Saturday, January 24, 2015

Trip to Buffalo

Last weekend, the family took a little road trip to Buffalo.  It was my mom's birthday - a big one!  Luckily, we were able to celebrate with her and with a lot of family members. About 25 people - my mom's siblings and their kids and my stepfamily - joined us to recognize the amazingness of my mom.  Ted and I put together a little potluck lunch. We did roast beef, crazy good cake, and pop/beer.  People brought salads, brownies, stuffed shells and other deliciousness.  Oh, how glad I am that we were able to be there! 

The boy was a great traveler. It's about a 7 hour drive from here. He's been on 3 trips to Buffalo already in his 10 months of life. He is pretty content hanging out in the car seat. I really hope he remains a good traveler as time goes on!  I think we're setting him up to be a good one. 
Stopped for lunch at a little diner in NYS.
 Ted did all of the driving.  (Oh, I'm blessed!) So, I got some quality knitting time while we were in the car.  I haven't knit in so long so I started small.  I just made a loosely knit hat - knit one, purl two - out of some black yarn I had in my stash.  I like that it is loose enough that I don't have to worry about my hair denting (happens way too easily people!) and I can wear it over a ponytail if needed. 

I forgot how much I like knitting.  It was good to work the needles and make something!!  Now to find another project to cast on with the yarn already in my stash. 
Modeling my new hat from the backseat of the car!
And, as always with trips, it was good to get home again.  We got back on Sunday and had Monday to just relax as a family.  I'm so blessed to have these amazing human in my life! 

Saturday, January 10, 2015


I've been thinking a lot about the word for 2015.  I even thought about not doing it.  But 2014's word was just right.  It was a year of Possibility.  Lots of good happened.  I definitely changed and evolved.  I became a mother.  I became a wife.  I left my job.  We got a completely new kitchen and bathroom.  I let the possibility of goodness overtake any possible anxiety I could have about so much change.  And so I think another word is a good thing! 
They follow me everywhere.  I must be totally awesome.
I thought about it for a while. I finally settled on Nurture. There is the obvious kinds - my kid, my dog, my marriage. Those are very important. But my goals include nurturing my creative side - sewing, knitting, and general crafting. Nurturing what I do to keep myself professionally engaged.  Nurture the friendships I value so. Nurture my soul by embracing my faith. So nurture it is.  It starts today. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year in Review: 2014

This year is probably the best year yet!  Thank you 2014 for all of the blessings of my life.  I'm so very grateful.  The big blessings are obvious - my son and husband.  This year not only did I give birth to an amazing little guy who has changed how I view everything but I also married his dad, a man that makes me grateful every day and whom I love deeply.  I seriously am so blessed by these two and Rosy every day.

Among the other great things of 2014 are:
  • A new kitchen in our home.  I use it every day and I love it.  I'm so glad we took the wall down so it flows with the rest of the first floor better.  
  • Starting yoga again post delivery.  I love how it makes my body feel.  
  • Leaving behind a job working with amazing students to focus on my son's development and growth for this first year or two.  I'm so grateful we can afford to do this.  
  • Celebrating our first Christmas as a family in our renovated home.  I sit and look at the tree and mantle with stockings and marvel in the beauty.  
  • Health.  I am healthy.  And after a major surgery (C section), I am strong and able.  
  • Family - both mine and Ted's.  I'm so lucky to be part of three amazing families - my mom's siblings, my stepfamily, and Ted's.  Add in the benefit of reconnecting with my cousin on my dad's side this year, of which I'm so grateful. 
  • Time I've been blessed to spend with dear friends and sorority sisters.  I'm so glad Amy, Kathi, and I planned a brunch two months in advance so we could all get together.  I'm so grateful for a day spent with Amy in St. Louis this fall.  I'm so glad to have Katie still in my life after all of these years. 
I'm sure there are so many other little blessings I'm not remembering currently.  This has been a positively delightful, amazing, and transformational year.  Thank you 2014 and thank you to everyone who made it so wonderful.  I'm truly, deliciously blessed.   

