Tag Archives: personal

It’s a boy!March 17, 2014

Officially introducing… Leo Wilder!

While things have been quiet on the blog, they’ve been anything but at home. Leo came around at 4:23am on January 12th – a whole TWO months ago now. He was a week early and a peanut, weighing in at 7lbs, 7oz (compared to Lucy’s 9lbs, 1oz), and measuring 20.5”. His personality so far is exactly what I expected from my pregnancy… loud and quite fidgety. He’s also a total mess, with bodily fluids spewing from both ends, and often simultaneously. Noise covered in dirt, they say. Quite a different ride than my little independent hobo princess who keeps correcting me when I tell people she’s four. “Four and a HALF!” she explains. Silly me. She was just my little baby… the one who slept through the night at 6 weeks (sigh).

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Merry (Belated) Christmas, From Us to YouDecember 30, 2013

This has been the longest holiday celebration we’ve ever had – almost a week full of dinners and family and long visits. The season was made longer by an ambitious Advent calendar and plenty of handmade gifts (like this, this, thisthis, and this – yes, there were plenty more not documented). I’m not complaining – we certainly made the most of our last one-child Christmas. While we wind down, I wanted to share my family’s holiday video (in lieu of cards). Catch a peak at my huge belly, some Bowie cat, and our humble tree decor. Many thanks to my husband for putting this together… and revising it to include some my favorite ornaments.

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A Simple Cookie BasketDecember 20, 2013

Yesterday I posted this little project to Instagram. It was so simple (and delicious), I thought I’d share the recipe and how-to for you last-minute gifters like me.

  • Chocolate peppermint cookies: I’ve been making this Martha recipe for years, and they’ve become my most requested recipe. Lucy helped by having fun smashing candy canes.
  • Paper plate baskets: I used baker’s twine in place of washi tape and it holds together just fine.
  • Final touches were bits and bobs from around the house: unbleached parchment paper, plain tags, and some greens cut from our Christmas tree.

I even got to making some more with Lucy last night, though we dressed hers up with some watercolors, pretty ribbon, and tissue paper (we used sandwich bags for her to package the cookies). With our baked goods in the freezer, we can put together a cookie basket when she’s ready to gift.

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Thank you, Dear VeteransNovember 11, 2013

Sending a big thank you to all of our veterans today. My great-grandfathers, grandfathers, and several uncles have served our country proudly, including my late Uncle Andy. Here he is commemorating his father’s honor on Ie Shima Island in Okinawa, Japan. I’m quite grateful for people like him, defending our freedom.

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A move or a baby?August 5, 2013

Every year seems to bring a new accomplishment:

  • 2006 – Graduated from Drexel.
  • 2007 – Bought a house.
  • 2008 – Got married (then pregnant).
  • 2009 – Had the kid.
  • 2010 – Began grad school.
  • 2011 – Started a business.
  • 2012 – Graduated from Philadelphia University.
  • 2013 – Move or get pregnant?

The deal was that after I finished grad school, we would either move north or have another kid. We were undecided once the time came. Lucy had begun school in the fall of 2012 and my business relies on local, reliable vendors and sources. Moving would mean uprooting, but doing so later would be more difficult. After visiting friends in my husband’s hometown of Portsmouth, NH, we started looking for houses. This happens quite often when we visit because we are in love with the town. The housing market was quite dismal, as we expected, but something else occurred to us… we renovated our house ourselves. We ripped it down to studs and made it a home. To leave it behind and move somewhere we hadn’t poured our hearts into felt strange. That’s not to say we will never move. We could always get another fixer-upper (my husband is shaking his head as he reads this). However, we decided it wasn’t the right time to relocate so… baby it is!

In January 2014, we will welcome another little one into our home! We are all very excited here, and I’m hoping you won’t mind as I probably add a little more baby-related posts, tweets, and pins. Lucy is already picking names (Princess Barbie for a girl or Score for a boy) and planning for her role as a big sister (wearing my clothes? I don’t think she gets this part…). Tom and I are planning a potential renovation to best fit another human in this live/work/sleep place we call home. 5 and 1/2 months to go!

Portsmouth photo by Beaupre Photography

Pregnant photo from 2009, 7 months along with Lucy

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Be the helper. Every day.December 17, 2012

In the wake of Friday’s events, every parent in America – nay, the world – was squeezing their babe(s) tighter than before. This tragedy affected so many people in incredible ways. Whether questioning faith, safety, or government, it struck the core of humankind. It dredged up unknown feelings of hate and fear within us that we didn’t know were there. This holiday season will have a somber yet grateful tone as we mourn the lost innocence of children, both in Sandy Hook and beyond, and appreciate our friends and families more than we did on Thursday. The questions of why and how may never be answered nor understood, but we must accept that life is precious despite age, race, or community, and that we can also affect change on smaller levels to have meaning and be present in the everyday.

