Friday, March 18, 2011

Reason #537 Why I Love Chicago

We moved to Chicago in May of 2007, and I still regularly stop and think about how glad I am that we made the decision to try life in a big city. It was a big leap of faith to come here, especially since Kansas City was so comfortable for us. But we knew that there was somewhere out there where we would fit in better, somewhere people would think like us. Kansas City was a wonderful experience, and I have many fond memories and good friends from those years, but I had a gut feeling it just wasn't where we were meant to be. A lot of people questioned our decision. "It's expensive there!"... "There's no WalMart!" (Thank GOD!)... "It's so crowded!". It got a little annoying, honestly, but I just told myself that they didn't get it, and that different people want different things. My friend Andrea was a huge supporter of our plan, and I still am grateful to her for seeing how obvious it was that we belonged somewhere other than KC.

Our first weekend here, we discovered that we had more friends in the city than we realized! We went to meet a few of my old college friends at a street festival, and automatically had about 10 friends to hang out with. These Mizzou friends have become some of our closest, and we always have a great time hanging out with them. We've all brought other friends into the group, too, so while it's no longer all MU grads, it's a cool people that I love hanging out with!

(We don't only drink when we hang out... although it is a popular activity for this group!)

 We moved about 500 miles from Kansas City, and about 1000 miles from where I grew up... and I still managed to move close to two of the only friends from high school that I still kept in regular contact with.  Jess and Cathy are the kind of friends I can hang out with wearing sweatpants, and I can tell them anything. We were there for each other during the awkward and confusing years of growing up, and now it's fun to get together and enjoy our settled, normal, mature grown up lives. (Really we're not mature at all, but it sounds good that way!) I love these girls!

Celebrating Jess's birthday a couple years ago

Jess's husband and Joe have become great friends... and are really big dorks, but the fun kind of dorks!

Cathy and I got to take a cooking class one winter after our husbands coordinated on their Christmas gift-giving efforts. So fun!

Add in recent friends from my old jobs, and an incredibly rad group of book club ladies, and I start to get overwhelmed at how many amazing people I know in this city. If I have one complaint, it's that I don't have the time to hang out with all these great people nearly as much as I would like. We're so lucky to know as many smart, thoughtful, adventurous, crazy, and fun people as we do! Every time I reflect on the wonderful friendships I've made in the last four years, it confirms what a great decision it was to move to this great city. Life may not always be this smooth (God, just 6 months ago it wasn't this smooth), and we won't necessarily live here forever, but i know for sure that I'll always look back on these years as some of the best of my life!

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