Bachelorette Recap: I’m A Slacker

The three day weekend threw me for a loop and I forgot to DVR the Bachelor. Thankfully my husband reminded me of it about halfway through, so I’m only recapping the last hour. Sorry chicks. I apparently missed some sort of boxing date in which Jared (rat face) got knocked out?

The second group date was at a comedy club. First of all, Amy Schumer! I love that lady. Overall, the guys did pretty well at stand up. I was impressed. And then Tony showed up. That guy is the effing worst. He just nonsensically spoke about how sensitive he can be. Unsurprisingly, he flopped. His best line of the night was “My heart means just as much to me as her love does to me.” WTF does that mean? Everyone hates him (me included).

I can’t keep the guys straight yet, but I’m liking that cute blonde guy that called himself “a love virgin”. I think he is the welder? Plus he has two English bulldogs. Sold!
JJ is a dick. No surprise he’s an investment banker. Fake crying about your daughter? Blech. Also, the kissing sounds are disgusting. No need to see the up close and personal tongue action. Then, despite having the date rose, goes on to pull Kaitlyn away as soon as the cocktail party starts even though the other guys agree to let the non-date guys get more time. #sorrynotsorry
Kaitlyn then goes on the kiss the southern guy, who looks like a less hot Johnny Knoxville, am I right? Again,disgusted about the aggressive kissing without even having much conversation. Keep it in your pants boys. You too Kaitlyn!
Ian was cute at the cocktail hour! He has a nice smile and I liked his “speed dating” concept. Then he went in for a smooch too. These boys! And then Kupah confronted Kaitlyn, she told him she wasn’t interested, and then he freaked out. Exciting, but I’m not sure it was worthy of a To be continued…
Frontrunners:
Joshua, the Industrial Welder. Clint, the Architectural Engineer (I guess she had a one-on-one date with him, but I missed it. Sorry all) and my boyfriend Shawn B.
Can we discuss how fake the Britt/guy who left the show to be with her clip was? “It’s been one week and we’ve hung out every day”. One week. I’m sure that will last my friends. 
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Five on Friday

Hi pals! I hope everyone is gearing up for a long holiday weekend. The weather here in Chicago is not as delightful as I would have hoped, but I’m sure we will survive, especially considering my office closed at 2pm today so we’re starting vacation early. I’m linking up for Five on Friday yet again sharing things that are making me happy this week!
1. Pool party! Last Sunday was hot and sunny so we broke out the baby pool I purchased for E. She loved the pool in Florida and until the Chicago Park District pools open in June, we’re hanging in this bad boy. Girlfriend is rocking her fair Irish skin so I opted for a cover for sun protection. Add in her Beaufort Bonnet Company sunhat and her California Baby sunblock and I think we have her sun protection covered. Maybe someday we’ll actually have a house with a pool, but until that day comes, this is how we’ll roll. Emma didn’t seem to mind the freezing cold water from the hose either!
 Baby Pool
 2. Tim was out of town for the Kentucky Derby so we had a little fun for Preakness! We cheered on American Pharaoh while drinking Moscow Mules and enjoying my favorite snack. Crusty baguette, buratta mozzarella, gourmet pepperoni and prosciutto. We may have gone back for seconds (or thirds). I could eat this for dinner every night during the summer, especially with a glass of bubbly or rose. Yum!
 Crate & Barrel Platter 
3. I listen to iTunes radio quite a bit and my new favorite station is Americana. Country influenced, folksy, a little bit of bluegrass and some great listening for cooking dinner or reading. Think Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch, Alison Krause. The other day I had the station on when I was in the shower and a song I had never heard came on. It is the story of a couple from meeting to death, written by their granddaughter, Holly Williams. It is absolutely beautiful and I cry my eyes out every time I hear it. Definitely take a listen, but not when you’re in public, because you’ll bawl and embarrass yourself.
4.  In case you didn’t read any other blog this week or live underneath a rock, it’s the Nordstrom half yearly sale. There is so much on sale that it is absolutely overwhelming. The beauty stuff is only Philosophy so no great deals there, and considering I carry a diaper bag everywhere I go I feel like there is no need to spend money on a really darling Kate Spade purse. Add that to the fact that I still don’t have a good handle on what fits my post-baby body and I ended up only buying for my husband and baby. Lame.
I finally got a pair of Freshly Picked mocs for Emma. They were still stupidly expensive for baby shoes, but so darn cute. I also picked up a North Face hoodie for Em. It’s water resistant and fleece lined (and only $35) so perfect for fall.

Freshly Picked Metallic Leather Moccasin (Baby & Walker)

Freshly Picked Mocs

'Chimborazo' Water Resistant Hoodie (Baby Girls)

North Face Hoodie 
In my attempt to turn Tim into Ryan Gosling in Crazy Stupid Love (come to mama!), I purchased him these bad boys. Next up, matching belt and blue suit.

