Bachelor Recap: Stuck on the Seine

Goodbye Ft. Lauderdale, hello Paris!

Arie and the girls finally head to somewhere worth going this week as they head to the "City of Love." (Except I always thought it was the City of Lights?)

The girls arrive in Paris and Krystal is dressed like Sandy from Grease. (That coupled with her velvet top gave me serious pause this week.) They check out their accommodations—a hotel boat that literally looks like a dark, imposing war ship. At first, I thought said boat was maybe where they were going to have a happy hour or something, but when the ladies started flopping down on the beds, it became clear they would not be leaving.


All I know is, if I've never been to Paris and am told that my time here will not be spent on an adorable side street in a boutique hotel, an adorable flat or even a GRAND hotel on a river where I can smell pastries from my open window, but instead will be trapped in a fucking riverboat cruise/Parisian brothel on the Seine (not to be confused with Seinne) and that I can’t ACTUALLY see Paris...I'm out.

Chris tells the ladies this week will be different, as there will be TWO 1-1 dates, one group date and our first 2-1 date. Chris and Arie have a pep talk to discuss the upcoming week and Arie’s high hopes:

“I think it’s going to be such an amazing week and it’s been really amazing thus far.”

This week was a lot of things, but amazing, it was not. It started with Lauren B.’s 1-1.

Lauren’s date
Arie and Lauren go off to explore Pars and I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that it.was.painful. Lauren, like Arie, is clearly not cut out for television. She seems nice, but is generally super quiet and reserved. Not that that’s bad, but as we all know for this show, it doesn’t work. The daytime portion of the day was basically them walking around in silence or talking about cheese wheels, with a random “wow,” here or there.  


At dinner, they had more riveting conversation. Like this one:

Arie: There's like so much beauty in a city like this.
Lauren: I know, it's amazing.
Arie: Yeah. It was so busy out today, too.
Lauren: Mmm hmm.
Arie: It's like, really busy. Almost like, insane.
Lauren: I know. That kind of freaked me out a little bit.
Arie: I know, I could tell a little bit. But I could see how you were a little overwhelmed because I was overwhelmed, too, you know?

So.do they literally mean people walking around in one of the biggest cities in the world was overwhelming, or...what am I missing?

Eventually they get a little more in depth as Arie shares some super personal details about a previous relationship that included a miscarriage. Lauren’s reaction was, like her reaction to all things, unreadable. In return, she reveals she had a broken engagement, trust issues and keeps guys in the friend zone for six months. All things you want to hear when looking for love in the timespan of 6 weeks, the exact amount of time needed to trust someone, get engaged and sleep together. Somehow, she gets a rose. It’s not that I don’t like Lauren, it’s just that she’s very dull. I haven’t seen her excited about ANYTHING, so it’s hard to believe her when she says she’s super into Arie.

And another thing—how weird was it for Arie to continually say he doesn’t know anything about Lauren, but that he is just so attracted to her and wants so much for there to be something? Feels like these two are trying way too hard to me, but what do I know?

The Group Date

Bekah, Seinne, Becca, Tia and Chelsea head to the Moulin Rouge for their date. They’re all way more enthusiastic than one should be about Moulin Rouge. Especially knowing that they’ll have to dress like a stripper with a headdress. If I was on this show, I would literally kill myself if I ended up the date that requires choreography, costume and performing in front of an audience. I would actually lose this date on purpose.

All of the girls look amazing in their beaded thongs (must be nice), but Arie chooses Bekah to perform with him later in the evening. He also makes it clear that he did not choose based on the date, but based on who he had a connection with.


So, what you’re saying is, the date was a waste of time and these girls paraded around in next to nothing just so you could get a better feel for who you’d want to see in the Fantasy Suite? Cool. Bekah M. gets the rose.

The 2-1
Krystal being picked for the 2-1 date surprised literally no one, least of Krystal, who claims she has been “preparing” for the 2-1, that she’s confident/not worried, etc. So...how did you know you’d be on the 2-1? She also says she knew she’d be picked because she has a target on her back. She does know that the girls aren’t picking who goes on this date, right?


