Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Career in Baby Shower Food

This post is a companion to the baby shower recap by my lovely co-host Erika at her blog Baby Balance. If it's not up yet, check back in a few days to see how spectacular everything turned out!

I've been lucky to have co-hosted three baby showers for close friends in the past two years. After today's party, I believe that all my close friends in the area have had their first children "showered," so I'm off the hook for the foreseeable future.

I like throwing parties, but I'll be the first to admit that I am not the type of person to fuss over the decoration and details of a party. Putting signs up "just so" and color schemes and cutesy games are not my thing. I can appreciate them when done by others but creating them makes me crazy. So at my three showers, my main job has been food. Food, I can do!

Now that today's shower is over (and was wildly successful, of course), I thought I'd do a little reflection on my baby shower food experiences.

Shower #1 was bumblebee themed. I co-hosted with two friends who handled all the decor and games, so all I had to do was food and clean up my house. My husband handled making an adorable beehive-shaped cake, so I was off the hook there too. I believe there were between 20-30 women at the shower.

For this shower, we did a make-you-own panini and salad bar. I, sadly, do not own a panini press but was able to borrow two, which I think is the minimum amount you would want for a shower this big. The paninis were a huge hit! I set out grilled chicken, ham, several cheeses, veggies, and homemade spreads: roasted red pepper sauce and a garlic aioli. There were also lots of salad fixings. To drink, there was your basic sherbet-soda punch and spa water with cucumber and mint.

In retrospect, I should have just made a large salad as a side-dish. The guests were so enamored of the paninis that barely any of my salad bar food was eaten. I also vastly over-estimated the amount of food that a group of woman will eat at a party like this, and ended up with a huge amount of leftovers, cake included. Unless you have the shower at a very obvious lunch-time hour, no one shows up expecting to eat very much.

Shower #2 was ladybug/dragonfly themed. I co-hosted with a friend who split the food preparation with me 50/50, along with decor and game duties. The shower turned out well, and I think the mom-to-be was pleased, but compared with the other two showers, you could really tell the difference when I was in charge of decor. Not impressive. I think I threw some flowers in vases and put up a semi-pathetic-looking Congratulations banner.

The food was good, though! We did tapas-style snacks, cheese and crackers, fruit salad, and cupcakes. I had some grand plan to create a delicious snack using won-ton wrappers stuffed with cheese and bacon that turned out epically mediocre. To drink there was sangria for the non-pregnant ladies, and lemonade and water for the rest.

The cupcakes tasted great because I frosted them with homemade ganache, my first time making it, but looked terrible because my husband was in Vegas that weekend and not available to decorate them for me. See the theme? Decor = Not my Thing. I also didn't learn my lesson from the first shower and made way too much food again. Mainly, I remember not prepping enough beforehand. I was six months pregnant at the time and worked myself into having contractions the morning of the shower. Oops.

Shower #3, today, had an amazing children's book theme. Erika did a fantastic job making everything pretty, even my food. I flatter myself in saying that the food tasted great at all three showers, but Erika was the first person besides me to be in charge of arranging my food in a visually appealing way and the difference was ... palpable, to say the least. Again, decor + me = not so much, thanks.

Another mid-afternoon shower, so we did tea sandwiches. Two types: Curried chicken salad, and cucumber with dill cream cheese. There was also veggies and fruit, cheese and crackers, popcorn seasoned with thyme, garlic salt, and Parmesan, and a random Jell-O salad that was barely touched and could easily have been left out. For the first time, I prepared just about the correct amount of food!

To drink, there was more spa water (lemon and cucumber-mint, always a hit), and a new punch made with pina colada mix, orange-pineapple juice, Sprite, and frozen raspberries. I had at least three glasses, it was so tasty.

The cupcakes were my favorite part of the food. They were yellow cake with vanilla buttercream, filled with a core of dark chocolate ganache. They were frosted and arranged to look like the Very Hungry Caterpillar from the children's book and looked amazing. I had a lot of help from Brandon here, as should be obvious since cupcakes are as much decor as they are food. I would share a photo if I had any but Erika should have some over on her blog!

