Last weekend, Kyle and I went on a little getaway to Chicago. It happened to be over Valentine's Day, but I promise we didn't go FOR V-Day. We aren't that cheesy. We're cool. We went for Washington's birthday.
^^^This is the view from our room! We scored big. To the right, in between those two buildings, is Soldier Field, home of Da Bears. Oh, that town. Chicago is Kyle's favorite city, and it sure is growing on me. We got a GREAT deal on a room at Swissotel. It felt incredibly fancy there. Like I-shouldn't-be-wearing-a-Merona-sweater-from-Target fancy. Have you ever felt that way? Like everyone in the room is looking at you, thinking you don't belong? When in reality, they're probably not thinking about you AT ALL. They're probably wondering if they look chubby in their designer sweater, or worrying that someone else is staring at them because they have cilantro in their teeth.
One of my college roommates completely transformed my outlook on feeling self-conscious in public, and it left such an enormous impression on me. So grateful for that girl. (Shout-out to Alli!) One day, we were talking about having zits on our faces and wearing ugly outfits into the DC (dining commons) after volleyball practice, and she basically said this:
"I used to be so insecure and constantly worried about what I looked like to other people. I thought as soon as I walked in a room, everyone was looking at my face and looking at what I was wearing, judging me. Then I realized NO ONE CARES!"
And it's true. No one cares if you have a zit. No one cares that you bought your sweater for $8 on the Target clearance rack. No one cares if your sweatpants are too short or your hair is too greasy. YOU CARE. And if someone actually does care, and does judge you, then their opinion isn't one you should value in the first place.
So I lightened up. I stopped feeling like I had to meticulously cover zits and wash my hair every day. I started taking care, and stopped caring. If that makes sense. So next time you're in a room with people you think are much cooler and more put-together than you are, pick yourself up, slide your shoulders back, and get rid of those I-am-lesser thoughts. Because no one else is thinking them. You are enough.
But I digress. Just call me Sally Side-Story.
Here are the highlights:
Our room had a Keurig. How do I go to a Holiday Inn after this?!
A little twinkle goes a long way. Take note, other hotels. You should be pretty like this.
Get a load of that view. I've always considered myself an ocean person, but after watching the sun peek over the edge of Lake Michigan to say good morning, I think there might also be a lake girl inside. Kyle & I got engaged on the northeast corner of Navy Pier (pictured above). It was awkwardly magical and everything I hoped it would be. Nothing like a crowd of strangers gawking as you get engaged.
Here's a flashback for your viewing pleasure:
Cowboy boots. On Navy Pier. Only Maggie would do such a thing.
The Wrigley Building makes my heart stop. What an architectural wonder!
Also, red doors make my heart stop.
Some of my very first memories with my dad involve the background noise of Moody Radio. In the car, in his office, at home. He has always listened to it.
Moody Radio. Where you turn. For life.
So you can imagine my excitement to SEE the person I've HEARD preach for so many years: Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer. What a gift. If you're ever in Chicago on a Sunday morning, their service starts at 10:00 a.m. And don't park at Moody Bible Insitute by mistake. Because The Moody Church is in a different place, and you'll end up speed-walking 25 minutes up LaSalle because you paid $7 to park where you parked. And your husband might never let you live it down... Not that I'd know.
Our favorite Chicagoan (shout-out to @CRayofHope!) gave us three brunch recommendations. We picked one at random, and ended up at Summer House Santa Monica. Fail #2 of the day was to not make reservations, because we waited for over 1.5 hrs. HANGRY, to say the least, but the food was honestly worth the wait! Orange chocolate chip pancakes? Yes, please!
This was another place where we felt like the poorest people in the room, and we totally embraced it. Pretty sure we were the only people not wearing a Canada Goose coat. Go ahead, click the link and look at those price tags.
POOREST IN THE ROOM.
Definitely a pretentious place, but incredibly delicious. And the menu wasn't too expensive - similar to our favorite in Indy, Patachou. We'll go back!
I can count the number of people I know who live in Chicago on two hands - maybe even one. Earlier that morning, Kyle and I had been talking about a girl I went to high school with, Hannah. He had met her at a wedding once a few years ago, and I reference her living in Chicago from time to time, and how sweet her little family is. Early on Sunday morning, she commented on my Instagram post and said, "I'd be cool if you lived here :) it's the best city in America!"
So we walked into this random brunch place after a semi-hectic morning of navigating the 3rd-largest city in America, and I hear someone say, "Maggie?"
Whaaaaat?! How?! Why?! I couldn't believe it. Of ALL the brunch places, and of ALL the times we could have arrived, we walked in to see them standing there. Kyle and I still can't stop talking about it. Chalk it up to fate or luck or chance, but I'm telling you right now, it was God.
Because He's funny like that.
Two and a half hours later, we emerged from brunch and were plopped inside a Chicago snow globe.
I sure wish we could have stayed all week, pretending to be rich: taking baths, wearing robes, watching sunrises on Lake Michigan. But, reality. Jobs. Indianapolis. Four-legged child. We had to return. See you soon, Windy City. We love ya lots.