The baby's "new" room

You might remember the nursery reveal from earlier this year. Well, about three months after the baby was born, we bought a new house! Unfortunately, that meant that she spent very little time in her nursery space in our former house (she basically took like one nap in that room.) However, in the new house, she received a serious upgrade in space and I'm so excited to reveal her new-ish room! I think this room is one of my favorites in the whole house. It gets great light all day long and it is spacious and airy. I loved the color that the former owners had painted the room, so we kept it and it totally worked with all of our existing furniture. 

This is pretty much the one room in our new house that is "finished" for all intents and purposes. All of the other rooms are sort of a slow evolution and need a few pieces of furniture or a project or two. I'll be sure to provide updates as we actually get the other rooms throughout the house more finished. Check out more photos of the baby's room below. 


Marissa says...not much

It's been quiet on here for a while, and I'm sorry. I don't have a good excuse. I have plenty of lame excuses like, "I have a baby. I'm still trying to get settled into my new home. I just started a new job. I haven't been cooking because of items A, B, and C above." But I really believe that you make the time for the things that you love to do and I haven't been making time for this. I love this blog, I really do. I love having a place where I can go all "stream of consciousness" and no one seems to mind. (Well, at least you don't tell me if you do.) But over the past year, sometimes it has felt like a burden. Like a thing I have to do, instead of something I want to do.

Three years ago when I started this thing, (good Lord, I can't believe I've had this blog for three years!?) I had no idea how it might turn out. Of course, I had grandiose dreams of turning it into a sustainable career with awesome paid advertisers and free merchandise coming to my front door. But in reality, I knew that was unlikely. While I have been approached by various companies/individuals over the years inquiring about paid content and advertising, I've never been tempted by an offer that seemed too sweet to pass up. Plus, I always kind of felt that if I went down that road that I would taint this thing that is perfectly mine. This sacred space that is completely and utterly in my control. I don't know, maybe I'm just being dramatic. Maybe I'm just scared about what would happen if I really actually tried to make money from it.

Anyway. I don't know where I'm going with this...with this post and with this blog. I'd love to say that I'm recommitting, that I'm promising to post X times a week moving forward, but I'm not going to do that. What I will say, is that even though it's been quiet on here, it still matters to me. I still take photos that I want to share with you, I still cook delicious food, I still want this to be a safe space for me and I really don't intend to let this blog die. 

That is all. XOXO, 


Marissa's Best of Philly List

I love eating (and drinking) around the city of Philadelphia (and it's neighboring suburbs) so I thought it would be fun to keep track of my personal favorites in a variety of categories. I realize you may disagree with me, I realize that you might think I'm totally bonkers for my "Best of..." list, but I don't care, because this is my blog and I'm entitled to my own opinions. So, without further ado, ***drumroll*** I now present my Marissa Says 2015 Best of Philly list... 


10 memorable moments from our third year of marriage

Happy 3rd anniversary to my one true love! It's hard to believe that it has been three years already since we said our vows and began our journey as husband and wife. It seems like just yesterday when we were running around in the rain on our wedding day. Three years goes by in a blink but at the same time, each year is filled with hundreds, if not thousands, of beautiful moments and memories, and I wouldn't trade them for the world. Here is just a list of 10 memorable moments with you in our third year of marriage. I hope you know how much I love you, because it's impossible to express in words. Without you, my life would be lonely and sad and full of trash and recyclables (because that's your thing) and the grass would be overgrown and the mailbox overflowing. See? I'm acutely aware of all the little and big things that you do for our family and I am thankful every day to have you. 

10. Hanging a new ceiling fan in the living room. Man, I know this seems like such a small accomplishment, but it was tough and it was frustrating and at points we almost killed each other. However, as a team we were able complete the task at hand, both picking up the slack and staying positive when the other was feeling frustrated, and because of that, we have a beautiful new fan and get to enjoy the outcome of our hard work every day. 

9. Our trip around the world (in Philadelphia) Rodin Museum, Pizzeria Vetri, High Tea at the Four Seasons, and dinner at Marrakesh with friends - it was an awesome way to celebrate my birthday and we got to try a bunch of new things in Philly that we've never done before. 

8. A camping trip in freezing cold weather. While I was a little anxious about doing this when the temperature in the Adirondacks were going to drop below freezing, I had such a wonderful time with you and our friends. There's nothing like a campfire, s'mores and an old school R&B sing-a-long to warm you right up. 

