Friday, July 22, 2016

The Last Time

Growing up, one of my favorite movies (if not THE favorite) was "The Chipmunk Adventure" starring Alvin and the Chipmunks. Hey, no judgement on the taste of a young toddler. We all had our moments of regret (hello, 90s fashion).

Anyway, for Emerson's birthday a few years ago I bought her a copy of this movie on the off chance she might like it too. She watched it once or twice, then got bored of it very quickly.

Fast forward 18 months, and my growing, vocabulary-expanding-by-the-day sweet princess Anna finds The Chipmunk Adventure and loses her mind. This girl loves the Chipmunks, and this discerning mama (who at this point cannot stand their terrible high-pitched voices) loves that she loves it. I love the innocence of my girls. They laugh and laugh at jokes that aren't funny, they love bubbles like I love coffee, and they're just so happy all the time.

Anyway, there's one song in particular in the Chipmunk Adventure called "My Mother." It's about needing your mother (you see, they sing it to a baby penguin who's been stolen from his family and shipped off to Egypt. Very upsetting). Anyway, my Anna-boo cannot get enough of this song. She makes me rewind it again and again and again.... and again.

And almost every night, she makes me sing "Da Mudder" song (as she calls it) to her before she goes to sleep. And not just one line, but the whole thing. While I sing it to her, she plays with my hair or my face, smiles, giggles, sings along with me, or all of the above.

There are some nights when I think "This song AGAIN?? Do you really want Mommy to sing that whole song AGAIN??"

But then I remember that this time could very well be the last time.

You see, I know there will come a day, probably not so far in the future, when Anna won't want me to sing to her at night. She won't want me to tuck her in. She won't want to play with my hair and face, and in fact probably won't even make eye contact with me, unless it's rolling her eyes at something I said.

So every night, you bet your bottom dollar I am going to sing that damn song.

Because I will never know what the "last time" for this special moment between me and my youngest daughter will be, and these are moments which I treasure more than anything in the world, I would rather spend 2.5 extra minutes a day singing a song that I'm sick of, hoping that some day Anna will remember this and will share these moments with her family too.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Moving On

It's so weird logging into Blogger - I almost forget how to actually blog these days. But I thought it was time to dust off this old blog and provide some life updates. I want to keep this blog as a diary for my family, but when you're so busy with your family, it's sometimes to to sit down and reflect isn't it? But I am making an effort today! I actually have a few posts up my sleeve... here's hoping I find the time and energy to give this blogging thing a chance again.

Now where were we.. oh yes, Moving On.

As you might have seen if you follow me on Instagram, we sold our house! And we're moving in 7 days. Say whhhhhat?!?! Let's back up a bit.

A few months ago, Jon and I were up drinking a bottle of wine (as most of our brilliant conversations involve a bottle of wine, obviously) and we tossed out the idea "Hey, what if we sold our house?" Random, right? We LOVE our current house. We love the neighborhood, the location, and we love all the updates we've done to make the house more modern. But after renovating every single room in the house, we were left kind of twiddling our thumbs... no more projects? What to do? Take on new hobbies? Bahaha.

We had it in the back of our minds that this house was not going to be our "Forever" house, and we knew we'd want to move before Emerson started Kindergarten. So, it was either move this summer or next summer. Meanwhile, we were watching the real estate market in our area and noticed that houses were flying off the market, usually within a day. So we decided, heck, let's give it a try. With these exceptions: we'd only move if we could find a house that was an upgrade from where we were now (because like I said, we LOVE our house), and if the house was in a great school district and zone and if it was a house that needed work. After all, neither of us are very good at thumb twiddling. We wanted to get our hands dirty and put our stamp on a new home in a big way.

Well, as luck would have it, about a month ago, we got the sign we needed that this was the right time. I had been looking daily (sometimes hourly) at new listings that would pop up on the market, but nothing felt like *our* house. But then I randomly stumbled upon a 'For Sale by Owner' listing, and I recognized it immediately. I had seen the house on back in the fall, and I had actually made Jon drive past it with me. I've never done anything like that before, but I was so intrigued by the house because it was in a beautiful neighborhood and was WAY undervalued. It was obvious that the house needed work from both the inside and outside, but I saw so much potential in it that something compelled me to drive past it.

Anyway, while browsing Zillow that night, I saw that the FSBO house was actually the same house I drove past last fall. I just assumed it sold and that's why it wasn't on the market, but it hadn't. I reached out to our neighbors, who are realtors, to ask if they could set up a showing for us. This was on a Tuesday. We went to see it on Thursday. We both walked in and knew it was the one for us. We listed our house the next day, and received a full price offer half a day later. Such a whirlwind, but just like with love, when you know, you KNOW. And though we have a TON of work ahead of us, we are giddy with excitement at the potential of this new house. I could see this being our "Forever" home, and I can't wait to get the keys and get started on it.

