New Parents Love Letter

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Dear Ryan,

It’s 2 degrees outside (but feels like -7) and we are snuggled up at home with our sweet baby boy. Donned in our rattiest mismatched pajamas (they are the comfiest ones), we are sitting side by side on the couch where I am pumping breast milk and you are watching The Universe (even though you did say I could catch up on all my shows this weekend ahem). Wyatt is napping contentedly and we smile as he farts loudly in his sleep. 

There is no other way I’d want to spend my Saturday night. 

Earlier today we finally hung the gallery wall that we have been talking about for over two years, did laundry, and threw out some old junk. For once we actually used a Saturday to get something other than sleep and staring at the baby accomplished. I’m proud of us.

After I’m done pumping we are going to bake some cookies for Valentine’s Day. I’m sure I”ll dance around and sing Mickey’s “Hot Dog” song in my goofiest voice. You’ll laugh and say you love me. We’ll then settle down for a very grown up dinner of burgers and fries before getting Wyatt settled in for the night. Once he’s asleep there is a glorious bottle of wine waiting for us. Earlier in our relationship we would have drunk the whole bottle while we chatted about everything and watched some serious TV. Now we’ll be falling asleep at 9:30 after one glass. 

To most, that may seem like a boring way to celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend. But I repeat, there is no other way I’d want to spend my Saturday night. 

These days life is messy but oh so sweet. These small moments together are what I know I will treasure years from now. I take hundreds of photographs but none of them can capture what this life means to me. It’s hard to measure this type of happiness.

One thing is for sure, my definition of romance has changed.

Romance is the way you always take the baby and let me sleep in on the weekends. I never knew an empty and quiet bed could be so wonderfully lovely. 

Romance is the way you always clean up the dishes after every meal.

Romance is watching Wyatt’s face light up when you come home from work.

Romance is the way you are trying to change habits that drive me nuts, like moving your shoes out of the front hallway so I don’t trip and break my neck every morning.

Romance is how your last words at night are no longer “I love you” but “Wake me up if you need anything” even though I never wake you up when I’m up with Wyatt.

Romance is how there is no one else I can sit for hours and talk about every little thing Wyatt does.

Romance is hearing you read Brown Bear Brown Bear over and over again and never getting tired of it.

Romance is not rolling your eyes when I show you 15 photos of Wyatt that would look identical to most people and ask you which one is best. Daily.

Romance is how I find myself even more in love with you each and every day that we spend together as a family. 

My heart has been divided between two men yet it has never felt more whole.

Now let’s sneak up stairs and get some sleep!

Love, 

Katie

The End of Law School

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He did it!

As of 10:30 p.m. last night Ryan finished his last final (in Income Tax, gross),

Ryan is officially done with law school!

He is now enjoying a peaceful sleep. One that he has been looking forward to since 2011.

After 4 years of blood, sweat, and tears (well no blood) he is done. After hearing “I can’t do this anymore!” or “Why did I sign up for this” countless times, he made it! And our marriage made it.

When we first started dating and Ryan casually mentioned he was in his first year of law school and hinted to how much stress he would be under and how he wouldn’t be able to commit as much time to a relationship as most women would like.

I sat there and smiled and naively thought, “No problem! I really value my alone time! This will work out great!”

Since we started living together in 2012, I’ve mostly only seen my husband on the weekends. 

Not seeing your husband during the week pays a toll. Going home to an empty house and cooking lunch and dinner for a husband you won’t actually see enjoy said meals gets old. Consoling a tired, stressed, and grumpy husband from afar is difficult. Not having a husband have time to console you in return is hard. I wanted so much to make things easier for him and I tried my best, but there was only so much I could do. Some days felt never-ending and I didn’t know if we’d make it.

But we made it. 

No more 19 hour days! He’ll soon get to lose sleep due to something else, a baby.

It’s been a long journey. Three years ago it felt like this day would never come. I started counting down the days to graduation about 740 days ago. It seemed like an eternity away. Yes, this was the only life we knew together, but I couldn’t stop dreaming of doing normal couple things like talking about our days over dinner, going to happy hour, being able to kiss each other goodnight and having weekends where school work was not on the agenda.

