December 27, 2012

An Old Year, A New Year

I have hope that this new year will hold a lot for me. I've just re-read a ton of older posts from this blog and basically kept reading the same thing in each one. Ever since starting this nannying gig, my life has kind of felt like its on hold. So many things have happened since then, we've gone on trips, tried to buy several houses, finally succeeded, gone on countless dates, had a lot of fun...But when I re-read my words over the past year and a half, I get the distinct sense that I've been living in a muted fashion. 

There is some arbitrary notion that I can't shake from my brain that once I am able to put my degree to work in some way, I'll feel the sense of accomplishment  that I am currently lacking. I feel like all the "big" things I've done have been part of the "we" that is Miles and I. Obviously I recognize that I am married, and that its going to be "we" for a very long time--and I'm so very happy about that. But Miles and I both believe that we are still very much individual people. And while we have so many shared hopes and dreams, we also have distinctly individual aspirations. 

I am grateful to have a partner who believes in me more than I often believe in myself. I'm going to really need to work on believing in myself come Summer 2013 when I start looking for a new, "real" job. I am 100% terrified, but will have also been waiting for this new chapter to begin for almost two years. Two years I put life on hold*! And I'm not all too convinced that I needed to put everything on hold, I think I'm just really intimidated by the thought of wading deeper into adulthood and all that entails.

Around this time last year, I reflected a lot on how amazing 2011 had been. Finishing school and getting married were two of the biggest things that had ever happened to me. But I didn't spend a whole lot of serious thought on what 2012 would hold, or what I wanted it to. For the first time....ever, I knew what job I would have for the entire year, how my days and weeks would look, no huge deadlines of any sort, no big changes, no more semesters to plan around...I knew what 2012 was going to be like, generally speaking. And generally speaking, I was right. I wasn't challenged because I didn't challenge myself. Sure I didn't know the details, but not setting goals or having dreams for the new year definitely fed into my complacency and life-on-hold-ness. I started thinking about this actually around my birthday this year, when I realized I hadn't done much that I was proud of in my 23rd year of life--that put a damper on my celebrations for sure.

So I'm going to be intentional. Miles and I use that word a lot in our relationship. We work really hard on being intentional with one another, and I will continue to do so with him. But in 2013, I'm resolving to be intentional with myself. Which feels really scary since I've fallen so out of habit. 

I was kind of on the fence with this blog. I always worry about the borderline narcissistic nature of posting about my life. But I needed to have all those posts to re-read in order to realize what I wanted for myself in the new year. My journals never make much sense if I ever try to re-read them, this blog's archive is way more helpful in that sense. So I'll keep on posting, if only for myself. To hold myself accountable to words written about taking better care of my Self.

*  I really don't want to sound like I've had a miserable year, I really haven't! I am so thankful for the people I've met and friendships that have grown in this year. I've had so much fun, read wonderful books, eaten incredible food, made fantastic memories, embraced becoming a crazy cat mom, laughed until it hurt & fallen even more in love with Miles. I just also want to be real and honest about what I haven't done, and take the steps towards not repeating that in the new year.

December 06, 2012

Birthday Weekend

Almost 3 weeks late, but it was a wonderful weekend filled with s'mores, road trippin', museums, zoo visits, city loving, mixed drinks & fancy hotels.

Here's to my twenty-fourth year!

December 05, 2012


And this is the post where I take all my whining back.

I've been slowly making my way through Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies, and not so slowly falling in love with her writing and story telling all over again. With my whining and self pity still heavy on my mind last night, I curled up in bed with this book and read with my heart in my throat the whole time. 

