Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Patty Party of 6

I grew up celebrating Thanksgiving with extended Josiah Venture "family". There was always an abundance of food and everyone would contribute their best dishes. It wasn't until college that I actually spent my first Thanksgiving with only my family. Now that I look back at it that way, it seems backwards, but I have loved each step of the way. I am thankful for JV family during my childhood and for the Patty family I have here in Chicago now!

This year was set apart from all other Thanksgivings though. All of us Chicago Patty siblings (and Judah!) gathered together at Caleb and Haley's apartment to celebrate together. We've never cooked an entire spread of holiday food together on our own before, but what a joy to get to do just that. Haley was an incredible hostess - planning the menu and making sure not one aspect of the meal was missing. We even had homemade cranberry sauce, and a gluten-free dairy-free pumpkin pie! She's incredible.

I stayed over at Caleb and Haley's on Wednesday night and spent the morning of Thursday helping Haley in their little apartment kitchen. Honestly, I was surprised at how enjoyable and peaceful the whole day was, even with the added responsibility Caleb and Haley had of hosting the whole meal. Haley and I laughed all morning at how funny it must have looked to prepare the dishes in such little space. And we loved it.

Tyler, Lara and 2-week-old Judah were able to make it as well, which just brought all the more joy. It was special to spend a "normal" day together. It really did surprisingly feel normal. I love my siblings and my nephew!

How thankful I am for these past two and a half years with Tyler, Lara, Caleb and Haley! It was an unexpected gift that I never saw coming during my college years. It has been a joy to live Chicago life together. 

Judah was asleep by the time we got around to taking one last photo, but he's close by! I'm sure we'll have many more photos to come with him too. His aunt will make sure of that! ;) 

I wish I didn't see the bittersweetness of this Thanksgiving as well. I am thankful for these years together, but this is also the last holiday we'll spend together in Chicago before Caleb and Haley move after Caleb graduates in three weeks. I tried not to think about it on Thursday, but the reality is that change is always hard, no matter what good things are on the other side. So I fully soak in the sweetness of this time, and acknowledge that it's good to walk through the sad parts of change too.

What was the most meaningful part of Thanksgiving for you this year? I hope you look back on it with fondness already. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mishaps and Perfection

I was ready to go, eager for the day, and completely awake. My brain, however, must have had a lapse, since I thought it was Thursday instead of Tuesday.

I met my friend at 7:30 in the morning to pray together, as we always do on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and then made my way to work, completely on time before 8. I settled into processing student event proposals for Event and Guest Services in the office. After 20 minutes, a little thought crossed my mind and I checked my calendar. I was supposed to be in class at 8, not at work! Oops. Missed that one! It's on Thursdays that I go straight from prayer to work, not Tuesdays.

It ended up not causing any serious issue because I had plenty of skips left for the class, but I still felt sad for missing one of my favorite classes (Systematic Theology). It was too late at that point to even try getting to class, since it was almost half way done. Sigh.

I recount this story to you to remind you that life is full of mixups, big and little mistakes. We are not perfect in any way. So whatever might happen today, take comfort in knowing that the Lord does not require perfection, but only what you can give - excellence and diligence that honors Him and brings glory to His name. And he is gracious - oh so gracious (Psalm 145:8). We will forget things and disappoint and fail. But guess what? The Lord will never fail you and He is forever faithful.

"Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever." 

- Hebrews 13:20-21

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Senior Recital Photos: Julia

This is Julia, one of my roommates, and she's getting ready for her senior recital, which will be this coming February. As a music major at Moody, she works hard daily to bring glory to the Lord by her diligence and excellence. What a beautiful pianist she is!

Since she's planning towards her recital, we went out to take photos that will then become posters around campus inviting students to come hear. If you're a Moody student, come to her performance - it's going to be incredible!

We caught the last of fall on Friday before the snowstorm came that night. How we both savored the beauty of the University of Chicago campus! Couldn't have been a better place to reflect Julia's spirit.

And one last photo of the roomies! (Next up I'm thinking we need to get a photo with Kimberly, our third roommate too!)

Julia, you are lovely. Thanks for letting me play just a tiny role in the art that you have dedicated so much of your life to as a pianist.

Also, a side note - thanks Josh (Julia's boyfriend) for taking that last photo, and for driving us down there, accompanying us along the way! 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

At The Nest

Tonight, this was the sweetest gift: being hosted for dinner by friends who live three floors above my apartment.

Rae and Jenna love people, art, good food, theology. For them, an apartment is not just a space; it is their home tucked into the city among the treetops, nicknamed "the nest". They invited Kelley and I over to cook dinner together and the evening itself was food for the soul.

It may not look like anything unique in the photo, but a picture fails for an evening like this one. I simply want to remember it. Butternut Squash Chipotle chili, kale salad with cranberries, raspberries and chocolate as dessert, Billie Holiday music on a record player, and the first city snow outside.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Who Would Have Guessed?

What a privilege it is to share life with my siblings these days. I know it is for a season, but I have been soaking up the frequent hello's and get-togethers.

Caleb will be graduating in December and he and Haley will move on to the next chapter after that. I'm all the more treasuring this time with both of them. I'm excited for them, for what's ahead for them. But it comes too with a sense of grieving. It's both sides. That particular change of life seasons has not come yet, though the end of the semester is drawing nearer, bittersweetly.

Right now I'm enjoying days like Monday. Haley and I went out for coffee and grocery shopping on this surprisingly warm November day. I could never have imagined 7 years ago when we first met that we'd be walking the streets of Chicago together - as sisters.