Sunday, April 29, 2012

Happy Birthday my Sweet

My heart is completely swollen with love and gratitude. We had a beautiful birthday party today, where my boys were surrounded by love and friends! I was glad that I spent the day reflecting on this day 2 years ago, instead of last year... 

After a long but wonderful day, my Sweet (not-so-little) baby fell asleep in my arms, which is incredibly rare! It was his little gift to me. I couldn't help but think about the first night he fell asleep in my arms. It felt just as good tonight as it did then. 

I never thought that the title of "Mommy" would become my most treasured, but there ya have it. 

Jack, thank you for making me a Mommy and for filling my days with joy, giggles and love. You are my sunshine and I love you beyond words. 

Happy Birthday my Sweet xo

Saturday, April 28, 2012

City Living

As you may have read in my little profile, I love a vanilla latte. Seriously, I am gold card carrying Starbucks-a-holic. I love the way Starbucks smells and how familiar it is - even when you're in a brand new place! (I have visited Starbucks in many of the places I've visited. It's become a bit of a joke!) But I love that my vanilla latte always tastes the same. It's always warm and comforting. So it may be no surprise that my local barista and I are on a first name basis. Dave asks me how my kids are and what Nick's been up to if we haven't come in together in a while. He notices when I get my hair cut and always asks how I'm doing. He was one of my first friends in this neighborhood. Not exactly, but I distinctly remember the feeling that I had the first time that he remembered my name. It felt like I was at home. It's when I realized that this big, fabulous City could also be warm. So this past week, Dave invited me to his show. He's a musician who was performing in the neighborhood. Luckily he prefaced the invitation by saying that he knew I had my hands full (understatement) so I didn't feel as badly that I couldn't make it. But it made my day! 

One of my favorite things about Manhattan is when such a massive city can feel intimate and small. In one week recently, I randomly bumped into 2 people that I know within 2 blocks of our apartment. Both happen to work in the neighborhood, which I didn't know! One of them is a friend from high school that I hadn't seen in years - literally, like 8 years! 

I love how NYC has a way of reminding you that though you are literally one in a million, you're still home :) 

Friday, April 27, 2012

One year

A year ago my little boy was about to turn 1! I was newly pregnant with my little peanut. Life was good!

I woke up extra early on my boy's birthday and we watched the Royal Wedding together.
 This is such a terrible picture of me, I can't even believe I'm sharing it! 
It was after the Royal Wedding, after Jack woke up, while we were waiting 
for the Prince & Princess to kiss on the balcony :)
My Baby was 1!

I awaited the news from my Mom's doctor appointment.

We got everything ready for Jack's big day... We had a birthday picnic in the Park planned for the next day and we were hard at work getting everything prepared.

Saturday we had our picnic party with all of our friends and family. Jack had his own cake, which he tore apart. It was such a fun day. 

 That's my beautiful mother in the background watching Jack get his cake

Then, after my friends all left, my Mom asked if I would walk with her to the bathroom. My Dad & Nick followed close behind us. 

Then she told me that she had cancer. 

I know exactly where we were when she said the words. I can still hear them echoing in my head. Her voice was calm and steady. She was clearly worried about me and was trying hard to be calming. I didn't get upset. The exact words that I told her were "OK. Well, we're gonna beat it." I literally had no doubts that she would be OK and that we would beat this. I told her that I was grateful for 2 things. The first was our family, because I knew that we could get through anything. The second was her proximity to New York City. I knew that she had access to the World's Best medical care here. I was calm and certain that this would be OK. I may have welled up a bit, but I didn't really cry right away.

Just one year later I am here preparing for my baby's 2nd Birthday... and she's gone.

I go between resentment and anger that my boy will forever have to share his birthday with this memory, and hope that his celebration will give me reason to feel happy... In a nutshell, it sucks.

It's a tough week. And I hate not being excited about my Baby's birthday party.

Earlier this week, while we were talking about his party Jack asked me to invite Nanny Shells. He said "Mommy, tell Nanny Shells to come. She can see Mommy and see Papa". That about broke my heart. At the same time, I'm so glad that he remembers her enough to miss her. 

