Category Archives: Michigan

five good things: making good edition

You guys, I’m not doing a great job at the consistency thing lately.

It doesn’t help that my computer is currently living in Theo’s room, which means when he’s sleeping, I can’t be writing.

It also doesn’t help that what I want to do most right now is just stare at his face, and when I’m not doing that, watch the West Wing and read library books.

I’m a very busy woman leading a very glamour-filled life, obviously.

July is the month in which I will do better.

In honor of that promise, here are five good things I’d like to tear through (oh man, there are a lot more than that):

1. It’s summer book reading season. I currently have 10 books home from the library, and a slew of new reads in transit. Here are a couple I’m into at the moment:

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

zfitgerald

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve always heard that good old Zelda was pretty much insane, but this book showcases a  (fictionalized) version of the story where no one’s left blameless. These two were celebrities  in their day, and their lives seemed to be perfect, but obviously, the gin-and-tonic-ing and  partying of the 20s eventually caught up with them. This wasn’t a masterpiece, but it was  interesting and kept moving, and about people I’m into, so I’d recommend it on those  pretenses alone.

Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar

everythingisperfectwhenyourealiar

So my friend Ky told me to follow Kelly Oxford on the social media, and like most things Ky demands of me, I complied. She’s funny, and she was promoting her book, so I picked it up. The book makes me laugh, even though I think I’d care a tiny bit more if I understand exactly where she came from, but I’ve got confidence that the book is headed in that direction.

2. The World Cup plays on, and so does the US, in the knockout league. While I wish I was going to be at Soldier Field watching the game with what feels like the rest of the city, I can cross my fingers from work. Go USA!

3. Theo has learned how to roll over. However, every time he’s almost there, he panics and springs onto his back. He’s also started holding onto a ring on his mat so he can pull himself back when he’s gone too far.

Smart kid. Here’s an unrelated photo, because it’s adorable.

photo (34)

4. Last weekend we headed to Michigan, where we hung out with family, baptized my sweet nephew Sam (it’s also his birthday next month, so I decided it’s the Summer of Sam. Just not in a murder-y way, you know), played Mario Brothers (ohmygod I’m still addicted) and got through part of a library book. Theo had his first swim in the lake and first boat ride, so he’s now got experience to go along with all of those nautical-themed outfits.

Right?

5. After what feels like a week of sub-par summer weather, it has finally stopped storming. Which means that JW and I can take a couple walks with Theo and that I can make it to the grocery store so we stop eating exclusively carbs.

Because being exercise-free and eating only carbs seems like a bad plan.

Enjoy this one, chickens, and I’ll be back for more, I promise!

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Filed under Five Good Things, Good Reads, Michigan

we are how we treat each other and nothing more.

Sorry for the break in the action, chickens.

Thursday, JW and I found out that his (mine and Theo’s too, though) amazing, silly, loving aunt Mimi had passed away.

So we’ve spent the past four days in Michigan with family, celebrating Mimi, telling stories, and trying to figure what we’re going to do without her.

Mimi loved good (and bad) jokes, her family, and being Irish.

The first time I met her, I was in the middle of an argument with JW at his cottage. We were 19 and dramatic about nothing most of the time. We weren’t even dating yet.

I was in the middle of a sentence when I looked over JW’s shoulder and noticed that someone I’d never seen before was looking at me from the next house.

Through binoculars.

“Jon, there’s a woman looking at me with binoculars,” I said, backing away slowly.

“That’s my aunt Mimi,” he said, without even checking, and then turned around.

She smiled and waved at us.

That was my aunt Mimi.

Mimi was in love with her friends and family, and she never let a visit go by without telling me how happy she was that I was her niece, and how much she loved JW.  Theo too, on our last trip She loved people with an intensity that the rest of us can probably only try to reach for.

This weekend, after toasting Mimi with a beer and a straw (her personal favorite), her daughter L asked us to all listen to this song, because it is my mom, she kept saying.

She was right. And we are all better for having known her.

mimi

 

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Filed under Michigan, Reflections

March madness and other sporting events

You guys, two nights of sleep in a row.

It’s a beautiful thing.

And now, onto the theme of this day, which is obviously sports.

*****

Theo and I spent the afternoon (and part of the evening, too) watching March Madness, and being pleased that both Michigan State and Uconn made it through with round 2 wins.

