Friday, December 30, 2011

happy birthday, sweet boy....

My Dear Little Ben,
Wednesday, you turned one. I’ve been trying to write this letter to you for a week, and I have been struggling. No words seem big enough or important enough to share the page with my baby’s first birthday. I feel like all the things I have written to you in months past I want to say to you again, only this time, all at once and bigger and louder and brighter with spotlights and streamers and a brass band…

but even that doesn’t seem like nearly enough….

and all of that fanfare isn’t necessary anyway because all that really matters is said in silence…when I hold you to my chest at 3am and your tiny heart beats against mine until you slide up and fall asleep with your head on my pillow; when we watch tv together on the couch and you start to get sleepy and you gently rub my arm with your tiny, soft hands; when you crawl across the room in the middle of a game of catch, just to lay your head in my lap for a minute; when you smile at me….you have made my life worth living, little one.

The first couple of days of your life seem like yesterday, but at the same time, they seem like a million years ago. This has been both the most challenging and the BEST year of my life. You have taught me things I never even thought to wonder about, you have forced me to look at myself and take responsibility. I’m still working, every day, to be better for you and I will never stop. You deserve the best, my baby. The very best of everything in life.

On this first birthday, with your whole life ahead of you, please know that you can be ANYTHING you want to be…take the time to think long and hard at the decisions you will make and then, give those choices 100% of your commitment, your passion and your energy. Listen to your heart. Listen to your head, too, but your heart is more important. If you can’t hear what your heart is telling you, ask your momma. Be true to yourself. Be thankful, gracious and respectful. Never take for granted the many, many gifts you have been given and always remember how many other people are so much less fortunate than you are. Share your wealth with them freely. Do not judge, that’s not your job. Know that love is love, no matter who it is shared between. Support that love and nurture it at all costs because at the end of the day, love is the only thing in this life that really matters. Above all, love your mom.

My Ben…I am so proud of you, little one. You have grown so much and learned so much. I see a curiosity in your eyes and a fire in your little soul that is so amazing to me and I can’t wait to share with you all the adventures of your life.

I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for the gift that was given to me one year ago. Happy, Happy Birthday, my sweet love.

I love you with my whole heart,


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

i can't take it anymore!

oh my holy cheese and crackers!!!

the holidays are overwhelming, ok? duh. i get it. they always have been. it's just the nature of the beast. and the payoff is worth it, so it's cool, you know? you shop and wrap and eat and bake and drink and shop and eat some more and then stand in line and spend all your money and drink and eat and shop spend even more money and wrap and drink and then, on Christmas day, the whole world shuts down (except for 7-11) and you breathe....and relax...and stay in your pijamas as long as you want and open those presents and soak in the love and warmth and serenity of being surrounded by the people who are your whole world....

the pre-holiday prep was overwhelming before Ben was around, but now that he's here, with a december birthday to boot, it's just downright impossible....and i had big plans people! big ones!! i talked a big game about whipping up a batch of my girl Ree's Cinnamon Rolls and totally forgot about it untill yesterday, i was going to craft the birthday banner for Ben's high chair all by myself with my trusty cricut machine, make homemade sock monkey sugar cookies for his party, bring two pies to Christmas dinner, wrap all the presents because obviously boys suck at gift wrapping all while working full time with a total of zero days off.


so, the reality is, it turns out i am not kelly Ripa in an Electrolux commercial and and {wtf? who knew??}apparently,  i cannot do it all!

i currently am sitting here, head spinning, with my Outlook blinking at me, 2 half written emails open with cursors stuck mid sentence, a total of 5 browser windows open and 63 items unread in my google reader. i've got 3 post-its full of crap i have to do on my non-lunch break (CVS: dish soap, bubble bath, cards for daycare teachers, gift tags, stick on bows...) a stack of mail on my desk to take to the post office, a therapist to call so i can supplement my crazy pills with a little conversation, and a first birthday party menu to plan....

remember my dear santa list from earlier this week? scratch that. all i want for Christmas is a personal assistant and a nap.

but let it not go unsaid that for all of this, i am thankful. i am thankful to have the people i love so dearly that i want to shop and bake for and thankful that i have a small bit of extra money with which to buy dish soap and stick on bows and this month in particular? i am thankful for wine.

