mother’s day

I am 32 years old. My 20s were something awesome. I lived with besties, met my David, found my job, married, and made some amazing memories with family and friends. But my 20s were also riddled with a lot of insecurities. For the first time in my life, I was no longer a student. I had to figure out what would my life be as an “adult?” I questioned everything, felt lost, confused, and self-absorbed. I cared A LOT about what others thought of me, I didn’t want to let anyone down, I put a lot of pressure on myself to be everything to everyone. But, it was a great decade. Growing up never stops and I learned a lot of  life, love, loss and laughter. In my short dip into my 30s, I can see that this decade too will be great. David and I have so much to be grateful for: each other, our two boys, our jobs, family, friends, our home,  and so much love. Looking in the mirror this morning getting ready for work I thought to myself, “wow, could you have imagined all this when you graduated from High School?”

And no. This far exceeds those projections and predictions I was consumed with in my teens.

This living business has exceeded my expectations because I finally feel settled. Instead of that need to race off to the next big life step or feeling pressure to take that next big life step, these years of being in my 30s feel like I can exist, stretch, observe, create, and give myself a break. I credit all of these shifts to David and Henry, and Owen to my parents and sibling (& sibling-in-laws), nieces, and nephews, and to my nearest and dearest friends. Because of these people and these relationships, I feel loved and want to give love, I feel grateful and want to demonstrate gratitude, and I feel blessed and want to explore and pause. I am really looking forward to this weekend, not only as a celebration of my own motherhood journey, but as a celebration of all the amazing strong men and women in my life who journey and partner with me on the daily.

Owen Edward: 11 Months

How can it possibly be that in 30 days our baby is one year old!!  This will sound cliche but truly this year was the longest shortest year with Owen joining us as the fourth and final member to the clan. This month will be filled with many joyful tears as we mark the milestone. So much growth and development has occurred and I am both nostalgic for my tiny baby and excited for all that our little toddler-to-be is able to do now and will continue to be able to do into this next year! For starters, this month, at 30 inches in length, Owen abandoned his baby infant carseat carrier and transitioned into the toddler carseat. I would like to say that this solved our fussy transporter’s issues around car travel but, alas, he remains underwhelmed by travel. Perhaps he will be similar to Henry and change his mind about the car once he is able to turn around and face forward in his seat.

Project smile is at a standstill. Everyday we are convinced that the next set of two bottom teeth and the two front teeth will erupt from the gums, and everyday we are left waiting. He clearing is teething as they inch closer and closer to the surface. We can see them! But, they remain submerged. But, the two-teethed boy is not deterred in his eating. He continues to prefer solid foods to puree and relishes in sausage, kale, spinach, pasta, fish, olives, berries, and cries out to try anything and everything he sees us eating. You truly cannot snack in front of Owen without offering him a bite. He refuses to let a single mealtime experience or opportunity pass him by. In order to convey this, Owen squawks at us, opens his mouth as wide as it physically can go, and reaches out with open hands to grab hold of that morsel. He has started to make the sound for “more” and taps his fingers together to sign to us that he wants more, more, more food!

You might call us crazy, but it also seems like he can say “ball.” This is perfect considering his favorite toy is a ball. He will crawl his way over to a bag of balls or a kick ball, grab ahold of it and start smiling from ear to ear. He cannot contain his delight and squeals with glee as he taps and bops and hits the balls between his hands or onto the floor and says something like “baa laa” while playing. His other go to toys these days are: a dump truck full of balls, shaker eggs, a book that plays the song Old MacDonald, and a xylophone. His grabs the little kid table in the playroom and reaches for his mallet and then you begin to hear the sound of the musician at work. This is the most hysterical thing to the maestro who turns about smiling and laughing and waits for his applause. Music and dancing are definitely the preferred activities for Mr. Owen.

As with every month, there were many celebrations to enjoy from Owen’s first Valentine’s day to singing happy birthday and FaceTiming with family around the country as they  commemorated their own years. Owen tumbled at Jack’s birthday part and played in little gyms throughout the suburbs of Boston as both a way to explore and learn and as an attempt to avoid these last frigid days of old man winter. But whether we are home or out exploring, Owen is in a very clingy phase where he prefers to be snuggled and carried about. When he is ready to get down, he twists out of your arms and let’s you know that this place or this thing is very exciting and he has got to go! Like when it is time for a diaper change he much prefers to be doing anything else, so I am left sweating while I try to wiggle him into his new attire before he scampers off naked. No matter how wiggly he gets though, he is the king of the hug and cuddle. He nestles his little head into my neck and just quietly lays against my cheek while he pats my back and I think, okay let’s stay like this forever or for at least the next 30 years.

