Five Good Things: It’s been waiting for you edition

Because I’m stuck in meetings all day today, and because yesterday’s post was bittersweet, I thought it might make sense for me to focus on some of the good things happening around here, because chickens, they’re all around us. Here are five.

  1. Despite two work trips sandwiched together, I will be home for the weekend, which means time to relax, recharge, and spend time with my boys. And there is absolutely nothing else I’d rather do.
  2. Taylor Swift’s new album is really doing it for me. Yes, I know I’m 30. Yes, I know she’s crazy. This doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy listening to her sassy songs on repeat while I figure out how I’m going to take over the world (also known as: commuting thoughts).
  3. Boo is pretty much more fun every single day. His newest tricks are army crawling all over the floor, eating muffins two at a time, laughing his little head off, and having very articulate conversations with me consisting of only one syllable words. Having a baby is hard, but man, is it the most fun thing JW and I have ever done (and we’ve done a lot of fun things).
  4. Next week, one of my trips is taking me the way of NYC. New York is one of my favorite cities, and I’m glad I’ll be able to hang for a couple nights, even if it’s a jam packed and fast trip. There’s always enough time for pretzels off the streets and some city views. My love for Chicago is solid, but there’s just something about New York, you guys, that feels like my feet are hitting home pavement.
  5. The holidays are around the corner. And while I’m not planning on getting all crazy Christmas before Thanksgiving, I am already thinking about visits from family and celebrating with Theo for the first year and living in the glow of delicious meals and time with all my best-loved people.

And with that, chickadees, I’m off to spend some time moving through agenda items. I’ll catch you on the other side of this one. Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it.

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and it spins on

Ok, so I promised I’d do better, and I’m still fully committed to that, but I’m a little late for a few reasons this morning. I’m currently on a flight headed to New Orleans, the middle stop in my crazy month of Chicago-Seattle-Chicago-New Orleans-Chicago-Atlanta-New York-Chicago travel.

It’s over next Friday. I can’t wait to stop spinning for awhile.

Secondly, last night was the mid-term election, which meant, for me, a disappointing night of key losses that I could have done without. I know only 50% of the populace agrees with me, but man, we’ll just see what comes next.

Lastly, and most importantly, last night I found out that we lost one of our volunteers (and someone who I considered a friend) from work. The thing about my job, chickadees, is that besides all the planning, spreadsheets, events, and conference calls I sit on, the most important thing about it all is fostering relationships with the people who I serve.

It’s also my very favorite part, especially when I have the opportunity to work with people who I not only respect, but also really, really like.

Tina was one of those people. She was full of life, always laughing, great at her job, and maintained a positive attitude in every situation. Even when faced with difficulties or less than ideal circumstances, she found the silver lining, laughed it off, and moved forward. It’s difficult for me to think of the world spinning without her light and energy this morning.

In fact, I’m fairly certain it hasn’t sunk in yet. I understand that I only knew her from our tiny slice of shared experience, and so I can only imagine the magnified sadness those who had more of her are feeling this morning, and will be feeling for a long time to come. It gives me pause again to think about the fact that we’re all only here for such a short time, and what a waste of energy it is to give any of those moments up to negativity.

A timely lesson for me in particular since I’ve been struggling to see the lighter side of things lately. It’s easy to say that we should let go and keep it light, but it’s not always easy in practice. Or maybe it is, and if we’d just live focused on the positives, we’d find it fairly simple to keep out the parts that drag us down.

Despite the fact that I sometimes find it difficult to be entrenched in so many relationships in order to perform my job, I think that last night’s news has reaffirmed my belief that the absolute best part of what I do is becoming colleagues, and in the very best cases, friends with the people who I meet along the way.

I’m so sad this morning at the loss of our friend, but I’d rather feel this loss than never have had the opportunity to know and learn from Tina’s beautiful example of how to live a life.

There’s no shame in being honest with each other about how glad we are to be in each other’s lives, chickadees. Enjoy this day.

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voting stickers and well-fed littles

Morning, chickadees.

Today, I’m thankful for a couple of things.

1) Democracy! It’s mid-term election day, which means it’s time to get out and vote. In Illinois, we’re gonna have a couple of close elections, which means that your opinion counts. I won’t say I don’t care who you vote for (because it’s kind of a lie), but man, I care even more that you vote. As someone who just finished watching the entire series West Wing for the first time (I KNOW I WAS SO LATE TO THE GAME), I’m even more obsessed with voting and politics than before.

