our first trip with two: boston and nyc.

i guess you could say i was feeling brave.  brave, or maybe too confident is more like it.  cocky, even.  it was almost too easy traveling with just julian.  so how hard could it really be to travel with two?  and it's only so long you can hear so when are you bringing the boys out? before you finally admit to yourself it's time. so when we had the chance for me and the boys to join philip on a week in boston, i figured what the hell?  otherwise we're just at home by ourselves, so what's the difference?  and so with minimal thought and minimal planning, we booked three seats out to logan and i readied my lap for fin's first flight.

the last time we traveled with julian was july of last summer, when we took an almost-two-week trip out to boston and new york, topped off with the U2 show.  we learned once we started flying with julian from denver to the east coast that it's easier to make a long trip and visit family in both boston and NYC than to make the long flight out twice.  what are we, masochists?  there will be no more flights with toddlers than is absolutely necessary, thankyouverymuch.  but in order for that to really work, we have to be gone around a week.  which, we have learned, is about the max amount of time that julian can really be out of his element for.

things started off pretty great in boston.  philip's corporate apartment [yes, he has his own apartment when he goes back and yes, it's pretty awkward] is a two bedroom and just about one block away from the common.  which is great news for traveling with the boys and our boredom during the day.  even more essential is that it's right upstairs from a coffeeshop with great coffee.  this is non-negotiable.  

fin, meeting his auntie lish for the first time
look at that, they have swings in boston! 
have i used the whole little boy big city thing too much yet? it's just so damn sweet.
julian says he remembers going to boston last summer, but since that was, you know, eight months ago and basically over a quarter of his lifetime thus far, i'm inclined to think he's fibbing.  but all the same he was very excited to go.  we read the hello, boston book uncle aj got him about 4 dozen times in the week before our trip and plotted out the places we were going to go.  julian decided he wanted to see boats, the aquarium, the common, and the state house [you think i am joking, but i'm not].  and so that's what we did.

uncle aj, bedtime buddy 
how about that boston aquarium?
penguin watch with pop pop
for me, one of the highlights of the boston portion of our trip was coffee with my lovely friend chelsea.  we chatted about life in denver and life in boston and she asked me at one point, if all things were equal, which would you pick?  i completely surprised myself by saying boston.  i miss it, a lot.  the food and the people and the water and the atmosphere and the walkability and so many things.  but the problem with life is that all things aren't equal, and my life in denver makes me so wonderfully happy.

and on that note, it was on to new york.  it was more of a vacation for us [not that traveling with two kids is ever a vacation] since philip didn't really have to do much work on friday. it got off to an incredibly rough start -- saving that lovely story for another day and another blog post -- but after the initial bumps it was just what we needed.

finley joseph meets his namesake, my uncle joseph
right at home in the village with his aunt michele
never seen him looking more hipster
going to the city is always a balancing act.  family, friends, and then the things we want to do [usually none of these things actually happen].  it's a little harder these days since we can't stay with family -- asking for four of us to crash on some relative's couch for a couple nights is just too much of an imposition, no? -- but we found the perfect hotel for us where we can stay in one room quite comfortably, in the right neighborhood, with everything we need.

thanks in large part to my amazing godmother/aunt michele, we did some fantastic stuff with julian around the city.  an entire afternoon was spent at the museum of natural history [mostly in the ocean life hall].  we also spent a post-nap hour at the children's museum of art, which was a huge hit.  julian's going through a major art phase [but please god don't let it be a phase!].

when you get to stay in a posh west village apartment and a parade passes by on 8th avenue
it was a pretty typical long weekend in the city for us.  pour overs at 1668 [this time with new city residents ana & her husband! hooray!].  brunch at westville with our friend anthony.   many trips to the bleecker street playground, julian's favorite.  dinner at my godmother's apartment with family and friends that have turned into family. hours spent walking the city.

and then we play this game, this could-we-live-here? game.  people do it.  children are routinely raised in big cities.  i'd have to count on two hands the number of double strollers we saw in tribeca alone.

we aren't those parents.  we don’t make our lives revolve around the fact that we have kids.  maybe it’s living in a state of denial, that we are no longer hip and young and childless.  we still go out.  take the toddler to the coffee shop on weekend mornings and bribe him with a pastry as we wait for our pour overs.  my diaper bag looks like a regular purse and it will never be any other way.  i do not take an ipad to restaurants.  we still eat at the trendy places we used to.  julian has run around and played at breweries.  and so maybe it is these things that make the city seem possible.

that, and the fact that we are clearly not afraid to pick up our lives and move them.  

on our last night in the city, we laid in our big, overfluffed hotel bed.  the americans was on.  and so was the glow of philip's cell phone screen.  i pretended not to notice.  but after two episodes, i had to ask.  so how long are you going to look at apartments in NYC for?  he laughed.  it's just something we do.

so if we could only find $2 million for that perfect three bedroom he spotted in tribeca. 