Krystal is even more of an asshole this week, starting first with the snarky way she told Kendall she’d be joining her on the date, and ending with her reaction when Kendall called her out on being a backstabbing krazy person.

The date starts with Krystal and Arie “making up” from their big fight. Perhaps the best quote was Krystal’s description of their love as having so much “texture, color and depth.” What? Krystal also tells Arie that she’s not sure Kendall is ready to get married. (this coming from a porn star). CLASSIC BACHELOR MISTAKE. Kendall and Arie go into the woods for a chat, where Arie tells on Krystal, and Kendall spends her time defending herself. Kendall is super quirky, but I actually really like her, and I *think* Arie does, too. Let’s get to the good part where Kendall calls Krystal out on her bullshit by speaking calmly, slowly and logically, all while inching closer and closer with each word:


Kendall: I’ve dated someone like you before. Where in the face of conflict, they have told me things that have hurt me. And um, I guess I learned that saying the thing that’s most hurtful doesn’t necessarily mean you win. It means you hurt somebody. {scootches closer}
Krystal: [silence] {steam starts pouring from ears}
Kendall: I can definitely empathize with you. {scootches closer}
Krystal: [silence] {eyes slit, steam starts pouring from nose, head looks like it’s going to explode}
Kendall: [silence] {scootches closer}
Krystal: I don’t really have words.

MIND.BLOWN. It was incredible.

Arie says he needs more time and he’ll see them both at dinner, where he takes Kendall away to chat and WE DON’T GET TO SEE IT! WHAT DID THEY TALK ABOUT? RELEASE THE FOOTAGE! Two minutes later, Krystal gets the news that SHE GONE. The editing got me for a minute, because I did actually think that Arie might do the opposite, but for once...he comes through.

Jacqueline’s 1-1
Who is Jacqueline, might you ask? Great question, given we literally saw her for the first time last week. I don’t know what to make of this girl. She’s clearly super intelligent, which, when we find these girls (her, Kendall, Seinne, Tia), always makes me think, WHY ARE YOU HERE? You’re destined to be more than an Instagram product hocker. Anyway, she and Arie attempt to ride off into the sunset, but the car dies, so instead they take a taxi to attempt another Pretty Woman-esque date (al la Becca K.) Arie later tells her that her hopes and dreams won’t be a problem. Gee, thanks. Jackie is as shocked as the rest of us when she receives a rose.

At the rose ceremony, Chelsea and Jenna go home. Who is Jenna again? We’re down to 6: Kendall, Bekah M., Becca K., Lauren B., Seinne and Tia. My top 4 predictions for hometowns:

  1. Becca
  2. Jacqueline
  3. Kendall
  4. Lauren

The only reason I took Bekah M. out of my top 4 is purely because of the ridiculous story about how she’s been reported as a missing person by her mother. I just feel like the timelines of the filming and her “disappearance” are funky and that her mom seems to be super cray, and I can’t see Arie having been a part of that, or not having heard about her yet on the show.


ALSO - what is up with the previews for next week AND the previews for the rest of the season? Apparently “everyone” is talking about the finale of this season and I guess they wanted to give a taste? It better be good, cuz the rest of this season hasn’t been.

Until next week in Tuscany...
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Connor: Months 1, 2, 3

I heard about second child syndrome before I had one (you know, where the second child doesn't get all the same love, attention and fanfare that the first child did?), but didn't believe it. I'm a second child after all, and haven't experienced such a thing!



It exists.

Case in point: My monthly updates, which I did religiously for Liam, both while in utero and out, have ceased to exist. #momfail.

But, my philosophy in life has always been better late than never, so here's some highlights of Connor over the past few months. In short: He's perfection.


Stats
Despite being born 4 weeks early, Connor has been a big boy since day one. He weighed 7lbs, 4 oz at birth and was 20 inches long. At one month, he weighed 9lbs, 8oz and was 21 inches long. At two months, he clocked in at 13.66 lbs and 23.25 inches long, and at 3 months, 14.69lbs and 24 inches long. He's a super chunk with cheeks for days, and I could eat him up!