So, in conclusion, if you find yourself in charge of food for a baby shower, follow these rules: 1) Ladies at baby showers do not eat that much so make less food than you would for a similar-sized group that includes men. 2) Ladies at baby showers love water with cucumber and mint inside it. 3) Ladies at baby showers are very appreciative of the existence of cupcakes but you kind of have to bully them into eating any. But if you are unsuccessful, you generally end up with lots of leftover cupcakes, which is hardly a bad thing.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Overthinking Accomplishment

I don't know if it's a result of my being a writer, or being overly introspective (INFJ remember?), but I have a tendency to way overthink the meaning of the words I use, and the words others use to describe life experiences. For example, I always roll my eyes at people who say,"My greatest accomplishment was having my child" if they don't have a specific reason to make that claim.

The biological reality of growing a child and giving birth to it does not indicate an accomplishment. An accomplishment is something you have worked at over time, like successfully raising that child to adulthood. Carrying and giving birth to a child is not the same as graduating from college, writing and publishing a book, raising that child. I find it weird when people refer to pregnancy and childbirth as an accomplishment.

I don't consider my 41 weeks of pregnancy and 14 hours of labor an accomplishment, just my body successfully doing something it is biologically designed to do. I didn't accomplish more through childbirth than someone who had to have a c-section for whatever reason simply because my body was able to push out my son, any more than I consider someone who gave birth without an epidural to have accomplished more than me because I demanded drugs at 4cm.

Accomplishment implies that I did something better than someone else. If degrees of success exist in childbirth, which I don't believe they do, my successful pregnancy, labor, and delivery had almost zero to do with my own efforts and everything to do with dumb luck. I say "almost zero" because I suppose I could have done crack every day that I was pregnant, and not having done so makes me more successful at pregnancy than a drug addict. But was that an accomplishment of which I am proud? No,  because it didn't require any effort on my part to refrain from crack use.

I will admit that my situation is far different than others might have had simply because my pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding experiences have been remarkably easy and free of complications. If someone went into pre-term labor at 22 weeks and managed to carry the child to 35 weeks by staying on strict bedrest -- that is an accomplishment. A friend who spent months struggling to exclusively breastfeed her child and succeeding after much effort -- that is an accomplishment. Simply having things happen to you is not an accomplishment.

I will gladly say that meeting my son was one of the greatest moments of my life, but I would never say that giving birth to Lucas was an accomplishment. Giving birth is not an accomplishment in my book, though I will qualify that statement with a "usually" because I acknowledge that this is not true for everyone. I can't really say what qualifies me to judge what others claim as accomplishments, other than the fact that this is my blog and assholes can say whatever they want on the internet.

If you disagree with me, and it is likely that some of you do, what is your definition of accomplishment? Why do you feel that having a child or [fill-in-the-blank, childless readers] was your greatest accomplishment?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Lucas's Day at the Beach

Yesterday, we, along with my parents, took Lucas to the beach for the first time. The weather in San Diego has been gorgeous this past week, definitely worth the sunshine tax we pay. It was about 75 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.

Preparing for a beach day with your eight-month-old seems like preparing for a land invasion of some kind. We are all quite pale and need to be protected from the sun, so even more is required than usual. We had a tent for the baby, an umbrella for the adults, beach chairs, snacks, diaper bag, towels and quilts, a blender, and some power tools. Okay, I'm kidding on the last two, but it was a formidable pile and it took all four of us using all eight of our arms to transport everything and the baby in one trip.

We had originally wanted to go out to Coronado, my favorite San Diego beach, but settled for Ocean Beach because it's right by our church and easier to access. After church, we grabbed sandwiches at Chris's Liquor, the best sandwich place in San Diego, and enjoyed a nice picnic after we set up our home base on the beach. Lucas snacked on some sweet potatoes and puffs, although he threw most of the latter into the sand. Hopefully the gulls enjoyed them later.

Lucas LOVED the beach, it was so fun to see. He giggled at the ocean when he saw it for the first time, and we set him down to put his toes in the sand because he loves standing up so much lately. He "found" a mussel shell that he loved and tried his hardest to eat, and kept stopping to examine the sand coating his hands with absolute fascination. He visited the shoreline a few times, and played "crawl on the Mama and Dada jungle gym" in the shade of his tent for a long time too. The only part he didn't like was when Gramps insisted that he put his toes in the mid-50-degree ocean, but he bounced back quickly.

He was utterly exhausted afterward, and fell asleep so hard that I was able to take him out of his car seat and carry him to his crib without even opening an eye, even though he was past due for a feeding. Very unlike him!

