Archives for posts with tag: home



Last week I was lucky enough to be accepted as a RedTri Spoke Contributor! I am so excited about this opportunity to share my voice in their community.

In Defense of Downsizing takes a look at what happens when you look into your heart and family and make choices based on the answers you find. I explain our journey to living with less space and more time together.

I hope to remain active in this contributor community. I will always share with you whatever work I am fortunate enough to submit and have published.

Do you have any pieces that have been published on different sites, blogs, communities? Share your links below!

Kindergarten started last Thursday. I feel like we have been at it for a century already! I have already been missing our lazy summer mornings. Taking my time getting us ready. The boys leisurely eating breakfast for an hour. Deciding that very morning what adventure we would tackle that day. Last minute trips downtown. Our preschool mornings were pretty lazy too. We only had two of those a week. I could arrive there whenever I wanted. I aimed for 9 am, but at times we got there later. Sometimes we rushed to get out the door, but nothing quite like now. I haven’t been in a “where are my keys I cant find your shoes lets go lets go NOOOW” rush yet. The process is still shiny and new and I remain rather organized. Smoothie foods prepped in containers, clothes laid out the night before, backpack organized, up at 5am on the dot, tea preset to brew at 4:50am, and a down to the minute timeline. We do have to get out the door by a certain minute and so I am always watching the clock. We have made it with time to spare every drop off. (knock on wood) I am sure those hectic moments will come as I get more and more comfortable in this new life. I hope not, but I am being realistic here.

kindergarten first day

He has had a bit of a rough time adjusting. We have been pretty inseparable his whole life. He has never gone away every day. There are only a few times I have been away from him overnight. This is a whole new world for him. He doesn’t want to leave me in the mornings. Yesterday was his best day and a teacher still had to peel him off of me when I walked him to the cafeteria. I am supposed to drop him off by the front doors. But his eyes fill with tears and he clutches my hand so hard and begs me to not leave him up there alone. I have a hard time saying no to that. He is only 5 after all. I am not complaining. I love being so loved, I just wish that this were easier for him. I hate seeing him cry. I want him to have fun or at least enjoy himself.


I made him do this several times the other night because it cracked me up. 

Yesterday was better when I picked him up. He was happy and chatty and “had so much fun!” This was a new page from the other pickups. I was relieved. A whole weight fell off my shoulders on our walk back to the car. I try to play it cool, but on the inside I was doing a backflip while holding a toddler! This is the hardest part of parenting I have come across. Not being able to just fix whatever the issue is. Not being able to BE there physically to hug him and help him. I am a very hands on mom. (see: me insisting on holding Alex while he was put under anesthesia) So taking a step back for me is a new challenge. It is hard for me to not chat with his teacher at every drop off and pick up. It is hard for me to not physically walk him into his classroom. I am doing it, but on the inside I am also crying and screaming. All while smiling, reassuring him, and encouraging him to let his wings spread and fly.


After school yesterday we stopped to meet Sofia and Jake!

When Alex saw Jackson at pick up yesterday he ran up to his big brother, wrapped his chubby little arms around Jackson’s waist, hugged him hard, and said “bruh bruh!” I was goo on the floor. This has been an adjustment for all of us. But seeing how much Alex loves his brother, asking for him all morning, and then the first thing he does is hug him tight, makes this a pinch easier. Small moments like that help you through more challenging times. The innocence of a nearly 2 year old being excited to see his best friend after being apart for a few short hours is truly one of loveliest moments in life. Children have a way of making simple things magical.

I have been writing and drawing notes for Jackson’s snack. They don’t get lunch because it is still half day. (When Alex’s shuffles off to Kindergarten it will be full day, I am preparing myself now). The other day he told me “I actually kind of love the notes mom.” Every day I have wondered if they brought a smile to his face. If they help make his day a little brighter. I hope so. Yesterday he saved his picture and put it in his pocket to carry with him. It tore in two pieces when taking it off the napkin. He saved both pieces. I just hope that these little reminders that he is loved make any rough moments at school a little less rough. That he knows he has loving and snuggly arms to come home to.


Fly guy was from yesterday. Apple Blossom is today’s note.

Today is a new day and as always I am greeting him with a smile and words on how amazing today will be. I will praise him. I will encourage him to make new friends. A boy told him he didn’t want to sit by him anymore. Which is one of the reasons he was so upset. I told him I will always want to sit by him and he can always sit by me, no matter what! As cheesy as that may sound, it is true. The deeper lesson I am hoping to convey is that this is his safe place, we are his safe people. No matter what, he has love and support with me and his daddy. We will always sit next to him if he needs us. This week he needs us.


I have started and failed to finish several posts this week. It has been difficult for me to get into a good writing flow. They were all very long posts but they just didn’t seem right to me. They all were incomplete as well. I have had a lot on my mind but the words just won’t form correctly. Today, though, I am going to try a bit harder.

Yesterday evening I was thinking to myself that I would really enjoy it if I had a rainy day tomorrow. A day to just slow me down a little bit. A reason to stay inside, cuddled up with my sweetheart. A day where I could use the bad weather as an excuse to not run errands, go somewhere fun, walk to the park, or whatever ever else came up. 

For over a week I haven’t slept through the night. Last night was no exception. As I lay in bed I considered a walk to the park with Jackson today. No workout, take a rest day because I haven’t taken a rest day in over a week either. But a nice 1.5 mile walk and maybe some swimming. My brain was active as I lay in bed considering all the things I could do today. I finally decided to get myself up for the day, having stayed in bed a bit later knowing I didn’t plan on fitting in a workout. Alexander started slowing moving around, then kicking. It was time to start my day. 

