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When we moved to Chicago 6 years ago, our intent was to live the “Big City” life for a few years to get it out of our collective system, then likely head west and end up in California or Oregon. Kim and I both love the Midwest (they say Midwest is best!) – after all, we were both raised in Ohio – but we never had any intention of staying here past birthday number 30.

And yet here we are, at 31 and 30, respectively.

We figured we’d use Chicago as a launchpad to explore the rest of the country, city by city, until we found the place that was just right for us. We’d then pack up another U-Haul, hit the road and settle down for good. Our yearly anniversary trips (see here, here, here and here) have been a fun excuse to explore maybe-cities, and – not that we’re surprised – we’ve fallen in love with every place we’ve visited. (More here, too.)

There’s only one problem – we end up comparing every other part of the country to Chicago. Is it possible that we lucked out and got it right on the first try? Is Chicago Home?

Sure, traffic is mind-numbingly, eye-gougingly horrific. Our fair city is flat as a pancake and a day away from any real mountains. But faults aside, what the Windy City lacks in large plots of nature and easy commuting, it more than makes up for in live music, art, food, beaches, green boulevards, a bustling downtown and an endless list of attractive traits that keep us yearning for this Home whenever we leave.

In other words, we fall more in love with Chicago every day.

The city limits here also contain something that is non-negotiable in our quest for the perfect plot: houses. Honest to goodness, four-walls-and-a-roof houses. With yards. And garages. Our next home will not share a wall, ceiling or floor. We’re certain of that. (Famous last words?)

What we’re not certain of is the timing of our next move. Again, back to the whole we’re 30 and thought we’d settle down about now thing.

Living in and loving our current home for 5 years has been the time of our life. At the same time, we’d be lying if we didn’t admit to craving space – just a wee bit more. And an expanded family – of foster pups! And even if it’s just a patch, we want Jack to run circles in his very own grassy yard.

2013 is looking to be an exciting, potentially transitional year for this little family. As we look forward, we welcome change and adventure, more love and more growth. We hope the same is true for all of you and we wish you a happy, healthy New Year, regardless of where those adventures lead you!

  • Carrie @DreamGreenDIY - January 1, 2013 - 8:57 AM

    Happy New Year, Kim and Scott!! May life take you exactly where you need to go =)ReplyCancel

  • Alix - January 1, 2013 - 9:32 AM

    Thanks so much for writing this! We are also originally from Ohio (Toledo, what about you guys?) and moved to Chicago a year ago for a job after grad school. We thought we’d stay a bit to get our careers on track and then dream of moving to the Pacific Northwest (Seattle or Portland maybe). Funny how similar our plans are/were!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 1, 2013 - 9:51 AM

      Thank you, Carrie!

      Alix, Scott grew up in Cincinnati, and I spent most of my life outside of the Dayton area in a town called Yellow Springs. You’d think these Chicago winters would scare us away, but there’s so much to love in this city! We didn’t expect to fall so hard.ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - January 1, 2013 - 12:16 PM

    Isnt Chicago the best? We just moved out to Portlamd, OR in June and I find myself comparing it to Chicago all the time. :sigh: I miss all of it a ton.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 2, 2013 - 9:24 AM

    Vanessa, we love Portland too though! We had an amazing time there this past summer. Aw, memories.ReplyCancel

  • Brittany - January 2, 2013 - 4:17 PM

    “Midwest is best” I’m wearing that shirt today…as I consider a move to the West coast. Thanks for reminding me of how great Chicago is and making the decision that much trickier!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 2, 2013 - 5:57 PM

    Brittany, oh no! We know the feeling, too.ReplyCancel

  • Rick - January 6, 2013 - 12:23 AM

    Seattle calls to you. Listen closely! You’re being summoned here.

    No, wait… that’s the sound of my kids bouncing off the walls.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - January 7, 2013 - 12:47 PM

    As a lifetime resident of the suburbs, I have a serious love of Chicago as well. So happy you have found the perfect fit for your family, at least thus far.

    I am absolutely loving the first photo in this post. I would love to get a high-def copy of it (for my own personal purposes of printing and displaying in my home). Would you be willing to share a digital copy or let me purchase it from you?ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 7, 2013 - 12:50 PM

    Hi Lisa! I’m sending you a personal email regarding the photo – and thank you! It does seem to be a great fit for us!ReplyCancel

  • Liliana - January 14, 2013 - 3:32 PM

    Jack could use a buddy to boss around, I mean play with =)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 14, 2013 - 3:37 PM

      Liliana, you know it! ;)ReplyCancel

  • Jill - January 22, 2013 - 9:59 PM

    Yay!!! Midwest IS BEST! & GOOD golly, I’m behind! I’m yearning for a backyard for the tots too! Torn on leaving Cincy though. :(ReplyCancel

  • Cait @ Hernando House - January 23, 2013 - 2:36 PM

    I’ve been neglecting my YBH commenting (still reading, quietly), so I thought I’d pop in to say that I totally understand the feeling of falling in love with the places you visit yet comparing them to home.

