Thursday, December 15, 2011

What I will miss about LA: A photo essay

When I first got the idea to post pictures of things I’d miss when I left Los Angeles – I thought I would struggle coming up with something substantial, and instead be limited to posting photos of the traffic:


The fact that it took me two hours to drive 20 miles over “the hill” on Sepulveda Blvd in order to get to work on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Or, the fact that it can often take over an hour to go to Trader Joe’s if you go anytime other than 10am on Wednesday morning. But, when I started actually compiling a list in my head I found that there was so many things that I will actually, really truly, genuinely miss about the last seven years in The San Fernando Valley.

First of all, I will miss Sweet Butter Cafe:

sweet butter

Actually, I will miss Sweet Butter’s Chai Tea Latte. The best part of this place that it was a mere two miles from my house, AND since it was brand new, the place was never actually crowded (although, this has recently changed). (I guess the word got out).

Then, I will miss Maggie’s playgroup. Actually, I call them my playgroup, but that’s beside the point. More specifically I will miss the fact that we have wine on Thursday evenings while the toddlers play. It really is a perfect way to have playgroup.


Sadly, this is the only picture I have of all of them…taken when they were still babies (around April).

the getty2

More recent, but missing two.

I will also miss my hardwood floors and my rockstar kitchen:

IMG_5260 (2)

I love the quietness of my Bosch dishwasher, and the sheer awesomeness of my Viking stove and prettiness of my Viking oven. I love the unique color of the vintage style of the kitchen tile. And, most importantly, I love that J and I designed it all ourselves. Since my kitchen makeover we have successfully hosted two Thanksgiving dinners for 10 people or more, countless loaves of bread, multiple cakes and a failed cooking experiment or two.

As for my hardwood floors, just look at them. They are a beautiful White Oak, perfect and lovely, and we spent all our wedding money gift to refinish them. (And then later, insurance money, when the mold kicked in!) (And the adorable sleeping baby doesn’t hurt the picture. Cooking with Momma is hard work!)


I will also miss the local park for Casey, and her friends. Most weekdays, we loaded up the stroller, and walked the mile to the nearby park for everyone to run around with a bit of fresh air. The neighbors are wonderful, and I will truly miss all our four-legged furry friends. This is where I caught up on the neighborhood gossip, chased Daisy, and let Casey loose on a squirrel hunt. This being said, I will not miss the tribe of local high schoolers which like to make the park their hotspot spot to smoke weed… 

Park 2011

Finally, I will miss my over-producing lemon tree. The amount of lemons that this tree garnered was amazing: Lemonade, Raspberry Lemonade, Lemon bread, Lemoncello, Strawberry Lemonade, Lemon pasta, salad dressing, the list goes on and on.


I can come up with countless others – Daisy’s Happy Feet dance class, or the local hot dog stand, but I need to cut this off sometime. As it stands, I’ll just keep crossing off the days – only 10 days now! – until we move from Southern California and start a new adventure. Thanks for the memories. 

Thursday, December 08, 2011

On sleeping babies

Daisy & I (and our dog, Casey) are staying with my parents for a few weeks while we transition the move up to Northern California. While J needed to move up north immediately to start his new job, I needed to stay back and finish the semester and help finalize the last of the move.

Daisy has always slept in her crib. From night one. In fact, I can only remember a handful of times she slept with us in our bed. Occasionally for an hour or two in the early morning hours when she was still nursing, but never for a whole night. When we traveled to a hotel or grandparents houses, she always slept in a pack n’ play or portable crib. Until recently. Recently, she has decided that pack ‘n plays are a thing of pure evil. So, during this period of transition she has started sleeping with me. Lately, she has been so thoroughly exhausted from the day that when she falls asleep for the night, nothing can rouse her. After she falls asleep, I transfer her from my dad’s arms to the bed in my childhood room, and I spent an hour or two catching up on emails, grading papers, and talking to J before I tiptoe softly into the bedroom.

I use the flashlight to root around for my pajamas, smother my lips in chapstick, and pull out my book before snuggling up next to my girl. And, last night I snapped a picture to remember this time by.


While Daisy will sleep in her own space, and in her own room once we officially move up north, I have developed a new appreciation for co-sleeping. After taking this snapshot, I crawled in bed with her, tousled her hair, kissed her head and whispered sweet nothings.

I love to smell her freshly washed hair in the middle of the night. I love hearing her wake up and say “hi mamma” – even if its before dawn breaks. I love seeing her little hands clenched around the silk lining of her green blanket. There is, of course, a part of me that very much looks forward to reclaiming a full half bed to myself, and sleeping next to my husband again. But there is an even greater part of me that will miss falling asleep without a baby pressed against my back or nestled into my neck.