Thursday, January 29, 2015


My sense of home was never based on a house or a building. We moved around a lot when I was younger, and because of that my idea of what a home had more to do with my family than it did any sort of physical structure. We had also made a big move across the world when I was about 12, to South Korea, and this experience gave me the perspective that home could truly be anywhere in the world. As long as my family and I were connected and I could return to them, I was willing to go anywhere, lay my head on any sort of bed and make a temporary home in any place. That somehow grew into me getting excited about the prospect of finding a new place to visit and make my home - whether it be for a short vacation or an extended stay - it always seemed like an adventure. 

As I grew older and had more adventures, I noticed something else - I had bouts of nostalgia for places I had been, and since the places were many, I found myself getting nostalgic about so many places, instead of just one or two places.  Since I attach a lot significance to each place I go, it ends up being embedded into my soul in a way that makes those memories feel like home.  This could probably be defined as a transitory nostalgia, and I don't think they are any less real or significant - each of those places and memories are formidable and influential - but now that I'm older, married, a mom, and a homeowner, I find myself trying to define home in an even deeper way:  what does it means to nurture a place, to nest, to trust in the lines that have fallen for me?

Since we moved into our home two and a half years ago, I have grown to love it more and more. It's the longest that I have lived in one place since the end of high school almost 12 years ago, so it's significant. And I love it in a different way. It extends now to the fact that this home has been the place where friends and family has visited and stayed, where we first brought our daughter, where we have built a fire pit, a deck and a gym - all with the purpose of spending more time with each other and our people. Over the years, living in this space, I have found myself concerned with creating a physical sense of home - not because it is the end all - but because with responsibilities and to-do lists and the whirlwind of life, the physical home has become a symbol reminding me of things like rest, hospitality, rituals, and finding purpose in the small and daily. 

A few weeks ago when we were visiting NYC, my parents and my sister spent an afternoon visiting one of our old homes in Tenafly, NJ. We all agree that it was the place of some of our favorite times. Tenafly is a small town with great school system and our days were filled with playing outside, walking to school, the library, to the park, to the store. During our recent visit, I saw with newfound eyes - specifically, a parent's eyes - how this kind of place met a bunch of the characteristics I was hoping for my future life with kids. I've always harbored fantasies about living in a big city, but that is not Ken's pot of jam. And while I never imagined myself in a small town, one of the main things that was appealing to me about the city - being able to walk everywhere - I could see could be possible in a small town.  An even bigger bonus if a big city is nearby.

I'm not saying I want to move to a small town, or setting anything in stone just yet, but it's becoming pretty obvious that I'm thinking hard about what I want our family's life to look like 5, 10, 15 years down the road. As we reminisced our way through our old town, I started imagining what it would be like to live there, as an adult with kids. It was strange, but not unpleasant.  These photos are of us taking nostalgic pictures of places that will probably only be meaningful to us, but here they are nonetheless. I wish I had taken some photos of the center of town, it is so adorable and picturesque.

Now that I'm looking ahead to what our life with 2 kids might look like, I'm having a lot of thoughts about what I want not just our home, but what I want our family life, our day-to-day life to look like. I'm thinking about what it means to prioritize time with family over the hundreds of other directions that life pulls out, about making time to eat and cooks slowly, about access to outdoor play, good books and the arts, and how to minimize excess stress factors. I'm making notes and discussing with Ken about the things that one most important to us as a family.  I want to be intentional about casting a vision for our family and our home life. Intentionality makes me have to check into what I believe the purpose of our lives are, and this is a reminder that puts wind in my sails.

I am ever so grateful for the lessons of home that I've learned along the way.  That I felt safe and secure enough with my family that I could call any place my home, that my parents taught me the importance of building my identity on an everlasting foundation and not a physical one,  that my travels and my 20's taught me the joy of what it means to return home, that I married a man who so values a home, that my community of family and friends have defined for me what makes a warm home, and that my daughter and our coming addition make me glad for the space to nurture, grow and play.  

Sunday, January 25, 2015


I posted this post a while back about how we do our weekly meals, and for the most part we still do something similar now, but with a little more variety from week to week. However, this past week, Ken was away for work and I decided to go rogue.  Ken and I usually end up eating some sort of fish or meat at every meal, but I wanted to take a break from that and decided to incorporate other protein sources that Ken isn't usually a fan of, like beans, quinoa, hummus and yogurt.  Besides eggs, and the meatballs for Sloane for one of her lunches, the only animal product we had was chicken. And we ate a TON of vegetables. I stuffed us to the brink with nutrients. 

