Lily, her family happy to be in Hinsdale

Sarah Blatchford submitted the entry for her daughter, Lily, to be on the cover as Hinsdale's happiest baby at 12:08 a.m., after she finished her shift at Loyola University Medical Center. Her husband, Marcus Quek, is a surgeon there, and with two small children at home, the couple's schedule is full.

"I think medical school and residency was great training for raising kids," Marcus said. "We're used to not getting a whole lot of sleep."

Since the two moved from River North to Hinsdale in October, they've also had help from Sarah's mom, Susan. "Grammie Bear's headquarters" are on the third floor of the couple's Park Avenue home.

Although things are mostly back to normal at work, Marcus said he felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring, when many elective surgeries had to be canceled.

"I think that was tough on our patients," he said. "They are considering elective surgery, but with the work that I do, it is mostly with cancer patients. These are things that need to be done in a timely manner. It was tough not being able to provide that service to them."

Sarah missed a few months of work during the pandemic while on maternity leave after Lily's birth in June. The schedule now is full.

"We've been very, very busy in the OR because everybody has met their deductible," Sarah said.

She and her husband received the vaccine Dec. 19 and 20, respectively, which was a relief.

"We will be on the road to normalcy," she said.

While Sarah always knew she wanted to be in the OR, Marcus didn't decide he wanted to go into medicine until he was in college.

"I kind of gravitated toward science and seemed to be better in that than some of the other things," he said. "I tried my hand in economics, but I didn't do too well in that, so I figured I'd just become a doctor."

Like so many others, they regretted not being able to invite family members over for the holidays.

"It's sad because we really want to open up our new house and have people over," Sarah said. "Hopefully, it will be even bigger and better next year."

The pandemic also has made it more difficult for the family to acclimate to their new home town.

"I really want to be able to do things with the kids, like take them to the library and do library time," Sarah said, adding that she'd also love to join a moms and tots group.

Marcus said he has enjoyed walking through town, admiring the different architectural styles of all the homes and checking out the small shops in the downtown.

"I think it's really cool. I wish the restaurants were open so we could enjoy all of that," he said.

He said he's looking forward to dining out and seeing friends in person instead of virtually.

But the couple already knows they made a good choice moving here.

"We already are really happy, and we are psyched to make lifelong memories here," Sarah said.

- story by Pamela Lannom, photo by Jim Slonoff