Saturday, December 1, 2018

Visit with Santa

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here which can only mean one thing: A visit with the guy in red.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Home Renovation Childhood

Home renovation certainly has moments that look a lot like what you see on TV shows where the couples are picking paint colors, and swinging hammers on demo day.

But more often than this, in the quieter moments you'll find small gems like these. Quiet corners of the local wood store where the girls will bring along homework or drawings while Troy and I pick out and load up individual pieces of wood.

It means back-to-back runs to the hardware store. And stops at the giant gumball machine on the way out.

I can assure you our lives looks very little like those shows on TV. Our house is a mixture of newly renovated rooms and those with exposed beams and missing moldings. We have holes in walls where electrical will someday go. And a basement doubling as a workshop and storage area for things to come.

For all of these moments, and for those yet to come....these are where we live. In between all the chaos and madness, this is our life.

Thursday, November 22, 2018


Thanksgiving didn't go exactly as planned this year. G came home feeling a bit under the weather Tuesday evening, which quickly became a 24 hour bug working it's way through our house.
Lots of sheet washing, lots of Lysol, and lots of sleep for 3 out of the 4 Haighs.
So while everyone was recouping, and with no appetites, I got a head start  on setting up for Christmas which we don't typically get to until later in the month. 

The girls helped a bit while Dada rested. We had biscuits and jam for dinner beside the Christmas tree and took a moment to be thankful for everything we have. Because the reality is, even when we're feeling a bit down, or under the weather, we have each other. And that alone is worth being thankful for.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

WNDR Museum

Living in Chicagoland certainly has its benefits. One of them is the incredible number of museums to visit any given day. Honestly I'm a bit embarrassed that we don't take more advantage of it, but life gets busy, and we're not the best at planning in advance.

This time though, we did. I bought us tickets to a popup museum that was in Chicago for a short time. 
We took the train downtown early Saturday morning so we weren't rushing to meet our reservation time. Trying to get the four of us anywhere on time is truly a monumental task some days. 

We made enough time to to stop for brunch along the way. Enjoying chocolate chip pancakes is always a good way to start an adventure. Belly's full and away we went. 

This place was really cool. With loads of interactive exhibits to enjoy. We ran around for a couple hours exploring before we decided we had seen it all. Fun!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween 2018

Another Halloween in the books. I can't remember a Halloween with more beautiful weather than we had this year! Sunny, and just a slight chill in the air made for perfect conditions to meander up and down streets keeping pace with the girls as they ran from house to house.

They both chose their costumes early this year and stuck with it. I had my doubts but they proved us wrong. Like last year, they are the same thing by choice: Violet from the Incredibles.

Our trick or treating hours start early here so we took advantage of the day light while we had it. We met up with some neighbors so tagged along as a group occasionally stopping for a photo or stopping to examine and show off how full the buckets were.  It didn't take long for the girls to fill their buckets to the brim, with candy spilling over. So we headed home. on the way made a detour to a neighbors where the girls enjoyed pizza while sorting, trading and counting candy.

Lots of candy, lots of energy, and a whole lot of memories. The superhero kind.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Anniversary Celebration

The Mister and I celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary (18 years in all!) by spending a night in the city just the two of us. Oma was willing to hold the fort down and get the girls to school the following day so we took a night for ourselves midweek.

We'd been wanting to see Hamilton for quite some time, and this made the perfect occasion. After a quick dinner, we stopped off for a pre show cocktail across the street form the theater while we waited. And then off to the the show we went.

All the hype? Well deserved. Absolutely brilliant.

A leisurely morning at the hotel then out to breakfast and eventually we made our way back home.

Thank you Oma for making our night away possible!

Monday, October 8, 2018

North Carolina Part 2

The best thing about lifelong friends is the ability to build memories, and spend time connecting while doing absolutely nothing.

We spent the course of the few days we were there chumming around their area making impromptu decisions on what to do. No plans equals no obligations and no schedules which is exactly the kind of low key getaway we needed.

