Well, here we are in our treesy little western suburb of Chicago, though our furniture won't arrive until Saturday...ish. But I'm getting ahead of myself. To say that a lot has transpired in the weeks since my glockenspiel debut would be a mild understatement.
First, karaoke with the church choir (not so sure I should publicly reveal what my standard bring-down-the-house song is, but believe me, the house was brought down):
There was a truly wonderful 100th anniversary celebration at SBCC. One of the former ministers had given us permission to use his still life of communion on the cover of the programs, and we recreated it on the table:
We said a lot of really hard goodbyes.
There was an earthquake in the middle of the night during our last night in the parsonage. I've said it before and I'll say it again... I don't like earthquakes.
The movers came on Monday. There is no way we could have survived the chaos and stress without my parents. They showed up on the 2nd and worked tirelessly until the 8th, helping with anything and everything that needed to be done. Their presence meant a lot to all of us, but especially to Juliette.
Last day of school:
I intentionally put her in the same shirt she wore on the first day of school.
On Monday and Tuesday night, we stayed at the Miyako Hybrid Hotel, a fancy "green" Japanese hotel near the Toyota headquarters. Thanks to Ben's mad Priceline skills, we paid about as much as we would have for a conventional motel. It was beautiful. If I ever win the lottery we will recreate the bathroom, tile for tile.
And the cork wall behind the bed. Juliette approved.
On our last morning in California, while Ben dragged the luggage down to the car, Juliette and I had banana conversations and then jumped on the bed. (I never let Juliette jump on the bed.) It was a memorable scene, for you Donald Miller fans out there.
After our arrival in Illinois we stayed with extremely hospitable church members for a few days; indeed, we're still borrowing their minivan until our car arrives in another week or so. It's been super convenient for all the various and sundry Ikea and Target trips we've taken. (We were in Target so long today I got hives. Who knew I had a cut-off for time spent in Target??)
But again, I get ahead of myself. It's really easy to do these days.
Our house is lovely. Seeing it for the first time was exciting, to say the least. Since it's an older house I wasn't expecting all the storage space - the master even has a walk-in closet! And even though I told Ben I really wasn't claiming it by hanging my dresses up in there, I really am. Sorry, dear husband. It's mine. As for Juliette's closet, when she saw this little cove, she immediately plopped herself down and said, "I want to sleep here!"
Hmm. We can do a little better than that, sweetheart. Juliette's room will be doubling as the guest room, and since we're hoping for lots of guests (hint, hint), we invested in a great full bed from Ikea. So, on Friday, Ben stayed home and built Juliette's new bed, while we had a girls day out with Erica and her daughter. Everyone got along swimmingly, although there was no swimming. Plans to hit the Lake Michigan beach were scrapped due to brief inclement weather, so we ended up at the Lincoln Park Zoo on a perfect beach day. It was hot but still so much fun. Our husbands met up at Union Station, even though they'd never met before, and we all converged at a great restaurant in Greek town. We took the train home, though Juliette fell asleep before it even left the station. That's what happens when you spend the day laughing hysterically at Zora antics, sweating profusely in the humidity, and walking a gazillion miles of Chicago.
Now that we have the bed and a borrowed air mattress, we've moved into our place. Juliette loves her new room.
I went to church today for the first time. I walked. It's a little less than a mile, and the whole way I was reveling in all the deciduous trees. It was a cool, humid morning, and everything just smelled so good.
Tomorrow Juliette starts attending her new school, or at least her temporary summer camp program. She may go there three days a week in the fall, if all goes well.
So there's the update, in a nutshell.