Maddox’s Birth Story

** I should note, I started writing this two weeks ago and am finally getting around to finishing it. Such is mom life. Speaking of mom life, I am blaming all typos and misspelled words on said life. Ok, go. 

Well, if you are a follower on Facebook or Instagram, you’ve obviously noticed an influx of chubby-cheeked, baby pictures of our SON! Yes, Maddox Wade was born Saturday, September 26 and has been melting our hearts for more than a month now.

For those of you wanting to know the story, here it is. If you don’t want to know the story, then re-visit some travel posts or a recipe post or something. 🙂

To set things up, I spent the week prior to going into labor wrapping up some client meetings, organizing paperwork, setting everything up for a “maternity leave” and prepping some food for the freezer for easy meals for our first weeks as a family of three. I also spent the week finishing teaching my barre classes, bouncing on a medicine ball and walking the zoo. Thursday I walked the zoo with April and when my mother-in-law called me Friday and proposed the zoo for a Friday activity, I figured I was motivated to walk, so I did it again! That must have pushed me over the edge because my labor started on Saturday morning.

I woke up Saturday at 5:00 a.m. to the feeling that my water was slowly breaking. Upon checking it out, I was more convinced but confused as well since I had no contractions. I decided to lay back down until something else happened and 5:45, that first big contraction that wraps around from your low back to the front of your belly almost made me sit straight up out of bed. (Side note: They always say, “you’ll know” when real contractions start and I was unsure that I would because I hadn’t had many Braxton Hicks contractions… however, I WAS VERY AWARE!)

I hopped in the shower (thinking I’ll be gross for three days straight so I might as well go in with clean hair.) When I hopped out, I had asked Mack to make me some toast and some chocolate milk, knowing I wouldn’t get to eat anything once I arrived at the hospital. It was about this time that I started drying my hair and timing my contractions. They were still a good 6-7 minutes apart, so still not quite hospital worthy BUT since I thought my water was breaking that was reason enough to go ahead and get it checked out. By 7:30 a.m. I had gotten to the point that I really didn’t want to talk during contractions, so we finished loading the truck and made our way into the hospital.

We made it in and got checked into the triage area where I was checked and was told I was a one… a ONE. I thought, “oh this is gettin’ REAL, REAL if I am only at a one?!” But as we suspected, my water had broken so I was a keeper. My OB was actually on-call that weekend so she did a round by me and checked me. I say checked me… I was a one when she came in and a little more than a three when she left. Yowza.

We made our way upstairs to the delivery room after being downstairs for a few hours. It was about this time that we started to notify moms and dads that I was admitted and that we were going to have this baby sometime in the next 24 hours. I had been in labor for a little over six hours at this point and an epidural was sounding pretty great but I wanted to get it at the correct window {from hearing horror stories of epidurals wearing off, epidurals only working on half the body, etc.) but I was told it would be ok regardless of whenever I received it. I went ahead and had the nurse put me on the anesthesiologist’s rotation. Upon waiting about a half an hour, I was told there was another woman in an emergency C-section and that it would take a minute to get him down to my room. I said, “she’s having a much worse day than me so please, let her go and come back to me later.” 30 more minutes went by… 30 more minutes went by… as my contractions got stronger my empathy for said girl was wearing off and I was wondering where my epidural was.

Ready to meet my tiniest love!

Finally Dr. Cotton arrived and bless his heart, I answered every question he asked me as short as possible. I was in no condition to chit chat and was relieved when the process was complete and felt almost immediate relief. My nurse told me I had awesome breath control and I remember responding, “well, I’d hope so, I teach yoga!”

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Baddha Konasana pre-pushing

From then on, labor was… dare I say, fun? My entire family was already up at the hospital so that whole, “rest while you can before labor” didn’t really apply to my situation and I spent the day more or less just hanging out with my family getting the occasional check and position change.

Just a casual pose

Just a casual pose, we should work on photo shoots for sure.

Best friends are surely the family that you get to choose

Best friends are surely the family that you get to choose.

They wanted in on the cheesing too!

They wanted in on the cheese too!

But she's got all the feels

But she’s got all the feels

Last picture of just us two!

Last picture of just us two!

(At one point, my legs were covered up by blankets so I couldn’t see them and I tapped my shin and asked Mackenzie what it was. He looked at me like I was crazy and said ummmmm your leg? I responded, “no, my leg’s up here!” Enter the blank stare from Mackenzie that his wife had surely lost it.)

I wasn't about to be in labor without my ruby red slippers. (There is also no way to not have cankles when you're that pumped of fluid.)

I wasn’t about to be in labor without my ruby red slippers. (There is also no way to not have cankles when you’re that pumped of fluid.)

Right about a 9, Mackenzie and the nurse started to usher people out in hopes I could get a 30-minute cat nap before it was time to push. I was relieved for a nap as I was pooped! 5:00 a.m. wake up call and contracting and entertaining all day will surely take it out of you. Post-nap, it was pushing time. Since I was feeling ok, I gave Mack the go ahead on the “Pumped Up Jams for Labor” playlist. We were jamming to Bring Em’ Out and Push It when my OB walked in.

I should tell you that I LOVE my OB. She is perky, she is positive yet realistic, she’s down to business, she’s busy and for this whole pregnancy, I was seemingly an easy patient to her. But when she walked in, her face didn’t register the normal chipper attitude that we were accustomed to. She had been monitoring my stats and pushing remotely and decided it was time for her to intervene and get this baby out. She let me push for a few minutes and then during a break, told us several bits of minor bad news but all combined, sounded like a lot and not good. “The baby’s desatting, he’s flipped from posterior to sideways, it’s likely that you have a small infection from your water breaking so long ago which has caused you spike a fever and subsequently the baby to have a fever as well and the baby is stuck on your tailbone as it is protruding quite a bit. Woah. That was a lot to hear for a new mama’s heart.

She put me on oxygen and called the NICU just in case. She let me know she might have to use forceps or vacuum to get Maddox out and I told her I was fine with whatever she needed to do to get my son out ok. I pushed for a few more minutes on my own and when it was clear that I (quite literally) couldn’t ramp Maddox over my tailbone, Dr. Hager used a bit of vacuum suction just to get him over the bone but let me push him the rest of the way out. Mackenzie was narrating the labor for me so I would know what was happening and then the most blessed sound we’ve ever heard, our son’s first cry.

Our first post-labor cuddle

I wanted my son first and then immediately after, MY GATORADE! I was so thirsty!

I wanted my son first and then immediately after, MY GATORADE! I was so thirsty!

They handed him to me for a few moments before taking him to the incubator to be cleaned, weighed and most importantly to get his temperature taken since he had a fever as well. Maddox’s began to drop almost immediately, which was a great sign! They brought him to me as I was very adamant about skin to skin for the “miracle hour”. After a few moments of skin to skin, I was able to nurse Maddox for the first time, led by him. It was all I could have dreamed of. God’s design of everything is just so incredible.

