Hodge Podge

This is gonna be a short and sweet post because this weekend has been busy and this week is about to be busier.  We’re going camping again next weekend which means on top of all my regular work I have to get everything ready.  We’re headed to the Indiana dunes this time and looking forward to enjoying the last bit of summer.  Continue reading

Not Moving and Spring Cleaning

While it might officially be spring, I am currently watching the snow fall out my window as I write this.  Ah spring in Chicago: Where you’re more likely to have a white Easter than a white Christmas.  Oh well, I will just pretend that it is warm and sunny out there and soon I will be sweltering in the Midwest summer.


I had the realization the other day that for the first time in about five years Adam and I are NOT looking for a new apartment and NOT moving.  This might not seem that significant, but to me it’s huge.  Every single year since I graduated from college I have moved to a new apartment.  I have written quite a few times about our moving endeavors so if you have been with me for awhile you know how much I hate moving.  It’s just the worst to sit there and pack up all your stuff, schlepp it all to a new place, and then unpack all your stuff.  I am really enjoying this time that I am not searching for a new place, then visiting those new places, and then moving to a new place.  It’s just the best.

I will move physically but I ain't moving apartments

I will move physically but I ain’t moving apartments

There is one good thing that came from us moving so frequently.  Because I didn’t want to pack and move junk that I wasn’t using we always went through all our stuff and got rid of anything that we didn’t need or use.  We would fill big black bags full of clothes to donate and load up are car with stuff that we hadn’t used in years and drive off to Goodwill to give it all away.  It always made me feel lighter and happier to unburden our house with unnecessary things.


Even though we aren’t moving, this weekend I decided to go through all of our things and do some spring cleaning.  It’s amazing how many things you accrue over a year and stash into closets and cabinets and then promptly forget.  Even though we haven’t been in our place for a full year yet, there was still a pile of clothes and things that we no longer needed.  Again it felt great to get rid of the weight of that clutter.

Get it? Clean up your food, but not with actual cleaners.  Cheesy, I know

Get it? Clean up your food, but not with actual cleaners. Cheesy, I know

Spring is a great time to not only clear out the clutter of your life but clean up your health as well.  It’s time to get tough and look critically at the food you eat.  Are you eating more sugar than normal?  Are you snacking on junk food rather than fresh food?  Are your portions way too big?  Are you eating mindlessly instead of really enjoying your food?  Take a look at what you do for exercise.  Are you really pushing yourself to the best of your ability?  Has your routine become boring so you’re just phoning it in?  Are moving in some way each day?  Do you enjoy the exercise you’re doing?

Ask yourself these questions and make sure the choices you’re making are serving your goal and helping you lead a healthier life.  It’s a good idea to spring clean your life every once in awhile to increase your happiness and success.

Get to cleaning out that closet as well as that fridge today!  Have a great Monday!

Coming to You Live From Chicago!

Hello from Chicago!  My husband, Adam, and I are finally living in the Windy City.  We moved into our apartment a little over a week ago and have settled in these past few days.  We have really enjoyed getting to explore our new neighborhood and learn where everything is.  Every morning we head out to the Chicago Lakefront Trail and ride up and down enjoying the beaches and parks all along the way.  The city has so much to offer us and we are very excited to take full advantage.

This move was the most stressful move for me that we’ve ever done.  All our other moves were of a smaller scale, as in we would just move down the street or at least within the same town. We didn’t have to rent a truck, figure out a new city, leave our job, or worry about where to run outside (ok, that last one is just me!).  I admitted to Adam yesterday as we were walking around outside, that while I was ok with moving for his new job, I had been absolutely terrified to move to Chicago.  I was afraid that I would hate everything about city living.  All the people, cramped spaces, a smaller apartment, a grocery store I didn’t know, unfamiliar streets, higher cost on everything, and no concrete job position for me.  I was truly worried that I was not made to live in a more urban area and that I would quickly isolate myself with my cat in my apartment.  I knew in my head that moving here was the best decision for us, but I just couldn’t convince my heart that was true.

This wasn't even totally full yet. Thank goodness Adam is a Tetris champ!

This wasn’t even totally full yet. Thank goodness Adam is a Tetris champ!

One of my biggest problems is that I tend to internalize my stress and worries instead of sharing them.  I bottle up my feelings and soldier on because I feel like that is what I should do.  No one needs to carry the burden of my problems other than me.  Of course that is ridiculous.  No one can keep all of their problems to themselves without breaking under the pressure at some point.  By keeping all my worries to myself, I negatively impacted my health.  I developed a cold a few days before our move and I am still getting over it.  A few weeks before the move, my knee started to hurt so bad that I could no longer run on it.  I still have not been able to run, and I am trying my hardest to rest and let it heal.  During the actual move, I lost my appetite and didn’t eat the same healthy meals that I normally make and I also didn’t drink as much water as I normally do.  All of these things added up to me feeling crummy and that is not how you want to feel when you have to move.  I felt weak and could barely help Adam move and load our boxes.  I felt exhausted during the day and wanted nothing more than to take long naps all day.  Even my face started to break out.  Health wise, I was pretty much a wreck.

