Into the Windy City

Let’s be honest. Chicago is one of the best cities in the world, so when we had a chance to spend a week here on our road trip, I was thrilled.

On top of feeling at home in Chicago, we get to finally see many of our friends. Yesterday was one of those days where we had a chance to spend time introducing our newest family member. These trips are always too short. Even with a week, we can’t see everyone, so we tried our best to see friends who were geographically close to each other. Five of them happen to all live in the center of Chicago.

Our first stop, Jeanine & Scott’s home to meet Sebastian’s “brother,” Nicholas. Jeanine and I have been friends since law school and she’s like a big sister to me, even though she’s tinier than me. Since I got married 7 years ago, Jeanine has consistently asked me how soon I was going to get pregnant. My answer was always the same. I told her I would wait until she got pregnant. This past year, my wish came true! She got pregnant three weeks ahead of me. It was great to have each other to compare the awesomeness of being pregnant. Then, on October 3rd, my water broke. She called me and said, “Wouldn’t it be great if we had our babies on the same day?” That evening, I received a text message from her saying her water broke! She ended up having her son 12 hours after that and he was born earlier than my son, who took 36 hours to birth!

Here’s a photo of us together this summer, 7 months pregnant, with our big bellies.

This is the first time the boys met each other. They seemed somewhat curious about each other.

Now, here is a shot of our adorable sons together cushioned against a big stuffed horse.

As I’m sure you can tell, I love photography. Before we left their house to our next adventure, I was able to snap up some fun shots of her family. There were a lot to choose from, but these were my favorites.

I used tonal contrast to give the photo below some pop. I think it also made it look like a bit like an advertisement for cute baby clothing.
I used a narrow depth of focus on this shot and overexposed slightly for a very bright look.
Before we headed to our next stop in the South Loop, we decided to take a walk down Michigan Avenue. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed walking together as a family down the Magnificent Mile. For me, this was wonderful because I haven’t had a chance to do much of that in New York, since I am not taking subways for a bit with the little man and am restricted to walking around my neighborhood. I haven’t walked very far because I just recently healed after the birth and have been getting accustomed to a new schedule, now that my parents left the city. It was so refreshing to walk around. This makes me very excited to walk further and further every day in New York.
I had to get a shot of Ray in front of the Water Tower, with all the pretty Christmas lights in the background.
We headed over to see our friends, Brian and Xiaomeng, who just recently got engaged. I told them that at their wedding I would be taking credit for their marriage because I played yenta and introduced them. Brian and I went to law school together and Xiaomeng and I went to get our Master’s together. We decided to do what we love and play some boardgames one night and she was invited to play. They hit it off and soon, there will be a magical wedding!
Luckily, our friend, Irena, was also able to join us, since she is practically neighbors with them. She’s a friend I’ve known for almost 15 years. When I think about that, I can’t believe it…it’s half of our lives that we’ve known each other.
We came home to more visitors. Below, you can see shots of people who have known me almost my whole life, basically since we moved to the United States. The photos below are of Bogus and Nina and then Joachim and Lunia. When you emigrate to a new country, you sort of “sew” on a new family and they are like aunties and uncles who have taught me an immense amount throughout my life.