Sunday, July 20, 2014

Downeast. Down home.

Downeast has never been my home but it is where my Mother's entire family is from.   A part of me wishes it had been my childhood home or that someday it will be part time.  Strangers all wave,  people go out of their way to accommodate you and are genuinely happy to see you.  We spent this past weekend there and I am so thankful for the fun we had.  We appreciate our family there that made it special.  It was fun to have both sides of Leavitt's family together, I hope we make that happen more for him.  We missed Nick so much.  We don't only miss his presence, we wish he could share in our memories.  I am so thankful he encourages us to have fun when he has to work.

So glad my Mom planned this for us and that Rachel, Josh & Russell made the trip.  I got to spend time with Russ being silly.  Mom & Russell got to see Bill & Brenda's horses.  Bill & Russell traded chocolate for hugs & high fives.  We made the most of every minute and Leavitt and I enjoyed a nap when we got home. 

Here are the highlights from our Downeast adventure...

A morning stroll with mom @ Uncle Basil's campground the Seaview.

Uncle Basil's trolley took us to the breakwater.

Cousin Janelle, Leavitt's Grammy & Leavitt... Life jackets are not fun.

Leavitt's Great Grandparents Joined us!

The pros. My cousin David & Will.

Bill did some work banding lobster claws under the supervision of Leavitt & Brenda!

My sister & her fam the Berry's.

Some worked... Others napped!


The captain, my cousin David teaching the Varney boys about fishing!

Leavitt with both sides of his downeast family.

After dinner stroller ride with my momma!

With my Grammy

Mommy & Leavitt love adventuring together but we miss the Daddy!!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Berry wedding

I am dizzy.  I feel like I have been spinning for the last week.  My sister got married on Friday, like any big event or holiday we look forward to for so long it comes and goes like a tidal wave.  The last week hit me quick and I am just now feeling the calm again and ready to reflect a little.

I spent the beginning of last week like most weeks except in between sweet pictures of my baby being sent were texts from my mom and sister "what are you wearing for the rehearsal dinner" "what shoes should I wear" "I am so excited" "what time is hair" "what time is dinner" "I really don't want to see them.... ugh fine I will suck it up" now I wont spill the juicy on who sent that last text or who they were talking about just know this is not our usual day to day chatter.

Thursday came and it was rehearsal dinner time.  We all met at Thistle a quaint little restaurant downtown.  My child, normally a saint on a schedule was pissed.  Not just kinda mad I mean inconsolable WTF get me out of here mad.  I felt horrible.  We love our routine.  At 6:00pm we like to take a bath, not have dinner in fancy restaurants with large groups of people.  OK maybe Nick and I enjoy dinner at fancy restaurants but Leavitt eats the same thing no matter where he is and clearly formula is best consumed at home.  Point noted.  We sweat our way through the first three courses, taking turns trying to sooth him, and each other.  We finally threw in the towel before dessert and took off early.  The waitress clearly felt for us and sent cheesecake home, which we enjoyed in our pjs on our bed while our child mocked us and refused to fall asleep... such is life.  Dinner was delicious and the company even better... I was only sorry we were so preoccupied with Leavitt we didn't socialize or soak up how special the night was.

The big day came.  I had originally planned to spend the night with Rachel and Mom with Leavitt at the hotel and hang with them all day.  I decided to hang low with Leavitt at home until it was hair time.  I wanted him to enjoy his day, I also wanted to enjoy myself.  After our hair Rachel and I got Starbucks and listened to music Rachel chose "to pump her up".  I asked her if she was nervous or super pumped and her response was "super pumped" insert fist pumping bride in my car.  I haven't been apart of too many weddings but I feel safe in saying that she was as eager as any bride could be.  I did my sister and Mom's make up we all finished getting ready and I was off to meet Nick in the lobby.  The majority of our family was waiting with him for the ceremony to start.

Russell ran down the aisle with a sign that said "daddy here comes mommy" in a little suit that made him look like a tiny man.  We were all so enchanted with Russell being held by his daddy the groom we did not notice the doors open until Russ hollered "Mama!!!" and pointed at the Bride.  What a perfect moment.  Their ceremony was personal and genuine.  The only fumble was when Russell ran full tilt into a wall in classic toddler fashion.  I loved how personal their ceremony felt, and was surprised it got me a little emotional.  I expected their wedding would confirm formally how I already see them as a family and committed couple in their everyday life... I did not expect it to get me a little misty.  I admire how much they love each other.  You could tell they were excited to see each other when she walked down the aisle.

At the reception I got several phone calls from my Dad who was sadly unable to attend due to his health.   The phone calls made me sad not just because he wasn't there but because I could tell how much not being there bothered him.  However my sweet nephew has some very strong traits of my Dad's especially on the dance floor.  We all enjoyed his moves and took turns being dragged out there by him.  I found my rhythm with several Bob Segar songs and made my man spin me around the dance floor to a classic love song.  Today I spotted a picture of my little fam on Nick's facebook and saw Rachel Berry liked it... who the heck is Rachel Berry? Oh yeah she's MARRIED!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Generally I do not like to have my picture taken professionally.  I have a "good" side that I prefer to have my picture taken from.  I usually regret my outfit choices.  Let's be honest, you don't like having yours taken either, unless your name is Giselle or you are far too into yourself.  It can be awkward.  Now that I have a handsome little man though I am sure no one will even care what I wore or if my "good" side was captured, truthfully I don't really care either this time.  I decided to call a lovely girl name Danielle Brady from Danielle Brady Photography, and I am so glad that I did.  She was relaxed and easy to deal with.  Professional yet like an old friend.  Luckily for us she made us look great, had fabulous ideas and her work will be kicking around our family forever.  I might turn out to be someone that enjoys the process after all!

