Tuesday, November 25, 2014

So much more

Over the weekend, I started my first craft project since buying the house a year and a half ago. With all the wallpaper stripping, floor laying, painting, and re-configuring we did with the renovations, I wasn't ready to add anything to the house that wasn't necessary. It finally feels fun again to be making something.

I'm working on a crewel pillow kit that I picked up ages ago at Purl Soho. I've been adding a leaf or a flower each night before bed, which is heavenly (and at this rate I'll be working on it for months, so get ready for the big reveal in July).

A snow storm is starting to swirl around outside my kitchen window, and we're supposed to be driving out to the Berkshires as soon as Peter's done with school. My fingers are crossed for smooth sailing as we whisk ourselves across the state.

I'm reading Louisa May Alcott's An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving. In the story, the Basset family is facing a snowy New England holiday, too (among other obstacles). I think I've read half of the story for the last three thanksgivings. Will this be the year I actually finish? I hope things end well for them and that they're able to enjoy their brown bread and pies and Indian pudding. 

I hope you get to enjoy all of that, too, and so much more. Happy thanksgiving, my dears! 

P.S. I'm writing this post on my iPad, and while it knows to capitalize the p in iPad, it doesn't think thanksgiving deserves the same treatment!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Holiday pajamas for babies (and other rambles)

1, 2, 3, 4

I made the mistake not putting Lizzy in her Halloween pajamas until Halloween actually rolled around. To be fair, I was afraid she might ruin her "costume" before the main event. She's adorable, but messy.

She's going to start wearing holiday pajamas now to avoid that problem :) These are a few favorites I've got my eye on at the moment, but in reality, I'll probably hit up TJMaxx and Once Upon a Child for some cute options...in size 12-18 months because she is still a giantess.

It's way too early, I know, but I am so excited for the holiday season this year. Part of this is because I feel like I've really hit my stride in the last few weeks with working, playing with Lizzy, sleeping (knock on wood over and over and over), and just generally enjoying life together. 

I don't want to make it to sound like things were going badly before by any means. Peter and I have seriously been on cloud nine since Lizzy arrived six months ago. But going back to work was so hard for me (even though Lizzy thrived at daycare from the beginning), and I feel like it's taken this long to wrap my head around it. 

I still have waves of missing her during the week, but she's becoming so much more of a person these days - someone who is such a delight to be around - that I feel like our mornings and evenings and weekends are full of quality, fun time. She totally knows who Peter and I are now, and lights up when she sees us. She plays with toys, eats dinner, loves dancing and being tickling, and plays peek-a-boo. (I'm getting dangerously close to one of those monthly update letters that are only interesting to grandparents. Sorry!)

All this is just to say that I can't wait to decorate the house and show her all the lights and the tree and the songs and, in the evenings, when she's all cleaned up after lounging around in the bath and smells so heavenly, I'm going to zip her up into some holiday themed pajamas. 

And I'm really looking forward to it.

Friday, October 31, 2014

More than enough

On Wednesday, my family gathered together for my grandmother's funeral. She had been 90 years old, and was living on her own with her beloved cats - which were named after characters in Pride and Prejudice - until just two weeks before.

My house contains more physical representations of my grandmother than almost anyone else. She's in the handmade braided and vestimade rugs, and in the Waterford wedding gifts she bestowed upon Peter and me four years ago, and in the Christmas ornaments she gave my sister and me each year.

It's seems fitting that I see her all over the house, because more than anyone else, she reveled in all things home. She could endlessly examine a house, soaking in each detail. Every inch of her own home was decorated with things she loved. She had boxes of meticulously organized holiday decorations that came out every year, and she's the reason my mom, sister, and I have a village and a full set of carolers.

My sister and I spent lots of time with my grandparents growing up, with a few afternoons a week during the school year, and a few days each week during the summer. For lunch, she made the kinds of foods that kids love - spaghetti with lots of butter and salt, macaroni and cheese with Velveeta (and always a side of cranberry sauce, for some reason), and individual tubs of Friendly's ice cream sundaes.

