Billie Holiday, and other weekend things.

I'm short on words (and patience, in many ways) this weekend. All of my best words have been used up on nutrition work, and I expect it to stay that way over the next few weeks. We did try to spend some time relaxing yesterday, since I'm out of town for work over the next two weekends and Blake begins his new commute tomorrow.

And these are the things we've been enjoying lately:
*Billie Holiday and Jonsi, on repeat.
*a glass of champagne to celebrate new beginnings and blessings of all kinds.
*American Hustle, which surpassed my expectations, given mixed reviews from friends and colleagues.
*New York's most beautiful park just before the rain.
*a concert at Pianos with many friends we haven't seen since high school.
*this book for subway reading, which is also surprising me. i'm not crazy about historical fiction, but Paula McLain has a great voice.
*egg sandwiches almost every day. i'm going through a phase.
*talks about heaven with four-year-olds in our Sunday school class.
*also, days best spent inside.


Something to remember.

When we first got married (back in the day. a.k.a. almost four years ago) the newness swallowed me whole in the best way possible. Growing up seemed a terribly wonderful thing, and I relished every second of it - from the quick grocery trips to pick up the cheapest food we could find to the sweeping of dusty wooden floors.

I swore up and down that I'd always remember what it felt like to water a plant in the window of a home built on love and hard work.


Tulips and trains and things.

I'm ready to admit that this winter was a rough one for us. I hope most of the frustration and overall heaviness was spared from this little piece of the internet, but I know that some of it crept in. The heaviness got the best of me this winter, and I don't like it one bit.

A corner was turned this weekend; I'm certain of it. We are on to better days, more sleep, less illness, some stress relief. Welcome, sweet spring. Be kinder to us.

Weekend things (for posterity, you know):
^^Gus is really getting in the spirit this year.^^
 ^^You should know that we have 24,504 pictures that look exactly like this. Sometimes Gus pines for the Amish farm where he was born. The Amish don't do these ridiculous things.^^
 ^^Speaking of ridiculous things... my dad has his own meat spray. And a wifi-enabled smoker in the backyard.^^
 ^^Tulips. They're the greatest.^^
 ^^A birthday barbecue for grandparents and uncle. We love you guys!^^
 ^^And we stopped at Lenny & Joe's for lunch, as one does. My lunch not pictured. This was aaaall Blake.^^
^^A long walk down to the beach.^^
 ^^And a long walk home from Grand Central.^^


First weekend of spring in Connecticut.

We're in Connecticut this weekend for a bit of a breather. I haven't been out of the city for more than a few hours since Christmas, which is the longest stretch since we moved. We're overdue.

On Thursday, we took the train out with Gus, who is such a trouper. Getting over to Grand Central is no small undertaking for the little guy, but he takes everything in stride (including the bit of stomach trouble he had while walking). He's been on my mind quite a bit lately, as Blake is opening up an office in Connecticut and plans to commute out every day. It'll be a big change, since Blake has worked from home for the last few years with our bulldog acting as sidekick for the last two of those years. I know the adjustment will take some time, but I'm so proud of all of the work Blake has done to get to this point.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! We're off to take in some sunshine.


Dear husband.

Ten years ago when we started talking (on instant messenger, of all places. good grief.), I wanted to talk all the darn time. During the first few months, when I wasn't thinking about practicing for orchestra or how embarrassing our graffiti-ed dance team hats were, I was wondering where you were, what you were doing, and when you were going to kiss me already. I knew that you were my first love, right from the start.

We went through high school with similar infatuation. I began to wonder when I would miss you less in the times we were apart, as I'd been told people do as they get older. We tend to wear our independence as a badge of honor - I crave time learning, exploring and building meaningful relationships outside of "us." It took time to learn appropriate balance. And though we've gotten to a healthy place, I'm afraid the joke is on me; I miss you, still. I'm hardly helpless without you, but every experience seems a little better when you're in it with me. Love is cruel and beautiful in that way, I suppose.

Don't get me wrong - you drive me completely crazy sometimes. You're stubborn and self-confident to a fault. In true every-marriage-book-you've-ever-read form, the things that attracted me to you are also the things that have started half of our disagreements - the other half belong to me. You are not a perfect human. I am not a perfect human. But I sure do enjoy figuring out how to be imperfect humans together.

All this to say, I love you so. More by the day.


It's still cold here, if you were wondering.

I'm all about the long skirts these days - perfect for warmth and comfort, especially on blustery days like the one we had yesterday. We hit the early church service and walked the 30+ blocks home with coffee in tow, which has become routine. Long walks in the city are deeply satisfying; this will always be my preferred method of travel.

We spent the rest of the afternoon reading, catching up on school work and baking a banana cake (bread?) for no reason at all. My final nutrition assignment hit me like a ton of bricks this week, so I'm seeing a lot of statistical analysis in my near future. Linear regression models make my eyes cross. Two more months, two more months!


Friday night ping pong with the hip crowd.

