it was a sunday and i was in cincinnati for the wedding of some college friends. jp was there too. he was friends with the groom from their high school days in colorado. we danced, drank, kissed, talked, kissed, and danced some more. ten months later, we were married.

five years later and it’s the sunday labor day weekend wedding of our two dear friends (max’s parents!). i cannot wait to drink and dance w my bubs. and kiss of course. happy the-day-we-met-and-fell-in-love, jp. i love you.


this past weekend, my parents were staying in our home during their visit for ramona’s birthday. we took advantage of the fact we had in-house babysitters and got away for an early four-year anniversary celebration.

  • we started with drinks and small plates at charcoal restaurant
  • then moseyed over to the clyfford still museum, where we had the galleries all to ourselves
  • afterward we headed to squeaky bean’s new location (go there now!)
  • we planned on ending the night at williams & graham (and should have as it was late and i had had plenty to drink)
  • but after one drink there, we then went on to a  friend’s house warming party

my parents had ramona sleep down with them in the guest room in the basement. technically, it was our first night away from little miss bean! i hurt the next day as going to bed at 1:00 AM and waking up at 6:30 is not my forte. those heavy-drinking, late-nights are not (or should not) be in the cards for this mama. but knowing that ramona can successfully sleep away from us is good news to me! i’m not eager to cart her off every weekend but sometimes, well you know, sometimes parents need a break.

jp and i love to celebrate special occasions by splurging on good dining experiences. here’s where we’ve dined for our previous anniversaries:
1st anniversary: root down (before we worked there!)
2nd anniversary: schwa
3rd anniversary: trattoria stella

from meeting to marriage was a whirlwind. we’ve spent the last four years figuring each other out. i have a sneaking suspicion we’ll be doing that for the rest of our lives. but i like you. i really do. things aren’t always easy but, to anyone who has been married, that’s no surprise. you have blown me away with your loyalty to our little family and your commitment to being the best man you can be, not only to me, but to our daughter, our families, and those around us. i see that every day in the hard and honest work you put forth to make your dreams your livelihood, and to include ramona and i in that. what a partnership we have! what fun we have! i love you, bub. always and forever. happy anniversary.

jp and i married on july 18, 2008 at prairie production in chicago. these beautiful photographs were taken by nancy beale of dwp.


ramona marilyn,

my oh my how you have bloomed. this past month was my most favorite yet. your personality is becoming so vivid and so you. you’re a ham, independent, and totally aware of your cuteness. you use that to your advantage. you are curious and loud and a bit impatient. you have spunk and determination and cuddles. you love to sit in laps but no one can stop you from going off exploring. you love to be naked. you love to jump in the pool with all your clothes on. you hate when it is hot and you love to eat ice. you absolutely adore your papa. you drink so much water and your favorite toys are books. you mimic sounds and faces and are quickly finding your voice. you stand on your own. you are not a walker but you can most certainly walk.

your “stranger danger” days were short-lived and you are back to gobbling up attention from any of papa’s and mama’s close friends. this is so fine with us until a crazy lady in front of us in line at our favorite vietnamese bakery held out her arms to you and –though your mama made no hint to offer you to her– you DOVE into them. (who asks to hold stranger’s babies, i will never know. she be cray cray. it was awkward.)

nona came to help papa and i beautify our front yard. you love her! she is so good with you and totally gets you: she engages with you but certainly gives you the space your personality seems to require. she loves to watch you toddle around, making your own voices. she gets that you prefer to start the conversation and always would wait patiently until you did. and then how the two of you would gab! you always wanted to talk to her. i think this unique relationship will be so special and rich even though she lives far away.

while she was here we noticed that you learned to dig in the dirt: squatting you would take your hands and fling the dirt behind you through your bent legs. you had watched me do that while digging holes for the russian sage. you ate some of it but you’re almost over the automatically-putting-dirt-in-your-mouth stage. instead, after digging, you sit there and pour handful of dirt after handful of dirt over your already-muddy thighs; your chubby wrist rolls and teeny finger nails caked with dirt.

you still sleep with us most of the night but papa and i have been letting you figure out falling asleep on your own a little more. some nights are better than others–and overall you’re doing great–but we’re feeling the need for change real soon. this is interesting bc we thought we’d be bed-sharing, or at least co-sleeping, for a lot longer.

you are so so incredibly loved. your one year birthday is next month and i’m having so much fun planning the party for it. yes, honey, i am that mother: there will be coordinating decorations and lots of people. but you know what?: there are so many friends and family close to us that, really, are your biggest fans. so we plan to hold a big shebang to celebrate you. and then, after you’ve gone to sleep, we’re gonna stay up and continue celebrating you! get used to it, honey. 😉

ramona marilyn. you are so spirited and spunky and confident and bright and happy. these traits are important in little girls and i pray papa and i can continue to nurture these parts of you so you can continue growing up filled with confidence and, most importantly, joy.

i love you. love, mama.

*see ramona at other months: teneightsix, fourtwobirth.*

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I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.

that above line is from a book i just ordered and will soon receive from amazon. my mother had it and read it to my brother and i as young children. i couldn’t help but be reminded of it when i went in to check in on ramona last night. she was talking to herself in her sleep and i just had to pick her up and hold her. they say let sleeping babies lie but there was no way i could do that in that moment. i held her and thought of how this time of her in my arms at night is so so so minuscule in the scheme of her life and mine. and though she will grow and our relationship with evolve, i will love her forever; my baby she will always be.