Emphasis Added!

Scroll to Info & Navigation


Another post about roses published may, 2010I have thought about this ride many times since…and it is in that spirit I retell a story:

"It’s been a good week for flowers.  First, Simon brought home a just-because bouquet for me.  Then maura sent me flowers, of the virtual variety..And then this happened.  This was something special.I hailed a cab last night after work (no time to walk, I was late for a date with Mama), and got into, what can best be described as a rolling secret garden.  There was beautiful arrangement displayed on the dashboard and then at least 60 rose stems strewn about his front seat. The cab smelled incredible and at first, I was so charmed by his floral cargo.  I noticed the driver held a flower up to his face, but he wasn’t just smelling it.  He was whispering to it.  And then he moved the rose to his ear, and listened intently.  This pattern repeated uninterrupted for the duration of the drive (save for the moment he switched from a yellow to pink rose before resuming the conversation).Before getting out, he turned around and asked me if I thought his roses were beautiful.  ”Of Course.” I replied.  And with that he smiled and handed me a flower.  He asked me to take care of it because:
“this rose is a good one.”His behavior seemed a little left of center…but, as far as compulsions go, this wouldn’t be the worst one to have.Then again, maybe he had just figured out that if you can’t find time to stop and smell the roses, bring the roses along for the ride!

Another post about roses
published may, 2010
I have thought about this ride many times since…and it is in that spirit I retell a story:

"It’s been a good week for flowers.  First, Simon brought home a just-because bouquet for me.  Then maura sent me flowers, of the virtual variety..

And then this happened.  This was something special.

I hailed a cab last night after work (no time to walk, I was late for a date with Mama), and got into, what can best be described as a rolling secret garden.  There was beautiful arrangement displayed on the dashboard and then at least 60 rose stems strewn about his front seat. The cab smelled incredible and at first, I was so charmed by his floral cargo.  

I noticed the driver held a flower up to his face, but he wasn’t just smelling it.  He was whispering to it.  And then he moved the rose to his ear, and listened intently.  This pattern repeated uninterrupted for the duration of the drive (save for the moment he switched from a yellow to pink rose before resuming the conversation).

Before getting out, he turned around and asked me if I thought his roses were beautiful.  ”Of Course.” I replied.  And with that he smiled and handed me a flower.  He asked me to take care of it because:

“this rose is a good one.”

His behavior seemed a little left of center…but, as far as compulsions go, this wouldn’t be the worst one to have.

Then again, maybe he had just figured out that if you can’t find time to stop and smell the roses, bring the roses along for the ride!

On Monday, Simon put me to bed early….Or rather, he didn’t let me stay up too late. (I appreciated it because I ALWAYS stay up too late)
I had a really busy Tuesday And wanted to start things off with a couple of quiet hours at the office to collect my thoughts/memorize key data points/drink my coffee before the action began.
My meetings were productive - and I had fun (describing quarterly meetings as “fun” is perhaps the #1 sign your role is a great fit for you!)
My work day transitioned into work night (client dinner at Frontera Grill) - so I called home on my walk to the restaurant  We upgraded to facetime.
Felix gave the screen a big wet kiss  
Then I heard Hazel ask for the phone (It’s for the surprise, she not-quite-whispered)  I watched as the screen bobbled about for 10 feet or so before her little kid hands uprighted the camera and showed me the treat: Pink Roses!  Pink!
The flowers were Simon’s idea- but Hazel picked the color….And took all the credit!
When I finally got home, I let Z get out of bed and plopped her up on counter so that she could see (feel?) just how much joy her (their) thoughtfulness brought me.
I gushed… she beamed!  And that is sort of the goal of bringing someone flowers, no?

On Monday, Simon put me to bed early….Or rather, he didn’t let me stay up too late. (I appreciated it because I ALWAYS stay up too late)

I had a really busy Tuesday 
And wanted to start things off with a couple of quiet hours at the office to collect my thoughts/memorize key data points/drink my coffee before the action began.

My meetings were productive - and I had fun (describing quarterly meetings as “fun” is perhaps the #1 sign your role is a great fit for you!)

My work day transitioned into work night (client dinner at Frontera Grill) - so I called home on my walk to the restaurant  We upgraded to facetime.

Felix gave the screen a big wet kiss  

Then I heard Hazel ask for the phone (It’s for the surprise, she not-quite-whispered)  I watched as the screen bobbled about for 10 feet or so before her little kid hands uprighted the camera and showed me the treat: Pink Roses!  Pink!

