Monday, October 29, 2012

surviving the winter

Maybe first I should talk about surviving Hurricane Sandy? So far it's a lot of wind and a little rain, but it's expected to get worse throughout the day and tonight. Say some prayers for us up here, will you?

Last winter was...difficult. I've never been one to be affected by the changing seasons and I actually kind of like winter and the coziness of it all. But last winter almost did me in. Really.

To my defense, there was a lot going on. A new baby. A recent move. A new stay-at-home mom status. No friends. A husband who was working a lot. A rental house that was not built for cold weather. I guess you could say that the odds were stacked against me. All of that to say, my experience with last winter - which was apparently mild by Connecticut's standards, God help us all - has me feeling a little bit nervous about the time change. All jokes aside, I really don't want to feel the way I felt last year because I was not healthy.

Yes, things are different this time. I have friends now. I'm more confident in my role as a mother. I've gotten used to being without Andrew (it still sucks, but I've gotten used to it). I have a house with working heat! It's amazing what those sorts of things can do for your mood. And when Mir, who lives in Seattle, and I were commiserating about the winter ahead she shared with me her list of things to get us through the cold and sunless months. The essentials, if you will: full spectrum lighting, Vitamin D supplements and cute boots.


She also talked about embracing the indoors and making the most of the time inside. And a little tip she learned in England? There is no bad weather, only inadequate clothing.

So I took all of those pearls of wisdom and came up with a plan of attack. Let's do this, winter.

First of all, accessories. A nice scarf, some cute gloves. Embrace the cold, I say!

+ Neutral striped scarf from Old Navy.
+ Yummy cowl from MelodyJoy1983 on Etsy. In oatmeal, in case you were wondering.
+ Aztec flip top gloves from Target. Which I may have already acquired for my winter wardrobe.

Also, the cute boots. Completely necessary. If you don't have adequate footwear, you won't go outside in the rain or snow. And it rains and snows a lot, so you'll be inside a lot. Which will make you sad. See? Necessary.


+ Loving these all-weather boots. I can't decide between the ones with the buttons or the buckle because they're equally adorable.
+ These Sperrys. Maybe not as versatile as the brown, but still. How fun are they? 

And as I think of embracing the indoors, I think of warm drinks and heavy blankets and good books. I also think of toddlers who must touch anything that's in my hands regardless of whether it's a cup of coffee, magazine or writing utensil, but let me dream! There's always nap time.
 + I figure it might be time to join the rest of my generation and finally read Harry Potter. I KNOW.
+ Speaking of jumping on bandwagons, I just added The Hunger Games to my Kindle. I don't usually get into young adult literature but enough (reputable) people have recommended this series that I think it's worth a shot.
+ I would also like to re-read Little Women because it's been a while and what a good book to get into around the holidays, yes?

Some of these things apply to hurricane survival as well. For example, I'm still in my pajamas and I plan on staying under this warm blanket with my Kindle until Jack wakes up from his nap.

I've totally got this.

What about you? How do you survive the winter?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

(shop update!) new pretties

In preparation for the Fall Festival that I participated in a few weeks ago (details coming soon!) I came up with several new designs for the shop. And now they're all listed!

Lots of pretties, like...

This thank you card set, made from some textured paper that I found in a specialty store in downtown Mystic. My mother-in-law got it for me when she visited a few months ago, so you can thank us both :)

These flat note cards with a mint green arrow. I think they're my favorite!

And these sweet little yellow songbird note cards, which have been around for a while but are back and cuter than ever.

You know, it's never too early to start thinking about stocking stuffers. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

and then we went to annapolis

Remember when the first two weeks of October were the craziest and busiest ever and we had kitchens being torn apart and rebuilt and people visiting and husbands going out to sea? And then I swore that I was taking the rest of month off? And then we went to Annapolis?

Well, it was totally worth it.

Andrew's boat ported in Annapolis for the Naval Academy's homecoming and when it started looking like he might get liberty for some of the time that they were there, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to meet him. Regardless of the drive and the money and the logistics, our time together is precious and sweet and sometimes you just have to pack the car and leave the next morning, you know?