Bedroom. Haven't done much to this room other than put our stuff in it. We'll get to it soon....

Bedroom. Haven’t done much to this room other than put our stuff in it. We’ll get to it soon….

If you go back and read my other posts about moving, you’ll probably notice a similar theme.  I start to stress, keep it to myself, and my health turns into a mess.  Why can’t I seem to get my act together and why do I keep telling you about it?  I am not perfect, far from it, in fact.  Even though I enjoy being healthy and do my best to do all the things I know make me feel and look my best, I still fail from time to time.  I know that many of you feel that becoming healthier is really hard and you get frustrated when you fail.  I am the same way.  I am slowly learning though that being healthy isn’t about being perfect 100% of the time.

It’s ok to fail or not do something as well as you had hoped.  It isn’t how you fail that defines your health, it’s how you deal with the fallout.  Rather than wallow in your shortcomings and quit, pick yourself up and get right back in the game.  Use that experience to help shape your healthy journey in a positive way.  Learn from your mistakes and when the same obstacle arises next time you will be able to overcome it.  I am getting better at being ok with my imperfections and knowing that my overall health is more important that the tiny little things I do everyday.  As long as you are working towards being healthy and the majority of your choices and decisions are good ones, I promise you that your health will be just fine.  One setback every now and then is not going to totally derail all the hard work you have done.

Tiny kitchen, but I make it work!

Tiny kitchen, but I make it work!

While I am hoping that I won’t have to move for a long time (I would love to live in an apartment for more than one leasing period!), I know that this move has taught me so much for the next one.  I am also happy to say that I absolutely LOVE living in Chicago.  All my fears and doubts are gone and I am relishing living in a new area.  It is exactly what Adam and I needed to continue to grow in our lives and in our relationship.  We had gotten all that we could from our previous area and it was time to move on.  Now big things are in store for the next chapter of our life and I can not wait to get started!

Shot of the living room/office and the dining room. This is where most of our attention has been focused for the time being!

Shot of the living room/office and the dining room. This is where most of our attention has been focused for the time being!

Dawson Update

Sorry for the lack of regular posts here on the blog.  It has been a busy past few weeks and the blog has been pushed to the side for the time being.  But don’t worry, once the craziness of our move and Adam’s new job has died down I will have plenty of time to devote to writing posts and giving you guys recipes!

I thought that I would drop in today and give you a quick update on what’s going on here in the Dawson house.  If you recall my husband, Adam, was offered a job at Aon Benfield in Chicago.  Once we found out and talked about it, we decided to make the move to Chicago and thus begun our search for a new apartment.  Luckily it didn’t take that long and we found a great place in the Lakeview area of Chicago.  We both fell in love with the area and the variety of things that are available to us there.  It’s also a short commute for Adam which is pretty much one of the main reasons we were moving.  We signed the lease and will be moving towards the end of May.

Now, I’m not sure how familiar many of you are with downtown living, but it tends to be a little bit of a smaller space.  Our new apartment is a 1 bedroom, 1 bath, with a living room/dining room and kitchen.  While it is not super tiny, it is a lot smaller than our 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, home here in Sycamore.  So we have been slowly going through our things and downsizing to only the essentials.  At times, I look around and start to panic and think, “There is no way that we will be able to fit into this new space!”  But I know that once we actually make the move and get everything organized, it will all work just fine.  It’s also nice to get down to the bare essentials, sometimes we get so bogged down with “stuff” that we think we need but we really don’t.  While I may hate moving, it does help to keep us from becoming pack rats because who wants to move a bunch of useless things? Not I.

Stuff we really don't need...

Stuff we really don’t need…

I have also been feeling my way into the health and nutrition arena of the world to see where I can fit in and start my own career.  There are numerous programs to become certified in a variety of things, so I’m not worried about finding the right fit.  I am finding that I am most passionate about the food/nutrition side of things and have been leaning towards continuing my education in that sense.  While I have nothing definite yet, it is exciting to plan my own future and think about what I really want to do.  After the move I will be able to devote 100% of my time to pursuing that and I can’t wait!

That’s pretty much all the excitement that is going on in my little corner of the world.  Thankfully it seems that the weather is slowly turning to spring here in the midwest and it has been a little warmer.  I really do love this time of year when I go outside and can actually smell things like trees and grass and flowers.  It’s also nice to not have to put on 6 thousand layers just to walk to the car and not freeze to death.  Hopefully it stays this way and we can finally enjoy spring!  I hope that you all have a great week and I will talk to you soon!

Beautiful morning for a spring time run!

Beautiful morning for a spring time run!