Lately, in December.

 ^^I spy our two-year-old at a Christmas party, reading Winnie the Pooh (this Christmas party had the CRAZIEST bonfire that he's been talking about for the last couple of days).^^
 ^^evening December glow from the office.^^
 ^^and tree stands every ten blocks, that smell like heaven and home.^^
 ^^another Christmas party/30th birthday, at which I earned myself a 24 hour headache.^^
 ^^a little boy bringing his letter to Santa (he's not quite sure what that means yet, but we think it's cute).^^
 ^^and the most beautiful snow one Saturday.^^
 ^^Christmas shopping at the market in Bryant Park.^^
 ^^one blurry photo from the Christmas tree lighting on the town green, which might be my favorite town gathering.^^
^^and some of our girl's first clothes from a dear friend - the kind I will stop to visit even on the longest days, even for just an hour or two.^^


Home stretch.

A quick trip out to Chicago in the pre-holiday work rush: one horrible bout of sickness in turbulence on the flight out, an early workout and breakfast, a series of meetings.

We created a paper chain with Hugo to count down the days until our family trip to Florida, and Blake and I have started calling it "The Paper Chain of Anxiety". Just a handful of days to pack in all that needs doing, but we're up to the task. I'm sure of it.


Christmas tree hunt.

The day after we returned from Thanksgiving in DC, we took to a tree farm just north of us to find the perfect fir for our living room. Find her, we did, and we dressed her in all of the glass and gold we've accumulated over the years, hoping against hope that a two-year-old and a bulldog will keep her as-is until the 25th.


Baby FAQ.

When Blake and I come to milestones and major celebrations in our life, I'm always a little apprehensive about sharing in a public space. Pregnancy, especially, is a deeply personal experience, and while I'm not a private person (surprise!), it's something I hold sacred and feel more comfortable communicating verbally and in a small group format. But my goodness, I'm always so touched by the response from family and friends. It's overwhelming, and we love our tribe.

A few questions I/we have gotten frequently since announcing...

How far along are you? 
15.5 weeks!

You're showing so early! I feel like you didn't show with Hugo until at least 5 months? 
It's true. Muscle memory is a thing, and my abdominal muscles aren't what they used to be. I started looking bloated around 7.5 weeks, and there's no mistaking the bump now. At 10 weeks, the cashier in my office cafeteria actually asked me if I was pregnant - it was pretty hard to hide at that point forward.

Do you know the gender? 
It's a girl! And we're so excited.

Do you have a name picked out? 
Yes and no :) Girl names have been really tough for us. As with Hugo, we want to choose something strong, with a meaningful namesake. From the very first, we want our girl to feel empowered, to know that she's capable and the hero of her story. We have a few names that we're trying out, but nothing set in stone yet.

How does this pregnancy compare to your first? 
Honestly, it's been a much rougher go this time around. I chalk it up to all the extra estrogen (oh my gosh, the nausea), but it probably has something to do with chasing/lifting/carrying a toddler, too. I had a feeling that she was a "she" from the beginning - even before I took a pregnancy test, I got ill just looking at scrambled eggs, which was not the norm with Hugo. That said, I'm still able to run (which actually helps with the nausea) and work, so I really can't complain.

So when are you due? 
May 21 - just two days off from Hugo's due date. If she's anything like her brother, I suspect Baby Girl will be a little early, and they might share a birthday. We can't wait!


From Thanksgiving.

A trip to DC to see family, to pass babies, to give thanks for the blessings we've seen this year, the expected blessings in 2018. Watercress soup to warm bellies and sounds that we've grown up with to satisfy cravings of the soul: piano keys, clinking glasses, familiar voices.

A trip to the zoo to see the lions and ride the carousel. A stop for donuts. A stay on Capitol Hill and long wanders around it, to Eastern Market, the National Mall, the side streets draped in fallen leaves. A 5K to share the feast, to extend community. Bundled to the brim, and ever so thankful for what we've been given, and what we have opportunity (all the time, every day) to give away.


Baby #2!

...expected May 2018, and we're thrilled!



What I will remember of them at this age: all noise and speed, superheroes and ball pits. All six of them under the age of six, and there is chaos everywhere. But when they are teenagers, I suspect there will be nothing I miss so much as the sound of newborns finding their voices, toddlers racing matchbox cars down the hall.