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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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.

Capturing.

I’ve been wanting to write a blog post FOREVER. I’ve been wanting to read blog posts FOREVER. I simply just have not done it. I REALLY want to get back on the bandwagon of posting regularly because I feel like I have so much to share with all 29 of you! This might go down in history as maybe one of the longest blog posts ever so pour a cup of coffee and get comfortable.

I’ve been home since the Friday before Ty was born. He was born on Wednesday, June 16th, and I literally thought I would write daily about the adventures of having two babies, summertime, birthday celebrations, graduations and trips. It’s September 14th and all of those things have happened, memories in mind and not on paper. I have to go back to work on the 27th and I simply can’t believe it. To many it may feel like I’ve been on “vacation” (as the young, ignorant boys call it) but to me I literally feel like we just got home with him. He’s growing like crazy, and has changed so much in the short 13 weeks he’s been here. He smiles and giggles almost every time you look at him. He sleeps from about 8:00 p.m. until 4:00/5:00 a.m., and gives us no fight when going to bed.

I keep waiting for that to change because it’s a little too blissful. He’s the littlest G and we are so grateful. Thinking about handing him over to someone else for 40+ hours a week makes me cringe.

Moving on from that topic now to avoid one of those start crying feel sorry for myself sessions. The summer was so much fun for us. BBQ’s with friends, my birthday (DIRTY THIRTY!!!), a trip up to NYC to see family and spend a few days in the city. Our kiddos did great with all of the travel, we spent some time on Long Beach, Brooklyn, then in Manhattan. They rode on airplanes, taxis, cars, subways and were our little traveling soldiers. The oldest of the two had a MAJOR MELTDOWN in Central Park, worst in the history of her life, but that wasn’t anything a few cold beers didn’t fix for Dom and I when we got back to the hotel. She crashed for about 3 1/2 hours that day so clearly we over did it.

On the beach in Long Island
Brooklyn brownstone Dom grew up in
At FAO Schwartz
Both kids passed out in Central Park….heaven.
Ty hanging with Daddy walking the streets

My birthday party was a huge success. To me, at least. Boat on the lake. Kid free for two days. A ridiculous amount of BOOZE. Best friends. Hot sun. Good music. Awesome memories. The hubs worked his ass off to make it all happen, I am a lucky girl to have that man. He makes sure I always know I’m loved.

More important than my birthday was my baby girls 2nd birthday! We had cake at her school, balloons, dinner with our family and a never ending pile of presents for her to rip into. She pretty much has a full vocabulary at this point, does most things ‘ALL BY MYSELF MOMMY!!!!”, is an amazing big sister, and
literally changes every day. I look at her now and know that time won’t stop, it speeds up. I love that girl more than life. 

It’s the changing of seasons I suppose, although to me with this never ending heat wave it still feels like we should all be poolside. But, football games in the background are becoming an all too familiar sound. School has started for everyone, you can just feel the winds of change. Bittersweet for me as it means I’m about to close my final chapter of pregnancies, babies, and mommy time home. For now. Never know what the future holds right? And no, that doesn’t mean more babies.

I am going to try, try hard, to blog more. My world around is so fast moving these days that I feel like if I don’t force myself to capture some of this on paper I’ll forget it all.

We’re back………………..

Sadly. 😦 We got back on Monday night after a WONDERFUL trip. I loved everything about Cabo and absolutely recommend that you all add it to your ‘places to go’ lists.

The weather was gorgeous, the view was simply breathtaking, service impeccable, and the kids club services they offered worked out great. Brooklyn got a few hours in the sun every day with mommy & daddy, and then a few hours in the kids clubs doing activities, playing with other kiddos, etc…while the hubs and I just relaxed in a comfy chair by the pool. We each got massages, I got a pedicure, enjoyed live music, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and each other.