<insert manic laughter>

hey, if you need me? i'll have my head in the sand till mid january. love ya!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

dear santa....

i figure everybody loves a good gift guide....and while i have been stalking all of these things on the internet, adding them to shopping carts to and fro and then closing my browser superfast so as not to accidentally get out my credit card and buy them (like i did with the urban decay naked 2 palatte earlier this week...ooops.), i really do think these picks of mine would be great for anyone...your mom, your secret santa, your best girlfriend, your wife (ahem!)....and besides, i just really wanted to have them all in one place so i didn't have to keep cyber-stalking like a creep.

P.s. I just realized I screwed up my numbers. Seriously, how hard is it to number things? I'm


holly jolly

Real quick, I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for the overwhelming support and love I got the other day. Not a single word that was written to me in response to my post went unfelt in my heart and my soul and I appreciate them all more than I can say….it’s going to be ok. I know that because for the first time, I WANT it to be ok, and I think that is the most important part, and it felt good to get it out and know that even though it really, really feels like it sometimes (a lot of the time?) I’m not alone. So thank you.

On that note, I also want to put it out there that I am not entirely a sad sack who mopes and cries all the livelong day in real life. in fact, I have just as many, if not even more good days than bad! it’s just that the bad days happen to flatten me like a pancake, leaving sort of an icky, sticky, nicotine-like film on everything else…but that’s what the crazy pills are for (crazy pills, day two! Wahoo!)…

One of these particular good days was last Sunday when we packed up the monkey and headed to the mall for his very first encounter with Mr. Claus himself! The line was long, the monkey was tired, but because my kid is freakin’ AWESOME he pulled through like a champ!!

Can you even handle it? I mean seriously, can you? I think he and Santa got along very well and, if I was a betting woman, I’d put a whole lot of cash on Ben being on Santa’s good list this year! I guess we’ll have to wait and see…..

Our afternoon with Santa put us in such the Christmas spirit (might also have been the 2 Sam Adams Winter Lagers at dinner?) that we came home, dug the tree out of the garage, threw on some festive tunes including my cheesy faves The Waitresses’s ‘Christmas Wrapping’ and Dan Fogleberg’s ‘Another Old Lang Syne’, barricaded the tree behind the couch and got to decorating…

It was a HAPPY day.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

truth or dare?


This is the part where I share too much. I have a little problem with not letting most people see the real me. If I had to get to the root of it, I’d probably say that comes from wanting people to love me. Everywhere I go, all the new people I meet, waiters, bartenders, doctors, toll booth operators, David Cook (like how I threw him in there?), crabby grocery store checkout ladies, gas station attendants who don’t speak English, I smile a big smile and always (usually) say please and thank you, and try to make sure I have exact change to make their life easy and don’t make too many modifications to my order and crack a joke and leave them laughing if they’ll let me…some of them don’t let me, and that’s their problem….

And then they are all like “oh that Rachel! She is so cheerful! What a ray of sunshine!!”  which is why I have had to change 7-11s  for my morning coffee more times than I can count on one hand (the coffee station attendants tend to get a little stalkerish when you smile and say ‘good morning’ to them every day?). I believe this is also why, when I went to my doctor for my 6 week post-partum check up and she walked in the examination room to find me in hysterics, puffy, red rimmed eyes, snotty nose, blabbering incoherent gibberish about how much anxiety I had and how I was having a panic attack leaving my son home with my husband, she told me what I was feeling was perfectly normal, gave me a hug and said she’d see me in a year for my annual exam.


but I didn’t.

I sniffed back the tears and paid my copay, walked out to the elevator, took a deep breath and told myself for the millionth time that I was alone in this, nobody was going to help me, they didn’t want the burden (could I blame them?) and I just needed to keep doing what I had been doing for years and years and years….push it to the back of my mind, smile at a stranger and crack a joke. After all, maybe this breakdown would be the last one. Maybe it would never come back. Maybe if I act ‘as if’ long enough, one day I will wake up and just ‘be’.

I haven’t been around much.

