Confession, and hopped the South Shore Line from South Bend to Chicago this morning. Poor Christopher is a combination of excited and stressed. He cleaned his room in a burst of manic energy before bed last night (it’s immaculate; preschoolers, man) and then ripped up one of his favorite books before rehearsing when, exactly, we will be going on the airplane. I feel for him because I, too, had a rough time settling down enough to get to sleep last night, but arrival in Chicago has been a good landing zone before the overseas craziness begins.

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We’re here until our flight departs tomorrow night. Chris is at the North American Patristics Society conference (NAPS – things my children hate, ba dum ching), so the kids and I have been occupying ourselves by enjoying our absurdly nice hotel suite that my dear husband surprised me with for our anniversary. We have an incredible view of Lake Michigan and Millennium Park and the river. This will definitely be the nicest stay of our entire trip. Therese took a super long nap this afternoon after smiling at people for almost the full three hour train ride. Christopher and I occupied ourselves with the novelty known as Disney Channel, gawking at our view, and FaceTiming with my mom before I finally woke up little sis and we went to the hotel indoor pool. My friend from college, Stephanie, happened to be downtown and got to hang out with us while Christopher paddled around. The goal was to tire Christopher out enough that he would sleep, but not to let him fall asleep for the dreaded stroller nap. It made for a very grumpy three-year-old when we went to go visit Chris at his conference ever so briefly. He found us by following the wailing.

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A brief nap on the train

I took Christopher to Chipotle for dinner and then Chris met us to pick up burgers at Good Stuff Eatery in honor of our DC wedding. We wrestled the kids to sleep/in bed and are enjoying our complimentary anniversary cocktails called “Wrigley Water” that taste like vodka and melted popsicle. Christopher has his own sofa bed that he is currently not sleeping in, but at least he is in an entirely different room. Therese is asleep around the corner in her pack and play.

These four years have been special, but the last year has been the best yet. We have been reflecting on how sweet it is to share our lives with each other and with our kids, the multiplication of our love. It is a good life, full of grace.

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