Cole Haan Lenox Hill Cap Toe
5. You all voted for me to go for the Taylor Swift bangs. I got my hair cut this afternoon and went for it. Not as good as T-Swift, but I’m also not 27, have legs up to my neck and a team of stylists making me look hot every second of every day.  I took my hair up a little bit in a lob so it’s shorter in the back but still long enough for a pony, which is necessary when your baby is a vicious hair puller.Let’s see if I can style this myself, which is always the problem. Maybe a real life pic to come next week if I can get my act together. Also, this is really one of my first selfies. Are my eyes two different shapes/sizes or am I a little cross eyed? I did have to wear an eye patch when I was little so maybe residual effects? Either way, I need to step up my selfie game ASAP Stella & Dot On the Mark Necklace 
Happy long weekend friends! I hope yours is filled with sunshine, cold drinks and warm hugs.

Bachelorette Recap: Season Premiere

I din’t want to do it. But I did. I started watching The Bachelorette. I didn’t watch the whole thing, but I did want to see who would be picked and how the whole thing would play out. I did it for you! You’re welcome in advance.

Bachelorette Spoilers - Kaitlyn Bristowe or Britt Nilsson

Look how pissed Kaitlyn is and how dumb and happy Brit is. Hilarious. I was Team Kaitlyn heading into the premiere and I’m happy she was picked. She is much more entertaining, seems real and  I appreciate her sense of humor.

The crew these chicks have to pick from is WEAK. I don’t think any of these guys are attractive, their jobs cannot possibly be real and the gimmicks were ridiculous. Car “pool” and cupcake car? Lame.
My least favorite (besides the drunk guy that grabbed K’s ass, threw out a rape comment and then got kicked off the show) are:
1. Tony, the “healer”
He said the EXACT same thing to each girl when he got out of the limo. Tony, they are about 9 feet away from one another. They can hear you! Also, why didn’t anyone acknowledge the fact that he definitely had a black eye? I think that’s a red flag ladies.
2. Shawn E.

This guy should be eliminated based on his necklace alone. Add in that he was basically wearing lizard skin boots and is an “amateur sex coach” and it is clear he wasn’t going to make it through the first episode.
3. Jared

Jared looks like a dirty rat.
My favorites:
1. Shawn B.
AKA Ryan Gosling 2.0. He’s a personal trainer, surprise, surprise but seems genuine. I hope he sticks around.
2. Clint.

A hometown boy from Chicago!. Clint won me over by building a beautiful picture frame for K, and then drew a picture “of the only person [he] knew would be on the show”.

Yep, that Chris Harrison riding a triceratops. Fantastic.
In the previews for the season we find out that creepy ass Nick from Andi’s season comes back (Seriously, that guy is THE WORST!) and Kaitlyn sucks the life out of him through his mouth. The close up shots of making out are stomach turning. She also turns into a real skank and sleeps with someone early on (thank you ABC for making me listen to her moans) and then has to admit to the guys left that she had sex with one of the contestants. Keep it klassy Kaitlyn. Needless to say, I’ll be watching the entire season.
Were you team Britt or team Katilyn? Who were your favorites and who needs to go home?

Thank You

Yesterday’s post was my most read in the very short history of this blog. It also received the most comments, texts and e-mails from friends. Thank you so much for your response. My heart was beating a mile a minute as I hit publish on Monday, and I still get anxious thinking of people reading about my experience. But it did help me to know others had gone through what I went through and come out the other side, so if I can help one person by sharing, that is worth it.
I won’t get into specifics about my infertility diagnosis and our treatment on the blog, but many asked if we went through IVF. We did not. It was the next step in our treatment, and in fact, my doctor recommended we start it earlier. But I just didn’t feel ready for it. I asked about alternative methods and advocated for myself and my body, to the best result possible. I also looked into alternative ways to improve my fertility and do think I partially owe my baby girl to an amazing acupuncturist in my neighborhood. He celebrated right along with me when I told him I was pregnant.
This is my story. So many others who struggle with infertility have stories that are different. Longer. More challenging. Unsuccessful. I know I am among the lucky ones. But if anyone going through this needs to talk, vent, share or cry, I am here.

