Sunday, April 13, 2014

Scenes From A Week: April 13

This week (or weekend, really) was a splendid one - felt like it was finally, finally summer again.  I wore flip flops for the first real time since last fall, and ran in short sleeves once again.  Chicago is hard to beat when the temps are above 60.

This weekend was especially wonderful, including two dates with my husband, an overdue catchup phone session with a cousinfriend, multiple phone calls with my mom, finishing a good book, deep cleaning my closet and windows wide open.  Rejuvenating, for certain, and just what I needed before this coming work week.

such a beautiful downtown

i live in stripes all summer long

we used a groupon to visit a hawaiian themed bar/restaurant on saturday night
the lake front trail is very hard to beat

new beers (to me) - thought my "smitten" was pretty legit
scott racing to the car in the pouring rain... sweet husband
I hope to get in a better blogging rhythm again... it's one of my very favorite outlets, and one that I've been neglecting pretty significantly over the past few months.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Scenes From A Week: April 7

This was an excellent week and the fun continued throughout the weekend.  The week highlights included my one year work anniversary, a fun work event on Thursday night, the Cubs home opener on Friday, a couples massage with Scott on Saturday.  It kept getting better and better.  (And by the way, so did the temperatures... it's going to be a whopping 50 degrees in Chicago today!)

This weekend was especially hard to beat.  On Friday night, I had an hours-long excursion to Target, which I rarely take the time to do.  On Saturday morning, Scott and I had a belated Valentine's couples massage followed by complimentary mimosas and a stroll home.  We continued the day-date by viewing three more properties, followed by outlet shopping at the new-ish outlets in the suburbs.  The day was finished with watching "White House Down" on demand - although cheesy/unrealistic I actually liked it a lot.

April is one of my favorite months of the year... and it's here!


gorgeous tulips from my manager

summertime food

classy "dinner" (bellini + cheese board)

late night beer stop

opening day apparel

spectacular bloody mary spread at an industry event

the whole foods flower display is tough to beat

first time at the tory outlet (near rosemont).  thought
it was only okay... the sales associates attitudes were
a bit of a turn-off.

stalking my parents return flight!!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

fourteen years

Fourteen years ago today, Mike Maloney died.

His death was abrupt, in the middle of my softball practice.

His death was slow, throughout my childhood.  

And it's like that - two sides of one event.  And there were two sides of one man, too, I think. A monster, someone unfit to be a husband, a father, a member of society.  A chronically tormented vet, who quieted his demons with visits to the bottle. And the needle.  

There are two sides, too, to the way I feel about him.

Angry.  Sympathetic.  Wistful.  Serene.

My relationship with him is complicated, and probably will be for the rest of my life.  Do I hate what he represents?  Do I understand how he got that way? Yes and no.  Both and neither. He is a puzzle that I'll never be able to solve.  He's been gone for nearly half my life, and yet our relationship gets more - not less - complicated with each passing April 6.

I turn thirty this year.  When Mike was my age, he was nearing a decade post Vietnam, and I suspect that it was among the wildest times of his life.  No responsibilities, the late 1970s, and tormented by his past.  He was still a year or two from meeting my mom, and nearly seven years from having me.

It keeps coming back to this: acceptance.  He was a complicated man, and my feelings about him are conflicted.  But I know this - part of who I am is because of his life... his presence, his absence and everything in between. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Scenes From A Week: March 30

As I write this, it's almost sixty degrees outside and we have windows open.  Fresh air is good for the soul - and so are weekends.   This weekend was a nice mix - Friday night we went to a comedy show, and then Saturday did lots of chores around the house before touring two homes (contenders, I'd say) and having dinner/seeing a great play with my in-laws.  This morning I woke up before 7a, finished some things around the house that I wanted to get done, and then woke Scott up in time for brunch at his favorite local spot.  This afternoon we spent lazily enjoying spring.  A four mile walk in the sunshine.  Washing all of the linens in our house.  A long catch-up FaceTime with my parents who are abroad. Watching last nights SNL (Louis CKs opening monologue!!).  Lighting candles and opening windows.   Just a solid springtime weekend.

