Archives for July 2013

5 Things Update

Happy Friday friends! Dang, this week just flew by. Two weeks ago I posted about my List of Five Things- for me, my kids and my house.  It’s two-week later and I have accomplished some things…Let’s see how I did shall we?

5 Things for the Kids

  • Go to the zoo Brookfield or Lincoln Park– headed to the Brookfield Zoo tomorrow! That counts right? 
  • Go the beach  We have been twice actually to the Glencoe Beach! It has been hot and that has helped but we had such a good time both times we went!
  • Go to Ravinia Kids Music Festival or the Wednesday night Concert in the Park series– We went this past Wednesday the weather was amazing and we had fun but had to leave a little earlier than we hoped because our kids were kind of naughty! 
  • Ride the train and have lunch with daddy
  • Go to a water park

5 Things for the Home

  • Finish the wall art in the living room above the couch
  • Buy an accent piece for the entry way   It’s cute and from an antique market in my hometown. Totally my style which I need to show you more of soon promise!
  • Mark out and decide on dining room table we know what size we need now it is just a matter of going to have it custom-made.
  • Re-finish vintage buffet for dining room (Bradyism “Can I get a little help here?”)- halfway done. It is up to me to get it 100% done. More on this soon!
  • 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.

I will add that the past two weeks we went to Navy Pier and their Children’s Museum for a day and we took Brady to Legoland so we did a lot of really fun stuff that wasn’t even on my list.  On top of that the air conditioner for our upstairs zone went out on last Wednesday and the landscaping in our front yard just got completed. Not too shabby right? How were the past two weeks friends? Happy Weekend!



A Day at the Pier (Almost Wordless Wednesday)



( I love this picture above)

Sizing it Up


Looking Up


And Now Down



Titan Pride

Illinois Wesleyan

In 1997, I made a life altering decision. Instead of going to U of I, I decided at the LAST minute to stay in Bloomington-Normal and attend Illinois Wesleyan. I wasn’t sure when I filled out the forms, got my roommate’s name or was packing my stuff it was the right decision.  Even when I walked out to the softball field for the first time,  I wasn’t sure.

13 years later, I can tell you I did.

Reflectively, I know Illinois Wesleyan was the right place for me.  It was small, and beautiful, and friendly and an easy place to be me. The days in Ferguson Hall were my first memories. 6th floor Ferguson…those girls (Emily, Erin, Liz, Des, and Jacqui) were the first new friends I made. But there were more, so many more. My Kappa Delta girls are women I am so proud to still call my friends.  On the softball field I met an old friend and a new one. A best one. Also in Ferguson,  I met another best one.  And today, the two of them are still the two best friends I could ever ask for.  There were chapter meetings, library study sessions for accounting tests, mozzerella sticks in “the dugout”, Derby Days, May Term trips and Final Four basketball games.

The sense of community and belonging became overwhelming.  I belonged.  I was finally at a place where I liked me and loved the people that surrounded me.

In the four years, I made mistakes too, a lot of them. I made bad decisions, struggled in a freshman Economics class and cried when my heart was broken.  I lost friendships, ended relationships and burned bridges. I changed majors trying to find my story, my truth.

That experience- those four years is  why I still today call myself a Titan. But, yesterday was the proudest day I have had as  Titna.  I walked with my head even higher, told my husband stories and spent time talking on the phone with Ann Harding. There was a call for help. To give someone else the experience that I had. That Heather had. And Adam had. And Jaclin had. Give a little and some with more will match with even more. And people stepped up.  And gave more.  And more. And the response was incredible. Over 1500 people donated. And so much money was raised they extended the fundraiser until midnight. My Facebook feed was full of people sharing the link or encouraging people to donate.

The best part of the day, is that I went to bed knowing that other kids get a chance to have their story unfold on the sidewalks of Illinois Wesleyan. They get to have the four year experience that has defined me and so many of my friends. That is awesome. And that is why I am proud to be a titan.


6 Years Later and 1 Day Late

Dear Glenn,
6 years ago today, I walked down the aisle at my quaint, simple yet beautiful church on a hot, bright sunshine filled day in my hometown and said the words “I Do” to you.  We danced late in to the night, laughed until it hurt with our friends and spent a glorious extended honeymoon in Hawaii. (Let’s not talk about my illness mkay?)

