Thursday, August 30, 2012

40 Weeks: We Finally Meet

To My Beautiful Baby:

Monday night we soaked in the bear-claw tub with soft country music playing and the room lit via candles. I wept. I know you heard and felt my tears. One part selfishness, two parts fear, and three parts love.

One part selfishness: For the past 10 months, I have had you all to myself. Every stretch, kick, elbow, flutter. All mine. I have watched you grow with each passing doctor appointment. Heard your sweet heartbeat from the outside and felt your hiccups on the inside. And I just wasn’t quite ready to share you with the whole wide world. I don't know that I still am...I just want to keep you warm & safe.

Two parts fear: Fear of the unknown and fear of not being good enough. I am telling you right now that as your mommy, I will make mistakes. Probably every day. But they will be out of love. I vow to be the best parent that I can be at all times. Believe in me and believe that I am trying my best. Always.

Three parts love: Love for the miracle of life, love for the journey of pregnancy, and most of all love for you. I have not even tried to fathom the amount of love my heart will carry for you once we meet today. I knew whatever I thought my heart might feel would be blown out of the water in real life. The love between a mom and her first born is something special. I know because I am the first born and even though Sammy & I don’t always agree, I know she loves me no matter what. When we don’t get along, when we don’t see eye to eye, remember that I love you. With each passing day, I will love you stronger and stronger. You have my heart. Now and forever.

I love you,


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Weekend Treats: Last One as a Party of Three

*party of three includes baby Beau of course*

We spent our last weekend as non-parents indulging in the little things. Things that might take a bit more effort once we welcome our bundle of joy. And things that we often take for granted. Plus we had   a splash of adventure of course.

The New Haven Open wrapped up so we enjoyed the finals suite style with A/C, yummy treats, and refreshing drinks.

Speaking of yummy treats...I only have a few more days to blame my sweet tooth and cravings on Baby T so I have been taking full advantage. Note the cinnamon rolls and the stellar bbq meal from Memphis Mae's.

Little Beau got skunked in our backyard Friday night so Ryan had to perform Operation Emergency Bath on him. Poor guy was soaked in a baking soda/hydrogen peroxide/dish detergent mixture. Then we had to also get him a faded haircut. Never a dull moment on the weekend.

And last, we got to see sweet snapshots of Bishop the night before and the first day of preschool. He was such a good boy and loved it! Collins wanted to be just like her big brother so she sported her own backpack :)

Hope your weekend was fantastic!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Music Mondays

Startin' off the week with a little country...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fifty Shades Darker: A Book Review

past: having existed or taken place in a period before the present

We all have one. It shapes who we are, what our future can become. For many, our past gives us strength~ a flashback of what we've overcome and a vision for where we're going. For others, our past haunts us, becoming a henderance and something we struggle to let go of.

To move past (no pun intended) mine, I wrote 25 Before 25. It helped me to move on from the mishaps and relish in the fortunes. I admit that my downfall has been getting over Ryan's past. No woman, especially this woman, wants to think/feel second best nor know too much about her man's intimate relationships.

So why would Ana Steele be any different? In Fifty Shades Darker, the intricate Christian Grey's past begins to haunt his promising future. As the love story between the two evolves, his dom-sub lifestyle threatens to tear them apart and even puts their lives at risk. With the imbalanced Leila who continues to ask "what does Ana have that I don't?" and the ever-intruding Mrs. Robinson insisting that she know Christian best, Ana and her fifty shades fight to grow in their love for one another. Will it all overwhelm the inexperienced Miss Steele or can the new Mr. Grey charm her into marrying him?

Less about the kinky sex and more about a dark, steamy past, Fifty Shades Darker proves to be just as mind-blowing and page-turning as its prequal.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

39 Weeks: A Very Cozy Watermelon & The Silver Lining

A Cozy Watermelon:

While Baby T is getting smarter by the minute (according to the Bump), his/her mommy is getting more and more impatient. Aside from the usual swelling of the ankles, lack of consistent sleep, and out-of-control nesting, I have developed a severe love for all things pumpkin but never seem to actually be hungry. Hmm odd combo.

