Monthly Archives: August 2013

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lovely details

party-details2A few more photos from Angela’s Hen Party last Saturday. I love this grouping because it’s a combination of grounded & earthy AND light & ethereal. I think Angela would appreciate that. ;) Check out part one and more party details from the last post (here).

Oh, we’re just going to drag this out aren’t we? Yep, I still have more photos to share as soon as I get a minute. You know where to find me!

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surprising Angela: Hen Night on the roof y’all!

day-dreamersAngela is a connector. She’s a magnet for incredibly talented, fun, self-expressed, ambitious, kind, generous, and just extraordinary human beings. No joke. Spending time with her and the people she’s “collected” makes you feel right about the world.

A very lucky (and in his own right, awesome) man knew what he was doing when he scooped that girl up. Mademoiselle Stone is getting married! And so begin the festivities!

This past weekend was Angela’s Hen Night/Bridal Shower. I’m not being dramatic when I say that it was an EPIC night to remember. Every detail  — the food, the decor, the music, the drinks, the people, the ambiance — WAS Angela. The catch? Miss party planner herself was completely in the dark about the whole thing (a difficult task, and it almost killed her, ha).

She was ceremoniously kicked out of her own home Friday morning (promptly at 9 am) and not allowed back until Saturday afternoon at 4:30 pm. Don’t you kinda just love her friends already?

My “job” was to entertain the bachelorette while the rest of the wedding party did their magic.finally-allowed-inI don’t think anyone else could have pulled this off. Nicholas, Kristen, Bladon, Elizabeth and Heather — you may be recognized in the wider world for the professionals/artists/designers that you are, but from here on out you should probably add “Party Planning Virtuoso” to your resumé. Just sayin’.no-clueAfter 31 hours of being locked out, we led Angela up to her rooftop (blindfolded of course). She walked into: 27 vases of fresh green and white flowers (!), white candles, white and cream linens, a hipster bartender (!) serving cocktails, a bubbly server passing hors d’oeuvres, and the kicker – Tupac blasting on full volume.hen-night-party-rooftop-party* that’s me, top row on the right. I think I found my perfect little black dress! <3

A LITTLE WARNING: FOOD LUST AHEAD. Scroll further with caution. If you haven’t eaten yet, you may want to come back later. Like seriously, you will be drooling.

OH the food! There was some SERIOUS love poured into this menu. Guys, you outdid yourselves!Late Summer Party Menu: Angela's Hen NightWe’re all so happy for you Angela! This is your time…and you are very loved! xo

Food by Nicholas & Bladon. Sadly you won’t be able to book them for your next party because they spend their days rocking the Interior Design and Furniture Design worlds respectively. Kristen & Elizabeth, apparently I was too busy eating to snap photos of the Edamame Salad (yum, I was actually the one who finished it) and the Vanilla Buttercream and Salted Caramel Chocolate cupcakes (too good). Seriously though guys, you could easily quit your day jobs and plan/cater parties. Or we can keep you for ourselves. Either way. ;)

Recognize Angela?? Why yes, she IS the same fine lady who gave my baby a MOHAWK, haha! Flash back to that fun (here).

**Oh, and CHECK BACK! There’s mooooore coming. ;)

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change is good, but we’re missing someone so much already

I’m crying like a baby as I write this. I didn’t know I was going to feel this way. It’s always the same — I can’t quite feel those big changes until the moment is UPON me. Today, it’s upon me. Today, my baby sister moved out of our house and into her college dorm.

I should probably back up. Ever since I became a mother, I feel like half of my conversations have been left unfinished or I was too distracted to really “get into things.” This blog is no different. There are so many unfinished stories and unfinished thoughts that I haven’t shared.

This is a big one. You know our little family as Aki, me, and Mateo. But there’s one more VERY important member of our family, and today she left for university.auntie-matte The week that Mateo was born, my sixteen-year-old sister moved in as well. The month of August 2011 we welcomed both a teenager and a newborn into our home. That month I became a mother.

Elizabeth changed schools and states because she wanted to, and because she was brave. She worked hard to get into a great school program in Chicago, and when she was accepted, the decision was made. It was a crazy plan, really — there were so many changes all at once. The initial idea was actually my mother’s, but none of us knew how difficult the transition would be. Elizabeth is incredibly close to my parents, her academic program was intense, and she was dealing with moving out of her parent’s home and joining a new family dynamic with a new baby. That’s a lot for a 16-year-old girl.

It was so scary to feel so responsible for someone else’s future. I made a lot of wrong turns as a teenager and I was so scared and felt so protective over Elizabeth. For awhile there, we didn’t know if we had all made a big mistake.

It wasn’t.

Elizabeth has been a complete blessing to us. I’ve watched her flourish and grow up. It’s impressive, really.

And I got to know my baby sister. Because of our age gap (12 years), we didn’t spend many years under the same roof. Who would have thought we’d have another chance to know each other this way — as part of my  little family?

And what a lucky boy Mateo has been. No one makes his eyes light up like “Auntie” does (I don’t think he knows her real name, ha). He’s never known a time when she wasn’t around. She has added so much to his life on a daily basis.auntie-nature-museum

                          . . .


