Wedding First Dance

Anniversary

Four years, three cities, two coasts, one baby, and about twenty gazillion perfect memories. I feel infinitely older than I did four years ago today when I married this guy,…

Wedding First Dance

Four years, three cities, two coasts, one baby, and about twenty gazillion perfect memories. I feel infinitely older than I did four years ago today when I married this guy, but also infinitely better for being his wife. I have no idea how we got so lucky, honey.

We’re off on our annual anniversary trip — in Tulum, finally! And this year we get to spend it with little dude. Follow along over on Instagram for lots of #lovelyindeedtravels photos, and come back next week because I’ve got a whole mess of good stuff lined up while we’re away! xoxo

Married Life // Making Friends

Married Life // Making Friends

It’s so easy to make friends when you’re little. Right? I mean, you just go up to the closest foursquare court on the playground and ask to play next. Then…

Married Life // Making Friends

It’s so easy to make friends when you’re little. Right? I mean, you just go up to the closest foursquare court on the playground and ask to play next. Then you grow up a little more and in college you’re tossed in with everybody else in your major and you have a built-in social group. But what about after school is over and you get married and you’re in the real world? How do you find friends?

Mr. Lovely and I are pals. I mean, best buddies. And it’s so amazing to be married to your best friend and get to be friends and be in love. Really, it’s insanely wonderful. We come as a pair and love to spend time together. But also, I think it’s healthy for the two people in a relationship to have outside activities and especially outside friends. I think we all need a network of support that should extend beyond our significant others, yeah?

Our situation is a little weird, in that we’ve tackled two major moves during our marriage, from NYC to LA and now to Central California. And each time, we left behind a group of friends that we were incredibly sad to part with. So now we’ve got plenty of friends, but they just happen to be scattered all over the United States. And in our new town, we’re finding that as a married couple with a little dude it’s not as easy to find pals as it was when we were young and footloose and fancy free. Also, I think that the older you get, the fewer people there are in your age demographic who are open to new friendships. Lots of people our age who live in town are kind of set for friends, they have a routine, and there’s just not a lot of room for adding more to the mix. Which I totally understand. So where the heck do you make friends?!

We’ve literally started hitting on people to be our friends while we’re out in the world. No joke, we spotted a couple in our favorite taqueria with a baby who looked similar in age to Henry, and we walked right up and asked if they ever wanted to hang out. Now they’re some of our good buddies. But putting yourself out there like that can be intimidating and tiring, and it’s easy to just fall back into the insular routine of hanging out with your spouse or partner because it’s the path of least resistance.

Nevertheless, we’re always striving to meet new people; not just to have things to do, but because people are awesome. Every time I meet someone new I am grateful to have another person and point of view to broaden my world a little bit. So I’d love to know your take on this one! Have you experienced the same thing? Where do you meet new friends as a grownup? xoxo

Mom and Baby Pink Wall

Adventures in Parenthood // Getting Sick

Everybody right this second please knock on a million pieces of wood for me, because I’m about to say something dicey. Up to now, Henry hasn’t really ever been sick….

Mom and Baby Pink Wall

Everybody right this second please knock on a million pieces of wood for me, because I’m about to say something dicey. Up to now, Henry hasn’t really ever been sick. Knockonwood. He had some tummy troubles with dairy but that was more an intolerance than an illness, and those days are long gone anyway. So we haven’t ever really dealt with a baby who had a fever or a cold or any of that.

What we have dealt with is trying to be a parent to said baby when we ourselves were sick. And not just any old sick, but knocking on death’s door, head over the toilet, literally can’t move a muscle sick. And that, my friends, straight up sucks.

You know how when you’re sick, all you want is your mom? At least that’s all I want. I want a cold rag on my forehead and saltines and my mom to tell me everything is going to be okay. But when you are the mom and you get knocked out, you kind of don’t have any choice but to just keep going. Cold rag and saltines be damned. I mean, it’s not like the kid is gonna say, “Oh I’m sorry you’re sick Mommy and Daddy! Don’t worry about me, I’ll just change my own diapers and feed and play with myself today.” We were pretty lucky this time — Ryan’s worst day was Monday and mine was Tuesday, so we sort of were able to tag team. But even so, I almost don’t even have any recollection of what actually happened on those two days. I mean, we all made it out alive (including Henry) so something must have gone right, but it’s like a black spot in my memory. Oh! And don’t even get me started about breastfeeding with the stomach flu. You haven’t lived until you’ve been trapped underneath a feeding baby and suddenly have the need to toss your cookies.

