Meet Glen Ellyn residents Jodie, Tyler and Olivia. The Vedders moved to Glen Ellyn in March of 2020, during the first few days of COVID and the lockdown. Needless to say, this did add a bit of a challenge as far as getting out in the community and meeting new friends. But this adorable family didn’t take long to settle in, get involved and fall in love with Glen Ellyn (all over again for Jodie).
Evan grew up in New Jersey, and after his senior year of high school moved to Illinois to attend college. I grew up in Glen Ellyn from second grade on and attended Churchill, Hadley and Glenbard West. Evan and I met 20 years ago this December at the Village Tavern and Grill. After living in the city for many years, we knew we needed to make a change to the suburbs. We planned to move out of state after we sold our condo, but Glen Ellyn ended up being the right fit for our family. We are both so happy that we chose to move (back for me) to Glen Ellyn and have our kids go to West. Evan always knew what a beautiful town it was, and to raise kids here, it just made sense. For the first time since leaving New Jersey, Evan felt part of a community and not the only “East Coaster.” It was and is refreshing to meet so many people from the East Coast and have many commonalities. He doesn’t feel like it is just “Jodie’s” town now. Glen Ellyn really has a sense of community, and it is very important for our kids to be involved as well as ourselves.
And when not busy with the kids playing soccer, dancing or swimming, we are making the most out of everything this area has to offer. Danby Park has become our favorite. It is a hop, skip and a jump across the street. It is one of the many reasons we bought this house. Our oldest has met many of his friends there, which helped transition him into kindergarten at Lincoln. We also love Lake Ellyn (who doesn’t!) for family photos and walks around the lake and fishing. Coming from the city, we knew we wanted to be able to be within walking distance of downtown. During the summer we hit up Sunset Pool almost every day. Santa Fe has always been one of our favorites. I have been going there since I was in the second grade. When Evan and I met, I took him there and introduced him to the very best margarita. Several years later, we had our wedding rehearsal dinner there. Maize and Mash, Shannon’s and Noble House is also at the top of our list! We also love the Village Tavern and Grill in Carol Stream; it is where we met, and we celebrate dinner there every December 7th.
Friday nights we always order in pizza from Barones, or if Evan is craving his Jersey-style pizza, we order from The Slice Spot (a Jersey favorite, previously Ornos). We also have a popcorn night with our movie theater popcorn machine. The kids love watching new movies each Friday, and we have started to move our movie watching outdoors on the patio. Holidays are a big deal in our home. I may go a little bit overboard when it comes to celebrations, but my outlook is that no matter the holiday or occasion, a little celebration and fun is something they will always remember. This is not about presents, it’s about traditions and fun. I only get 18 years to do it up for them until they are off celebrating in the ways they want to, and I hope they bring the excitement that I gave to them to their adult life.
We are also very active in the community. Evan and I are both involved in the PTA at Lincoln. I am working with the social committee, and Evan has helped with end-of-year financials. We want to be as involved as possible. I am also on the Board for Membership with Glen Ellyn Newcomers and Neighbors and the DIY lead. I am looking forward to all the events to come this year. I have met a great group of women, and the kids have met some great friends as well.
And outside of the amazing restaurants, parks and schools, what we love about Glen Ellyn and the surrounding towns is the community. From the day we moved in, we received “Welcome to the Neighborhood” notes, handmade masks and plants. It has been so great to get to know people that have raised their kids in Glen Ellyn, that are still raising their kids or are new to the neighborhood. The sense of community is great, especially how we all help each other out.
Photos at the Glen Ellyn Boathouse are courtesy of HB Photography.