thank you, Oprah

One thing I don’t talk a lot about on my blog is that I worked for Harpo and The Oprah Winfrey Network just before my current job.

My time there definitely had its ups and downs. Compared to my first job at a publishing house, it was really hard work. I honestly didn’t know if I’d make it six months. But six months turned into almost four of the most challenging, thrilling, inspiring, and unforgettable years of my life. I learned so much. I worked on projects that were meaningful. I shared the stories of people who were influencing and changing the world as we know it, and, in turn, changing me.

And then there was Ms. Winfrey herself. An icon. A change agent. A powerhouse for good. Although I never worked closely with her, her magic was felt at all times. When she spoke, we listened. Just as many did last night to her moving speech during the Golden Globes while she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

I happened to turn on the show right before her speech, and listening to Oprah speak brought back so many emotions. Joy. Pride. More than anything, gratitude. For the time when this inspirational woman—and the amazing corporation and its even more amazing employees (read: my lifelong friends)—were part of my everyday life.

And then my joy turned into sadness. Sadness that our country’s leadership lacks this ability to empower and inspire the way that Oprah does. I cried tears of longing for a better time for this country and its people, and I get emotional just typing this.

But I realize that I cannot rely on anyone but myself to make change. And I realize that I can lead by example, and I can focus on the small acts of kindness that can have a ripple effect to create bigger, better change.

Will Ms. Winfrey run for president? Oh, I have no idea, but what I know for sure is I need a little more Oprah in my life. Don’t we all?

I’m so thankful for that transformative time in my life, and the woman it has made me. Grateful is an understatement.

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….

mother’s day reflections

I have so many thoughts on a day like today. So here goes…

I always want to live a life with purpose. I was recently asked at work about what motivates me professionally, and my answer has always been to have a job at a company or organization where I can make a difference in the lives of others. I am so glad that I can say that the organization I’ve worked at for the past five years does just this.

However, as I continue to think about what motivates me, I’m reminded 24/7 about something that happened almost two (eek!) years ago that changed who I am and how I think about the world. I became a mom.

Being a mother gives more meaning and purpose to my life than I ever could have imagined. And she brings me joy that I never knew existed (cue the tears). To know Eloise is to love her. Her smile lights up a room. She loves to make you laugh. She climbs on everything. She’s shy and sweet around people she doesn’t know or hasn’t seen in awhile. She manages my coloring assignments. She’s so good at puzzles. She loves being devilish. She blows bubbles in her milk and water. She will eat all fruits, most vegetables, but doesn’t love meat (but we keep trying!). 

Her current favorite phrase she says to me is “mommy, hold you up,” (pick me up). Now, sometimes I’m busy preparing dinner or folding laundry, but I hold my baby tight as much as I can for as long as I can. I know that I’ll blink, she’ll be driving away with her friends or going on a date or going to college (okay, I’m jumping ahead of myself here!). My point is, I’m trying to savor every hug, every kiss, every book reading, every swaddle of her babies, every giggle, every tear…because I just love her so much and and am so grateful for the person she is and the person she helps me to be. Strong. Independent. Opinionated. Loving. Fun. She brings out the best in me, especially because she’s watching me.

As we all know, there’s not enough iced coffee with soy milk in the world to give me the energy I need to be my best self, but my family and friends give me the love and support I need to do my best.

My daughter motivates me. And my life goal is to make sure she’s a happy, healthy girl. 

Don’t all moms feel this way? Whether you work at a company or organization or if you’re the CEO of your home, we all want to do our best to give our children the best we can. It’s not always easy, but always rewarding. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all!


A handmade gift from my sweet girl. Xoxoxo