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Bright Friday

I’m happy to be partnering with Glade® to turn Black Friday into Bright Friday! Together, we’re going to encourage people to spread moments of joy that can often be overlooked during the holiday season.

For some, the holidays can feel overwhelming. According to a survey conducted by Glade®, Chicagoans are 15% more likely than the average American to say the holiday season is busier than the rest of the year. This is the time to step back and think about what really matters, which is why I’m joining Glade® and four other bloggers around the country to find areas in our cities that could use an extra boost of joy this holiday season.

Lillstreet Art Center

As you probably know by now, I love all things that support the arts. I was recently in the Ravenswood neighborhood and stopped by Lillstreet Art Center. It’s a creative space with an incredible mission to cultivate and support the arts through its education program, artist residencies, gallery exhibitions and retail sales opportunities, studio rentals, and arts=based professional development.

Lillstreet Art Center offers classes in the arts for kids and adults. It holds workshops and courses on painting, drawing, ceramics, photography/digital art, bookmaking, and textiles. It even teaches metalsmithing and offers classes on working with glass! Lillstreet is also home to ArtReach, a sister nonprofit organization providing arts education to Chicago communities that don’t have a lot of resources for creative programs.

The Lillstreet Art Center Building

This is a fun space that draws a lot of people to the neighborhood, so I’ve worked with Glade® to bring a little joy to the Lillstreet Art Center this holiday season with a light installation that will turn Black Friday into “Bright Friday.” Sometimes the holidays can feel hectic and overwhelming, so Glade® is reminding people that joy is the greatest gift this holiday season. And everything always feels a bit magical when holiday lights go up, right? So what better way to bring joy?

Lillstreet Art Center at Night
Lillstreet Art Center
4401 N. Ravenswood
Chicago, IL 60640

I can’t wait to see the lighting display, which will be there from Friday, November 27 through the holiday season. I know Glade® will create something amazing — something to help us all spread and feel moments of joy this holiday season. I’ll be sharing it here soon! Check out and don’t forget to share your joyful moments, using the hashtag #FeelJoy.

One Year Old (Calvin’s Monthly Photos)

This kid! The world’s happiest, smiliest, giggling-est baby is growing up with a big mischievous streak. You know something is up when you’re one room over and suddenly things are a little too quiet. The other day he was standing at the fiddle leaf fig, just flinging handfuls of dirt in the air and when I caught him, he turned on the charm with a huge grin.

Calvin's Monthly Baby Photos (Twelve Months Old!)

He isn’t walking yet (all of my kids have been late walkers), but he cruises around furniture and likes to walk with a bit of hand-holding assistance. His crawl is adorable and lopsided. He says mama, dada, dog, cat, and wow. Apparently he has decided to stop nursing (three days of refusal and he’s old enough, so we’re done? Unexpected! I wasn’t ready!). Six teeth. Blue eyes. A polka dot patch of lighter hair at the front, on top, that seems to be staying.

We love, love, love him.

Ten Months Old

Ten Months Old (Calvin's Monthly Photo)
Ten Months Old (Calvin's Monthly Photo)

Eleven Months Old

Eleven Months Old (Calvin's Monthly Photo)
Eleven Months Old (Calvin's Monthly Photo)

Twelve Months Old

One Year Old! (Calvin's Monthly Photo)
One Year Old! (Calvin's Monthly Photo)

(I’ll be taking a photo of Calvin sitting in the Eames rocker and wearing his pin each month until he’s two years old. I also took monthly photos of his sister, Eleanor, and his brother, August.)

Previous Photos
One Month OldTwo Months OldThree Months OldFour Months OldFive Months OldSix Months OldSeven Months OldEight Months OldNine Months OldTen Months OldEleven Months OldTwelve Months OldView All

A Birthday, A Surgery

Calvin had his first birthday!

Calvin and His First Birthday Cake

First piece of cake, too. He’s a fan.

Calvin and Ginger, the Dog

Nicole and Calvin


We celebrated his birthday the night before because Brandon was scheduled to go into surgery the next day.

Calvin and Brandon

Brandon hasn’t been well for a while and he delayed his surgery until after my sister’s wedding so that he could take part, but then the next available date was Calvin’s birthday. It was an outpatient procedure and I was able to take him home after a brief recovery period in the hospital. He isn’t feeling much better yet (there’s still a lot of pain), but hopefully he’s on the mend. He is supposed to take it easy and rest so that he can heal, and he won’t be able to lift anything heavy for several weeks at least, which means no picking up the baby.

Calvin and Brandon

It’s frustrating for him, feeling so weak right now. Hoping for a speedy and full recovery.

Brandon and Calvin

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