Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Midweek Thoughts - House Ramblings

I know, I know. How can it be that I have more to say about this moving/house process? Believe me, I'm sick of myself too. :)

But I've been having more emotions surrounding this move as we've gotten closer and closer and I thought writing it out might help. 

I always struggle with admitting to having anxious feelings in regard to events that truly are blessings because I never want it to appear that I'm not entirely grateful for the life I've been given and the blessings and privileges that come with it. However, I can't deny that I have worries and less than stellar emotions surrounding "the good stuff" too. And that guilt of a possible perception of ungratefulness only adds to the anxiety, so I try to quiet that when I can. 

I've always been such a dreamer. And not in the larger-than-life kind of dreamer. My dreams have always been grounded in a decent amount of reality. Laying in bed as a little kid I dreamed about graduating college and having a desk in an office and having a dog and kids and the whole thing, but more than anything, I dreamed about having a home.

I grew up watching my grandparents host people in their home constantly, from Christmas parties to summer BBQs. Occassion aside, there was always warmth and love. Their home was filled with laughter and everyone always felt like they belonged. When I was young and would visit my grandparent's house (which was like every week because I was obsessed with them--still am), I would always ask before taking something (obviously--manners, hello), but my grandma always said, "this is your home. You don't ever ask me for anything." And that has stuck with me my entire life.

I have wanted nothing more than to replicate that kind of warmth and their inviting nature in my own home. Of all my dreams, it is of the most importance (second to being a mom one day). And I've spent this entire buying process thrilled to death, brimming with excitement. And then the last week or so, I've been slowing up. My nerves are surfacing and my separation anxiety looming.

I think I can break my anxious thoughts into two major concerns: separation anxiety and relationship anxieties.

I've had separation anxiety from my mom since before I can remember. I think some of this has to do with my parents divorce, but I think mostly, I'm just predisposed to this kind of anxiety. I was born with an inherent attachment to her. When I was a kid I would freak out about sleepovers until at least middle school haha. And even in college, I struggled with going on weekend trips cause I didn't really want to be away from home. It was partly about leaving my mom and partly about leaving my home, and those same thoughts are starting to resurface as I plan to move out for good.

The other concern is so unfounded and not grounded in any kind of reality or anything I've experienced, which is why I'm annoyed I even have these concerns to begin with, but I have some concerns about living with someone. I know that's normal and to be expected, but I think I'm placing a lot of pressure on our relationship to stay as it's been, which is unfair to do because change is always inevitable when environments and circumstances change. I'm overly concerned about us arguing a lot or our dynamic changing. Not much about our relationship or our recent behavior points to any of this actually happening, but I still have the concerns regardless.

I have a list of standard mantras/phrases I repeat to myself when I need to self-soothe/calm the hell down:

my blessings are bigger than my stress 
mind over matter
this is just the fear of the unknown

I know so much of this, if not entirely, is affected by my attitude. When you think or assume something is going to happen, it probably will.

I've stopped setting intentions in the last few weeks and that was such a helpful practice for me mentally that I'm jumping right back on that horse and it's already helped this week immensely. My new mantra of "lean in" has been so helpful too. So often I try to fight back physical outpouring of emotion because it makes me feel like I've given up or am letting things get to me too much, but fighting the sadness or anxiety only makes it worse (which is advice I give to everyone under the sun, so why I'm not listening to myself is baffling).

Another negative instinct I have is to pull away from the people closest to me because it feels like a productive defense mechanism, but it's actually so counter productive because it can introduce other unnecessary issues.

This week I've been practicing leaning into people and my relationships with them, leaning into emotions even if they're hard instead of fighting them, leaning into the reality that some of these thoughts aren't going to go away until I'm in the thick of a this new experience and adventure and that's OK.