I took a photo of each meal we ate for the sake of documentation and here they are; I haven't decided if it was crazy or brilliant to do this. I think I'll come down on the side of brilliant when I'm having one of those weeks where I can't think of what to cook and I'll have catalogues like this to refer back to. 

(P.S. Along with the the main meals, I'm constantly eating smaller meals throughout the day at work: fruit, nuts, tea, leftovers, the occasional gummy bears... And Sloane and I usually have some fruit after our dinner.  Just to clarify that this is what we are but it's not all we ate.) (P.P.S. The key to my sanity in regards to meals is planning. I plan out exactly what we are going to eat at each meal, and what I was going to pack for our lunches, and shopped accordingly. I also take some time to prep- for this particular week, on Sunday, I made a big batch of Adobe chicken in the crockpot, a big pot of quinoa and washed and chopped all the vegetables. )


Breakfast: Yogurt with granola, blueberries, banana, and pomegranate seeds & a side of omelet.

My lunch: Leftover pizza from mellow mushroom and a salad (arugula, orange peppers, red quinoa, walnuts, tomatoes)

Sloane's lunch: Meatballs, Asian sweet potatoes, zucchini.

Dinner: We made vegetable pizza together in a cast iron skillet: red onions, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms and yellow peppers.


Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, avocado and toast with almond butter and honey. Side of green juice.

My lunch: Power salad! of arugula greens, quinoa, black beans, red onion, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, avocado. Dressing is creamy balsamic.

Sloane's lunch: Sweet potato rounds, hard boiled, leftover veggie pizza from the night before.

Our dinner: Adobe chicken & brown rice. A side of zucchini for her, a side of my mom's homemade kimchi for me.


Our breakfast: Yogurt with granola, pears and blueberries. A side of hard boiled eggs.

My lunch: Power salad! (see above)

Sloane's lunch: Adobe chicken and brown rice, sweet potato rounds and green beans.

Our dinner: Carrots with hummus, zucchini sticks with tomato sauce, chicken and rice dumplings.


Our breakfast: Vegetable frittata (zucchini, red onion, mushroom, red peppers, mozzerella), banana oat bread and green juice. 

My lunch: Power salad! again!  

Sloane's lunch: Carrots, hummus, mini pitas filled with almond butter and strawberry jam. 

Our dinner: Adobe chicken, brown rice, green beans, and sweet potato rounds. 


Our breakfast: Mini breakfast pizzas on mini pita bread (tomato sauce, mozz cheese and scrambled eggs) and leftover frittata.

My lunch: Power salad, yes, again. And that over there on the left is some banana oat bread that I made the night before.

Sloane's lunch: Fried rice, green beans and sweet potatoes.

Our dinner: Fried rice, sauteed spinach, tofu cubes.

Thursday, January 22, 2015



Wow, talk about a slow crawl. But we've made it and I feel self-congratulatory about getting here. I have this plan, and it's to try to enjoy the heck out of this weekend. This weekend, Ken is coming back, we are having several meals with friends, we are getting our usual errands done, I might clean out my closet and there might be some time logged on the couch with a pint of ice cream. 

On the subject of Friday's, let me take you back to last Friday, which was a whole different kind of fun - the kind of fun wherein red lipstick, 90s hip hop, and creaky knees are all involved. It was my friend Megan's birthday and she had the right idea of having everyone help her dance her way into her 30s. The party was in this great space, good times were had by all, and I danced my little heart and legs out. At one point, Ken showed off some aggressive breakdancing moves. 

Do you remember the disposable camera? The plastic kind that you would take to camp? And where you have to hold down the button to prep the flash? That's what I was doing intermittently throughout the night in order to capture these gems. Once in a while I love going the route of the disposable camera in order to change things up and I like what I get back. Oh the thrill of waiting for your photos to develop! 

These photos remind me of high school, but nope, it's just a bunch of 30ish folk, doing our thing and feeling pretty good about it. 

The birthday girl! I wish I had a photo of her with a real camera, because her makeup looked amazing. 

