Friday, August 29, 2014

Postcards from Martha's Vineyard










I've written about Martha's Vineyard a lot over the years, so I'll try to keep this pretty snappy and just share a great new-to-us find this year - the Galley in Menemsha. Excellent seafood shack with reasonable prices and a lovely open patio in the back where you can sit and watch the boats float. Delightful.

The only other new thing this year was Lizzy! Going to Martha's Vineyard every summer is such a bright spot for me and my family, and it's one of the things I dreamed of sharing with my kiddos one day. Even though she certainly won't remember this trip, it was just so fun to be there with her - taking her to our favorite beaches, letting her taste a nibble of syrup during breakfast at Art Cliff, and going on her first ride on the carousel. This is somewhat over the top in terms of sap, but I did feel, over and over, like I couldn't believe how lucky I was to be there with all my favorite people, including this precious little (but kind of big...) baby who I get to live with and take on adventures and introduce to all kinds of wonderful things.

Now we're off to the Berkshires to kiss this beautiful summer goodbye. Hope you all have a lovely long weekend!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Newborn Favorites


1; 2; 3; 4; 5

When I was pregnant, I pored over other people's recommendations for their baby registries. This is not that kind of a comprehensive list (for that, check out Design for Minikind!). Instead, these are some things that people turned me on to that I didn't even think to ask for, but loved.

The first is the Miracle Blanket. Lizzy slept in this for the first six weeks of her life before she started busting out (then she slept in a Halo sleepsack for a few more weeks before she just wanted to be free). But for the first few weeks, it was a life saver. She really liked it, and I loved that it made her less flopsy when I was holding her and transferring her down for naps and bed.

When new parents used to talk about how much laundry they had, I was genuinely confused. Baby clothes are so small - how can it add that much?! Ha. Now, of course, I realize it's not just their clothes, but also their bedding and blankets, burp clothes, your clothes, etc. A girlfriend told me Oxiclean was the best for getting out icky stains of all sorts. I'd oddly been using Dreft for years since my skin is so sensitive, but this doesn't bother Lizzy or me at all, and it's actually very nice to have some scent on our clothes now.

I'm not a journal keeper, but my Mom gave me the one-line-a-day journal, and I absolutely love it. So little pressure! And even though I've only been doing it for four months, I already enjoy looking back on earlier days.

These car seat straps are lovingly referred to as Lizzy's hippos (what animal are they, do you think?!). They keep her head more upright in the car, especially in the early days. Now she loves to chew on them - not their intended purpose, but no matter.

And finally...these cloth diapers. I've never used them as diapers, but they are my favorite burp clothes, small blankets, stroller covers - you name it. So soft and easy to stash, with many purposes.

So now, of course, I need to know what the lifesavers are for this next stage. Anything great I need to get to maintain Lizzy's status as one of the happiest(ish) babies on the block?!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wedding Scouting



I mentioned earlier this summer that my sister and her long-time boyfriend got engaged. We are still over the moon! Last month we were able to join them on part of a wedding scouting weekend. They checked out places all over Rhode Island and then a few by us on the North Shore.

They decided on the Crane Estate, pictured here. For the last few years, we've been heading up this way to take advantage of our beach pass, but we hadn't been inside the house until this visit. Stunning, right?



They'll have their ceremony there - hopefully outside, if the weather is good, on a rolling green lawn that overlooks the water.





There's also a gorgeous inn on the property that we'll get to stay at. Hooray for wonderful celebrations!!!

P.S. Hopefully my last post didn't have you fearing for my sanity...we're doing much better, slowly adjusting to the new normal.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

(Un)tethered


I'd been dreading yesterday for weeks, so much so that I half convinced myself and my family that I had appendicitis because of a persistent pain that developed on the right side of my stomach.

Lizzy slept through the night, but I was up at 4:00 a.m. (Something no one told me is that when your baby first starts sleeping through the night, you won't necessarily be able to after months of waking up. Perhaps because it reeks of a humble brag?)

I went back to bed, but popped awake minutes before the alarm was set to go off. Then I proceeded to get ready, crying in the shower, while getting dressed, and eating breakfast. If Lizzy feared her mother had gone insane, smiling at her like a maniac with tears streaming down her face, she didn't let it get her down; she was her happy, bubbly self.

Getting off the train was the worst. I felt like I was impersonating my old life - working Julie, bounding around Boston into the office. I can't explain why those moments in particular made me feel so bad. When I arrived at work, I truly had the nicest welcome you could wish for, complete with flowers, a special breakfast, and lots of doting colleagues asking all about the baby. I tried to turn off my thoughts about Lizzy and dive in, only to have to turn them back on when it came to time to pump in the morning and afternoon. I tried to do a bit of work at the time - two birds with one stone and all that - but instead I left splotchy tear marks all over my papers.

And yet. In the afternoon, I dashed off to a meeting to discuss a new project that I'll be working on. I got to share some ideas I'd collected from previous jobs, and others nodded along. Walking back to my desk, I had a crazy sense of freedom. I was alone! But I was also toting around a small cooler of milk. Tethered to my baby, but on a longer rope.

When I got home, Peter opened the door with Lizzy in his arms, and she smiled and leaned out for me to take her, which she'd never done before. I swelled with equal parts happiness at seeing her again and smelling her delicious baby smell and sadness that I had to leave again the next day, and the day after that, on and on. More tears and maniacal smiles.

