Our family is moving to Seattle!

Well I’ve been putting off this ‘announcement’ for a bit of time until it became official, official (meaning that the paperwork had been signed and our families had been informed and the dates had been set…)

But all of that has been finalized so now I’m happy to share that Tim and I (with Clara and Ozzie, of course) are moving to Seattle!

Moving to Seattle


We’ll be leaving Chicago in a week. Yep, one week.

This has all come about fairly suddenly. Tim started applying for jobs a while ago and the interview process took weeks, but once a job offer was extended, we were basically given two weeks to pack up and move across the country. Gulp.

Of course, I have a lot of feelings about this whole thing. Lots and lots of feelings. Mainly, I’m excited because I love change and the thought of a new adventure. Tim and I have lived in Chicago for our entire relationship, and it will be fun to live in a new (and very different) place. Actually, Tim and I have lived in the Chicago area for practically our entire lives, so this will be really different for us. On the flip side, I’m sad to be leaving our great community in Chicago, including most of our family members.

Plus, I love Chicago. It’s absolutely one of my favorite cities in the world and I’ve been extremely fortunate to be able to call it ‘home’. It’s definitely going to be a bittersweet farewell.

There are a lot of logistical things we’re still trying to figure out (like where we’re going to live and other minor details), and a million appointments and things we need to do before we officially zip our suitcases and head to the airport. Not to mention all of the goodbyes we need to say… That’s all going to be tough stuff, so keep us in your prayers!

But, more excitingly, if you live in the Seattle area or know people who do (especially awesome people), I would love to hear from you! Tim and I really don’t know a soul out there… well, Tim knows a handful of souls and I know no one, so I would love to have a head start in knowing people I can grab a coffee/meal/martini with!

Phew, I’m glad I’ve gotten this off my chest… Tim and I have seriously been talking/thinking about this move for all of September and it’s been impossible to write blog posts and not mention it. Hence the lack of posts in general.

I’ll be better this month. Probably.

Except that we move in a week so I guess I shouldn’t promise anything.

Or I’ll be posting all of the time because I’ll be friendless and stuck in my apartment with a toddler all day and night and this could become my only outlet… 

Three cheers for a new adventure!


Posted in being an adult, chicago, consciously evolving, life events | Tagged , , , | 33 Comments

What I read from around the web.

This Week in Photos:

Oh gosh this week… My life has become a whirlwind and I hate vague posting, but expect a small ‘announcement’ of sorts later this week once some final life decisions have been made and communicated. Let’s just say my mind has been fully consumed as of late and I will feel much more like blogging when I can share what I’m thinking about instead of avoiding what’s really on my mind.

Anyway, let’s get to what we were up to this week!

Things I've read around the web this week

  • Tim and I went to Fish Bar for date night. It’s a great tapas seafood place and we sat outside to enjoy the fleeting days of summer! My favorite part of the meal was the s’mores we had for dessert, of course.
  • Speaking of summer… can a person ever have too many hibiscus lemonades?! Nope. It’s my favorite summer drink and it’s safe to say I’m fully addicted and every trip to the park now costs $3.
  • Mom friends are the best. Our kiddos are the same age so we enjoy getting together and seeing what our kids should be capable of doing. Like I learned that Clara is actually pretty quiet for her age. (Not that I’m surprised, because I swear all of her energy is going into figuring out how to accomplish physical tasks and she has no interest in working out the other parts of her brain.) We also discuss how hard life is with toddlers but how much we love these little people who have turned our lives upside down! It’s so nice to see that other moms are continuing to adjust well after the first year of motherhood.
  • Clara’s physical feats of this week involve climbing the rope ladder at the park and learning to climb on the kitchen table. I was sitting at the table reading The Economist while Clara played on the floor next to me, and all of a sudden I looked up and she was sitting on the table next to my magazine, smiling at me! She was so proud of herself, but now I’m disappointed that there’s yet another surface in the house that we need to childproof.


