Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Gratitude Week #9

Wow! What a fabulous weekend! My Aunt Lanie was in town and it was so fun to spend time with her. I feel so lucky to have her in my life.

Lanie arrived on Thursday afternoon. After hanging out at home for a bit, we went out for mexican food.  I splurged and got a yummy frozen margarita and a slice of tres leche cake for dessert. mmm.

Friday was a jam packed day. We went over to Andersonville and took Jonah to the park, where we watched him run around and play. Then, we strolled up Clark Street and did some shopping. My mom bought Jonah an adorable fedora for the summer as well as a pair of sandals. I took Jonah home for his nap and then we all met back up again for a delicious Italian dinner.

 Saturday, we drove out to Glenview and visited the Khol's Children's Museum. Jonah had the time of his life! He was so curious about everything going on. It was adorable to see. After a long morning at the museum we returned home for naps and then ordered in delicious BBQ for dinner. My aunt loves ribs, so getting BBQ is a must for every trip. After dinner, we all just hung out and played games.

 Before I knew it, it was Sunday and it was time to say goodbye. After a relaxing morning at home, we drove Lanie to the airport. It was a quick visit, but we had so much fun together.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Gratitude Week #8

+ I had the chance to get dinner with some friends from practicum on Wednesday evening. While I missed having dinner with Neill and Jonah, it was nice to go out and have some friend time. Plus, yummy mexican food and a mojito make everything wonderful. right?

+ Thursday morning, I had the best play date with Grace and Ivy. I am so happy that Grace and I had babies around the same time. Jonah and Ivy are so stinkin' cute together. It melts my heart thinking of the two of them growing up together. And it is sooo nice to have a friend who understands that play dates need to be scheduled around nap times and all the other mommy stuff that most of my friends without kids just can't relate to. My only regret is that my phone was out of batteries so I couldn't take any pictures :(

+Thursday evening we celebrated passover with my mom. Passover has always been one of my favorite holidays so I really want Jonah to get to experience the fun of passover too. My mom put on a lovely sedar and while this year Jonah is still a bit too young to fully grasp the situation, I'm pretty sure by next year he will be really into it. I can't wait to teach him the four questions!

+ Neill's family came in to town for a quick visit this weekend. We haven't seen his parents since Christmas so it was awesome to see them. Jonah was in 7th heaven with so many family members around! It is a long drive for them to come to Chicago, so we are very thankful that they made the trip out here.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Gratitude #7

+ These past two week I've really depended on our nanny, Joann, to spend a lot of time with Jonah. Neill has been out of town and I need to work late Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. It is always a little stressful to try and figure out childcare, but I feel very lucky to have Joann on our team. She is super dependable and made herself extra available to spend evenings with Jonah. Without her, I'm not quite sure what we would have done! #ittakesavillage

+ We had gorgeous weather in Chicago on Thursday and I got to spend the morning outside with Jonah. We went to a park by the lake and Jonah had a blast playing on all of the equipment. His favorite thing to do was run up and down a walkway that was on a bit of incline. He also enjoyed following the older kids around and trying to mimic them. It was adorable! 

+ When Neill came home from his travels on Thursday afternoon, it was so lovely to catch up with him. He is so passionate about his interests and hearing how inspired he was about the conference he attended made me inspired! I'm really lucky to have such a hard working partner who motivates me to do my best.

+Friday morning I had a wonderful date with my mom. Jonah and I went over to her house and we sipped coffee while sitting on her lovely deck. Then, we walked a few blocks to a nearby park. My mom and I sat under a tree and enjoyed catching up while Jonah got to play. There was a day care there and so he made lots of new friends. He had the time of his life! It was wonderful watching him explore and interact with other kids. He would play for a while and then coming running back for a big hug, before scooting off to go play some more. It just melts my heart.

+Friday night I went out with some friends from my practicum and I really had a good time. As in two margaritas, a gin and tonic, and four shots good time.  While thinking about liquor now kind of makes me queasy, it was totally worth it. I hadn't been out without Neill and Jonah in months and months. I needed to get back in touch with that non-mommy side of me and a girls night out was just what the doctor ordered.

group selfie!

+Sunday afternoon I got some time to get creative in the kitchen. I made a big pot of three bean pasta salad with kale. Chick peas, kidney beans, black beans, kale, and pasta with a olive oil, honey, mustard, and vinegar dressing. Yummo. My plan is to bring it for lunch this coming week. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Gratitude Weeks #5 and #6

Things have gotten so hectic around here. It is like everything just picked up speed and the weeks seem to be flying by. I need to remind myself to slow down, take deep breaths, and be present in the moment.

+ I have *finally* picked my dissertation back up. After taking a hiatus from working on it, inspiration hit and I'm back in the groove. I sent a draft off to my advisor this week and I'm feeling really good about it. I'm sure she will have some comments or suggestions, but in my mind my literature review is already in the realm of "good enough." I still need to finalize some methodological issues and tweak my planned analyses section, but I think I'm on track for proposing some time in June. yay!