I know that she didn't feel the ache that I did, and I don't think she ever will. She was happily at home with Peter, and in a few weeks, she'll happily attend her tiny daycare for the time that Peter's at school. It's me that's getting in the way here, and the selfish feeling that I want to be home with her and also speak with adults and make some money at work. It will get better in one way or another, I know that it will, but for now, I'll be the crazy lady masquerading as someone who has her emotions under control.

Cheers to Tuesday, my friends.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Week in Maine



Earlier this month, we were lucky enough to join Peter's family for a week in Maine. The house was steps away from the beach, with a big deck in the back that looked right at the water. Heavenly!



It was a low-key week with lots of walking at the beach, big family dinners, and time spent making crazy faces at Lizzy in a attempt to make her smile and laugh. On the first night, we celebrated my 30th birthday with bubbly, lobsters, and cake - a completely delicious way to start this new decade.



We went into Portland for lunch and shopping one afternoon, and took home a box of potato donuts from Holy Donut. These are more like fried dough than donuts, but completely yummy nonetheless.

Peter and I went back into town later in the week for a belated birthday celebration, leaving Lizzy at home with her Nana, aunt, and uncle. We had the best time, first hitting up Eventide for oysters, and then Hunt and Alpine Club for fun cocktails and more substantial snacks. Lizzy was a hungry little gremlin by the time we came home, but they assured us that she was mostly well behaved while we were out :)


Summer is just the best-est, am I right?!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mount Auburn Cemetery



One of the easiest things to do with a newborn around involves going out for walks and mini hikes. We've done many laps around our neighborhood, but we've also gone to the Arnold Arboretum, the Charles River Reservation, Crystal Lake, and the Cove in Auburndale.


Last week, we went to check out the lovely Mount Auburn Cemetery. There's ample free parking (it's a cemetery, after all, so people need to be able to come visit the sites of loved ones easily). The grounds are very large, and there are beautiful paths to take that lead through gardens, thick trees, and little lakes.




On the way home, I popped into Sofra for some of their fancy hummus. I'd heard so many wonderful things about it! I'm excited to go back for lunch sometime soon.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Stairs Re-do



This little re-do took a while to reach it's final (ish) stage. The weird cloth "curtain" came down as soon as we moved in; a few months ago, I stripped the stripped wall paper and the walls got painted; and then this spring the carpet came up. In the last few weeks, I painted the stairs, ledge, and installed the runner.




Hooray for a normal, non-scary stairway!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

It's been great


I'm in the final days of my twenties, and I've been thinking about what a wonderful decade it's been. It started and ended with a bang. A few months after I turned 20, I hopped on a plane to study abroad in Italy, which made me feel like every day life can be a little adventure, and definitely fostered an interest in food and cooking that's grown and grown over the years. A few months before turning 30, I got to meet my sweet Elisabeth Mae, which was just about the most fun ever.


And in between - oh my, the in between. I went to Namibia, interned at the Treasury Department, met and fell in love with Peter, got my first grown up job in D.C., moved to Manhattan, survived a crazy job in book publicity (barely), moved to Brooklyn, made wonderful new friends, kept in touch with wonderful old friends, got engaged, went to Brazil, planned our wedding, went on our honeymoon, moved to Boston, bought our house, started working in higher ed, began grad school, and just generally tried to enjoy my days with lots of reading and a little bit of gin drinking and many made-up celebrations with Peter.


It's been great. 


And now, I am beyond excited to begin an incredible new set of adventures in this next decade. I will get to see friends and family celebrate their marriages and expamding families, continue creating a loving, lovely home with Peter, take new leaps professionally, exercise my creative muscles every now and again, and have a front row seat for watching Lizzy grow up.

It's going to be great. 


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Happy Days




We are back from a not quite vacation/not quite staycation in the Berkshires. It was glorious! The week started on a serious high note. The first Saturday we were there was my sister's birthday, and she and her boyfriend were coming up to go to Tanglewood to celebrate. As soon as they walked in the door, she flashed us her sparkly new diamond ring. Hooray!

Joel has been around nearly as long as Peter has, so he's been regarded as a member of our family for ages. I adore my sister, of course, but I love Joel almost as much, and am so happy he'll become my official brother-in-law. I am so excited for a wonderful family wedding to celebrate these two next year! (Lizzy's mesmerized by Sarah's new ring above...)






On our anniversary, we took Lizzy to the Mount. It was super hot (very strange for the Berkshires!), but it was so lovely to walk around the grounds. They have a new set of sculptures up on the grounds. The one above was my favorite - it's called Kimonos. I thought butterflies, but you know, kimonos works, too.

That night we left Lizzy with my parents while we went out to dinner at Prairie Whale, which was recently included in the New York Times 36 Hours in the Berkshires. We loved it! Delicious cocktails, yummy food, and a very cute, casual dining room. And we only sent one probing text to my parents while we were out (which they didn't even respond to because they were both fawning over her during bath time, ha!).

The Fourth was a rainy disaster there, so we all went out for sushi at Bizen - another new-to-us spot that we really enjoyed. No fireworks, though, which is sort of tragic. Peter's going to be on the look-out for other ones this summer that we could see.






The next day we took a drive to Ashintully Gardens. There are gardens at the bottom that have a sort of back-to-the-wild look about them, and you can do a short hike up to the ruins of an old mansion - sadly, all that remains after a fire are those columns above, but the view of the Berkshires hills is lovely. 

All in all, it was a fantastic week. We've been going to the Berkshires for years, but my parent's new house is in south county (instead of north, where their condo was), and it feels like a whole new world for us to discover down there. Hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July!
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