She loved shopping, and was a world-class bargain hunter. She had an amazing ability to remember the exact price of all the best deals she scored - a trait I certainly inherited. She could look at a mahogany headboard and say that she bought it sixteen years ago at a tag sale on Cooley Street for $10, but she'd talked them down from $15.

She saved and saved her whole life, but she and my grandpa always made it a priority to take vacations and go out to eat occasionally. They would go to South Carolina for the winter when I was growing up, and we loved visiting their condo over February vacations.

We never did that much with them, but the days felt full. Dressing up, playing with dolls, feeding the birds, watching old movies, taking a walk around the block. Sometimes we played cards or asked the Ouiji board questions about our future husbands, but she also took naps, did crossword puzzles, and watched Meet the Press. She didn't feel that they had to entertain us, and it served us well.

Being in her orbit was more than enough.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Maple Pumpkin Pie with Brown Sugar Crust

Peter's family was in town this weekend, and since we won't all be together for Thanksgiving this year, we decided to have an early celebration. We made roasted turkey roulade, celery root and apple puree, Swiss chard gratin, and maple pumpkin pie with a brown sugar crust.

Every single recipe was a new one, and there wasn't a single clunker! Do you know how rare that is?! I'd happily add any of them to the real Thanksgiving celebration next month.

Maple Pumpkin Pie with Brown Sugar Crust
Crust adapted from Martha Stewart
Pie filling adapted from New York Times

2 tablespoons packed dark-brown sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons ice water

15 oz. can unsweetened pumpkin puree
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Amaretto
2 large eggs
½ cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a food processor, pulse brown sugar and 1/4 cup flour to combine. Add salt and remaining flour; pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until the mixture forms pea-size clumps - this took many pulses for me. Add the lightly beaten egg yolk and water and pulse until the dough starts to come together. Wrap it up in a piece of plastic wrap and form a disk. Refrigerate about 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, maple syrup, and brown sugar. Add the cinnamon, ginger, salt and Amaretto. In a small bowl lightly beat the eggs and cream, then combine with the pumpkin.

Roll out the chilled pie crust and place in a 9 inch pie plate. Pour the filling into the crust and cover the pie edges loosely with foil. Bake on the lower level of the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 more minutes, until filling has set (mine took 35 minutes).

Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.

Friday, October 17, 2014


Tomorrow morning Peter is proctoring an ACT test, and I have GRAND plans for Lizzy and me to go to Wegmans, clean the house, do laundry, and paint the TV stand in the living room. Lizzy is actually *not* that great a helper for any of these activities, if you can believe it, so we'll see what we actually accomplish :)

We're also seeing a friend for dinner, visiting with Peter's family, and hopefully squeezing in a day trip or mini-hike. It should be glorious (gourdious?).

Happy Friday to all!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Someone Else's Story

I feel extremely embarrassed to admit this, but I haven't finished a book since I went to back to work more than two months ago. Isn't that crazy?!

But this has actually happened to me before. When I first met Peter, I think I was too giddy to read anything substantial for about a month. And then in the weeks leading up to our wedding, I was...I don't know, too wound up? Too excited? Something.

This time my brain has been filled up with all sorts of emotions. And tiredness. I haven't had the mental energy to engage with someone else's story.

This wacky period of naval gazing is happily drawing to a close, though. Since I drive to work now, I picked up The Shoemaker's Wife as an audio book for my commute, and I absolute love listening to it. Instead of feeling like this is wasted time away from my baby (boo hoo), it's turned into time spent doing something I enjoy (I hesitate to bust out the insufferable "me time," but...it kind of feels like that).

I read about Absolute Beauty on Cup of Jo a while back, and it finally came in for me at the library. It's a nutty crunchy view of beauty and health and I am loving it so far. I wish I had known about it years ago when my skin was acting so terrible with allergies.

