Monday, December 22, 2008

-20 degrees

the wind chill here today was around -20 degrees. i have never felt this kind of cold before!! it is going to be a long winter!!
also, last Tuesday when I was driving home from work in the blizzard (6-8inches of snow) going about 10 mph I hit a small bump in the road and my driver's side window just fell out of my car. yes, thats right...the whole window fell out of my car. I was a little frazzled and wet and freezing! I picked Jonathan up at school and we drove (in the 18 degree weather during the snow storm) to the grocery store to buy saran wrap. Jonathan bought red saran wrap by mistake and we wrapped it around the window using mailing tape. I had to drive the windowless car to work the next morning and although the saran wrap was really loud, cold and red, it kept all the snow out and stayed on the entire day! Thankfully there is a glass and auto place right down the street from us. We were able to get the window fixed on Thursday. Needless to say it has been an interesting transition into the Chicago winter!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I had to work Thanksgiving day and the Friday after, so we weren't able to go home this year. Jonathan and I were both sad not to be with family during the holiday, but we had a great first Thanksgiving together. We celebrated on Wednesday and cooked a huge feast!! Jonathan made his mom's dressing and Mimi's spinach and rice. We bought turkey and gravy, and I made sweet potato casserole (aunt Mary's recipe), creamed corn, green beans, and a chocolate chess pie. We cooked all day and everything was delicious! It was so nice to be able to spend that time together and reflect on our blessed life.
Oh and we had one minor disaster during the cooking marathon...I made the sweet potato casserole first and I peeled about 8 sweet potatoes into the sink or garbage disposal!! Needless to say the sink was completely clogged with sweet potato peels, and we had to cook everything else using only one side of the kitchen sink. We couldn't fix the clog on Wednesday, but Jonathan somehow managed to fix it while I was at work on Thanksgiving (not exactly sure what he did, I think it involved taking the disposal apart??) Jonathan also went to Hunter and Shannon's on thanksgiving day to eat another feast! We are very thankful for our friends up here!
Then, Friday my brother came in town for the weekend. We had a great time. I ended up getting to leave work early on Friday and I met up with Reed and Meredith downtown on Michigan Avenue. It was many people!! We shopped for a little while and then met Jonathan at Giordanos, Jonathan's favorite deep dish pizza place, for dinner. Saturday we ate breakfast at Ann Sather, shopped at urban outfitters and anthropologie, and went to Mickey's in Lincoln Park to watch the Alabama vs. Auburn game. That night Reed treated us to an amazing meal at the Chicago Chop House. The food was so so good! After dinner we walked to the John Hancock building and went up to the observatory to see the views of the city.
We all had a great time that weekend!! So glad you could come up Reed!
Here are a few pictures of our Thanksgiving feast...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Birthday Celebration

Sorry that i haven't written in quite a while, alot has happened since August! Kristen and Chris Parker were in Chicago at the end of September for his job and we met them for dinner at Mia Francesca, a great Italian restaurant in our neighborhood. It is always so nice to spend time with our Nashville friends! After dinner they came back to our condo and we all watched the Presidential debate. It was such a fun night. We are excited for baby Mason to get here!!
The weekend of October 3 I flew home to Nashville for my grandmother's 80th birthday party, and Jonathan flew to Pensacola for Ed and Forrest's wedding. I was sad to miss the wedding but the pictures looked beautiful and jonathan had a great time. Grandma Jean's Birthday party was very nice, so many people came by to see her. All of her grandchildren were able to be there, and it was great to see my cousins from California and Atlanta. After her party, i went to the Vandy vs. Auburn game with Reed. It was awesome!!! All of his friends had a big tailgate, and I had fun meeting his friends. Reed was a nervous wreck during the game. It was hilarious. He kept saying," I'm not getting my hopes up," but when the game was over he went crazy. I had so much fun getting to hang out him.
Then the next weekend Jonathan's sister Nicole came up to visit us for her birthday. She was here a whole week and even though i had to work pretty much every day she was here, we all had a fun week! We got to spend the day of her birthday, October 14, together. I met Jonathan and Nicole at the Giordano's downtown for a birthday pizza. Then Nicole and I shopped on Michigan Ave. while Jonathan went to class. Before going back to our condo, we stopped by the Ghirardelli store for a birthday sundae...and it was the best sundae i have ever tasted!! That night we met a bunch of Nicole and Jonathan's friends from college for dinner at Cafe Mundial, a delicious restaurant in Pilsen. It was a great day!
Here are some pictures from the dayJonathan and I left that Friday to fly to Nashville for Lindsey Howard's and Kyle Felts' wedding. We had a great time! It was wonderful being home and getting to hang out with our friends.
This weekend Megan, Jonathan's younger sister, came to visit us and sadly, I had to work Friday, Saturday and Sunday. However today I got a call at 5am this morning, and it was the hospital calling to see if I wanted to be "on call!!" so I got to spend all day with Jonathan and megan, and last night we went to eat at the Chicago Diner, a vegetarian diner. The food was very interesting but delicious! We were sad she had to leave today.
Sorry this post is so long. We have been pretty busy over the last two months! I can't believe that it is almost November. I also wanted to let everyone know that the high here tomorrow is 41 degrees with a chance of snow!!! I am never going to make it through the winter!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