You know those days where you really just want to feel sorry for yourself? That was my day yesterday.  I think I've been ignoring how exhausted I am, which has made everything else seem a lot more overwhelming than it normally would. Even though everything I was feeling was real and true, I gave it way too much power over my life and my mind. Anne talks about her "Bad Mind" kicking in and doing some pretty decent, self-inflicted damage---100% me, yesterday. And in one chapter, she talks about a man who worked for the Dalai Lama, speaking to an overwhelmed woman who sat by him on the train: 
"He said--gently--that they believe when a lot of things start going wrong all at once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born"

Now I don't think that a lot of things were necessarily going wrong in my life, but sometimes it certainly feels like it--especially when I let it feel that way. Anne later talks about a particularly terrible day and how it was resolved, saying, 
"Back in the saddle again, I thought to myself, the story of my life. I still did not know what was trying to distract me so it could get itself born, but I felt happier than I had in a long time"

Heart in throat, tears brimming my eyes, Anne Lamott totally called me out. I really don't have all the answers, or everything planned out, or the best way to deal with stress in my life, or any idea what to do "next" in life...but I have had so many lovely things already born, and many more to come in my life.

Everything I complained about has a positive flip side and I just chose to ignore it, yesterday and on so many other occasions. I just love the raw honesty that I've encountered in Traveling Mercies, and how it plucked me out of the self pity party that I threw for myself yesterday. 

December 03, 2012

Whiney Post

Uhhh, where did November go? 

I was basically sick the whole month. Between my first migraine, the thousand headaches that followed, ER visits, doctor dealings, a claustrophobic MRI, and trying not to think that I have a serious illness (I don't)...this month would have been exhausting even if it hadn't had a birthday, thanksgiving, and all the family and celebrating that comes with the season. Don't get me wrong, I loved my birthday and I loved having everyone over for thanksgiving, but having to peace out and take naps every day to get over a headache kind of sucked.

And so far, December hasn't really looked too relaxing either. We were out of town yesterday and are trying to plan a trip to see the newest family member (I must see bebe) before Christmas. And then theres Christmas! Oy vey, y'all. 

I could seriously go on and on, but basically I'm just feeling really drained and unable to fully appreciate my favorite time of the year. I miss my family so much, I feel like a terribly absent friend,  Rowan keeps us up most of the night, our house is a mess (which really stresses me out), work is really exhausting, and I draw a complete blank when I think about what I'm going to do once my nanny gig is up in the summer. 

I was sharing all this with Miles last night on top of feeling like I'm really struggling with living in the present, without becoming complacent. Even as I type all of this I feel so scatterbrained and overwhelmed. How do I shut my planner mind up?

I really wish we were going to my parents for Christmas this year, why does flying to Hawaii for Christmas (or ever) have to be so expensive! We're really hoping to make it happen next Christmas, we should've started saving for that months ago, but I'm pretty determined to make it happen. I'm okay with a warm Christmas as long as its with my family.


November 19, 2012

A New City To Love

I'm sure I had a blast at all my kid-aged birthday parties, but as far as what I can remember as an adult--this birthday takes the cake. The birthday cake. I still need to upload pictures of all our fun, Miles surprised me with tickets to White Christmas on Thursday, threw a little surprise party/bonfire for me on Friday, and whisked me away to St. Louis for the weekend!

Can I confess that I fell in love with St. Louis during the 24 hours that we were there? I've already found dreamy old homes that we can buy (as in, actually afford) and searched for jobs in the area. I do recognize that I get like this after I visit certain places, ahem, Chicago...and I have a whole list of reasons why its different this time. Not that we're packing up any time soon, but I do love dreaming. 

image via

November 14, 2012

To Health

Well, I had my first migraine experience last week, and it was a solid eight day ordeal. I still don't feel 100% normal, but I am so very thankful to be able to function again! I'm still taking things really slowly and not trying to take on too much at once, but that can be difficult while taking care of two children under the age of two. I'm thankful for bosses who understand when I need to rest and a husband who takes care of everything so I can do so. I'm also really hoping to be back to normal before this weekend and subsequent birthday celebrations! 

While Rowan wasn't attacking my feet or destroying our house, he was a wonderfully adorable cuddle partner during my sick days.
He's gotten a little crazy lately, but we still love him to pieces. 

November 01, 2012

November Love

It is finally November!! November is my very favorite month for oh so many reasons: Its chilly outside, I have reached the globally accepted date my personally set date of choice for when I can begin to listen to Christmas music (yep, I'm that person)...and this November, my birthday and Thanksgiving fall within the same week. So not only do I get a weekend birthday celebration, but I will only have 2 (and maybe one half) days of work and then my brother and sister are coming to town! Can someone say best week ever?? I can. I can also write it down in every calendar in my life, and I have.