+ On another school related note, my lab is working on a new publication. It is a review focused on creating practical tips for preventing burnout. I'm excited to be part of another publication. I will probably be second or third author, which is awesome. This will be my fourth publication. I truly love research and I feel lucky that I get to be involved in something I love so much.

+I'm feeling pretty giddy that the class I am teaching is almost over. While I have really liked teaching, it is a lot of work! Now that I don't have to prepare any more lectures, I am looking forward to having some time freed up that I can spend on other things (like my dissertation). I am giving a final on Tuesday and then the next two weeks are student presentations, so all I have to do is sit and write evaluations while students present. I am a big nervous about what my end of semester evaluations will look like. But, I know I did the best I could with the time I had.

From the looks of things, I have been pretty focused on my work life these last two weeks. And I guess that is pretty accurate. I do love me some psychology :) But, for good measure here is a really sweet picture of Jonah painting. I am always grateful for him!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Gratitude Week #4

+ Since this is my birthday weekend, I decided to plan a special play date for Jonah on Friday. Instead of  hosting just a regular ol' play date, I arranged for a musician from the Old Town School of Folk Music to come to the house and perform for the kids. It was so much fun! Jonah was entranced by the guitar and loved when the man brought out bubbles.

+Alex and Gracie scored last minute reservations at Schwa for Saturday night and were kind enough to invite me and Neill to dine with them. My mind was officially blown. It was easily the best meal I have ever had. And the four of us always have so much fun together. It was just the perfect way to celebrate my birthday. I wouldn't change one thing about that night.

+ On the topic of good friends, I am so lucky to have friends that I can rely on. Since the reservations at Schwa were so last minute, it was difficult to find a babysitter for Jonah. I actually did find one, but then she cancelled Saturday afternoon. Thankfully, Matt and Lisa stepped up and watched Jonah so that Neill and I could go out for my birthday. It was so nice of them! I am just in awe of how lucky Neill and I are to have such quality people in our life.

+ On Sunday, I spent the evening with Neill, my mom, and Lee. We went out to Carnivale - a restaurant I have wanted to try for years. Since I didn't think the restaurant would be very family friendly, we asked Letty to babysit Jonah. It was so wonderful to see her and catch up. She is just the most genuine person and her love for Jonah is amazing. I truly feel lucky to have her in our lives.

+I guess birthdays have been on my mind, because I've been doing some preparation for Jonah's birthday. I am planning to make a picture display with a photo from each month of his life. So, I've been spending a lot of time going through old pictures of Jonah and reminiscing about how much he has grown. He was just so freaking cute, I can't stand it.

Welcome to the world!

sleeping with mommy

One week old

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Gratitude Week #3

+ I have such a wonderful husband. I have been a little under the weather the last week with a nasty cough. So, while I was at Loyola on Tuesday Neill took time out of his day to run to Walgreens and pick me up some cough drops and NyQuil. Plus, he had dinner ready and waiting for me when I got home. He takes such wonderful care of me and is such a giving partner. I feel lucky to have him in my life.

+ A couple of weeks ago we had to say goodbye to Jonah's long term nanny, Letty. She was with our family for about a year--since Jonah was 8 months old. So, it was really sad to say goodbye. She was like family. I am so thankful that  Jonah's new nanny, JoAnn, seems to be just as loving, sweet, and fun as Letty. This was her first full week and she and Jonah have gotten along really well. What a relief!

+ Saturday night we got to go out and have a great time at a party that our close friends were having. The party was a joint 1st birthday party for their daughter turned adult saint patrick's day party. We brought Jonah along and he was such a great sport! Like the party animal that he is, he had no problem staying in good spirits the whole night. It was so fun to hang out with old friends and let loose!

Jonah did not like sharing me with Ivy. He kept saying "No baby! No!" and trying to sit on my lap.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Gratitude Week #2

+ Tuesday morning I woke up a bit earlier than usual. Jonah was still sleeping, so I sneaked downstairs to sip my coffee and check e-mails. Uninterrupted alone time feels like such a luxury!

+ Loyola is off for Spring Break this week, which means no teaching for me! While I actually really enjoy teaching my class, it was nice to finally have time to clean up the bedroom and lounge in bed for a while.

Someone else enjoyed lounging in bed too . . .

nap time with mommy

+ My two interviews from last week paid off! I received two practicum position offers for next year. Both of them are great sites and it feels so nice to know where I will be next year. Bonus points because the one I am accepting is only a short drive away from home.

beep beep!
+ We toured two day care facilities on Friday. One of them I really loved and they have an opening! We still have more research to do and a few more places to tour, but I'm feeling really positive about our decision to switch Jonah to daycare this summer. 

+ A wonderful dinner with friends at a new to us Indian restaurant, Paprika. My mom came over to spend some quality time with Jonah, so Neill and I took advantage and went out sans Jonah! Good food. Good wine. Good friends. Perfection. It was so relaxing to stay in a restaurant for a leisurely meal without worrying about Jonah melting down :)