Jasper. (Almost) Four. (Definitely) Wonderful.

In mere days, my youngest guy- my youngest anyone– will turn four years old. He is my baby. The smallest in the family, sure, but also the one I let things…slide for. I admit it. I never understood it until I had a decided LAST in the family, but once we agreed that our family was complete, he firmly became our “baby.” (When P.J. and I started dated we spoke about having “at least five” hahahahahaha. That lasted until I was {Read More}

CPS students and ‘Hamilton’ on the stage where it happens

Talk about your next-level field trips. On November 29th, students from 15 CPS high schools got to be in in the spotlight at the CIBC Theatre, where the wildly popular Hamilton has been playing in Chicago to downright frenzied acclaim. 1,900 students and teachers from 25 CPS schools were in attendance for the day celebrating the Hamilton Education Program, now in its second year, and proved to be a captive and supportive audience for their brave, creative, and vocal peers. Inspired by Hamilton and {Read More}

I shouldn’t be allowed in church at all (an allergic Advent story)

Despite recent events, I generally consider myself a responsible human being and pretty good at things like functioning in society. When it comes to my kids, that is. As for me? Apparently I have all of the self-preservation of a blindfolded lemming. The other morning, we took the kids to church. At 7:45am. (It was the only early English-speaking mass and it’s literally less than a block north of our home, so it’s more doable than it seems on paper.) {Read More}

4 very specific ways Netflix saved my holiday season (so far)

As a member of Netflix’s Stream Team, I love sharing the best of the streaming best each month- and this month, it may even restore a little of your fa la la. Although I’m compensated, all thoughts, opinions, and travel chargers are entirely my own. The craziness of the holidays is upon us, friends. (Heck, it’s always upon us, but now it’s wearing a little jingle bell.) Even if you’re staying in town- even if you’ve finished your shopping by {Read More}

“You’ll Want to Play With These, Too” Holiday Gift Guide & Book Giveaway!

Usually I let my kids do the fun stuff; the reviewing, the taste-testing, and the experiencing. Not today. I’ve gotta tell you- as soon as these gems arrived on my front porch, I knew that not only were these the kind of toys I wanted to play with, but that this season seemed to be ushering in a renewed love of free play with never-ending options. How awesome is that? (Disclosure: Although I’ve been compensated, all thoughts, opinions, and toys {Read More}

Here’s what’s making me cry this week.

I’ll admit it, I’m a happy crier. I’ll admit even more: I’m a happy crier who used to mock my own mother’s “isn’t this beautiful” welling-up at ads, movies, D.A.R.E. graduations, and so on. But in light of the fact that there’s been so much sad crying lately (and angry crying and incredulous crying and and and…), I’ll cheerfully put my reformed ways out in the open. Most recently, I happy-cried at the Goodman’s beautiful ‘A Christmas Carol,’ during the {Read More}

Thankful…

I’m thankful for so many, many things. My children- and their health, kind hearts, and continued safety as they grow. My husband- who’s so awfully good at reading between the lines that he’s able to help me complete each page and chapter beautifully (and with a minimum of asking questions like “What happened to all the bourbon/are those new shoes?”) My friends- and, more specifically, never-ending text chains with a carefully curated group of awesome texters. We live in the {Read More}

Win 4 tickets to the House Theatre’s (ballet-free!) ‘Nutcracker’

If The Nutcracker makes you think of slippered children and the type of dances that Sugarplum Fairies like best, then the House Theatre of Chicago’s take on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s tale is the refreshing palate cleanser your holiday season may just require. Created by Jake Minton, Phillip Klapperich, Kevin O’Donnell and Tommy Rapley, and directed by Chris Mathews, this production has garnered quite a devoted following over the past 8 years. First off, there’s no ballet. Zero Tchaikovsky. And, while there’s definitely {Read More}