So Long, Farewell

And with this post, 8 or so years after I began blogging, I’ve decided it is time to close my blog and focus on other things.

So many big things have happened over the years (marriage, motherhood, career changes, dog ownership) and so many little pieces of sand have filled in the cracks around the big boulders. Life moves on and where I once had enthusiasm to jot down our life happenings, I now find myself devoting my time to other endeavors.

I’m still cooking, working, enjoying Chicago, loving on my family. I will probably always read blogs, and I am sure from time to time I will miss having my own. But as I wrote less and less I also missed it less and less…and for anyone wondering, I’m still around on Twitter and Instagram. I could never say goodbye to all things social media- there is entirely too much fun and support out there on the crazy internet.

Blogging brought me more friends than I can count, a few trips, a little bit of ad revenue, a one week swim suit modeling gig in New York City, and an amazing support system of women around the world who I’m so glad I’ve met and shared stories with. It gave me an outlet when I needed it and funny stories from time to time. It was a great way to journal a period of time that flew by in the blink of an eye, despite my every effort to savor what I could.

I exported all my posts into a PDF, and I’ll probably print them all off, particularly the ones devoted to pregnancy and Gracie- a book for her, albeit a little less twee than a leather bound journal.

I find myself possessive of time with my husband, my daughter, our family. Already life moves at breakneck speed and at the end of the day when I’m left choosing between time with them or writing out a blog post…they win every time.

And so, I say, farewell. Or, as my parents always told me to say, “until next time.”

Xo. Thank you for reading.

May Day! Mayday?

Things that have happened or are happening: new job, lots of work, spring weather, consumerism at its finest, sailing season is gearing up, the patio is ready for enjoyable evening wine sipping, Gracie amusing us day in and day out.

Things that have not been happening: blogging. Not even a little bit.

The new job continues to stretch my mind on a daily basis but the good news is that I really, really like it. The subject matter is stuff I’m passionate about, I am using said subject matter in new ways, and the company I work for us a good match for me. Win-win-win!

B is also busy at work, billing hours and taking names. Sailing season has begun again- he was down in Charleston for a week to kick it off- and the boat work days have begun. He managed to get my Dad sucked into sailing a few years ago, so we’ve been seeing my Dad as he comes into town to travel to the boat work days with B. Gracie has really enjoyed the time with her Papa. 11162449_10100729400657059_9180194025056143886_n

We’ve had a lot of family in town over the past two months, and that has been great as well. Grandparents and Gracie get along like peas and carrots. Rhett Butler doesn’t mind a few extra hands to give him belly rubs either. My brother also got to come which was really nice- meshing our schedules is never easy and it was great to have him out here.

For Easter we hosted a bunch of friends in Chicago that were not traveling home (or having family travel to them) for various reasons – it was really nice and fun. My cousin at Northwestern was able to come down, we had multiple kids hunting eggs in the living room, and I made enough ham for 40 people despite only having about 20. Nothing better than a home full of laughter and good food. I highly recommend this fancy truffled deviled egg recipe for anyone feeling like they need to provide a fancy side dish. 11136744_10100708777376279_6785622986687657326_n

Gracie continues to amuse us daily. This evening we were in the kitchen and she was holding a clean mixing bowl. I told her it went in a drawer where I have about 6 nesting mixing bowls. I didn’t think much of it, but when I turned back around she had taken all the bowls out of the drawer, then she spread them out, properly nested them back together in the right order and then began giving herself a pep talk about putting them away carefully because they were “so heavy.” I watched from a distance and when she turned around I gave her a big high five and hug. She never ceases to amaze us with her new skills -and take this as an endorsement for those dang nesting stacking cups babies play with! For Mother’s Day we all went to brunch and then over to Nordstrom where her foot measured at a 7.5 (what?? all her shoes are size 5 and 6…Mom guilt…) and she charmed shoppers on every floor by carrying a shopping bag and a shoe department balloon with a lot of sass. She was not interested in photos at brunch though: 11046499_10100738023861089_6805897363226861124_n

I have tried a few new recipes I’d like to endorse. Try this cheesy pasta with tomato cream sauce if you need something delicious and comforting (it makes well a day in advance), these spinach and black bean enchiladas for vegetarian Mexican food, and this roasted broccoli if you need to mix up the usual side dish suspects.

As far as consumerism…oh man. Gracie got two new car seats because we’d like to keep her rear facing past the age of two (we are aiming for as close to 4 as we can get) and she was outgrowing the original seats we bought, at least rear facing. We traded out a Combi Coccoro and older Britax Boulevard 70 G-3 for a Britax Boulevard Clicktight and a Chicco Nextfit CX. We love both and we are glad to upgraded. The Britax is great for a center install with seatbelt in my car, and the Nextfit is awesome in our SUV- both are compact front to back, which is great. (No judging those who move their kids around earlier, but extended rear facing feels right for us). Speaking of cars we *finally* traded in our 2003 Grand Am for something new – Mama is now driving a 2015 Subaru Legacy and it feels downright luxurious every day when I get in. Bluetooth, safety features, all wheel drive, and heated windshield wipers (and seats) – yup, talk about upgrades! In less pricey news, I got a Fitbit Charge HR that I’m really enjoying (further proof I need to move more during the day) and we bit the bullet and had a carpet cleaning company come out and steam clean our upholstered furniture. I won’t go into the details, but, uh, everyone should consider doing that from time to time. I also strongly recommend the Babyiator sunglasses Gracie is wearing above- flexible, shatter proof, and come with a one year guarantee against breakage or loss. She wears them in the car when the sun is in her eyes and they do the job quite nicely. 10401958_10100699893898839_1376992976444023149_n

I braved the crowds at Target for the Lilly for Target bonanza, thinking that my Chicago target would be just a few people perusing the racks. I sorely underestimated my fellow Chicagoans, but I did manage to grab a few cute things for Gracie. I wouldn’t have braved the women’s department if someone offered me $100 for my time. My Mom found a few more pieces for next summer at her less-crazy Target so that was a fun foray into controversial consumerism. (You know what they say about opinions….)

