Baby girls.

Over the weekend, I celebrated my college roommate's baby girl, due just a couple of months before our own. Rachel told me she was expecting a couple of days after I saw two pink lines appear on a pregnancy test, and being able to share in each other's joy (and send each other "is this something you're dealing with, too?" text messages) has been a huge blessing.

Can't wait to meet you, little Selah. By the time you're able to read this, you'll already know that your mama is the salt of the earth.


Another farewell brunch.

We have gotten very good at this - the wish-you-wells for dear friends headed on to new adventures, new cities, new dreams. I had put so much thought into the challenges of marriage, motherhood, career; into the big milestones of life that were carefully preempted and prepped for. These are the breath-takers I had overlooked: the text from a friend facing loss, a once-familiar place no longer familiar, the air hanging after a goodbye hug.

Always, always, such good fortune to have friends worth missing.


A rooftop, on Saturday.

I had work in the city on Thursday and Friday last week, so I stayed into Saturday and we made a day of it. First, a morning run for me (and my running days in this pregnancy are numbered). Then, a cup of coffee at the corner spot - just me and my girl and a crisp new book, waiting on our boys.

We made a walk across town and said "hello" to every pigeon along the way. We ate pancakes and eggs at one of our old neighborhood favorites (El Centro) and took note of how the landscape has changed in just the three years since we left this part of town: more strollers, new buildings. We took to Rockefeller Center and rode the elevator to the top; it's something we haven't done in years, but seemed just the thing for our skyscraper-loving toddler on a sunny January day.


Long weekend.

A short thaw after weeks of frigid temperatures, but long enough for morning runs through the fog. The makings of breakfast on the stove, in the oven, and a trip to see the dinosaurs in New Haven. Brunch with two of the dearest friends - treks made from New Jersey and Massachusetts for just an afternoon. A morning with cousins at the bounce center, eating frozen yogurt. And baby girl kicks at the start and end of every day, hard enough now for ripples to be felt by hands on the outside.

These are the things I take stock of, naming one by one.


From New York, January.

From the early alarms set for trains, for cycling classes with a belly too big now for cycling. A mental bookmark on every avenue from past lives: where we spent one snowy Saturday afternoon playing billiards, the CVS that took those horrible passport photos, my regular spot for a slice of pizza when we were too poor (poor and happy!) for anything else.

And from where I converse silently, now, with a papaya-sized babe: "We can do difficult things," I say. And, "here is the kindness of strangers." Also, "this is a place I can't wait for you to see with your own eyes."


The start of the year.

From the start of the year, in which we started nesting, updated our boy's room, saw much snowfall, entertained family. A time for taking stock and renewing commitments, staying in and making plans for adventure.


Polar Express.

Last weekend (just before our house got hit with the plague), we took Hugo to the Essex Steam Train for the Polar Express. It may have been the best $100 we've ever spent. We ate cookies and drank hot chocolate and danced to "I Like to Move It", and Hugo has never been happier - don't let the face in the first photo fool you.


Baby Girl: 20 Weeks.

our girl,

one day, I will tell you about the afternoon I got a phone call from the doctor's office, confirming that you are healthy. and a daughter. I smiled all evening - in my sleep, I think - not for love of unwasted braiding skills (though that's nice, too), but for love of the knowledge of you.

just a week ago, your dad and I sat in a dark room and watched you dance across a sonogram screen, your still-thin legs propelling somersaults and jabs to my abdomen. I cried when I heard your heartbeat for the first time. I laughed when I saw the already-vibrant life it's giving you. how do we do justice to the naming of that life story?

you have the whole world ahead of you, dear girl, and it will give you roses and lemons. I will marvel at what you do with them.

your mama