Yes, It’s Hard

beach with family

For the last eight years, I have been asked time and time again if it’s hard to live so far away from “home”, from my family. The answer has always, and will always be, yes. It is not easy to live so far away from my parents, sister, other relatives and many close friends (they are in Texas, I have been all over the place, but currently Tennessee). I miss them constantly, but I also choose where I live for so many reasons (that would be a whole different post). It’s hard, yes, but THANK GOD we make it work. Thankfully, we have phones, texts, video chat, Skype, email, Facebook, etc etc. We make it work, and more importantly, we still make lots of efforts to see one another as much as possible.

side by side

Last week, we were in Texas. Oh how nice it is to go home and be spoiled and loved on by your parents. That’s one plus side of living far away….lots and lots of love and attention when you get together! We drove all night so Luna could sleep and knocked on my parents’ door bright and early at 6:30am. My Mom immediately took over with Luna and told us to catch up on our sleep. If you insist!  She was more than happy to get some much needed quality time with her Granddaughter. I retired to the living room couch where I lightly napped. Between napping, I spied. I spied on Luna and her Honey (my Mom). I spied because I didn’t want to interrupt or spoil the precious moments unfolding before my eyes.

honey walk

The two of them ate breakfast together at the tiny Mickey Mouse folding chairs and table my Mom bought. Honey taught Luna to color, and Luna taught Honey the joy of taking the crayons out of the bag one at time, and putting them back into the bag one at a time…and out…and back in…and so on, and so on. They ran all over the house, keeping each other on their toes. They snuggled in the recliner and watched cartoons. Honey blew bubbles for Luna to chase around in her PJ’s. They loved on each other as if they lived next door to one another and played side by side on a regular basis. I can’t tell you how full my heart felt as I watched them bond.

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There were many many full hearted moments that week. Seeing my parents be Grandparents is really special. I hate that I can’t see it everyday, but maybe it makes it even more special this way, more appreciated, no moment taken for granted. (Though, my fingers are still crossed that they will one day move to Tennessee!) I also got to see my nephew, who I haven’t seen since Thanksgiving! Having my nephew and Luna together was the best!

bath with micah

cousins

Then, there my cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, babies, babies and more babies! Every trip to Texas is a crazy whirlwind of visiting one person after another. There is never enough time to see everyone I want to see or see enough of the people I do get to see. Texas just has too many awesome people living in it! (That’s right, that Texas pride never fades, nor does its modesty.) While we may have been ready to get home and get Luna back on a normal schedule, we weren’t ready to say goodbye.

beach day

beach hat

So, yes, it’s hard to live so far from “home”, but we make it work. While the distance may be hard, staying connected isn’t. Sure, it takes a little work, but doesn’t everything worth anything take some work?

reading with pawpaw

Until next time, Texas…

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Cheers!

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Adios Winter!

A snowy driveway
A snowy driveway

Finally. It is FINALLY looking like winter is over and spring is arriving. I cannot tell you how much I dreaded this winter. Last winter was the longest coldest most depressing (literally) winter of my life. I dreaded this winter so much that I had a list in order to prepare myself for the long cold and dark months. I needed strategies to keep myself from falling down that dark hole I was in last year. (Although not being in the hospital or sick at home, was already a huge improvement.)

Shake it off, Belle
Shake it off, Belle

I planned to work out six days a week,  organize parties and get-togethers, go on many cold walks, indulge in extra Starbucks and I even booked our trip to the UK specifically so I had something exciting to look forward to and get me through the worst part of the year.

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However, winter this year wasn’t so bad. Maybe, it was the exaggerated version of winter I had built in my head or the fact that I stuck to my plan, but it didn’t suck. We had a very busy winter of traveling, partying, playdates, 5k’s and a lot more. The best part of this winter is that we had snow, real snow. Not that stick-to-the-grass-for-a-couple-of-hours crap we had the last couple of years, but real fluffy, able-to-build-snowmen, kind of snow.

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In fact, we got snow here, in New York and in Scotland. Apparently, the last couple of weeks of winter felt the need to make up for missed snow. While it was not as fun traveling, it was enjoyable at home. I even got to take a walk around the house during Luna’s nap one day. (Don’t worry, Husband was home.)

snow-covered Edinburgh as we left Scotland
snow-covered Edinburgh as we left Scotland
Central Park
Central Park
our neighborhood
our neighborhood

 

We also had ice, and a lot of it. Ice storms aren’t the best to play in, but there is something exciting about stalking up on groceries and hibernating in your house for a couple of days. I love an excuse to stay in my PJ’s and watch too much TV.

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the backyard
the backyard

The last few days have been warm and sunny. Yellow daffodils and green grass are sprouting all over the place. It’s raining. The animals are getting frisky, and while my allergies are starting to flare, I am so so so excited for warm weather!

Luna is loving the time she is getting to spend outside this week.
Luna is loving the time she is getting to spend outside this week.

Here’s to spring cleaning, afternoon walks, iced coffees, egg hunts, bright colors, sandals, sunglasses and fresh berries!

