2013 A Year in Review

Around this time of the year I instinctively start looking forward at a new year.  I think about goals and lists and even dreams for the 365 days that lie ahead.  And I have a post ready to go about our year to come.  But rarely do I spend time reflecting on the year that has passed and all that comes with it.  So, I spent some time tonight after using flipgram thinking about this year as it wraps up.

http://web.stagram.com/p/620506927545505031_30715308

This 15 second clip was only a small sampling of my Instagram pics for the year.

(Are we following each other btw?)

I vowed in 2013 that we would settle in and down for the long haul.  Every month I can remember things that happened so I thought it would be cool to see the year recapped in my memory.

January- The flu hit me hard.  We joined Lifetime and I felt like I was back at it from a fitness perspective.

February- Medical stuff in our families made this month tough.

March- Spring break in Florida. I flew alone with two kids and survived and we had an awesome week in the south soaking up some sun even though it was unusally chilly!

April- We were hit with record rains and we found out the meaning of community when it comes to our block. It caused us to remove a massive tree that was a huge liability in our front yard.

May-  The month was a blur trying to get to the end of the year.  Cate started daycare again for her second time and did remarkably well.

June-  Poor Cate got so sick after her return to daycare that she ended up in the emergency room.  Brady started a sports camp and loved it.  The weather was erratic causing power outages and trees down.

July- Brady experienced his first Fourth of July fireworks show and loved it.  We spent some awesome days at the beach and pool.  We took the kids to Navy Pier on what seemed to be the hottest day of the year when our air conditioning also went out.

August- Daycare, back to school and end of the summer stuff kept us busy! The  beach and Oz Park were highlghts!

September- Cate turned 2.  We went apple picking for the first time ever and had a blast and made it Rader Farm.

October- Brady turned 4.  A trip to Virginia to meet my niece.

November- Thanksgiving.  A quick trip to California that showed exactly why so many people love it out there.

December-  We did Santa and cookie decorating parties. And holiday happy hours and silent auctions for work.  The zoo lights and more. We got our share of sickness. We did dinner with friends and spent the entire month celebrating by eating and drinking.

Looking back I feel lucky to live the life I do. And 2013 was so good to us.  So, now its time to look at 2014. And prepare. And dream. And wish.  Until next year…

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Lists of Five Things

I looked at the calendar today and realized I go back to school in five weeks exactly.  Then I looked at my list of things I wanted to do with the kids, to the house and for myself and realized there is no chance most of those things will get done.  And if I am honest, it frustrates the heck out of me.  The balance being at home is really hard for me. When my kids are home I don’t want to drag them to Pottery Barn I want to play, and swim and bike and enjoy the weather.  I feel really funny about putting them at daycare in the summer when I am home because they deserve some time at home with their mama away from the grind we do 10 months out of the year.  I found myself spending my one day this week that was kid free shopping, working out, having lunch and reading at the pool for an hour and yet I am mad at myself that my walls are still bare and there are so many rooms that need attention in our house.

Some of you will tell me I am just lucky I get some me time.  Some of you will tell me, including my ma, that I need to have days like these.   I get it. I know that as a teacher I need some down time. Some time to be me, relax, decompress and just be.  But I also know how precious time is when I am kid free and can actually work on a project.

So, today I am making a 5 Things List. 5 things I want to do with the kids before I return to work, 5 things I want to get done in my house and 5 things I want to do for me.  Sure, it could be 500 in some categories but I am trying to keep it attainable and doable and then we or I will make another list.

5 Things for the Kids

  • Go to the zoo- Brookfield or Lincoln Park
  • Go the beach
  • Go to Ravinia Kids Music Festival or the Wednesday night Concert in the Park series
  • Ride the train and have lunch with daddy
  • Go to a waterpark

5 Things for the Home

  • Finish the wall art in the living room above the couch
  • Buy an accent piece for the entry way
  • Mark out and decide on dining room table
  • Re-finish vintage buffet for dining room (Bradyism “Can I get a little help here?”)
  • Get kitchen office area organized

5 Things for Me

  •  Get new running shoes
  •  Get a massage
  •  Buy a pair of black pants
  •  Take a huge bike ride in the Forest Preserve or one the lakefront
  •  Spend an afternoon at the pool alone with a book.

Totally doable right? Right. So, I am going to hold myself to it and check in weekly with you before I go back to school to show you what I have done. Hmmm… where should I start?

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Welcome to the Suburbs Storm Style

We had seen on the weather reports that like every other day this spring we were in for rain this week. I didn’t think much of it except to make a snarky comment to Glenn about our old house needing an arc if it was going to rain as much as they said it was.  But our new house is high on the street, has a sump up and a back-up and to this point has not given us reason to worry about a little rain. Little was not the right word. 

It started raining on Wednesday… most of the day on and off.  It was a tranquil steady rain that made you want to curl up with a hot drink and a book and watch it come down.  By dinner time it was really raining. We slept through the storm on Wednesday night with the exception of the thunder and lightning that woke me up but not anyone else in our house.  I got in the shower on Thursday morning and thought nothing of the rain the night before. I only kept thinking how wet I was going to get taking Brady in to preschool.  
My phone started buzzing at 6:15 with my mom asking if we could talk. Still not thinking anything I called her to hear that my brother’s house was flooded in Elmhurst, my brother was in D.C. and my dad was on his way from Bloomington to help my sister in law. At that point, I looked at Glenn with panic in my voice and told him to check the basement. He did and there was a SMALL puddle seeping in.

Brady and I left to go to school and then I saw this.

I put the car in reverse knowing Glenn’s car would not make it through the water. We shuttled our nanny and her son through the water in our SUV and then the three of us set off for preschool, school and work. It took us a long time, lots of rerouting and what we saw brought tears to my eyes. Homes submerged that looked they were floating. And on top of it all the rain was not stopping.

After getting to school, it was decided a few minutes later to cancel.  The daycare was closing. Glenn left work, we picked up Brady and headed home. To find this.

The only route to and from our house was a kayak. 

I learned today that my street and neighbors are amazing, even the ones that have lost everything.

So thank you suburbs and mother nature. For teaching me a couple of lessons- that my neighbors are fighters and my friends and that my sump pump is the new love of my husband’s life. 

And even after a storm, beauty shows up. Hello pretty deer looking for dry land. And oh, snowflakes you can go away anytime. 

Happy Weekend Friends.

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