I am thanking my lucky starts that the NHO is taking place this week giving me a much needed distraction. If I had to be a couch potato in this agony, I might just deliver this child myself. I am very serious about this.

The Silver Lining:

My mom arrives today! Woo hoo! She will no doubt have me hustling around for dinner and shopping which should evict her grand-baby sooner rather than later. Hey, a girl can hope right?!

Due date and coincidentally eviction day is exactly one week from today. 7 days. The end is actually insight finally. Yes my doctor, who has a soft spot for hysterically crying pregnant women, has agreed to induce me on my due date should my stubborn child refuse to evacuate prior to the 30th of August.

So for the next week, I have decided to indulge in all of the things I like to do such as get manis & pedis, go to the movies, play tennis (crazy I know), read, watch scary TV shows, go shopping, frequent Starbucks for skinny iced mochas with whipped cream of course, etc. How does that saying go, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em"? Which is exactly what I plan to do. My child is cozy & content in my womb so I might as well be as cozy & content with him/her in there.

Cheers to my last week of being baby-less!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Calling All Crafty Bloggers!!!!

Handmade By Me For You~Giveaway Gift Guide

We are looking for bloggers that make handmade items,
that would like to participate in a fall event for promoting your blog,
your business and handmade DIY items.

Each blogger will provide a prize retail value of $25.00 for each prize you
offer and the same if you have more than one prize.

The cost of the event is $5.00 for administration fee, this include {3 Links
and to be entered into the "Fall
Crafter's Gift Guide" }

that will be visible on the
front page of Oh! My Heartsie and

Live Laugh Love To Shop's Blogs
throughout the entire event.

More details are on the

Giveaway Date: September 13th at 12:01 AM Est / 10:00 PM CST / 8:00 PM PST
Signups will end: September 10th

If this sounds like a Handmade Giveaway you are interested
in fill our sign-up form to reserve your place for this event.

More Details on Signup Form

{ Signup Form }

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Haven Open at Yale

I started working professional tennis tournaments 7 years ago. Oddly enough, when I ventured to Miami for grad school in 2005, while my major was Sport Admin, a career in tennis never crossed my mind (despite being such a huge part of my life). Enter divine intervention and common sense and I had my first gig with the NASDAQ-100.

IMG Tennis led me to the William Sisters Tour, Advanta Championships, Bank of the West Classic, & now the New Haven Open. Everywhere I've lived, I have been fortunate enough to find a tennis tournament to be a part of. And I adore them. All of them.

The NHO held at the prestigious Yale kicked off Friday with qualifying as well as the US Open Playoff Series on our outer courts. Perfect weather was ordered for the weekend and it operated for the most part aside from a few morning showers on Saturday. By Sunday, the crowds were hopping in part thanks to Aetna's Kids Day and the beginning of main draw tennis. Lined with vendor booths including Green Mountain Coffee (handing out delicious ice coffee samples), Molton Brown & their beautified products, and Lexus' car display with ping pong challenges as well as delicious treats of Crepes, crab cakes, and Ben & Jerry's frosty treats, the weekend proved to be a huge success. Oh plus world class tennis from 5 of the Top 10 WTA players!

I'm looking forward to a full-week of more tennis, entertainment, and fun on & off the courts! If you live in the CT/NY area, be sure to stop by for a day or night of excitement!

working 9 to 5 at 38 weeks

Laura Robson and the kids doing the draw

staying at the New Haven Lawn Club

Monday, August 20, 2012

25 Before 25: Officially A Published Author!

I began writing this book back in 2007 as I turned 25 years of age. It was a very low point in my life filled with a lot of pain and heartache, self pity and destruction, anger and sadness. The purpose of the book was for me to heal through writing out my thoughts and feelings. Putting them all on paper to rid them from my mind and heart. What happened was a four year long project that exposed myself by being honest, practicing humility, and gaining back my strength.

