Tag Archives: urban

out like a lamb.

Morning, chickadees!

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in Chicago, and while we’re back to the not-quite-spring weather this morning, starting the week with sunshine and warmth was definitely worth it.

Theo and I had a long walk around the neighborhood, and then, I left my trusty sidekick with my mom and grandmother so I could complete the most terrible of errands: a visit to the DMV to renew my license.

In Chicago, the DMV is actually called the Secretary of State, and they perform one hundred million services. In the particular branch that I visited, lines were set up as mazes and it took me about ten minutes and wading through half the population of the city to find the place I was supposed to go just to get my number so I could wait.

“Two pieces of mail,” the man said over his counter, and so I produced two pieces of mail with my updated address from my bag of identification, which I had taken with me just in case. No one wants to be caught without the right papers and sent away.

In case you’re wondering though, you don’t need your passport or social security card to renew a license.

Doesn’t hurt to have them, though.

Next up, I waited for almost an hour to get up to the next set of the counters. In the time I was there, I noted a crazy man in a torn suit reading his social security number to someone on the phone over and over, one million kids, and a woman who didn’t speak English who nearly missed them calling her number. She was with her elderly mother, and when I noticed she wasn’t getting up when they called D416 over and over again, I became panicked and tapped her on the shoulder and sent her on her way.

The DMV causes me anxiety.

Finally, they called my number, and I headed up with my papers. I was overly pleasant, a strategy I use in an attempt to win over the government employees. After looking over my documents, the man asked if I had something else with my address, because my mortgage statement couldn’t technically count.

I explained that I did not. I explained that I had no one with me to vouch that I lived where I did, and I also threw in that I had a baby at home, maybe using Theo to make the man feel like he could make an exception.

He went and checked something, and came back irritated that what I had produced wouldn’t count as proper identification. He asked if I could pull up a bank statement on my phone, and I obliged, trying to figure out how to get my iPhone to pull up a full site instead of a mobile app without anywhere to get a pdf.

I started to panic, again. All of a sudden the man grabbed my phone out my hands.

“Oh, I see, you’ve got it here,” he said, as I stuttered and tried to explain that I didn’t quite have it.

“Thanks for pulling it up for me!” he said cheerfully, throwing a piece of paper over my phone screen. Again, I said I didn’t actually have anything but a blank screen.

Finally, I got that he was doing me a favor and circumventing the system Chicago-style, and stopped loudly exclaiming that I did not in fact have the right items electronically.

That was a close one.

Several hundred lines later, I drove out of there with a valid license with the right address.

Next time, I won’t miss the online deadline, chickens.

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it.

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Filed under Chicago, Did I really do that?

good things ahead.

Morning, chickens!

And welcome back to the work week.

It’s funny how that happens so fast around here.

Chalk it up to lovely, summer-y days.

This weekend: the Blackhawks won (and will win tonight and I’m sorry to all my Boston pals, but man, I’ve gotta take Chicago’s side), it was finally time for some deck sitting (thanks MC & MM) with my very favorite lady friends, we had visitors from MI in, which meant Ethiopian AND Thai food in one little weekend, Gene the Russian hugged me and then destroyed my muscles with bells, and we cleaned up and shut down our little apt on Cornelia.

It’s one thing to move out of there while I’m touring the country, and an entirely other thing to shut the door on an empty apartment knowing I’m not coming back.

Then I thought the following (and bear with me chickadees, I’m feeling my feelings for a second, and I’m terrible at it):

We left what was between those four walls as full with good memories as we possibly could, and plus, I even got to take my roommate with me.



Welcome to condo living, chicks, is what I say.

And less dust elephants to contend with.

Both pluses, in my estimation.

Up this week: Condo tours + dinner for CJ & LM, more hockey, and the promise of Ky’s mom and sister at the end of the week.

I’m seeing nothing but good things ahead, chickens.

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it.

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Filed under Chicago, Good times

and that’s a wrap.

Morning, chickadees!

And yes, I’m back.

And still catching up on some sleep after fourteen nights in hotel rooms and fourteen days of running around, meetings, and getting.it.done.

I spent the weekend unpacking, watching JW hang up all our photos on the walls, and running into my new favorite neighbors.



After two weeks without my favorite kids, they were a sight for sore, tired eyes.

I’m giving myself one more day to put some books on shelves, try to get into my building with my six thousand new keys, and relaxing before I head back into the office and try to remember what a normal (ish) life feels like around here.

