• Fun in Chicago,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  UGH.

    Survival Skills

    There’s a saying about how Chicago has only two seasons, winter and construction*. My little corner of my western suburb has been experiencing construction year-round for nearly two years now (even through the winter months), thanks to a gutting and extensive reconstruction of a major state route that happens to be one of the few roads that runs through my entire town from all the way north to all the way south. By the way, that state route happens to border my subdivision. The city planners back in the day had absolutely no idea that eventually Naperville would be the fifth largest (by population) city in Illinois and naturally, didn’t…

  • Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  Reflections on Parenting,  UGH.

    Empty Nesting Is Awesome, Except When It’s Not.

    I love my life the way it is at this moment. I have one son who graduated from college and supports himself with an actual job, and I have another son who is a college sophomore, living only two hours from home. I work from home. I have the freedom to sleep in if I want, workout for as long as I want, not cook dinner for a whole week if I don’t want to, and most of all, pack a bag and take off to visit friends or accompany Jim on a business trip if I want, with no problem. Many of my friends who still have kids at…

  • Childhood Memories,  Family Fun,  My Dad Has Mad Skillz,  UGH.

    Playing Horse

    Jim and I have been streaming the show “Welcome To Sweden”, which is an NBC sitcom produced by Amy Poehler (among others) and starring her younger brother Greg. It’s about a guy and his Swedish fiancee and the hijinks that ensue when they move from New York back to her home in Sweden. I find it hilarious, sweet, and extremely unique (subtitles!!), by the way, and Jim…does not. Anyway, while watching the show I have noticed Swedish Dala horses in the background. Seeing them on television made me remember the three-inch, red Dala horse that my mom used to have hanging on the living room wall above the couch. When…

  • Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  I'm Apparently Old.,  UGH.

    Sometimes It’s Best To Let Other People Make The Decisions, No Matter The Outcome.

    I’m easily stressed. This is not news to most of you. It’s mostly because I’m a worrier. And a perfectionist. And…well, need I go on? When I find myself in the middle of a stress spiral as I am this week—for many reasons, all of which have been resolved/finished/taken care of—the part of my brain that normally makes decisions easily just…shuts down. “What do you want for dinner, Melisa?” “I don’t know. I can’t even think about that right now.” “Okay, do you want salad, or how about grilled chicken? Or burgers?” “I don’t know. I don’t care. You pick.” Like THAT. I am also a life-long nail biter, which…

  • Roxie,  UGH.

    About That Time My Dog’s Life Was In Danger

    Oh, it’s all good now, thank goodness, but things were a little bit dicey earlier this week. Let me explain. On Sunday, Jim and I drove the boys back to Wisconsin and to their respective colleges. While we were gone, my mom called the house and left a voicemail. Apparently she and my dad had left a bag at our house before leaving town. The bag, she said, contained the games they brought along with a “cap”. I heard the message when we returned home and didn’t think much about it other than, “We’ll get that bag to them on our next visit,” like she requested. We were exhausted from…

  • UGH.

    Beeeeeeep!

    Thanks for calling. Melisa is not here at the moment; she’s busy dealing with the remnants of a day that started out wonderfully with a Dailey Method workout and a LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER webinar and slowly disintegrated into a seemingly endless grocery shopping trip during which she spent a king’s ransom to restock her pantry and refrigerator with food for the coming week plus Thanksgiving. Her eventual release from the checkout, after feeling judged by her fellow shoppers for how much she had in her cart, resulted in a longer-than-usual drive home due to construction and then an eventful transfer of groceries from the car to the kitchen, during…

  • UGH.

    The Parking Garage

    No, YOU got a panicked call from your husband a little after 5:00 this morning, right after he arrived at O’Hare airport so he could go on a one-day business trip, and after you asked if he had been in a car accident because he sounded THAT BAD, your chin dropped when he told you that he attached his keys to his laptop bag and then locked it in the car. And YOU talked him down and agreed that since this was a very important trip and he at least still had his phone, he should just go catch his flight (travel light FTW!) and you would bring his spare…

  • Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  Random Thoughts,  UGH.

    The Message

    I am having a very odd problem right now when it comes to blogging. It’s not writer’s block: I’ve been lucky enough to have rarely wrestled with that beast. The problem I’m having doesn’t–to my knowledge–have a name. I feel like I’m having all the wrong ideas. I’m annoying myself. Every time I sit down to blog, I get the urge to type out a post full of warm and fuzzy advice about living your best life (hat tip to Oprah), having a great attitude, surrounding yourself with people who lift you instead of drag you down, making things happen, reaching for the stars, being kind to yourself and others.…

  • Travels,  UGH.

    On Re-entry.

    Over the weekend, I was doing this: Jim and I made a quick getaway to Key West so we could forget all about January in Chicago for a couple of days, and we had a blast. Today, I posted this status on Facebook: “Proof that you can’t get magically whisked back to Key West by using coconut shower gel and then eating a chocolate coconut Luna Bar for breakfast. I’m still in Chicago, all bundled up. #nofilter #nomakeupeither #cold” And this picture: So while I catch up with some work and then assemble a blog post about our trip, let’s all focus on that top photograph rather than the bottom…

  • Queen of Denial,  UGH.

    Technical Difficulties…Maybe. (Darn You, Feedburner!)

    Well, this has been a confusing morning so far, thanks to Feedburner. I’ve been hearing a bunch of chatter in the last week or so that Feedburner will be shutting down/changing/discontinuing service/majorly messed up/imploding as of October 20th. Those of you who are bloggers and/or subscribe to Suburban Scrawl via Feedburner know what that means; those of you who don’t blog and/or just pop in here from time to time may not know, and it won’t affect you as much (or at all). I’m not sure if the rumors are true, but what I do know is that, this morning, everyone’s Feedburner subscriber count went to zero, and none of…