10 Things 6/2 Chicago Skyline

^ Mitch took this on his run tonight. Isn’t it beautiful?!

Hey there, Friends!

I took a couple of days to be with family and friends over the long weekend. Hope everyone had a nice break! Here are the first 10 things that come to mind:

  • Yesterday was my dad’s birthday, and my Auntie-M’s (60th!) birthday was the day before! Dad and Auntie-M, I know you probably aren’t reading this 😆, but I love you so much and I wish we could have celebrated together. Really looking forward to seeing my parents in Ocean City at some point over the summer and fingers crossed that I can get our family out to Nantucket to see my aunt, too!
  • Speaking of birthdays, I’m in planning mode for Emma’s. It’s dino-themed, obviously. I found her dress—she’s thank god shifted away from the volcano dress idea and is now excited about one with dinosaurs on it—and am now in the process of locating party supplies featuring T-Rexes wearing dresses. (True story. That’s what she wants, haha. But look at these! My mom and I were dying laughing.)
  • And speaking of dinosaur dresses, have you seen this one?! The company, Piccolina, is dedicated to empowering children and breaking gender stereotypes. It uses theme-centric design to inspire young girls to become tomorrow’s leaders and problem-solvers. Love that so much!
  • We spent a couple of days down at my in-laws’ lake house, and it was lovely. It was chilly and rainy, but so nice to get out of Chicago and catch up with Mitch’s parents surrounded by nature. :) Being there is so good for the soul. I passed out cold every night from the exhaustion that was the month of May, haha, but the next time we’re down there, I can’t wait to cozy up by the fire at night with a good book. There’s just something about reading when not in my own home; I don’t feel guilty about not being “productive,” you know?
  • I’ve been feeling down about my parenting lately, but trying so hard to remember that we’re in flux. I’m just not on my game. I feel like I’m making so many mistakes all the time—and the normal two-year-old temper tantrums aren’t helping. The thought I’m clinging to, though, is that when the pandemic started, I had a three-year-old and a baby. And I came out of it with two kids. This is my first time in the real world—with all the demands of everyday life—doing the two-kid thing. So I need to give myself grace! I’ll find my rhythm again, and learn new parenting tricks for this new phase of life. I always do!
  • A super cool-looking teenager politely told Mitch he had a price tag hanging from the armpit of his favorite hooded sweatshirt and we couldn’t stop laughing. He was like, “YO YO.” And Mitch looked up, confused, and then looked around the street, assuming the cool teenager was signaling one of his cool friends. But then the teenager motioned to his armpit, and Mitch located the tag. Both of them nodded at each other, suppressing smiles in the name of cool. But it was a heartfelt intergenerational moment that I’ll remember forever.
  • Want to understand the Israeli–Palestinian conflict better? I watched this video by John Green and it was extraordinarily helpful!
  • “One Home Project Every Day” update:
    • I did six loads of laundry and ruined one of my favorite dresses. BAH! It was all going so well. The backstory is that I had a crazy month with work, and fell very behind on laundry. Was determined to get it all done yesterday, and came so close to domination last night… until I somehow splashed bleach onto the black version of this dress that I love so, so much. Thankfully, I found a secondhand one on eBay for $18! Praise be.
    • I switched over Lucy’s closet to summer and donated all her too-small clothing. We’re gearing up for a very hot week in Chicago (yay!) and I can’t wait to see her in all of Emma’s old dresses. It’s so sentimental for me!
    • I swept all the tree pollen from our stoop and sidewalk, and then it came back the following morning. Womp womp.
    • Our old dining chairs cracked in a few places, so I ordered new ones while they were on sale over MDW Weekend. BOO. Luckily, Wayfair is amazing and refunded us. (Seriously, besides Nordstrom, best customer service ever?) Anyway, I got these beautiful chairs in white from Ballard! I already had a couple from the old house anyway—and I have them in our kitchen (in “Natural Oak”) and adore them, haha. Very excited that the cushions are attached (much easier with little kids) and thrilled that there aren’t any arms. (Current chairs have arms, and they just barely make it under the table.)