7. Witnessing the marriage of our wonderful friends in Charleston, South Carolina. It was so awesome to see the joy (and a few tears) on their faces and join with them in celebration. Charleston is definitely a special place and we'll have to get back there to see more of it. 

6. Our visit to Boston to see our friends and meet Baby Guy. This was such a special trip because we were able to celebrate new engagements, a healthy baby boy, and a baby on the way, plus Boston blessed us with unseasonably warm weather! 

5. Our winter weekend in Cape May. We have been talking about getting to Cape May in the off-season for a long time now and we finally did it. We had an amazing dinner, and witnessed a lot of inebriated people singing Christmas carols.

4. The long holiday break spent in New York. I loved that we both had an extended break of sorts at the end of December. While it was filled with some stressful moments it was also filled with a lot of laughter, joy and quality time spent with our families. 

3. Our family vacation in Cape May. It was awesome to have my parents there to help us with the baby and see all of the wonderful reasons why we've fallen in love with this quaint shore town. 

2. Buying our first home together. This was something that I could've never predicted would happen for us this year and I feel so blessed that we found this house and that all of the stars aligned for it to become ours. It's the perfect place for our family and I truly feel at peace coming home to that residence every day. 

*Drum roll please* And the number one memorable moment is..... 

1. The arrival of our little Lulu Bug. This one is pretty self-explanatory but it has been an amazing experience to bring a baby into this world with you. You were a wonderful husband and supporter during my pregnancy, a wonderful cheerleader during labor and you are an amazing father to her each and every day. 

I love you. Happy Anniversary! Cheers to three years of great memories and for many many more! 

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More sunset photos from Cape May!

In my opinion, you can never have too many sunset photos, so prepare yourself, you're about to see a boat load of 'em. We had a long weekend in Cape May but this one was a bit different from our last few trips (this one, this one, this one and this one) because... my parents came with us! It was awesome to show them around this cute little town that has become our annual summer vacation spot. We brought them to H&H for all-you-can-eat crabs and gave them a thorough lesson in crab eating. We laughed over martinis at The Mad Batter happy hour where we stood outside for a good 30 minutes because of a fire alarm mishap (my dad was the only smart one in the group that brought his martini with him!) We showed them our favorite breakfast spot and our favorite late-night cocktail spot and BryGuy and I even got to sneak off for a solo dinner to celebrate Bry's birthday! It was an awesome weekend with gorgeous weather and even better company. We can't wait to go back again next summer! Check out more photos below. 


Peach flatbread pizza appetizer

Don't lick your screen. Don't you do it! I know it's tempting... but it's really better if you don't. The story behind this flatbread is that I had purchased a bunch of peaches from a farm stand. I had some girl friends coming over and was trying to think of an easy appetizer where I could incorporate the peaches. So I came up with this plan, melty mozzarella cheese, slices of perfectly juicy peaches, served on a crispy flatbread with a sprinkle of fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic. And there you have it, the Peachy Flatbread. Truth is, I never ended up serving it to my friends because we ate our weight in cheese and funfetti dip (yes, that's an actual thing.) So, I got to enjoy this yummy pizza all by myself! It's so easy to make and only requires a handful of ingredients; it's a winner in my book! Get the full recipe below. 


Bacon wrapped water chestnuts

This appetizer is everything. It has been a staple at family parties for as long as I can remember, in fact, it's always a challenge to try and get your hands on a few before they are all gone. I've continued that tradition and have brought them to a few parties with friends and I instantly become the most popular guest at the soiree. Bacon wrapped water chestnuts are essentially the cheap version of the bacon wrapped scallop but BETTER because there's an awesome crunch in the middle of your bacon instead of a mushy scallop. If you're not serving these in your home you can precook them in the oven then just bring them to your destination in something microwavable and give them a quick 30 second zap in the micro before you put them out. Make sure you grab one or two for yourself before you leave the kitchen because otherwise, you'll blink and they will disappear. 

