new year, new me

Ahhh, new year, new you.

I’m so familiar with both my optimistic and sarcastic thoughts on this phrase.

While I love a fresh start, I’m a little weary of change these days. (See update on previous year.) A new baby, a new home, a promotion…while I’m grateful and excited for all that happened in 2018, I’m also looking forward to finding my groove with these great changes in 2019.

That said, I did think of something broad I’d like to work on: Improving my health and my family’s health.

Now, for me, I don’t mean run to the gym and work out religiously in January and then fall off the wagon. Yes, I want to make better food decisions. Move my body and way more often. But it’s not just for me anymore. I want to take care of my physical body so that I can live a long life with my family. If that doesn’t motivate me, I’m not quite sure what will. I mean, look at this guy.

My girl has (another) cold, so she wasn’t feeling celebratory last night, but I still love her so and want to see her grow. (Shout out to my sis for bringing over the NYE goodies!)

But health is about so much more than the physical. I’m talking mental, emotional, and spiritual health, too. I want to make time to slow down and read a book instead of being hypnotized by an Instagram video on icing a cake. I want to call my 97-year-old Grammy and go see her when I can because she’s funny and wise and I love her so much. I want to go on dates regularly with my husband instead of twice a year. I want to have a hobby again. I want to plan a vacation. I want to live in the present instead of being sad about the past or anxious about the future.

And I want to blog again.

Last year was about the big things…this year is about self improvement, challenging myself to be my best, while slowing down to enjoy life. Taking care of myself and my family is number one.

Happy New Year to all!

a quick errand run? right…

It’s 8:09 pm. I just put my son down to bed…for the second time…and I can hear him crying again. #needtosleeptrain #iamasucker

I’m laying in my daughter’s twin bed with her. She is fighting a cold, but I always lay with her. Usually until, like, 10 pm, so if I’m out of here in 10 minutes I’m not really sure what I’ll do. Watch a movie? Online shop? Maybe sweet treats for tomorrow’s New Years party? (Insert reality: I’ll probably do some of this while I pump—not make candy…)

Today I was itching to get out of the house again. So my 3-year-old and I hit up some of my favorite places: Walgreens, Costco Gas ($1.99 per gallon unleaded!), Target, and the Jewel. Yes, I am a suburbanite (all of these places are within 7 minutes of my place), and, yes, I am old.

Usually it’s me strolling all of the aisles of Target alone at 10 pm (God bless the late store hours!). Today, on mom and daughter outing day, it was me coaching a 3-year-old girl who is into everything through the store. “Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go,” I said. “Focus, focus, focus!” I repeated. A woman actually laughed at me and said, “I wish someone would say that to me.” I will if you want me to, sister.

As exhausting as it was, I did have a mild parenting victory. When I asked Ellie if she would rather have a letters practice book and two paint projects from the dollar section (really, people, is there anything better than Target’s dollar section when it’s stocked?) or a PJ Masks t-shirt, she chose the dollar section treasures. That’s my girl! Education and art? You bet!

Another highlight? Rocking out to some tunes in the door mat aisle while a creepy dude looked on. Let’s keep it moving, Elle! Focus!

XO

hello again

Hello. It’s me. I’ve been wondering after all of these months if you would like to read.

To go over…everything…

Yes, everything. My life has COMPLETELY changed since my last post.

I have a son.

Another redhead—can you believe it? #shockofalifetime He’s six months old now, and this little man fills my heart with more joy than I knew was imaginable (yes, the love does multiple and not divide). I so wanted a sister for Elle, but he perfectly completes our family, and I am so grateful for him.

We’ve moved.

We are living in a cozy, sun-drenched townhouse in the burbs close to family. It’s right by a clearing (shown above), which is wonderful for watching the sun set. We briefly considered buying a place…and then I went into labor after a long day of house hunting, so…

So many other things have changed.

Work is different.

I take the Metra train to Union Station and walk into the Loop. I was promoted shortly after maternity leave, for which I am so grateful. There’s not much better than an organization and management that truly supports its employees during all seasons of their lives. Sometimes, even though challenging, work feels like a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of life with two.

My weekends are different. Both children started school. Having two kids is SO different than one (and having a three year old makes you feel a little nuts sometimes). Ellie is mostly potty trained.

My morning are different. And my evenings, too, for that matter. Sleep is something I will hopefully do in a few years. My guy loves to snuggle and nurse.

I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you and just say this year has brought about the most change I’ve ever experienced so quickly. And you really learn a lot about yourself and those around you when your nights are days and days are nights. I’ve learned family will always help if I let them. That I have to slow down to keep my sanity. That I can’t let anxiety get the best of me. That I know a lot more people awake in the middle of the night than I thought. That I need to be kinder—to myself and others. That I really need to figure out how to make more time for me. That I would do anything for my family.

While this season of life has its challenges, it also has great rewards. I am so grateful for the little things. For my children’s laughs. For my husband’s hugs. For my family who left supplies at my front door when the stomach flu plagued our home. And viral bronchitis. And double conjunctivitis. And more stomach flu. For time with loved ones, and that we are now closer to loved ones, whether they are by blood or by choice.

There’s never enough time, but I’d like to dedicate some more to this space. I hope I can see it through in the new year and post as often as I’d like, but please be patient, and I hope I’ll make it worth your read.

Xo. Stephanie