November has been insane. We knew it was going to be.
We did everything we could to prepare ourselves (emotionally and logistically :)
Even so, the past several weeks have been a whirlwind!
4 work trips. 7 offsite meetings. 2 speaking engagements
These things require a fantastic amount of prep.
I needed more hours…so I found more hours…
I traded in weekend time and sleep time and food time and general self-care time for work. It was an effective, if not exhausting, strategy.
Our hard work paid off.
I love what I do.
Quality time with my kiddos was compressed. Not ideal, but we made our time together count. Big adventures out of little things:
1. An after-dark exploration of the Abandoned Three Arts building. I told the girls it was haunted…we peeked in the dusty windows and examined the padlock on the front door.
2. A visit down to the Greats to to play in a pile of leave thisssssssss high!
3. Friday night trip to Chicago Water Tower (Hazel thought it was Cinderella’s Castle. I went with it!) then to the plaza at the base of the Hancock to let the girls explore.
Fee is now nodding yes to everything. That’s super fun!
And Hazel started insisting that she holds the shopping basket at plum market. That is not as fun. :)
While shouldering a work load of his own, my husband took the lead on more than his fair share of domestic duties. I love my guy from the bottom of my heart.
Mom H. came in for a few days. She is a life-saver.
Mom A. was there too….being her ever-supportive self.
When they said “it takes a village,” they weren’t kidding.
I have no problem admitting that there is no way we could do this two career/two kid thing without our support system.
I am really looking forward to this holiday break.
Time to unplug & unwind
And be with the people for whom I am most thankful. I can’t think of anything better.
November, what a month you have been!
Apropos of nothing, my daughter looked at me and with a straight face, quoted this line from NPH’s 2013 Tony opening.
It was easily the funniest thing of my life.
Her bows are like anti-camouflage!
Smile Friday: Felix in the Fall Edition!
At work, things are busy. My November Sundays have all been spent in the office. Today, I brought a buddy.
When Felix went down for her nap, Z & I grabbed our bags and headed to work. An hour earlier, she called out: I’m packing for a meeting, while shoving leg warmers, a plastic stethoscope, 2 dozen books and her piglet into a suitcase.
We got to the office and had to sign-in with Security.
I used my ID to badge us onto my floor. She was mega impressed.
A quick visit to the cafe: I made my coffee. Hazel preferred tea.
Then we got down to business..she drew some pictures and wrote some checks (her words, not mine) before cuddling on our team’s red couch to watch a movie.
We also watched as the storms roll in.
The sky got as dark as night.
The lights in my office are on a motion sensor meaning they go dark regularly when the office is still. This afternoon, I got to teach Hazel the arm wave dance I always do to turn them back on. She laughed. So did I.
That was a fun thing to share with my girl.
Hazel capturing the exact look I was giving to some Data today.
A study by U.S. scientists has shown that the brain function of those suffering from dementia can be improved if they belt out their favorite show tunes.
My p’s want to head over to the High Line tomorrow morning - any tips for them?
Do you have a favorite entrance? A particular part of the walk that I should insist they see? Nearby brunch recs?
Thank you! You guys are the best.
My parents are heading to NY tomorrow to see 700 Sundays (ah, so good!). Where should they grab a pre-show dinner? Something along the lines of Spotted Pig or Little Owl…
I was going to suggest Empellon Taqueria,
but I figured I ought to check with you guys first! :)
I’d love to hear your recs!
Art & Appetite
Friday night, Simon and I joined my parents at the opening of the new exhibit at the Art Institute.
I can’t tell you how much I loved this collection! I was, in a word, delighted. The show looks at American Art history through the lens of food/dining. The theme was fun…and the whole collection felt so, current.
Norman Rockwell’s Freedom From Want is one of those paintings I have adored since I was a child (and then fell back in love with during my summer school class: WWII on the Homefront. Hi Chr!) and I had no idea it was going to be included in this exhibit. When I walked in and saw the enormous painting hanging there, it stopped me in my tracks. As I inspected the thick brushstrokes on the canvas, a feeling of warmth radiated from the middle of my chest down to my toes. Happiness. I love when art does that to me.
The reception was sort of ridiculous too! Chef Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia, Terzo Piano in the Modern Wing) must have called in some favors with a bunch of his fancy chef friends because the party was filled with some of Chicago’s most-loved chefs. Paul Kahan had the longest line. Lee Wolan served a mean Foie cake. But our favorite bite of the night easily went to Bill Kim of Urban Belly.
Friday was a great night!
If you are in or around Chicago over the next few months and have even a passing interest in Art or Food, I highly, highly recommend this show. It was my favorite exhibit I have ever seen.
I stumbled across this post on my dash…which got me thinking about my childhood heroes.
As a little girl, I lionized: Gretel von Trapp, Cam Jansen/Encyclopedia Brown, and Penny from Inspector Gadget (her computer book was the coolest!)
This was a fun train of thought :)
And so I ask, who were your icons?
Just back from an overnight work trip. Some thoughts re: my commute:
+ The FAA now allows electronics during take-off and landing! I was maybe too excited to be able to listen to the Matilda cast record during wheels up/down. It felt so illicit.
- My plane on the flight home had not yet been cleared for electronics. Hemispheres Sudoku < Candy Crush
+ got to ride my boss’s mileage-plus coattails and cut the snaking security line
+ pre-flight drink/debrief with my team
- my beer came in one of those stay-cold tin bottles
+ 1 hour flight
+ 1 minute wait in the ORD Taxi Line
- 1.5 hour cab ride home
+++ Simon, Hazel and Fee were standing in our foyer when I opened my front door. Mom’s home! I was literally greeted with open arms!
Tonight: Simon and I are going on a double date with my mom and pop to the opening of Art & Appetite at the Art Institute.
There will be a preview of the collection accompanied by a lecture on the works. And then, the party - a reception including a whole collection of Chicago’s chef-gems (including Paul Kahan, Graham Elliot, Lee Wolan, Tony Mantuano).
Art. Food. Family
(On an opening night…dressed in cocktail attire)
This kind of sounds like my dream date, no?
Zara has ADORABLE mini skirts.
Related: My winter wardrobe has been in desperate need of a refresh.
I was out on Mat leave last winter (and pregs the two winters before) meaning my closet was over-indexing on tent dresses and lulu leggings.
Add to that the fact that my new position includes lots of client meetings/dinners ….dress-up events. I make no apologies for the fact that planning my outfit is an important part of my pre-meeting prep. I feel better when I like what i am wearing. It’s as simple as that :)
Over the past couple of weeks I have been in acquisition mode…on the hunt for smart work wear. I am sartorially predictable - petite fit-and-flare or shift dresses are my jam, but I popped into Zara the other day and fell in love with, like, every skirt in the store. I decided, I needed to incorporate more skirts into my starting line-up of outfits.
And so, the one on the left came home with me. :)