28 December 2016
As I suspected, having June born in January was such a treat for my logical brain, as demonstrated so beautifully by this post. What a treat to watch her grow from a nugget in my belly to the cheerful, funny, sweet little girl she is today in just a few months!
There will never be another year like this one, the year in which we welcomed our first child, and though sometimes that makes me feel like the sobbing emoji… it’s okay. The best is yet to come! Here are a few highlights of this very special year on Em for Marvelous and in our lives.
Well, pretty much the first thing we did in the new year was have a baby!! (Oh yes, I did share my 2016 guideposts and vision board first.) June was born on January 7th, leading me to share “notes” from my hospital stay as well as the meaning of her name. John and I also celebrated our 11th dativersary, and I posted the first of many Marvelous Mama interviews!
I celebrated a very sweet birthday with friends and chocolate raspberry cake in February. June also met her cousin Tegan and the rest of my family – such a wonderful week!! As we rounded out our first six weeks, I shared two more posts with newborn tips and tricks.
The best part of March was celebrating Easter as a family of three! June also got to spend some time wearing matching headbands with her buddy Milly :) Even once John went back to work, I enjoyed every bit of maternity leave, especially our daily afternoon walks around a local lake!
In April, we headed to Charleston for a last hurrah of my leave. We had the best time staying downtown, walking the city, and eating delicious food, all with Junebug in tow! My Mom came to stay with us for three weeks as I transitioned back to work, and we all took a work trip to Atlanta. We also planted our vegetable garden and picked strawberries! I wrote about thanking our postpartum nurses and our baby favorites from the first six weeks.
May brought more work road trips with my Mom and June, including to the fabulous Greenbrier in West Virginia. We also had several visits from family, and we celebrated my first Mother’s Day! I shared my pregnancy book recommendations.
Good golly, look at those rolls!!! June’s first June was more of the same — visitors and road trips, for work and for play. We had the best time in the mountains with the Henrys and clocked a new family record of six trips to our local u-pick blueberry farm in just a few short weeks — one of the best things we made time for all year. You can see much more from this month in the first installment of June’s video series, June in June! :) On EFM, I shared our five month baby favorites and our summer fun list, of which I’m happy to say we accomplished much!
July! What a month! We spent the week of the Fourth on our beloved Island, and despite June’s first terrible cold, it was wonderful. We made another New England road trip just a few weeks later, this time for a friend’s wedding and a week with John’s family in Connecticut. In between, we celebrated that great Southern holiday: Cow Appreciation Day!!
What a treat to spend a week in our hometown in the summer, showing June all of our favorite activities and places from growing up! We had the best, best time. On the blog, I told you about Lisa’s baby shower and a fun date night idea.
The most exciting event in September was our first family camping trip!! We are already itching for the next one! We also enjoyed lots of al fresco meals, neighborhood walks, and playground swings. I shared our eight month baby favorites, all of the articles we’ve read in Articles Club, wisdom from four years of marriage, and we chatted about signature family dishes.
In October, we marveled at the flooding from Hurricane Matthew (June from inside foul weather gear), had lots of family singalongs, spent the weekend in Asheville with my sister and her boyfriend, and donned the foul weather gear again to dress as a lobster, lobsterman, and seaweed for Halloween! Some of my favorite posts were written this month, including three posts on how to slow down time, a favorite home improvement, and the best cooking playlist.
So many celebrations in November, including the magazine launch party, Thanksgiving with family and then again with friends, birthday parties, and more. You all helped me vote on a Christmas card, I shared how we plan our yearly budget, and we talked about Christmas traditions.
And finally, December. We drove overnight to spend ten days in Connecticut with our beloved family, and it was as sweet (and crazy – three cousins under three!) as we could have hoped for.
Friends, thank you for reading. I just love y’all – sharing with you, hearing from you, getting your opinions, and seeing what you’re up to. It is a joy to write here, and I can’t wait to see all the adventures 2017 will hold!
2015 year in review
26 August 2016
2014 year in review
2013 year in review
2012 year in review
John and I don’t go on a lot of dates, or we go on dates all the time — depends on how you figure it :) I generally don’t consider going on a hike, heading to a swimming hole, going to a concert or a movie, or even getting dressed up for a fancy dinner as a date. That all just seems like doing life with my husband. Maybe that’s what a date is when you’re married?? Anyway, we recently tried something new, and if you’re looking for a “date” idea, this might be it :)
Last weekend, we decided to do a dessert crawl in downtown Raleigh. We started at 5pm at our favorite patisserie, lucettegrace. Triangle friends, if you haven’t been here, absolutely put it on your list — SO GOOD. We split the Videri Chocolate Cream Pie (dark chocolate cremeux, almond shortbread, brown butter cocoa nib custard) the Blueberries + Cream (vanilla cheesecake, blueberry mousse, pistachio cake, almond cake, blueberry compote), and a citrus agua fresca.
