Tag Archives: We all grow up someday

The Party

7 Mar

Last Sunday we went to an old friend’s wedding kick-off event. It was a small group of really cool people our age, hosted by a really cool group of adults our parents’ age that all live in Ansley Park. We hired a babysitter for the night, a very sweet girl who lives literally across the street from us. This was the second time Walter has had a paid babysitter (besides preschool), and I have to say, it makes me feel like a grown up. Even though I haven’t babysat since Walter was born, it is an weird feeling to pay someone to do what you used to do for money.

Being around lots of other happy couples (mostly other couples had been invited) made me terribly glad that David has loved me so long. 6 1/2 years so far. It is incredibly powerful to know that someone has chosen to love you through thick and thin, no matter what, and then live up to that challenge. He’s from the hill people of Scotland. He sticks around and puts up a fight.

My only other relationship that has lasted longer than with my husband — besides with my parents and siblings and a few school friends — is with my cell phone number. I’m pretty sure I could make a legal case if someone tried to take that number from me. You’ve been able to reach me at that number since I was 16 — when I got my first cell phone. Man was that thing a giant, and all it did was call and text. I miss that.

For a while we had a second phone line growing up. It ran into the guest bedroom and was somewhat my dad’s number, but we all used it. One night as we were eating dinner, we let the machine pick up, and we heard “Hello, hello, are you there?” in what we thought was my late grandmother’s voice. Caller ID: unknown number.

I was chatting with a new friend at the party, and he was talking about how he had known his girlfriend since they were ten, but they just recently started dating. But the best part for him was that since they had known each other for so long, they didn’t have to get past the “representative”. He said something like, “That’s the worst part of dating. For the first couple months you meet someone’s representative, and then you finally get to know them.” And while I instantaneously thought that was true, I also realized that I think that’s what I’ve been doing for myself lately. Getting rid of my own representative. It’s as if a filter is shedding, and I am becoming free.

IMG_20150301_205313096
Polaroids rock. So does this group of awesomeness. These guys have been friends since they were Walter’s age. And they have great arm candy now too.

And speaking of people that are awesome, have I mentioned lately how much I love Walter? Every day is an brand new experience of love like I never thought it could be. He’s absolutely my favorite person in all the world.

Advertisements

A Darling Boy

9 Jan

Walt: “More turkey please, mama, more turkey.”

Me, after a delay only long enough to give him what he wants: “Here you go, baby.” (Because how could I not?)

Walt: “Thank you you’re welcome”

And I hope I remember him this sweetly for forever.

IMG_20150107_154512769
“No nap, mama, play Legos!”

Walter’s Words

31 Dec

words-words-words

There was a great long time that I was worried about Walter’s words. I knew they were in there, but I was worried about when they would come out. He had reached two without really saying much. And I’m thankful for those of you who were supportive of him and me and said, “Don’t worry. He’s going to talk.” Because he sure did! And we love it! He’s gone from zero to sixty in the blink of an eye, and it’s kind of unbelievable to witness.

Some of my favorite things:

“Mama, come play!”

“Help mama help”

“Pwease mama pwease”

He walked in to the kitchen one morning saying “Purple da-da-do” over and over again and I was confused until he held out a purple “W” letter magnet.

“Quesada” is quesadilla.

“Oopsala” which he learned from his German aunt and cousin.

“Alright that’s enough”

“Oh no, what happened?”

I sneezed this morning and my polite son said “Bless you”

Walter’s Christmas present to me (besides letting us sleep in til 9:30 during vacation) was at a family dinner. It was loud and he was saying something repeatedly. I leaned in and asked him what it was that he was saying. He said, “I love you mama” unprompted for the first time! There really isn’t anything better than that, or him.

I hope your New Year looks as bright with new possibilities as mine does.

Georgia Tech mini-reunion

25 Sep

Last weekend was one of those really fun weekends that starts Thursday night. We left our house at 9pm (9 o’clock!) to go out to meet up with some of my college friends. I couldn’t believe we were leaving the house when I usually am ready to get into my pajamas and watch some TV (and thanks to my mother, the trooper, who watched Walt for us). But my good Georgia Tech friend Bo, who lives in Switzerland, was in town for just a heartbeat, so we had to join him, his wife, and our other friends. Another one of whom I hadn’t seen since before our wedding even though he and his wife moved back to Atlanta over six months ago. Time flies when you’re a busy bee.

