Tag Archives: 2015

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).

lmeswedding

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.

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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:

inthelake

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!

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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.”

wtf.

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.

BECAUSE SCIENCE IS COOL.

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.

ANYWAY.

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

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

shut up and dance with me.

Good God, you guys, that was intense.

I know I’ve been sporadic, but this month was a crazier-than-usual version of it.

I just got back from two back-to-back trips in Las Vegas and Denver, with one quick trip home to squeeze Boo in the middle.

Immediately upon getting back on Thursday, I came down with a cold and climbed into bed basically until this morning, when I forced myself to shower and remember how to commute to the office.

Ahh, a break, I thought.

And then remembered my one last trip to New Orleans for a couple days next week.

It never ends, chickadees.

But it’s always interesting.

A couple things you missed in June:

1. Two totally kick ass conferences pulled off by teammates much, much smarter than me. I got to laugh through a trip to Las Vegas, and then kicked it in Denver with Joe Theismann, Blues Traveler, and Hey Jimmy, my very favorite dancing cover band of all time. I am so lucky to be surrounded with people who make work seem not.too.hard.at.all, and I also was lucky enough to get my favorite piece of onsite wisdom from JT:

“It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” Good reminder, there.

JT

2. The realization that hot yoga is a legitimate way to deal with onsite stress. Unfortunately, it does not cure colds.

3.The additional realization that cocktails are also a legitimate way to deal with onsite stress.

4. Leaving your baby for essentially two weeks makes for a fairly irritated toddler when you finally show back up. Not that I can blame him. You can have as much ice cream as you want this summer, Boo.

5. In addition to hanging with all my very favorite volunteer-friends (yes, that’s a thing), I also got a chance to see my baby sister, my grandma, and my high school BFF LB and her husband NB this month. It was all awesome, and it all went too fast. So many fantastic people in the world, chickens.

6. Hawks win the Stanley Cup! Man oh man I loved watching them win with my whole team and dancing around to Chelsea Dagger all night in Denver. What I did not like: my boss capturing my sweet “Raise the Roof” moves on video while celebrating. I can’t control my love of the game.

And with that, I’m off to start this one up. I promise to make more than guest appearances in my own life this summer- it’s like a mid-year resolution. Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it!

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Filed under Did I really do that?

rapid fire

A couple quick things on this morning, since Boo is desperate to be on my lap reconfiguring my computer:

1. Yesterday Theo and I spent the morning together, since he had a checkup (that lasted all of ten minutes- star patient, over here). This interruption in routine caused him to run to the door at 7:30, turning the knob and yelling “Bye bye!” as loud as he could, until finally, I decided we should go for a walk to try and placate him. So I was the only mom taking her baby for a long walk in the 45 degree weather on the first day of June.

He’s a mover and a shaker, chickadees, and as soon as we made it to daycare he took off without a glance in my direction.

I totally get it.

2. I just watched a clip on Sesame Street that featured a Macaroni-saurus that was tamed by a giant meatball. It was followed up by a video featuring the different kinds of macaroni shapes. I feel like as an Italian-American I should be slightly offended, but instead, I loved every second of it.

3. It’s supposed to be over 60 degrees at some point today- c’mon summer, I know you’re in there somewhere.

And now it’s off to make the commute, and try and find a parking space among the dreaded Street Parking restrictions. Pray for me, chickens, that I don’t back into too many cars out of frustration (and mediocre driving skills, of course).

Enjoy it!

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Filed under Near Disaster