Tag Archives: Hope

These streets will make you feel brand new

Ok chicks, I’m back in the Second City.

And I spent the past 48 hours doing some serious catching up, toasting my friends, getting my fill of pizza, delicious brunch, walking all over NYC, checking out Savage Beauty at the Met, and generally just soaking in every GD thing I could.

We also walked about three million blocks.

But that was okay, because we saw nearly all the things.

It was a beautiful weekend and a beautiful time, and I am just going to get to the pictures already.

And now I leave the land of delicious bagels, good friends, Teddy Roosevelt’s birthplace, and my awesome weekend to get back to my regularly scheduled life. Enjoy the sunshine, chickadees!


Filed under Uncategorized

Tonight we give thanks

Whoa, friends, what a news night Sunday turned into.

In case you haven’t heard.

While I heard Brian Williams say that it is unnatural to feel good because of the death of someone (even if they’re pretty much the worst), and I am with him, because really, it is unnatural to feel that way, there’s no use in pretending like this isn’t an event which makes us all feel better.

Better that our troops have gotten the biggest win they can get.

Better that families from 9/11 can feel like no, we did not forget you, and yes, we got the bad guy.

Better that when you turned on the news last night, no one was talking about whose birth certificate said what, or who was a fraud, but instead, just a bunch of American flags waved in the wind and people were content to be, at the root of it, American.

Without connotation, without splitting it any further into which party or which sector or which level of education or which race thought what about who.

And that felt pretty good.

Now, I am not so naive as to think that this will last very long, because another thing that makes us all Americans is our ability to have a difference of opinion on pretty much everything, even when it feels petty or exhausting.

But, if you think about it, that’s at the root of why we’ve been fighting this guy and his network of terror all along.

“The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
-President Obama 

Now chickadees, that’s a good note to start the week off on, don’t you think?

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Filed under Chicago, Politics, Reflections

A Springtime Jaunt

Last night I got home and threw on my workout gear, ready to face the neighborhood.

I was a little apprehensive, like I always am when I haven’t hit the pavement in awhile.

It’s a different beast than the treadmill, chickpeas.

And previous to last year, I actually preferred the tread because I had more control.

But it’s a new era.

As mentioned in previous weeks, I’m using Lent as a way to de-stress, re-center, and relax.

For instance, I’ve ditched my work e-mail on my bberry, with excellent effects.

It’s made me feel less like work is my life, and more like, well…

More like my life is my life.

Consider me a convert.

Anyway, it seems as though my approach to outside running has also changed.

As in, I was loving every minute of crocuses pushing up and babies kicking soccer balls and dogs stretching their legs.

I was also loving the smell of every grill in the neighborhood.

And although I had strapped on my watch, I didn’t check out how I was doing pace wise for almost twenty minutes.

I’m making strides, my friends.

In any case, it was a lovely, lovely start to my running season out of doors, and when I headed home, JW and I fired up our own grill and enjoyed both brats and tater tots.

A pretty good spring night, all things considered.

Tonight, unfortunately, I won’t be making a repeat performance because fortunately, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, so I’ll be boiling up a corned beef.

Last year, I boiled everything.

This year, I’m branching out. I’m making mashed potatoes.

I know they’re not traditional with my boiled meal, but no one can stop me.

I’m such an Irish fare rebel.

In any case, chickadees, I’m ready for an evening of soda bread and beef.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, chickens!


Filed under Chicago, Reflections, Running, Things that are delicious, Weather

Being the Match

Morning chickadees!

JW and I are spending the day in Grand Rapids at Spectrum Health, me in the waiting room, and him in the operating room, getting his bone marrow “harvested” for someone who needs it more than he does.

He’s doing this for the second time, because he’s pretty much the best guy ever, because he’d give anything he has that you need, including parts of his own body.

He also looks kind of cute in a surgical cap.

This morning we spent a couple hours watching the Today Show, talking about JW’s allergies (of which he has none) and chatting about his repeat performance of bone marrow donation with the doctors.

Growing up as the daughter of an OR nurse, hospitals don’t make me skittish. I actually like hanging out in hospitals. I like the hustle and bustle, I like the nurses, I like the magazine selection in the waiting room.

Especially when I’m with someone who’s not actually sick.

So now, while JW takes a little snooze and helps out someone who needs it, I’ll be hanging out in the waiting room, working on some spreadsheets and waiting for my patient.

