eclipsed.

Eclipse2017

I did not plan on going to see the eclipse. I’d made a shoebox projector and had planned to go out during my work day, but joining the festivities at the planetarium? So not my usual jam.

But I had a migraine headache Sunday night that was intensifying, so I emailed work and told them I’d be out of the office. I also had an appointment Monday morning, another one Monday afternoon, and all the rushing around would have stressed me out! I still had an early morning (appointment #1 was at 9am), so it wasn’t like I was slacking.

My appointment was done lightning fast, and Adam said “Let’s check out the scene at Adler.” I was surprised, but happy. The main character in my novel is an aspiring astrophysicist, and it honestly did not feel right to be missing the eclipse because of her. But this surprise meant that I was totally unprepared. I hadn’t put on sunscreen. I didn’t have my nice camera. I was in a dress! But I didn’t mind. Not one bit.

Lots of walking and slow going, but we got glasses, a box of donuts, and found a beautiful spot by the harbor. My migraine was playing VERY nicely for once and keeping itself at bay, so I was able to enjoy the eclipse in all its wonder, even with the cloud cover battling peak!

IT WAS AMAZING!

It was hard to get pictures when the eclipse was starting—the sun kept looking round even though I could see that it was not. It looked like someone took a bite out, then it kept getting smaller and smaller. It got darker out; it was like twilight. And the temperature dropped. I was able to get more dramatic pictures (through my safe glasses, of course) as the moon started unblocking the sun, like this one:

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I am really glad things worked out the way they did. And my migraine waited until I got home to start poking at me again, so it really worked out well.

This really is such an epic summer. :)

summer 2017.

As the second half of August descends upon us, I can only sit here in a bit of disbelief. Seems like it was JUST June, and Aidan had just arrived, and we were ready for a fun, busy summer. The problem with fun, busy summers is that they speed by.

We kicked off the season with a trip to the Once Upon a Time Convention here in Chicago. Aidan is not into the show, so he hung out in the hotel room and played video games. I attended a billion panels and Q&As, autograph sessions, concerts, and photo ops, and even got to chat with some of the actors in the bar. Michael Coleman is a sweetheart to the max. In fact, most of the actors were amazingly gracious and open and friendly. A few of them seemed exhausted. I sprung for the GOLD package, which wasn’t cheap, but was worth it. I got 9 autographs, had an assigned seat in the auditorium, got free admission to the concert and karaoke, and got to attend special panels. I also sprung for a few photo ops. Those were cool, but I managed to look stupid in EVERY SINGLE PICTURE. *sigh* Anyway. Very amazing experience but also EXHAUSTING. I don’t think I’ll be able to do that again, but we’ll see. I’m glad I did it.

Once Upon a Time Photos

At the end of June, the ALA conference came to Chicago. Rena and I hit up the exhibition hall and got to meet/see a lot of great authors, load up on free ARCs, and network. It was tiring but worth it! And right after ALA finished, Aidan and I went to see Aladdin, which SUCH A GOOD SHOW!! We went to Stage Door and got to take pictures with most of the main actors.

Here are some of the ALA pictures:

ALA Annual 2017

July, Aidan and I headed off to the beautiful and peaceful mountains in Salt Lake City, UT. A writing retreat for me, and just relaxing for Aidan. We were there with Rena, Traci, Nia, and Anna and it was a really great week. I hammered out a lot of my revisions, got to be in a nature, and got to zip line!! It was a great trip, I did not want to come back to the hustle and bustle of Chicago.

Utah 2017

The next day, Aidan’s best friend Benito came to town to spend the week with him, and that was great. Benito’s pretty cool, and we did things like go to Navy Pier, go on a Shoreline architecture tour, and eat dinner at Sakura. Then Rena and I trekked out to Naperville to write and to attend the Angie Thomas/Becky Abertalli event!

Summer 2017 Collage

We had a week of regular life. I turned in my revisions to my agent on July 30, and spent the rest of the day packing for Disney World! We stayed in the Polynesian, my HOLY GRAIL resort, and had a wonderful time!

