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Archive for the 'Adventure' Category

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Vacation!

We are off on a family vacation for the next few days in New England. Let me tell you, we are head over heels excited about this.

Perfect Summer Weekend

This weekend is what I needed. It was as close to perfect that I’ve had in a long time. And, what I mean by that is it was normal. I feel like it represented that idea of a weekend with Eleanor that I had always hoped for. It didn’t seem like work – it just happened with ease. It left me really happy.

Nathan and I cuddled on the floor Friday afternoon. We watched Black Swan. We slept in until 8 Saturday morning. He biked to get us morning coffee. I drank mine on the porch as I admired the squash, tomatoes, and cucumbers coming in. Eleanor rolled and chatted all day. Rain shower. We cleaned. We went for a long family walk. Thrifting. Subway. Sleepy Baby. Cucumber Gazpacho. I love you, Phillip Morris. Slept in until 8 again. Play time with Eleanor. Logan Square Farmer’s Market. Jug Band. Blueberries. Met a mama named Julie Ann and a baby named Adelaide. Thrifting (again – yes we are obsessed). Pooltime. Australian Beer. Sunshine. Swimming. Baby in suit. Floating. BBQ. Homemade Pickles.

It was lovely I’m telling you.

Logan Square Farmer's Market

Logan Square Farmer's Market

Logan Square Farmer's Market

Logan Square Farmer's Market

Logan Square Farmer's Market

Poolside

Poolside

Poolside

Poolside

August and Everything After

August and Everything After

August first. It holds so much significance to me without really meaning anything. It’s a beautiful day. The beginning. The end. Everything After.

Beach…check!

We went to this tiny little beach up north this past weekend. I love this place. A friend of mine showed it to me last year, and we used it as a location for her bridal pictures. It is secluded, clean, and breezy. On any hot summer Chicago day you might think you were at the ocean. The water is crystal clear – I could see little fishies swimming around me and pebbles lining the bottom of the lake. I’m ready to go back. And, swimming was perfect. The water was cold, but there were pockets of warmth where the sun was busy shining down.

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My mom loves the water. She was in heaven.
We really want to take Eleanor swimming, but unless we get her a bodysuit I’m not sure the lake will ever be warm enough. She didn’t mind the little bit where the shore met the sand, though.

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Love in 75 Days

It’s Friday.
Twelve weeks ago today I sat awake for hours with anticipation wondering when my darling baby would be born. I was only 3 days past my due date, but I was emotionally exhausted. I had finally admitted it to myself. And, I decided I needed whatever time I had left before baby girl arrived to rest, so I began my maternity leave. She gave me exactly one week before she arrived – I mopped, scrubbed, danced, vacuumed and slept…oh, did I sleep to my heart’s desire. I was so afraid to admit it, but I was ready for her.

Even as a child running through fields of grass catching bumblebees in mayonnaise jars, skinning knees, making sand pies, and splashing in my Noah’s Ark pool has twelve weeks never flown by so fast. That first morning with Eleanor was a haze of euphoria and love between this family Nathan and I had created. In between three hour intervals of sleep we stared at this tiny little person, counted all of her fingers and toes, and breathed in every last drop of her freshness. We were in love. Exhausted, and in love.

We stayed awake for hours trying to figure out how to breast feed. We gobbled down food from the cafeteria. We held our baby as she slept because we didn’t want to be even an inch away from her. I remember the first time they took her away to give her a hearing test. When they brought her back to us they had to read off the little numbers on our wristbands, but I just stared at her face. That was my baby. I could tell in her tiny cat eyes, her round, soft head, and her adorable pug nose.

Since then I haven’t been away more than two hours from our Eleanor James. Every morning she greets me with a snuggle and a gummy smile. I’m her mother, and she knows. She stares at me as she nurses, and I swear I see love in her eyes. As soon as she was born I knew I loved her, but this maternal-instinctual-would-give-up-anything-for-you love has slowly grown over the past 75 days. It’s consuming and beautiful, and I know that Nathan and I are so blessed to be able to watch this little baby grow into a girl and a woman some day.