Anyway! Chalk this one up to good ol’ Chelsea keeping it real just in case any of you are thinking of becoming parents and you want some real talk. Add it to the “Things They Never Tell You” list and file it away for a rainy day! Oh, and you’ll be happy to know, we’re all much better now and Ryan and I both lost three pounds. So there, flu. xoxo

Pet Peeves in Marriage

Married Life // Pet Peeves Deux

Let’s be clear. I love my husband. I mean, loooooove. Crazy about the guy. And he’s, like, the best. As we speak, he’s outside mowing our lawn after having worked a…

Pet Peeves in Marriage

Let’s be clear. I love my husband. I mean, loooooove. Crazy about the guy. And he’s, like, the best. As we speak, he’s outside mowing our lawn after having worked a full day and watched Henry for a few hours so I could get some work done too. He’s a champ.

How-to-the-ever, you know that even in the most magnificent of relationships there are these leeeeeetle tiny things that just get under your skin. I’ve talked about it before right here, which was pretty cathartic and even more hilarious to read your responses. Lately Mr. Lovely and I have been a bit on edge, just with figuring out work schedules and baby schedules and life schedules, and when you’re on edge the little things that get under your skin can seem huge. So we decided to laugh about it instead of going crazy over it, and share it with you here. I present, in no particular order, the things my husband does that drive me promptly up the wall.

He holds his breath after he sneezes for, like, 20 seconds. It’s weird.
He pulls his t-shirts off inside out before he puts them in the laundry so I have to turn every single t-shirt right side out when I fold.
He walks just slightly faster than I do so I’m always a half step behind him.
Dirty dishes on the counter. Does it take that much longer to just put it in the dishwasher?!
He eats ice cream so. loudly. But just ice cream. Still haven’t figured out why.

And because it just wouldn’t be right to not let him have his say, here’s what I do that makes him crazy.

I pick at my nail polish. It totally grosses him out.
My hair is still shedding post-baby, and somehow it always ends up wrapped around Henry’s fingers or in his mouth. (To be fair, that one drives me crazy too. How do you stop it?!)
When he asks what I want for dinner the answer is always, “I dunno, what are the options?”
After I get out of the shower, I leave the showerhead pointed in such a way that it sprays his feet when he turns the shower on the next time.

I have to know if we’re normal! Leave a comment and tell me the weird things your spouse or partner does that just make ya nuts. xoxo

gummy bears

Married Life // Birthdays

Now that we’re old married people, I almost can’t even remember how we used to celebrate each other’s birthdays when we started dating. Oh wait! Yes I do. We were living…

gummy bears

Now that we’re old married people, I almost can’t even remember how we used to celebrate each other’s birthdays when we started dating. Oh wait! Yes I do. We were living in NYC and every birthday was a shindig out at a bar or restaurant, where whoever’s birthday it wasn’t did all the planning and inviting and paying for drinks. I remember one year my birthday there was this huge snowstorm in the city and I was so stressed and sad because I thought no one would venture out in that weather. Mr. Lovely did lots of calling and texting and put together one of my favorite parties ever. Now that I look back, that sounds exhausting. Ha!

It’s not that I don’t like to hang out with bunches of people any more. And having a big party can definitely be fun. But now that we’re in it for the long haul and we’ll (hopefully) be celebrating a whole mess of birthdays together, my preference in the way that we celebrate has totally changed. What did we do for this last birthday for instance? My two guys took me to lunch at Chipotle (that guac tho) and to Trader Joe’s to get my favorite gummy bears on earth. We had family taco night, and then spent a day in San Francisco a few days later. Nothing fancy, just little adventures with the people that I love most.