Eyes & Hair
Still developing, but there is a good chance they'll be brown. For now, they are looking hazelish, and are big and beautiful! His left eye has had a blocked tear duct since birth that I'm hoping clears up soon!


His hair is brown and really starting to grow more and more. He wasn't born with as much hair as Liam, or as dark. After losing some hair, it's starting to fill in more! I'm worried about flat head!

Likes
  • His hands, especially his fist. He frequently shoves the whole thing into his mouth
  • Kicking, especially on his piano mat
  • Talking...he'll sit and coo forever. 
  • Jumping and standing on our legs, or any hard surface.
  • Bathtime
  • Eating
  • Snuggles...he is my snuggly boy
  • Butt pats
  • Sticking his tongue out 
  • Smiling and playing with his brother


Disikes
Honestly, like Liam, Connor is super chill and there's not much he doesn't like. If I had so say anything, it's being overstimulated or overtired, and tummy time. Definitely doesn't like that.


Sleeping
Like a rockstar, praise the Lord! We recently moved Connor from sleeping in a rock 'n play next to our bed to sleeping in his crib in his own room. He sleeps 11-12 hours a night, usually going down between 7-8pm and waking up usually 6-7am. He takes 3 solid naps during the day, and sometimes has a little catnap in the early evening. As we approach 4 months, I'm DREADING the sleep regression and hoping it never comes! (knock on wood)


Eating
I'm still nursing and pumping exclusively, which is working great so far! He eats about every 3-4 hours still, 4-6oz when taking a bottle, and about 30 minutes when nursing. Chow hound!

Milestones
  • Incredible head/neck and leg strength. He can hold his his head pretty steady, but still gets wobbly from time to time. We're still working on lifting his head up when he's on his belly, but he does a good job when he's on our chests and holding his head up.
  • He can "stand" on our legs for long periods of time. 
  • Grasping and gripping toys
  • Tracking with his eyes
  • Smiling and cooing
  • Sitting up with support (like a bumbo or sit me up, and sometimes a little pillow behind the head
  • Sleeping all night



Connor is such an easy baby. I love watching him grow and engage. He's the perfect addition to our family and I love him so much!




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Bachelor Recap: That Was Glitter

Hi, all. I wish I could say posting my Bachelor recaps like a week late (or not at all) will not be a regular occurrence, but who the hell knows at this point.

The past few weeks have been particularly hellacious, as we have been riddled with illness after illness (flu, stomach flu, respiratory infections, etc). Our nanny was been sick, so I was on deck caring for two sick boys instead of one. Then Bryan went on a couple of work trips at the exact same time I returned to work last week. Suffice to say, not as much time on my hands as I've had the previous weeks, and the moments of solitude I DO have in the evening have been spent chugging enjoying a glass or 3 of wine and then passing out going to sleep.

The past few weeks have been solid blogging material, but given my time constraints, I just have a few general comments. First, I'm bored with Ari. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt in that I think he probably isn't made for TV vs being a bad person. He's just so dull. All he talks about is the slow life he leads/wants to lead/wearing cardigans like an old man. It's just weird.

The Bekah/age storyline is lame, too. Totally agree that 22 is way too young for Ari's 36, but he has 23 year olds there and hasn't made a big deal to them. AND Bekah is way more more mature than ANY of the ladies on this season. I think she's going to make it far, but I don't see that being long-term.

Krystal has revealed herself to be the most annoying person in Bachelor history, both in sound and character.

On to tonight, where the girls and Arie jet off to beautiful Ft. Lauderdale, which is a "beautiful place to fall in love" because of the beaches, yachts, and great restaurants. Huh? Why not just go to Miami? Clearly they spent too much money on Becca's Louboutin's the first episode.

Chelsea's date
Chelsea gets the first one-on-one date and she's excited to show Arie the "real" Chelsea, not just "Mom Chelsea." Considering that he's never actually seen "Mom Chelsea," I found this to be a weird statement. Like, "Mom Rachel" is when, I don't know, at least one of my kids is around and I'm actually doing Mom things, not making out on yachts and in car museums, or hanging with my gals poolside all day.


