Year in Review

posted on: Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In the year 2010
Our house went from looking like this

to this

and we finally filled our big empty room with furniture. It's no longer called the "pumpkin carving room" (or other applicable seasonal holiday activity) it can now be formally referred to as the much more grown up sounding "family room"

Not shown: the new end table Santa left me or all of Weston's toys which I hid

Wes had a lot of very important firsts

First elephant ride, hello!

first time for me too

First kayaking trip

First time seeing the ocean

First Easter egg hunt

and of course his first visit to the Castro

What? I thought he might like it, he is quite the snappy dresser (note the pink shirt above)

I had some good times myself this last year...

There was that brief moment post pregnancy and pre-pregnancy where my abs and I were blissfully reunited

I love you Tony Horton, we shall meet again

I also had my first visit to San Francisco and all of its architectural glory
I got to see this beauty in person (swoon)

and one cannot consider one's life to be complete until you have seen the honest-to-goodness-real-life Full House house

and although 2010 was Josh's big year as far as birthdays go, his 30th did present the opportunity to fulfill a life long dream of mine

So, here's looking at you 2010. This next year has some big shoes to fill and personally, I can't wait to see what's in store

Highlights from the Holiday

posted on: Sunday, December 26, 2010

I got some really fantastic stuff this Christmas

First of all, there was this...

And these...

This made me cry

 (If you don't have a Mylisa you should really consider it)

And then there was this (!!!)

And this to look forward to (how lucky am I?)

and speaking of things to look forward to...

But mostly there was this

Let's just say this was a very merry christmas

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

posted on: Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My favorite things about the holiday season are

the first time it snows

Wrapping presents with really fancy bows, even though this tradition consumes ridiculous amounts of ribbon every year, I just can't help myself

Pecan tarts. If you've never had one, you have not lived.

Josh having an imaginary phone conversation with Santa to trick Wes into being good

ALL Christmas movies (my all time favorites are "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "A Muppet Family Christmas"). Holiday viewing can acceptably begin as early as September.

Presents, duh!

Wes screaming in delight every single time he sees Christmas lights on someone's house at night

Valiantly getting all bundled up and marching around the fields of the tree farm for what seems like hours scrutinizing every single tree in search of the very best to cut down and make our very own, only to (as expected) end up selecting one from the pile of pre-cut trees

Making paper snowflakes to decorate my house with (even though I am shown up annually by my creative and talented paper-snowflake-making family and friends) 

Hot chocolate in a bowl (my dad's uber rich version of hot chocolate. And I don't even really like chocolate)

When the first radio station starts playing christmas songs 24/7

Watching Wes and Josh play in the snow together while I spectate from inside warmly and safe from erroneous snowballs

Real fires in our wood burning fireplace (they smell amazing!) and fighting Georgia (a certain pug/beagle mix who does not smell amazing) for the warmest spot right in front

having four stockings hung this year

my big extended family and my little one at home

On Time and Wanting

posted on: Friday, December 17, 2010

I have two bottles of nail polish. One is brownish, one is clear. That's it. I haven't painted my nails in so long I couldn't even tell you when the last time was. I soooo long to be the type of girl who has time for such things.
(Also, I'm pretty sure clear nail polish isn't even really considered polish, it's top coat)

So, I have been feeling melancholy lately and a little down on myself.  It's just that there never seems to be enough time for all the things I want in my life. I have been dreaming of the kind of girl I could be if I just had a little extra time (okay a lot of extra time)

I want to not have to write this blog on my lunch break at work. I want to read fashion magazines and try new kinds of makeup. I wish I could spend hours shopping the web or even in real stores looking for cute clothes and styling fun outfits. I wish I had more time to learn new things. I want to take up piano and expand my knowledge of design and architecture. I want to read more. I want to discover new music and spend hours listening to a record over and over again, memorizing every word.

I want to catch up on the tv shows I have DVR'd.

But, at the same time I also want to spend all my time with Wes and teach him new things and discover the world with him. I want to make sure he is getting plenty of attention and affection. I want to make sure he is learning new things every day. I want to play with him more. I want to paint water colors with him. I want to spend hours talking to Josh in bed in the dark before falling asleep. I want to get more than a few hours sleep at night too.

In other words, I really need to figure out how to ditch this full time job of mine.

Alright, I realize that's not going to happen anytime soon and I have to keep reminding myself I should be thankful that I even have a job. And with the baby coming, time is going to get even more crunched. I need to find a way to be okay with all the things I'm not.

I'm working on it.

Our 2010 Christmas Card

posted on: Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's here and I love it!

I have come to look forward to this annual tradition ever since Wes was born and even though we kind of rushed this one out this year, I am pretty happy with how it turned out. This will be the last year with just the three of us in the picture.