This week promises to be a little busier, but hopefully just as wonderful.

sunday night: clothes laid out for the week  (this is always my goal, but isn't
always executed)
an incredible mid-week dinner - kale / coleslaw / mustard sald
(better then it sounds - promise)
talking chicago real estate with my parents
seeing Amy Schumer's comedy at the Auditorium Theatre on Friday night
brunch with my boy
bacon scented candle.  awesome gift, mom.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Patrick and Kelly: March 22

This weekend Scott and I were thrilled to attend the wedding of one of our "couple friends", Patrick and Kelly.  The wedding was held at the Eaglewood Resort in Itasca, IL.  Also in attendance were two of Scott's really good friends from his time in Alabama so we arrived a few hours early so Scott could max out on his time with them.

The resort itself was beautiful, situated on a golf course which I imagine would be spectacular in the summer months.  The wedding was sweet and emotional (admittedly I've cried at almost every single wedding I've ever attended).  They had a really adorable ring bearer and two adorable flower girls who stole the show - the ring bearer had the most hilarious "cheese" look on his face as he walked down the aisle, and then one of the flower girls burst in to tears and wouldn't go down the aisle - it was so adorable.  I suspect that she'll be getting grief for that in 20 years ;)

After the wedding was a fun cocktail hour and wedding reception.  The wedding reception featured a "champagne parade" where a series of champagne-toting hotel personnel came out in a procession - it was a fun way to kick off the evening.  I love wedding receptions more than just about any other social activity, so I was in heaven.  It was fun catching up with Brian and Kevin, and meeting some of the other wedding guests.

On Sunday morning, I stole away and sat by a fireplace reading for an hour before Scott woke up (he stayed up partying a bit later than I did).  It was a really leisurely way to start the morning and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

A wonderful weekend wedding celebration.  Congratulations Patrick and Kelly!







Monday, March 24, 2014

Blog Recommendation

I highly recommend that you check out the newest blog on the block, Feelin' Special written by the one and only Mr. Special.

I know I'm exceptionally biased, but I think the blog reflects Scott so well - a myriad of interests and hobbies, a jack of all trades, and just so thoroughly interesting.

So check it out... you can tell him his wife sent ya ;)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Scenes From A Week: March 23

This past week was a total whirlwind - I spent 4 of the past six nights in two different hotels (one personal, three professional).  My alarm went off at 4am last Monday morning for a four-day work trip to New York.  The weekend was spent in Itasca, IL where we witnessed the wedding of two friends, Kelly and Patrick, who's beautiful wedding doubled as a fun reunion for Scott and two of his long-lost Alabama buddies.  It was a fun weekend, which flew by way too fast.

This week promises a slightly slower pace, and I am ready for it.

i had a great seat, but my luggage was in (literally)
the last row of the plane.  ughhh.
after a frustrating few hours of delays, i was very glad to be home in chicago.
guinness + blue nails = friday
balcony view from the eaglewood resort
bow tie bandits
i love love.  and weddings.
i spent a leisurely sunday morning reading by this
fireplace.  it was awesome.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Washington DC Trip: Day 3

Our third day in DC was a Saturday, and it started with a reservation at the White House.  A week later and I'm still smiling about it.  My mom got us on the list for a tour, and it was a total thrill.  We arrived promptly at our designated time, waited in line for security and then... we were inside.  It was really crazy to be walking in the front door and knowing that we were in this building with so much history - so many significant people and events in that house.  Just really cool.  Highly recommend the tour to anyone visiting Washington.


After the White House, we walked to the National Archives, where we saw the Magna Carta, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.  Mind boggling to see these documents that are hundreds and hundreds of years old, and directly impacted life today. After quick pit-stops to grab our purses (no purses allowed at the WH!) and change shoes at Joe's, we hopped the DC Metra and headed to Arlington, VA to see Arlington National Cemetery.



The sheer volume of white grave markers was inspiring, and incredibly sad.  The sacrifices that so many have made... makes me cry just thinking of it.


That night we found ourselves in the Georgetown neighborhood, seeing the Potomac, and most importantly, capping off our trip with Joe.  We found a restaurant called Mr. Smiths, and had one of the best beers of my life (two of them, if you must know).



