i am incredibly grateful for the fact that God has given me enough days in my life to realize what life is actually all about. i am hopeful that all of my selfish mistakes from my youth will be forgiven someday. i believe that people can change, and that i have. and that children are the best kind of redemption. they can alter the course of your life. i am filled with these thoughts this week of thanksgiving, while i hold my sick daughter to my chest. i realize that there is no depth i wouldn’t go or height i wouldn’t climb for her. and i realize that i am not entitled to any of this – all this joy. & that it’s all a gift. well, many gifts. taking the shape of family & friends & immeasurable blessings. nothing i can ever give a proper thank you for either. but the best (and really only) way i know to show my gratitude is to raise madison to be the best person she can be, and to elevate my own standard of living to reflect this. to pass on any knowledge that i have, and all the love in my heart. so that she may have a tenderness for the world, and for everyone in it. to find faith among cynicism. to understand her own worth and know that she doesn’t have to measure up to to anybody else’s standards. and to pray that she doesn’t make the same mistakes that i have made. that she is able to fight through everything out there that is trying to stop her. i hope that she grows up with grace. with roots & with wings. grounded but ambitious. i am so incredibly grateful that i have the opportunity to even wish these things for her. that she is here in the world at all. we have so much to be thankful for. but the greatest of blessings are those which change our hearts, and she certainly has changed ours.
this week, especially during this time of crisis throughout our country, i pray that we are able to release all of our worry and anxiety. God, please help us to focus on all that we have instead of all that we do not. let our hearts be grateful. our minds be at peace. and our actions speak out in love. wrap up your loved ones.
enjoy your time with family & with friends this week/weekend. happy thanksgiving from us xx
we wish you a merry christmas, we wish you a merry christmas, we wish you a merry christmas & a happy new yearrrrrr, fa ra ra ra ra, and all that jazz! I LOVE CHRISTMAS TIME! i have been counting down the days to get thanksgiving out of the way. i mean i am grateful for a 5 day weekend next week, no doubt about that. and i count my blessings daily BUTTTT it seems as if thanksgiving has become a starting gate for Christmas. as soon as we eat the turkey and stuff our faces with pie & wine, the gun goes off and IT’S TIME! BANG, let’s go! and i am in the starting box, fingers down, butt up ready to run into the holiday season in a full sprint (and i don’t even LIKE running). i am also probably over the top this year about the holidays because i think madison this year will be super excited about everything and that makes it two times as much fun. we have plans to do a little black friday madness then get our tree next weekend & exchange our ornaments (we do it every year). we have to go see santa. who i have been trying to explain to madison if she sits on his lap he will give her toys – this sounds extremely inappropriate – and she’s a smart girl & must realize it b/c when i say toys she says “yes santa give me toys” and when i mention lap she says “no lap!!” – we will most likely get another picture like we had last year. we have to see the BIG tree, at the lighting on december 3rd! we already saw some frozen on ice (amazing btw, if it comes to your town go see it). we have some christmas parties to attend and ugly sweaters to wear. and maybe, just maybe SOME ICE SKATING!
here is my holiday wish list this season! & the full version can be found HERE
1.) becker sneakers 2.) blanket scarf 3.) party on bottle opener 4.) mini pearl tassel lariat 5.) lots of dots wallet 6.) eat cake for breakfast bangle 7.) snow sneakers 8.) best day ever mug 9.) lodge moccs 10.) coffee first sleep shirt 11.) leopard and red cross body bag 12.) combined hooded parka
so it’s no shocker i have been patiently awaiting the new kate spade for gap collection to be released. and the moment has finally arrived. i love the iconic kate spade colors & quirky sayings on little friends. i mean who better to skirt the rules than this princess? she’s making her own rules. setting hearts and wallets on fire (her daddy is scared). especially after she came home with a mini jack! whom the sales woman told me was a collectors item. i swiftly told her in about 10 minutes it would no longer be. not once we got a hold of it, but madison loves her teddy. so i love him too. you can get your own dapper shopping companion here.
PS dear santa, mini mozart wants this piano – it was her absolute favorite!
