Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Questions For the Start of a New Year

Good morning! 

Today is my "Monday" - I was off yesterday with Teddy for MLK day.  I scheduled a follow up with this allergist to see if he has outgrown his egg allergy, which meant lots of poking for him.  To ease the pain of that situation, we went to the Lincoln Park Zoo beforehand and had a trip to Wiener Circle.  It was a blast, to be honest.  Freezing cold, but a blast 😀. Two weeks now until we find out if he can enjoy some egg casserole with the rest of us! 

I heard about this list of Questions for the Start of a New Year on The Lazy Genius Podcast.  I guess I listen to a lot of Podcasts now?? Let's dive in. 

1) What is my favorite memory from last year? 

I can't pick just one.  While 2021 was not what I think a lot of us hoped it would be, our family did have a lot of good times. I would say my favorite memories all revolve around some little trips we took:  Holland, Michigan and Mackinaw Island in the summer, Maine and Gatlinburg in the Fall.  

2) What was the most restful thing I did? 

Um... took A LOT of naps? Seriously. So many naps. I have a love/hate relationship with naps. I love them because I feel like I wake up a new person, so much more rested and ready to conquer the rest of the day. On the other hand, I hate the "productivity" I feel like I am losing while I nap. 

3) What is the most energizing thing I did?

Riding the Peloton! We got a Peloton bike in January 2021.  I have enjoyed the heck out of that thing. I always say it's like an exercise video game.  My favorite instructors are Robin and Cody.  

4) What am I glad I tried? 

I'm going to cheat here and say I am glad that I tried...putting Teddy into Tae Kwon Do.  It's hard to believe that he only started last Spring because it has become his absolute most favorite thing. 

5) What relationship brought me joy? 

Making friends with some of the parents at Teddy's school and also at my kids' extra-curricular activities.  

6) What experience brought me joy? 

Long walks outside periodically to listen to Podcasts were definitely a sweet spot.  Other than that, I would say see #1 😀. 

7) What was my favorite place? 

In the middle of the year, some days I would go and work at a coffee shop here in town called Coco & Blu. Sometimes the change of scenery for a yummy drink and a quiche will do me good. 

8) What was my favorite outfit?

Ooooo this is fun. I am now the proud owner of a lineup of cozy sweaters.  Give me a cozy sweater and a pair of Wit & Wisdom jeans, with either my UGG boots or my new Marc Fisher boots, and I am a happy girl. 

9) What was my favorite book/show/movie? 

I really did not do a good job of keeping track of the books I read in 2021. I enjoyed reading Isaac Mizrahi's memoir - IM. That was a good one. 

So many good shows!! I loved Mare of Easttown and right now, I'm enjoying And Just Like That.  It feels like a warm hug from the past. 

Movie? Kids movies... at the movie theater. Encanto. 

10) What was my favorite part of the day? 

Always the early morning, first sip of coffee feeling. 

11) What has changed in me that I am proud of? 

Keeping an open mind. 

12) What made me laugh?

The Big Boo Cast (my favorite Podcast) & Curb Your Enthusiasm.  Also, tons and tons of funny things said by my little girl Joey. 

13) What was something that felt hard at the beginning of last year but is easier now? 

Accepting the constantly changing news and protocols on COVID-19? 😂

14) What am I glad I finished? 

Potty training Joey Lucy!!!!!!!!

15) What is something I'm really glad happened? 

Teddy's 5th Birthday Party - Superhero Extravaganza 😀. Christmas spent with lots of family. 

16) What did I miss? 

Working downtown surrounded by work friends.  

17) Who did I miss? 

See #16.

18) What made me feel like myself? 

Getting my hair done at my favorite salon (Salon Buzz).  That is probably a vain answer, but it's the truth. Nobody does blonde like them. 

19) What words would I use to describe last year? 

Not what I expected, but lots of good. 

20) What words would I use to describe myself in the past year?


21) What mattered most last year?

Keeping home the "safest" and most comfortable place.  

22) What didn't matter as much as a I thought it would?

Perfection - sometimes done at 90% is better than striving for 100%. 

23) What did I learn about myself in the last year?

That I can be really hard on myself, and I need to work on that. 

24) How do I feel about myself after this last year? 

The only word that comes to mind is OK 😂.  See #23. 

25) How do I want to feel about myself next year?

I suppose a good goal would be "better than OK" 😂. 

26) What do I want to bring from last year into this year?

Traveling to some new places domestically with my family.

27) What do I think will matter this year? 

Keeping the faith and always having a hopeful mindset. 

28) What habits/rituals/rhythms do I hope for? 

Exercising in the mornings, "eating the frog" after that (getting my most important work task out of the way first thing in the workday), and outsourcing/delegating/automating as much as possible for things that suck a lot of my time out of my days. 

