Dear Little Brother,

little brother

Dear Little Brother,

I couldn’t help but think about our talk last week. How overwhelmed you felt with the opportunities life had given you and also the tons of unanswered questions you still had about your summer in NYC (like, for starters, where you were going to live!). It feels like not too long ago I was doing the same things you are. But instead of New York City it was Boston for me, and instead of 2014 – it was 2008. That was a pivotal summer for me for so many reasons, and in reflecting back to those New England summer days, here are my hopes and advice for you…

1. Be a “yes” to all life throws at you this summer. Drive up to Vermont at 4am to go watch a dirt bike competition just for the day? Sure – why not! Climb a rope to get onto a rooftop from a 4th story open-air stairwell to get beautiful views of the city? Great idea! (Especially after a few gin and tonics). Choosing beer over groceries and grazing over all the samples at Whole Foods and the mall eatery instead? You got fed didn’t you? And lets not forget to initiate a staring contest with the guy (or in your case, girl) who won’t stop giving you the googly eyes every time you happen to be facing their direction. I was hoping to creep him out enough to make him go away. Didn’t quite work out that way. I guess what I’m trying to say is, be a little less responsible than you normally are this summer. You’re 22 going on 40 some days, and there will be time for all that serious stuff.

boston 2008

2. Expect to have the best time of your life, but also expect to be more broke than you’ve ever been. I slept on a twin mattress on a floor in a single bedroom with Ingrid that summer. Her twin mattress was on the other side of the room. We had a small round table that dubbed as a desk during the day, and an old futon that we were both sleeping on by the end of the summer. We had no A/C and would steal fans from one another when the first person fell asleep – and despite stripping down to sports bras and shorts, it was still ungodly hot in there. Our kitchen was the size of a small closet, and Ingrid ate cereal with water a few times (I think she is still proud of that one). We lived on the 5th floor of a building whose elevator was more of a death trap than a mode of transportation. In fact, Ingrid’s dad almost lost an arm helping us move in the first few days…we chose to take the stairs after that. Having to pay for gas hurt us deep in our soul, and the weekends we managed to get away to Scituate to visit Ingrid’s mom, we ate like animals and slept like babies. Money comes and money goes. There’s beauty in the solo moments in your life when there are no strings attached to anyone but yourself.

3. You’re going to get lost. A lot. Maybe not as much as I did because NYC is mostly commuted by subway – but that moment will come. Pause. Pull out your smartphone, and all will be well again. Unless your battery is dead. That is when you fight your man instincts to figure it out on your own and instead opt to ask someone where the hell you are.

4. Preserve your memories. I wrote weekly emails to everyone back home about all the adventures, people, and quirks about the city I had noticed that week. I kept a running list on my phone of things I didn’t want to forget. Perhaps for you it will be photos, or short videos. Or maybe just business cards or matchboxes of the places you’ve visited. It will be fun to look back on those one day.

5. Call mom once a week. I remember dad and I fighting about my lack of communication that summer. Where I am now, expecting my first little one, I can see why it was hard to not hear from me when they were used to having me around all the time. Mom will never admit to needing to hear from you but trust me – it matters. Choose a day, choose a time, and check-in even if only for 10 minutes. It will go a long way in not getting mom’s infamous sass and I’m pretty sure you gain brownie points with God when you do those types of things.

6. Get outside the city whenever you can. I loved Boston, everything about it. The people, the sports, the accents; but I also have amazing memories of the times we got outside the city. Like ocean kayaking for the very first time and sailing off of Cape Cod only to be followed by horrific nausea (it was either the Mikes Hard Lemonade or rough waters that are to blame). I roasted on a ferry in the heat of July when I decided to wear all black to Martha’s Vineyard and biking through woods to small beaches Erik knew of. I remember taking a walk with Ingrid to collect the heart shaped stones you find on the beaches only to end up mistakenly stumbling upon a nude beach of retired folks. Now THAT was a moment. We visited friends of Ingrid’s that lived by a salt marsh and had the best dinner that night. Shrimp curry, rice, and sautéed spinach. I still remember. We woke up to fresh blueberry scones and ground coffee brewing the next morning. I thought I was in heaven. I read, I lounged, and at times, I did nothing – and you know what, it was just as much fun as the nights of partying in the city.

