Monday, May 28, 2012

Baby Love.

Tonight as I was rocking my sweet little one to sleep, he snuck his little hand out of his swaddle and reached out for my hand. It instantly warmed my heart!

It made me think of my Mom.

Shortly after Wells was born, I told her that I was so glad that I had kids while she was alive, because it gave me comfort to look at them and think that she loved me that much once too. She replied, "I still do".

That makes my heart warm too.

I wish there was a way to bottle up babies to keep a piece of them tiny and innocent forever. Since I can't, I'll savor my cuddles while they last!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Flirting with my husband

I am so grateful that after nearly 5 years of marriage and almost 10 years of dating, I still like to flirt with my husband. He can still make me giddy and bring a goofy smirk to my face.

I love it. 

The other day, I sent Nick a text in the middle of the day that led to a brief, but silly and flirty exchange. It made me smile. I love that I know him well enough to read his text messages in his voice. And I love that I still enjoy flirting, even after all this time :) 

We've been having fun and making each other laugh for a long time... 
looking back at these pictures made me smile :)

Circa 2005

  From last week's Graduation

 "I'm married!!" Even then I couldn't believe how lucky I was :)

Taking picture in Manhattan before our wedding reception

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I rarely put headphones in when I'm out, walking around. But for some reason today, I felt like listening to music while I was running errands. I popped my ear buds in and put my iPod on shuffle. The first song that came on was Dave Matthews Band, Pig. It was a perfect song for my mood. Isn't it funny how music can be that way? I was still feeling off and very introspective. I've been thinking a lot lately and I happened to be thinking about cherishing moments and people. If you're familiar with the song, you'll appreciate the irony of it. By the end of the 6+ minute song, my mood was completely changed. I was feeling much more upbeat and positive; glad that I cherish moments and hopeful that I cherish people. But mostly inspired to continue living my life and savoring it's moments.  

"Wash out this tired notion
That the best is yet to come
But while you're dancing on the ground
Don't think of when you're gone
Love! Love? What more is there?
We need the light of love in here
Don't beat your head
Dry your eyes
Let the love in there
There are bad times
But that's OK
Just look for love in it"
- Dave Matthew's Band, Pig

I love how music can change your mood or bring you back to a memory. It's so powerful! 

Do you have a favorite song?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


How did I forget this in my Mother's Day post?! My little Wellsy had a gift for me too! He said Mama!! 

That sound is so precious. It makes me incredibly grateful :)

Thank you, Baby.

Monday, May 21, 2012


These pictures just make my heart happy. I love to see my boys getting loved on by our family.

Wells in the sling with me and my Mother-In-Law

 Wells with my Dad and his Mom

 Jack & my Dad

 Jack walking through Central Park with my Aunt & Grandma
 Baby giggles are the best!

But toddler laughs are pretty awesome too ;)
Brothers <3

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Long week.

This week hit me harder than I expected. Mother's Day was nicer than I thought, but Nick's graduation was much more difficult. Then I came back to piles of work after 2 days off... I haven't had a moment to breathe!

I really, really miss you. What's worse? You'd be the person that I'd call to talk through my stress. That makes me miss you more. Sometimes I can't help but feel alone. So lonely. It's a weird thing to be surrounded by people but yet feel lonely. That's how I feel today.

It was a beautiful day here and we had no plans all day! But I ended up staying in and cleaning while nick went out with the boys. I just wasn't feeling like going out. But this afternoon we had a picnic in the park, which made it all a bit better.

Still, I am very much feeling your void today. My heart is heavy. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012


This is literally the third time that I've tried to write this post... for some reason my first 2 drafts disappeared! Weird... 

Anyway, Nick graduated this week from Teacher's College of Columbia University. I simply could not be more proud! He is amazing and as I sat on the South Lawn at Columbia with my boys, watching Nick in his cap and gown, I was overwhelmed with pride. What an outstanding role model for our children! I will never forget Jack running up to Nick that afternoon and saying "Congratulations Daddy, I'm so proud of you!" Gah! I get goose bumps every time I think of it!
 Here's Jack and I cheering as Nick's degree was conferred! So excited!