So emerged from my efforts came 25 Before 25, a guide for women of 25 things all women should know before turning 25. It is broken down into the 5 main categories of a woman's life: self, sisters, significant others, sex, and stuff. Compiled using my own life experiences, a touch of common sense, and the grace of God, the finish product is finally here.

In June, after much discussion with Ryan and planning with my publishing team, I took the plunge and hit the ground running. My team at Create Space and I worked diligently for several months with editing, layout, design, PR, marketing, and advertising to get 25 Before 25 where it needed to be before launch time. I am so proud to announce that we have completed the task, and I am officially a published author!

The goal all along has been to heal from within while (hopefully) providing new insight to women navigating their own journey through life. I hope that each of you will take the time to read my story and allow it to touch your life in some way. For my male readers, I encourage you to pick the book up for a friend or better yet read it yourself so you can get a peek into the female mind, heart, & soul.

To purchase a copy and to learn more about 25 Before 25, check out the website by clicking here!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Welcoming Baby Tripp Bond

One of the best things about having 5 best friends is that you are always sharing a big life event with someone. Good or bad. It makes the good, better, and the bad, easier.

Like when Kimmie & I got engaged only a few months apart and talked wedding plans over wine for days. Or when Marquette & I were suffering from post-traumatic break-ups so we jumped shipped and moved to Chi-town together. So it was only fitting that JL & I find out we were pregnant days apart in December. In fact, she quite demanded that I take a pregnancy test.

We have spent the past 9 1/2 months conversing about baby names, prenangcy symptoms, vicious hormones & mood swings, precious kicks & hiccups, lack of patience, insatiable cravings, uncomfortable maneuvering, sleepless nights, and the slow decent into labor. Soon we will discuss giggles, feeding stories, "baby's first moments", little personalities, routines, toddler tendencies, pre-schools, parenting tips, so forth and so on.

But for now, we will all six smile in awe of the sweet little boy that JL gave birth to on Wednesday evening: Dennis Davis Bond III also known as Tripp. He is 8 lbs of preciousness wrapped up in mounds of love from his mom, dad, and 5 glowing aunts.

I can't wait to join her in motherhood very shortly and of course, I am looking forward to meeting that adorable little guy soon!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

38 Weeks aka My Failed Attempts at Inducing Labor & Endless Crafting

Myths About Inducing Labor

  • walking
  • spicy foods
  • exercise
  • sex
  • castor oil (I draw the line somewhere)
  • eating pineapple
  • riding in a bumpy car
  • talking to your baby
  • body massage

Those crossed off the list indicate ways in which I have attempted *key word* to induce my own labor. In case you haven't caught on, I am still pregnant meaning that I am further contributing evidence that these are indeed only cruel, cruel myths for impatient, uncomfortable, anxious pregnant women.

Last week I walked and exercised every single day. This week I have put my working out into overdrive by being intense with my inner strength class, eliptical time, tennis games, and pregnancy exercises. Riding shotgun with Ryan on the NY roads is basically like riding in a constant bumpy car so *bonus* points for me there. I talk on the regular to this child about gracing us with his/her presence. I've tried the sweet mommy approach, but maybe I need to bring out the serious parent tone of voice. Is it too early for that? Monday I went for a massage and begged the masseuse to touch every single trigger point on my body in hopes of evicting my child.

Aside from operation induce labor, I have also been crafting up a storm. All of my nesting has transformed into holiday and gift crafting. Yes, I have concocted up Ryan's anniversary gift for November as well as his Valentine's Day gift for 2013. I have bought nearly all of the Christmas gifts for those on our list. I have wrapped birthday gifts for family and friends through the rest of the year.

