Travel Wear

I am trying to be really practical when it comes to packing for vacation. Two small kids, an airport, a week worth of stuff is just a lot to manage so I want to be comfy when I travel and be able to wear some of the things when I am out there. I don’t want to wear shorts but the thought of wearing jeans sounds terrible too since it will be in the 90’s when we get there.


It might be the perfect time to try the pants ( I have been wanting them all winter) and all of a sudden I am a big fan of Lucy Activewear.  I am thinking my Mia slip-ons are the just the right things to wear in the airport and slip on and off. I can wear this stuff again when I am out hiking, walking or getting a run in since I am confident our kids will be up early!

What do you like to wear when you travel?




enjoying: the feeling that comes as fall has rushed it’s way in to our house. The decorations, smells, excitement over Halloween and the comfort that lazy mornings in bed with hot coffee bring to our routine. As much as I love Christmas, something about fall screams family to me and quiet memories.

dreaming: about the day that I feel like I have been enough to everyone and have a tank left to nurture myself.  Seriously, the quest to be it all is not easy and a consistent battle in my head.

loving: the series on A Bowl Full of Lemons which is 31 Days of Purging in October. 2 days in I was in good shape. Not so much anymore but I that hasn’t stopped me from saving a list of her purge day tasks in my feedly so I can complete each of them. Today, it is all about dresser drawers which may have to be tackled this weekend but I feel lighter already and know I need to do this.

 watching: leaves fall off the trees as fall has quickly arrived.  Cate declares that it is raining leaves and I watch my little girl in amazement of the crisp leaves fall off the trees on the street. Three is magical and monsterful all at once.

reading: any magazine that is getting delivered to my house. I am obsessed with Food and Wine and the minute my HGTV magazine shows up I am reading it.  I love Women’s Health, Real Simple, Rachel Ray, Cooking Light and Self. Tell me that I am not the only one that doesn’t love a new magazine curled up on the couch.

quoting:  nothing but Brady on repeat is quoting the guys from Monday night football who says “Come On Man” when going over the weekend lows from the NFL. The best part is that he says the statement in the right context every single time which is ever funnier.

thinking: about trying to carve out some time with people that mean a lot to me.  From my kids, to my husband, my mom and my friends I’m really evaluating how I spend my time and with who and hoping to be more intentional with my time.  Life seems to be at NASCAR race pace and since I don’t think it will let up I want to do what’s in my power to make sure that I spending my time with intention and purpose.

 drinking: lots of water including La Croix which is starting to win me over. It’s an acquired taste but I do like it to break up the monotony of the water I drink on a daily basis.

craving: my mama’s fresh, piping hot vegetable soup with crusty bread that just came out of the oven. Fall signals soups for days in my mind and I’m not picky about what kind.  We’re having homemade chicken noodle last nightt which is good start to soup season in my opinion.

listening to: anything that Sam Smith sings. Not surprising since I love Adele and some claim he is the male version of her. “Make it to Me” is constantly on repeat in my brain.



Currently v.3

enjoying: the feeling of getting a great workout in and following such inspiring people on Instagram. Fitness was/is such a big part of my life and I am glad it is slowly creeping back in.  So much so that I am researching the Whole30 and trying to make some major food changes when our kitchen renovation is done.

dreaming: about our kitchen renovation being done, long nights outdoors on our block, and the smell of grills in use and sweaty and sun kissed skin

loving: the enthusiasm Brady is showing for organized sports, Chicago sports and being involved in athletics

watching: The Amazing Race All Stars, Grey’s Anatomy and GAME OF THRONES (OMG Joffrey)

reading: I just finished Night Road by Kristin Hannah and literally cried through most of it.  Maybe because I see myself in the mother or because the plot centers on my biggest fear which is something happening to my kids.  I followed it up with Me Before You and found myself sobbing most of the way.  I am thinking I need an uplifting book next. Any ideas?

quoting:  my yoga instructor from Tuesday night when she asked us to set an intention for our practice. “Your mat is your space and it may be our only time alone- set intention. Be selfish and spend this time on you.” I am saying this daily at some point each day even if it while I take a couple sips of coffee alone in my office while doing nothing.   

