10 More Things

Living Room Details / New Rug Details / Jeans (On sale. Also love these!)

And here are the next 10 things that came to mind at midnight because I kept writing. 😉

  • Mitch and I finished watching “Normal People” and 😭 (in a good way). Be aware that there’s a whole lot of nudity and sex, so probably not something you want to watch with your mom unless you have a Lorelei-and-Rory kind of relationship with her. But it was very, very good–and I felt that it explored the parts of high school and college existences that often aren’t represented or depicted in film or TV. A must-watch.
  • Uncle Patrick came to visit us last weekend. We hadn’t seen him since Christmas! My brother has had a really tough year, yet he’s still smiling and living life to the fullest with his wife and baby. And we want to thank you so much; together, through your donations and through blog partnerships (which you supported!), we raised nearly $26,000 this year for his hospital, which continues to be hit hard by COVID and is unfortunately in worse shape patient-wise than they were at the beginning. (Which means that money is very much still being put to good use.) Thank you. I know I don’t know most of you personally, but that makes your generosity and kindness even more meaningful. You guys rock and I love you.
  • I’m feeling hopeful about the upcoming school year. Chicago Public Schools recently announced that doors would be closed this September, and that student will engage in remote learning. I know it’s a complicated issue, but it’s one that Mitch and I really support, despite how difficult this is for families and kids. (I’m glad, though, that Chicago is coming up with a plan to help high-need families who desperately need assistance with childcare during this time.) For a while, there was talk that Emma’s public pre-k program unfortunately could get the boot, as it’s tuition-based and many families (rightfully so) have pulled out. Mitch and I understood and agreed with the decision to back out, but the potential cancellation was a little heartbreaking. I suppose we’d just been holding out hope for a vaccine in late winter/early spring, and that life would return to normal for our daughter, who adored her school so much and was really advancing there. We also felt that seeing her classmates via Zoom, while not the best, did help. A couple of days ago, though, Emma’s school announced that it would continue its remote pre-k program, and I can’t tell you how happy we are! Our course, our eyes are on that vaccine; teaching while parenting and working has been very difficult and we’re exhausted. But we’ll take it. :)
  • Endless Learning Academy has been so helpful for Emma this summer. On another positive note, we found this learning app on some roundup list of educational resources for young children, and it’s GREAT. Emma loves it, and asks to do it every day. It’s subscription-based, but it’s worth it to us since she does it every day and enjoys it so much. The other app we love is Khan Academy for Kids. We used it with our students in the Bronx and had great success with it. It’s free, too!
  • Our best friends are moving to the East Coast. Oh, how the tables have turned. I definitely spent a morning in tears last week, but I’m slowly coming to terms with it. 😉 And while it pains me to even write this paragraph, I’m so grateful for friendships that stand the test of time and distance. I’m 100 percent certain that our friendship will grow even stronger because of the move, and I’m pretty sure we’ll get to see them more as a result! But yeah. Receiving that news was hard, and my stomach has been in knots for a week. We’re going to miss them so much. Oy, 2020. You just keep throwin’ ’em at us, huh? ;)
  • I started writing gratitude lists again. As Summer 2020 comes to a close, I want to check myself and be cognizant of all I have to be grateful for. It’s easy to go to bed feeling overwhelmed and sad, but ending the day recounting all the good stuff can really impact a person’s outlook. My best tip would be to keep a journal by your bed, and take the time to write everything down, that way it actually becomes a habit. It takes me no more than three to five minutes but they’re some of the most meaningful minutes of my day!
  • Emma is using the best expressions in context, and it’s bringing us so much joy. For example, the other day she dropped a glass of milk and it went all over the place… and she raised her eyebrows and said, “Well, I did not see that coming.” Mitch and I couldn’t stop laughing.
  • I’m working with Target on a fall decor project and I’m very excited about it! Honestly, I’ve been dreading the fall, as it means winter with kids in Chicago during a pandemic is on the horizon. And that’s scary. But this project is reminding me that coziness and warmth will come with that, too. I really want to deck out the house this year–both seasonally and for all the holidays–to make it fun for the family. I still remember the decor my parents had while growing up, and the happiness I felt when they pulled it out of the storage bin in the basement for whatever occasion. Life is good. Thanks, Target. Hahaha.
  • On a somewhat related note, I’m AHEAD WITH WORK. And I have been for about a month now! This is quite literally the first time I haven’t been late on several projects or behind on freelance work or blog posts–in four years. Only took a pandemic for me to get there! I’ll have to write a blog post soon about the changes I made in order to get to this place, but it’s pretty basic: I realized my limitations and how much anxiety was affecting my productivity… and actively worked to fix it for about six months. And then I started seeing the effects of my efforts. I feel free! (Except not really, because… well, you know. 😉) But never going back to that dark place. Ever again.
  • We got a solo stove! I originally told Mitch that I hated the idea. But man, I WAS WRONG and I’m sorry, Mitch. It’s great. My dad is actually the person who first told us about its magic; he got one so he and my mom would have a change of scenery; an activity that would help them feel like they were getting out. He said it was absolutely wonderful, and they looked forward to it every night. I guess I was just scared of having a fire pit in the city, but I finally caved because I couldn’t handle Mitch going on and on about it all the time, haha. We set it up last weekend and whoooaaaaa. I’m just going to go back to the 90s here and say that it’s da bomb. Full blog post coming but I highly recommend. We’ve used it every night since its arrival and it’s very safe.
  • I loved catching up with three of my closest “home friends” last week, who celebrated their birthdays on the 17th, 18th and 19th. It’s the cutest: First is Darby, a best bud from teaching in New York; second is Tara, a best bud from college; and third is Katie, a best bud from high school. It was awesome chatting with all of them, and it made me remember how lucky I am to have so many wonderful people in my life from different chapters. Happy birthday, Ladies! Love all three of you.