And let's not forget about the elaborate fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorations that I have purchased, labeled, crafted, and boxed up to be scattered around the house. Plus our fall decorations may have been out since last week because, let's face it, I can only sit still watching Law & Order: SVU episodes for so long. At this rate, I will have next year's holiday shopping complete if this baby doesn't get here soon!

Please, please, please come meet your mommy and daddy little Baby Thompson!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Weekend Treats: Life's Edition

We have gotten in quite a routine these past few weekends. Friday evenings consist of lots of couch time and Olympics followed by sleeping well into Saturday late morning. *Take advantage right new moms?* Then Saturday we usually piddle around with breakfast & coffee as we watch more Olympics. Ryan helps himself to a few little house projects, thank heavens we are over the big ones finally, and I nest away with various crafts. We end the day with a dinner or outside excursion and of course late night Olympic fare. Sunday we get some rest with a side of church and home shopping/browsing. Then we grill out on the deck and enjoy the cool evening breeze & our Hudson River view.

Village Social, Mount Kisco

to die for peanut butter pie

This weekend was no different as we partook in our usual schedule. Saturday night's dinner consisted of Village Social in Mount Kisco complete with burgers, sweet potato fries, and peanut butter pie. We attempted to walk around the Westchester Mall (my back was in excruciating pain so unfortunately we had to skip the movie Ryan had planned) which lasted all of 5 minutes before I begged to just go home. You know this girl is severely discomforted when she can't even manage to walk around the mall :(

St. Augustine's Church, Ossining 

Sunday we were enlightened by a beautiful sermon about life & faith. Monseigneur Franco rarely holds back his beliefs and can be forceful, but he always makes his valid point and has a way of checking us parishioners. 

*Warning: I am not about to embark on a political debate rather I am relaying the good message that was spoken to me Sunday*

We, the United States, spent $2.6 billion to send a space creature named Curiosity to the planet of Mars in hopes of finding life there. Our findings concluded that, indeed, life was/had been present. Now this is all fine and dandy, but it makes you stop and wonder how we can be so fascinated by life on Mars, yet we deny life in countless ways here on Earth. We (as a people, not myself) believe abortion is justified as is euthanasia and the death penalty. Frankly I don't understand it. Where has our faith in life, here on our own planet, failed us? Just something for you to ponder...

the gorgeous view from our church

without FAITH, we do not have LIFE

How was your weekend?!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Music Mondays

dearest baby of mine...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey: A Book Review

I know, I know. I am a little late to this book party. I was informed of this scandulous piece back in February via one of my Westchester "moms" as I refer to them. I was knee deep in baby books and couldn't quite find the time to shop for the book much less read it. Every now and again I would see the others (in the series) at an airport bookstore, but Fifty Shades was nowhere to be found. So a month ago while at Barnes & Noble, I spotted the novel and thought I'd see what all the hype was about.

I have no shame and began reading it while working out the week before our vacation. I continued it while in the car then sat poolside (with a rare break in the Collins Family Olympics) to sneek a few chapters. I finally finished it over the weekend in between the 2012 London Games highlights.

Here's my take:

Perhaps I missed the arousal effect that so many spoke about; maybe because of my own lack of experience coupled with being 9 months pregnant. I'm not sure. With that part out of the way, I took it for a twisted love story exploiting the same self-doubt and insecurties that we all face while navigating our way through a new relatationship. The battles existing between male & female brains. The bravery & honesty that comes from hiding behind a computer screen or text message. The awkward nature of becoming intimate, learning what makes the other person uncomfortable/comfortable. The ever-lingering word: MORE.

I certainly enjoyed reading the novel and all of its intricacies. The human mind is a powerful yet deadly tool for many, and I love being engaged in a writer's mind as he/she tells a story. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy to see why a one Christian Grey is the way he is and how he came to be that way as well as hearing more wit from the fierce Ana Steele.

Did you read this book? If so, what did you think?