Remember when we thought Chelsea was the villain? LOLZ. Chelsea has grown on me since the first episode, but I can't tell if I really like her. I will say I have more respect for her than the other girls (because #momlife), but I don't see her and Arie ending up together.

Perhaps the most awkward moment of the date—other than the Titantic reanactment and going to second base on the Jet Ski—was during the dinner portion when they had this exchange:

Arie: Today was fun. The jet skiing, you were really impressive.
Chelsea: Really?
Arie: I had so much fun. I needed that.
Chelsea: Today was a lot of fun.
Arie: It was fun.
Chelsea: A lot of fun.

{embarrassed emoji}
Chelsea gets a rose. You know, for fun.

The Group Date. To a bowling alley.
And not like, Lucky Strike. Like, real bowling. With cheap beer, old, lonely women, and dirty bowling balls...one of which Arie licked. I'm legitimately disturbed by this act. Doesn't he know it's flu season?


As the token "competitive date" where the winner get more time with Arie and the losers go home, the girls were ready to bowl their hearts out. Everyone got super into it, and Team Blue (the blondes) wins. But, Arie decides that instead of having anyone go home, "everyone wins" and no one is going home tonight. Side note: Does anyone wonder if he decided to have everyone stay because the girls he likes most were in the losing group?? 


Arie's change of heart is NOT OK with Krystal. He is a LIAR (as is anyone who changes their mind). How can she trust him now? She feels personally victimized that Arie would not talk to her first about his decision to want to change his mind. In some unfilmed footage, Krystal apparently talks shit the whole way home about Arie, and once back at the hotel, she demands to be un-miked (she means BUSINESS!), is not going to the cocktail party and has her bags packed. She will not be lied to and disrespected this way.

The ladies tell Arie about Krystal's behavior, and decides it's best to give her exactly what she wants, and go talk to her. I don't think the talk went as Krystal hoped. Clad in her bathrobe and pouty lips, Arie is basically said it was concerning that she get so upset about such a small thing, tells her to stay in her room and he's not happy with her. GO BOI. The rest of the date, the girls do a FANTASTIC job doing Krystal impressions, and having insignificant convos with Arie.

Kendall tells him The Bachelor process is "slower" than she's used to. (Hmmm). She asks him questions out of her book of 100 questions for such an occasion, which reveals that Arie would not eat human flesh unless it was a life or death situation, but Kendall is all in no matter what.

These 100 questions make Lauren B's game of 21 questions seem like small potatoes. Not only in the number of questions to ask, but also in that her question was, "What's your favorite color?" Not as telling as asking about eating humans.

I like Bekah. I know her age is an "issue" but let's be honest: At 22, she is way more mature than any of the other girls, and she and Arie actually seem to have chemistry. I think she's too good for him and that they won't end up together, but I do like her.

Also, honest question: What's worse: Krystal's voice or the fact that Arie would rather lick a bowling ball than kiss Annaliese?

Lauren B. gets the group date rose and no one knows why.


I know there is so much to be said about Krystal here but I just can't. She is the worst, from her voice to her glitter, and I hate her.

Tia
I love Tia and was so happy she got a 1-1. I feel like this date was a little bit of profiling...you know, a country date for a country girl (puke) but Tia seemed to genuinely enjoy herself with the gators in the Everglades...the most romantic swamp on Earth.


Was anyone else in shock and awe that Tia went to college for 7 years and not as a super senior? She's a a doctor, ya'll. I did feel like we got to know more about her this week, and I'm still all in for Tia. Could have done without the old, "I've been waiting for you to push me against something," line. Oh and how could I forget that she is officially the first to drop the L bomb on Arie. I'm a little surprised it's taken someone 5 weeks. Tia gets a rose.

Rose Ceremony
Oh, boy. Too much with the rose ceremony to even get to it all. I mean, first and foremost...Krystal. It is so painful to listen to her and to see how much the other girls dislike her. Honestly, I think Krystal thinks she’s the Bachelorette. She doesn’t understand that she’s not the star of this show and yet...she’s not exactly wrong. She offers the remaining women the opportunity for some one-on-one time with her, and some of the women accept.

