Keep Calm and Love Illinois

In February 2012 God called us away from My Heart’s Home to move back to Texas. I never knew (nor could I ever comprehend) how much I would miss Illinois. We’ve been gone 2 years, and yet I ache for it so bad sometimes it hurts. Over and over I wonder why Illinois made such an impression on my life during the three years we lived there. My friend, Bob, put it so eloquently….it’s because of relationships. It has nothing to do with the cold weather, the snow, our jobs there (ALL of which I loved), but overall, it comes down to the relationships that I built there. As much as Paul enjoyed living there as well, and as much as he became friends with many people that we knew, he will never understand my longing for those relationships. So…I go. I go to visit. I go to “live” for a week there. In the familiar, where my heart lives.

About a month ago I decided I wanted to go to Illinois to visit. 🙂 Besides, it’s been almost a year since I’ve been there, so surely, my visit is justified because Illinois is missing me and I am yearning for it.

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Where my heart lives!

Where my heart lives!

I flew in on Thursday, the 13th of February. I wanted to go when it was still COLD and SNOWY, but not when it was frigid, below zero with feet of snow! I think I went at the PERFECT TIME! It was COLD and SNOWY, but absolutely perfect!!

view from the plane

view from the plane

I took this picture on Thursday (once I crossed over the bridge)….I thought it was so picturesque and indictative of the iconic Lacon Bridge.

Lacon bridge over the frozen Illinois River

Lacon bridge over the frozen Illinois River

After stopping in Chillicothe to pick up my “rental car” (a.k.a. Bob’s car that he let me borrow for the week–THANKS, Bob), I drove straight to camp. My heart is at peace when I drive down the camp road. The tall trees just surround you and envelope you into your own little haven for the duration of your time there.

my heart smiles when I drive down the camp road

my heart smiles when I drive down the camp road

On Thursday I went straight over to Ember’s house and immediately we had a tea party!

Impromptu tea party

Impromptu tea party

Hannah pouring my "tea" (water)

Hannah pouring my “tea” (water)

On Friday morning I woke up to snow falling!! Happy Valentine’s Day to ME!

My view while eating breakfast on Friday morning

My view while eating breakfast on Friday morning

Becca and Hannah on Valentine morning

Becca and Hannah on Valentine morning

My Valentine from Becca

My Valentine from Becca

Paul's Valentine from Hannah

Paul’s Valentine from Hannah

On Friday Ember and I ventured out (very slowly because of the snow) and took the kids to the Children’s Museum in Bloomington. I’d never been there before, and it was great! The kids loved it….

Hannah took my picture while "eating" Avanti's pizza....Hannah was "cooking" for me

Hannah took my picture while “eating” Avanti’s pizza….Hannah was “cooking” for me

Jacob playing at the water table--he stayed there for about an hour

Jacob playing at the water table–he stayed there for about an hour

Rebecca honing in on her "surgical skills"

Rebecca honing in on her “surgical skills”

full body PinArt

full body PinArt

Hannah at the water table

Hannah at the water table

Hannah and me at the ice cream store

Hannah and me at the ice cream store

Rebecca and me at the Ice Cream store

Rebecca and me at the Ice Cream store

On Saturday I went and saw Jacob play basketball for a few minutes before I went to spend the afternoon with Shannon, getting pedicures, going out to eat, and going shopping! 🙂

Jacob

Jacob

Shannon and me

Shannon and me

The rest of my trip has to be continued in another blog post….it’s time to go to bed! 🙂

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One thought on “Keep Calm and Love Illinois

  1. Pingback: Year in Review 2014 | Finding Refuge

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