Tag Archives: 2011

to measure a year: october 1, 2011

{october 1, 2011, trappe, md}

And just like that, it’s been a year.

And the best one ever, at that!


a fun surprise, for a friday: our wedding featured on the cover of washingtonian bride & groom magazine!

When I got an email yesterday from my wedding photographer saying that she had a surprise for me, I had zero idea of what to expect.  Katie Merkle, who is the fabulously talented photographer behind Merkle Photography,  then sent me back an email with a picture labeled “from the editor’s desk” – with the above picture attached, of James and I on the cover of the Washingtonian Brides & Grooms Magazine!

She also let me know that our wedding was featured today on my favorite wedding blog, Style Me Pretty – you can see the whole post with pictures (and an extended photo gallery) here!

Katie had posted a link with pictures of our day after the wedding back in October 2011, and these two things (coincidentally on the same day!) were such a fun surprise to bring us back to all of the happiness we had that day together and with our friends and families, just over eight months ago.

A perfect way to kick off the weekend, I think!

(a very late) bits of my weekend: december 4th

{a fun banner to brighten up an unused corner}

This post is a bit tardy considering it’s already Wednesday, but as I’ve just finished vacuuming up the last bits of glitter and wiping any final stray spots of cabernet, I am finally now sitting down to sort a few posts out.  We had a perfect weekend out here in (fah-reezing cold) Colorado, complete with snow showers, live music, and a gathering of friends.

{our mantle, decorated with sparkly reindeer and mercury glass votives}

Friday evening we drove down to Denver for a friend’s birthday concert at the quintessential dive bar, where apart from having my nice wool coat stolen (people really still do that??) we had a great night sipping beer from cans (Tecate with lime for me) and checking out three new bands.  Saturday morning we awoke to six inches of the fluffy white stuff, coming down on top of the almost foot that we had the week before.  The pug alternated between avid snow bunny and fireside cuddler, and I spent the day preparing for the holiday party we had planned that evening, making holiday cookies, canapes, dips, and spiked cider.

{snowed in for the weekend}

In lieu of wine or food (which we knew we’d have gobs of), we asked guests to bring an ornament to trim our ‘newlywed & naked’ tree, and the idea was so fun to watch unfold.  Each person brought a sweet ornament that we promptly nestled into the branches of our Fraser Fir, and we ended up with the most gorgeous fully decorated tree which looked like it was wearing a collection we had curated for years.  Despite temps in the single digits, it was such a cheerful night with new friends from Boulder colliding with old (and new!) friends from Denver –  and if you hadn’t known better, I don’t think you could tell that James and I were the new kids on the block.  All in I think the party was a success, and though we will need to change up the theme next year, we both agreed that an early December Christmas party might just be an annual thing.

Here are some snaps from the weekend:

{holiday touches all over the house}

{piece de resistance}

{and just a few of the amazing ornaments we received….thank you!}

{the best holiday scent, ever}

{constant snow beard}

{very literally, up to her eyeballs}

{a game I made, which we drank too much cider to play}

{mirrored snow flakes}

{preparing the table for the holiday spread}

{keeping a theme of reindeer & sparkly accents}

{lingering reminders of the cold temps}

bits of my weekend: november 20th

I had a weekend that was much different than anticipated; on Friday morning I set off for Denver International Airport just as the sun was eeking it’s way up to cast it’s beams on the snow capped mountains.  I was off to Atlanta to be with a dear friend, in a very unfortunate time of need.  Though I wished the circumstances were better, I was still very much looking forward to seeing all of my girls and giving my best friend a much needed bear hug.  As I am sure each and every person has experienced before, the travel gods were not on my side, and after 8 hours waiting and a few glasses of much needed red wine it was clear that I wasn’t making it off terra firma.  After an exasperated trip back to Boulder, I unwound by going to see a bluegrass band with friends Friday evening, and made crisp edged buttermilk waffles with fresh berries Saturday morning.  Noodle bowls at ZoeMaMa Saturday night and a wonderfully relaxing Sunday rounded out the weekend, with a two-mile early morning hike in Chautauqua and hot tomato basil soup for lunch.  I’ve yet to get any snaps of our weekend, but here are some things I am loving right now:

{my absolute favorite year-round candle}

{the sweetest velvet pumpkins, my favorite pieces of fall decor that sit happily in our kitchen}

{snappy new shoes that i can’t wait to wear with some dark skinnies}

{our indoor sage, thyme, and rosemary, that is flourishing in it’s sunny spot}

{the start of decoration shopping for our upcoming vintage themed holiday party}

{a teeny little bank that i actually get excited to feed all my change to}

goodnight moon

I could’t help but include this snap of the gorgeous Colorado moon before it ducked behind the reaches of the Rocky Mountains.  Man…..do I love it here.