One day we tagged along to one of the kids' soccer games and then stopped by a fall fest event that was going on at their clubhouse. The kids played games, ate cotton candy and ran around enjoying themselves. It was unseasonably hot while we were there so we spent more time inside than out.

In the evenings, and mornings, we wandered around the neighborhood checking out all of new houses under construction. Because when you spend your free time remodeling your house DIY style walking through construction projects is fun. The kids came along, racing up unfinished stairs and squeezing through walls constructed only of 2x4s while we envisioned the various rooms, what they would be and how the layout would look. The Mister and I also went around with Erika for an afternoon checking out all of the model homes and dreaming of what our own finished project would look like while taking inspiration from them. We're nerds.

We also enjoyed the village downtown area where I secretly wished we had something similar. It was filled with cute little antique stores, ice cream shops, natural food eateries, and breweries. Connected by a wooden pedestrian bride that that went above the train tracks and even included a pedestrian walk across the street following where a you would take a small flag out of a holder and carry it across the street with you to alert oncoming traffic. The girls thought this was pretty cool.

We had such a great time. I love this family so much, and although this trip was very short, I'm thankful we could go, and am already looking forward to our next reunion.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

North Carolina Part 1

When your oldest dearest best friend welcomes a beautiful new boy to the family you find a way to visit and enjoy some time soaking up what Skype, photos and phone calls can only partly provide. Even if it means an extremely long road trip.
14 hours each way to be exact. 

We set off on Thursday night, drove until around midnight stopping in Knoxville TN. A late night in the car meant for a lazy morning of breakfast and showers at the hotel before starting in on the last 4 hours of driving. 

We knew that we had been going through mountains the night before, but in the dark we couldn't see how beautiful they were. The morning sun offered up a whole new view of amazing tree lined mountains that seemed to go on forever. Absolutely incredible, and just like that another destination added to our list of places to visit in the future.

We finally made it to our destination in the early afternoon.

After a lot of hugs, and a new introduction we settled in and made ourselves at home. I'll save all the gushing about how incredibly perfect this new baby boy is. I'm beyond thrilled to welcome him to the family. What a lucky little boy he is.

Thursday, October 4, 2018


This guy. He is the most incredible human I have ever met. And by some twist of fate, some stroke of luck that I'll never be able to fully show my gratitude for, I found him. He found me. We found each other.

This post sat in the queue unposted for months while I struggled to find the right words to describe this man, the relationship, and what it means to me. Ultimately I've come to the realization that my words are inadequate.

In short, Mr. Haigh, looking back over the past 18 years there is not a single moment since I met you that I have regretted. Over the years we have sculpted a life for ourselves. We have held hands and cried on shoulders, we have celebrated miracles, and supported one another. You are the definition of unconditional love and support and in the difficult moments you put up with me with such ease and gracefulness that I often find I hold myself now to a higher standard. In no uncertain terms you are everything that is good about me.

If I could do it all over again. If I had a choice, I'd choose you. Every time.
I love you, Mr. Haigh

Thursday, September 27, 2018


Amsterdam: 36 hours is not enough
I unexpectedly had the opportunity to visit this week with work. 
What an incredible city. I'm already excited to go back along with the family.

I didn't take my camera along, but I grabbed a couple shots along the way. Below is a shot from a chocolate factory that I stopped in to grab some treats for home. The other is the REM Island. An old pirate radio transformed into a restaurant.

So many bikes. So much architecture. So many bridges. None of which I stopped to take a photo of.
Not to worry. I'll be back.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Roadtrip to Ohio

Ohio. Home of the Buckeyes, Browns, a lot of flat space and wind turbines on the way, and most of all, our incredibly dear friends.
We celebrated the Mister's birthday with kites, kitties and s'mores. Turns out kites are a lot of work, but Ellis and I got a whole lot of laughs out of the deal and the kids loved it.

