Priceless.

Priceless is defined as:

So precious that its value cannot be determined.

Used to express great and usually affectionate amusement.

I find many things in my life to be priceless, as many do. I strive to live in the moment, see the fading beauty, appreciate. I think most say that they live this way, but in reality only a small percentage of us really can claim this stake in the ground. This flag on the moon. Witnessing a life lost so young will do that, and I’ll remind you all of this a million times over.

Therefore, a Sunday, spent with my Grandma to talk recipes becomes…you guessed it, PRICELESS.

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Recipes and cooking , to me, are the window to a Sunday afternoon. Not your run of the mill average easy to find recipe, but those shared only by the great pioneers, handwritten, a kitchen captured in time, sealed.  An absolute you and I can NEVER recreate in it’s purity which is why I think I am so drawn to these antiques. An antique far richer than those auctioned with a price tag, these antiques come by way of mouth, and pen, a table, a bite…priceless.

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I am always drawn to an image of a grandmother, her apron, her Sunday, her table…and I am reminded that although the days are long and the years are short nothing is  long enough. Grandmothers cooking in their kitchens hundreds of years ago are gone, but their acts, remain – almost exact. She is I and I am her. We are doing what we do, for our friends, our loved ones, always – our family. Yes,  I am passionate about particular dishes and tastes, flavors, the divine…but I am equally passionate about what united us all to get here.

She is I and I am her.

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So, today, I spent time with my daughter, my mother, my grandmother, eating, talking, browsing, remembering..meals, moments, snapshots on paper…that I fully intend to replicate and carry on. Carry on because these, my friends, are the true antiques. One of the only things I know to be, absolutely, PRICELESS. My daughter is destined for greatness; big, bold, challenging adventures…none of which I doubt. I do, however, INSIST, that she comes back to center, OFTEN, over a meal, a moment, a memory, an absolute of where she comes from. She is I and I am her, hundreds of years over, and we are BOLD, LIVING, LOVING creatures destined to remain united, timeless, and…priceless

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Farewell…

I desperately want to write more but can never manage to make it a priority. Once the kiddos are down and I fall onto the couch I always think – get your ass up. Write.

My husband is chasing my 2 year old around, who by the way has his Thomas rain boots on. Because, you know, it’s probably going to rain in our house at any moment. My daughter is doing her “booty shake” trying to get his attention. This booty shake has got.to.go. At four you really shouldn’t be aware of your booty, much less the attention it gets if you shake it. Wish me luck.

Next door my neighbors are packing up 5 years of living in a house, and we are all sad. It’s another one of those reminders of how quickly life can change. These were the kind of neighbors that you pictured their son taking our daughter to prom, but then secretly hoping they didn’t date because of how close in proximity we were. Not to mention the awkward conversation between Dad’s; one telling his son how to throw game, the other wanting to take his daughter to Montana and live on a 10,000 acre ranch. These were glass of wine, amazing dinners, backyard conversations until 2:00 a.m. kind of neighbors. These were trash out the front of our houses with kiddos cars, bouncy houses, get your grill, bring hot dogs, let’s do this kind of neighbors. Halloween kicked off every year with littles running around in their costumes, adults snacking on Larry’s famous meat breads, Holly making “roadies” for all the adults so we could survive the trick or treat adventure. Those kind of neighbors.

While I wish them well I selfishly I can’t help but HATE the idea that they are gone. Yeah maybe we would go a month or two without really seeing each other and hanging out, but the thought of them next door was always so comforting. Just knowing they were right there, right next door, a 5 second walk away was such a blessing.

But, as with anything in life, things change and change can be good. Not suggesting their moving is a good thing, but I am happy for their new adventures and what waits for them. Boston is an amazing city, and just like they do anywhere, they’ll make great friends and share what we all got to experience for these last few years. Whoever you lucky people are out there – get ready!

As I wind down the evening a little sad I just remind myself to never take things for granted. Time, friendships, opportunities, memories, LIFE. Live it, love it, and embrace it. Be thankful for time spent with good people, appreciate those that are “salt of the earth” and keep the spirit alive.

We will miss you Fleischman family, but we will see you again. I am certain.

But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.  ~Thomas Jefferson

Tangled Truths.

Welcome to my life. One moment work driven, leading, managing, making decisions, driving business. Pausing midway through my day to read an interesting article, topic covers women and how we should stop trying to do everything.

