love notes.

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When we were dating, Sam used to slip me notes in church. I have all of them. I even have the very first one he wrote (the one where my name is spelled wrong!).  I love pulling them out every once and awhile and reading the little notes inside- "Love, SPG."

Tonight he's taking me to see the San Francisco Ballet. We started a tradition over the years of going to see a ballet each Valentine's Day. It's the only thing we are really very good at planning in advance. Dinner is usually a mess, because we forget to make reservations. In fact, one year we had to eat jerky and chips at a gas station because we couldn't get a table anywhere. But, I love getting all dressed up and going to the ballet. 

This morning we went to Virginia Bakery together, and then ate apple turnovers while I walked Sam to the station. Happy Valentine's Day! I love you Sam, Gray.


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In November, we went on a babymoon to Puerto Rico. We didn't think of it as, "This is our last time to have fun before the baby comes"- just maybe our last time to be slightly reckless and completely spontaneous without consequence. We had been talking about going somewhere for months and, a week before we left, the stars aligned enough for us to say, "Let's do it. NOW- before we change our minds." JetBlue had a good deal, it was a slow time at Sam's work, and I was finally getting over my terrible morning sickness. 

The best decision we ever made.

We went to Vieques, which is a small island just off the coast of Puerto Rico. If you're on the East Coast, this will be one of the cheapest trips you can make. It's so inexpensive to fly there, especially if you're scouting deals. And it's so completely worth it to spend a little extra cab money to take you to the ferry that goes to Vieques. I'm going to write up a complete travel guide for Vieques because I'm glad that so many of our friends convinced us to go there, and gave us perfect recommendations. It's such a dreamy place. Vieques used to be a naval base until very recently, and so the island has yet to be overrun by craziness. It almost feels untouched- lush jungle, wild mustangs grazing, beautiful empty beaches, and cool clear water. 

I will sell you on this, just you wait.

I've always attempted to convince all of my friends that you can't get married without a honeymoon. You just can't get married and rush right into regular life (if at all possible and affordable). Because it's not "regular life" anymore- you've added a second person to the equation, and most likely many more responsibilities. You need those few days or weeks to be together- just the two of you. Now I can add, a babymoon is also an absolute must. Sam and I needed that time together in Vieques. It's equally as exciting celebrating the beginning of a new married life with a honeymoon, as it is about starting a new family with a babymoon. It's a chance to stop stressing about every little thing that needs to be done, and be reminded why you even want to start a family together. And it all takes place in a happy haze, just like a honeymoon.

And hey, after throwing up for two months straight (in gutters and toilets and subway cars all over the city), I was laying on the beach with my belly hanging out and not a care in the world. That's something that every woman needs.


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The moving truck took much longer than we thought- but luckily, it meant that we had a longer stay in Utah with the family. Although, it just happened to be the coldest winter Utah has experienced in years. COLD- as in 4 degrees cold. Growing up in Texas, I don't do well with cold. Over the years, living in Utah and New York, I've come to (somewhat) embrace the chill. Well, let's admit it. The embracing mostly takes the form of nice leather boots and pretty pea coats. 

In the five years that I lived in Utah, I never once went to the multiple ski resorts in the area. It's really pathetic, I know. I always said that I didn't want to get hurt and have to sit out a semester in the dance program. But I think that it really comes from a lazy place in my heart where I don't feel like falling on my face over and over in the snow, knowing that it would never really be fun until I got good. I was always a little jealous of Sam when he would take off during his lunch break to snowboard at Sundance (only a 10 minute drive from his office). 

But, on our last visit I took my first baby steps into winter play! Sam and I went snowshoeing with his mom, at magic hour nonetheless. There's something to be said about warm clothes and good gear. You forget why you hate the cold and can't quite believe how still and quiet the air feels, or how the pale sun spreads through the branches piled high with the tiniest flakes. 

Maybe someday I will graduate to the bunny slopes. But for now, all I see are record lows in Utah and a huge snowstorm on it's way to NY. Not to rub it in, but I'm feeling pretty good about the fact that I may have retired my winter coats for awhile. 

we made it.

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We made it!

The move went pretty smoothly, and we even got to spend an entire week in Utah with Sam's family while we waited for the moving truck. All of our stuff made it to Berkeley, with only a handful of (heartbreaking) breakables. All in all, a huge success. 

I am in love with the Bay Area. I was nervous and slightly unsure, but I can definitely say now that we were meant to be here. Our home is beautiful- full of potential and exciting ideas. It already feels like home, even covered in half-opened boxes. 

I have also never felt so healthy. Between the sunshine, the clean air, the fresh produce, and the genuine smiles around here- I think I may never move. 

Last weekend we spent Friday exploring Berkeley, Saturday all over San Francisco, and Sunday afternoon driving down the Pacific Highway to hang out at Stinson Beach. I tottered over the rocks while Sam jumped in and out of the boulders. Northern California really is beautiful and I can see many adventures on the horizon. Our little family is feeling pretty lucky right now.