Thursday, December 27, 2012

Our Cozy Christmas

This year, we celebrated our first Christmas as a threesome. We didn't go away like last year, we weren't surrounded by our families, we didn't even exchange gifts (the little bug scored big with some gifts friends and family sent from home, though). It was just the three of us, and it was perfect. As much as I missed waking up in a bustling house filled with all the cousins and siblings and opening presents, and spending the day in pjs and eating delicious treats... I loved every minute of our holiday here in Belgium.

We took a walk, baked cookies, watched a Breaking Bad marathon (we may or may not have watched the entire first season). We skyped with our families, which included an incredible moment of four generations of women (my grandmother, mother, myself and Ina) talking and marvelling at the fact that we can all be together, while a million miles apart. We ate a wonderful dinner, and went to bed early with full bellies and a happy baby.

Santa brought breakfast

Thanks Auntie Annie!

sleeping snuggly bug

merry christmas!

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas filled with love, laughter and joy, and that Santa brought lots of goodies for you. 

Now... onto new adventures in the new year! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

On old friends...

In the summer of 2001, before I left home for college, I sent my friend Allyson a journal in the mail with a letter written inside it. A couple months later, after I was settled into my dorm room, I received an envelope in the mail with that same little book and a letter from her written on the next couple of pages. This went on for a few years between San Diego and Santa Barbara - not weekly, or even monthly, but a few times a year this little book would make its journey, filled with secrets, love and heartache, confessions, inspirational quotes, doodles and photos. The last entry was dated in 2008, after a five year hiatus. I was living in New York at the time, and found the book in a box of old stuff. I sent it off to her for old times sake... and then, consumed by life and work and love, forgot about it.

Yesterday, we received a gigantic box in the mail... sweet gifts for the baby, awesome gifts for Didz and I, and at the bottom of the box, the book. That same old journal, filled with stories and memories from so many years ago. More than ten years later, I still remember drawing those doodles, sharing those secrets and insecurities with my dear friend when I was searching for balance and happiness in my life while floating through my first years of university trying to figure out where I belonged. Now, a decade later, I know I am exactly where I belong and am so grateful for my friendship with Allyson that has stood the test of time - even when we're cities, states and even countries apart.

I think she summed it perfectly: "Our friendship is like a super soft awesome college tee that's been washed and beloved for years and years..."


Thank you, dear Allyson. Missing you, and all my friends across the world this holiday season. I am looking forward to some fantastic reunions in the new year...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Weekend Bits

The Christmas Market opened in our town last week, so the highlight of our weekend was spending an evening wandering through the crowds, exploring the trinkets in the stalls, meeting our friend Pieter for some hot gluhwein and catching up with him while listening to traditional Belgian Christmas music performed by a choir of old men.

bustling market.

hottie hubby. heatlamp. hotwine.

a whole stall dedicated to boozy hot cocoa
Someone had too much ChocoWhiskey... 

We're planning on leaving Belgium in the next few months (that's a different post altogether, and there's still a lot of question marks to work out), but I've started to walk around town a little slower, looking around a little closer, trying to soak up every memory of this place before we go. Christmastime in Leuven is right at the top of things I'll miss about living here.

Meanwhile, Didz is singing along to The Band and dancing with Ina... he says he's "building a musical sand castle in her brain." I don't know what that means, but I sure do love it.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

8 Weeks

Dear Didzette,

The other morning, when you woke us up bright and early (or rather, still dark and really early), and we weren't ready to get out of bed yet, we brought you into bed with us. I sat there, in bed with my two favorite people in the whole world, completely in love and completely in awe of how much you've grown in just 8 weeks. You're almost like a real person!

To be honest, though, this week hasn't been your best. Don't get me wrong, you're still cute as the Dickens, but you've been a little bit of a brat this week. You wake up so happy and smiley, and it just goes downhill from there. By late afternoon you're one cranky little bug. I know you're going through so much developmental change, it must be really overwhelming for you... you're taking it all in, trying to figure out what the heck is going on, growing and learning. I don't blame you for getting a little cranky.

You're still sleeping well (7 whole hours in a row the other night - whoop!), so please don't go regressing there. And you're eating pretty well - though when you're cranky in the afternoons you're totally anti-boob and will only eat if your daddy gives you a bottle. But all in all we're doing alright. You'll get over this little phase soon.

Just as long as you keep giving me those huge toothless grins first thing in the morning, we'll be ok.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekend Bits

Our weekend began with a lunch date... Yes, there was a tiny person with us, so some people might not consider that a real date, but there was wine. And life-changing mushroom ravioli. And a person who served it to us. And we didn't have to do the dishes. So it was a date.

There was also tree decorating, and soup making, and cranky baby soothing, and movie watching and music and mulled wine... 

ready to deck the halls

disco window


pa rum pum pum pum

...not a bad weekend at all. Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Two things

1. The bug is losing her newborn baby hair (especially in the front), making her look like an old man with a comb-over. By far the cutest comb-over I've ever seen... but still...

2. Women always make a big deal about losing the baby weight. I've decided to keep mine. Because if losing the baby weight means losing her favorite snuggle spot, I want nothing to do with that...

That's all.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Shaggy Dog

There's an old, scruffy, shaggy dog who belongs to my favorite flower shop. He cruises up and down the little cobblestone street, overseeing all the activity from the fish shop to the cheese shop like a boss... 

My favorite time of day, however, is when he visits the pasta shop next door...

It's like a scene straight out of Lady and the Tramp... the fat Italian chef always throws him some scraps. I just hope good ol' Shags is lucky enough to score a spaghetti kiss from his own Lady one of these days.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Ours was spent drinking hot mulled wine and nuzzling the little bug (who, in the past couple days has totally mastered her heart-melting smile). This morning, we woke up to snowfall (which turned into a sopping rain)... but the arrival of snow means I'm going into hibernation for yet another winter. Send wine. And cookies.

So long friends, wake me up when Spring is upon us... :)