It’s been a really hard week. I could blame it on the stress of the holiday season and the emotional rollercoaster of Ben’s first birthday swiftly approaching, I could blame it on being a working mother and never having enough hours in the day, I could blame it on my little boy still not sleeping consistently through the night….or I could call it what it is, what I’ve always known it was…

I called the doctor back last Friday. I basically told them that hey, remember when you said I was normal? Well, I thought you were wrong then and I think you’re even more wrong now. If you want to know the truth, if it were only me I had to worry about, I’d probably just keep right on suffering, pretending these demons would just go away, but ironically, it’s not about me now, it’s about Ben, and I might not love myself enough to fix me, but I love him enough to know he deserves a good life and a mom who is present and even…..(dare i?) happy….? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here…

There’s a lot to work out. It’s cumulative the doctor told me. I don’t want to whine, but I’ve been through a few major life events…but hasn’t everyone? I know how to count my blessings, I really do, but the bottom line is that knowing I’ve been incredibly blessed doesn’t diminish the fact that not having my mom anymore hurts my heart every day to an extreme that words can’t even describe and that I’m lonely here. I am so lonely.  Despite the fact that I’ve lived here for 8 years now, these aren’t my friends, this isn’t my home, nothing is familiar, nothing inspires me. I’m sure it’s all tied together somehow, but I am tired. I am tired of self-diagnosing and talking myself down from the ledge and faking a smile and telling a joke. I need someone or something else to hold me up for a little while. I need help.

So anyway, that’s my oversharing for the day. There’s not much else you need to know. You probably didn't even need to know this...I probably should have just said please and thank you, made a joke, smiled a lot and dug in my wallet for correct change...I just hope that soon, I will have acted as if long enough to really BE. In the meantime, will you still love me?


Friday, December 9, 2011


oh good heavens i am tired.........for a girl who doesn't know zilch about fixing a blog layout i think i did a decent job tonight. a few tweeks need to be why can't i find where to make some things not neon orange?  (along with excuses as to why i haven't posted - they are legit...super legit, actually, i think) and credit needs to be given (to my super talented friend Jo for the header and sig) but right now? i needs sleep. lots to talk about soon.....

and also, why the HECK i am not at my boyfriend's concert tonight when i had tickets to go (and a freakin' gorrrrrrrrrrgeous outfit!!!) and what the #$%& happened tuesday to get me feeling all oogy.....yeesh.

sorry to leave ya hangin folkies, but a girls gotta snooze.....night night!


Monday, December 5, 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!

ho! ho! ho!!!

sorry...i couldn't help myself! i've just been feeling so darned FESTIVE since friday!!! why friday, you ask?? well, a couple of weeks ago, i wrote about this crazy fun blog swap i was participating in called How The Glitz Stole Christmas hosted by gorgeous Raven and her equally as purty and glam BFF . i told you all about how lucky i was that i managed to score the super sweet, very adorable and totally fubulous dana as my gift swapper but what i didn't know then was that i was even luckier than i thought!!!

Dana's gift for me arrived on friday and i raced home from work because i had a feeling it would be waiting there for me...lemme tell you something ladies….THIS GIRL CAN SHOP!! i absolutely adored my glitzy prezzies! i keep trying to decide which is my favorite…i mean, i am obsessed with personalized stationery (how did she know??), and those cocktail napkins?? seriously? to die for! and that precious, perfect ornament? nothing could possibly be cuter! so thoughtful and creative! i love it all!

that was seriously SO much fun and i hope i have the opportunity to participate in something like this again….i just loved all of my little goodies from Dana, but even more than the presents, i am thankful to have a new friend…i honestly can’t think of a better gift than that!

thank you, Dana!!! it was a total blast being your glitz and glam partner! i am wishing you happy, healthy holidays filled with love and snuggles and sweet puppy kisses from your precious Frankie and hoping Santa brings you everything you ask him for!


Friday, December 2, 2011

11 months

Little Boy…
This is going to be a very emotional month for your momma. As we count down the days to your very first birthday, I can’t stop myself from reflecting. I am pretty sure most mothers feel the same way, but this time, those feelings belong to me and my heart is heavy. I’m remembering your tiny fingernails that were triangle shaped and how you had to wear mittens for months to keep from scratching your sweet face. I look back at the pictures from the hospital and my heart physically aches seeing how red and swollen your little eyes were from the reaction to the prophylactic eye drops. I remember how my heart overflowed with love in the darkness of the morning when I would wake up from the deepest, heavily medicated sleep to the faintest sounds of your tiny cry being wheeled to my room from the nursery. Your cry was so distinct to me. I could have picked it blindly from the cries of a million newborns, without question. I had never wanted to be near someone so badly, never felt my whole body tense from the desire to jump out of my bed and RUN to you even though I knew the nurse would be there with you in an instant. That instant was too long to wait. And those moments, nursing you in the morning with the sun filtering in the window, both of us falling asleep with you in my arms, were the only moments of my life I can say that I was happy down to my soul, completely and without regard to anything else in the world.