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After our hour, we slowly started letting grandparents back. Wait, that’s not true. After I had nursed Maddox, we had a visitor pop in… It was my brother. He said, “do you guys know everyone’s out there? They said I couldnt come back but I just walked through the doors behind someone?!” Bless. Mack told him that was by design so I could feed Maddox for the first time. Of course that was enough to gross my 25-year old brother out so he made his way back to the waiting room until everything was covered and safe to go! Ha!

Maddox was covered in love from the very beginning and the shower hasn’t stopped! We had a wonderful hospital stay and such great nurses and doctors working for and with us. In fact, after my mom left, I thought… do you think they’ll let you go back to the hospital just to stay a few nights? No?

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We left on Monday morning and brought Maddox home to what Mackenzie refers to as “the greatest house ever” and started our lives as a family of three. My mom stayed with us for that first few nights and her holding Maddox through part of the night was invaluable. We were kind of heartbroken when she left!  Her staying, accompanied with the meals people brought and Mack’s mom staying with us on Mondays and Fridays (so I can get work done since I don’t technically have maternity leave) have been some of the greatest gifts we could receive!

Now Maddox is almost six weeks old and we are doing great! He’s a little grumpy sometimes but luckily his cuteness, precious pouted lips, sweet sleepy grins and grunts and tiny baby everything always trump that!

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Maddox’s Nursery Reveal

Finally! MW’s room finally has all the pieces. It’s been quite a journey; given that this original room looked like this when we moved in:

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Yes, the entire room was a Cinderella mural. 

It stayed like that until it was my closet room:

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Transformation Phase:

Stripes came down first!

Stripes came down first!

Black accent wall came next

Black accent wall came next

We painted all the walls and got his crib in!

We painted all the walls and got his crib in!

I wanted Maddox’s room to be a calm but fun environment that reflected parts of mine and Mackenzie’s greatest hobby to do together — travel and adventure! I didn’t want to overdo the travel piece by putting a map or a destination everywhere, but rather wanted to use knick knacks from our own travels and pieces authentically from around the world.

My favorite authentic pieces are:

  • a sheepskin rug (brought home by my grandparents) from Australia
  • a Moroccan pouf straight from the souk (purchased from my rad friend, Nicole Bisby Daadoui, link below)
  • a bronze pegasus that I searched high and low for in Athens
  • a double decker bus (brought home by Aunt April) from London and a bongo from Costa Rica
  • postcards from around the world that Mack and I have collected over the past five years
  • books from around the world that Mack and I have collected as well!

I have to thank my mom (Maddox’s Gigi) for all the help she did to pull this together. For our baby present, she and Keith gifted us with a nursery allowance and we used that to purchase a dresser/changing table and a glider. Both of which were major Cinderella stories, thanks to mom again. We found his dresser at a vintage market in Frisco and mom painted and distressed it an emerald green (based on a picture I was using as a color palate) and after we slapped some new Anthropologie knobs on it, it became a one-of-a-kind piece! She also found this glider at her company’s warehouse sale. A new fabric on it and it was a brand new chair! Mom also took my vision for the trim on his curtains and made it a reality and to boot, she and my grandma came to hang them! It’s mainly thanks to her that Mini MO has such a cool space!

And here you go!

Maddox's Adventure Nursery in shades of grey, black, white and green.

Maddox’s Adventure Nursery in shades of grey, black, white and green.

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Prints above MW’s crib are from a calendar I have been saving since 2013! I chose the mountain prints and used a Silhouette Cameo to cut out the phraseology in the middle and framed them using Ikea Ribba frames.

Millie is a fan of Morocco!

Millie is a fan of Morocco!

Floating shelves made by daddy!

Floating shelves made by daddy!

One of my favorite little accents. A pegasus from Athens and all my international children's books!

One of my favorite little accents. A pegasus from Athens and all my international children’s books!

Bins for all our toys and an empty shelf and drawer to fill up!

Bins for all our toys and an empty shelf and drawer to fill up! Bins are from World Market and I made tags for each one using thick card stock banner templates.

I used a broken globe and threaded some fishing line through it to hang from the ceiling and accompanied it with some adventure art.

I used a broken globe and threaded some fishing line through it to hang from the ceiling and accompanied it with some adventure art. (Mack refuses to store Mini MO’s KDs with all his other shoes, he wants to see them 24/7.)

Can't go anywhere without our essentials and our Patagonia backpack!

Can’t go anywhere without our essentials and our Patagonia backpack!

A little plane ticket trinket tray!

A little plane ticket trinket tray!

Crib – Gifted to us by my (ex) boss and fantastic, amazing friend, Sundee. It was her sons and now it is ours!
Crib Skirt – “Savannah Crib Skirt” from Land of Nod
Aft above Crib – Rifle Paper Calendar prints in Ikea Ribba frames
Knobs on Dresser – “Nanette Knobs” in grey from Anthropologie
Glider – IBB Designs (The company my mother works for. Bought chair at their warehouse sale and recovered!)
Dresser – Frisco Mercantile
Lamp – “Fisherman’s Table Lamp” from Pottery Barn Kids
Trinket Tray – “Airline Ticket Tray” from Fishes Eddy in NYC
Toy Bins – Zinc Metal Jamison Storage Baskets from  World Market (I WISH mine were on sale!)
Art in Nook – Hobby Lobby
Chalkboards – Mrs. MO Chalkboards
Moroccan Pouf – Shop Bisby

 

Happy First Birthday Mrs. MO!

Mrs. MO First Birthday Pic

What a year it’s been.

That’s an understatement.

This time last year, I had left corporate America, raced to Dallas to get group exercise and barre certified, took a trip of a lifetime around the world with my husband and in-laws, came home and immediately did an event for my first client as a private professional (thank you, Emily Blaschke!)

Having worked in corporate events for the five years prior, I knew I had the experience and some great connections in the industry to make private events work, but I learned that you needed so much more! I learned that I could build my own website. I learned that I could lift much heavier and oddly shaped props than I previously thought. I learned that living as a contractor is a hard job to count on due to cancellations of clients for whatever reason. I learned that I could be so proud of my work because it was exactly that, mine. I learned how to create, send and {the worst part} hold people accountable for invoices. I learned that I still need to do so much marketing. I learned that I LOVE 12:00 p.m. blissful-happy brides that give you giant hugs and who radiate gratefulness that you were there to help them along their big day. I learned that I had a decent hand for chalkboard making. And I am STILL learning so much more about how to be a, for a lack of better words, kick a#$ Girl Boss with a big heart.

Here we are, a year later with:

  • 6 happy and stress-free brides with smoothly coordinated and designed weddings
  • 8 creative and original children’s birthday parties
  • 3 bridal and bridesmaids makeup bookings
  • And countless organizational appointments, closet clean outs and client moves!

