So when I received the photos from this past weekend my eyes filled with tears, like they often do when Amy sends over photos, but I caught myself laughing and smiling throughout those tears. I mean look at that kid’s face with the cake - come on! These photos sum up so much of this first year of life with Owen. It’s crazy to think about how different things were when I found out I was pregnant, and not just because of course now we have a one year old, but when I look at these photos it’s clear that this is our home. Not just the walls that make up our space, but that this city is our home. There are fresh faces in these photos that we would have never met if it weren’t for our move to NYC. Our life here is becoming more and more permanent and it truly warms my heart. Zack recently asked me where I would want to live if I could move anywhere right now, and my honest answer was nowhere. I want to stay right here. That’s not to say it isn’t difficult at times without of family close by. Having them here this past week was unbelievably helpful, and while I’m sure I didn’t realize it in the moment it was exactly what I needed. Despite all the craziness of life and Owen turning one I’m feeling refreshed and ready for what’s to come. Each person that came over and flipped their cup and celebrated with us last weekend is part of that. Owen is so loved and we are so lucky for every last drop of that love. Here’s this month’s letter to O.
You are one my buddy! There is so much I could say and gush about when it comes to you and your first year of life, but I’m going to do my best to stick to the details since these details will be your only way of remembering your first birthday. Funny to think of it that way, huh? Plus you’ve got this whole blog dedicated to your life to read through so I think we’ve got it covered.
On your actual birthday you, your dad and I started the day by making you chocolate chip pancakes with strawberries. To think your dad and I were worried about you being an eater is hilarious - pretty positive you and I ate the same amount or close to it. Anyways, your Grammy and Grandpa came over as you were finishing breakfast and when your dad left for work we got you dressed and headed to the park. You swung on the swings and we took you for a long walk in your stroller. You napped and we all went to a coffee shop and worked on our computers until you woke up. Our day continued as most days do for you and I at home - the constant flow of eating, working, playing and I’d like to say you napped again, but I doubt it, you’ve been a bit of a stinker lately with naps.
We walked and met your dad at Frankie’s (our favorite place) with your grandparents for dinner. As I watched you eat fresh bread and pasta and cheers me with your sippy cup I couldn’t help but laugh at 1. How unbelievably lucky you are - I honestly don’t think I knew what rosemary was until I was deep into adulthood and you eat it regularly. 2. How big you are - I mean cheers-ing me, the cutest. 3. How funny you are - you know how to make us laugh and once you start you don’t want to stop. It’s the best. And even if you aren’t laughing but the rest of the group is laughing you just jump right in and start laughing too.
You got fussy towards the end of dinner as we were inching towards your bedtime so I took you outside and pushed you in your stroller until you fell asleep. Your dad and I and your grandparents took advantage of your sleeping out and about and parked your stroller at a bar (I know, parents of the year, but it’s Park Slope and it would be weird if there wasn’t a baby in the bar, trust me). We drank a little too much and talked about you, and being your parents and grandparents and how wild it truly is that a year as gone by. In all honesty your dad and I made your birthday equally about ourselves and surviving the first year of parenting if you can’t tell by the photos here from “your” party. ;)
We love you Owen and this year was truly the best of our lives. If this is any indication of what we have to look forward to with you I’m excited for every minute of it. Thank you for being you. I can’t imagine my life without you.
Photography by Amy Frances.
I know what you’re thinking, cute wooden toys, but they’re so expensive right?! And I get it, I really do. We are on a tight budget ourselves and we have to be certain that anything we’re bringing in our home is worth it. We need to have space for it, but more importantly it needs to be something that will be used, loved and if I have it my way, something that’s a little easier on the eyes. We’ve been fortunate enough to get some wonderful hand me down toys from friends, have even been gifted a number of toys from companies I’ve worked with in the past, and we bought a handful right around Christmas time for Owen. The ones you see here are part of a toy share subscription from Green Piñata Toys, but let me back up. To put it simply I fell in love with their concept when I found myself making large and pricey checklists of toys for Owen that we just couldn’t afford. After moving forward and making a couple of these hefty purchases there was also no guarantee that Owen would even like the toys I picked out. Green Piñata Toys to the rescue! These guys are offering an alternative without having to settle on quality.
So here’s how it works, you fill out the form on their website to get started. They ask you a few questions about your little one so that they can send the most age appropriate toys your way. Each month you pay $24.99 and receive up to 5 toys in your box (shipping is free, the plan is billed monthly and you can cancel at anytime). You will receive a confirmation email with their top suggestions at the start of your subscription - if you don’t like what they’ve selected for your first month or your child already has one of the toys you have the option to swap them out for something else. Once you’ve confirmed your subscription the toys are sent directly to your door. They make sure to sanitize all their toys, and make sure to provide not only toys that are safe but ones' that will continue to promote your child’s development as the months go by. They have made a massive effort to use products that are environmentally conscious whenever possible which is A++++ if you ask me.
Once you receive your subscription you have the month to enjoy and try out the toys they’ve sent. If you and your little one decide that you just can’t part with one, or two, or three, or four, or five - no problem. You can keep the toy(s) and Green Piñata Toys will charge the card on file making this a great way to test run some of the best toys out there without the financial commitment. Whatever toys you do wish to return you place back in the box that was shipped to you and head on over to your local UPS to mail the box out or schedule a pick up (they provide you with the shipping label for your return). They also have the option to gift a subscription which might just be the best gift ever!