The flowers were Simon’s idea- but Hazel picked the color….
And took all the credit!

When I finally got home, I let Z get out of bed and plopped her up on counter so that she could see (feel?) just how much joy her (their) thoughtfulness brought me.

I gushed…
she beamed!
And that is sort of the goal of bringing someone flowers, no?

A Sunday in February
Felix & I made the Sunday morning Doughnut run.  Glazed & Infused from Plum Market.  
While the lady behind the pastry counter put our Old Fashions into a bag, Felix spotted a loaf of french bread that was taller than her.  She pointed and said PLEASE just as clear as could be.  I was so delighted by her manners/words, of course I said yes!  She carried the loaf around like a bread-sword and gnawed on it contentedly  for the remainder our outing.  $2.99 very well spent.
Before we set out on an afternoon of errand running, Hazel put on her “work dress” and asked me to braid her hair…TWO braids, she implored.  Not one!  Ok Hazel, two it is. 
Stop #1 Lush: Inspired by something we read in Fancy Nancy, we went on the hunt for face masks!  This was a fun shop for the kids - the girls got to smell different lotions and rub a whole bunch of stuff into their hands (toddler paradise).
Stop #2 Costco.  Cause, ya know…you can never have too many paper towels. (more samples)
Stop #3 (24 Hours at the) Golden Apple:  We shared a plate of french fries, just cause.  The dessert case still does not rotate.
As I looked across the booth at my daughter, leaning into her father - I saw into the future.  I got a glimpse of Hazel as a young woman.
We went home and I headed upstairs with my girls for our “spa date”….which went over even better than you might imagine.  
Dinner and the bed routine went smoothly (which I can’t always say is the case) - I am pretty sure the episode of Curious George we let them watch in their PJ’s helped sweeten the deal.  
Our Sunday wasn’t anything special, but we sure made it count.  And that, for me at least, is essential to maintaining sanity and joy as a working mama!

A Sunday in February

Felix & I made the Sunday morning Doughnut run.  
Glazed & Infused from Plum Market.  

While the lady behind the pastry counter put our Old Fashions into a bag, Felix spotted a loaf of french bread that was taller than her.  She pointed and said PLEASE just as clear as could be.  I was so delighted by her manners/words, of course I said yes!  She carried the loaf around like a bread-sword and gnawed on it contentedly  for the remainder our outing.  $2.99 very well spent.

Before we set out on an afternoon of errand running, Hazel put on her “work dress” and asked me to braid her hair…TWO braids, she implored.  Not one!  Ok Hazel, two it is. 

Stop #1 Lush: Inspired by something we read in Fancy Nancy, we went on the hunt for face masks!  This was a fun shop for the kids - the girls got to smell different lotions and rub a whole bunch of stuff into their hands (toddler paradise).

Stop #2 Costco.  Cause, ya know…you can never have too many paper towels. (more samples)

Stop #3 (24 Hours at the) Golden Apple:  We shared a plate of french fries, just cause.  The dessert case still does not rotate.

As I looked across the booth at my daughter, leaning into her father - I saw into the future.  I got a glimpse of Hazel as a young woman.

We went home and I headed upstairs with my girls for our “spa date”….which went over even better than you might imagine.  

Dinner and the bed routine went smoothly (which I can’t always say is the case) - I am pretty sure the episode of Curious George we let them watch in their PJ’s helped sweeten the deal.  

Our Sunday wasn’t anything special, but we sure made it count.  And that, for me at least, is essential to maintaining sanity and joy as a working mama!

Garfield Park Conservatory

This eternal winter is taxing on everyone…
But the toddler set gets hit particularly hard by cabin fever in weather like this.  

On Saturday, Simon and I were determined to come up with an (indoor) activity where the kids could run around freely and didn’t have to keep quiet.  Simon suggested the Garfield park Conservatory.  Free.  Warm.  New to Us.  Sold!

I built up excitement by telling the girls we were going to the jungle.
When Hazel asked if Mowgli was going to be there….I went with it, and was inspired to turn the entire adventure into an elaborate hunt for Sher Kahn & Baloo.  It was a TOTAL HIT.

We searched for the fictional tiger in the tropical greenhouse - then made our way through the lush paths, past the waterfall, beyond the Koi pond & wishing well…then finally over the bridge to the Children’s Garden.