** a lot of the KS for gap items are currently sold out but they will be re-stocked so check back often! here are a few of other favorites in stock including the gold foil pretty sneaky shirt that has made it’s way into madison’s closet as well (sneakily…) and don’t forget about jack spade for gap too!!
my first few posts on what i have learned about marriage included comic relief primarily & the truth about the ends & outs of living with someone who might be your polar opposite, as husbands tend to be. and believe me there are still comical moments, but as time goes on it becomes so much more than the day to day.
i have learned that love comes in different packages. and i have learned that it isn’t all about what my perception of love is, it’s about our combined recognition of love. it’s about learning who your spouse is, and how they reciprocate love. & how they share themselves. even if it’s not the same way that you do. this is a difficult part of love (especially for me) but also a crucial one. it’s the part that allows us to be ourselves while still very much belonging to each other as well. also once you realize it, you start to appreciate each other that much more. the little things become the big things. and the most important concept i have learned to embrace this year in love, is that just because his way isn’t always my way, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. this has taken me a long time to come to terms with & i believe it has made me & our marriage happier.
growing together as husband & wife – and now parents – our love has also evolved. it is stronger because it’s known weakness. it has been tested. stretched. poked. prodded. knocked down. yet still it remains. it is the constant in my life. whether it be during the calm or the storm, it’s always us. and that type of comfort, knowing that we will always get back up and dust ourselves off no matter what, is unlike any other love in the world. because it is also a choice. we choose each other again every day. no matter what yesterday brought, i wake up, and i see the man that i love. the man who changed what really living means for me. and i smile. every day, because i am so lucky to have someone that loves me enough to pick me over and over again.
so cheers to 3 years of marriage, and 8 years of love. happy anniversary brian. ily
and thank you so much to our good friend Anthony for taking these pics of us. you’re the best.
my 22 month old toddler. i should really just say small human, because that is what you’ve become. you’re transforming into a little girl before my eyes. there isn’t much baby left in there, which makes me one part sad and one part elated. watching your personality unfold brings me joy everyday. even in the moments when you test us, which is more and more often. you are trying to figure out what works in this big world and what doesn’t. and we are learning right along with you. learning how to parent is an ongoing struggle. when and how to discipline are high on our “what in the world we do now” list. especially when you deliberately do the opposite of what we say, over and over and over again. we are establishing boundaries and rules right now, while still trying to let you be little. we are still learning how to do this. and we will continue to learn along with you. but what you can always be sure of is how much we love you. and how much happiness you have brought to our lives. when i come home from work & you run to the door and say “mama i missed you” it takes me a minute to compose myself and not burst out crying from your presence. that i am so blessed to have you. emotions over take me these days. a purely overwhelming sense of gratitude. for the pitter patter of your feet chasing your gussy. for our two handed hugs, and when you pull me in for a big kiss. for cuddling in my arms reading bedtime stories. for your innocence and your giggles. for the times we walk around and you tell everyone “that’s my mama.” for piggy back rides and mornings looking out the windows at the birds. the 4 of us snuggled under the covers. for the mushy soft parts of brian you have coaxed out of him. for making him dance on command and have tea parties. for dressing yourself in amazing outfits. for splashing me in the bath, every time. and for the way you need me now. i know that it will be a very short time that you will. i hope that i can soak up all of this like a sponge and that you will stay as sweet as you are now forever. i hope that the world doesn’t get to you.
there isn’t anything in the world i would not do for you.
it’s the mickey mouse club house… come inside it’s fun inside! halloween is the best, just the best. and so are grandpas! mickey was the biggest hit of the night. all the little kids saw him & started screaming MICKEY!!! probably b/c he is the size of the actual mickey mouse. & one little precocious little girl told him “hey those are plates!” to which he replied “nope, they’re buttons!” (and yes they were plates, last minute addition i picked up leaving work lol). madison was fasciated yet petrified at the same time. this was the first year she could actually do it herself, although lots of hand holding was needing, especially when monsters were passing out the candy. a few houses she just said “no mama, monsters” and we had to pass them. but ghosts seemed to be okay. there were also several candy passers dressed as olaf offering warm hugs. she loves olaf. who doesn’t right?! and at every house where she was able to choose her candy, she choose a lolli. we have about 56 lollipops at our house now if anybody wants one. and sometimes she would pull the shy face and not reach into the bucket of candy, and then i would reach in and pull something out for her, which triggered her to then reach in also. looking back i think this was strategic so she would get TWO pieces of candy instead of one, and still look innocent. sneaky sneaky mouse.