This was a long and emotional journey. Nick balanced full-time teaching with his Master's program, parenthood and life. He applied to the program when I was pregnant with Jack. During his 1st semester, Jack was born. During semester number 3, we learned that Wells was on the way. Over his summer semester, number 4, we learned that there was no cure for my Mom's cancer. By the start of semester number 5, she was sick and it was becoming apparent that she was going to die. Nick wanted to take a break so he could have more time to help our family. No way. My Mom was Nick's biggest supporter and she would have been pissed if he'd taken a break on her account. So he continued. In the middle of that semester (his fifth) Wells was born. Then, as he handed in his final assignments of that semester, my Mom died. And now here we are, at the completion of his 6th and final semester, watching him graduate after earning near perfect grades. It was a long and emotional journey, as I said. This degree represents hard work, of course! But it also represents life's highest highs and lowest lows. It is perseverance and dedication. It is worthy of incredible pride! 

On Tuesday afternoon, I sat in the Cathedral of St John the Divine alone, waiting for Nick to enter his convocation. It is an incredibly beautiful Cathedral. One that I visited with my Mom on several accounts. It's also the place where my Sweet Wells was Baptized just a month after my Mom passed. It's an emotional place for me on my best day. But as I sat there waiting for Nick to walk by in his silly coat and silly hat -- as Jack lovingly named his cap & gown -- I was overcome with sadness. As I said, my Mom was Nick's biggest fan. She was incredibly proud of him when he enrolled at TC. She watched him balance fatherhood, teaching, school and being an incredibly loving and supportive husband with awe. She adored him. And she was supposed to be here for this momentous day. It isn't fair. Her support of him rivaled my own. It made me incredibly sad. It made Nick sad too, I know. But I did not want it to overpower the joy of this incredible day. And as soon as I saw him wearing his cap and gown, the sadness was gone. It was overpowered with love, pride and joy.

It's an odd mixture of emotions. Joy, sadness, pride and emptiness, anger, resentment, awe... it's too much for one day, really. I think that I am still working through all of the complexities of it. My incredible joy and pride are not at all overshadowed by my sadness, but both are intense feelings that need to be felt. Both require my attention and consideration. And at some point I hope that I can let go of the sadness and remember this day simply with pride, but I am not there yet. It takes time.

Though I have survived a Christmas with out her, and a Mother's Day... this was harder. This was the hardest.

Nick and my Mom are similar in a lot of ways. They are the two single most important and influential people in my life. Both have a way of bringing me calm during times of stress. Both have a way of making me smile, even over the simplest of things. Both have a way of making me feel like the most important person in their life. Both fill my heart with Love. And both have overcome challenges with grace. Both have persevered. And both of them continue to make me feel extremely proud to know them. Both are incredible.

Nick, Congratulations on this most incredible accomplishment! There are so many people who are incredibly proud of this momentous feat and she is one of them. I am so proud to call you my partner and to share in this journey with you. Congratulations, my Love.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day

This year Mother's Day was a bit different... it was certainly bitter sweet and frankly, I spent a lot of time pretending that it wasn't happening. But all in all, I have to say that Mother's Day was a really nice day. In fact, it was a nice weekend :)

On Saturday, we took Jack to Philadelphia to see Pennsylvania Ballet's Peter Pan. It was his very first ballet and it made me immensely happy to watch him enjoy it! My Mom loved the ballet. When I was a kid, she would occasionally take us into Lincoln Center and get standing room tickets to see a ballet and she loved to take us to see the Nutcracker at Christmas time! When I got my job, she was over the moon about it - always asking about my students and visiting. So getting to sit next to Jack on Mother's Day weekend while he watched his first ballet felt like a real full-circle moment. It was really wonderful.

Then Saturday afternoon, my sister came down to stay for the weekend and we met up with our Nan and Aunt. We celebrated Mother's Day together and had a nice dinner together. I love to be with the three of them, because we inevitably talk about my Mom - and we often shed a tear or two - but it never feels too sad or too much. It feels therapeutic. I suppose it's because we can all relate to how each other is feeling. It feels really nice and I was so glad to spend some time with them.