Send a little good energy his way this morning chickadees, and a whole lot more to the guy who’s getting his marrow!

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Filed under Reflections

You’ll be happy and wholesome again when the city clears and sun ascends

New day.

New mayor.

New attitude?

Let’s not get too out of control.

I was planning on doing a five.good.things post this morning, but I just can’t drum up five authentic things I’m psyched about.

And I didn’t want to be a liar.

Yesterday was a pretty chaotic, tear.out.your.hair kind of day in my bitty cubicle.

I have a friend who thinks all Tuesdays are like this, and I think she might be onto something.

I feel like these days are even worse in winter, when the sun hasn’t been out in forever, and all you want to do is throw on some sandals and take a nice long walk by the lake.

Or ocean, or field, or whatever you’ve got.

In the absence of any of those things as options (unless I felt like being blown into Lake Michigan), I headed to the gym after work to blow off some steam.

Some might say I’m high strung.

I’d say I’m committed to my emotions.

Anyway, I finished over four miles, and did not die at the end of it, so I left feeling much better about the state of my world.

Today, I’m focused on not eating gummi rattlesnakes as a stress relief mechanism (yes, apparently that’s a problem I have), getting some inspiration from these chicks (yes, I’m already back to the Roosevelts), and reckoning with the Y again.

That Shamrock Shuffle’s sneaking up on me.

In theory, this also means that spring’s sneaking up on me.

I’m hanging that one on my hat rack this morning, chickadees.






Filed under Chicago, Near Disaster, Politics, Reflections, Running

Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.

I’ve always loved sports, chickadees.

When I was little, I loved staying up late to watch Uconn basketball games, or World Series baseball games (which I actually documented play-by-plays of in my journal).

Or getting the opportunity to actually stay up for the entirety of the Superbowl.

The first time I remember doing this is also the same Superbowl halftime show in which Michael Jackson starred, so I’m dating myself.

I’d whoop with victory for the winning team (I didn’t usually have a favorite squad in the game, but I have always.loved.an.underdog), but then the camera would pan to the losers, steeping in defeat.

It made me so upset I had to look away.

Nik, it’s okay, my dad said.

Those people make lots of money to play football, it’s okay that they lost.

Somehow, that never quite reassured me, but I see his point now.

Although eighteen years later, it still smarts to watch the agony of defeat, if you ask me.

But man, it feels good to win.

So I won’t be doing any trash talking in print (though I make no promises for during the game), but I’ll be double crossing my fingers, praying to the Bears’ defensive line, and trusting in things I maybe shouldn’t trust in (except you, Robbie, I always trust you).

And we’ll see how things shake out in Bear country.

Or Bear city I guess. That sounds more appropriate.

And even though my anxiety is running high this cold morning, you know what?

It’s good to be an underdog.

Go Bears!


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Filed under Chicago, I love sports, Reflections

And we are home.

I love Chicago down to my bones.

My freezing cold bones.

When I was little, I’d always hold my breath in the car until we crossed the town line, almost at exit 63, almost back on familiar roads.

I liked to let out my breath when I knew I was home.

When I go home now (which home? All of them.) I still hold my breath, knowing that once I’m in, I’m safe.

I was thinking about this yesterday morning, trudging through the alleys in my neighborhood, almost slipping on every icy patch I encountered.

Alleys have a lot of icy patches, you see.

This gives you a minute to think about things, as you imagine you’re about to slip to your death.

I was thinking about it while I was walking to work, passing tourists and skyscrapers and all kinds of things I’d never envisioned for myself.

You really did a good thing here, I thought to myself.

Then I slipped again.

Life is not perfect.

I was thinking about it last night, walking to the train on Michigan Avenue, stopping at Holy Name to pay my respects to Ron Santo (there was no line. I love Ron Santo, the Cubs, and Holy Name Cathedral- I thought that qualified me to step inside and bow my head)

Holy Name Cathedral is beautiful.

What was happening inside of it was beautiful.

Chicago is a beautiful place.

And in the crush of bodies on the train, the noise flooding the streets, and the I-just-might-take-you-to-your-death wind and ice, it is nice to remind yourself that despite its shortcomings,

it is home. a place to let your breath out.

Now how’s that for the holiday spirit?


Filed under Chicago, Reflections