thank you to my wonderful wonderful father for being such a good sport. he’s the best dad & pappy around. and husband apparently, because all weekend people kept asking him how he got such a young pretty wife, and complementing him on our child. it was creepy to say the least. and i am not sure i am happy i’ve reached the age where people can’t tell if my dad is my father or my husband. i mean come on… do i look that old? he’s ancient (insert sneaky daughter grin here). either way i am looking old, OR like a gold digger. two things i am not so happy about lol. dad sure thought it was great though. especially when jackie joined up. “my daughter & my two wives” and “what you think you can do better than this stud?” — hillllllllarious dad hilarious.
hope everybody had a wonderful halloweeeeeeeeeeeen xx
oh colorado. i missed you. your craft beers, snow kissed mountains, delicious food and your 80 degree weather in october. it was nothing short of a perfect weekend. i am so grateful for this life that has given me the opportunity to travel & to experience life with friends both near & far. and i am beyond blessed to have a friend that has become family after so many years. this birthday present was incredible and more than everything else that we did, just being able to sit and talk to tracie for the weekend and laugh was more than i could have ever asked for. knowing that whenever we see each other it’s like a day hasn’t gone by we haven’t been together. that kind of comfort in a friend happens very few times in a lifetime. they’re the ones you know will always be there, forever. through your big and small moments in life. they know all your most embarrassing moments (b/c they partook in most of them), stood beside you at your wedding, flew in and stayed up all night for days so you could rest a little after your first child. the ones who tell you that everything will be okay and make you actually believe it. and that will fly you around the country and pamper you for your birthday because they know you can’t do it as often as you would like anymore. the good ones. the best ones. i am so lucky. thank you tracie, for an incredible weekend. i had so much fun.
and also, thank you to my amazing amazing husband who has been my absolute rock lately. you have been so supportive of me lately also. between all your do for madison & i day in and day out as mr. mom in the mornings, to being behind my decision to completely change career paths, forcing us to juggle schedules even more, to even this weekend… and all the little things you did to make sure i had a great time even though you knew i missed you & madison so much (and have major anxiety about being away from you both). my faith in you has only grown stronger lately, and i love you. so happy to get to share this life with you.
THE EATS & DRINKS
pinche taqueria – street tacos in a restaurant & they might be the best i’ve ever had… get the rajas con crema y maiz (roasted chile poblano, creamed chipotle corn, cotija, sour cream) & the pollo a la crema (braised chicken and spinach, creamy chipotle sauce, cotija cheese, sour cream). the creamed chipotle sauce is border line crack. i would like to swim in it. daily.
osteria marco – incredible italian restaurant. no pasta though, which i was upset about at first, until i ate everything in site. we didn’t need pasta. every single dish was amazing. start with the burrata (you HAVE to), we also did a round of the focaccia col formaggio. and for an entree i had the short rib with red wine risotto, parmesan crisp and buttered broccolini. i have never in my life had better short rib. order it. tracie had the rabbit which was equally amazing. two enthusiastic thumbs up.
great divide brewing company – one of my favorite things about colorado is the craft beer scene. it’s amazing! there are so many breweries and little gastropubs i feel i could go my whole life without trying them all! the GD is one i have been wanting to try & it did not disappoint – 3 for $3 flights (um… what?!) and a super laid back tap room attached to the actual brewery where they do tours on the weekends on the hour. we tried the hercules, the titan, the seasonal peach cream & the nomad. hercules was by far my favorite of the night. tracie really really hated the peach cream (as you can see from the photos). she said it tasted like dog shampoo smelled…. think about that one for a minute
the snooze – they say breakfast is the most important part of the day, and it was my the only part of my day on sunday. we ate so much and couldn’t stop. it was that good. we shared an upside down pineapple pancake to start, along with a brewmosa. i think ordered the breakfast burrito which was the size of a small infant. smothered in green chile which was phenomenal. i miss good green chile in new york. i wanted to bottle this stuff up and take it with me. tracie’s was equally delicious. she had the eggs benedict (the bella bella benny to be exact) and the Taleggio cheese mixed with the cream cheese hollandaise… well, it was a party in your mouth. best breakfast ever.