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
Makes approximately 50 appetizer bites

2 lbs bacon

3 cans whole water chestnuts (8 oz. cans)- usually found in the Asian section of the supermarket
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons (approximately) soy sauce 
2 tablespoons (approximately) Worchestershire sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Take a water chestnut (or cut them in half if they are big) and roll them in half of a piece of raw bacon. Stick the roll with a toothpick
  3. Line up your bacon rolls in a casserole dish with the toothpicks pointing up
  4. Sprinkle liberally with brown sugar
  5. Shake soy sauce and Worchestershire sauce over the top of the bundles. (Give a quick sprinkle over the top making sure that each little roll gets hit with a dash of soy and Worchestershire)
  6. Bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes or until browned and cooked through (this might take a little longer if you use thick cut bacon)


5 Tips for Shopping on Craigslist

People always tell me, "Wow, you find such great deals on Craigslist! How do you do it?" And it's true, I'm a master Craigslist shopper. I've bought dressers, a dining set, patio furniture, end tables and lots of other awesome stuff through Craigslist. I thought that instead of selfishly keeping all of this wisdom and insight to myself, I should share it with you so that you too can fill your home with beautiful recycled things! Check out five tips for shopping on Craigslist below.


My southern front porch

Remember when I shared some inspirational photos of beautiful Southern porches? Well, mine is coming along quite nicely, if I do say so myself! It's a bit of a work in progress but I scored the two large wicker chairs on Craigslist for $25 each (and they came with the cushions) I just needed to spray paint them a glossy black. Then I found the love seat and coffee table also on Craigslist for $80 (also included the cushion)! I already had the two mismatched small tables, so I threw them out there and then I purchased the rug from Ikea for $50. So basically, I stuck some plants and candles out there and now we have a living room of sorts on our covered front porch. It's the perfect place for a Saturday morning coffee or an evening cocktail. How did I do? Who's coming over for a bourbon cocktail on the porch?!
I thought about providing a tutorial on how to spray paint wicker chairs but there's really not much to it. Buy the spray paint color you like and cover your lawn or driveway with a large sheet of plastic and get to painting. If I recall correctly, it took almost three cans of paint per chair to cover them completely. There are so many nooks and crannies in a wicker chair, so just be prepared to keep looking at it from different angles and finding new spots that need to be painted. 
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Toes in the water, ass in the sand...

We spent a long weekend in Cape May earlier this month and Lulu got to experience her first time on the beach. While she seemed to enjoy the sand and breeze, she was not a fan of the ocean water. I had some major concerns about bringing a 5-month-old to the beach because of the sheer amount of "stuff" needed, but we purchased this sun shade tent thing, and that was a breeze to set up and take down, and mostly Lu just chilled out under it and took some naps and woke up to eat from time to time. In August, we're heading back to Cape May again with my parents, which will be fun! I'm hoping Lu is more open to dipping her feet in the water next time. Check out more photos from our trip below. 


The breakfast sandwich SALAD

Guys...this salad. This salad! I keep making it because honestly it's like a restaurant-quality salad but you can make it at home in about 10 minutes. Do you see it, semi-runny egg yolk, melty cheese, perfectly ripe avocado, crispy chunks of bacon and then under all of that deliciousness is the some fresh peppery arugula dressed every so slightly with the tangy juice from a lemon. Yum yum gimme some. Get the full recipe below.


Baby, you're a firework!

This post is long overdue, but I can't let all of these great firework photos go to waste! We spent the Fourth of July holiday weekend with my family on Sacandaga Lake and took the Lulu Bug out for some boating adventures. She loved it, and by loved it, I mean that she fell asleep every time she went onto the boat. I just adore being up in the Adirondacks -- the air is fresh, the water is crisp and the campfires are magnificent. Oh, and did I mention that my friend Lindsey (the one that lives in EGYPT) came to visit me and meet my offspring?! Check out more photos from our weekend below: 


Parenting Fails

I try to be authentic on here. If this blog is nothing more than that, it is at the very least honest. With that being said, the ugly stuff in life sometimes isn't as fun to share. I read blogs and I see beautiful tablescapes (that's when a dining room table looks more like Martha Stewart pooped out rainbows and butterflies on it and less like a place you actually sit to have a meal.) I see perfectly styled outfits, food photos that looks so delicious you want to lick your screen, scantily clad ladies giving workout tips, and adorable little rosey-cheeked babies in adorable bows smiling and laughing for their semi-annual photo shoots. But sometimes all of that happiness and perfection makes me feel kind of lousy about myself. It makes me think that there are women out there holding it all together, looking fabulous, kicking ass at work, cooking gourmet meals at night, working out daily, and handling parenthood with the patience and grace of the pope. 

