Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy First Birthday To My Son

On The Night You Were Born
by Nancy Tillman

On the night you were born,
The moon smiled with such wonder

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That the stars peeked in to see you
And the night wind whispered,
“Life will never be the same.”

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Because there had never been anyone like you…ever in the world.


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So enchanted with you were the wind and the rain
That they whispered the sound of your wonderful name.

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It sailed through the farmland
High on the breeze…
Over the ocean…
And through the trees…

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Until everyone heard it
And everyone knew
Of the one and only ever you.

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Not once had there been such eyes,
Such a nose,

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Such silly, wiggly, wonderful toes.

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When the polar bears heard,
They danced until dawn.
From faraway places,
The geese flew home.

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The moon stayed up until
Morning next day.
And none of the ladybugs flew away.

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So whenever you doubt just how special you are
And you wonder who loves you, how much and how far,
Listen for geese honking high in the sky.
(They’re singing a song to remember you by.)

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Or notice the bears asleep at the zoo.
(It’s because they’ve been dancing all night for you!)
Or drift off to sleep to the sound of the wind.
(Listen closely…it’s whispering your name again!)

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If the moon stays up until morning one day,
Or a ladybug lands and decides to stay,
Or a little bird sits at your window awhile,
It’s because they’re all hoping to see you smile…

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For never before in story or rhyme
(not even once upon a time)
Has the world ever known a you, my friend,
And it never will, not ever again…

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Heaven blew every trumpet
And played every horn
On the wonderful, marvelous
Night you were born.

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Happy first birthday, our sweet baby boy.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Our Personalized Beach Towels from Lattice & Ivy

I recently ordered the kids personalized beach towels from Lattice & Ivy, and am totally flipping over how adorable they are!  Can we even talk about how darling their setup for the summer is?!?!




The towels are huge - 30" x 60" - and are made of a super soft microfiber velour.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when our pool towels take up so much room in our beach bag that I have to pack a separate tote for sunscreen, sippy cups, etc.  I love that these are thin enough to fit in my bag while still having room for everything else I need for the pool.  Waverly hasn't stopped carrying her towel around since they were delivered on Saturday.

You can order basic patterns and colors like Wilder's here (just follow the Personalization Steps dropdown boxes on the right of the screen), or towels in our fun summer Designer Collections pattern series, like Waverly's  beach towel in the Flamingo - Sweetheart pattern here.

If you have any questions about our colors, patterns, fonts, or Designer Collections patterns, just drop me a message on my Facebook page!

Hooray for summer! 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Five on Friday

I thought I'd jump in with the 5 on Friday link up crew to download a few random thoughts and get caught up to speed around here!




ONE
Wilder's birthday

Our little Wild Man is turning 1 in less than 3 weeks, which is just totally blowing my MIND.  This entire year has seemed like a giant fuzz of moving and travel and change, it's hard to absorb that he's already turning 1 soon.  Every time I pour a new sippy of formula, I can't help but feel a little sad that this will be some of the last formula in the house.  Then I remember that formula costs us about $5 a day right now, and I do a little internal jump for joy that the end of that huge expense is in sight.  We're planning a low-key brunch fiesta with family and a few friends in town, plus my best friend and her family are flying in for the weekend of the 4th.  I'm thrilled that they're coming to visit and celebrate with us, so we have lots to look forward to in the next few weeks.



TWO
Lattice & Ivy

I've recently started repping a brand new gift and accessories company called Lattice & Ivy.  All of the items they sell are completely customized, so you can mix and match colors, patterns, monograms, names, and decorative frames to design the cutest things for yourself or for gifts.  I'm loving it so far, since I'm getting all the satisfaction I received from making personalized gifts with the kids clothing company  I used to run on the side, without having to spend 18 hours a day camped out in front of the embroidery machine.


The company hasn't even officially "launched" yet, so it has been so neat to start at the ground level and work with their Corporate office to fine tune things.  An added bonus is that they're actually based just outside of Phoenix in Glendale (the town where Ryan and I lived when we moved back to Arizona from New York City when he got his MBA at Thunderbird), so I was able to pop by the Corporate office yesterday to meet the team and see the warehouse and production facilities.  Such. Cute. Stuff.  