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One last week of summer, and then Aidan headed back to Ohio on August 12. He started high school on the 14th and seems to be doing well so far. I spent Sunday at the Four Seasons getting pampered, then spent the rest of the day shopping on Michigan Ave. It was a perfect Ronni Day.

In the midst of all this was working, dealing with a sick Fi, raising a rambunctious Charlotte, writing, and freelance. Trying and failing not to overdo things—I’m still technically recovering from surgery and I did feel the sting somedays. I really need to chill out.

Now, I am gearing up for a very busy fall. Travel, freelance, work, writing. September is going to be amazing, October is going to be busy, and then it’ll be time to plan for the holidays. 2017 is flying by and it’s bittersweet. But life’s good, and I’m so excited about what’s to come!

More soon….

epic adventure: getting there.

Earlier this summer, Aidan and I embarked on an epic three-week vacation, just the two of us. We were both super excited. We were going to do new things, and I was just happy to have all the time to hang out with my {awesome} kid. The trip started off smoothly enough. We got to the airport, we got to go through TSA-precheck, and we were at security in no time. Things were going great until a storm rolled in and we got grounded just as we were pulling from the gate. Two hours we sat in the plane. And I was freaking out. I’d arranged for a limo to take us from the airport to the resort as a surprise for Aidan and I was worried we’d get tagged as a no-show. The flight status wasn’t updating (it said we were in the air and on-time!) and I was so worried I’d miss this limo surprise for Aidan.

We did get off the ground eventually, though. Thank goodness. I was starting to feel like Chicago wasn’t going to let us go.

On Our Way!

We finally got to Orlando, and the limo guy wasn’t there! I called them and they said not to worry, there was some sort of back up. They’d gotten my message and the flight info and he’d come find me by baggage claim. Meanwhile, Aidan was standing there with HIS bag. My enormous purple bag was no where to be found. Cue more panic! All my cute outfits and hair thingies and OMG nooo!

After a lot of running around and freaking out, we found out that the bag had come in on another flight, so it was on another carousel. Meanwhile, this limo guy, who had finally found us, was so patient and helpful. And when we went out to the limo…the look on Aidan’s face made everything worth it!!!

Riding in Style!

The limo ride included a 30 minute grocery stop, but Aidan and I had a list so we were done in 15. We’d also packed a bag full of snacks and brought that with us on the plane. This trip, we were doing food differently. Instead of eating all of our meals and snacks in the park (I didn’t buy the dining plan), we had a few sit down meals, a few counter service meals, and we ate breakfast and snacks (except special Disneyfied snacks) that we’d brought with us. Every morning, Aidan loaded his bag with granola bars, chips, Pop-tarts, and a bottle of water and a bottle with an energy drink. I did the same. When we got hungry, we’d snack on our bars. Ice water is free in the parks if you get it from a stand with a fountain, so we’d just drink down our energy drinks (I know!) and then fill the bottles up with the free ice water. Instead of sneaking to the food court and dropping $10 on a pizza when the late night hunger pangs hit, I just made myself a turkey sandwich and ate it in my room. Or the night we got back early, I took it to the Movies Under the Stars, and watched Wall-E while I chowed down.

But I’m getting ahead of myself! We got to the Resort (Pop Century) and because of their newfangled system, we didn’t even have to go to the desk to check in. I’d checked in online, and while we were at the airport, I got a text with my room number! We were able to go straight to the room!

And it was a nice room, with a nice surprise waiting for us on the bed:

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After unpacking our groceries and changing, we headed to Downtown Disney. Aidan of course wanted to go to the LEGO store, I wanted to do my own shopping, and I’d thought we’d have dinner there. But we ended up eating at the food court at the resort, which is fine by me because I happen to love that food court. Then it was bed time, because it was Animal Kingdom the next day!

That’s all for now. Next time, I’ll talk about our time in the parks, the awesome dessert we got at Garden Grill, and more. :)

time to sit back and unwind.

