Saturday, February 26, 2011

In an attempt to make my (come on, let's just call a spade a spade) blog about more of my interests I think I will try to post more than just the occasional picture post. There are lots of things that I do/ think about/talk to people about that I should incorporate into my blog simply because they are a part of my life. I would love to post more of my design ideas/projects, the recipes that I love and have adapted to make my own and the ways I am visually and spiritually inspired.

I guess doing a post about posting will make me more accountable to actually do it!

We will see.

Babysitting the twins

I watched my twin nieces for a day last week while my sister and her husband were out of town. It was lots of fun to spend the day with them...especially since they stayed happy and were so well behaved all day! (Not that I would've loved them any less if they weren't :) Honestly, the hardest part of the day was figuring out how to expand the stroller. You've got some good little girls, Scott and Greta.

I also just love the chance to have a whole day to take some good close-up pictures of them cause they are so adorable.

Babies are just so cute first thing in the morning. I think they were a little confused why I was there in the morning when Scott put them to bed.

Addison Caroline


Caroline again


Caroline has got some good goofy faces


All bundled up for a walk

Friday, February 25, 2011

I was driving home from work the other day and when I went to wipe the dirt off the windshield there was no fluid so it just smeared the dirt into streaks. It made all the lights look so cool kind of like when you put on those special 3-D glasses that change all the lights into snowflakes. So what did I do? Took out my camera and got some pics of course!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

There are two things I wanted to add to the previous post...

First of all, the Spies gave us this box from Bolivia as a thank you and it is just beautiful.

Not only is it special to us because it is a gift from the Spies but it is also special to us because it was made by an artist that lived on the same street as us in Bolivia. I knew that she made things that she sold out of her house and I had always intended to go look but I never did and always regretted it. Kate ended up there at some point and I'm so grateful to now have one of her pieces myself! Thanks for picking it out, Kate, and thanks for carrying it all the way here, Nate!

Secondly, I wanted to mention that the reason the Spies were on their way home is because they will be there to fund raise for the association that they founded with Bolivians in 2009. The name of it is Roots Association and its mission is to help support national Bolivian missionaries, pastors and seminary students. Something that we learned and that the Spies were inspired by is that there are a lot of amazing Bolivian pastors and missionaries that are doing a great job in their ministries and making a small amount of resources go a long way. Roots comes along side these individuals and ministries.

Here is the vision and mission of Roots from their website...

Vision: We dream to see strong Bolivian Christian ministries forming authentic disciples who reflect the character and priorities of Christ.

Mission: To facilitate training, provide resources and mobilize funding so that Bolivian Christian ministries are empowered to fulfill their own God given visions.

This is an amazing ministry so check out their website!

(It is also one of the links on the right hand side of our blog)
Our good friends from Bolivia, the Spies, visited us last week on their way home to Australia. When we were getting ready to leave Bolivia they said they would come to visit us but I didn't quite believe it until it really happened! They are great friends to come all that way to see us! They did get to experience Chicago too and it was a great week to do so. They got in two days after the "Blizzard of 2011" and having never really experienced snow before, two feet was quite the experience for the Spies! It also snowed a bunch of times while they were here which made for a picture perfect wintry Chicago like out of a movie (you know, before the snow starts getting sludgy and brown). And on top of it all, it ended up dipping to below zero temps. which was a new one for them too.

It was so much fun to show them around our favorite places and introduce them to family and friends that we had told them so much about. But the best part of having them here was just to have time together to talk, hang out, see their girls and discuss anything and everything like we used to in Bolivia. And that funny thing happened like it always does with good friends when it doesn't matter how much time has passed because you always pick up like no time has passed at all. We all stayed at Linnea and Cam's (thanks guys!) which worked out great and all the Spies and Johnson girls loved it!

Here are some pics from the week...

On one of the first mornings it was snowing which made Nate really excited. He went outside and came back in saying, "Do you think I could be the one to shovel the snow?" Well, Cam's ears perked right up and he was put to work. You may or may be able to see in the picture but Nate was smiling from ear to ear the whole time.

Here are Daisy and Sonja all bundled up. Sonja and I showed them how to play in the snow...making snow angels and snow men. And later on in the week they were able to go sledding too.

Nate took a lot of pride and care for the two snowmen he built.

And he loved the finished product...and even maintained them throughout the week.

Of course there was lots of tea throughout the week (we'll try to keep it up, Spies)

Poppy and my grandma.

Gwen and Lily were so excited to meet each other and we were hoping that they wouldn't be disappointed by all the build up they had created (Lily had been telling people in Bolivia "I'm going to America to see my friend Gwen!" and Gwen had been telling people "My friend Lily from Bolivia is coming!"). But all the girls got along very well all week and had lots of fun playing together.

Jen, Katie and Kristen, some of our other friends from Bolivia, were able to come hang out too! It was like old times all having dinner together. Thnks for coming guys and we missed all of you that weren't there!

Of course we had to go to Tre Kronor. Looking back on the week, a lot of our activities revolved around food.

Good times at Walker Bros.

Me and Poppy. I love how she snuggles sweet.

Matt getting some pigtail practice on Daisy. And he did pretty good!

Daisy and Lily...looking beautiful as always.

We spent their last day downtown and we were able to hang out most of the day with the Moseys who also came around to see the Spies (you guys are popular).

We went to Gino's East for some pizza where one of their things is having graffiti all over every surface in the restaurant. Look above our heads here...Seattle - Chicago!

Then we went up to the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the Hancock for some coffee and hot chocolate.

You can really go right up to the window as Lily is showing here.

And Daisy too.

Contemplating life

Apparently the Spies girls have no fear of heights.

And then we had to send them off with bellies full of Swedish Pancakes...perfect way to end the week.

Then Nathan had to have one final moment with his snowman and Matt.

Thanks for everything, Linnea and Cam!

It was a wonderful week. And although it is always very sad to say goodbye to the Spies, we know it's a "see you later" not really a goodbye. I guess it's our turn now so the next Spies/Johnson extravaganza will either be in Bolivia or Australia. Looking forward to it already!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Well, Chicago officially went crazy over "Blizzard 2011" / "Thundersnow" / "Snowpocalypse". The news anchors seemed to be loving it and today they were all slap happy after talking about it for over 24 hours straight. We have actually been hearing about this storm for days and nobody really believed it would quite live up to the expectations but in the end I have to say it did. The massive amount of snow was one thing but the wind, thunder and lightning just brought it to a whole new level.

It was snowing inside our apartment (due to crazy wind and a gap in our storm window)

Because we live really close to the lake it was super windy and created weird snow distribution. Above is the door up to our apartment. Not bad...

And this is another door in our building just across the courtyard.

Once the blizzard stopped we took a walk around our neighborhood. Here we are walking across Lake Shore Drive (never thought I would do that) with one of the 700 cars that had to be towed off LSD in the background.

Looking out at the lake.

A buried fire hydrant.

Luckily our car isn't as buried this one.
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