A year ago today I had my final round of interviews at New Job.
It was the day before Halloween and I remember walking into the office feeling a whole lot like Dorothy when she steps into the technicolor world of Oz.
It was a wonderland….
Filled with people who looked happy to be there, dressed in costumes (& jeans & hoodies.), whizzing by on scooters and snacking from the bins of treats strewn throughout the office. While waiting for my interviewer, I sat nervously on the couches watching the YouTube Videos they had projected on the flatscreens.
The video? “How To Do Halloween Make-Up like Lady Gaga.” I found it surprisingly comforting.
I met with 5 interviewers that day.
The conversations were as incredible as the space.
It’s funny…I went into the interview wanting a new job but walked out wanting THIS job with all of my heart.
My dad was the first call I made when I got out. And then Simon. And my mom. Then El & Hen and my in-laws, of course. Then my references and a handful of friends. And then my mom again. How’d it go, they each asked. I did my best….it was the only response i could give.
Becuase it was true.
A few weeks later I received “the call”… while sailing in the Caribbean, no less [tough life, right?]
It was the Recruiter extending me an offer for New Job…asking me to come join the team.
That was a very good day.
But you know, there have been so many good days between then and now.
So many days where I walk into work and think…this place is sort of magical. So many days where I get to work hard, solve problems and grow the business.
With my one year anniversary right around the corner, I think it is time to stop referring to this place as “New Job.”
It no longer feels new.
It feels like home.
Good Job, it is.
A few weeks ago, you told us all that you never stopped dancing.
[I remember laughing because it was the most obvious comment of the day. I saw you in action…shaking it in the aisles of the grocery store, getting into the car, while helping do the dishes]
You said that’s how you’ve always been. You didn’t need music you just had to dance.
So why….why…why in the world did you stop?
Why would you stop dancing and writing and laughing and hoping and loving and living?
I don’t understand it.
I don’t understand how you couldn’t see what we saw - a woman that radiated beauty and brought joy to so many people.
At my shower you gave me a card along with the owl pillow you bought for my little one. In it you wrote:
I feel that, in life, there are some human beings who make an impact in way greater than they even imagine…through smiles, energy, excitement, presence…
in essence simply be being alive and remaining true to themselves
oh friend, that was you!
that was you!
and that is how you will remain.
We sure are going to miss you.
Yes! Yes! A thousand times Yes!
In 12 Days we have our 20 week appointment where we will find out the sex of our Mango! There are no words to capture just how excited we are to find out. [I have been counting down the days to this appointment since the moment we found out we were knocked-up!]
For someone like me who likes to have answers and have-them-now, all of the unknowns of pregnancy [What is happening to my body? Why does my back/leg/stomach/head/chest/ hurt? When will my boobs stop growing?] have proved to be a real challenge. I have been craving information about the changes I am experiencing and find comfort in any facts I can get my hands on.
Finally finding out the gender of our child will be a huge step in answering one of our biggest unknowns…and alleviate so much of my is-it-a-boy-or-is-it-a-girl stress that keep me up at night.
People have asked what I think we are having….
I have a really really strong feeling it will be a boy.
Simon has no idea at all. He waivers daily.
Mama is keeps guessing it is a girl
And Papa is convinced it’s a boy. He even refers to our baby as little Tommy [after himself of course].
Boy or Girl, I don’t have a preference [although, if I am being totally honest….a girl would be WAY more fun to shop for]. I just want to KNOW.
Out of curiosity, what do you guys think? Is our little Mango is a boy or girl?
Moments in recent Chicago history that made you stop, blink and say “Oh My God!”
[11 of my Favorites from Chicago Magazine’s list of Top 40 Moments]
40. Lightning Strikes Twice (June 23, 2010): Photographer captured lightening bolts hitting the Willis Tower and the Trump Tower at precisely the same moment
39. Everybody Gets a Car (September 13, 2004) Oprah Winfrey opened her 19th Season by giving a new car to all 276 members of her studio audience.
36. They Had Us Rocking (September 18, 1997): Days before appearing at Soldier Field on their Babylon Tour, the Rolling Stones performed a surprise concert at the double door in Wicker Park. Intimate 90 minute set, $7.
22. Kindergarten Cop (January 24, 2009) Clad in a real police uniform, a 14 yr old boy walked into a South Side station and posed as a traffic offer for five hours- reportedly riding with a partner, issuing tickets and even driving a squad car before someone noticed that he wasn’t wearing a regulation badge.
