team celebration.

Morning, chickadees!

Can you believe we made it all the way to Thursday already?

Me neither.

Anyway, today’s a pretty good day in my family because it’s the fourth anniversary of when this happened:


Our wedding was so, so fun (and a little wet, maybe) and it was definitely the best party I’ve ever been to.

Which is what happens when you get to have all your favorite people in one place.

Four years later, I’m lucky to have JW by my side as my husband, Theo’s Dad, and the tallest member of Team Palluzzi/Wagenschutz.

Also probably the most patient and nicest member of our family too.

Sorry Boo, but we’re cut from the same cloth.

In addition to being married for four years though, we’re hitting a bunch of other milestones, because JW and I have been in each other’s lives since we were fifteen (also known as the Beginning of Time):

Jon’s been my friend for sixteen years, my boyfriend for nine, my roommate for eight, my fiance for five, and my parent-partner-in-crime for almost two.

So we’ve done some pretty cool things since we were tromping around high school being embarrassing, including buying a home and keeping the cutest blond baby alive together.

Thanks for being front and center in of all my most fun and most embarrassing years, JW. I look forward to dozens more- I love you the most, team MVP!


Filed under Good times

commenting on the commentary.

You guys, you guys, you guys.

On Monday in Irving, Texas, they arrested a 14-year old wearing a NASA shirt because he brought in a clock that he made for a project and the school thought it was a bomb.

So, even after he explained, hey guys, it’s a clock, they arrested him. And were considering pressing charges for bringing in a “hoax bomb.”


And now, because it’s unfair and likely racist (his name? Ahmed Mohamed. His background? Muslim.), it’s all over the place.

President Obama and Mark Zuckerberg both invited Ahmed to the White House and Facebook, respectively, to show them his creation.


Anyway, I think that all of you good people probably agree with me that this is likely indicative of the very real struggle Americans still have with race and religion, despite us desperately thinking that if we say it’s not so, it’s not so.

It’s so, chickens.

And if you rebut by telling me the White Christian Man is persecuted, I’m gonna lose it. I’m going to 100%, yes-I-have-a-minor-in-gender-studies, no-feminists-don’t-think-they’re-better-than-men, gonna lose it on you.

If you are a White Christian Man of middle class or better means in America and you can’t get ahead, take some accountability, and I don’t want to hear about it.

End of rant.


The main thing that struck me yesterday was that I was reading some comments about the whole debacle (reading comments after an article is the worst. It is, conversely, also the best), and someone was praying for everyone because she was concerned that we as a people didn’t understand that President Obama’s underlying intent in life is to destroy America.

I don’t get it, you guys.

Call me naive. I can’t stand Donald Trump (although I am currently obsessed with him). Scott Walker makes me want to pack up my stuff and go elsewhere.

Don’t get me started on the Koch brothers.

But I honestly don’t think that American politicians on either side generally really sit around with their hands pressed together trying to figure out how best to destroy America.

I think that some people’s assessment on how to make America great is misguided, and I think that some people have the wrong idea.

I know that some people are uncaring and unjust and racist.

But let’s cut the dramatics, fellow citizens.

Let’s not get as dramatic in the comment section as we do when a Muslin kid brings a clock to school and we’re scared because we don’t understand.

We can do better, America. Not realizing that and trying harder, that’s what’s gonna destroy America.

Now will someone please teach me how to build a clock?

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Filed under Reflections

The lesson when you let go.

So I’m having a long week full of bad colds and little sleep and some self doubt, but it’s Friday, so chill, NP,and also it’s September 11 and so it’s time for reflection, not bitching.

Sometimes I need to talk myself down. Thanks for listening.

Last week I was in NYC, which was altogether lovely, and one of the outings I took myself on was to go visit the September 11 museum and memorial.

It’s big and open and airy, and it made me cry a little and walk slowly and think harder. I remembered how scary it felt and how uncertain we were and how strange it was the day after when all the planes were grounded and I looked up and there was nothing but sky. How the first time I did hear a plane my heart leapt into the back of my throat until it passed and nothing terrible happened.

I was seventeen and transplanted to the Midwest from the Northeast and it was scary enough from there.

In the museum there was also a lot of history of the Twin Towers, tickets from the ride to the observation floor (I rode the elevator up with a boy I liked very much once), advertisements from the Marriott (I stayed there and loved every second), and I felt like it was a good way to remind everyone about what an ordinary part of life the buildings were Before.