I got so, SO sad when I was putting dinner away tonight. What a funny moment to trigger so much, right? It’s just that I realized how much I’m going to miss having you take the leftovers to school everyday. I probably would have skipped cooking many nights, but I knew how much you love family meals. I’m going to miss how happy you were to pack your lunches. And at least today, it feels a little emptier cooking without you eating. Please come back for dinner often.

Elizabeth, I don’t know how to thank you enough for all of the help and company you’ve given me over the past two years. I’ve been going through old photos today, and so many memories just keep flooding over me. You were there for everything. You are forever tied with my experience of being a mother. It’s quite embarrassing, and I feel ashamed putting it in writing, but I’m really scared to not have you here. Yes, I have been a mom for two years, but I’m still scared.

I know I’m not the most patient, but I hope you know that I do have time for you whenever you need me. You’re not an “extra,” you are part of our family.


your big sister :)

                          . . .

auntie-collageMaybe the tears are dramatic because she didn’t move far. It’s just not the same. I’m crying because the house is emptier, because I feel GRATITUDE, and yes because I’m scared. It’s hard not to feel sentimental as I look through all of our memories over the past two years. And more than anything, it’s so lovely to SHARE MEMORIES.

It’s new territory for Mateo too. He’ll be FINE, but the idea of him looking for her hurts. She’s been his big sister down the hall since the day he came home. But better, cause she’s “Auntie.” She was a third pair of loving eyes whenever he looked up.

After we dropped Elizabeth off at her new dorm, Mateo said, “Auntie all done.” “Auntie going NEW home.” I don’t think he really knows what that means. He just knows that we keep bringing it up. Kids, especially wee ones, transition so easily, but I’m still sad for him. I hope he understands.

I guess I’m pretty good at being self absorbed (you know, this is my blog after all). The reality is that this is super exciting and a wonderful time. I’m so proud of my sister — for all that she had to overcome already to get to this day. I know she’ll do awesome. There are very few truly sweet & hardworking people like her. She’s 100% ready to be on her own and in the world. There are SO MANY adventures ahead!

And luckily she’s not so far away. We can drive over any day to say HELLO. (oh yeah, we have a car again). :)

It just won’t be the saaaame. But we can’t go on being the same forever, can we?auntie-croatia

this child is filthy

dirtAnd…THIS ^^ is what Mateo looked like after his big family birthday party in our backyard yesterday.

The big T-W-O was successfully celebrated with LOTS  of food (yum), lots of presents (I think he’s set for the year), and lots of family (nineteen of us to be exact – from three different states).happy-second-birthday-partyThe highlight of Mateo’s day?? Cake? Presents? Games? Nope — This dirt box was king. Literally a cardboard box filled with dirt. He never wandered too far from his trucks and that dirt. Which is pretty much the story of every other day. Of course yesterday he had his second cousins as company & invited a few new presents to the mess. ;) That elephant is new and two other children also ended their day looking like they’d been working in a coal mine. Maybe we should invest in a sandbox. :/dirt-boxMost unexpected? How hard it was to convince the kid to open his presents. He had a whole mountain of them. Definitely more than he’s ever seen. He dug right in, but when the FIRST package was a TRAIN — he was done. We tried to entice him with all the other wrapped goodies. Nope, he excused himself and took that little train to his dirt box. ha.presentstrain…and then there was cake. Cake got his attention. ;)cakeThere are more photos…but Mateo is awake and we have a full house of guests right now. So let’s just call this part 1. I’ll be back another day with part 2. Talk to you then! xo

and now you’re two

These are your last moments of being one. I was downstairs when Tata called me (laughing), and told me to grab my camera. This is what I walked into. :)Toddler and father photosLook at you so grown up! And yet, look at you — still so teeny. I’m pretty happy you’re still carrying all that chub past your second year. ;)

Happy Birthday little bear! We love you! xoxo

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happy half valentine’s day

HUH? Yeah, Happy HALF-Valentine’s-Day. It’s been six months, and that’s HALF a year (like a half birthday).hearts

If you know me, you know I’m not actually  particularly into Valentine’s Day (or birthdays or really any of these “special” days). I’m not NOT into them. In fact, it’s a goal of mine to try harder in that department. They’re good excuses to be creative & loving. It’s fun. I just naturally prefer random things (and days) to get excited about.

We really never celebrated holidays or exchanged presents when I was a kid. I used to exchange homemade “un -birthday” presents and special cards filled with stickers and secret notes with my best friend. THAT was fun. No pressure, no expectation. And really, I don’t plan so well. Holidays (like everything) just sorta sneak up on me. :)

BUT, this past Valentine’s day was special. Aki gave me the best present ever. He gave me THIS BLOG. He registered the name, picked a generic theme and told me it was months and 1001 changes later, it is absolutely the gift that keeps giving. This blog has become a real part of my life. I don’t know if I would have ever pulled the trigger and gotten started. I was too self-conscious, too private, too…not ready.