Miles and I are hosting Thanksgiving this year...whatever that means when there is only going to be a handful of people over. But still, I'm sure I'll start stressing over that soon enough. And then we get to go pick out a Christmas tree and hopefully decorate it while my siblings are still in town! This will be my second Christmas spent away from my family, but if I get to decorate this tree with not one, but three of my favorite family members (for the record, I love them all and they are all my favorite) in the whole world, I think that may take some of the sting away when Christmas rolls around.

If November is my favorite month, Christmas is definitely my favorite holiday season. I'm actually really sad on Christmas day because that means its all over. All the beautiful lights, wonderful music,  the old movies, the warm fuzzies...le sigh. I seriously love it so much...and so I let all that begin--much to Boo's chagrin, in November. Because I'll never get enough.

I love everything on this blog, and in Oana's etsy shop. Click here for the November desktop calendar!

October 31, 2012

Thirty First

Miles and I have never really done much for Halloween...ever. But in an attempt to be good neighbors (and not get our house egged) we are going to camp out on our porch tonight and give out candy! I hope we can meet some more of our neighbors, and I'm really looking forward to seeing some cute little kiddos in costumes. I took the nanny babies to the library for Halloween Story Time the morning, and goodness me, there were some pretty adorable costumes. I think I'll enjoy Halloween much more when I have a little beeb of my own to dress up. Duhh.

But for now, I just need everyone to come and take all of this candy I bought before I eat it all. And  I need them to come early so we can catch up on The Walking Dead and still go to bed early. Kthanks. Yours truly, the 23 year old in the house at the end of the street.

October 24, 2012

Just, Blah

I told Miles last night I feel pretty "blah" most of the time. Very thankful for my husband, my job, our home, our baby kitty, my new car...but too exhausted to really feel like I'm appreciating anything properly. For almost a month now, I've been watching a second nanny baby. An 18 month old is definitely a handful, but add a 4 month old to the mix and I'm about dead by the end of the day. I know moms do this all the time, and I know they're way more exhausted that I am since I can hand the babies over at 5, but ahhhhh! So this is my "I'm still alive, but barely" post. Hopefully I can figure out a way to reclaim my life outside of nanny hood soon. But until then, my bed (with a newly purchased memory foam topper, wowzers) is my favorite place to be, and the hardest place to leave. 

October 15, 2012

Honky Tonkin'

On Saturday, Miles and I went honky tonkin' for the first time together. I've been a few times over the years, but Miles had never been. Now, to clarify, we only went to one real honky tonk bar...but I'm still going to count it.

Before our big night out, we took a nap. Yep. And really, the nap was only so we could last through a midnight movie showing...and we didn't last. I know, we're a little bit lame, but we tried! (And we're totally okay with being homebodies 95% of the time)

We started out our night at The Flying Saucer, where they were celebrating John Lennon's birthday with a fantastic Beatles cover band. I'm not a huge beer drinker, but it was a lot of fun, and I had the best pretzel of my life. Then we went to Robert's, squeezed through everyone to get to the balcony in the back, and ended up getting the best seats in the house. 

Sometimes you just gotta give in to the fact that you live in Nashville and go listen to some twangy country music. Robert's is probably my favorite honky tonk though...the few times that I've been there, the house band (or whoever is playing...) is actually really fun and great to listen to. We had ourselves a country/surf band to enjoy on Saturday night, and Miles has heard great things about some guy who plays on Thursdays, so I'm sure we'll be find ourselves back on lower Broadway again very soon.

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October 12, 2012

Story Time


Can I brag on the Nashville Public Library's children's program? We go to story time at the main branch every week, and try to make it to most of the other shows they put on and I have loved every single one. We went to a Mother Goose show a few weeks ago and Ellingtown today. I was worried about making it to these library events with a second little one in tow, and its definitely harder, but so worth it. My bigger (as in, 18 months) nanny bebe loves all the puppets from story time, and squeals with excitement when we pull into the parking garage to the library.

