Well…this is it! We are finally here.
The last several days have been extra special. We spent the last half of the week hanging out with my parents (who just returned from one of their many vacations) all to help us get ready for a very amazing “Bon Voyage” party for our friends and family in Chicago.
Then we went out to visit with my 92-year-old grandmother for the better part of an afternoon. We had such an amazing time, reminiscing about the past, looking through old photographs of my family (over 5 generations), and realizing how lucky to have such a strong bond with EVERYONE. I recognize in my old age how special this is, and how rare it is in families today. For them I am utterly grateful!
Afterwards, we met up with my Uncle Tom and his family for a ridiculously fun-filled evening downtown Chicago. First we headed to Navy Pier. We all walked to the very end of the dock and my uncle took out stems of Cherry Blossoms for each one of us and recited some poetic words to bless us on the journey. We threw our blossoms into the water and now no matter where we are in the world, those waters will touch us, and guide us. It was so sweet and we were deeply touched by this gesture.
The entire evening was filled with laughter, amazing food, jazz music and great company! We were stuffed to the brim on homemade italian cuisine from Eataly (an Italian-style marketplace). It was so so great to hang out with everyone (and little teddy!) for some one-on-one time!
Then yesterday we had our Bon Voyage celebration with my entire family and friends which was just a blast! The party lasted for about 8 hours, even though many came early and stayed late to visit. I am so glad I was able to talk with everyone for at least a little bit (we had over 60 guests!) and even spend some one-on-one time with almost everyone! I even got to hang out with my nieces and god babies whom I don’t get to see very often – those are the memories I take with me forever!
I don’t know how to express how special we felt that so many people came out to wish us well and give us props for living this experience and sharing it with the world. No matter what happens, we will always have a place to return if things don’t go the way we plan. That piece of mind is priceless! Not to mention all the love and support makes us feel over the moon.
Today is the last day before the first day of the rest of our lives.
We spent the morning hanging out with our two favorite nieces; running around, baking cupcakes, making a huge mess! But it was a really great way to spend our last day in Illinois. The rest of the day was spent loading up the van. Now we are just trying to relax (emotionally) before we head out at 4AM tomorrow morning for Maryland. Although these last 10 days have felt like a whirlwind it has been invaluable spending this time with my family. We are so thankful and grateful to have such wonderful support!
“Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be…close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and you’ll live as you’ve never lived before.” ~ Eric Fromm