in it for the long haul

I’m totally unreliable around here and not willing to apologize for it, but today is an exciting day for me.

Twenty years ago exactly, I moved to Clinton, CT, a little shore town where I would only end up living for less than four years. I lived there through middle school and the beginning of high school, and as we all know, these are probably the most awkward, painful, funny, and formative years of your childhood.

When I moved away to Michigan a few years later, I was pretty much sure that my parents had ruined my only chances at me keeping my very best friends. I remember dramatically wishing that I would have the opportunity to have lifelong pals, and knowing that my chances had just been shot because how are fifteen-year olds supposed to stay friends 1,000 miles away?

We didn’t even have Facebook, you guys.

TWENTY (HOW HAS IT BEEN TWENTY YEARS!?) later, my BFF Ky lives literally down the street from me in Chicago. I just got back from a trip to stand next to my beautiful friend Laura while she was married to her husband, and I spent the morning after the wedding watching Boo play with my funny, crazy pal Kristen’s first daughter, Koralyn.

We did it, you guys.

I’m sorry (again), Mom & Dad.

20 years is a long time, you guys. It’s like college x five, or Boo’s life x 10ish, or like 1 million episodes of Dawson’s Creek. It’s enough time to watch hundreds of movies, laugh until we’re crying for hours on end, or play flashlight tag a few dozen times. These ladies and I can talk for hours after not seeing each other for a year, and it a) doesn’t matter, no one’s keeping score of who called who last and b) doesn’t change a thing about how much we love each other.

We have watched each other graduate high school and college, get new jobs, get more education, fall down and screw up, do really awesome things, meet amazing people, meet terrible people, hold each other up when things are awful, and be proud of each other when things are great.

We’re pretty amazing, you guys.

So on this anniversary of friendship, I’d just like to say that I’m proud of us for knowing what’s important. For summer trips to Connecticut and Michigan, for visits to Chicago and Boston, for knowing that cell phone long distance in the early 2000s was free after 9:00PM and on weekends, and for being my friends despite my 20 full years of being the weirdest person you guys know.

I can’t wait to see what we do next, you guys. Here’s hoping the next two decades are as interesting as the last (spoiler alert: of course they will be).


P.S. The traditional gift for one’s 20th anniversary is China. In lieu of being normal people, Ky and I will be having Chinese food to celebrate. xoxo.


Filed under Reflections

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