Plus, my BFF and Andrew's Aunt both live nearby so that sweetened the deal even more. I just loaded up my little road trip companion and all of our accoutrements and we were on our way! And it was a very perfect weekend.


It was a whirlwind trip, but I'm so glad I went. I learned that my boy is really good at road trips, I got in some quality time with my BFF, we got to hug Aunt Anne and we got to see a place we've never seen before.

But most of all? I had a really great time with my sweet husband. We've been going going going lately and most of the time, it's been in different directions. This trip handed us a Sunday afternoon with nothing on the agenda but a cup of coffee, a happy baby, hands to hold and some new streets to wander.

It was just what we needed.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

jack's first birthday

I knew that when it came time to write this post, it would be full of many pictures and few words. Partly because a lot of pictures were taken (thanks, Laura!) and that's the easiest way to share it all, but mostly because it's hard to describe how a mama feels when the people she loves and respects the most come from all over the country to celebrate her baby. There's really nothing like it.

But there are a few details I wanted to share. Obviously.
  • The (loose) theme was fall carnival, only because I knew I could have fun with the colors and decorations with anything fall-related. 
  • I made a few decorations (picture bunting, cupcake topper, the number 1 out of pictures, high chair banner) but most everything I made with things I had on hand or got from the dollar store. In other words, this party was low-budget, yo.
  • Since my boy is a sweet potato fanatic, I thought I'd try to come up with some sweet potato cupcakes. Turns out, they're an actual thing and they're pretty delicious. We had those and some chocolate ones, both with cream cheese frosting. Maybe I'll blog those, too?
It was fun to pull it all together and I'm thankful that I didn't go overboard. It was sweet and simple and just what I had in mind. 






There was a lot of love there, that's for sure. 

And there's seriously no way I could have pulled it off without everyone helping - I had my own personal crew of cleaners, movers, drivers, shoppers, cupcake makers, lunch cookers, picture snappers and baby watchers. They made it all happen. I just supplied the one-year-old. 

So to them, I say thank you. (And you're welcome for the one-year-old.)

Monday, October 22, 2012

one year with jack

Baby Jack,

Or should I call you something else now? I'm not ready to call you a toddler, so how about Not-So-Baby Jack?

I found myself tearing up easily last week. Not because I'm sad that you're not a baby anymore, but because I'm just so unbelievably thankful for you. You've not just changed my life this year but you've changed who I am. I am so much better because of you.

Reading over these letters for the past 12 months, one thing remains consistent: you are pure joy. I can confidently say, after a year of living with you and knowing you and learning you, that you are just a good baby. You're a good sleeper, a good eater, a good player. You're good at listening and learning and loving. You're just good.

So thank you for that, as well.

You're so much fun these days. You're on the move every minute that your eyes are open. You babble constantly. You know and understand several words, which makes you look so big. I can ask you where something is and you go find it. I can tell you that daddy is home and you sprint-crawl to the front door. I can ask for a kiss and you open your mouth big and wide for a sloppy smooch. I love it.

You like to put things into containers and that keeps you entertained for longer than I would expect. And after you go to bed, I always find at least one block in the laundry hamper or in your daddy's boot or in the bathroom trashcan. It makes me smile.


Nonni and Grandpa got you a toy cell phone for your birthday, which you really like. You push the ringer button and then hand it over to whomever is closest (human or dog) because you like for us to have pretend conversations. We'll say, "Oh hi! Yes, he's right here. It's for you, Jack." Then you grin and take the phone and say "yeah" like you're agreeing with someone. And repeat. It's the cutest.

You prefer real phones, though. You always grab my phone and stick it in my face until I pull up the pictures. But not just any picture - you don't rest until it's one of your dad. I know you love me, but there's a special kind of love and admiration that you hold back just for him. It makes my heart explode in the best way.


Little boy, I could go on and on and on and on. You're the sweetest kid and we can't believe that God picked us to enjoy you. We love living this life with you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I don't know what else to say right now except that we love you. You've completely changed our lives, sweet boy.

Happy Birthday.
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