we snuck away, you know.  the girls and i headed north back home where i consider home - to where my mother considered home since she was two.  my grandmother’s house hasn’t changed much since i was small and the mirrors i see myself reflected in were the same ones i danced in front of when i was small.  the pictures haven’t changed, just multiplied.  the decor hasn’t changed, just gathered some dust.  it’s a time capsule.  the universe sort of folds in on itself when i’m watching my children play with the same toys i played with in the same room, at the same table, in the same chairs.

i took my first steps right there.  same tile.  same floor.  same hall.  i’ve always loved this photo.  time bender.

we escaped highland park and headed toward the city to have dinner with friends we miss.  mae and miles even convinced us it would be a good idea for them to have a slumber party.  it was a good idea.  bittersweet though in that our time together is always too short and the few moments we talk or laugh are gobbled up and the kids need to be tended to and moments of silence being side by side need to be reveled in.

as a kid i always wanted to go to the theater on central.  it’s right across the street from our usual breakfast joint and it would call to me on the breeze.  we were always rushing though.  always.  i remember there never being time to walk or shop or do much of anything really outside our path of habit.  SO, to the theater we went.  the girls and i saw mirror, mirror for a whopping $15.  the seats were wooden and creaky and the bare floors bounced every word into earshot.  we had to be very, very quiet.  alizah was freaked out so mae let her sit in the middle.  such funny girls.

so, back.  it’s so very good.  hubs missed us so badly he called on tuesday morning wanting to know when we’d be home.  he said the dog sat at the window every day looking for us.  those boys.

i was right where i was supposed to be. xo

hello chicago, goodbye.

first stop, colton’s 4th birthday!  WHOOOOO!  he loved his “bug” mae picked for him.  how cute is his little sister??? she had the best time with the balloons <3

next, goodbye indiana!  this was nate’s first time up since the windmills.  he was in complete awe of their creepy numbers.  alizah just made us stop a couple times so she could tinkle on the side of the road.  LORD!  we eventually banned all food and drink for the final leg of the trip

it was getting late by the time we got to grandma’s.  the girls colored (mae in my old high chair) and i wondered around her house taking pics of things brimming with memories.  my mother, aunt, uncle, cousins, and i all spent our childhoods running through those rooms.  so much of it remains as it has been since i was tiny.  her home is a time capsule.

waking up at gram’s means getting ready as fast as possible and heading to the country kitchen in highland park.  i’ve been ordering the exact same thing there since i was…. ?  strawberry crepes and hash browns with cheese!  mmmm  AND, as usual, one of the waitresses made her way over to say hello to gram and tell me she remembers when my mother was pregnant with me.  after breakfast, gram headed home and we went for a little walk.  we would have done some shopping if mae hadn’t had a grand temper tantrum.  hey, she’s four… it happens.

of course, when we got back to grams, she already had soup on the table!  nate couldn’t eat another bite after our huge breakfast, but the girls and i just can’t refuse.  i did some knitting and the girls watched a movie.  gram told us a story about her girlfriend thinking she was dead on the floor and calling the police at a quarter til midnight.  of course, being an old italian no-nonsense granny she gave those cops the business, then wondered if she’d be lucky enough for her friend to send two more studs over next week.  HA!!!  and then, on the road again back to indiana……

other highlights of our trip? portillos, knitting, and beautiful alizah!