I’m overwhelmed with gratefulness to God and countless people for making this year a possibility and giving us knowledge and lessons to make this next year even better and to grow even more!

Thank you to God for sending me beautiful new faces and putting me on the hearts of familiar friends to use me for their events or their organizational needs. Thank you to my husband, Mackenzie, for his unwavering support and optimism that I could do anything I wanted to. He’s been the shlepper when things were too heavy, the helpful car unloader after weddings at 1:00 a.m. and the ear that gets to hear all my frustrations. Thank you to my family and friends for believing in me and better than that, suggesting or passing along my name to new clients.

And finally, to my clients… I could not do what I do without you. I hope I have helped make the celebrations in your life less stressful, more creative, more detailed and maybe even a little bit more filled with love. It’s my overall goal to help you celebrate the monumental moments of your life with ease and a little bit of the ‘wow’ factor! I love you all very much and hope to help you out in 2016!

Run for the Roses: Maddox’s Baby Shower #2

I have soaked up all this sweet attention from friends for both Maddox and I and this shower was no exclusion! My sweet sisters (and by sisters, I mean my cousins that I am close enough to be considered sisters, my sister-in-law and my “you’ve been my best friend for longer than a decade and we used to sleep in the same twin bed and both grew up with smelly brothers so we might as well be sisters” sister) threw baby boy and I an incredible shower with a derby theme with a nod to my hat wearing ways.

Meet the hostesses and sistas:

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(from R to L)

Kelsey – Kelsey I have known since we were 15 and have been more or less attached at the hilarious hip ever since. As I’ve grown older, I’ve noticed most my craziest stories start out with “this one time Kelsey and I…” She is talented, exciting and is the official “down for anything” girl. When she gets laughing, it’s a can’t stop, won’t stop affair and she is the only person that possess the quality to tell you the most brutal truth with a perfect amount of humor, making her loved by all. Her sidekicks now include her sweet girls, Piper girl (pictured here) and Daphne (still on the inside!)

April – My very first best friend; she’s the Ashley to my Mary Kate, the Chief to my Champ and the most loyal person I know. From day one I wanted us to be sisters so much that we combined our last names together as children for a new, hybrid last name. She’s my crafty, cooking, farmer’s market veggie loving, wish-we-had-the-patience-for-nannylike-sewing-skills, fellow grilled cheese and tomato soup addict, Christmas joy loving counterpart. “I love ya more than my luggage!”

Afton – Well for starters, my life would be significantly duller without this sister. So much so that I feel sorry for all of those people who aren’t friends with her. Good news, she’s public on Instagram, follow and laugh away. My aunt always says I have the heartiest laugh when I am bantering with this comedy queen. I am also so fortunate to share with her in new mom adventures of raising our Owen boys. (Ryan, my brother, is surely peeved that he’s waited for 25 years for another boy in the family and then his two favorite girls have them 12 weeks apart.)

Megan – Commonly referred to as Mojo by my family as we both had the same name the first four years of mine and Mack’s marriage. If it’s true what they say about opposites attracting, then the laws of the universe proved correct for Meg and I. We could not be more different but in everything that matters, we are pretty much the same. I couldn’t have asked for a better sister to gain, so much so that I never refer to her as Mackenzie’s sister, I just cut to the chase and claim her as my little sister… most of the time.

Snaps of the setup:

The yummiest mama-friendly mint julep!

The yummiest mama-friendly mint julep!

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The girls did such an amazing job with the set up and the food and I was so overwhelmed with love throughout the whole day!

Kelsey and Pipergirl all in our Derby glory

Kelsey and Pipergirl all in our Derby glory

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An incredibly special gift from my mom. She used to make baby-activity books for all us kids and she made Maddox the most precious and intricate book and I adore it!

An incredibly special gift from my mom. She used to make baby-activity books for all us kids and she made Maddox the most precious and intricate book and I adore it!

If you can't make boob jokes at your own shower, then when can you?!

If you can’t make boob jokes at your own shower, then when can you?!

How precious is this blanket?! Jan had it made for us (it matches her grandson and Maddox's buddy, Noble's blanket!)

How precious is this blanket?! Jan had it made for us (it matches her grandson and Maddox’s buddy, Noble’s blanket!)

Little shoes. I just can't.

Little shoes. I just can’t.

P and me with our matching hats!

P and me with our matching hats!

Precious Cargo: Baby Maddox’s Shower

As promised, here are some snaps from the first of two showers my amazing friends threw me and baby Maddox. This particular shower was themed “Precious Cargo” after my love for travel and around the theme of Maddox’s nursery, travel and adventure. I never had a doubt in my mind that these girls would knock it out of the park, they are all beautiful, creative and precious people but they took it to a whole different level!

First, let me introduce you to the amazing hostesses (from L to R):

Damaris (commonly referred to as Maris, Elphie, Mae): My favorite person and BFF from my journey through Miss Oklahoma and I’m convinced she’s the whole reason why I ever went through the pageant system… because God had it in his plans for us to be soul sisters and bond over everything from imitating John Travolta as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray to our spiritual lives to everything in between.

Whitney (My current “boss” and MCM’s mama!):  Whitney came into my life via Sundee (to her right, and one of her BFFs) last year when I was starting my company. She needed someone to help pick up her sweet boy from school and since not many events happen in the middle of the afternoon during the school week, I started working with the Mosses! I’ve grown to love her sweet family and she has been such a blessing throughout this pregnancy!

Sundee (My former boss turned best friend): When I started at Chesapeake, I pretty much vowed to do anything to work for and with Sundee. When I got the option to move onto her team, I made it a personal mission to basically never let her down and to make her love me, mission accomplished. 🙂 In the process, she had two kiddos who became pseudo niece and nephew to me and I was informally adopted into the Aday family. The whole reason I can do what I do for a living today, is because I watched her and learned from her first.

Shannon (commonly referred to as Shanniecakes, Shannieshans, Barry #2)
and Melissa (commonly referred to as Charlotte York Goldenblatt Vahlberg, Misser, Merissa): Mel I have known since college but by a freak coincidence I called her in Tulsa almost four years ago and more or less offered her my job in the middle of her move to OKC. She changed in a flash, interviewed the same day and nailed it. Shan came into my life via Mel (to her right) after I had essentially “willed” my job to Mel to work for Sundee, Mel got promoted and “willed” her job to Shannon. From then we morphed into one big bestie blob thanks to working together, going to church together and being in the same small group together and basically doing everything shy of having a big giant shared house together. Together with their husbands, kiddos and my husband (and now kiddo) make up the “framily”, the closest friends that become your family. The group texts are epic, the hugs are hearty, the babies are passed around, everyone is weird and the sweet surprises are never ending.

My amazing, sweet friends and hostesses!