And also maybe catching up on my DVR backlog for the next few hours.

I’m just trying to be honest.

I’m so excited, chickens, to be back to the city for my favorite season of the year. I’m ready for trips to the beach, outdoor concerts (already started yesterday with a trip to Ravinia to see Jewel), and festivals until Labor Day.

Oh man, you guys, there is nothing more beautiful than this spot for the next three months.

And with that, I’m off to shelve books and make a plan to get right back into it.

Enjoy the sunshine, chickadees, the start to this week is a great one.


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Filed under Chicago, Good times

feel good about this one.

Morning, chickadees.

And here we are again.

I’m feeling pretty slow moving this Monday, after a weekend full of errands, fun, and soccer games.

It turns out that two soccer games in three hours is in fact, exhausting.

I slept like a rock last night.

Aside from playing soccer all evening (am I getting too old for that, chickens? Ok good. I didn’t think so either), I spent two days off kettle-belling, manicure-getting, and hanging out with my pals.

Also, laundry.

My least favorite task on the planet.

All in all, it was a lovely, non-raining couple of days in the Windy City, so I’ll take it.

I still have some misplaced faith that spring’s gonna show up here any second.

I’d even take straight up summer at this point, you guys.

Remind me of that in July.

And with that, I’m off for another productive day of planning, meetings, and hot yoga.

Good stretching, a hot studio, and a sticky mat at the end of this one is always the best cure for the first work day of the week.

Namaste, chickadees, and enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it.

In fact, enjoy it even if you don’t.

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Filed under Chicago, Good times

There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?

Hey chickadees.

Another late morning post over here, after a morning of watching television from the 90s and sleeping in past eight.

It’s going to be a nice little vacation in this neck of the woods.

Neck of the concrete, I guess.

Last night, JW and I headed over to St. Andrew’s for KD’s Christmas concert.

She played the xylophone.

Like a champ.

The concert featured one song from every grade, and was basically the cutest holiday event I’ve ever attended.

Even cuter than the event itself?



Tobin Claus. Orchestrated to make the holidays more exciting.

At the end, there was a group song, complete with candles and blue lights.



A blurry photo yes, but it basically made me want to go home and put on Love, Actually immediately while hanging out by my Christmas tree.

Up today, I hopefully finally finish my Christmas shopping, go hang out with the kids for awhile, and then head to the Hideout later tonight to see Wild Jesus rock out at an end of the world party.

If the world ends after this kind of day, I really only have limited complaints.

Enjoy this day, chickens, as we head straight into the holiday week.

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Filed under Chicago, Good times

she got both feet on the ground/and she’s burning it down

Hey chickens- and welcome back to another week!

After a delayed, shaky flight last night, I’m finally back in Chicago, prepared to complete two very full days in the office before taking off for the rest of 2012.

The next 48 hours should be intense ones.

Speaking of intense, JD and I ended up having a whirlwind trip to NYC in which we tried our best to see All the Things, and spent our time catching up, having cocktails, and seeing the sights of the city during Christmas.



Yesterday it rained pretty much all day, but being the adventurers we are, we trekked about 60 blocks or so around the city sightseeing while getting soaked to our bones.

Sometimes you have to commit to the adventure, chickens, despite the weather conditions.

One of our favorite sightings of the weekend was actually that New York was having an event in which hundreds and hundreds of people dressed in Santa suits roamed the city, drinking out of paper bags.

Thing TBOX, and then multiply it by Manhattan.

Yeah, it was pretty crazy.

The Santas seemed fairly jovial until about 5:00 pm, which JD and I have decided is New York’s witching hour.

Tourists get tired.

Kids get whiny.

Santas get violent.

We walked around for what felt like hours Saturday night, trying to find one bar that wasn’t populated by Santas screaming at elves while chain smoking, and when we finally did, we holed up and stayed there until after 1 am.

The next morning, we wondered if the Santas would have been doing their various walks of shame Sunday if we’d gotten up in time to see it.

And then, we laid our eyes on this.



Somewhere, a Santa is freezing.

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it.


Filed under Did I really do that?, Good times, Reflections

let’s make the most of the night.

Hey there, chickens!

We’ve hit Friday, already.

I’m up early to finish packing (you guys, I’m the worst packer, I don’t even know what’s in my bag at this moment: what if it’s just a bathing suit and some sneakers?), and then to do one last thing for work before taking off.

Literally taking off, that is.

I’m equipped this weekend with new shoes, a charged camera, my bff JD, and no work computer.