Cheers!

Real Life

Lately, I am on the computer and watching TV a lot. Since, I spend a large portion of the day nursing Luna, I also spend most of that time writing, reading other blogs and catching up on TV shows. Even though I know I’m doing a good thing (feeding my child and all), I can’t help but feel lazy. I mean, my God, I should at least be reading the dozens of books waiting on my Nook. It doesn’t help that everyone I stalk online appears to be the most productive and perfect people ever.

I follow a lot of Mommy blogs, Mommy Instagrams, Pinterest boards and, of course many Moms on Facebook. Most of the time I love seeing what everyone is up to, what their funny kids are doing and whatever advice they’re offering up to us new Mommys. However, lately it seems they are all just rubbing my nose in their perfect productive days. I seriously do not know how some of these women are capable of doing their hair and makeup, getting dressed in real clothes, making a gourmet breakfast, getting their children ready and posting it all to Instagram all before 8am. Heck, I don’t even know how they do that much before noon. Some days I’m thrilled to brush my teeth before lunch.

I totally believe these Super Moms are doing all these things, but something in these Mom’s lives is a huge mess. Something has to be forgotten, put on the back-burner, left to the wayside and playing second fiddle. NO ONE can do it all. I refuse to believe it. We have all become experts at taking that perfect photo to make our lives seem fun, perfect and beautiful. In fact, the more I think about it, more I realize that I am so very guilty of doing exactly that. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram my life probably looks like I drink Starbucks, shop, workout and cuddle a perfectly happy baby all day.

SOOOOO, it’s time to get a real look into my life.

I planned to stay in PJ’s all day, then Luna threw up on me and then peed on me…while screaming in my ear. I chose not to Instagram this magical moment. In fact, like all babies, Luna cries and pees on me a lot. Those cute pictures I normally post of her smiling is 1 out of 100 photos I took while making ridiculous high-pitched funny noises at her for ten minutes.

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I am currently using the dining room table as my makeshift office because our office is not finished, and it’s very cold in that room. Also, there is a perfect view of the living room TV from the table.

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I happened to be in the middle of spring cleaning. Spring cleaning used to take me a day (2 tops), but with a newborn it is looking like it may take a week. We currently have piles upon piles throughout the house. There’s the “get rid of” pile, the “winter crap” pile, the “wash this” pile and the “figure out where this goes” pile. It’s very exciting.

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AND, our dishwasher is STILL broken and I HATE doing dishes.

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did make the bed and get a pic of these two snuggle bugs. I didn’t get everything checked off my list today, but I did sing a dozen nursery rhymes while Luna smiled along, so worth it.

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There ya go…some real photos that will hopefully make you feel better about your own productive or not-so-much day.

Cheers!

Back to Life…Back to Reality

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OMG, why is it so hard to get back into the swing of things? We have traveled around for 2 weeks, have had a myriad of friends and family staying with us for 2 months, celebrated so many holidays, had lots of parties and get-togethers and basically just been on a super busy long vacation the last few weeks…It was awesome, but I am done. I am so ready to get back to a normal routine and productive schedule, yet can’t quite seem to figure it out.

I feel sluggish after not getting any exercise over the last week. I am EXTRA heavy after eating 857 Christmas dinners. My sleep pattern is so out of whack…I am going to bed at 2am, waking up every hour to pee, getting up early, but then falling back asleep until I’m ashamed of myself. And being productive seems so far out of reach it’s just ridiculous… how do we fall out of habits so easily? Or how do we start new habits so quickly? I need help!

Besides all of the busy-ness of the holidays and traveling we have had a little snow/ice storm in Nashville, which basically shut the city down for 3 days. Flights were canceled, schools were out and all errands were put on hold. There are just too many things keeping life from getting back to normal.

With Luna’s due date just 38 days away (38 days!) I have many “to-do’s” looming over my head…like finishing the nursery. SO, this is it. Tomorrow, I will turn life around. I will get back to a schedule and my long lists will at least get partially finished.

My plan?

I will wake up early.

I will have coffee…oh yes I will.

I will make a list.

will pressure wash the house, or whatever it takes to get it clean.

will eat only vegetables and water for the next month…or you know at least cut out all the holiday crap I’ve been consuming.

And shit will get done.

Then perhaps a second cup of coffee, just because I’m feeling a little daring.

Wish me luck! On second thought, just hold me accountable!

Cheers!

Project Dream Home: Kitchen

While looking for a house, the room I cared the least about was the kitchen. I rarely cook, so I focused more on important rooms like the closets, the master bathroom and the decks. Now, that we actually have a home and are wanting to start a family, I am beginning to realize that learning to cook might be a good idea… Especially since I keep telling Husband that I will make a great stay-at-home Mom. I don’t know how long Husband will consider cooking frozen pizza and Kraft mac and cheese a decent meal. Eh, who am I kidding, Husband loves easy junk food just as much as I do.