And the last one has been on my nightstand for a while, but I'm excited to start it very soon. My friend Sarah shared a link on Twitter to an interview with Amy Shearn about her grandmother's novella The Little Bastard, and I ordered it right away. There's something infinitely more satisfying - on a purely superficial level - about finishing a novella as opposed to a short story. Novellas feel like you accomplished something. Short stories feel like you killed time in a waiting room. I think they're due for a comeback.

What are you reading these days? Any good audio books to add my queue? The reader can make or break the book.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Gardens at Elm Bank

We discovered the Massachusetts Horticultural Society Gardens at Elm Bank a couple of weeks ago - absolutely stunning! It's a great place to a take a stroll. The grounds look massive in these pictures, but it's really just five or six different gardens in a fairly compact space.

On the way out, we stopped at Sunshine Farm for some produce and ice cream. Lizzy had a milk protein allergy that cleared up when she was about four months, so I'm doing my best to make up for a dairy-free summer with LOTS of awesome ice cream this fall. Hard work, but I'm rising to the challenge.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Looking, Playing, Wasting

Making: Excellent use of our new island - it makes our kitchen such a happy place to hang out in
Cooking: This perfectly autumnal mushroom lasagna
Drinking: A splash of wine nearly every night after Lizzy goes down for the night
Reading: This should say "slogging" since I've been working on this since August, but Longbourn
Wanting: Track pants, real bad
Looking: Oh so tired these days - I need an industrial strength eye cream or something :)
Playing: On my new iPad (I've become one teeny tiny percent more hip!) 
Wasting: Time searching for the perfect baby Halloween costume
Sewing: A new valance for my kitchen window (a total cheat answer because my Mom actually did the sewing for me!)
Wishing: I felt more clear headed
Enjoying: The evening routine we've worked out, which involves playing with Lizzy for a few hours when I get home, then her bath, stories, and bed, followed by dinner, a TV show, and dessert - always dessert - for Peter and me
Waiting: Until the October madness calms down in Salem before checking out this lovely looking exhibit
Liking: How settled our house is feeling these days, even as I make plans for a few more adjustments
Wondering: If we'll be able to pull off a big trip in 2015
Loving: My little clan more and more each day
Hoping: To make a batch of this in very near future
Marveling: At these awesome floating babies in Houston
Needing: To get some dates on the books with friends - we've been somewhat hermetic 
Smelling: Lizzy's head every night at 5:00 p.m.
Wearing: Ballet flats as much as possible before the endless season of boots begins
Following: The new-to-me blog Aspiring Kennedy
Noticing: How beautiful Boston looks this fall - the leaves have exploded in color in the last week
Knowing: Some Top 40 songs for the first time since college, thanks to a lingering Sirius XM subscription in our new-to-us second car (my current fave)
Thinking: That our new normal is starting to feel just that
Feeling: So excited to tag along with my sister to do some wedding dress shopping tomorrow
Bookmarking: Tons of recipes from Jamie Oliver's magazine - it's been a treasure trove of inspiration 
Opening: The windows just a smidge to get some of that delightfully crisp fall air in the house
Giggling: Over Lizzy's seemingly deep voice - it's seriously just like this when she laughs
Feeling: Lucky, lucky, lucky 

This post was inspired by Meet Me at Mikes!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Introducing Fresh Basil Travel Services!

Ten years ago this fall, I returned home from studying abroad in Italy and wrote out a dozen or so pages of detailed recommendations for every place I visited in Europe. My dad still foists that crazy (and quite outdated!) document upon anyone who even mentions Italy.

All that to say, I've long taken great pleasure in sharing bits and pieces of vacation advice with family, friends, and even a good deal of strangers.

It's been lovely to have an excuse to share travel tips with all of you on Fresh Basil over the years, and I absolutely adore fielding questions via email about visiting the Berkshires or New York or Martha's Vineyard. But I've often thought that it would be fun to formalize that arrangement a bit and offer up my obsessive vacation-related research skills to the masses.

