all by myself

When you’re a working mom, moments alone–like, no kids, no husband, no pets, no work–are few and far between.

As I type this, I’m on a plane, by myself, headed east for a work trip for two nights. Two nights in a massive bed. Alone. Two nights with lots of cable channels. Two nights of eating whatever I want (healthy options, of course!) for dinner. I mean, I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with myself!So, now what? I read an entire issue of Real Simple, my traditional airplane treat. I’m enjoying the solitude of listening to old-school John Mayer (which I’m really into these days…take me back to college, John!) while feeling the sunshine on my face and drinking as much water as I can without having to go to the bathroom (because bothering people while sitting in the window seat and using airplane mini bathrooms are two of my least favorite things).

I got teary eyed this morning with my hubby. We are such a pack, our little family we’ve created, that–as liberating as it is to be alone–it’s also a little overwhelming. I will miss E’s silliness. She’s extra funny these days, making voices, faces, and trying to make me laugh. “I’m a funny guy!” she tells me.

I’ll miss George’s cozy companionship. My pup is the most loving little dog I’ve ever met. We’ve been trying to give him extra attention lately because we know his little sis takes a lot of our time. 

And to my hubby, who makes it possible for me to leave, I am grateful. I’ll miss his humor, his audible reactions to the Cubs on TV, how he religiously asks me how my day was. After 15 years together, he really is my partner in life. Being away from him helps me realize how much I lean on him (if only I could tell him in person!).

I love these work trips because they challenge me. To be the best I can be for my job. To realize my family can survive without me. To pause and reset–which is important for anyone and everyone to do.

Here’s to a productive and relaxing time away from home. I hope the Inn has HGTV….

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.

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.