This whole thing came about as Nick's father's day present.  Ever since I have stopped punching the clock on a regular basis it has become increasingly hard to gift.  If my boyfriend wants something, he buys it.  The things he would ask me for are thoughtless.  Mancave decorations and gadgets are not exactly what I would consider thoughtful... nor do I care to splurge on something that I am not excited to give.  A first father's day after all is a pretty sentimental thing.  When Nick was born he was the first Varney grandchild and they did a four generation portrait of the guys.  Leavitt also is the first in his generation and a four generation of these guys was a must.  Let's not forget behind every guy is a Momma that made him so us ladies joined in for a few group pictures.  Nick and I also had family photos done for the first time since Leavitt was born.  

Pembroke is special to Bill and Brenda.  Bill's mother's family is from there, the Leavitt name originated from there and has been passed down for many generations.  Bill, Rick and Nick share it as a middle name and it was only fitting our little guy have it too.  I love that it comes from Pembroke.  My family on my Mother's side all come from there as well.  I am always excited to make the drive down the airline to see Bill and Brenda, even though they are not my grandparents being down there some how feels like I really am there with mine.  I hope Leavitt loves it down there the way I do.  I hope the salty air always clears his mind, that the drive feels like coming home in a way and has a sense of the simple humble roots both sides of his family share.  It only seemed fitting that their beautiful property be the backdrop for these pictures.  I was saddened to learn that not long after we had these done a terrible storm left them and their neighbors without power and many had damage to their trees and property.  Here are some of my absolute favorites but it was truly hard to choose! 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fourth of July

Anyone that knows me, knows that I love the holidays.  Leavitt was born at the very end of last year so I opted to do holiday cards in lieu of traditional newborn, 3, 6, 9, 12 month pictures.  I hope people have enjoyed receiving them as much as I have loved doing them... however tiny prints did not have any Happy 4th of July cards so I am going to have to be creative, and late on these ones! I did however find time to round up an adorable Ralph Lauren (my man & baby favorite) and the "born in the USA" Freshly Picked mocs... I am obsessed with his outfit today.

The Fourth of July is a big deal to Nick.  It is a time when his family gathers together at camp, consume lobster and socialize with each other.  Growing up my fondest memories of the Fourth involved my whole family in Eastport, hanging out at my Uncle Basil's campground, watching fireworks and making our way downtown.  Last year we decided every other year would be camp and Eastport... and yet back to camp we go.  That actually is how Nick negotiates... I give him his way first and he leaves me with a promise... and yet the following year there is a reason he cant or wont follow through on this.  I don't mind this quirk he has, in fact I have grown to find these things endearing, comical and most importantly, predictable. Which plays up my quirk, the constant need for a plan.  I am always asking "whats the plan?" "have they got a plan yet?" I am only getting worse now that I have a baby.  I have this inner need to be able to predict what will happen next, be prepared and throw a little of my own flair into the day.... carve out that time to do something special with my babe.  Early on when we would do things our families it seemed I left get togethers with a sigh of relief.  I realized I wasn't getting that one-on-one time with Leavitt that I am so used to, other people holding him constantly left me feeling empty in the group and dying to get out of there.  Now I know what to expect.  So Leavitt and I cuddle a little more in the mornings, read a little more at night and sneak glances at each other while other people love on him.  I love how much others love him, and I hope he feels the love others have for him.

Our day today started slow.  Leavitt and I woke up first. I made a bottle and a cup of coffee then we snuggled up on the couch hiding under a blanket from the cold damp morning mist off the lake.  Normally I try to get a little more rest but today I know I won't get much momma time. One by one others are summonsed from their beds by the giggles and coos of the babe.  His Aunt Whittney reads him a story and his Nana gave him pot lids to play with.  Once our morning rituals are over he enjoyed a nap in his pram in the shade by the lake.  As the rest of the family started to trickle in we sat in a circle  eating and catching up.. but mostly talking about how big and cute Leavitt has gotten.

Leavitt has a new cousin (Nick's cousin Michael's baby girl Ali).  I love seeing a new baby it reminds me of those days when I moved from our bed to the big chair in our living room and changed only into clean pajamas.  Snuggling was my pastime and bottles and diapers were all of my chores.  During blizzards I drank coffee and never left the house.  I loved those days.  I love these ones too.  It was nice to have another "baby family" in the mix for a change.

Although today was busy, our schedule out of whack and the humidity giving me a bad hair day, I am glad we spent today at camp.  I love when Nick shares his traditions with Leavitt and I.  I enjoy seeing the Aunts, Grandparents, Great Grandparents and the rest of their family.  I especially enjoy watching them with Leavitt and I am getting better at finding those Mama moments.  What a blessing it is for them to be able to have each other all in one place.  I will always think of Eastport when I think of the Fourth but I am embracing the changing of the tides happening in our lives.  I saw how much work prior to today and all morning went into making today happen and it was certainly a labor of love.  I hope Nick & Leavitt were able to bank a few extra special memories.  I am always happy to get home, launch us back into our routine... and get some sleep.