I'll (Eventually) Be Home For Christmas...


...But only after traveling to India, the UK, and Costa Rica, only to get back the day before Christmas Eve!

You may have noticed that our Instagram has been a little bit light on content recently. This “taking the foot off the pedal” approach was not our preference, but rather a necessity. For anyone who has been following along with us for a bit now, you’ll know that there have been some big changes for us!  Starting my new job has been quite a significant transition in many ways.

The first way we both felt this was my new commute. 

With my car being out of order for a bit, I’ve relied on public transit from Chicago’s west side up to Evanston. Given the way the trains run in Chicago, suffice it to say my commute isn't exactly a straight shot from A to B. My commute currently takes about 90 minutes each way! Now this isn’t actually terrible for a major metro area, but it’s certainly not something I’m used to. Suddenly it feels like my entire week revolves around work even though my actual work hours aren’t as long!  I rejoice at the fact that my car should be fully functioning (relatively) soon!


Another major event in relation to work is that I unexpectedly needed to travel within two weeks of my start date….TWICE!

With only one day in between both work trips (and with our previous trip to India spanning the weekend before I started my job), we’ve had very little time to put into the blog. We’re already starting to plan for some projects next year and marking them on our calendars so we can work ahead and guard the necessary time, but thank you for sitting tight with us through all of this!

As a result of being out of town intermittently from before Thanksgiving through Christmas eve eve, Christmas shopping took on a completely new form this year.  I left for my first work trip to the UK with one small suitcase and my laptop bag/purse…and returned with a second FULL, LARGE suitcase that contains Christmas gifts for EVERYONE!!!!.

Hope you enjoy coming along on this really cool but totally crazy journey with us!

Beautiful Portsmouth Church

The first thing I wanted to highlight from my time in Portsmouth is all the “cute” architecture.  My colleagues harassed me for defining EVERYTHING as cute… but let’s be honest.. they have windy roads and roundabouts- what is NOT cute about that?


During the week that I spent in the southern city of Portsmouth, although I spent my days working, I was able to get around and see a decent bit of the city in my early morning runs, evenings, and even a bit on the Sunday afternoon of my arrival. These photos of Old Portsmouth from one of my morning runs are some of my favorite pictures from the trip! Running in a new setting always re-energizes me in a huge way! Does anyone else feel that way too?


The next fun thing about Portsmouth is that it is a major Navy base for the UK.  Although they’ve reduced the size of their navy significantly in recent years, the history is quite rich. Unfortunately, I wasn’t around the ports and harbors much when it was light out, but I did have a chance to grab pictures of the Gunwarf Quays which is an old Gunwarf turned into a shopping centre which I visited on Sunday when I got into town. There are also some photos I took from the neighboring town of Southsea looking out towards the sea.


It’s off to Costa Rica for me now, but keep an eye out on Instagram: later this week we’ll be showing you how we packaged up our gifts this weekend so that we’re ready for Christmas and can relax and make some new traditions together on Christmas Eve!

With Love from Chicago,

Jennifer and Daniel