And so, I am absolutely thrilled to announce the start of Fresh Basil Travel Services! This is basically an excuse for me to do the crazy kind of vacation prep I would do for myself for you.

I love planning where to eat and what to see and do, but I know many people do not find that kind of thing to be very exciting. In fact, it can be kind of a bummer to sift through loads of blog posts and review sites and travel forums to plan your perfect trip (or so I've heard!). If you'd like to hand off that task and just get down to enjoying your vacation, I would love to help!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Boston Date

On the last Friday of my maternity leave, Peter, Lizzy, and I went to Row 34 for lunch, and then walked around the seaport. I'm not sure I'd call it a "workingman's oyster bar" - we were next to a darling couple bemoaning the fact that Facebook was down during our first visit - but it is a delightful, delicious spot. And totally baby friendly, thanks to its large, open dining room (that's Lizzy's stroller in the foreground of the pic above). 

We went again last weekend for dinner when my parents were in town. Still delicious, still a-okay for Lizbert.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The State of Things

Asters in honor of a new September baby!

This was an exciting, tiring, fun, full week in our household. The biggest and bestest news is that our niece, Caroline, arrived! I got to swing by the hospital on the day she was born to meet her. She feels absolutely light as a feather compared to the heifer I usually tote around. She has a darling, sweet little face, lots of dark curly hair, and is just such a dear. Peter and Lizzy haven't gotten to meet her yet because they were both fighting colds, but I'm hoping they'll be well enough for introductions over the weekend.

Because of the new baby, my mother in law has been staying with us for the last few days, and it's been such a treat. Lizzy is loving the extra attention, and Peter and I are getting spoiled by her cooking.

Since going back to work, I look forward to our weekends so much. Probably too much, because I hate feeling like I'm just "getting through" the majority of my week/life. On most Tuesdays, though, you can find me tearfully telling Peter that the weekend is way too far away and I can't possibly make it. But then I do (time hasn't stopped yet on a Tuesday, but my fear that it will is alive and well!).

It helps - tremendously - that Lizzy is over-the-moon happy to arrive to daycare each morning. She spends her days there being smiled at, played with, given toys, and toted around, and I really think it's her idea of heaven. I miss her way more than she misses me.

I also completely recognize that we are in a very, very lucky position right now - this a Champagne problem. We are all healthy and happy, and I know how lucky I am to not only have a job, but one that I really enjoy.

Anyways, I feel myself rambling along. I started this weekend tangent intending to say that I look forward to having two uninterrupted days with my family so much that I feel like I need to pack them to gills with fun and productivity. Have meaningful time with Lizzy one-on-one! Go to the farmers market! Establish ourselves at our new local church! Paint furniture, vacuum, clean out my closet...on and on. I don't exactly know what to do about this because it is actually the best time to do many of these things, and I want to have a balance of fun mixed in with everything else that needs doing. I'm sure we'll figure this out, but if you have any advice, it would be most welcome.

Wishing you all a very happy weekend. TGIF to the max.

Oh, and P.S.! Thank you for weighing in on the island. I went with white, but did pale green stools. Looks cute! I owe you a pic.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Kitchen Island Color Help

After months of hunting, we're picking up a used version of this island that I found on Craigslist. It was originally black, and the owner painted it white, but didn't do a great job, so it's going to need a bit of TLC. Since it will need to be repainted anyways, I've been thinking about different color options. Here are my thoughts:

1, 2, 3, 4

Red could be fun - our front door is red, and I love the idea of bringing this color into our house a bit. However, I also have lots of pink in my living room, dining room, and porch (basically, every other room on the first floor), so I'm not sure if this is the best choice. 

Green is on the walls in my entryway and half bath, and I have a cute new chair in my living room that's green and white, so it would be fun to incorporate a bit more of this color into another room. 

