Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Happy Birthday to YOU!

Happy 27th Birthday to Alli!!!
Craziest and best sister, friend, and aunt in the world!!!
Wishing you much love and happiness and joy today and in this next year as you continue to seek the Lord in everything you do.

Snippets of a New Life

After a long hiatus, I am once again online! Unfortunately for all of you, I have no time sit and do nothing (aka write on this blog or post pictures). But since Lexi is napping at the moment, and I am feeling in a sit-in-the-rocker-in-the-sunroom-mood, I might as well write some snippets of what life is like here in the heart of Albany Park.

One week ago today, Eric and Lexi and I moved out of our much loved apartment on North Christiana Ave and moved into a spacious three bedroom apartment on West Leland Ave, just a bit south west of where we lived previously. In the spirit and intention of living in intentional community, we moved in with our friends Nick and Abby and their 10 month old baby girl, Brielle.

The last week has been crazy.

Two families moving into the same place makes for a whole lot of boxes sitting around waiting to be unpacked. Add two extremely scared cats into the mix (one of whom was so scared that he peed in my laundry basket so he didn't have to leave the bedroom....which resulted in him being banned from the bedroom until he grew a pair and learned to use his litter box again) and you have chaos. Then throw in the little invite to host our gospel community (church small group) here last night and you have insanity. On the upside, apart from being completely exhausted, we are all in good spirits and are having a good time for the most part!

While realizing that we are only in the first week, living here in community has come together more naturally than any of us had anticipated. The apartment is spacious enough that you can find several places to be alone or private if you so choose, and open enough that being together is welcoming and fun. And then there is this lovely sunroom...

Since I know there are lots of people interested in what a typical day would look like for people living in intentional community, I will wait to write about that until we have had a couple more weeks under our belts that don't involve unpacking or frantic cleaning. I will say that one of the wonderful things about living with other people is that you share all the responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, shopping, and even baby care! Seriously, it makes so much more sense than trying to do it all yourself.

Lexi has taken to the new place very well. She is a bit more difficult to keep an eye on here, since this apartment is so much bigger than our last one. She also started walking full time the same week we moved, which added a bit more fun into the mix! She runs everywhere she goes with her arms up in the air, falling down every ten steps or so and then getting back up and running some more! Her personality is developing more every day, which is a joy to be a part of but also a challenge. Lexi is independent and strong, yet full of laughter and fun. She LOVES Brielle and the two interact as best friends and sisters.

One of the coolest thing about where we live now is that across the street from our house there is a park with a jungle gym and a spash pad. Every evening, a large portion of the community gathers at this park with their kids to play. Albany Park is one of the most diverse zip codes in the country. There are literally people from all over the world here in this neighborhood, and that is largely reflected in the population of kids and families at the park. Lexi and I went over the other evening to play in the water and we found ourselves to be the only Caucasians present. What an amazing place to live!!! It is equally awesome that I already speak Spanish, since our neighborhood is not lacking in Latin Americans! I am really starting to learn that if God has given you a heart for the world, but you can't live outside of the United States for some reason or another, the big city is the answer. God has an amazing plan for the people of this community and I am so excited to be a part of it!

This weekend my goal is to find my camera, help Eric get the computer set up over here, and attempt to get into a normal pace of life that does not in any way involve boxes. Maybe I will even have time to write some letters and paint.....[wishful thinking, but hey, might as well add it to the list!].