warrior.

Holy banana. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? The world’s falling apart. The U.S. is becoming unrecognizable. I’m torn, being upset and feeling helpless about everything. And yet, there are good things happening, things that make me laugh and smile. I don’t know whether to be outraged and fighting every day, or to grab joy and relish it in whenever I can, because who knows how long I’ll have it?

So today, I’m choosing joy. At least for a while.
I have so much to update you on!
Settle in, if you’re interested.

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To be honest, I don’t remember much of the end of March, except plugging away at finishing up my Day Job, and preparing for a life of leisure.

Ha ha ha ha, just kidding. Sort of.

My life did slow down a bit, which was needed. Everyone was telling me I’ve been working so hard and that I deserved this time off to rest and recenter. I don’t know about all that… but I did welcome the rest.

Still, I’ve been up to a lot since the Day Job ended. I’ll break it down by month!

April
Catch Up! I cleaned my room (it’s since become kind of a mess again). I guess I did some general housekeeping. I spent time with Aidan for his Spring Break. I got obsessed with playing The Sims again. I started upgrading the PC that sat unused most of the year in the living room. I started limiting my time on social media to do a lot of soul searching.

My left shoulder started hurting… (and it still hurts to this day. Trying to figure out why.)

Watched A Midsummer Night’s Dream ballet at the Joffrey and it was super memorable. Really enjoyable.

May
I treated myself to a spa day at Allyu Spa. I got the works. Facial, massage, sauna, shower, lunch, mani-pedi, chakra balancing. It was such a good day! And something deep in me clicked. I felt I was hitting a reset button. I felt the darkness that had followed me around like a storm cloud all year was starting to dissipate.

I flew out to Ohio to spend a week with my mommy, which was much needed! We talked and ate good food and shopped and spoiled each other. We both needed that, and I can’t wait to go see her again. The coolest part was Aidan came up that Wednesday to spend Memorial Day with Mommy, and he’d had no idea I was there. It was so much fun surprising him! I saw my cousins and it was amazing catching up. I hadn’t seen most of them in way too long.

I started making friends in the Sims community and watching YouTube videos, really upping my game and building. It’s such a great creative outlet for me, and a lot of fun.

Continued to be cautious on social media. Being more mindful of what I was taking in, and how I was letting it affect me.

June
I finished upgrading my computer and setting up my gaming station. I have to say it’s pretty sweet!

I’m a “casual gamer” and I’m OK with that, but I’m still glad I have a nice setup to play. Makes the game so much easier to play.

Aidan came for the summer. We’ve been playing A Way Out on the Playstation 4. We like our games!

I had a write-in and lunch with a couple of #ChiYA members. That was fun and productive.

It was a good day with @anna.waggener and @mizzlizziecooke 🌸 (repost from @mizzlizziecooke )

I started seeing my chiropractor again. I used to go in 2011, but I stopped when I left my job at Schawk. I’m glad to be back. Everyone there remembered me!

Saw The Incredibles 2 with Aidan. Wow!!

At the end of June, we headed to Georgia for quality time with the Selzer side of the family!

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Photo

We spent time in Atlanta, Jekyll Island, and Savannah! Jekyll is so magical. One of my favorite nights was high tide during golden hour. Another favorite night was stargazing and watching the big full moon rise over the ocean. I don’t have good pictures of that, but trust me, it was gorgeous.

Moonrise over the ocean a couple of nights ago 💙 #ocean #jekyllisland #sunset #moon #waves

When we got back to Atlanta, we visited with family and friends, ate good food, and had a general good time. We also got to meet a baby!!

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On July 4, I got to spend it with friends, some very old and dear. It was a day of meeting new people, eating good food, listening to good music, getting caught in the rain, and drunk karaoke. Good, good times!!

When you’re lucky enough to spend July 4 with super awesome people 🙌🙌🙌 #latergram

Aidan and I came back to Chicago on July 5.

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Aidan immediately disappeared into his video came and independent study cave. He comes out to eat and chat a bit, then he disappears again. Adam and I have been turning our place into a smart home. It’s so cool to tell Alexa to turn the lights on or off, lock the door, or play music. I love it.

I’m now fully in normal life. For some reason, I’ve been waking up fairly early, even when I stay up sort of late. I think my time in Eastern time has thrown me off a bit. I don’t mind.

My freelance load is picking up, there are some exciting things afoot (that I can’t reveal just yet), and Aidan is still here for seven more weeks! Next week, Aidan and I are heading to Atlanta (for one night) then Tennessee for a writing retreat. Writing and/or editing for me, not sure what Aidan will get up to! Probably video games. I’m looking forward to mountains and nature. Something about that is so inspiring.

