Thursday, August 29, 2013

city snapshots with the herd.

so of course being in my all time favorite city in the world, we made time to walk around downtown and visit all of our favorite restaurants and stores. it's especially fun with my family. we kept calling ourselves "the herd" (you know like in walking dead?) 'cause we all moved together in one big crowd. you can't just say "excuse me" for yourself when you walk down the sidewalk - you have to say it for the whole lot of us. 

~ she thinks her mom is hilarious...or just weird. you be the judge of that face. ~ 

there was also a lot of Lux snuggling time on this trip. i didn't see my little niece for a whole week since the reception - goodness, she def had a growth spurt of some sort and she def is cuter and cuter every time i see her. she kills me with her cuteness. one of my friends said that Lux makes her want to have babies like NOW. Lux def has that affect on people for sure. but for the record, i am very happy to be an aunt. for now at least. one day for sure but for now, i love being an aunt. again, that was for the record. 

~ more city walking. people are exceptionally happy in the windy city as you can tell by katie (kristine's ryan's sister) and kristine's faces. or maybe they were just excited about Chipotle. ~ 

~ ben affleck and bruce willis' armaggedon, right? ~ 

~ rush street is one of my favorite streets in Chicago. it's always a happening place. ~ 

ashley's request for our "last supper" together as a family before we all too off was Chipotle. chicken burrito bowl, no beans with lots of pico de gallo, sour cream, cheese and a teeny bit of lettuce. heavenly. it never gets old for me.

this might sound so strange to you...but when this family is apart, we can feel it. we literally sense it and something feels off. weird, right? but we can. this happened back when kristine and i were in college together in Chicago, mom and ashley in south carolina, and dad was stationed in D.C. there is a lack of completion until we are all together again - at home under one roof. sure...we all are able to go on with our lives. we live. we work. we still love life but we all look look forward to the next time we can all be together again. i am very blessed and def do not take our herd family for granted. 

much love.
{happy friday, friend.}

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

i do still wear clothes.

 tee: Urban Outfitters / leggings: F21 / oxfords: c/o Bait Footwear (last season) / skirt: c/o Lulu*s / sunglasses: c/o Tailor and Stylist 

not like i haven't for the past week. worn clothes, i mean. i just haven't posted an outfit post in forever, or so it feels. i even had ideas to take some outfit pictures while we were in Chicago last week...and yeah, that just didn't happen. i felt like i blinked and i was there with my family - and now like Dorothy clicking her glittery red heels (or silver if you actually read the book), i'm back home.

it's bittersweet to be completely honest. i miss my family like crazy. i think all of us have gone into depression especially since we were all together for pretty much all of summertime. we group message everything, keeping up to date on each other's lives since we said our goodbyes last weekend. but on the other hand, it is very good to be home with my husband again...and for good. all summer long, i was packing my bags and kissing my husband goodbye and running out the door. however, knowing me, the travel bug won't take long bite and give me a fever for wanderlust.

much love.
{happy thursday, friend.}

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

moody friends. literally and not so literally.

one of the special parts of this trip to Chicago was not only to be with my family during this brand new season of our lives, but i also got a chance to catch up with some of my college and Chicago friends. (and for those of you who don't know, i am an alum of Moody Bible Institute; hence the blog title.)  not to get all soft on you here, but there is something so refreshing for the soul when talking, laughing and hanging out with those people you are blessed to call your friends.  

~ this girl. nora is one of my longest and closest friends from my college days. it's so good to laugh and go crazy with her. we always have a good time. ~ 

~ fro-yo is always our go-to place when we get together. love me pinkberry. ~ 

~ got to catch up with nora's husband, rick. it was so good to see him and nora together. he and ryan were actually in graduate school together and served on the same Philippine missions team when we all went together a few years ago. ~ 

~ love her. enough said. ~ 

~ oh, it did my heart so good to see have dinner at lou's (one of my favorite pizza places in Chicago - deep dish butter crust, yes please!) with josh and sarah. sarah was my old roommate (my last one before i got married!). if you read my blog in the early days of blogging, her face might be familiar to you. josh is husband and is also a great friend of mine and ryan's. ~

~ when we lived together, sarah and i had this huge "LAUGH" sign that we hung in our living room 'cause she and i seriously love to laugh. we could look at each other and die over something. and so naturally as josh was about to take this picture of us, this random guy walks in front of the camera, looks at us and says really loudly, "CHEESE!" and we bust out laughing. that first picture def captured our friendship. ~ 