We met up at Holeman and Finch, not one of my favorite places. I’d rather go to Turner Field to grab one of their delicious burgers. But the actual restaurant is fairly pretentious and has minimal seating. However our waitress looked just like Laura Prepon, so that was awesome. Dave and I enjoyed catching up, then headed home around midnight. The others don’t have kids yet, so they stayed out til 2am. Certainly reminded me of good ol’ college times!

Friday morning Walt and I met up with Bo, who hadn’t met my sweet toddler yet. We were going to walk around Piedmont Park until we realized that it would be fully occupied by Music Midtown, so we opted for a coffee at Starbucks.

IMG_20140919_114855896_HDR

Then we met Jordan at Taqueria del Sol for lunch. Yum. I don’t usually get to go there anymore because of the long lines, but it is always such a treat. We ordered a feast and chatted about what we were like ten years ago. I’m glad Walter wasn’t paying too much attention to us.

IMG_20140919_141505880~2
Jordan is getting married in November, and we’ll all be able to get together again to celebrate!

Saturday night we were able to babysit Walt’s cousin Ward for a few hours. He just turned one and is old enough to really play with Walter now. It’s more fun than a movie to watch them together. I had visions of them growing up as best friends.

IMG_20140920_190508491~2
Mayhem.

What we must love

5 Sep

“We must love the things we’ve been given,”  my grandmother said to me on her 91st birthday.

It really struck me when my grandma told me that last week. We were talking about my son and our new dog and how awesome they both are.

I immediately got to thinking, while I may have some control over the genes I have and pick in my mate, plus the way I raise my child, isn’t it really just luck that Walt’s so incredible? Hasn’t he been given to me by the grace of God?

Sure, we picked Duggy out at the shelter, but wasn’t he there waiting for us on the day we decided to go looking for a dog?

And then I started thinking about David, an incredible man, husband, and father. He picked me as much as I picked him, and wasn’t that a gift given to us by the universe? Why would I think I really had anything to do with it — except to be grateful and show my appreciation so these gifts stick around and continue to be good?

There is both greatness and folly in the American dream. We are told that we can get whatever we want as long as we work hard enough (or don’t get caught stealing). Wanting is a sign of good health, but when is it enough? When do we have enough to be satisfied, to deem that our life is a good, happy one? We can so easily get stuck going round and round the consumerism/technology/ambition carousel, where do we find the peace?

I liked the simplicity of what my grandmother said. I liked that she said “what we’re given,” not “what we have.” Because honestly, is anything ours in this world, including our own lives, when at any minute it all could change?

IMG_20140817_185132863
Lots of sweet boys in this house.

Things I swore I’d do before I became a parent

4 Sep

It’s fun to look back and see if I actually accomplished my goals.

1. Never use a pacifier

— Kinda! We never relied on pacifiers. But we started using them in the car when Walt was an infant because he screamed bloody murder every second I was driving. Nothing helped… except a pacifier. We didn’t need it after he moved out of his infant car seat at six months.

2. Breastfeed exclusively

— Yes! This one was very difficult. There were times I hated breastfeeding, especially at the beginning and intermittently til Walt was 10 months old. Then it clicked. Maybe because I stopped pumping (a great device if you are out of the house but it stressed me out so much) or because at 10 months they’re starting to eat, so you don’t have to rely 100% on boob. Either way, we’re still nursing now at 2 years+

3. Not have the whole house be one giant playroom

— Nope! There is at least one toy (more like mountains of toys) in every room of the house. Except maybe the bathrooms. Oh, sweet sanctuaries.

4. Immediately put the baby on a sleep/feed schedule so he’ll sleep through the night

–Nope! Ha, ha, am I right?

5. Use cloth diapers

— Kinda! Oh boy did I try. Try and try and try. About six months ago we gave up cause Walt always seemed to have a diaper rash (and I mean always). Now we don’t get frequent rashes, and when he randomly gets them we can use the type of cream that gets rid of them (we had all sorts of natural, cloth friendly creams that did nothing). Oh well. Maybe it’ll work on future babies. I still believe in cloth diapering, and we still use cloth wipes.

6. Natural childbirth

— Yes! 100% drug free, quick birth. I was lucky.

7. Homeschool

— Don’t know yet! I’ve always said I’d put Walt in preschool for early socialization, which we started this month going two days a week and he loves it. I plan on starting around 4 or 5. A lot of people I know homeschool their children, so it doesn’t seem quite as contrary as it once did.

This kid likes to have fun

17 May

IMG_20140227_171639609
Left-handed sidewalk chalker.

IMG_20140329_091943535
Working from home.