Imagine my surprise as I waddled into my kitchen, not greeted by the usual beaming sunlight that radiates through the massive set of windows we have. I was greeted by grey sky, rain, clouds, and utter wetness outside. My heart skipped a beat. My rainy day! I hadn’t even checked the weather forecast yesterday. I had no idea rain was coming. I just wished it would, to force me to slow down a touch. As I sit here and write I am accompanied by the sounds of rain falling on my skylights. Heavy raindrops writing their own song. Jackson is still asleep. He likes to sleep late on rainy mornings. There is no sun radiating around the small space around his blackout blinds. 

I am not sure what we will do today. My dishes could be washed. I was too tired last night to wash the ones from dinner. Legos are already spread across my kitchen table. Except for the small area I am afforded for my meals and well my laptop I am typing on now. We have a ton of books we could read. I have a new big Ninja Turtles coloring/activity book we could make our marks on. Maybe we will do all of them. If he keeps sleeping much longer, there won’t be a nap today. Especially on a day where we don’t wear ourselves out playing outside or going on an adventure. 

As I sipped my coffee earlier, watching the rainy day, I couldn’t help but thank my Gma (that is what I called her a lot). I can’t help but feel like she may have had a hand in providing me with exactly what I needed this week. Forcing me to slow down a little, her girl who is always on the go. Thanks Gma, you did me a solid. 


View from my kitchen

Yesterday we spent the day packing. Packing up our downtown Chicago condo. We are set to close on Wednesday. Meaning in TWO days we will, in all likelihood, no longer own a piece of real estate downtown.We have been trying to sell this on and off since Fall 2010. We had some renters that ended in disaster and eviction. It has been a long journey.

It is more than that though. It isn’t so much about the details of a piece of real estate that I am writing about. That was our first home together. Jason already owned it when we met, but together we made it a home in many ways. It wasn’t quite the home we have now. The home we have now is so family oriented, a bit more mature, and much more responsible. Filled with a different kind of love, care, and understanding. We moved here when I was pregnant.

But the condo was the home of our early-mid 20’s. Part of our first date was there, our first kiss was on the balcony. I can remember it clearly. That is where we had many get togethers with good friends. That is where Jason proposed! I know the exact spot in the living room. It is where we grew together as a couple. Where we had time to be young and ridiculous. Messy and lazy. Staying up until 4 am catching up on seasons of Lost, 24, and other shows. We were carefree in many ways. I was in school. I received my degree while living there. I spent many nights up scrambling to finish a paper before the next morning.

We had a lot and I mean  A LOT of fun while living there. I can recall one particular New Year’s Day hangover. I was miserable. The night before in the condo was a blast. I laid on the couch all day, drifting in and out of sleep. Jason watched a day long marathon of the Planets of the Apes movies. We ordered burgers through DiningIn. I can recall that day perfectly. That is just one example. We loved (and still do but with responsibility like a babysitter) having a good time.

That is where we made Jackson. That is where we started trying to grow our family. It is where we brought home our 3rd kitten. We fell in love there. We had fights there. We planned a wedding while living there. We had more fights there. We came home from a 2 week honeymoon to start the rest of our married life together there. It was such a huge part of us and our relationship. I didn’t really notice it at the time. Sometimes I said I hated that condo. It felt small to me at times. I wanted a little more room. As you grow sometimes the amount of things you have grow as well. Things get tight.

I love our doorman Thomas. And now I might start crying. I haven’t been able to say good bye. He doesn’t work weekends. Yup, here come the tears. Once I thought about him my emotions lost it. He is a wonderful man. So friendly. I have spent HOURS and HOURS talking to him. There were a few other doormen that came and went. I always liked them all but none of them were Thomas. I have never gotten sad or cried when thinking we wouldn’t see any of them again. My family and Jason’s family loved Thomas too. He is just a warm spirit. He has met Jack. We even have a photo together. The 3 of us. When Jack was 4 months old. Yeah this paragraph and trip down memory lane just made me lose it.

I know we didn’t want to live the rest of our life in that particular unit. It is hard to grow as a family there. It was a great bachelor/young adult pad. It was gorgeous. It was perfect for that. It was perfect for that part of our life. Jack loves playing there the times we have taken him. But it just wasn’t right for the rest of our family life together. I keep telling myself that. Maybe one day I will actually believe it.

I miss the city in so many ways. Often too. I am not miserable in the suburbs. There are wonderful things about living out here. Seeing Jack play in our yard is one of them. Walking to a huge park that is on a quiet lake is another. Running around the lake like I do. There are good things about the Burbs. I just really loved the city. Living in the heart of downtown Chicago is a way of life. If you do it you have to love it. We loved it. I miss our restaurants and how it was empty on weekends. We lived in the business/theater district. So literally a couple blocks over from Sears (Willis) Tower and right down the street from Daley Plaza. I miss just going for a walk through the city for the heck of it together. We go on walks out here. But the people watching isn’t as great. Ha!

I am sad today. I could write on and on about nostalgic things. I could write every happy memory, every fight, every moment. I won’t keep going though. It will only make it tougher in the long run. Yesterday was much easier because Jackson kept me so distracted. He went to bed after 10. I doubt he will be up any time soon. It is going to be a long sad morning! Ha! We have to do something fun today. The weather has cooled. So I want to go do something distracting.

Good bye old faithful friend. Thank you for being such a huge part of my 20’s. Thank you for being such a big part of my relationship and marriage. Thank you for all the fun crazy times we had there. Thank you for nursing my hangovers. Thank you for giving the me experience of living in downtown Chicago. Thank you. I will miss you. I half hope the deal falls apart on Wednesday. There I said it. Honesty and all…..