David won the bet!  For the past two months, we have been patiently waiting to see when Owen would take his first shaky steps. The deadline was March 11 for David’s victory and on March 8th, Owen let go of the coffee table and took four caution and independent steps to me. And with that David won himself a pack of Dr. Pepper! Congratulations, David. With Owen even more mobile we are preparing ourselves for the inevitable fights between the boys. We have had a glimpse of what is to come. Henry will be playing at the coffee table when Owen sidles up and grabs a hold of whatever had been capturing Henry’s attention and just like that chaos breaks out and they each dig their little nails into the coveted toy and cry out! Yet when it is time to read stories they easily give up their difference and sit down together to follow along with the tale of Make Way for Little Ducklings or Where is Baby’s Bellybutton? In those moments, I know that they will be friends and siblings, allies and rivals, but forever family and there to encourage and protect and love one another. And, that David and I are there to help them figure out those complexities.

As the month closed out, Owen had an ear infection (his first), but after a round of antibiotics he gifted up with multiple nights of major sleep! Owen went down to bed at 6:30PM and woke for the day at 5:30AM and I did a dance of joy throughout the house. I will absolutely miss our nighttime cuddles and nursing sessions when I would wrap his little Tintin curl around my figure and pet his cheek and smile and marvel, but I am also really excited to be getting more consistent and regular sleep through the night…especially since his naps can be unpredictable (sometimes two hours sometimes 20 minutes). But no matter the “hard” times of this first year getting to know our Owen, it will always be a wonderful year because our son joined us, we loved him, we watched him grow and change and develop and share his personality, we heard him say “ma ma” and “da da,” and are so grateful to continue to be able to do this thing with him and for him.  Much love Owen in this final month before we celebrate your very first birthday!


Lentil Curry Soup

Do you ever want to give your past self a big hug?

I made a massive pot of lentil curry soup over the weekend and today I want to give that Melissa hug because leftovers!

Tonight David has some late meetings which means I have most of the evening shift alone with the kiddos and the last thing I want to attempt during the post-work-bedtime-hustle is cooking dinner. Plating it will be hard enough but I am so happy to have it ready and waiting once we get home tonight. And it was quick to make and delicious. Owen was crazy for it and Henry was too. David asked where is the meat?

Saute a diced potato, a diced sweet potato, a diced onion, tablespoon of curry powder, salt, and pepper. Add in a cup of green lentils and 5 cups of broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20-25 minutes. Add in some Kale and serve! It cannot get much easier than that.


working out

If I am being totally honest, I promised myself that by this time in my post-baby journey, I would be active, running, eating only the healthiest foods on earth, and gearing up to run a half-marathon in February. The struggle though is REAL.

Aside from a sporadic barre class, a random jog, or a few trots around the first floor chasing after Henry, I have not met my goals or expectations AT ALL. Life has gotten in the way of life, and I find myself delighted when the kiddos go to bed at 7PM and slip into my pajamas, glide under the covers, turn to David and say good night before 8PM. At the same time, who am I? This early bird, exhausted husk life isn’t ideal. I miss reading books before bed, cooking meals greater than what I slap together from pre-cooked parts, and I miss feeling energized by my workout routine.  The part that I miss the most is the “routine.”  Once the wheels are turning it is hard to slow them down, but I just can’t seem to get those wheels turning!

Okay so how do I get moving, literally?  In the past, it has been very motivating to put it out there. To share my goal and then to feel accountable to it in this big scary world of sharing.  Here it goes:


  • Prepare meals that will nourish my family and give our bodies the good stuff
  • Workout 3 times a week
  • Run that 1/2 marathon in February come hell or high water!

Maybe if I set these before the trend of New Years Resolutions, I will be more invested by the time that season rolls around.

“The Real Virtue of Setting Goals is Not Recognition or Reward, It’s the Person we Become by Finding the Discipline and Courage.”  May this mantra keep me going!