Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mom's weekend out

I took a business/pleasure trip to Chicago this past week/weekend and learned so much about my life as a mom, a friend, and a working woman.

It all started while I was packing, when I sent my girlfriend Cara an email that pretty much summed it up:
  1. I'm fat!  Not fat fat, but fatter than I was the last time I tried to get gussied up in my "cute" jeans.  I'm not eating for the next 3 days.  When you see me on Thursday, try not to let your disappointment in how I've "let myself go" show :)
  2. I haven't been outside of Texas in a year.  I haven't been on a trip, not pregnant, in 2 years.
  3. My closet has morphed into a mom closet.  My stilettos are stuffed under my bed and have been replaced by ballet flats and flip flops.  My dresses are in the coat closet, they've been replaced by cardigans and 5" inseam shorts (gross).  My designer jeans have been replaced by Gap jeans (can we still be friends?).  My accessories have been replaced by stud earrings.  My wardrobe that could once fit into any city is now so "Austin".
  4. The last time I got dressed up for work was when I interviewed for my current job.
So with these revelations come some questions...
  1. What the hell do I wear to tour business space in Naperville?  I have a black Tahari dress, with heels?  Or is that too much?
  2. I'm not going to stress over what I pack, I'm planning to buy everything I need when we shop, but I am wondering about the weather.  Forecast says 70's to 80's, how likely is that?
  3. Since we aren't shopping until Friday, what should I pack for dinner on Thursday?  Jeans? Dress?  Leggings?  I will focus the rest of my packing efforts on this one outfit, since I'll have you to shop with me for the rest.
  4. Should I get a spray tan?
With all of that being said, my friend assured me I'd be fine, so I packed my bag.  According to my notes above, it should have only contained a few outfits...and it did, plus about 7 pairs of 5" heels (if all else fails, wear heels, right?!?!).  And my bag weighed 48.5 pounds.  Not sure how that happened, I'm blaming it on the shoes?

This trip was an epiphany for my life right now.  I'm a mom, I got that.  I'm a wife, got that down too (I think).  I'm a friend, okay.  I'm a fashionista?  Or I guess I used to be.  I used to focus a lot of time, energy, and $$$ on making sure I looked my best.  I'd go shopping with girlfriends and not gaffe at the cost of a pair of designer jeans. 

Then BAM, I had a child, and that all changed.  I'll admit, I still love dressing up, but it isn't a priority anymore.  Neither is shaving my legs, or fixing my hair everyday.  Or making sure I have on the perfect accessories.  I have a lot of "resources":  tons of high HIGH heels, lots of jewelry, and cute clothes, but I just don't have the time to "pull it all together" like I used to, and even more, the reasons to "pull it all together" are gone as well.  Instead of happy hours, girls' nights, and charity events fashion shows, I'm at home with my boys, cleaning, cooking, going for walks, watching my little guy trying to walk, etc.  And God, I wouldn't change that for anything. 

But I will say it was totally awesome to get some time away to see one of my besties, Cara, and visit one of my favorite cities in the entire world, Chicago!  It was a flawless trip and filled with lots of independence.  Fireworks over the lake as I got out of my cab at the W Lakeshore started off my trip, need I say more?  My trip started perfect and ended perfeclty.  I stayed at the W by myself for a night and ate in the bar alone.  I sat at a bar that looked out to the street and just past it, the lake, and sipped on a glass of bubbly champagne and ate my turkey sandwich.  I was in awe of the fact that I was alone, with no dishes to clean, no toys to pick up, no lunches to get ready, no house to sweep or laundry to fold and the world was just going on around me.  I was alone, eating dinner, and just watching...and silently missing my boys.

My weekend was filled with lots of laughs, dressing up, shopping, eating fabulous food (Prosecco, The Public House, Pops, Sunda, Elate, Quartino), drinking yummy champagne, and catching up with my fabulous friend, Cara.  Here are some pics from the weekend that don't even begin to capture how amazing it was. 

My in-flight reading...totally represents my priorities (parenting magazine is the June issue, 
HR/work magazine is the April/May issue, and the Vogue is from December/January).

Walking to the train at the airport.

Fireworks, seriously?  As I got out of my cab, it was perfect!

View from Cara's apartment.  Yeah, that's Navy Pier!

Cara's new man?

Millenium Park near Cara's place.

My last night in Chicago.

A few more highlights:
  1. I rode the train all by myself!  To/from the airport and to/from my Thursday meetings in Naperville. 
  2. I navigated my way up/down the stairs at the train station with a crud-ton of luggage all by myself.
  3. I purchased a niiiiice wallet, starts with a G and ends with an was on sale, Cara made me do it after her amazing purchase at Saks, and Payton called while I was giggling about trying to make a decision and told me to treat myself.  I sure do love him!
  4. We got caught in the rain on Saturday while shopping and we survived.  I felt like a total local!
  5. Record-breaking temperatures, think 80 - 90 and sunny every day!
  6. My favorite quote from the weekend was from Cara's hairdresser.  I asked if his doberman pinscher named "Cupcake" was a girl.  His response:  "No silly, if it was a girl, it would be named Muffin, duh!".
A trip worth remembering, every second of it.  Thanks Cara for being a wonderful hostess, thanks to my husband for holding down the fort and making my homecoming so special with a clean house, and thanks to my mother-in-law for helping take care of my boys.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Our latest trick

Eli is getting more and more mobile everyday!  I'm heading out of town for 5 days and leaving my boys at home.  I anticipate he'll be driving by the time I get back.