My amazing, sweet friends and hostesses!

Snaps from the setup:

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Snaps of some of the sweetest people alive!

{Half of} Small Group Ladies + a handful of babies

{Half of} Small Group Ladies + a handful of babies

Been rockin' that pose for almost a decade now!

Been rockin’ that pose for almost a decade now!

MWO's grandmas!

MWO’s grandmas!

Love this precious peanut

Love this precious peanut (who is really good at finding cameras)

I just had to because her laugh is the BEST!

I just had to because her laugh is the BEST!

LOVING the baby Patagonia!

LOVING the baby Patagonia!

Also LOVING the stocking from my mom!

Also LOVING the stocking from my mom!

My tiny helper!

My tiny helper!

It was a phenomenal day and Maddox, Mackenzie and I felt so loved by everyone’s presence AND presents! We are excited to put them all to good use and see MW in all his miniature Mackenzie clothes! Thank you to everyone who came or sent gifts, we love you all so much!

Stay tuned for our second shower from all my sistas!

Meg’s Preg: The Recap (For Now…)

Well friends, if you didn’t know by now, we are expecting. After a very sad miscarriage around Thanksgiving last year, we found out we were pregnant in January and found out we were expecting a sweet baby boy in May! It’s been such an incredible journey being pregnant with this sweet buddy and although I had the best intentions of sharing a recap with you a trimester at a time, that didn’t quite come to fruition, alas a recap of this sweet pregnancy for all who might wish to know!

Telling the Grandparents: 

Considering we had previously told them we were pregnant in 2014, the second time around unfortunately was fairly anticlimactic. The first go round there were tiny shoes, onesies, surprise announcements but this time around it was more matter of fact. The awards for best reactions go to: Mom the first time around for not realizing what the tiny shoes meant that she was getting a grandchild and for thinking that they were just cute shoes.  And to one of my bests Shannon, who was also pregnant with her daughter at the time. She got so excited she whacked me in the belly and immediately followed that up with, “I don’t even know why I did that!”

First Trimester: 

The first trimester was fairly uneventful for us (thank goodness!) Morning nausea only reared it’s ugly head a few times and I was beyond thankful because I HATE being sick. Hate. Hate. Hate. I found a few things that made for a satisfied belly and minimal nausea during that time and I ate it every single day for about 8 weeks. (Whole wheat toast and a big glass of OJ.) The need to pee all the time and the some posterior pelvic pain were the worst symptoms of this trimester for me, but the joy of knowing our little buddy was healthy and doing fine was more than enough to get us to the next phase! After each appointment that our OB gave us an “alls well” report, we kept our cool until walking out into the hallway and busted out in a small celebratory dance.

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First Trimester "bump" pics (as you can see, not much goin' on yet.)

First Trimester “bump” pics (aka not much goin’ on yet.)

Gender Reveal: 

Poor Mack, we’ve had so many friends be pregnant over the last 3-4 years that I think the man was just gender revealed out! I told him as long as we could snap a cute announcement pic, I didn’t care about the reveal of the gender. However, there were two people that NEEDED to know the gender and those people we did have a little fun with. Melissa, one of my bests, and hater of suspense and all around kid at heart needed to know the gender at like week 8. So the day that we found out the gender, I went to Mel and Joe’s house and hid an Easter egg with the gender inside it. We came over to tell them when really I had told her she had the answer all day long and just didn’t know it! She and Shannon went on a frantic hunt for the egg and we had a full-blown mini gender reveal, just the framily. My mom on the other hand, had been waiting for the gender call for weeks so I just casually slipped that into a mid conversation on the phone.

Possibly the best/worst gender reveal goes to my sweet father-in-law. He professed that he DID NOT want to know the gender and wanted to be surprised. Since he isn’t on any form of social media, that seemed fairly easy on that front but so HARD for all of us who knew! (a.k.a. everyone but him) We’d let it slip a few times and immediately try to cover it up with gender neutral pronouns. Well, we had made it to the third trimester and low and behold, who breaks the news accidentally over a Chick-fil-A sandwich? Poor Mack. He felt equal parts bad for letting it slip to the sweet waitress but also relieved that he didn’t have to keep the secret anymore. So now Mitch knows he’s got a grandson coming, but he still wants to be surprised about the name! Speaking of names…

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His Name: 

In college, I mentioned several M names to Mackenzie in that, “in case we get married, what should we name our kids names” game that you play as a 20-something. I mentioned Maddox and Mackenzie was smitten from the first mention. Mackenzie and his dad, Mitchell’s middle names are both  Wade so that name will be passed down to our son making him Maddox Wade Owen. The same initials and middle name as dad and his grandfather! In my mind, Maddox is a ornery mini-Mackenzie with curly hair! After carrying him for 8 months, I can definitely pick up on the mini-ornery Mack and I guess we’ll have to see about the hair.

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Second Trimester: 

Our second trimester was full of excitement with a trip up the California coast, a ton of Mrs. MO events, the birth of our best friend’s daughter, Charley, and nursery preparation! Like every crazy girl, I’ve got secret Pinterest boards and one of mine has always been potential nursery decor. Pin after pin, his nursery started to take shape. We were beyond fortunate to be gifted a crib from my favorite boss, Sundee and to be gifted with nursery money (and labor!) from mom and Keith to help us secure a dresser and a few other items! (Stay tuned for the entire nursery reveal in the coming weeks as we put the final pieces together!)

Our trip to Big Sur/Monterey/Carmel was amazing and such a fun babymoon for us (you can read more about that trip here and here!) But so many daily highlights of the second trimester revolved around feeling Maddox move around. I loved the daily reminder  that God had given me something precious to take care of. I was and still am thankful for every poke, jab, roll and kick!

Bump starting to grow in that second trimester! I felt like that "pop" for me happened between 25/26 weeks.

Bump starting to grow in that second trimester! I felt like that “pop” for me happened between 25/26 weeks.


"Umm... mom, in my expert opinion, you've got something going on in there."

“Umm… mom, in my expert opinion, you’ve got something going on in there.”

Precious Cargo Shower:

This was too adorable not to have it’s own post to stay tuned for this amazingly sweet shower hosted by my best friends (as well as the upcoming Derby Themed Shower hosted by my sisters and high school best friend, Kelsey. Which reminds me… find a hat.)

Third Trimester: 

Well here we are, looking at the light at the end of the tunnel at almost 33 weeks. With a mere seven(isn) weeks left, it seems like there is still so much to do! Nursery to finish, clients events to fulfill, maternity subs to set up for all my yoga and barre classes. It’s enough to make even a regular lady go, ah!!!

With me moving from a full-time corporate job to owning the events company and teaching, it left less fun monies in the ole bank account for maternity pictures with a photographer, but lucky for me, my mom, April and Mack were willing to sacrifice a few hours in the blazing sun to snap a few pictures of Maddox and I with our camera! Couldn’t love them more (the pictures and the people!)