29) What do I want to finish/start? 

    a. Finish? More books - maybe one a month. 

    b. Start? Blogging again ✅

30) Based on my last year, what advice would I want to give myself moving into this year? 

Your happiness should not always be based upon everything going as planned/expected. 


Wow!! I cannot believe I answered all 30 questions. If you read all my answers, thanks for being here! 

Have a fantastic Tuesday!



Monday, January 17, 2022

Joey Lucy is 3

Good morning! 

It's been a long time since I have blogged.  I love reading blogs, and I still do read my favorites every morning, but I'm not so sure how many other people are still stopping by to read these things. 

So...if you are reading today - hi! 


I need to send a huge shout out to Dusten Modjeska for recovering my blog!! It got lost for a minute there.  He found it.  Thank you!!

P.S. I am not going to filter my pictures for my post...welcome to 2009... you're welcome 😉!


Since we last spoke here, we have welcomed our little girl and a whole lot of other change into our lives.  

Josephine Lucy Miller was born on a negative temperature day in January 2019.   I still feel awful that I have give this girl a birthday right after Christmas, especially since she was an IVF baby and you think we could have timed it better. It took me quite a while after having Teddy to feel ready to have another baby, so when I was ready, I just had to get it done and not worry about the timing of her party day.  

In the spirit of catching you up, since my last post, I have also changed jobs.  I left private practice after being with the same firm for 10 years to go in house for an insurance company.  It has now been over two years with that company and I still feel that I have been very lucky for this new opportunity.  

We are still (STILL! UGH!!!) dealing with this COVID-19 pandemic and I have switched to almost exclusively working from home, which has been a huge blessing for my kids, but it's also been an adjustment for me personally.  I started going back into my office once a week sometime towards the end of 2021, which I have really enjoyed.  Going into the city, while not really necessary to get my work done at this point, gives me a totally different energy! 

We still live in the same house. I adore our neighborhood, everything about it.  I would like to get some more space on this house, maybe even my own office, but that is a conversation for a different day (talk to my husband, please 😅).

Now that we have caught up.... my purpose for coming on here today was to share a little bit about Joey's third birthday with you. 

On the morning of my kids' birthdays, I like to decorate a little bit and give them their gift(s).  (I always get a balloon garland and a banner on Etsy!)

Joey is super into playing bakery, always serving us cake and cupcakes, so we got her a little Patisserie with a cart (huge success!). Apparently, it was a pain to put together, but I would say it's been worth it. 

Joey's daycare does a great job of making their birthdays special.  A special sign/banner, blow up birthday cake, presents, friends...and cupcakes, of course! 

After daycare, we had Oma & Uncle Steve over for pasta (from Nino's) and.... more cake! 

Saturday morning, it was our girl's party day!  She loved her Paw Patrol bow and necklace (shocker...also from Etsy!). 

Joey's favorite place in Arlington Heights is BerryYo Frozen Yogurt. My mom (her "Oma") started taking Joey to BerryYo after daycare a long time ago and Joey has become quite the little celebrity there. 

We decided to go with a Paw Patrol theme about six months ago.  It's a miracle she didn't change her mind on that one 😀.

I swear, I tried to keep this party as simple as possible after the Superhero extravaganza we hosted for Teddy's 5th birthday at our house last summer.  Which was incredible.  But nearly put me in the bed. 

I called in Happy Kids Chicago to do 30 minute dance party with Chase & Skye, picked up cupcakes from Deerfield Bakery, and ordered Papa Johns.  Is there really anything easier or more reliable than Papa Johns?! 

Party hack for you, I always get bouquets from the grocery store and split them up into multiple mason jars for centerpieces. 

One game changer about this party was that BerryYo helped out so much.  They put together gift bags, helped me decorate before the party, coordinated and ran activities for the kids at the party, and even helped me box things up and take them out to my car after the party.  I mean... wow! 

If you have young kids, these character rentals really seem to make the party and you get a lot of bang for your buck! 

Don't @ me about all the sugar, okay?!

I almost cannot believe we pulled this party off.  It really did feel like so many factors where playing against us.  But, we did it!

Some more party hacks for you:

1) Listen to the "How to be Awesome at Everything" Podcast - she has some awesome episodes about throwing kids parties.  Also follow her on Instagram @lindsayscloud because she has highlights of her kids' prior parties.  

2) SAVE things from your kids' parties... I have re-used so much over the years at future parties, you would be surprised. 

3) Dollar tree for the balloons!! Seriously!

4) Dollar tree first before going to Party City.  And you can make that stop the day before the party, then you will really know exactly what you need and how much of it to buy!

5) Have your pizza place double cut your pizza (if it's triangle slices). Perfect kids' sized pieces! 

6) 11AM is the best party start time, in my humble opinion 😉.

Thanks for stopping by to read today!