I especially loved the line, "I wasn't hiding in my room, I was investing in myself." {eyeroll emoji} And, in a desperate attempt to salvage some sense of something, Krystal admits that she was off in the bowling alley because...wait for it...it brought back traumatic memories of her childhood, where she grew up in a bowling alley. Where is the montage, ABC?

Arie seems to really like Jacqueline, who I LITERALLY did not know was here until now. Also, thanks, ABC for showing a preview of Paris with Krystal before the end of the rose ceremony. RUDE!

Top 4 predictions
1. Bekah
2. Tia
3. Becca
4. ???? HE DOESN'T HAVE CHEMISTRY WITH ANYONE

What do you guys think?

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Bachelor Recap: Weeks 1 & 2

Ahhh, it's good to be back! I can't tell you how flattered I am that every time a new season of the Bachelor/Bachelorette airs, people inundate with me "Are you blogging this season?" Who knew that people would connect so much to me making fun of innocent people who are just looking for love...

I missed blogging the first week, which is unfortunate, because the first episode always presents so many beautiful weirdos. This time, they're vying for the heart of this season's Bachelor, Arie. You might remember Arie as the runner-up to Emily Maynard. He's supposedly a "professional race car driver," but from my research, he has not raced since 2010. In the meantime, he's become a realtor to "center himself," but I had to guess, I'd say he needed to start making some cash.

At any rate, I don't mind Arie. I think it's kind of a random choice for Bachelor, but he seems nice enough, and I dig his blue eyes and salt 'n pepper hair. I do wonder though, how it's been 5-6 years since his last Bachelor appearance and the dude is still single.

Maybe it's because people call him the Kissing Bandit? Like...what does that even mean? How is one named the Kissing Bandit when he was on a show with 25 other dudes? Like, it would make sense if he earned that nickname after being The Bachelor and kissing so many women...so what am I missing that he has that nickname? Either way...it should be retired.


The girls for this season are so easy to make fun of a good bunch! I feel like they're a bit young for Arie, given he's 36. Literally, the 23year olds there were barely legal the last time he was on the show.

Girls intros ranged from showing up in a literal race car (casual) to asking Arie to sniff her pits to asking if he has a small wiener (also casual). At the cocktail party, unfortunately no one got hammered (that we saw), but we did see a few "villains" show up in the form of Chelsea and Krystal. There are like 15 Lauren's, so I feel like odds are good that he'll end up with one. We watched an uncomfortable toy car race with a girl named Brittane (worst spelling ever) and another girl, Bekah M., is apparently not a minor, but considering the fact they don't show her age (and you know, previews), I'm going to guess she is maybe 20. In any case, only one Lauren gets send home, plus a girl whose deceased father "approves" of Arie, and a few other nobodies.

On to week 2...

Becca K. gets the first one-on-one and while I literally don't feel like I've ever seen her before in my life, I actually really like her. Everyone is jealous, except Krystal. Her dad was once in a terrible motorcycle accident and she’s seen a lot of people die or lose body parts in motorcycle accidents.

[crickets]

It's a little early in the season to pull out the Pretty Woman date, but I mean, I guess I wouldn't complain about a new wardrobe courtesy of Rachel Zoe, Louboutin shoes and diamond earrings. I would, however, be real pissed that my final surprise of the night was fucking confetti. Are you fucking kidding me? Can't we at least get a nobody band promoting a single no one will download?She gets a rose, and accepts it, despite the confetti bullshit.


Krystal gets the next one-on-one. Krystal, in case you forgot, is a Libra. She gets to go to Arie's hometown on their first date and meet his family (a la Raven + Nick Viall), so much to everyone's dismay (mostly mine) I think we'll probably see her a lot this season. Krystal is annoying AF. She has the worst vocal fry I've ever heard. Her "story" is pathetic (divorced parents is not a story, and we are missing A LOT of pieces of the homeless brother puzzle. Like..what?). She is needy AF ("I missed you"..."...did you miss me?"). Arie doesn't share my sentiments and she gets a rose.