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BW Hug

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I’m sure I will eat my words in the next few weeks when “all the uncomfortable feels” set in and I have that moment of sheer panic that we are about to not only about to DELIVER a child into the world but raise him too. But prior to all that, I have to close with a super-annoying-happy pregnancy sentiment that so far, this pregnancy has been a joy. Sure there is insomnia (which for me is the worst part of this trimester), the products you can’t use, the things you can’t do, crossing your fingers and applying belly oil religiously everyday for no stretch marks but the fact that I’ve been able to carry Maddox this far with no complications and fairly moderate pregnancy side effects makes me one overly grateful pregnant mama! We continue to pray for his safety on the inside (and soon to be outside) and pray that we will be good parents and good stewards of the precious gift God has given us!

First Half of the Third Trimester!

First Half of the Third Trimester!

Stay tuned for sweet boy’s nursery reveal, showers and birth story shortly following!

Babymoon Adventure: California Roadtrip up HWY 1 {Part II}

Day Trip One: Monterey

We started our day trips by staying in Monterey, CA as we took a break from the day driving. We woke up to our continental breakfast delivered to our room and leisurely got ready (did the puzzles in the paper, made a fire, ate breakfast) and headed out to explore the coastline.

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I wore what I had previously thought to be comfortable shoes (…wrong) and a fitted sweatshirt thinking that would keep me warm from the coastal breeze (…wrong.) We set out on a little walk and happened upon a sweet little harbor seal just resting on a rock! It is the end of their pupping season so several of the beaches are protected for moms and pups right now and we were happy we got to see a little one!

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We ended up walking all the way to the next little city (which isn’t terribly far away) but I started to notice two blisters forming behind my heels from my flats, bad news. I walked as long as I could on them but when we got to a nickel-sized blister, I imagined I had better take them off and just switch shoes all together. We ran back to the hotel to do a quick shoe change and noticed it was time for lunch.

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We made our way to the wharf to grab a bowl of clam chowder (a staple for me on any ocean) and it was phenomenal! It was overcast and a bit chilly so we explored town a bit more and headed back up to the hotel to make a big afternoon fire and take a nap while the weather was sub-par exploring weather. We woke up, still full from lunch but knowing we had to do something for dinner. I wanted to visit the farmer’s market since California is fairly famous for their farmer’s markets. It definitely didn’t disappoint! We were only sad we weren’t more hungry! There were such great smells wafting left and right in our noses! We settled on some fruit and made our way back to the shoreline for a picnic of cherries and fresh strawberries.

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**If you were visiting Monterey for the first time, I would probably visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We only didn’t because we have visited the Seattle and Boston Harbor Aquariums on our last couple coastal visits. Apparently Monterey’s is world famous and is not to be missed! Be aware though, it will set you back almost $40 a ticket!

Day Trip Two: Big Sur 

Day two was one of our favorite days as we headed down the coast to hike in Big Sur. Being that I was chilly the day before, I came prepared with leggings, a tank, a long-sleeved shirt and a vest… but then as we hiked, I was shedding garments like it was my job. I can’t quite put my finger on California weather. We started in on the viewpoint to McWay Falls (probably the most photographed spot in Big Sur) and it was beautiful! We spent some time there snapping a few pics before making our way into Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

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Baby Maddox at 23 weeks!

Baby Maddox at 23 weeks!

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There are two main trails in the state park and without a map, we just decided on one and started walking. We didn’t hike long before running out of trail and deciding that the other one might have been longer and more substantial. We found foot holes in the side of the mountain where someone else had obviously thought this, so we took the steep ascent up the side of the mountain rather than finding where the actual trails connected. I think that would have been tough for a regular person but WHEW, 23 weeks pregnant (at the time) made for an out of breath mama!

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We continued up the trail for a few more hours, pausing here and there for me to shed garments and for both of us to grab snacks and water and we were certainly rewarded at the summit, a broad overview of the trees and and a look over into the ocean at the sparkling blue water. I told Mack that I had been fine (hungry-wise) all the way up but that our granola bar broke the hunger seal and now I was starving! Rightfully so, it was about 2:30 p.m.!

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We had plans for Nepenthe for lunch (given that it was recommended to us by at least a dozen people) and it didn’t disappoint! I snagged a shrimp BLT (and gave the B to Mackenzie. Who ate it and said, “this is the kind of bacon that would have made vegetarians turn back into carnivores.”) He opted for their ambrosia burger and we split a roasted garlic and goat cheese crostini basket. We got such a kick out of the couple of guys sitting to our left. They were right by a tree and the wait staff had given them two squirt bottles labeled “fry defense” and they were putting those things to good use. There are birds that sit in the trees hovering next to the patio that have gotten good at stealing patrons fries. They didn’t seem to mess with ours but maybe they had an understanding that you don’t steal a hangry pregnant ladies’ fries. The view was out of this world and the food was awesome too, all in all, a good recommendation!

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We dragged  out full, sweaty and dirty bodies back to the car and made our way back up the coast. We stopped in at Point Lobos State Park for a little cool down hike and made our way back to the hotel. Once again, so stuffed by a late lunch, we really didn’t bother with dinner. We were happy to return back to the hotel and take a shower and relax our tired feeties!

Day Trip Three: Carmel & Pebble Beach 

This day was arguably Mackenzie’s favorite. We started the day by heading to Carmel Beach to walk along the sand and to see the puppies play around. It was a beautiful beach filled with surfers trying to catch small waves and unleashed dogs skipping around and playing with each other. I found that to be a perfect opportunity to set up the tripod and self-timer for some sweet beach vacation pics. What made it most beautiful to Mack though, was the view of Pebble Beach. It was like a moth to a flame, as Mack headed towards the golf course.

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As we were walking I said, wouldn’t it be cool if someone hit their ball out of bounds and we found it on the beach?! PB souvenir! It was about that time that we found such a gem! So now I was on the hunt. While Mackenzie snapped pics of the course, I scoured the beach, like an Easter egg hunt, in search of more balls. We happened upon a small hill that led to one of the greens. I started to make my way up the hill but heard Mackenzie call out to me not to. I said, “well, there’s no signs saying you can’t… I’m just going to pop my head up!” He reluctantly agreed but really, I think he was curious too. I turned my phone on panoramic view and got a sweet of the fairway and green and sent it to him.

We had lunch at an adorable cafe, La Bicyclette and shared a pizza before strolling the charming streets of Carmel. We stopped at Carmel Bakery before heading to the car and split a cinnamon crispy (a thin, crunchy puffed pastry sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.) We made our way to the Carmel entrance of 17-Mile-Drive, a drive that runs through the neighborhood of Pebble Beach with all the golf courses and other scenic turnouts along the way. We popped into Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hole and Spanish Bay for Mack to snag ball markers and to visit the pro shops. We saw the Lone Cypress as well as other famous 17-Mile-Drive landmarks and ended up at Spanish Bay for the evening to listen to the bagpiper play and “put the greens to sleep”. We sat by the fire underneath a blanket and had our respective beverages while listening and then made our way back to Monterey before heading up the coast and going to San Francisco the next morning for a quick lunch bite in Sausalito and off to catch our plan back home!