We walked around the block a few times (June was in the stroller!) before heading to our next destination, Bittersweet. Their seasonal peach and blackberry cobbler (with pie crust “fries”!) was a delicious second course.
A few more laps, and we were ready for our last sweet of the evening, at Treat. They have a kiddie scoop that is practically thimble-sized, making it the perfect final stop on our sugar quest (though John opted for two scoops!!).
By 7pm, we were back in the car and headed home to tuck June into bed. Once she was asleep, we ate a small (healthy) dinner. The novelty of eating dessert first, combined with walking Raleigh’s summery streets, made for a fun evening out (and, no babysitter was required).
I’m curious: If you’re in a long-term relationship, what do you consider a “date”? Every fun activity? Maybe an activity that one person plans? Or one that simply has advance planning? Something expensive? Something fancy? I’d love to hear your criteria!
6 June 2016
This is a long list of summer fun, I’ll admit. But this is the good stuff, friends!! I am ridiculously excited about everything on this list, and I plan to check off every single one. My advice, if you’re planning to make your own: print it out! Ours is hanging on the fridge where we can see it every day, which just plain makes me happy, but also helps us remember to get out and do! In no particular order, the list to enjoy before September 21…
— go to a Bulls game
— feed June her first solid food
— road trip to Maine
— host my childhood friends for the weekend
— roast s’mores
— make bruschetta with our garden produce
— jump off the wharf at the Island
— outdoor movie at Koka Booth
— outdoor movie at the Art Museum
— make strawberry lemonade
— picnic at a Back Porch Music concert
— spend a day at the beach
— make chicken souvlaki
— finish our June in June movie
— watch fireworks
— ice cream at Maple View
— road trip to Connecticut (I have a whole other list I’ll share of CT fun!)
— take June swinging at a playground
— pick blueberries
— make a pizza with our garden produce
— lemonade at the Honeysuckle Tea House
— camp with friends (June’s first camping trip!!)
— buy a new flag for our house
— visit our friends in Brevard
— squeal over June in her adorable swim outfit
— BLTs at Merritt’s
— renovate our backyard
What’s on your summer fun list?
31 May 2016
Hello, friends! May and June are always two of my busiest months of the year, and 2016 has been no exception. They are usually filled with some of my favorite things, though, so I can’t complain. However, as I commented to my Mom on the phone last week, pretty much all I’ve had time for this month are things I absolutely had to do, with little time for wants – and blogging falls into the latter. (The only reason I got June’s birth story up was because I had already written most of it a few months ago!) To jump back in here, I thought I’d share a little bit about what I’ve been up to.
June started school at the beginning of the month. It has been going really well so far! She always gives me a big smile when I drop her off and pick her up, and her teachers are smitten. We are so grateful for a smooth transition, and that we can afford care we feel so confident in!
John’s parents and Natalie and Joe and their daughter came to visit Mother’s Day weekend, the first time for June to meet Miss Maisie! Our two gals are only about four months apart, so it was a fun peek into what June might be up to by the end of the summer. We had brunch at Lucia in Durham and picked strawberries across the street from our neighborhood!
Week two was my company’s annual team retreat, so John and June accompanied me to The Carolina Inn for a few days. It took some extra effort to get her to school and back, but it was worth it to get in evening snuggles! I also scored some Lake Pajamas, which I was pretty pumped about. I’ve been wearing them around the house ever since; I feel pretty fancy walking around in matched jams.
My Mom arrived at the beginning of week three just in time to accompany June and me to The Greenbrier in West Virginia, a work trip for me. Have y’all even been?? I had done a bunch of research on it beforehand, but it still blew my mind – I think it’s the kind of place you can’t really wrap your head around until you experience it in person. The color and pattern are incredible! We laughed ourselves silly, and it was really fun to have June by my side while I did one of my favorite parts of my job. (Only possible because of my Mom – so thankful for her!!)
My Mom flew home the same day Marget, Seth, and Weston flew in! Two of John’s aunts also drove down for the weekend, and we had fun taking walks, cooking at home, exploring playgrounds, and riding the Pullen Park train. And reading bedtime stories in a tent, as you can see below.