Our new kitchen is a galley kitchen. If you don’t know what this is, don’t feel bad. I didn’t know either. It’s a two walled kitchen that opens up on each end, and you can walk through it like hallway. The best photo I could find online of our kitchen is this…

kitchen

 

Here’s a little view at the opposite end from the dining room…

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The colors will be the same as the living room and dining room since they are all connected. I think the living room walls will be champagne, one wall in the dining room can be sea-foam green, and maybe the kitchen wall will be rustic gold?

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My first plan for the kitchen is to expand it into the dining area, but that may have to be done in a couple of years. Until then, we will need to use the bit of kitchen space we have wisely. Of course I found many genius ideas on Pinterst.

good.idea do.this.easy. do.this.too do.this.also

 

There is a skylight in the kitchen with a hanging rack for pots and pans under it, which is just perfect. I will use this and as much wall space as possible. I love keeping our utensils, cutlery and pots out where they are easily accessible, like on the wall.

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The kitchen does not need much work, but I would like to refurbish the cabinets soon. Doesn’t the color on the inside of this cabinet look awesome?

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One day I will get a deep sink and new appliances, but there’s no real rush.

ruggalleykitchen goodcolors galleykitchen

 

What do you think? Can I learn to cook in our galley kitchen? (Remember, if you say “no” I’ll have the perfect excuse to never cook!)

Cheers!

Home Owners

Today we officially became home owners!

homesweethome

I cannot exactly describe how I feel right now… I am super excited about the house and moving back to Tennessee. I am sad that Husband is there and I am still in New York. It is strange to know we own a house that I have only seen once, and Husband will be living in it without me. The reality of the whole “home owner” situation seems very surreal now; it’s so unattainable to me that it feels like a dream.

Since I cannot be there ,and Husband is doing all the manual labor, I have taken over the other responsibilities. My day consisted of changing our address for a thousand different places, turning on electricity and water, getting home owner’s insurance and a myriad of other exciting and wonderful tedious tasks. I got to speak to numerous wonderful automated tellers who mis-heard every number I spoke. I was transferred to hundreds of various departments, all of which had no intention of helping me. And, the hours and hours of elevator music…well, that was just the cherry on the whole delicious cake. Who knew things like canceling a gym membership could be so challenging? I do love a challenge.

I have had a migraine for almost 48 hours. Manual labor has never looked so good.

Yesterday was Husband’s last day in the city. We spent the weekend moving out and cleaning our apartment. When we thought everything was out, I remembered the fridge! I left a carton of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and a jar of pickles. Our friend Steve, decided he was hungry enough to eat the ice cream with a ruler (utensils had all been packed). The moment was too funny to not catch on camera!

sadsteve

Husband and I spent Saturday night sitting on the bare floor with Belle reminiscing about our two awesome years in NYC. We held each other and remembered how very lucky we are..we’ve traveled the world, lived in the most exciting places, now we have a beautiful home in Tennessee… but most of all, we have each other. We slept in our loft bed one last time feeling very very grateful.

After eating an early morning breakfast at the local diner, we said “au revoir” to our apartment and “see you soon” to each other.

Our one an only New York apartment
Our one an only New York apartment

It’s been bittersweet, but I am ready for the next step. Now, I have exactly 26 days to live it up in NYC before I get to reunite with Husband and FINALLY move “home”. There are definitely more NY adventures to be had, and now I’ll be writing to you from  Grandma’s apartment. I took two baths within the first 12 hours of living here…and spent a good half hour lying on the couch listening to the church choir voices waft through the open windows…not too shabby.

grandmas

*HUGE thank you to our family for helping us so much with this great big move. We’d be lost without you.

Cheers!

The Nephew

I had very good intentions of writing to you all weekend and sharing my memories with my new nephew with the world, but somewhere between getting my flight canceled, traveling for 20 hours and then holding my nephew for the first time, I forgot. I spent the entire weekend with my beautiful nephew, and never even left my parent’s house. (Luckily, a few of my friends were willing to make the trip out to the “country” to come see me.) I only got two days to make a good impression on this beautiful little miracle, so I did my best to teach spoil him and teach him a few valuable lessons.

I gave him a few new outfits and this adorable hand crocheted octopus from Le Zoe Musings and Amanda Jo Crafts. Thanks ladies!

octupus

I taught him all about reality television, beginning with the Kardashians.

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We napped together…

asleep

Woke up together…

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And we enjoyed the beautiful Texas spring weather.

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Every moment with him was a pleasure. It was also amazing to see my sister and my brother-in-law as parents. I never doubted they’d be great parents, but actually seeing it is awesome! My sister seems so natural as a Mother, and happier than ever. Geez, I’m a little teary eyed just writing it.

micahcouch

What a great weekend! Now, if  I could just get home. Once again I am stuck at the airport with a long flight delay…I’m so ready to see my Husband; it’s been two weeks too long. Oh well, I managed to get a free pass to the Admiral’s Club this time which is very snazzy.

Excuse me while I go refill my free coffee and snack plate.

Cheers!