Last night, Blake and I went to a ping pong event at City Lore's new location in the East Village. I found the event on the Time Out New York site earlier in the week and was pretty sure this was right up our alley. Blake is nothing if not a great ping pong player (we like to think of ourselves as connoisseurs of the lesser-appreciated sports, to a small degree. also, basketball. if UConn doesn't win tonight, the mood around here is going to be ugly. his, not mine. also, every English teacher I ever had would be furious if they saw this parenthetical content. but the grammatical freedom is one of the great beauties of having a lifestyle blog, no?)...

Where was I?

Ping pong. We played and listened to a riveting history of the sport before we watched City Lore's founder duel it out with the The New York Times crossword puzzle editor. The entertainment value! My goodness, it was ridiculous and awesome.


On my mind.

I've been thinking about public life and private life quite a bit lately. It's a natural thought progression on the subway, observing the many lives that intersect with yours for just a few minutes - brushing elbows, making brief eye contact, bumping a gym bag with your shoe. I wonder where they're going and how they ended up here. What drew them to the city for a day, a season, a lifetime. I wonder what they see of my public life; I wonder what they see of me at all.

Such a strange and wonderful place to live, this city. And how funny that we find ourselves so important in the matrix of this space, that anyone should wonder at what we're reading on a subway car between 4th and 23rd streets. Personally, I think it may be one of the most beautiful things in the world that I could sit next to a perfect stranger and find that we love some similar thing. Like we aren't even strangers at all.


North Shore meets NYC, and other weekend things.

Our dear friends Heather and Brian came to visit this weekend, and they brought some warm weather with them (despite being from the Boston area). They are our kindred spirits - lovers of adventure, good food, Disney and dogs. When they moved us out of our apartment in Massachusetts, Heather and I sobbed like two friends who would never see each other again. Turns out you can find time for the people who mean something to you, even when separated by long distances. But hey, I'm not one to turn down a nice, cathartic cry.

Other weekend things:
*we took our visitors to Ruby's in the East Village, home to "One of Blake's Favorite Burgers." the list is very official.
*we walked around the Flatiron District, ran into two dead ends for a post-dinner drink and ended up cabbing back to our neighborhood for a drink at the very same place we had Heather's bachelorette party. we are predictable.
*a park run, the dog run and a grocery store run kept us outside on Saturday morning. vitamin D revives the soul, my friends.
*we took another walk through the park on Sunday after brunch.
*every couple of years I get really into House Hunters. the obsession is baaaack. we watch it with such seriousness. real estate is no joke.
*now we're settling in for the evening, listening to church podcasts, reading books and eating cheese.


Recent occupations.

These things have been filling my evenings lately: the most wonderful Jonathan Adler Big Sur candle given by a friend, more than my fair share of clementines, one interesting biography and a pup with an affinity for snuggling.

The perfect way to end long winter days.


Vegetarians of NYC unite.

We went to a vegetarian food festival this past weekend - an activity that is in a universe outside of Blake's comfort zone. He looked slightly terrified the whole time ("what is a vegetarian gyro? also, why?" I'm with him on this one, as the faux meat has never really thrilled me). Bless his heart for knowing what's close to mine and encouraging these things. He's a good one, that Lawrence Blake.

In any case, we were accompanied by dear friends and walked away with our favorite chips and this amazing peanut butter, so I counted it a successful afternoon. Also, my arm looks scary strong in the above photo. My 5 lb. arm weights must be working wonders.


Living small.

About this time each year (and with increasing impact each year), I get the winter fidgets. I start talking about a move to warmer climates, sunnier days, unfamiliar cities with different challenges. Any challenges, so long as they're different.

It's a quality that I so dislike in myself, and a characteristic that I would feel so very lost without - this constant hunger. I can testify that there are two sides to every coin.

The reality is that we're almost three years older than we were when we moved into this space. We've put three years worth of memories into our home, into our city. We brought a dog into this space. We welcomed friends and family members within its walls, swept and tended its floors and wished for more counter space, time and again. We've laughed until we cried, and cried for want of more laughter, too. We've nursed aches and dreams - some that have died and some that remain. We are different people for the life this apartment has held.

All in all, I'm not sure we'll ever want a space larger than the one that carries the few small things most important to us. Living small removes so much of the complexity.

You've been good to us, little home, and we love you for it.


Thoughts from Gus.

Hi friends -

I have been very preoccupied lately. If I study Mom's papers hard enough, I will be able to pass a test to become an astronaut (or something like that. I wasn't really listening.) The problem is that I'm still trying to grow my thumbs out, and my penmanship is pretty lacking. Plus, naps are really the biggest priority these days (or forever. always and forever, naps are the priority.)

I'm not even sure I want to go into space. I caught the trailer for Gravity, so I know what it's all about. That poor Sandra Bullock nearly died several times. And gosh, I love Sandra Bullock.

Wish me luck.

Sniffs and licks,