The day after Ava turned 6 months old, we left for our first weekend away in the beautiful city of Chicago! Chicago is about 7 hours from where we live and a city that Travis had never visited before.
What a handsome guy I married...so glad to call him mine!
We met up with our friends Amber and Tim, who were also in town for the wedding.
We stayed at the same hotel together and spent the weekend just hanging out and seeing what downtown Chicago had to offer.
The Hotel that we stayed in was in the perfect location. We were right on the river and within walking distance to everywhere we wanted to go.
We saw famous landmarks...
I took pictures of beautiful architecture...
We visited fun places....
And stood in front of tall buildings!
It felt a little bit like the "old" days when it was just the two of us, although with every stroller that we passed, we each felt a little ache in our hearts because Ava wasn't with us :)
Someday we'll bring her along too!
We found the big bean!
You know, this bean!
And I made everyone wave so I could take this picture!
We saw some public "art" which was in fact creepy...
And we pondered what the real definition of "art" was!
I call this one, "Ode to the Swine Flu." If you look really closely, there is a large pig dangling from that chain, with a man holding on to its leg and a woman holding on to a man. I appears as if the whole "thing" has been thrown up by a red character, resembling some kind of devil.
Seems like swine flu to me! Right??
The weather was absolutely gorgeous and the scenery picture perfect.
We found some more art...
And the guys ate some authentic Chicago hot dogs :)
And Travis bought me chocolate cake :)
And I bought Ava some more clothes.
We loved the Miracle Mile and walking hand in hand through the city.
The gorgeous view from our hotel window as night fell...
We did some more walking....
In search of Chicago Deep Dish Pizza and other forms of fun!
We scored on both levels :)
The wedding was also very fun and we loved getting dressed up for a night out.
We loved spending the weekend with Tim and Amber.
And we all loved seeing our friend Ryan get married. The three of us are only weeks apart and have been friends for 29 years, literally since birth. We grew up together and graduated high school together. Now, we're all old and married!
Congrats to the new Mr. and Mrs. Hansen. It kills me that I somehow left that wedding without a picture of Ryan's bride. I am hoping to do something about that...She was beautiful!
Moral of the story...time to start planning our next weekend away!!
We are so thankful for Trav's Mom, who stayed with Ava and for my parents who housed us and entertained us on our way to the windy city. It was a blessing to spend time with my husband, away from the normal day to day routine and outside of being a parent. I love him deeply and it was fun to remember how much I enjoy him too. We love spending time together, doing nothing particularly thrilling, just walking through a new city, sipping on some coffee and soaking up the blessings of a good marriage. Although it's easy to list all the reasons why we should stay home, it's worth the time and the expense to get away. I want Ava to always know that we LOVE our days at home as a family, but in order to keep our family together and healthy, our marriage is a priority too. I want her to see us making plans to be away, spending money to be together and coming home refreshed and thrilled to see her again too. I'm so grateful for this life God has given me and for the blessings along the way. It's not perfect, but it's ours :) And I'll take that 7 days a week and twice on Sunday!