I have had time to read a few books (books over blogging I guess…oops?) and I finished All The Light We Cannot See the week it was awarded the Pulitzer. It felt very fancy to be sure. I also enjoyed Girl On the Train and now I’m halfway through (and very much liking) Cold Sassy Tree. Next up is The Royal We and Elephant Company. Let me know if there is anything I should add to my list.

B is getting a bike this summer and we are looking into getting a bike trailer for Gracie to ride in so we can go on rides as a family- if you have any suggestions, please pass them along!

Anyway, with all of that mashed together into one lump, I think we can call this a blog post. Things are going well despite my infrequent writing and I hope you are all doing well (or, you know, still around and haven’t totally forgotten about this little blog).

(Amazon links affiliate, as per usual)

 

Status: Everything is Good

Life continues on at break-neck pace despite my lack of blogging. The new job is great but I have a big learning curve and I find that while I’m enjoying my days I come home and I’m exhausted before the lather-rinse-repeat cycle begins. I’ve been traveling for work as well, which has totally shifted our usual family dynamic but all family members seem to be doing well and happy despite the many transitions.

The weather has finally been giving us glimpses of spring- we’ve had open windows in our house for a few days- and that has done so much to lift my general mood. We took Gracie to REI to get fitted for a “bike hat” (note: she calls regular hats “head costumes”) in anticipation of letting her take her wheels for a spin on the sidewalk. We got the helmet with a watermelon print on it, which just tickles my fancy entirely too much. Bonus: the style of helmet means we can put it to use next winter when we take her ice skating!

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With my new work schedule leaving us less time to do things as a family during the week, we’ve been packing our weekends incredibly full. Zoo trips, nature museum trips, grocery store runs as a family (it doesn’t hurt that Gracie has made friends with the spice lady at our grocer who gives her samples of yogurt covered pretzels and fawns over her), walks to the park and general merriment. B and I have had a few more dates, both as a couple and with couple-friends and I’m so glad they are a regular feature for us. Sure, we spend lots of time talking about Gracie, but we also talk about a million other things and enjoy being able to enjoy each other. We celebrate our 6 year anniversary this fall and I’m still really glad he’s my one.

All in all, things are good. We have fresh sheets on the bed, a breeze blowing through the house, a sleeping toddler, and a full calendar for the next few months. What more can you ask for?

(Amazon links are affiliate, same old same old)

Checking In

I know, I know, long time/no write. My new job is fantastic but to say I’m burning the candle at both ends (and anticipate doing so for awhile) would be an understatement. We’ve already begun implementing some new ideas to make our days flow a little more smoothly – this weekend I cooked ahead to make sure our fridge was full of easy meals and snacks, we hired a housekeeper, I’m making more lists than seems imaginable. All in all the changes are good, but I’m exhausted at the end of the day and fall into bed so I can get up and do it all again!

All of that said, my favorite part of my blog is keeping things for posterity, so here are some tidbits/happenings/Gracie-isms that make me smile…..

– Gracie turned two (I will write about this soon) and she is such a joy and a tornado of energy. When she is good she is very, very good, and when she is bad…… well for instance, lets just say I had to pick my chin up out of my lap when she informed me on a recent car ride that “Mom, no talking. You don’t know me.” OH. OK THEN. (Discussion about manners immediately commenced)

– My husband has taken to getting up early and using our spare set of car keys to warm my car up. Our temperatures seem permanently stuck in the negative to single digits, and his little act of service is so beyond appreciated. Every morning as I climb into my not-that-warm-but-also-not-frigid car, I thank him and his thoughtfulness. It really is the little things.

– Gracie has two new adjectives, “beautiful” and “delicious” which she uses liberally in conversation. It is as amazing as you’d imagine, especially when she thanks me for her delicious yogurt. I mean, sure thing kiddo, any time!

– Gracie moved from her crib to a “big girl bed” (her crib with the side rail removed) as we work on her actual big-girl-room but before she cracked her noggin climbing out of the crib, which was her new trick of the month. The transition to the bed wasn’t even a blip on the radar for her, once again reminding her parents that we can plan for nothing.

– Chicago continues its downward spiral into the never ending freeze, and I’m beyond over it, just as I was last year. The lining in my favorite pea coat has begun to deteriorate, I’m down to one pair of good gloves and I have salt smudges on every jacket I own. UNCLE.

– Rhett Butler continues to be awesome and I just figured he deserved a mention. He turned 10 in January but you’d only know if you were carefully watching his ratio of white to tan hair- his personality remains solidly at 8 months.

– This past weekend we got a babysitter (my cousin! the best kind of babysitter because Gracie is OBSESSED with her and I’m pretty fond of her myself) and met some out of town friends for drinks and catching up. Nights like that always serve to remind me that getting out as a couple is so important and enjoyable. We had a great time, we relaxed, we focused on things outside of work/our household/the usual. We got to try this amazing imperial stout. It was so good that we have 2 more date nights planned in the next month!

 

 

 

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