Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Play

It was a lovely weekend that kicked off with woodfire pizza in Chester, CT and ended with a stroll through Prospect Park, where everything from kickball to wiffleball, softball to soccer, chase and catch, were being played.

In between was my cousin’s Sweet 16 birthday party, which included catered burgers and fries, a chocolate fountain, DJ and dancing and tons of people. Wow. It also included summer staples/Connecticut must-haves: lobster rolls and DQ.

Do you remember your sixteenth birthday? What was your celebration like? What were you primarily concerned with? What did you think you’d be when you were “an adult”?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Summer atop the Met

Summer, summer, summer. The most glorious season of them all. This summer has been especially sublime. It rained on the Fourth of July, but otherwise it's been pitch-perfect: Warm, sunny days. Late sunsets and fireflies, which I can see outside my apartment windows. Lots of opportunities to eat ice cream.

As the weeks count down to having a baby (Three months away! And I'm at the point where I look at my belly and find it hard to believe that it can still grow and stretch for three more months. It's becoming uncomfortable, sometimes painful. But everything is still going really well, all healthy and normal, so no complaints.), Andrew and I are ticking things off our 'pre-baby-bucket-list.' Dinners, plays, travels, concerts, hikes... stuff we know will be more difficult to do. 

Last night, we met at the Met's rooftop terrace, which I had never in my 13 years of living in New York (well, 11, minus the two in Paris) been to. It was awesome!

Such views.

Such a beautiful evening, with dramatic lighting. I remember evenings in Paris with these kind of spellbinding bolts of light from above.
We grabbed a spot on the astroturf and admired the fashions, enjoyed the setting sun, and had a drink before part two of our delicious night: dinner at Alimentari e Vineri, a longtime favorite.
Nothing has really changed in our relationship. Sometimes I still call Andrew "my boyfriend" out of habit. And when I say "husband" or think of him that way, it just makes me smile. It's so funny: I have a husband

Whatever I call him, I just look at him and smile: so handsome and charming and wonderful and easy to be around.

Monday, July 7, 2014

My Vegan Monday

Back to life, back to reality. The wedding: three weeks, history. The honeymoon: caught on film. Fourth of July: over. 

This Monday morning marked a return to routine, and though a slightly bitter pill to swallow, it's not so bad. Summer is my favorite season and we have lots of time ahead. Weeks and weeks of warm weather, fresh fruits and vegetables, and activities both sporty and lazy. Besides, I'm a Type A personality: I like me some discipline and organization. I've also now crossed the six-month mark in pregnancy so eating and nutrition is something I think about all the time. A return to Vegan Mondays, along with everything else, is a good thing.

Coffee with almond milk
Kashi Go Lean cereal with almond milk and blueberries
Half a Kind bar

Whole Foods salad bar
Some dark chocolate
A juicy red plum, my current obsession

Glass of Cotes du Rhone
Pea soup
Crackers and hummus

What summer dishes are you feasting on??

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

And then there was the honeymoon

We talked about Santorini, Corisca and Mallorca. We dreamed about Cape Town, Tahiti and Fiji. In the end, balancing time and money and other practicalities of being five months pregnant on a honeymoon, we landed on St. Bart’s. As the saying goes, pas mal.

We split our time between two resorts, largely lounging by the pool and lazing on the beach. We read, napped, watched World Cup and reminisced about the wedding.

We did make it out and about on the island a little bit. We had dinner at Eden Rock and Le Sereno. 

Hit Saline and St. Jean beaches. 

Watched the sunset in Gustavia.

We didn’t drop big bucks to go shopping or see Mick or George or any other celebs (though I think this guy is just as handsome...)

But is there anything better than be half-naked for a week, not caring about anything except when your next meal is and when you might squeeze in a game of tennis??

Saturday, June 28, 2014

It. Was. Amazing.

I’m not exactly the girl who’s dreamed about her wedding her entire life. As much as I love going to weddings, I never took mental notes for when my day arrived. I never knew if such a day would arrive. But I did figure that if I were to get married, the celebration wouldn’t be in a church or at a hotel. They just don’t feel right; aren’t who I am. The one thing I’ve always believed about weddings is that they should be very personal and reflect all that is important to you, as you gather all your loved ones around you.

