chicago

will blog more consistently… starting… NOW!

Happy Sunday! Apparently I took a non-intentional hiatus from blogging.. oops. I’ve been busy searching for jobs + apartments for my upcoming move to the city in June!

I’ve seriously been so {hashtag blessed, ya know} — please tell me someone gets my reference from Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day — anyway, I’ve been so lucky to work with such incredible nanny families previously and I have been dreading leaving my current (AWESOME) family for fear of working for a crazy family. So after a few weeks of applying for and not loving/not getting nannying jobs, this evening I signed a contract with a family that I cannot wait to work for. They’re nice, young, normal, Catholic (YAY!) people and they have one little boy and are expecting a second babe this fall.

Oh God is so, so good.

So heres to me finally feeling a little more confident that my move is happening + going to be great. And to me blogging more now that things are falling into place.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday :)

xx, Melanie Elizabeth

(And as for the Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day reference, I highly recommend seeing that movie. It’s so cute and had me and my faux children (AKA the kids I nanny for) laughing out loud!)

east coast holiday | christmas 2014

Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year. I love all the time spent with family and friends. I love the snow. And I don’t care how old I am, I still love opening presents! I love EVERYTHING about it. This year, I spent half of my time with my family in Charlotte and the other half with the Cooleys in Maryland! Here’s a few photos from my trips!

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Someone from Southwest Airlines should hire me, I could blog/post/share my love for this airline all day long! And my love for my sweet friend, Lauren, who dropped me off at the airport on Christmas Eve. First stop, Charlotte! The rest of my family drove down the day before but I think I lucked out with an extra day of work and a quick flight down!

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Christmas is so fun because Nick still brings such a magical, childlike innocence to the Holiday!

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I snagged this photo from my sister, Becca. After Christmas, my family spent a few days in Hilton Head. I love that my parents still hold hands when they walk together.

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After grabbing lunch at a super yummy Korean restaurant, Brad, Geena, & I took the littles for ice cream!

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G is the cutest pregnant woman, ever! I can’t wait to see her & Bradley as parents!

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My godson, Isaiah, is too cute! He’s the sweetest, snuggliest little boy!

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Every year, the Cooleys hold a family meeting before New Years. (Alex blogged about it here.) This year I was able to attend! It’s really nice to take some time before the year ends to reflect on all the great things that happened in the previous year and take a few minutes to think about what you want out of the next year!

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My BFF + sister, Geena Harrington! When I visited Geena and the Cooleys for the first time about ten years ago, Geena & I stood here and took a picture in this same spot. It’s so cool to see all the awesome things God has done in our lives over the last ten years!

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I love this Cooley girl. Ellie always sacrifices her bed for me and never complains about it. She’s also super talented at gymnastics and rummy :)

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This is what happens when the Baltimore Ravens and the San Diego Chargers both play really big games at the same time. The solo Chargers fan (AKA Bradley) gets stuck watching his game off his computer while all the Ravens fans watched the game on the TV.

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I finished up my Maryland trip with a Ravens win and snuggling Cooley littles on the couch.

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I rang in the New Year with my friend, Lauren, and her brother + his new wife! This girl gets married THIS year!

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And, since my family was still in Charlotte I had to watch Alabama play in the Sugar Bowl by myself. I coped fairly well with my bottle of Veuve and some Crimson Tide Jell-O Jigglers. Sad to see them lose, but excited to watch Oregon beat Ohio on the 12th!

I’m really looking forward to all that 2015 will bring! A new job, a move to the city, baby Harrington, and Lauren’s wedding, to name a few!

Happy, happy 2015!!

xo, Melanie Elizabeth

 

it’s going to be great

(this awesome quote came in my October monthly bundle from Naptime Diaries, and I knew it was a sign!)

 

After many prayerful and tear-filled nights, I have decided to embark on a new journey! I made the decision to quit my incredible job here in Homer Glen, and move to the city of Chicago! I have agonized over this decision for months, trying to decide if I could handle the reverse commute from the city back to my job in the suburbs. After realizing that I would spend at least two hours a day in the car, and deciding that that alone could make me suicidal, I concluded that this was an all or nothing kinda thing! So I’m leaving the comforts (free wine/beer/food/laundry) of home and moving myself about 30 miles east, to my favorite place in the world with one of my dearest friends from college!