I love that Aki knows me and believes in me. I don’t need extra things on “particular days.” But Aki knows  me and he believes in me and he likes “particular days.” He knows that what I really desire (and what makes me happy) is to learn and to be creative.

For my 29th birthday he gave me my first nice camera. The following Christmas he gave me a 50mm lens for my camera. For Mateo’s first birthday, he said I needed a regular babysitter so I could have time for myself. And this past Valentine’s Day he gave me this blog.


Thank you Aki. I don’t need presents, but your support and belief in me has helped my confidence grow so much over these past couple years. I really am happier. I love that I’m learning and that I’m on a path. Thank you for the tools, and thank you for the PUSH.creativityAnd you know, maybe I can be swayed on the present thing…it’s not so bad. I have my eye on a few pretty things, ha. Don’t worry, Aki…you have six more months until Valentine’s Day. No pressure. ;)

So Happy HALF Valentine’s Day everyone. And HAPPY SIX MONTH ANNIVERSARY, little blog.

THANK YOU (so, so much) to YOU GUYS who have been following along. Really. It’s incredibly special (and amazing) to me to have you all on the other side of the screen. I love hearing from you and appreciate every visit. Thank you, thank you! On to the next Six months!  It’s QUITE a festive, “special day” celebration around here, isn’t it?!

22 months: let’s do this!

Oh Mateo. Dear Mateo. You’re almost TWO years old. Yep, THIS week! What?!

That means we’re behind on these monthly posts. We better catch up! At the time, I remember thinking that there was so much  to share. Gah, it makes me wish I took notes. It’s amazing how quickly it all becomes a big blur!

Thank goodness for my trusty camera. NOW I remember why this post never got written. We were busy. Your 22nd month was your busiest travel month yet.toddler travel in EuropeYou were in three countries (Croatia, Austria, and Italy). Four countries if you count driving through Slovenia (both on the way to Austria & again on the way to Italy). You traveled by car, by speedboat, by ferry, by water taxi, by city metro, tram, and by bus.  Funny that I titled your 21 month post: “you little traveler.” OH MAN,  then I better say — 22 months: you seasoned traveler! So without further ado: a little peek into the life of Mateo. June 16-July 15!

toddler travels in Europe: 22 month memories & milestonesYou really are a great traveler. PHEW! So many more adventures ahead, Mister! Hopefully some that you’ll actually remember, ha. Even if you don’t remember it all, I will. I promise you had a ton of fun. That’s for sure.

Kiddo, you’re not even two yet. But soon! ;)

Feel free to look back! Mateo at: 21 month, 20 months, and 19 months.

i thought we were sharing

this toddler is serious about icecreamWe’ve already established that Mateo is pretty serious about playing. (this post) That’s not all he’s pretty serious about. ^^ OH MY.

He might share his trucks or cars with you. But you should probably order your own ice-cream cone. Learned that the hard way. ;)

toddlers, dinosaurs, & trains OH MY

This set-up occupied Mateo’s entire Saturday morning. A winning combo, I’d say.toddlers-dinasaurs-&-trainstoddler & dinosaursfavorite toddler toystoddler toy favoritestoddler toysThese are Mateo’s favorite things (this minute anyway). I wish I had a smiling photo to show you ’cause that would be cute. BUT…truth is, when Mateo is playing it’s a very serious matter. Very serious indeed.

I did ask him if he’d smile for a photo. He said “no Mom.” Then “go Mom.” So there’s that.

HAPPY WEEKEND everyone! xo

you and i are more

summer in Split, Croatia with our toddlerI haven’t been feeling so hot lately. I started feeling like I was coming down with something before we left Croatia. That was two weeks ago. Every time I am just about myself again, I’m not. I think I’m on the mend though. I’ve been laying low the past couple days. Mateo and I have watched Disney’s Dumbo more times than I care to admit. He’s actually quite obsessed. Elephants, and trains, and music, OH MY.

I found this ^^ photo from one of our last days in Split, Croatia (where we spent most of time). This was our summer. Us together. On our little adventure. Thank you, Elizabeth, for snapping the photo!

Now, most days were nothing to write home about. The hardest days were stressful, the average days were filled with routine and such, but the best days made me feel like so much was possible. There’s something to being away that makes you want to pack in more. There’s an urgency to “take advantage” of it all. At home or away, I think we all feel that way about summer in general.

It’s every day. Don’t forget.

I get especially bummed out, lethargic, and overwhelmed  when I’m not feeling well. Not so open and not so inspired.

It’s good I married a man who pushes me. I have big ideas and dreamer tendencies, but I also get stuck in my head so easily. Aki makes things happen. He doesn’t seem to have a bummed out, lethargic, or overwhelmed bone in his body.

This summer we had so much more time together. We had so many more conversations about how we want our life to look, about what is possible, and what makes us happy. What I like best about “us” is that we push each other. Sometimes shove (figurative, don’t worry)…and that’s what keeps our life so interesting. I think Mateo agrees.

This is my adventure. I mean, our adventure.

you and i are more

than you and i

because it’s we