So there we have it. The story of how a bottle of wine turned into two very large transactions and a ton of boxes. And my first blog post in months. Phew. That wasn't so bad.... maybe I should try this more often???

And also, here's a sneak peek of our new digs (landscaping happens on day 1):

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: A Year in Review

It seems a little bit silly to be posting a year in review on this blog, considering I've made a grand total of 13 posts on it all year. But, these posts are refreshing and timeless to look back on, so I'm gonna take a stab at it nonetheless.

Odd-numbered years are always seem to be such a conundrum for me. On the one hand, the BEST things in my life have happened in odd-numbered years (Wedding 2009, Emerson's birth 2011, Anna's birth 2013), but these years also seem to be dotted with one or two huge challenges that we've had to overcome. (2009 = Jon's architecture firm going under and him being forced to change careers; 2011 = me changing jobs while 6 months pregnant and having a pregnancy wracked with anxiety after losing our first baby, 2013 = Anna being in the hospital).

2015 was no exception. Though I was reminded day in and day out that I am incredibly lucky and incredibly blessed, the good times in 2015 will be flanked by the loss of one of the two most important men in my life.

However, being the eternal optimist that I am, I am taking a look back at 2015 and recounting all of the food, friends, fun, and family that made this year so special.


In January, I revealed our Basement Renovation. I love the value that it has added, as well as the size, space and function to our house, and it continues to be one of my favorite spaces in our home.

Even cooler? Our basement was chosen as one of 3 spaces featured in the Columbus Monthly Home & Garden Magazine's summer issue. I felt a little like Charlotte York as they were taking the pictures, and the whole experience was pretty cool! As always, major kudos to Jon for taking on such an insane project and turning it in to something spectacular.


February was the month I discovered Home Chef, and my life has never been the same. 10 months later and we still get a box almost every single week. I know it's not a practical choice for everyone, but for this busy working mom whose daughters eat like birds, Home Chef was a gift directly from Heaven. Or Chicago. Where they're located. Whatever.


In March, I started my new job. Though I was incredibly sad to leave my coworkers and a job I loved, I am very happy with the direction my career is headed in, and I also love all of the new people and friends I've been able to make. Not to mention the discounts on clothing and candles - hard to compete with that! ;-)


In the midst of learning a new job, most of my April was spent outdoors with these two cuties:

After being cooped up all winter, it was nice to get to play outside again, and (though this is hard to believe) it was Anna's first spring as a walker, so it was fun to watch her explore the playground and increase her confidence.

April was also super fun because I got to visit Geneva-on-the-Lake for the first time for my friends Stephanie's bachelorette party. What a gem of a place that is just tucked away on the shore of Lake Erie. We stayed at the Lodge and it was just gorgeous. I honestly didn't know water could look that blue in Ohio. Color me impressed!

I had an absolute blast wine tasting and enjoying the perfect weather with some of my best friends. My favorite stop was definitely the South River Winery. I could've sat in that Adirondack chair all day, drinking in the sun. And the Merlot.


May is always a jam-packed, fun, and wickedly awesome month, and May 2015 certainly did not disappoint.

Because May 9th is also Anna's birthday and our wedding anniversary, Jon surprised me a week early with a very thoughtful Mother's Day present. The girls love being on their bike (though honestly just sitting it in more than riding - haha)

On Anna's birthday we celebrated with a simple brunch birthday party, because this girl loves her waffles. It's crazy how much this sweet girl has grown, even since May. Her vocabulary is ridiculous and her personality is really shining through. I am in love!

Also on May 9th (why not?) we attended Stephanie and Mike's wedding at the Westin downtown. Such a gorgeous venue, such a beautiful couple, and such a fun wedding and a way to celebrate love with people you love. Love fest all around.
I got to go to New York City a couples of times in May for work, so I took advantage and checked out Serendipity 3 with my favorite (former) NYC resident. I wonder if the owners of that place are grateful for the publicity that the movie brought it, or not? Deep thoughts.

We also got to attend our good friend Brian's wedding in New Jersey with our whole family, which was so fun!

And for May wedding #3, we flew to Puerto Rico. It was terrible.....

Just kidding, it was amazing and I loved every second of it. Also, I can confirm that Puerto Rico has the best pina coladas in the world.


June was pretty easy and low key after a busy May. Emerson started ballet lessons, and I enjoyed Food Truck Wednesdays at work.