After I made this decision, I was so anxious about sharing the news with my boss and dear friend, Jeanette! I wasn’t worried about her being mad or not knowing how to tell her, I was worried that I would lose her family and her friendship. Immediately after telling her of my decision (in the middle of my tears) she kept telling me how excited she was for me! It doesn’t really get much better than that! She is such an incredible woman of God and has a huge heart, I am dreading the day when I have to say goodbye to her and her family!

Every, single person I have come across in the past week since I decided to uproot has been so, so supportive and excited for me!  I am really so genuinely blessed to have such positive people in my life! Please keep me in your prayers as I search for a new job/apartment!

xx, Melanie Elizabeth

little things

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I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t immediately start singing “Little Things” by my new favorite boy-band, One Direction, in my head as I titled this post. I guess I have Alia & Hannah, the two oldest of the seven kids I nanny for, to thank for that :) This summer, I took the girls to the concert and to my surprise, had a blast!

Here are a few more of my favorite things–

Mondays. While the rest of the World hates Mondays, I have started to love them. It’s the one day of the week that I only have to work half of a day and it makes getting out of bed just a little easier. I use Mondays as my “personal days”; I get my nails done, catch up with the Kardashians (my not-so-uplifting, guilty pleasure), and enjoy tea with my momma!

A Chicago Blackhawks game. I could honestly leave it at that because words cannot even begin to describe how amazing being there is. Last night I took my friend, Katie, my younger brother, Brendon, and one of his friends from school! We had a blast cheering on our favorite Chicago team! From the roar of the crowd during the National Anthem to the dancing and screaming as Chelsea Dagger plays after a Hawks goal is scored, the experience is one to be beat. I thoroughly enjoyed sipping on champagne while watching my favorite players take the ice. Which leads me to another of my favorite things…

Champagne. This is my go-to drink wherever I am- Hawks game, dive bar with my friends or dinner with my family. My friends always get a kick out of me when they’re all drinking beer or mixed drinks and I walk up to them with my Champagne flute. I even named part of my blog after my favorite champagne, Veuve.

Spontaneity. I love calling a friend and making plans last minute. Sometimes having no plan at all is the best. In college, my roommates and I would hop in the car and just drive downtown (luckily, we were only about fifteen minutes from Chicago). Most of the time we would end up at Sweet Mandy B’s, my favorite bakery in Lincoln Park, for a cupcake and a cup of coffee. But Our favorite adventures always landed us at Fulton’s on the River for some truffle chips and banana creme pie!

Alabama Football. ROLL TIDE. We have been Bama fans forever. You can say it’s in our blood ;) My dad played for Bama. I can never remember the years he played, but I do know he was a running back. We gave our puppy the name Buddy “Bear Bryant”, after the famous coach at Alabama. My family tries to watch every game together and the past two years when Bama went to the BCS Championship, we threw a little party. It’s just our thing and I love it.

Christian Music. I have the typical pre-sets on my car radio: Kiss, B96, US99.5, whatever is considered “normal” music… but after I’ve heard Kesha’s Timber for the 4th time on my 15 minute ride to work, I’ve had enough and I turn on KLove. The music on KLove is just enough to help me redirect my thoughts for the day and focus my mind on God. I use the minutes that I listen to this station as my prayer time because I am not the quiet, mediation prayer type- at least not at this point in my life.

My unofficial blog team. The coolest part about blogging has been the support my friends and family have given me. They are not being paid, yet they are always there to answer a call or text as I write something and need some advice. A week or so ago, I sat down on my mom’s bed to ask for her input as I wrote my post on being positive. I didn’t realize she was praying the Rosary at the time, but I decided to join her, which isn’t something that we normally would’ve done. God is so good and is constantly showing new ways to love Him and find Him in my everyday.

I’m not exactly sure what made me want to write this post; it started to form in my mind as I was sitting in my room and I could hear my mom reading to Nick. She was reading him this book I gave him for Christmas from Anthropologie (which is another one of my favorite things, but that’s another post). I loved hearing her change her voice for the characters and Nick giggle as she did. I started to think about how there are so many little things in our lives that we don’t even realize we enjoy and since reading Geena’s most recent post, on loving the now, I have really been aware of all the things that I love. Take some time today to appreciate all the little things. xo