June 30, 2015

The New Oy! Website Is Live!

The New Oy! Website Is Live!
I am extremely excited and proud to share the new Oy! site with you! This is a project that has been in the works for months, and I am thrilled that this day has finally arrived. It was time for a thorough refresh to the site, and as I dreamed about what I wanted in this space, I learned that I couldn't do everything I wanted here anymore. It simply wasn't possible to share everything in the robust way I hoped. I am pleased to move my little corner of the web over to a squarespace platform, where content will be readily searchable, archived, and easier on the eyes. Many thanks to the ladies at Maiedae, who designed the new blog (and the original version of this space!) The Maiedae talent has made my website dreams come true, over and over again. If you want a site build, you should reach out to them. :) And tell them I sent you!

So you're probably wondering, what will happen to this space? It will forever live in the recesses of the internet. However, every single post has been moved over to the new site, even the old, uncouth posts from my early days that should never really see the light of day again. Everything has moved, with the exception of YOU. If you want to continue along with me on this Oy! journey, make sure to subscribe to the blog via bloglovin here and you can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram. Otherwise, head on over to the NEW OY! WEBSITE now!

Thank you so much for reading this blog and engaging with me in this forum. It's a bit sad to leave this site, which has fostered my growth as a person, wife, and transition into mother over the past 4 years. But I am excited about sharing fresh content in the new space, and my hope is that it will provide a community for even more interaction and conversation amongst us.

Again, many many thanks for reading. Your continued support means more to me than you will probably every know.
Love love love.

June 25, 2015

Roaming in Rome. Part 3.

Roaming in Rome. Part 3.
There are so many things we did, saw and ate in Rome that don't fit into any kind of category. I shared about how marvelous it was to bring my 10-month-old son to this eternal city, how fascinating everything truly was, especially the second time around, and how ancient this place felt. However, to leave the narrative of this trip at that would be irresponsible of me, because there were so many moments I experienced between my eye and the camera lens that were striking, enriching, elaborate and exceedingly funny. These moments were like the delicious ingredients that so sweetly flavored the whole trip for me. The outlier experiences. Things like, watching my husband dance unabashedly with my son while we waited for our pizza to arrive at the table. Like watching the pigeons primp their filthy feathers atop the statues' heads in the Piazza Navona. The curious water fountains you can drink from throughout the city and the trying on of leather goods and the munching on bruchetta while wandering through the flower district. Watching horse races in the Borghese Park and the fiats line up in a rainbow of cute and the windows open up midday. All of these charming moments were treasures, painting the trip in a truly rosy shade of optimism for me. This is the stuff of life. The little moments that make the big impact. Delicious. Precious. Unsung heroes of traveling tales.

St. Peter's Basilica, in all it's pomp and glory.
My Ergo men. Everett still in his pjs, because, well... he was on vacation too.
Have you ever seen a car evoke such fun?
I love Italians.
I think this horse show was a rather big deal. Too bad I didn't understand any of the commentary.
You can find these water fountains all over the city. People drink straight from them or fill up their water bottles. Even though Rick Steves said the water was okay to drink, I wasn't brave enough.
For this? I was brave enough.
He's delicious.
Rome is ubiquitous with churches like this. They are on every corner of every street, no exaggeration. And when you peek inside, each and every one of them are breathtaking.
If you follow us on instagram, you might remember when I posted about Everett finding his (loud!) voice in this silent church. Oops.
He's made everything about my life better. Except for the ever-present eye circles. But I'll take em.
Flowers wrapped in paper, tied up with strings. Isn't that from the "Favorite Things" song?
Some kind of decadent, lemony-orange-hybrid.
The view the Pope wakes up to. PERSPECTIVE.
Stevie pointed out that all the statues showcase old guys as ripped. Then he paused for a moment, then said, "If I could make a statue of myself, I would want it to look ripped, too."

That's a wrap!

Thanks for letting me share. And thanks for following along on our first international family trip; it was certainly a special one! I hope there will be many many more to come.