Worth Reading:

You know I love some Ellen. And by ‘some Ellen’ I mean I love every single thing that Ellen does, including this short video of Trump debating himself. (here)

“Stepping away from the theoretical, there are some nitty-gritty barriers that keep you from expanding your social circle. For example, researchers believe that it takes about five years to form a truly meaningful friendship. Close relationships that are formed quicker than that are usually because you’re both in a situation of insecurity. That’s why it took you years of company Christmas parties for you to realize Ryan from marketing was actually cool and one week of study abroad to put Kim in your mental list of future bridesmaids.” (here)

“Counter to the popular societal consensus on an increasingly time-pressured society … reports of feelings of being ‘always rushed’ declined by 6-9 points from those reported in 2004 … both among employed and unemployed respondents.” (here)

“The outrage that comes from empathy drives some of our most powerful punitive desires. It’s not an accident that so many statutes are named for dead girls—as in Megan’s Law, Jessica’s Law, and Caylee’s Law—and no surprise that there is now enthusiasm for “Kate’s Law.” The high incarceration rate in the United States, and our continued enthusiasm for the death penalty, is in part the product of fear and anger, but is also driven by the consumption of detailed stories of victims’ suffering.” (here)

“That made it harder to get even the most basic things done, like keeping the government from shutting down or preventing the nation from hitting the debt ceiling. Trying to corral an increasingly extreme party has been one of Boehner’s biggest — if not the biggest — challenges as speaker.” (here)

What have you been up to this week?! Have you read anything interesting?


Posted in friday, links, week recap | Tagged | 6 Comments

Time away.

Gosh, I guess I took a little bit of a break (from blogging) over the last week or so. It’s not because nothing has been happening – on the contrary – too much has been happening and I’ve barely been able to keep up! Last week Tim was out of town and I escaped to my mom’s house so that she could spend some quality time with Clara and also help me to run after her. Then I left for the Influence Conference on Thursday and Tim’s mom came to our house to watch Clara until Tim got back into town on Friday and could take over dad duty.

I got back to Chicago on Sunday which means that it was my first time being away from Clara for longer than six hours straight! Wooohooo!

Seriously. The three days I was away were glorious.

Influence Conference Roommates

I was not one of those moms that cried at the door. I said goodbye to Clara and put her down for a nap and practically sprinted away. It’s not that I don’t love spending time with my daughter (because I obviously do, although some days I enjoy it more than others) but being with her all day, every day for 14+ months is a lot of time with one little person! I was in desperate need of some time with other adults and I was so excited to get some time with lady friends at the conference, and to not be woken up by a yelling baby at 5am.

The Influence Conference was incredible, and I was able to really think about my relationship with God and the directions He’s steering my life. I need a few more days to process everything, but it was good stuff and I had the absolute best time meeting and chatting with other women and hearing so much wisdom.

As for Clara… she’s officially broken.

When I left Chicago she was waking up once at night (which just started last week – before that she was sleeping 12 hours straight) but could be soothed in about 5-10 minutes. Last night, which was my first night back at home, she woke up just about every hour after midnight and woke up at 5am for the day.


I’m not going to name any names… but if I was going to, I would say this has to be Tim’s fault. Just sayin’. (Or, more likely, it’s a developmental leap or teething… but for simplicity’s sake I shall keep blaming Tim.)

But seriously, we’re in a constant sleep deprived state over here and I’m sure this past weekend was tough, so I’m especially thankful that Tim and his mom tag-teamed watching Clara for a few days so I could go to the conference. The main reason that I was able to leave with such joy and without a hint of anxiety is because I knew that Clara wasn’t just in good hands, she was in the very best hands. It’s such a blessing to have so many people who enjoy caring for my daughter.

The first time away from my baby.

If you’re a mom and are about to leave your little one for the first time, whether it’s just for a few hours or for a few days, I think it’s good to remember that even though you’re the best mom to your child, (s)he also has a best dad/grandparent/family friend who is very capable of keeping him/her alive and happy for a period of time until you come back! Children are so adaptable and happy and I’m convinced that we miss them far more than they miss us.

And to prove my point, when Clara woke up from her nap and realized I was home, she ran straight to Tim. I was tempted to be a bit sad that she didn’t run at top speed directly to me, but I was actually relieved that she didn’t think it was a huge deal when I returned. I guess she was too busy having fun to worry about why I wasn’t around – which is just fine with me!

Today she’s back to ‘normal’ (minus the sleep).

So I hope you don’t feel tons of mom-guilt when you leave your baby/toddler/kiddo for any period of time – they will be just fine and so will you!



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Climbing slides

Over the past few months I’ve noticed something about 90% of the parents at the playgrounds we frequent: they don’t let their children climb the slides.

