Thursday, July 31, 2008

As summer flys by...

Sorry its been awhile since the last post. I have been adjusting to my new job! So far it has been great.

Here are a few of the awesome perks: I love my co-workers, the office is only 6 miles away from home, our department (which is only 4 people) has our own building, this building used to be a small school and comes complete with a giant fenced in yard, there is no dress code, I can work from home, I can expense items such as paper, ink, etc. when working from home, I set my own hours, and of course- the biggie- it allows me to continue doing what I love -providing social work services to adoptive families. Oh yeah, and I get paid to do this!

The negative: It is going to quickly turn into a 40 hour + work week as I get further into my rather large caseload. Of course, no organization is perfect and it takes some getting used to working in a new place. BUT all in all, I feel so blessed!!

On another note- these photos are from last weekend. We had a great time at Ravinia, Hootie and the Blowfish played. Hey, they aren't my favorite band or anything, but it doesn't really matter who plays at Ravinia- it is always fun! Then we headed up to Sawyer, Michigan to hang out with some of our friends who have summer cottages. It was wonderful to be with good friends and relax.
Rachel & Branden on the Ravinia Bus
Self portrait of Stacy & Jonny
Gearing up to Kayak on the rough waves of Lake Michigan

Friday, July 18, 2008

We enjoyed spending a week house sitting/dog sitting for my parents out in Naperville. It was weird for me to feel like I was in vacation in my own home town... but it has grown so much! We enjoyed several of the hot spots such as Jilly's Piano Bar, La Sorella, The River Walk.. I also enjoyed a few precious hours with an old bestest bud, Abbi and her CUTIE son, Griffin. Anyway we are happy to be back in our home in our own space- even though we appreciated the large yard, central air conditioning, open spaces, quietness, absence of traffic, etc.... It is nice to be home. There is no place like Chicago! Plus, things have felt so hectic lately and it is comforting just to be settled for a few weeks.

ALSO- exciting news- I (Stacy) now have a full time job!! I accepted a position with a local adoption agency and will start on Tuesday. I will also still continue to work as much as possible for CHI- an agency I fully support and respect!

Speaking of CHI... we are working hard to really try and keep up with Marathon training... man, it takes a lot of time to train for 26.2 miles! I can handle the hour runs, but when having to figure out how to schedule runs over an hour- when we are both available- that is a bit of a challenge! Reality check that we will need to be INCREASING this and start scheduling up to 4 hours- yeah, that is a pretty big deal I guess! Jon's knee has started to flare up- hopefully this is just a fluke. I have been doing OK, but this humidity can be rough- again, scheduling runs has begun to matter. I tried to run at 2:00 p.m. the other day and really thought I might pass out- I was tingling and spacey after 20 minutes. That never happens to me, but I also never usually run during the middle of a 90* humid day! From now on I will stick to my safe running hours- before 11 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m....

Friday, July 4, 2008

"It is the willing acceptance of Americans, both those whose roots here extend back over generations and those who arrived only yesterday, to try to make a nation in which all people share in the promise and responsibilities of freedom." - Obama

This year's photos are quite similar from last year! However- we have now officially become locals to our neighborhood . We BBQ'd at home- but as 9:00 p.m. approached (we ate late, as usual!) we quickly packed up our turkey burgers and headed over to Olympia Park. We didn't want to miss the fantastics fireworks show we learned about last year! We love it- it is totally underground- still not sure how they get away with it ( but I am sure it is due to the unique population of our neighborhood, which I will not say anymore about on this blog-ask if you want to know more). Anyway..... it is actually quite a show and we enjoyed it again this year!

This year, I had many thoughts running through my mind on Independence Day. Mostly, I am so grateful for the liberty and opportunity my country provides. However, I still struggle with many things about the U.S. For example, one thing that struck me today, Isn't it funny that for our official U.S. Celebration/Holiday we spend an INSANE amount of money on fireworks? How does this really contribute to welfare of our citizens? Is this really the best way to celebrate and bring people together to recognize how great our country is? What would other coutries think knowing we spend millions- billions + in each state to put on this show- yet people across the world don't have access to food and water? I know, I know- I have a sensitive and tainted view right now- Ethiopia is quite eye opening, I have no hesitation in saying that! However, I also will admit- I have always had a fairly global perspective and try to see most things from a larger perspective. People who know me well can testify that I am usually on this "soap box". Really though- that is OK, I am more than happy to be a voice for others and recent experiences have just confirmed that is a part of my calling.

Anyway- I am truly happy to be a U.S. citizen- don't get me wrong. I appreciate the right to education, services, food, medicine that are provided here. Even if there are flaws in the system- we have it so good here compared to MANY MANY other places! So for so many reasons....I say- Happy 4th of July! I also say- it is important for us all to be conscious of our responsibilities that come along with being so blessed to live in a country that provides so much- as I was told during my youth- "You are Blessed, but only in order to be a Blessing to Others."