Madewell Black Watch Plaid Skirt (Similar here) / Brooks Brothers Pumps (Old, similar here and here) / J.Crew Tissue Turtleneck (Use code “HOLIDAY” to take 30 percent off your regular-priced order, and 40 percent off your final sale order!) / Daniel Wellington Watch (c/o — Use code “KELLYINTHECITY” to take 15 percent off your order as well as a free NATO band when you buy a leather watch!) / BaubleBar Necklace (c/o — Take a percentage off your order with code “FRIDAY15” tomorrow!) / Tory Burch Bag (Borrowed from Mom — Take up to 30 percent off your Tory Burch order with code “LUCKY”!) / Moon and Lola Earrings (c/o — Use code “FRIYAY” to take a percentage off your order!)
To say that the past few weeks have been busy would be an understatement. A couple of days ago, everything caught up with me–the lack of sleep, how behind I was on personal affairs, the state of my apartment, how little one-on-one time I’d spent with Mitch, and my neglected e-mail inbox. My poor mother. She thought “freak-out phone calls” were a thing of the past. ;) (Thanks, Mom.)
Thanksgiving came at the perfect time this year. I’m sure it was the sleep deprivation that was making me feel a bit overwhelmed and discouraged, but isn’t it wonderful how the holiday puts everything in perspective and helps you realize just how much you have to be grateful for? I love my life. It’s not perfect, and yes–there are a few things that Mitch and I are still trying to figure out. But when I step back and really look at it all, I’m so happy… and so grateful for everything I’ve been blessed with. :)
So, without further ado…
This year, I’m particularly grateful for my family. When I moved away this past summer, they were incredibly supportive and understanding, and, knowing that I’d be homesick, lined up three separate trips out to Chicago to see me. (The birthday surprise?! And the girls’ weekend?! Goodness. I love you guys.) My in-laws are equally as wonderful. Never in a million years did I think that I’d love my husband’s family as much as I love my own, but I do. :) So many fun times–whether at the lake, farm or up in Wisconsin–and so much love.
I’m also grateful for my best friend Erica’s health. Three years ago this past week, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. It was a scary–and trying–time, and she’s faced with obstacles on a daily basis. That said, keeps going. (Three years strong!) Her outlook on life inspires me every day. I admire her courage, positive attitude, dedication to personal happiness, and unyielding strength, and I’m ridiculously proud to call her my best friend. Donate to the cause here! (Every little bit helps!)
And then there’s Mitch. I never thought I’d get this lucky. He’s my everything, and he brings out the best in me. He’s my best friend, the person I can tell anything and everything, and my soulmate–as sappy as this all sounds. We have such a blast together, and there’s no one who makes me smile and laugh like he does.
That said, I’m also grateful that he’s by my side during the more challenging times. He once told me that the person you end up with should be someone you not only want to be with during the wonderful days–but also during the rough ones. And that stuck with me. Every time we’re experiencing something less than lovely, we look at each other and say, “trenches.” Whether we’re hating our jobs or stressed about a big decision… or simply frustrated by days in which everything seems to go wrong, we’re down there, fighting the fight together, and we love each other. There’s no one I’d rather be in the trenches with than you, Mitch. You’re my home.
Anyway, his current classroom doesn’t have a computer in it. He’s trying to raise money for one in order to increase student engagement and motivation, as well as provide his kiddos with the opportunity to become comfortable with modern educational tools. Again, every little bit–even a dollar!–helps. :) Thank you!
I’m thankful for my friends, too. Yes, I clearly stole the photo on the left from Pinterest, and no–I still haven’t seen “Sex and the City.” (I know, right? I did, however, finally finish “Gossip Girl.” #omgdevastated) But I love this pic. I may not have a ton of friends, but the ones that I do have–old and new–are the best. When I moved out to Chicago, I was really worried that my friendships back on the East Coast would suffer. But this has been anything but the case. It seems that we’re able to pick up right where we left off, and I love that. High school friends, college friends, New York friends, and friends I made along the way: you’re so special to me, and I value your friendships more than you’ll ever know. (More sap!)
Likewise, when I moved to the Midwest, I worried I wouldn’t make new friends. I worried that I’d missed the prime “friend-making” time, and that I wouldn’t fit in. But the Chicago blogging community has been phenomenal. I’ve only known the girls for a couple of months, but I already know that they’ll be lifelong friends. I just can’t get over how accepting, friendly and genuine they’ve been. And fun! They’re so fun! I’m a very lucky little transplant. :) Thanks for helping me quell my homesickness, guys… and for making my first year in Chicago a fabulous one!
Finally, I can’t forget this little blog. What I mean by that, though, is my readers. I’m thankful to each and every one of you for visiting my slice of the internet however often you do, and for being kind and supportive. For listening to me babble on and on about whatever it is that’s on my mind that day, and for weighing in when I need advice, help or encouragement. Sometimes I can’t believe Kelly in the City has existed for nearly two full years… and then there are other times when I wonder how I ever survived without it.
Sure, blogging is hard. It demands a lot of time, effort and dedication–and requires you to put yourself out there probably a bit more than you would otherwise. But it’s tremendously rewarding, too. I’m so thankful for the experiences that Kelly in the City has brought about, and how many amazing people I’ve connected with through it. Thank you for all the joy you’ve brought to my life–whether I’ve met you in person or we’ve yet to meet face-to-face. (Who cares, right?!) I hope you guys don’t mind if I stick around for another year. :)
There’s more, of course, but my fingers hurt… and pumpkin pie, a glass of chardonnay, and the fireplace are calling my name. What are you thankful for this year? I’d love to hear!