I was born and raised in Peoria, which I always thought was a small town. I am comfortable in big cities: Chicago, Houston, Dallas, and Los Angeles are some of my favorites. My parents instilled a great sense of independence and work ethic in all seven of my siblings. This drove me to follow my heart to college in Los Angeles, some 2000 miles from home. I am so thankful for the decision I made to wander so far from home and follow my dreams to pursue a career in Physical Therapy. I truly feel this was my career calling. Psychology, spirituality, anatomy, physics, anatomy and a little bit of arts and crafts all rolled into one job where I get to care for people, teach them how to be more independent ,and encourage them to get back to life.
I met my husband, Jeremy, through a person we both still consider a mutual friend. New Years Eve was involved, as was A LOT of wine! Enough said. We live in the country outside of Tremont, Illinois...remember when I said I thought Peoria was small?
We have three kids. Jake is 7; he is very smart, insightful and sensitive; plus he loves to read and loves school. Charlie is 6; he is a lefty, loves sports, giggling and misbehaving. Will is our guardian angel; a bit of a surprise, but a blessing to us in every way. The best part of of raising Jake and Charlie (and Jeremy, if you ask his mom) is watching them learn new things. They will try anything; and by anything, I mean climbing the barn, sliding off the chicken coop roof, outdoor toileting.....you get the picture. This has led me to drop my guard a little and install play things at our house that are meant to be dangerous: slack lines, a trampoline, and a zipline.
Growing up as part of a large family, I always had built-in playmates. We had a big yard and did everything outdoors: tire swings, creek exploring (poison ivy leaf toilet paper anyone?), sledding, leaf jumping, basketball, baseball at the empty lot, skateboarding, and good old fashioned fighting. It is similar with my kids now. We spend a lot of time outside: working on landscaping, playing on the playground, yard work with the Gator. Some of us are better at it than others, but i am hoping having kids is like physical therapy: first you do most of the work, then they do most of the work!
There are 2 places in central Illinois Charlie loves. One is the Children's Discovery Museum in Normal, IL; there is something new every time we go. The other place he loves to go is to Grandma Ropp's lake. My boys swim like fish, kayak, paddle board and paddle boat by themselves already. Jake's favorite place to go is Barnes and Noble; we go in empty handed and leave with a big bag of books.
I love having Bushbaby in the Peoria area. Beth and Sonya typically get a visit from me on Friday's; aka my "day off". They have really saved me a lot of gas driving to Chicago for summer basics. Keen sandals are a must have; they provide toe protection and hose off easily. I also love, Love, LOVE the Patagonia baggies. I am a big fan of classic styles and I prefer the solid colors and medium leg length of the baggies to all the crazy swim wear I see in other stores. I also love the Conservation Project. It allows my to put my quality items back in circulation even after withstanding 2 boys. A few weeks ago I scored a pair or brown leather Merrell that were worn in and soft!!
Since my husband is a landscaper, we don't typically have extravagant summer plans. I take a couple individual weeks off to hit the yard work heavy, otherwise maybe a weekend in St. Louis, Chicago, or Indianapolis with the boys. My boys, however, will likely be slipping, sliding, falling, swimming, reading, exploring and generally driving me crazy. All three of them...but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Thanks so much for sharing a bit about you + your family, Chrissy! We love your Friday visits -- and your dropoffs to the Conservation Project! Enjoy your summer with those adventurous boys!