We were young, carefree, excited to be married and start our life together. I don’t think I had a clue what that meant at the time. I think I am starting to now.

6 years later, 3 houses, 2 new cars, 2 kids, a promotion, and a new business is enough activity to probably break some marriages. Not ours. Even in our worst moments, you and I know that this life that we created is ours together.  Let’s be honest. That’s not to say we haven’t had some terse words or silent nights.

But the moment each day when I need you the most you are there.  Sometimes it’s to tell me to put my big girl panties on and be the mom I want to be and I am capable of being. Some days, it is to hug me when I feel like I have failed in my job or worse failed as a mother. Some days it’s just to tell me to loosen up and laugh a little.

If I am honest,  I feel like we are just putting band aids on certain pieces of our life to plug immediate leaks. The terrible twos and the bugs, trees and floods of the suburbs may just get the best of me. And yes, some days I am so exhausted by the two little humans we are responsible for that I feel like I have nothing in my tank to give to you.  Six years later I hope you that
every day I twirl my wedding rings when I am working, thinking or reflecting and I pause for a moment to think about you.  Every run ends with our wedding song as my cool down period.  Every time I stare at our kids, I think about you.

6 years later, I would say “I Do” again. Again and again and again.
I love you.


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?


‘merica (4th of July)

We returned to my parents’ home for the Fourth of July weekend.  The weather was almost perfect. I say almost because towards the end of our stay it was just too hot for small kids or at least my kids if you weren’t near water.  We spent a lot of time doing very little which is really nice if you read my last post. There is a fine line that I feel like we tread daily… too little activity and we have behavior issues but less structure usually results in some equally good memories.

Cate Lashes

Her lashes kill me…

The in ground sprinklers provided a good start.


And the sprinkler helped continue the fun.


Pure joy


Just not sure about the water

It is amazing to relieve your childhood thru your child. I wanted him to know and experience some of my best memories. Popcorn in a paper bag, a cooler of drinks, blankets and bug spray set the scene for a night I won’t ever forget as a mom. As we were waiting, there were walks to the pond, glow sticks to play with and time to just be in the moment. We watched as a dad and his daughter played catch as the sun started to set. I remember being more excited to play catch somewhere other than our front sidewalk on the 4th. I sat their wondering how soon before Brady asks to bring a mitt or stick or a football. And, I wondered if this is what it means to come full circle. To be so grateful for your past and so excited to think about what lies ahead. There were a lot of wows, oh wow and I love those being uttered in those minutes immediately after the sun set for the evening and I caught myself watching him more than I watched the show.


Waiting patiently


Slowing Down in June

For nine, almost ten months of the year it is go go go. And we go. And we do. And we survive. And we even manage to have some fun. And our kids for the most part are cooperative and agreeable to the grind that comes with two working parents.

Then the middle of June comes around and BAM we come to screeching halt. Every spring I build up in my head how amazing the summer will be and then when it gets here, my expectations are so high, I fail within the first week.  I don’t handle change well and this is a big one- for all of us. Same thing this summer- beginning of last week sucked. It was plain bad. There were tears from everyone the first Tuesday I was off except from Glenn. Go figure.

So, I hit the reset button. I went home to my parents’ house for a few days and I came back ready to be a mama who is home this summer with her kids. I adjusted my expectations for just about everything.  That includes how nice I look, to how many things I will check off of my to-do list daily to how often we are actually on time somewhere.  And I promised myself that every single morning I will go get a cup a coffee to do something to start the morning off right for me.


And these past two weeks were good. I was calmer, my voice didn’t raise as frequently and I found myself content to not have my phone next to me and to just enjoy my kids. We did the park, the splash park, lunch dates, the pool and we played a lot. And in between that, we organized some things in the house, moved some toys around, I got a couple of good runs in and I actually felt like I got some “me” time during nap time.


And now July is here and I am already feeling like school is just around the corner. So, I am promising myself I will say yes more, go on adventures and soak up every moment I get.

PS- How the heck is it already July?