This was my second year attending ACSD (Association for Christians in Student Development) with Bryan. Lucky for me it was hosted at Wheaton College! Our first morning I introduced Bryan to Stan's Donuts and we headed into the city to walk around Millenium Park. We had great, deep catching up conversations over donuts and in the car and I was reminded of how wel we communicate and understand each other. We often give all the space and time to students and other staff and can go along time between connecting so this conference is a sweet space to be really intentionaly. We enjoyed exploring with no agenda. We headed back out to Wheaton in order to catch the welcome dinner of Lou's pizza and their famous chopped salad. After our first plenary session we snagged Black Dog gelato and had wine and gelato back at the apartment while mapping out the sessions we wanted to attend.

We had a rhythm of going to meals and plenary sessions together and splitting to hit other sessions strategically. Meals would be spent processing what we'd learned and heard and how it could apply to our program. During our afternoon break we headed to the the outlets and found we make easy shopping partners. We both make quick decisions and Bryan is open to all feedback about outfit pairings. We only made it through half the outlets so we agreed to spend our next afternoon break there as well - with an Auntie Anne's pretzel and a Starbucks of course! We listened to good music and enjoyed the easy, US highway driving. We also snagged Sprinkles cupcakes from the conference and Bry introduced me to the deliciousness that is Nothing Bundts White Chocolate Raspberry Bundt Cake.

Our final morning Ben, a former student, picked us up and we headed into the city. We parked at Matt & Tina's and then walked to the Cubs stadium to catch a game with other former students. It was fun to catch up with them, delicious to eat a ballpark hotdog with pickles and cold for June!! After I spotted a Do-Rite Donut so we stopped in for another treat. After hemming and hawing I landed on the Raspberry Cheesecake ... only to have Bryan spill all my filling out the middle during a picture! I said goodbye to everyone at Matt & Tina's in order to spend a night with them. I played with Siena and Nolan til Matt got home and then we did champagne and sidewalk chalk before grilling and sitting on their patio til midnight talking openly and honestly about the last season of life. I went to bed so content and filled with just a night together. The next day we went down to the Riverwalk, something I hadn't yet done since it opened and we chatted while pushing the stroller before enjoying a riverside lunch. At five I packed up and met Emily at Matt and Tina's church. We had a million words for each other as we navigated traffic before landing at their house where Eric and the girls waited. Eric went and bought some of their favorite cheeses and salted caramels and we sat at their bar the whole night talking and nibbling. It was my favorite kind of night! I fell into bed and then the next morning we did a quick hour of garage saling before I headed to the airport to fly home! A great conference, a night with family and a night with friends were such a beautiful week!

 

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