I've been worried that after all this time the reality would be that I find more pleasure in the dreaming part of dreams, but when dreams become reality, I'm afraid they'll lose their magic. Somehow accomplishment and achievement is indicative of loss of spark and excitement. Oh well, that's over now. We did that thing. This is where I'd like to think the adventure part of life kicks in. It's the adventure, the journey, that conjures and retains the magic.

And magic has always been my answer for everything, so as long as we believe in magic...

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Weekend Recap

Back at with recapping on a Tuesday ;) this past weekend was so good. It will probably look boring to most, but it was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Sammy and I had plans Friday night to do a little last minute house shopping, but we changed our plans at the last minute when two of his coworkers asked if we wanted to join them and their girlfriends for dinner.

I've been looking forward to meeting his coworkers and their girlfriends for so long, like I've gotten kind of creepy about it considering how many times I've asked Sammy to coordinate something, so I jumped at the opportunity. We met at Weber in Schaumburg and had a nice evening getting to know one another. We were missing a couple (arguably the couple I've been most excited to meet), so I'm looking forward to getting together with them (hopefully!) very soon.

I had the bacon wrapped scallops with garlic green beans and corn polenta and enjoyed it, but then my stomach bothered me for the next day or so which wasn't super fun. 

After dinner we hung out at my house watching Lock Up on Netflix (my ob-frickin-session) and falling asleep intermittently.

I couldn't wait to sleep in on Saturday (no surprise here), so I lounged around for a long while and worked on my embroidery project for mom for a few hours. My mom came with to my haircut appointment and then we spent the rest of the afternoon/evening having dinner and shopping.

It's not often I get to spend lengthy one-on-one time with my mom, so this was so restorative for my soul. I absolutely loved it. We found some good finds at Nordstrom Rack, found a Thai restaurant we're now obsessed with, and ran some house-related errands.

To note: best haircut experience ever. I love everything that's associated with getting a haircut: someone washing your hair, brushing it, etc. But Dara (at the Ulta in Algonquin if you're local--she's incredible!) made it even better. I'm so terrible at taking selfies that I don't have an after photo, only this lovely and incredibly attractive ass-in-seat photo, but maybe I'll have one for Friday Favorites. I'm obsessed with how it looks, it's turned me into an even bigger narcissist ;)

I got these Wit & Wisdom jeans for under $30 at Nordstrom Rack. They have an elastic waist, but also have buttons and pockets and all that. I love how stretchy they are but look like actual jeans. They're more comfortable than any leggings I own. Highly recommend.

I paid a little more than I would have liked for this trench (around $80), but I've been on the lookout for one for months now and it's so stunning and I know I'm going to wear it a TON. Especially in Paris ;)

We had dinner at Ta Wan Thai in Algonquin and we're obsessed. The wonton soup is out of this world. I got the Thai chicken fried rice and I can't even talk about it. 

I had to return the comforter I bought from Target because ya girl bought it while she was half asleep and got the wrong color. So we made a Target run where I picked up a bunch of cleaning stuff, towels, and jersey sheets for our move on Thursday.

We also stopped at Aldi to get my grandma a gift card for Mother's Day (she loves her Aldi money haha) and I grabbed an orchid for Sammy's mother and these hot pink roses for his SIL. I didn't see her on Mother's Day, so Sammy's mom had to bring these to her and since I bought them the night before, I wanted to try to preserve them as best I could. I wrapped a wet paper towel around the stems and then wrapped them in saran wrap before putting them in a little gift bag from Target. I thought it looked cuter than the plastic flowers come in.

We didn't get home until after 10 p.m., but I wanted to bake some of what I planned to make for my mom's breakfast the next morning, so sometime after 11 p.m. I decided to make blueberry and lemon scones and clotted cream haha before crashing into bed.

I got up and made my mom's breakfast-in-bed. I'm definitely going to miss doing this when I'm not living at home anymore, and I think I made a good meal this year. I made her herb crepes with ham, havarti, and arugula with hollandaise sauce. I added a side of roasted potatoes and some blueberry lemon scones.


Our dog has zero concept of personal space whenever anyone has food.