We hardly even do gifts any more, which is actually kind of a relief. Mr. Lovely surprised me with a couple of vinyl albums that I had been wanting and we called it a very successful day. (He didn’t wrap them — I came out into the living room in the morning and they were leaning against the tv. Ha.) So. This is my question for you guys. Have we lost the romance and excitement? Or is it kind of expected that after a while you don’t need a whole fanfare for birthdays? I mean, I guess where we’ve settled is a celebration in a smaller way — a way where a taco bar with your family is really all you need in the world.

So leave a comment: How do you celebrate birthdays with your boo?! (Ha. I said boo.) xoxo

wedding-car-palm-trees-bride-groom

Married Life // Looking Good

Before we start, can we just acknowledge that we looked like absolute children on our wedding day? Geez when did I get so old?! Something tells me this one might…

wedding-car-palm-trees-bride-groom

Before we start, can we just acknowledge that we looked like absolute children on our wedding day? Geez when did I get so old?!

Something tells me this one might get some strong opinions in the comments, and I’m all for that. But it’s been on my mind lately so I want to know your thoughts. Here’s the deal. I’m pretty sure Mr. Lovely would love me regardless of the way that I look. Fat, thin, bald, cross-eyed — whatever. And vice versa. I would love him if all of his teeth fell out and he singed his eyebrows off in a terrible grilling accident. For sure.

But! Here I am, post baby, scrapping to get my body back the way that I like it. And one hundred percent truthfully, I am working out and watching what I eat because I want to. I feel better when I’m healthy and keeping it right. But also, it’s a fact that I want my husband to think I’m looking good. I guess my question for you guys is this: Do you think we owe it to our spouses to try to keep looking as fly as we did on our wedding day?

My answer is a wholehearted yes. And that’s where I think I might rile some people up. Of course we should all love each other regardless of our outer appearance. Of course. But also, I feel like when I’m working on my health and fitness it’s also a gift I’m giving Mr. Lovely. The gift of self care, and the fact that it makes me feel better. The fact that when I do my makeup or hair or actually put on clothes, I feel like a better, stronger, more on-top-of-it version of myself. And what’s wrong with feeling that way, and giving that as a gift to the person you married?

Do you know that song, Wives and Lovers? It’s so antiquated and kind of crazy. The first lyrics are, “Hey, little girl, comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more.” What?! Crazy, right? I remember being in high school and listening to that song and being pissed. Because, ya know, feminism and all that. But now I kiiiiind of get what Burt Bacharach was saying (in a really misguided way). It’s so easy to get married and have a baby and forget to wash your hair one day and suddenly you don’t wear anything but sweatpants and you find yourself looking in the mirror like “Who is this?!” And not that I’m afraid that if I wear sweatpants Mr. Lovely is going to go running to the arms of another woman, but doesn’t he deserve a cute outfit and some lip gloss every once in a while?

Maybe I’m not expressing myself very clearly here. It feels kind of jumbled. And here’s hoping I haven’t alienated all of you lovely feminists out there. But hopefully some of you are picking up what I’m putting down. And of course I’d love to hear your opinion! If you’re in a long term relationship, do you find it important to maintain your looks for your honey? xoxo

Married Life // New Baby

  Woah guys. I have so much to say on this subject it might as well be its own column. Ryan and I have been through a good number of…

 

Newborn Photo Shoot

Woah guys. I have so much to say on this subject it might as well be its own column. Ryan and I have been through a good number of changes and adventures — jobs traveling the country & overseas, cross-country moves, new homes, and more. But nothing, nothing has been more intense than the experience of bringing home a baby and learning how the little one would fit into our world.

When I say intense, I don’t necessarily mean it in a negative way. In fact, mostly the intensity has been in the love that we have discovered you can have for a baby — for such tiny little things they sure know how to wrap you around their itty bitty fingers. For the first couple of weeks we would just stare at Henry, then back at each other, then back at him, marveling that all of a sudden there was another person in our midst, and that we totally made him. If that ain’t miraculous, I don’t know what is. Even more miraculous was the fact that we kept the baby alive and well in spite of having no earthly idea what we were doing.

Now that the fog has cleared a little bit and we’re getting used to life as a family of three, the reality of things is settling in and we are realizing that we need to develop some systems. Since we both work from home, we’re trying to figure out a schedule of who’s on baby duty and who is working, and when we switch. It’s something that I think will take some trial and error before we figure out what is going to work for us. But in the meantime I’m so grateful that this season in our lives has us both capable of being home with Henry to see him grow up. Which, by the way, seems to be happening insanely quickly. Just a few weeks ago he was a total potato, and now he’s laughing and smiling and reaching for things.

