Thursday, October 31, 2013

Cloud 9....

I am soooo happy right now! I submitted my draft report yesterday and my close-out meeting went fabulous this morning! My boss was very happy and pleased with my presentation and work product especially with the tight deadline. So so happy! I had my whole family praying for me to do well and I aced it!!! Yes!!!

I cannot wait for the weekend. I am definitely going to get myself to the movies. I am behind and there were some good movies that came out over the last couple of weeks. 

I can't wait to see my nephew in his Ninja costume for Halloween! He's such a cutie pie and just a great 4 year old. Love Him! 

Chitown is on Cloud 9 right now!!! I am closing out this month on a strong and positive note!!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chitown Down But Not Out....

I am struggling...4 straight days with a terrible headache and I have been working like crazy!!!! I finally got my draft report approved and sent out this morning and I will have a close-out meeting tomorrow. I felt so awful last night, my eyes were twitching, my head was hurting and I was super nauseous . I got home around 9pm, took a shower and I was asleep by 10pm and that's not me at all. I am a total night owl. I didn't even eat dinner. I just couldn't wait to get into the bed and go to sleep.

My godfather was back in the hospital after falling on Sunday and dislodging his trache. He'd just had surgery on Friday so that was a bit of a scare because he was having trouble breathing. He's back home and resting. I love that Man. His walk in life is not easy having survived throat cancer but no longer having the ability to eat or drink. Puts a lot of things in perspective.

I am looking forward to the weekend so I can just relax. 11 more days and then I have a week off for vacation. It's been a tough couple of months but I am still managing to keep a smile on my face.=)

Saturday, October 26, 2013


I just had the most AMAZING massage and it was FREE FREE FREE!!! My Mom knew I was having a hard time with work and she could see me working from 8-8 weekdays and on the weekends. She made the appointment for me. She is the BEST!!! So thankful!!! =)

The massage therapist was excellent. She said my shoulders and neck were so tight and I feel so much better. Woo Hoo!!! Giddy!!! 

Monday, October 21, 2013


I survived the long weekend!  I worked until about 8:30 Friday night and worked all weekend with the exception of going to my nephew's swim practice and a birthday dinner/outing for a friend on Saturday.  I came back into work after Church yesterday and worked until close to 9pm.  The good news is I got my report drafted and I think I might have set a record.  What took me close to 2 months to complete earlier this year, only took me 3 weeks.  I spent a week in Madison, managed a team of 9 people to get all of the work completed and then I scrubbed the data last week and now I am under the gun to get my draft approved and out this week.  I am proud of myself because I know that with my Team Lead under a lot of pressure to meet the month-end fiscal year reporting, I was probably the best person for the job to Lead this Review.  Hopefully the rest of the week will go smoothly and I will finally have a nice weekend after working 3 weekends in a row.  Chitown might even get herself a massage!  Oh yeah!!!

It's funny how people can make such a profound impact on you when you are young.  I was probably in 6th grade when my sister's high school volleyball coach told me that I was "probably the most talented kid she had ever met but I was able the most laziest kid she had ever met!"  That struck such a nerve with me and I made a compete 180 and got myself together.  The next two years, I was in the National Junior Honor Society after not turning in most of my homework in previous years, I graduated in the Top 5 of my high school class and I graduated from Northwestern University having played Division I Softball and earning my degree in Economics.  Now I am a VP, Lawyer and I am on a great path.  One thing I can say about ME is that Chitown is NOT LAZY!!! =)

I hadn't been out in so long with my friends for dinner and dancing and I love, love, love to dance. It's probably the only time I like to wear heels because I get to dance. A birthday was the perfect opportunity to boogie!!! I had a blast. We went to a place called Alhambra Palace for dinner and then walked down the street to a place called Red Kiva for more fun and dancing. Alhambra had a belly dancing troop that put on a performance from about 8:30-10:00pm. The performance was pretty cool and I had a good time.  The most important thing is that my friend had a great time and a great birthday. I was sooo pooped, I had to sit in my car for a good 20 minutes before I could even drive home Saturday night. =)

I am trying to figure out how in the world I am going to pay my credit card bill off at the end of the month. I am looking at a shortage of about $100-$200. I have the cash but I don't want to deplete all of my cash resources. Adding in the weekly counseling sessions is costly but I will be fine going forward and the sessions have been pretty awesome to get me back on solid footing.

Hope you guys had a great weekend. That's about all folks. This will be the last super busy week but I am in the homestretch and I will be free to relax this weekend. Yeah!!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Loss of Classmate...

I got home this evening to find out my high school classmate died after giving birth just 9 days ago. She was so ecstatic about being a mom and you could tell she was already in love with her son. My heart is heavy. She had a beautiful and positive spirit. 

It's a wake up call not to take people and time for granted. A person can literally be here today and gone today. Not just tomorrow. Tell and show the people who matter most to you that you love them. Let go of the foolishness and stuff that doesn't matter. Be happy. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013


I woke up this morning with vacation on my mind. I have a week off from work next month during the week of Veteran's Day and two weeks at Christmas. I need to find myself on a beach somewhere. I made it to FL this summer but the trip wasn't as relaxing as I'd hoped and ended pretty badly so I am not counting that as vacation, rest and relaxation. If I can't make it to the beach, I would love to go to a spa as well. I'll have to look into some options after this busy week is over. 

Saturday was good. I finally had some "me time" after working 6 days in a row. I did some laundry and gave myself a manicure I watched the first and second episodes of Scandal. Awesome!!! I went to get a pedicure and then I was off to see my parents and nephew. Perfect day!

I am rolling out of bed so I can make it to Church and then I have to hit the Library or Starbucks to do some work. Mom is cooking Sunday dinner so I'll be grubbing well this evening. 

Happy Sunday!!! =)

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Bitter Sweet....