Being a nanny, I have a lot of time to think about what I'll do when I'm actually taking care of my baby one day...and every time I'm in the children's theater at the main library, I feel so proud of my city and it makes me so happy to think of bringing my babes to story time one day.

October 08, 2012

New Hair, New Car & One Incredible Show

This weekend, I chopped all my hair off, we bought a new car, and finally went to see The Shins. I would've been happy with any of those three things on their own, but all together it has left me feeling like David after the Dentist--is this real life?

On Sunday, Miles drove my car and finally understood why I worry it won't start every time I get in it. So we went to look at cars, as we've done casually the past few months. But this time, we found the exact car I wanted, test drove it, went home and talked about it as reasonably and objectively as we could, and went straight back to the dealership to sign the papers. I love it and am so ready to take some road trips in that bad boy. 

Unlike buying a car...we had been planning on and painfully waiting for the day to arrive where we could finally finish the last of Miles' birthday presents. I'm sure I've mentioned how much I love The Shins, and how even though Miles likes them too, that part of his birthday present may have been a little more for myself. At least I'm being honest? So we loaded into our fancy new ride and went to Whiskey Kitchen before the show. We had a very adult dinner of expensive drinks, spinach artichoke dip, and a root beer float. Maybe one of our more fun dates in recent history. Probably because I made a mental note ahead of time to indulge and allow expensive drinks to be purchased. Carefree like I'm made of mon-ayy. 

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And then...The Shins. Oh, how I love The Shins. Does it make sense to say that this music has been one of the few constants in my life over the past several years? From Hong Kong, to Birmingham, to Kenya, to Nashville, through moving, and growing, and sadness, and happiness, and falling in love, and getting married, and learning how to be an adult... My go-to sad song is a Shins song. And my go-to happy song is a Shins song. So chyah, I was  pretty excited when everything worked out to finally be able to finally see them live. 

All in all, I'd say it was a pretty (really, really) good weekend.

When Parents Come to Town...

And you only take a handful of pictures. 
First of all let me just say that last week was one of the most exhausting weeks of my life. I started watching a three-month old along with my regular nanny baby, and having two under the age of two just about did me in. 

My parents came for a short visit at the beginning of the week last week and it was so good to see them. I just wish I could've taken off from work, or at least not been so overwhelmed and exhausted from my new responsibilities. We ate so much Mexican food one night that I really thought I wouldn't be able to stand up from our booth, and then we had an old fashioned burger night just the way we had it when I was growing up. It was fun watching my dad and Miles at the grill, since my parents live so far away, Miles and my parents are still getting to know each other better. Not that its ever been weird, I just love any chance that my parents get to spend with Miles. 

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I love these three so much. I wish my brother and sister could've been there too. Guess I'll just have to wait for Thanksgiving! But then my parents will be missing. Yeesh, can't win.

September 25, 2012


Miles bought a huge bag of peaches last week at the farmer's market...and then forgot to eat them. So last night, in an effort not to let them all go to waste, I made a peach cobbler. After a quick google, I found this recipe and followed it fairly closely, just adding a little more flour to the mix.

Not to toot my own horn (since all I did was follow a recipe) but toot, toot. It was dee-licious. 
The cinnamon nutmeg-y smell that filled the house was just one more thing that gets me excited for fall.  

Oh, an that bookmentioned in my last post? It really is keeping me up, reading, way past my bed time. So good.

September 20, 2012

Right Now:

Reading: Still too many books, I'm still beginning new books before finishing old ones. I've just recently acknowledged that book buying is my personal addiction. Right, right now I'm reading the novel Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon. Its apparently about fairies? I'm just on chapter two, I'll let you know. I'm hoping it will be a haunting page-turner that keeps me up, shivering my spine and enthralling me, way past my bed time. Because thats what Joshilyn Jackson said it would do.

Eating: Watermelon. Why didn't I crave it during the heat of the summer? Why are they so big? Miles hasn't wanted any watermelon at all, so when I buy one I have to eat at least two giant bowls of it a day before it goes mushy. So I chop em all up like I'm Dexter.