We'll definitely be taking him to the ocean again. It was worth the prep!

Lucas had a great time checking out the waves!

Speaking of waves, they were pretty big!

Gram and Mama had a wonderful time too.

Whoa, Mom! This is awesome!

Happy mama.

Sandy toesies.

Thanks for bringing me, Dad!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Carnitas' Snack Shack: Restaurant Review

Brandon here...

The Zagat Guide recently released its list of the “10 BestRestaurants in the San Diego Area” for 2013.  This, of course peaked my interest and since Elizabeth’s parents are in town, it was the perfect opportunity to try one of them out.  We love taking Lucas to the park so we decided on the number eight-ranked establishment, Carnitas’ Snack Shack.  We chose it because it is very close to Texas Street, which leads right into beautiful Balboa Park. 
If you don’t know what you’re looking for, this little treasure can easily be missed.  It’s right between Oregon Street and Villa Terrace on University Avenue in North Park.  We immediately knew we were in for a good experience because there was a line of about 10 people ahead of us. 

Elizabeth and her mother Ann ordered the Short Rib Flautas that came with roasted red bell pepper, Jack cheese, spinach and a tomatillo-avocado sauce that Elizabeth later described as “tasty-licious.”  Elizabeth’s father Mike ordered the Carnitas’ torta that came with pulled pork, bacon, pepperocini and the “shack aioli”.  Finally, I ordered the Shack BLT that came with crispy ham, bacon, lettuce and tomato and also had the “shack aioli”.  We also had a couple orders of the seasoned fries to share.

After we ordered our food at the window, we walked around the corner and discovered a lovely sitting area with several tables and plenty of shade.  It was somewhat unusual, as we did not have a traditional waiter, just someone who brought us our food.  The rest was up to us to obtain flatware, napkins and water, which was all self-serve.

It took a reasonable 15 minutes for our food to be brought to our table.  It was all freshly made and the serving size was very satisfying.  Ann mentioned that she liked the fact that the flautas were made with flour tortillas instead of corn.  Mike described his sandwich as very good and I had to keep myself from devouring the BLT, as I knew I wanted to write this review afterward which would require me to actually eat at a normal person’s pace.  If you know me, you know this is not an easy task for me.  The bread was toasted and yet soft.  The bacon was perfectly cooked and I have yet to find out what is in this mysterious “shack aioli” but it was a lovely accompaniment for this delicious sandwich.  As for the seasoned fries, again the serving size was enough for two orders to be generously shared amongst four diners.  As a condiment, instead of ketchup, they came with another mystery red sauce that left a little to be desired.  Not that it was bad…I actually thought it was pretty tasty, but Elizabeth thought it was a little on the bland side.  Overall the food was outstanding and the price was reasonable (about $12/person) we all agreed that Carnitas’ Snack Shack deserved its spot on the Zagat list.

In conclusion, don’t let the name (snack shack) fool you.  This fine establishment serves much fancier and better-prepared food than one would be led to believe by the name alone.  Just a few small observations if this review has piqued your interest at all.  1.  Parking could be a minor issue.  We were able to find street parking around the corner on Oregon Street, but we arrived just after they opened.  I was not able to discern any dedicated parking.  2.  The place got crowded very quickly.  Yes, obviously another great sign of the quality, but as we were leaving there were several people waiting for tables to be clear.  And 3.  We cleared our own table.  I’m not sure if this was a requirement, but I just saw other patrons doing it so I just followed suit.  It was just a little odd for me because not 5 seconds later another couple were sitting at our table without waiting for it to be wiped down.  I am sure someone came around later, but as a little bit of a germaphobe, I was secretly judging the couple rather than the shack for sitting at an unclean table.

Rating: 4 / 5 sporks.  Here are a few pics to give you a better idea of the food quality.  Please let me know your thoughts if you decide to check this place out.  Also let me know if you find out what is in that awesome "shack aioli"!
Carnitas' Snack Shack - The line forms right when it opens!
Elizabeth and Mike ordering our tasty food!
The Menu
Delicious seasoned fries!
Lucas liked the fries too!

Short Rib Flautas

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Random: Myers-Briggs Personality Tests

I have always been fascinated by personality tests. I love being categorized! Many years of the internet has cured me of my compulsive need to discover which Harry Potter character I am most like, but I still have a lot of interest in the more legitimate ones, like the Myers-Briggs type indicator.