Please remember, I named my son after a US President (shocking fact: a Republican President- see, I’m bi-partisan!)

2) After six weeks of trying to figure out whether or not something was wrong with the aforementioned tiny President, because he just wouldn’t gain weight, we hit the doctor’s office and T weighed in over a pound bigger than he was last time.

Which is a lot when you’re only 13 lbs.

Boo wouldn’t take to formula, no matter how I pleaded with him or attempted to trick him. He could sniff it out, even diluted in breast milk, and so finally, I gave up and just started feeding him man meals with a side of nursing.

Which turned out to do the trick. Who needs formula when you’ve got chicken breasts, toast, and donuts?

I can’t say I blame him, and I am so relieved that he’s found his way back onto the growth curve.

Now if only he could find his way back into his crib…

But that’s a story for another day.

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it, chickens!

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Filed under Politics, Reflections

Take 2(000)

Morning guys! It’s me. Remember? The clumsy blond who is occasionally funny, but better known as a disaster?

I’m back.

Or at least, I’m trying to be.

At the moment Theo is rolling around his sheepskin rug screaming and waving a whale rattle.

He’s my muse, right?

It’s a good test of my focus.

I have no focus, chickens.

Anyway, I thought because November is a month in which you are thankful, and in my life, I have been thankful for writing, that might be a good place to start back up with my observations and the tales I have left to tell.

And while the tales are no longer of distance running and tequila disasters, I like to think they still have some value.

So I woke up this morning with a lot of intention to write about all the things in my life that I’m thankful for.

And then I learned my second lesson on the week in the subject of guess-what-eight-month-olds-bite-when-they-nurse, and then things just kind of went downhill.

Don’t let this cute face distract you from his ferocious tiger jaws.


In any case, there is still much to be grateful for over here in my slightly-more-chaotic-than-even Second City, and I intend on getting back to sharing it with you guys, because man, I’ve missed you.

This morning I will throw up good energy in the direction of Daylight Savings time, because even though it’s now going to be dark when I head out of work, it was light this morning when I woke up to Theo screeching in the living room (thanks be to Jon and his tolerance for the 4:30 am wakeup call), and at this point in my life, I need the sunshine at 6:00 am more than anywhere else.

I’m thankful for sunshine, chickadees.

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it.

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Filed under Did I really do that?, Near Disaster

there’s a song that will linger

Oh man, you guys, this has been one for the books.

It’s been a week that just.won’t.quit from long days of being over scheduled, shivering in cold weather, and dealing with a Boo who spent last night cuddled up between his parents instead of in his bed where he is meant to spend his sleeping hours.

It’s been long commutes and frustrating meetings and zero exercising and the beginning of a cold and a hole in my favorite pants.

But chickens, we’re not here to talk about that.

And thank God, because really, enough already.

Last night, I was in a seat on the bus (something to be thankful for, definitely), and I was listening to a James Taylor song (standard, as we know), and I was suddenly trying to remember the song my mom and aunt sang at my Uncle Tom’s funeral, and I couldn’t remember it.

This seemed strange, since I listen to it fairly often, and it reminds me so much of the day we said goodbye (but not really, it’s never really goodbye) to my uncle, so I panicked, and I racked my mind, and finally, finally, after several bus stops and many thoughts that I had, indeed, lost it this time, I remembered it.

And then I listened to it, and immediately started crying, because that’s the kind of week it is (but again, enough about that), and I realized only then that it had been very nearly three years since my sweet, smiling, awesome uncle left us.

Every year around this time, I write about how sad I was when my uncle died, and how happy I am that I had the privilege of being his niece, and none of that has changed one bit, no matter how many years stand between now and the moment it happened. I think of him every time I’m wrapped up in things that aren’t really important and snap right out of it (and there are so many of them), and now I think of him almost every time I look at Boo, because I named him Theo Thomas after one of the best men I’ve ever known, and because I know with certainty that even though they won’t meet, they are certainly connected.

And that, chickens, is a good place to come to rest on the heels of this week.

photo (1)

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The importance of tradition

After a very mild summer, which I am not complaining about at all, we have finally hit the harvest portion of September, which has always been my very favorite part of any season.