7. When it’s all said and done, coming back home will be a buzz kill. I stayed up all night visiting every bar I loved the night before I had to catch my 8am flight. I couldn’t believe 3 months had gone by so fast. I hugged every friend I made a million times, and said goodbye to every milestone I loved (Goodbye T that catches on fire every other week. Goodbye reflection pool. Goodbye building/sweat lodge.) Ingrid and I hugged and cried at the airport as her then boyfriend sang me a tune bidding me farewell. Yeah, coming back home to responsibilities and school was all sorts of awful – but you know what…it passed, and now I only remember how much I loved that summer.

I guess what I am trying to say little brother is that there is a season for everything in life. A season to be young and reckless, a season to be confused and lost, a season to settle down and invest your time and energy in others. That’s the beauty of life; it changes. This is way sappier that I could ever be in person with you but just know that I am SO proud of you. Watching you experience life makes me smile and when push comes to shove and you’re tackling your next adventure, this group of crazies you call family will be here to root you on.

family

I guess all there is left to say is….GO! This summer will be a legendary one!

Love,
Me

Spring Blog “Sale”

Call it nesting or working really hard at emptying our new home of all the clutter, but these last few weeks I’ve been a Craigslist selling machine! I haven’t shared the goodies on here because quite frankly, I’m not up to shipping a pull-out sofa bed or stand-up jewelry armoire across the country…but these goodies below…well, you’re in luck!

6 Shore Road – “Night” Malay Lace Romper 

With a third trimester belly to sport this summer and a newborn on the way, my days of backless rompers are on hold for the foreseeable future. I did manage to wear this out on the town once last summer at the beach but its been neglected ever since! My loss is your gain.

Retailed Price: $115 – Asking: $75. US Size: L (8 or 10)

Adjustable criss-cross shoulder straps
Drawstring waist
Lace shorts
Front slit pockets
Scalloped hem

Romper

Chanel 3203 Eyeglass Frames 

I fell in love with these frames the minute I saw them. I should have known better than to buy frames that were a bit too snug in width, but hey – that’s what having a store credit will make you do! In any case, these fancy Chanel frames were short-lived and have been hanging out in their original case and box ever since.

Retail Price: $380 – Asking: $230.

Temple Length: 135mm
Gender: Unisex
Frame Color: C 714
Frame Material: Plastic
Lens Width: 53mm
Bridge Size: 16mm

 

chanel framesComment below if you’re interested! Happy Blog “shopping”! xx

 

 

Mother’s Day

motherday_1I have a habit of anticipating and building moments up, that by the time they get here I’m exhausted from all the excitement that’s been going on in my head. I play through the experiences we haven’t yet had and the feelings that I’m sure are going to be felt – that sometimes, my imagination and reality don’t quite match up.

Pregnancy has been great for bursting that bubble because the reality is, these days I’m not in control of 90% of the things I thought I was. I woke up Mother’s day morning thankful for the things that already exist in my life: a momma who loves me and makes us all laugh, a momma-in-law, that although far, always remember to send a sweet card for the number of holidays we don’t get to spend together (and that I carry around with me from book-to-book that I’m reading at any given time). I was thankful for a sister and brother who I know adore me, and best of all – a hubby that was home to celebrate and a healthy baby on the way.

As I was getting ready to start our day and John was in the living room playing clash of clans on his phone I’m sure, I thought out loud as I was putting my make up on from the bathroom.

Me: “Ya know. I think this is my new favorite holiday!
John: “Oh yeah? Why’s that babe?
Me: “Because I feel like I really earned this one. Like I did something amazing that I’ll never forget. For the rest of my life, I’ll be a mother.”

Woah, that was a thought!