Mostly, it has been the greatest joy to navigate this bizarre new world of parenting with Ryan. My tired mom brain can’t come up with words that are beautiful enough to explain what it’s like to care for a baby with the person you love most. But I will tell you this — sometimes the three of us slow dance together to old Rosemary Clooney records, and in those moments there is nowhere else I’d rather be. xoxo

Photo by Scot Woodman Photography
White Hexagon Tile

Married Life // Home Ownership

And now for your entertainment on this fine Monday morning, a (slightly disgusting) tale from the trenches of marriage and home ownership. Warning, guys: this gets a little real. So….

White Hexagon Tile

And now for your entertainment on this fine Monday morning, a (slightly disgusting) tale from the trenches of marriage and home ownership. Warning, guys: this gets a little real.

So. Before we moved into the new house, we had the original hardwood floors refinished and new kitchen and bathroom floors put in. We chose this most gorgeous, white, lovely hexagon tile for the bathroom floor and it was the very last thing to get installed before we moved in. It was grouted and sealed and we moved in while it was still setting, so we couldn’t walk in that bathroom for a day or two.

On the evening of our third night in the house, we started having plumbing problems. The other bathroom wasn’t draining properly and we were trying to fix it with a good old fashioned plunger. About an hour later, I walked to the back end of the house, passing by the bathroom with the new tile floor. And I stopped dead. Flooded. It was flooded with you-don’t-even-want-to-know-what. The toilet had overflowed and flooded the new tile, into the hallway on the hardwood and all the way into our bedroom. Just thinking back on it right now I have a sick feeling in my stomach, it was so out of control.

So there we were, three nights into our new home, a guest staying with us, barely-sealed tile completely buried under a soggy mess, all of our towels packed away in some box somewhere. We panicked for about three minutes, and then we got ourselves together. Mr. Lovely was so distraught about the tile his reaction was to just kind of freeze. My instinct is always to clean. So I made a plan and he helped me execute (keep in mind that I’m about 8 months pregnant at this point, making lots of running and fetching extremely slow). Eventually we got into a rhythm of cleaning, rinsing, scrubbing, sopping up water with rags, and we got it all cleaned. I think I scrubbed the floor three times over that night.

My point is this: home ownership is a nonstop thrill ride of things that break and things that cost a zillion dollars. And that early initiation made us realize that when terror (or an overflowing toilet) strikes, we have nobody to lean on but each other. I’m hoping that whatever else comes with owning this adorable little home will be equally manageable as a team. And by the way, the tile is fine.

Do you own a house? I would love to commiserate about your crazy tales of home ownership! xoxo

readyforbaby

Married Life // Getting Ready for Baby

I mean, is there such a thing as being “ready” for a baby? I’m starting to think not. You can pick the name, put together the crib (or watch your…

readyforbaby

I mean, is there such a thing as being “ready” for a baby? I’m starting to think not. You can pick the name, put together the crib (or watch your husband put together the crib), and paint the walls, but I don’t feel like any of that means you’re ready. But still, we’re trying to “ready” ourselves as much as we possibly can.

I guess in our heads, being ready means being educated but not crazed. Yeah, we’ve read a few books. And we’ve scheduled all of our classes so we know which end of the kid to stick the diaper on and which end to feed. And the nursery is on its way to not being a shambles. But other than that, I think we’re both mentally preparing ourselves for… um, anything. It seems like we’ve had an unspoken agreement all along that we, together, will be ready to tackle whatever changes the kiddo brings. Maybe he’ll be a great sleeper or maybe we will be up every night for the next six months. We’re ready. Maybe breastfeeding will be a breeze or maybe it’ll be a nightmare. We’re ready. Who knows? But I think the thing is, I’m feeling ready because Mr. Lovely and I are heading into parenthood with the same vibe. Basically, let’s do this — together.