THREE
Gordon Ramsay Cooking Tutorials on YouTube

I'm a HUGE fan of cooking shows.  You should have seen the Oscar award winning hard sell performance I  put on to try and convince Ryan we needed to go on the MasterChef cruise with Graham Elliott this fall (verdict: too expensive. BOO.)  Since we don't have cable, it's hard to get my fill of Top Chef and the like right now.  It dawned on me last night that there had to be a few good tutorials on YouTube to stream on my laptop and get my fix while I washed the dishes.  A few quick searches, and I hit the jackpot- Gordon Ramsay's YouTube channel.

(Image found here)

I'm a big fan of Mr. Ramsay's cooking and overall vibe (even if I'm not big on some of his more dramatic TV shows like hell's Kitchen).  I've only watched 2 videos, but have already learned a half dozen new tricks for the kitchen.  Pressing play on one of these little videos makes late night sippy cup washing so much easier!  I think this garlic and saffron mayonnaise will be my first recipe attempt.



FOUR
Summertime Blues

It's hot here in Phoenix.  Hotty, hot hot.  I'm having a hard time figuring out just how cool to keep our new house without breaking the bank (last month's power bill was in a very uncomfortable 3 figure range, and in's not even "summer" here yet!).  I came across these pyjamas, and think they'd be a darling way to class up my PJ collection and keep cool(er) at night!



They also came in a really pretty blush color, which appears to be sold out... Sad I didn't scoop them up before they were gone!


FIVE
Juicing

I watched the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead on Netflix over the holidays, and it really made an impression on me.  Last month, Ryan and I started eating more "clean" recipes and juicing in the morning using the same ingredients as Kimberly Snyder's Glowing Green Smoothie recipe.  We loved how much more energy we had in the morning (and how much less coffee we needed to survive the morning).  Ryan even lost 10 lbs, which was a great side effect.  We fell off of the clean eating wagon when everyone came down with Hand, Foot, and Mouth last month, and we're back to feeling sort of sluggish and blah again.  My parents are in town visiting right now, and so we've all decided to try juicing for breakfast over the next week to see if my parents get the same benefit we were already seeing.  I'll keep you posted on the results!

Happy Friday, all!

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Great Plague of 2014

One of my best childhood friends got married in Puerto Vallarta last weekend, which was seriously one for the record books.  The little neighborhood girl gang I grew up with now has 5 children under 2 (Waverly being the oldest), with more little blessings on the horizon (and NO, I'm not pregnant.).  Since the bride's little sister is counted among the moms in our crew, it was only natural that children were invited along on this destination wedding.  I'll be recapping how I survived taking 2 kids 2 and under to Mexico for almost a week, travelling without the husband (hint: there were grandparents attending and a LOT of tequila involved).

2014 Puerto Vallarta
Just after the most spectacular beachside ceremony.
Giving my best "Dear God, please stop trying to jump out of my arms so we can get at least one decent family photo" face

Wilder came down with a runny nose a day or 2 before the trip, which I chalked up to yet another round of teething.  The child drools like a St. Bernard (he literally leaves a little puddle trail behind him wherever he goes), so I figured we were just in for some teething mess.  The poor kid was fussy throughout the trip, which I just figured was a part of the drill for shaking up a baby's routine so much in the past 4 weeks- a big move, a new time zone, and now new country?  That'd be rough for anyone to adjust to.

I woke up with a frog in my throat the day after the wedding, I got a little panicky.  Sick and taking care of 2 fussy, out-of-sorts kids under 2 in a foreign country largely by myself?  Thanks, but no thanks.  My friend's mother-in-law had developed a terrible head cold by Monday evening, so I just figured there was a little bug going around our group.  I mean, given the amount of germy air travel and hugging (there were almost 80 people who flew in for the wedding!) and toddlers grabbing each others' water bottles for drinks by the pool, somebody HAD to have picked up something.

