Friday, June 15, 2012

On why downtown chicago will always feel like home to me, and some anthro inspiration.

Yesterday my stepdaughter Taylor,
my two daughters Elle and Rielynn and I
took the train to downtown Chicago.
We met my sister for the day,
who was spending the week in the city.
It's about an hour and a half train ride
and then a 5 minute taxi drive
to this beautiful place -
Michigan Ave, the Magnificant Mile.
(just realized I am in none of these pictures!
i guess thats what happens when you're the one
taking the pictures! :(

I lived a few blocks from Michigan Ave when I went to
Moody Bible Institute...
I worked on Michigan Ave (at GAP)
so I walked this street nearly every day-
hundreds of times.
Being back on it feels like home.
It's hard to explain, really...
but it is so familiar-
the sights=
the tall buildings,
bright blue sky,
so many people -
beautiful women with shopping bags on cell phones,
buisness men hailing cabs,
college students in hoodie sweatshirts.
the sounds =
traffic, traffic, traffic,
talking, laughing, a baby crying,
a man with a beautiful voice singing
"Just the way you look tonight"
on a street corner for a dollar.
the smells =
exhaust from so many cars,
roasted chesnuts from street vendors,
perfume wafting out of Saks and Ralph Lauren.

Here we are at
American Girl Doll place-

Rielynn loving the dolls at American Girl Doll Place

I think Rielynn found a boyfriend...

Inside the American Girl Doll Place - thousands of dolls, wall to wall.
This would have been Kathryn Joachim's and my heaven
back in the day,,,
(am I right, Kate?)

My beautiful step-daughter, 12 year old Taylor,
with her little sister Rielynn.
Umm...look at the legs, will you?
I know - they go on for miles.
Taylor is soo gorgeous,
I kept waiting for her to be scouted by a modeling agency :)

Elle at Navy Pier!
Isn't she sweet?
We rode the carasoul,
ate ice cream cones,
listened to a live music show,
played a type of laser-beam-tag game,
watched boat races.
We packed so much into one day.

I've loved this girl since she was 5 years old.
She is the most helpful,
loving, caring and beautiful
12 year old in the world.

...doesn't Chad make pretty girls?

By the horse and buggy...
(I went on one of these on a first date once.
I think he tried too hard to be romantic,
we never went on another date,
but at least I got to ride in one of these!)

The highlight for me was definately going to Anthropologie.
When you see
"Inspired by Anthropologie"
in my listings in my shop,
I'm not just saying this because other shop owners do.
I really have been incredibly inspired by this store since the
first time I walked into one at the age of 16.
I've been a die-hard Anthro fan ever since.
This place is what honed my love for
everything shabby chic meets industrial meets boho meets

(oh, and yes, I bought something.
some hand cream in a beautiful glass vintage jar.
it was on sale for 4.50.
most things at anthro are well over 100.00
so this I was not passing up!!)

plates, napkins, prettiness

precious metal coasters

leather couches,
fun pillows and
navajo rugs.
(Taylor was a little more willing to model for me
than my kids :)
to-die-for bedding

perfume bottle

this is my utopia

beautiful iron lamp.
graceful yet rugged.

I had a moment while we ate lunch here,
at Potbellys.
The kids munching on swiss and turkey sandwiches and
sipping sweet tea.
I closed my eyes and heard all of the sounds around me.
Live music filling the air from the shop next to us.
All of the busy-ness of the big city.
It was as if nothing had changed.
As if I was 19 again,
worried about an exam,
eating a sandwich on my lunch break,
excited about a date tonight.
Then I heard a little voice.
Opened my eyes and looked at the little bodies sitting next to me.
Wow - so much has changed.
These little women in "my"space.
In the city I love so much,
the city that grew me up,
the city and street itself that hold so many precious memories.
Old Emily and New Emily -
my life,
present and past
 all wrapped up into one moment.

When I lived in Chicago
my friends and I had a saying.
You can tell someone is a tourist
because they look up.
Up at the tall, tall buildings.
A local looks down.
Down at the street.
"Those buildings?
I see them everyday.
No biggie."
Well yesterday, I was proud to look up.
Those beautiful buildings with the sky peeking through?
I've missed you.


  1. Very sweet post. I loved the ending about looking up. Chicago is such a gorgeous place. I love going down there!

  2. Aww, I love this! So glad you girls has such a fun day. Did you check out BHLDN? The Anthropology bridal store? My friends and I went there on its opening day and it was very beautiful :) Miss you! And, yes, AMERICAN GIRL DOLLS! Remember how much we wanted those dolls and those money saving puzzles? Haha :)

  3. Sounds like such a wonderful day. Your stepdaughter is GORGEOUS and your littles are too cute. :)