Sunday, December 28, 2014

Gnome Hall

Nope, nope, nope... this post is not about the name of my future offspring, it's even better than that!

These two girl scout geniuses created a Little Free Library for Lincoln Park and appropriately gave it the name, "Gnome Hall". For serious. Click the pic to read more about their brilliant brain child. 

Obviously, I had to go see it for myself. 

Needless to say, it was love at first site :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The greatest gift of all

Over the past two years, all of our "hall-idays" have taken on a new look and feel. The first year that we held two of every holiday it was admittedly awkward, but this year we all made a concerted effort to simply make Christmas twice the fun. I guess the silver-lining to being an adult when your parents divorce is exactly that -- you get to be an adult. And as adults, we all do what's best for the real reason for the season; and in my family, that would be Stella Grace :)

The last time I saw my parents in the same room was the day Stella was born. I didn't know that would be the case at the time, but it's a funny milestone to remember it by. So much has changed since then. But as I watch Stella grow right before my very own eyes, I'm continuously inspired to grow and challenge myself to become a better person right along with her. I consider it my cost of admission to have a front row seat to StellaBella's little life.  What a privilege! 


Saturday, December 13, 2014


For the past 10 years, the owner of Tarascas has referred to Katie, Tyndie & me as the "Three Amigos".  This nickname was appropriately deemed when we drunkenly bought the ponchos off the waitstaff's backs in 2004 and costume parties ensued for nearly a decade...

We always joked that Javier, the owner, didn't actually know our names yet without fail, the minute we sit down to dinner, tequila shots are delivered to the table.

This year we celebrated our 10th anniversary of friendship and funnies with Javier and our obsession with their chipotle chicken tacos and shrimp quesadillas.

There's something incredibly special about keeping up with traditions. I hope we're able to do so for all the time to come :) 

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Most Wonderful Time

Yesterday I went to watch my 2nd grade students perform in their holiday recital at Old St. Pat's church and couldn't stop smiling for an hour straight :)

Over the course of the past 4 months, I have truly grown to adore 30 of these kiddos and care for them as if they were my own. So it goes without saying, I totally cried during the standing ovation and felt like the luckiest teacher on Earth giving them all hugs at the end. 

They really are the "reason for the season".

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like...

My heart and my calendar are entirely full this Hall-iday season. Max's tree, my tree, my mom's tree, my dad's tree {insert head spinning here}
2014 has brought about so many major changes in my life -- some good, some not so good -- but I try to focus on the nice and forget about the naughty*. So much to be thankful for.


*And while on the topic of indecorous behavior...

Dear God,
Please don't hate me for putting the Budweiser Clydesdale horses over Max's Nativity scene. I think it's one of my better funnies. 
Love ya!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Not Your Grandma's Bingo Night

Last night I went to Hamburger Mary's 
in Andersonville for dinner with a girlfriend. 

Yum and fun. Win-win!

Within 5 minutes of sitting down, we were informed that Monday is Bingo Night and I could hardly contain my excitement :)

$15 for 15 rounds of Bingo and every penny goes to charity. BRILLIANT!

And to make matters even more magical, Mary (the owner and MC of the evening) is a ~300 pound Drag Queen who had us in stitches all night... Needless to say, I.WAS.IN.HEAVEN.

As 2014 comes to an end, it's nights like these I am most thankful for. Small reminders that there is no right or wrong way to live your life. Reminders that EVERYONE deserves to be loved for exactly who they are. Small reminders that life is meant to be lived and that it is so much better when it is lived happily and with an abundance of respect for humankind.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Zoo Date with Stella

Being an Aunt gets more fun with each and every growing day :)

Till the next time, 
sweet dreams sweet baby girl :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Bermuda, baby!!!!

Cody & Matt are Bermuda bound and this lil' sailing fan cannot WAIT to cheer on the America's Cup in 2017. 

In the words of John Denver, 
"My bags are packed. I'm ready to go!"