Goodnight all!


almost, but not quite: the last week with a manhattan zip code

It’s funny the things you notice when you are acutely aware that it could be your last opportunity to experience them in the flesh.  And it’s mostly the small things, really; those less obvious neither here nor theres that arrive at you as seemingly insignificant and blurred pieces in one colossal jigsaw puzzle.  At first blush, you have a tangled and mismatched pile of confusing languages, brilliant colors, and piercing sirens; it’s all but hopelessly overwhelming.  Comprehending the beauty in the smallest corner of the biggest piece is nearly impossible.

But then, when the craggy lines of the once cryptic parts align just so, you suddenly find yourself staring at one beautiful and electrified undulating mass that is New York City.  A shiny lock that catches the light on the dingiest part of a busy block, a brilliant red water pipe that astutely defies its grey walled patch of real estate, the sharp lines of a flower that from far away look like feathers, rain drops clutching onto wide green leaves lest they lose their battle and sizzle on the concrete, etchings of dates where electricity and taxi cabs were not yet even figments in an imagination (that remind you just how young we really all are), and blocks that no matter how many times I stroll their storied streets never fail to take my breath away.

In these final few weeks I have had in the city to tie up the many twisted and far reaching vines that we have cultivated and tended during our time here, I have finally stopped to soak up these smaller pieces that before were nothing but a blur during rush hour.  I have walked everywhere, camera in tow, letting my Metrocard run dry to ensure that I would not be tempted to hop the 6 train but instead criss and cross and zig and zag down streets and around bends where I would have normally rushed past.  I’ve spent time with dear friends, had a visit from my lovely parents, and stopped in at all of my neighborhood shops.  I’ve done plenty of cooking – a sour cherry clafoutis to share with my neighbors, a crisp pan fried piece of fish that (I think) rivals even the best fried fish’n’chips, a light summer salad brimming with heirloom tomatoes, juicy peaches, and goat cheese, and an eggplant dish that I ate for lunch, and then dinner – and then lunch again the following day, it was that good.  But I’ll tell you all about that later.

For now, I just want to soak up my last couple of nights in the city – the movers will be here to pack me up and whisk me away with barely enough time to eat one last mint chocolate chip cone at Cafe Cluny, and taste one last bite of a banh mi at Baoguette.  Here are a few small final sights of my New York City puzzle….

{bouys lined up on carmine street, outside a favorite cafe}

{spools of colorful thread at my tailor}

{catching a glimpse of the rain after a flash sun-shower in union square}

{our favorite west village restaurant}

{an old favorite bar located on an old favorite street}

{a peek-a-boo while buying inexpensive street flowers, which i will dearly miss}

{a surprising spiky flower}


{smooth metal brightens up a tough block}

{a glimpse of a half address, that i have always coveted so}

{a unique daily affirmation i will truly miss walking past}

{chipped and weathered cafe chairs, that in mere hours will hold patrons eating moules et frites}

{and finally, time to call it a night….goodbye, NYC}

the biggest shakeup: goin’ out west where the wind blows tall….

“Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.”
Margaret Lee Runbeck

I have something to tell you.  And it’s sort of a big deal.

For most of my adulthood, I have fluffed and nested myself into a beautifully happy life here in New York City.  Six-and-a-half years ago, I packed all of my earthly possessions into my parents Suburban, cramming it full of everything I would need to fill the shoebox that I would proudly inhabit and independently fund – my first real grown-up dwelling.  I was leaving the comfort of my parents watch and wallet and embarking on that all important voyage into that scary and elusive ‘adult’ life that I had heard so much about during my college years of carefree exuberance.

