Just Write

These past two weekends, we celebrated Mike turning 30: once with friends, and once together-just-us in Philadelphia.  At the risk of throwing him under the bus and totally embarrassing him (sorry, honey), Mike struggled with the number 30 the way I did with the number 25.  Yet to be fair, these last 3 months held a substantial amount of change for us: a surprise pregnancy and an equally shocking loss of said pregnancy, finally selling our first home together, his grandparents victims of a random attack (and are physically fine, yet shaken up), his contracted job coming to an end soon, bidding on a home and not getting it, and finally bidding on a home and getting it.  Add turning 30 to that and you have a beautiful mess of adjustment.

Which brings to me to perspective:

As this is my blog I can’t type for my husband, but in each of the events listed above there existed a bit of panic, desire for things to turn out a certain way, and even a lack of control.  Now on the other side of many of those events life feels less rocky.  But it takes while to get that way, and it doesn’t feel completely smooth yet either.

In the midst of chaos we feel helpless and like nothing we do improves the situation, even though good friends, a glass or three of wine, and Fruity Pebbles do what they can to soothe.  But once you get beyond that time of downtrodden feelings, you can look back and maybe get a glimmer of appreciation for the way things turned out.


For me, in having and loosing a surprise pregnancy it led to many discussions which otherwise had no place in our lives.  When expecting we feared for our finances and put buying a home on hold; all things baby took over.  Then all things not-baby took hold and our savings account turned back into a down payment.  In our loss we found we do want to start a family on the horizon.  And in this odd timing, which a month ago I failed to comprehend, we now can move into a big house, save up a bit and then try our hand at nature again.  Now our bigger place has multiple rooms and more than a dresser drawer for a baby to sleep (although there’s nothing wrong with that, if your situation calls for it), we have a  small yard for our restless dog, we have more than one toilet, too.

We have a forever home, and we move in a week (!).


The other night, before going to bed, Mike turned and said, “I’m glad to be turning 30 and have you, be married to you, and be moving into a new, beautiful home with you.”

It takes time to see things in the light intended.



linking up with Heather for Just Write

Happy Birthday, to my love!

Crowning Victoria Button

Today Mike celebrates 30 years of being alive!!

Happy Birthday Mike!

He’s been an invaluable source of support in the last few months, as we battle through life’s struggles but come out on top. I wouldn’t want to go through hell with anyone else, and likewise celebrate with any other person!

Happy Birthday Mike CrowndVicI hope we celebrate every birthday with as much love and laughter as this one!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband!!!

(and my eldest niece turns 6 today – slow down time – happy birthday to my sweet Eleanor!)

Our Holiday Card



Whatever it is you celebrate, however you celebrate, we’re wishing you everything that is cozy and wonderful!

Merry Everything

from Crowning Victoria!!

Just Louvrely


When we first decided to visit Paris I immediately researched the art collection housed in the The Louvre.  At that point the sheer volume of art overwhelmed me.  After actually going and seeing about a third of the sixteen kilometers, I was sixteenthly overwhelmed!

Gorgeous, stunning, beautiful – there are so many adjectives to describe everything we saw!

Also: stolen.   Think back to the age of colonization and empire expansion.  Larger counties found themselves saying “mine!” and then adding the land/artifacts/art to their collection.  When visiting the British Museum we thought they had sticky fingers in Egypt.  Well, nothing really compares to the Louvre’s display of ancient Greecian, Roman, and Italian sculptures:

Do you see the Venus D’Milo in the background of the photo on the left?  That room was filled to the max with detailed, stone people, much more amazing than skillfully described by me.

At an early age I found myself drawn to art, thanks to a teacher.  I learned of names like El Greco, Degas, Picasso, Cézanne, Dali, and many others.  So when visiting the Louvre I expected to see hoards of things I loved.

I have to say, I didn’t see as pieces I loved or even recognized.  There’s just so much to see, and navigating that museum is not easy, either!  Plus, much of it is old or “classical”, not modern or very recent.

But we saw this lady:

Many warned me that the size of this paining might surprise me.  I actually found the small scale fitting.  Large paintings tend to have much going on, and the Mona Lisa portrays beauty simply.  I dug it.

And after much walking we finally found a few recognizable names like Renoir, Monet, and Degas. I mean, come on, this French museum had to be hiding their acclaimed artists somewhere!

Eventually you just start having fun with the art:

Overall, I’m glad we went and saw the Louvre.  However I think they could learn something from the cliche “quality over quantity.”  (Not to say that the art presented was not amazing, there was just so much freaking art all over the place like some collector just threw up years of history into a giant museum.)   If time permitted, then a trip to the Musée de l’Orangerie allows visitors to gaze at the splendor of  Monet’s Water Lilies.  I guess that will happen on our next trip!

Oh and I leave you with this.

I love everything about this so much:

totally frame worthy.

Paris, Louvre, Art, Love, Us.


How to Beat Jet-lag 101


We arrived in London early last Tuesday morning, which felt more like 3am to us American East Coasters.   Thanks to modern medicine and mini bottles of wine, I found 5 hours of sleep on that plane ride.

Mike’s good buddy, Rob, picked us up and whisked us off to his flat.  Thankfully Rob had to take the day off to spend with us, or else loose his leave in 2013.  We spent the day playing the must. stay. awake. game to beat jet-lag.

When flying ahead of time (the opposite of Back to the Future), here are some things you can do to stay alert mildly coherent until bedtime:

  • meet up with friends you haven’t seen in 4 years (including new baby!) for lunch
  • Eat, a lot, including an English Breakfast because, duh, you’re in London.






  • caffeinate highly, including but not limited to an Americano since no one outside of America can really make “American style coffee,”  red bull, more coffee, and something called “Go Fast” which we assumed was the equivalent of a 5-hour-energy drink but tasted of overly sweetened koolaid
  • buy Jaffa Cakes, a whole tube of them, and eat them with reckless abandon (because they are just that good and not available in the states). Notice the laser eyes in this picture.  This is totally normal when adjusting to jet-lag.  Pschew! pschew!

  • Go to a mall and walk around, a lot.
  • Go to a department store and buy a gift for the wedding you’re attending that weekend (aka the whole reason we traveled to London).
  • Visit a local grocery in the mall (Um, hi, Marks & Spencers store needs to come to the states! It’s like a mini-Target or a huge Trader Joes where you can buy leggings) and buy many more random food items.
  • Go back to the department store to buy more random items, including gifts for the person watching your cats back home.
  • Go to a pub! Any ever notice that we have no true Pubs in the states? Sure we have places that try to be pubs, but really never succeed.
  • Have a beer with friends, at said pub.
  • Take many pictures, because making your brain work means staying awake.
  • Side note, do you see what these boys are looking at???  Boys… I shake my head at you.

  • Go to the bathroom wherever you are and take more pictures.
  • Finally, pass out and get ready to head to Paris (or where-ever you hope to find yourself the next day)!