Monday, June 28, 2010

Laina's First Birthday Party

We had a great time celebrating Laina's first birthday party. It poured rain just before the party was about to start but then the clouds parted to a beautiful afternoon! Laina really enjoyed her cupcake (although she wasn't sure about the icing and really wasn't sure about everyone staring at her while she ate it...). She got lots of great presents including clothes, toys and some keepsakes like a silver engraved cup from "GG" aka Great Grandmother Elaine.
I tried to make everything I could from the cupcake picks to the happy birthday pennant banner to the shrimp & watermelon ceviche. The light was incredible that day which meant all the pictures came out wonky. Enjoy nonetheless.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wedding Bliss

It only has taken me 3 weeks to finally get this post up about Kelly's Wedding.

Kelly & Kevin's wedding was picture perfect over Memorial Day weekend. We had such a good time celebrating their day! See pics below.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Laina!

Laina is ONE today! I can't believe it was one year ago that I was at the hospital awaiting her arrival. Little did I know she would not make her appearance until late into the evening. All the cliches are true, your life changes when you have kids, they're the best thing that ever happened to you, life feels more complete once you have children... but I never could have anticipated how true they'd be. So to celebrate I thought I'd write a little letter to Laina to read when she gets older.

Letter to my daughter:

When I first thought of having kids, I imagined having a little girl I could spend my days with, helping her navigate the world. I imagined a little girl who would light up when she saw me with a spark that only I could see. I imagined being filled with a love that I could never have known existed. You made all those dreams become reality. You are so fun every single day and are the greatest reason in the world to jump out of bed every morning. Your smile makes me melt and every time you learn a new skill my heart swells with so much pride. Thank you dearest daughter for giving me more than I could have ever known to ask for in motherhood. I love you so much and always will. Happy First Birthday!
Mommy, Mama, Ma, Mother.... Me.

Friday, June 4, 2010

RIP Claire

Did you ever meet someone briefly but they left such an impression that you'll never forget them?

That was Claire for me.

I worked with Claire briefly at News America Marketing. One of the first company events I went to was her soon to be husband's promotion party. He was newly promoted to a job within the company in Australia. He'd met Claire while working at NAM and she was going with him. They were to be married and live happily ever after. He said during the party "Above all, I want to thank Claire" and they exchanged a loving look that I will never forget. It's like my mind took a polaroid.

Claire's fiancee moved to Australia preparing for her to move there. And then everything changed. Next thing I remember is an announcement that Claire was diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancer. Stage 4. They married soon after.  That was in 2007.

Claire died on Monday. She was 34. I didn't know her. I really didn't. But I have tears in my eyes at this very moment for her.

Did you ever meet someone briefly and yet they changed you? That's what Claire did.

Things change in an instant. Don't waste it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Trip to NOLA with Mike & Liz

We miss our friend Mike & Liz dearly. Our memories of NYC include many nights of sitting out in the "lobby" (the open area on the roof between our two apartments in Queens) and talking about life's greatest mysteries. Since Liz & Mike were blessed with the birth of Olivia last summer, we've all been very busy. This was the first time for us all to get away. We planned a destination getaway in New Orleans. I can't tell you how much fun we had despite all the rain. We just hung out and talked about our kids and the good times. I won't tell you what time we went to bed but lets just say it was a little earlier than our late nights in Queens. I think we've all been affected by the kiddos bedtimes.
Watch the video of Mike & Dan doing the washboards here.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

8 Years Ago The World Ended As You Know It. Happy Anniversary!

8 Years ago on June 1st, 2002, the music played "It's the end of the world as we know it" as Dan and I entered the John Knox Pavillion for our wedding reception. At the time I thought the song was a little edgey/dark for the occasion but it really was true. After we married, everything changed. We're so much closer now and our love has grown so much more than I could've ever imagined. I know that sounds ooey-gooey but it's true. We know more about each other and can anticipate each other's movements.

Since we were busy this past weekend attending the marriage of Kelly & Kevin McCormick (yay), we chose to go to lunch instead at our regular anniversary spot, Capital Grille. LOVE that place. They always go out of their way to make you feel special.

Attending a wedding is the perfect way to remember your own wedding. I watched Kevin & Kelly take their vows to promise to honor each other for the rest of their lives and remembered doing it myself. I had NO idea what I was in store for when I married Dan but I can honestly say everything we've gone through has made our relationship stronger. I wouldn't trade any of the moments for anything.

We toasted a glass of champagne to our 8 year marriage and promised to enjoy that moment every year for the next 80 years together. I told him I could only be married to him for 90 years, after that I think I'll have to go sow my oats.

11 Months!

The Shepard Family has been crazy busy this month. Laina has entered her last month of this first year. The invitations are out for her first birthday. Can't believe it's getting so close!

She is very active and working off some of her baby chub lately. She stands on her own but once she wants to go somewhere she sits down and crawls there. I think the walking thing will be here before we know it.