That was my grandma Phyllis' 20 year death anniversary, and we raised a glass and told stories of her and of life back then.  It was a special way to remember, surrounded by two other people who loved her so deeply.


It was a really special trip - seeing Joe and his life in DC, celebrating some milestone birthdays (25/30/55!) and taking the opportunity to spend time together.  I cannot wait to go back.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Scenes From A Week: March 16

The week started with a crazy snowstorm, and ended with a 50 degree lake front run.  Seriously - a huge weather swing over the course of only a few days.  Not to sound like a broken record, but I am so darn ready for spring.  C'mon flip flops.

It was another good week, with several open houses/showings, an impromptu Saturday St. Patty's day gathering with friends, Saturday night sushi date with my brother and sister-in-law, and some QT spend with my husband.

Here is to a week of sunshine and springtime!


casual friday look

lake front apparel
perfection.
saint patty's party apparel
guinness + incredible guinness/jameson/baileys cupcakes (insane!)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Washington DC Trip: Day 2

Our second day in DC was jam packed.  We hit the road bright and early, and headed out to see the sights.  We started our time walking down to the National Mall, with a few particulars in mind: namely the Vietnam Wall and the Lincoln Memorial (up close and personal).




Once we'd tackled those things, we took Joe's recommendation and visited one of the 19 Smithsonian buildings - the National Museum of American History.  That museum has a display right now (might be a permanent display, not sure) on the First Ladies fashion, and it was a thrill to see - Jackie O's dress and peals, Mrs. Grant's dress, one of Michelle Obama's gowns, a dress from Pat Nixon, from both of the Mrs. Bush women, etc.  It was very interesting to see.

We also paid a (very quick) visit to the Museum of Natural History where we saw the Hope Diamond... pretty spectacular, and 45 carats!

At one point that morning, we were walking near the Washington Monument with the White House in the distance, when we noticed a helicopter departing from the South Lawn.  Not terribly uncommon for DC, but was interesting was that another chopper took off at nearly the same time, and went in an opposite direction.  Joe had just told us that the Secret Service often uses that as a diversion tactic.  I am convinced that President Obama was in the helicopter that departed the White House and flew right over our heads :)


That afternoon, we headed to "the hill" where we walked inside the Supreme Court.  We saw the famous spiral staircase in that building, as well as the courthouse where the Supreme Court hears cases.  We asked an employee if there was only one courtroom in the building, and that was confirmed.  Kind of interesting, I think.

After the Supreme Court, we took the quick walk down the block to the Library of Congress Jefferson building, where we saw some of Thomas Jefferson's private collection (very cool).  The Library of Congress Jefferson Building has this incredible ceiling and marble everywhere.  It's a very impressive building inside and out.

We then hurried over to one of the three Senate Office buildings, where we were to meet at a specific senator's office.  (Shout out to my mom for requesting and arranging this).  We then received a 90-minute private tour of the capital!!!  It was a highlight of the trip, for sure.  Highly recommend that anyone visiting Washington tries to do this, as I learned so many interesting tidbits about the capital in particular, and Washington in general.  (The next time you're in DC and see a sculpture of Lincoln, check out his ears... I bet he only has one.  He was oft depicted as having only one ear, as a not-so-subtle insult to how popular opinion thought that he only listened to the North during the Civil War).  During the tour of the capital, we saw Speaker of the House John Boehner's office, as well as the Congressional floor where the President delivers the annual State of the Union.  So much history crammed in to less than two hours... and I loved it.  We even got to ride the trolley through the tunnels beneath the capital.  :)




At this point in the day, we knew we needed to wrap-it-up, since Joe would be getting off work soon.  The last few things on the list were seeing Ford's Theatre (where President Lincoln was assassinated) and the National Portrait Gallery.  We quickly walked through the Gallery, and then to Ford's theatre and the home across the street where he died the next day.


That night we were completely wiped out - about 30,000 steps (more than a half marathon) walked, being outside in the fresh air nearly all day led to some really early bedtimes... but it was worth it, because the next day was going to be another full one.

DC is just so profound - the amount of history in that town is just incredible.  I love history and politics, so the combination is pretty spectacular.