she writes {from} here - alyssa, chicago, il

Please welcome, Alyssa. My dear friend of many years--we met when we were 18!--and the first person to participate in my latest project "She Writes {from} Here". A blog series where I'll be showcasing women from different places and walks of life to give us a glimpse of their world.

To know Alyssa is to know what honesty, feminine grace, and a love for Jesus Christ looks like. I've watched her grow in His strength during our friendship and all of it has been a beautiful challenge to me. She is funny, cute and wonderfully intuitive. I seem to recall her being one of first to ask me directly about my possible crush on this guy named Jonathan in the women's bathroom somewhere in the windy city all those years ago. ;) 

So, settle in and get ready to enjoy a lovely walk through Chicago life with Alyssa.

You can follow her via her lovely Instagram feed: @lyss.burk

And her delightful Snapchat: lysslovesjosh

Hi! Hello (: 

I'm Alyssa and I write from a tiny little one bedroom garden apartment found nestled in Chicago where I live with my very favorite people who happen to be my husband Josh (who I prefer to simply call Husband) our year and a half old son Jedidiah (who prefers to be called Jedi) and my youngest brother Eric (who has no preference and so just goes by Eric ;)) 

Breanne has been asking me write about our life and specifically life in the city for awhile now and I've been excruciatingly slow about it, because for us it's so, oh you know, normal. Ha! I guess I could start with the 3 adults and 1 baby in a one bedroom apartment part, I'm assuming that's not so common ;)

We consider this vast beautiful city our home and our apartment just a more intimate nook of that home. And since this spacious city is ours, we really don't need that much private space. We also really like to travel, we backpacked through Europe last year and just got back from a weekend trip to New York! So to help fund our traveling dreams we converted part of our living room into a bedroom and rent out the "real" bedroom (currently to my brother, win-win!).

It has been a delightful and wonderful life rhythm for our little family and we really enjoy it. That and I've always preferred small homes, I feel like you lose people in big houses. You know what I mean? I'd happily be that storybook lady in a shoe with all her babies (; Anyway, moving on. My life. The city. Our daily rhythms within it.

I deeply enjoy the urban rhythm and beauty of city living and tend to feel most at ease and inspired within the city atmosphere. Not to say that fields, flowers, skies, and wide open spaces don't sing to me (and now that Dixie Chicks song is going to be stuck in my head the rest of the day :P) but the city GETS me. I love it. We love it. 

I remember visiting Chicago while I was traveling with a revival group 8 years ago (with our favorite Breanne, hey girl!!) and walking down the lakes shore path where you have the city scape on one side of you and seemingly endless blue water on the other side of you and I was completely awestruck.

So while Jon and Breanne were walking around falling madly in love ;) ;) ;) I was walking around thinking how cool it would be to live here. Having no idea that my then longtime close friend Josh would shortly become ever so much more and in a short 2 1/2 years later we would move from the Florida beach town where we met to this wondrous city as husband and wife.

Right before the biggest snowstorm Chicago had had in 30 years. Yeah :P Another story for another time. But we quickly adapted to the urban setting and thought riding the "L" (short for elevated subway) at night around the downtown Loop with a shared hot chocolate while looking at all the city lights was one of the most romantic things.

We discovered coffee. Really good coffee. That the city comes alive on the first true week of spring. That thrift stores are treasure troves up here. That biking is generally the fastest and most enjoyable way to get where you need to go. 

That when they say it's cold they mean 5 layers of winter clothing still feel the wind in your bones COLD.That art museums have free days. That street musicians are incredibly talented. That summer nights are magical and perfect for wandering all over the city whispering present and future dreams. That you really can work 3 jobs and go to school full time and survive on 3 hours sleep, or at least Husband can ;) ha! And now we love showing our son the intricacies and beauties of the city and its people.

Husband graduated from school and now only works 1 job instead of 3, and so spends his days working hard in his renovation business while Jedi and I spend our days exploring and adventuring the city.

This looks fairly different depending on the season, in the winter we tend to ride the bus and or the L and in the summer we tend to bike or walk. But any given day usually includes a coffee shop (I used to work as a nanny and still do here and there mainly just to pay for coffee, ha!)

And then one of our favorite museums or parks depending on the weather and what's free that day. We're currently really enjoying the Art Institute and the Harold Washington Library in our weekly rotation, such beautiful light and space!

And then we'll tuck home for a little food and a nap before heading back out to wander and explore some more. We like to end the day cooking dinner while watching for Papa to come home from work and savoring the evening light together. That or watching a tv show together before crashing asleep, haha! #reallife.

And that's us :)

I'm terrible at endings, I always linger too I'll just say it was lovely to meet you and I do hopeyou enjoyed this snapshot of us and our city mouse life :)


xoxo, Alyssa