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All in all it was such a relaxing trip and we got to do exactly what we intended to do, spend quality time with each other, sleep in a little later, be outside the entire trip, see places we had never seen, all before our little man arrives in the fall! We’ve got a few more mini trips planned in July and August but as far as the baby moon was concerned, we felt like we nailed it! Maybe next time, Mack can bring his clubs and play!

Babymoon Adventure: California Roadtrip up HWY 1 {Part I}

With all the fun things Mrs. MO has in store this summer and all the great events we have to attend this summer, we took our annual abandonment a little earlier than our normal anniversary and went in May. This year’s trip was doubly special because it was probably our last big adventure before our little man arrives early this fall! The California coast (namely Big Sur) has been on our travel to-do list for some time so we used me being pregnant as the opportunity to stay stateside for our vacation and head there!

We started out in L.A. thanks to a hometown guy, Matt Kemp, playing the Dodgers in L.A. We’ve always wanted to watch Matt play (professionally) in person and Dodger stadium is just so iconic so it worked out in our favor that Matt’s new team, the San Diego Padres, were playing. We knew our trip to L.A. would merely be a stopover and a place to snag the car for the rest of the week but we made the most of it!

We woke up early Sunday morning had breakfast at Urth. There are several Urth Caffe‘s in the L.A. area but we landed in the one closest to us in West Hollywood for breakfast. I snagged a multigrain waffle topped with a mountain of berries and an Italian latte {Side note: Adorable latte art is not wasted on me} while Mack opted for tea and a scone. The cafe offered several awesome-looking selections and we were more than pleased with our first meal of the trip! From there, we took a trek to the Hollywood Hills and to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I will say, neither were incredibly exciting and I found the Hollywood Walk of Fame to be a lot like Times Square in NY. We spent little time here but I didn’t leave before posing with my girl, Judy.

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We were on the hunt for a quick lunch pre-ballgame and landed at Umami (by April and Curtis’ contribution to California eatery suggestions.) Mack opted for a truffle burger while I went with a black bean burger, while the burgers filled us up, I thought the fries were the most interesting. We got sweet potato fries but they had a special kick, as did the ketchup. We kept dipping fry after fry trying to guess the flavor that made it so different.

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Onto the game! As I knew it, Matt normally plays left field so I purchased our tickets there. Low and behold he played right on that Sunday but we still had a phenomenal time! Post-game we headed to the Grove for a little moseying around before our dinner reservation at Fig and Olive. They had an outdoor concert festival and everything was just precious! We did a quick change and headed to Fig and Olive for our reservation.

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Confession, I made this reservation because it was on a list of a good low-key place to possibly spot celebs. No celebrities spotted here but I LOVED dinner! I mean, c’mon, all things I love figs and olives?! We started with an olive appetizer and a costing flight. We chose six crostinis off their menu and split them all up and munched on them with our olives. My favorite (no surprise) had a fig jam, manchego cheese and an almond on top… yum! Post-crostinis, we opted to share some paella as we have fond memories of “the best paella in the world” from our honeymoon. This one was probably second best, it was great!

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We packed up and headed out the next day but not without stopping at the farmer’s market in the Grove to get some breakfast crepes and to poke our head around for a few minutes before hitting the road. We stopped a little outside Malibu to grab a road coffee/tea and made our merry way up the coast. I packed car and hiking snacks and we munched on those while listening to “No Easy Day” by Mark Owen on audio book.

Around 1:00/2:00 p.m. our tummies were growling for real food which worked out awesome since we planned to stop in Santa Barbara. We pulled in and I found us a place to eat, Mac’s Authentic British Fish and Chips Shop. With a name like that and rave reviews, we just had to. We {finally} found a place to park and took a walk up the street and ordered some fish and chips. We both ordered smalls but were surprised with our portions came out, they were anything but! We had to concur with the reviews, they were awesome! {But disclaimer, anything I can dip in tartar sauce or put malt vinegar on, I am pretty much down for.}

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We walked off some of our fish and stopped in an upscale Cali consignment store (if you follow my blog, you know that’s one of my favorite big city shopping detours) and while it was interesting to try anything on with baby boy poking my belly out, I did find a score of a DVF blouse and called it a win. We stopped into Lulu and also found a win of a top there as well. What great fortune!

I wish we had more time in Santa Barbara because it was just beautiful and seemed absolutely charming, alas we had some road to cover.

We inched our way up the coast and sometimes an hour would go by without words. Not for a lack of them, by any means. Just completely immersed in the scenery and into the the book we were listening to! We paused when we say a sign for a colony of elephant seals and snapped a few pics before heading up the coast.

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We pulled into Big Sur as the sun was setting and for me, it was so intense! Granted, it was the portion of the story on the audiobook where the author is describing his time as a Navy Seal in the Bin Laden raid and even though I knew what was going to happen, the suspense paired with the hairpin turns around the mountains paired with the dusk falling made me so nervous! Mack was an excellent driver and didn’t share my nervousness thank goodness!

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We pulled into Monterey just a little after 10:00 p.m. and checked into our room. Our hotel is definitely something to mention, it was the Spindrift Inn on historic Cannery Row in Monterey, CA. We walked into our room and I was in charming, seaside, quaint heaven. Our bed was a king-sized cloud and our room had a real fire place in it with freshly stocked wood each day. A complementary continental breakfast was delivered to your room everyday based on your selections with yummy smelling bath salts in the bathroom for an end-of-the-day bath (which I happily took because sea breeze is chilly!)

Our dinner was less than stellar thanks to us venturing out for it around 11:00 p.m. so we went the ole’ CVS route and I got a Naked green smoothie and some chips and salsa… life on the road, eh? But at least the view outside our hotel wasn’t bad…

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Stay tuned for all our day trips in Monterey, Big Sur and Carmel/Pebble Beach… they are the best parts!

MK and A’s New York Christmas Adventure Pt. 2

{Saturday: Christmas Galore} It was finally Christmas morning! Ok, it was just Saturday but man did we have the best Christmas plans. We were fully psyched and ready to see NYC in all her Christmas glory! Our original plan was jam-packed with Christmas and NYC staple activities and in theory, was a REALLY good itinerary. Was it a smidge ambitious, maybe. Ok, it was a lot ambitious. Oh well, we thought! Off to see Christmas joy… in the rain! We peeked our heads out at 7:00 a.m. and notice the downpour and thought it best to maybe sleep in. After all, we did come home soaked the night prior at positively 1:00 a.m. so we weren’t just itching to get that way anytime in the near future.