Agreeing with that article, thinking, “Okay. I’m okay – I’m not crazy. Whew, good deal that I can’t keep up with:

This blog.
A consistent Yoga schedule.
Finishing that book.
Getting in that bedtime story every night.
All the mama things I think but don’t do.
Not nag.
That email I need to send.
That phone call I need to make.”

At which point in my day I pause to go relate to other mama’s of the world, catching up with some of my favorite blogs. I settle in, reflecting on life, softening up a bit. Realizing, it’s all going to be okay. I can do this.

I have so many aspirations, as I’m reminded often that life is short, and I want to take full advantage of my one wild and precious life. In the midst of this I tend to be my own worst critic, calling myself out on my shortcomings and all things not accomplished that day/week/month. Assuming that a couple of bad weeks that get in the way of juggling all priorities means permanence. I get frustrated; I give up, I self doubt.

Inevitably it’s at those points in my life that simplicity shows its true colors, and I’m reminded, to chill out. That I can do it. That all of those truths I know I want, I have, and I’m doing. I was feeling this way Friday night, and on into Saturday morning. Through tears and getting ready to take my daughter to ballet I’m screaming at my husband that I’m totally failing as I felt the strain of my work schedule, lots of late nights, client dinners, feeling out of shape, noticing my kiddos seemingly getting along just fine without me…

I get there, drop her off, and my son and I take a stroll – just the two of us – to the bookstore. Alone time with my son, or either of my kiddos for that matter, is rare. This, I realize, is a moment I need to fully wrap myself into.

We spend time playing with the trains, marching around the kiddos section, and it dawns on me that we should go on an adventure to find a book about elephants. Elephants are my son’s FAVORITE thing, hands down. As we “go to find the elephants” he’s aimlessly wandering the bookstore, wide-eyed, absorbing it all and stopping every five feet to pull something off the shelf. With the help of a very sweet employee, we had two elephant books in hand, and we headed to a big comfy chair to dive right in. It was at this moment that I caught my breath again. He’s two, but he read to me. He showed me the different elephant pictures and repeated himself 1034 times. Closing the book, opening the book, pointing to a page, saying “the end.” It was exactly what I needed. Simple.

I do have an ambitious to do list, not going to lie. For me, it’s simply not okay to not get to all of it. I just have to remind myself that getting to all truths all at once requires the sun and the moon to align with the stars and nothing short of miracle to happen. That leaves me with my own constant truth – life is good. Stop, smell the roses, sit on the sideline a bit, it will all be there to get picked back up.

My truth: A new dawn is a new day, and a new day is another try.

Fall back.

It rained a couple of days this last week. Temps dropped into the 60’s at night, 80’s during the day, clock keeps ticking, and guess what? It’s starting to feel like FALL.

Since I was a kiddo this change in season was probably my most favorite. It meant back to school (translates to new clothes and shoes), dove season (I know, I know), football, and the beginning of the most amazing months of the year. Halloween translates to almost Thankgiving, Thanksgiving translates to almost Christmas season and Christmas just means AWESOME.

My whole disposition changes, I dream of things like pumpkin bread, holiday arts & crafts, costumes, cheesy things like “maybe I should make a “fall-like” wreath for the door.” I go in clean out mode, organize the crap out of my house, spend hours browsing through recipes because clearly the fall means getting my cook on. We put JETS jersey’s on every Sunday, hit ballet class every Saturday, and can’t wait to put on The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown….

Ahhhh…………..FALL.

---Soak it up folks, fall back,  make a spiced latte, and hope it takes its time.

Be back soon,

H

Dear Brooklyn,

You turned 4 last Saturday. FOUR. Register for you at all? Does for me like crazy, not sure how I feel about it either. People warn you, and I’ve said it over and over – soak it up. This birthday was different, in a good way, but just different. I suppose I could say that I was able to “watch from the sidelines.” Not that I wasn’t right there with you, but as a four year old, there’s less for me to stand over you and do.

The day started out with chocolate chip muffins, your favorite. From there it was your first day at your new ballet class. I loaded you up, black tutu and pink tights, we set out for your dancing adventure. A little hesitation at first, but as I peered through window I watched you soar. You’re very brave, you know.

After ballet we were on a mission to find your perfect birthday dress. You are a fierce little fashionista, mind made up before I can get a word out. You settled on a leopard dress with black lace down the front, black tights, and a black head band with a bow. No pink frills here – all business with this birthday dress.

