the friday post – vol. 12

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Ahhhhh Friday! And ONE WEEK LEFT OF SCHOOL! I could not be more thrilled. I had my last classes in the library today (movie week!), and it feels good. Even if you work a “regular” job, I’m sure you’re celebrating this Friday especially because hello long weekend! We don’t have anything special planned which will make it feel even more relaxing.

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It’s been so rainy lately that we have these sweet little mushrooms popping up all over the garden! The rain has been fantastic for my herbs and the grass, but not great for our enjoyment of the great outdoors. It’s raining as I write this and I’m feeling like this weekend may be a cozy and peaceful one with pitter pattering on our rooftop.

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I made Ina’s chicken parmesan this week with a side of garlic bread from my loaf of no-knead bread. It was especially good. Mike emphatically stands that it’s not really chicken parmesan because it doesn’t have a red sauce. He thinks it’s really just a salad with breaded chicken which is totally fair. But still delicious. I had this recipe on the menu this week for my *new* recipe, but we didn’t get around to it because of a few extra after school events! It’s getting shifted to next week and I’m still excited about it.

It’s officially rosé wine season, and I have jumped right on the bandwagon with my whole heart. So refreshing! Such an easy summer bevvie! I want to try this recipe for rosé sangria which sounds amazing. I may just have to host a happy hour so I can try it. 🙂

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Everything is blooming around us right now! Trees, flowers, bushes! I don’t know why, but I feel like I’m noticing all of it especially much this year. We had our jasmine vine on the front porch in bloom a couple weeks ago, and now it’s the roses. What’s next, I don’t know!

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I’m so looking forward to a quiet weekend at home with my two boys (plus Wendy) , lots of snuggling, too many belly laughs, and happy hours every night. 🙂 What are you looking forward to this weekend? Something wonderful, I hope!

xx, em

simple joys: reading in bed

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In the spirit of celebrating life’s simple joys, you’ll find a new series here every now and then. Every day, we are left with the vast responsibility of our feelings – both good and bad, positive and negative. I’m hoping this series will help bring focus to the small, simple things that bring joy and happiness to my everyday life, and maybe yours too! I hope they might inspire you {and me} to look at your little life in the big world with a fresh perspective, realizing how nice it is to be positive, and perhaps to appreciate the ritual of making your morning oatmeal, or that ray of sun coming through your window just so, even the beauty of your empty *empty!!* laundry basket. Maybe – over time – we’ll see that there’s a certain kind of satisfaction in noticing that the daisy sitting on your coffee table really is beautiful, and you really are so lucky to have it hanging out in your house. And even if you do inadvertently walk through a spider web with your face while taking the dog out, your coffee really does taste amazing this morning…


I had nearly forgotten that I used to religiously read in bed each night. Then, this weekend, Mike came in with the mail and handed me a rumpled manila envelope with my name on it. Tucked inside the package was a book. A pass along from my mom who knew I had badly been wanting to read Little Fires Everywhere. Joy of all joys! How does one forget that they used to do something religiously for 29 years of their life? It was as natural to me as breathing. I simply could not happily fall asleep unless I read a chapter before bed. Physically I could, that is. But I was happier and would go to sleep with ease if I read a chapter of my book while settling in for the night.

Well, the valid explanation is that Mike and I welcomed a baby into our life who upended everything about our nights. And so my chapter a night habit took an almost six month hiatus because of the baby slumbering next to our bed each night. I loved having Charlie in our room, tucked in his little bassinet. Or even better, tucked in between us in bed. I loved hearing him breathe in and out, even as a metronome, and being right there next to him to nurse him through the night when he stirred. It was time to move him over to his crib though. He sleeps so much better with room to roll over and sleep on his belly or side if he wants to. He stirs and settles himself. But it still gives me little jolt of sadness to think about him in the room down the hall when he used to live right with us night after night. But just a little jolt. Maybe it’s a jolt of nostalgia rather than sadness. If I’m honest, we’re all sleeping better with him in his crib. It was time.

Reflecting on it now, the first couple weeks of crib sleep were a little tense for me. I was torn over wanting him to continue waking up through the night to show that he still needed me, and wanting him to sleep well so that he could get the sleep he needed. The whole wanting your baby to stay a baby, I guess. He’s to the point of sleeping through the night every now and then (two nights in a row this week!) which is a good thing. I’m coming to terms with the end of night wakings. I may be the minority, but I’ve always known that I would miss them when they ended. The snuggling of a sweet baby when the rest of world is asleep just can’t be beat. But our nights are starting to feel a little more like they did before we had Charlie. We have a routine down. Mostly. There are, of course, some nights that are exceptions. But it feels like now, nights (after 7:30pm) are steering back to being about Mike and spending time together, rather than the stress of if Charlie would or wouldn’t wake up. They’re also steering back toward going to bed a few minutes early so I can read my chapter in bed.