Sandy Hook rocked the boat for our general sense of safety and security. If an affluent community’s elementary school can be a target, then… whose community is safe? This sense of insecurity is what people around the world face each day throughout their lifetime. As Americans, we should be grateful for our freedoms, but we should also understand that it requires co-dependence within each community for citizens to care for one another. This tragedy may or may not affect the Second Amendment, or provide better mental health diagnoses and treatment, or increase safety and security measures everywhere. But we can do more than hope for safety in our neighborhoods and for our children. We can “pay it forward,” because a small act of kindness can rekindle our faith in people. The other day I saw a jogger stop to pick up debris in public landscaping, heard a friend gush about their good fortune of a free cup of coffee from the person ahead (and doing the same for another), and a chorus of coffee shop goers singing happy birthday to someone (I really like coffee). Simple and often overlooked, these are the small moments in my day that give me pause to be thankful for the “helpers,” and peace to know that these are the people that make even the worst of times a little bit better.

Rules of Friendship by Three Sixty Press
Editor’s Note 4/5/13: Much thanks to Mitko for offering a different perspective on this sensitive issue with this reference article.
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The First Roast / June 7, 2012September 26, 2012

I’ve always known my father to be a coffee drinker, but never quite knew his passion for the brew. Then this past March, he traveled to Vermont for a week-long course on coffee-roasting, where he fell even more in love with the craft.

What started as a leisurely hobby quickly grew into a business over the summer. My father, the “master roaster” (which sounds like he needs a scepter and cape), is the brain behind the operation. He’s so serious about the coffee experience that he’s corrected me for using my French Press wrong for years (here’s the real way to do it – which I’ll admit is much better). My brother, Joey, became his business partner and started selling pounds of coffee like hotcakes. Together, they’ve thrown themselves into a brick-and-mortar roast shop in nearby historic Medford, NJ, set to open next month!

It’s been really exciting to see both of them doing something they love, and it’s rubbed off on the rest of the family. I had the opportunity to design the store and the company branding, which I’m so excited to share with you soon. My younger siblings also stepped up: Zach, RN, has been helping with construction round the clock; and Devin, future RN, will have a kitchen there to bake up some tasty concoctions. Harvest Coffee will officially debut next month and I’m so excited – and proud – to share it!

These photos were taken during his first roast on June 7, 2012, with us kids (and a grandkid somewhere…) in tow to witness the special moment.

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Two Thousand and TwelveJanuary 4, 2012

Happy New Year!

I’ve overwhelmed thinking of the year ahead so instead I’ll try to appreciate the year that has passed – adventures had, lessons learned, and accomplishments made. 2011 was a year of personal development for me, including my first solo trip (3 weeks in beautiful Scandinavia!), a new business venture (check out my latest – and favorite – project here), and I became an aunt (the easiest accomplishment ever). I could not have made it to 2012 without my ridiculously supportive husband and the never-ending energy of my toddler. So thank you, family!

What about the resolutions, you say? Can you really ever say, “I’m not making any resolutions this year”? It’s a new year, and everyone must have a few things they want to do differently, but I just want to survive. After looking back on last year’s resolutions – which I barely accomplished #1 and fell way short on the others, I think I’ll just try my best to get through 2012. I’ll be completing my degree (thesis – ugh) and getting my 2yr-old ready for nursery school (which includes a big girl bed and potty-training – UGH). So, yeah, 2012 will be a grin-and-bear-it sort of year, but I love a challenge.

For now, enjoy the View above! Typographic ice sculptures from Nicole Dextras :

“The Ice Typography series consists of three-dimensional words fabricated in ice placed outdoors that speak to how the viewer’s gaze frames and informs the landscape. The installations have varied from 8-foot high ice letters on the Yukon River to 18-inch high letters set in downtown Toronto. When the ice texts are installed on site, the temperature determines how long it will take for them to change state from solid to liquid. This phase of transition becomes symbolic of the interconnectedness of language and culture to the land as they are affected by time and by a constant shifting and transforming nature.” via LPP

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A Summer WeekendAugust 2, 2011

It has been super hot here, day and night. So this weekend we decided to visit my aunt who conveniently lives by the beach. Tom and I packed up all the crap that is required to bring a toddler away for 24 hours, as well as my home-from-college-and-unemployed sister, and went down Friday night for a free concert on the beach. I found myself singing along to Journey, Neil Diamond, and even (gulp) Steely Dan at one point. Lucy was running around, screaming like a banshee while all the other kids were ready to pass out. Maybe if someone wasn’t spoiling her with juice and cookies…

On Saturday, we headed to the beach. Lucy chased seagulls, my husband and sister caught minnows, and I just sat and watched. I rarely sit and do nothing so it was quite nice. Now it is already Tuesday and this memory seems further than a few days away.

But, more importantly, how was your weekend? How’s the summer going? It’s already halfway over – can you believe it?! Heat waves aren’t going anywhere, but I hope you are getting away – even if it’s only to the movies or the beach for a few days. In the meantime, enjoy this lovely art by Christopher Stott to keep you cool, wherever you are.

via Anthology Magazine

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The ReturnJuly 8, 2011

I’m back in the States and back to the grind. But I’m pulling together some highlights from my trip through Scandinavia that will undoubtedly last all month. So stay tuned!

Photo by ME – Some pals I met in Voss

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