 Someone dust off the Mother of the Year Award for me please, because the day after we got home one 103 degree fever and a trip to Urgent Care later revealed that my poor man child had double ear infections.  No wonder he was a hot mess for part of our vacation.  Relieved to have antibiotics on our side, I thought we were in the clear.

The Great Plague 2014
10 pm pity portraits in the UrgentCare


The Great Plague 2014
Poor buddy passed out before we even got out of the door in the morning to take Daddy to work

But wait- it only got better from there... The next day, Waverly started a slow decent into illness over the course of just a few hours:

The Great Plague 2014 - Going going gone 
Going... going(ish)... Gone.
(Also hereby known as the only night she ever fell solidly asleep before dinnertime)

 A few texts around the group later, it turns out that somehow our sweet little group of babies was exposed to Hand Foot and Mouth disease.  Which it turns out is A) way more common than I expected, and B) TOTALLY AWFUL OMG.  High fevers, blisters, the whole 9 yards.

We've felt like we've had the flu, which is apparently only the beginning of the "incubation period" of this madness. We've "lucked out" a bit since we're not covered in sores (WHY DOES NOBODY MENTION THIS KIND OF STUFF TO YOU BEFORE YOU BECOME A PARENT?!) but that hasn't made much of a difference in our overall misery.  We're all still not sure just where it came from, as we haven't been around other kids and nobody else in the group has knowingly come in contact with HFM before the trip.  Which leads me to think irrational, over-the-top mom thoughts like whether we all got it in the kiddie pool in Mexico or something. {shudders}

I can't tell if it's good or bad that it seems to be hitting us in waves; I was sick with the kids all last week and this weekend, and Ryan just spiked his "telltale" fever yesterday.  The poor guy is supposed to fly to California at 7am tomorrow, so is currently at Urgent Care to try and get a firm diagnosis/action plan ( I mean, who should be sauntering into an office with a contagious virus?!)  As bad as it is for me to be sick and have to take care of 2 kids, at least I don't have to shower or change out of my PJs and head into an office, so I'm grateful for not having that added pressure on my shoulders right now.  Feeling very grateful for my husband trying to power through all of this.

We have tried SO hard to make this weekend into, well, some sort of actual holiday weekend, but it's really been a comedy of errors.
Memorial Day 2014
Turning overdue garden chores into fun summer activities.  And since when did my 10 month old son start lounging around the house like a college frat boy in sweat pants?!

Half of me cannot wait to be well again so we can jailbreak this place and go have some fun, but the other half of me has turned into a bit of a germaphobe with this experience, and is afraid to get out of the house lest we catch something this bad again.  You can bet your bottom dollar I'll be Lysoling the entire house twice, and then boning up on essential oils and probiotic supplements and any other crunchy hippie fix to help ward this off in the future.

I hope you had an amazing, relaxing Memorial Day weekend filled with loved ones.  Please tell me all of the fun things you did, so I can live vicariously!

xo

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Back In The Saddle


     It's so bizarre how much my life has changed in the almost 6 years I've been writing this blog.  I started The Dirty Martini Diaries as a way to keep my friends and family in the loop with my life in New York, City, as well as a way to journal planning a long-distance wedding.  Maybe I'm just wound too tight, or take myself too seriously (both of which I have been accused of over the years), but I've never been much for journaling or diary keeping since I tend to go back and be really embarrassed by some of the "in the moment" things I write.  Hanging on to this blog has been different- I've really enjoyed having a written archive of some of the cool experiences I've had over the last 6 years (like attending a taping of Saturday Night Live), and some of the not-so-glamorous experiences (like when I was living on unemployment in NYC and battled with a grocery store clerk over cans of soup on sale).  I've been introduced so some of the funniest, kindest, smartest women that I now feel honored to call friends, and have been able to discover new products and fun events and helpful advice I never would have been exposed to otherwise.  I can honestly say that the only real regret I've had in keeping this blog is that I didn't do a better job of keeping it updated and logging my life more thoroughly.

