Back where we started

Two years ago today, I received the best birthday present to date: I was pregnant. I wouldn’t know it for a couple weeks, but as I sit here as a newly minted 36 year old, I couldn’t be happier.

Some birthdays were hard – the milestone ones after my father died, the one where I got snowed in, the one where I was alone – but this one feels just great. My fifteen month old brought me my present as I was standing in the kitchen, making her lunch for daycare. I can’t imagine anything cuter.

Life turned upside down over the summer, but I’ve finally embraced it and am – dare I say it – okay with it. I lost my job. Again. And I’m okay with it. I got to enjoy the summer with my daughter, celebrate her first birthday, and haven’t minded the near sleepless nights that come with teething and colds. It has been lonely, and challenging, and uplifting all at the same time.

I thought I would blog more once she was born, but there is something that made me want to keep those first months and moments private. I am still digesting all the emotions that come with being a mother instead of just wife and sometimes homemaker. It’s only the past month or so that I haven’t cried every night putting her to bed – tears of joy, tears of wonderment, tears of frustration and release.

Becoming a mother has been the ultimate life challenge and blessing, and for my birthday, a gift to myself is the time to be here again. To share what we’ve done in the house in the past year, to create beautiful things and a beautiful home, and to ask for advice when I decide to repaint a room or try a horrible Pinterest tutorial. So welcome back! I look forward to sharing this crazy life with you all again.



birthday joy

I am blessed to have quite an amazing woman as a mother, and equally blessed that I got to spend her birthday with her yesterday.  We shopped, we had a fabulous lunch, and made plans for when I’ll be back on Mother’s Day. As I was packing up to go back to my house, I found a photo that my fairy godmother had given my mom for me to see. It was priceless.


Judging from the bottle on the table, this was probably the summer of 1982. My gorgeous mother, enjoying the beautiful weather. She may very well attempt to murder me for posting this on my blog, but I don’t care. I don’t know what it is about it, but I absolutely love this photo. She just looks so carefree and beautiful. Happy birthday, mom. I love you with all my being.

beautiful birthday

There are many perks to the fact that The Man now works 9-5 at the same university that I do. Today was proof that it is actually EPIC because we took a lunch break together and actually went into the city to celebrate his birthday with an amazing meal.

The weather was gorgeous, the cherry trees all in bloom, and WE FOUND PARKING! Around the lunch rush that is no small feat in Philly. After checking out the menu online, The Man decided he wanted to check out City Tap House and oh what an amazing choice! They have a fabulous outside seating deck which is on the second floor (with plenty of umbrellas!) so we got to take full advantage of the gorgeous weather.

The Man had The Tap Burger which had an amazing dijonaise, and I chose the Tartufo flatbread pizza with truffle oil, roasted mushrooms, and a fried egg. I was a bit skeptical about the pizza, but took it on recommendation of the waitress and told her when she asked how our food was that I wanted to hug the person who thought of the creation. Our lunch was AMAZING and we were full without being disgustingly stuffed.

When we got home, we set up the fire pit and talked to the neighbors. ‘Tis the season that we’re all outside when we get home from work. Dinner tonight was spent with one of our friends and we picked up some seasoned chicken cutlets – some with a bourbon sauce, some with garlic and pepper – and made zucchini and sweet potato fries.

It was an amazing day with The Man, who I am blessed to have. We have ups and downs and challenges with the house and work, but at the end of the day, I know I have a partner, that we’re on the same team, that we’ll get through it. We kiss, say I love you, and start over the next morning. Happy Birthday, love. Here’s to many more happy days.


furry friday celebrates – pictures galore!

Last night was a big celebration in our house! Although it’s hard to believe, Abby turned 1!!! It was a big day for her which started off with two new toys to keep her busy.


“I think those belong to me…”


Then I was honored to be in a formal birthday girl portrait.


Will I get a treat for this?


Next came a special dinner which she supervised cooking.


Those taters look done… I swear…


She was very patient while her dinner was being cut up.


For me?


And was spot on with “sit” to test the quality.


“I’m sitting.”


And then a little less patient.




But it was worth the wait – steak, tater tots, peas, and some dry kibble.


“I will do anything for that bowl…”

And no birthday is complete without dessert!


Dog tested, dog approved.


Which she REALLY didn’t want to pose with, but did so begrudgingly.



It’s hard to believe that our 12 week old, 13 pound bundle of long legs is now a 56 pound one year old.


The Man holding her the day we got her


And even though she’s not as tiny anymore…


her favorite chair


And she takes up a lot more room…


same chair!


She’s still our baby. Happy birthday, Abigail!


12 Weeks Old – THIS is how she stole our hearts




rainy birthday

Working on your birthday is never fun. Working on your birthday in the pouring rain, even less so. Which is exactly how the Man’s day is shaping up. Hopefully, though, it’s not all bad.

The celebrating actually started on Friday when some wonderful friends of ours loaded down Paul with balloons and special coffees and candies as a birthday gift.


Even though we both had to work, I tried to surprise the Man a bit. The night before I had arranged a box of apple turnovers and his cards on the dining room table, so when the alarm went off this morning and the coffee had finished brewing, I dragged him downstairs with me to “get coffee” and promptly sat him down to enjoy breakfast and birthday cards (which the cats had thankfully/surprisingly left alone overnight). For dinner, my mom gifted the Man a fabulous dinner from a Middle Eastern restaurant near where we work. And then for dessert, I surprised him with a specialty cupcake from our favorite bakery.

So was it a traditional birthday? No. Do I wish I could have made it more special? Yes. But do I love him with all of my heart? Yes.

Happy birthday, love of my life.