Highlights of 2014.

*in January, we braved a snowstorm named Hercules, took a cheesemaking class and had the most beautiful brunch at the Central Park Boathouse. I also started my last semester of the Tufts Nutrition Science & Communication program. 
*in February, I spent a lot of time working and studying, which may have played a part in the shingles flare-up I had this month. we spent a lot of time at our diner, celebrated Valentine's Day with a show and made it out to Brooklyn for doughnuts
*in March, we went to a vegetarian food festival with friends, went to a ping pong event and hosted our dear friends Heather and Brian. we spent the first weekend of spring in Connecticut. 
*in April, Blake opened an office in Connecticut and started commuting out. I had two work trips - one to California (where I got to see Rebekah and James!) and one to Colorado. we celebrated Easter in the city with my grandparents. 
*in May, we took a trip to Italy, France and Spain, and it was wonderful. we also had a painting class and bought a car, and I completed my program with Tufts! 
*in June, we celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary and my 25th birthday. we also spent a long weekend in Hilton Head for a friend's wedding and visited Savannah while we were there. at the end of the month, we went up to Maine for the wedding of some of Blake's college friends.  
*in July, we cheered my parents on in the Independence Day parade, celebrated our bulldog's third birthday and Blake was in his college roommate's wedding in Massachusetts. we also went to a magic show at the Waldorf Astoria and visited friends in the Boston area. 
*in August, we spent a lot of time apartment hunting and brunching in the city. I went back out to California for work, and my hotel room overlooked Disneyland. it wasn't mentioned on the blog, but I was also promoted this month. most importantly, we celebrated Blake's 27th birthday
 *in September, we went kayaking, attended James and Rebekah's wedding in the Philly area and moved out of our apartment in Hell's Kitchen. we also spent a weekend at Loo's cottage on the Finger Lakes. we found out about my pregnancy when we got home from this trip. 
*in October, we settled into our new place in South Norwalk, mostly. I battled some morning and evening nausea, and took a work trip down to Atlanta for the annual Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics conference. 
*in November, we announced that we're having a baby! I posted some photos of our new home (which has already changed a bit) and we drove down to the DC area to spend Thanksgiving with family. 
*in December, we shared that the baby is a boy, cut down our very first real Christmas tree and spent a few days in Disney World with Blake's family. we celebrated Christmas Eve in our home (over French toast!) and Christmas Day at our families' homes. 

2014 was big for us, and we're so grateful for all of the blessings and challenges it threw at our little family. I'm sad to see it go, in many ways. But 2015 is another big one, and we're ready for it. 

Happy New Year! 


If I'm honest.

I'm still adjusting to our move out of the city. It's been a rough transition - so much rockier than this pregnancy has been. We're surrounded by good things, it's true. We have a lot to be grateful for as we turn the leaf on 2015. But it hasn't gotten easier for me to be out of our comfort zone. The mornings are still early, the nights are still short, and I still feel a long way from the friends and places we loved.

2015, you're going to make this easier. Good grief, enough is enough.

On Sunday, we headed into the city for church and brunch, then wandered a bit afterward. The change here is slow, but constant. Like a turning season.


Christmas 2014.

Our Christmas was one of light-up necklaces, dogs in pajamas, fruit smoothies, carefully wrapped packages, winter naps, long walks in down coats, manicotti and gluten-free cinnamon rolls, embroidered stockings, soft new baby clothes, piles of books, familiar voices and songs sung to a King.


Merry Christmas Eve!

We kicked off the day with a small celebration at our home, just the three (four?) of us. We made our traditional French toast and exchanged gifts, though I can't say there were many surprises this year. It's very difficult for us to keep Christmas secrets from each other.

In any case, Gus was surprised enough for the both of us. We're still trying to teach him that not every gift is for him. It's slow going, but we're making some progress.

It's such a special season for us for so many reasons - chief among them is the hope stemming from one extraordinary life. The most incredible gift. Have a wonderful, blessed Christmas, wherever you are.


A celebratory brunch.

On Friday morning, one of my account teams headed to Bubby's for brunch to celebrate our successes this year. I work with some wonderful, brilliant people, and I'm so proud of what we do to build transparency and equity for the brands we represent. This is a great place to be.


More Disney, of course.

We got back to the city late last night after spending five relatively warm days in Disney. It's amazing what sunshine will do for the soul. I'm ready for you, winter. Or I'm accepting that you exist, at least.

