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Mitch & Family Visit Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium

Mitch here!

If you read this post, you know that I’m trying my hand at blogging to help out. This is both fun and hilarious for me, as A) I’ve always enjoyed writing, and B) I really never thought I’d be writing for a site that focuses on women’s fashion. But, you know. You take what life throws you!

(Anyone interested in hearing me explain the difference between a dress and a skirt?)

But let’s get back to it before I lose my job.

I have a few confessions to make:

CornerStone Cafe

This is a pre-scheduled post. I’m on vacation!

Hunter Boots (Also available here, and in the gloss version here) and Socks (Has anyone tried these or these yet? If so, please share whether they’re as magical as I assume they are!) / Ralph Lauren Sweater c/o — Found at Marshalls! $145 marked down to $22. True story. / Barbour Rain Coat c/o (Similar here, here and here) / Hudson Jeans (Also love this pair and this pair. <– dream jeans!) / Newer Version of Emma’s Rain Coat (Also love this one and this one!) / UppaBaby Stroller and Car Seat c/o

Mitch and I recently took Emma to CornerStone Cafe’s new location on Clybourn and Webster in Lincoln Park for brunch. The weather was CRAZY: warm enough to only wear our rain coats, yet super windy. So windy that at one point, Emma’s bottle flew out of her mouth and rolled into the street. And then a car ran it over.

Going Home with Baby

Warning: I get a little sentimental at the bottom of this post, but you HAVE to watch the video!

The Larkin Family, as you know, had quite the travel schedule during the holidays. Over the course of 17 days, we drove from Chicago to Bucks County, Pennsylvania… and then to Long Island, New York… and then to NYC… and then to Lake Bloomington, Illinois. While long car rides in a Prius with a five-month-old are never easy, this road trip was particularly difficult because of the weather. We battled heavy fog, several snow and ice storms, and a tornado. (As it turned out, we were several miles away when it hit, but it was terrifying at the time.) Needless to say, we’re going to try to simplify things next year–whether that means flying and giving everyone gift cards for Christmas, cutting out presents all together, or making two stops and two stops only. (Many options have been discussed with our families; we’ll see!)

Year in Review

This was when I was so nervous about Baby Larkin that I wouldn’t highlight my hair. Yikes. ;) (Read my Guide to Buying Hunter Boots!)

Oy. Another late post. 2017 is off to a rocky start, haha.

Anyway:

One of the reasons I love blogging so much is that it almost serves as a little diary. When looking back on 2016, it’s easy for me to sum up my year in a sentence or two: “2016 was great! Emma was born!”

But when I scrolled through my posts (which, yes, took a while), I was amazed by just how much occurred. So I thought I’d take myself on a trip down Memory Lane today. WARNING: This post is crazy long, and if you somehow make it to the bottom, you deserve a gold star. ;)

But here’s my year in review!

New Year’s Eve

J.Crew Coat (Also available here. I love it in red and “Sandstone,” too. Sizing: it runs slightly oversized, but that’s the look. I have my normal size, and while it’s roomy, I don’t think it looks too big. I can also fit big sweaters underneath it, which is awesome for Chicago winters!) / Rag & Bone Jeans (Here in black and here in white. Best jeans ever. As we all know, I’m obsessed. I’ve received a few questions about the “Capri” cut. I’m somewhere around 5’4 or 5’5, and they are kind of like ankle jeans. Definitely not real capris.) / Sorel Boots in “Umber.” (Also available here. They run a little short. I usually wear a 7.5, and took an 8 in them. I also have the Joan of Arctics, which you can find at either Nordstrom or Zappos, but only wear them when it’s like -20 degrees. I wore the ones I’m wearing in these pics in -10-degree weather and was fine. And have you seen these? They’re the shorter version and I think they’re so cute!) / Cable-Knit Sweater (So soft! And love this somewhat similar pocket sweater, which I have in white! Similar cable-knit in peplum here. Finally, I recently picked up this sweater in red, and this sweater in tan. I love how the first one hangs and I ADORE the crazy softness–and machine washability–of the second.) / Similar Hat c/o Tuckernuck (Shop the winter sale here, and see my picks here! Remember to use code “FINALSALE” to take an additional 25 percent off.) / J.Crew Scarf / Similar Mittens (On sale! Use code “FINAL SALE” to take an additional 25 percent off.)

Happy New Year!

Do you guys ever do “highs and lows”? When I was in college, my friends and I (even the boys!) used to go around the dinner table every night and share our “high and low” of the day. Okay, fine. I made everyone do it, because I saw it in a movie and thought it was adorable. My friends might disagree, but I swear it brought us closer and helped us reflect. Haha — thoughts, Fairfield Pals? ;)

Emma’s First Christmas

I have a confession: my hard drive is full. The reason? Emma photos. (Surprise, surprise.) She’s growing and changing so much that I just can’t help myself. I want to remember everything! But note to self: next week will be spent backing up my photos and getting rid of that “spinning wheel of death.”

Larkin Family Christmas with Noodle

Right before we left for the East Coast, Mitch and I drove our fam down to my in-laws’ lake house for a little weekend getaway. And Noodle stayed behind. We weren’t planning on leaving her with my mother- and father-in-law, but they graciously offered to take her to make our crazy holiday travel itinerary a bit less challenging, as our 12-hour drive back East for Thanksgiving had been VERY tough. (You guys are amazing. Thank you!) We love Noodle so much, but dachshunds, by nature, are a tricky breed. While they’re the funniest and most lovable dogs you’ll ever meet, they also require a ton of attention and tend to be mischievous and extremely needy. (Traveling with little Noods is–not surprisingly–pretty difficult.) It was really hard to leave our little hot dog behind, but we knew she’d be a LOT happier at the lake. The lake is, after all, her favorite place in the world, and she’s downright obsessed with my mother-in-law.