I love Spring Break. I wish we could have it more often. While the more traditional approach is to run away to somewhere hot, I'm going on a tour of the Midwest this year to see lots of the people and places that I love. Friday morning I started with breakfast with the one and only Taylor Porter. She lives in Colorado now but I'm so thankful that she was home for Easter so we could hang out. I got to hear all about her latest adventures, meet her Sushi and drink gallons of coffee.
I drove up to Chicago for a weekend of adventures with Maggie. We decided awhile ago that we wanted to come up to the city together and see random friends. This weekend I'm on Spring Break and her brother has a show in the city so it works well for us. Unfortunately a lot of the people that we thought we'd visit are away on their Spring Break. We still had lots of fun starting in La Grange.
Megan Nocita, a CILT this past summer, came up to meet us for dinner. She's hilarious and I love getting to spend time with her.
We made weird faces and got other people to do it too.
Rain, Nina and Katlyn came to meet us for a pizza dinner too. It's fun to all be together, even when everyone doesn't know everyone else at the table.
The fiesta size pizza was delicious and we all shared a big cookie for dessert, just like at YL camp.
Hanging out with all of these camp girls was so much fun and a great start to the weekend. I'm so excited to have Rain and Katlyn in session 3 CILTs this summer.
Next Mags and I headed to the North Shore to meet up with Sarah Briggs and Ben. We got to hang out with a really fun family from their church, play with Meryl and Ally, watch a handstand competition and tell funny stories.
Saturday morning Mags and I went off to explore the Lakefill by Northwestern. First we went to the beach of Lake Michigan...
Then we walked on the giant boulders by campus that the students can paint. It's so fun to hop from rock to rock reading what they've written, escaping a shark attack and picking our favorites.
We drove into the city to meet up with Maggie's family that all gathered for her older brother's show that night. Bubba, Jane and Jim took us to lunch at Antique Taco down the street. The place was SO cool and the food was even better. I love being with "locals" when I go somewhere new so that they take us to the best spots like this.
After wandering around with Mags I headed back to meet Sar and Ben to hang out the rest of the night. Somehow I never took a picture of them... but I got a picture of our Pizzalad that we ate for dinner. It's salad on top of a pizza--terrifying to look at but really delicious. I'm pretty sure my roommates would love this.
Our evening was full of running errands, checking out the Paper Source and picking up two of their YL friends from the airport. While there I send out a "Anyone in O'Hare right now?" text to eight Chicago camp girls. The next time I looked at my phone I had a text and three missed calls from Katie Erwin who had just returned from Belize. She was walking to the baggage claim one terminal over. Ben dropped me off at the right part of the airport and I ran inside to see her for about two whole minutes. I just love this girl and hadn't seen her since December. I can't wait to be together this summer.
When I was in HS my youth group friends and I took a yearly trip to a student ministries conference at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. It was always one of the highlights of my year and the things I heard and experienced there profoundly shaped me into who I am today. When I realized that we would be in Chicago on Sunday I told Mags we just had to go there for Easter Sunday.
Willow is huge. Like bigger then a football stadium huge. Like multiple services a weekend that all pack this room. Like two jumbo screens that show you whats happening on stage because it looks so small from your seat. Some people aren't into mega churches like this that may seem impersonal and showy, but I know so many people are authentically experiencing Christ here and I love when I get to visit.
After the service Mags and I did a little tour of whole place checking out the bookstore where I first discovered Cold Tangerines and all the spots I used to hang out with my friends when we came here for those conferences years ago. Mags and I parted ways after church but as she pointed out, we'll probably see each other again sooner than we expect because we're just spontaneous like that.
The next stop on the Midwest tour brought me to Holland, MI where my parents now live. My parents, grandma, Katie, Nick and Lincoln, and Nick's parents Dean and Linda were all gathered together for the Easter afternoon. We spent the afternoon watching basketball, non-stop snacking and taking turns playing with Lincoln. This child is the greatest.
Lincoln and I love our hats... and chips... and being best friends... and going on walks.
Cutest little family ever? Baby number two will be here by the beginning of September!
The grandparents all got in on playing Spot It.
I'm so thankful for this family and that we all get to be together for a few days. It's going to be a great week.
*Honest confession: I may have lied a bit on Instagram.
When Mags and I started putting pictures on Instagram we couldn't think of a funny caption for our photo so we said "Hello Las Vegas #midwesttour" which is obviously hilarious because we were not in Las Vegas and Las Vegas is definitely not in the Midwest. Judging by the likes and comments that followed people believed our location.
Meanwhile all of the camp and YL kids I know are on Spring Break in warmer destinations so we decided to continue posting our pictures from stereotypical Spring Break locations, none of which are in the midwest. When we picked up friends from the airport it was the perfect backdrop for another picture on my whirlwind of a pretend Spring Break.
Spring Break is just a few days in and I've already had so many adventures and seen such great people. I can't wait for the days ahead.