Anyway, for your viewing pleasure here are the last two years cards as well. It's amazing how much Weston has grown....sigh

Things of Interest

posted on: Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Here are the exciting goings on of the last few weeks!

Finding our perfect Christmas tree

Seeing our baby on the ultrasound (even though our tech was new and the pictures are questionable at best)

What's with the skeletor look going on here?

Eating lots and lots of these (thanks mom!)

Taking Wes to see Santa even though he didn't say one one word to the poor man

And we finally, FINALLY got a website at work, so check out what I do for a living not to mention the fabulous video my husband did for the company which can be found there as well!

Next time, I promise not to go so long between posts, I promise!

My Innie's now an Outtie and other such revelations of being 18 weeks pregnant

posted on: Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hello, 18 weeks! Nice to be here!

Only two more weeks until the half way mark and I'm starting to really feel pregnant now. The morning sickness is gone and the baby is kicking away. There's a proverbial Party in my Tummy going on lately and I'm loving it.

The other day I had an ever so slight panic attack when I hadn't felt the baby move for a day or so and although I knew everything was probably fine I went online and signed up for a fetal doppler rental. $27/month and I can listen to my baby's heartbeat anytime I want to.

soooooooo worth it.

Next time baby decides to send me into a flurry of worry I will be prepared.

Thankful for Thanksgiving

posted on: Thursday, November 18, 2010

I have been crabby lately.

Crabby and emotional and I'm going to go ahead and blame it on my fetus. Luckily, my most favorite holiday is just around the corner and this alone is enough to cheer me up. Despite the marathon of holiday running Josh and I endure year after year Thanksgiving is still the BEST, no gifts to buy, no costumes to plan, Christmas is just around the corner and it's nothing but good food and family.

And stuffing. Oh, the stuffing!

My grandfather makes the most amazing stuffing you've ever tasted. I wait for this all year. And if that's all that my thanksgiving meal consisted of, I would ask for nothing else. Well, that and some gravy for on top, oh and some pumpkin pie of course...
(sorry, it's the fetus again)
Anyway, as I gear up for the big day I am thinking about all the things I am thankful for and why I need to stop succombing to teary, grouchy moods and focus on all the great things in my life.
So here it is folks,

My 2010 Thankful List

1. My perfectly functioning reproductive organs!

Okay, I know this sounds a little silly, but seriously, I have been thinking alot about this lately. So many women struggle for so long to get pregnant. But me, no problem! My first was conceived on the first try and this one didn't take much longer. I realize how lucky I am and I certainly do not take this for granted. I know how agonizing the wait can be to see those two perfect lines appear on that little stick once you have decided you're ready for that baby. To have to wait months and months, sometimes years...I can't imagine how consuming and difficult that would be.
Now, I have always wanted to adopt but when we seriously looked into it for our 2nd baby, we quickly found out what an emotional and financial struggle it can be. Unfortunately, adoption just didn't work out for us, so I am so THANKFUL that adoption is not our only option as it is for so many others. I have a serious new found respect for all adoptive and foster parents for what they have to go through to get their kids. Fortunately for me I have a kickass uterus and I'm putting it to work.

2. My drama free family

My family doesn't really fight. (I'm talking immediate family only here, let's not get carried away)
Seriously though, we actually really like each other and get along just swimmingly. Sure, we can annoy each other and find ourselves on someones occasional nerve, but for the most part we're cool. My parents are divorced and even they get along just fine these days. It's pretty awesome. I'm glad we seem to appreciate and respect each other enough to let the little things go and just have fun together. Not sure exactly how we got here as my childhood was not quite so peachy - but I'll take it! And appreciate it even more so!

3. Akron, Ohio

Oh Akron, how I love thee! Underappreciated and underrated. What unfeeling person can deny a soft spot in their heart for their own hometown, I ask? Impossible! I know Akron like the back of my hand and it holds a liftime of irreplaceable memories. Home will always be home no matter where you pick up and move to. Sure, it has its problems and plenty of cold weather but it also has all 4 seasons (albeit sometimes brief), a great cost of living and I even managed to find a good job here, in my field, right after graduation. So, I got no complaints.

4. Back rubs

'nuf said.

5. My awesome husband

We're on the same wavelength. We want the same things in life. He's a caring and affectionate father. He's responsible and reliable.

He's not a republican.

He looks cute even with a creepy mustache. He tolerates my limitless adoration for one Talib Kweli Greene. He lets me watch christmas movies beginning in July. He gets me. Also, Josh, if you're reading this, see the above #4...

Exhibit A. Creepy Mustache

6. My smart kid

He's so smart. I can't even really take credit for it, he just came that way. He's also funny and handsome and just about the best son a gal could ask for.

