I keep disappearing. It's just that, lately, there isn't enough time in the day. To work. Relax. Spend time with the husband. Catch up with friends. Put together a little party (this weekend!). And begin work on some exciting projects.

The day just doesn't hold enough hours.

But I love life like this. When I have so much excitement about everything that I just can't go to sleep at night.

So please know my silence means I'm happy. And creating something wonderful.

Photos to come after this weekend's festivities.  Happy Friday, all.

Also, it's my daddy's birthday today. If you see him, give him a hug and a happy birthday for me. Thoughts on that to follow as well.

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A comfort and a blessing.

So, hello. I'm finally finding a bit of time to sit down and think and write and then rethink and rewrite. Which all means, here have a blog post! Grant season is winding down and I'm being given little pieces of my life back. So three cheers for that.

In other news, things are going swimmingly in the Emily+Adrian household. We've been quite reflective lately. Ever since our radio/CD player was stolen, we've been passing car trips actually chatting. Whoda thought. So there, radio thiefs. You may steal my stereo, but you'll never get the best of me. Or my marriage, for that matter.

In these recent reflections, we've come to the conclusion that we, collectively, are pleased with how life is shaping up here in Chicago. Traffic rarely bothers me, nor does the noise level. And I almost never wish I was out in nature, unless that nature includes a beach, a book and a mixed drink. And a hotel. Mountains. Hiking. Mosquitos. I do not miss them.

So city life it is, for us.

But more than all the Targets and exciting nooks and crannies, for the time being, I think we just fit here. Each of the years I have worked with Tolton Center, I have taken on new challenges and responsibilities. A few years ago, I took on a bilingual writing project. And then later, I worked hard redoing our brochures and printed materials. Then, I began working in grant writing. And this year, I have delved more into photography, social media and a bit of marketing.

And I love that.

I love the challenges and the discoveries. Identifying a need in our non-profit and then finding a way to meet that need with skills I wasn't even sure I possessed. Most days I feel confident that I am meant to be. There are few others who are bilingual, have a teaching degree, studied photography, have experience in writing and editing and have a strong desire to work with the Mexican immigrant population. And it's not anything in particular that I have done to get to this point, but more just the person I was shaped to be. The place I came from. The family who raised me. The values I have. The interests I pursue. And the husband who reminds me that I can.

I think perhaps I'm a little puzzle piece that fits snugly into the Little Village puzzle.

It's a comfort and, honestly, a blessing to do work that I wholeheartedly believe I was created to do.

So for now, Adrian and I are enjoying the city and the opportunities it affords us. We're in the midst of starting a few projects that I am so excited to share with you all once they are underway. In the meantime, know that we are doing well in this little life we are making.

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Puppies and little kisses.

I took a quick little hiatus. Repainted the bathroom. Went to Maine. Rested. Didn't think about a grant for two weeks. And it was all lovely.

Now I'm back. Teaching. Marketing. Grant editing.

I spent about a week of spring break in Maine with my family. And for the first time, I brought along my six year old nephew, Lalo. I had thought about taking him with me for a while, but the opportunity just never came. So when flights were down to $170 roundtrip, I knew I just had to take him.

Then about three days after I booked the flight, I thought to myself, "Who voluntarily takes a 6 year old halfway across the country without his mother?" This girl, apparently. So then I spent the next couple weeks quietly panicking about what I had done and how I would keep him entertained for a week with no other kids in sight.

Enter, puppies.

This is Harriet, my mom's puppy. She's a touch aloof. And by that I mean she could take you or leave you. And since I don't generally like dogs, I appreciate Harriet's disinterest. But she's just so darn cute.

And this is Bronx. He doesn't know you, but he loves you. And with that perfect little face, how can you resist? A bit jumpy for my taste at times, but a hit with equally enthusiastic six year olds.
Harriet and Bronx made this little auntie-nephew vacation a huge success. We passed the days with family and with puppies and with lots of little kisses.
I adored having Lalo with me. He has a delightful disposition and enjoys many of the things I enjoy. Namely hugs, morning cartoons and Target. 

While I certainly don't plan on giving birth to one of my own any time soon, I was mildly encouraged that I could cohabit with a child for more than a day without desperately wanting to return him to his mother. In fact, I actually missed the little guy after our vacation.
A perfect little vacation in the midst of a somewhat stressful spring.

Oh and that little guy? He absolutely loved it. When our flight back to Chicago had landed, before we deboarded the plane, he turned to me and asked, "Can we go back again soon?"

Gladly, my friend.

And because this post doesn't have enough photos, let me leave you with these little faces:

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Bronx and Harriet.

I haven't forgotten about this little blog. I've just been a bit busy enjoying life in the non-bloggy world. These little friends of mine aren't really into blogging so, unfortunately, I haven't been either.

I know you'll understand.
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