This outing was EXACTLY what we needed.  And the conservatory solidly earned a top spot (right next to or North Park Village Nature Center) for best pocket of nature in the city.

image

image

This was a bang-up weekend.
No formal plans…we just hung out together.  Went where we felt like it, when we felt like it.  
Time with my people (in comfortable shoes) proved to be the perfect antidote to a very stressful week. 
I mean, just look at those two.  How can those nuggets not help put everything into perspective?!
Also, 
After being essentially out of memory on my phone for the better part of the last year (3K+ pics will do that, i suppose) - I finally transferred my entire photo roll to time capsule and started fresh.  It is incredible being able to snap away without having to fight the storage almost full warning.  Accordingly, get ready for a stream of family iphone photos :)

This was a bang-up weekend.

No formal plans…we just hung out together.  
Went where we felt like it, when we felt like it.  

Time with my people (in comfortable shoes) proved to be the perfect antidote to a very stressful week. 

I mean, just look at those two.  How can those nuggets not help put everything into perspective?!

Also, 

After being essentially out of memory on my phone for the better part of the last year (3K+ pics will do that, i suppose) - I finally transferred my entire photo roll to time capsule and started fresh.  It is incredible being able to snap away without having to fight the storage almost full warning.  Accordingly, get ready for a stream of family iphone photos :)

a day at the beach

image

I don’t know about you, but our January was brutal….

What with all the polar vortices, runny noses and the Olympus sized mountain of work Simon and I attempted to climb.  I spent the better part of those 31 days tired, stressed and COLD.

So when I found myself with a free weekend,  I jumped at the chance to join my mama & gp’s down in Miami.  (Simon was prepping for a trial, so he couldn’t get away, but he was all for the idea of a “girls weekend” - and even helped us pack our bags!)

We enjoyed 5 days of South Beach Sun and time together.

Beach.  Pool.  Park.  Repeat.

I Watched my girls play at the water’s edge, and my heart swelled.
They chased waves and birds,
Collected seashells and seaweed 
They hauled buckets (and cups and caps) full of sand all over that beach - two pint-sized builders on a mission.

Joy radiated from my daughters.  
And for the first time all year, I was warm.  

#love

image

image

image

Bikini found here.
Photos captured by my mother

Last week I had a first - I  flew alone with my two girls.(hazel is 2 yrs 10 months.  felix is 1 yr 5 months old)
O’hare to Miami.  
I treated the adventure like my own personal leg of The Amazing Race. (Physical Prowess, Mental Agility, Master negotiation skillz requred)To win all I had to do was…Get the kids to Miami, Safely, While bothering the fewest number of people along the way.  
The girls were great.Or, as great as a 1 and 2 year old kept stationary for several hours can be…
We had a few minor mishaps before the plane took off…Hazel accidentally clotheslined her face on the ledge of the payphone bank. Fee marched through security and was perfectly keen to keep on going.  I spilled my bursting-at-the-seams backpack under the seat in front of me.   But we soldiered on
Time on Plane:  3:25 minutes.Hazel watched movies.  plural.  We got one of those 1990’s cd cases and loaded it with their dvds - too many choices for my toddler because she wanted to watch them all (and she did…in 10 minute increments before insisting she needed to change the movie - and that she could do it all by herself.)
Felix sat perched on my lap for the duration of the flight.  I kept the squirms at bay by pulling out a new treat/activity for her every 15 mins (little things like a calculator, a shoestring, a page of stickers).  The two diversions that held her attention the longest:  1. Putting the crayons into the box and 2. Taking them out.  

Our journey to Miami was one part obstacle course (with Z & Fee  standing in for the alligators I would have to wrestle)…And part one part team bonding (with the girls being my MVPs, of course).
I was proud of them for being great little travelers….and I’ve got to say, our journey was fun.
Even so, by the time I got off the plane, I was a mess - cocked ponytail, smudged eye-makeup, stickers stuck all over my clothes.  The rugrats wore me out….but I lit up (as did my girls) the instant we saw Grandma A waiting for us….with her camera…on the other side of security.
Let the vacation begin!
joyofthedayphoto:

Z+Fee WednesdayHelloooooooo  vacation!

Last week I had a first - 
I  flew alone with my two girls.
(hazel is 2 yrs 10 months.  felix is 1 yr 5 months old)

O’hare to Miami.  

