This is a post for October 13th

Happy Birthday

Dear Simmy,

Happy Birthday! Your birthday was October 13th, I realize that. But today is when I’m posting your birthday blog. So it goes…

And so it goes with you. Another year to add to the memory books. Another year to prove to the world (to yourself?) that you’re blessed with love. Another year to examine your strengths, settle with your weaknesses. Another year to share your gifts–to share your heart.

I am beyond words with you sometimes. Four years that I’ve known you and everyday you surprise me. Everyday I look at you with wonder and surmise that ah-ha! Today I have at last figured you out. And then you go and do/say/write something that makes me again sit with awe. You inspire me.

The world is a better place with you in it. The world is richer, more colorful with your presence. The world is kinder, more forgiving, more empathic, more deliberate, more spirited with you in it.

I am because you are.

I love you. Happy birthday.

xo

Natanya

One Year Anniversary

Today marks our one year wedding anniversary. wedding-5I’m a mess of emotions today not only because this last month of pregnancy has been the most highly charged emotionally, but because I nearly forgot our anniversary. Ya, I’m that guy.

I wish that I could say I had something elaborate planned out for our weekend…A getaway, a party, a present even. But the truth is, in some ways I think it’s a little bit wonderful that we have been so engaged in our life together that we almost missed this date and occasion.

And of course, I would be remiss not to state the obvious – at least for me: Where has the time gone?!

wedding-15I still walk into a thrift store and feel a pull to look at the mug section. Wasn’t I just completing the seating plan last week? How can it be that a year has passed us by already? And there’s the clue I think. It hasn’t passed us by so much as we have been an active part of seeing it through.

Since the wedding we’ve honeymooned, changed jobs, moved, gotten pregnant, moved again, made new friends, explored our new community, gone on vacation to Jamaica, and braved the coldest winter I’ve ever known. A lot has happened this year for us and it makes sense that time would feel fleeting among the hubbub.

Most importantly, in this one year I have grown closer to my husband. We have shared so many hours in the car, so many hard choices, so many obstacles, so many quiet-daily-wins. We have become more patient with each other, more understanding. And we have each become even more in awe of this person across the table. This incredible individual who said, You. I choose you. You are my person. And made it so with a wedding one year ago.

I am so eager for what lies ahead for us this year and so damn excited about becoming a family of three in a few weeks time. What might next June look like I wonder?

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Happy first anniversary, Simeon, I love you.

Related: Wedding Planning DIY | Engagement Album | Wedding Video | On Changing My Last Name

All photos by Heather Elizabeth Photography

A dozen ways to say I love you

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One of my words for this year is “Generous” and I’ve been thinking lately about all the ways I find myself doling out the love to the special people in my life. Generously loving. That’s the theme of this year. As I brainstormed even more fun ways to express my love for my partner and friends, I thought you might enjoy this list too! So, here are a random 12 ways to show your affection to someone special in your life. Try one, or try them all!

♥ Send snail mail.

♥ Buy them flowers for no reason.

♥ Share treats. Extra cookies will do.

♥ Leave a love note on their wind shield.

♥ Use your phone to actually call them just to say hi.

♥ Have their favorite foods ready when they come to visit.

♥ Make them a CD of tunes that remind you of them and send it to them.

♥ Or better yet, make a CD of tunes you want to dedicate to them and play it for them in person.

♥ Compliment them on something you wouldn’t ordinarily compliment them on.

♥ Make a pocket-sized scrapbook of some of your favorite adventures together and give it to them.

♥ Plan your next great adventure together over a pot of coffee or cup of tea. Your treat.

♥ Ask them what they need most in that moment. You might be surprised…xoxo

 

5 things I’m loving now

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♥ Loving the band Milk Carton Kids (Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan). Their song Snake Eyes always pops up in my Pandora rotation. I’m a fan.

♥ Free coffee at work. I love getting into my office, hanging up my coat, putting away my bag, washing out my mug, filling it up with coffee and settling down to email. This small ritual announces the start to the morning and gives me a chance to say hello/good morning to my work mates. I love rituals and this has become a lovely way to begin the day.

♥ Simeon took a day off last week to spend up in Vermont with me. So happy to have more time. Being apart is hard. Really hard. Harder than I expected. So any extra time together is magic.

♥ I have a clue as to what I’ll be doing for work this Spring. What a relief! (More explanation to come)…

♥ J.Crew wedding sales! A recent 25% off sale store wide meant my ladymaids got a good deal on their wedding duds. Grateful the girls got a chance to score quality for less money.

This weekend has been so delightful so far. Karaoke, sleeping in, fresh brewed coffee, a long walk in the woods, home popped popcorn with peanut butter and honey, movie watching with my sweetie, inspiration galore, snuggles with the kitty, celebrating family, and now off to a day filled with the best kinds of friends. I’m so lucky.

Have a good one!

 

Photo above taken by my friend, Sage Ober-Rock. And I wholeheartedly agree. On another note, big love to Sage on getting married this weekend!!

Our 2013 holiday cards

THIS was the year! The first year we made our “family” holiday cards.

I’ve been reticent to create a holiday card in the past for two reasons. First, I never felt right about sending a holiday card because it seemed too Christmas-like in style and design. I love Christmas cards and I think they are wonderful but as a non-Christian it’s not exactly up my alley. Second, after being with Simeon for little over a year last season I thought maybe it was time to start this little tradition. But neither of us had started seriously talking about marriage and it seemed premature to send out something from the both of us. Plus I sort of ran out of time to think of an alternative. So, no 2012 card.

2013 was different. First it dawned on me that all the current iterations of delightful New Year’s cards means that we could still partake in the holiday card tradition. I’m totally smitten with Minted – their selection is really on trend and the options are seemingly endless that everyone is sure to find something that suits their style.

The other change this year is that Sim and I are betrothed! So, although the cards are still coming from the Green/Bittman household I’m satisfied that our engagement counts as the un-official start to our family unit.

As soon as I saw these cards I called it done. We recently moved to Vermont so the card copy was perfect, plus I just really loved the typography.

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Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas to all you out there celebrating!

PS how cute is Simeon in his chef’s jacket? 😉

Mary Oliver

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We’ve added a new member to our little family. Not a kid, a cat!

I know, I know. Just what the Internet needed, another four more cat photos. Well, Blogland, may I introduce… Mary Oliver*. The sweetest, most affectionate, little lover of a cat I have ever known! She’s absolutely perfect for us and is settling into her new home nicely.

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So far, her favorite things to do are snuggle, give us kisses, and stare at the wall. She LOVES to curl up next to my chest or face and fall asleep with me. In fact, whatever I do she wants to do too. I’d say she’s a “me too” kinda gal. Eating? Me too! Using the bathroom? Me too! Sleeping? Me too! Giving smooches to my face? Me too!

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Though Sim and I have always imagined we get a pet (or two) eventually, we finally made the decision when Simeon began working 5 days per week down in Connecticut at his new gig. Though Mo is no Simeon, at least she keeps me company in his absence – which is absolutely doing the trick. Without little Mo around, those first couple weeks were super rough. But her sweet demeanor and silly cat antics have kept me feeling light hearted and full of love.

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It was a cold snowy Saturday when we drove up to the nearest shelter to meet the cats available for adoption. It took about 15 seconds for us to realize she was the One. But we took a few days to think it over and make sure we were prepared for the commitment. By Tuesday we knew. I drove back up during my lunch hour and picked her up. She’s ours and we can’t believe our good luck. Boy do we love her so.

*named after my favorite poet.