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.

What I’m Grateful For

It’s never too late to be grateful.

As I sit here with a sleeping Frenchie on my lap, I can’t help but feel truly grateful.

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Grateful for my family, my friends, my husband, my pup–without them, my heart wouldn’t be as full as it is today. Life isn’t easy, but they make it a whole lot better.

Having this blog is also a blessing in my life. First, its a fun, creative outlet for me. But it’s always fun to hear from readers, see what they like, and I love when people want to participate on my adventures around town. I know I need to post more; I can promise you that I will try!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving weekend, I thought it would be fun to include some of my favorite Chicago places and foods I’m thankful for, too. They include:

-Fresh Straw & Hay Pasta at Piccolo Sogno
-Pizza from Lou Malnati’s (thick or thin ), Giordano’s (thin), D’Agostino’s (thin), Home Run Inn (classic), Eataly (Neapolitan)
-Going to the Walnut Room at Macy’s during the holidays
-Tacos al Pastor at Big Star
-Vegetable udon soup for lunch at Tokyo Lunchbox
-Chopped Salad or Prime Rib (or both) at Wildfire
-Searching for milk glass at the Randolph Street Market
-Ramen at BellyQ
-Getting lost at The Art Institute
-Ribs at Gale Street Inn
-Hot dogs at Portillo’s and Superdawg
-Finding the best stationary at the Renegade Craft Fair
-Pork belly and broccoli slaw at Green Street Smoked Meats
-Sushi at Butterfly Sushi

Well, now that I’m starving, I leave you with sincere gratitude and appreciation. Remember what you’re thankful for often, not just one day in November. And celebrate the people you love and the activities you enjoy throughout the holiday season and always!

XO