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Apparently I Like Chocolate

It's been busy around here.  This past weekend, Ted was out of town skiing with his friends.  Chase and I had a big agenda and managed to accomplish most things.  On Saturday, we went to the Philadelphia Orchestra's kids program.  It was Christmas themed, with lots of great music.  Little Man was a dancing fool.  He sat on my lap and swayed a lot.  He bounced.  He loved it! I'm so glad we went; we might need to make it a holiday tradition. 
I also did a good bit of cookie baking for the holidays.  My friend Katie came over Saturday night and we made peanut butter blossoms and Russian tea cakes.  Both turned out delicious!  The tea cakes were a new recipe for us and a nice addition.  Today (yay for nap time!) I made chocolate sprinkle cookies. They are so fresh out of the oven, I haven't even tried them yet! Now, to ensure there are still some left for Chritmas..... how do I do that? 

We shared some of our cookies with our neighbors.  I had found the perfect gift for them that doubled as a container for the cookies.  It was a beer pitcher for the dedication of our local firehouse, where the husband serves as a fireman. 

Chase has also been practicing his standing.  Lots of pulling up then sitting back down.  He's gotten pretty good!  We've covered crawling, clapping, and standing in very little time. He has been in his 8 month sleep regression, waking up between 1-3 am for a bottle. Last night was the first night in probably 3 weeks that I didn't get up to feed him.  Mind you, he woke up a lot but always quieted down before he needed me.  I looked at the monitor at one point, thinking I might be needed, and he was sitting up in the corner of the crib playing.  I made a bottle and walked into his room to find him sprawled out, asleep.  He's taking an extra long nap this morning to make up for it I guess! 

He turned nine (9!!!) months old this Sunday.  I can hardly believe 9 months has passed already.  He's wearing 12 month clothes still but just about ready to go to 18 months.  He's active, not wanting to sit on me or be still for long. He's also very inquisitive. That said, at our little gym, he's tentative, not wanted to stray too far from me still.

He's eating everything! Anything we offer, he'll try. And most likely like! We've tried turkey, eggs, potatoes, pizza crust, and pasta this month.  I'm guessing lots of other things I'm forgetting too as he typically eats what I eat. We just started the sippy cup today at breakfast.
Oh, how I'm looking forward to Christmas.  We still need to get our tree up but I feel like things are coming together.  I can't wait for Chase to stare at our tree.  We were at my in-laws yesterday and he was fascinated by theirs so I know he won't leave ours alone.  Although it will require a lot of chasing after him, I'm looking forward to the holiday through his eyes. 
one of the 9 month old photos

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Clap Your Hands

Today, Chase learned how to clap.  And he was oh so pleased!  We clapped all afternoon.  Then it was nap time.  Because clapping is exhausting you know.  I love watching him discover something new.  It seems like each day, there is something.  But clapping might be one of my favorites. 
This photo is from the gym the other day.  I've taken him the last 3 days as it's a good safe place to burn off some energy and interact with other little people.  The people we typically hang out with all have older kids, who he loves seeing.  But I believe socialization with kiddos the same relative age is important.  He's tentative and stays close to me.  But I'm guessing with more experience at the gym, that will change. 

I have been organizing some of my craft stuff lately.  We've been cleaning out the room we affectionately call the "scary room" to prepare for my mom to come from Christmas.  In the process, Ted has made space for all of my craft stuff.  It's fun to go through it all again but boy do I have yarn.  I should get knitting!  We're hoping to put my desk in there so there will be a dedicated place to sew.  Oh, how I long for that! 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Infinity and Beyond

 I've managed to sneak in a bit more sewing. I bought some plaid flannel for infinity scarves.  I needed (needed.... hmm, not really) to make one for myself because the boy is less likely to strangle me with an infinity scarf.  And then I loved it so much I decided to make one for a friend for Christmas.  While shopping for flannel, I opted for another for me.  And then I made a spare (above).  I'm giving this one away on Instagram right now (though tomorrow at noon). 
I also finished our Christmas stockings.  They are up on the mantle and ready for the holiday!  Ted's has a camping theme, mine has dogs, Rosy's has rabbits (she loves to chase them), and Chase's has Viking ships.  I like that they are fun and different. I hope they become a cherished part of our family Christmas!
On Thanksgiving: he enjoyed turkey, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
I've been busy with the kiddo too.  He's started crawling and there is no stopping him! He would really like to crawl into the fireplace but mommy is the fun police.  He loves to eat pretty much anything we feed him.  We just joined a local kiddie gym so we'll be going there two to three times a week I'm hoping.  I think it will be good for him both from an interaction with other kids standpoint and to work out some energy.  I'm hoping to meet a few other moms too. 

