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Hi.

Welcome! I’m Catherine. For me, it's important to stretch my mind, travel far, and always have a stash of dark chocolate.

Weekend Links / / Back to Work

maternity leave over Yesterday was my first day back at work. It was also the day when two birds flew into our house! Word to the wise, don't leave a window open unless you have screens. But yes, back to work. I was able to take an additional leave of absence, which extended my maternity leave to 16 weeks. Albeit it wasn't completely paid but because of moving, it was necessary. Phoenix is now 15 weeks and I can't imagine returning any sooner!

My parents arrive today to help all three of us transition into this new normal. Jordan's mom left on Tuesday and while we still have more unpacking to do, we accomplished a lot! We need a few key furniture pieces (especially in Phoenix's room) but at least we aren't tripping over boxes anymore. I love that we have space to host family and friends.

Are you also completely baffled Thanksgiving is in two weeks? Since we travel home to Illinois I don't have to prepare for the meal, but I am preparing for our eight hour drive. Which, with a four month old, will probably turn out to be 10.

Onto the links!

Guide To The Best Clothing On The Go | I'm not much of a leggings girl but I also hate wearing jeans while traveling. Joggers or my overalls from Madewell are my go-to.

The Treasure is in The Challenge | "Ultimately, choosing to challenge yourself when you could easily sail through life is a challenge in itself. It has to be worth it. But in the challenge– that battle, the uphill climb– lies the priceless opportunity to grow. It means running up against our own failures, accepting them, trying again, and taking a stand."

The Four Words I Refuse to Say When I Am Hurting | I appreciate the vulnerability Lauren expresses in her writing on motherhood. Her recent post struck a cord. For most of my life I downplay my own struggles, because in comparison to most of humanity I have it pretty good. But maybe by doing that I am ignoring a part of myself that needs to be validated.

What We Will Teach Our Children"One thing that caught my attention this morning were the articles about how parents will tell their children of this new president-elect, a person that is supposed to uphold exceptional qualities as not only a leader, but as a role model. For Pete and me, though, we've got bigger fish to fry than teaching our children how to not act like Trump. We have to teach them how to not act like this world. How to not base their moral compasses and values in the mainstream of society."

It's been an interesting week, no? Maybe more like the past year. Politics has a way of turning extremely divisive. We have our convictions and it's hard, at times, to understand the other side. My parents taught my brothers and I to respect positions even when the person upholding that position is less than desirable. Let's not forget we can still teach incoming generations to be kind, generous and thoughtful. Regardless of our politicians.

Skillet S'Mores | I craved hot chocolate during my first trimester. I still have a leftover bag of marshmallows and several bars of chocolate. Originally, I thought about making this for Election night but instead I'm saving it for while my parents are visiting.

Happy Weekend, all!

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Linking with Erika and Amanda

Palace of Fine Arts

A Fall Walk in Percy Warner Park