You know what? They're not doing that, and neither am I. 

If this blog, or anything I do in my life leads you to believe that my life is not a chaotic clusterf*ck of just trying to get through each moment of each day, then I apologize. Sometimes I make dinner and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I have time to bake a cake but most of the time I don't. Sometimes I put together something that resembles a cute outfit, but most of the time I'm just trying to find a shirt to wear that doesn't have spit-up on it. 

My point is, it's messy up in here and if anyone tells you they don't have a messy life, they are lying to your face (or they deserve to be punched in theirs.)

So without further ado, and because I will NEVER claim to be a perfect mother, I'm sharing some of my most recent parenting fails.

1. Luisa went through a full week of daycare before we realized that we had never paid them for it. #parentingfail

2. I've dropped my cell phone on my baby's head... twice. That's how I learned what her "pain cry" sounds like. #parentingfail

3. One day I took the baby to daycare, dropped her off, drove halfway to my destination and received a call that I left her with no bottles for the day... #parentingfail

4. I've forgotten to change my baby's diaper during the day, I'm not going to share how long she went without being changed, because it's embarrassing, but it's also kind of her own fault. If she had cried or indicated that she was uncomfortable in some way, I obviously would have come to the rescue with a fresh diaper. #parentingfail

5. I have taken my baby to a few not-so-baby-appropriate places like to a movie theater to see Jurassic World and bars #parentingfail or #parentingwin? #youbethejudge

Tell me about your parenting fails!!! I seriously want to hear them, a) because it will make me feel better about myself and b) because they will make me laugh. 

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Southern Sunday Y'all

BryGuy wanted one thing for Father's Day and that was homemade coconut cake. Seeing as though it was his first Father's Day, I thought granting his dessert wishes would be a nice thing to do. And since the weather forecast looked pretty good, he decided to smoke some ribs and some pork butt. While the meats were cooking, I whipped up some coleslaw, and Bry mixed up some tasty bourbon cocktails... and my friends, Southern Sunday was born. Check out more photos from our Father's Day below. Also, if you're interested in making the most refreshing bourbon cocktail in your own home, here's the recipe for a Whisky Smash.


Bathroom makeover

So this is our downstairs bathroom. I love having a bathroom on the first floor because we spend so much time in the living room and kitchen, it's nice not to have to run upstairs every time you have to pee. Except, here's the thing, I hate that bathroom. I dislike using it so much that I actually choose to go up and down the stairs to the second floor bathroom instead of using the one that was just a room away. 

I always told Bry that this bathroom was a down-the-road project for me, but when I found myself not even wanting to step into it, I knew it was time for a change. I went to the hardware store, looked at paint chips for about two seconds, picked one that looked okay and went home and started painting. A fresh coat of paint was all it took to give this room some new life. Check out the before and after photos below. 


Family photo shoot

Meet my happy baby. She has quite the personality these days. You'll most likely find her growling when she's hungry, babbling or squealing when she's all excited about nothing, or trying to lick everything she can get her chubby little hands on. We put Lulu in her Sunday best and took her to the backyard for a quick photo shoot this past weekend. Of course, halfway through the photo shoot she decided that was the perfect time to spit up all over her top, pants, and mommy's pants as well, but we went with it and still were able to get some good family pics! Check out more photos below: 


Finding the right real estate agent

When BryGuy and I started to get more serious about our house search -- besides just looking at million dollar homes on Zillow and drooling -- we knew we needed guidance. We had never done this before, we were as they say, "Property Virgins" (Sidenote: Can I just say that I love that show and pretty much all shows on HGTV...except Love it or List it and Flip or Flop, they are the worst.) Despite my wealth of knowledge learned from HGTV I actually had zero idea on how to go about the whole thing. Do you just start looking at houses first? Do you meet with your bank? Do you get a real estate agent? All of those questions were so overwhelming to me that I would freeze up and be like, "it's too complicated, we can do it." 

And along came Ana, who not only happens to be one of my very dearest friends, but is also a licensed real estate agent. I started to pick her brain with questions about the process. In all honesty, Bry and I weren't sure about whether or not we wanted our close friend to be our real estate agent. What if we weren't happy with the search process and didn't know how to tell her? What if something went wrong down the road and we felt uncomfortable, would it create tension in the friendship? 