Your twinkly stubs of eyelashes.
The way your tiny nostrils almost looked closed because of the shape of your perfect nose.
Your chubby cheeks. And, when you were finally able to open them, i found eyes as deeply blue as the deepest edge of a Caribbean ocean. The eyes of my baby.
You were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, and every day you take my breath away with your perfection.
You are sweet and gentle, smart and funny, brave and careful. Loving. You are everything I hoped you would be and a million other amazing things I never even thought to dream of.

I can’t wait to celebrate with you, my love. it will, unquestionably be the most important celebration of my life….
So get your party hat on, Monkey.  Cuz momma’s about to go all out!!!

I love you, baby.
Love, Mom

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

wordless wednesday....thanksgiving 2011

good times were had by all on benny's first thanksgiving. he enjoyed goldfish crackers, turkey, stuffing and even some brussells sprouts and we enjoyed wine, laughter and each other's company. who could ask for anything more??

the one thanksgiving tradition we hold above all else (besides the turkey, obviously) is churning. we take our churning very seriously and the hands that have held tight to that handle and churned their little hearts out over the years are the hands we hold the closest in our hearts. it was ben's first year to churn and he was a rockstar. and if you've never tasted freshly churned butter? boy are you missing out!

beautiful monica and her beautiful daughter.

have i ever told you how much i love my sister in law?


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holiday Fabulousness!!!

Ladies!!! (and gents…..really, but this one is for the ladies) I am so excited today!!! A couple of weeks ago, I signed up to participate in just about the GREATEST little thing I had ever in my life heard of! One of my favorite bloggy girls Raven and her BFF Lindsey came up with this brilliant idea called the Glitz & Glam Holiday Blog Swap!

All you had to do was let them know you wanted to participate and then they matched you up randomly with another blogger to exchange a glitzy and glammy holiday prezzie with and sorry girls, but I got lucky  AGAIN and got paired up with Dana, the cutest, sweetest blogger and girls, for real, I can’t wait to get to shoppin’! This is going to be SO much fun!

So in the meantime, while I am zipping up the next installment of the stuff I am thankful for and shopping till I drop for muh boys and my Dana, go run right over to her blog and follow her so you can see the goodies when we post all about this swap on Monday, December 12th!! Seriously, SO fun!

Gobble gobble, my friends!


Monday, November 21, 2011

31 days of thankful, days 6-10

I am thankful for my Aunt Marylou and my Aunt Denise. They are my mom’s sisters and when I am with either of them, it is the closest I get to being with my mom again. the look like her, they sound like her, they talk like her, they have the same mannerisms and most importantly, they love like she did. They love me, they love Scott and they love Ben, and even though Benny will never know his Grandma Harriet, getting to know the two of them will bring him closer, and for that, I am more thankful than I could ever figure out how to say.

 I am thankful for my daisygirl. I miss her blond fur and her stinky breath and the way she would wake me up in the morning with my sock in her mouth, wagging her whole body and whining.

 I am thankful for my love of food. I know some people think it’s better to eat to live than to live to eat, but I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t find pleasure in food and joy in cooking and wasn’t creatively inspired on a trip to whole foods. What a bore. I love everything about food, the taste, the smell, the texture, the process, the art. I love how it brings people together and nourishes us, how it comforts us when we’re sad, or lonely or homesick. How it brings back memories and connects us to our past like nothing else can. I could do without the havoc it wreaks on my thighs, but it’s delicious, and I am thankful that I appreciate it.

I am thankful for wine. Need I say more? puligny montrachet, mostly, but I’m not too proud. Give me a cheapy bottle of barefoot cab, and I’ll still be your best friend.

 I am thankful for this blog and the beautiful people I have met because I decided to start writing it. I'm also thankful for the beautiful people who hardly know i exist, whose blogs i read and am touched by every day. The blogging community amazes me and I feel lucky to have stumbled upon it, lucky to find inspiration in it, honored to read the stories and see the pictures of so many beautiful and creative people who also share their lives on this here little internet thingy.