Fall Activities: What a Difference a Year Makes

I love autumn. Around this time every year, we get together with friends for some seasonal fun. Last year, we were getting our Oktoberfest on at Revolution Brewing and picking apples at County Line Orchard. This year, we opted for chili, spiked hot cider, and pumpkin carving with the kiddos at our friends’ house yesterday. (There was still Oktoberfest beer…)

Here is a photo of our fall fun group from last year and this year, as well as some more photos from the carving session. 

What a difference a year makes! Last year, on this day, I found out I was pregnant. It changed my life forever. Fall fun will now be baby friendly, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


The Challenges of Being a New Working Mom

I’ve been back to work for three weeks now. Honestly, it’s not as bad as I thought it might be. I love Ellie dearly (and George, too), but Mommy needs to make some bacon! And it’s nice to have a little “me” time (gosh, I feel guilty writing that, but it’s true).

Being a working mom is challenging. Harsh realizations include:

1. I must now be a morning person. I was never a morning person (ask my husband…or my co-workers…)
. Now I wake up at 5:55 am. It’s very dark.

2. I must plan my outfits the night before…or else. I used to care more about what I wore. Recently, I wore a sweater on Friday and again on Monday (at least it was washed). 

3. I must invest in more post-baby pants. I’d like to tell you that all of my pre-Ellie pants fit, but I’d be lying to you. I realized that it’s awkward to wear maternity pants after baby is born: they just don’t fit right. The other day I was walking Ellie to her nanny share, and I thought my pants were going to fall off. I would really rather not show my derrière to Milwaukee Avenue.

4. I must start planning my meals. Unless I want to burn through all of that hard-earned bacon, I need to be better about bringing my breakfast and lunch. In the morning, coffees are now a must. Even coffee starts to add up…

5. I must not be too hard on myself, at work or at home. I was so worried I wouldn’t be the same worker bee I used to be. Really, it’s just that I need to leave on time now, but I’m still the same worker (at least I think I am!). 

At home, I get in the door and try to spend as much time as possible with my baby. Luckily she’s at an age when we can play until she goes to bed, so we get a good amount of time together. The fact that she lights up when I see her now is the best feeling. And although she sleeps through the night (yes, she has for weeks, and, yes, I know I’m extremely lucky), she has acid reflux and a pacifier addiction that makes her fussy when it falls out. The result? I’m exhausted. But I can’t imagine our family or my life without her.


It’s Time for a Change

I’m sure you’ve noticed, but I’ve been seriously absent from my blog. I’m not going to lie, since Ellie arrived we haven’t gotten “out” to new places all that much. And I haven’t had a ton of free time. (New moms who are back to work: I know you can relate!)

But I’ve been thinking for some time about evolving this blog into something different. When I started Second City Gal, I had just turned 30 and was ready for a challenge and ready for some fun. What I wasn’t ready for was the hole in my wallet from going out so much, and sometimes I felt like a robot because I liked everything I was doing or was too scared to be completely honest about bad service (it didn’t happen often, though, I promise).

So, instead of writing reviews about all of the cool things I’m doing and places I’m going, how about just writing about my experiences and life in the city? I’ve embraced the fact that my life has changed a lot over the past three years. I like staying home on a Friday night with my husband, pup, and now daughter. I like going to the pizza place in my neighborhood where our favorite waiter knows us. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still want to try new places, but familiar is just as fun as fresh in my eyes. Have I grown up? Have I becoming boring? Probably a little bit of both. But I’m ready to share more about my life and experiences than the cute decor in a new small plates, farm-to-table restaurant. (Although there might be some of that, too!)

So I hope you continue on the journey with me. I might not post as often, but I hope it’s more meaningful.

Talk soon. Xo.