Then toward the end of June, I got a call from my sister that changed everything. My Dad was in the hospital, and we weren't sure what was wrong. After 3 weeks of driving up to Akron and praying for a miracle, we said goodbye to my wonderful father on July 14, 2015. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him. July 2015 was tough to say the least.

I am eternally grateful for my friends whose sweet gestures, calls and texts during this time really lifted my spirits. I am a very lucky girl.


Most people turn to normal things like exercise, reading, or watching movies to take their minds off of their grief. I turned to Home Renovation. We (well, mostly Jon) spent much of August ripping out our old carpet and installing new dark bamboo floors on the first floor of our house. It was quite the undertaking, but I am IN LOVE with the finished product. A little before and after action:




In September we enjoyed (what we thought were) the last remnants of summer, went to Cedar Point (after my company bought it out for the day, which was SO cool!), and my big girl Emerson had her first day of preschool! I can't believe I have a daughter big enough to be in school! Crazy. I also had several awesome (and very needed) girls nights.


We had a blast doing fall things in October. Pumpkin patches, playing in the leaves, and Trick or Treat. Both girls wanted to be princesses for Halloween, which works out well, since we booked a weeklong trip to Disney in May. I am so excited to take them and watch their eyes light up when they meet the characters. They'll be 3 and 4, which I think is the perfect age for this trip. We can't wait!

November was a blast! We hosted a baby shower for my bestie Holly, with an "Adventure Awaits" theme. It was so much fun to plan, and her baby girl got spoiled!

We also took a huge leap and booked a trip to Europe. We  used our United airline card for everything, and were shocked to see we could fly directly to Switzerland for free, so we went for it. Sometimes, you just have to book it. We both want to see Venice and Tuscany, we decided to stop making excuses to just go. Our girls are at a good age where, though we'll miss them, we know they'll be in good hands with Ma and Papa while we're gone.


Lastly, December has been busy and magical as always. Filled with food, friends, family and fun. We celebrated Emerson's birthday with a quiet little Ariel party, took Jon to Third and Hollywood and Hofbrahaus for his birthday, and celebrated Christmas with the most wonderful gifts I have ever and will ever receive, my beautiful daughters.

Phew. That was alot. If you made it to the end of this post, bless you.

All in all, 2015 was a wonderful year. Though it will be a year I'll never forget for one really sad reason, there were so many bright and happy points that I can't help but feel blessed looking back on it.

In 8 hours, 2015 will be over and we get to start anew. I am very much looking forward to everything 2016 has to offer!

Happy New Year!


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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Fall-ing in love with Fall

Is it bad that when I went to create this post, I completely forgot how? Meaning, it's been so long since I've posted something that I forgot the url to Blogger? Yep, that's pretty bad. But what can I say? I'm only human.

Since the last few posts on this blog have been pretty heavy, I thought I'd share some photos of what we've been up to the last few months. We've had a wonderful fall, and even though it's been borderline crazy and very busy, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I swear I say this every year, but my girls are are in the MOST fun stage right now. They're playing together, they can both communicate their needs and wants, they can entertain themselves but also like playing with Mommy. It's just so fun!

This fall, we went to two different fall festivals, one at the Stratford Ecological Farm and one at Hidden Creek. Though Emerson LOVED flying kites at SEF (in fact she asked for an Ariel kite for her birthday she was so smitten), hands down I thought Hidden Creek was the best pumpkin patch we've been to in Central Ohio. We went there with Emerson's preschool and there were just so many activities for little kids. We could've stayed all day.

And yes, I usually let my daughter dress herself, and I love it when she picks crazy getups like this ;-)

We also had a BLAST at Halloween. Both girls wanted to be Disney princesses, so we took advantage of the 50% off sale at the Disney store and stocked up on dresses for our trip in May...more on that later! :)

I've never been a big fan of Halloween. I was such a chicken I would practically rip my friends arms' off when we went to haunted houses, and I am still scared of clowns thanks to Stephen King. But Halloween as a mom is a completely different ball game. To watch them absorb the new experience, to see all of the costumes, and to delight in the fact that strangers give them candy just for saying "Chicken Cheat!" (at least, that's what Anna thinks you say! ;-) It has been so amazing, and like many things with them I am soaking it all in since I know it won't last forever.

Well looky there! I ripped off the Band-Aid and made an entire blog post! I have lots more memories from this fall that I'd like to capture on here (Holly's baby shower, planning our 2016 trips, all of our home updates, etc.), so hopefully this motivates me to get cracking on that. I can't lose sight of my reason for keeping this space in my teeny tiny corner of the internet.... to help me remember all of the happy parts of this beautiful, blessed life I've been given. I'm working on it :)