    • I fixed all the girls’ “broken” water bottles by buying new stoppers and organized them in the kiddie kitchen drawer. It was annoying the hell out of me. So nice to not have to frantically search for working tops every morning while packing the girls for school and peewee!
    • I ordered Sharpies to temporarily mask our peeling railings. We hired a painter to repaint the wrought iron railings, but he’s backed up and not sure when he’s going to get to us. The railings look awful, though, and I’m embarrassed, haha. Here’s hoping the Sharpie will tide us over!
  • My neighbor Nicki sent me the nicest Instagram post, and it’s had me feeling very sentimental about our block. And to think, we really only lived here for a year before the pandemic hit! So excited for all the good times the families are going to have together over the years. We’re very lucky to live amongst such wonderful people.
  • Looking for a great conditioner? Try this. A reader recommended it, and it’s pure magic! My hair no longer tangles throughout the day. It’s nuts! (I highly recommend pairing it with the Pantene Miracle Shots and the 10-in-1 Spray.)
  • I soaked and shrunk my old white sneakers, so I treated myself to a pair of Rothy’s washable lace-up sneaks and they’re GREAT. Seriously, so happy with them… and while they’re a splurge, they’re washable—so I know I’ll be able to get years and years of wear out of them. TTS. If you’re looking for something more affordable, I do have and love this pair of white sneaks from J.Crew Factory, and they’re wonderfully comfortable! Also TTS.
  • Have you tried BoomChickaPop? Wow! Emma likes bringing popcorn to school every day as her “lunch treat,” and I was looking for a healthier pre-packaged popcorn option. This stuff is so good that I find myself eating it every night when Mitch and I sit down to watch a show or movie. I’m hooked! (Apparently Aldi and Costco carry it as well.)
  • Lucy is talking so much! My favorite is when we ask her, “Who’s cuter than Lucy?!” And she responds, “Nobody!” Kills me.
  • Mitch and I watched the 2009 movie “State of Play” last week and it was GOOD. Not great, haha, but good. Really do recommend if you’re running out of stuff to watch!
  • My cousin Mackenzie graduated from Thomas Jefferson Medical School! GO KENZ! I’m so proud of you. Mackenzie worked her tail off these last few years, and she really does deserve a big round of applause right now. :) She’s headed back to New York City—where her insanely smart sisters Brenna (her twin, who’s in law school) and Olivia (who’s killing it at a huge ad agency) are—for residency. Yay! Congrats, Kenz. Love you!
  • I had a rough month with work, and I’m so happy that June is going to be less hectic. First Emma got sick, then Lucy got sick, and then I got sick. (Just bad colds, but no one was sleeping and we were falling apart for a while there!) And thus most of my April projects got pushed into May, and I just couldn’t hack it. By the skin of my teeth, I made most end-of-month deadlines, but I’m a shell of a human being right now. 😉 Grateful that June is shaping up to be way more low-key!
  • I am “making” Emma a new ric rac dress. Her favorite dress in the whole world is this little number, which has long been sold out. (Stalk it on eBay and Poshmark from time to time, but no luck thus far.) SO I’m making her a new one! Found this similar dress from Target, and got this ric rac trim. Wish me luck! (Not the craftiest mom over here.)
  • Have you seen this new Tuckernuck shirt dress? I’m in love. Tuckernuck has a few versions of this dress—the Royal Shirt Dress being the original—and I just think they’re so incredibly versatile and easy. I get compliments whenever I throw one on… and they require next to zero effort! A preppy mom’s best friend.
  • And how about Tuckernuck Sport?! SO CUTE. I love everything!
  • We’ve been have pizza nights in the park once per week and they make me so happy.  We play, we eat, we laugh. And then come home to a clean kitchen. ;)