They say you can never go home again. I’m not sure it’s true. Since coming back to the Motherland with Ben, I have had a real taste of what it would be like to be a mom here in the Midwest. It’s amazing how you can just slip right back into life. Friday, Ben and I went to book club with my mom. My mom and one of her friends started this book club close to 15 years ago and it’s still going strong. Ben and I had a great time discussing literature (Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks, if you’re interested, was quite good) and dining on some delectable pancakes at Bentley’s Pancake House. If I were a stay-at-home mom, I would for sure want to have a book club so that I could stay intellectually stimulated. My mom’s friends are no slouches, so that was a great way to spend a Friday afternoon.
Another great thing about the Midwest is how flat the terrain is. I’ve been able to go running at a pretty fast clip without too much trouble because there are very few “hills”. Also, I joined my aunt’s running club for a nice run through town on Saturday morning. The running club is really so fantastic and friendly. Granted, everyone in the Midwest is pretty friendly and runners in general are friendly, but the runners in my hometown are phenomenal. They really make you feel welcome and incorporate you into the fold, few questions asked. The running club is definitely a microcosm of the Midwest with a lot of exercise involved.
After nearly six years in Maryland, I still don’t know my way around like I know how to get around the Chicago’s Northwest Suburbs. Here, I know all the little short cuts and tricks. Back in Maryland, I break out my GPS at the drop of a hat. In Illinois, even if I’m somewhere I only kind of know, I can usually find my way to where I need to go. I don’t know if it’s a function of my new GPS-dependence or just that I spent all of my life in Chicagoland, I feel so much more comfortable getting around in the Motherland.
One of the most life-changing aspects of Chicago is the food. You might think I jest, but I’m not kidding. A good slice of pizza and an Italian beef sandwich can change your life. Maryland has phenomenal seafood, but Chicago has some gloriously fatty foods. As a result, I’ve been eating at a fairly steady clip since I got here. Before I got here, I was back down to pre-baby weight. I don’t even want to know what I weigh now. Oh well. Somethings do taste as good as skinny feels.
Finally, and most importantly, I have my family. Both Husband and I grew up in the Chicagoland area so we have a lot of family here. In fact, I grew up in the same town my mother grew up in. Two out of her three siblings, as well as her parents still live here . On my dad’s side of the family, I have an uncle and aunt who live two houses away from my grandparents. My grandparents live half a mile away from the high school where ALL of my aunts and uncles and 6 of my 13 cousins graduated from. The majority of my remaining family members live within 10 miles of the house where I grew-up. It’s kind of spooky, but as a result, I am very close with my family. This trip made me really happy because I was able to see so many of my family members. I really am lucky to have so many loving people in my life.
Here is a smattering of pictures from the trip. More will be posted as they come in.