Thursday, October 8, 2015


With me being back at work I haven't had as much time as I crave to read, but here are some of the books that I have my toes dipped in these days.

Attachments: Why You Love, Feel and Act the Way You Do, by Tim Clinton

There is a lot of revealing things in this book - self-revealing and also in that it sheds light on why people act the way they do in general. I'm about halfway through and I'm having to go slow because there is a lot to chew on here.

Letters to a Young Poet, by Rainer Maria Rilke

I came upon his poetry in college and instantly connected with it. I picked up this book shortly after that, and recently picked it up again to re-read. Here are some of the goods I've been cleaning from it this time around.

"You are so young; you stand before beginnings. I would like to beg of you, dear friend, as well as I can, to have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day. Perhaps you are indeed carrying within yourself the potential to visualize, to design, and to create for yourself an utterly satisfying, joyful, and pure lifestyle."

The Faith of a Writer, by Joyce Carol Oates

Another book on writing! I especially love these where the writer shares how they got to where they are. 

H is for Hawk, by Helen Macdonald

After I had this recommended to me several times, I got sample of it and after a few pages, I was sold. The book is a memoir of her experience losing her father and how that leads her to raise a young goshawk, a type of hawk that is notoriously difficult to train. If you don't care too much about hawks, you might wonder how this book would be of interest to you. But it's written so well that you find yourself mesmerized by her descriptions of both the hawks and her grief.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


I keep starting a meaty post and not being able to finish it. It's probably a combination of not enough sleep and not enough time, and I think I'm okay with that. I'm prioritizing things like roasting kabocha squash and snuggling with my babies. 

While I was going through some of my drafts on this blog, I came across these photos of my parents with my girls a few months ago. It makes me so happy to see these and so grateful to remember the time they had here to visit right after Logan was born. 

Aren't grandparents the best? My girls are so lucky to have such good ones. 

(It's uncanny, Logan looks exactly like Ken when she's sleeping! )

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


I find other people's morning routines fascinating, especially if they have a routine that they stick to in order to make the most out of their morning.

Ken asked me the other day why I like hearing other people's morning routines and this is what I came up with:

1) I believe that how you start your morning can set the tone for the rest of the day and can determine whether you have a good day or bad. I've had those mornings where I rush out the door and feel like I am trying to catch up all day, and then I've had those days where I feel like a winner because I am ahead of the day. I prefer the latter. 

2) I have learned over the years how much more efficient, clear-minded and optimistic I am in the mornings. I want to maximize that time and am interested to hear how other people are figuring it out for themselves. 

3) It seems like happy (content? successful?) people have a morning routine down in order to maximize their time and it seems like it probably contributes to their overall satisfaction with life. Attitude is everything and when better to set your attitude than in the mornings?

4) I love breakfast ! I love breakfast food, I love the concept of 'breaking fast' from not having eaten for so long, and I love eating breakfast with others while soaking in the promise of a new day.

These are the elements that make for a great morning for me:
/reading and writing time 
/connecting with my kids
/connecting with my husband
/a hearty meal
/a walk or a workout

I can't hit all these elements but I try. During the weekday, my ideal morning usually looks like this:

/Wake at 5:30, focus my mind through some prayers, get myself dressed and ready for work
/Nurse Logan at 6 or 6:30 and then get her dressed 
/Pack up anything that needs to go out the door with me - stuff for Sloane and Logan's day at daycare (lunch, milk, extra clothes, diapers), pumping items for pumping at work, work stuff 
/Ken gets Sloane up and dressed
/Make coffee and try to do a little bit of reading or writing 
/Have breakfast together at 7:15, connect, really hear and see each other 
/Head out the door at 7:45 to drop kids off before getting to work by 8:30

Once Logan starts sleeping through the night consistently, I would love my morning routine to include more writing and reading time, even if it means waking up a little earlier. 

And in a perfect world, or maybe a world where I can get into work a little later, I would be happy to get a workout in a few times a week, but who are we kidding. 

Weekends are similar, except sometimes I'll go back to sleep for another hour after nursing Logan if I can, and we can take even longer with breakfast. 

Which leads to me ask, share your morning routines if you have one? I'm curious. 

This past Saturday, I took Sloane and Logan out for breakfast to a lovely brasserie we have here in town and had ourselves a girls morning out. It was so fun it makes me toes curl remembering it. I got coffee, she got tea, and we chatted over eggs Benedict, baguettes and coffee bread. She loves tea and that tickles me.

This is us taking in a deep breath of the rain soaked day out on the street afterwards. A month ago I would have been nervous to go on an outing with just the three of us, but it is no longer intimidating. Hurray!

I'll end here by throwing in some photos that we took when we got home while waiting for Ken to get home. 

Picture by Sloane, the new budding photographer of the family.

"Hi! I'm almost 12 weeks old and my cheeks are sore because my mom kisses them too much..." 

Monday, September 28, 2015


Monday, you again!!!

That first photo up there is a capture of a Monday morning a few weeks ago.  The second photo is a capture of that Friday morning. I think it's a pretty good capture of our states of mind each Monday and Friday....

