(actually just kidding I wrote a few words at the end if you’re interested in some sappy memories and a quick little rant about the gentrification of the Chicago Cubs)
I grew up playing softball, watching baseball, and going to Cubs games with my dad who was a lifelong fan and loved the game. We’d bring our gloves with us (just in case), wear a homemade shirt, and stock up on slurpees and hot dogs at the 7-11 across the street before the game. Some days we had great seats, sometimes the bleachers, but best of all were back against the fence in the upper section where you’d have a nice breeze blowing in behind you. I remember the park being half empty, never waiting in lines for the bathroom, and being able to move closer to the field to open seats after a few innings when it was clear the ticket holders were not showing up. When I moved downtown, I’d buy last minute tickets on Craigslist for a few dollars, and spend an afternoon or evening hanging out at Wrigley. One year, I even found a season ticket holder who gave me his number and told me to text him directly on days when I wanted tickets since he was happy to sell them to someone who loved the game. Cubs fans are good people, and season ticket holders are the most faithful of all.
The past few years have been totally different, and although the team has improved like crazy, the fan experience has not. I feel like the Cubs just got gentrified, and all of the lifelong true fans have been pushed out. It’s hard not to be bitter, but I have such great memories from when I was younger that I will hold on to and remember what it’s like to sit through a rain delay to watch a team that’s down by 11 in the 2nd and be totally thrilled about it. We had a neighbor who would watch every single game on her sunporch til the day she died. My dad honored her in the best way possible by “accidentally spilling” a cremation slurpee over the bleachers into the ivy a few years ago. This World Series win means more to people like her, and Ron Santo, and Ernie Banks, and the fans and players who loved the team no matter how awful they were, and built the franchise (I hate that term) into what it is today. I didn’t tear up once watching the game, but I’ve shed quite a few re-watching clips of old fans and players reminiscing about the past and their dedication and loyalty to the Cubs. Listening to Pat Hughes wishing Ron Santo was there to witness this, and reading all the stories of sons and daughters celebrating for their parents who would have loved to see this day are too much for me to handle. I hope that every player understands the weight of this win and that they look out over the crowd in Grant Park and remember that there are generations of fans who would have given anything to see this day.
Get it? Wordly, not worLdly? heh, heh, heh.
In lieu of being able to string enough words together to write one sentence, or track down our weekend photos from their scattered folders, I’m happy to introduce you to a few ladies who’ve done both of these. I’m inspired by their writing, their lifestyles, and their ability to create beautiful blogs while raising kids. I’m finding it difficult… even without kids.
1. Reading My Tea Leaves
Reading My Tea Leaves is my newest blog-crush, and for good reason. Her series “Life in a Tiny Apartment” sings straight to my soul, and she is currently at tip #145 for ways to live in small spaces. Each of her tips has crossed my mind at one point or another, and it feels like meeting an old friend when I read her posts. She is also a fabulous author, and her book Simple Matters has shot to the top of my wish list.
2. House of Habit
This family gives me my daily dose of west coast life with 4 of the coolest boys I’ve ever met (through the internet). Their parents have some serious style, and are always collecting vintage goodies, including cars, vans, and trailers. They go on crazy cool vacations, but have a great laid back day-to-day lifestyle too. I’m so envious of the way they parent these boys, giving them all of the freedom and tools to grow up to be awesome. My favorite of her series are “Overheard” and #teamleonthomas (on instagram)
3. Kate Baer
I’m always a big fan of anyone whose writing comes off as totally effortless. Kate Baer has absolutely nailed it, and I love digging back into some of her older posts about life in general. She has great insight on the way life works, and isn’t scared to lay it all out on the line. She has one post in particular, which actually isn’t even written by her, but it has stuck with me since the first time I stumbled upon it. It’s called A Letter to Moms Whose Partners Work Long Hours. It’s exactly what it sounds like, but relevant to a whole slew of people who are loving someone with other priorities. Some of my other favorites of her writing can be found here.
Over the past few years, I’ve been trying extra hard to live a healthier life, in terms of chemicals in products that I use/eat/wear. This has come in part from new health awareness in my family, as well as the general amount of knowledge floating around on the internet. (Visiting super eco-friendly Portland didn’t hurt either) The more I research, the more I understand that there are chemicals EVERYWHERE and in EVERYTHING. To be 100% clean of man made toxic chemicals, you’d probably drive yourself nuts after about an hour of venturing out of your home. It really does take some serious dedication and time to figure out what is worth the effort to avoid, and after doing a bunch of research, I think I’ve found a happy middle ground for myself.
In general, I’ve focused mostly on foods and products that touch or go in my body, including shampoos, soaps, food storage containers, clothing, lotions, etc. You could go so far as to monitor the way these items are manufactured, how far they travel to reach you, the companies behind them, etc… but at this point in my life, I want to start with something more manageable. Maybe in the future I’ll dig a little deeper, but for now this is enough.
I’ve found that a lot of informational websites tend to focus very specifically on one brand, or product, or chemical, so you need to visit lots of sites to get a wide range of info. It’s easier to me if I can keep all my info in one place, so this is going to be a REALLY long article encompassing all of those things. If you don’t feel like diving into this all at once, I totally understand, and this would be a good time to click over to Pinterest or whatever. If I’ve peaked your curiosity, I hope I can provide a good base of knowledge to kickstart your healthy living.
In general, there are a few important key ideas… Continue reading