On Being Grateful- My Struggle with Infertility

I woke up yesterday morning to the sound of my baby chatting to herself in her crib. I pulled her into our bed and breathed her in, feeling so thankful for her presence in my life. Two years ago, I doubted this moment would be possible.
Mother’s Day is a wonderful holiday. It encourages us to celebrate and acknowledge those women who raised us, love us fiercely, and constantly put our wants and needs above their own. I’ve always wanted to be a mother and feel so lucky to join this tribe. But for so many women, Mother’s Day can be tough. Relationships may be strained, some have lost a mom too soon, or, like me, struggle with infertility.
I haven’t shared this information widely and many of my friends aren’t aware that I had a difficult time getting pregnant. I couldn’t talk about my infertility while I was in it. I was too emotional. Too raw. I felt that if I admitted I couldn’t get pregnant, it wouldn’t happen. So month after month went by. I watched one, two, seven friends get pregnant or have their children in the time I was trying. Every single time I heard their good news, I was crushed. It’s an odd emotion, to be so happy for a friend but also be jealous, angry, and frustrated. Because it isn’t you.
There is such a feeling of failure around infertility. What have I done wrong? Did I wait too long to try? Why won’t my body do what it should? It’s hard not to blame yourself, because, honestly, who else are you going to blame? It’s exhausting. Draining. And the waiting, waiting, waiting every month hoping for a positive sign, for your good news, is heartbreaking.
Thankfully I have a husband that supported me through the emotional downspin and we were able to find a doctor that diagnosed me and began interventions, which presents its own challenges. Early morning doctors appointments. Numerous blood draws and vaginal ultrasounds. Shot after shot after shot. Thousands of dollars in bills not covered by insurance. Waiting and hoping and more tears than I care to remember. The fear is in the “what if?”. What if I can never get pregnant? What if we run out of money? What if I will never be a mother?
Just when I felt like it would never happen, when I was exhausted and tired and needed to take a break, I saw that positive sign on a pregnancy test. I took one after another thinking that there had to be a problem. A mix-up. I held my breath through the blood test at the doctors the following day. And through the six week ultrasound.  And the eight week ultrasound. And every major milestone after that until I held my perfect and healthy baby girl in my arms.
I count my blessings each and every day for this little miracle. I try to live in the moment and not think about the process I will likely have to go through to give her a sibling. But yesterday, today and every day, I’m empathetic to those women who are in the waiting phase. The longing phase. The why me phase. And I wish them the hope and patience to continue on with their journey. Because we all deserve the incredible, deep and oh so big love that motherhood brings.

Can’t Live Without It

Happy Friday my friends! Chicago skipped spring and headed straight to summer and I, for one, am not complaining. I’m linking up once again to Laura, Cait and Stephanie (P.S. Have you seen her new blog re-launch? Check it out).         
During pregnancy I cut out all caffeine, which is REALLY REALLY hard for someone who loves bubbles. I’m talking to you, Diet Coke, you evil temptress. My mom, feeling terrible for me but excited I’d be kicking my DC habit bought me a Soda Stream.
It is THE BEST! Mine came with sample packs of syrups to make your own soda, and they tasted fine. Not great, but decent enough that you could drink them regularly. But I use mine to make carbonated water on the daily. The set comes with two bottles so I always have one chilling in the fridge. I add mint, lemon, lime, grapefruit juice, you name it, I shove it in there, and it is so dang good. Even though I’m back on caffeine, I still use my soda stream to satisfy my taste for fizz without drinking soda.
Now I just need to get some new fun summer glasses for backyard drinking. I have my eye on these Jonathan Adler ones from Horchow

Adler Acrylic Glasses
Hope you all get some al fresco drinking this weekend–ideally with some alcohol in your glass!

It’s a Girl! 

I received a text 5:30 on Saturday morning saying “It’s a girl!”  Nope, wasn’t waiting to hear from a friend about their baby. It was CLEARLY about the royal princess. Like every single person everywhere, I love Kate Middleton. Her style is impeccable, she appears to be a genuinely nice woman, and she and Wills have the sweetest little love affair. And she is by far the cutest preggo ever.
This is a photo of Kate at her last public appearance (at the end of April) before the babe arrived:   This is what I looked like:
 And just in case you were wondering, my daughter weighed 1oz more than hers. Not 50lbs, like it appears. 1oz. Ugh.
And then. And then…she makes her first public appearance the day she delivered. Literally less than 12 hours after giving birth and she looked like this:
 Blow out. Jenny Packham dress. Make-up. Heels. I was hobbling to the bathroom with blood gushing down my legs praying to God I didn’t pee my pants. As my friend Amber said, “Royals…they’re not just like us”. Lord hopes that girl was able to get home, strap on some mesh undies and an enormous pad covered in Tucks and numbing gel, put on a nursing tank and some drawstring pants and have a big ol’ cry.
And for comparison sake, here I am in my first “public appearance” post delivery. TWO DAYS LATER. Hair clearly in a ponytail. Rocking my maternity jeans. Looking decidedly still pregnant. I put on lipstick so I’ll consider that a win, but for the sake of my self esteem I will not post these photos side by side.
IMG_7519Welcome to the world Charlotte Elizabeth Diana! I hope, for your sake, you look like your mother!