2017: a new chapter

Happy New Year! Oh, 2017, I have a good feeling about you. Mainly because the roller coaster ride that was 2016 is over, and I’m ready for some goodness.

So, before I continue, it feels right to do a life update because it’s been so long:

  • 4: how many years I’ve had this blog. šŸŽ‰šŸŽ‰šŸŽ‰šŸŽ‰
  • 18: number of months my daughter is now! She walks, she talks, and her sweet smile can light up a room.
  • 5: number of years I’ve been married to my college sweetheart, and the number of times we’ve moved in the city (just moved again thisĀ September!).
  • 3: how old my handsome little pup George is. He loves homemade treats, long snuggles, and snoring.
  • Me = tired.

Last year was a lot of navigating a new normal. Working full-time andĀ being an attentive mother and wife took a lot of my energy. New favorite things became going to Target (mom haven), farmers markets, and HGTV’s Fixer Upper.

Don’t get me wrong, I love all of those things, but there are also the things I used to like to do that I don’t do much of these days.

Like, have dinner with my friends.


Explore this city we live in. (Michigan Avenue after the CUBS WON THE WORLD SERIES was pretty awesome!)


Try new creative projects. (This feels like forever ago…)

Or, I don’t know, blog more often??

When I started this blog, I was younger, didn’t haveĀ real responsibilities, a dog, or a child. But things have changed in the past four years–I have changed in the past four years–and I want to share more of that with you.

When I told Nate I want this to be more of a lifestyle blog, he said somethingĀ like “I’m not sure people will want this lifestyle.” And…that’s okay. But I do try to beĀ clever and resourceful and creative. “This lifestyle” means a lot more photos, and my favorite fast and easy meals, our city adventures with Ellie and maybe George, birthdays, anniversaries, hard times, happy reflections, and lots more.

I’m not a rock star [insert mom/wife/employee here], but I try. I’m figuring it out just like everyone else. And this blog will continue to follow my journey.

Cheers to making 2017 a better year!

Xo. Stephanie

PS-I love this sweet little pic of me and my girl (and the view!) on the rooftop of our new apartment building.

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My Ode to Working Moms

I’m writing this after not blogging for a long time.

Like many things in my life, I feel like blogging, although it’s an outlet I thoroughly enjoy, is not always on the top of my list, and I often feel guilty about that.

But I’m writing this as a note to new working moms: you’re doing a good job.

Whether you realize is or not, doing the best you can do IS good enough. 

I constantly feel torn between my work life and my family life, and I am lucky and honored to work at a not-for-profit organization that gets me and values me. 

A friend of mine, who is also a new working mom, shared this video on her Facebook page, and after working late and not seeing my baby tonight and being tired and knowing I’ll be working late again tomorrow, it made me cry: 

http://www.whattoexpect.com/wom/baby/working-moms-this-emotional-ad-shows-youre-doing-better-than-you-think 

It made me cry because I know what this woman feels like. Because I know that doubt well. Because I know how affirming positive feedback is. Because I want to remember this video when someone I manage has a baby, so give them this experience. Kudos to Chicco for creating this video.

Because being a new working mom is gratifying and terrifying and relieving. Because we are trying the best we can, and that’s good and important. And just because I work and “don’t have the privilege” to stay at home with my sweet daughter, that’s ok, and, for me, that’s good. Because I can be a good colleague and employee and manager and friend…and a good mom. At least, that’s the balance I aspire to achieve.

I’m not writing this to fish for compliments or anything like that. But more to say, I know it’s hard, but do your best and that’s wonderful. And surround yourself with people who will support you and love you and make you better.

Xo

Best Friends Since the Beginning

Over the past nine and a half months, I’ve witnessed one of the most special things: Ellie becoming best friends with her pal, Graham.

Graham is the son of one of my best friends, Sandra, who I met when we were co-workers years ago. Sandra and I have laughed together, cried together (ok, so maybe it’s mostly me crying to her, honestly), vacationed together, enjoyed being pregnant together, and now our little ones spend lots of time together. 

What is so amazing to me is observing their friendship. Graham is a few months older, and definitely takes care of her, teases her, shows affection to her: all signs of a wonderful friend. Haha. 

What makes me so happy, though, is the way she waves her arms with excitement when we get to their house. And the look she gives him when they are together, totally content. Or how worn out she gets after being with him–thanks, G!

This weekend was Graham’s first birthday, and I’m feeling a little reflective. I’m grateful to know E and G have each other warms my heart like no other. To think that they are just starting to navigate this crazy world we live in and they can do it together? That’s pretty special. 

The cherry on top? I get to share it all with Sandra and our hubbies, too.