This past weekend was great, even though I had to work Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday :(  Saturday night we had our first overnight guests...Missy and Andrew. Missy was in town for her sister's birthday weekend and Andrew flew in to explore Chicago with Missy and propose!! I'm sure Missy will fill everyone in on the details...but Sunday night he took her to a beautiful, quiet garden in the park and proposed. Then, they came over to our condo to meet us for dinner. It was so exciting! They were both really happy...Missy didn't stop smiling the entire night. Her ring is beautiful and so sparkly. We went to Think Cafe, a quaint american/italian restaurant and had a wonderful dinner with great food, and a yummy dessert! i forgot my i don't have any pictures. but the night was wonderful and jonathan and i felt honored to be able to celebrate with Missy and Andrew. Congrats!! Let the wedding frenzy begin!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I am almost finished with my first week of orientation at the University of Chicago Medical Center. I will be working at Comer Children's Hospital on the 6th floor, which is a general and hematology/oncology pediatric floor. I could not be more excited! It is a great hospital and so far it sounds like it will be a great place to work. There are some wonderful incentives for working at the University of Chicago. For example, they will pay 100% of my tuition to go back to school and get my masters degree...anywhere I want to go! So hopefully while Jonathan is busy in law school, I will get to go back to school, but for free this time! Also this week, I have learned many interesting things about the hospital...A couple years ago Jonathan and I watched a show on the discovery channel about this woman who had a 200 lb tumor growing on her body. Because of the huge risk no doctor would remove it, but she finally found a doctor who would help her. The show documented the amazing successful surgery. It was really unbelievable!! Anyway, I watched that same documentary during orientation because....the surgery was performed at the University of Chicago!!!! You can read about it here.
In addition, I went on a bus tour of the area surrounding the hospital and got to see Muhammad Ali's house and Barack Obama's neighborhood. Those are just some random tidbits from this week...
I will start on the unit next week and have an 8 week orientation (and considering I graduated from nursing school 8 months ago...I will need every minute of it!). This week has been really busy and I am pretty exhausted. I have been at the hospital everyday from 8-5 (which means I leave our condo at 7 and don't get home til after 5). After working that schedule this week, I am really looking forward to working 12 hour shifts 3 days a week.
Jonathan's classes don't start until August 22, so he has been busy working on his thesis this week. He is getting to be the domestic husband for the next few weeks...and it has been really nice! He actually cooked dinner for me Tuesday night, and it was delicious. He cooked fresh corn on the cob, salmon with a garlic, lemon, butter sauce, and sweet potatoes. I could get use to this!
We are finally settled here and our condo is starting to feel like our home. We are so blessed!

Monday, July 28, 2008


Jonathan and I moved to Chicago on June 13!! After we got back from our honeymoon in late May, we started working on our stuff. We gathered up the wedding presents, went to a few garage sales, and even had a garage sale of our own. Jonathan ended up having to have outpatient surgery to remove the screws in his pelvis, so we also took care of that before we left town so that he could go to his surgeon at Vanderbilt.
So, on June 12th, we loaded a U-Haul with our stuff, which my parents graciously offered to drive up here, and made to 7 hour drive in my car. We hired movers in Nashville and in Chicago because I can't really carry all that much and Jonathan can't carry stuff and navigate stairs very well at the same time. It was definitely a better way to move! We closed on our condo Friday morning and then waited to get the key so that we could begin moving in. Even though it looked like it was going to rain the entire day, it didn't and with the help of movers (who broke Jonathan's beloved desk), we were able to move everything in that night. Both of our parents came up to help with the move. It was nice to have them here for the weekend.
We spent the next week unpacking and getting settled and then we left on Tuesday June 24 for Hunter and Shannon's wedding on Bald Head Island in North Carolina. The whole week was wonderful and it was really nice to make a vacation out of it! We came back to Chicago for a few days and then left again for Nashville for 2 weeks. During this time we went to Mississippi for Jonathan's cousin's wedding, Springfield, TN for Laura's wedding (one of my good friends), and then to Barren River, KY for Jonathan's big family reunion. Our summer has been pretty busy so far!
After returning to Chicago last weekend, we have been exploring our neighborhood and trying to finish decorating our condo. Since Jonathan and I are attempting to merge our 2 different styles, it has taken us a little while to furnish and decorate our 800 sq. ft. condo!! Jonathan is very particular about his organized kitchen cabinets and wants to hang artwork and photographs everywhere. I don't want to overload the walls, but I have a tendency to leave little piles of clutter and clothes around the condo. We are having so much fun and really enjoying being in Chicago! We hope to have visitors soon!