Flowering tree! ???????????? #spring #Chicago #tree #flowers

Finally! Seems that June took ages to get here! And when it arrived, it brought temps that felt more like November 1 than June 1, but it’s finally warming up, at least for a couple of days. See-saw summer weather: Chicago’s M.O.

this weeks weather

Today is Aidan’s last day of school, then this weekend, he’s off to the National Jr. Youth Leadership Conference. He arrives in Chicago on June 13, and June 15, we take off for a long vacation, just the two of us. I’m so looking forward to it. Disney World, the beach, good times.

Aww yiss. #disneyworld #disney #magicband #yay
yay!!

Apparently, Aidan is now measuring at 5’1″…which just happens to be MY HEIGHT. My son is my height now. His feet are already bigger than mine, but now he’s on track to be taller than I am before long too. I mean, I knew it was coming but it’s still crazy. I hope he doesn’t act too stubborn when it comes to taking pictures when we’re on vacation. I need photographic proof of this height thing.

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this was from april this year.
he was one inch shorter than me here.

A few weekends ago, I went to see a show at Second City. I enjoyed it. The show was called “#dateme” and was based on a girl’s experiences with some dating site. OK Cupid I think it’s called? Anyway, they had this picture-taking thing set up outside the theater so I took advantage:

#dateme #thesecondcity #Chicago

I also got to meet Sarah Dessen again, and she was a lovely as ever. I remember, 11 years ago, when I discovered her books and fell in love with her writing. And I used to wish so hard I’d get to meet her. And now, this is the what…fourth or fifth time I got to meet her?

This author. ???? @sdessen #author #booksigning #Naperville #inspiration

Speaking of authors, Meg Cabot is back with *two* new princess books, and I was lucky enough to meet her as well:

Me and Meg Cabot. She's amazing. ???? #author #megcabot #Chicago #Naperville #booksigning

Honestly, if I ever leave Chicago, Anderson’s Bookshop will be one of the top five things I’ll miss.

These days, I’m kind of at odds. I’m restless, waiting for my vacation to get here. I should probably start packing. I got a new suitcase. Purple this time, with the 360? spinner wheels. Because the last time I went to Orlando and was lugging my luggage, the big suitcase kept flipping around. It was awkward and embarrassing! A guy had to help me on the escalator! So with this one, I shouldn’t have to deal with that. Plus my lovely pink bag was starting to rip and all that stuff. You know how it goes after the airlines batter it for a while. I got a good deal on this case, too. I went to Sears–which, I don’t even care, I love Sears–and the case I ended up getting had a regular price of $159.99. It was 50% off, so that took the price down to $79.99. I had coupons and Shop Your Way Rewards, so my total cost was just over $50. Not bad, huh?

I have new shirts and shorts and bathing suits to wear, and new shoes too. They’re not *that* new because I remembered I needed to break them in, so I’ve been doing that. All I need to do is pack everything sometime in the next ten days. Probably buy Aidan some vacation wear (his dad bought him a bunch of “nice” summer wear for his conference, but he’s not going to want to wear khaki shorts and polos at the beach, right?).

…and my mind just went blank. I guess I didn’t have much more to say. Probably the next time I update will be when I am back from vacation. So, till next time……

long update.

Summer 2014 Collage

Oh hi! Long time no see! :) Sorry about that. It’s just that every time I thought about blogging over the past few months, I just felt like BLAH, nope. Overwhelmed, maybe. I don’t know.

Summer’s on its way out. Yesterday’s high was 60F but it hung out in the low to mid 50s all day. You can only imagine how sad that is making me. I feel like we barely got a summer.

In my long absence from the blog world, I hung out with Aidan, we all went to Jekyll Island for a week at the beach, and I read a lot of books. We went to Ohio and Aidan started middle school. I went to two launch parties for ClassPass and attended a Flywheel class (my first ever spin class. I didn’t like it. My butt was sore for five days because of that hard bike seat. I did like the part with the weights, though.), and a class at The Dailey Method (my first ever barre class. I LOVED it.)

