Real Talk

I really miss writing.  It’s cathartic and therapeutic. It’s a really great outlet for me to be real and put some things out there.  It’s also any easy place to hide and make life look like it is perfect.  It’s totally not by the way.

When I started blogging, right after we bought our first home in the city, I wrote because I loved having a space to document our new house and my first pregnancy.  I was naive about blogging, took terrible pictures (still do) and wrote just what was on my mind.  At the same time, I also got caught up in reading the popular blogs, mostly mommy blogs if I am bieng honest.  I was trying, not very hard, to be a “blogger” with these visions of it becoming something bigger, better, and more important.  And it never did.  I went from blogger to WordPress-even though I still have no clue how to use WordPress.  Most days, I am guessing it was just my mama reading.

And two kids later, a different house, a move from urban to suburban and a lot of other things along the way, I just kind of stopped writing for me.  And for my kids.  I still write them 2 letters a year.  But, I stopped documenting some of the little things that I want to remember.

But, here’s the thing.  I still miss writing.  In the summer, I find my mind restless because I am not writing.  About all kinds of things- food, photography, kids, life, exercise and just news.  So, I am going to give this writing thing a go… maybe not here.  Maybe not in this space- that part I don’t know about yet.  For now, I’m staying.   Regardless, I am going to start writing again for me- not worrying about who reads it or how many page views I get.  I am just going to write.


Currently v.5


enjoying: the coziness that has come in our house with the COLD temperatures that have invaded the Midwest. There is something really attractive to me right now about curling up in a blanket, wearing an oversized fleece and waking up toasty warm under a down comforter.  I am not a fan of winter but I do love the warmth that comes over our house.

dreaming: about what our house is going to look like once we make a few small changes.  Our bed broke (a story for another day) so we ordered a new one, are going to paint up there and get some bedside tables. I bought a fiddle fig plant, bought a new light and am waiting for a side table to be delivered in our family room.   I am not a quick decision maker but I am starting to feel confident in my ability to bring a “vision” to life in our house slowly but surely.

loving: the play that my kids are engaged in right now. Brady is loving animal dominoes and I can’t say that I mind any time he wants to play.  We laugh, giggle and the strategy might not be there but he is having fun and learning.  Cate is obsessed with this cupcake game. I was, maybe am, so against the “princess” thing but this game about cupcakes (her obsession) for princesses is just so much fun.  Even if she is bossy while we build them.

watching: weeks of episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. I am so far behind on this season but I feel like I am committed to the show since I have been watching it for so darn long. For my sake, I hope this is the last season because I feel like I have a “commitment” to the show even though I don’t really care anymore.

reading: very little at the moment.  I am luck if I get a chance to read The Skimm in the morning right now. Seriously, I know you don’t want to hear “woe is me” right now, but I am just trying to get thru the day at this point and at night feel like I am playing catch up and don’t have time to settle in and read.  Hopefully over Thanksgiving I can find some time to settle in with a good read.

quoting: things that keep me motivated to workout.  My favorite lately is “Make time for it.  Just get it done. Nobody ever got stronger or got in shape by just thinking about it”.  I tell myself this at 7pm when I want to be on the couch with kids instead of heading to spin class or at 5am when the alarm blares in my ear for a strength class. I like the gym and the time for it is not always ideal but making it a priority and getting it done always feels better afterwards.

thinking: about the holiday season that is only a few short weeks away from us.  I think my kids are at really magical ages and this is when the holidays are so fun. Whether is it thankful gifts to teachers at Thanksgiving or watching Brady circle certain items in a toy magazine there is something so special about it.  I am slowly thinking about all the things I want to do this holiday season and trying to figure out how!

drinking: we have been out quite a lot in the past few weekends and my love for red wine is growing.  Before knowing my husband, I was not very adventurous with food and drink and as the years have started to accumulate I find myself gravitating to red wine and a good steak.  Two things pre my husband I would never eaten or drank.

listening to: the Serial podcast.  Who isn’t? I mean seriously, it’s so addicting and I find myself thinking about the characters, their stories and wanting to listen all the time. Do you listen?



Hello Monday

Hello Monday! Last week was not one of my finest.  I could rattle off why and who I blame but it doesn’t do a lot of good so I have decided to embrace this week and be better.  So, I am starting to with some hellos to this week to get me off on the right track.

Hello five day school week which should allow me to get ahead and be present and maybe even play some catch up from last week. 

Hello Take Your Kid to Work Day. Teachers open up their classrooms and plan things that are kid friendly.  I am so excited to have Brady come to school with me.  He finally gets it and we are going to have a blast!

Brady 4.5

Hello getting a physical for the first time in forever this week and taking charge and care of my health.  I have yet to find a doctor since I moved up here almost 11 years ago that which has been a big reason why I haven’t done these things.  I am trying a new doctor and hoping this is the switch that I need.

Hello a kitchen that can at least be walked in. We have a ways to go and the little decisions seem to be the hardest for me to make but I can almost smell food being cooked and see the bright color of fresh fruit on the counter.

Hello to finding the grace to parent with patience this week.  I am struggling to be calm and cool when I need to be the most and I think I need to make daily and weekly goals towards being the mother I want to be.

Cate 2.5

Hello getting back on to my yoga mat after this past week of colds and allergies not allowing me to get there.

Hello Monday. Let’s do this.



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.


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.}


Catching Up and Settling In

The lack of writing on this blog would tell you I have writer’s block. I don’t really if I am being honest. I actually have a lot to say and so many things I want to tell you about but for one reason or another I just haven’t had a chance to do just that. So, instead I am going to brain dump some things and then hopefully I will get moving on some other posts for you. And yes, I still have been getting dressed every day. I just haven’t remembered to take a photograph and blog about it. Life is just messy and good busy and I am content with that being the priority for now.

I put my camera down for a long time and now for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to get back in the swing of things. I feel like I am starting over. I am frustrated with focus issues and just basics when you shoot in manual. So, I can’t decide if I should toss in the towel or try to teach myself all over again.

I went to yoga sculpt a couple of weeks ago and one of my closest girlfriends said it best when she said, “It just felt good to sweat it out”. I don’t buy in to the breathing and quiet and ohm stuff but I sure do appreciate the fact that for one hour I was unplugged, focused on me and sweating at the same time.

The week of Thanksgiving was short so I knew we didn’t need a major grocery store run. So we went to Trader Joe’s. I am still not sure I totally get the love affair but I am starting to understand it. We had some good au gratin potatoes and some type of chicken stir fry that was okay too. I get it. It’s easy to prepare food and as a working mom I appreciate that.

The countdown to Christmas is on. And as much as it killed me, we  waited to decorate to “respect the bird”. I know my dad would be proud and I love the way our home looks!

Brady and Cate are emotional, playful, hilarous, mischevious, lovely and I am totally smitten with them. I can’t remember a time I have been so content in motherhood as I am now. Doesn’t hurt that Glenn is good at laughing with me when one throws an epic tantrum or yogurt is flying at the dinner table.

Are you ready to see our Christmas card tomorrow?


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.

kids 041copy2.jpglargethumb

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.


kids 124copy.jpglargethumb


all images via the Lewis Sisters Photography, Bloomington, IL 



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.