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cycling round again

Oh hi, guys!

Today’s my birthday. I’m 32 years old, and I promise, I’m good with it.

I’m finding that spending most of the first few years of my 30s pregnant is a really helpful distraction from the aging process.

I recommend it, actually.

So this has been another big year, and among my key accomplishments have been the following:

  1. Keeping Theo alive for 12 more months. This continues to be my best and most challenging work, on a daily basis.
  2. Getting ready to bring another baby into this world. Even better, fulfilling Boo’s wishes for a little sister.
  3. Taking a new job! After almost ten years and countless experiences (and happy hours) at SB, it was time to move up and on, and most importantly, to just try something new. So far, it’s been fun and different, and I never wake up in the middle of the night feeling a panic attack coming on, which is worth more than I thought it would be.
  4. JW got a new job-okay, so I had nothing to do with that, but it’s still awesome and I’m proud of him and we live in the same house, so it counts.
  5. My baby nephew G was born. And even though he’s not my baby, he counts as partially mine according to the Rules of Friendship, and he’s perfect.
  6. My pals M & M got married. I love all the love, and I love that my friends have awesome partners-in-life.

Obviously there were a million other moments that counted during 31, but those are among my favorites. I know that 32 has more in front of it, including bringing in a lady baby, going to see Hamilton (yes, this is on the list!), welcoming my baby sister to her 30s, accepting that my red-headed nephew will graduate from high school and go to college (where I’ll likely stalk him) and watching my friends expand their families (and so also mine!) with new spouses and babies and pets.

And with that, there’s no time to waste. I’m already hours into this new trip around the sun, and I’ve got things to do.

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giving in and giving up

So I know yesterday I wrote about maybe not worrying too much about giving something up, and I still believe that, but I also thought about it a little bit and decided that I have a clear contender for something that it’s about time I worked on eliminating.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am strangely attached to my phone, really for no reason at all. I’m pretty much obsessed with scrolling through the Internet, looking at really nothing of importance, and so this Lent, while I can’t ditch the little screen all together, I’m going to work on cutting down. Here are my self-imposed rules:

  1. When I get home from work, the phone goes down until Boo does. Facebook drama can wait, I’m pretty sure. So can adorable Instagram posts. I trialed this the other night, and it meant I could get in on a game on Farm before bed.
  2. No phone when I’m with my pals. I mean, if I’m with my pals, who am I even talking to? My circle is not that wide, trust me.
  3. I can check my e-mail before I get to work one time. Not sixteen. Who am I, the President?

I’m open for suggestions (and I’m sure JW has some additional ones). Listen, technology is the best. It means I can text my friends across the country whenever I want and play games like fruit ninja, so I fully understand its importance, but I’m hoping a quick break in the action means a permanent ramp down in the screen action.

Wish me luck, chickadees, this will likely be my undoing.

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to dust you shall return

Listen chickens.

I’m not a particularly religious person these days. Boo was baptized in the Catholic church and JW and I were married there, but I suspect that for me, that’s more cultural than anything else, and because I find comfort in rituals.

When I lived in Italy, I loved sliding into pews for Mass because no matter where you are, Catholic mass is the same. The rhythm, the smell, the kneeling and sitting and standing, it’s the same no matter where you are and that’s immensely comforting when you’re nineteen and thousands of miles from home.

Plus I’m really into the whole crowd of saints that hangs out in the belief system of the Catholic Church. Trust me, you guys, I need all the help I can get, and having a patron saint for just about everything is useful.

We obviously also all know that there are unsavory things about religion and church and I don’t pretend that it’s not there. I have a lot of feelings about it. I especially have a lot of feelings about it after I watched Spotlight with JW a couple weeks ago and just generally felt like, gross, after.

So these days I subscribe to good energy and being open and listening to my Mom, who has always said that you don’t need religion to just be nice to people, and she’s right, obviously, because she usually is.

Today is Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of Lent. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, that Ash Wednesday is my favorite part of the Catholic calendar because I like nothing more than when the priest outlines a cross on my forehead and reminds me that you were made from dust and from dust you shall return.