We tried to laugh during the hard times and tell ourselves that someday we would look back fondly at this time of our lives. (doubtful)

We sacrificed our time and our money. Pinching pennies whenever we could. Cooking up cheap casseroles and budget shopping while also trying to schedule and save up for date nights and getaways to make sure our relationship was a priority. We also could not have done this without the emotional support of our families. (and thank you for always having me for dinner and always wiping away my stress tears, Mom and Dad!)

I’m so incredibly proud of him. He’s been tested time and time again but has never given up. He’s pulled off amazing grades and extracurricular activities while also excelling at his job. 

But before we get too excited, there’s still much to do.

May 21: The official graduation! And time to start worrying about the couple hundred thousand dollars taken out in student loans. 

May 29: Ryan’s last day at his job. He’s quitting to study for the bar exam full time, making us a one income family for the summer.

July 29: Ryan takes the Bar Exam!

August 1: We celebrate the end of the bar exam by heading off to NC for a family beach vacation.

September 1: Ryan starts his new job in Delaware.

Oh and because we love a challenge, let’s not forget:

Mid-September: We welcome Baby Mac into the world!

Late October: Move with a newborn to be closer to Ryan’s new job. 

The wild ride continues, but I’m so glad this milestone has been reached. This is the start of a brand new chapter for us. Congrats, Ryan! I’m so proud of you!

On to bigger and better things!

 

Happy 30th Birthday, Ryan!

Tomorrow is Ryan’s 30th Birthday! We’ll be busy celebrating with family, so I wanted to share his annual Birthday letter today:

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Dear Ryan,

Happy Birthday my sweet husband! Aren’t you lucky, a Saturday for your big 3 0!

This year I’ve watched you grow so much.

As you closed out your twenties, I witnessed you getting more patience and confidence and take the fast track to accomplishing your dream of graduating law school and working hard at your job. I never thought I’d be able to take on another person’s dreams and goals like I do with you. I’m honored to stand by your side and fight with you. And in return you stood by me through lots of tears this year as we worked together to become parents.

Your 30th year is going to be so eventful! Graduating law school! Quitting your job! Moving! Taking the bar exam! Starting a new job in a new state! And finally, becoming a father!

One of your most favorite things to say is, “I’m just taking it all in”. 

This year there is going to be so much to take in!

You’ll be saying goodbye to law student Ryan and hello to lawyer Ryan and daddy Ryan. I can’t wait to see you growing into those new roles. 

It’s funny how for years finishing school and parenthood seemed so far in our future but now that it’s upon us it simply feels like our life is overflowing. Like this is how it was always meant to be. We are surrounded by so much change, energy, and life. And I’m just going to sit here with you and take every last ounce of it in. 

This is going to be a year to remember and a great kick off to you joining my in the thirties club. Life is good and I hope to keep celebrating all the moments, big and small, with you. 

Happy Birthday, Ryan! Cheers to another year of you!

xoxo Katie

 

Ryan’s New Career Plan

It’s been a long week so I thought I’d share a little fun on this Friday:

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So the other day, over drinks, Ryan started enthusiastically talking about taking a new path in life. Here was the enlightening conversation:

Ryan: Maybe I should quit law school and open up a brewery.

Katie: uh huh…

Ryan: I can make beer for a living and name them after my favorite TV characters.

Katie: 

Ryan: There would be a Ryan Hardy Ale from The Following. and the Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead. But, I’d just call it The Rick. It would taste like regular beer when you first drink it, but then it will change after a while into a different flavor.

Katie:

Ryan: Like a zombie changing. You know?

Katie: Sounds like a great plan…

Anybody ready to invest in this business venture?!

I hope you all had a good week and thank you for all your support and feedback on my blogging post. I loved reading all of your comments. 

We’re headed off for a weekend away in the Shenandoah Valley in VA. The trip was my Christmas gift to Ryan. We’re looking forward to a weekend of relaxation, reading in front of the fireplace, winery and brewery touring, cavern exploring, and overall coziness.

I’ll be taking off from my Think Positive Monday post. But follow along on Instagram for fun trip pics!

When Marriage is Hard

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When is marriage hard? Always. 

I think we are usually ashamed to admit when marriage is tough. I know I am. 

It’s not like I didn’t know this before diving into marriage. It’s not like I want to throw the towel in. It’s not that I don’t believe in marriage. 

