Meet William

This is Will.

He’s an eight-month-old Yorkshire Terrier from Michigan. Missouri, actually. He came from a puppy mill there. When the man running the breeding facility became ill, William was taken into the care of the breeder’s family members. After the man died, Will was sent to a rescue organization and put into foster care.

We named him William after William Wilberforce, an independent member of Parliament for Yorkshire in the late 1700’s and the man who played an instrumental role in the abolition of slavery in most of the British empire.

We drove all the way to Michigan for this little fox. (Notice his resemblance to the Fantastic Mr. Fox; we almost named him after Fox’s son, Ash.) He’s doing well so far, although–being a rescue dog–it’s going to take him a while to be comfortable and well-socialized. We love him dearly already and are excited to have him around. Just thought you’d like to hear a bit about the newest member of the Junior Mann clan.

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Read this book. You’ll love it.

Jeremy brought this book home one day from the TFA library, figuring he should have a better grasp on the beginnings of the organization. I picked it up myself out of curiosity with few expectations and no plan to necessarily finish.

I read the book in one day, and what an incredible story. This woman, Wendy Kopp, started this nonprofit fresh out of her undergraduate education at Princeton. Now Teach for America is one of the most successful nonprofits in the nation.

Add this to your summer reading list before summer’s up. You’ll be amazed and inspired.

Things are Good in Chicago

Summer’s here. Summer is more than here. The longest day of the year has come and gone. But I feel like my summer’s just begun. I’m finally starting to feel settled into our Chicago home and it feels good. Sure, I’m going to jump back into working in less than two weeks, but in Chicago summer is SUMMER whether you’re working full time or not. And we’ve still got at least one and a half (fingers crossed) solid months of it left.

June 29th was the evening we spent our first night in our new home. It feels like months ago. Our incredibly patient and hard-working parents spent several days with us putting the place together. Before we knew it, we were on our own in a new city to start the next chapter of our lives. I loved it. I love Chicago. It’s the perfect fusion of my recently developed love for urban life and everything good about growing up in the Midwest. It’s hot and humid and stays warm at night. Our street is lined with beautiful trees and colorful flowers. I want to walk everywhere, and I feel like like a day hardly goes by that I don’t discover some incredible place to eat. Here’s a picture of this bagel shop down the street I just love. I cannot get enough of their honey walnut cream cheese.

We’ve only been here 24 days and I have a job, Jeremy is enjoying his, and we’ve met an incredibly wonderful group of people. There isn’t much more I could ask for at this point; God has pretty much dropped it all into my lap. If there was ever any doubt that moving to Chicago was the right thing to do, it’s GONE.

In a week and a half I start my new job. I’ll be working in the Cardiac/Transplant ICU at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, which is located downtown. The neighborhood is called Streeterville and it’s just north of the Loop, which is considered the heart of downtown and home to the central business district, where most of the tallest most famous buildings in Chicago reside. Getting to Streeterville isn’t too tricky without a car, thanks to the train and the Chicago bus.

Leaving my job at UCLA was one of the hardest things about leaving Los Angeles. I was anxious about looking for a new job when I felt like I was right where I wanted to be. I can’t tell you how excited I am to start this job, and how fortunate I feel to have gotten it. I’ll be working in an environment very similar to UCLA with a pretty similar patient population. The ICU cares for patients who have had cardiac surgery, cardiac transplants, other solid organ transplants, and possibly even in the next year lung transplants. It seems like a very solid unit with really neat people who are incredibly knowledgeable and serious about caring for their patients well. I’m confident I’ll be challenged there.

Jeremy is already doing a great job in his new work environment. Working as a Program Director for Teach for America seems like such a great fit for him. He highly respects and enjoys his staff already and is eager to start working with his new teachers. He’ll be in charge of supporting 18 core members, 14 of whom will be teaching special ed. for the first time. It’s his job to make sure these teachers’ students are progressing, and that his teachers are doing well despite facing the most difficult challenges and situations they may ever experience. These sound like daunting tasks, but I don’t doubt he’ll do great.

In other news, we’re on the hunt for a little pup! We’ve been talking about getting a Yorkie for a while and we’re finally taking steps to make that dream a reality. I’m pumped, and incredibly eager to find the right one and bring him home. You can count on lots of pictures and plenty of flip footage in the near future.

In conclusion things are going well, we really like Chicago, and-as always-you are WELCOME TO VISIT.