Tag Archives: Chicago

Sometimes We Like to Play Tourists

For the first time in a while, we had a whole Saturday free of commitments and obligations! Ed and I decided to take the girls downtown to the Field Museum. There is a traveling exhibit of China’s First Emperor and His Terracotta Warriors. Lily had seen the exhibit during a school field trip, and we wanted to see it before it leaves Chicago in January. Winter showed up today with snow flurries this morning, high winds and temperatures in the 30’s, so it was a good day to explore the museum!


Terracotta Warrior
Terracotta Warrior
Terracotta warriors were lined up in the first emperor's tomb, and they all had different faces.
Terracotta warriors were lined up in the first emperor’s tomb, and they all had different faces.
Ed fits in well with the warriors, don't you think?
Ed fits in well with the warriors, don’t you think?
We saw dinosaur bones, too!
We saw dinosaur bones, too!

On the way home, we had to drive by Addison and Clark, even though not much is going on at Wrigley Field right now except for some construction.

The backside of Wrigley Field
The backside of Wrigley Field


Cubs Win!

By now, you’ve probably heard that the Cubs won the World’s Series! The seventh game last night was just good baseball. The Cubs haven’t won the World Series since 1908, 108 years ago, in the 10th inning with 8 runs.

And because the game went into 10 innings with a rain delay, it was almost midnight when the game was over. (For the Indians’ fans in the Eastern time zone, it was an hour late, and they didn’t have a win to celebrate.) It was hard for us to wind down and actually go to sleep last night. Even my little preschoolers had been up way too late and were a little cranky. One little boy kept lying his head down on the table because he was so tired. After I prepared the snack and watching my co-teacher lead an activity with the kids, I started to yawn. Tonight, it’s a relief not to have to stay up to watch the game like we have been doing for the playoffs and the World Series!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’m just ready for a good night’s sleep! So I’ll leave you with this picture from 2013, of Ed and his girls in front of Wrigley Field.

Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field







Go, Cubs, Go!

The wall above our piano is not filled with the pictures of composers like Bach and Mozart, but instead a photo of Wrigley Field, a picture of Lily at her first Cubs games, and Ed as a boy about the same age as Lily now, having his baseball signed by number 14, Ernie Banks.

Ed always remembers the anniversary of our first date, not because it was a life-changed event or because of his great love for me, but because it was on March 26. And number 26 was the number of the great Cubs player Billy Williams.

One night, before we had kids, we went out to dinner with a couple of friends in the north suburbs. While we were waiting for a table, who should walk in but number 10, Ron Santo, with his wife and another couple.

Unlike Ed, I haven’t been a Cubs fan my whole life. My dad bought my sister and me a Louisville bat and taught us how to swing and hit a baseball. We lived in Central Illinois, which is Cardinals territory. When we moved to the Chicagoland area, the first major league baseball game I went to was a White Sox game, since they gave free tickets to school kids for good grades. But then when I was in high school, the Cubs started winning and had a good season. My favorite player was Ryne Sandberg, although I may have liked him more for his looks than for his baseball playing ability, since I was a high school girl. But it wasn’t until I married a diehard Cubs fan that I really became one myself.

Lily's first Cubs game
Lily’s first Cubs game


Emmy's first Cubs game
Waiting to run the bases at Wrigley Field after Emmy’s first Cubs game


Watching the Iowa Cubs play in Des Moines
Watching the Iowa Cubs play in Des Moines

Not only have we gone to Wrigley Field to see the Cubs play, we’ve also had a lot of fun watching the Iowa Cubs play. We saw Javier Baez hit a grand slam before he moved up to the Chicago Cubs.

If you follow baseball at all, you know that the Cubs don’t have a reputation of being a winning team. This is finally the year! Tonight, we are going to be glued to the TV, watching Game 7 of the Cubs versus the Cleveland Indians in the World Series!

Go, Cubs, Go!

P.S. CUBS WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!






When Will Chicago Find Peace?