Can’t believe it’s already next week!

Whew! I think I’m all caught up! Hopefully I’ll be back sooner than several months… but we’ll see how that goes. I have lots to say, but sometimes the thought of putting everything into words on here overwhelms me. I have to get back to pushing past that! In the meantime, there is twitter and instagram. Give ya girl a follow, eh?

Till next time!

That feeling when you just get back from the hair salon ☺️

as 2017 winds down.

autumn in norway

It’s been AGES, right? I say this so much. Then I secretly vow to be better at blogging…and then I fall off again. To be fair, I’ve been fairly busy, and I have so much to tell you!

Since my last post, well, if you followed me on instagram or twitter, you know that I was abroad for most of September. I got to travel with Jennifer, who is one of my very best friends and also my soul sister, and it was amazing. It’s been a month since I’ve been back and I still can’t form words. Not only did I get to eat great food, see beautiful sights, and meet amazing people, but I got to spend a month with Jennifer! Having long distance best friends is hard, so we pretty much crammed all of our girl time into those three and a half weeks.

Here are a few photo collages from the trip:

💕💕💕💕🐝🌼👯
(I stole this one from Jennifer)

Oh #copenhagen #denmark, I love you so so so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Well hello there Denmark! I certainly did not expect to love you so much!! ❤️ #Denmark #copenhagen #europe #travel

A wonderful day in #norway ☀️😍

I got back to Chicago and was immediately thrust back into full-time and freelance work. I worked some when I was abroad, but it was different, working in a hotel room in Italy or Denmark rather than my apartment in Chicago. There, I’d open the window and listen to the languages and the different sounds and it was so awesome. Here, Fi is still making stinky messes every 40 minutes or so. I don’t have much room to spread out like I want. They’re tearing down a building across the street and for a week straight, my entire building would shake while they were doing their work. Charlotte has grown a lot, and she is a very naughty kitten! I’m covered in scratches and bites. She’s not the little rag doll she was the first day she came home. She’s feisty and vocal and strong-minded. I’ve had to start using the squirt bottle on her. I hate doing it, but she’ll just keep being naughty otherwise. Sometimes it’s exhausting. But then she tires out and collapses on me, and holds on to me so tight, and all my exasperation with her evaporates.

Also during October, Aidan went to homecoming (I KNOW), I got a massage, I got all my watches fixed, I cleaned out a lot of clothes and things to donate, and I cleaned out the bathroom and threw out four bags of old shampoo and body washes and things. I did a panel at Windy City RWA with my fellow ChiYA bloggers. I kept up (mostly) with my Personal Power University class (don’t ask me about the homework I still have to turn in!). And Aidan popped in for a long weekend. It was cool spending time with my awesome kid. Adam’s parents also popped in for a bit, and that was cool.

The Fam

I also spent weeks trying to catch up and I think I’m *finally* there. It felt like my To-Do lists were growing even though I was steadily doing things. I haven’t been back to yoga, or barre (haha in years for this one), I barely got any new writing done. I interviewed for a job but ultimately decided it wasn’t for me. That was a weird position to be in. So much is going on all the time…and the Day Job is busy. So it does seem like the list of things to do is never ending. So, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I came home after my massage Saturday and slept for hours and hours. Got up, maybe had a snack, and then slept all night.

But now, it’s two minutes to midnight at the time of this typing. That means November is not only looming, but it’s HERE, and it will definitely be here when this post goes live. Every weekend through the end of the year is booked except one and I just hope I can sleep in at least two of them. Soon there will be Thanksgiving and Christmas and expectations and family and oh God. I can’t even think about it now.

Instead, I’m going to bed. Till next time!

Just me

disney 2017.

My Happy Place 2017

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, this is not news to you… but I went to Disney World again! :) We stayed in the Polynesian, which was my holy grail resort, and now I want to *always* stay there. Beautiful grounds, comfortable room and bed, fun tiki bar with yummy drinks, great service all the time, monorails, close to Magic Kingdom… it was just amazing.

(I asked Aidan if he’d rather to go Disney every year and stay at a cheaper resort, or go every few years and stay at the Poly, and he picked option 2. When I asked if he’d rather go every year and stay at the Poly every year [MY preference] he said that it was a lot of money and that I work too much and too hard as it is. I have the best kid ever.)

