Living Well and Strong with MS means more than just managing a disease. It means living your life to the fullest and figuring out a way to balance your health with the many other aspects of your day-to-day. First and foremost, I’m a mom and a wife but I also have a full-time job, friendships to maintain and hobbies and interests that shouldn’t be ignored. I do my best to make time for all of the above because those things ultimately lead me to a happier me. So as much of this blog will showcase my journey with MS, it’ll also focus on all of the other aspects of my life that inspire me to be healthy…
Our home is the center of so much of our lives so it only seemed appropriate to begin with an introduction. I’m a bit of a homebody and find a lot of enjoyment being at home. I think it’s because it’s where we spend the most time with our baby and dog, but it’s also where I cook, entertain friends, host holidays and special occasions – all things I love to do. I also have a bit of a knack for home renovations and decorating (who doesn’t like a good before & after project?!), so I plan to showcase those in a new home series.
We purchased our home last August and we instantly fell in love. To me, it looked so warm and inviting from the outside, and really felt like a home that you’d raise a family in. After looking for a few months, we knew that this one was “the one” and made an offer before it was even on the market for 1 full day. I guess you know when you know!
The truth is we had been looking for some time and found it difficult to get exactly what we wanted since the market was so competitive. So, we decided on “non-negotiables” that helped narrow our search – the most important ones being neighborhood and space. Bill and I both grew up in heart of the city so location was critical to us. We were both used to living downtown (or River North for you Chicago peeps) and while we loved the convenience of walking to work and many bars and restaurants, it just wasn’t realistic for the type of space we were looking for. We wanted 4 bedrooms so we could grow into it over time which we’d never get downtown in a high-rise. Plus, with a baby on the way, we also wanted more of a neighborhood feel. Wicker Park, the area we ultimately decided on, was ideal for a few reasons – it’s very family-friendly, comprised of fun, trendy restaurants and bars while also being two train stops to the loop or business district (yes, at 29 years old I finally learned to take the EL!). Best of all, our home is tucked into a quiet street so while we’re close to stores and restaurants, we are also able to get away from it all.
One of the slight sacrifices we had to make with this home was that to get the space we wanted, we needed do some work to it. Don’t get me wrong, it had great bones and we loved the layout but it wasn’t quite modern and didn’t reflect our style. Luckily for me, I love home repair projects (some of which we’ve started and I will share) so I knew that we could fix it up over the years.
Looking back, this year was a bit crazy and some would say we tackled too much at once – we bought a home and had a baby, all while juggling the stress and newness of MS. But honestly, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. As chaotic as some months were (including those weeks we lived with our parents – thank you!!) it was so rewarding to bring our daughter home to the place where she would ultimately grow up. This home represents so much more than just a place to live. It’s a place where we will raise a family, celebrate birthdays and special events and create countless memories with our family. The home to me is really scared and I think that’s why I take so much pride in ours. I look forward to sharing with you over the next few months.