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December 19, 2014


This year has been a weird one. Full and stressful and hard and wonderful. Sometimes on the same day.

I married my best friend this year.
I became a step-mom this year.
I turn(ed) thirty today.
Plus lots of big, awful things I can’t talk about, not yet at least.

I’m ready for a new one. December has been particularly exhausting, not the “so tired everything feels funny” tired. More like the, “tired down in my bones where everything hurts.”

But I’m back. With a new beautiful website. Chicago Girl Moves On is no more. She moved on. There are still some things to work out, but I’m so excited for this “face-lift.” And I can think of no better post to come back with than “What I know now.” I’ve done it the past two years at 28 and 29. So here is what I know today, after this year, on the cusp of turning thirty.

Stay in your own lane.

The laundry can wait.

Patty Griffin, Taylor Swift, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Beyonce: women with something to say. People resonate with this. Because we all have something to say.

Some people truly need something to pick on and put down. Don't be one of these people. 

I cannot change anyone but myself. (Still hard for me to accept, probably always will be.) I cannot change the people who affect so many parts of my life. What I can do is pray, cry, scream when I’m angry, write down why I’m angry/anxious/scared/hopeful. And try harder the next day to save my energy. I can try harder to not feed the psychic vampires in my life.

Don’t assign labels. I am a parent, not just a step-parent. People outside my story do not know my story; they know the pieces I choose to share.

The pieces are not the whole.

I know how I feel when I’m tired or hungry: depleted, not myself. So I always keep the following in my bag: snacks, book, pen, paper. These are the things that fill me up. And maybe some dark chocolate.

Find what fills you up.

When the state of my purse matches the state of my mind it's time to stop. And clean both.

Everything is a sign.

Use the pretty dishes. You deserve pretty dishes.

Buy yourself the flowers.

Whenever possible, take a walk if you start feeling all the feelings at once. The feelings will still be there. Walking helps settle them.

Find what heals you: walks, shows on Bravo, a solid hour of Pinterest, a solid hour of silence.

Do not underestimate the power of silence. A nap. Pink lipstick. A good eyelash curler. 

Go for the good stuff: dark chocolate chip gelato over the candy bar. 

You cannot say "I love you" enough. 

If you do not allow yourself to be happy you will never be happy.

Take lessons from children. "What do you want to do today?" "Play and dance."

"I don't know" means "I'm not ready." Means "at least not right now." This is okay. 

Take lessons from anyone who snaps at and belittles other people in public. Don't be that guy. 

Lighten the fuck up.

Saying no is freeing. And hard. So is asking for help.

Pen, paper, prayer. Repeat. 


  1. Lighten the fuck up is my favorite. It encompasses so much of the rest!

  2. Love it, love you. Your blogs are always inspiring. Dark chocolate gelato will have to try it.

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