Twenty-Nine Years

I am on a doctor ordered “take it easy” for today, and that gives me ample time to recap a tiny bit on “Twenty-Nine Years” and a week of fun and celebration.  Yes, you read that correctly, these two silly kids have been hitched twenty-nine years!  I am certain there were bets placed on our wedding day, and for those who bet “for us”….consider this your “you are welcome” for those winnings!  (Now, send us a present with those winnings!)  No..really….I like Tiffany’s.  Lee likes golf stores.

We have never been that couple that did fancy gifts….we are honestly that couple that if you did buy a gift, you might be met with, “what did you do?”  Our special day fell on a Sunday this year, so we decided that we would begin celebrating our very wise decision to marry one another on Friday, and Saturday..and well..Sunday…and maybe even a tad on the following weekend!

Since moving to Chicagoland, we have been searching for a “chicken tender” place. One of our favorite spots in Northwest Arkansas was “Slim’s Chicken” and we miss that treat so much!  So, Friday night of our celebration weekend, we tackled “Kicks” in Naperville.  I wish I could say it was amazing.  I wish I could say we have a new chicken spot.  Sadly, I cannot say either of those things.  To ease the pain of our chicken defeat, we treated ourselves to a delicious trip to Culver’s for frozen custard.  All was not lost.  We toured some areas of Naperville that we have liked and used a little Zillow action to determine if we were in “buying” territory.  We have noticed we spend most of our time in Naperville and seem to gravitate that way on just about all activities….and we can get more house for our money.  Win, win.  That was Friday night…pretty boring by some folks standard…but for us…it was a fun night!

Saturday brought us back into Naperville.  Poor Lee…he has just always gone to one of those haircut places that you walk in, write you name down…and get a cut.  Nothing special.  Just a man’s cut.  I had suggested he just give my salon a try.  He did and he liked it!  While out, I may have made a little stop into Anthropolgie.  I may have left with a bag.  Soon, we were hungry and I had decided that we were finally going to try the BBQ joint in downtown Naperville.  Q-BBQ.  It always has a great crowd and reviews were solid…but we were southern folk and we have high standards for BBQ.  It was SUPER!  Loved my pork and Lee loved his chicken.(Plus…it was with slaw..and any good BBQ person knows it ain’t BBQ without the slaw on top!)  With that said….the stars on my tray were the hushpuppies and my brussels sprouts!  If you are in Northwest Arkansas, you know for the best hush puppies in the world you venture over to Catfish Hole.  Well, these were right up there!  Man…if I had only had  some melted honey butter!  Next, those sprouts.  Deep fried then rolled in the BBQ rub.  Y’all, I can’t even tell you how awesome these were!!!  Granted, I am sure any nutritional value is somewhere in the bottom of the fryer..but who cares!  They were tasty!  A little  more time spent wandering around downtown Naperville (Y’all, this is a super downtown.) and it was time to make the trek back over to the house and rest up for the big night!

I wish you could just taste these.

One of our favorite places here to eat is Morton’s.  It’s so awesome having it so close and it really is a great place to celebrate any occasion.  They go above and beyond to make you feel special while you are there.  I especially love that you can dress up a bit and enjoy a nice dinner without paper napkins or having to clear your own mess.  We were greeted by the same staff as we had on our last visit.  (It says a lot to me when you  have low staff turnover.)  One thing I loved about our visit this night was we had our seating changed so that my voice would be easier for Lee to hear.  I cannot begin to tell you how much this meant to me.  We didn’t ask for this change…they did it on their own.  We loved that we had the same server as our last visit!  She’s awesome!  Plus….I still love that little touch on the menu printed just of you and your occasion!  We normally each order the filet, but we were encouraged to try the Porterhouse and split the strip and the filet.  Oh my…I’m SO glad we did!  Seriously, the best steak that I have ever eaten.  I don’t know if it was the bone in as it was cooked…or just being hungry…BUT…SO yummy!  They do a good job on their sides as well.  I also appreciate the bread with the room temperature butter!  What good is the butter if it’s like spreading a brick on the bread??  Soon, it was time for dessert.  As part of our anniversary celebration, we had already chosen the hot fudge cake as our complimentary dessert….but…on the way in, I noticed they had cherries jubilee.  So, we may have had TWO desserts!  You can never have too many desserts-right? During our meal, we had them take a picture of us and then they came to our table to take a picture and printed it and gave it to us in a special folder at the end of our meal.  Those special little touches…make the night just perfect!  (Plus…you will NEVER have to send your steak back to be “cooked again” at Morton’s…it’s always spot-on!)  With full bellies, our night was over and it was onward to the actual date!

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Sunday was spent pretty much in our little routine.  A stop at Peet’s on the way to church for a medium “black-tie”….ok, I am addicted.  Iced coffee, sweetened condensed milk and a splash of cream.  Can you blame me?  Church, followed by what has become almost a tradition….Chicagoland breakfast after church.  Honey Jam was our stop!  I am not sure why, but Chicagoland seriously has some of the best breakfast ever.  Sure, hot-dogs, pizza, popcorn…but the breakfast folks around here have it going on!  Serve it with Intelligentsia coffee…and well…this gal is in love.  I wish I could figure out what they use in their pancake batter here.  These are not southern pancakes…they are delicious.  I need to make it a point to ask on my next visit…aka…this Sunday.  Our cards that we exchanged sum up so  much of us as a couple.  Lee gives me this sweet card that is oozing sentimental thoughts…I give Lee a card that’s full of humor and not a whiff of romance.  It is what it is.  I’m just not that girl.  Thankful he gets that and has learned to appreciate it.

All in all, we celebrated as we do each day….thankful that for whatever the reason…us two silly kids have made it.  Someone asked me a year or so ago what/why I thought we had made it.  On paper…well…it shouldn’t have worked.  I think lots of grace…lots of empathy…lots of letting each person grow and being ok with the fact some days are not going to be great…but you keep marching onward.  It’s messy, it’s imperfect..and yet…it’s perfect.  Learning very quickly not to look over at another couple and compare….that’s their road, their journey, their life.  Not yours. Finding room for each other’s family….even when you didn’t want to.  Toss in a whole lot of prayer…and that’s it.  Not anything of our own doing, but His.

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So, twenty-nine years……and to put the cherry on the top of the pie…the following weekend we explored Geneva, ate at Buttermilk (ya gotta go) and then had our first outing at Top Golf…ya gotta go to that too.  Maybe we are still two kids….just slightly older and a tad wiser…just a tad.

Adventures in Chicagoland continue….and the countdown is on to 30!!!!  On a side-note, just had to share this picture of our Josh…Aspen seems to agree with this kid…just a few more days to the start of his SENIOR year of college in one awesome town!

So, peace out for today.  Make it count!

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