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

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