I miss her. I hate hating my kid's birthday. But I thank God for my kids. They get me through and give me a reason to smile every single day.

Whether they know it or not, both my boys are in this picture :)

If I have survived this year, I can survive this week.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Long week...

This has been an incredibly long week. I'm completely exhausted! But I am glad to work beside incredible colleagues whom I respect and appreciate. Tonight I'm grateful to them.

I'm also grateful for this, it makes me smile every time I see it! :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Today I am beyond grateful for a friend who was willing to listen. 

I didn't realize how much I needed to talk, until I started.

Thank you for letting me feel like you had all the time in the World, even if you didn't. And thank you for being brave enough to cry with me. 

I love you and appreciate your friendship so much.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Family Vacation!

Last week we took a lovely vacation to Charleston, South Carolina with Nick's parents and sister. We had a great trip and proudly survived flying with TWO lap babies! I'm working on uploading our pictures from the camera and about 12 draft posts from our trip and beyond... 

But here are a few snapshots from my iPhone!

We decided to have an "airport picnic" before the flight! 
(Read: there wasn't a seat to be found, so we plopped ourselves on the floor on a blanket and called it a picnic!) We survived the trip and even got a pic in front of our teeny tiny plane!

We stayed in Foley Beach, SC which is a great beach community about 20 minutes outside of Charleston. It was so nice and relaxing to hang out on the beach. That's Nick & Jack playing closer to the ocean.

We took an awesome carriage ride in Charleston! Really informative, but also fun and pretty. 
Both boys fell asleep!

The accidental matching family... opps! ;)
While I love matching outfits for my boys, this was a total accident - especially me & Nick! 

One night we went to a wonderful dinner and left the boys with my in-laws. 
It was so great to have a night out to ourselves!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Good Night, God Bless

My Mom said this to me every night when I was growing up. Even as an adult, if I was at her house she'd say it to me on my way upstairs to bed. My Grandmother says it too! I guess that's where my Mom got it from... well now my Jack says it. 

The other night I said "Good Night, God Bless Jack" and he said "Night, Bless." 

My heart nearly exploded. I'm so happy that our little family is already establishing traditions.

And since we're talking about bedtime... how could I resist sharing this?! Love.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Bittersweet. Something that I've said hundreds of times in my life. It's one of those expressions that gets tossed around a lot to describe mixed emotions or something that's conflicting. But it's a concept that has rarely felt so applicable. There has been no shortage of contrast over these past months, but lately there has also been a lot of bittersweet. Here's the latest example...

My Mom was super invested in my job. Prior to my getting my current job, my work had always been something that she didn't quite understand. Not that she wasn't incredibly supportive, but I don't think she could ever really relate to it. It was unique. But when I moved to New York and started my current job, she was so excited. I literally talked about her in my interview. I remember saying that I was so glad that I'd learned about this school. That even if the interview didn't go anywhere, I couldn't wait to go home and tell my Mom about it. (Yes, I was that person.) Needless to say, I got the job. Lucky me! And she was so excited. She'd often come to visit me at work and watch dance classes. She just loved the environment and I loved having her be a part if it. 

Right off the bat, there were a handful of students that she became especially fond of. She'd regularly ask me about them to see how they were doing. It always made me glad that she was so intrigued and engaged in my work. Well today one of the students that she was especially fond of - she called him "my friend" - shared some really wonderful news with me. It was a big day for him and it was so sweet of him to share with myself and a handful of my colleagues. 

But it feels so incredibly bitter sweet.

My Mom would be so thrilled with her friend's news. I am really sad that I can't call her to tell her all about it. On the flip side I am incredibly happy for him and his huge accomplishment. Not to mention that I feel so privileged to have been a part of it, even in a small way. I am humbled that he wanted to come to share his news with me. I just really wish that I could now share it with her...

It feels so unfair that in fewer than four years we can go from me starting this job and meeting this then young boy and watching him grow up, to now. He's blossoming and she's gone.

It is so unfair. And this is really bittersweet.