Brooklyn warmed up to the staff there immediately and suddenly our 18 month old was bilingual. ‘HOLA, HOLA, HOLA, HOLA…’ we must have heard that 100 times from her. She did great on the ‘airpanes’ too, a few breakdowns in the customs lines but as I see it she’s only expressing herself as we would if we could. Can someone tell me again why the customs lines always seems to have 100 booths, but 10 open? Ay ay ay.

We’ve managed to hop right back into our daily routines, work, bills, and all that comes with but mentally I check out and go back to this heavenly place:

Ahhhhh…..CABO. We shall meet again.

CABO!!!!

Ahem, excuse me – I haven’t had time to update my blog since last Wednesday. If you’re wondering why it’s because I’ve been busy getting us ready for our trip to

CABO!!!

I can’t say it without the 3 or 4 annoying exclamation marks. Mama is jonesing to get on a plane and head to a beach. I might be growing a human in my belly but that doesn’t make it impossible to relax on a beach chair, under a palm tree, in 82 degree weather. Nah, I’m pretty sure I can handle it. We’re taking Brooklyn with us too – this will be her 2nd time to leave the country and get that passport stamped.

Please do me a favor and tomorrow around 7:35 a.m. CST send good baby flying thoughts my way. An 18 month old is not interested in sitting in one spot for several hours so I’m going to need baby Jesus on my side getting us through this. I’ve got an entire bag packed with plane activities, I’m sure NONE of them will be interesting enough to occupy her but I’m going to try. To the grumpy old man, stuck up yuppie, better than me business woman sitting around us – you can go ahead and suck it – I’ll be doing the best I can.

Who cares about them anyway, let’s get back to the whole point here. CABO. Beach, sand, sun, all expenses paid, alcohol…….. wink, wink. Just playing folks, only the hubs will be sipping on the fun fruity rum drinks. I’ve got Brooklyn all ready to go, girls got three bathing suits – 2 two pieces and a one piece. She seems to want to pull the top off of her two pieces though so we may not use those as much as we had planned. I’ve got about 17 years to fix that problem. She’s got 4 pairs of shoes, dresses, adorable beach outfits, new pj’s, I’m sure she’ll wear about half of it but I’ve had fun getting her ready. She’s got a little wagon full of beach toys we packed in our suitcase, she knows she’s going on an “airpane” to go see the ‘beadch.’

I fully intend to post pictures on Facebook as I’m there for my friends and family to see, just to rub it in a little bit. If anyone needs a refresher on what the beach looks like, I’ll leave you with this:

See you next Tuesday – ADIOS AMIGOS. 🙂

Let’s go fly a kite…

Any Mary Poppin’s fans out there? Cause if you are, you’ll remember this song:

Let’s go fly a kite
Up to the highest height!
Let’s go fly a kite and send it soaring
Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Oh, let’s go fly a kite!

Classic movie, one of my favorites. When I was little I would draw chalk paintings on the sidewalk and pretend to ‘jump’ in them as they did, oh to be young with an imagination again!

Austin is a kick ass city, in case you haven’t heard. Part of being a kick ass city is that you have things like, Kite Festivals. No rhyme or reason to the event, just a beautiful day, beautiful park, view of downtown, and 100’s of kites. We took Brooklyn out there for a couple of hours and she had a blast – minus the part where a kite took a nose dive, and literally hit her nose. (Kimberly – you were right!).
Days like Sunday are my most favorite of days, relaxing with my family, people watching, enjoying the SUN…

…”oh, let’s go fly a kite!”

Second.

I was the only child for 8 years in my family. Then – THEY CAME ALONG. One right after the other, 18 months apart.

I love them. They are my siblings, my brothers, my friends. What will it be like for her when he gets here? We joke about how she’ll drag him around by the hair, boss him into playing with her babies, blocks, books…eat his food, take his drink, steal his trucks. We laugh at her innocent manipulation, knowing all too well that even at a year and half old there is full intention behind her actions.