Group date time, and Arie asks pretty much every other woman on this date. His idea of getting to know these women is to have them participate in a demolition derby...aka bumper cars for grown-ups. Each woman got "decorate" her own bumper car and then try to kill each other (fun!). But not before Arie zipped around in his own derby car because in case anyone has forgotten...he is a race car driver!  In the words of Tia, "he did not hit anybody ... it was pretty hot, actually."


Arie was just looking for the girls to have fun, but that was not in the cards for Annaliese. She couldn't stop crying because she has experienced bumper car trauma.

(I'll wait.)

Are you done laughing? I can't even remember the story it was so fucking lame, but I do know that whichever producer that it would be appropriate to do like a 20/20 re-enactment for said trauma deserves an Emmy.

This is a real photo from The Bachelor
Annaliese survived, Brittane got a concussion and Seinne won that shit. I like her. Nothing really happens at the group "party" except everyone hates Chelsea for stealing Arie right away (again), Bibiana loses her shit for the first time (doesn't seem like it will be the last), and Bekah M. (the one who looks like the Kinko's girl that Ross kissed in Friends) and Arie make out. Seinne gets the rose.



Rose ceremony time! 
The girls who haven't had any time with Arie this week are freaking out, one of whom is named Bibiana. I like Bibiana. She's feisty and when asked if she minds if Arie gets "stolen" away, I think she might be the first girl to ever tell someone, YES I FUCKING MIND. The fact that she said it to Krystal, and then told Krystal off, the dropped the mic, was my favorite moment of the show. I can already feel these two ending up on a 2-1 date.

Krystal surprised me at the rose ceremony. Here we thought Chelsea was the villain and then here comes Krystal with the good hair, stealing time with Arie TWICE during the rose ceremony even though she has a rose. the horror!


Someone named Valerie, one of the Lauren's and Jenny from Chicago get sent home. Jenny had about the best exit ever, totally walking past Arie and then telling him she wasn't sad about him, she was just going to miss her friends. LOLOLOLOL. I think she's probably sad she didn't stick around long enough for an Instagram deal, either.

After two weeks, here are my top 4 predictions:

1. Becca K.
2. Tia
3. Krystal
4. Seinne

See you next week! (errr in a few days)

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2017: Year in Review

Happy 2018! I hope everyone is recovering from what I lovingly refer to as the "holiday hangover." You know - where everyone is off-schedule, overstimulated, overtired, over-gifted and just generally ready things to go back to normal? I know I am.

Not that I don't LOVE the holidays - I do, I really do. But this year, for the first time, as ready as I was for them to come and be enjoyed, I was also ready to say goodbye to them. We spent our holidays in Iowa with our families, and while being home is always a joy, it's not without challenges—especially with two kiddos. We had an amazing time, but are happy to be back in Chicago, organizing our new (unnecessary) loot, cleaning out the old and getting back to a routine.


It goes without saying, blogging was not a priority for me in 2017. I started the year with the best of intentions (I always do), but pretty much, we went on vacation in February, came home, found out we were pregnant, and then everything that followed was mass chaos. I'm a sucker for a New Year though, so while 2017 was a year of ever-present ups and downs, both personally and for the world, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on the past year and share a little about what I hope for in 2018.

I started 2017 on a great foot with a promotion at my full-time marketing job. In this role this past year, I became a manager for the first time, and leading my small staff (of one) taught me more about management in 12 months than most people experience in a career! Suffice to say, I learned so much about what it means to be a leader, good manager AND good employee. I found areas where I needed to improve and I'm ready to focus on those in 2018 now that I have a new team when I return back to work.

2017 also started with the inauguration of a new president, Donald Trump. I try to keep my blog a place of love and light, so I'm not going to waste my breath on the setbacks that have occured under his "leadership" this year. I will simply say I do not support Donald Trump and don't believe he has our country's best interests at heart. I truly hope 2018 sees Trump's impeachment, because in addition to being unqualified and unfit to lead our country, the man is just a vile human being who should not represent our great country.


We watched our sister get married in the beautiful Punta Cana. It was a joy to spend a full week with family in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and to see Liam enjoy the sun and sand. (Oh the sand...it was not meant for toddlers.)

