Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Life is about to change in so many ways, and—even as a writer—I'm not sure I have all the words to describe the emotional turmoil in my head right now. I suppose it's a mix of panic, terror, nesting, excitement, frustration, and just generally pressed for time.

The good news is we're ticking one thing off our list at a time. This past weekend, Will managed to get our nursery painted. We're going with a nautical theme, so we decided to paint the entire room a stark white with the exception of one wall, which is now a shade navy blue. We have curtains too, which are a cheery apple red. And I went all HGTV on the nursery and told Will in a moment of brilliance that I wanted some real natural rope to use as tiebacks for the curtains. I have no idea how that's going to work, but I have the rope!

This coming weekend, we're doing the first of two hospital tours. My doctor has privileges at both, so while I think I know which one I want to use, I'm going to give both a shot.

We sold Will's two-seater convertible and purchased what I affectionately refer to as a baby mobile—an SUV, which is exactly the type of vehicle I swore I'd never drive way back in my oh-so-cool college days. Not so cool anymore, are ya, Jen?

Irrationally, I'm also worried about travel. Travel has been such a large part of my adult life that I can't imagine not doing it anymore. I love experiencing the history, culture, food, and vibe of a new locale. I've always wanted to give my kids (if we had any) the same joy I get from experiencing this wide world. What if daycare and baby expenses eat up those funds? Will I care? Or will we adjust and find a way around it?

While we still have a lot to do (the mind reels at the to-do list), at least this whole baby thing is feeling more real. What I do miss is my writing. It's fallen to the wayside. I've been assured by my writer friends that the ideas and the desire to write will return. Right now, that feels like a distant memory on a forgotten horizon. I have a book idea or two to return to once the wheels start turning again, so all is not lost!
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Friday, June 15, 2012

It's a...

AVIVIM, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 14:   Israelis releas...

Will and I are thrilled to announce that on May 25th, we discovered we're having a baby boy.

While I have to admit I dreamed of pink dresses and big bows for a redheaded little girl, I'm just as thrilled with the prospect of a potentially ginger-haired boy—once I figure out what to do with one! Having a brother who's almost eight years old than me and a sister who's two and a half years younger, I certainly have more experience with girls than boys. But Will is over the moon with excitement just like any guy would be who dreams of a son. I think he's looking forward to a buddy he can roughhouse with, teach about cars, and banter with about sports.

Almost everyone who knows has asked if we've picked out a name yet. We have, but we're not planning to share it until he's born. Since I have difficulty even choosing dinner from a restaurant menu and am easily swayed by well-meaning (or not) criticism, we've determined it's probably best to keep it quiet since we both love the name. For now, he's just Baby Cook. What I can tell you about his name is that it has a definite European influence. I mean, could it be any other way? :)

I hope he knows how much his parents are looking forward to meeting him.
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

New York, New York

#Chinatown. #nyc #travel #manhattan
Recognize this? It's the #statenisland boardwa...
Lower #Manhattan as seen from #statenisland. #...

Back in May, Will and I traveled to New York City for the first time. At first, he wasn't completely excited about the trip since he'd been in high school (senior trip!), and at the time, it apparently struck him as a dingy, dodgy kind of place. Of course, he was only there for a day or two and didn't really see the parts of the city that I was determined to see. And since we've been to cities all over (London, Paris, Dublin, Monte-Carlo, Nice, Venice, Chicago, San Francisco...) but never New York, I thought it was time to see the Big Apple—especially since I'd never been. So with my reluctant husband's blessing, I started planning the trip way back in February, which is before we knew we were expecting.

As it turned out, New York became a sort of babymoon for us, which made it all the more exciting. Me being the travel planner that I am, I had a whole list of things we needed to do while we were there. But as it usually works out, we were unable to do all of the things on the list, but we did manage to hit the high points! The pictures you see in this post are my Instagram uploads from the trip, and here's a rundown of what we managed to see:

  • Top of the Rock/Rockefeller Center
  • Union Station
  • Times Square
  • Fifth Avenue shopping
  • Staten Island ferry/Staten Island
  • Battery Park
  • Central Park (We rented a boat!)
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Brooklyn Heights Promenade
  • Empire State Building (102nd floor)
  • M&M's World
  • Midtown Comics
  • FAO Schwarz
  • The flagship Apple Store
  • Lombardi's Pizza
  • Chinatown
Perhaps the biggest disappointment on the list was MoMA. Will insisted on going, and since he rarely asks to go to any sort of museum, I gave in knowing it wouldn't be my cup of tea. It wasn't his either. We both walked away wishing we'd opted for a different museum or activity for that morning.

I'm sure I missed some things on that list because we covered a heck of a lot of ground! One of my favorite things was FAO Schwarz. Talk about a kid's dreamland! Amazing store, and it was just how I'd pictured it. I also loved the romantic boat ride we took in Central Park. The afternoon was perfect for it, and we felt as though we had the entire city to ourselves. I am sorry we missed the High Line park, which I really wanted to do. I would also have loved to go neighborhood exploring a bit more and hit some other museums, but with a limited amount of time, it's simply too difficult to hit every single thing on the list without rushing it. And I've traveled enough now to know a trip just isn't enjoyable when you rush through it.

I do want to give props to our hotel, which was Hotel Mela located just a couple of blocks off of Times Square. I found a deal on a room there through TravelZoo, which came with a full breakfast for two every morning at the adjacent French bistro (Saju), two welcome drinks (The Long Room), and an upgraded room. My only two disappointments were that 1) I had to settle for a Diet Coke as my welcome drink and 2) our room didn't have a view.

All in all, it was a fantastic trip. Next time, I want to see a show on Broadway and hit up all the places we missed this time around. Until next time, New York...
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Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Sucker For a Romantic Story

Downtown Honolulu, HI, view from Punch Bowl.
Downtown Honolulu, HI, view from Punch Bowl. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sometimes, if you're lucky, you get to witness the unfolding of a great romantic story to be told for years to come. My good friends K and T are lucky enough to be the owners of one such story. Last week, they left for Hawaii as boyfriend and girlfriend with their families. They returned as husband and wife!

As it so happens, you can apparently propose on a Wednesday evening and have an entire sunset wedding—dress, makeup, hair, photographer, and all!—planned by Sunday. Weddings seem to be as common in Hawaii as they are in Las Vegas, which makes getting married there on a whim pretty easy to do. K and T did it, and I'm sure they'll be telling this story to their grandchildren someday. And me? All I could do is sigh with happiness when I thought about how romantic and special the trip was for them. Their parents were there to witness the event as well as K's sister. Married in paradise without the stress... I can't think of a better way to do it!

Congratulations, you two! You may become the inspiration for a novel one of these days.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Beef Jerky and Buffalo Sauce

Deutsch: selbstgemachtes Beef Jerky aus Rindfl...
Deutsch: selbstgemachtes Beef Jerky aus Rindfleisch English: self made beef jerky made from solid strips of beef (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I'll admit it. I like odd foods. I always have. But it seems to have gotten worse since I've been pregnant! I've always had a love affair with buffalo sauce, but at about week six, I had to have it every day. After that, the craving went away. Now, it would seem I've moved on to beef jerky. And Sprite Zero. Good grief, I wanted a Sprite Zero and beef jerky so badly at work last week.And salt. Anything salty is my friend these days. Now if I could just find beef jerky coated in buffalo sauce...

But I digress.

So what's a girl to do? Nothing at this point except enjoying the snacks in moderation! At least I'm not craving extreme amounts of sugar, right? RIGHT?!
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