It’s the unofficial start of summer and to that I say, “Amen!”

My little Eloise has been sick for about 2.5 weeks (cough, cold, pink eye?!?, ear infection…), so, needless to say, it was wonderful to get outside this weekend to soak up the sun. 

We dined al fresco for brunch with great friends at G & O. (My classic breakfast and mimosa hit the spot without leaving me too full or too tipsy, the staff was friendly, and we can’t wait to go back!) 

We walked around the neighborhood, trying new routes each time. Ellie loved watching the tour boats on the river.

We had a pizza party with family friends from growing up. We’ve been trying to get everyone together for a year so it was fantastic! Ten children, 10 adults, and a pup! Always a great time when we get together, and so fun to watch our kiddos make new friendships together, too.

We had a family graduation party for two of my cousins, Brittany and Kyle. I’m so proud of them and excited for their next big adventures (the real world for B and college for K!). 

And all the while, the sun was shining. Weekends like this remind you that life may not be perfect, but we are free and shouldn’t take that for granted.

My thanks to all who serve to protect us and our freedom. I don’t say it out loud enough, but I am forever grateful.

10 Years Later: Remembering Graduation

I’m about to date myself here, friends. On this day 10 years ago, I graduated from the University of Illinois. (Well, I’m almost positive it was this day, ha.) Can you believe it?

I was so young and unsure of what the future would bring. I was going to New York to interview for a job at a magazine. (I think fate stepped in because I really wanted to be with a certain someone–call me a romantic…) 

Nate and I had been together for about 2.5 years at that point, and I remember wanting to marry him because I knew for certain that was something I wanted to do. (It would take law school for Nate, a couple of jobs for me, and 6 more years for that to happen, but he’s worth the wait.)
Flash forward and I’m with a good man who is a good husband, and we are about to become parents in a month (if you don’t count our pride and joy, George Barc King). I have a job that I love working with people that I respect, doing work that I know makes a difference in people’s lives. And I have great friends and family to support me and have along the journey every day. 
(You might be thinking–gag me, right?) Don’t get me wrong: it’s not always sunshine and roses. Nate and I have gone through a lot–just within the last year–so feeling at peace is a very new thing. Life is truly a roller coaster, and I think a lot of it is just knowing that everything really will work out. (That doesn’t mean that I don’t still worry because I do all of the time, but that’s just inevitable.) Being pregnant has even been worrisome to me, but as I type, my baby is kicking me. I used to think that would be the creepiest thing in the entire world; now, it’s the most comforting.
It’s crazy to think, too, that I’ve been keeping this blog for 2+ of the past 10 years. It has been such a nice outlet for me, even if I feel like I can always be doing more. I’m hoping that there will be many more new adventures for this soon-to-be Second City Mama, and that you will be with me to share the way. 

Congrats to all of the grads out there. Be proud of your accomplishments and make all of the work worthwhile by doing something meaningful. Xo