Navy is an interesting option, too. A lot of my house is light in color, and it might be nice to have something a bit darker in the mix. The walls are pale blue, and I always like when rooms have layers of the same color in different intensities. (This sounds like I really know what I'm talking about, but let me assure you that I do not!)

And finally...good old white. I have paint that matches our cabinets exactly. That's definitely the path of least resistance! 

Thought?! I clearly need help deciding!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

North Fork Weekend

Last month we were invited to join friends for a weekend on the North Fork of Long Island. The other couples we were with both have children, too, and it was so neat to see our friends as parents and get to know two kiddos that are a year and two years older than Lizzy. We have lots of chasing to look forward to in our future!

It was a low key trip with dinners at home and lots of chatting and wine, but we did explore the area a bit. We had lunch at First and South in Greenport and also the Lunch Truck at North Fork Table and Inn - both were delicious and had outdoor space for the littles to run around.

One afternoon, the ladies left the babies at home with our husbands and went to Konokosta Winery, where all these pictures were taken. The setting is unbelievable, and the wine is good, too (though other reviewers seem to think it's not as good as other options in the area - we weren't feeling too picky!). On the way out, we stopped at one of the many farm stands in the area to pick up all kinds of goodies before taking the ferry home, which made it a really easy trip to do from Boston.

Summer, I'm missing you already.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Feasting, Sleeping, Beaching

Happy Friday to you!!!

I seem to have fallen into the habit of posting sleeping baby pictures. Are we okay with that? Lizzy's just started rolling over, and when she does it in her sleep, she just sleeeeeeeeeeeeps and sleeps forever and it is glorious. Also, this gives you a decent view of her mullet-ish hairdo. I want to cut it off, but Peter thinks this is mean (!??!), so please weigh in if you agree with me. Just kidding, you can also weigh in if you think we should keep her party in the back hair going strong.

Peter's students came back this week and Lizzy had four days in a row at daycare, so even though it was a short week, two thirds of the household are very tired. I'm the most awake one! This hasn't been the case for four months and a few days (a.k.a. since Lizbert arrived), but it's nice to carry the torch of enthusiasm for the family once again.

Tonight we're doing a slightly lower key version of our annual back to school feast. There's a bottle of Sofia in the fridge, Peter's picking up a frozen yogurt pie from Cabots, and I'm going to make some kind of seafood pasta dish like this, but with more seafood :) Peter and I might get really crazy and watch one whole 22 minute episode of The Spoils of Babylon.

Tomorrow, we're hoping to squeeze in one more beach day, with a stop at the farm stand for cider donuts and corn on the cob. I haven't had my fill of corn yet at all, and this delicious looking polenta is calling my name. Then we'll probably do boring homeowner things on Sunday like mow the lawn and weed the "gardens" (quotes because you'd have to be very generous to look upon our plot o' land and think garden).

And maybe (!), we'll get to become an aunt and uncle this weekend! We're anxiously awaiting the arrival of our niece, who I absolutely can't wait to meet.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! Perhaps you should have an end of summer feast yourself, regardless of any ties to the school calendar!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My Secret Ingredients

When I told Peter I was putting together a post with a few of my go-to "secret" ingredients, he said his list would just be lots of butter and salt. "Always more than you think you need." Ha!

My secret ingredients are fish sauce, Meyer lemons, anchovy paste, and smoked paprika. Each one is added to all kinds of things, but is never the main event - they just give dishes a little hint of something curious.

I add fish sauce to my peanut sauces for rice noodles, and also as a quick marinade for pork or chicken. The Meyer lemons are a finishing touch on all kinds of things like pasta, risotto, rice, and seafood. The smoked paprika goes in potato salad and sweet potato salad, chicken marinades, and lamb ragout. And the anchovy paste! I use this in soups and stews when I want a little something extra in terms of salt and complexity, but it also goes into tapenades and pasta sauces.

What are your secret ingredients? Butter and salt?!

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


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?!
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