Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Fixer upper ... part 2

It seems so long ago that I first posted about our "upcoming" renovation. Well, now we're finally (allllmost!) ready to start. Decisions have been made ... supplies have been ordered ... permits have been obtained. Now we just need our contractor to wrap up his current project so he can switch the focus over to O'Gradyland :)

I am keeping my fingers crossed that we can start at the end of the month, before Spring break, so we can miss a good chunk of the demolition work. Realistically, it's probably looking more like April. C'est la vie!

The overall planning process hasn't been too painful. Jason and I are pretty decisive, and we've been able to piggyback off a lot of the hard work that Susie and Sean did planning for their kitchen and bathroom renovation (thanks, guys!). Things just take longer -- and cost more -- than you want them to.

For those who are interested ...
Final floor plan.
Bathroom vanity design. Note: This does not reflect our tile or fixture choices. We'll have dark gray tile on the floor, white tile on the walls, and an array of chrome Kohler fixtures.
Linen cabinet. Oh blessed storage!
Jason's side of the closet
MY side of the closet ... even though I'm constantly paring down my wardrobe to the essentials, I'm dying about having All. This. Space!
My closet inspiration, and what I'm hoping it ends up looking like. We'll have light gray cork on the floor, shelving and drawers will be white like this, and I LOVE the idea of having a fun purple bench in the middle and glam lighting up above. Our window will be off-center at the far end, but I plan on balancing it out with a framed piece of artwork or a full-length mirror.
It's going to be crazy at our house until May with all of our master bedroom furniture crammed into the guest room and my office, cabinets and supplies stacked in boxes downstairs, and contractors coming in and out of our house for 8 weeks. But hopefully it will all be worth it!

Monday, February 20, 2017


Now that I've been at my current job for about 2 years, the travel is starting to pick up ... in the best way possible. Last year, I went to Madrid, Vienna, and Washington DC. This year, I've already been to Barcelona and have a trip to Paris scheduled for April!

The work trips are usually pretty intense -- long days filled with meetings and then a few hectic hours each evening to meet deadlines. But there's almost always time for a little sight-seeing at the beginning of each trip, and plenty of time for dinner and drinks with coworkers.

It was so cool going BACK to the Sagrada Familia to see the progress they've made since Jason and I were there a year and a half ago
I also love having the time to myself on the flight to relax and watch TV. I really took advantage of the Netflix and Amazon download options on this last trip and watched the entire first season of The Crown (loved it!) and checked out a few episodes of Black Mirror and Goliath (enough to make me want to watch more!).

My travel didn't stop after Barcelona. Immediately after landing in Chicago, I jumped in my car and drove straight to Holland, Michigan, where we had a weekend rental with another family. Molly was having so much fun with her friend, she hardly even reacted when I walked in the door after being gone for a week.
Molly and her friend Larry on the beach. We had gorgeous weather last weekend. On the beach in February?? Crazy!!
The O'Grady fam :)

It's SO much easier to travel now that Molly is older. I used to feel so guilty when Molly was younger -- partly because she made me pay for it with tears and/or the cold shoulder. I would do anything to get out of having to travel for work. Now, Molly enjoys the alone time with Jason and we have fun sending each other videos back and forth while I'm gone ... She knows I love her. And, since I'm not the only one in the family who travels, I get a chance to be alone with Molly this week when Jason goes to Boston :)

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The little things

The world's a little crazy right now, but there's always time to find happiness in small things ...

Hanging out with my sisters on a strangely warm January day

One-on-one time with the Molls

Looking through old pictures

Grooming 2 new NU fans

Finding out I can wear jeans to work WHENEVER I WANT

Watching Roger Federer win the Australian Open!

Going to see Hamilton with my main squeeze. It. Was. Awesome!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Oh what fun!

It was another epic O'Grady Christmas road trip. This year, we drove west, spending a week in CO Springs, New Year's Eve in Denver, and then a couple of days in the mountains skiing and sledding. We were gone for 2 weeks, but it felt like a month ... in the best way possible.

Now we're refreshed and (hopefully) ready for 2017! We have a Colorado-inspired resolution for the year -- to hike a 14er and/or the Manitou Incline -- and are feeling motivated to hit the gym, build up our endurance, and shed the extra holiday lbs. It's a pretty perfect resolution because it gets us in shape and back to the place we're already missing.

I have a ton of wonderful holiday photos, but here are some of the best of the bunch:
Cooking cousins
Ugly sweaters ... handsome men

Ready for Santa
Two Wookiees 
Escape room success
New Year's Eve - we're all laughing because Evan requested a refill on his "party milk" (sparkling cider .... hahahah!)

Skiing Copper Mountain

Molly getting a little help from Uncle Roger

Post sledding pic
Evan in his favorite spot ... sitting with Molly

Monday, December 19, 2016

Let it snow

'Tis the season for shopping, shoveling, and sledding. We've been doing plenty of all three this December as temperatures have been dropping, snow has been falling, and Christmas gets closer every day. Here are a few pics from this happiest of holiday seasons. More to come when we hit Colorado Springs and Denver in a few days!
Sledding at Lovelace Park with James and George
Molly "sunbathing"

Me, cozy in my new HAND KNIT poncho. Second attempt using the yarn from this 2014 sweater failure:
For everyone who is used to getting a fun holiday card from us ... the holiday of choice this year will be New Year's Day :) We haven't taken a good family photo yet, and since I'll have more time to design, order, and address cards when I'm on vacation, that's when I've decided to do it. The pressure's OFF and it feels good. Happy holidays from the O'Grady fam!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Time to give thanks

Last year, I declared Thanksgiving my favorite holiday. I think it's still holding onto the top spot in 2016. So far, at least :)

We celebrated at our house again. Same crew, same menu, though we did try a new recipe for green beans (with potato chips!) and added bourbon glazed sweet potatoes. Both were keepers and will be back on the menu next year.

The rest of the weekend was fun and low key ... 5 days off felt like a week!!

Happy Thanksgiving from Evanston!!
Getting back into college hoops with an NU win vs Bryant the day after Thanksgiving. Molly was more into the cheerleaders than the basketball players, but at least she has expressed interest in going to more games!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Fly the W

I have no words to describe this!! Cubs win in 10 innings. 8-7. World Series Champions!! One of the best -- most stressful -- games ever. But they did it. Go Cubs Go!!