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

Happy May 9th!

Seems crazy for Mother’s Day to pass by without saying anything! These days being a mom is my favorite topic. Hehe. However, I was a little busy yesterday mothering and traveling. My apologies for my tardiness. So, anyway, here goes.

Mother’s Day has always been a wonderful day to celebrate because, I may me biased, but I swear my mom is the best. She raised us full-time, and only now can I appreciate what that really means. Honestly, I don’t know if I could do it, and with such grace. She was born to be a mom. It comes natural to her, and I feel extremely lucky to be her daughter. And if being an amazing mom isn’t good enough, she’s the greatest grandma around! My parents even took Ellie last weekend so I could go to Palm Springs with my girlfriends (more on that later!). What a gift! 

My mom may have learned a thing of two from my grandma, the matriarch of our family at the ripe old age of 95. But don’t let that fool you: she hosts our annual Kalish girls holiday party, loves Skipbo and Bingo, lets us come and hang out at her pool, and cooks us food when we come to visit. I am so blessed to have her in my life, and I learn so much from her every time I talk to her. She’s tough, smart, and so sweet, and I’m so glad Ellie gets to spend time with her, too.

My sister became a mom five years ago, and has since had three of the most animated children I’ve ever met. Again, she’s a natural at it (did this gene skip me?), and until my little girl, I don’t think any little ones have filled my heart with such joy as hers. They love to sing and dance, play games and make believe, and I love when little Charles calls Ellie, “Baby”, even though he’s just a baby himself. And it’s equally fun to watch my big sis care for these sweet nuggets.

Then I got married, almost five years ago, and gained two more mothers and more grandmothers. Strong women with so much heart, all hard-working with a passion for life and to live it to the fullest. Role models for me and little Ellie, for sure.

And now, there’s me. The past three Mother’s Days have been transformative: hoping to be a mother, gleefully pregnant with a healthy baby (boy or girl, only time would tell!), and now mother to one of the most complex humans on the planet. Oh, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! She makes you work hard for a glimpse of her million-dollar smile, but when you see it, it radiates. Watching her laugh, her concentrate, her confusion, her excitement, her sadness, her sense of humor, her wonder…there is nothing in the world like it. 

I’m a huge fan of Nancy Tillman’s children’s books, especially On the Night You Were Born

Heaven blew every trumpet 
and played every horn
on the wonderful, marvelous
night you were born.

Thanks for giving me the joyful roller coaster of motherhood, Ellie Belly. I’m so blessed to be your mommy, and to be surrounded by so much love and support.