We visited Second Unitarian Church the following Sunday; as I've written about before here and here, we found it to be the missing piece. I watched as the Children's Choir walked up to the chancel in their dark pants and white shirts to sing, wishing that my kids were among them.
Today I walked into Second Unitarian Church with a bagful of Christmas cookies that the boys and I had baked yesterday for the bake sale, and I watched with delight as Baxter walked up to the chancel in his new black pants and white shirt to sing with the Children's Choir.
A year ago this week, Matt and I went out for the first time ever with a realtor to look at condos here in Chicago. On our first day out, we pulled up in front of a beautiful brick 1920s building in Rogers Park, right on Lake Michigan. "This is my first choice for you guys," said our realtor. I looked out the window of his car and took in the wrought iron gate, the stained glass windows, large seasonal planters, and the beautiful fresh greenery and white lights that tastefully adorned the front door. I held my breath. A week later, on Christmas Eve, our offer on that unit had been accepted and we were celebrating.
This weekend I have spent hours in the kitchen of that home, listening to George Winston's December, drinking Celestial Seasonings Gingerbread tea (yum!), and baking Christmas cookies. Cookies that will be given to, among other people, the neighbors who put so much effort into the fresh greenery, white lights, and seasonal planters that have been placed anew out on the front porch of this grand place we call home.