To see all the pictures of our condo and the moving weekend click here

Friday, July 11, 2008

Honeymoon in the Greek Islands

As Rachel said, we were so blessed to have so many people that we love dearly gather at Rosemary Beach to celebrate our wedding with us. The whole week felt like a dream, not only because it went so fast, but because everything seemed to work out just perfectly. We laughed so much, soaked up the gorgeous sun, and ate such wonderful food that I started to feel a little guilty for enjoying so many blessings so fully, all at once. Rachel and I could not have imagined a more perfect wedding for us.

After the wedding, we spent three nights in the Carillon Beach Inn (the view from our balcony on the left), near the Graffiti restaurant that hosted our Thursday night welcome party.
I think the wonderful band was as excited as we were because they didn't really play any slow songs at the wedding, and my leg cannot really take dancing for that long. We basically crashed, ate leftover wedding food and cake, etc. etc. After returning to Nashville for a couple weeks for my little sister Megan's graduation and so that I could finish my graduate English classes, we left for our honeymoon to the Greek Islands. Almost as we were flying to Athens, though, we made an offer on a condo in Chicago and got the contract worked out just in time (at least we thought); i think that story will be the subject of the next post, though.

Greece was glorious. We flew into Athens in the afternoon, after connecting in Chicago and London. Needless to say, we were quite stiff.

After a day of exploring in Athens, we tried to sleep (unsuccessfully) on the hardest beds i've ever encountered, then headed to the beautiful, rocky island of Mykonos (to the left) for three nights.

One day in Mykonos we took a short ferry ride over and visited Delos (shown on the far right), the ancient center of the Greek Islands, which is entirely uninhabited and gorgeously overgrown with wildflowers, on one of our Mykonos days, and then headed to Heraklion, Crete on another ferry - this time a high-speed catamaran. Crete was bustling, more of a city without the idyllic white houses and blue shutters, but had a ton of history. We toured the ancient Palace of Knossus, one of the most famous archealogical sites in the world, and ate some wonderful cheese and olive oil.

Our final stop in Greece was Santorini (above two pics). Flat out the most beautiful place I have ever been. On this tiny island we saw the volcanic beaches, ate unbelievable food, and stayed in the cleanest, best-run little hotel I've ever encountered - Anastasis Apartments (#1 on TripAdvisor), enjoyed the world-famous sunsets in Ia and sat at our pool overlooking the awe-inspiring caldera 1000 miles straight below (formed when the island exploded around 1600 BC in one of the largest volcanic events in the Earth's history that we "know" of). Santorini has been featured on the History Channel and in other publications as the purported site of the lost city of Atlantis that Plato mentions "disappeared into the sea."

Our honeymoon concluded with two nights in London at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, thanks to Rachel's generous uncle Terry Stinson who works for the hotel group.
He upgraded up to the "Beauchamp Suite," and I doubt I will ever experience luxury like that again. We feasted on a six-course breakfast, enjoyed the complimentary fruit and chocolate covered strawberries, and relaxed in the plush robes
slippers. In London, we did tear ourselves away from our suite and walk all over the city, ending each night at a theater. We saw "Midsummer Night's Dream" at Shakespeare's Globe theater (absolutely hilarious - the way Shakespeare should be seen) and "Les Miserables" the second night (one of my all-time favorites).
Needless to say, we were delightfully saturated with new experiences, culture and food by the time we returned to the States two weeks later. Although we were reluctant to leave the constant stream of experience and awe behind, we were excited to begin the process of moving to Chicago and also excited to rest a little. I actually had to go back to see my physical therapist, Becca, after the trip because of the toll it took on my leg and foot. It was worth a little pain, though, for the beauty of Greece.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Rosemary Beach

The past 3 months have been a whirlwind of excitement, change, and adventure!
Jonathan and I were married on April 19, 2008 at Rosemary Beach. The entire weekend was amazing, and we were overwhelmed by the love and support that surrounded us.
The festivities began Thursday night with a Welcome Party at The Funky Blues Shack in Carillon Beach. It was so much fun to see everyone! Friday morning my aunts hosted the Bridesmaids' Brunch at Criolla's while Jonathan and the guys played golf. Then that night the Shaub's hosted the rehearsal dinner at Cafe 30-A . The food was delicious. Jonathan and I were truly touched by the thoughtful and sincere toasts made by our friends and family. Saturday morning I woke up at 5:30am to a thunderstorm, but by 11:00 the weather was beautiful. The wedding ceremony began at 5:00 and was performed by Matt Hearn, Jonathan's uncle, who made everyone cry when he started crying near the end. The band, which was a big unknown before the wedding, was awesome; we couldn't have asked for a better band! They had everyone on the dance floor before the appetizers were even served, especially Jonathan's groomsmen who had a "dance-off." It was high school vs. college and it was hilarious!! We had a "air jump rope," CPR performed, the "worm," a "dancing chicken fight," and much, much more. The whole night was perfect. Thank you to everyone who was able to be there. It meant so much to us.

We hope you enjoy!