    Robert and I are both born&raised Floridians, living in the city where we grew up (near Amelia Island). We have fallen in love with San Fran & Seattle, and handful of other places. I know from 3 years of living in Tallahassee that even parts of Florida don’t feel like home (especially without a beach), so I guess the best solution for now is to travel as much as possible.

    Looking forward to reading about all your next adventures!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 23, 2013 - 6:35 PM

      Cait, thank you for chiming in. Yeah, I think we’ve realized that traveling is our best bet – and we have so many more places we want to go/see/visit! But over the years, we’ve realized that Chicago IS our home.ReplyCancel

  • Last Week: San Francisco | Bichona - October 20, 2014 - 9:59 AM

    […] a full week away, it’s good to be home again. Chicago, we do love you – so much! – but how would you feel if we started a paint all the houses! trend here? How do you feel […]ReplyCancel


It’s Thursday, but this whole week has felt like one long, happy, relaxing weekend. After a busy, bustling holiday season with the Shop (thank you a million times over – I still pinch myself at the end of every painting day; ask Scott!), I’d been looking forward to a week of downtime, to recharge these batteries. Truth be told, I’m terrible at sitting still, but I’m trying my hardest to sleep in, stay in my jammies all day and make friends with Hulu. So far, so good.

After my last custom portrait of the year was painted, I put down that paintbrush, and we spent the actual weekend downtown. We’ve lived in Chicago for over 6 years, but the city lights – especially with the holiday trimmings – still makes us smile. Although we’re a short bike or train ride from the 0/0, we enjoy being “tourists” in our own city, which by the way, we totally fit that bill since my camera never left my hand.

To celebrate a year of hard work, the holidays, and end-of-year-wind-down, we took in a Christmas-y show at the Chicago theater, shopped along State St, got lost in the Chriskindlmarket, and ate, drank and slept ’til our hearts’ content. It was awesome.

We hope you’re enjoying your very own holiday high, and we (prematurely) wish you a happy weekend. And since it’s still unclear on how many days we’ll need to recharge in pajama pants, we wish you a happy new years, too! See you in 2013.

  • Dave - December 27, 2012 - 4:32 PM

    Kimbo and Scott,
    Congrats on the Blog and the Pet Shop. What an amazing story of what hard work and dedication can accomplish. We can’t wait to see you guys.


Merry Christmas, happy holidays and a fun, restful, holly jolly Christmakuh to you! We wish you a day of fun, family and friends (or at least 2 of the 3, depending on your idea of fun, right?), and at the very least, we hope you load up your dessert plate.

We’re looking forward to spending the day with our Chicago friends (family, more like it), eating tacos, drinking Christmas coladas and catching up on the most recent chapters of Trapped In a Closet (yes, really). How very non-Christmas-y of us, but we couldn’t be happier – or feel luckier – to spend our day with the best-ests. xo.

  • Anestazia - December 25, 2012 - 10:03 AM

    Too cute! I wish we could dress our puppy up! He’d go crazy though :(ReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 25, 2012 - 11:17 AM

    Anestazia, one word: TREATS. Lots and lots of them!ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Our Waldo Bungie - December 25, 2012 - 11:47 AM

    Sounds like a wonderful Christmas!! :) Have a wonderful day!ReplyCancel

  • Mom and Dad - December 25, 2012 - 1:30 PM

    Jack, you look great. One thing, are the lights suppose to be on you, or did you help yourself?
    Merry Christmas Everyone.ReplyCancel

  • Opa - December 25, 2012 - 6:11 PM

    Sorry Jack all your street cred is gone….ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 25, 2012 - 9:27 PM

      M & D, he totally helped himself.ReplyCancel

  • dave - December 26, 2012 - 6:57 AM

    You have humiliated our grandson! Look at his face! He is begging mommy to make it go away.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 26, 2012 - 11:46 AM

    Dave, this is partially true, but he loved his Santa-neck-adornment so much, he wouldn’t let us take it off! And he’s rewarded with belly rubs and treats :)ReplyCancel

  • Helen from Cali - December 26, 2012 - 7:06 PM

    Oh jack.. Did mommy get you a Santa outfit for a chihuahua instead? Jk, you are the best looking pit mix ever! Love you sweety pieReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 26, 2012 - 10:35 PM

    Haha, Helen! It’s actually a baby girl’s dress, and we cut off the sleeves and put them on his front paws. TOO cute.ReplyCancel

  • Rebelwerewolf - December 27, 2012 - 4:28 AM

    What’s in your Christmas coladas?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 27, 2012 - 11:00 AM

      Rebelwerewolf, it’s basically a pina colada shaken and served in a martini glass. We add a drop of green food coloring before we shake it, and we garnish with grenadine (for the red) and add a lime rim. YUM.ReplyCancel