If you don't know what Myers-Briggs is, you can read about it here. But this post probably won't interest you much. But if you know your type, you are probably now dying to tell me what it is the same as I am dying to tell you! Basically, the test classifies you under four binary components: Introvert/Extrovert, Sensing/Intuitive, Thinking/Feeling, and Judging/Perception.

I took an official Myers-Briggs test when I was in undergrad. I have always been extremely strong in Introversion and Judging, but the other two results are more halfway. Being an ambitious, overly confident 19-year-old, I decided to identify myself as an INTJ at the time of the initial test, mainly because its shorthand name is the Mastermind or Scientist and I thought that was extremely cool. INTJs are destined to be high achievers, career-oriented, strategic thinkers -- everything I wanted to believe that I was when I was 19. After all, I was going to go to law school, I was going to become the executive director of a legal non-profit and change the world!

Ten years later, I am a very different person, or else the same person with a bit more self-awareness. My short career in law was mediocre at best, and worst of all, I hated being an attorney and consider my years spent in law school and practicing law as a big error in judgment. That's a post for another day, but recently I retook the Myers-Briggs test online to discover that I'm not an INTJ after all, and I probably never have been. It all makes so much sense now -- I'm an INFJ!

An INFJ is intuitive, creative, caring, and artistic. It's the rarest of all the types. INFJs are very sensitive to conflict and cannot tolerate it well. Sounds like a great type of person to be an attorney, right? INFJs trust their instincts to such a high extent that they are very stubborn and often ignore other people's opinions. (I think Brandon would agree that this is true).  They are devoted, caring parents but have high expectations of themselves and others. They have a rich inner life that they are reluctant to share with the people around them.

This is all me to a 'T'! If only I'd chosen INFJ over INTJ a decade ago and saved myself a lot of trouble of trying to squeeze myself into an ambitious, assertive, ill-fitting box. I'm so much happier being a stay at home mom and spending my days with my son, not representing clients in court, making legal arguments and "being mean to people over the phone," as I thought of my old job. As Lucas gets older, Brandon and I are both hoping I will write more and even make a new career out of it.

Do you like being categorized? You can take a Myers-Briggs-esque test here. Then let me know what you are in the comments! I'm totally obsessed with this at the moment and would love to know. Brandon is a ESFJ - The Caregiver, which fits him perfectly too.

Speaking of Brandon, he will hopefully be here in a few days with his first post. He works full-time and does not have the option of putting the job on the floor by the computer with a few toys to distract him so he can blog, as I do. His post will be food-oriented, yay!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Stay at Home Musings: Isolation

One of the most challenging parts of being a stay at home mom is the isolation factor. Keeping ahead of Lucas's schedule as well as keeping the house under control doesn't leave a lot of time for social engagements, nor does our limited budget. The last three weeks have kept me particularly home-bound and I'm definitely feeling the cabin fever.

I'm hoping as the year progresses I can start getting out more during the week and spending time with other moms. Many of my friends with kids also work full time, which makes getting together difficult, and I'm terrible at making plans anyway so I rarely even see the ones that don't. There's a weekly playgroup at my church that I could certainly make more of a habit, but haven't. I did try out a mom's stroller running group, but they were all far beyond my level of fitness and most of the kids were a lot older than Lucas.

I'm generally fairly happy being solitary, but I know it's better for both of us to get out more and interact with other adults (for me) and kids (for him). Most of the time I feel like I am barely keeping my head above water with taking care of Lucas, taking care of myself, and taking care of the house. Fitting in errands and playdates and all that can seem overwhelming, so I simply stay home where everything is calm and easy. But it's so quiet! Even with internet radio and the occasional episode of Doctor Who.

I guess I could say, "Screw the housework!" But believe me, I'm doing the absolute minimum already so there's not much else I could let go before we all find ourselves living in literal squalor. I suppose, as with everything, it might get a bit easier as Lucas gets older? If only the three of us didn't insist on eating every day and wearing clean clothes all the time, I bet I could manage to get out a lot more.

On a final, more positive note, I'm doing quite well with my New Year's resolution of getting back into regular exercise. I can really tell a difference in my mood when I'm exercising. I've been going on short 20-25 minute walk/jogs around the neighborhood and doing Pilates in my living room. (Blogilates/Cassey Ho on Youtube is really good, and free!) I found a 10K I want to run Memorial Day Weekend, so that's the goal for now. Mini-goal: to work up to running 3 miles straight with the stroller.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Eight Months Old

It seems impossible that my son is eight months old. He disagrees - as with most babies, he is sure in a hurry to learn and grow as fast as he possibly can.

