Life Lately

Life Lately: The New House, Holidays, and Life With 2 Toddlers

Life Lately - new house

Another month has come and gone, and it’s been a big one. We closed on the new house, Kate is walking (and talking!), and it’s Christmas time, so we’ve been making lots of memories with the girls. 

Here’s what we’ve been up to the last month. 

Life Lately: The New House, Holidays, and Life With 2 Toddlers

First, updates on how I’m doing. My dental work is done so that feels huge. I’m really happy with how everything turned out and am just so relieved it’s done for now. Work is going really well – I’m in a good groove. I’ve been spending a lot more time at the computer than I thought I would (it’s definitely full-time), but I am really enjoying it and just riding the wave while I’m motivated, because I know things will shift at some point. I can take some breaks to get things done. It’s just nice having the flexibility to be involved with the new house and to be able to take off to take my daughter to a movie on a Friday afternoon. Feeling really happy and grateful.

Workouts have been mostly non-existent. My motivation to work out at home is not good, and I need to figure that out because the reality is that’s all I have. If anyone has any advice, I’d love to hear it. I really thought I’d be more motivated. 

Life With 2 Toddlers - Life Lately

Life With 2 Toddlers

Kate turned into a kid!

It’s sort of crazy how much she changed the last month. She started walking full-time right before 17 months and is talking a ton. She can tell us almost everything she wants, says please, sings songs (or tries to), and is so funny! The girls are really starting to play together and become little friends, and I touched on this on instagram, but things went from feeling manageable to fun. Watching her run around with her big sister is the best! Loving this stage so much. 

Buying a house in 2021

We closed on the new house last week. And since so many of you asked, I do plan on sharing updates throughout the process. It’s a beautiful home but needs to be updated. My mother in law has been talking about this historic home for years. And when the sun, moon, and stars aligned this year, and we decided to restore and renovate the house with her. It’s almost 100 years old and is a truly incredible property.

We will keep as much of the original details as possible. All the windows are being fully restored, stucco is being redone. And the goal is to bring the home back to life. The current kitchen is very small with low ceilings. So we’re turning the room Margot is standing in into the new kitchen. All the bathrooms were updated (guessing in the 80s/90s) so those will need to be redone,  but the goal is to stay true to the home and restore as much as we can. 

how to hang garland around a front door

how to hang garland around a front door

toddler winter outfit - Life Lately

2 toddlers and Christmas tree

We’re really enjoying this time with the girls.

They’re at such fun stages and Margot is doing so well. It was exactly one year ago that we were coming off our hardest block of treatment. So to see my girls at home, happy, and healthy is something I will never take for granted. It’s Christmas music and pajamas and movies and lights all the time. We have clinic in less than two weeks and one month later, will have another spinal tap and week of steroids. I dread that, but 3 more rounds (once every 3 months) and we’re done. Just over 200 days. Almost there. 

Margot was able to see her friend Colette for the first time since summer! Almost every time we try to see someone, they end up with a cold (because kids get colds) and we have to cancel. But this time, it worked out. And we met Colette and her mom Shari (an old friend I’ve known 10+ years) at Cosley Zoo to see the zoo lights. The girls were so sweet together. I can’t wait until they can play together without having to worry about colds next year. 

AMC private theater rentI shared this on instagram, too, but Margot asked to go to the cinema (her only reference to a movie theater is the cinema in this book) so I rented a private theater.

It looks like AMC and Cinemark offer this in the Chicago area. And AMC had The Grinch, which is one of her favorites, so we booked it. We’re still pretty isolated and it’s rare that we see anyone, so I jump at the chance to do things with the girls. Kate is a little too young to sit through a movie, so she stayed home with our nanny, and we took Margot to the cinema. She was so happy and I never want to forget the way Conor kept looking at her and smiling throughout the movie. 

I’m excited to plan a few more holiday outings and experiences with the girls. We adopted a second family through Lighthouse for Hope’s Holidays for Hope, ordered some toys for our oncology department, are going to the zoo lights and some drive-thru light shows, and doing a little baking. I’m really staying present and aware of how very lucky we are – even through the hard stuff we’ve been through. My eyes have been opened, and I can’t not be grateful for how far we’ve come. Life was wildly different life was a year ago, and we still have a road ahead, but I am grateful. 

Hope everyone’s enjoying the holiday season. 

Leave a comment
  • What a super interesting idea to just turn another room completely into the kitchen! One of the hallmarks of historic homes is these hidden, small kitchens (because it was usually staff cooking in them, not the homeowners) – some purists keep them but it’s not how we live anymore. What will become of the old kitchen space? Butlers kitchens? Pantry? Mud room?

  • looks like a lovely home… are you planning on restoring to resell or to actually move in?

  • Hi Danielle! So happy Margot is doing well. My kids are my constant place of worry and happiness so I can imagine the joy in seeing her doing so well! I love that house on Park Ave, can’t wait to see what you do with it! Will you be moving in? We can be neighbors! And a merry Christmas to you and yours!

  • I love your post! You all are adorable, so glad you’re in a much better place this year. It just gets better, as does the joy and gratitude…which is an incredible silver lining.

    As for the working out…I was/am in the same boat. We built out a work out room in our house, and it’s still a daily battle. I love to do the peloton barre classes, they helped get me back into it. And a lot of walking outside which is good for my soul!

    I will be living vicariously through you as you renovate the old home! I love to watch home renovations, I just don’t have the creativity to do it myself! XOXO Kari

  • Hi! I hear you on getting motivated to work out at home! Pre-pandemic, my workout was mostly studio classes, yoga, Pilates, and barre. We are very cautious, so I do not feel good about returning to a studio, unless I know it won’t be crowded. But I’ve been lucky to find two great resources, I’ll share in case they would help you or another reader.

    First, doing person training via Zoom. There is nothing like having an appointment with a real person to make sure you get that workout in. Somehow, via Instagram, I learned about a workout called Pilates suspension method (PSM). PSM adapts Pilates moves using TRX suspension straps. I had a TRX but had gotten a little bored with it. The PSM moves are very fun. A PSM teacher had an offer for a free Zoom class on IG and 45 minutes later, I was hooked and found my trainer. The fact that the workout is so cool and uses the equipment elevates it over a more rote home workout, IMHO. Anyway, the combo of workout and trainer get me at least one workout a week! Although honestly, as much as a I love PSM, if I didn’t have the appointment with Sam, I’m sure there are days I would keep working or let something take over my workout time. So, the appointment is everything!!! Here is her website:

    The second lucky circumstance was that a prior Pilates teacher started an online platform. Katey is such an amazing motivator that when I do her online classes, I bring that motivation I felt with her in the studio to the online class. If you don’t know her, you would still feel it, but it takes it to the next level for me. Danielle, maybe an instructor you know is offering online classes now? Regardless, here’s the link for my Katey (btw, she has Pilates, barre, strength, and yoga classes of varying lengths) :

  • Hi Danielle! The house renovation sounds incredible, can’t wait to see how it turns out.

    Workouts at home: try Tone & Sculpt app. There’s 4 trainers all with different styles – I’d recommend the new barre programme as Emily is amazing. It’s a little gamified with stars to collect for workouts, targets but it’s really fun.