IMG_20140324_164718368
Coloring.

IMG_20140404_113655
Building forts, then destroying them.

IMG_20140412_095215
Hiding in Daddy’s clothes.

IMG_20140403_141637069 IMG_20140403_142511337
Over-watering Nini’s plants

IMG_20140509_084933649
Legos!

photo
Gardening at Mimi’s

IMG_20140509_110103611
“mama, my cat sat on my homework”

IMG_20140513_131235477
Being silly.

IMG_20140517_082819672
A brief moment of a lazy Saturday morning.

IMG_20140517_092253846
Feeding Daddy blueberries.

IMG_20140517_201458288
Bathtub mayhem!

Date Night

31 Mar

Oh boy did I need a date night on Saturday night. Not only did I need some quality time with my husband, but I needed a Walter break. All grandparents were in Florida this past month so the only time I wasn’t on Walter-alert was when we went to my friend’s memorial service. Not so much enjoyment there. And this might be harsh, but this past week Walter flat out got on my nerves. He isn’t speaking English words yet (though David swears he’s moved on from Chinese to Korean), so when he isn’t babbling he communicates by noises and whining. Yes: loud, screeching, whining. Music to my ears. I would have exchanged large amounts of money for extra patience if I could have.

Earlier in the week, when I got the green light for babysitting night, I went on a planning mission. Ever since I finished Zealot by Reza Aslan I’ve wanted to see the IMAX movie at Fernbank Jerusalem. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen pictures of the city even though of course I’ve heard about it my whole life. It has an amazing – albeit tense – history, and although the seats in the front of the theater are neck breaking, it was beautiful. I loved it. I felt like I wanted to travel there and move there and like I never needed to go there because I just was there all at the same time.

Jerusalem 800x285

After the movie I made reservations at South City Kitchen Midtown. Dave had been there for a work lunch and had said it was delicious but we could never afford it. Luckily I had gotten a gift certificate to the Fifth Group Restaurants from a good friend for taking some family photos. So of course I chose to go to there for our date night!

YUM.

It is southern food the way it was always meant to be cooked by your really exotically rich distant cousin on your mother’s great aunt’s side of the family.

Fried green tomatoes, a fancy salad with raspberry vinaigrette, shrimp and grits, fried chicken, and a bottle of red. My only regret was not being able to order the banana pudding or pecan pie, but Lent is Lent, and Dave and I opted to be good for once.

Screen-Shot-2013-06-09-at-2.49.32-PM1

One of the best parts of the night was that we managed to not talk about Walter or the house (we’re putting our house on the market this coming week and have been crazy getting it ready) pretty much the entire night. It was great to be able to enjoy each other for who we are rather than for what we share together. It’s easy to experience that when you’re dating and getting to know one another, but once you’re married with a mortgage and a kid, it can be hard to venture away from those subjects. They’re all-consuming, and for good reason. I like talking about those types of things with the person I’ve chosen to spend my life with. But for date night? That one special night for just the two of you that you only get every once in a while? It’s got to be different.

When we got to the restaurant it was packed (thank goodness for my planning ahead!). The only table we saw available on the ground floor was a two top in a most undesirable place. By the bar, in the path of the waiters, basically in the bumping zone, and we were sure that we were going to be seated there. As the hostess led us past that table, I looked back at Dave with a “oh whew” look. We were placed upstairs at this cute table that overlooked Crescent Ave. Across the street is the club Opera, and it happened to be prom night (with security guards and everything, frisking those terrible teenagers before they entered their house of fun). We absolutely people-watched, enjoying the limos driving up and dumping out hoards of teens ready for a night of dancing. Prom dresses sure have changed! They are all very flashy nowadays. It brought on a lot of introspection about our younger years and also imagining Walter at that age. And how much older we’ll be when he’s on his way to prom!

Of course we got home by 9pm like good little 30-somethings and watched a little HGTV before bed. It was a perfect night!

The Art of a Successful Party

8 Mar

Last weekend I threw a 30th birthday party for one of my best friends (“30, flirty, and thriving” already!?!?), and it was fabulous. I know we all have different versions of a successful party. But here’s a good recipe for one if you’re out there looking.

1. Make sure you have enough alcohol. I found a website that prescribed two drinks per person for the first hour of the party and one drink per person for every hour after that. Leftovers are never a problem in my book either!

We had wine – both red and white, – beer, vodka, gin, rum, killer kimonos, tonic, club soda, Coke, Diet Coke, ginger ale, Fanta, and tons of bottled water. We also had a champagne toast with the birthday cake. Don’t forget ice and cups.