I treated the adventure like my own personal leg of The Amazing Race. (Physical Prowess, Mental Agility, Master negotiation skillz requred)
To win all I had to do was…
Get the kids to Miami,
Safely,
While bothering the fewest number of people along the way.  

The girls were great.
Or, as great as a 1 and 2 year old kept stationary for several hours can be…

We had a few minor mishaps before the plane took off…Hazel accidentally clotheslined her face on the ledge of the payphone bank. Fee marched through security and was perfectly keen to keep on going.  I spilled my bursting-at-the-seams backpack under the seat in front of me.   But we soldiered on

Time on Plane:  3:25 minutes.
Hazel watched movies.  plural.  We got one of those 1990’s cd cases and loaded it with their dvds - too many choices for my toddler because she wanted to watch them all (and she did…in 10 minute increments before insisting she needed to change the movie - and that she could do it all by herself.)

Felix sat perched on my lap for the duration of the flight.  I kept the squirms at bay by pulling out a new treat/activity for her every 15 mins (little things like a calculator, a shoestring, a page of stickers).  The two diversions that held her attention the longest:  1. Putting the crayons into the box and 2. Taking them out.  

Our journey to Miami was one part obstacle course (with Z & Fee  standing in for the alligators I would have to wrestle)…And part one part team bonding (with the girls being my MVPs, of course).

I was proud of them for being great little travelers….and I’ve got to say, our journey was fun.

Even so, by the time I got off the plane, I was a mess - cocked ponytail, smudged eye-makeup, stickers stuck all over my clothes.  The rugrats wore me out….but I lit up (as did my girls) the instant we saw Grandma A waiting for us….with her camera…on the other side of security.

Let the vacation begin!

joyofthedayphoto:

Z+Fee Wednesday
Helloooooooo  vacation!

I am not what you might call a DIY’er.  In fact, my philosphy on DIY projects can be summed up in 2 words:  Let’s Not.
However, my aversion to crafts is apparently outweighed by my desire for Hazel to be super-pumped about the Valentine’s Day cards she is going to hand out in class on Friday.  I figured the best way to get toddler buy-in was to make a family-project out of it.  And so:
Technicolor Dream Bookmarks!
a list of fairly obvious steps:
1. We hijacked paint cards in varying shades of pinks and reds from Home Depot and went on a multi-store adventure hunting down the heart punch 2. Glued contrasting cards back to back to make the bookmark two-sided…they looked better that way.  3. Punched a hole and threaded some plastic cord through 4. Punched some hearts down the side of the card and 5. signed each one xo, hazel
Voila!
I think they are adorable.  Hazel does too.She is going to love handing these out to her friends.  
And I am going to love everytime I find this tucked in the pages of a book.
<3

I am not what you might call a DIY’er.  In fact, my philosphy on DIY projects can be summed up in 2 words:  Let’s Not.

However, my aversion to crafts is apparently outweighed by my desire for Hazel to be super-pumped about the Valentine’s Day cards she is going to hand out in class on Friday.  I figured the best way to get toddler buy-in was to make a family-project out of it.  And so:

Technicolor Dream Bookmarks!

a list of fairly obvious steps:

1. We hijacked paint cards in varying shades of pinks and reds from Home Depot and went on a multi-store adventure hunting down the heart punch 2. Glued contrasting cards back to back to make the bookmark two-sided…they looked better that way.  3. Punched a hole and threaded some plastic cord through 4. Punched some hearts down the side of the card and 5. signed each one xo, hazel

Voila!

I think they are adorable.  Hazel does too.
She is going to love handing these out to her friends.  

And I am going to love everytime I find this tucked in the pages of a book.

<3

joyofthedayphoto:

This is called the pizza wedge.
I met my husband in high school.  One of our first dates was to the local ski hill where he fell in love with skiing ….. and me.  (in spite of breaking his leg.)   He told me that day his dream and his idea of success was to someday be able to ski with his whole family.   In 2 weeks we all head West, this will be Hazel’s first time on skis……. where she will be joining her grandpa and the rest of our family. 
Congratulations to my husband on a dream realized. 

joyofthedayphoto:

This is called the pizza wedge.

I met my husband in high school.  One of our first dates was to the local ski hill where he fell in love with skiing ….. and me.  (in spite of breaking his leg.)   
He told me that day his dream and his idea of success was to someday be able to ski with his whole family.   In 2 weeks we all head West, this will be Hazel’s first time on skis……. where she will be joining her grandpa and the rest of our family. 

Congratulations to my husband on a dream realized.