From a Thursday.

a warm summer night. new friends and time-tested ones. train delays and cab rides. Greek food and goodbyes - no, see-you-laters. 


Beach by night.

After a bit of a rough week around here, we took to the beach on Friday night. We filled an hour with dinner, stick-collecting and the playground before the rains came in, and we stopped by the ice cream store on the way home.

What good fortune that the sea finds its home where we've found ours, that we have light until bedtime, that I have a boy who calls me "mommy".


House Update #1.

Disclaimer: We are only doing a fraction of this work with our own bare hands. We are not Chip and Joanna Gaines, partially because we don't have time to be and partially because I'm not sure waterfall-making when you're 12 and one-time chair re-upholstery (our DIY experience) necessarily qualifies anyone to basically gut an entire house. We have a great team behind this, and about a month and a half from here on out to get it all done. NBD. 

As of early this week, here's where we stand. I know what you're going to say - "It's perfect the way it is! Don't do anything more to it!" ;)
 ^^let me start with what we DID do. Blake and my dad tore out these shrubs and took down broken shutters last weekend. we'll be installing new siding, windows, trim and doors. eventually, I want to put a fence in the backyard and take down the massive tree in the front, but that's probably a spring 2018 project...^^
 ^^this is the master, and we're not doing much to it, aside from painting and putting in new doors, which we're doing throughout the place.^^
 ^^Hugo's room - new paint, new door.^^
 ^^my office - new paint, new door.^^
 ^^this is the living room, kitchen, dining room and bathroom, taking "open floor plan" to a whole new level! how fun! not really. the wall between the kitchen and bathroom needed to be taken down (mold problems), but we're putting that back up this week. the dividing wall between living and kitchen was also torn down (it will stay that way :)) and a beam was put in the attic for support. we have new floors and a whole new kitchen going in.^^ 
 ^^we're running new flooring down the hall, too.^^
^^and in the bathroom, you can almost see down into the basement (which we plan to finish at some point in the near future).^^
^^last one of the living room, and the fireplace that we'll paint white; we'll also replace the mantle with an unfinished wood.^^

More to come...


From our weekend.

 ^^a trip to the hardware store. packing up our old home, preparing another.^^
 ^^a day off on Friday. a trip to the beach.^^
 ^^Hugo's second movie in the theater - Cars 3 (I'm officially a sap of a mom, because I totally cried).^^
 ^^trains, always.^^
 ^^a celebration of the men who have loved us well, of Blake, and the sacrifices he's made for our family.^^
^^and my 28th birthday - full of the simplest of things, surrounded by celebrations and well-wishes of all of the people I hold dearest.^^


7 years.

This past week, we celebrated 7 years of marriage. 6 years of dating before that. 1 baby boy, 1 bulldog. a trip to Mexico, France, Italy, St. Thomas, the mountains and the coastline and the deserts of the southwest. a home in the city, by the beach, in a small town. early jobs, just finding our footing, and others that we've settled into and stayed. lots of weddings, babies, lives celebrated along the way. some grieving, too, in our own ways and together. hundreds of phone calls we've made, nights we've sung to our boy, dances we've had in the kitchen. thousands of walks we've taken, meals we've cooked, moments I've given thanks for the feel of your hand in mine. for a name I recognize - a name I love - on a delivery of pink roses.

Happy anniversary, Blake Walker.


Sheep Meadow.

From a Saturday in Central Park with friends: babies passed around, sunshine in abundance, snacks and conversation and chasing down toddlers. Even more, we followed it up with sandwiches from Parm, making it an afternoon for the books.



 ^^Hugo has been "reading".^^
 ^^Gus struggles to nap anywhere he can, per usual.^^
 ^^I've been seeing a lot of this beautiful place, having dinner with friends, working late.^^
 ^^Hugo and Gus have been spending a lot of time out in the backyard.^^
 ^^and Gus continues to be the cutest dog of all time.^^
 ^^we celebrated a cousin's twins on the way!^^
 ^^Hugo grew brave enough to ride his own carousel animal.^^
 ^^we're spending a lot of time in the kinds of stores that I used to dread going to as a child...^^
 ^^and Blake and I had a late night date after both of us had some work in the city.^^
 ^^we went to the zoo with family to celebrate a birthday.^^
 ^^I've picked up an afternoon coffee habit, which I'm trying to break.^^
 ^^Hugo has been joining me for runs, and loving it.^^
 ^^we joined a small group in New Haven a few months ago, which has 7 other boys Hugo's age. he still prefers popcorn and reading about helicopters to playing with the other kids.^^
 ^^Gus has been my constant companion.^^
 ^^I went to a baby shower where we had this beautiful cake.^^
 ^^and one more from when we were leaving for France (clearly not the return trip).^^
 ^^we've welcomed summer with open arms.^^
 ^^spent some time with Uncle Chris when he was in town.^^
 ^^Hugo learned how to pull his wagon himself - there's no other way for us to travel now.^^
 ^^and I've been coming up to my office's rooftop deck at the start of days in the city.^^
 ^^we (or rather, a construction team) have started work on our house!^^
^^and Hugo is still my baby.^^


From a June wedding.

In which the bride and groom showed up to the reception in Gatsby-style (give or take a couple of decades), my guy wore a black bow tie, and I ate more mini lobster rolls than I care to admit.

Our early days as interns never would have had me guessing that Claudine and I would have come to lean on each other the way we did (my fault. I'm told I was a tiny bit intense? doesn't sound like me...), but I'm so thankful for the way the years have formed our friendship. CC has been my listening ear, my pep talk and the sharer of New York joys for six years now. We were so thrilled to share this day with her and Eugenio.

Lots of love to you, Labadies!