We spent the weekend lounging around, hitting up the park, and searching for neighborhood kitties that need cuddles and names. The trip was too short to try cramming much in, so for the mili-second we considered going to the museum or downtown, we quickly shot it down and opted for a movie afternoon on the couch cuddled under blankets instead.

These two. They always deliver. How lucky are we to have found these people to call our friends. Our kids worship them, we adore them and I'm so thankful they are only a drive away. I only wish we could see them more often.

Happy birthday Mr. H. We love you to pieces. Thank you for making us smile every day.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Birthday Celebration

In lieu of a party, we celebrated the birthday girl with a day downtown.
We drove in early right after breakfast. Our first stop was a visit to one of our favorite bakeries we used to frequent for a mid-morning cookie...or two.

Next we headed to the Lincoln Park Zoo where we spent the better part of the day wandering around. There are a handful of things that I truly miss about living here, and this place is near the top. AA morning and afternoon spent wandering around the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Evan an impromptu visit with Nicole and Paul to add to the celebration.

A great day had by all. Lots of sun. Lots of smiles.
Happy Birthday, Gracie!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Letter to Grace: Happy 5th Birthday

To our Grace,

As I always do, when birthdays come around I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that its been five year. When I close my eyes I can see you as a baby, as a toddler. I can hear you giggling, I can hear the sound of your feet hitting the floor and running down the hallway in the morning. I can remember the nights in the hospital after you were born and the first time your sister met you. Most of all my memories are flooded with your smile.

You are silly. You are resourceful. You are incredibly thoughtful and clever beyond belief. You are confident in who you are and most of all you have kindness intertwined in every fiber of your being. It is these things that I hope you hold on to as you grow older and you are faced with tough decisions and find yourself in hard situations. It is these things that will define who you are more than the brands you wear, the style of your hair, or how active your social networking page is.

I think a lot about the way you and you sister will grow up and how much different your world must seem than it did to Dad and me at the same age. I won't pretend to understand the hurdles you'll be faced with. Social media, an overwhelming amount electronics, and more pressure than ever to follow predefined, pre-paved, paths that may or may not be something worth pursuing. Through all of this, what I can do is promise you two things. First, you will never regret kindness. Always choose kindness; even when it's the harder choice which at some point it will be. Second, we will always be here for you. Here to be your biggest cheerleaders through the highs, and here with open arms and open minds to listen through the lows. We will be here for it all.

So to our cheetah, to the one that completes our family; we love you.
Happy Birthday, Love.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Lake Time

We won the neighborhood lottery, hands down. When we moved here a few years back, we had hoped to find a neighborhood that better fit our family. Really all we were looking for were a few kids that ours could hang out with from time to time and maybe someone we could share a cocktail or glass of wine with once in a while.

What we ended up with reaches so far beyond this it's hard to explain. We're feeling pretty lucky to say the least.

For the second year in a row we've joined one of our neighbors for a weekend away at their lake house in Michigan. Mother Nature spoiled us with summer like temperatures over the holiday weekend and we soaked up every second.

Saying good-bye to summer with a bang.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Monday, August 20, 2018

25 Cents

They probably circled this thing for 20 minutes before they finally made a choice. It was fun to watch them carefully weigh all of their options before finally committing.

The outcome: Skittles for G, Runts for C

Friday, August 17, 2018

First Sleepover

We wrapped the first week of the school year with a pep rally on the playground at the school. Popsicles, a DJ, games and the entire playground full of kids and parents all getting back into the swing of things after the long summer break.

As we were leaving, the girls came running over excitedly to ask if our neighbor could have a sleepover with them. Why not?

So M came over, pajamas in hand, and a whole lot of giggles ensured for the next few hours. I'm not exactly sure what time they finally got to sleep. But once they did they all slept straight through the night. Sometimes the best things are left unplanned. Here's to the first of what I suspect will be many sleepovers for these 3!