• Am Reading,  Best Thing Ever,  Family Fun,  Food,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  Reflections on Parenting,  Tradition

    My GoodReads Reading Challenge Goal was Thwarted by…a Book.

    Last year I decided to spend more time doing something I had let fall by the wayside since I was a kid: read books. I got active on GoodReads and made a fairly ambitious (for me) reading challenge goal for 2018: 26 books. I fell short, reading “only” 22 books but was proud just the same. I probably hadn’t read 22 books in the ten years before that, all put together. It’s not that I don’t enjoy reading; I just used my free time for other creative pursuits. I decided to keep the same goal for 2019 and was projecting to achieve it easily when I took at look at…

  • Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  Family Fun,  Reflections on Parenting

    Photographic Evidence

    If you know me even just a little bit you are aware that when I take on a project I truly put everything into it (“go big or go home” and all that jazz). While I can annoy myself along the way, I’m rarely disappointed at the end. In fact, Jim reminded me of that just last week. I’m making a Blurb book (just for me) out of all the letters I wrote ahead of my fiftieth birthday last year and decided to add photos. The problem was going to be finding what I needed: like needles in a house-sized haystack. I was talking to Jim about stopping my hunt…

  • Family Fun,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  My Kid Has Mad Skillz

    We’re Exactly Like The Incredibles, But Different

    When he was a teenager, I used to give Dylan a really hard time because he hardly ever wore sunglasses. I’d sit in the passenger seat of the car as he drove us around and say, “Don’t you want your sunglasses? It’s so bright out today!” He always replied with some B.S. to the effect of, “Sunglasses? I don’t need sunglasses. My eyes have a sun-resistant coating.” Commence eyeroll. I have not let him live this down a decade later, making comments about his sun-resistant eyes whenever I find myself near him on a sunny day. That’s why I have to laugh at myself on these chilly winter evenings when…

  • Family Fun,  My Dad Has Mad Skillz,  Travels

    A Scene on the Road

    Like so many other families, we’re on the road today. Jim and I are headed north with my parents and sister, in the same car. Usually we take two cars when we’re all together, so this is new. My dad and sister are in the two middle seats and my mom is in the back. It’s been a relatively quiet trip so far, but after our last pit stop things amped up a little bit. And by “things”, I mean my dad. My sister is trying to read her book, mom is crocheting, and I was playing a game on my phone. (Jim, driving.) Dad suddenly got bored so he started…

  • Childhood Memories,  Family Fun,  Fun in Chicago

    Oakbrook Center is the Place to be…Right Now!

    This post is sponsored by Oakbrook Center. Full disclosure: I have loved Oakbrook Center (on the corner of Route 83 and Cermak Road just off of Interstates 88 and 294) for all the days I’ve lived in the western suburbs (that’s more than twenty-one years). I love it for many reasons: the shops, the restaurants, the environment, the outdoorsy element of it all, and especially because it reminds me of Park Forest Plaza, the shopping center of my childhood. These shopping centers that aren’t enclosed were the mothers of modern malls, and I think they’re totally fun. While you might think that the best time to visit Oakbrook Center is…

  • Blessings,  Family Fun,  Food,  Friends,  I've Got Mad Skillz

    10 Things That Made Me Happy This Holiday Weekend

    It’s not even Sunday yet and this long holiday weekend has been packed enough for a whole week. It’s been great, too. In fact, I’m wishing it wasn’t ending tomorrow. Anyway, we arrived home after this evening’s festivities a little late and I need to get to bed soon so I made the executive decision to write up a listicle so I can check “Write today’s blog post” off of my to-do list. Ten things that made me happy this holiday weekend? Let’s count ’em down. 1. Jim and Jason came home for the holiday, so all four of us were under the same roof, yay! 2. Thanksgiving was gloriously…

  • Family Fun

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    I am doing my best to live in the moment today while Jim and I are enjoying a quiet Thanksgiving at home with the boys. Turkey’s in the oven and we’re hanging out in the family room watching TV together in comfy clothes. It’s heavenly. I hope wherever you are and whomever you’re with, you’re enjoying today too! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Amazing People,  Family Fun,  Favorite Things,  My Kid Has Mad Skillz

    Okay, I Stand Corrected.

    Something good that has come out of this election is the seemingly unending stream of thoughtful political conversation I’ve been enjoying with my twenty-four-year-old. It’s really something special to be able to have intelligent discourse about world affairs with your own grown kid and as much as this election and the post-election developments have had me tied up in knots, it’s been a bright spot. That said, I have a much more entertaining conversation to share here. The scene: my kitchen. I’m lighting my Clean Cotton-scented Yankee Candle. Dylan: “It’s too bad they don’t make a candle that smells like lighting a match.” Me: “YES. That would be amazing.” Dylan:…

  • Confessions,  Family Fun,  Tough Questions

    The Mystery of the Denim Shorts

    Alternate title: Designer Label Averse, Apparently. The scene: my bedroom. Jim, home for the first time since August, has handed me a pair of Calvin Klein denim shorts and questions to whom they belong. “You, I thought…” I replied. “They aren’t yours?” “No,” he said. “They aren’t my size and anyway, I don’t wear Calvin Klein anything.” “Oh, maybe they belong to Dylan,” I said. Sidenote: Dylan, who currently lives here full time, is so well-known for his love of wearing denim shorts that his college/fraternity nickname was “Jorts”. Jim strolled into Dylan’s room and put the shorts on his bed. About an hour later, I was back in my…