~ ash is one of those friends who really knows me. we served as RAs together but i don't think our friendship really blossomed until after college when we both lived in the city. we can go from laughing about old memories to bring it down to a very real level. and whenever we catch up, we always do over Starbucks coffee. ~ 

~and i finally got to meet her baby august. he is the most handsome little fellow ever! when we were in college, we used to say how fun it would be live in the same neighborhood and walk our babies together. we laughed over that as we walked through downtown Chicago especially when ash said, we are halfway there! maybe in a few years, we will get to live out that little dream. ~ 

~ the time i spent with this girl is never enough. ~ 

~ i got the chance to see bryce and emmy, the two little (and they were so little then!) ones ryan and i used to babysit for...and yeaaaah, they aren't so little anymore! the fact that they are in the 7th and 6th grade blew my mind. we were sad that ryan wasn't a part of this sweet reunion, but we hope to be able to visit with them the next time he and i come to the city together. it was also especially sweet to see Cathy and catch up on life with her. ~

 ~ during that same meet-up with bryce and emmy, kristine got to meet-up with the family she babysat for during her time in Chicago. i couldn't believe how tall matthew is...and it was fun to meet the two other babies that came along after we left Chicago! ~ 

~ l to r: with the best boss ever, Joe. seriously, don't think i'll ever have a better boss.  / with my old lincoln park neighbor and friend, julie (who married a Ryan, too!) / one of my favorite college profs, Ms. Hecht who inspird my writing in so many ways / nathan, my co-leader on many past Philippine mission trips and friend of mine and Ryan's ~ 

there were still a handful of friends that i was not able to get in touch with to meet, so hopefully i'll get that chance the next time i make it to the city. but like i mentioned above, there is something that stirs the soul when you spend time with people you call friends. i think there is more i want to say on that - we'll save that for another blog post...but without any more words, i'm sure from these pictures alone, you can already tell what i am talking about. 

much love.
{happy wednesday, friend.}

Monday, August 26, 2013

so it happened...

our baby sister. the last of the Gamboa girls. little Bethie (my nickname for her for years). last Tuesday, she packed everything but the kitchen fridge and made the big trip to Chicago. and don't you worry - the whole gaggle of us came along for this ride - my parents (of course) Peyton, my other sister, her husband Ryan, baby Lux, and their dog, Alexio...and on their way up north, they made a quick trip to Atlanta to pick me up on the way. (sadly, my Ryan couldn't come with us 'cause of work but he got the chance to see her off Tuesday morning when they picked me up.)

~ the view from Ashley's dorm room. jealous much? ~ 

we didn't get to Chicago till about 3 in the morning (it was a 19 hour roadtrip total), but we were all up and ready to get out of bed early Wednesday morning, excited to help Ashley with her big move in. we arrived on campus - everything so exciting and surreal. it also felt a bit of de ja vu for Kristine, my parents and me - as Kristine and i are alumni of Moody Bible Institute. (has it really been 11 years since i stepped foot on this campus as a freshmen?! crazy how time flies!)

 ~ all moved into her dorm room (which turns out to be the same floor i lived on my freshmen and sophomore year). and yes, of course, she brought she brought her one direction swag. no way did she plan to leave her boys home. ~ 

~ and you know i wouldn't let this post go without some sort of gif action // someone is pretty stoked about the top bunk ~ 

~ Ryan helping Ashley set up her new laptop. this picture cracks me up. oh, Ashley. ~ 

~ and of course, Ashley found time to hang out with Baby Lux in the midst of moving in ~ 

later that evening, after we got Ashley and her stuff all settled in, we got a chance to attend the Dedication Service. it was very moving as we had a time of worship and prayer over the new students, the parents, and staff. i remember looking around the room and seeing families lay hands on the shoulders of their students, some parents with tears in their eyes or pride on their faces. it was a wonderful way to end the long day.

~ so proud of these two and excited to see what God will do in their lives in the next 4 years! Tyreesh is a good friend of Ashley and our family - it was super fun to see a familiar face on campus! ~ 

 ~ at the Dedication Service with the Dr. Nyquist, president of MBI ~ 

this is one of my favorite pictures from my week back in Chicago. we took it after we finished setting up her room. (i mean, come on - check out that rocking bed spread?! are we sisters or what? our taste is totally up the same alley.) i love the happiness on both of our faces - the obvious pride on mine and excitement on hers. and i cannot say it enough: i could not be more proud of this girl! world, look out! love you so much, Bethie! 

much love.
{happy Tuesday, friend.}