I started acting classes at the Second City Training Center and so far I like it. A lot. The teacher has a real gentle and patient nature about him which I appreciate. Plus he has us do a few yoga moves during the warmup. Cannot ever go wrong with that! This week we started off by playing Red Light Green Light. So fun. We’re working on monologues, and this week I’m doing beat work. It’s challenging. But I know it’ll do nothing but help me.

I’ve also been doing freelance work for Berlitz, which has been fun. I’ve been doing various gigs all over town for Chicago PD (the director was great to work with–he kept calling us “background celebrities”), T-Mobile, etc., and I did a live event for Ravinia which was too much fun. Long days on set. Tiring but I learn a lot and really learn to exercise patience, dig down into the reserves, and call on my experience of working long days in ad agencies. I also realized that no matter how exhausted I am, the word “ACTION” still gets me pumped. So there’s that. Working hard…maybe one day you’ll see me with a speaking part. WAIT. I did have one for the movie Cool Apocalypse. That was fun. :) And I’ve been selected to be part of the hospital core on the show Sirens, so hopefully I’ll start working on that soon and you’ll see me being a nurse or something more often than not.

(I was in that commercial. You can’t see me. At all. But believe me I was there. I have confetti to prove it.)

I’ve been writing a lot. Eating too much. Not getting enough exercise (I know you are SO surprised about that!). I went to a house concert and saw Ginger Doss perform for the first time since 2011, and it was sooooo amazing. She is one of my favorite people to see perform because her voice is magical and her energy is golden. She has so much joy and gratitude to be doing what she loves…and it’s palpable. God, that was a good night.

Jekyll was a lot of fun. A week in the sun, on the beach. I got burned and good, but I don’t even care because now my skin is a gorgeous golden that will be fading way too soon. C’est la vie.

Adam’s mom got this idea for our family photo from Pinterest: we all wore blue, white, or khaki. No shoes. You know the boys grumbled about it but they went along with it anyway. And it was a great idea. Look how amazing we look:

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I honestly can not complain. I had a pretty good summer. Depression is a funny thing. There were some days that I didn’t even want to get out of bed. I hate that there were days I was feeling sad and overwhelmed when it was summer, my favorite season. I should have been out playing and doing yoga and hanging out. Instead, I just wanted to hole up in the house under a blanket. Sucks. And now it’s getting cold and darker earlier and I hate that. I’m a night owl but even I find it hard when it’s pitch black at 4pm.

My 2015 Erin Condren Life Planner arrived. I LOVE it. It’s the first time I ever used the custom colorway and asked for customizations other than the stock photo. I am very happy with how it came out! It’s my two favorite things: rainbow and pink. And polka dots. BONUS. :D

She is here!! My 2015 planner!!  #lifeplanner #eclp #erincondren #eclifeplanner14 #weloveec #organizedlife #pink

I want to start taking The Dailey Method classes all the time. I went Sunday and I’m going again this coming Sunday, and will probably go the next Sunday if nothing else is going on. I need to figure out how to budget that in. Either that place or any barre place really. I plan to try out The Bar Method as well. I also want NEED to get my yoga practice back up and running. Seriously. My pants are all too tight and that is NOT OKAY. I was going to Betty’s Tuesday class but my acting class conflicts, so I need to pick a new class to attend and I think I know which one I’m going to for sure. I want to add at least one more class a week as well. I need something to keep me accountable is what I need.

My child is now in middle school. Can you even? Look at this handsome kid:

Aidan
You guys, I swear he is so super awesome. I hope I’m still saying that when he’s a teenager! :)

Anyway, that’s the gist of what I’ve been doing while avoiding my blog. :) I hope to be better about updating. I really do. But for now, I leave you. Just like summer is leaving me. :(

Summer 2014 Collage

Goodbye summer. I know you technically still have 11 days until you’re gone, but it’s pretty much autumn already. I hope it’s a good one.

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