Ken took a minute to play DJ for the night. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


I'm happy to report that I am feeling so much better these days. The first couple of weeks of 2015 were spent in a fog of 'I never want to leave the house' because I was so sick and congested and felt so awful. But somewhere in the middle of last week, I looked around and thought, oh I can actually SEE things around me, and knew I was on the road to recovery. I am ever so grateful that I can breathe through my nose again; there's nothing like a good bout of sickness to make you grateful for health. Recovery is like the New Years in that way, I'm feeling more aware, resolving to drink more water and sleep more, and making lists. Yes, I'm back to making to-do lists and planning ahead in my calendar with my trusty bullet journey, back to feeling like I want to write, take pictures, cook and exercise, which is wonderful. Although, there is still this lingering feeling of not feeling completely like myself - I'll attribute 20% of that to the pregnancy and 80% of the fact that it is still winter. Pregnancy has a way of making me feel a little disconnected from my body, especially when I'm exercising, and winter has a way of dampening my soul. (Cue hand to the forehead). 

In the midst of me trying to get my bearings, we got the news that Ken is going to have to be doing a whole lot of traveling for the next six months, on and off, right up until the baby comes and that really threw us for a loop. I am having all sorts of feelings about this, almost all of them negative, but I know like everything else, we will get used to it. Plus, this is the first week of him being away for this project and we're doing it, getting through it, even though Sloane and I both miss him terribly. 

Before Ken left on Sunday, we went out together for lunch at Mellow Mushroom, and got to spend some time together over pizza and walk the streets for fresh air. When the weather isn't too cold, and the company just right, a good walk can do you a world of good. 

And I know I just blogged about month 3, but those sentiments were from a while month ago, and now I'm in month 4! And I want to record here that with the second trimester comes the relief from the exhaustion of the first trimester, even though that 2pm slump is no joke and I am desperate for a quick nap, every afternoon.  Here is the photo we snapped after lunch....that belly is definitely being all, here I am!

A word about what I'm eating...

I don't think I'm prone to having huge cravings or food aversions while I'm pregnant. There were a few things here and there that I wanted more than usual when I was pregnant with Sloane (like randomly, I would NEED a cupcake), and the only food I couldn't eat was cooked spinach, but other than that it was business as usual. This time around, like last time (and like always), I'm always wanting fruit, but I've also noticed a couple of other cravings that have been fun to take note of. 

My recent food hankerings could be totally unrelated to the pregnancy, but I thought it was funny that during the 2nd month, all of a sudden out of nowhere, I wanted sour cream and onion potato chips. I honestly can't remember the last time I wanted these - maybe college? And then I went through a phase where I dreamed about cheesy pizza (super thin, with extra cheese dripping off of it) with grapefruit juice. I wanted that combination exactly, and then when I got it, poof, my craving was gone. I also wanted Thai drunken noodles a lot, and I wanted it spicy. I also thought about tart frozen yogurt a lot. 

At 4 months, I'm still hankering after the spicy and the tart (the other day, randomly, I found myself getting a pack of Warhead sour gummy strips) but the biggest thing is that I'm craving vegetables. I want green juice packed with greens, I want vegetables piled high on my pizza, and I want lots of fresh salad. I've been making these giant salads for lunch everyday and it is probably my favorite thing to eat right now. I could lose snacking on the occasional sour candy, but I hope this vegetable phase lasts throughout the pregnancy ! 

Sunday, January 18, 2015


i'm actually about 4 months now, but i took these pictures and wrote this up last month when i hit the 3 month mark, and since i shared the news yesterday, i thought i'd do a flashback and share what my thoughts were like a month ago:  

the moment i found out i was pregnant for the second time, when i held the pregnancy test in my hand and watched the faint line appear to make two intersecting lines, was so very different from the first time i held a positive pregnancy test for the first time, there had been terror and tears that first time; this time, i couldn't stop a goofy smile from spreading across my face.  

so many things about this second pregnancy feels different.  from my initial reaction, to my attitude about the entire process. most of the first pregnancy was about me getting used to the idea that this monumental shift was going to happen to me: i resented being pregnant, i was uncomfortable with the pregnancy taking over my body, and quick to complain about all the changes and restrictions in diet.  this time around, it's different. i don't feel any friendlier about being pregnant for 10 months, but now, i don't harbor those resentments about not being able to drink alcohol or eat sushi.  it just feels very natural that i would shift my habits to get ready for this baby. and i have the first baby to thank for that.  because that is what the difference stems from: this time, i know what glorious, wonderful, miraculous thing awaits me on the other side.  with all of my imagination, and all the things that i had heard from friends, i couldn't have imagined what it's actually like to fall in love with a baby. now i know.  and it makes a world of difference in my perspective for this second one. 