In the last month, he's learned to clap his hands, pull up to a standing position, get from his tummy into a seated position, and take a few "steps" crawling. He definitely hasn't mastered any of these aside from clapping, but he's suddenly becoming so mobile so quickly! It's making my head spin.

On the other hand, he's also become very Mama-centric in the last month as well. If he can see me, he usually wants to be in my lap; that is, crawling all over me like I'm a damn jungle gym. It seems like a bit of early separation anxiety maybe? He's usually fine with Brandon holding him, and will still let strangers hold him as long as he's in a good mood.

His sleeping is about as it has been: we still rock him to sleep, but he's much easier to transfer into the crib and in the past few weeks has been sleeping through the night most nights, or else he's only up once and goes right back down.

He also managed to get RSV last week, which has turned into bronchiolitis.  Many younger and smaller babies end up in the hospital with a similar diagnosis. Since my son is such a tank, it seems mostly like a bad cold. I think we're over the worst of it now.

An estimate of his size at 8 months is 23.5 pounds and 28.5 inches long. That's fairly average size, isn't it? /sarcasm

Here are a few photos from the past month:

Playing at the park!

Thoughtful and curious.

Santa brought me yogurt dots! Score!

I love my new activity cube!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Top 10 Movies of 2012

For our first substantive blog post, I’m going to be lazy and transfer over the last post from my former blog. I’ve added in a few additional comments, along with Brandon’s typically succinct weigh-in. Disclaimer: We saw much fewer movies than usual this year due to Lucas’s arrival, so I’m drawing from a fairly small pool of 23 movies released in 2012. Let me know which good ones I missed out on in the comments!
10. This Means War: This is a cute little comedy about Reese Witherspoon in a love triangle with Captain Kirk and Bane. The interaction between the male leads was quite funny and definitely the best part of the movie. I wanted Reese to end up with Bane, because I liked his character better, but it wasn't so bad that he ended up back with his ex. The degree to which both Kirk and Bane abused their work privileges in order to intrude on the rights of an unsuspecting woman was quite horrifying, though! 
Brandon’s Opinion: *long pause* I thought it was okay.
9. 21 Jump Street: A fun surprise we discovered on DVD. Who knew Channing Tatum was so funny? Although I saw four out of five of his movies this year, this is the only one I liked enough to make the list (sorry, Magic Mike). The plot was fairly silly, as these types of movies are, but the comedy makes it worth watching.
Brandon’s Opinion: Ugh...guilty pleasure? (I don’t think he likes to admit liking anything with Channing Tatum in it.)
8. The Cabin in the Woods: I am a huge Joss Whedon fan from way back, so it’s not surprising that I enjoyed this movie. I'm not sure I would watch this one again. I’m fascinated by horror movies because I am terrified of them, so I always want to see them even though they give me nightmares and make me jump at every creak for weeks afterward. Even though this one more poked fun at horror movies than anything else, I still found it very disturbing, but the structure and ending was interesting and creative.
Brandon’s Opinion: Surprisingly better than I thought it would be.
7. The Amazing Spiderman: The plot of the movie itself was very meh and the villain utterly uninteresting. But Andrew Garfield is too adorable, as is Emma Stone, and their cuteness is doubled when they are on screen together, so I think the movie is worth watching just for their scenes together. 
Brandon’s Opinion: Pretty good.
6. The Dark Knight Rises: I absolutely loved the first two Nolan Batman movies, and this was a good end to the trilogy, although it was very dark and depressing. I find I’ve lost my taste for realistic violence in movies since Lucas was born. How lame is that? I was pleasantly surprised by Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman, though, and I always like Joseph Gordon-Levitt. 
Brandon’s Opinion: Fourth favorite Batman movie.
5. Pitch Perfect: I loved this movie! The story and characters were super cute, there were some great musical numbers, and it was very funny (especially Rebel Wilson!). The only thing I could have done without is the drawn-out vomit joke. I’m not much for gross-out humor, I’m afraid.
Brandon’s Opinion: No, thank you. (He hasn’t seen this one ... yet.)
4. Skyfall: This one was way better than the last James Bond, although I don't think I liked it quite as much as Casino Royale, one of my favorite action movies ever. The climactic battle in the Scottish countryside was my favorite part. The villain was lame though, and not very menacing, although maybe I just don't like Javier Bardem? The new Q was funny, and also a highlight, even if his hair did look like Edward Cullen’s.
Brandon’s Opinion: That was really good.
3. The Hobbit: The LOTR trilogy are my favorite movies of all time, so there wasn’t much chance that I would dislike this movie. It is a bit long and drawn out, but a good set up for the movies to come. Martin Freeman makes a great Bilbo. My favorite sequence was Bilbo and Gollum and the game of riddles, and the scenery was gorgeous as usual for these films. I'm looking forward to the next movie. 
Brandon’s Opinion: Excited for more. (Said in a tone implying that he wasn’t overly impressed with what he saw.)
2. The Avengers: I've seen this movie three or four times already this year! I thought it was fantastic, an exciting action movie with a lot of great one-liners. Thanks again, Joss Whedon. I'm a sucker for the Marvel superhero movies though.
Brandon’s Opinion: I really liked it, probably my favorite movie of the year.
1. The Hunger Games: Amazeballs! I’ve loved the book for years and thought it was a great adaptation. Jennifer Lawrence is one of my favorite actors right now, and the casting of the other characters was spot-on. I can't wait for Catching Fire in November!
Brandon’s Opinion: Um, decent.