an arrival. and a departure.

it wasn't all that long ago that we moved to boston.  it was eighteen months, to be exact.  it was a big life change for us.  i had been ready for a life change for a while - we had been trying to get pregnant since january 2011 and had accomplished nothing but having one miscarriage.  despite going to school and my work with the obama campaign, i was ready for something else.  the next phase in our life.  so when philip's job offer came along with a stipulation that we move out to the east coast, i was ready to jump.  did we know it was the right thing for us?  no.  but that was what made it so exciting. if we didn't like it, we could move again - but we knew we were ready for something new.  we are adventurous people and we were looking for our next big thing.

the first year year was amazing.  we were just minutes away from my dad and my brother, and only a few short hours away from the rest of our friends and family in new york.  i loved pouring myself into writing and blogging and was even able to meet some awesome friends out here.  when we found out we were having a baby, we knew we couldn't stay in our apartment.  we talked about buying a house - but eventually decided our time frame was too short.  so we moved, to the suburbs, to our apartment in chestnut hill.  baby's room was decorated and we set up shop for the next 15 months - we had plenty of time to figure out our next move.

and this is where i had the baby, and along with the baby, a flood of postpartum emotions.  i was miserable.  not with the baby - but with our apartment and where were living.  i just knew around week three or so that i did not feel at home here and this wasn't where i wanted to raise our baby.  after a massive meltdown on julian's one month birthday, i admitted i wasn't sure i wanted to stay in massachusetts.  i think i wanted to go home.  and, for me, my heart was telling me that home was colorado.

so off we went, for mother's day, to colorado.  philip spent a lot of time working on the highlands house, getting it ready for summer for our tenants.  and on our last day there, i had another meltdown, spending the day sobbing about not wanting to go back to massachusetts.  after spending so much time on the house, philip admitted that he also had a strong desire to live there again, rambling off ideas of all the things we could finally change, all the things we had wanted to do before and had never done.

there's this dream that maaany people have, especially those who grew up in suburban areas.  it's the i-can't-wait-to-move-away-and-never-come-back dream.  i had that dream.  i loved my family, i loved my friends, but i never felt i felt in with where i lived.  colorado wasn't quite for me - driving on dirt roads on a regular basis, living nowhere near what i considered to be a big city, totally land-locked - these were all things that didn't work for me.  i was an east coast girl, through and through.  and so when i got the opportunity, i moved.  and moved and moved and moved.  and so all of a sudden eighteen months after our big move to boston, here we were, raising our baby in an apartment we didn't own, plotting on how we could get back to denver.  it's a long[er] story on how that happened, so let's just say that it did in fact happen quite suddenly - we had a window to get out of where we live now because of a problem with our apartment - much sooner than we had anticipated.  and so we are jumping.  next month, actually.

but this is so much more than a move.  for me, it's about who i am and who i always thought i would be.  i thought i would be married after i was thirty.  i didn't think i'd be a mom until much later in life - if ever.  i thought i'd live on the east coast.  i thought i'd be a writer.  admitting that i don't really fit out here on the east coast has been essentially admitting to myself that i am not who i thought i would be.  i'm not saying that's a bad thing.  it's just a big thing.

i'm almost thirty and i'm finally arriving at the person i am.  a wife.  a mom.  a writer.  a homeowner - and a proud resident of the city of denver.  no more bouncing around, no more back and forth.  this is our last move.

our first week in the house - april 2010
and our last week in the house - december 2012
denver, we're coming home.

[and yes, that means there will be a christmas cocktail party this year.]

style me pretty feature!

hi friends!

so a little while back while i was basking in the glory of my first mother's day, julian's first trip to denver and a real grown-up date night, something super cool happened that i completely forgot to share.

our nursery was featured over on style me pretty living!  it was posted a month ago now [that's how behind i am on just about everything in my life right now] but it's still pretty exciting to me.  i never considered myself good with design or anything like that - i just sort of collect things that make me happy and go from there, and that's how julian's nursery was mostly put together.  but when smita took our maternity photos, i was blown away to hear that thanks to her, smp was going to feature her lovely photos of us and the baby's nursery.

i've gotten so many compliments on the nursery and so i thought i'd share the link again here.  there is also a gallery of tons more images here!

and in case you missed it, here is the post i did where you can see many more nursery photos.  i kind of love that the post went live the day i went into labor.  how fitting!

have i mentioned how much i love julian's nursery?  because it is seriously my happy place.

note: no, our nursery is not a 'shared space.'  this is a small error in the smp article that wasn't corrected.  there is a bed in julian's room, but that is because we were used to having space for a guest room and wanted a place for people to stay.  with the nursery being such a big room, we easily had room to stash the bed in there, knowing we'd have lots of visitors once he was born and that he'd be sleeping in our room for the first few weeks anyway.  the bed is still in there and i absolutely love it.

a HUGE thank you to smita from hogger & co for her endless talents, and to smp living for featuring our little boy's space!