Next weekend I'm baking our Christmas cookies with a friend.  I'm looking forward to it.  We're definitely making peanut blossoms (those ones with the Hershey kiss) but everything else is up in the air.  Any favorites out there? 

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Wee Bit of Sewing

BAM! I've been sewing a bit! I'm making family Christmas stockings.  Everyone's is different and will represent them in some way.  Rosy's (because the dog needs a stocking!) will have bunnies on it because she likes to chase them.  Ted's has a camping scene.  Mine has dogs.  And Chase's has viking ships.  They are off at a friend's right now getting the names embroidered on them.  I'm so excited about that part. 

And I've been making mini stockings to silverware pouches on Christmas Day.  This one is for my aunt, who I'm seeing next week.  I'm making four for our house.  Two are done, two to go.  Then they all need a serious ironing.  Hopefully then I'll be back with photos. 

Otherwise, life is busy.  The kid is growing like a weed.  He just turned eight months old today.  Eight months!!  He's getting up on all fours and rocking.  Crawling must be forthcoming.  He practiced walking - with LOTS of support - between Ted and me tonight.  He talks up a storm and said "mama" today.  I know he has no idea what it means but he did say it! He's a great little boy and I'm loving watching him develop and learn daily.  It's such a blessing! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

5 Months!

My dear Little Boy--

Today, you are 5 months old.  Oh how you have grown!!  You are in the upper percentiles for both height and weight.  I love that you are so healthy.  You grab for your bottle with glee and often help hold it.  Now, if only you didn't turn your head to look at everything, resulting in the bottle not remaining in your mouth! 
You have mastered the rolling over.  Back to front and front to back, you are good to go.  You love rolling across the quilt on the living room floor.  You also are pretty good at supporting yourself on your arms.  It's just a matter of time before you are scooting around! 

You've also started to do raspberries sometimes.  It's so funny to listen to you make little noises and awesome to see the happiness it gives you. 

You started eating solid food this month too.  We've tried peaches, apples, bananas (not a fan I think), sweet potatoes, and pears.  You are really starting to get into eating.  Last time, you ate the whole bowl of pears quite fast!  I think I'm going to start making your food rather than relying on Gerber. 
You have been interacting with Rosy more.  You have reached out for her numerous times.  Yesterday, you tried to suck on her ear (I intervened).  She loves to lick you.  I simply adore watching the relationship you two are developing.  My two little loves! 

Speaking of sucking on things, you suck or shew on everything.  You're definitely teething.  I think I felt a tooth starting on the bottom left.  Time will tell if that's where you get the first tooth or not. 

Oh my little love, how you change my life for the better daily.  I love you so much.  Happy 5 months!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Loss and Reflection

You know how some people have such amazing strength of character, leadership ability, and love that when she gets a bad health diagnosis, you just think she will beat it?  Because how could someone that strong not overcome?  And then she doesn't.  And you are just a little bit shocked.  How is it possible?  For someone not as strong and fearless and driven maybe but this person?  It's just not quite right.  Yet, she is still gone.  I really thought this amazing woman I knew would overcome, mostly because she was so driven and didn't take no easily.  Unfortunately, the disease was stronger.  Cancer sometimes is. 

A woman I considered a pillar in my field - a mentor, colleague and leader - has been fighting for her life.  Unfortunately, she lost that fight.  But I'm certain she did it with valiance and dignity, because that's how she lived her life.  And although she's gone, her legacy will live on.  She touched literally thousands of lives.  Some might not even know her name but she impacted their destiny.

You will not be forgotten my friend.  Thank you for the life you lived and for the grace you showed all of us.  Rest in peace.