And for the sake of balance, my top 5 Worst Movies of 2012.
5. Total Recall: I saw this one during a Parent Movie Morning with Lucas, and he screamed through a good portion of it. My opinion is similar to his. Another boring, pointless, re-do.
Brandon’s Opinion: I’m disappointed in Kate. (Beckinsale, that is - Brandon’s Hollywood girlfriend from way back.)
4. Wrath of the Titans: We caught this one on Redbox, and it was also boring. I barely remember most of it, although I liked Rosamund Pike’s character.
Brandon’s Opinion: I thought it was good.
3. The Vow: I usually like this kind of movie, but this was just so ugh. I was hoping for a lot more romantic, win-her-over sequences a la The Notebook, but there wasn’t much of anything. I wanted more of an ending, too. Overall, just a blah movie.
Brandon’s Opinion: Another Channing Tatum movie? (He didn’t see this one either.)
2. Hope Springs: This was my last attempt to take Lucas with me to the Parent Movie, and he screamed through at least half of it. I love Meryl Streep, but I have to agree with him: this movie was awful all the way through. I was very disappointed.
Brandon’s Opinion: I don’t even know what this movie is.
1. The Grey: Yuck! We turned this one off ten minutes before the end because it was too awful to waste any more time one. I was expecting to see Liam Neeson kicking crazy wolf ass, but instead I just saw a bunch of miserable dying men pretending they could outrun a pack of wolves. 
Brandon’s Opinion: I told you so. Elizabeth has lost Redbox choosing privileges until further notice.

That’s all for now! 

Happy New Year 2013!

Happy New Year!  Welcome to Life Tossed Together, our new project for the year. 

We had grand plans to start this last summer, but then we had our son Lucas and all previous plans went right out the window! Nearly eight months later, we’re about ready to try again. Now that I’ve got more of a handle on this stay-at-home mom thing, and Lucas has a more predictable routine, we’ve got a bit of free time to play with and I’ve got enough brain energy to focus on more than keeping my baby and myself alive and well. It will be nice doing a little writing and sharing our family with the internet and what will surely be tens of readers, or half a dozen at least.

Here are some things we’re looking forward to this year:
  • Elizabeth’s 30th Birthday, and in theory, our first overnight away from Lucas to visit my very favorite place: Disneyland.
  • Lucas’s First Birthday. Don’t worry, we won’t be throwing any Pinterest-worthy blowouts, but there will certainly be a few photos of Lucas stuffing his face with cake.
  • With hope, our first trip to Europe together to visit the UK in the fall, if I can manage to convince myself to leave the baby with his grandparents for longer than 24 hours.
  • Potentially becoming homeowners at some point this year, if the finances work out and we’re able to find somewhere we love.

I hope you’ll stick around and follow our occasionally interesting lives as the year progresses. We’ve got a lot of ideas for fun stuff on the blog, so stick around! I’m hoping to update a few times a week if I can manage it.