After thinking about it long and hard, we decided that it was better to have a trusted friend on our side than a complete stranger, and it was one of the best decisions we've ever made. Not only did our agent/friend find us the home of our dreams in record time but she provided sound advice, kept us on budget, and made a complicated and overwhelming process feel straightforward and easy. 
Although I'm no expert at buying a home, I can tell you what worked for us and I think that if you're not lucky enough to have a close friend that can be your agent, that you should shop around for someone that's going to be the right fit for you. After all, this is one of the most important decisions and biggest purchases you will make in your life! 

In my opinion, these are the qualities that are most important when looking for a real estate agent:


Southern porch inspiration

Image from: Architectural Digest

I'm living in the wrong place. Please take me away to Charleston and sit me on a front porch that looks just like this and I'll be happy forever. I don't know what it is about a front porch, but I just love them. In my childhood home, it was a tradition on the weekends during the summer to have breakfast and coffee on the porch. Now that we have purchased a home of our very own that just happens to have a front porch, I'm dying to make it charming and cozy so that we can continue the weekend morning porch tradition. As I've turned to Pinterest for some porchspiration I keep being drawn to Southern inspired ones with dark wicker and bright upholstery. I'll need to paint the columns of my current porch white, pick up some wicker seating, spruce up the cement with an area rug and add a ceiling fan. Basically to get the true Southern porch feel, you need your outdoors to look like as styled and beautiful as your indoors. Check out more porch inspiration photos below. What do you think of this style porch in Philadelphia? Am I going to be the odd man on the block?


10 Tips for Flying With an Infant

We did it. We took our three-month-old baby on a plane and survived. I was all stressed out the week leading up to this flight only because I didn't know what to expect, I didn't know what we'd need, and I didn't know if the TSA folks were going to give us a hard time. But all of that worry was pointless because our trip was one of the most uneventful flying experience of my life and everyone was incredibly kind and helpful (except one impatient fellow passenger in the security line.) But, I learned a few things along the way and figured I should share the wisdom:


Chicken and Garlic Gravy

This chicken was the moistest, most delicious chicken I've had in a long time. Now some folks might be turned off by the amount of garlic cloves the recipe calls for, don't be. Whatever you do, don't skimp on the garlic -- it's not overbearing, it's actually perfect! This recipe is sure to become a regular staple in our household. Next time, I'm going to adjust it slightly by adding in a boatload of mushrooms and some thinly sliced onions as well. Also, you must serve this with potatoes (mashed or roasted), rice isn't going to do this justice. Get the recipe below. 


We bought a house!

Hello there friends! It's been a while. Let me give you a little rundown of what's been hap'nin' since we last chatted. Well, my maternity leave whizzed by and before I knew it, I was bringing my chubby little baby to daycare and rejoining the herds of folks commuting into the city for work. At first, it was so so so so sad (like, all the tears kind of sad), but now it's becoming the norm and every day is a little easier. But let me tell you, my gym time has taken a serious hit because when you come home from a long work day to your smiling happy baby, you really don't want to spend any more time away from her than is absolutely necessary. 

Oh also, we bought a zoo house! (Quick side note - have you seen that move We Bought a Zoo? It's quite precious and every time I start to say that we bought a house...I first think about saying we bought a zoo, which would be much cooler, but unfortunately, isn't applicable.) ANYWAY, I digress. Yes, we bought a house. The most perfect house with a nice front porch, gorgeous wood work, an updated kitchen (my happy place), and a cute little backyard. Here she is, Casa de Williams:
It's a twin home, meaning it's attached to one other property, so we own the left side. Well let's be honest, right now we own like the front door and the bank owns the rest, but in 30 years, this puppy will be ours! The neighborhood is so cute and perfect, we're walking distance to restaurants and shops, close to a couple of parks, but we still have a little yard and some more privacy than our existing spot.


Engagement Session with Megan and Jeremy

This past weekend I headed out with my friends Megan and Jeremy to shoot some engagement photos. We had a blast, especially taking a little walk with Miss Stella (she was such a good model.) Then after our time among the nature, we headed to Main Street in Manayunk for some photos of beer -- and maybe a little whisky too. Check out more photos of this awesome couple below. Congrats Jeremy and Meg! 