So after a few snoozes, we dragged ourselves downstairs for waffles in our pajamas. Because you know what, that’s the benefit of not staying in Manhattan. People (and I mean us) are keeping it real, real in Queens.

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(We promptly sent this picture to April’s mom/my aunt and I am sure she is still mortified to this day.) We zipped into some clothes and determined that trying to get a glimpse of FAO Schwartz was probably now fading as the line (presumably) was wrapped around the store.

We headed into midtown and ducked in and out of a few stores. We had intentions of Christmas shopping but the rain was such a deterrent as we were already soaked and didn’t think lugging around 10-15 pounds of clothes and misc. trinkets in a paper sack was going to help. We pulled over for a snack and much to my dismay, the Grinch’s Holiday Workshop (at the Children’s Museum) was a one year thing and was not a reoccuring Christmas event. No problem we thought, we’ll just shop around and catch the Christmas displays until it’s time for dinner!

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After strolling around the city  for a while, the wind started to pick up. And by pick up I mean gale-force, coulda carried Mary Poppins type wind. As we were trying to dodge the freezing rain, we were also currently catching it in our umbrellas that had turned inside out. We strolled up to Serendipity and promptly found out it was a 3 hour wait… so we strolled in the rain until we found a small pub to grab dinner prior to the Radio City Rockettes… aka the Christmas saving grace of the day.

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We carried ourselves to Radio City Music Hall and for the first time, finally caught a glimpse of Christmas! We found our seats in the theatre and the show began. You know what happened next? WE STARTED CRYING. That’s right, we started crying Christmas tears of joy.We left the show on a new high and maybe stopped in Magnolia next to Radio City again… before we heading home because did we mention we saw the 10:00 p.m. show?

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{Sunday: Soho Shopping/GGTLAM} After our flip ups and turn arounds, we decided the theme of today was to sleep in and wing it. We headed down to Times Dumb Square because we had to get one more show in and again, instead of calling all box offices, we took a stroll around to all of them. All our faves were taken so we landed on Tony winner, Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Upon realizing we only had an an hour or so before the show and that we were STARVING, we stumbled upon Da Marinos (from a recommendation.)

We zipped in and told them we hoped to make it to our show on time so they created us a romantic two-person table in the wings. We had the sweetest waiter and decided after all the traipsing, we deserved a glass of lunch wine. After hugging our waiter/singer/entertainer, Tom, we were on our way! We bought standing row tickets to the show and scored a seat in the second act!

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We left the show and started around the city in hopes of great steals in SoHo and on the search for some chocolate whiskey from a Brooklyn distillery for the guys. After we scored some goodies, it was nightfall and we knew we were hankering for some cookies. But first, we had to see that dad gum tree. Voila. Christmas Bliss. (And thank you kind stranger for not stealing our camera.)

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By this point I have "given no cares" with regard of NYers shoving everyone out of the way that I purchased this here pillow and said to heck with it.

By this point I have “given no cares” with regard of NYers shoving everyone out of the way that I purchased this here pillow and said to heck with it.

Post tree, we hopped on a north bound train and booked it to the Upper West Side. And when I say booked it, I mean running through the subway, running down the streets. Running. We made it to Levain just minutes before closing and found ourselves in a line wrapped around the store. We crossed our fingers and stood in the rain (shocker) that they would take pity on our wet souls and let us in for some cookies!

We scored some cookies and tried to only eat one on the Subway on the way home… we reserved the others for eating in bed and for breakfast of course. Also, maybe on that train ride home we switched trains at Union Station and had Shake Shack again.

{Monday: Tap Class} You should know, I have been taking or teaching dance for well over a decade and the decade before that was spent in a gym of sorts learning acrobatic tricks or holding tinier humans in precise positions in the air… but I’ve never taken tap class. April, on the other hand has taken many a tap class, but that was also a decade ago. In my genius, I suggested us to take a tap class at Broadway Dance Center. It. Was. Awesome.

We thought that basic was probably way too easy so we had our eyes on beginner. Needless to say, of course there were no beginner classes on the schedule so we pulled up our big girl panties and took intermediate. As usual, we were running late so we found ourselves running through TdS. We sure ran a lot during this trip? We thought we could be wallflowers in the back, nay. I’ll tell you what doesn’t change? The sheer panic you feel when the instructor says, “Now, we’re going to go across the room in pairs.” Hold me. We both looked at each other and surely thought the same thing. Well, maybe April felt worse for me. But we survived! We were on such a “workout” high that we felt like maybe we needed another cookie or two?

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After snagging a cookie, we ducked into a little Italian cafe and found out that April’s flight had been delayed to the point that she wasn’t going to make it home. After spending a panicked lunch on the phone with Southwest, hauling back to Queens and $100 cab ride later, we were both at the airport going home to see our hunnies! Of course, we texted the entire way home about all the fun and failures had and vowed to spend our next vacation together lying on the beach flipping mags and reading books or snowed in a cabin in Wyoming with an endless Lifetime Christmas stream.

MK and A’s New York Christmas Adventure: Part I

Christmastime in New York… it sounds majestic doesn’t it? I bet you are thinking a light blanket of fresh powder on the ground, a hot chocolate in your hand, lights everywhere, incredible shopping and a spirit of holiday joy just floating in the air. You’re thinking Serendipity 3, Radio City, pop-up markets galore. Well here on Meg Your Pardon, I try to do my best to give you candid reviews and I can tell you… we might have been a little too optimistic about good ole’ NYC the movie-like scenery we were hoping we would drop ourselves in.

Now while everyone has seen plenty of pictures of NYC at Christmastime, you are thinking she looked like this…

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Totally reasonable, considering that’s every picture on Google images and Pinterest. But Christmas in NY looked a little like this for us…

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Many a subway ride for these girls! April and I are true Polly Anna’s about most situations and the most used phrase on this trip was, “Well, at least XYZ didn’t happen!” We made the absolute best of some questionable situations and weather and actually spent the entire weekend in laughter and honesty. It’s a trip we will never forget and we had a blast but you should know what all happened…

{Pre-trip} You should know that hotels in NYC from Thanksgiving to after New Years, are just bananas. I mean we are talking we could barely stay at the YMCA for under $200 a night. So, if you are planning a trip, snag that hotel early, see if you can cash in some points or do our original plan of finding a safe AirBnB. We however, stayed in the ole Quality Inn in Long Island City in Queens. It is how shall I say, industrial? (Enter the first, “Well at least they have free waffles in the morning for breakfast!”)

{Thursday: Arrival} Avid Christmas lovers as we are, April and I arrived in NYC fresh faced and ready to 1. Soak up all the possible Christmas we could, 2. See all the shows we could on a somewhat reasonable budget, 3. Eat all the best food (again on a somewhat reasonable budget) and 4. Take a billion pictures while doing it. We had a roughly planned itinerary with all the best suggestions on it. Knowing that we wouldn’t be able to accomplish them all, but having a rough idea where everything was.