11. Off the Wall (May 11, 1988) Nine black aldermen stormed a private exhibit of student artwork at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and demanded that police remove “Mirth and Girth” a painting depicting the late mayor Harold Washington in women’s lingerie
10. Bartman (October 14, 2003) Eight Inning. Game 6. National League Championship Series. When a fan named Steve Bartman got between Moises Alou and a foul pop to left field, somehow we knew: The glitch unleashed a surreal chain of events that ended in an 8-3 cubs loss. The next night at Wrigley, fans watched in utter disbelief as the World Series berth went poof.
8. Olympics 2016! Fail (October 2, 2009) T-shirts were made. Millions were spent. Then with brutal swiftness, Chicago was the first city knocked out of the running to host the 2016 Summer Olympics
7. Poop Deck (August 8, 2004) On a Sunday afternoon, one of the buses used by the Dave Matthews Band crossed the river at Kinzie street and let loose 800 lbs of raw human sewage which poured through the bridge’s metal grates directly onto a sightseeing tour boat carrying more than 100 passengers. The bus’s driver eventually pleaded guilety; the band was fined $200,000.
6. Wake-Up Call (December 9, 2008) At 6:15am on the day before his 52nd birthday federal agents arrested Governor Rod Blagojevich at his home. Accused of pay-to-play politics and trying to make a deal for Barack Obama’s Senate Seat, Blago wore a track suit to his arraignment.
3. X Marks Meigs (March 31, 2003) In a move that let Chicago see the autocrat behind the bureaucrat Mayor Richard Daley settled a long-brewing feud over the fate of Meigs Field by shutting it down with flair. Under the cloak of night, he sent in trucks hauling construction equipment to carve six X’s into the tarmac.
1. Losing It (April 29, 1983) The epic Lee Elia rant to an audience of four reporters after a cubs loss to the Dodgers contained 48 F-Bombs. An excerpt: ”What the F am I supposed to do? Go out there and let my F-ing players get destroyed every day and be quiet about it? For the F-ing nickel-dime people that show up? The mother F-ers don’t even work. That’s why they’re out at the F-ing game. They oughta go out and get a F-ing job and find out what it’s like to earn a F-ing living. Eighty-five percent of the F-ing world is working…the other fiften come out here.” Elia was fired that August.
[Read about all of Chicago Magazine’s Gasp-Worthy Moments Here]
When packing for our Babymoon in Ireland, Simon threw down a challenge:1 bag each….He dared me to fit a week’s worth of clothes into single roller bag. Wha?Since I love a good challenge (and making my husband happy), I decided to make it happen.
I knew, however, the only way this would be possible was if I was very strategic in my footwear selection. My goal was to pack ONE pair of shoes for the entire trip. (madness, I say!).
So I went on the hunt for a pair of versatile boots that could be paired with leggings, jeans or dresses. I wanted something that was flat & totally walkable while still being super stylish.
After extensive searching I found these Kelly & Katie Boots from DSW fit the bill perfectly!
Soft Leather in a rich brown color. Cool Buckles. Plus they are under $100.
(free shipping code here)
I have lots of ideas (I like to think that my commitment to adventures is part of my charm).
It’s fair to say that most my ideas are pretty decent (and some are downright brilliant, if I do say so myself)…but every now and then I get something in my head that is just straight up busted
a bad idea, if you will.
This Sunday, one such idea took hold.
I decided our Halloween would not be complete without a trip to a Haunted House, my first such visit in well over 20 years. It thought it could be kitschy & creepy & fun! We decided on Cursed Chicago, The Haunted Sinkhole….the city’s biggest Halloween attraction.
We assumed there would be thousands (millions!) of brave souls with the same plan, so we got to the haunted house early… you know, to beat the lines.
Oh, beat the lines we did.
In fact, Simon and i were the VERY FIRST TWO PEOPLE in the city of Chicago to show up at the haunted house. We were there so early that the sun hadn’t completely set and we were asked to wait 20 minutes while the costumed critters took their positions.
When we finally got in, the fright walk went a whole lot like this: dark corridor, shadowy corner, flashing strobe light, Masked marauders screaming in your face….
[Did I mention, I HATE people screaming in my face?]
[[Come to think of it, I HATE being scared…why in the world did I think this was a good idea?!]]
It was, in a word, embarrassing. For everyone involved, I think. The “actors” dressed as zombies, the crying children with their heads buried in their mother’s chest, the stoned teens who drove in from the suburbs in search of some excitement…
For the record, Simon was skeptical of this plan from the start, but being my co-adventurer, he came along for the ride. What can I say…you win some you lose some and this was not our finest hour.