Although Uconn didn’t make it easy to be a fan last night, since they bumbled through the first two halves before finally taking (some) control in overtime.

I spent most of the game yelling at the television while Theo slept peacefully. When questioned about if this was a baby appropriate noise level, I explained that he was used to it.

You’ve been yelling like that all day?

No, I’ve being yelling that way at sports since T was conceived. I’m 100% sure he’s cool with it by now.

*****

Also yesterday, JW, T, and I headed into the wide open to check out KD’s first high school soccer game. Girls’ soccer is obviously near and dear to my heart, being the only sport I was ever any good at during soccer. Even better, despite her freshman status, KD managed to make the varsity team in her first go around, played the whole game, and scored.

If I have mentioned it before, I’ll say it again: KD is my role model, and I don’t even care that’s she’s only fifteen. She was my role model when she was six, too.

We also got to hang with the rest of the S family at the game, including my favorite toddler, who has several new tricks. One includes answering questions posed to him in Spanish in either English or Spanish (because he is so advanced), and another one is acting out a gorilla, complete with knuckle dragging and growling:

tobingorilla

 

*****

My yoga studio is essentially the best. I was sitting around the other day when UPS came to deliver another package addressed to Theo (he gets the most mail around here). I received a box from Amazon, opened it up, and was excited to see this, compliments of my pals over at Spring (oh man do I miss you guys, and I can’t wait to get back):

yogamat

 

I can’t wait until T can get into happy baby.

 

Up today: more hanging, book reading, rattle shaking, folk song singing, and in addition, lunch with my pal M, and an afternoon of good weather, walk-taking, and dinner making with my mom and Ky. We’ve got Theo’s first weekend in MI to look forward to, which means Bubba needs a bath and his finest onesies packed this afternoon.

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it- it’s supposed to be a real spring day here in Chicago, chickadees!

 

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Filed under Good times, I love sports, Michigan

are we gonna do this or what?

All right chickadees, that was a nice weekend.

We spent it packing, working, visiting, celebrating my nephew’s soon to be arrival on the lake, eating ribs, and doing some more work.

I can’t complain too much about that.

flowers
sugarloaflake
niktobreading
ribtime

 

And now, it’s back to the grind chickadees. In three short days, I’m hopping a plane to Orlando, where I’ll hang (read: work a lot and catch up with some of my favorite people) for seven days, take one long breath, and jump on another plane to Dallas, where I’ll spend the next week doing it all again with another group.

When I come back, I’ll (fingers crossed) have a new home and a nice nap, and it will officially be summer, for me.

So we’re full steam ahead over here packing up, tying loose ends, finishing slides, and taking all the cleansing breaths I’ve got until I leave.

I’m not sure I’ve been away from home longer than a week since I went to Rome, and you guys, that was almost ten (GASP) years ago and so totally not the same thing.

But bring it on, because also, I can totally do this no problem.

Or with minimal problems anyway.

Like do I have enough clothes for this?

Wish me luck, chickadees- and enjoy this short week!

 

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Filed under Chicago, Did I really do that?, Michigan, Reflections, This makes me crazy

ready for what’s ahead.

Morning, chickadees!

After a long, relaxing weekend in MI, it’s back to the hustle and bustle of the city.

Also, April has decided to show its face, and although I am brutally aware of the fact that it is only 22 degrees out today, I have the utmost confidence that this is the month in which it will decide to be spring.

You guys are with me, right?

sugarloaf

In other news, this weekend I decided to start my giving campaign to Cory Booker’s Senate race, because I think he’s a guy who’s doing great things, and also, I’m maybe a tiny bit obsessed with him.

Maybe a little more than a tiny bit.

In any case, after donating, I threw a tweet in his direction, and two minutes later, my phone beeped with a notification.

corybooker

 

How’s that for a beautiful end to an Easter weekend?

Other than that little one word gem (that I will treasure until the end of time, or at least until Cory and I become best friends in real life, which will probably be soon), I’m ready for one big week in front of me, opening day of baseball (I’m giving myself at least one whole month before I fall into a Cubs’ despair), and the promise of above freezing.

We’re pretty sure we’re gonna get there at some point, right chickens?

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it today!

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Filed under Good times, I love sports, Michigan, Reflections

spring in my step

Hey there chickadees!

