Monday, June 10, 2019

Yesterday was a hard day for me. Bad days are the worst. In case you need some cheering up, too, here are my neighbor's flowers and a reminder that you've got this. I have a friend who always says "You're so much stronger than you think you are," and though it's hard to believe, I know it's true <3

A Weekend in Atlanta!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

While I didn't make any new year's resolutions this year — a first — Brian did — also a first. And, because I am who I am, I've thrown myself entirely into his list and making sure he ticks every item off ;) One of things on the list was to visit our friend Lily in Atlanta, which we checked off last weekend.

We'd both been to Atlanta before but never together. I was worried our 48 hours there wouldn't be enough, and I do wish we had more time, but we packed a lot into two short days...

We had the best breakfast at Buttermilk Kitchen, I don't think those biscuits will ever be topped. I wanted to try chicken and waffles while there, but I'm not typically a big fan. This biscuit was so good, I decided it checked my Southern box for the weekend.

It was so, so hot all weekend, but we didn't want to give up any exploring time. We walked the Beltline for a few hours, walking through beautiful neighborhoods and stopping in stores for some much needed air conditioning. By the time we called it quits, we needed these acai bowls.

We all agreed that the highlight of the weekend was Antico Pizza. Wow, wow, wow. Brian had gone with Lily last time he was in Atlanta, and he swore we had to go (and go multiple times). The ingredients are flown in from Naples (as is the gelato, which was some of the best I've ever had), and none of it disappointed.

We tried to end the night with duck bowling at The Painted Duck, but the wait was long and our bodies too tired. So we played shuffleboard until the pregnant lady begged we go home and sleep :)

The next morning we had brunch at Tiny Lou's, which had the best cinnamon rolls, bathroom and rooftop. Brian's really big on speaking and singing directly to the baby these days, in private and not, and I'm glad Lily captured this. Your mama's not the only weirdo, baby.

We spent the rest of our day walking around Piedmont Park and eating ice cream before our flight. I was trying to get a good view of the skyline all weekend, and it doesn't get better than from the park.

It was such a fun weekend (we also watched this documentary, which B and I are now obsessed with — he bought climbing shoes and a bouldering pass last weekend, and ate here — excellent chocolate chia pudding), and I'm glad we squeezed it in. Our baby-free weekends are starting to feel limited and we've packed them to the brim, but every memory we're making is so sweet and hopefully prepping our little moosh to be a good traveler <3

A Baby Registry Feels Really Overwhelming...

Monday, May 27, 2019

... so we're procrastinating it. Brian — who's not a fan of my bike riding these days — succumbed to my pleas and biked to REI and Pottery Barn with me today. Then he looked at the forecast and suggested we go home and drop off our bikes before meeting up with a friend for lunch, but I said "what's a little rain?" It turned out to be such a terrible storm. But these smiles weren't washed away! Because it was still a lot more fun than getting overwhelmed by monitors and bottles and gliders and ugh. We're very excited to meet you, Baby Hayes, but you might have to be swaddled in our winter coats. 

Our Trip to Arizona!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Before we knew I was pregnant, Brian and I planned a trip to Phoenix to celebrate the end of what was sure to be another grueling tax season for him. We bought the tickets two days after we found out, and we truly looked forward to the trip every day following. During ridiculously cold winter days (during which our pipes burst, our furnace stopped working and we froze on train platforms for weeks on end) and the overwhelming emotions that came with finding out our big news, we looked forward to the end of April, when our babe would be more of a babe, and B would be home for more than eight hours a day. And maybe it's because we went into it knowing this might be our last trip as a family of two, but it was as blissful as we had hoped and imagined. We've been home for a week (and it has rained almost every. single. day), and I'm ready for those red rocks and that blistering heat again. 

Typically Airbnb enthusiasts, we opted to stay at a resort this time to make the trip as relaxing as possible. We stayed at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, which is where I stayed with my family four years ago. We'll be back on our Airbnb tour next time we travel, I'm sure, but I always forget just how amazing hotels are. Fresh towels! Pools! Room service! Your bed made! By someone else! Breakfast! Lunch! Dinner! Sure, you pay for all of that, but I get it.