the terminal bar - this bar was inside the historic ticket office at union station. you order your beer from the ticket counters and they feature a TON of local craft beers. it’s was unique, large & the beer selection was amazing. my newly recommended beer from the list is the black shirt brewing company – red rye pale ale
i am not so outdoorsy. and i have never understood hiking. i remember when i was little we used to go and i would pout. why would we walk up this huge mountain just to turn around and walk down? what is the point? those were the questions i found myself asking. but ironically i found myself really enjoying our hike in boulder on sunday. maybe i have finally grown up a little and started to appreciate things for what they are (plus i ate that huge burrito before the hike, so i needed to burn it off. lets be serious here). we did the royal arch hike which is a 3.2 mile route along the boulder flatirons. i was more agile than i expected (you can laugh) and i found myself wanting to rock climb. i think i have found a new thing i want to get into… hiking & rock climbing? not sure brian is going to get on board
it’s no secret that i love birthdays. not just mine (but mine the most) but all birthdays. i know that some people as they “age” they don’t like their birthday anymore. whelp, NOT ME! i will always love birthdays. and like i remind my friends who hate their birthdays because they find it a constant reminder as to their REAL age, which nobody really knows after awhile anyways, growing old is a privilege denied by many. enjoy the days the months the years. celebrate each new year of living, and whatever is in store for the next year. celebrate everything, that’s my motto. i love birthdays so much in fact that in my card today from my husband the PS said “365 days till your birthday” that made me giggle just a little, he knows me so well. better than i know myself sometimes. and he made my birthday wonderful this year, by surprising me with a WHOLE WEEKEND OFF. surprise weekends off don’t really exist around here. sometimes regularly scheduled weekends off turn into overtime and cancelled plans, so needless to say i was excited.
he also ran the cupcake run with me this weekend and madison. it is a 5k they host in my honor (clearly) every year where you eat cupcakes at each mile marker. i enjoyed it, i think he wanted to puke. afterward the bar holds a bbq & you get a token for a free beer. i told him i would drink his beer & he quickly responded i will drink my own beer, hence i found out NO WORK. let the party weekend commence! he ran, ate cupcakes, got a cupcake temporary tattoo (that refuses to come off btw), took me to dinner & bought me some of my favorite beers. oh, and bought me a fabulous pair of sunnies too. sometimes he really knows how to make me feel special.
and madison, oh sweet baby girl, you make every day better. her absolute ridiculouness & giggles make every day the best day ever, and my birthday was no different. however, after the 15 cupcakes she’s had this weekend she’s become the tazmanian devil. literally she was running in circles while twirling. circles in circles. and tackling brian with a football (she’s into football season now). note to self, do not give toddler a 15 cupcakes in 48 hours. but for me, it’s totally okay. i mean, i ran a 5k this weekend. cupcakes & mommy juice all around.
then to round out the weekend today i was able to celebrate with some good friends for a little sunday funday. something we haven’t been able to do in quite awhile because of miss madison. baby in a bar really doesn’t work on sundays (we’ve tried / failed). & so thankful for my best girlfrens & that they deal with my birthday shenanigans (and having to return my gifts every year… but really, blame my mom).
i am so abundantly blessed. husband, daughter, family & friends. there is just simply nothing more i could ask for. thank you to absolutely everyone for the calls, texts, facebook posts, tweets (you name it) — i appreciated every single one. no really, thank you so much.
and guess what??? 365 DAYS TILL MY BIRTHDAY!!!!! xx
we spent our columbus day picking apples at masker orchard in warwick. it’s a 200 acre orchard in the hudson valley settled into the side of a mountain. needless to say the views are beautiful & the apples bountiful. madison was pretty sure she needed every apple she encountered especially those on the ground, but her favorite game was when brian threw apples into the tree & they all came falling down. she would scream with delight, run to collect them all for the bag then yell “GOOD JOB DADDY” at the top of her lungs. a few other pickers got a good kick out of her rather loud praises for him. and i’m pretty sure he also made a game of it by seeing how accurate his throws were. leave it to boys to turn even apple picking into a game of skill / competition. i on the other hand clearly enjoyed pulling apples from the tree and hovering between branches with madison. that ridiculous grin on my face (in every photo) shows which of the three of us had the most fun, but it was a tight race. madison decided that she loves apples - not just apple sauce & apple juice, although those are most certainly her favorites. this whole 21 month old thing is pretty great. she cracks us up daily. thanks for the laughs baby girl
ps – if anybody has any great recipes involving apples please send them my way because that’s all we will be eating for awhile