I look back on all of these posts and wonder "Where in the hell has all this time gone?"  I still remember what it felt like to wake up next to Ryan in our full-sized IKEA loft bed in Manhattan, take the first shower shift before my 3 other roommates, and sit in the dark at the writing desk under the loft bed to blow dry my hair while Ryan slept since our tiny, moldy bathroom had no electrical outlets.  I still remember exactly what it looked, smelled, and felt like to ride the express 2/3 train down from 96th street to 14th street, walk down the platform to the specific spot the door to the 1 train would open up, and watch the rats do a little morning scurry from the trash bags piled up on the platform to a little hole they'd chewed in a metal service door at the end of the platform.  I still remember what the knot in my stomach felt like as the doors of the 1 train opened up at Chambers Street, and the sound of CSS's "Music Is My Boyfriend" blaring through my iPod headphones as I stepped in time with the beat in my 4 inch heels, walking the slow morning death march towards a corporate job that made me constantly feel like I could barely keep my head above water.

And now here I am.  I'm a stay-at-home mom with 2 kids, and have just completed YET ANOTHER move (the 3rd across state lines and the 6th address since this blog began) back to my adopted hometown of Phoenix.  I have to pause and close my eyes when I'm at a checkout counter and the clerk asks me for my zip code, as I have a hard time remembering which one I'm currently living in.  Hell, I have a hard time remembering what day it is, now that I'm not showering every day and referencing my Outlook calendar 30 times.  The only thing keeping the date straight in my head is when I can remember to post something on a daily gratitude journal I've been trying to keep on my Instagram feed.  I juggle diapers and bottles and sharing a messy minivan with Ryan and trying to make healthy food without breaking the bank and keep us from paying off our debt.  I've donated most of my corporate maven work wardrobe, and favor t-shirts from Target and Gap Maternity yoga pants even though I have no plans to have another baby. This life isn't any better or any worse than the life I was living 6 years, ago.  It's just So. Completely. Different.  Like, never in my wildest dreams would I have ever seen myself here kind of different.

One of the many things that having kids has really made me appreciate the art of recording one's life, of nailing down all of those little mundane moments in life as one day they may not be a part of your world and they'll fade away into a distant (or completely forgotten) memory.  Baby gestures and mispronounced words that are all too quickly grown out of.  Hell, I look back at some of Waverly's baby photos and don't have the faintest memory of her looking like that at that certain stage or being that little.  And it makes me want to record every little head shaking habit and silly dance and bathtime routine.  And I also think (perhaps self-centeredly) that my kids would have wanted me to reciprocate and record our adult lives in return to see the little bodega their parents purchased Red Bull, beer, (and sometimes cigarettes) from on the corner or 85th and Amsterdam in Manhattan, or the little vendor stall that their dad thought sold the best smažený sýr when he spent a semester in Prague the year before their parents started having kids.

And blogging is just such a cool way of doing that, you know?  A few keyboard clicks and you have this fantastic online journal with photos and memories and an archive dropdown and a search box (God, I love a blog's search box feature) to be able to quickly Google your own life and put dates or photos to memories into proper chronological context.  Do you care what I did for my birthday 4 years ago?  Probably not, but I really love that I can go back now (and my kids can go back 30 years from now) and be able to see.

So part of me just wants to fully live one of the new-to-me mantras I'm trying to live by now, which is "Done Is Better Than Perfect".  To just dive in and start blogging again to get all these awesome and mundane and contradictory things going on in my life into this online journal for posterity (even if nobody ever ends up reading it again besides me after I've pressed the "Publish" button).  But part of me has been hesitant to do so.

In the years since I've started The Dirty Martini Diaries, this little blog world has changed SO, SO much.  It has gone from tagging other new blog friends in "About Me" posts (remember those?!) and commenting on new blogs to meet friends or give (requested) advice or commiserate on a bad day, to one filled with sponsored posts and affiliate content and people making $100K a year and entire website forums dedicated to talking shit about bloggers and their lives.  It went from readers e-mailing other bloggers for advice on what to wear to a big event, to people emailing bloggers to tell them that their child is ugly because they somehow felt that their advice was warranted on the subject.  It's intimidating and foreign and most importantly a hell of a lot meaner than when I unintentionally left it.

