Sunday, October 11, 2015

Mom's visit to Chicago!

I'm so proud of my AWESOME Mom!  She is such an inspiration and definitely the strongest woman I know!  After Dad's passing, I admit that I thought she would be a little lost without him, and certainly there are times that she needs him and I know that she misses him every single moment of the day.  But, he would be so proud of her, making her life the one she wants to live, taking care of issues that arise, and enjoying her independence.

In July, Mom drove across country to visit family in Indiana and then proceeded to stay over a month with us.  She brought with her a magic that affected us all.  She inflated us with happines, she energized us and motivated us into getting projects done, and she was here when I had my hysterectomy.  She was a god-send!  So, when we were able to bring her back out here for a month in December/January, I was overjoyed with excitement!  Not only will she be here for the holidays, but for the kids' birthdays and their respective band and chorus performances.  I am so excited to see her again!

While she was here in July, we took a bit of a road trip down to Chicago and had loads of fun exploring the city right around the Millennium Park area.  It was an amazing day and I love that she enjoys exploring as much as we do!

At the new Millennium Park which is amazing, by the way!  Huge park and loads of fun things to climb on, slide down, or run around!

A fun little mirror garden.
Mom really loved being in downtown, and of course, any time spent with the kids is a great time for her.  
If you're in Chicago, you have to see the Bean, or as it's supposed to be known, Cloud Gate.

The kids had fun playing in the fountain.  Every so often the 'mouth' spits out a huge deluge of water and the kids all squeal in delight!

In a cute little side garden that we found and had really lush landscaping.

Hooge family photo, 2015

Famous Art Institute of Chicago's lions.

I thought this was a beautiful picture, a lovely place to relax and meditate!

I loved that they had an Urban Agriculture garden.  It was full of beautiful, bountiful food!

Buckingham Fountain.

We ate at an AMAZING Chinese restaurant in China Town.  Minghin had the most amazing Chinese food I've ever had.

As we were crossing the Millennium bridge we just happened to run into our very good friend from the UK, Simon.  I saw him walking in the opposite direction and turned to point him out to Jon, thinking surely it's not him, just when I turned, Jon called out his name.  It was like seeing someone from your hometown.  I miss England so much and to see one of our friends, it was a true blessing!
Chicago, IL July 2015

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