Morbid, I know.

But for me, it’s like someone singing the Circle of Life, or reminding me that everything is cyclical.

It’s a relief really, and a reminder to not take any of this too seriously.

I’m probably reading it wrong, but it’s my right to do that too, I think.

Despite not being a fully-believing Catholic these days, I am into Pope Francis, because I believe he’s got the right idea on a lot of things, and he’s reminding us this Lenten season that “Indifference to our neighbor and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.”

So basically the Pope and my Mom agree on this one- if you’re gonna use the next forty days and nights to do anything, use it to be nice, chickens.

And if you don’t believe in any of it, just be nice anyway.

It won’t cost you anything, I promise.

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What’s shaking.

Thanks, chickens, for all your congratulations on our addition to our little family.

We’re so excited for Lady (baby) to join us soon-ish, and Theo has decided that either Abby or Mommy are acceptable names, so thank God we’ve got that taken care of already.

I’m just hoping she chooses to be a tomboy, because otherwise JW’s going to have to learn how to french braid and apply make-up, as surely we all know I’m doomed in those departments.

My dad has been known to call me his only son, you guys. I can’t help who I am.

However, who I am has not kept me from purchasing floral onesies and pink leggings in advance, because honestly, I can’t look at another pair of overalls.

Even though Boo, you are very cute in overalls.

Other things going on around here:

  1. I managed to finish Three Wishes (another Liane Moriarty title) and The Wright Brothers (David McCullough at his shortest, which was great, since I could tote the book on the el with me) last week, which was productive and keeping me on track to continue 2016 as the Year of Literacy.
    I’m trying to front load my reading because during my last maternity leave, I basically became illiterate, I think because my brain needed every single cell for keeping my baby alive, and so just in case that happens again and I find myself watching Roseanne and I Love Lucy exclusively for 12 weeks, all the books need to happen now.

    It’s a survival tactic.

  2. I’m turning 32 this week, which is amazing and funny and not at all as terrifying as I thought it would be.

    I had one scary moment in which I decided that I was nearly 40, but then I remembered how much happened between 22 and 30, and realized I’ve got all kinds of time for cool things and disasters to occur before I hit 40.

    Also, my thirties have been really rather fun and eventful so far, so I’ll just run with them. I’m not someone who ever had (or has) great expectations about how everything’s supposed to unfold, so it makes it pretty easy for me to just take things as they come at me.

  3. Jen and I have still been at the yoga, albeit a beginners’ class because sometimes you have to be willing to start over. This week our delightful and quirky teacher told J “You’re really flexible, actually” and looked surprised when I hopped up into an inversion, and so I’m hoping that we’ve actually convinced her that we were yogis, once upon a time and we’re not just liars on the mat.

And with that, chickadees, I’m off to get this one started. Enjoy Mardi Gras, and please, eat some packzis for me (as I was remiss and didn’t locate any in time- lady baby, please forgive me)!


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Five good things: good morning, beautiful

Man, I’ve missed five good things. It needs no introduction, so let’s get to it.

  1. It occurred to me earlier this week that since I’ve been off the scene awhile, some of you may have missed my intense Hamilton obsession. If you are living under a rock and have never heard of this amazing musical, you should check it out. My baby sister and all her friends are indulging me by going with me in March to see it in NYC. In case you were wondering, there is nothing better than a musical based on a founding father where the music is all rooted in hip hop (THERE ARE CABINET RAP BATTLES, YOU GUYS)., and also, you can find it on Spotify, for free. And no, I’m not willing to admit how much I paid for tickets.
  2. Speaking of Spotify, I’m currently obsessed with its Discover Weekly mix, which is usually right on in getting me through the work day. This morning it greeted me with a Weezer cover and a song called “Good morning, beautiful” and so I know it really knows me.
  3. The weather this week in Chicago is above freezing, which means only a few layers. I’d be wearing even less of them, but Boo insists that we dress in the same exact number of layers before heading out, and so I have no choice but to obey when he points to my head and says “Mama, hat.”
  4. February is coming up, and it’s a big month around here. Birthdays for my grandma, myself, Boo, and significant progress toward the end of winter. It’s a cold month, but it’s full of little celebrations to move us along to a sunnier set of days.
  5. I wouldn’t be my nerdy self if I didn’t mention that I have declared 2016 the year of literacy even though I read every year and that I am currently using a combination of my book club, the library, and Goodreads to conquer all kind of titles while it freezes outside. My favorite at the moment is Liane Moriarty books for when I want to read fast and easy, and also I loved Sarah Vowell’s Lafayette in the Somewhat United States because as mentioned in #1, I’m very into the Revolutionary War right now, and also Vowell makes history fun. Read on, you guys- TV is pretty boring right now anyway, and football’s almost over.

