Hi Neighbor

ninainthechiUncategorized%s Comments

Hi Neighbor

There is a darling older gentleman who sits on a porch swing a few blocks from my house. He often wears a military ball cap, one of those hats with the tall top that signifies details of how and where he served, and there’s always a big American flag flying, jutting out from the front porch post like proud declaration. I give him a wave and a “good morning/afternoon” as I pass; if I wave large enough, he will give me a nod but more often than not, he keeps on (presumably, I hope) enjoying his day on his swing.

Of course, it’s too cold for him to be out there right now but I noticed this sign as I passed by yesterday.

Hi Neighbor. Thanks for the salute and God Bless.

The nails on the sign are still shiny so I presume it’s new. I could see him opening the sign as a Christmas gift, perhaps from a son or daughter who noticed on their visits all the people making a point to wave to our neighborhood’s proud but silent veteran. I could see them going outside to drill into the cold brick and step back to admire their handiwork, a note to the community that even if it’s not acknowledged in the moment, the time taken to salute this gentleman is appreciated.

There may be no accuracy as to my daydream about how that sweet sign came to be but the point remains: keep waving. Keep saluting. You never know when a small gesture might have a big impact.


ninainthechiUncategorized%s Comments


Earlier this week, one of my favorite authors/people Shauna Niequist wrote on Facebook that “kindness as we communicate is a core value to me” and I have been thinking about it all week. Kindness is a core value of mine as well and whether it’s on the news, the internet, in person, in our community, there has been a lot of unkindness as of late. I took this photo (it is entirely made of pushpins!) in August at a restaurant in Boise, Idaho and it’s message is really all we need to carry with us throughout our days. Be kind to one another. Be kind to yourself. Lead from kindness. Nothing bad can come from being kind.



Wedding Week

ninainthechiUncategorized%s Comments


An “enjoy your wedding week” bouquet from A New Leaf c/o my boss was the loveliest surprise to come home to yesterday. I am pretty sure they are the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen. Hydrangeas and peonies and roses and calla lilies, oh my!

I have been overwhelmed this week by the kindness of others. Every card and call and text…it’s kept me so grounded in what this week is and it’s not to-do lists. It’s celebration and people and love.

And now, flowers.

PSA: Garrett’s in the Merch Mart

ninainthechiUncategorized%s Comments

Go to the Garrett’s Popcorn in the Merchandise Mart.

I am giving the Chicago Mix as favors for a luncheon my mom is throwing me tomorrow and I had someone tell me earlier in the week to go to that location because they are so nice.

They were so, so right.

The 2 women that helped me were nice times 10 and it just made my entire day. Really- they were so awesome and I can’t wait to go back to see them again.

Sweet women who deal in sweets- that is something to shout from the rooftops!


On Stunt Rugs and Getting What You Want

adminUncategorized%s Comments

If you want something done right, do it yourself…and be nice.

Ryan and I are doing a little apartment improvement, which included spending a few hours sitting on every chair at Crate and Barrel and stepping on every rug (“too soft? Just the right soft?”). We made our selections and were super excited to get the new stuff into our place before we start some heavy holiday entertaining next week.

That was 3.5 weeks ago. The “end of November” promise has come and gone.

Ryan called and was, um, unsuccessful. Logistics and operations of a global brand is what they do so how it takes a month to get us a rug and chair is beyond me. You’re better than this, C&B.

So I took matters into my own hands, made some calls, was very nice and solution focused (“Sandy, let’s figure out how we are going to make this right”) and boom- a new rug will be at our place on Monday.

A stunt rug, if you will.

Not the one we ordered but a brand new, similarly colored, perfectly fine replacement that will live on our floor until the “real” one comes.

Moral of the story: being nice works. With pretty much everything. It might feel good to yell at customer service people but that’s not who I want to be and I most certainly don’t want anyone talking to me like that.

A stunt rug works for me.