Thinking: I need to get some things done around our house.  I need to decide on some colors to accent our new kitchen, start planning Brady’s new room and working on our outside.

eating: carrots, cliff bars, fresh fruit and yogurt and yes take out

drinking: skinny mochas or skinny vanilla lattes from starbucks since our kitchen in under construction and our coffee maker is not available for use.  I have missed my old friend Starbucks but not as much as I thought I would. 

craving: some time with friends, some time alone and a home cooked meal

listening to: Pompeii by Bastille and belting it out with kids in the car every morning. Totally my therapy right now.


Cate {2.5 Years}

Dear Bug,

I was putting you to bed last night when I remembered for the second short moment yesterday that it was your ½ birthday.  You are officially on your way to three which is unbelievable to me.

For some reason, out of nowhere bedtime has become hard and you wake up even more upset.  Milestones may be the reason but last night you just couldn’t settle in. So, I came up and you said “wrock peas for a minute” and I happily sat down with you.  And before I could even settle in the slow, rhythmic motion our glider provides, you had burrowed your hands under your belly against my chest and you were sleeping.  The shallow breaths allowed me to smell you and take you in yet when I placed you in your crib you awoke and said “good night” and I remembered just how big you are getting even though you felt so small in that moment before.  I think it ‘s because I know your sleeping in a crib is the last piece of baby left and I just want to hang on for a bit.

What you lack in physical size you have in personality.  You are bigger than life sweet girl and it is incredible to watch.  Like I said, you are oh so little.  Eating like crazy and gaining nothing. People comment on it and your dad and I just laugh.  Your little bird legs are adorable now but I’m guessing a few years from now they will make your daddy gray quicker than ever.  You are fiesty and fierce.  And you know exactly how to get what you want.  And just a few weeks ago you got glasses.  I guess we should have known since your eyes profusely water at night but we in true fashion, thought it was just you being different, unique as I call it.  But, no, you actually have some real difficulty seeing and so glasses it is for now to help.  I was terrified as your mama- worried that you would be teased, kids would laugh knowing how cruel girls are but everyone including your daddy and your teachers knew you would be great.  And you have been. We put them “night-night” when we sing before bed and “wake them up” in the morning.  And just recently, we convinced you that big girls not only wear glasses but ponytails and those two things might just be the cutest combination ever. And undies. But well, we haven’t tackled that yet.

Your vocabulary is incredible and your voice is always heard. I am amazed at your memory.  What I am in awe of the most is your love for your brother.  He sees it as an annoyance, but your daddy and I watch you so frequently and smile at the little girl you are becoming.  Deeply worried about him, always offering and asking to play and conceding to cook with me when he says no.  Keep trying bug.  Keep taking care of him okay Cate? He needs it.  He’s sensitive, shy and passive.  He’s going to need you as much as you want him right now.  He is your gentle in the fury.  And you are his protector.  You are so differnt yet so similar and I think you have already taught him a lot. Your fearlessness is teaching him it’s okay to try and his rule following keeps you aware of what dangers are around.

I love you sweet girl.  I love you so stinkin much.  Stay little big girl.







Currently Vol. 2

enjoying: the feeling of getting a great workout in and following such inspiring people on Instagram. Fitness was/is such a big part of my life and I am glad it is slowly creeping back in.  So much so that I am researching the Whole30 and trying to make some major food changes when our kitchen renovation is done.

dreaming: about the toes in my sand in just over a week and that feeling that sets in a couple days after I get to Florida that allows me to unplug

loving: the sun setting later and the feeling in the air that spring is coming. I am a sucker for sunshine of my face and the warmth it brings

watching: The Amazing Race All Stars, Grey’s Anatomy and of course the NCAA tournament

reading: I just finished Night Road by Kristin Hannah and literally cried through most of it.  Maybe because I see myself in the mother or because the plot centers on my biggest fear which is something happening to my kids.

quoting: nothing. My brain is on overdrive right now so I just keep telling myself to get to next Friday. Nothing else matters.

thinking: about our upcoming kitchen renovation and everything that isn’t done, decisions that aren’t made and things that need to be purchased.  I am terrified of the dust, the lack of working kitchen with small kids for so long and all the hiccups we may encounter. I am excited to see the final project put that doesn’t calm any of my fears.

eating: nothing fabulous since we are leaving on vacation and trying to eat thru what is in our fridge and pantry with our reno also starting

drinking: coffee with vanilla creamer and some sugar, diet coke and lots of water with fresh fruit

craving: a glass of reisling, lemonheads and buffalo chicken dip (random right?)

listening to: Pompeii by Bastille and just singing, no shouting it in my head on repeat

Happy Friday! What are you up to?