And with that’s I’m off to get through another wintry day. Enjoy the sunshine, chickadees!


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Pick up where you left off

Two for two, chickens.

Don’t expect this to stick. I have a toddler who insists that we spend my only free half hour a day together holding hands and watching the “Choo Choo” and even though I wish I could fire bomb Thomas and his Tank Engine, I’m obsessed with the aforementioned toddler.


This one’s short. So last week I was rereading this article that is very poignant and important and about how crucial it is to have a tribe of people to get you through all the messiness that is life, and I got all choked up and sent it to my very own tribe because I hate being the only one crying, and I decided that everyone should read it (everyone being the 22 people who read my blog, but that’s a wide enough net for this chick):


It doesn’t really have anything to do with Donald Trump, so if you’re as sick of him as I am, you can still click and be safe.

My favorite lines, I think, are these ones:

Each week when I ask “What can I bring?” or read “My house tomorrow, 5:45pm,” I know soon I’ll be at a table with friends who are just friends because we are friends. If that makes sense to you, you are a fucking blessed human.


People, I never tell you what to do, but I’m telling you this: Get yourself a crew. Find them. Show up. Cook some food. A lot. Pick up where you fucking left off. 

I think it’s right, chickadees. I think it’s exactly what we all need. If you have a tribe, get at them. If you don’t, make one up, it’s winter and you’re not doing anything else, anyway.

Man, I love when people have the right idea.

Enjoy the sunshine, chickens.



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Come back, kid.

Listen, guys.

I’m back.

I’ve been taking some time over the past six months to reflect and retract and figure some shit out.

And I came to the conclusion that  you’ll never get all your shit figured out.

That is totally okay.

But I missed you guys (I missed it all being out on in the world, because even though JW is constantly reminding me that you don’t have to tell everyone, everything, you know, he also was the one who told me this week you know you haven’t written in your blog in months and so I know that a) he’s sending me mixed messages and b) he know perfectly well that I do need to tell everyone everything.

So here’s the short list of what’s changed since I last told you everything (the abridged version):

I got a new job, JW got a new job. Theo’s still not pulling his weight. I became briefly obsessed with Donald Trump in a way that was funny at first, but now it’s not funny, because he’s the worst. My best friend gave birth to a little boy so beautiful that I can’t believe how lucky I am to be his auntie. We finished out 2015 with this huge burst of loss and life in my tribe of most important people, and you guys, there’s nothing out there to make you feel more grounded than equal measures of loss and life happening to people you love. At first I tried to even it all out, you know, take the good and bad and average it into something okay, but I decided that’s kind of bullshit. As my very wise cousin M has said, you have to feel your feelings, and so I am trying harder in 2016 to do that.

Even when it’s terrible.

Because sometimes it’s amazing.

I have been a little overwhelmed as of late with all of the terrible things going on in the world (the big World and my small world) lately, and so in addition to feeling my feelings I am trying to take deep breaths and look around at what’s good, and when that fails, I’m eating french fries and tickling Boo and giving all my money to Syrian refugee babies.

Jen and I went back to yoga after a long absence last weekend, and after struggling through an hour and getting angry about it, she reminded me that we have created life since we last practiced regularly and maybe we should go easy on ourselves.

She’s right, as usual.

So that’s where I am and what I’ve been up to. Right now I can’t promise that I’ll write every day (or that when I do write it will be worth reading), but I think like making it back to the mat, making it back here might be a struggle because I haven’t been practicing but worth it because I love it so much.