We clocked our final two overnight guests last week, before another big work day for me. We were planning to finish out the month much like we did last year, with a weekend trip to Wilmington and Bald Head Island, but the rain scared us off. (Poor decision – the Triangle ended up getting more rain than the coast!) To console ourselves about the missed beach time, we ate almost every meal out this weekend, including an afternoon tea break at the Honeysuckle Tea House. Little muffin loved the open air seating!
And that’s that! As you can probably imagine, all of these adventures meant I didn’t make a ton of progress on my May goals… but that’s a story for tomorrow! :)
P.S. Another life lately post
31 December 2015
Of all the posts I’ve written on this blog (more than 1,200 over the last seven years!), the ones I most love to look back on are these year in review posts. John, too. Seeing all of these beloved memories and people in one place laid out so neatly never fails to make me feel like helium is filling me up inside!
I am really grateful for this year, and know it will be one I’ll always look back on with joy. Here are a few of the highlights of the year on Em for Marvelous and in our lives!
We started off the year by celebrating Christmas with my family in Connecticut over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend! The highlight was roasting marshmallows over the smoldering coals of our beloved childhood playground. We slowly added several new pieces to our home over the year, starting with this pretty vintage rug. Best of all, we celebrated our ten-year dativersary by recreating our first date: ice skating!
We got our annual dose of snow in February, which meant, much to his chagrin, John’s year once again included shoveling. I wrote about our strategy for replacing paper towels (one of the small things that made me happiest this year!) and preparing financially for a baby.
March was a great, full mix of some of my favorite things! John and I flew to NYC for an extended weekend so I could do a speaking thing for work and we both could visit with his family. We got to worship at Hillsong. Then we squeezed in a camping trip with friends, I flew to Austin and Houston for work, and I hosted a baby shower for Nancy! I also posted a few of my thoughts on camping.
We really maxed out our travel budget in 2015, which both at the time and in hindsight, I am grateful for! We visited Savannah and Beaufort, SC over Easter weekend. We also planted a blueberry bush in our yard, and finally ordered our wedding album!
Another month, another weekend trip, this time to Wilmington and Bald Head Island! My Dad also came to visit, we did projects around the house, picked strawberries, went to an outdoor concert and a Bulls game, and I traveled to Charlottesville and Charleston for work. I also wrote about my water drinking game, which is still holding strong! AND, we found out I was pregnant!
Good golly, June! The highlight was without a doubt our trip to France – our first trip to Europe, and one I covered in five posts (Paris, Versailles, Provence, Cassis, and the Côte d’Azur). I also flew to Connecticut to see my family and help my parents clean out our attic, my younger sister came to visit us, and I traveled to Richmond and Kentucky for work!
In July we threw a baby shower for Natalie and Joe in NYC, and got to tell the Thomas side of the family our happy news! I also spent the next week working remotely and hanging out with my Mom in Connecticut, which was really wonderful.
We had one of our best weeks ever in Maine in August, where, among other things, we got to tell my side of the family our news! At the end of the month we took a weekend trip to Greenville, and found out we are having a baby girl! I also wrote about deciding to have children (one of the most popular posts of the year) and our car fund. Also took my first bump photo at 18 weeks! :)
In September we flew to Nashville to visit my younger sister, and we did a lot of good eating :) Also took another bump photo on one of our runs – 22 weeks! I wrote a post about the best way to reheat pizza, and if you haven’t tried that tip yet, you are missing out.
In October we headed to the mountains for a weekend trip with John’s parents and aunts. Took another bump photo (26 weeks!), made some biscuits at our church’s Fair booth, traveled to Charleston for work, my Mom and Dad came to visit, hosted the third annual pumpkin and soup party, shared nursery plans, and posted a third trimester update!
Bump’s getting bigger (33 weeks here!). I was lucky enough to have three baby showers in November, one of which we traveled to Connecticut for and one for which my Mom and sisters flew into NC. We celebrated Thanksgiving with dear friends and finally pulled the trigger on new dining room chairs!
And finally, December. We were so happy to host John’s family for Christmas at our home, something I’m considering a little gift from our baby girl since it wouldn’t have happened without her due date aligning!
Friends, thank you for reading. I just love y’all – sharing with you, hearing from you, getting your opinions, and seeing what you’re up to. It is a joy to write here, and I can’t wait to see all the adventures 2016 will hold!
2014 year in review
2013 year in review
2012 year in review