Their kid will go down the slide and turn themselves around to climb right back up, and more often than not the parents will immediately intervene, telling their child that slides are meant for sliding down, not climbing up.

Why I allow my child to climb up slides

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this but Tim and I do it differently. Clara has always tried to climb up the slide (before she could even walk consistently she was trying to crawl up the slide) and we’ve always just let her. It was a proud moment for us when she got to the top! She tried so hard and it took her a while, but she did it.

For me, I just don’t see the point of telling kids not to climb playground equipment – isn’t that what it’s there for? Of course I watch her closely and I don’t let her climb up the slide if there’s a kid waiting to go down it, but otherwise I let her play however she wants to play.

I try to intervene the least I can when it comes to her play time and I like to think this helps her gain confidence, independence, and a sense of adventure. I don’t want to bog down her little one year old mind with arbitrary rules. The only ‘rules’ I care about at this point are the ones that serve to keep her safe. (Well, and I’m trying to get her to stop throwing her food on the floor, because it’s driving me crazy, but that’s a whole different topic.)

I wonder whether these other parents are trying to instill good manners at an earlier age, or whether they’re trying to be more courteous to other playground-goers, or whether they’re worried that other parents will judge them if they see their child climbing up a slide, or whether they’re really worried that their child will hurt themselves.

It’s strange how being a parent makes you notice things like this – the little things you do differently than other parents. Of course, I think all parents should do what feels the most natural and right to them so if you don’t want your kid climbing up the slide, don’t let them! But if you (like me) allow your kids to climb up the slide and feel a bit awkward when you see other kids getting scolded for doing the same thing, I hope you keep doing what you’re doing with confidence knowing there are some other parents out there who don’t mind bending the ‘rules’ every once in a while.



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Flying with a toddler

About a year ago we asked our pediatrician if we needed to know anything about taking our first airplane ride with our (then) newborn. He laughed and told us to enjoy our trip because in a year, flying with a toddler would be a whole different story.

Boy was he right.

Every time we board an airplane with Clara I have no idea what to expect. We just took a trip to DC in May, but this trip to Denver was our first time flying since she learned to walk.

Bringing a toddler on an airplane is tough!

This is how she entertained herself during the 2 hour flight:

  • Walked up and down the aisle.
  • Spilled (my) cup of ginger ale.
  • “Played” with ice cubes (meaning she threw them on the ground).
  • Put the tray up and pulled it back down thousands of times.
  • Pulled down all three of our trays and climbed on top of them and crawled between our three seats via the trays.
  • Ate crackers.
  • Drank milk and my smoothie.
  • Sat on the floor to play in the diaper bag. (Took everything out of the diaper bag)
  • Took off her shoes.
  • Read a book.
  • Looked out the window and laughed and laughed (I guess she loves heights!).
  • Figured out how to lift the window shade and close it again.
  • Waved at other passengers.
  • Had her diaper changed.
  • Stood on her seat, sat on her seat, laid on her seat… (thank goodness the flight wasn’t full and she had her own!)
  • Gave hugs and kisses.
  • Pretended to drink Tim’s (empty) coffee.
  • Hung out upside down when Tim held her by her legs.
  • Protested all attempts at napping (loudly).
  • Whined for a few minutes.
  • Fell asleep nursing 10 minutes before landing. (I try not to nurse her during the day anymore, but desperate times called for desperate measures.)

Upon landing, she didn’t wake up when we got off the plane, when we put her in her stroller, when we moved her to her car seat in the rental car… finally, hours later she woke up when we were almost to Boulder. I guess all the excitement on the plane wore her out!

Bringing a toddler on an airplane is tough!

Basically, this child o’ ours never stops moving, even in confined spaces. I’m just glad she didn’t yell the entire time, but I do miss the days when I would fly on an airplane with headphones and a good book to occupy my time. Ah, memories.

(Also, lest you think I’m far too laid back about restricting what Clara does and how she behaves… maybe I am. However, there is really no saying ‘no’ to a one year old with the expectation of her listening, so I’ve found that the best policy is to gently guide her into any activity that is less disruptive/harmful than the one she is currently doing. Sometimes that means allowing her to throw melting ice cubes on the floor because it keeps her from screaming.)

Have you had any luck keeping your toddler entertained on an airplane?!


Posted in motherhood, travel | Tagged , | 8 Comments