Some of my favorite moments:
– riding Avatar: Rite of Passage (omG AMAzING!) and seeing Pandora, which is beautiful
– seeing Bev at Garden Grill
– Lola getting a Bippity Boppity Boutique makeover
– awesome dinner time conversations
– campfire brownie
– Happily Ever After
– playing in the photo booths
– finding the rose gold Minnie ears!
– running into Josh & Kelly

It was a really, really, really good trip.

I put together a few collages for your viewing pleasure, and there’s also a link to a full album of photos. Enjoy, and I’ll see ya soon!

Magical

Very Magical

So Magical

The Magicallest

poor neglected blog.

Grounds of Dalvey House

It’s been a long time. I keep doing this. Sorry. The good thing is that I don’t have a huge following knocking down my door demanding updates. The bad thing is that I don’t have a huge following knocking down my door demanding updates.

Yet. *evil grin*

Anyway. You know me. Bullet points and gumdrops, so here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve been up to since that amazing time in New York City where I got to talk to Theo James and he talked back to me for 45 seconds.

· planned my 2016 Disney trip! I’m going with my mom, Aidan, my aunt Geneva, and my cousins Janae and Terri. Janae, Terri, and Geneva have not been and Janae (who just became the first person in our family to get a Master’s degree) is beside herself. My mom is super excited to ride Soarin’ again (even though it’s all new), and Aidan and I are excited in general because it’s DISNEY WORLD.

· worked on novel revisions, and got amazing feedback from a few industry professionals. Just waiting on one final sign off before I take next steps. Eeeek!

· started watching Once Upon a Time on Netflix and fell in love with the first season. Having a harder time with Season 2, with this Frankenstein stuff. I want fairy tales, not sci-fi, so we’ll see where it goes. My favorite characters are Regina and Rumple. LOVE them. Especially Regina. Everything about her. The way she speaks and carries herself. Her style, with the black and white crisp suits. Her makeup and hair. Her decor. I live for her episodes.

· which leads me to this point: I think I’m starting to like villains better than the people I’m supposed to be rooting for? I popped in a DVD of the show Popular the other night and was fangirling like crazy over Nicole, when I used to be obsessed with Sam. What is this madness? Truly, I always thought the people who rooted for villains were just doing it to be subversive, but I don’t know. There’s something appealing about the bad guys and their complexities. It started with Snape, then the movie Maleficent where I fell for her too. Interesting.

· saw the movie WAR ON EVERYTHING and loved the villain in that too BUT I suspect that had a lot more to do with the villain being played by Theo James (and the 45+ second shirtless scene of him walking through his mansion) than character study, but then again, I remember being fascinated by his motives and his mental process and what drove him to be the way he was. I mean, you all know I love the man’s acting. He gives his characters such nuance and he did an awesome job in that movie.

Michael Pena, one of the stars of the movie, was at the showing. People were making a big deal. I asked a publicist if Theo was coming and he said no, but he’d tried to get them all. I wonder if it would have been nearly as laid back if Theo was there. I would hope so. He’s not that well known outside of Divergent circles and hardcore fans, which is a shame but which is also nice.

· the biggest thing though was that I WENT ABROAD! I finally left United States soil and went to the United Kingdom, where I spent a lovely week in a Scottish mansion drinking endless cups of tea, hanging with writer friends, listening to gorgeous accents, eating loads of snacks, being cold almost all the time, sleeping in a room fit for a princess, and writing and exploring. It was amazing and I am so proud that I did it. I was so nervous but I did it, and I cannot wait to get back over there.

Grounds at Cawdor Castle and me!
me in the wall garden at Cawdor Castle, Scotland

Dalvey House
Dalvey House, my home for that week

Dalvey House - Group Photo
These AMAZING and GORGEOUS people

Inside Dalvey House
Where I slept every night. I KNOW RIGHT?

Grounds of Dalvey House
So. Many. Flowers. *heart eyes*

Cawdor Castle
Cawdor Castle

And there are more pictures where those came from! [LINK]

· thought I missed the lilac bloom this year because of Scotland, but nope! They waited for me! And they smell heavenly. :)

· preparing for Aidan’s summer vacation! He arrives June 2 and I am so excited. Cannot wait to see that guy. His room is a hot mess. There is one part I will fix up, but the LEGOs all over the floor? Not. Touching.

· finally listened to Hamilton all the way through and I get it. It’s amazing and it gets stuck in my head like RENT. One of these days I’ll see it. Maybe when the demand dies down a bit. That could be ten years, though. :O

And I think that’s all for now. :) Probably the next time I write will be post Disney trip, ha ha. Till next time!

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