Wins all around, everyone.



This is JD and me the last time we headed to NYC in 2011.

We’re just horsing around.

I crack myself up, at least, you guys.

In all seriousness, JD, my college roommate/bff/travel partner and I have trekked all over Europe together, so it feels good to be hitting the trail as a pair for the first time in ages.

Once, many years ago, we took a wrong turn and walked around all of Vatican City. After a totally hot, frustrating walk for what seemed like miles (maybe was miles?), I told JD that at least now we could say we’d walked the perimeter of a sovereign nation.

It wasn’t funny then.

It’s sort of funny now.

Also: true.

JD’s talked me out of a panic attack on the Eiffel Tower, calmed me during a storm in Venice when we realized we were actually staying in a campground, not a hostel, and bought the best pair of heels in London despite my protesting that they weren’t practical for Rome’s cobblestone streets.

She was right, as usual. Those shoes were awesome.

And with that, we’re off for another weekend of fun.

Not in a campground.

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it, chickadees!

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Filed under Near Disaster, Reflections

it don’t snow here, it stays pretty green

We made it past Monday, my friends.

Which to me always seems like reason enough to start the celebration.

Poor Monday has such a bad rap.

Also, in the middle of a bustling, let’s-fit-five-days-into-four week, I’m pausing for just one lovely second to grab lunch with my pal and follow blogger, AB.

AB blogs over here and even though we technically met virtually, she’s actually practically my neighbor in real life.

She’s a dedicated runner, a fantastic baker, and also, just freaking funny.

All my friends are funny, thank God.

We’re headed over to Protein Bar, which is my favorite new lunch spot/chain downtown.

I like an option that by menu alone keeps me from ordering fries and forces delicious quinoa upon me.

I admit, chickadees, that my lunch spots are far superior off the avenue- it’s making it particularly hard to avoid ditching the brown bag.

But it is making it easy to saying yes to meet up with all my favorite people at noon, so I’m going to count it as a win.

And with that, I’m off for an early appointment and a day full of meetings.

Enjoy this one, chickens- we’re headed straight for the weekend, I can feel it in my bones.

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Filed under Good times, Reflections, Things that are delicious

if you could go anywhere, anywhere/what would you see?

Happy weekend, chickens, and welcome to it.

The sun’s finally out here in Chicago, which nearly makes all the rain we had this week worth it.

It’s been a busy morning already, cleaning up for our impending pizza party and visiting the Farmers’ Market, which has one more week left in its schedule.


It is, however, a beautiful time to be a the market. I may have picked up a cauliflower that is about two times bigger than my head.

I see interesting culinary things in its future.

If I can process it into something more manageable.

In any case, here’s to enjoying the harvest while it lasts, right?

Winter moves faster than you think, is what I’m going with this year.

We’ll see how that one serves me in February.

Also up today: running with my dad, making sauce, slicing vegetables, grating cheese, seeing good friends, and drinking wine and eating pizza.

One of my favorite kinds of Saturday nights.

In addition, laying my eyes on my godson and hanging out with the whole S family.

Nothing better, if you ask me.

Today is the best kind of day, chickadees.

Get out there and enjoy every second of it that’s left.

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Filed under Uncategorized

but even if i changed/what’s wrong with it

Morning, chickadees.

Can you believe it’s Thursday already?

Last night, JW and I stopped for impromptu dinner and drinks downtown, a welcome change to our normal routine, and a fun way to spend a rainy Wednesday.

I’m easily persuaded to break routine when there’s steak and a drink in it for me.

However, that meant I had to drag myself out of my warm bed this morning to hit the trail.

Or the concrete.

You get what I’m saying.

I’ve programmed my running app to have the voice of a drill sergeant, which means I’m treated to prompts like “I can’t hear you!” and “Pick it up!” crazy-bossy-command style.

Is it wrong that it kind of makes me laugh?

Whatever keeps me going, right?

Between that and my chosen Pandora station, 90s Hits of Summer, I was on a roll.

Third Eye Blind continues to be my favorite jamming music on a run.

Save your judgement, chicks.

I doubled up on the training plan I’m doing with my dad, which meant that I managed to make it a little bit over 3.5 miles.

I also had the pleasure of watching the sun rise over the neighborhood.

Which pretty much makes getting up in the dark worth it.


That’s my vantage point, about to descend upon my final block of running for the morning.

My corner of the world is a pretty beautiful one, chickadees.



Filed under Chicago, Running