We found out we were expecting our second baby and that said baby was a BOY! My pregnancy was less than ideal, as the first half was spent feeling sick and the second half was spent largely in the hospital due to complications.  Those tough months of pregnancy taught me a lot—about faith over fear, about family, about patience and about my own strength. I've since regained my own health and for that, I'm endlessly grateful.



 

And yet, despite those challenging 9 months, I can't complain for even a moment because now we have a beautiful, healthy boy to show for it, and I know that is more than so many others have. Our newest,  amazing blessing, Connor Leo, was born on October 5, 2017.


His arrival has rocked our world. With your second child, you think you have an idea of what's to come, but...I'd beg to differ. Sure, the actual "what do we do with a baby" aspect feels easier and less overwhelming. But you don't think about all of the other elements that a second baby brings. Because it's not just about caring for another baby. Now it's about caring for a baby, while also caring for your first born and helping him or her adjust to these major changes. It's learning how to parent not just one but two little people. Newsflash: IT'S NOT EASY.

In 2017, Bryan and I have faced more parenting challenges than I think we ever imagined. Not only have we dealt with Liam during his "terrible twos" and his entrance to being a "threenager" — we've also had to deal with challenges of helping him adjust during some major life changes, such as moving, moving into a big boy room, potty training, dealing with some big feelings surrounding me being in the hospital, and of course, becoming a big brother. Adjusting to life as parents of two boys has been hard...really hard. Gone is the luxury of one of being able to give the other a bit of a break. Now it's basically man-to-man defense, and half the time it feels like we are just waving hello across the room as we each deal with one respective child. But, this too shall pass, we will continue to learn and enjoy (most) of this crazy life we lead as parents!


We spent months and months (and months) in 2017 looking tirelessly for our perfect new home. When we found out we were expecting, we stepped up our game and finally found our perfect new home to fit our growing family, and which checked off most of our "want" boxes. We moved in July and it truly is the best of all worlds for our family, in terms of space, location, price, etc. I know we will be happy here for many years to come.


We traveled, which is our favorite thing to do, not only to the Dominican Republic, but to Montreal, Canada to celebrate our six year wedding anniversary. And when we couldn't travel anymore, we made the most of the summer with visitors, street festivals, and a $6 shark pool on our new rooftop deck.


We closed out the year with our three favorite holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.


 We were able to travel to Iowa to see family for Thanksgiving and Christmas, while we rang in the New Year and celebrated Halloween here in Chicago at our new home.



Our home was sick for much of 2017, whether it was Liam battling a cold (which I swear has been non-stop since the fall, me being in the hospital, or Bryan's bout with the stomach flu. And, sadly, we lost a few dear members of our family.

It was year of major highs and major lows, so my hope is that we appreciate each of those highs and lows for what they taught us. So what do I hope for in 2018? Fewer life changes, for one thing!


This year, I hope to be more intentional with my life. One of my friends posted something the other day that resonated with me so much - she said that JOY in our lives comes from the Journey Of Yes. In other words, say yes. To everything, and especially to things that scare you. And instead of saying NO, how about, not right now?

Rather than make resolutions, I decided I want to have a focus word for the year. A theme to carry me through each and every decision I make. I've been thinking long and hard, and my word for is 2018 is: IMPACT. 


As people, we tend to spend a lot of time watering the weeds so speak. Worrying about and wasting energy on things that are not within our control and/or that simply do not matter. I know I'm guilty of this. By being more intentional and positive, I hope to have a bigger impact on all aspects of my life, from my health and well-being to parenting, relationships, giving back, business...all.of.it.


I hope to IMPACT other people with my stories and words here on my blog.
I hope to IMPACT the lives of others as I grow and lead my Rodan + Fields team and find like-minded people who strive to be successful and want more.
I hope to IMPACT my children in a positive way, as they teach me how to be a better mom.
I hope to IMPACT client's businesses at my full-time job, as well as lead my team to make a bigger, better IMPACT through our work and to my company.
I hope to IMPACT my personal well-being through being kinder to my body, mind and spirit.

You get the picture.

How was your 2017? What are you looking forward to this year?
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