Thursday, April 24, 2014


Coming back to something you've spent time away from is not as easy as it might sound. Not that long ago, I was involved in the Mommy Project 52 where I posted an entry at least once a week, but usually more often. Looking back, I don't know how I ever found the time. On the other hand, I don't know how I have not found the time to write more in the last year or so. For me, it's time to change that.

The last six months have been busy. I did complete my first marathon, and have yet to offer a summary of that amazing experience. It deserves more than "it was a great experience", and I will give it due credit by making the time to write about it.

I've also been busy this school year in my first term as PTO President at the kids' school. It's only logical when you're a wife, mother of two, full time corporate employee, and training for your first marathon to take on a leadership role in a struggling group that needs direction, right? I thought it took forever to get things done in the corporate world, but oh how wrong I was. If you think corporate politics are tough, you haven't seen anything until you've worked with the education system. Between trying to strengthen a bare bones parent group, researching and dreading Common Core implementation, and learning how to communicate with educators, it's been quite the learning process, to say the least. I have also become interested and involved with the local School Board and Education Foundation for our District. What an eye opener it is to see the inner workings of the school system, and learn about the challenges faced by parents and educators alike, and how disconnected the two truly are (to no fault of either, really). Still, it's interesting and if I can do anything to advocate for the best for my kids, and my tax dollars, I'll do it.

Ethel turned nine in November, and we hosted our first sleepover birthday party. Nights like that make you thankful for pharmaceuticals and wine. These are the makings of treasured memories, though, and Ethel was thrilled to have her closest friends all in one room, enjoying movies, snacks, and laughter. It really was fun for everyone, even little brother, Fred. One thing to remind me of if I ever entertain the idea of a sleepover - don't let Daddy off the hook and make plans out with friends. Ya, going solo is one thing, going solo with five eight and nine year old girls is another. Repeat thanks for wine.

As far as Ethel's school year is going, we couldn't be prouder. She is an avid reader, and when I say avid, I mean that every waking moment is spent with her nose in a book. She is fascinated with Greek mythology and is counting every second until the October release of the next installment in the adventures of Percy Jackson. She has continued her excellent performance in math, loves science, and, of course, reads like a machine. This year she is participating in Girls on the Run. I couldn't be happier, and she's asked me to be her running buddy in the 5K at the end of the program. Yeah! We're looking forward to it, and hoping to make it a family affair.

The plague avoided us this holiday season, so it was much more pleasant than 2012. We kicked it off with our annual wine and cheese early in December. The 2013 party, a "Wine and PJ's, I Mean Cheese", was our biggest to date. Easily 100 people made their way through the house, most donned in some version of sleep wear, tasting wines, cheeses, and whatever food found its way into the house. The evening ended early the next morning with a dance party to rival Dance Fever in its heyday. All in all, it was our best party yet, and the bar is now set very high for 2014.

The winter of 2013-2014 took its toll on all of us. To say that it was a tough winter is barely scratching the surface of Chicago's 3rd snowiest winter on record. It wasn't just the snow, but the bitterly cold, aptly named, Polar Vortex. A seemingly endless cycle of snow and cold forced us to stay inside most of the winter, even causing school to be canceled four days in January. This also got in the way of any consistency in my running. Twice we were forced to an indoor track due to icy roads, and just about every week there was a generous snow fall that messed with everything. I really fell off the wagon, and am still struggling to get back to my running routine. The fact that my husband started running right around the time of the marathon didn't help matters much. After a while, he was running more than I, and this is not a healthy change for me. Now that the weather has broken, I am slowly getting back to the sport that I love.

Fred turned seven in March. His birthday party was much easier than his sister's. We took a couple of his friends to go see Mr. Peabody & Sherman. Hilarious movie, by the way, equally enjoyed by the kids and me and Daddy. After the movie we went back to our house for play and cupcakes, and it was a big hit. Fred has developed and grown in many ways since turning six. Not only has he physically sprouted, probably adding at least a half inch in height, he has blossomed at school. Since August, he has made many more new friends, become the featured beat-boxer in music class, and emerged as our very own little Good Will Hunting. His love for sports stems from a fascination with numbers and stats. Everything he does revolves around numbers, and after meeting with his teachers, we're trying to harness the power of this beautiful mind.

Work is work. I just had my 18 year anniversary with my company, which just blows my mind. I was barely older than that number when I started there! Last year I had a major change in my work schedule. After 8 years of being able to work three days in the office and two from home, I had to return to the office five days a week. This may not seem like a big deal, but I am still adjusting, 13 months later. Our child care expense more than doubled, and I lost a lot of time at home. No longer can I toss in a load of laundry, sit with the kids to do their homework a couple days a week, or have dinner on the table by 5 twice a week. First world problems, yes, but adjusting to this new schedule has been hard for all of us. We've created a new normal with this change, and so far we're managing to stay afloat. Still, I am thankful to have a stable career which helps me provide for my family. I'd like to say I wish I could stay home, but I know the grass always looks greener on the other side, so I'll remain thankful for the arrangement we have.

I couldn't tell you what we are busy with except just getting through each day. We run, play, work, go to school, not necessarily in that order. So often I tell myself I'll make time that night, or tomorrow, or over the weekend to spit out the blog post I just drafted in my head. Not running much lately has messed with my mind big time, and not blogging hasn't really helped matters because I need a place to dump my thoughts. How about if I try to post at least once a week? I'm sure I can do that. It's long overdue.

I'll leave you with a recent shot of the kids.
We love Easter morning!