January weekend.

One of routines - dinners at home, baths for the baby, runs, phone calls, church and bedtime songs from the both of us.

Two glasses of Merlot on the side table, an old comedy we've seen many times to take our minds off of more serious things. Things we'll talk about in the morning.

A long afternoon walk to dream of houses we'd like to own someday - a someday that came a bit faster than either of us had hoped or anticipated. We'll be looking more seriously come May, and we've settled into the idea, even gotten quite excited about it.

A drive up to Hartford to see Mike Birbiglia for the second time. We sat so close to the stage, it was nearly uncomfortable (the result of arriving rather early), but loved his balance of humor and depth.

And all of the in-betweens, in pursuit of new ways to love our neighbors, near and far. What a mess we all are, and how lucky that we have each other.



 ^^Gus continues to be the best snuggler and all-around best dog on the planet.^^
 ^^Hugo has been getting so big and so eager to try new things on his own (we hear "no" a lot...)^^
 ^^we had dim sum with friends at China Blue one weekend - one friend (hi, V!) couldn't make it because she went into labor. best excuse ever.^^
 ^^I've been running new routes through Central Park and eating up those quiet hours.^^
 ^^I had a meeting at One World Trade, where the views are show-stoppers.^^
 ^^as is the cooking from Bon Appetit's executive chef. we had lunch and snacks in their Test Kitchen, and their sweet potato noodles were incredible.^^
 ^^one more from the Book Barn last weekend.^^
 ^^and one from an early breakfast at the Marketplace, because this face.^^
 ^^since we're there so often, we've become rather close to some of the Marketplace staff. one of them gave Hugo a blue balloon and he lost his mind over it.^^
 ^^spotted: trying to break into my computer one night.^^
^^and one from a walk through the West Village the other morning after a Cyc class with an old friend. no better way to start a day.^^


Babies at the beach.

From a Saturday at the beach with my sister and her family, a hike up the hill to a castle overlooking the ocean, a stop by the Book Barn for hand-me-down reads, a sandwich with homemade potato chips to top things off. 


Last weekend, in the city.

a walk through the park. taco brunch. some Christmas decorations, hanging on. one large coffee for the both of us. knit hats, black gloves. January in the city - still one of the most beautiful things to behold. 

Over the last few days, I've spent a lot of time cheering voices that feel as I do about the decisions our country has made, and protesting in the ways that address my own convictions. I've also spent a lot of time listening to the voices unlike my own - those who rage for other reasons, other experiences that have not been mine. I love so many on both sides of the aisle. My heart has broken for too many reasons to get into at length.

But here is where I stand. This is my voice, small as it is. I believe in human dignity, the goodness of people, even in - especially in - great darkness. I believe in loving our neighbors. Doing what we can, as individuals and as groups, to heal the broken. Developing actionable policies that show respect for our brothers and sisters, for the world we live in. The free press and the victory of truth. Moving forward in hope, not fear. A powerful God who is bigger than all of this, but in it, too.

On this I stake my life - that if I live in the name of Christ, my pursuit is one of justice and mercy. And if required to choose one before the other, my God has shown himself to favor the latter. This is the path I will follow.


Dear husband.

The other day I caught myself thinking about standards for love, for relationships, for the soulmates we tie ourselves to - or for the mates our souls tie themselves to, slowly and without us realizing. You and I, we've been together for more than a decade now. Nearly thirteen years of ups and downs, wrestling with our dreams and hopes and the complexities of marriage, in all of its challenge and beauty.

I've come to see that what we call love is not in the words we shared on our wedding day. It is the closeness of feet in the bed after a night of heated discussion. The knowing glance. The mornings of burnt toast and disheveled hair and ever-growing to-do list - and a dance in the kitchen, anyway. It is when I haven't liked you, but fought for you, still. 

I haven't yet decided what came first - my standards, or the high bar you've set for them.

What am I trying to say?

My heart is yours, by choice and by association. For who you are and who you've become and for all the days of choosing each other, putting words into action. 


First movie in the theater.

Here are a few blurry photos to commemorate the Saturday night in January when we brought our 20-month-old to the movie theater in a snowstorm. I was fairly confident that this was a dumb idea, considering how few movies Hugo is really interested in these days.

But we were pleasantly surprised! I give credit to the number of songs in the movie (Moana) and a handful of M&Ms. Blake and I are already saying it's one of those experiences we'll probably remember forever - our little boy folded into the seat, two binkies in hand, bopping his head to the music.


The Front Page.

Last night, Blake and I came into the city to see The Front Page. My grandparents were kind enough to gift us their tickets when they weren't able to make it (feel better, Grandaddy!). An evening with John Slattery and Nathan Lane, a long morning run and a leisurely brunch - the start to a much-needed long weekend in January.


Thankful for.

 ^^a husband, away on business. a pup, loyal to a fault.^^
 ^^a baby boy in a panda hat, thinking he's Mickey Mouse.^^
 ^^fresh snow, long runs.^^
 ^^big smiles, in spite of a nasty bug.^^
 ^^Christmas lights, still going strong.^^
 ^^sunset from office windows.^^
^^and witnessing a budding friendship.^^


500 Miles for She's the First.

We've put together a few resolutions for the coming year - efforts to find more opportunities to love each other, to love our neighbors, to love those across the world, however we can. 

As part of this, I'm running 500+ miles over the course of the year to raise money for She's the First. It's an organization I've been passionate about and involved with for a few years now. One that works hard to offset education costs in low-income countries so that young women can become first-generation graduates and the next generation of global leaders. When we empower women, we pave the way for more goodness, for sustainable growth, for change. 

You can get involved, too! And to those who have already invested in this effort, THANK YOU. The original goal has already been met - we continue to aim high :) 


Holiday week.

*eight extended family gatherings.
*three of Hugo's naps spent on my belly.
*one trip to the children's museum with Hugo's cousins.
*four meals with dear friends - some local, some traveling distances.
*one drive through the Fantasy of Lights in New Haven. 
*two different sicknesses - one for Hugo, one for Blake.
*twenty miles run (including our town's Frosty 5K).
*three batches of cookies made.
*five rooms completely cleaned and reorganized.
*four mornings of sleeping in, sipping coffee slowly, getting lost in books.