It is so so so great. So great, in fact, that this break has felt like 42 seconds long to me. The past week has gone by so quickly that I really can't believe it's been a regulation-length-week. We've been to Philadelphia, back to Chicago, up to Libertyville, further up to Cedar Grove, back down to Lansing, up again to Chicago, and now tonight I finally sit next to Brian on our couch in Villa Park, nagging him to attend to writing letters of recommendation for his students. I'm not much better, as I have plenty of unit planning and resource-hunting on my to-do list that is being ignored in its own right. We're pretty exhausted, burned out, and ready to finally sleep in for once, but it has been an awesome 8 days thus far. While looking back makes it all seem like a blur, there are great themes that stick out in my mind, defining the chaos of event after event a little more clearly into focus. It mostly all revolves around family.
I got to see Philadelphia, where Brian grew up until he was 14. One goofy part of that trip was a trip to the Xfinity Live! sports bar that quite the spectacle. We went there to watch the Eagles game (pronounced egg-uhlz) with a few of his cousins. All I can say that it was a land flowing with beer and nachos, complete with the scantily clad cheerleaders (I let my own feminist statement be known about the cheerleaders before we proceeded to watch most of the game...) and rowdy fans. It explained a lot about what it means to be a sports fan in Philly, which really addresses what it means to be a human in Philly. They are passionate about their sports. We also got a tour of Delaware County Christian School, the school in Pennsylvania where Brian attended from Kindergarten through 8th Grade. It has a beautiful campus, a great history, and a solid foundation. I love the school where I teach, and it's encouraging to see brilliant people putting their talents toward helping kids discover who they were made to be. That "great cloud of witnesses" line comes to mind when I have experiences like this. My in-laws met on that campus (high school sweethearts!), Brian's grandma used to work in the office there, Brian's aunt taught second grade there, and he and lots of his family members received an awesome foundation as students there. The current head of school at DCC used to be Brian's professor at Wheaton, so it was cool to get an inside look at a place so important to Brian's formation. The best part of the trip, by far, was spending time with the Whartnaby clan. We had a Christmas party, ate lots of chicken parmesan, and made great memories. The whole trip out east was really great for me. I got to connect with my new aunts, uncles, and cousins, but I also got to have a bigger perspective of who my husband is. I could really get a good vibe of where his roots began, thanks to the many driving tours my father-in-law provided through the different suburbs and city of Philadelphia. I love that being married means discovering more and more about the man I married with each milestone and month that passes. It only makes me love him more.