May 19, 2013

Light at the End of the Tunnel

In the next couple of days I'll be finishing this semester- whew! This is the first semester I've taken full-time units since Miles has been born and it has been both challenging and extremely rewarding. The most noticeable challenge has been sleep deprivation, since I most often will do my homework after Miles has gone to bed; however, Parker has been absolutely amazing in waking up with Miles a lot of the time so I can rest a little bit more. I really couldn't imagine a better support than him throughout the whole process of me going back to school.

As I was thinking about the "light at the end of the tunnel" in terms of school and more long-term goals, I realized that Parker and Miles are such sources of happiness and love for me on a daily basis. I get caught up a lot of the time in thinking toward the future, but I have been reminded recently that it's just as important to focus on the present time and soak up moments with my family. Admittedly, I do also look forward to what's coming in terms of school because I've been working really hard and it's nice to see the progress. I'm getting to the point now where it's going to be all "fun" classes and that will be a huge reward in and of itself because I'll get to take classes I really enjoy.

When all is said and done, I'm really enjoying where our path is going as a family- Parker has a great job that he loves, Miles will be heading to preschool in January (!), and I will continue on with school and maybe go back to work. We are really blessed.

I hope you're having a great weekend!

May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is always a day where I do a lot of reflecting on the mothers I've known and my own journey to motherhood. It's a celebration of the joy and inexplicable gratitude of being a mama to Miles; it's also a little bit of sadness for the pregnancies that didn't make it. One thing's for sure: being a mama has changed me. I look at other mothers who do things differently and my first inclination is no longer to judge, but to be open to ways different than my own. When I'm judged, I still freak out a little (after all, who wants to be told that you aren't doing something right, especially when it comes to your own child?) but quickly realize that what I'm doing is what's best for my boy and my family, and I have peace in that. 

Mothers come in all forms. Some of the women I've learned from the most don't have any children of their own. But they've mothered me, influenced me, and I look to them for inspiration. I'm thankful for my own mom, grandmothers, aunts, in-laws, and friends who all mean so much me and who now mean so much to Miles. I don't know what I'd do without you all.

Happy Mother's Day!

May 9, 2013

Park Hoppin'

Miles and I have been loving the park lately. I usually drive to Starbucks, get my drink and a slice of pumpkin bread for Miles, and then head over to the park where we spend lots of time laughing and playing together. I think my favorite part about going to the park is that normally there isn't a time limit to how long we can stay. It's just a time where everything else fades and it's just me and my boy (although lately we've been bringing my sisters along or meeting friends for playdates). He is growing so much- now he climbs the play structure and can go down the slides all by himself! I love him. Here are some pictures of our recent park outings:

May 3, 2013

Biting the Big Apple, Part II

I'm finishing this semester in the next couple of weeks so I've been up to my eyeballs in homework! I've been looking for a chance to finish writing about our New York trip so let's pick up where I left off.

We arrived at our hotel a little after 2 a.m. on Friday and woke up a few hours later to find it pouring rain. Our breakfast reservation was at Balthazar so we hailed our first taxi and enjoyed a delicious first meal in New York- Parker had their doughnuts and I enjoyed eggs (they were the best eggs I've ever had) and a chocolate croissant. (There's a couple things I should probably mention at this point. Firstly, hailing taxis was probably my favorite "New York" thing to do in the city- enjoying all the amazing food was a very close second.)
photo credit
After breakfast we still were feeling a little tired from all our travels, so we headed back to the hotel. After a little snooze I got a text from my best blogger friend, Chrystal, and we decided to try out DreamDry, Rachel Zoe's blow dry bar. I took a peek out of the window as I was putting on my coat and it didn't look like it was raining so I didn't grab my umbrella. Mistake. As soon as I stepped out onto Madison Avenue, the sky opened and it started absolutely pouring! Of course, all the taxis were taken so I had the craziest time running around trying to find a car but eventually I found one and was soon on my way. I was pretty excited to meet Chrystal (yes, we've been friends since before Miles was born but had never met) and get our hair done! Our experience at the salon was mixed. I had a great stylist, Ian, who gave my hair volume that initially felt more like Toddlers and Tiaras volume than fab volume but it did settle into a great look by the evening. Chrystal's stylist, on the other hand, looked like she was completely over it and was irritable from the get-go. Chrystal wound up finishing up her own hair! As we were leaving I realized that I was about to walk out into the rain with freshly styled hair, so Chrystal and I huddled under her umbrella and rushed over to Mario Batali's Eataly where we enjoyed some fantastic lunch and wine in the upstairs restaurant. It was so nice to finally chat together not just online but in person over some great food. 
The Crosby Hotel (photo credit)
I could go on and on in detail about all the wonderful restaurants we enjoyed so I'll list them all and spend a moment on the places that truly stood out.

Prime BLT Bistro- Chrystal was so right when she suggested the potato au gratin as a side. It was life-changing.
Serafina- besides the bumping club music at 11 a.m., not bad but not great.
Poco- no...just no. We wondered what took so long for our food to arrive, and it wasn't worth the wait.
L'Artusi- a must-visit; try the potato gnocchi with lamb shank ragu. We loved it so much we ordered a second serving!
Rubirosa- I had their vodka sauce pizza- beyond delicious.
photo credit
Drinks and Snacks:

Pegu- nice atmosphere for drinks with friends; tasty drinks.
The Crosby- delicious small plates to pair with an afternoon drink; Chrystal and I spent all afternoon here chatting and snacking. If you visit, try the goat cheese and pumpkin croquettes or the lamb kebabs. Note: beware of the $25 cocktail!
Soho Grand- after snacks at The Crosby, Chrystal and I snagged a comfortable sofa and enjoyed some chocolate lava cake while we people watched and rested from all our retail therapy.
Russ & Daughters- Best. Bagel (and Lox). Ever! It was delicious and we even met the owner, who stopped to talk with us and asked us if we had any Santa Barbara golfing connections (we don't). 

Parker and I visited the Met and the Museum of Natural History and loved both. We could have walked around for days just absorbing all the beautiful pieces of art and looking up at the dinosaur fossils in amazement. Sadly, we didn't get to visit any other art museums but that's just something to look forward to on our next trip.
photo credit
Leaving New York was bittersweet, but the memories of our trip will be a happy reminder of all the fun that was had. Many, many thanks to Chrystal for showing me off the touristy path. If you've visited New York, leave a comment with your favorite spot so I can keep a little list for next time!