Momma opened up her gifts (is it any wonder I didn't finish the embroidery in time? She loved it anyway and I'll give it to her when it's finished haha luckily I had other gifts for her), ate, and then the ladies (plus Benny) fell back asleep for some naps. 

My uncles and grandma came over in the later afternoon and the men started cooking. I stood by this platter with my favorite favorite beer (after I drank a bottle of $5.99 Bellini mix from Aldi) and basically did nothing.

My uncle made a roast with caramelized onions in a port wine cherry sauce. Absolutely out of this world, and this from a woman who would never eat roast.

He also made corn and black bean salsa, gnocchi, baked potatoes, and peas mixed with caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, and mint. For dessert we had angel food cake with fruit and clotted cream and some truffles.

We just hung out for the rest of the night and enjoyed each others company. It was a lovely end to a family-filled weekend. Couldn't have asked for anything better for my last weekend at home (living there full-time). 

It's moving week, so needless to say I'm struggling to get my shit together. I'm having many, many emotions as well which I'm a little surprised by (although, I really shouldn't be. This is classic "me" behavior.) and trying my best to navigate. It's all going to work out though. Keeping my new mantra at the forefront of my mind: "Lean in." Leaning in to relationships, emotions, adversity, etc., and learning from it.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and good start to the week. xo 

*Linking up with Biana!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, all! It was a WEEK haha. I didn't make it home each night until after 9 p.m. this week and then didn't get to sleep until after midnight. I can't wait to not set my alarm tomorrow morning :) 

On to the faves...

// Our "new address" postcards arrived a week early! That was definitely a favorite. I love how they turned out. I have to grab some stamps, but I'll be sending them whenever we happen to pass a mailbox on Thursday after our closing :)

// I also picked up this little house ornament to give to our sellers with a hand written note. I'm going to put their house number on it with a paint marker. The circumstances around their move aren't very positive and I feel bad they have to move because it's clear they love their home and don't want to leave, so I wanted to give them a little something symbolic of their home and let them know how much we're going to appreciate and take care of the house. 

The Etsy shop is here. She hand paints everything and the details are so sweet up close.

// Speaking of moving, I grabbed this guy from Amazon last week per a recommendation from a coworker. It's supposed to be amazing for packing, so I'm hoping to get a lot of use out of it!
// I also grabbed this jumpsuit because I've been seeing it a ton on my Instagram (those sponsored posts are gunna be the death of me). It just looks so comfy and you can't beat the under $20 price tag on Prime.

// We ordered our couch this week! Sammy's parents have very generously offered to gift us our couch, so we went back to Value City Furniture and got that taken care of. We're so in love with it, I can't wait for everyone to come over and try it out. I swear to them they'll never get up.

We went with the Plush line and got the three piece sofa and ottoman which can be moved around to either side or in the middle.

// We also picked our mattress this week. We're going with the firm Tulo mattress from Mattress Firm which my mother has generously offered to gift us (because our parents are angels).

// Our bedding from Target came in as well (which is the same set I have on my bed right now). I just love the simplicity. Can you tell I love white? ;)
// Earlier this week we had a company outing to see the second Boxcar Children movie. Not sure if anyone remembers those chapter books, but I work for the publishing company that publishes them. The second movie released in a few theatres yesterday, so we all went downtown to go see it!

They picked a theatre that's connected to a FTW, so we got appetizers and drinks and played some games before the movie. We were able to invite significant others and since Sammy happened to be off that day, he was able to join us which was great. We had a lot of fun playing games which made me realize we need to find arcades way more often for date night.

// Stalking the Met Gala photos has definitely been a favorite this week. Can't get over King Chadwick Boseman. #WakandaForever  

// I have a haircut scheduled on Saturday with a new stylist. I've been going to the same gentleman forever because my mom has gone to him forever and his salon is across the street from my office, so you can't beat the convenience. And I normally love the job he does, but lately, a few weeks after I get it cut, the style seems to morph into something I didn't ask/intend for? So I reached out to the woman who did my hair for both of Sammy's cousins' weddings, because I LOVED how it turned out both times, and scheduled a cut with her. Turns out she works in Algonquin which is one town over from where we're moving, so it conveniently makes sense to start going to someone closer to where we'll be living. 