On Monday my leave is up. I will return to work, but more than that I will be away from my baby the longest yet. I’m trying to stay calm, and remember that she is in loving hands. That she will grow to be a social, caring person because of the time she gets to spend with her grandmother and father. But I know my heart will ache for her presence. I will probably walk around all day patting my pockets, checking my bag thinking I’ve forgotten something. I’ll remember that she may not be in my arms, but where it counts we are both full of love.

Indiana Dunes

Our trip to the Indiana Dunes was so much fun! We had the best of both worlds – a cool foggy morning on the beach and a sunny afternoon with frisbee, football, beer, and a bbq!

Indiana Dunes

Indiana Dunes

My best friend since high school Angela recently moved to Indiana, and our dream of having our families one day hang out is now a reality. I still can’t believe we have known each other nearly 15 years! I can’t believe how grown up and beautiful her babies are either!

Angela and I with our first born(s)

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My hubs and my best friend since highschool

Indiana Dunes

Indiana Dunes

Brutter and Sister

Miss Ellie slept and ate most of the day, but I think she loved the beach. She is so alert and always wants to be facing out when possible to soak up the world. Nathan and I decided we should come her a couple more times this summer. Not only is it not that far, but there are hiking trails and camping!

Indiana Dunes

Indiana Dunes

Angela and Ellie

And, of course we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to get a group photo. In case you are wondering Eleanor is in the Sam’s Club bag. Yep. It was still pretty chilly and quite windy, and we didn’t have anywhere to put her (we don’t own one of those car seats that pops in and out). So we improvised, and she slept peacefully.

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Indiana Dunes

*Most of these photos were taken by my brother Drew Kirk, except for the top two which my husband took. They are both pretty talented with the camera I’d say.

Happy Monday

Hope you rock this much today!

Rock and Roll Baby

Summer?

It’s been hotter than this fair skinned girl is used to, and have we been keeping busy! Eleanor has been all over the city the past few days, and I am feeling rather proud of our accomplishments. I can’t wait to share pictures, and hopefully start a little Chicago Loves Eleanor memory book for her soon. I really want her to be able to look back at the city she was born in with wonderment and love. I moved here 5 years ago this past weekend, and look at all The City brought me!

cooling off
Me and Ellie Bean cooling off in front of the Art Institute today. We tuckered ourselves out, but it was worth it!

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Summer Fun List!

- see a movie in the park
- visit the market each week
- take Eleanor to the barn at the zoo
- Indiana Dunes with the Jacksons!
- camping x2 with friends
- hike Starved Rock
- visit Montrose Bird Sanctuary
- go to Michigan to visit our favorite fruit farmers – Ellis Family!
- lots of grilling out
- family photo shoot with Mister James Andrew Kirk
- Ren Faire
- Apple Picking at the Holler
- tend to our Front Yard Farm
- ride my bike as much as possible including Critical Mass for my birthday
- throw a party with balloons and cake
- spend a few Sundays at the Lake
- festivals – Chicago Blues fest, Do Division, Renegade, Printer’s Row, Green Music fest, West fest, WP fest
- read 3 more books (1 for each month)
- enjoy the days with my little family

I’m so excited to do most of these things with Eleanor (minus Crit Mass which my mom will be here for and can babysit!). It’s going to be a rockin summer.

It’s All New

Wicker Park

It felt like summer today. I pulled our blinds up and opened all the windows to let the outside stream in. Birds sang lullabies to Eleanor, and we danced for a bit in the light. She is changing so suddenly, our little girl. Her face is full of new expressions. Finally we are seeing personality and it has me filled with even more anticipation. All of this growth means less sleep, and more activity though I am only finding this out in the moment. Eleanor hasn’t figured out how to send me a memo yet.

So today there was no early morning nap that we are used to, but I was determined to get us ready and out the door. We had a summer city to explore!

Wicker Park

Wicker Park

She loved watching the tree branches sway in the wind. Her little eyes were so alert as soon as I pulled her out of the wrap and laid her on the blanket. Introducing her to new things, I’m learning, is also inspiring to me. Suddenly I remember I’m 8 years old and riding my bike until dusk, or 4 and making mud pies along the forest line with my ginger haired best friend Eric. Watching her wide-eyed and new encourages me to let go and be.

The world is yours baby girl.

Wicker Park

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