Week 12 - Mommy Break #12: A Night Under the Stars and Discovering a New Interest (Part One)

Summer is my favorite season, especially in Chicago.  The city comes alive with street festivals, outdoor concerts, and the beautiful lakefront.  The summer also provides me with an easy “layup” for Mommy Break activities because the options are limitless. Over the next 6 weeks the challenge will be to not sacrifice my children having a memorable summer the for the sake of mommy needing a break.  


Sidebar: Wait… did I just insinuate I need to make sure I don’t put myself before my children having a great summer.  “Don’t step into the trap Nicole ..”  My 4YO and  6YO have no expectations about summer… those are my expectations.   They have no context for “memorable”.  All they care about is playing outside and making sure Mommy obliges their screen time requests (if its reasonable). This week I enjoyed a planned and unplanned Mommy Break back to back (Friday and Saturday)!



On Friday, while my daughter was getting her hair braided for summer camp, my husband and I decided to take a trip to Home Depot to purchase flowers.   A year after we purchased the house we purchased the lot next to our house and converted it to my backyard.  Every year my husband works hard to implement an improvement and this year he built a giant flowerbed.  Now, in full disclosure this was not met with open arms because there was a significant cost implication to the GINORMOUS delivery of top soil delivered to our alley a few days prior.  The only way to consume the soil was to create two large flower beds.  I am trying to practice grace and as much as I wanted to have a big melt down, I expressed my concern once (maybe twice), had a glass of wine and let it go. 

Of course, I am not going to have a flower bed without flowers.  So Friday evening, we spent 2 hours at Home Depot picking out perennials, annuals, and borders.  Despite a small disagreement about perennials at the beginning of the evening, we had so much fun!  The evening ended with a stop at Cold Stone Creamery and although my daughter was still awake getting her hair braided, I didn't care because I had already had my time away. 

SPOILER ALERT: Next week's mommy break will also involve flowers :)


This week’s planned Mommy Break was going to see Common at Ravinia.  The schedule for the summer season was released in May which is when my husband bought the tickets. 

Sidebar: Sorry… another sidebar.  So at the time of purchase my husband informed me how much the tickets cost   I assumed that he accidentally purchased pavilion seats instead of lawn seats due to the price.  On Monday, I call Ravinia to inquire about getting the tickets converted from pavilion to lawn seats only to discover that they had no record of the ticket purchase. (Slight panic sets in) I follow up with my husband to discover some way some how, unbeknownst to him,  he purchased tickets from a resale agent versus directly from the venue which resulted in a SIGNIFICANT UPCHARGE. LADIES: The amount of shear will power it took for me to just comment on it once (maybe twice) and let it go was a feat in and of itself (thanks bestie).  NORMALLY, I would go in and go on and on and it would ultimately culminate into an argument.  The only thing I can point to attaining this new level of calmness is the fact that I have been intentional about taking a break at least once a week. #WINNING  I had to practice grace and realize there was no mal-intent with my husband’s purchase.  He will just be absolved of all ticket purchasing activities moving forward.  LOL 

Sidebar: Last one… I promise.  This weekend I did put my kids first and it almost sacrificed the mommy break.    We had 3 birthday parties Saturday..  Yes… RIDICULOUS and I was so concerned about making sure no one was disappointed that we went to all three. (That’s for another blog post)  Too much and because we overextended ourselves we made our train literally by 2 minutes (Thank God for Aggressive Uber Drivers).

Ravinia is a beautiful outdoor concert venue in the North Shoresuburbs of Chicago.  You bring your blanket, chairs, food and wine, people watch, and enjoy the featured artist.   You can’t not have fun when you go to Ravinia.  Most folks coordinate large outings with their friends, but it was just my husband and I and we thoroughly enjoyed each other's company.  I brought the passion fruit Puerto Rican run that I purchased during Mommy Break #7 and we purchased some Tortas, guac and chips at the venue and were all set.  Common was great but he also could have been whack and we would have still had a good time! 

Nicole WalkerComment