I got some great news today. All of my bloodwork came back clean and there are no issues with my kidneys or my liver!!! Yes!!! 

The not so great news is that my Mom just told me my godfather is in the hospital. So I will be heading home from Madison on Friday and going straight to the hospital to see him. He's an amazing man. I get my love of dance from him. He is an African Dancer and can even walk on stilts. He had me and my sister in African dance classes at a young age. My Mom isn't a people person and she's a pretty good judge of character. She absolutely loves my godfather. He's my Dad's childhood friend and he's near an dear to me and my sister. 

My godfather had throat cancer and has a permanent trache so he can't eat or drink. He's kind of pulled away from everyone in the last couple of years. Living with a permanent feeding tube in your stomach and not being able to swallow even water is a very hard existence and life. The measure of his strength cannot be understood. I am very proud of him and I love him very much. 

I know it's hard on my parents. They're 65/64 and funerals are becoming commonplace for classmates and known associates. Our neighbor of 20+ years was just laid to rest last week. It's scary facing the reality that my parents are aging. I am thankful for every call I get to make to them, every visit, every time I get to kiss them on their foreheads, hug them, tell them I love them and have them tell me back and know without a shadow of a doubt they do indeed. Thankful! 

Madison, WI Trip...

Day 3 of the review project went well and we are on Target for a Friday finish. I have a great team with me even if not all of my co-workers are well versed in commercial real estate. The hotel is nice. The company is great. The work is interesting.  Good things all around. 

Here is the view from my room of Lake Monona. =)

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

September 2013 Summary...

My net worth took a slight dip this month. I cannot complain considering I had close to $1,200 in car and house repairs to make. I could have done a little better on my personal spending but all in all, it wasn't a bad month. I did a little emotional eating out but that's slowed down once I settled down. Below is a snapshot from Networthiq and a Budget Breakdown for September.

  • Housing: Met plan.
  • Utilities: $19 over plan with last month of $18 WW subscription
  • Transportation: Met plan with very slight $8 deviation. 
  • Personal - Blew the budget by $308. Below is a breakdown. 
    • Clothing & Shopping: $123
    • Entertainment & Hobby: $94
    • Food & Dining Out: $682
    • Grocery & Household: $310
    • Personal Care & Spa: $116
    • Tithing & Offerings: $30
  • Miscellaneous: Over budget by $904 with needed $1,150 in car and home repairs. 
  • Education/Business: Met Plan
  • Credit Card/Debt: Met Plan with $806 towards principal

Friday, October 04, 2013

Let the Weekend Begin...

The weekend is finally here but this week flew by so fast.  It was a busy busy work week but productive.  I will heading to Madison, WI on Sunday afternoon for the week.  I am leading a review up there so it should be interesting and a learning experience. This is only my second review to Lead and this one is an onsite review so I will be representing the team. Fun!

It's Homecoming weekend for Northwestern so I have a few events to attend including an alumni softball game tomorrow. That's going to be fun. Looking forward to seeing some of my old teammates. 

I am working on my September Financial Summary so hoping to post that by Monday.  The results are already posted on Networthiq. You can click on the net worth link to the top right of the page. All in all, I had just a $100 dip in my net worth which isn't bad considering I had close to $1,200 in car and home repairs for the month.

Performance reviews will wrap up by the end of the month and I will know my bonus and raise (if any) soon. Bonuses pay out in the middle of December.

My Dad met with his cardiologist yesterday. He will go for an Eco and Stress Test on my birthday actually, December 2nd, and then they will determine if he will need a defibrillator and/or pacemaker. We are hoping and praying that the meds strengthen his heart so he won't need another surgery. My Dad has been through so much since 2009. We all have really.

Have a wonderful weekend! =)

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Doc Appt & Helping Others....

I get a kick out of helping others and doing for others. I almost think I get more out of the deal in the end. My Mentor asked me to talk with his niece who is a student at Yale. I've been communicating with her over the past few weeks via email and phone and got her resume into the right hands at the Bank. I think she a great hiring candidate and the people I spoke with today were impressed with her resume. The Bank has several training programs that give you a solid financial and banking foundation. Heads of both major programs have her resume in hand. I think it also helps that I stepped up for one of the Heads of the Business Banking program when he asked me a couple years ago to participate as a Mentor in the Bank's work-study program. I still work with my Mentee and he's now a senior in high school. I am helping him get ready for college now. 

The doc visit went pretty good today. She moved to a new office which is really nice. A little further away but still downtown and only a taxi ride away. I never had to give more than 2 viles of blood before but they took 5 viles from me today to test my kidneys and liver. After three, my arm was screaming Uncle! I should have the results back on Tuesday. 

It's Family Thursday which means I get to spend quality time with some of the best people on Earth including the love of my life, my four year old nephew. 

Too blessed to be stressed! =)

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

October Already....

It's October already.  Wow!!!  Time is flying by and I'll be bundling up for Chicago Winter soon.  I love all four seasons and Fall is my favorite.  Things have been good but super busy.  The weekend was fun. Went to the movies Friday and Saturday, went to see my nephew swim, had brunch with the family and then had an unexpected visit from an old friend Saturday night which turned into Sunday morning.  It was a good time catching up. Church on Sunday, some cleaning up and then Sunday dinner with the family.  Good times.

I kicked off my review project on Tuesday so work will be busy busy for the next few weeks.  I leave for Madison WI on Sunday and will be working onsite there for the week.  Then it's a long Columbus Day weekend and I am looking forward to having some downtime and fun.  Before I know it, it will be November and I'll be decorating for Christmas. Yeah!!! I am such a holiday nerd. =)

I am doing well with my finances.  I will post a September Summary this week.  Onward and upward. Staying on target and staying on plan. Freedom tastes good!!!