Winter Blues

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Pittsburgh in the winter is not exactly easy. I love this city, I love the hills, I love the rivers, I love the different neighborhoods, and the ‘can-do’ spirit of the people who are born and raised here. But let me say it right now, I do NOT love the winters here. Its long, its cold, and its dark. Its hard not to get a little crazy.

The only way to get through it is to embrace it, to get yourself outside, no matter the temperature and try to find something beautiful. It snows most days, never truly sticking to the ground, but it can make the days seem a little more magical.

But recently, with the polar vortex, its made things extra dramatic. And while I’m still working as a nanny, it changes our routines and even the poor little boy is getting restless without our usual afternoon walks. And we most likely have 2-3 more months of this (hopefully without the polar vortex part). So its been challenging. But today came a little ray of hope, mainly because it was freezing (4 degrees) but SUNNY! And I think my cold weather threshold is growing (this I calculated by walking a block without mittens on to see if I could handle it).

So I am doing my best to bear this winter, to let it toughen me up a bit and turn me into a true western Pennsylvanian.

Stay warm.

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Kitchen Inspiration

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I love kitchens. I love standing in the kitchen talking and joking with my husband as we make dinner (usually something frozen from Trader Joe’s that we throw in the oven, let’s just be honest). I love that the kitchen is a place to gather; its where you spend your time preparing meals for friends and baking for special occasions. Continue reading

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The Great American Date

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Tyson and I went out for burgers and ice cream Saturday night. It doesn’t get any more American than that. We went to BRGR (we once asked if its supposed to be pronounced ‘burger’ but were told, no…in fact its meant to be ‘B R G R’…we weren’t hip enough to figure that out on our own) for burgers with ginger beer and shirley temples. And then I took Tyson to Dave And Andy’s which was my favorite ice cream spot while I was a student at Pitt. They are practically famous for their homemade birthday cake ice cream. What do you think makes a great date? Over the years I’ve come to appreciate the small and simple things we do together.

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When The Time Comes

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I’ve been thinking about strength. Not physical strength, something more like strength of character, the emotional or mental strength you need when the time finds you. We’ve all been there. Something happens in life, something challenging, frightening, or sad. And, although it never seems like it in the moment, you muster your strength, soldier on, and get through it. But where does that strength come from? Continue reading

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The History of Love

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On this frigid January day, all I want to do is surround myself with warmth. We closed our indoor shutters to our huge windows to keep the icy air out. Multiple cups of tea have been consumed. And I am now hauled up in our room, where its warmest, going through photos and trying to create a log of quotes that I love. I always seem to remember only a portion of something I’ve read or heard and then can never find it again. So I’d like to start writing them down or bookmarking them so that I have all those beautiful words kept in one place. I came across one of my favorites from a completely wonderful book that I’ve read over and over:

“Even now, all possible feelings do not yet exist, there are still those that lie beyond our capacity and our imagination. From time to time, when a piece of music no one has ever written or a painting no one has ever painted, or something else impossible to predict, fathom or yet describe takes place, a new feeling enters the world. And then, for the millionth time in the history of feeling, the heart surges and absorbs the impact.”  -Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

Hope you are staying warm in this polar vortex. What a lovely, dramatic term.

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Back In The Saddle

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It was a high of 9 degrees today in Pittsburgh. But the windchill made it feel like -5.

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I came home from work and our heat wasn’t working. We are “roughing it out” with our space heater and piles of blankets. Our bedroom is pretty much in the attic of our apartment building so it tends to stay pretty warm as it is. We’ve just made ourselves cozy in our room which feels kind of special, the way making a fort does when you’re little. You do the same things you would normally do, like read or play a game, but doing it inside the fort makes it feel kind of magical. Its not necessarily magical laying in bed with a million blankets and doubling up on sweaters but the fact that its out of the ordinary makes it kind of fun. Continue reading

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