We stayed at the Dolphin while we were down there - it's close to everything and less than $200 a night, so just perfect for those of us saving for babies (babies are expensive, yo). We were in a room next to a screaming baby the first night (the irony is not lost on me), and after 2 hours of listening to the poor thing and its poor parents, we had the hotel move us to a new room. They upgraded us to a corner with two balconies, so a word to the wise: complain to hotel staff about crying babies at 4 a.m. I kid, I kid.

So here you have it:
And in case you didn't see my last post and were under the impression that we went to Disney World with a bunch of toddlers, please see the following. Note that no one in Blake's family is under the age of 16. It's fine. We had more fun than any of the toddlers I saw, including the ones who got to see the characters from Frozen. The ten and under crowd goes bananas for Frozen these days.
And guess what?! I felt the first tiny kicks on the plane ride out. Baby loves Disney. He's a Walker, for sure.


It should surprise no one...

...that we are in Disney World with Blake's family right now. And we're having a magical time.


At 17 weeks, I am...

Making: lists of gifts for those we love.
Cooking: egg and cheese wraps, all the livelong day.
Drinking: tea, mostly. tea with as much caffeine as we can handle these days.
Reading: Being Mortal, and feeling completely swept up in it.
Wanting: more patience. longer days.
Looking: at mothers juggling all kinds of roles.
Playing: games with the dog, always.
Wishing: for more New York, always.
Wasting: some mornings on the train, keeping my eyes closed for a few extra minutes.
Enjoying: tangerines. Christmas music. the softest snowfall.
Waiting: for those first baby kicks.
Liking: morning walks on Soho's cobblestone streets.
Wondering: who this little guy will look like.
Loving: the softest new shirts and sweaters to cover a growing belly.
Hoping: for more sleep in a big hotel bed this weekend.
Marveling: at the tree stands on every other corner in the city.
Needing: a warmer coat for those morning walks.
Smelling: new seasonal soaps we bought at Bath & Body Works.
Wearing: pants that are just baaarely buttoning.
Following: some of the direction in these pregnancy books. just some of it.
Noticing: how dirty our white sofa has gotten. who could have seen that coming?
Knowing: that we leave for vacation in a few hours, and I still have a lot of packing to do.
Thinking: how wonderful and fleeting these life stages are.
Bookmarking: recipes to make on colder days.
Opening: boxes and boxes of books to read during the commute.
Laughing: at every episode of How I Met Your Mother, all over again.
Feeling: cared for, and full of life.



 ^^Soho Square has come alive with the signs of the season, and I wandered Wall Street before a meeting one chilly morning.^^
 ^^baby grows, and a fiddler plays on a bridge in Central Park one Sunday afternoon.^^
 ^^speaking of bridges, this one never gets old. and Gus is all about the Thanksgiving leftovers.^^
^^we had our company holiday party at the Conrad New York this year, and Blake wandered the Pulitzer Prize collection of news photography at the Newseum while we were in DC.^^
 ^^two Walker family birthdays came and went.^^
 ^^Dad played a game! proof! and the beauty of this place still strikes me, even after commuting through it twice a day over the last few months.^^
 ^^the light hit the Park just right one evening, and dinner parties with friends and family. lots of them.^^


Christmas prep, and other weekend things.

Tonight I sobbed at the end of Toy Story 3, so that should give you an indication of how things are progressing around here.

In all honesty, we're doing pretty well. I chalk it up to the Christmas season in general - the lights, the music, the traditions we've kept from childhood and the new ones we're creating.

And other things that are making us terribly happy these days:
*last night, we got together for drinks ("no, just water for me, please. thanks.") with some of our neighbors. we stayed a whole three hours longer than planned, which meant I went to bed after midnight. know how often that happens nowadays?
*on Friday, we ordered in and watched the UConn game. if you're local and wondering, this place makes the best vegetable fried rice in all of the land.
*while we're talking about healthy things we ate this weekend (second trimester hunger is no joke), Stew Leonard's makes a mean bagel.
*new shirts that will bear with me for another couple of months. baby is the size of an avocado this week, and should be making his real bump debut any time now.
*long talks at my parents' house.
*we're nearly finished with our Christmas shopping! we went with a theme this year, which simplified the whole process.
*and half of the Christmas cards are out! 
*advent sermons from our church and this devotional, which is beautiful.

Hope you had a lovely weekend, wherever you are.