But you know what? I learned on this trip that adventure doesn't have to be a plane flight away. Niether does inspiration or creativity. Yes, spending time with my family in Rome certainly made me feel adventurous and inspired, and I have come back to the States full of all kinds of ideas and plans  (with little time to implement everything in my heart). But! Some of the most adventurous parts about this trip were experiencing the everyday moments as a new mom, experiencing all these new things through the eyes of my darling son. It doesn't take seeing the Vatican or drinking the foreign wine to feel extra special or adventurous. But watching Everett discover pizza? Taste gelato? And laugh at the birds preening themselves in the fountains? Well gosh. My heart just comes undone. These things were truly thrilling. Yes, the wine was good, don't get me wrong. IT WAS VERY GOOD. But nothing came close to how much fun it was to push Everett on the park swing, watch him sway to the dinnertime accordion music, and marvel at discovering his voice can echo in a cathedral.

There are adventures around every corner. Even at home. Even where everything is "regular". We just have to shift our focus to look for those moments, pause and revel in them a bit, and celebrate! I'm learning how to do this. I'm not great at it. But being a parent makes you sloooow down, so these moments are a bit easier for me to grasp these days.

You don't have to travel to Rome to pause for a moment. You don't have to travel to Rome for adventure. All it takes is a bit of patience, stepping outside the normal routines of the day, and giving yourself the moment to drink in the deliciousness of life. May there be a bit of dolce vita for us all!

June 23, 2015

8 Year Anniversary!

This morning you are far away on a work trip, and I am sitting in the kitchen sipping coffee, watching our big little baby terrorize his toys.

I can't stop smiling.

I didn't think I could possibly love you more. But a year ago, this child came along, and everything got harder, better, richer, sweeter. Seeing you as a dad, experiencing you take care of our family, feeling the safety in your presence - it's a part of you I didn't know until now. I love you more now than every other year before.

I'm lucky, we're lucky, we are so lucky. I don't take it for granted.

Thank you for walking with me, respecting me, listening to me, empowering me, pushing me. Thank you for this epic year of Everett. Thank you for taking me on adventures and thank you for letting me take you on some. We've had quite the journey, you and I. And there is so much more to come!

Happy 8 years, my love. 8!!!

Photo by Rachel Koontz.

June 22, 2015

Happy Father's Day. Which means SPORTS!

I hope you all had a happy Father's Day weekend. We celebrated Stevie big time for his first Father's Day, not by doing anything super extravagant, but just doing all the things that make him happy. Which means we did A LOT, and even though I am tired today, it was such a fun weekend!

My husband is a go-go-go kind of person. I've probably become more that way since we've been together, and while he can thoroughly exhaust me with his energizer-bunny routine, it can also be super duper fun! This weekend we biked, swam, played, watched the rain storms roll in, enjoyed lunch out at our favorite Farm, played golf (him, not me!), and even did a bit of car shopping. All good, delicious MAN FUN. It was an absolute joy to celebrate my husband and the gorgeous father-role that he has transitioned into this past year. I believe with absolute certainty that having a present, involved father paints the best kind of future for his family, and I am so glad that Stevie & I are on the same page when it comes to that kind of family involvement. He takes his role as a dad so seriously, and makes it a priority to be around for Everett's bath time, bed time, reading time, feeding time, etc. as much as he possibly can. He never makes me feel like the parenthood experience is just "my thing", and I am so grateful for that. I believe that if me and Stevie are doing well and taking care of our marriage, that same love, appreciation and respect for one another will flow down onto Everett. I may be biased, but he is the best daddy I know!

Fathers All Around.
We also celebrated my dad this weekend, which was the sweetest. I am so lucky and blessed to be surrounded by such strong, sensitive and loving men in my life. Everett has so many wonderful people to look up to for leadership, counsel, and sports guidance. Ha, which Stevie thinks is VERY IMPORTANT.

All the Athletics.
I got a lot of comments on instagram about where you can find this bike seat for a baby. We got ours here here and Everett's helmet here. These items have worked out beautifully for our little family! We love love love biking together.