I wouldn’t trade in my marriage for anything. Even on the days when I have red moments and all I think I want to do is be alone. 

But the fact is, marriage is hard. It’s one of the biggest risks you will ever take in life. Putting together two people from two different backgrounds for life with two different ways of dealing with conflict – it’s kind of crazy right? But with that crazy comes an unfathomable beauty….that sometimes gets lost in dark times.

Ryan and I have a hard time while he is gone at school and while under a lot of stress.  The past couple of weeks I have broken down to a girlfriends about marriage troubles. Every single one said she had been there. Here, I thought I was the weak one. That I was all alone in my troubles. There is comfort in knowing that we are not alone and I think we can all learn from one another. 

So,why don’t we share our hardships?

The moments where we feel unheard, misunderstood. When we just want to be selfish and not put the spouse first. When the other person surprises us and we feel like we don’t know them at all. 

It’s so much easier to share the good. To brag about your perfect weekends and the over the top romantic gestures. Sometimes you want to show everyone that you are OKAY and la-di-da ain’t love GRAND!

Truth: Ryan and I fight.

Of course we fight about countless stupid things that all cohabitating couples fight over:

The fact that there are 6 pairs of his shoes in the front entry way and I nearly break my neck carrying in the groceries. We fight that I don’t properly rinse of the dishes before loading them in the dishwasher. We fight when it takes 30 minutes to choose which movie to watch after a long Saturday. He wants to kill me when I leave 6 empty water glasses on my bedside table and I will scream if he squeezes the middle of the toothpaste tube again!

The silly things like that we usually end up laughing over. But there are the bigger issues too. The big choices, the dreams we sometimes have to sacrifice, the times when money is tight, sleep is nill, and hopes are squashed. The fights that lead to us asking ourselves, “Are we making the right choices?” The days that end in a big fiery ball of fury where every wrong word is said and you don’t think you have any more tears to cry. 

When you are stressed and feeling down, who is the first person you generally vent to or show anger towards? The spouse. Ryan and I are both guilty of pushing each other away in times of stress and sadness. Life is an ongoing lesson and I’m forever grateful to have Ryan as my co student for this education. But like all good students, we make mistakes along the way. 

Marriage brings out the worst and the best in me. It’s only been a short time, 1 year and 4 months, but it has taken me on an amazing journey. We’ve both changed since marriage, and for the good. I’m more humble, giving, selfless, loving, and hopeful because of my marriage. The crazy emotions in marriage are the same ones that make it absolutely beautiful. 

After the darkness descends, I always look at Ryan and know that although every choice we make may not be the best, I made the right choice in marrying him. We choose each other. Every day. Even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.  

Love can do amazing things, but that doesn’t make the dark days any less numbered. 

It’s okay to admit marriage is hard. There should be no fear in sounding as if you have any less love for you spouse in doing so. 

As I grow older, the more and more I learn how small this world is. Let’s share our stories and grow together. If you are going through tough times, even ones that last a day,  you are not alone. 
  

An Interview With My Husband (men say the darndest things)

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After seeing Maeg from The Modern Tulip post this fun and silly interview with her husband I just knew I had to participate.

I talk about my husband, Ryan a lot but we don’t really ever get to see things from his perspective that often. So today he’s getting his chance to shine by answering a few very important questions:

Me: What is the name of my blog?
Ryan: A Beautiful Little Adventure

Me: What do I typically write about?
Ryan:  Either food recipes or reflections on life

Me: What’s a popular fashion item for women right now?
Ryan:  Seriously? Um…Um…jeggings? (Barf Ryan) I have no idea. That’s what I see all the girls wearing in Center City Philadelphia all day. Isn’t that what they’re called? (let it be known that I do not own a pair of jeggings)

Me: Why do women go to the bathroom together?
Ryan: To talk and gossip 

Me: What do you know about Pinterest?
Ryan:  It’s a place where people post different idea about things, anything you can possibly think of is on there, like all the meals you cook for me or craft you want to do. 