Sorry I’m a little late this morning, but we’ve got the day off over here, so I slept in before packing it up and getting ready to go to MI for a few days.

Sometimes it’s best to leave the concrete jungle behind you for just a few hours.

I’m a firm believer in switching up your scenery for a change in perspective.

In other news: thanks for all the information about being gluten free yesterday, chicks. I received a whole slew of texts and messages about the pros and cons of all of this, and I’m taking it under consideration.

It seems my people know a lot more about this than I do, which honestly, is a relief.

It’s nice to have resources, you guys.

My bossy little sister has already set up a Pinterest Board for me around acceptable foods for my RA.

Check it out here.

And now, I’m off to finish packing, supervise JW’s idea of acceptable weekend wear, and hit the road for a weekend of blue skies, fresh air, and visiting family.

Not much to complain about from this angle, my friends.

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it (and we’ve got it, today).

 

 

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Filed under Chicago, Good times, Michigan, Weather

every moment is an experience.

Hey there, chickadees.

This weekend, I rode in a tow truck.

For the first time!

It was actually a fairly nice experience.

Should I back up?

You got it.

******

Saturday morning, bright and early, JD and CC picked up JW and I to get an early start on our weekend getaway to Michigan.

7:38, that’s our official start time, said CC as we pulled out of the Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot.

JD and I stretched out in the back seat with iced coffees and magazines.

The road trip had commenced.

*****

About two-and-a-half hours into the four hour trip, we made a quick stop for snacks and water, and cruised back to the highway in under ten minutes.

Paw Paw! JD and I shouted, making fun of the cute little place we’d landed in for our break.

If only we knew how quickly we’d be back in town.

*****

About fifteen minutes later,  we suddenly slowed down for no apparent reason.

I have to pull over, Chris said.

We parked on the side of the road, alternating between attempting to turn the car back on (nothing) and feeling the vibration of  semi-trucks whizzing by the narrow shoulder we were planted onto at the moment.

At least we have snacks, JW said.

I knew there was a reason I loved that man.

*****

After a half hour or so, a nice man named Warren peered into our car, and frowned at us.

Let me call another truck, he said.

It turns out tow trucks are not spacious vehicles.

We required two.

*****

Eventually, we all piled into two (spacious! clean!) tow trucks, and headed to Tapper Ford in our just-visited Paw Paw, which was a dealership where we were sure we could fix our problems (whatever they might be. We’re city people. We don’t actually, at this juncture, have any idea what might be wrong with the car).

 

******

When we arrived at our destination, I lumbered down from the giant truck, and watched Warren unhook the car, wave, and drive off.

It was at this point that we noticed the car repair portion of Tapper Ford was actually closed.

Until Monday.

We walked into the dealership and explained our dilemma.

I could get you a new car in an hour, if you wanted to buy one, the salesman said.

At this point, that seemed like a viable option.

*****

I asked to use the bathroom and was taken through a hallway that reminded me vaguely of 1960.

This is what I found hanging outside the restrooms.

 

 

When I got back, none of my friends seemed to be in the lobby.

They left you here, one of the salesmen chuckled.

You can just work here, he laughed.

I smiled and hightailed it outside.

*****

Several phone calls later, we had secured a rental car at the Kalamazoo airport, which was about a half hour away.

Unfortunately, we had no way to get there.

Is there a cab we can take, someone asked.

We’re city kids, through and through.

*****

Eventually, a nice salesman offered to take us to our destination, so we piled in his car and chatted about new Ford features as we made our way toward Kalamazoo.

Sir, what’s the mascot of Paw Paw, JW asked.

The Redskins, he answered.

I thought it’d be something with paws, I whispered to JD.

*****

The Kalamazoo airport, it turns out, is a very nice place.


It’s lovely here, I told JD, as we huddled on a bench and waited to find out where our rental was.

Actual passengers looked at us like we had two heads.

Two hours from the side of the road incident, we couldn’t care less.

*****

20 minutes and one Chevy Malibu later, we were back on the road, with the promise of a return trip (to pick up the car OR a shiny new model) next week.

In my head, I’m already getting a new car, JD said.

I want it to say Paw Paw on it. The people of Paw Paw are so nice, she said reflectively.

You learn something new every day, chickadees.

 

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Filed under Did I really do that?, Michigan, Near Disaster