I did not know anyone who died on 9/11. I was safe in a choir room in Michigan when the planes hit. But everything changed and the museum was a reminder of how even though the events are politicized, debated, remembered, etc., at the core of it they were intensely, heartbreakingly personal to so many people.

In ways I am lucky enough not to know.

My best moment though, was walking through an open area full of benches for visitors who just needed a moment to rest or reflect. I heard a couple of children laughing loudly, and my first instinct was to tsk in my best mom voice because of the solemnity of the space, but chickens, I caught myself.

That it’s over a decade later and we can listen to our babies laugh means we’re not beat yet.

I like to think that the parents who left their kids that day would have wanted them to laugh again, because honestly, what else is there?

There’s always a lesson you weren’t expecting if you don’t think too hard about it.

Enjoy the sunshine today, chickadees.


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Filed under Reflections

Coughing and close outs

Morning, chickadees!

I said I was going to do better and I totally am but also, I got hit with a terrible cold/cough/fever this weekend and am only just now starting to feel like a human.

I slept all day yesterday and I’m still not sure I look fully functioning, but if I don’t leave the house today I might become an actual cranky invalid, a la the Secret Garden.

Less planes, chickens, is definitely the answer to this problem.

So now I am typing on my phone from my couch with one hand because Boo believes that gray mornings call for Sesame Street and hand holding, and quite frankly I must agree with him. 

The long weekend was kind of a NyQuil and tissue blur, but there were some bright spots, including eating delicious Italian food at the Taste of Melrose, sitting on the couch chatting (and not chatting) with my BFF, and eating burgers with my pals to close out the summer. 

This was a summer full of beach visits and park walks, grilled dinners and white wine, and watching Boo learn to run, climb, and sass. It was a lot of fun, but I will admit that I’m ready for cooler temperatures, football games, and toddlers in sweatshirts.

There’s something fun around every corner, chicks! Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it!


Filed under Uncategorized

five good things: here i am! edition

Okay guys, I know, I know, I know.

It’s so hard for me to be consistent because life is just not consistent around here, but I miss this little corner of the world, and if you’ve given up all hope on me, I forgive you and will just treat this as my diary going forward.

I’ll assume you’ve moved on, and I’m cool with it.

Spoiler alert though: I have not moved on, I am right here, and I have finally stopped spinning.

For a minute.

So here are five good things I’d like to share, in an attempt to get back into it.

  1. In the past month, I have been in Florida, Washington, D.C., Texas, Connecticut, New Jersey, and probably a couple other places that I’m forgetting. Some of it has been fun (i.e. pizza with my entire family, getting to spend some time with my grandparents, going to the beach) and some of it has been boring (for instance, touring the 87th hotel guest room and not really knowing what to say about it except, Nice!), but the good news is, until October, I am only going to be here. Here’s to an easy routine, lots of Boo and JW time, and a break from the airport.
  2. Last week I was in CT with JW and Boo watching one of my oldest and best friends get married. There are certain points at which you look at your life so far and think, man, how did I get so lucky? and this was one of them. Here’s to the friends who were 12 with you and still manage to really get you, chickens.


  3. I also got to spend some time in NYC this past week, and enjoyed traipsing around with my buddy KC, sitting on rooftops, eating pizza,stealing cutlery, and seeing the sights with a pal. Also visiting two of my favorite little (not so little- 14 is apparently the age of overtaking me in height) guys from NJ and being expressly taught the importance of watching Pretty Little Liars as fast as possible. I’m working on it, I promise.
  4. Also during my trip to CT: Ky and I took Boo to the ocean, and begrudgingly, he let us take him in. It was at that point that he started cackling, shoveling his little paws into the water, and licking them, because he’s never been in salt water before. No matter what shenanigans he pulls in the next 18-25 years, that memory will make me laugh until the end of time.


  5. We’ve got a long weekend coming up here in my very own city, which means getting organized, reading all my library books (I just finished Me Before You and cried on the plane, and now I’m into In the Woodsand my list is still a mile long), getting outside, eating at ridiculous festivals, and going to BBQs. I can’t think of a better way to prep for the next season we’ve got coming up.

And with that, chickadees, I’m back. I mean, I think I’m back. I promise to work on being back. It’s better than nothing, right?

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it!

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Filed under Chicago, Five Good Things

stringing thoughts into one.