View of the skyline from the top of the ferris wheel on Navy Pier

The story of a nine year old boy being lured into an alley to be shot to death shattered my heart. The fact that it was gang related makes no difference to me; nine year old boys should not be afraid of being shot in an alley. This is a fear my children will never know. There are rarely any shootings in our Chicago suburb. My children won’t be lured into an alley; their father (or mother) are not gang bangers.  I am not afraid of stray bullets flying through my living room.

How can I help prevent these violent crimes? I could vote for stricter gun laws, which I am inclined to do, but many of the guns in these crimes are obtained illegally. I could vote for politicians who will be tough on crime, but I’m only allowed to vote for Cook County politicians, not City of Chicago politicians. What, then, can I do to help bring peace to our city?

The shootings in Chicago are out of control, but violence doesn’t require a gun. Nor does violence only happen in urban areas. When I was teaching in a small rural town, a young teacher didn’t show up for work one day. She hadn’t called for a substitute and didn’t answer the phone. The principal drove out to her farmhouse and discovered something simply horrifyingly. My colleague had been strangled with a telephone cord, presumably by someone she knew.

I just don’t know the answers. I wish I did. What can I do?

Well, I can continue to do what I’m doing. I can give my students a hug or high-5 when they walk into the classroom. I can help them feel safe when they are at school. I can teach my preschoolers to be kind to each other; to share; to not hit; and when something happens, to say, “I’m sorry.” I can help start them on the right path.

Even the mayor of Chicago must have (belatedly) remembered what he learned as a child. When you do something wrong, you need to apologize.

Rahm Emanuel

Will peace ever come to Chicago? I’m not sure it can. But here’s something else I can do; I can hope.

Join us for the month of December with these #SpinCycle writing prompts. Be sure to add the Spin Cycle button to your blog post to tell others about the Spin Cycle!

Week of Dec. 7-11 : Peace
Week of Dec 14-18 : Joy
Week of Dec. 21-25 : Love
Week of Dec. 28-Jan. 1: New

Spin Cycle at Second Blooming
Visit my blog to get the code in my sidebar. Add it to your blog post!





Staycation! {Spin Cycle}

Our family is lucky that we live close to a big city with a lot to offer. However, we rarely go into Chicago. During our Spring Break, I wanted to take my daughters downtown on the train, but I didn’t feel like braving the Spring Break crowds at the various museums. So instead, we did something I haven’t done since I was a child. When you live by the city that has the world’s tallest skyscraper, you go to the top. Of course, the Sears Tower has been surpassed since I was little, but it’s still pretty darn tall. And it’s not called the Sears Tower any more; it is now Willis Tower, which is a shame. I used to love it when my second grade students called it the “Serious Tower.”

Sears Tower

So on a Wednesday morning at 9:51, my sister, the girls and me boarded the Metra heading to Union Station. The train station is only a block away from Willis Tower, which was fortunate for us because the wind was whipping off the Chicago River and it was COLD!

We had to wait in line to go through security first, just like at the airport. I wasn’t expecting that, but it makes sense. After we bought our tickets, we took the minute ride elevator to the 103rd floor. It may have been cold outside, but the sun was shining and we had a beautiful view! A new feature of the 103rd floor are the ledges; four glass platforms that extend out of the west side of the building.




Lily was enthralled with looking by looking out at the Chicago skyline, and she didn’t want to take the elevator ride down to ground level. But eventually, we had to leave. By that time, we were all starving. Just down the street from Willis Tower is Giordano’s. When you are in Chicago, you have to have a Chicago stuffed pizza! My sister lives in California, so we made sure to feed her a lot of Chicago-style food during her visit.

deep dish pizza

Where would you go or what would you do if you had a “stay-cation?” Link up your blog post below or tell us in the comments! Please visit my co-host, Gretchen, and see where she would go on a stay-cation. She live in a much warmer place, so I’m sure it’s going to be good!

Second Blooming

Don’t forget to stop by Second Blooming or here on Monday for next week’s prompt!


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