A great friend of ours who manages a restaurant in the city insisted on us having brunch on the house! That woman, she has a heart of gold. We ate a ton of great food that day, went to the movies as a family (which I can’t remember the last time we did that was) and painted the nursery that evening.

family_mothersday

I was spoiled by all that day. My mother gave me a porcelain figurine that HER mother gave her when I was born. In fact, I can’t tell you how many times she’s had to hot glue that thing back together because of all the times we’ve knocked it over in our lifetime. And John, well that man never seems to disappoint when it comes to gift giving and this time was no exception. Inside a packed envelope that he exclaimed was the “best gift he’s bought for me to date”, was a brochure and receipt for a months worth of classical guitar lessons that he would renew if I liked my teacher. My father played the classical guitar, and it’s something I always wished I had taken the time to learn from him, as it was such a big part of my upbringing.

Here is a gift for you to give to Daniel, something you so loved about your father and I know our baby boy will love about his mother. Happy First Mother’s Day! Love, J

So here goes nothing y’all. Just a girl, her bump, and her poppa’s guitar. xx

guitarbump

 

Momma-to-Be

KD_20 weeks pregnantI’m, oh, almost 7 months along and finally ready to share our big news: ladies and blogger gents, we’re having a baby! There’s a reason outside of fetal development that pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. Our friends and families were taken aback by our request to keep this hush-hush until we were ready to flip the green light “on” and for the social media gates to open. So much has happened over these past 26 weeks that catching you up would take me hours to do – but long story short, being pregnant has been the most inexplicable experience of my life.

Baby Dixon wasn’t on our radar. In fact, my hubby’s favorite line throughout this pregnancy has been: “I beat birth control!” (Head smack, embarrassing). The first trimester was a battle of trying to stay awake (oh my God, the exhaustion), praying to the nausea jujus that it would soon go away, and trying to keep a kitchen stocked with enough wheat bread, peanut butter and jelly for me to consume at every single meal. I’m serious – it saved my life. But the flip-side of that was wrapping my head around the realization that this was really happening. In retrospect, I see now that I was scared of all the things I knew were out of my control; was this baby growing inside of me here to stay, were we ready for this huge responsibility, how much was my body going to transform and how would having a baby change my relationship with my friends and husband? Even talking about being pregnant and becoming a mom felt, well, really awkward. Some days I forget I’m not 21 anymore.

week 7_week 16

But with each ultrasound and the growing curvature of my belly, it has started to settle in. Seeing the twinkle in my husband’s eyes at all the things he wants to do, teach, tell, and show our baby has only made me that much more excited. The joy this baby has already brought our families is powerful, and the unexpected flood of excitement, tears, day dreams and a deep desire to love our baby not just in a maternal way but in a way that he knows that he’s already the center of our universe – well, that was the part I didn’t see coming.

John crying_pregnancy

mothersday_mommatobe

It hasn’t all been unicorns and rainbows (i.e. nausea, indigestion, back pain, inability to sleep, food aversions, mood swings, stretching pain – pregnancy is really no joke people!) – but we are so incredibly blessed. I feel so incredibly blessed. Something about my perspective is already changing, I’m learning to see life from a glass half-full lens these days. Fourteen more weeks and our little man will be here to join the fun!

To Be Three

MJ_1
We celebrated this pretty girl’s birthday last week and I honestly don’t think a funnier three year old exists. She’s got moves like jagger and more facial expressions than Jim Carey. Her poppa, my oldest cousin, and I grew up together. He was always fathering after me when we were younger, most likely as an accomplice to my dad to make sure I wasn’t getting into trouble.

MJ_2It’s been fun watching the years go by and new little members being added on to our family. Her party-boy poppa will have a lot on his hands when this little one gets older.

MJ_3

MJ_4

^^ Now THAT is the face of excitement! Tea candles are also what happens when you haven’t had a baby in the family for awhile. Woops!^^

MJ_5Happy Birthday sweet girl – you are so very much loved!

 

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