Exhibit B. Adorable kid

7. Baby kicks

Last but certainly not least. There is nothing more comforting than those little pokes and prods (okay sometimes karate chops) from inside your belly that let you know your little one is okay. I am a very nervous pregnant person and those little signs of life are most welcome. I just started feeling them this time around in the last week or so and let me tell you - WHEW! What a relief. The fist few months where you have no clue if things are progressing or happening in there can be pretty nerve racking. But once those little kicks, well, kick in, you can finally breathe.

Alright, well that's my 2010 list, hope you enjoyed! Now I want to know, what are you most thankful for this year?

Happy Thanksgiving!

By the way...if you're interested in sponsoring my husband's creepy stache, click here... come on, it's for the kids

Home Sweet Home

posted on: Thursday, November 11, 2010

Well, my fantastic husband Josh just turned the big 3-0. Yup, he’s now 30 years old (this means we have been together exactly 1/3 of his life and even more of mine!) To celebrate, I took him on a surprise trip to New York for a long weekend alone. This was after much debate as I knew NY would be cold in November (turns out bone chillingly cold) and I know Josh’s ideal vacation is to lie on the beach in the sun. BUT, I also know he is an ocean snob, the Atlantic is pretty much a no go, and we were already on the west coast once this year. But one thing I do know is, he loves the Gulf of Mexico. So when I started planning this trip in early summer (yes, I know, but I’m a planner) the gulf was going to be it. Then, BP happened.

And I panicked.

So, I threw in the towel on that idea, unsure if the beaches would be sparkling or sticky come early November and changed plans completely. I decided it had to be New York. We had been there before and in my opinion the trip was miserable. We stayed with one of Josh’s friends in his smelly Brooklyn apartment that he shared with, 4? 5? 6? other people. Gross. Anyway, that trip had some fun moments but for the most part, we needed a re-do. I knew the city had more to offer than my bad memories. So off we went.

Well, it wasn’t quite that easy. First we had to leave behind Wes.

Who is this Wes you ask? Only the most amazing, brilliant, hilarious, charming little kid you’ve ever met…In other words, our son. And let me tell you this was hard.

This was the real present to Josh, my real sacrifice. The “alone” part of the long weekend alone. This kid is like an extra appendage to me. An appendage that can sleep in the other room, but that’s about as far away as he gets. In his 2 years and 3 months of life I have never spent a single night away from him. Sure, I work and we go out alone, but never over night. Never have I been STATES away from him. But, at some point you have to cut the cord, right? At least that’s what I kept telling myself. Or tried to. Besides, I am pregnant again and who knows when the next opportunity for a vacation alone for just Josh and I would present itself?

So, I decided I could do this, for Josh. Plans were made, flights booked. Wes would be staying at our house and my sister Abby would be staying there to watch over him. I couldn’t have done it without her. She has been there for Wes since the day he was born. She knows him inside and out. She has arranged her schedule to watch him one day a week since he was born and sees him at least another 2 on top of that. She would do anything for this kid. I like to call it tri-parenting.

Anyway, she’s the best. obviously. (Also, she had the added task of feeding and caring for our two animals, one of which has breath akin to the penguin exhibit at the zoo)

So off we went to New York, and let me tell you, this trip was anything but smelly. We ate ourselves silly at the finest restaurants New York has to offer. Eric Ripert made us lunch…ERIC RIPERT, people! We stayed out late, saw shows at the Comedy Cellar and UCB. We saw great works of art at the MET, we saw Elizabeth Banks shooting a movie on the ledge of the roof of the Roosevelt Hotel. (Ok, so we could only tell it was her if we looked through our telephoto camera lens). We ate chocolates and saw a movie. We explored the west village, east village, and saw the set of SNL. It was awesome.

I couldn’t wait to get home…

Alright, I’m exaggerating. The time away with Josh was really great and much needed. But, I can’t compete with those New York ladies. They somehow managed to look stunning in 30 degree weather with whipping winds and a side of hail. I have no idea how they do it. I had to listen to conversations over brunch where people used words like “dreadful” in normal conversation. In other words, it wasn’t reality. At least it’s not mine.

So when Monday rolled around and we found ourselves headed back home to Akron I couldn’t wait to get there. We arrived after midnight and Wes was already fast asleep. We chatted with Abby for a few minutes and soon she was headed home herself. I crept up the stairs and into my sleeping son’s room. He looked like a perfect angel, all rosy cheeked and warm in his bed.

Too bad.

I slipped my arms around him and carefully carried him into our room to sleep with us. Josh and I lay there with him between us and looking down at our perfect little creation I thought to myself, this is the life. Vacations are great and it’s fun to get away for a little while, but there really is no place like home. You can keep all the fashion, money and great restaurants, New York’s got nothing on this kid.

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