All this to say, I don't know that I have a super clear direction to give her about my hair haha. When my hair is this long, I always say the same thing: keep the length but add some layers for movement. Yet my hair always ends up being one length which I haaaaate. Hopefully what I would like is doable/complimentary to my face shape and all that.

Some of my inspiration:

// I was on the phone with girlfriends two nights this week for a few hours each and it was so good for my soul. Even when conversations drift to not so pleasant topics, it's so good to feel connected to them. Couldn't love them more.

I have plans to do a little shopping and have dinner with my mom on Saturday after my haircut and then looking forward to a low-key Mother's Day on Sunday. Wishing all the mothers/people that mother (however that looks in your family) a wonderful day on Sunday. I'm reminded more and more each year just how significant my mother's presence is. She is the most wonderful. 

Happy weekend! xo

*Linking up with April and Andrea!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Weekend Recap

Today definitely feels like Monday haha but another good weekend in the books and recapping it is making this day a little less ehh.

I stopped into Target on the way home from work on Friday so I could pick up a few storage bins. I wanted to attempt at consolidating some of my stuff in our basement so it's ready to go whenever we decide our first moving day will be (I'm thinking we're going to have a few "moving days"). Most of what I have down there is occasion clothing (not to be confused with special occasion clothing, I'm talking like "ugly" sweater attire and jerseys and shit like that haha), books (surprise, surprise), nostalgic stuff, crafting supplies I've barely used, and random ass purchases I have made for "when I have a house of my own" and totally forgot about. About half those purchases were good ones like the pretty table runner and oven mit below, and the other half were like "why did I need this silver bunny candy dish?" Hopefully it looks OK at Easter...

I did as much as I could tolerate (which was most of my stuff, so that was good) and then spent the rest of the night lounging around the house.

I woke up slow on Saturday and headed out to read on the hammock for a little while before getting a text from Sammy's cousin letting me know of their family's plan to take Sammy's grandpa to the Botanic Gardens. Sammy had to work, but I tagged along and had a great day with his fam.

We have a tiny crawler!

Mr. Green thumb :)

Terrrrrrrrible angle, but we felt some baby kicks too!

I ended up having dinner with Sammy's aunt, just us two, which was the nicest evening. It's rare we get to spend one-on-one time together, so it was such a lovely time. We have very similar personalities so we spent the night talking about books and movies and family. So good. 

We ate at Trezeros in Mt. Prospect (our families know the owner, so it's always nice supporting his business) and loved our meals. I got a glass of Carletto Prosecco and loved it, so I'm now on the lookout for that brand.

I got the meat and cheese appetizer as my entree and was in heaven.

I came home and hung out with my brother and mom for a while before heading up to bed to work on an embroidery project I'm giving my mom for Mother's Day. Two to one odds my mom gets half finished embroidery on Sunday.

On Sunday morning I went to my girlfriend Alicia's second shower! It was at Maggiano's in Vernon Hills, thrown by the MOG's close family/friends.

After the shower, I spent several hours on the hammock reading and napping (mostly napping). It was glorious.

Spent some time comparing the paint chips my mom has (she's painting our kitchen soon) as inspiration for our bedroom and bathrooms.

I'm loving a color like one of the top three for our bathrooms.

My grandma and uncle came over for dinner (per usual on Sundays) and we ate and hung out. I stayed up way too late reading Wild and watching The Office, but that's not a rarity on Sunday night. 

Looking forward to semi-chill workdays this week since we have a lot of prep to do in the evenings for our closing next week. Fingers crossed we get the clear to close tomorrow or Wednesday!

Happy Monday, all! xo