Home for lunch and naps, neither of which you really did well, I’m sure that little mind of yours was full of anticipation. You managed to make your way down the stairs without resistance, got ready and kept a close eye on our driveway. Minutes later the crew rolled in, your Uncle Robert & Dani, Uncle Richard & Shevaun, Mimi & Papa, and Miss Tina. Party time!!!

Football was on, champagne was poured, we settled into a great day. Those presents gleamed at you and you did your best, but as soon as that little brother of yours woke up it was ON. You are one special little girl, those gift bags were overflowing!

We made pizza’s for dinner, even Papa followed your lead as head chef. Your Daddy was proud to see that Italian in you shine through.

Cake, birthday wishes, lots of hugs and kisses later I tucked you in. You went right to sleep, peaceful celebration.

I must say that I’m pretty sure I’m the luckiest mama on the planet. You make me so proud, the independence you glow, the spirit you have. We do this little thing, you and I, we wink and give thumbs up to each other as if to say “I see you, you see me – life is good.” And it is, it’s soooo good.

I always say that you and your brother are the best things I’ve done with myself. I stick by it. Being your mama is the best thing EVER.

Standing at the sidelines this year for your birthday was absolutely bittersweet. You are no longer a baby, you can do a lot on your own. Your sassy, smart, caring, and warm. You give an energy that we all revel in, and as I stood there in observation I felt nothing short of grateful.

Happy birthday sweet pea, moon and back.

Taking time.

It takes time to develop things – relationships, careers, BABIES, life is an evolution, as is this blog. I have such high hopes to air the thoughts in my head, capture on paper, create a memory I intend to go back and read. But I suppose in my ability to try to take time to blog, which I have failed,  I have been taking time to enjoy other things. Like,

Beautiful faces.

Christmas trees.

Friends.

Moments.

Family.

My new house, my every day struggles to cook healthy, delicious food for my family. My time is more precious than ever and in the attempt to do it all I still find a way to feel like I’m not taking enough time. As I closed out 2010 I took time to just sit, in my house, with my husband, champagne in hand – and celebrated. As I welcomed in 2011 I did the same thing – spent the morning snuggling with my babies and took the afternoon for lunch and drinks with some great friends. Taking time is what I will do this year.

My resolution.

(**Note that all other resolutions I never can keep up with still apply – workout more, read more, blog more, make photobooks**) 🙂

Happy New Year friends, may it be your best.

Holidays

Brooklyn saw Santa on Sunday, she said “TRICK OR TREAT.” God bless her, the holidays at 2 years old just all run together. As expected, both my kids were just a little confused by the whole Santa ordeal.

I bought Elf on a Shelf. Genius concept and totally working.

I’m the new puree queen. Sneaking veggie purees in almost every meal, got you B! Thank you Double Delicious for the amazing recipes that are so tasty.

We’ve watched almost all of my favorite Xmas movies already – Christmas Vacation, Love Actually, Miracle on 34th, you get it. Those paired with champagne are the ideal way to kick off the season.

Thanksgiving was at our new house this year. Hosted 15 people and pulled it off – got my Martha Stewart on and managed to not make anyone sick. Score!

Ty is huge. He’s 6 months old Wednesday, for the 90000th time, I can’t believe how fast this is going.

Christmas decorations are up, my house feels so warm and cozy, except when Brooklyn took a bite out of a GLASS ornament. It was an icicle she claimed look like a carrot. At least she was going after a veggie.

Happy hours, holiday parties, booked weekends from here until the New Year. I love the holiday season and can’t wait to celebrate with my babies, family, and friends.

So much to be thankful for.

Transitions.

To stay consistent with several of my last posts, as few and far between as they may be, I need to talk about a very important transition. Changes. A transition that I think subconsciously I was putting off simply to slow down time…

My littlest G is sleeping in his own bed, upstairs, in his own room.

My husband and I have never had our kids sleep in our actual bed, but next to it in a bassinet. It’s so much easier those first few months to just reach your arm out, find the paci, feel them breath, get up to feed them when you’re a foot away. Listening to a newborn baby breath in the still of the night warms my soul.

Two weeks old.
Blink.

Five months old now, ready to move more, stretch out, kick, be on.his.own.

So last week we did it. We took him upstairs to his room, laid him down in the crib, he was asleep in less than 5 minutes. My sweet little baby boy, all grown up already, I stayed there for a few minutes just soaking it all in, letting go, transitioning.