I do promise that I still know that so many things are funny and good, and mostly I’ll be talking about that because I think it’s what’s important.

Stick to what’s important, and the rest will shake itself out, I think.

Thanks for having me back, chickadees.



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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!


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five good things: let freedom ring edition

Ok chickens, I had a slight snafu earlier this week in which I let Boo hang in my desk chair and my computer suddenly stopped working, but we’re back on track and so here I am. And because it’s Friday after my first full week in the office in a very, very long time, I think it might be a good idea to chat through five.good.things before we hit the weekend.

1. We woke up this morning to the news that the Supreme Court has made it legal in all fifty states to get married, regardless of your sexual orientation, which is both so, so, amazing and also sort of embarrassing because it hadn’t happened yet. In any case,fantastic news on a Friday morning!


2. This weekend, my bffs, my parents and I are headed to Ravinia (you may recall this is my favorite spot in the world) to check out Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett. I have a feeling this will be an interesting experience including lots of alcohol and crowds, but bring it on. It’s been all business so far this summer, I’m ready for a little fun!

3. JW and I are both very nearly over our colds, which means there is the distinct possibility we will be able to do something aside from laying on the couch watching Orange is the New Black over the next two days (not that I’m knocking that, chickens- it’s a totally acceptable way to spend a weeknight). Here’s to our health, chickens!

4. I’m currently reading 99 Days which happens to be by my life role model and baby sister’s BFF Katie, and after two very intense (and good, you guys, they were good) books about the French Occupation during WWII, this is like the very thing I needed. It’s about teenagers and summer and angst and bad decisions and good decisions and I’m loving it so very, very much. Please trust me and go get it (or if you’re nice I’ll let you borrow my copy).


5. Boo has sort of given up his, I’m going to scream all night until you’re afraid our neighbors will kill us and so you’re forced to bring me into your bed, which means that my family has gotten to sleep all night two evenings in a row. If you have a baby, you know how good of a thing that is, and if you don’t, just think of the best thing and then it’s just a tiny bit above that. Here’s to a weekend of sleeping in (until 6 am).

And with that, chickadees, I’m off to hit the ground running at the office and then to enjoy a few days of rest and fun. Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it!

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five good things: one more circle edition

Happy Wednesday, chickens! Today is officially the last day of my 30th year, which is a little bit shocking, but I’m going to try and temper the shock with a list of five.good.things.

1. I get to turn 31 tomorrow with a full complement of Good Life Things under my belt tomorrow. I’ve got amazing, silly friends, a great husband, a beautiful baby boy, an awesome family, stable health, and Seriously, you guys, if things went south tomorrow, there still would be nothing I would have done differently. It’s a shame we can’t squeeze every last adventure into our one life, but without that choice available, I like to think I’ve learned from every time I’ve pointed and said “ok, that way next.”

2. Yesterday I ran at lunch. After a weekend of overindulging, I had a lot of concerns, but managed to finish this 38 minutes fast than last week’s attempt. I’m not feeling fast yet, but I am feeling strong, and I think that’s just as good. Also: I forgot my makeup, so I spent the rest of the afternoon looking a little bit crazy. Maybe not a good thing, but certainly a funny one.

3. Sam Hunt. You guys, I am obsessed with this country (ish?) singer, even though my very legit country fan boss seems skeptical. Luckily for me, I do not care about being legit, only about having something to play on repeat in between meetings.

4. This weekend I have birthday celebrations that include eating old school Italian food at Sabatino’s with my bffs. The last time we went there, we ended up back in my apartment so that we could do shots and laugh some more. I’m hoping to avoid the former, but I’m always up for the after party.

5. Last night we had “book club.” To reiterate what I’ve said in the past, we don’t actually read one book or talk about books at all, but we do drink wine, snack, swap gossip, talk about weddings, and wonder when spring’s gonna show up so we can hit the beach and beer gardens. We can read on our own time, anyway.

Enjoy this one, chickadees–I’ll be out there enjoying my last day of my first year of my newest decade.

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