August 15, 2014

a photo shoot









Earlier this month Ruby was part of a photo shoot at the garden 
where I work. We got hooked up with some beautiful photos of our
 baby all thanks to the photographer Tomoko Sawairi Nagle and
 stylist Gwen Lemos. It was a fun morning and Ruby was such a trooper.

August 10, 2014

august mix






It's been a few months since I've made a playlist, and I'm in need of some new music to listen to while I'm out on a run. 

GREEN GARDEN/LAURA MVULA
TOUGH LOVE/JESSIEWARE
FEELS LIKE WE ONLY GO BACKWARDS/TAME IMPALA
CAVITY/HUNDRED WATERS
DREAM BABY DREAM/SUICIDE
LOVE IS GOOD/THE SHIVERS
I'LL TRY ANYTHING ONCE/JULIAN CASABLANCAS
SHAPE SHIFTER/LOCAL NATIVES
SWING LOW MAGELLEN/DIRTY PROJECTORS
HEAVAN CAN WAIT/CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG
WINTER FIELDS/BAT FOR LASHES


August 3, 2014

marriage

My husband and I are celebrating our three year wedding anniversary in a few days. We have some old friends coming over to babysit so that just the two of us can go out for dinner and drinks. Going out on dates has become few and far between for us. My husband works odd and irregular hours, and I'm finishing up school and working my internship. This is all while we juggle raising our daughter together without any outside help. 

We're both a little guilty of letting our relationship go under the circumstances. We're lucky to spend an hour together here and there going on a family walk or watching a movie on the couch after Ruby falls asleep for the night. The last time that happened I passed out well before the movie was over and before the sun even went down. To be honest there are days that we don't even get along.

I know I'm not the easiest person to be around day in and day out. I can become pessimistic, moody and judgmental. Sometimes I don't know when to just be quiet. I can fixate on and over analyze the bad things instead of just letting them go. I like having a certain amount of alone time so much so I feel like I may actually need it in order to function properly. We've all got our weaknesses, and I understand that I am a work in progress and always will be.

Now that I'm married and a mother I have come to understand that the difficulties of trying make it all work are pretty much the norm. I still struggle with accepting this. Some people make it look so easy, and a lot of people just don't talk about the hard times. What can we do to make things better on a daily basis and avoid petty arguments? I'm no expert at keeping a relationship going strong. Growing up I had no example of a strong healthy relationship that lasts through the good and bad. In the past I'd just bail when things started getting too challenging or became boring, but this is the man I chose to marry. This is my husband and the father of my child. 

All I know for sure is that we both love each other and want to do what it takes in order to spend our lives together. Even when we are brutally arguing we still, somehow, always manage to remind each other of that. I tend to believe that if you want something bad enough, and if it's under your control, then it will happen. We've got three years of marriage, six years of love and eleven years of history behind us. Here's to being strong enough build a lifetime together with all of the ups and downs and surprises that go along with it. 

August 2, 2014

home








"Home is where the heart is."

"Home is anywhere you hang your head."

"There's no place like home."

My husband and I are bringing our baby to Minnesota for the first time later this month. I find myself talking about the trip not sure if I should call it home or just Minnesota. I moved to Chicago from Minneapolis in August of 2003, so exactly 11 years ago. I'm not sure if I would call Chicago home either. It's where I spent the majority of my 20s and 30s, pursued a formal education, met my husband, got married and had our baby. But I've left and moved back to Chicago within the last 11 years, nearly moved to yet another city and we don't plan on living here forever.

I didn't have one house that I grew up in. The house that I lived in during high school, the last few years I lived with my mother, now belongs to someone else. This trip will be the first time I see my mom's new home that she just moved into with her new husband. I've also moved around a lot as an adult. At the height of my moving around I lived in 5 different apartments and two cities within one year. So now I sit here thinking about what home means to me and where my home is. 

A good friend once said to me, "A city can never love you back." This was back when I was visiting him and seriously considering making my third maybe fourth move across the country. I remembered him saying these words when I chose not to move and instead take a chance on new love with the man who would eventually become my husband. So I don't believe that a specific place or city is what I would call home.

My home is where the people who I love and who make me feel loved are. My home moves around, has spread out, is concentrated in some areas and it is even in places I have never been to. There are many loved ones who I'm looking forward to seeing and spending time with when I take my family back to Minnesota. So I guess that does make it my home, it's just one of my many homes.