A mystical nature walk

When I heard that it was going to hit 65 degrees yesterday, I just knew that the little one and I had to get out for a walk. We headed to Forbidden Drive (love the name) and took a walk along the trails of the Wissahickon Valley Park. It was quite foggy when we arrived, and I have to admit it was a little eerie. I even phoned my husband to tell him where I was because I just got the feeling that this could be the scene of a great murder mystery. Fortunately, our walk was uneventful. I didn't bring my nice camera because, you know, with a baby strapped to you, you just want to stay as hands-free as possible. But, I was able to snap some pretty photos with my phone's camera. Check out more photos from our nature walk below. 


The 2nd Day of Spring

We can all agree that the first day of spring was a total bust. There was a lot of that stupid white stuff on the ground -- which is just ridiculous. So, here's to the second day, which I'm just going to pretend was actually the first day of spring. 

Our friends Josh and Shayna were in town for the weekend so we headed outside for some fresh air with Lu. We walked along the Schuylkill River Path which is always beautiful. The sun was shining and glistening off the river, it was still a bit brisk, but the smell of spring was in the air. Clearly, BryGuy was having a great time. Check out more photos from our river stroll below. 


Cinnamon Roll Popcorn

What do you do when you have a serious sweet tooth but you don't have any sweets in your house? Work with what you've got people! I got a little creative with a bag of popcorn and whipped up this creation that I've been thinking about ever since. You can eat it for breakfast (since it's inspired by a popular breakfast pastry) or dessert, or both -- live life on the edge people! Get the recipe below and make this fancy popcorn for a special treat or gift. 


Chocolate Raspberry Baked Oatmeal

So, apparently oatmeal is like the super food for nursing mothers...say the nursing gods or whoever is an expert on this type of thing. But regardless, I love me some oatmeal so I've been eating a lot of it these days because it's a pretty quick breakfast and it fills me up. I love playing around with different fruits, nuts and spices in my oatmeal, but one thing that makes it feel like an extra special treat is when there's a little chocolate thrown in there. Who can pass up chocolate for breakfast? This chocolate raspberry version has been a favorite of mine for some time and if you follow this recipe you'll end up with a oatmeal casserole of sorts that will last you the whole week. Just heat up a square in the microwave for 30-60 seconds and you've got a ready-to-eat meal! Also, can I get a high five for writing a post that isn't about motherhood or babies!? *Pats self on back* 

Get the full recipe below.


Luisa's first photo shoot

I've been meaning to test out my photography skills with Little Miss Luisa as my subject but hadn't found the time until yesterday. The sun was shining, the baby was sleeping, all systems GO! But unfortunately, my model decided that she was no longer sleepy the moment I started to snap photos of her, so, we got a lot of awake and alert photos instead of the more traditional peaceful sleeping baby shots. I still love how bright and sun-filled the images came out and they capture her personality, crazy eyes, and itsy bitsy body parts perfectly. See more photos from Luisa's first photo shoot below. 


The Night Cries

I know before baby, I said this wasn't going to turn into a mommy blog and I meant it. BUT, I'm three weeks into raising a beautiful little baby girl and that is my life right now... being a parent to a needy, helpless, little infant.

Honestly, I wish I had new recipes to share with you, or outfit inspirations, or photos of what we did last weekend around Philly. I don't have those posts because we've basically been on house arrest binge-watching Walking Dead (OMG how did I not get into this show earlier!?!), and barely finding a moment to scarf down a bowl of cereal for dinner before my child is screaming to be fed...yet again. So my apologies that this is yet another post about a baby and motherhood, I promise that at some point, I'll return to other material.

For many years I knew I wanted to be a mother. I knew that I wanted to experience the freaking wild trip that is pregnancy and bring a new life into the world. I knew that it would be hard work, but there's knowing and there's experiencing... those are two totally different things. I knew that the "baby blues" existed, but I didn't know what they entailed, and that's what this post is about, a thing in my house that we like to call "The Night Cries."

Becoming a parent for the first time is the most humbling, beautiful, terrifying, and tiring experience of my life. The amount of emotions I feel when I look at my little girl's precious face is inexplicable. But something strange happens when the sun goes down, the tears start. Happy tears, sad tears, tired tears, all of the tears and it's hard to make them stop. I talked to a friend who had experienced something similar when she had her first baby, and so I took my research to the interwebs to see if it's a common thing -- postpartum depression "at night." And you know what? There's really nothing out there about it. But I would imagine that it's not just me and this one other person that have experienced The Night Cries. So I'm airing it out. It's a thing and if it's happened to you or happens to you in the future, just know that you're not alone. 