#153: The Hot Cocoa Bar set up in the cafe right now complete with marshmallows & chocolate shavings.
#154: New Job Earnings Call
Last week Wall Street analysts & reporters from financial publications all dialed in to listen to the CEO & CFO report New Company’s earnings in figures that started with a B. They talked about the hockey-stick growth, commitment to innovation and what treats we have in store for the upcoming quarters…
but the thing that really got me was how, at the end of the call, our CFO took the time to thank the employees.
It wasn’t lip service though…not at all. It was sincere and heartfelt.
He said he wanted to publicly thank each of the employees…He wanted wall street & our investors to know how hard we worked and how these numbers were our wins.
I can’t even pretend that I didn’t get a lump in my throat at the humbling things he said about us…and that when I looked around to my coworkers on the call, I could tell I wasn’t the only one. [Appreciative & Appreciated.]
#155: The Prenatal Massage I have booked with our massage therapist at 3:00 today.
#156: The coffee tasting event on my calendar this afternoon & the new blend of organic coffee created & named for our office.
#157: The Oversized Bean Bag
Chair Bed just gifted to our pod. If only I wasn’t in a dress & heels, I would spend this afternoon working on my forecasts from the comfort of that puff-ball.
#158: The small group breakfast meeting I was invited to yesterday, where I got to share ideas with a man who’s title includes the words [director] and [of Americas].
FTW For the LANDSLIDE!
Everytime I sneeze, I feel bad for disturbing baby…
And so I apologize to my sweet potato.
It’s Christmas! It’s Christmas!
I realize most normal people spend this time of year thinking about Halloween costumes or maybe Thanksgiving plans, but not my family! Oh no. We are what some might call Christmas Enthusiasts!
This past weekend Mimi and Papa invited all of the big-kid cousins over to help set up their Christmas Tree. You see, they are leaving next week for their winter in Florida and won’t return home until right before the big holiday… so decking the proverbial halls was a perfect excuse to get together for a send-off celebration.
This is only the second year of our new tree-trimming tradition, but If I am being honest….It is one of the best things going. An opportunity for togetherness before the madness of the season begins.
An opportunity to hear the stories behind the ornaments, the ways our parent’s used to celebrate…and share the Christmas memories from our childhood (Hide the Pickle!)
Plus, Mimi & Papa rewarded their merry elves with an over the top Italian Feast….pasta, meatballs, cannolis, the works!
What an awesome day and just look at that tree!
“Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In the Art of Marriage, the little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say ‘I love you’ at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon; it should continue through all the years. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have the wings of an angel.
It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is finding rooms for things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.”
Anonymous Asks: “Like you, I never go anywhere without a scarf on. My fave is my matta which I sought out for myself and my mom after seeing your photos of you and your mom wearing them! Anyway, just wondering— how do you store your scarf collection? Do you fold them into a drawer, hang on a hook, or hang on a hanger. I just moved into a new house and am trying to figure out the best way to store my scarves.”
I have tried everything from rolling scarves in a drawer to folding over pant hangers, but my current scarf-storage solution is my favorite.
If you are lucky enough to have a little extra bar space in your closet, why not drape them over your hanging rod? I like this option for a few reasons:
- I can clearly see all my scarf options
- It keeps them from wrinkling
- I often try on a few different scarves before settling on which one to wear with a given outfit, and this makes it really easy to hang them back up quickly (thereby preventing my closet from turning into a total disaster area.)
It is worth noting only my favorites make the bar….the rest are stored in those bins up top.
Hope this helps!
Aw! Good luck.
My tips for making sure your home is homey when having guests over….
- Make sure your picture frames are up-to-date (& that whoever is visiting is featured in at least one photo around your apartment).
- Soft Scrub your sinks. Windex your mirrors. Pledge your wood. Cleanliness is godliness, goodliness too, I suppose.
- Along those lines, CLEAR (unintentional) CLUTTER. I don’t care if you hide it under your bed or in your clothes hamper- I am not telling you to simplify your life…but by all means, get it out of sight before company comes over.
- If you have any art that you have been meaning to hang on your walls…just do it! That is one of those to-do’s that tends to sit on my list for months and when I get around to finally hanging a piece not only am I surprised by what a difference it makes in my home, but how easy it actually is to do.
- Light a candle. People love candles. Particularly future mother-in-laws.
- Have snacks (preferably freshly baked cookies) set out on some sort of cute dish. Wish a short stack of cute cocktail napkins.
Hope that helps.
oh, oh…don’t forget to do a dozen push-ups a few minutes before they walk-in. It will give you a pretty flush. And the hostess needs to be looking right too.