The girls and I just returned to Jacob, Sweet Pea and Lark after 3 weeks in Chicago. It was a hard decision to go so long without Jacob, I think it was the longest we have ever been apart since we met 13 years ago. In the end he decided to put fixing-up the boat over partying with us, which was a sweet sacrifice. Hopefully it will mean we can shove off the dock a little earlier then we otherwise could. 

As a kid I spent every summer in Chicago with my dad, and I have some really wonderful memories of those summers. The first thing on our list - lightening bugs! The girls had never seen them before, so I was excited to show them. My dad made them a nice jar, and we collected them a couple of times with some leaves and grass, and they got to fall asleep with their twinkling butts lighting their room. I would sneak in after they were asleep and release the little guys. 

We also made a stop at Play It Again Sports and picked up a couple of bikes. My dad's house backs the forest preserve, and we made several trips there. Audrey and my dad did one ride where they took off through the woods on a dirt trail, picked up the bike path and rode 10 miles. Lorelei also managed 5 miles one day. The rides were through beautiful prairie with tons of wildflowers, we all really enjoyed the bikes.
picnic at the forest preserve

Along with just summer living, we fit in some awesome Chicago experiences like: Navy Pier, a big Chicago musical, Shedd Aquarium, Science and Industry Museum, Medieval Times, and Great America! Whew!

exploring the Science and Industry museum with Uncle Paul

S&I with Grampsy

S&I museum
belugas at the Shedd Aquarium 

standing in line for the Whizzer

hugs from Daffy at Great America

Broadway in Chicago

Jetsom from The Little Mermaid

Medieval Times! We studied the middle ages this year, so the girls loved watching the tournament. 

Navy Pier

My favorite part of the trip though, was all of the visiting. I was able to spend time with long-time friends and my family. Oh- and the free running hot water was pretty awesome too! 
Hugs for Uncle Richard

more hugs with Cousin Ricky
visiting Uncle Paul on his turf this year
mini high school reunion 

the next generation

Evalyn and Audrey have been pen pals for a year now, so it was fun for them to hang out in person! 
Yay for cousins! 

dinner out with our friends
dinner on Grampsy's deck with the Nowaks
exploring Japanese gardens with my friend Kris and her son

roasting marshmallows with new friends (their mom is a very old friend of mine though!)

We came in like a whirlwind and left with deafening silence. I think my dad is missing us, but hopefully enjoying his peace and quiet again!

A few more fun photos from our trip:

The girls loved helping Grampsy garden

picking raspberries from the yard

Audrey did a 3 morning Apple camp where she learned to make ibooks. She made a book about Egyptians. 

Chicago Botanical Gardens 

a little dancing at the gardens 
Uncle Richard ballroom dancing at the Botanical Gardens

Checking out Grampsy's latest project
We loved eating all our meals outside. The weather was cool and the scenery was beautiful.