This past weekend, after the seven hour drive up from DC, we made our way up to Hartford for dinner with Rachel and her boyfriend.

If you've been around this blog for more than a few months, you've heard of Rachel. She's my oldest friend. The one who's known me since before either of us could talk. The one who I wrote poems with all through fifth grade, when we were the only two in the class. Poems about twins, because that's what we wanted to be. And I think we may have started to believe that we were twins, because we wrote so many poems and tried to convince so many people. In sixth grade she went through a growth spurt (growing a full four inches taller than me), and people were harder to convince.

When college came around and, for the first time, we didn't see each other every day, I missed her. Like one can only miss friends that one has never had the misfortune of living without.

Then her family moved to Montana. She moved shortly after. And that's when I started to hate Montana, with all of its bigness and wide open spaces and mountains and ski slopes. Because I wish she lived next door. Because I need more conversation than a weekly phone call can provide.

So when we do get to see each other, we're very happy. We talk the way we always have. She gets my jokes. I still laugh at the ones she's told over and over. We watch movies and bake horrible things that no one will ever eat.

If I did have a twin, I'd want her to be something like Rachel.



My grandparents live right outside of DC, so we often explore the city the day after Thanksgiving. We'd never been to the Georgetown area, though, so this year we opted for newness. 

And I'm so glad we did. 

Georgetown is incredible, my friends. And not just because they have some of the better cupcakes that I've had the privilege of tasting. The homes, the roads, the shops, the parks. It's all straight out of a book. If one of our jobs ever forced us to move there, I probably wouldn't hate it. 
This morning I woke up sick and worked from home, but I believe I'm on the mend. Husband has been filling me up on orange juice like it's going out of style. 

And we decorate our tree tonight. Our first lovely tree (purchased at Target) because we were out of town most of December last year. This year, you had better believe we're making up for it. 

Happy Monday, all! 


Thanksgiving Hike

We went hiking through the Virginia woods yesterday morning 
to prepare for the feast. 
It was a perfect way to begin the day. 

We ended it with full stomachs 
and, in full Bittner style,
an episode of The Waltons

Continuing the celebration through the weekend - hope you're surrounded by love, wherever you are!


So thankful.

For my husband, who's willing to drive from where we got off the train in NJ to our final destination in DC. Through ridiculous amounts of traffic. After having two energy drinks. Trooper.
For my sister and brother-in-law, who picked us up from the train station in NJ.
For rain.
For coworkers who are willing to reformat the monitoring report that just wouldn't cooperate with my Mac.
For turkey-shaped cookies. Even if they did get reduced to crumbs after rolling around in the trunk.
For weekends surrounded by family.
For that day exactly two years ago, when husband popped the question.

Photos courtesy of my brother-in-law, Aaron Huberty - you can check out his super awesome photography blog here.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Dear Husband.

Today we talked about our first date. About how you didn't think I was nervous, but I was. About how we ate at Cuckoo's Nest in one of their booths, making awkward conversation that 15-year-olds and 17-year-olds can't help but make. And about how I wish I could remember more of what we said - that my memory could catalog each moment of that night with perfect clarity. 

I do remember how you looked at me. Like I was the only person in the room.

I used to worry that we'd run out of things to talk about. I thought that one day, surely, we would sit in silence over meals, wishing we hadn't used up all conversation when we were teenagers. That hasn't happened yet. In fact, sometimes I think you wish for a little less conversation. 

Not everyone gets to keep their first love. It's expected that we don't. Oh, but I loved you so. And from the beginning, you've loved me extraordinarily well. 


Fireworks from our bedroom window.

Last night after the UConn game and a long bath accompanied by The Hunger Games (I know everyone is talking about it, but for real - it's SO good), I settled down to watch The Office with husband.

But as soon as I got myself in a comfortable position (read: spread out on tiny couch with head just close enough to husband's hand for a massage), we heard fireworks.

Backstory. When we found our apartment, we loved a few things about it immediately. Among them was the proximity to the Hudson and access to the rooftop. Prime for firework viewing.

So when we heard the fireworks, our first since moving in in September, we shot off the couch and ran to the window. And we could see them. Pyrotechnics in their red, white, green and blue glory. We threw on shoes and raced to the roof, where the view.was.phenomenal. But I forgot my camera, so you'll have to settle for this beaut taken from our bedroom window.

Also, I considered photographing my outfit, but I'm going to save you from that. You can just imagine me skipping steps up to the roof in a robe, pink striped pajama pants, rainboots, and husband's coat. I'm just the classiest.

Have a wonderful weekend!


It gets better.

Today was awful.
For no good reason.
Just a lot of little, bad reasons.
I came home and cried so hard that husband advised me against going to my new Bible Study because "you look more troubled than you actually are". 
Sometimes the concept of reassurance is totally lost on him. 

But things will get better.
Two days until we meet another weekend. 
One week until we head down to DC for Thanksgiving.
One month (give or take) until Christmas.
And three months until I fly down to West Palm Beach to visit a high school friend.

