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!
Checking in to say we are alive, but barely, over here. In a cruel twist of fate, Gracie is feeling 100% while this Terrible Daycare Virus continues to kick collective adult ass around these parts. Seriously, B and I have been sleeping in separate rooms because we are both so hacking-sneezing-fever running-snotting-snoring-terrible and of course our disgustingness is separately timed so basically one of us is always awake/loud/running for another box of tissues.
Anyway. I’m a new fan of the Cool Touch tissues by Kleenex, even if they do have coconut oil in them, mostly because I’m sick of people touting coconut oil as a cure-all for all maladies. I will concede it is a nice skin moisturizer so I will let it go at least for now.
Anyway. We have antibiotics and decongestants and I’m hopeful a low key weekend with lots of coloring and Frozen and soup and kid snuggles will have us all back on track by Monday.
Despite not posting for over a week I am in fact alive and well. I was tagged in a survey post by my friend Sarah so here we go- some nice writing prompts to get me back in the swing of things.
1) What is my current health-related goal?
I’m getting a Fitbit (Charge HR) as soon as the model I want is released beyond the special snowflake pre-orders and I’m hoping it spurs me to do a little more, walk a little more, move a little more. I’m hoping that in 2015 I treat myself well with good food choices (more plants less animals) and more motion in my day to day.
2) What is my biggest irrational fear?
Serial killers watching me through windows at night. I’m not kidding. One too many Nancy Drew novels as a kid followed by a few too many episodes of Criminal Minds. I don’t like being indoors at night when the curtains or blinds are not drawn, because, well, serial killers. It is how they get you.
3) Do I enjoy wrapping presents?
Present, singular, yes. Presents, plural, no. I start to get bored, then sloppy, and by the end I’m giving someone a stationery set covered in scotch tape and paper scraps.
4) What is my favorite cross-training activity?
Hot yoga? Does that count since my main/favorite exercise is cycling?
5) If you came to visit me, what would we do?
Architecture boat tour in Chicago, lunch at Xoco (a Rick Bayless joint), shopping on Michigan Avenue and dinner somewhere fantastic, perhaps Hugo’s Frog Bar or the Cape Cod Room or Publican.
6) I have two weeks off work and two round trip plane tickets to anywhere. Where would I go and who would I take?
I’d really like to go see Africa, although I doubt 2 weeks is long enough to see its vast ecosystems and sights, so I’d probably pick one of the National Geographic trips and just stick to one area and really do it right. And I’d bring B, obviously. (A National Geographic trip is on my life bucket list)
7) What’s the most embarrassing thing to happen to me during a run or a race?
I’ve only run in one race, back in law school, and I was outrun (by a good margin) by someone clearly undergoing serious medical treatment. A nice little reminder of just how slow I am.
8) Three best days of my life? Or at least the top three that come to mind.
The day I was married, the day Gracie was born, the day I moved to Chicago. Moving day was kind of frustrating and annoying and nothing particularly momentous stuck out (I mean, I moved, boxes, movers, yay) but it was the start of something awesome. I can’t believe I’ve been in Chicago for 10 years this May!
9) Okay, so I HAVE to eat a fast food meal. Which restaurant would I choose and what do I order?
If I’m out West, In-N-Out (double double Animal style, regular fries, no shake unless I’m feeling crazy), and if I’m in Chicago, M Burger, where I get the M Burger and fries.
10) Have I ever met a celebrity?
For someone not in California or New York I think I’m doing pretty well. I’ve met/talked/had coffee or cocktails with President Obama and Vice President Biden (fundraisers for their respective presidential campaigns in the early days), I once ran into the part of the cast of Alias in a tiny Savannah book store (Jennifer Garner with her husband Ben Affleck, Victor Garber, Bradley Cooper) which was just kind of surreal as we all bumped around this tiny shop. Ben and Bradley Cooper were pretending to be supermodels and were taking turns strutting up and down a walkway while cheering each other on, and Jennifer and I browsed the kids books. She was super pregnant with Violet and the whole thing was bananas. And I have set next to Jack Lemmon and Robert Redford on planes. Jack Lemmon played peekaboo and a some other games with me as I was just a toddler. The end.
11) Share a pic of myself in non-workout clothes.
12) If I could choose to have a “do over” and switch careers, what would I choose and why?
Yup, medical school/be a physician. I still sometimes kick myself for not just hiring a chemistry tutor and powering through.
13) If I won an Olympic Gold Medal, how do I think I would react?
Like Anne Hathaway or Taylor Swift winning something, and then everyone would hate me for reasons they can’t really put their finger on. I’m just certain I’d somehow come across in a terribly annoying manner.
14) What do I want for Christmas?
Well I really wanted a food slicing mandoline and I got one and I love it. Food slicing ahoy.
15) What skill do I lack?
I’m TERRIBLE at listening to voicemail. Seriously, don’t leave me voicemail. If I see you called me, I will call you back, but I won’t listen to your message. Oh, and I can’t make a pie crust to save my life.
Parenthood (for me) has been a lot of little moments that add up to the smacking realization that life has changed. A few years ago we spent a lot of time contemplating our New Year’s Eve plans (my favorites always being a smaller dinner party with good friends) and this year we both kind of shrugged off the idea of doing anything. The biggest reason being the competitive blood sport known as “Acquiring a New Year’s Eve Babysitter” which if you are unfamiliar with, please count yourself lucky. Even if you manage to finagle the perfect person to come watch your special snowflake you will then use their college savings to pay for the honor….and yeah. No. Too many years of spending over an hour getting a cab, traversing on the train with all the other too-sweet-sparking-wine-imbibing-drunks…. nope.
This year we will miss seeing our friends (having the small party but see babysitter situation above) but we have grand plans of grilling steak, drinking a nice bottle of something, and seeing out the year much in the way we lived it- as a little family, full of quirks and good memories and casual moments. We often eat dinner in our pjs (with cloth napkins though, and real plates, some habits never die) and retire to the living room to watch television or read together, and if I had to guess, I’d say our New Year’s Eve will contain many of those elements.
I know that in just a few years we will be back on the NYE circuit so for now I’m happy to be where we are in life. I’m looking forward to the fresh new year, full of possibility and milestones. As far as my resolutions….here we go:
Nothing too earth shattering, a little of the same old same old. 2014 was a pretty good year and I’m hopeful hat 2015 has more good things on the horizon. But before we say adios, a quick look back at 2014…….
As far as the blog goes, my top read posts were as follows:
As for the year in photos, here goes.
We celebrated Gracie’s first birthday with a Winter Onederland party…..
We celebrated Easter in Michigan….
We enjoyed Chicago…..
We spent a week in Harbor Springs, Michigan, which is a little slice of heaven on earth….
Gracie dressed up as an owl for Halloween….
Gracie had an accident in November, resulting in her first ER trip and lots of follow up visits (so far = all good/all clear/whew)….
We had family photos taken….
We struck out meeting Santa….
And we had a wonderful Christmas in Utah….
Not pictured….countless dinners with friends, visits from Grandparents, date nights, numerous trips to the park and the zoo, grilling out, sailing, outdoor festivals, so much snow, a Polar Vortex or five, sugar cookie decorating, Frozen viewing, book reading and dog wrestling.
Cheers to a good year!