I’m 25 weeks this Saturday. I simply cannot believe that. Life is going by so fast right now it’s everything I have to hang on to the days and cherish the moments. I haven’t stopped to read anyones blog this week, work has just been way TOO busy. I hope to get caught up eventually as I turn to blogs like I do a good book or bad reality TV show – a place to escape for a few minutes.

I am making a mental effort as I approach my third trimester to soak this pregnancy up, to truly embrace it like my mother constantly reminds me to do. He deserves that from me, undivided focus on the one thing only he and I can share before he meets this big, bright new world, his da-da, and his big sister.

He’s my second, my son, and I can’t wait to meet him.

15 more weeks little man.

All about B.

Even though this was technically Brooklyn’s 2nd Christmas, it was a first for us on many levels. Given that she was just about 3 1/2 months old last year we really didn’t do much in the way of gifts, etc…This year, however, it was all about B.

She looks deceptively innocent in her Christmas dress. Please, don’t let her fool you. Here is a special project she worked on during the Christmas break. It was called Operation destroy the kitchen.

Having a little one allows you to watch all the cheesy cartoons (although we did when she wasn’t here too), decorate more, make christmas cookies, put up more lights, go look at lights, buy more gifts, and just love on the idea that her little imagination is about to embark on years to come of Santa and the North Pole, reindeer landing on the roof, her daddy reading Twas the Night before Christmas, and me, teaching her lines from classics, like Christmas vacation.

We spent Christmas Eve at my mom & dad’s house, as I have every December 24th of my entire life. I don’t know if next year we can swing that having her and a little baby in tow but whether it be at their house or ours I’m sure we’ll spend it together.

We opened gifts.
We played in new castles.
We read new books.
We made breakfast with Grandpa:
We had a wonderful Christmas.

Warm Whispers…

Awhile ago I posted about a supposed ‘FORK’ in the road of my life. Decisions were to be made about whether or not we would try for a second baby. Collectively we could come up with so many reasons NOT to, and so many reasons why we absolutely should.

Months passed, and I could never close the door. Even when we both agreed that we were blessed with one beautiful child and that was enough I wasn’t completely at peace. My husband knew all along, he just said he wanted to wait for me to come around at my own time. He knows me a little too well.

We decided to try again, giving ourselves through Christmas. If nothing happened by then we knew that that was our sign, and I convinced myself I’d be okay with that.

We’re pregnant.

Again!!!

I’m actually about 14 1/2 weeks along but have been keeping things between family and friends until I hit the 12 week mark and told my boss. Both of equal importance!

This time around is so different. I still have been barfing a bit, but not near as much as with Brooklyn. I haven’t gained any weight, in fact, I’ve lost 5 lbs. I did do that with her too so I’m not worried about it, and trust me, I am eating. I think that because I’ve been there done that I am not nearly as fixated on EVERY LITTLE DETAIL or already experiencing the anxiety of having to BIRTH a child. That thought absolutley terrified me. It, physically, didn’t make sense to me. Watermelon. Lemon. TERROR. My husband is blissfully happy with this 2nd pregnancy as I’m not near as much of a crazy bitch, not yet at least, and I’m not screaming at him that WE HAVE TO READ PAGE 32 in the pregnancy bible book because OMG WE’RE 14 WEEKS AND YOU DIDN’T EVEN KNOW!!! (break down sob fest). See, the first pregnancy was definitely different.

In fact, I have to remind myself I’m pregnant most days. Chasing a 15 month old around is basically like owning exercise equipment and on top of that I keep my normal pace I always have. I get in trouble and my husband literally forces me to sit down and rest. My body feels it though, and this little baby sends me subtle reminds he/she is there. Warm Whispers to take care of him/her, slow down, stay healthy, rest, and GET READY.

We are so blessed this Christmas to be surrounded by our amazing family and friends, and to know that another little life is soon on the way. I am very thankful…

Merry Christmas! Happy Festivus! Hannukkah! Whatever it is you celebrate, CHEERS.