Listening to: A lot of NPR. Sometimes I'm not so sure that thats the best way to start my day. Also, pop fitness radio at the gym. I just heard Call Me Maybe for the first time two weeks. And then had it stuck in my head for another week.

Planning: I feel like...nothing. Which makes me sad, I love planning. I feel like Miles and I have been so busy with working and house stuff, we're too tired to do anything else. This week especially, I've been falling in the bed at 9 and hitting snooze on my alarm for as long as I can.

Wearing: The one sweater I have that isn't packed up with winter clothes! Oooh fall, I can feel you coming. 

Watching: New tv pilots, and getting giddy over Parks and Rec's return tonight. Miles and I also had an unintentional mini Wes Anderson marathon this week. I want to get two dogs and name them Ari and Uzi. Mark my words. 

Loving: The cold (okay, cool) mornings this week. These past few days have been ah-mazing. I sat out on our deck the other day after work, wrapped up in my sweater, with my fairy book in hand. I think I love the change from Summer to Fall more than any other season change. I feel so optimistic and refreshed. The cool breeze makes my skin tingle and my heart flutter. I drive around with my windows down and feel like I can take on the world. I'm not sure why this is exactly...My spirit just seems to respond to the relief from summer heat, to the anticipation of bonfires and s'mores, of changing leaves and crunchy lawns, of everyday sweater and boot wearing, of haunted houses and warm apple cider, of Thanksgiving and family and then, glory be, Christmas being right around the corner. So yes, I am loving that Fall is only two official days away..and that we got a sneak peek this year.


Also, I love my Rowan kitty.


Wanting: Three day weekends with Miles every week. Labor Day weekend was just too stinkin' good. 

Confessing: I've been living in my head a lot lately. Mostly over-thinking things that I really shouldn't be thinking about, getting frustrated over things that I shouldn't be frustrated by, worrying about things that are too far off in the future or completely out of my control. While I have loved begin a nanny, I think my in-head-living tendency has really grown a lot over the past 15 months. And with 8 more months to go, I don't really know how to break that, or if I even can.

I'm not a social butterfly, I don't need, nor do I want a million people around me or in my life all the time...but I've finally come to realize that I need, and want, to have more people in my life than I do currently. But I feel like I've fallen into this weird place where I can't remember how to increase that number of people in my life, aka "make new friends", or at least be a better friend to the friends I have. Sorry friends. Sowreh.

September 18, 2012

Coffee, Books, Husband

This week, we went to Crema for our Sunday coffee. This little coffee shop quickly rose to number one on our list of visited shops so far. I wish I would've felt a little better to try their coffee, but my sore throat and groggy head needed tea, ginseng ginger to be exact. Miles went with a bagel (my head was too groggy to register which kind) & his regular black coffee, which he thoroughly enjoyed. And I had the most incredible roasted tomato and three cheese quiche. If I can remember through the grog, I think I said "woah" loud enough for everyone in the building to hear. Oops.

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Miles has this rule that I've had to learn to live by: wherever we go, if at all possible, he likes to have the seat facing the door. To better people watch with, my dear. Alas, to every rule there is an exception, and I learned the exception to this particular rule on Sunday. Miles took our mugs to the table and placed mine at the seat facing the door, I questioned this, to which he replied, "I do always need to sit facing the door...unless I can sit facing downtown". So there you have it. Downtown beats doors. Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica.

September 14, 2012

Tasting Like Home


Miles and I ate at Bombay Palace on Sunday. It was Miles' second go with Indian food, the first time didn't turn out too well, so we gave it a few years, and tried again. This time he loved it!! I'm so happy that he liked it, I've been seriously craving Indian food for a while now. My family used to eat it all the time in Hong Kong and I can't believe how long its been since I had some chicken tikka masala, naan, and aloo gobi. I took one bite, and it tasted like home...when home was Hong Kong and my life was very different. It was strange to be transported back to such a distinct, different time in my life while sitting across the table from my husband. Strange in the best, bittersweet way possible. But for now, we've found our Indian go-to in Nashville and I am one happy girl!