unfortunately, another difference has been the bouts of nausea that has been coming and going. i didn't have one iota of nausea with sloane, and i am not having fun with nausea on this one. it is draining and exhausting. i am thankful that it comes and goes, and it has stayed away for the past couple of weeks; the only being difference is that my appetite is not as good as it once was. 

what has remained the same is the exhaustion-i remember being really tired during my first trimester with sloane, and that has been the same. i am so tired, all. the. time.  this time though, it is coinciding with my inability to cope with the winter, and this combination results in the kind of desire that wants to go to bed as soon as i get home and never leave the house. i am looking forward to spring, as if it's a trip i'm planning and depending on for reprieve.  

i'm going to try to keep account of the passing months, like i did last time.  but how funny it is to reflect on how much has changed. like that sweet girl in the background, for one!

Saturday, January 17, 2015


The three of us have something to tell you....


...having a baby!!!

We love our little family...

....and can't wait to grow it together.

We're expecting to meet the new member of the family in July :) 

Thursday, January 15, 2015


To my surprise, I made it up to New York this past month. My single self loved that city so hard and now my married and mother of one self reminices the heck out of what once was. I used to go up there quite a lot, all of which came to a screeching halt when 1) I had baby and 2) I realized Ken was not the 'travel-to-NYC-for-the-wknd' type.  We did make a trip up there together when Sloane was 5 months old and our time up there was sweet but it was way too short of a trip (36 hours) for the 12 hour ride up and 12 hour ride back down (!!) that it took for us to travel that particular weekend. With these life changes, it takes a little more wrangling to get me to spend time in that city, so even though I've been feeling the winter blues extra hard this year, or maybe because of that, when it looked like I was going to be able to make that visit, AND see my sister, AND make the trip with my parents, I told myself to pull it together and make it happen. 

I love so many things about New York - the same reasons why probably anyone loves (and also sometimes gets annoyed by) that city -  but I also have affection for it because of all the memories I have of that place with family and friends. We used to live in NJ, 20 minutes across the bridge into the city and made some memories as a family together there. And then all those times I visited my friend or my sister up there, I made sure to explore as many places as I possibly could and often feel a pang for that city.  Being able to go with my parents on a trip there was extra special for that reason - it sort of made me feel like a kid again. 

Even though it was especially cold while we were there, I really needed this trip. The day to day of December was hard because of work and the winter blues, and this trip - road tripping with my parents, spending uninterrupted time with my sister, feeling the energy of the city infuse into my bones, eating food I wouldn't be able to at home, walking a ton, getting to visit the MOMA and attending an amazing jazz show- refreshed me and reminded me of a part of myself that is really important to me. 

This is a total random assortment of photos, and they are not in order or anything, but I've gathered them together - from my phone and from my actual camera - and here they are. 

We tried twice to get into this place and it was ridiculously packed. We could barely walk in the door! We made up for it with a trip to Sables and Zabar and my craving for NY bagels and smoked fish was properly attended to. 

I love being squished in between my parents. And my sister's kitchen - I love the floors and the open pantry! 

Our fabulous hosts. Our last night, which also happened to be New Years, we made an assortment of delicious foods at their place and ate it all up while watching the movie, Mrs. Doubtfire, for old time's sake. It was marvelous. 

My parents, who are game for anything. They are my inspiration. My dad is the best and most patient driver I have ever known. 

The tremendous spirit that is my mother.

                     My beauitful sister

MOMA's audio tour devices are on point. We went to see the Matisse exhibit, the Robert Gober exhibit and The Forever Now exhibit. I thought the Robert Gober exhibit was particularly amazing.

I WILL have your kokosh again, mark my words. 

This smoked trout and cream cheese on bagel and matzo ball soup from Sables was probably one of our favorite meals there. We visited zabar's afterwards for some grocery shopping and the whole place was covered in congetti.

A truly captivating show of The Bad Plus at The Village Vanguard. Made me resolve to get back to attending more live music shows. 

The windows at Barneys, this year set up by Baz Luhrmann. 

Us ladies.