1920155_10101331826540957_788913762_n

2. Decorations. I went simple yet it was more decorated than I’ve ever seen the house except for Christmas. We hung yellow streamers from the light fixture in the kitchen (reminding me that I need to look up high to dust), hung paper balls around the room, had a “Happy 30th Birthday” banner, had birthday confetti placed on the tables, and I made a centerpiece decoration out of birthday balloons that someone else brought over. Outside on the back deck I put out lights, and we had the fire pit going at one point. It was all very festive!

IMG_20140228_222914622~2

3. Delicious Food. We wanted heavy hors d’oeuvres so people wouldn’t go hungry but also it wasn’t meant to be dinner. We had meatballs in a BBQ sauce, seven layer dip, buffalo chicken dip, chips, turkey pinwheels, cheese and crackers, and grapes. All the food was so good. I would have been happy if no one had come to the party so I could have eaten it all by myself, but I was glad at the end of the night when we had almost no leftovers.

1800442_10101331826585867_1365710813_n

4. Dessert/Birthday Cake. The birthday boy’s favorite cake is red velvet cake (and who doesn’t like red velvet!?) so when I was looking up recipes, I thought that a simple recipe of red velvet cream cheese cake balls sounded just as easy as cupcakes, and a little bit more fun too. It turned out to be a bit more work than it looked (probably going to the store twice while making them didn’t help any), but they turned out DELICIOUS. I mean, one guest told me that the cake balls made him see Jesus. I don’t get those kind of compliments often on my cooking (especially my baking), and I never would have been able to do it without David. He finished up when I withered out at 1am. First of all, if you do normal size balls, the recipe will make 45 of them, not 20 like it says. Also, you’ll need two bags of baker’s chocolate chips and a little bit more than 8 oz. of cream cheese. Ours didn’t turn out quite as pretty as the blogger’s picture, but David did get creative with the leftover chocolate, making designs on the top like you would see on Godiva truffles. YUM. I can’t wait to forget about how hard it was to make them so that I can do it again.

IMG_20140228_221635788

All in all, throwing a party for 30 guests was a lot of work, both in prep and in clean up, but it was worth it. And of course I loved the compliments on our house. It was a blast, and when everyone else has a blast too, you know you’ve done a good job.

Mama meets the idea of traveling with a baby

5 Feb

I had hoped that we would be one of those cool couples with kids that traveled the world with our baby and didn’t let having an infant “stop us” from living our lives the way we wanted.

I guess what you want changes after you have a child.

Oh, I still want to travel. And I suppose I will one day. But right now going to bed before midnight is what I want. Getting 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Finding ways to entertain both a baby and myself 12 hours every day of every week. These are my goals!

I have a few places I’d like to visit this year. I really wanted to go to California for Dave’s brother’s graduation. See a few friends out there. Visit San Francisco (I’ve never been). Tour wine country. I’ve heard it’s spectacular, and I’m a huge fan of red wine. But the thought of a three hour time difference with a baby who naps 2-3 times a day… well, we’d pay a lot of money to sit in a hotel room on the other side of the country. And could we afford a really nice hotel room to make it worth it?

We have several friends who live out of state we like to see every year. Many of our best friends are out-of-towners. It exhausts me just trying to figure out how to see a couple of them. Do we fly on a plane? That will be a quicker commute but we’re limited in the baby stuff we can bring. Do we drive? We can bring all the baby stuff we need, it’s cheaper, but then we have to subject Walt to 5-8 hours in a car. I don’t even like doing that, and I’m not sure he’s old enough yet to logically understand what we’re doing to him and that there will be a beach at the end of the road! I think maybe it’ll be more fun to travel with him when he’s closer to two, but I don’t want to miss out on everything for two whole years. Even though I believe if I had to stay in my house for two years without even leaving once I still would be a happier, more awesome person for having Walt in my life.

I am someone’s mommy!

I called my girlfriends for a girls night last weekend. Three friends and I went to Dip ‘n Dab, a BYOB paint class that’s oh so much fun. You sit around for three hours drinking wine and beer and talking while a nice teacher tells everyone step by step how to paint the painting you’re doing that night. It was packed Friday night and the coolest thing was that even though there were 40 people painting the same exact painting, every one of them looked different. I can guess it’s similar to how God feels when he says “Let there be X and Y chromosomes” and then 6 billion different interpretations come out of two tiny cells joined together…

Blue Shutters
My Masterpiece.