sweet tea in the afternoon

Lovely Bakeshop. A lovely lovely place in Chicago that appears to live up to its name has apparently been hiding from me for the past year. I found this place on Sunday (thanks to some friends of ours) and thought to myself I just might have found my favorite neighborhood coffee shop in Chicago.

It’s simple. It’s just off one of my favorite streets, next to a place called The Butcher and Larder (point for location), there’s lots of natural light and an adorable patio that’s usually about half-shaded (point for charm), it’s got lots of space and not lots of people occupying it (point for low-profile), and they serve Intelligentsia coffee (ten points for my favorite coffee-game over). Good news for me.

Lately I’ve been thinking about taking up a hobby I probably can’t afford to start. I’ve never really been the hobby-having type, but the other day I was hit with an overwhelming desire to get a real camera and start taking pictures. I’ve always told Jeremy he needs to take up photography so we can have great pictures of our lives and future kids. I’ve also always thought it was kind of lame that 90% of the pictures on my blog were taken by someone else.

My dad got a fancy pants camera a couple years ago. Not a crazy professional one or anything, just a pretty simple but high quality digital camera with a great lens and manual capabilities. I loved photography in high school, and I love messing around with normal pictures when I get them onto my computer. I’m pretty nit picky about aesthetics and I think I could really enjoy developing the skill of great picture taking.

The hang up is that I’m definitely not getting a nice camera anytime soon. Our family is on a hard core spending hiatus. Believe it or not, its looking like this house thing I’ve mentioned once or twice is actually going to go through. It seems we may just be the proud new owners of a multi-family home come July 26th. It’s pretty unbelievable and I’m still telling myself it might all fall through, but we’re keeping our wallets closed in the mean time.

So for now I’m looking for ways to keep myself busy this summer that don’t involve much cash. Any bright ideas?

2% milk makes the world go round

It appears the rain is finally coming after holding off all weekend. It’s my favorite kind of gloomy Monday morning. My husband is working from home, the dog is staying out of trouble, the windows are open, and I’m sitting at my dining room table with a delicious creamy cup of coffee, compliments of a little 2% with sugar. The house is clean and I feel delightful.

My family was in town for my cousin’s wedding this weekend and we had a fabulous time. My parents got to tour the latest house we’re thinking of buying, we had some of the best deep dish pizza in all of Chicago with our cousins, and we all seriously danced the night away at the Trettel-Sullivan wedding.

My parents, sister, future bro-in-law, and husband are hands down some of my favorite people to spend time with. There’s just nothing like having the whole Moore family together in one place. It’s going to be near impossible to wait for my sister’s wedding in September.

Our mini vacation came to an end yesterday afternoon and I’m thankful for Monday off to ease back into real Chicago life. The junior Manns have got a lot going on. Jeremy is finishing up the bulk of his teachers’ first year, I’m waiting to hear on a major scholarship that will determine how I begin school in September, and we’re trying to buy a house as the end of our lease is quickly approaching. It’s a bit unreal not knowing what our lives will look like just a couple months from now. It’s freaky, but mostly exciting. I take solace in telling myself that we’re still young and resilient.

On the greater Mann family front, I’m practically counting down the days until the big Mann Family Vacation in Door County, Wisconsin. The last time all of us were together was for Jason and Natalie’s wedding TWO YEARS ago! Our lives have all drastically changed in some way or another since that time in Stinson Beach, and it’s going to be incredible to spend an entire week together. Also Jeremy and I will finally get to meet our little nice, Mercy!

Life is very good, and I am continually amazed at where God has taken us in the past three years. Can’t wait to see what’s up ahead!