Sunday morning my fabulous husband got up with the baby and took him and the dog out for the longest walk ever, so I could sleep until 8:15. In our house, 8:15 is seriously sleeping in! It felt amazing! Then  my boys were all up and they spoiled me with this necklace, which is exactly what I wanted! :) I love having my boys so close to my heart all day.

We spent the morning exploring the Bronx Zoo. It was lots of fun! Jack is totally into animals and Wells just giggles at Jack. It's adorable! The weather was incredible, so it was nice to be outside wandering around. After visiting with the giraffes, zebras, gorillas and the mountain goats, we headed back home. Jen and I had made plans to spend the afternoon with my Dad.

We decided that Mother's Day might be the perfect day to spread some of Mom's ashes... She had asked to have them spread in Central Park, at the beach and in Battersea Park in London. Up to this point, we hadn't even opened the urn. But we knew that it was time. Jen, Dad and I wanted to spread the Central Park and London ashes together. We've done everything together up until now, so this seemed appropriate. Mother's Day would inevitably be difficult, but at least we could spend the day celebrating Mom in our own way.

So Jen and I took Wells to meet my Dad and head into Central Park. We found 2 lovely spots where we spread Mom's ashes. It seemed like the right thing to do. As my Dad said, we put a piece of her body where her soul already was. I liked that. He's so right. She walks through the Park with me regularly, but I like that I can now walk by certain spots and know that part of her is there - literally. I hope that she likes the spots we picked, though I'm sure she does.

After spreading her ashes, we went to the Boathouse and celebrated Mom with a cocktail. It was perfect. My Mom loved the Boathouse and in turn brought us all there so we could fall in love, too. It's an incredible spot to have a drink on a lovely NYC day. It also happens to be one of the last places my Mom visited in the City as we were all there together for a special day just 2 days before my baby was born!

Though I miss my Mom tremendously, I am grateful that I got to spend my weekend with so many of the people who matter most to me, especially my babes. Mother's Day changed for me 2 years ago, when I got to celebrate it with my then 6 day old son. It changed again this year. I imagine that it will change again in the future. All in all, it was a lovely weekend. I absolutely love being a Mommy and I'm so glad to get to celebrate it each year :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Product Love

Last week I stopped into Fresh for a gift and splurged on myself... I ended up with this Sugar Passion Tinted Lip Treatment and have yet to leave the house without it since. 
I am in love with this stuff! I always envy women who can rock red lipstick. I've tried, but it never feels quite right. But this is a red that works!

You Did It

Just 2 days before she died, I was sitting with my Mom in her room when Nick came over with Jack. Instinctively, he walked into her bedroom with Jack to come and see me. I hadn't expected it and frankly, I hadn't really wanted Jack to see my Mom anymore. I really didn't think that I could handle it. But there we were, Mom, my Dad, Nick, Jack and me. 

After Jack said hi to everyone and gave me a kiss and hug, I told him that it was time to say good-bye to Nanny. I told him that Nanny was going to have to go soon, so we should give her a kiss and tell her that we love her. So Jack lovingly kissed his Nanny Shells and said "Love you, Nanny Shells." and then I told him that it was time to say good-bye. So Jack blew Nanny one more kiss and waved bye-bye.
This is my Mom meeting Jack for the first time minutes after he was born. 
She was in the room for his birth.

I still to this day don't know how I kept it together to get through that. I cry every time I think about it, but at the time I knew that I needed to be calm. The minute that Jack left the room, I started to cry. My Mom hadn't opened her eyes at all while Jack was in the room, I think it was just too hard, but once he left I laid next to her and held her hand and we both cried. Then I looked at her and said "that's the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I don't even know how I did it." and after a quiet moment, my Mom said "But you did." Those words were so simple but yet so profound. They have stuck with me through so many of these difficult days.

That day was the hardest for me - harder than the night she died or the day of her funeral... The only other day that really compared was the day that she told me that she was going to die, that her cancer was too advanced for them to cure it. That day was tough. But watching my innocent baby boy kiss his grandmother good-bye was the worst. 