My Dad navigated our monstrously proportioned vehicle though the perilously slender lanes of the West Side Highway and aimed us towards the shiny and pointed metal mass that would be my new home.   I was both excited and terrified; my face wore a confident facade, but as we hurtled into the unfamiliar territory I felt that acute twang of fear flutter in my stomach upon realizing that I, in fact, had no idea how to actually be an adult.  Mom did a few last greatly appreciated motherly things (pressed some spending cash in my hand, gave me three packages of new socks, and kissed my forehead) and just like that, the heavy door swung shut and latched behind my parents.  And I was on my own.  I was unofficially-officially an adult, ready to face the unforgiving ‘real’ world I had heard so much about.

In those betwixt and between years there were minuscule fourth floor walk-ups, threadbare bank accounts, a seedy landlord named Sal, and my first run in with something called ‘rodent sticky traps.’  There was a most miserable and stifling summer spent without air-conditioning, exhausting weekend bartending shifts, and more bowls of Honey-Nut Cheerios for dinner than I care to remember.  Slowly but surely though, I learned, and each year seemed to mimic that fabled ‘real life’ more than the next.

The apartments got larger, our girl’s dinners progressed from dollar pepperoni slices to appetizers and entrees (with wine!), and I was no longer the young assistant at work – I had a real title, and business cards to prove it.  Along my merry way I happened upon a curly-topped boy with whom I was instantly smitten, and suddenly we found ourselves cohabitating in our first tiny apartment (and hiding it from my very traditional Grandmother).  After three years we were engaged, and it was confirmed: ‘Adult’ life was happening – and it was fabulous.

Somewhere in those years I became not only a grown up, but also a New Yorker, through and through.  I knew which subway platforms to avoid at rush hour, where to find the tastiest pork buns or the finest bagel and schmear, and found myself often being approached by lost tourists looking for directions – I must have even looked like I belonged.  We have a charming townhouse apartment that is a treat to share with the most lovely family, Bean struts down the road as if to declare she is Queen of West 12th Street,  and we consider our little corner of the West Village our sanctuary, our home.  Somewhere in those varied six years I’ve settled very comfortably into my joy-filled life as I currently know it.

If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it’s that being an adult means embracing change with open arms and a positive attitude.  Which brings me here, to one very big change that is forging the first polarizing fork in my path of ‘real life,’ and it has to do with staggering snow-capped  mountains, seemingly endless big blue skies, and one-thousand-seven-hundred-and-ninety-seven miles:  We are picking up our lives….and moving to Boulder, Colorado!

Yes, my friends.  I am forfeiting my title as resident New Yorker for weekly winter ski trips and 360 days of sunshine (or so they tell me….) and a hopefully more healthy and active lifestyle.  I am well aware that we could not have picked a more disparate location to Manhattan than Boulder, and that familiar stab of excitement and fear which I felt six years ago is back – however this time, it’s different.  It’s not nearly as acute, or nearly as unnerving.  I know I can do this.

I’ve done this before; I know how to move to a new city and start a new life, and I am so much more confident in my abilities to navigate through every which manner of situation and outcome that we will undoubtedly encounter.  Am I  nervous? Yes.  Am I sad to leave this glittery undulating ball of energy I have grown to love? One hundred percent.  But am I absolutely thrilled to embark on an incredible new adventure with the man I love in a new city, and in a visually stunning and physically challenging setting?

Without a doubt in the world.

I am so incredibly grateful for this marvelous adventure we have at hand, and so very thankful I will experience it with such strong partners in crime (amounting to one Fiance and one pug).  I am also grateful for you – my readers – for following my little blog and listening to me to prattle on about, oh,  a bit of everything, and for letting me occupy a precious sliver of your busy days.  I truly mean that.  I am thankful for all of your encouragement and uplifting kind words; frankly it has meant more to me than I could have ever imagined.

Though I do feel a catch in my throat when I see the city skyline at dusk and think about all of the amazing people and experiences I am leaving behind, I realize I actually am not leaving anything at all; I’m taking it all with me to carry-on crafting this great big wonderfully complicated adult life.

{my sweet new ride, awaiting a basket to transport the bean}

{my little kitchen, which has served me so well}

{my cookbooks, which will be packed up and find their new home eighteen hundred miles west}

{our bright & light living room, which i will miss dearly – complete with james’ packed bag, ready to go!}

{our first dinner in boulder, where i had the most delightful salmon dish}

{hiking, biking, & trails galore}

{our new farmer’s market}

{i was so tempted to buy everything!}