We hopped in a taxi and scooted over to the final QI where we unloaded and snagged us a week-long Metro Pass (the way to go if you are staying in NY for more than a few days and don’t want to spend a billion dollars on cab fare.) We had two things on our minds, food and tickets. We scoured through our list of possible shows to see and noticed that Cinderella had a student rush until Thursday night and we thought, “Great! Cindy here we come!” We hopped into the theatre and promptly walked out with two tickets for a total of $70. We were thrilled. We took our Cinderella high to dinner to celebrate.

I’ve never been a fan of Times Square, a sentiment I voiced to April pre-trip. But I knew we would be spending a fair amount of time there considering we were hoping for rush or lottery tickets most of the trip. As we wondered through TS, this thought was creeping up on me and we whipped out our restaurant guide (a sheet of restaurants we had looked up pre-trip) and decided we would book it down to the Lower East Side to visit S’Mac. Let us tell you. If you are in NY and you love mac and cheese. Get here. It’s an entire little restaurant that specializes in skillet mac. We were a little famished and settled on two different kinds, the Parisian and the Cajun with the intention of sharing both. It deserves a three full-syllable De-Li-Cious.

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We left S’Mac feeling pretty full but since we are related to Tom Green, were on the hunt for something sweet. We took a stroll over to Economy Candy and it felt like we were in a time warp. Candy from floor to ceiling of all shapes, flavors even generations!? April and I share about a billion things in common, and we were just crossing them off the list one at a time. Shows! Baked mac and cheese! Jelly Bellies for the show! We still had some time to kill so we promptly walked our chilly butts over to Magnolia where I had raved about any and all desserts I had ever eaten there. We grabbed our cuppies, bars and coffees and strolled along our merry way to eat them.

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We were pretty sure the stars were aligning as we went to the show. Our seats were actually incredibly close, so close in fact that we seat surfed back a handful of rows and to our delight had a half a row to ourselves. For which we took off our boots, sat sock-footed and ate our smuggled jelly beans like children.

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We headed off to our lovely abode to turn on the news to find that there were 10,000 people protesting in the streets in Times Square (the neighborhood we JUST left.) How we missed it, we’ll never know.

{Friday: Holy Apostles and SoHo/Chelsea Exploration} We woke up Friday excited and nervous to serve next to other New Yorkers at the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen in Chelsea. We had resolved that on this trip we wanted to do something good for others to bring us back to focus knowing that most our time spent there would be shopping, eating, show seeing and basically spending all our time on ourselves. We can both attest that in hindsight, it was the one of the best decisions we made. We got our assignments and April and I’s were bussing tables. We watched as hundreds of men and women filed in to eat their lunch and we both just looked at each other with tears in our eyes. We knew we couldn’t change the world but man, we wanted to be the nicest person they met that day. We spent the morning wiping down tables, refilling sugar shakers and in conversation with the people who wanted to talk. In the end, we were proposed to positively three times, hunkered down to eat more mac and cheese and learned we liked pea soup with the locals. Who knew!? It was one of our greatest memories.

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We left the soup kitchen and made our way to the Chelsea Market. I had talked up the market so much and forgot the reason I loved it so much was for the food, for which we had just eaten lunch. Werps. Alas, a few sweet shops later, we were hopping our way around Chelsea until the dreary day turned to straight rain. I had the highest of hopes to take April to High Tea at the Crosby Hotel but we decided that we had better try our luck at getting show tickets confirmed since the night previous seemed too easy. Boy were we right.

Aladdin popped on our radar when we arrived and we were prepared to join their lottery and cross our fingers for last minute tickets not once, not twice but three different times. Alas, after finagling all around midtown trying to be at the right place at the right time, no Aladdin. So we moved on, hoped to gain rush tickets to other shows. In hindsight, we could have used this fantastic contraption called the telephone to call each box office, alas we ran around like crazies trying to catch them in person. We temporarily hung up our hats and drowned our sorrows in a Shake Shack burger. {Side note: The most hilarious part about this Shake Shack burger is we needed to be back at Aladdin for it’s second drawing and could NOT miss it! We sprinted with our burgers to the McDonalds next to the theatre and scarfed down their mushroom burger, shared fries and a chocolate shake. 1. It was literally heaven on earth. 2. We basically got ushered  out of McDonalds for not eating their hamburgers. Sorry McD’s.} We made it in time for the drawing and, as suspected no luck. Did I mention it was still raining at this point?

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We trotted over to the TKTS booth in the rain and cursed the weather and our bad ticket luck that day. When we got to the counter we were exasperated as none of our top choices were available and so we settled on “Pippin” for $80 a ticket. We were so miffed at our expensive ticket and for a show that we were only semi-excited to see when we ran into a street vendor selling Aladdin tickets for that nights performance. We looked at each other, both soaking wet, irritated and telepathically thought, “can we punch him?” It seems we always had an hour or so to kill so we thought we would drown our sorrows in a cookie. Do you know how many bakeries there are in Times Dumb Square. Positively zero. Getting more and more annoyed at our fail after fail, we headed to a coffee shop and was just banking on them having something sweet when I looked back at April and said, “man, all these people and their low umbrellas make me fearful that one’s going to poke me in the eyes!” She agreed and not two seconds later did a swoop of an umbrella come right down on us and snagged me. I yelped and turned around to April and had a good laugh given the irony of my previous statement and as I was laughing at her, another low-flying umbrella snagged the beanie right off her head! It was stuck to this NY passerby’s umbrella and I yelled, “hey!!” as my southern heart had enough of these ill-mannered, pushy patrons! I promptly chased down the umbrella where the beanie, by this point had fallen off onto damp concrete. I picked it up and April was behind me. We could hardly stand we were laughing so hard.

We finally got into the coffee shop and had a SERIOUS case of the giggles. In fact, I’m sure those around us thought we were high. We munched on a chocolate covered waffle (which, is no cookie) and spent the next 30 minutes laughing at how much the other person looked like a drowned, harassed rat. If you want to see the faces of despair and hilarity…

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We pulled it together and made our way to the theatre. Magically, our seats were great and so we peeled off our wettest top layers and sat down and the show was fantastic. Originally, Josh Kaufman, Season 6 winner of The Voice, was supposed to be Pippin but we had his understudy (surprise, surprise.) But we ended up loving Sam Lips probably even more! Carly Hughes was amazing as the leading player and we left the show in sing-a-long fashion. All in all, it was an emotion-filled day; filled with good eats, a hint of disappointment but ultimately an amazing adventure with my sis. Sure, everything could have gone smoothly, but what stories would we have to tell then?

NYC Part II Coming Next!