When the sun goes down, the anxiety begins. Is she going to sleep tonight? Am I going to get any sleep tonight? I hope nothing happens to her... I know she's supposed to sleep on her back in her bassinet but what if my baby only likes to sleep on her tummy.. in. my. arms!? How am I ever going to be able to go to the grocery store/mall/etc. again with a baby in tow? How am I going to keep her safe from all the evil in this world? ... and it spirals out of control very quickly. 

Then, we get her ready for bed, and we say our I Love Yous and I feed the munchkin and I gingerly place her in her bassinet (on her back) and attempt to get a few hours of shut eye. 

Then, we wake up in the morning (usually to the sun shining through the windows) and our baby wakes up making the most adorable little faces and we just stare at her and exchange glances that say "wow, we made this." and we start a new day. And I forget about The Night Cries and their accompanying anxiety and we start a fresh day full of more binge-watching of Netflix and tummy time and feedings and diaper changes.

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The birth story

So, I'm going to do my best to spare you all of the gory details, but I did want to get this down on paper (err...screen) so that I remember it myself. One of the most magical things about child birth is that we're scientifically wired to forget it... therefore ensuring that the human race goes on! Because otherwise, no one would sign up for that crap willingly again.

Just kidding! I was very blessed with a fast and relatively easy experience with my first baby, and no matter how difficult it could have been, I got the best present ever at the end of it all. My little Luisa Rose, Lulu, Bugsy, Lulu Bug, and all the other nicknames we're working on giving her, is the most perfect little baby in the whole wide world and I would go through hell and back to bring her into the world again. Read the brief birth story below.


Before Baby - An Open Letter to My Husband

In the interest of full disclosure, I obtained Bry's permission to share this with you first so technically it wasn't written with the intention of being an open letter. I was feeling a little lot emotional this morning and had to get a few things off my chest...

Before Baby - An Open Letter to My Husband 

Before our lives change so completely that we quickly forget what they used to look like, I wanted to share a few things with you:

Number one. I love you.
I love you so incredibly much that those three words don't even seem to do it justice. I love you so much that I'm sobbing uncontrollably while typing this because a) pregnancy hormones and b) I'm so overcome and grateful that I found you -- that the universe and God so divinely made our paths cross so that we could go through this journey together. I wouldn't want to and can't imagine doing it with anyone else. Thank you for being my person. Thank you for being exactly the one that I was supposed to fall in love with.

Number two. I'm scared. 
But not in the way that you might think. I'm scared in the way that I'm grieving "us" -- the couple that we used to be, before we've even morphed into the new "us." The parent version of "us." Don't get me wrong. We're totally going to kill the parent game. We've already made our pact to not fall into the oh-so-common trap of "we are parents now, we can't do that fun stuff anymore." That's BS, we can do whatever the hell we want, we're grown adults. It's just that as previously mentioned, you're my buddy, my roll dog, my ride or die, my drinking pal, my dancing partner. You're the person that I can just exchange a glace with at a party when someone is being annoying/weird/obnoxious and you'll just nod and smirk and I know that you're thinking and feeling the exact same thing at the the exact same moment. And I don't want that to ever go away. Let's make sure that never goes away.

Number three. I'm so excited. 
I know that you're nervous about the details of parenting -- how to hold a baby, how to change a diaper. Don't worry. You're more than capable and there's going to be a very short learning curve for you there, I can promise you that. What I'm so looking forward to is seeing you as a dad. Seeing you tell your ridiculous made-up stories to our child, seeing you teach him/her how to throw a football, making him/her laugh uncontrollably at your goofy voices (like you often make me do.) You see, even though you've had your doubts about being ready for children, it's been so obvious to me that you were meant to do this. You're a protector. A doer. A worrier. An entertainer. Don't you see that all of those qualities are exactly the same things that make someone a great parent and father? I've seen it all along. 