Me: If you could have any job what would it be?
Ryan: A weather guy in California, because the majority of my job would be sitting outside saying, it’s sunny, it’s warm and they get paid a whole lot of money to be on TV for like a minute. And it’s one of the only professions that you can be absolutely wrong  but still keep your job. That or get paid to sleep all day. (wow he’s really thought this through)

Me: What about me?
Ryan: Most definitely a mom. Or  an author or the executive producer of Teen Mom 2. (I have no idea where the producer idea came from other than the fact that I love watching Teen Mom 2 haha)

Me: What’s the best place to shop for women?
Ryan:  J Crew outlet because the real store is too expensive. Also Old Navy because it’s affordable and you can’t go wrong with basic generic stuff.

Me: What does YOLO stand for?
Ryan:  You only live once.

Me: What About OOTD?
Ryan: Am I supposed to know this?  I have absolutely no idea.

Me: What is our favorite thing to do together?
Ryan: Go on long weekends or day trips. 

Me: What do I do when I’m home alone?
Ryan:  Cook, watch all the girl TV shows that I don’t like to watch. Clean. Blog. 

Me: What is my favorite activity?
Ryan: Reading

Me: What do women keep in their purse?
Ryan: wallet, receipts, tampons, little make up things, pepto bismal, sunglasses, endless pit of other stuff

Me: And what do you do when you’re home alone?
Ryan: Go CRAZY! No. I watch tv shows like The West Wing and The Wire and Family Guy, pick up around the house, and sleep. 

Me: What’s my favorite accessory?
Ryan: Big necklaces and bangles. 

Me: What celebrity would you let me have a free pass with?
Ryan: Leonardo DiCaprio because I know how much you love him, maybe that will help him win an Oscar. (Too cute Ryan, too cute)

Me: What celebrity would you like to have a free pass with?
Ryan: Crap now I have to think of one. Jennifer Anniston. (This kind of shocks me)

Me: What’s an acceptable amount to spend on a makeup item?
Ryan: $10. (yikes, don’t look at my Sephora bills!)

Me: What’s an acceptable amount to spend on a dress?
Ryan: $200. (Wow, good to know! Let is be known that the only dresses I’ve bought over $150 were for wedding related events. After I told him that he said, “I take it back! I take it back!”)

Me: What is your favorite trait about me, not physical?
Ryan: I love that you’re always optimistic and that you’re always reminding me that life is an adventure and to not let the bad overwhelm me and to not lose sight of the big picture.

Me: What’s my favorite TV show?
Ryan: Gilmore Girls (Cute that’s one of my top 3! I didn’t even know he knew about it)

Me: Who is a current celebrity “it” couple?   
Ryan: Um. No clue. Can I flip through one of your US Weeklys quick? Um…is Selena Gomez seeing someone these days? (he starts flipping through an Us Weekly) Oh! I got it! Kim and Kanye! (I guess he doesn’t listen when I blabber about this stuff)

Me: Anything else you’d like to say?
Ryan:  Sorry, what? (he was busy still flipping through the Us Weekly) Look it’s Taylor Swift taking her Scottish fold cat out in NYC. (Blank stare) I know how much you love Taylor, so i thought i’d tell you. Is that all the questions? 

xoxo Katie

Birthday Letter to my Husband

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Today is my handsome husband’s birthday. We’re celebrating 29 years of him being present in this world. Isn’t fun that our birthdays are days apart so we can always celebrate together? PS. I still stumble over myself when I use the words “my husband.”. Weird and lovely. On to the celebration:

Dear Ryan,

Each day you inspire me. You wake up and conquer each day with a strong will and determination. I am so grateful for all of the hours, hard work,and sleepless nights you endure for us and our future. Respect and commitment are two actions you live by and I commend that.

You love me far better than I deserve to be loved. Thank you for always finding a way to make me smile.

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Thank you for putting up with me when I’m cranky and tired. Thank you for knowing when I need to take a breather. Thank you for letting me control the remote and radio far more than you get to. Thank you for kissing me goodnight and good morning every day, even when I’m fast asleep.

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Thank you for always cleaning the bathroom and kitchens, always. Thank you for always being game for something new, no matter how silly it seems. Thank you for acting like a huge nerd with me and being my best friend. Thank you for motivating me when I want to desperately give up. Thank you for encouraging me to be me.

Every day I stumble upon a new way to love you. Growing with you is the greatest adventure I can imagine.

happy birthday husband

I can’t wait to celebrate many many more birthdays with you.

All of my love for all of my life,

Katie

 

 

 

You are loved more than you know