We all went on our first family trip at the end of September.  We went to Sanibel Island which sits off the coast of Ft. Myers on the gulf side of Florida.  This was Chase’s first airplane trip and like most things in his life so far, he proved to be a well behaved and happy traveler, despite cutting 3 teeth in the time we were there.  We had a fantastic time, but I learned the new reality of traveling, it really isn’t that relaxing with a child.  I was very thankful to have my parents and sister with us, so despite all of their much appreciated help, I still had a 10 ½ month old with me.

My family has been going down to Sanibel since my sister was Chase’s age, so it was really cool to share the experience with him.  I was also able to spend the longest amount of time I have spent with him since I was on maternity leave.  As usual, Brad was an enormous help and enjoyed himself too.  We all (including Chase) came back sporting some great tans.  Here are a couple of shots from vacation.

Preggo Brain

I had always heard things about becoming a mom.  Nothing else matters.  Your husband will cease to exist.  You will never love as much as you love your child.  I sat at dinner in a restaurant one night with my mom and beside us was a table of 6 or 8 pregnant woman.  All they talked about the ENTIRE meal was being pregnant.  I resolved that I would never be one of those women.  How could it be that important or that time consuming?  I mean millions, billions of woman have had children over thousands and thousands of years.  Good grief.

As with just about everything involving pregnancy and parenthood, I fell right into every stereotype that I had used the n word about before these things actually happened (you know, “never”).  By some twist of incredible fate I was pregnant at the same exact time as two of my closest friends from high school and the three of us were due within 6 weeks of each other.  When we got together, all we talked about was our impending new additions.

The worst pregnancy/motherhood cliché was the labor story.  We have all met those women that can parrot in very excruciating detail every nuance of their 47 hour labor.  And these chicks had babies 20, 30, 40 years ago.  I knew, knew that I would not do that.  Nope.  I didn’t care if I went natural or had three epidurals or delivered in a Target, I was not going to recount my story to friends, let alone complete strangers.

These days I find myself telling anyone and everyone my “labor” (there’s a reason it is in quotes, and don’t worry, you will all hear it one day) story.  My poor mother has had to endure it at least a dozen times.  There are seldom conversations that I have with anyone that don’t involve my pregnancy or Chase being born.  How did this happen?  Why am I this way?  What is so special about my child or my experience with him?  Again, scores of women have babies every single day, what makes my story any more impressive or interesting?  Because he’s mine.  And I haven’t been so happy in my life.  I love relishing every single second of him being here and him being in utero .  I love thinking about what I was doing last year at this exact time.  Remembering the exact day that I felt him move for the first time, or the three day stretch where he literally sat on top of my bladder, knowing he was awake in the morning when he had hiccups, or collecting all of my urine for 24 hours because doctors were concerned about my blood pressure.  I love hearing a song on the radio and it making me feel nauseous because I was so early in my pregnancy when it was all over the airwaves or the songs that I heard on the way to the doctor on the day he was born.

In fact if I could have my way I would be able to relive that day.  I wish I could remember every single detail.  From the smell of that fall day to the every detail about the hospital and my room and the doctors and the nurses and the timeline of the entire day to the calls that I got to how I felt to the weather.  I had no idea that the things that happened that day were going to happen the way that they did so I didn’t give much thought to anything until it was too late.  I wrote it all down in a 10 page word document, but that still isn’t enough. I want to live through it all over again.

So I go over that day in my head as much as I can.  Some days I can’t get it out of my head and others I can’t remember small aspects of it that used to be crystal clear.  Which may have a lot to do with a lot of other women.  You have to hear yourself say it so you can admit that the day actually happened and better yet, you have a very clear memory of the best day of your life.

Autumn Autumn Autumn Time

You see, it just does not have the same ring as “summer”.  There is nothing to get excited about when it comes to fall.  Let’s be honest, who is so stoked about it getting cold and the sun setting super early.  You know all of those fall bbqs and cookouts, laying out at the beach in long sleeves and drinking cold beverages in the chilly temperatures.  Sign me up!

I love summer.  Love it.  Can’t wait for it.  Spend most of the year wishing it was summer. Despite that, and against my better judgment, I don’t hate fall.  In fact, I kind of enjoy it (but don’t tell anybody).  I like the smells of fall.  I get excited about pumpkin flavors (which clearly don’t have a place in the summer, trust me, I tried to do it the other day),  the crispness in the air, breaking out some of the cooler clothes, the foliage (I’m getting old, I know), the lack of tourists at the beach and the fact that I can bring my dog down there, Virginia Tech football, Thanksgiving, and now the best part of fall is my son’s birthday.

I don’t know if it is a mental thing or literally happens the Tuesday after Labor Day.  The humidity starts to drop, the mornings are chillier and darker, the brilliant green of the leaves starts to fade and the Pumpkin Spice Latte makes its debut (and of course, I’ve already had one).  People start to break out the jeans, sweaters and blankets, tans fade immediately and just like that, it’s fall.

So although you may mourn the end of summer, embrace the fall.  It took me close to 25 years to finally come to grips with it, but I enjoy the vineyard trips, changing leaves, pig skin and giving birth in October.

Here’s to hoping you have a great fall…



One of my favorite and best pals at work is eloping in Tahiti or Bora Bora.  I can’t remember which one, but she’s going to both.  Yes, you can hate her too.  She had her bachelorette party at the bay a couple of weekends ago which meant it was time to bake!

I whipped up some chocolate chip cookies and some lemon vanilla cookies and they were gobbled up by the dozen beautiful ladies at the party.  Unlike other people, I don’t give out my recipes, but she might, so you can stalk her page if you are interested.  The lemon vanilla cookies are so pretty when they come out of the oven and their taste matches their appearance.

Lemon Vanilla Cookies

What wasn’t eaten were brought home to a very happy fiancé.  Best wishes to the both of you and can’t wait to see pictures from paradise!