A little Chi-Sick

In the past month we’ve met three new families that have moved to Birmingham from the U.S. and it has caused me to reflect on our first few months of living here. I was fairly homesick for the first two or three months for city and friends we had just left. Now, even though there’s lots of time before we do move back, I sometimes like to enjoy the nostalgia I have for the time we spent in Chicago.

Check out this awesome time-lapse video of Chi-town.

Or this post from a friend about Chicago neighbors.

And any of these (1, 2, 3, +) instagrams from this fabulous photographer.

It’s not easy to admit to myself that it will be equally difficult and painful to leave Birmingham next year. I just won’t think about it until the time comes…

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1 Year in Lists

We made it to and just past our one year mark of living here. Wow. I took some time to go back and read what I wrote on the blog when we were first here, and I’m happy to report that life is much smoother now and we’ve learned so very much in the past year. I sort of feel badly for my past self and how overwhelmed I was! However, going through some of that was a necessary evil in order to get us to where we are now. Anyway, we took some time to sit down and list a few things we’ve learned over the past year.
IMG_8109Get ready for a monster post. I see this as a good thing though – it means we’ve learned and grown and that living here has been worth all the initial stress.

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Happy Birthday Little L!

My baby turned one on Sunday.
Is this a monumental thing for all parents? It makes sense to me that the first few birthdays for each child are more important to the parents than to the child. Especially the first child’s first birthday. I can’t help but sit here and shake my head and marvel at how much she’s grown, learned, and seen in the past year. I think she’s positively amazing, but then, I am admittedly biased.

So, in an effort to not get too sappy here are a bunch of pictures of her instead.
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Realistic Shantal

Sometimes when I go on a walk and leave behind mittens or something that should have been so obviously necessary Derek will get a text from “Realistic Shantal.” These texts typically look something like this:

Dear Shantal,
I know you think March means Spring and therefore warmer temperatures, but you live in Chicago. It’s still below freezing. Wear socks and gloves.
Sincerely,
Realistic Shantal20130228_133751

[Photo taken from the top of the Aon Center]

Realistic Shantal doesn’t often help me out when I’m still in the apartment when it comes to things like wearing my heavy coat. However, I’m hoping she’ll rear her know-it-all-ish head when it comes to this move. I need her whispering in my ear things like, you never wear that shirt, get rid of it, or that apartment will be in a questionable neighborhood, don’t rent it. For once, I think she’s already appeared when it comes to me considering keeping a journal of this big ol’ adventure. I won’t. [Unrealistic] Shantal may buy a new journal with the intention of writing in it every day, or at least every week, and have a separate one for L that she plans on writing in every time L does something new. But I know that won’t happen. I’ll get behind and overwhelmed with how much I’d like to write about the previous month(s), but it will seem like too much and I won’t write anything.  So that’s why I decided to keep a blog. Maybe it’ll help me become a better writer. Ha. Or maybe the fact that other people can see how often I post will help me post more often. Enh, possible.  Or maybe this will be just as much as a failure as a traditional journal, but with a cooler, less personal, more tech-savvy format.

Recently after a discussion about our future and how to make our lives a little happier and brighter I realized we needed to summarize and wrap-up the conversation with a take-away list of goals. My way of segue-ing into the wrap-up was, “Okay, time for some Realistic Shantal.” To which Derek responded, “Awesome, I love Realistic Shantal.” I love Realistic Shantal too. Sometimes.

Dear Realistic Shantal
I need you around the next few months, okay? Like in-my-head and around-the-corner around, not I-already-made-a-poor-choice-and-now-have-to-live-with-the-concequences around.
Thanks for your help,
Shantal

With that, Realistic Shantal just pointed out it is time to move on to accomplishing real things on my ever-growing, pre-moving to-do list…