High Five for Friday January 17th

Let’s review this week shall we?

1. The stomach flu is plaguing our daycare.  I am terrified and just waiting for the call but it seems (KNOCKS ON EVERY PIECE OF WOOD ON THE PLANET) we may have evaded it this time.  Can I get a halleluiah? For the record, I don’t do puke.  It is the one bodily fluid I just can’t handle so I am so grateful we aren’t dealing with this yucky bug. {EDIT: We have it and we have it bad! Poor Cate is the first to fall}

2. These leggings are the best. I mean the absolute best. If you are like me and you love to wear leggings as either pants or leggings go get these. Run to the store. They are thick and the gray is the perfect color and I wear the black ones weekly. (Update: I can’t find them on the LOFT website but I assure you they rock).

loft leggings

3. I love my iPhone and use the same apps but sometimes I get a new one that I just become obsessed with and lately it has been Quiz Up. Do you play? It is good even though I usually lose to my husband unless we choose Fashion or Food as the topic.

4. I am going on a date with my husband tonight. We made a reservation at a sushi place Chicago Magazine raved about. It’s BYOB and I am just so excited to eat and drink with him.  It’s good to date him and do things we did pre-kids ya know? {Edit: NOT HAPPENING. So bummed.}

5. This week has been a lot of stress during the day, little sleep at night since Brady has suddenly decided sleeping is not for 4 year olds and lots of meetings and night stuff. So, my diet has sucked, I can feel the change in how I feel and I am motivated to get back at it next week. Just keeping it real here folks!

Hope you have a great weekend. I know I am looking forward to three days (MLK Day included) of being with my family, staying in pajamas and getting some things done around our house.


Newborns, Memories and Contentment

Since having kids, my memory tends to be pretty sharp but there are those small moments that tend to stick out that you remember no matter how much time passes.  The ones that are vivid and you can instantly go back there regardless of the time that has passed.  Snuggling them when they are a newborn has to be something that you just never forget. It’s a rite of passage in parenthood to have your child sleep on you at least once and it is those moments that forge the bond between parent and child so early.  And there are others.



I remember Brady sleeping on our chest, his breathing changing rhythms as quickly as the minutes passed but the slumber was heavy and his belly was always so warm against mine.  And I remember the chill the minute he left my chest, his warmth and my warmth keeping us both so comfortable.  I will never forget the way he would lay on Glenn’s lap facing us, staring at the three flowered pictures on the wall and content to be there with us.

I remember Cate being so much smaller, fitting so much easier in the crook of my elbow as I slept next her for those first few weeks.  She didn’t want to sleep on our chests; she really wanted to be nuzzled up on our shoulder or next to us.  I remember sniffing her head and inhaling her scent because I could.  I remember the screaming, the continuous change in sleep and her general unhappiness.   I can remember the days that I would bring her in the bathroom with me because I just needed to shower to feel like I was human. She would cry in that brown bouncy chair and fuss and the shower usually drowned the sound out but I knew she was there crying for me.

As new babies have emerged in our family and our friends, I can’t help but crave the newborns again. Wanting something so small and so dependent on you again.  Wanting to smell that aroma one more time.  Snuggling with someone that doesn’t know better again.    Newborns are addicting, consuming, comforting and damn tempting.

But I have these two, who I am going to give every ounce of my energy to and hopefully raise them to be good humans.  And that is enough for me.  Forever.

{I wrote this post this fall and just never hit published.  And now here I am finally getting to it.  And, yes I still feel the same way.}


Monday Memo 1/5/14

It’s the first Monday in January which tells me you need an update on life here in our parts.  I think I have a lot to share so let’s get started shall we?

~ The kids have started sleeping later and we are all better for it. There is something so therapeutic about getting out of bed when there is a 7 on the clock.  The mornings have become lazy and lovely.  Am I right? Just in time to go back to the school routine I know.

~ We went sledding at Flick Park in Glenview on Saturday. First of all, there are actual steps up to the top of the hill which was amazing.  It was a bit icy and got crowded but boy did we have fun! Brady had this look of pure joy on his face every single time he came down the hill and even went down by himself.


~ Our kitchen renovation is becoming real. We bought all new appliances are looking at lighting and seem to be waiting for March when the demo begins.  This reminds me I need to show you some other spaces in our home.  I wish I could show you the drawings but I think the before and after will be pretty exciting.