Number four. Thank you. 
I don't say it enough. Thank you for everything that you do for me, for my family, for our well-being. Thank you for working so hard so that we can have the home and life that we do. Thank you for always taking the initiative to get shit done -- especially when I'm being lazy or forgetful. Thank you for handling so much of the minutiae (the customer service calls, the bills, etc.) Thank you for being an amazing friend and husband and thank you for putting up with my mess (both literally and figuratively.) Thank you for pushing me to be a better person every day. In just about a week, we will have been "officially" a couple for eight years. Eight freaking years!? And while there have been so many ups and downs in all of that time, I would not change a thing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for all of that. 

So, sometime in the very near future -- it could be a day from now, it could be weeks from now -- things are going to be a little different for us. I'm going to be a hormonal mess (more so than usual,) we're going to be a little sleep-deprived, we're going to have moments of frustration, and moments of pure blissful happiness. But please, always remember that I am so in love with you. That "we" are still "us." That together we can handle ANYTHING. And that everyday I thank God for you. 

I love you and don't know what I would do without you. 


And in classic BryGuy fashion, this is the response back that I received complete with a gif. LOL

"That's amazing. Let's have this baby. That was better than any pre-game or half-time locker room speech I have ever heard. I am ready to run through a wall. I love you! LET'S GO!"


The nursery reveal!

It's finally here! I've received so many questions about the nursery, so I'm excited to finally share it with you! I stayed pretty true to my original nursery inspiration post, and I'm so thrilled with how this little room turned out. Sometimes, on my way down the hall to the bathroom I'll just stop, and flick on the nursery light and take it all in. I can't believe this room will belong to a miniature little person soon. It is my hope that this room will make him or her feel happy, loved, and safe. As you might recall, this room was previously my dressing room (aka my happy place.) So, I begrudgingly moved my belongings out, and moved in a crib and glider and a thousand outfits that are so tiny it's unimaginable that they fit on an actual human being. Check out more photos and links for items below.


One Resolution Only for 2015

Special thanks to Bailly Photography for the beautiful maternity photos

Happy 2015 friends! We're about seven days into a new year which means you will probably still be typing/writing the wrong date on things for a few more weeks. For the past few years, I've documented my new goals for the year on this blog (2014 goals and 2013 goals.) Some of these have been accomplished -- many have not. This year, I'm switching it up a bit. I'm going to focus on one goal and one goal only...


I'm a master planner, always thinking ahead, always making lists, always anticipating the next thing to come. This year, I am going to try and suppress those planning tendencies and just stop. Breath. Take it all in. In approximately one month, I will get a new label, "mama bear." I'm excited. Terrified. Anxious. In disbelief. In awe. And so many other emotions I can't articulate.

But, I'm not naive. I'm aware that parenting comes with many many challenges. I know that infants are little crying, pooping, eating, spit-up machines and I know that I'll have sleepless nights and moments of complete emotional breakdown. BUT I also know that I'm so blessed to have been given this gift, to have been given an experience and opportunity that so many people hope and pray for. So this year, yes, I want to get back into shape asap and I have lots of other things I'd like to accomplish personally and professionally, but I'm going to keep all of those goals second to the one important one.

I'm going to soak in every "first," I'm going to take WAY too many photos, I'm going to schedule date nights with my husband and I'm going to try and stop planning and anticipating the next things that will come and appreciate exactly what is happening now.

What goal(s) do you have for 2015? 


Playing Catch-Up

This holiday season has been a whirlwind. I would sit here an apologize to you about how I've been MIA but the truth is, it was kind of nice to put the blog on the back burner and focus on myself and my family during the holiday season. So to catch you up since Thanksgiving... we've spent the majority of our time mentally and physically preparing for this baby to come, expected in about four weeks time (maybe a little sooner, maybe a little later, who knows?) 

BryGuy and I had a fabulous Christmas in Upstate New York and were incredibly blessed with lots of gifts from Santa, ridiculous amounts of family time, all the delicious treats and unhealthy food one can consume. We headed back to Philadelphia before the New Year to get all settled in and spent a nice night with friends on New Years Eve. We had a delicious dinner at a restaurant that I've always wanted to try and then got cozy in our PJ's and watched the ball drop and had a lot of laughs. Quite possibly the best part of my New Year's celebration was watching my dear friend Josh get engaged to the love of his life, Shayna. We are so happy for them and so excited to dance the night away at their wedding in September! 2015 is going to be an amazing year :) 
Peep more photos from Christmas and New Year's Eve below. 

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