Q & A

::: Why Leave LaLaLand? :::

 To be honest, there are a lot of reasons why. Maybe most important, we knew that LA was never going to be permanent. When we moved out there, before we were even engaged, I told Joel that I would go out for 3-5 years, but then I would want to root down closer to home; and he honored his promise. 

Once we had Leo, the itch to get back "home" increased with every passing month. Luckily, while we were in LA, I was staying home with Leo, so that afforded me a lot of time to bring him back to Chicago. Joel and I both grew up around tight, involved families, and it is critically important for both of us that we raise our children in a similar environment. 

So, with that being said, plus a family business opportunity for Joel, all of the pieces fell into place, and we jumped. 

::: Why Crystal Lake? :::

Joel and I went to the same high school - here in Crystal Lake (a NW suburb of Chicago). Joel's dad went to the same high school too, and my parents have been here for almost 20 years now. 

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I'm pretty sure when Joel and I were dating (TEN years ago) and living in downtown Chicago, we swore fifty times over that we would NEVER move back to Crystal Lake. 

Well, flash forward to having kids, and now there is nothing more that I would want to give to my child than to be raised in Crystal Lake. Not only is it a idyllic town where strangers are so insanely nice - but BOTH sets of Leo's grandparents live here. 

We tossed around the idea of a few other suburbs (Park Ridge and Naperville), but ultimately decided to come "home", and I'm really glad we did. I love running into people I know at every store, I love that Leo will go to the same schools that I attended, I love that we have a built in community and I love that we don't have to start at scratch again. 

::: What now?  :::

 For Joel, he's busy with his new job and has already gotten himself into a few new running groups here. Leo is in hog heaven being loved on by his grandparents, his great grandmother Kuka, his aunts, and all of our friends. And for me....I'm finding out what it's like to be a parent with about triple times the help.

Because of that help, I'm tossing around the idea of going back to work. I'm not sure if I can find the right fit for me, but I think it might be nice to test the waters on a part time basis. I've missed some of the energy and I feel like Leo is at a great age to start hanging with new friends and new caretakers.

Oh, and Roscoe is getting used to lots of new space, and cold weather too. He's not the biggest fan of the snow and ice, but because he's been an apartment dog, he's very used to spending little time outside and just getting his business done, which has never been more appreciated then when its 10 degrees outside. 

I Love Audrey Hepburn:

Thanks for following along in yet again a new, exciting chapter in our lives!


  1. I'm so glad that y'all are close to your family and support system now! It sounds like it was the perfect timing. Jess at Just Jess

  2. It makes perfect sense to me! What an opportunity of a lifetime!

  3. Hi Tess, love reading your life updates. Welcome home!!

  4. How fun! It takes a village these days raising kids and it's a bonus to be close to the "village" you know. Cheers to new beginnings.

  5. So happy for yall! Nothing like being close to family. With age, you really do realize that is what it is all about!

  6. Ah so excited and jealous. So much of this resonates with me. We love traveling and being in London for now, but we (esp me) would like to be closer to family down the line, and I would love to have our own permanent place. Of course I wish our families live in the same country never mind the same town...so lucky!:)

  7. Congrats again on your move back home! I can completely relate to wanting to be around family especially when little ones are involved! I am loving the sneak peeks of your new home! Looks so nice! Hope you all are settling in!

  8. Catching up on blogs today -- JOEL WITH LONG HAIR!