Friday, August 10, 2012

A New York Baby Shower

In the first week of moving to New York, I just happened to be at the right place at the right time to meet Ms. Abbi, the tennis guru of Westchester County. She didn't even hesitate to welcome me into her community and life. The rest, as they say, is history. 

the fabulous hostesses: Abbi & Kim

Wednesday afternoon, Abbi & Kim (her neighbor who I have become fast friends with) hosted a beautiful baby shower for me. With an intimate, sit-down lunch setting, we enjoyed fresh tuna, shrimp, salad, and veggies. Abbi's house is amazing and has been preserved to keep the New England feel with a spice of antique and family living.

gorgeous table setting and lunch
Kim prepared a healthy dessert of angel food cake and fruit topped with whipped cream of course! Complete with gender equal decorations to be fair to little Baby T which included precious Max & Madeline dolls, girl & boy balloons, and his & her flamingo accents.

gender equality :)
After filling our tummies, we headed out to the patio for some arts & crafts. Everyone decorated a little onesie for our bundle of joy. It was fun to see the unique & creative work from my Westchester friends.

onesie decorating party!
I am beyond blessed to have such a wonderful women to call my friends. They have spared nothing when it comes to making me feel welcome in this new community. With open arms, these women have invited me to their homes, hobbies, and happenings. 

Without my mom here to help me navigate motherhood, I find comfort in knowing that I have many "surrogates" who are more than happy to be a support system as I embark on this new journey of being a mommy!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

37 Weeks: A Non-Stress Test & Favoring the "Right" Side

That my sweet child is your mommy hooked up to some neato machine that tracks your heart rate for a period of time. For the first 5 minutes, you were sound asleep then you started jumping/kicking/stretching all over the place. Your little heart was racing with excitement which led to the sweetest hiccups ever. Doctor Bakas chuckled and noted that you are a little showoff. Looks like you take after your mom and your dad...

Yesterday we were showered with love from our New York friends/mother hens. More to come on that in a later post, but you made your presence known at the shower for sure. You partook in conversation as well as gift opening with lots of smiles & giggles.

In other news, this week you have been favoring the right side of mommy's body. Unfortunately, this causes her right ankle to swell as well as her mid-back on the ride side to hurt. No matter my position: sit, stand, lay. When riding in the car, I have to blast the A/C but turn up my seat heater as high as possible to ease the pain. If you could kindly balance yourself to the middle of my body, I would be eternally grateful. Thank you in advance for cooperating these last few weeks :)

Come out, come out whenever you are ready little Baby T!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Weekend Treats: Picture Edition

This weekend we spent most of our time lounging around watching the Olympics; yes I know that sounds like a repeat from last weekend huh? It is just too tempting to not show our support for the Americans and shout ferociously at the TV in hopes that it might propel the athletes to victory. In between events, we did manage to be a tad active and accomplish a few things around the house.

Don't believe me? See for yourself below...

Ryan played with his toys...the grill & a trip to Home Depot

a little driving range action

look at that swing...


indulgence in yummy food a la Five Guys & Lighthouse Ice Cream
strolling down the Tarrytown Riverwalk, post ice cream ;)

How did your weekend go?!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Celebrating 36 Years of Wedded Bliss

Today marks 36 years of marriage for my mom and dad. And all I can say is WOW! I have always loved their story as young souls who met in a fairytale way and have made our family work so magically. When it comes to loving one another, they spare nothing. They have always put their marriage first, their children second, and all else third. While they might not always agree or see eye-to-eye, they stand by one another in controversy and doubt. Through their bond, they have provided a strong family unit for my siblings and I to grow up in. The loving and nurturing environment that they have created is an inspiration for Ryan & I as we being our own little family.

Cheers to you mommy & daddy on 36 years of wedded bliss and wished for another sweet 36 years to come!

snapshots from the surprise party we threw them for their 35th anniversary last year 

great role models for our own marriage :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Music Mondays

There's just something about the south and home...

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Baby Checklist: It's Go Time!