You guys, it’s tough to keep it all together this summer but it’s only because it’s full of so many activities, all of which are a Pretty Good Time.

Currently, my main objective is keeping Boo from being one huge bruise (spoiler alert: I’m failing, he just tripped over a truck into a table) and wondering what it says about my parenting skills if I send him to daycare with coffee stains on his shirt (he likes a sip of black coffee: it’s adorable, and also, it can’t be worse than soda or kool-aid).

Aside from that, JW and I are finishing up The Good Wife, Frankie & Grace, and I’ve accumulated a small library on my nightstand.

After reading approximately 1000 books on various wars, I’ve decided to take a quick break so that I stop crying on the train in the morning.

It’s not a good look, chickadees.

Up this weekend: farm marketing it, especially after JW has cleared up the matter of whether or not he likes rainbow chard, and hitting up All the Festivals, because that’s the time of the year it is.

And with that, I’m off to explain to my toddler why it’s important to wash your face and also why he doesn’t need to assist me in completing my morning blog entry.

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

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Filed under Chicago, Good times

reading into it.

Ok, so it looks like I’m not getting that much better about making time for this little corner of my world, but you guys, I do the best I can.

Luckily, I get a new shot at it every day, and so today, I win.

I’m blogging over at GMS today (about pork chops, so please, check it out- they’re delicious).

Other things I need to talk to you about:

I’m on a big fat reading streak right now, and I love it. Did you guys ever join the library summer reading clubs (says the girl who last week admitted to her coworkers that she once attended math camp. Let’s talk about that another time, though.)?

I did, obviously, until I was too old and they likely kicked me out, but I loved nothing more than the paper cut outs with my book count that were taped to the walls of the library.

So this summer, since Theo’s over one, and so I’m feeling like a normal human again (I am warning you chickens, you are crazy the first year of your child’s life, and I mean that in the best possible way), I’m picking up SO MANY BOOKS and I’m loving every second. It feels nostalgic, and so I’m sharing with all of you. Here’s what I’ve got, in scatterbrained categories that likely don’t make sense.

France and WWII (Otherwise known as great stories that depress me)

All the Light We Cannot See- This was excellent, and despite being rather long, I got through it in about a week. It’s about a blind girl and her family, and how she tries to navigate a dark time in history despite all the despair surrounding her. This one was very, very hard on me, but the writing was beautiful and there is something very interesting about trying to picture the world through the eyes of a blind girl.

The Paris Architect- This one made me feel slightly better about humanity, but was still a little rough. I mean, it’s occupied France in WWII, and so you just have to roll with what happened. Spoiler Alert: It wasn’t good. This one’s about an architect who finds himself entangled in a dangerous plot to save Jews. He’s no hero- far from it. Instead, he’s thinking only of the business he’ll bring in from the Germans and the money he stands to make as a result of his risk. Unsurprisingly, things get complicated and he gets involved emotionally. This one’s a thriller, and it was also a page turner.

The Nightingale- I’m only a hundred pages into this one, but it’s about two sisters and their attempt to survive in their French village during WWII. Their relationship is tenuous at best, and they struggle to see eye to eye about the best way to keep themselves and their family safe during the war. I like this one because the writing’s easy (it’s summer, remember?) and I like when seemingly simple situations present themselves as grayer upon inspection. I’ll be finished with this by Friday, I know it.

The Neapolitan Novels

There are three of these (with one on the way), and I’m only through two, but I love them. Set in the 50s and 60s in Naples, they’re basically well written soap operas about a girl named Elena, her friend Lina, and their various adventures in and out of “the neighborhood.” These books cover love, fighting (nothing like a fist fight to solve some problems), scandals, pride, and coming of age, all in the best possible way. They’re glimpses into what it was like to live in poor Southern Italy during the post WWII era, which was very different from most of the depictions of the time I’ve read about (probably because mine have been mostly shiny and Eisenhower-y). My dear friend CM recommended them, seconded by my pal MC, and now I’m on a campaign to get everyone to read them. They’ll hold you, I promise.

My Brilliant Friend

The Story of a New Name

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay

Other Things I’m Sniffing Out

Not into them yet, but here are some other highly recommended things I have on my nightstand: The Boys in the Boat, Dead Wake, Greatand The House of the Spirits.

Find a corner and curl up, chickens, there’s a lot of reading to do. Anyone else have something I should get on my list?

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Filed under Good Reads