But I did it.

My Mom never stopped reassuring me - even in her toughest days. She never stopped encouraging me. And she never stopped sharing her wisdom. Life is full of difficult things that we think must be impossible. But we do them.
And here she is meeting Wells for the first time. Again, she was in the delivery room. 
This time she held the baby before anyone else did.

I was thinking about this a lot yesterday, Mother's Day, and wanted to share. All in all, Mother's Day was a lovely day. I will write more about it later. There was much to be grateful for and many things to reflect upon. And though I was dreading it a bit... I did it.

 Here we are together, with both of my boys. Wells was just hours old.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I Miss You...

What can I say...
It's almost Mother's Day and though I've been focusing on my beautiful babes as much as I can, I can't stop thinking about you. I miss you.
I'm mad that I can't even remember if I saw you last year for Mother's Day. Why didn't I make that a priority?! Ugh. I know I can't change the past, but it's hard to not resent it sometimes.
Mother's Day will never be the same. It will always be a reminder of my sadness and loss.
I'm trying to refocus, but tonight it's hard.
I miss you, Mommy. So much.

Happy Mother's Day.

Small Things

I am blessed to have a wonderful Nanny who looks after my boys while I work. She is lovely and works so hard! On top of spending her days entertaining my boys, which she does fabulously, she is a single Mom to a 2 and a half year old boy. Needless to say, she works hard and doesn't get a lot of down time. For Mother's Day I decided to pick her up a little treat. Something for her that I don't think she'd splurge on for herself. 

My go-to for busy Moms is always bath products. For me, the bath/shower is one of the few times of the day where I can get total quiet and alone time, so I like to indulge a bit. A nice scented shower gel or cream can make that 10 minute shower feel just a bit more special. One of my favorites is Fresh! They just came out with this new scent that is citrusy and delicious. I purchased our Nanny a shower gel & body lotion set and treated myself to a shower gel too, just for fun! ;)

Every Mommy deserves a little "me" time, even if it's in the shower after your babes go to bed or in the wee early hours of the day. 

I can't wait to try mine out tomorrow!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Quotes About Friends

"As we grow up, we realize that it is less important to have lots of friends, and more important to have real ones."

Recently I stumbled upon this quote on Pinterest. It really resonated with me. It's funny how you evolve over time. I'm so glad that I have learned this lesson and that I have so many wonderful, real friends. They make life so much better and a bit easier! ;)

I searched high & low to find an original source to credit for these profound words, but I had no luck! Anyone know who said it?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Deep Breaths

Buying a Mother's Day card for someone 5 months after your mother dies is no easy task. 


Taking deep breaths.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Hot Bath

Jack and I have been battling a cold for a few days and tonight I was feeling really miserable. Just tired and achy.  My Nan called to check up on us and she gave me brilliant advice. She told me to try "Mom's medicine" a hot bath (said with her lovely British accent), a cup of tea, Tylenol and an early night. Sounded good to me!

I realized once I got in the tub, that I hadn't had a bath since I was pregnant. It felt ridiculously good to sink all the way in. I even chuckled when I looked down and saw my toes without a baby bump in the way! It was also nice to make the water piping hot without having to worry.

While I soaked in my quiet bathroom, I decided that I couldn't imagine not having a tub to soak in. One day when we grow up and buy a home, a tub will be an essential component. Do you ever fantasize about your future home? I think that even if we owned a place, I'd still dream about someplace different. In my dreams we'll someday own a modest 2-3 bedroom apartment in the City - how fabulous would that be?! (note: this is highly unlikely, but a girl can dream!) When I get to decorate or renovate my very own bathroom, it will require a nice, deep tub. Deep enough that I can sink all the way in without having to bend my knees! 

tubs found here, here, here and here

How deliciously decedent do these tubs look?! (Seriously, I sound like I'm talk about dessert. Ha! I like baths, what can I say?!) I think number 2 is my favorite. There's something about a tub in front of a window that seems so relaxing, especially with a City view!

A nice hot bath is almost like a mini vacation! It was such a wonderful suggestion, thanks Nan. Mom's medicine is always just what you need... :)