And yes, of course I could just make this whole blog private and record things on some password protected site for my kids to see later on.  But you know what?  That's just not very much fun.  Some of the best parts of my life have come from blogging publicly and putting myself out there to commune with others, and more importantly from others putting themselves out there and dishing out words of wisdom that have changed the way I live my life for the better.  The real question for me at this point is whether to jump back into this blogging pastime that I loved in a new world where people are scrutinized simultaneously for what they say and for what they're not saying, for what they're doing and what they're not doing.  Where people try to read between the lines of each post and each photo and dissect every pixel of what is shared or not shared on this silly little website.

And after months of thought, I've decided that I just really don't give a shit.

I really love my life, and I love this silly little world of social media and all it has done for me.  So I'm going to start blogging again.  Maybe a lot, maybe just slightly less sporadically than the every 6 month schedule I seem to have set for myself.  I'll share what I feel like sharing at the time, and won't share what I don't feel like sharing.  I'm probably going to talk about things that are really deep and serious to me, and also write aloof, materialistic posts about things I've been coveting but can't afford to buy.  I'm going to talk about trying to save money and I'm going to be doing it while carrying an overpriced handbag to the store.  I just am who I am, a person with positive attributes and faults and contradictions and I've finally learned that I really don't need to justify anything about my life to anyone.  So I'm not going to.

And of course it's silly to spend even 30 seconds worrying about someone might think about me or say about me (or to be self-centered enough to think that someone might even waste 30 seconds of their own  time analyzing this tiny, boring, little blog of mine), but again I'm just being truthfully honest and writing what's on my mind (which is the whole reason for this website in the first place).  This is my little, tiny place on the Internet, and I'm just going to be me.  So if you actually are reading this and genuinely want to know something about me, go ahead and ask. I'm an open book as a face-to-face, real life human being (like when people I've just met ask me if having 2 kids in 15 months was planned- good gravy!), and that won't change over e-mail.  Feel free to send me an e-mail any time and I'll try my best to get back to you (after all, I am still juggling 2 kids 2 and under and being a mediocre, seldom-showered housewife who can't seem to shower or keep track of what day it is).

So, with finally getting ALL of that off of my chest, I'm happy to announce that The Dirty Martini Diaries is finally (somewhat) back in business.  As always, I look forward to having you along for the ride, friends.

xoxo,

Lulu

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Come See Me On Bloglovin'

PS, Have you followed my blog yet on Bloglovin'?

Follow on Bloglovin

I'm hoping to get back into the posting groove soon(ish), and would love for you to join along!

xo

About A Boy

It may have taken me 3 months to introduce him here on the blog, but it's entirely because I've spent every waking minute kissing these adorable, rapidly expanding cheeks.  On July 1st, we welcomed the most amazing little tub of love.

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This is my son Wilder, and he's pretty fantastic.

Welcome to the world, Wild Man.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Great 2013 Hair Chop

Is this thing on?

(Taps into the mic....)

The last time I blogged, I was 7 months pregnant and contemplating a hair change.  Let's say that life has changed juuuust a little bit since then...  I've never really found a good way to properly catch up on this blog after my many extended absences, so I'm just going to jump right where I left off.

The hair, for one?  It has been chopped.

I made an impulse appointment at a local salon here in Wichita for one Saturday morning in April, and had the Mr. snap this pic before I headed out the door.

Pre-Haircut 2013

Insanity, that hair.

The Great Haircut of 2013

I don't think the sweet stylist was expecting to do a chop quite this drastic for a practical walk-in appointment...

W and Mama
(Photo courtesy Wichita's Gina Dreher Photography, whom I A.D.O.R.E.)

I'm totally obsessed with the new 'do, and feel like a person again.  I may wear it up on a French twist 90% of the time, but that still feels de plus chic compared the big limp hair donut previously affixed on the top of my head.  

Also?  The cut cost a whopping $28 before tip.  That's like a one-way cab ride in NYC.   

I love you, crazy cheap Wichita cost of living.

Friday, April 12, 2013

To Chop or Not To Chop?


We have a hair situation going on over here, and I need some advice.  I'm going to take you on a little hair tour, and would LOVE your two cents!

