26 July 2011

Wow.

A longer post about last night's impromptu date will come later. Right now I'm distracted by the definite difference between these two pictures.

 Me, with the lovely Amie at high tea in Edinburgh. Taken three weeks before my thyroid surgery.

Me, last night, a month post-surgery. Ignore the crappy phone camera quality. 

What difference am I struck by? The visibly skinnier neck. Wow. I never really realized just how huge my thyroid really was. So very grateful I opted to have it taken out. Even if the scar and I are still getting used to each other. 

22 July 2011

Makes Me Think

I logged onto Blogger with the intention of writing up a little post about the thought-provoking website: Makes Me Think

Some of the posts are a little bittersweet and tinged with a hint of regret, but I like the site. We all need a reminder from time to time that there's more important things. And that with the right attitude, this world really is a beautiful life.

Today, my dad got laid-off from his job of 30 years. When he picked me up at the airport this evening, I asked him how he was coping. He said, "I have a loving wife, a daughter who just got home from college, and a son and daughter in-law who have my first grandchild on the way. I couldn't be happier! A job I can find anywhere." MMT

Wow. It really does make me think. 

And as I opened up Blogger, I looked at today's date and got a little reminder of my own. It's been exactly one year since I stood, anxiously, nervously, excitedly in an airport, ignoring the beads of sweat dripping down the back of my knees, and holding up this sign:


It's been exactly a year, and what an amazing, successful year it's been. A year full of love, and kisses, and carousel rides, and triumphs, and tears, and sickness, and accomplished dreams, and laughter, and flowers just because, and pride, and colorblindness, and cuddles, and sweet little love notes, and fights over laundry, and countless sweet little date nights, and a few moments of insecurity here and there, and schemes, and lazy Sundays, and movie watching, and sunset sails, and the realization that even a year later, I still find this to be so very true.

And I think to myself, as I've been thinking all morning, how lucky are we? How lucky in love. How lucky to realize that 


And I've realized, no matter what happens next or five years from now or fifty years from now, I would not trade this last year in for anything. I would keep all the ups and downs and absolutes and insecurities and laughter over inside jokes and tears over fights and kisses and cuddles exactly the same. Because this year, I believe, absolutely, we both grew in love. We both have become better for the love we've shared. And I can't wait to see what our future brings. 

18 July 2011

Today, Happiness Is...

Silly, summery, polka-dotted fingernails. 

15 July 2011

A Foundation of Stone

Joe and I were cuddling in bed recently one night and as he drifted off to sleep, my thoughts started wandering. 

I was eying the blank wall across from our bed where we have plans to hang a print or two from my recent trip to Scotland. As I thought of the picture we've already picked out, and all the other little things we've talked about to make this place ours, I realized our little apartment has really become home this past year. 

And of course, I wouldn't be the KtMac you all know and love if I didn't start musing even more. I couldn't help but think about the past year and how our partially underground apartment was the perfect place to begin building our life together. 

In order to build a house in the clouds, first we need a strong foundation, and that's what Joe and I did this past year. We laid down the foundation, brick by brick. We tested the strength of the foundation, countless times. And we're filling in the cracks and smoothing out the bumps one by one together. That's what we'll keep doing this upcoming year, and along the way, we'll keep dreaming up our house in the clouds.


And I sleepily smiled to myself and thought, "I love this life of ours."

14 July 2011

A Blast from the Past

This picture landed in my inbox late last night. 


Yep. That's my name and the year painted on the flooring underneath my parents' bedroom closet. They are currently replacing all the carpet in the house and found this little gem from the last time they had replaced the carpet. My youngest bro was in awe that I painted on the floor before he was even born. I completely forgot about it. Makes me wonder what other hidden gems my bros and I have left behind over the years. 

13 July 2011

The Little Things that Make Me Happy This Afternoon

This is not an outfit post. This is a showing of all the little things today that are making me smile on this refreshingly cool Wednesday afternoon. 


And now, to top off all the little happies, I'm going to take a quick mid-afternoon walk. Work from home perk. 

Wednesday Wisdom: A Page Torn from My Diary

Words from an old diary entry.
Picture from Friday night's sailing adventures.

12 July 2011

KtMac Confessions: Body Love

I know just what I want to say today, but I'm struggling with finding the words that will make what I want to share perfectly clear.


I am in a pleasantly weird spot with my body these days. 

What do I mean by pleasantly weird?

I am not happy with my weight, but I am in love with my body. 


I am pleasantly surprised and happy with this newfound love of my body. But it's weird too, in that after a year of choosing extra snuggles on the couch over gym time or eating those oh-so-delicious-but-oh-so-bad-for-you foods instead of choosing to deny myself a treat or two, I am in love with my body even if I'm not happy with the number on the scale. 

I feel sexy. Confident. Beautiful. Comfortable

I like my hourglass shape, and dress my best to show it off. After a year of leggings and yoga pants, I have gotten back into wearing outfits that make me feel pretty every day. 