So that is what Andrew and I did: we approached things simply and sought out a spot—the New Museum—that we loved as a couple and that we knew our out-of-town guests would also love. We created a ceremony that replaced religion with what’s most meaningful to us: family. And we let good food, booze and music do the rest of the work.

All in all, it was a weekend of overwhelming emotion, celebration and bliss.

We had our parents and siblings give speeches as the foundation of our ceremony, and they were the most incredible words ever spoken. My best friend gave an amazing opening speech and Andrew’s brother officiated. Andrew and I wrote our own vows to each other. Grown men cried.

Friends flew in from San Francisco, LA, Denver and Chicago. Family trekked from CT, Maine and Kansas City. There were mini lobster rolls and KC barbecue sliders. Beet salad and rhubarb galettes. Birthday and Father’s Day cakes from Momofuku. There was a full moon and fireworks shooting up from Chinatown. We danced to Blondie, Spandau Ballet, Rihanna and Jay-Z.

Of course not every detail and plan was flawless. But even with imperfections, it was perfect. Never have I felt so loved, so touched or so thrilled. So happy to be exactly where I am in my life.

Thank you for all of your notes, cheers and well wishes. (And hopefully more pictures will come soon!)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Le mariage

It's here, mes amis! Holy cow, I'm done with work and the wedding festivities kick off tomorrow. Friends and family have been texting, calling and emailing all week and will start arriving tomorrow. It feels amazing!

My dress zips (phew!) and I've deligated the last remaining tasks and details. Except for tomorrow night, the weather for the whole weekend promises to be spectacular. I'm super proud and pleased that we've kept things small and simple—it's just so much more manageable and liberating. 

That doesn't mean something won't go wrong—as they say, you can always count on something getting forgotten or broken or messed up. But we're at the point of no return. It's time to let things go. It's time to celebrate and enjoy. It's time.

I'm ready. :)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Delicious! night with Ruth Reichl

It was just over three years ago that I read my first Ruth Reichl book. Of course her name and career had been on my radar before that—mostly as the editor of Gourmet—but I had never known her personal story.

It might have been that I saw Comfort Me with Apples on sale at Biography Bookshop. But something finally compelled me to pick up and read that book. I brought it with me on a trip to Paris. And all I wanted to do was read. Her life, her storytelling, her food and dining descriptions—she became an instant hero to me. Down-to-earth, witty, smart, fascinating, I was enchanted and inspired, there reading about her life in my most enchanting and inspiring city.

And then I got to towards the end when, after a heinously painful adoption process that left her heartbroken (the biological mother decided after three months that she, in fact, wanted the baby back), Ruth ended up getting pregnant naturally and having a son at the age of 41.

I was single and 37 at the time I read Comfort Me with Apples. Throughout my thirties, I figured love and motherhood would eventually be part of my life. But maybe in less traditional ways: I might not find true love until I was in my fifties. I might wind up adopting. I was okay with these things. I was clearly taking the long, unconventional path and in Ruth’s story, I found comfort and hope.

Since then, I’ve read nearly all of her books. I follow her on Twitter and have always wanted to meet her or at least make it to one of her readings or events. But logistics and schedules have always prohibited me. Until tonight.

It was a lovely literary dinner at Contrada in the East Village, my old stomping grounds. 

I sat at a communal table, flanked by wonderfully interesting, friendly, cool people. And I got to hear Ruth read, talk a bit about her career, answer questions in this intimate setting. She’s as warm, gracious and eloquent as I had hoped and imagined.

The best part was meeting her at the end. I had to share the news that I’m 41 and pregnant with my first and she instantly lit up and became so naturally happy and warm, saying Nick (her son) is the best thing she’s ever done. It was a moment.

I firmly believe that when certain things, words, stories, people, whatever, resonate with you on that deep level that it means something. For the past five years, I’ve remembered Ruth’s story. I’ve shared it with other women. I’ve held onto it as comfort. It was just so, so awesome to share it with her and have my own story, this little thread of inspiration, come full circle and sort of manifest itself with her.