A weekend retreat.

A weekend retreat.

In celebration of Jaeda’s first birthday,
James and I got away this weekend.
Ha. The poor second child.

The first night alone at home proved that life with kids truly is different.
As much as I try and try and try to do all the things we did before kids,
we just can’t or at least can’t do them in the same ways with the same intensity.

James got home from work.
We took a leisurely bike ride to the Boathouse for dinner.
Made a few spontaneous stops on the way home.
Mowed/weed-whacked the lawn.
Chose the restaurants for our time in Chicago (via a gift card that needed printing).
Folded laundry.
Organized tools.
Watched TV.
Went to bed early.

Yeah. Life’s different, all right.
We’d do one of those things on a kid-filled night.

And that’s okay. It’s not a complaint.
It was just very, very, very good for me to see the proof that
life is different.
We still do a lot of things,
but they’re different things.

And so this post is to celebrate a few of the things we don’t normally get to do.

Like explore to the top floor of a building that looked pretty
only to find a multi-room art exhibit by a graphic designer
that James admires, reads about, and watches.

It was so unique (no picture of the bubble gum machine wall
where you take a piece of bubble gum from the machine whose
number matches your level of happiness).

The handwriting on all the walls, the “Uselessness is gorgeous” written in
32,000 cigarette papers, the bubble gum machine wall, the stacked letters
constructed of sugar cubes, the different neon words that would light up the
longer you pedaled the stationary bike. It was a real treat.


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Intelligencia Coffee was a must-stop this trip.
The coffee was superb, but the cocoa was found lacking.
Regardless, we sat outside as the rain drip-dropped every few
minutes and did some pleasure reading in books
who never thought they’d see us again.

The hotel we stayed at was one month old, which made it modern,
fun, hip, and well, new! In lieu of an actual pool, they had a pool table.


The real purpose of our retreat was to think and read and pray hard,
searching God’s Word and His heart for a mission statement for our family.
It’s been a long time coming for us, as we are feeling pulled in many, many
good directions but can really only follow a few. We came away from the
weekend with a passage of Scripture burning in our hearts and a million
scribbles on some paper trying to put words to the Spirit’s leading within us.
Our goal is to have it in its final(ish) form within a few weeks (like above,
what you can do in a weekend alone, you can’t do in two weeks with kids, ha!).

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The Trump Tower was our landmark for this stay, as our parking garage
(with free, loaned parking pass, another blessing!) was across the street, as well
as many of the other things we did, such as walking, eating, and well, I guess that’s
most of what we did aside from talking and laughing, which can happen just about anywhere.


This has nothing to do with a mission statement and everything to do with life on vacation.
A walk-through donut window. ‘Nuf said.

We want to publicly thank the Lord for giving us a spirit of unity as
we sought His will for our family. And many thanks to Grammie
& Papa (and Aunt Hoopie & Aunt Abby!) for caring for our kiddos
so we could do so!

Just as a question: do any of you have an “official” family mission statement?
Or family verse? Anything of the like? Maybe more of an underlying direction?
We’d love to read some ways that God is leading other families we know
so we can celebrate God’s guiding hand and take notes to learn!


  • Family Mission Statement
    Posted at 09:11h, 27 September Reply

    […] couple months ago now, James and I took a retreat to reprioritize our family. “Good things become bad things when they crowd out the best […]

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