My skin is soft beneath my fingers. My legs seem like they go on for days. I have found bras and shirts that celebrate my generous "blessings" instead of merely containing or hiding them. I realized I am wearing scarves more to protect my thyroid scar as it heals than to hide it. 


After years and years of not believing I am beautiful. After years of thinking I was just ordinary or cute in the girl-next-door way at best. After years of rolling my eyes every time Joe tells me, "You're so beautiful" (which lucky, lucky me, he tells me every single day, because, as he tells me often, "it's true every single day"). After years of only seeing the flaws when I look in the mirror. 

Now, I see a beautiful body I love. 


And that brings me peace

Granted, I still see imperfections and some extra pounds, but I no longer obsess over them. This summer, I turned 27 and for the first time since I was 14, I own not one, but two bikinis that get regular wear at the beach, even when Joe isn't there. For someone who was so insecure about her body for such a long time, the bikinis are a bold proclamation of love to the world.

And I owe so much of this confidence and security to Joe's patient, daily reminders that I really do have a body worthy of great love. Thank you, my love, for all the reminders.

All of that is a pleasantly weird feeling. I am enjoying this body love of mine. And I sincerely wish that kind of self love and peace for each and every one of you too. 

11 July 2011

Priorities

Summertime in Chicago is short. 

So sometimes, you have to ignore the mountain of laundry, the need to go grocery shopping, the piles of stuff that needs to be picked up, and instead, discreetly pack up some margaritas, pull on a cute new bikini, call up a good girlfriend, and hit the beach after work. 

Cheers, Chicago!


Love Wins

In searching for something else just now, I stumbled across some notes I jotted down about this time last year, right before Joe came home from the Peace Corps. And in those notes was this little poem, and somehow, I knew then what I know now (as long as I'm not overanalyzing); love wins. 

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

Love wins. 

Day in, day out. 

Love wins. 

Across the miles. 

Love wins. 

Through the ups and downs. 

Love wins. 

Even when it seems impossible. 

Love wins. 

Because we are a team. 

Love wins. 

Because we believe. 
Both in each other, and in love. 

Sunset Sailing

Friday night was magic. 

No, really. 

Magical was the best way to describe such a perfect night. 


Joe and I had date night aboard the Pianissimo, which is operated by Lakeshore Sail Charters. I found a daily discount on one of the deal of the day websites, decided a sunset sail on Lake Michigan was such a Chicago in the summertime thing to do, I couldn't resist. 

Of course, I'm terrible with surprises, so Joe knew all about the sailing adventure within 24 hours of my purchasing the deal. 

But back to Friday night. 

Oh, it was perfect. 

The weather was balmy and warm with enough breeze to keep it comfortable. The sunset was perfect. 


There were plenty of kisses and quiet moments of "we're so lucky."


The sailboat was gorgeous and easily tempted Joe and I into living the sailing lifestyle. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be gently rocked to sleep by the waves every night? And because this cruise is more of a date night cruise rather than a party boat, only six guests are allowed on the boat at a time even though it is a 50-foot long sailboat with plenty of room for quite a few more guests. 

We didn't mind that though. It gave Joe and I a chance to lay down on the bow and watch the city slowly light up for the evening and count stars and our blessings. 


It really was so magical. 

And now, Joe and I have the hookup to sail at the discounted rate whenever we want to again. So if you're interested, let me know and I'll share how to get such a great date night. 

07 July 2011

Chicago Sunset

Oh, I tell you. Every single day, I find a new reason to fall even more in love with this magical city. This week, it was the magical weather and perfectly pale pink sunset we enjoyed while laughing with friends in anticipation of the July 4th fireworks off Navy Pier. 




And I tell you, I think back to a year ago, when I was anticipating Joe's return home and our planned move to this city, and I think over all the ups and downs we've had over this past year, and the truth of it is: I wouldn't trade any of it. Because I am so lucky. Joe and I love each other. We're together. We live in a cozy little apartment. We have great friends (who may be a little more spread out than I'd like, but still). We both have great jobs. We live in this beautiful city by the lake. And we have a golden, shining future. Life really is beautiful, isn't it my friends?

06 July 2011

A Must Read

If you read nothing else today, read this. It was exactly the reminder I needed at exactly the right moment.

Life's plans for you are so much better than your plans for life. 

01 July 2011

A Chicago Fourth

First up, the winners of the first ever KtMac giveaway are: the lovely Mb and the beautiful Tiger!

Congrats ladies - I'll touch base with you soon to make sure you get the exact print you want. 

Secondly, it's my first ever Fourth of July in Chicago! And I'm so excited. 

Joe's best friend from college and his gf are coming to town to celebrate with us. On tap: beach time, Taste of Chicago, fireworks, museums, and more. It's going to be great. 

Wishing y'all a happy Fourth of July!!