I keep reading and hearing everywhere that the best thing you can do to raise a child is keep your marriage strong, secure, and on the top of your priority list. It really makes sense to me. We were the team before the kid and we’ll be the team after the kid. I think it can get to be a bit of a touchy subject, but I understand it when I hear husbands and wives say that they try to put their marriage first and their children an immediate second. Even in these pre-parenting days, I feel like it’s been so important to have the husb by my side, at doctor appointments, choosing baby stuff, making decisions. It’s a comfort and helps me feel like I have a teammate in all of it.

What’s your take? Do you think it’s out of line to prioritize a marriage over a child? Do you think they go hand in hand? Is it even possible to keep your marriage a priority in the midst of raising babies? xoxo

marriage tips for year three

Marriage // Tips for Year Three

I almost forgot! Our anniversary went by in such a blur I almost passed by this little post, which has become a tradition. I love looking back at another year…

marriage tips for year three

I almost forgot! Our anniversary went by in such a blur I almost passed by this little post, which has become a tradition. I love looking back at another year married and realizing the lessons we’ve learned. This year has felt pretty grown-up; we’re having a baby, our businesses are a focus, and we’re in our first house together. Along the way we’ve had bumps and bruises that have both tested us and thrilled us. Here’s what we learned in year three (for years one and two, go here and here!).

Side note: I know I love to call him Mr. Lovely, but sometimes I’d rather save the extra letters and just type Ryan. So. Introducing Ryan. Ha.

Choose to Find it Funny.  It might seem sometimes like we laugh off important matters, but for us it’s a way to stay positive. There have been so many times when we’ve felt overwhelmed as a team or that we were up against something insurmountable, and one of us would make a joke that would make it feel half as scary right off the bat. When we choose to find humor in a situation, it helps us see that it might not be the end of the world after all.

Lean on Each Other. Many hands make light work, and all that jazz. Literally and figuratively. I learned this year, without a doubt, that we are stronger as a pair. We get more done, we have better ideas, we are bolder, kinder, smarter, and better in every way. When I lean on Ryan for support I know that the outcome of whatever situation we are in will be better. And I hope he thinks the same, vice versa.

Give Space. We live together, we work side by side at home, we hang out together — it’s a lot. Don’t get me wrong, we like it that way. But this year I finally started reading Ryan’s cues about when he might just need some space. Usually it’s brain space. Maybe he just needs a couple of hours of quiet while he works through something. But physical space is important, too. We never blame each other if one of us needs a little time alone.

Let it Go. I’m still working on this one, it’s one of my challenges. You know those teeny tiny things that people do that just make you crazy? Don’t call it out every time. Ryan loves to whistle. (I think I might have said this before.) But he doesn’t whistle real songs, just sequences of random notes. It actually, literally hurts my brain. But as many times as I can, I just let him whistle. Because what fun is it if someone is shutting you up or breaking you down all the time? Let the little things go.

Build Up. I feel my best when Ryan gives me words of encouragement or love or praise. From something as simple as “Thanks for getting the mail” to something bigger like “I’m proud of the work you’re doing.” I realized earlier this year that I was letting so many opportunities to build him up pass me by. So whenever we have a chance, we encourage, thank, or just recognize. It’s become important for us to build each other up.

Who else has marriage tips?! Where are you in your marriage or relationship, and what are you learning in this season? I’d love to know the things you’ve found out about making this incredible adventure work. xoxo

Bride and Groom

Year Three

Photo by Rusty Lens Photography This little post could get dangerous, what with all the pregnancy hormones running around in m’bod. But I could never let an anniversary go by…

Bride and Groom

Photo by Rusty Lens Photography

This little post could get dangerous, what with all the pregnancy hormones running around in m’bod. But I could never let an anniversary go by without a tiny tribute to my very favorite (plus, ya know, any excuse to re-share one of our wedding photos…).

This is the last anniversary that we’ll be just the two of us. And sometimes that scares me just a bit because I love being just the two of us. But the reality is that the adventures will be that much sweeter and life will be that much fuller with a tiny person that we made together. And so I kind of can’t wait for next year’s anniversary, when we’ll be the three of us.

So to my husband (at the risk of pushing this smushy post right over the edge), thank you for just being as you are. You are more than I could ever hope for or need. Happy anniversary. xoxo