As a hup hup, here are some random links

1/ I'm so fascinated by the This American life episode called, 'The Problem We All Live With' - especially in light of us considering how we want to do Sloane's education. 

2/ Whenever I want to get pumped up, I turn on this Jess Glynne song.

3/ I'm thinking of ordering a giant tub of twizzlers. I love twizzlers and its convenient that they are individually wrapped but somehow the individually wrapped ones do not taste as good as the ones in the big packs. Am I imagining things?

4/ I did just get this Turbie Twist and I'm pretty excited about it.  I'm going to try to tame these crazy waves of mine this winter and I think this may help with the frizz. Stay tuned.

5/ I made these oatmeal pumpkin breakfast cookies for this week. See? I'm welcoming fall with open arms!

Friday, September 25, 2015


I have these moments at least once a day where I stare hard at each of my girls and think, "This here moment will not be forever" and then I try to squeeze my brain into taking a mental photo of the moment and wonder how I keep dealing with the heartbreak of all of these moments slipping past me like water through my hands.

It's a touch dramatic but it's one of those things that have become more apparent and urgent as I have gotten older...and even more so as a parent: Nothing stays the same! Everything will change! 

In the hard moments, that's what gets you through, knowing that it's temporary.  In the good moments, that's what breaks your heart, knowing that it's temporary. 

This past weekend, in the midst of anxiety and a long to-do list in preparation of my first week back at work, I took a break outside in our backyard with the girls. It was a beautiful day outside.

"Mom, I'm going to have an a-venture, and you're going to come with me!" said Sloane.  

"Should we look for sticks?" I asked.  

"Oh yes! Let's look for sticks and bring them all together!" 

"Look at this bootiful flower, mom. I'm going to collect it." 

"1, 2, 3, 4......"

"This one is a really good one, a special one."

"Look at this one! It can be like a sword!"

"Papa, come outside and see our sticks!" 

".....I'm waaaaiiting." 

"Sloane, should we make letters with the sticks?"

"Yes! Let's make letters."  "Look, mom, Logan wants to play!"

"She's too little to play now, but she can play with me when she gets bigger.  Mom, I wuv her so so much." 

"Look at the clouds, mom!"

I am the luckiest.

So! Now it's Friday and I'm happy to report I survived my first week back at work.  Monday felt strange because I came to work with my life having drastically altered in the past few months, and nothing there seemed to have changed. And then by Tuesday, it felt like I had never left. Figures.

As hard as it was, it got easier each day, and here's the thing about being at work most of the day. Being away from these babes makes you do more of those freeze-the-moment thing with your brain.  You are so aware that time is limited so you want to stay alert for all of it.

Also, a big shout out to friends who offer to watch your baby when your daycare falls through and especially to the friend who took care of my wee little one during my first week.

This feeling right's my dose of 'everything will be ok'.

And let me end with this here,


 Have a great weekend all!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Ken came home the other day with a pen that he had gotten from a co-worker that had travelled overseas. This pen was in the shape of a race car and when he presented it to Sloane, she was over the moon with joy. "Thank you for the pen, Papa!" "Look, mom, a race car!" and then later, "I love Papa because he gave me a special pen." She played with that car all day and then her enthusiasm turned towards the use of it as a pen and she drew pictures with it for hours.

We later remarked how extraordinary it is to see that kind of unbridled passion for something seemingly small and insignificant and how precious it is to witness that kind of gratitude. There's nothing like that kind of child-like innocence and perspective to place a big ol' spotlight on your own ability to appreciate the small things in your life.

I've said it before and I'll say it so many more times - kids breathe that second wind of life into you with a renewed perspective on the things that have gone forgotten or unappreciated. It makes them the best kind of people to travel with, for that reason. 

We went to go visit my sister and brother in law in Silver Spring a couple of weekends ago, and it took a whole 5 hours instead of the expected two, which was astonishing and mostly terrible. The amount of tricks that I had to pull out of my bag to keep Sloane busy was a personal record and there may or may not have been a nursing session while we were on the road (but it was standstill traffic!). Overall I was impressed by how we all held up. Wilted but alive, we made it to the hotel.  We then expressed our relief by making sure we thoroughly jumped on the bed.

We met my sister and brother at a restaurant called Urban Butcher, which was close enough to the hotel to indulge my little fantasy that we lived in a place where we could walk to restaurants, and tasty enough for us to put the long trip behind us.  That photo up above is a waitress bringing by the lamb shank that my sister ordered to show her what it looked like after it was just cooked and right before it was cut. When Ken ordered his steak, they took him over to the counter for him to pick out which one he wanted. It was that kind of place.

This is a blurry picture but it so aptly captures what Sloane is like when she is being silly.

And this one too..

Ahhhhhhhh!! That's what my heart is screaming when I look at this one.

I got the pork belly with pickled onions and other goodness on top and it was so dang good. I had it with an unfiltered black rye which I had never had before and loved. 

Look at us - a family of four! And loving it.

The evening air begged us to walk around so we strolled around the neighborhood, passed bustling restaurants, a jazz festival, got some dessert and ended the night at my sister's place.