As far as I am concerned, it is go time for this little baby. I've scanned the 6 different checklists that I have strategically placed throughout the house (i.e. nursery, iPhone, office, kitchen, etc) and I feel 98% confident in my ability to parent efficiently...or at least appear to be competent ;)

  • Bassinet ready, check!
  • Hospital bags packed, check!

  • Baby clothes, blankets, bibs, burp cloths washed, check!
  • Diapers, wipes, baby powder on tap, check!

  • Pack n' play, swing, rocker set up, check!
  • Car seat locked & loaded, check!
  • Stroller chilling in the trunk, check!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

36 Weeks = 9 Months = 7 Pound Baby

Dearest Sweet Baby T,

Today marks 36 weeks which means 9 months of pregnancy glory. While a full-term pregnancy is actually 40 weeks, you are free to come anytime you would like now. According to our sonogram from Monday, you are 6 lbs 9 oz and have the potential to grow up to 2 more pounds before you make your grand arrival should you decide to nestle in my tummy for another 4 weeks. *pretty please do not be a 9 pounder*

You are head down and have been for quite sometime so no worries about being breeched. YAY! I greatly appreciate you turning and moving into my pelvis area. It will hopefully make things less complicated come delivery time and has allowed me to actually see the space between my boobs and belly again :)

Active baby does not even begin to describe you! You are always on the move inside my tummy. From the kicks to the stretches to the yawns, it is one big party up in there apparently.

Dad has been singing to you, bless your little ears for having to hear it, but *at least* he doesn't do his high pitched female singer impersonation for you! I've been reading you stories while in the nursery rocker. You listen so intently. Your big brother Beau loves to rest his head on my tummy to hear your heartbeat. Sometimes he even sweetly places his paw on me as to say hello little sibling.

We are all ready to meet you. Whenever you are ready. No pressure or anything, but sooner rather than later is preferred :)


Your Mommy

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dating My Husband

When we first moved to New York, we were both so overwhelmed with getting things together...Ryan at work and me at home...that we sort of stopped doing our usual dates. *If you have been following our relationship, then you know from the start we never had a dull moment in our courtship* They say marriage changes nothing and everything all at the same time. They weren't kidding.

Once we felt a bit more settled, our hectic travel schedule and endless list of visitors kicked off making our time in NY and our time alone rather limited. And if we had a spare weekend, we were busy prepping for the little bambino/bambina.

Fast forward to last week as we arrived home from vacation and we have spent more time *dating* in the last 10 days than we have all year! Easing back into the swing of things and being in a mad dash to spend as much one-on-one time together before we are a family of 3 (4 counting baby Beau!), Ryan & I have made our marriage a front & center priority lately.

From the Gavin DeGraw concert to several dinners at home (a novelty in this house) to an adventure-filled day in the Big Apple, we are relishing in each other as much as we can. Sunday, Ryan planned a sweet day date for us. We hopped on the train to Grand Central and walked through the farmers' market to St. Patrick's Cathedral to attend the 10:15am service. Nearly 3,500 people were in attendance to praise the Lord under the beautiful mural ceilings and stained glass windows.

Next we grabbed a Starbuck's before taking the subway down to SoHo for brunch. Ryan picked a small French cafe, Parigot, for us to dine in. Nestled in a corner table with fresh air from the open doors & windows, we ordered delicious French cuisine omelets with a side of of the many reasons why j'aime les francaises.

Post brunch, we walked up and down the streets stopping to shop in a few of the ornate stores. Notably, the store DASH owned by the Kardashian Klan which is tiny, without A/C, and mdoerately priced.

Once I had had enough of the warm, crowded streets and was desperate for a cupcake or 6 (mini ones so don't judge plus I AM pregnant remember?), we started our journey home. Aside from a few uncomfortable moments due to the heat wave and stinch of the underground transport system, we had a fabulous day date!

Looking forward to a few more dates before we meet our bundle of joy...