Cubs Clinch!

This is what October's all about!

(ht: espn.com for photo)


Friends, Family, and Photography

Monica's sister, Leah, flew in last weekend for a whirlwind tour of our great city and to spend some time with us. We had a blast taking her around town and getting to catch up on life. I also took advantage of our time downtown by taking some more artistic, city-scape type pictures. Here's a mix of the two...enjoy!

the "L" train in b&w

waiting for the L

inside the chicago symphony orchestra building

the staircase inside the symphony's foyer

the skyline (note how small the sear's tower looks! yes, it's the one in the background!)

on the town

cool in chi-town

the stage at millenium park in b&w

the city in b&w

Of course, our trip wasn't all about taking pictures.... As we were walking on the famous Navy Pier, Monica recognized a family friend whom she has not seen in nine years! How random! Meet the Brenners! (from left to right: Leah, Monica, Kathy, Kaitlin, and Dana)

But the fun didn't stop there! As our final stop along the GeeFamily Chicago tour, we walked down to Moody Bible Institute and visited with our San Clemente buddy, Jenna. One of the main campus buildings is in the background...and if anyone who knows Jenna's mom, Jill, is reading this blog, make sure to ask her about the elevator incident when she dropped Jenna off...it's pretty funny!

From Our Porch

Here's a quick view from our front porch...it's fall right now, and we love it!


Welcome to my Office!

Thought you might like to see the place where I work.

Maybe someday I will post pictures of my office! More pictures to come - my sister is visiting this weekend! Yay!!


Meray Dost Heidi

This weekend has been a special treat - my friend (or in Hindi Meray Dost) Heidi has come to visit!! Heidi has spent the past year living in Delhi, India and working with University students over there. It has been such a blessing to catch up with one another and to see how each of us has grown and changed over the past year. Today Brian, Heidi, Scott, Katie and I all went into Chicago to explore the city and enjoy one anothers fellowship. Here are some pictures from our day.

We obviously had a very good time and had some great food at Giordano's off of Rush Street in Chicago. As much fun as we had, Heidi still misses Delhi and can't wait to go back!

With one more day until she leaves, I am going to finish this post and hang out with Meray Dost Heidi! Namaste!


Introducing...The Third Coast

Most of you are probably scratching your head saying, "Brian, have you lost your mind? There's only two coasts, and you're not close to either of them!" Au contraire!

Consisting of over 11,000 miles of (mostly) unsurfed shorelines spread out along five lakes, the Third coast is the largest coastline in the United States! And yesterday as couple friends who had heard that I surfed back in SoCal invited me to surf Lake Michigan.

And it was a blast! Though by the time we got to Cliffs (the beach) the surf had died down to around 2-3 ft., we still got in several good waves. The sets rolled in consistently and there was enough push to get our 8'6" boards going. The water temp was 67 and the air was a cool 65, especially as I was trunking it! But it was worth it.

For those who aren't familiar with lake surfing (I was one of them), allow me to tell you a bit about it...

Remember back to the early days of surfing when you'd be cruising along a freeway to get to your favorite spot with your surfboards strapped to the top and people would look at you like you were crazy? Well I don't, but I've heard plenty of stories along that line. And though surf culture has exploded (or imploded) in SoCal, it is still alive and well here on the lakes. As we were driving down the coastal highways, people would stare at us as if we were from a different planet. My friend Don (it was Don and his brother Joe Jones I went surfing with) even told me of a time he went out and a person motioned to him to role down his window, only to inform him that California was 2,000 miles away! And we wouldn't want it any other way here.

Surfing is still underground here. We were the only ones on the beach that night. And as we were driving along the coast, it felt as if we could drive as far north as the shore would go only to find miles of beaches that have never been surfed before. That's what made surfing great back home, and that's what makes surfing the lakes so much fun out here!

(Joe on the left, Don on the right - Look close enough, and you'll see Joe's got a Stewart...Rock on Bill...your boards are awesome!)

Many thanks again to Don and Joe for having me along! You guys rock!

Click on the following names if you're interested in either Stewart's Boards or Third Coast Surf Shop - the Official Surf Shop of the Third Coast.

Worship at Wrigley

*NOTE: For any who may be of a sensitive conscience, this is written completely tongue-in-cheek. Have fun!(pictures are below)

A week or so ago, we (Monica and I) came across two highly charged and engaging religious tracts that read "Tickets to Wrigley Field" on the top. Immediately we knew that a divine hand was moving in a special way in our lives. The service was to begin at 7:05; the address: 1060 West Addison, Chicago, IL. So, as obedient servants of our Cubby master, we dawned our religious regalia (Cubs sweatshirts and caps) and headed off to join thousands of other Chicagoland worshippers for what was to be nothing short of a revival.

The pilgrimage to our Mecca took about an hour-and-a-half curteousy of the Metra and the "L". But it was worth every breathsqeezing moment (literally, as the train was packed with fellow devotees). Finally, the train pulled into the station. Our hearts began to race. Sweat bands formed atop my brow (Monica, of course, was shining as ever!). We descended both from the train and then the station. Immediately we were bombarded by those most vile creatures called street vendors, who make the stadium a den of robbers. Having rushed quickly passed the brooding vipers, we came to the street corner. Not being able to withold our joy anymore, we leaped across the street.

Oh the joy! Oh the grandeur! Before us stood one of the oldest and longest functioning stadiums in all of baseball history. And to greet us as we approached was no other than Harry Carry himself (well, his statue at least). We traded our tickets at the gate and entered into the shrine, yes, into the inner court with our fellow believers. Those outside the gate were not worthy that evening. But we were in. Finding our seats in back left field reserve level, we gazed and beheld the very field that the Chicago Cubs - the honored home team - have called home for almost a century.

Breathless as we were, the game began. Those infidels - the great dragon who ascends from the abyss, yes, even that very Harlot of Babylon, the Dodgers, were the opposing team that night. The battle was hard, the worshippers devoted. Up and down we went chanting incantations and benedictions, pleaing for some sign that we would reign victorious. To our great chagrin, the darkness triumphed over the light that night - a metaphor that shows even when victory is assured to those children of light, they must still be diligent to fight hard during trials, lest they fall. With that evening's message impressed upon our hearts and minds, we left the stadium somber but rejoicing that we had been counted worthy to join the ranks of those whose hearts shall forever be enjoined to our Chicago Cubs.


Welcome to Our Humble Abode!

Well, it is high time that we provided you with a photo tour of our home. Hope you enjoy!!

All houses (or apartments) must have an entryway. Ours begins in this lovely garden and continues into our very functional storage area.

We are usually greeted by this mild tempered collie named Tessie.

Finally, you get to our front door and are welcomed into our happy home.

As you enter to the right of the "foyer" you will find a long hallway. On the left hand side is our bathroom.

And on the right hand side is our study/craft/book room. Our desks are featured here. Brian's is a little messy - but that is what happens when you have to do homework all day!

At the end of the hall, you might stop to enjoy our "art gallery" displaying some of our favorite photos from our Israel trip last summer.

At this point, you would find yourself in our living room. You might see Brian on the couch as in this photo.

Or you might look around and notice the custom made curtains or beautiful wedding photos on the walls.

From there you could go to our bedroom and could appreciate our bedspread from Israel.

On your way back out you might notice our small entertainment center - but you definitely couldn't get past seeing the pipes that go through our ceiling. These give the place so much character!

After going back through the living room, you would notice our "parisian" dining area.

Finally you would pass through our kitchen and end up in the same foyer where you started.

700 square feet of pure love! Hope you can come in person sometime soon!