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

a peaceful moment

Today, for the first time in many, many months, I held my daughter while she was sleeping. It was so peaceful. I felt very protective, important in that moment. Making sure she was comfortable. Making sure she could get the rest she so needed. Keeping her safe.


I understand that not everyone chooses to be a mom, whether it’s to a child or a fur baby, and I respect that very much. For me, I think part of me always wanted to be a mom, and yet the thought was so scary. Fear of the unknown. I’m an anxious person, if you haven’t noticed yet.

Will I be a good mom? Will I be able to give a child a good life? Will she be happy? Will she be healthy? Will I be able to balance it all? Is now the right time? Is there ever a right time?

I still have many of these questions. Often. Just as others do, I’m sure. And now that Ellie is two, she is so not a baby anymore, and the questions have just increased.

Is she eating enough protein? Is she getting enough activity? How do I get her less interested in my phone? How many times will we listen to the Moana and Trolls soundtracks? 

More seriously, how will I be able to protect her when I’m not with her? How will I keep her safe from the negativity of the world?

I don’t have the answers yet, but I try my best to do what I think is right. To show Ellie what is means to be a strong woman. To brush it off when she falls down, but hug her as much as she’d like.

So, for as long as she’ll let me hold her, I will. And savor every moment of this day, snuggling my sweet daughter close.