Truth is, I know that things are good. 
I know that life is blessed.
But sometimes it takes a good long cry to get me back on my feet.


Cowgirl Seahorse and a weekend in Connecticut.

On Friday night, husband met me at work and we took the subway over to Peck Slip to try Cowgirl Seahorse, an eclectic restaurant under the Brooklyn Bridge. We ate steak and fish and incredible pumpkin cheesecake. We discussed topics that aren't discussed unless it's the weekend, when we can step back and look at things fairly objectively. And then we got on the subway going the wrong direction and ended up in Brooklyn Heights. Because sometimes we act like tourists. 

We spent Saturday and Sunday in Connecticut. I went shopping with my mom, walked down by the beach with my dad, ate an early Thanksgiving with husband's family and talked to my siblings about transitions that I went through not so long ago. It's easy to adjust to home. To the smells and sounds that seem as natural as breathing. 

It's strange to feel such strong connections to vastly different worlds. 

Hope you had a lovely November weekend.


Weekday Mornings.

there's something completely magical about mornings in the city.
early mornings.
when things are eerily still.
and no one is at the office yet.
and there's a fog coming over the Hudson that makes you remember the umbrella that you left at home.
something truly peaceful about the waking of a world below you.
a world with emails to read and media lists to create and pitches to write and phone calls to make and meetings to attend.
and cups of peppermint mocha. so many cups of peppermint mocha.

we should love the things that fill our days. (most days, I do.) because days become months. and months become years.

and mornings? mornings I adore.



I've been thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years, and how I can't wait to see our families. 
I've been wondering where other commuters are headed. 
I've been keeping track of all the little things that tend to add up - throwing in a little more laughter and a little more contentment. 
I've been enjoying Nutella on cold pancakes. And enjoying husband's disgust with the combination. 
I've been realizing that husband is just the greatest. 
I've been writing letters. Sending postcards. Documenting more than I already do. 
I've been feeling more sadness about the absence of old friends. 
But looking at my calendar. Checking flights. Making plans.
I've been wishing we had a dog that I could sneak into bed with us in the morning. 
So that we could both pester husband until he wakes up. 


Scenes from our weekend.

It was just the two of us again this weekend. We spent Saturday morning in the Park, drinking coffee (I'm passing the addiction along to husband), coming up with a ten year plan, making lists, watching dogs, and discussing how we will dress our future children like animals (bear hats, bunny jackets, etc.) because we're those people.

We headed down to the Financial District and stumbled upon Earl's Court on John Street... and just about died of happiness. We fell in love with Earl of Sandwich, an incredible sandwich restaurant, while in Downtown Disney in January, and have been craving it since we left. Not only does Earl's Court house Earl of Sandwich, but it boasts a Billy's Bakery and a Soup Man, as well. So we ate lunch there today, too. In love, I tell you.

While down around Wall Street, we couldn't help but look for Christian Bale again. We didn't find him (he's been keeping a low profile) but we did find the "Gotham Police Department" and what seemed like a million extras for The Dark Knight Rises. We may try again next weekend, because we're pretty sure that we'd immediately hit it off with Christian. I have so many things that I'd like to discuss with him. Like his singing in Newsies, how I thought Jo was a fool for rejecting him in Little Women, and the sheisty mustache that he's often sporting.

Happy Sunday, all!


Cupcakes for your Friday

When husband and I got married, I had to apologize for four things: (1) the minimal amount of space that he was going to be allowed in the closet, (2) my inevitable crankiness after 10pm, (3) my dislike for/lack of ability in team sports, (4) my cooking skills.

But I'm baking more and more these days. Someday soon, husband might ask me to cook (I've been banned from cooking since the sour cream chicken disaster of 2010). At that time, I will respectfully decline, as cooking usually implies that the result will be a meal, while I prefer results in dessert form. 

So when I made pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting last weekend, I considered it practice - an exercise in bettering myself and in becoming a well-balanced individual. Or at least that's what I told myself as I ate three fresh from the oven.

And I'm not going to lie, most of the cupcakes were delicious. I say "most", because some were a little burnt and crispy on the bottom. Lesson learned: quickly remove cupcakes from pan after baking. 
Pumpkin Cupcake recipe from Young Married Chic.
Cream Cheese Frosting recipe from Martha Stewart.


Little Sister

In the middle of my impossibly long day
I got a text from my little sister 
that read
"Hi I think you should come home soon k bye lol"
("lol" is what she's ending all of her texts and Facebook statuses with at sixteen)
and I wasn't sure whether to laugh because I'm lucky enough to have her
or cry because there are parts of her life that I'm missing.
so I did a little bit of both. 


My thankful list.

Tonight I'm thankful for...
the return to fall weather after this weekend's freak snowstorm. 
a long, captivating book.
ABC Family's reminder that the 25 Days of Christmas is just around the corner. 
a job.
pumpkin cream cheese cupcakes. 
voices of friends. 
quiet nights with candles lit. 
coming home to someone I love.
wonderfully long walks. 
not being the person getting an awkward massage in the middle of the gym tonight.

Enjoy your Tuesday evening!