~I have seen more snow fall over Winter Break than I ever want to see again.  It was pretty for a few hours but after the constant need to keep up with the removal and the bitter cold temps I am over it.  I know we live in the Midwest but the extremes lately have been a lot to handle.  Glenn has carried the majority of this burden, but I am tired of cold mud room floors, slushy gross feet and constant monitoring of  No school Monday might just send me over the edge.  I am all for a snow day but not after a two week break.

~ We played Cards Against Humanity on NYE with good friends. Have you played? Holy cow is it funny. And so not appropriate.  But dang did we laugh a lot.

~ This week is nuts. During and after school.   I have to work late Tuesday but get to hear an awesome speaker named Adam Grant.  His book is so interesting and I am really excited to hear him talk.  Wednesday and Thursday nights we have Academic Life which is hard on me and my kids and my husband.  Luckily, the rest of the month is pretty quiet and thank goodness I live so close!

Hope you have a great week! I will be back with a heavier post later this week. Happy Monday! Did you survive the snow? Have you dug out? Thawed out? Enjoy your week!


Our Cards {2013}

I really like to pick out Christmas cards. I get excited in the fall for this challenge and task.  I labor over the decision for weeks and it takes me ages to make a final decision.  And then when I do, I am so excited to get them.  I track them. And wait for them.  And get excited to address them.  For the past couple of years, I have used Tiny Prints.  (No, this is not a sponsored post.)  I like Tiny Prints. No, I love Tiny Prints. The customer service has been the best I have encountered.  This year in particular we had an error and they fixed it for free. And I found a better discount code after I ordered my cards and they honored it. Win. Win.

This year we took pictures in October and I wanted to play off the colors we wore and the gorgeous colors in the background.  So, these were my final choices.

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

tinyprint1 tinyprint2




Brady {Four Years}

kids 136copy2.jpglargethumbDear Brady (aka B-man, Brade, Bubba or Buddy),

I can honestly tell you that this has been to date the hardest letter I have ever had to write to you.  I open it up and close it every day some days writing nothing and other days writing so much that I end up deleting for fear of overkill.  Today, four years ago you entered this world as our first child and you have blossomed in to a little boy.  I knew nothing about being a mom and four years later you are still teach me something every day about my responsibility to you.  I catch myself for a split second every time I tell someone what an amazing kid you are because of course everyone thinks their kid is amazing.  But then, I still say it, because you truly are a remarkable little boy.  I ask myself and my people what I did to get such an amazing little boy as my son?

I can honestly tell you there is nothing I would change about you. I love your shy smile when you aren’t completely comfortable with a new person.   I love your deep belly laughs when I tickle your back.  I love the pure patience you show when interacting with your sister and letting her chase you even though it isn’t much of a contest.   I love your silliness when we talk about words like “booty”.  I love your curiosity about Chicago sports, specifically the penalty box and “the beast”.  I love the fact that you require snuggles when you wake up from a nap.  And I love that most nights for the past few months, the pitter patter of your feet come in our room at some point because you just want to sleep close to us.  I love how soundly you sleep when we are close by.

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I can honestly tell you there is no place and no time I would rather be than here with you now. I don’t wish you were still a baby and I don’t want you to get older.  I am truly living in these moments with you and loving you.  Your love for superheroes reminds me that magic exists and heroes are real.  Your imagination gives me hope that there is still an innocence to being little.  And your need for us to still push you on the swing or tuck you in reminds me that you are indeed still so little even though you want to be so 037copy.jpglargethumbThis past year was a big one. We bit the bullet last November and potty trained you. You did not look back. One weekend later and we ended up being naps and night trained as well. In your true spirit, you blew us away with your ease in doing things.  That’s you nature bud. You are just an easy going, mellow kid who wants to be loved. You continue to be so mild mannered that some days I wonder where that came from.  Maybe from your paw-paw? Not your daddy and I.   You do big kid things like go with your buddy places without us.  ut yet you are tenative to try anything new.   You are an old soul in your ways that you respond yet you are such a little boy in others. Your physical stature leads most to believe you are school age but we know you are right where you are supposed to be.  You are so kind to others that at times it takes my breath away.

This morning when you woke up you asked me, “Mom even though I am big, could you still stay until I fall asleep?”   And the answer is yes, buddy. Always. I will always be here.

Happy Birthday little man!

I love you to the moon and back.


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all images via the Lewis Sisters Photography, Bloomington, IL