I told ya’ll in a blog past that changes were a’comin. Well, they are here and can be made public. The mover contract is signed, the job contract was signed a while ago, and family and close friends have been told. These two kids, and their dust and years of memories, are Chicago bound. (Don’t gasp, I did that enough for you already!) Yes, this chick who dreams of white sandy beaches and a year-round temperature of 82 degrees, is now headed to the Windy City…land of frozen nose hairs!
(Funny story here-when Leebo and I first started talking about maybe seeing what was out there and all that jazz, we quickly put geographical limitations on it…..NC, SC, TX, TN, FL…..basically we wanted either a warm and sandy beach or closer to more family. Well, let me just tell ya’ll, that God laughed at us very loudly….we didn’t get into the specifics on the “beach” part I guess and he led us to the “beaches” of the Great Lakes….he also shut every single door of opportunity in our “chosen” states. I keep telling myself God knows best, but man oh man…my toes had already gotten into shape for the sand wiggling that takes place on those white beaches of Florida. Guess my toes will use that exercise for frostbite prevention now.)
We have never been the folks that did things the “normal” way…we always have kinda done things backwards from conventional wisdom, so a move at this stage of our life…well…kinda seems normal for us! Where we live, by the time a family moves in, they have already had several moves as they worked their way up in the company to one day land in the “treasure trove” known as Wal-Mart land. We, on the other hand, have never had that career path….we made a decision a long time ago that our kids would grow up in one school district. It was something I never had as a child and longed for my children to experience. So, my Leebo, parked his career and has patiently waited for the time to fly. That time is now!
Won’t even pretend that I have not been freaking out on some days leading up to the “move date.” Moving without kiddos in school….no built in “meet grown-ups” prop….just two kids who are slightly older than they were all those years ago embarking on a new adventure. It’s silly to be this age and actually be wondering if anyone will like us or invite us to things….normal folks passed that phase a long time ago………..then again……we are not normal! (Our children will confirm this factoid.) Our baby boy could not be more excited and has encouraged it from day one…he is my “city” kid and who knows…maybe he will earn that tenured chair with the Chicago Symphony one day! It’s going to be so nice to be able to travel by air so easily to wherever he lands for graduate school and for his future career!
So, we are leaving behind twenty years of memories, friends, an amazing church home….we are leaving comfortable for well….not comfortable! Don’t most guys get a Harley during this phase of life? Just wondering..no, really, I could not be more proud of Leebo. From finishing his degree, to putting his career on hold while our kids grew up, to being brave enough to leave a comfortable job here for a job that will be in “fix it” mode for the foreseeable future.
I like to think that those friends here that are my “forever” friends will be so no matter where my zip code is. There are still roots here and those roots will bring us back occasionally, and this area will always be incredibly special to me…to Leebo. See, growing up, longevity in one area was not in the cards. The longest I had ever lived in one area prior to moving here was seven years. Back then, that was uncommon..now..people are so mobile in this world connected by technology that it’s not uncommon to run into several folks who have short stays in different areas. We are a very mobile society, especially here in the U.S.
So, we are moving to the greater Chicago area. Will it be Naperville, Wheaton, Bartlett, Geneva, Glen Ellyn….or points in between? Homeless in Illinois is kinda our mantra right now as we will be leaving shortly to go find housing. Let me be very honest. This weekend, as we began to pack pictures and the home suddenly simply looked like a house-tears did flow. I will miss here terribly….this is where my kiddos grew up….my baby boy was born here, so every first was here. Teachers, SS teachers, folks at the grocery store-the familiarity will be missed. I will miss the beauty of the mountains in the fall, but not the insanity of 540. (Ok, maybe I am trading the 540 madness for even more madness, but at least I will have options on which madness I take!) I will miss the beauty of Crystal Bridges and I think I might even miss the calling of the Hogs….maybe. I will miss you-the folks who were my “peeps.” I won’t miss having really only one grocery store option…..at all. I won’t miss the airfare costs out of XNA. I won’t miss our roads after snowfalls. I won’t have to miss Chick-Fil-A or Cracker Barrel (one of the first things I checked). I will miss you. The people. My church.
Some of you know, but this has all been such an incredible God event. Along the way, He has shown us this was the way to keep walking. It’s a huge leap of faith for us both, but I have to trust that if this is His plan….the church, the church family, the friends, all those things that make somewhere feel like “home” are waiting for us. (While waiting for God to reveal those things, I do have Nordstroms,
and that makes me very happy!) For RRP, I will finally have quality doctors (notice the plural use) to treat me without traveling. That, in itself, could be more of God’s plan in this than anything….we are excited to watch this journey unfold and look back in five years and just stand amazed.
So, if you know peeps in that greater Chicago area, or have any tips-any…..I would love to hear them and hear about your peeps. We are leaning west of the greater Chicago area…to get us in a suburb that feels more like what we know….ok….let me clarify that….somewhere close to a Whole Foods. (I’ve waited so long to be able to shop at Whole Foods, and it’s a priority on my list!)
The countdown has started……and the countdown to our first Christmas in Chicago has started as well…it looks fabulous. I have seen the sweetest memories here and as we have been purging areas of the house for the move, I have ran across memories that just make your heart smile. Life is about change and these two kids are leaping feet first. I will miss you. The people. My church.
PS-If you can hook up a girl with tickets to the Blackhawks in a 100 section….well….she would be forever grateful.