Sloane was in heaven about the fact that we were sleeping in a hotel. We had done this once or twice before, but the idea of us all sleeping on a big fluffy bed was still novel enough that it was the most thrilling thing, in her opinion. Sloane did marvelously sleeping in the bed with us and Logan was a natural hotel sleeper in her little rock 'n play.  This was us in the morning feeling giddy about a good nights sleep and waking up together, slowly. 

After we got ready, we headed out on foot again to a nearby crepe place for breakfast. They were delicious! 

Conversations with Marie while we wait..

See ya later silver spring! 

You know this blog I keep? I think it's kind of my version of the "thank you for this pen papa!!"

Friday, September 18, 2015


I'm going back to work on Monday and I am having feelings about it...mostly not great feelings. Once we get into the swing of things, I know it will be fine, but for right now the dread is sitting like a rock in the middle of my chest.  It doesn't help that we also have to say goodbye to summer at the same time (and those longer days of sunlight!), but I'm handling it by resolving to enjoy the dickens out of this fall season. I had a pretty fantastic summer, why not carry that on through?  Here's to hoping that focusing on the really wonderful things about fall will prevent me from being too nostalgic about this summer or too worried about the upcoming winter. 

This fall, I'm hoping to: 

/ Pick apples at an orchard
/ Eat a lot of apples
/ Visit the Virginia state fair 
/ Roast marshmallows around the campfire 
/ Go on a hike
/ Behold fall foliage 
/ Live in black jeans 
/ Attend birthday parties for Sloane's friends 
/ Get super good and efficient at meal prepping
/ Read the new books that are coming out: "Purity" by Jonathan Franzen, "The Story of the Lost Child" by Elena Ferrante (the final book in the series!), "Fates and Furies" by Lauren Groff and "Everybody Rise" by Stephanie Clifford.
/ Put on a themed party for the kids for Halloween
/ Pick out a pumpkin and maybe even carve one
/ Drink mulled wine
/ Cheer Ken and his team on in the Gangs of Mid-Atlantic competition
/ Go to watch a play with Sloane and friends
/ Cook, eat and give thanks during Thanksgiving 

Bring it on, fall! 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Remember that time when we had to flee our house because floors needed to be pulled up and redone? Well I'm happy to report that things are pretty much back to normal now, except for boxes and bubble wrap stacked up in corners of our house to hint at something unusually having happened over here.  It was a frustrating situation but we made the most of it and it actually turned into a lovely two weeks in Virginia Beach with my in-laws. And my nesting bug picked up right where it stopped before the wrecking crew came in, so you better believe I've been organizing like the anxiety-ridden-what-I'm-going-back-to-work-next-week mom that I am.

Anyways, back to our unexpected vacation: besides going to the beach, visiting the art museumvisiting the acquarium, and going to the beach again, we went to the playground a bunch, visited the library, spent time at the bookstore, went out to the mall, got snow cones, spent time in the pool, went to the water park, saw some friends, ate good food and got to spend a lot of time with Ken's family. There were nights when I would wake up several times with Logan to nurse and I was half asleep by the time Sloane woke up, but armed with a coffee and a little crew that was up for anything, we ventured out and loved each day of it.  I pretty much filled up my phone's storage with photos from this time, here are some of them:

I'm so glad that we could be around for Ken's grandmother to spend some time with Sloane and Logan.  The joy was mutual.   Also, Sloane came upon this ballerina outfit at H&M one of the first few days we were there, and I sucummed. She asked to wear it every single day. 

This was a view from my sister-in-law's place - it made me think of Psalm 23. 

We were there for three weekends, and Ken came down for every single one. We missed him so much during the week and loved having him visit us! 

On this particular day, she wanted to wear her ballerina outfit to the playground, so ballerina outfit and Nikes it was. 

Our friends from Northern Virginia came down to visit their family and we got to spend some time with them. Look at those little sweet potatoes!

We went to Duck Donuts and I got converted after trying their hot maple donut with bacon. Sloane got converted because she got a little duck to add to her collection. 

We spent several afternoons at my sister-in-law's pool and it was so relaxing, I think even Logan was feeling the relax vibe. 

We took a lot of selfies together....

Another benefit of staying with my MIL was that Sloane got to shower her attention and affection on Rusty and Maggie (my SIL's dog)....whether they liked it or not. 

I also took a lot of photos of these two together.  The love that Sloane has for her little sister still amazes me. 

This girl is growing right before my very eyes. Did you know that "threenager" is a thing? It is and I'm a believer.  She is opinionated, amazing, and I love hanging out with her. 

There were many many many hours of this.  I didn't mind at all. 

My fellow apple-lover.  I can't wait to go apple-picking again with you dear!

We also took a lot of walks.  Look at that face!

Maggie hitching a ride, and Sloane, again in her ballerina outfit. 

The playground at Mount Trashmore, near my MIL's house, is wonderful and we really took advantage of it.  Sloane is a fan. 

A really fun morning at the waterpark! With a picnic in between. 

And the MVP award goes to my mother-in-law who took all in, helped me immensely and made us all feel at home.