10+ Things, 6/7

Blue and White Planters, Tulips, Newer Lanterns, Topiaries, Dachshund Topiary, Wreath, Parkway Planters,Artificial Tree (Newer favorite artificial trees here), Stone Dachshund, “Hope You Brought Wine” Door Mat

Hello! Have your cup of coffee—err… glass of wine? 😉 Here are the first 10 things that come to mind:

  • I’ve been having some trouble keeping up with my blog and social media this month. We’re busy. Chicago has essentially opened back up—it’ll actually be fully opened on Friday—and our lives are consumed by kids’ activities and playdates. It’s honestly been really wonderful; I’ve seen a noticeable change in all family members’ happiness! It feels so good to be able to take advantage of our city… with friends. Of course, I’ve forgotten how to balance it all and say no. ;) For now, though, I’m just allowing myself to drop some of the balls I have up in the air and enjoy life. Anyway, thanks for sticking around while we adjust over here!
  • On a related note, I’ve found myself purposefully leaving my phone in the bottom of the baby bag, and not touching it for the majority of the day. Being disconnected is such a breath of fresh air. The phone was the deliverer of bad news for such a long time—all the scary news articles and panicky texts from friends and family—that I’ve come to associate it with stress. I almost resent the thing. Ha. Feels silly to type that, but there it is. iPhone, we’re on a break. And we are never, ever, ever… getting back together. (Until you call me up and are like, “Baby, I miss you and I swear I’m gonna change, trust me.” And I’m like, “I’m just—I mean–this is exhausting, you know?” 😆)
  • We celebrated my sister-in-law Shirley’s birthday on Saturday night at Gianni’s in Lincoln Park. (You might remember Shirley from their wedding that I shot this past fall!) My brother-in-law, Charlie, brought her up to Chicago for a long weekend, and we were so excited that they wanted to spend an evening with us! The girls adore Charlie and Shirley, so they were giddy all night… and Lucy housed roughly five pounds of spaghetti. (Cutest sight.) I should note that Gianni’s is our favorite Italian restaurant in LP, and you have to go the next time you’re in the area. Sit on the patio! It’s a dream.
  • It was also my sister-in-law Kim’s birthday. :) They’re in New Orleans, so we unfortunately couldn’t celebrate in person with them. But we’re going to see them at some point this summer in Ocean City, and I’m beyond pumped for that. Can’t wait to see the three tiny cousins together. We’re a very lucky crew. Love you, Kim! Happy birthday!
  • We took the girls to see a Chicago Dogs baseball game to celebrate one of their best friend’s birthdays yesterday. Have you heard of the Chicago Dogs?! I hadn’t, but they’re an independent professional baseball team in Rosemont, and going to see a game is a blast with kids. Not sure if they do this every time, but we showed up early and they let all guests play catch on the field! The girls loved running around, and they got all their wiggles out before the game started. Happy birthday, Cole! (So many birthdays!)
  • We ended our weekend with a big cookout on our neighbors’ deck. I say this all the time, but if we had known just how awesome our block was going to be, we wouldn’t have waited the several weeks we did before putting an offer in on this house. (If you’re curious about that complicated decision-making process, read this post!) On our first block in Chicago, there weren’t very many young families. Here, though, we have this wonderful little tribe—each family with kids around the same ages—and there’s always someone to hang out with!
  • Emma’s dress rehearsal for her dance recital is tomorrow! She woke up today so happy and excited. The first thing she said was that her dance instructors are going to be off to the sides of the stage in case she needs them but that she won’t need them because she knows the dance by heart. “But it’s nice that they’ll be there.” Hehe. Such cuteness! But yeah. We have 30 minutes before the end of school and the start of the rehearsal, and we need to get her into costume and curl her hair. Cross your fingers for us!
  • I’m grabbing lunch with Jess, Krista (who’s in from out of town) and Danielle beforehand, which is going to be so lovely. I’ve found that girlfriend time is extraordinarily important as a parent, and these three are some of my favorites! They always lift my spirits and make me laugh. <3
  • Have you been watching “Mare of Easttown” on HBO? WOW. I think roughly a hundred people recommended it to us, haha, and we finally sat down to watch last week. It’s freaking me out a little since there are so many characters with the last name “Sheehan” (my maiden name) and they wear a lot of Ocean City/City Isle sweatshirts. (Where my parents own a home.) Ha! But it’s really, really good. If you’re always up for a solid murder mystery, give this one a try!
  • If you’re constantly battling stains on upholstery and rugs in your household, try Folex from Amazon. We have these kitchen stools (in Walnut) and these dining chairs (in Cream in the dining room and Natural Oak in the kitchen), and my plan was to eventually recover them when the kids destroyed them. But this Folex stuff—recommended by my friend Shaheen—is pure magic! Mitch has dropped neon orange Indian food on the stools not once but twice 😜, and you’d never know it. So maybe the cream-colored upholstery will last longer than I thought!
  • “One Home Project Every Day” update:
    • We cleaned out the garage. THIS IS HUGE! Mitch received literally thousands of products over the last month for his business, and we could barely walk through. So on Friday night after the girls went to bed, we poured ourselves glasses of wine, turned on the tunes, and went to town. Yes, it still needs help. (Specifically, we need warehousing, which is in the works! Mitch just found a place that he thinks is a good fit.) But it’s clean and tidy, and we can now actually locate things we’re looking for… and we’re no longer stressed when we open the garage door. 😆 GO US!
    • I soaked and washed the last of the outdoor couch cushions. This took forever! I used OXI, and it worked extraordinarily well. Though I will say that the Sunbrella covers look brand new while the non-Sunbrella ones look tired. (Not all stains came out of those.) I’m considering buying these Sunbrella cushions as a replacement when I find a 20 percent off coupon code, but UGH. Why aren’t cushions so darn expensive?!
    • I cleaned out the kitchen junk drawer. Not much to elaborate on here; just consistently impressed with how many chopsticks we accumulate in a year. I don’t even feel like we eat Chinese that often?
    • I scrubbed our House of Noa outdoor play mat that we take to parks. Cleaned up so well! Just used a mild dish soap and a sponge. We’re all ready for summer!
    • I “Sharpied” our front stoop railings. Our painter is coming next week to fix them up, but they were getting bad and I was starting to feel embarrassed, ha. Believe it or not, the Sharpie helped so much! Can’t really tell when you walk by the house. (Though when you look up close, they’re a bit purpley.)
    • I straightened a large frame in our hallway that had been crooked for months. I feel like tasks that require two people go undone for months in this house. 🙈
    • I also cleaned out two junk drawers in my office and are using them for swimwear. Be gone, junk! Hello, organization.
  • I ordered this favorite Tuckernuck dress in an old pattern from Poshmark, and when it arrived, it had a handwritten note from a reader named Haley! What are the chances?! Anyway, it was so sweet. Thank you, Haley! I’d been looking for that dress for the longest time and I love it!

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