make time for dates

My title pretty much says it all…because Nate and I are not very good at this. And we only have one child!

You could list off endless reasons why you don’t have the time. The money. The energy. But you just have to do it. Even when we met with Pastor Mike before we got married, he mentioned the importance of going on dates. Wise words from a wise man!

So…I decided that it’s time to go on more dates. Starting today!

I telecommute on Thursdays (the absolute best, so productive!), and Nate works from home, so we decided to use my lunch time to pick up some tacos from the take out window at nearby Big Star.

The day was beautiful, my al pastor tacos and horchata were perfect, it wasn’t crowded, and–best of all–we knew Ellie was in good hands.

Good for the stomach, better for the marriage, best for my heart. Xo

exhausted, but so worth it.

This photo showed up in my Facebook memories today:


My sister and me (and EJ, too!). My baby shower at Wildfire two years ago. It feels like just yesterday, but so long ago.

In a way, who I am in that feels like a different person. She looks rested. She’s glowing with excitement for that little baby to come. (I loved being pregnant.) So happy her sis is in town.

Now I’m tired. Like, chronically tired. The barista at Specialty’s on Dearborn knows me well (large iced coffee with extra soy). I haven’t seen sunshine in a long time…

My life may be very different, but it is not bad. At. All. My sister and her family are now a 20-minute drive from my house, not a two-hour flight away. I plan to spend lots of time at the park and the pool and on walks this summer with my little red-haired cutie (read: lots of sunscreen), who will have her second birthday in June.

Motherhood is exhausting. Being a working mom is hard (I think being a stay-at-home mom is even harder!). Being a loving wife is difficult at times. Feeing like a terrible friend is normal. Making time for yourself is non-existent (working on that). Balancing new expenses is challenging. Taking off the baby weight is tough. Making sure the house is clean is impossible (especially when you live with a Tasmanian devil). 

But you know what? Wouldn’t change it for the world. I am tougher and smarter and prouder than I’ve ever been. God won’t give me what I can’t handle, and I’ll just keep making lemonade out of lemons. A few extra pounds is a small price to pay for a full heart.

Happy Sixth Anniversary, Chicago

So I realize (and feel bad about) the fact that I haven’t posted in awhile. Okay, it feels like forever. And to say we were busy is an understatement. Ellie is now 13 months (what?!?), we had a great birthday party for her at Historic Wagner Farm in Glenview, we had her Christening a few weeks ago, and I chopped off my hair (12 inches; fourth time donating it).

You may wonder, what is more exciting than all of these things? Well, not much, but because I am the Second City Gal, it only feels appropriate that I share that today is my anniversary of living in Chicago. Nate and I moved into a tiny apartment in the Fulton Market/West Loop area six years ago.

Before that, I was living in the burbs while commuting to Lincolnshire for work, and visited Nate in Milwaukee while he attended law school. In 2010, after I landed my first job in the city, we decided to take the leap and move in together. The rest is history.

When an old post showed up in my Facebook feed, it took me back to that fateful day six years ago, and reminded me how much my life has changed. I’ve changed jobs, relationship statuses, became a mom to George, became a job to Ellie, and so much more in between.

And all along the way, the city has been the backdrop of my story. When I first moved here, I didn’t know how to get around at all–I got lost in the Loop. With my iPhone. Now, I love walking around, going to my favorite restaurants, the ease (and disgust) of the Blue Line, saying “hi” to friendly faces…like Frank Sinatra says, “it’s my kind of town.”

Our lease is up on our current apartment next month, and we debated the big question: city or suburbs? We are in the burbs just about every weekend visiting family…so does it make sense to just bite the bullet and move there? The answer for us, right now, was no. I’m not ready to sacrifice less time with my baby during the week and the convenience of the city. Not yet. 

So, whether you like it or not, Chicago, you have me for another year. Let’s make it one that we’ll never forget. XO