Wednesday, July 20, 2011

dear grandma neets

you asked me to send photos and stories about our family vacation in sunriver, oregon—the first family vacation that you and grandpa howard haven't been able to attend—so here i go.

we miss you! if it makes you feel any better, it's rained three of the five days here, leaving us nothing to do but play games inside. it hasn't been so bad, but i guarantee your florida weather is much more enjoyable. when the weather cooperates we play tennis and mini-golf, ride bikes on shady trails, read by the pool, float down the river in canoes, and soak up every bit of margaux and sylvie's cuteness! margaux learned to ride her bike (sans training wheels!) this week, which has been a continuous topic of conversation. and if you can't tell by the photo below, she's also an outstanding hula-hooper! (who knew such a little body could maneuver such a large hoop?)

as for me? i'm feeling great, but miss you guys tons!

Monday, July 18, 2011

our big surprise!

  guess what? we’re having a baby!

we got the news many weeks ago as a big—no, monstrous—surprise. it was the biggest surprise of my life, actually. jeff and i weren’t ready to be parents. we didn’t know a thing about babies. we couldn’t imagine ourselves as a threesome, a family, with baby toys and clothes and blankets and bottles sprinkled about the apartment. not just yet, anyway.

but those were just the first couple days. after a friend dragged me to powell’s for books on pregnancy, babies and parenting, my mind changed completely. as i flipped through photos of unborn children developing inside their mothers, a wave of amazement, astonishment, came over me. was it possible this was happening in my belly, too? it couldn’t be! i felt so normal. i wasn’t sick and didn’t have any of the symptoms outlined in these books. but what struck me the most is we didn’t even try to make a baby. instantly i became aware of the fact that so many couples struggle to get pregnant because they want children more than anything in the world, undergoing years of ivf and other invasive treatments, and then ultimately fail, their bodies incompatible. their only options left are to adopt or be childless. and we didn’t even try. i felt a bit guilty, but lucky at the same time.

a few days later, the doctor confirmed the life growing inside me. jeff and i looked longingly at the screen while she performed the ultrasound. we heard the swift heartbeat, gazed at the tiny head. at eight weeks old, our little guy or girl was just a centimeter long and already the most incredible thing we’d ever seen. i cried.

since that day we’ve been consumed with all things baby: books, clothes, names, nursery paint colors. we even put an offer on a house in the suburbs, in a good neighborhood, away from our trendy apartment on mississippi avenue, where the three of us can spend our first few years as a family together. we’ll have to make an enormous effort to continue dining at our favorite downtown restaurants, but part of me knows that once the baby comes, we’ll rather be in our new home with baby toys and blankets and bottles sprinkled about.

the due date? december 20, 2011. ♥

Thursday, July 14, 2011

mississippi street fair

Never have I seen so many moms pushing strollers, tree-huggers wearing dreadlocks, street-vendors preparing greasy noodles, bands playing upbeat music, or photographers taking pictures than I did at the Mississippi Street Fair. Our apartment sat in the middle of the chaos—perfect for bathroom breaks and taking breathers from the crowds and sweltering sun. With a group of friends, Jeff and I wandered up and down the street eating teriyaki dishes and mini-cupcakes and drinking strawberry lemonade for six whole hours. Whew!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

summer lovin' ♥ had me a bla-aast

Jeff and I celebrated America's birthday by taking a vacation to Clear Lake, California with his parents and family friends. We went boating and swimming and sat in the sun with good books, our pink, freckly skin lathered with SPF 70. We napped in a hammock. In the mornings we jogged along windy roads and caught glimpses of deer wandering through thick trees, and at night we slept in sleeping bags under the stars. (Who knew there were so many stars?)

Oh, and I took lots of pictures. (I’m starting to wonder if my family and friends have become peeved with the big black Nikon that’s always pointed in their faces.) I’m happy someone pried it from my fingers long enough to snap a few impromptu shots of Jeff and me.

After the ten-hour drive home on Monday, getting all gussied up to watch fireworks at the waterfront (as was originally planned) was out of the question, so we stayed in and watched 127 Hours. As the sun dropped below the skyline, the first few fireworks appeared right outside our window. We didn’t realize living on the fifth floor guaranteed our own private fireworks show; we could see the colorful explosions all across Portland, from the comfort of our couch! It was a perfect way to end a fun weekend.