We have spent a lot of Mother's Day lunches at the Serenbe Farmhouse, but this was our first time as a family celebrating Father's Day there. The fried chicken and southern-infused cocktails are second to none. After lunch we wandered around a bit and even played a pick up game of basketball. Though Stevie and my dad were both champion high school basketballers, I was most impressed with myself, my mom and my sis, because we managed to play in heels. #winning

Fathers and Daughters.
Thanks to my dad, for displaying an overwhelming amount of love and support towards his family all the years of my life. In some ways, I feel like I lean on him more these days, in different ways than I did when I was a kid. I am so grateful that he hasn't checked out, thinking that his job as a dad is done just because his kids are all grown now. He is a continuous source of truth, safety, humor and a most sensitive well of love. Thanks for being both a superhero and a real human. A girl really needs both, and you live both so well.

Many Men.
Many many MANY thanks to my sweetheart, who unfailingly supports our family every day with his time, efforts, prayers, love, concentration, passion and devotion. You are the greatest man I know, and I am proud and humbled by the discipline by which you live and love. You are the greatest dad for our little rascal!

Sorry for the mush fest. Welllllll actually, not sorry. We need awesome dads in the world, so I will continue to praise mine and hopefully raise up more amazing little men! XOX

June 18, 2015

Roaming in Rome. Part 2.

Roaming in Rome. Part 2.
"This place is so old. I mea SO OLD."

Stevie just nodded.

That was all I could think and say, over and over again, as I stared at the mammoth, gargantuan, understandably epic Colosseum. This is where people have come to live, come to die, come to be entertained and fed and amused and laughed at and laughed with and it's happened over and over again. For thousands of years. It's served as an amphitheater, a killing ring, a Christian shrine, a gladiatorial playground, a fortress, and today, just a dusty, piecemeal homage to a fallen empire.

Rome. You are so, barbarically old.

Of course, this is how I felt the entire time. Though I've been here before and felt all these feelings before, it's like the first time every time. This place is special and strange, like an elderly relative with long fingers and a mind-full of stories to share, if only you lean closer and ask. And the stories, they are almost impossible to relate to, because their premise is just so old. So I was struck, over and over again, by that hypnotizing feeling of, "Whoa. This stuff is old." Walking through the Forum. With gelato, no less. Prancing down the side streets, alleys marked by slick stone and discarded cigarettes and flowering weeds. I continued my obnoxious open-mouthed gaze as I meandered throughout the palatial churches, the crumbling piazzas, down the Spanish Steps and up the hills to St. Peter's Basilica, and honestly, just over and over again. Lounging in the Piazza Navona, sipping the house wine and finding myself sleepy for all the gasping I had done. Gasping at the old, the epic, the unruly ostentatious, magnificent city of Rome. I know I sound like a broken record, but it's the truth. This city is something of a broken record, replaying and repeating it's history over and over again for each newcomer, those vibrant souls eager to learn and explore and become saturated with the wiley tales of Ancient Rome's elite.

The Colosseum. Gladiators welcome.

The Roman Forum.
See what I mean about the sheer JUMBO-ness of this here structure??

View from the top of the Spanish Steps. Yes, we carried our stroller down each and every one. Which means we earned an extra allotment of gelato! 

Arch of Constantine. I think he was rather impressed with himself.
The Roman Forum. I'm still struck by the fact that we are allowed to walk all over this archaeological playground.

I think this is my favorite street in Rome. It's just so Italian. Insert loooooong sigh.
Via dell' Orso. Extravagantly blanketed in wild emerald and pearl Jasmine. Adorable friend is an added bonus.
I found my wedding flowers for sale on the back of a truck! Peonies for the win, for always and forever.

Piazza del Popolo, very close to where we stayed. We walked through this piazza every morning and every evening. And it was always, always lovely.
Baby-free shenanigans, our children fast asleep with grandparents watching them. This is what getting drunk on gelato looks like.
Night's End.

Roaming Romans.
Rome; day or night... you truly slay me.

Part 1 from our Rome trip here. Previous backpacking experiences in Rome here and here.