Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Goodbye Chicago

View of downtown from near our condo

I don't think there is a post that could to demonstrate how we feel about moving away from Chicago. It has been our home for the past four years, and we have gone through so much while living there! When we moved there, we were only still dating, and now we've been married for 2.5 years!! Chicago was such a great city for us to start our lives in.

We are still processing this change in our lives, and any words that I will write will not do our feelings justice. We knew that our time there was temporary, and we embraced the experience. We had no idea we would love it so much and we will miss it dearly. We have such great friends there, including people we met along the way and even people we knew prior to moving there from Minnesota. We found a wonderful church full of great people, and we know we'll never find a church like that again. We will carry all our memories with us, as we make this transition. Let's do a little recap!

Year 1
I lived with my best friend from home, Lucy. We serendipitously were able to live together because at the same time that I was moving to Chicago to be with Bryan as he started medical school, Lucy was transferring to Northwestern University to continue her violin studies. Awesome situation! That first year in Chicago was full of transitions, but we thrived together and loved it. Meanwhile, Bryan lived with his college buddy, Dave, in Wrigleyville for his first year of med school. We saw each other often, and it was good for our relationship to continue to grow as we both began living in Chicago.

That January, Bryan proposed to me!

With my lease ending that summer, we decided that we would move in together at the end of the summer to make our lives easier with all the wedding planning, my crazy work schedule, and Bryan's busy time in medical school. We found a condo downtown, and totally loved it! I could walk to work and Bryan could hop onto the Metra across the street to get up to school!! Things were moving right along!

Year 2
Life continued to be crazy busy, as per usual with the life of a med student. Bryan studied all hours of the day and I worked like crazy. We used our spare time to plan our wedding together.

We got married on 01.02.2010 (a numerical palindrome!) in Minneapolis, MN. That day, the low was -15 degrees, and the high was -5 degrees, and it was a beautiful sunny day after a freshly fallen snow! We were on cloud nine!!! Some of our favorite memories include the performance of an Eric Whittacre piece sang by a mass choir made up and conducted entirely by our close friends, and a great friend who was our cellist played the Sarabande of the Sixth Bach Suite. Our first dance was to James Taylor "Something In The Way She Moves" and we loved having a live band for the reception! It was a great party!!

Here are just a few favorites :)

We spent a week in Jamaica for our honeymoon (Bryan actually skipped a week of med school for this)! Then, when we came home, it was back to the grind.

Bryan studied hard for Step 1 of his medical school boards and did really well!

Once we were married, I made it my mission to get a cat. I've always LOVED cats and grew up with them, but I had resigned to never have one again, since I learned when we were dating that Bryan is allergic to cats. However, to my delight, I discovered that hypoallergenic cats exist! And they're not hairless!! Siberian cats are hypoallergenic because they do not produce the protein in their skin and saliva that people generally react to. I found a breeder in Minnesota, and Bryan passed the allergy test. We bit the bullet and paid the big bucks to get our fancy brand kitten when he was 8 weeks old, in June of 2010.

Dimitri is the coolest cat ever. He is very much like a dog in that he is very social, plays fetch, knows the word "treat" and loves to wrestle. Obviously, he is also very cat-like and loves to cuddle, play, and watch over us from the many high places in our Chicago condo. Many of you know of our slight obsession with our cat, but for those of you who don't, here are a few favorite pictures that display his personality well :)

Year 3
Bryan started his 3rd year of medical school in July with rotations.

Our first nephew, Jonah, was born in July! We are lucky enough to be his godparents too :)

We continued to be very busy into the fall and celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary!

The Chicago blizzard was quite fun to experience! The entire city shut down completely for 2 days. Of course, being from MN, we put on our warm coats, pants and Sorels, and went out to tromp around in the eerily quiet city!

We walked to Girl and the Goat! They fought the storm, stayed open, and were taking walk-ins!

 This was around 8am - A Starbucks that is normally packed at that time!

 Wells and Wacker around noon - zero cars on the road!

 Wacker around noon - nobody was out on the road!

The beloved bean. And for once, we were the only people (black spots) in the camera shot!

Time seemed to fly into Bryan's 4th year of medical school, where a LOT happened!

Year 4
Bryan's fourth year of medical school was very exciting. The fourth year is dedicated to interviewing and matching at residency programs. It typically starts out with "away rotations" where the student can visit institutions that they'd be interested in attending residency at in their specialty interest. Bryan did 3 away rotations in Minneapolis, Cleveland and Chicago. After the rotations in urology, the specialty he wanted to pursue, we decided that Cleveland would be a top city to consider in the rank list for matching at a residency. They had a great program for Bryan at Cleveland Clinic, and a great masters program in nutrition for me at Case Western. Other cities were definitely at the top of our list too, so we didn't decide at that time, but we had a lot to consider.

Bryan interviewed at many programs, and I applied to masters programs all over the country to match up with the cities he got interviews in. Then, we made the rank list. I made sure to apply to programs at his top 8 programs, just to be safe, since you never really know which program you'll match at! At this point, I had already found out that I was accepted into 3 programs, the top 3 in our list!

Match day finally came on 1.23.12 and we were greeted with an email that Bryan had matched at Cleveland Clinic! We were totally stoked!!

We let the news soak in for a bit, and then we started the house hunt! Boy, that was eventful! Round one, two and three!!

Life has been SO CRAZY since then. We had our trip to California. We had to work on our Chicago bucket list (good thing we actually embraced the city from the start or else we wouldn't gotten very far!). We had to hurry and enjoy our last weeks there before we would leave our beloved home.

Finally the time had come - our time in Chicago had come to an end.

Last week was our last week in Chicago, and it was pretty busy! I had to travel for work for a few days and Bryan spent much of that time packing up our condo. The weekend was spent packing and hanging out with great friends that we will not see often anymore now that everyone has been matched in residency and will be relocating all over the country.

Sunday, the day before moving day, we had the incredible opportunity to see my best friend Lucy play in her final masters violin recital! She had a rigorous program to play, and it was absolutely fantastic! She played the best we've ever heard her play, and we were so happy that we could be there for her at her recital. I am SO proud of her!

Monday was moving day. We had our place packed full of boxes and had some friends help us move everything out to our moving truck. Then we drove to Cleveland in the afternoon - me and Dimitri following Bryan in the moving truck! We made it safely with no major hurdles! Dimitri has been pretty nervous the past week with all of the moving boxes in our house getting packed up. He was pretty nervous in the car too. I think he knew something major was happening. I kept him calm, and eventually, he was able to relax and nap. What a good little car mate!!

Now, we are just waiting for the paperwork to be completed and the loan to go through for the mortgage, and then we'll get the key and can move in! We are patiently waiting (while also letting our muscles and bruises heal from moving out!) and we'll move in when we can. We are so excited to start this new chapter in our lives!! 

Moving in updates will come when they are available!