The market is booming with delicious produce of all kinds, it’s not too hot to get after it in the kitchen (honestly, it’s been a grilled meat and salad kind of summer, so I’m a little rusty around my own stove), and this year, it’s the month that Boo really gets to try out eating solids.

Which means my fruit budget is sky high and I’m finally getting some use out of my immersion blender.

We started Boo on oatmeal, with first parent intentions of only giving him one food for three days in a row to assess allergies before moving onto the next perfectly pureed food selection.

Then, on the second day of solid food eating, I turned my back for one second, and when I turned back, my son was gnawing on a pork chop bone.

Yes, that’s correct.

This was one of my husband’s first foods, and apparently, he decided it was a family tradition.

I was horrified for an instant, but then mentally gave up the whole process and timeline, and laughed while JW fed T tiny pieces of pork and my sweet baby giggled his head off.

Laughing his head off was nowhere near his reaction to eating plain oatmeal.

Not that I can blame him.

Since that time, we’ve fed the little guy zucchini, nectarines, yogurt, apricots, avocados, cheese grits (don’t even ask), and sourdough bread. I’m on a mission to get him up and over 13 lbs, because he has decided he’s only interested in being peanut-sized, and so I figure carbs and cheese in excess won’t hurt him the way it hurts me.

How I wish I was in his shoes.

Or bare feet, as it was.

Yet another example of my parenting at its finest, but you guys, we all turned out okay, despite the pork chops, formula, questionable food choices,belly sleeping, crib bumpers, and other now-forbidden practices of our times.

Keep it easy, chickadees, it’s the only way to do it.

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Passe Habits and Doing Better

Morning, chickadees.

And yes, I know it’s been an extended absence over here in Second City lands.

My apologies, but only sort of.

It turns out that despite my very best intentions, it’s harder than I imagined to keep with all of your favorite things when a beautiful, squirrely little boy becomes a very important third of your family.

I get the sense that he feels blogging is passe. He’s more into my Theo-themed Instagram stream.

However, in my sometimes-off-track-but-always-well-intentioned quest to do better, I’d like to share a couple of things I’ve missed discussing due to my inability to craft a timely post.

  1. Boo is no longer immobile. Which is amazing and all kinds of fun when it comes to playing, but not so much fun when it comes to things like, where do I leave him while I blow dry my hair? and why has it gone so quiet all of a sudden, oh there he is in a planter. It’s all part of the adventure, is what I keep telling myself.
  2. Aside from skipping out on blog posting, I’ve also been remiss in getting to yoga class lately. These two things combined, in addition to a particularly challenging month at work have meant that I’m walking around in one big, frenzied ball of pent up energy and (sometimes) aggression. This is an ailment that can only be solved with deep breaths and forward folds, and I have plans to get back with it.
  3. Despite the fact that I’ve been skipping the zen business, I did recently decide that it was time to get back into running. I took myself to the park by our condo, threw on some Pandora, and got after it, albeit only for two minutes at a time. My legs are still sore three days later, but you guys, you have to start somewhere. I know I’m old, out of practice, and arthritic, but I can’t help thinking I’ve still got something left in the tank here, even if it’s not half marathons or triathlons.
  4. My baby sister is getting married this month, which is super exciting and will be the perfect and most fun ending to another long September. This is also means our first little family trip in an airplane. I’ve secured Boo his own seat, and both JW and my brother are in tow, which means lots of helping hands and potential for sitcom-like antics. I’ll likely be the one chomping down anti-anxiety meds in the corner while the three amigos enjoy themselves.
  5. Speaking of flying, since we last spoke, I have returned to the world of work travel. This means that because I’m still nursing, I’ve learned to do things like scout out family bathrooms, lug around battery chargers and ice packs, and sit cross-legged on airport floors with no shirt on, all in the name of nourishing my shrimpy infant. So far I haven’t been stopped by the TSA to explain my bags of milk, but just you wait, it will happen, and I am sure I will inadvertently make it as awkward as possible (for instance: I get the urge to bust through security declaring “Human milk! Human milk coming through!” I know there’s something wrong with me, I’m very self -aware, if nothing else).

And with that, I’m off to spend a day working from the homestead. Enjoy this one chickens, and look for me to make more appearances. I’ve missed our chats.


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