My younger sister made a big move to Chicago a little less than a year ago. She’s working downtown and living in a little studio apartment and navigating the transit system like a pro. But I hadn’t had the chance to visit her and see what her new life is like until this past weekend when my mom, youngest sister, and I invaded her tiny apartment for a girls weekend in the big city.
We fit a lot in just a few days. Walking the lakefront, the Navy Pier, Lincoln Park, and the general downtown area.
We also went spent a full day at the Art Institute. It’s a huge museum with more art in it than you can really take in in a day. I think one of my favorite parts was their large Monet exhibit. They had several examples of paintings Monet had done of the same scene at different times. It was fascinating to see the paintings side by side and compare the way he depicted the way the light and color changed.
The Chicago River runs right through the middle of downtown, so we ended our trip with a twilight river cruise. It was basically one giant photo-op, and a perfect way to end our weekend in the city.
These Days I am:
watching: a lot of Modern Family, and the occasional Weird Al Video
making: a weaving! Hopefully I’ll get it finished soon so I can share it with you.
enjoying: our shady backyard. It makes the summer days a lot more enjoyable.
feeling: a lot more energetic than even a few weeks ago. Thank God for the second trimester.
thinking: that I should probably be making a grocery list right now instead of writing this…
loving: that I’m back home with my little family after almost 5 days apart!
At the beginning of the year I wrote a long list of somewhat unrealistic goals. A big reason I started blogging in the first place was to have a place to document my progress in life and keep me accountable for the different things I try to accomplish. So here’s an update on how I’m doing on some of my goals…
4. Get stuff hung on the walls of our house – I put up a couple of pieces of artwork by my sister. We still have a lot of empty walls though.
7. Plant a garden (vegetable or flower) – Here’s my flower bed. It’s overrun with weeds, but I planted it and the flowers have lived. I’m going to say this goal was accomplished.
10. Work on rebranding our web design business – YES! We have a new name, new logo, and new website.
11. Develop marketing materials and strategies for our web design business – ALMOST! My sister interned with our business this summer and helped me make a lot of progress on this goal. We wrote up some good copy to explain our services and process and have a rough draft of a brochure to hand out to potential clients.
14. Organize Charlie’s toys – YES! Accomplished mainly by purging a lot of toys. They stay organized a lot better when they actually fit in the space you have.
18. Make improvements to church website – a few small adjustments have been made, but I have bigger ideas for down the road.
19. Practice hand lettering in designs – Somewhat. A few of my blog posts feature hand lettered art.
20. Read more to Charlie – YES! Story time is now firmly established as part of the bedtime routine and we just got library cards so we (I) won’t get bored of reading the same books over and over.
28. Cut down on grocery budget – getting pregnant kind of threw this one out the window.
29. Get comfortable using Adobe Illustrator – I’m slowly improving on this one. Photoshop is still my go-to program, but I’m finding more and more opportunities to use Illustrator.
32. Grow readership of blog – taking a 3 month break didn’t help with this one. We’ll see if I can build it back up by the end of the year.
33. Find ways to make a modest income from blogging – While still a nice thought, I think I want to focus more on experimenting with the topics I write about and find what I like best before thinking too much about how to make money from it.
So there you go. Out of the 30+ goals I set for myself, I’ve accomplished or made progress on nine of them. I knew from the beginning that I wouldn’t be able to cross them ALL off, so it feels pretty good to know that I’ve accomplished at least some. And there’s still a lot of the year left to make progress on even more!
It’s been a while. I have several excuses. First were a few very busy weeks at work. I didn’t have time to be inspired to blog. Then there was vacation. I tried to unplug for the most part. Then came the complete and utter exhaustion that happens when you start growing a baby in your belly. Yep, that’s right. We’ll be welcoming a new little person into our family sometime near the year’s end. And it makes me tired. So, I pretty much just slept for a while.
I slept instead of blogging. I slept instead of doing dishes. I slept instead of vacuuming the floor, and cleaning out my purse, and hanging up my clothes in the closet. If anything, those weeks made it very clear to me that all the little tasks and chores I fill my life with actually do some good. Because when they don’t get done the whole house just turns into one giant pile of mess. Hooray for validation!
Thankfully I have a husband who finds me food and takes over child duty, a mom who can plow through household chores and still have time to play with her grandson, and a mother-in-law who reminds me that such a thing as paper plates exist (so brilliant!).
I feel like I’m slowly starting to rejoin the world, and hopefully our survival mode status can go on hold at least until this new baby is born. Maybe I’ll start to blog some more again. Maybe I’ll organize my closet to make space for my maternity clothes. At the very least I should probably do some dishes.
See you again soon! (I hope.)
P.S. You may have noticed that I moved to a new domain name and got a new design. This is largely thanks to my super talented husband. Who else can code up a functional custom WordPress theme in an afternoon?
I’ve known for a long time that I have good taste. I like things that are well-made, high quality, thoughtfully designed… and expensive. My bank account has never lived up to my tastes. I usually just have to look at pretty things, sigh, and hum that old tune from Fiddler on the Roof, “if I were a rich man… ya da da da di da di da di da diddle diddle dum…”
But rather than let all that good taste go to waste, I decided I should channel it into the occasional imaginary shopping trip post on the off chance that you, dear reader, are a rich man. Or woman, more likely. But that’s not how the song goes.
So if you’ve been wanting to redecorate your bedroom into a romantic retreat with touches of gold, here are some ideas for you…
Round Capiz Chandelier- Gold | West Elm I love how glitzy this chandelier is while still keeping a very modern vibe. I can only imagine how pretty all that gold would be with the light bouncing around in it.
Macrame Wall Hanging | Urban Outfitters This wall hanging brings in some more earthy texture but it’s still feminine and lacy.
Hadley Ruched Duvet Cover | Pottery Barn The ruching on this duvet cover gives the feel of ruffles without being overly girly. Also, I love the idea of a bed that looks like a big fluffy cloud.
Egerton Wallpaper | Anthropologie This wallpaper is so pretty. The colors are subtle and subdued, but the metallic gold leaves make it something special.
Simple Hoop Mirror | Anthropologie Any girly bedroom needs a mirror. This mirror is simple but elegant.