post-christmas chicago

January 19, 2015

After our week in Charleston, Stefan and I headed north to Chicago. My parents, Molly & Austin, and Stefan & I all drove up to Chicago to meet the van de Graaffs at the United Center for a Bulls game! I think my parents had been to a game with friends years ago, so Austin, Molly, and I were probably the only first-timers in our whole big group. Needless to say we were all really excited. We seriously can't thank the van de Graaffs enough for such a fun night! Stefan's parents were of course there, along with his sister and her cute family. Plus some friends from their ward - and my family even saw an old friend from our ward too! 

Also, everyone please take note of my sweet new Bulls jersey Stefan's parents gave me for Christmas! I love Joakim Noah forever. 

^^^ Something about this picture makes me feel like I really look like our dad and Molly really looks our mom. Right? Anyone?

We seriously hit a lot of Chicago's best this trip. Stefan's parents also gave us tickets to see Blue Man Group, which were part of a great deal to also get tickets to the Sky Deck! It's true, Blue Man Group really is.. unique. It's a concert, a comedy show, a play, and kind of a rave there at the end.. It was a blast. I was so impressed with the whole thing, and almost just as impressed with Stefan's ability to navigate us into the city all by himself, find a killer parking spot, and parallel park perfectly before the show. Seriously the fact that that is all sticking out in my mind right now means it was really impressive.

We went to the Sears Tower on New Year's Eve, and our friend Michael met us there! He and Stefan served missions in the Netherlands at the same time, and then they were roommates for a little bit at BYU. But Michael spent last semester in China, and we were in Portland all summer, which means we hadn't seen him since probably.. April? So since he was home in Indiana for Christmas, he took the train up to Chicago and spent New Year's Eve with us!

I loved going up to the Sky Deck! It was pretty crowded, but everyone was moving quickly. The only downside was that it was freezing. Hurts your face kind of freezing. Also we literally ran back to the car afterward because we were cutting it close on our pre-paid two hour parking. 

The rest of the trip was filled with church in Stefan's home ward, bowling and Steak N Shake with high school friends, visiting and belly laughing with church friends, an old WWII movie with Stefan's aunt and uncle, a morning at the Kohl's kids museum with Stefan's nieces, deep dish pizza, Potbelly's, Portillo's, and a fun New Year's Eve party complete with Pit, fondue, movies, fancy drinks, and fireworks. So that list makes it obvious that we missed a lot of photo opportunities, but I prefer to classify it as one of those trips where you're too busy having fun to remember to pull out your camera (phone).

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