I forgot what a peaceful end to the day it is. Just a few pages to settle me down, to quiet my mind and move on from the day. Having a light on in the bedroom at night seems like such a luxury! Finding my pajamas when I’m going to bed instead of at 7pm when I’m starting to get Charlie ready. Flinging the covers off the bed, cracking open my book, turning a page as loud as I’d like, setting my glass of water down on the side table after taking a noisy drink, saying ‘night and I love you’s aloud to my husband. Ah! Luxury! Simple joys here. Its a simple joy to have – getting to read in bed. A thing I have loved all my life, and am remembering to love again.

a slow sunday.

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It was 4pm and it felt like we hadn’t done a thing all day. Charlie took a half hour long afternoon nap, then an extra half hour nap in my arms after that, and another half hour after that when I finally set him back down in his crib, shaking out the pins and needles in my arms. I banged around the house, halfheartedly trying to wake him up, peering out at the clouds trying to determine the likelihood of rain.

The sky had looked threatening all day, and I remembered the humid wind barreling toward us on our morning, post-church run that morning. A storm was coming. The urge to cozy up together on the couch was strong, but I also had the urge to see the waves. It had been a couple weeks, and we were due.

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I finally heard a whimper during my overly enthusiastic search for beach towels in the closet right next to his room. On went his trunks, swim shirt, and into the car seat he went. The intracoastal was dark and choppy as we crossed the bridge to our little local beach, making us think that we may be too close to the storm to stay.

The waves were rough but not too big. A yellow flag waved, warning about riptides. As we got to the water the sand pitched down to the water in a steep dip making a little ledge to walk down to the ocean edge. We set our chairs up on the packed sand below the ledge and left our bag on a chair. The wind whipped around us, bending the palm trees on the boardwalk. I felt my hair turning into a birds nest. Charlie’s hat kept blowing off so I finally tucked it in our bag. We wouldn’t be out long.

Charlie stared out at the waves, unsmiling. Did he like it? Was it scary? Was the water too cold? Every time we come to the beach, he’s just a little bit bigger, a little bit older. What if he doesn’t like it this time? We let him stand in the sand and the waves came in covering him to his knees. Mike grabbed a handful of seaweed for him to feel. He grabbed a handful of sand and tried to bring it to his mouth, Mike stopping him just in time. I crouched down to rinse his hands with seawater, laughing as my shorts got soaked by a wave. We’re pretty sure he still likes it.

We didn’t stay long. Just long enough to call it an adventure. We’ll be back again next week. The storm came later that night, rattling the windows and bringing down palm fronds, tiny unripe mangos and bougainvillea blooms all over the neighborhood. I’m glad it held off for our afternoon. The slow end to a weekend that went by far too fast.

the friday post – vol. 7

It officially feels like summer here in Florida. Not quite the sticky, heavy, damp-immediately-when-you-walk-out-the-door kind of Florida summer heat, but what I, as a midwestern gal think of as summer nonetheless. My spring break garden is growing like gangbusters thanks Charlie and I’s daily watering adventure, we’ve been taking lots of walks around the neighborhood, and my sandal tan is making its annual come-back.

I’ll be honest – It’s actually fantastic that this week is ending because this week and I didn’t get along very well. I shattered one of our half gallon mason jars in the sink on Monday night. Then on Tuesday I overslept, woke up frantically with half an hour to get ready, feed Charlie and be on my way. I proceeded to forget all of my pump supplies, so I had to call mike to ask him to bring them to me after he dropped Charlie off. The house is a mess. I still have laundry from last weekend that needs put away while having another three loads that need run. Classes in the library have begun and while they’re going really well and make the day fly by, it makes me feel like a scattered mess. I feel like I have everything I had to do before with the addition of classes all afternoon. And on top of all that, Charlie’s daycare has three new teeny babies who understandably need lots of love and attention, but that means every few times I check in on him on video, he seems to be crying. This week and I. We need to end things.

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Looking on the bright side though – Charlie slept through the night for the first time this week, I passed another of my teaching exams, there are only 8 weeks left of school, and it’s finally FRIDAY!!

I just finished The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty the other day. Highly recommend. Chick lit drama at its finest. Currently listening to Happiness At Home by Gretchen Rubin and loving it so far. While making me realize how happy I already am at home, it also is making me take a closer look at how I show gratitude and affection to Mike. I love anything happiness related and listen to Gretchen’s podcast, Happier, religiously so I knew I’d love her book too. The Happiness Project is actually her first book. I also started reading Brooklyn by Colm Tolbin and I’m having a hard time getting into it. Someone tell me to keep at it. I’ve heard such good things. Anyone have any other book recommendations? I’m in a bookish phase and I’m taking advantage.

I can’t think of a thing we’re doing this weekend. I guess it will be a surprise! Whatever your plans are this weekend, I hope you kick up your feet and enjoy! xx, em

welcome!

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Hi there! I’m so happy that you’re paying a visit to this little corner of the web. I hope you’ll come back soon for more fun posts featuring snapshots of our life in South Florida. Posts on food, books, travel, home, baby, and stories from our day to day are coming your way soon. You can check out my about page to read a little bit more about my family if you’re interested. Also, feel free to follow along on Instagram!