B and I met in Arizona because I was in Seattle for work until the trip, and I was so giddy to see him and get the trip started, I was up with the sun on our first day. I'm sure he wasn't thrilled, but we had the lazy river to ourselves and a quiet, slow breakfast, so no regrets. Also, despite the most exquisite breakfast menu, Brian opted for three types of cereal in one bowl and a sprinkle donut each morning. Sigh. 

My parents recommended we make a reservation at Cafe Monarch for dinner, and I'm so glad we did. We've made it a tradition to treat ourselves to a lavish, fancy meal each trip, and this one topped the charts. We had five slow, beautiful, delicious courses, each better than the next, with service better than we've ever experienced. It was one of the most special nights, and I'd go back in a heartbeat. 

Also, I love that Brian's shirt has numbers on it. It's as if J.Crew designed it specifically for him, ha! 

Brian surprised me with a Mustang convertible at the airport, which wasn't entirely (or mostly or at all) for me, but it made the trip so fun. It was almost 100 degrees all three days, so it was very welcomed, sunburn and all. 

We spent our second day hiking around Sedona (Fay Canyon, Soldier Pass and Little Horse), and while we did all moderate or easy hikes (I've always been a scaredy cat when it comes to heights and hiking downhill, but now even more so), we were both wiped by the end of the day. We also went to Montezuma Castle on our way, essentially a 20-room high-rise apartment nestled into a towering limestone cliff from years 1100-1425, which was so wild to see. 

There's no better meal than a post-hike meal, and Tortas de Fuego did not disappoint. At all. I'm not sure we said two words together as inhaled our meals. We decided to hike again after, and by the end of the day, we were absolutely exhausted. We wanted to stop for burgers on the way home but didn't even have the energy for a drive-thru :)

On our last day we walked around Papago Park and Old Town Scottsdale, scheming how to keep the Mustang and make vacation last forever. I know our lives are only going to get better, and we'll look back on these days feeling as though something was missing, but these days have been and are so special to me. I've loved this stage of our lives so much. The past nine years have been the best of my life, and there's no one I'd rather take the next step with. I'm so excited for the next step, but this space has also been oh so good to me <3 

Bits and Pieces

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Hello from (finally!!!) sunny Chicago! It's a Sunday evening, and I wish I could sit in this space for as long as possible. Half Sunday scaries, intimidated about the week ahead, other part also Sunday scaries, just not wanting this relaxing weekend to end. Last week (a short week as we were on vacation in Arizona still on Monday, mind you) was rough. Chasing a long list of work deadlines that crept up on me, with a number of other commitments I couldn't move around, I was running on empty. On Wednesday night I broke down to poor Brian. It's likely hormones, but looking through our calendar for every week for the near future, I was overwhelmed with everything going on and everything we have to figure out before our babe arrives. But, as he always reminds me, it's all good things — seeing people we love, prepping for our biggest undertaking together yet, going to jobs we enjoy — and for that I am very grateful.

This weekend was a great reset. We spent as much time outdoors as we could, I went to brunch with friends here and here,  Brian made the most amazing homemade everything bagels, I went on a long bike ride along the lake and couldn't have been happier to be pedaling by the water with the breeze in my hair, I made chicken curry, Brian came home this afternoon with the most delicious rose, cardamom, dark chocolate latte for me from here (best latte I've ever, ever had), BRIAN FELT THE BABY KICK FOR THE FIRST TIME (I buried the lede! How did I just remember this?!)! There was organizing, cleaning, laundry. We're ready for Monday, I suppose, but that doesn't mean I'm chipper about it.

Lots of photos from life lately below. Highlights: running an 8K in my best time yet (with our little Moosh inside me!), my dad's 60th birthday festivities, which included a very serious Boston cream donut taste test, a baby shower, a girl's weekend, date nights and lots of sweet friends <3