Right now, I'm suffering from a serious case of what I like to refer to as SWH - Sister Wife Hair:

W 1st Birthday

Hair for Days

I mean seriously, look at that mop.  Hair for days over here.  I'm afraid some polygamist family is going to come up and proposition me to become their next wife or something.  I feel like sister wife extraordinaire Nicolette Grant from Big Love-

image courtesy here

To the best of my memory, I have had my hair cut twice in the last 36 months.  For real.  And it would be one thing if I actually did anything with it each day, but it is so long and unruly that it gets worn on top of my head in a sloppy clipped bun thing.

Glamorous. 

The true look of motherhood around these parts.  My poor husband.

I actually like my hair best when it's on the short side, which I had about 3 years back-
Bayless Cookbook Signing
Smile for the Camera
(PS, check out that smile on my mom's dog Talulah, is that not the funniest thing ever?)

This was an impromptu "I've got a fancy new client-facing job, so I best get a sassy professional haircut" phase, and I actually couldn't have loved the cut more if I tried.

Sadly, let's just say that my dear husband didn't share the same affinity for the new 'do.  He started gently making comments a few weeks after the big hair cut like "You know, I sure do love your hair long..." and "remember when you had that cute shoulder-length hair when we were dating?  I really liked that."  Bless his heart.  This is what my hair looked like when we were dating (ohmigosh who are those two young, skinny kids?!), which I think is what my husband keeps referring to-

us.

While attending the BlissDom conference last month, I saw a girl with what can only be described as the most perfect hair in existence.  I found out that this gal was none other than Kate from The Small Things Blog- little did I know that I was just way behind the times and basically the whole Internet already knew and loved her (and her hair).

Photo courtesy here

See? Amazing.  Do you know about Kate?  Because if you don't, you should check her blog out now and read like every single post there is. And no lie, Kate's hair looks even more awesome in person than it does on her blog.  I die.

So now, instead of doing responsible things like sweeping the house and organizing the office during naptime this week, I've just been looking at hair pictures online.  Great use of productive time, Lulu.

So, riddle me this- how logical is it to make another big chop and transition to a haircut that actually requires styling, mere months before baby #2 arrives and my life gets thrown into (even more) chaos again?  Do I continue to sacrifice style (and let's face it, any semblance of attractiveness in general... haha) for the convenience of "let's take the large wig 'o' hair and clip it on top of my head again", or finally do something productive with my hair and take Tim Gunn's sage advice to just Make It Work?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

101 in 1,001: #102- Have Another Baby...?!?!


After spending hours upon hours plotting what I'd like to accomplish over the next ~2.74 years for my 101 in 1,001 list, there was one major item that honestly never crossed my mind - have another baby.

But lo and behold, here is where we find ourselves today....

Baby Bump 2

Surpriiiise...  A whopping 7 months pregnant with a bouncing baby boy!

I know... right?!  I'll be having a baby in less than 3 months, and am just now announcing it on the blog.

Why the secrecy, you ask?  What gives?

A few reasons, I suppose...  At first, I needed to keep a lid on the surprise while I figured out how on earth I was going to juggle 2 kids under the age of 15 months (gulp) AND still be able to do my job.  Once that decision was sorted out (at which point I was already 6 months along), I guess it's just been a matter of habit not to mention it.  Frankly, this pregnancy has been 180 degrees different than the last pregnancy, so unless I feel this little man-child ninja kicking my internal organs I *completely* forget that there is a human growing inside me.

I've "outed" myself to family and close friends, as well as on Instagram and Twitter, so am not actively keeping the secret any longer.  However, I still have yet to make any official mention of the little mister on Facebook yet, which I guess is a little odd, since that is the one social media platform I have which consists of all real-life friends.  At this point, I just find the thought of an additional Martini baby magically popping up on my Facebook feed to be pretty comical, so we'll see how that goes.

After 2012 brought us a new baby, a grad school graduation, 2 job changes, and a relocation to another state, I fully expected 2013 to be nice and mellow.  I guess I should have known better! haha

I'm past the feeling of being completely overwhelmed (most days), and we're both fully excited to bring another little nugget into the world.  Stay tuned for another adventurous chapter!



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