About a Boy
So it’s officially over, the year 2012. Not the Mayan Apocalypse kind of over or an asteroid the size of Manhattan kind of over, just over. No cheesy ballad sung by an aging rock star in tattered jeans, no frantic race to save humanity, just over. Good morning 2013, we can all take a collective sigh.
This year for me is sort of like trying to remember an exquisitely vivid dream, the kind that comes to you in quick flashes of color and emotion but stays frustratingly elusive. All kinds of exciting things happened. Birthdays, vacations, work trips, holidays, parties, anniversaries, awesome books, amazing meals but when I try to recall them it’s as if someone’s put my memory in a blender and pressed purée. That’s pretty much been the state of my sleep deprived brain since the most awesome thing that’s ever happened to me, our son Noble was born 11 months ago.
Since the day he arrived, my days and months have passed in a way I’ve never experienced before, in a kind of surrealistic blur. I’ve never had more structure nor had to be more flexible in my life. I’ve never had to grow faster or learn more about myself. I’ve never been more tired or more happy either. The fabric of my being has been unraveled and then stitched back more times this year than I can count, only to find that I’ve always got more thread. Did we really ask this little dude to come live in our house with us indefinitely? What were we thinking? Were we crazy? The answer is YES, we are crazy in love. So much so that I don’t even care how cliche that sounds.
A few years back I decided that rather than focusing on all the things I wanted to change or do differently in the coming year, (which is what I usually do) I want to use this time to reflect on all the fantastic things that actually DID happen in this one. With this last year being the most challenging and transformative year of my life it seems somehow very fitting.
So here I go again, a very different girl from the one who sat down at this same computer last December. I can honestly say I barely recognize that girl. I had no idea what she was really made of until now. Looking back on the plethora of gifts this year has given me the one that I am most grateful for is the gift of motherhood. For all of its hard work and demands it has been the most insanely rewarding, soul shaking, heart expanding experience I’ve ever had. I mean, I get to share my life with TWO really cool dudes instead of one! For that alone, in the words of the delightful Dolly Parton, 2012 I will always love you. So here we go, in no particular order…
A Moveable Feast come to emotional life from the point of view of Hemingways first wife Hadley in The Paris Wife.
Walking through the Kremlin to St. Basils Cathedral alone on a clear sunny day in Moscow.
Long summer sunsets spent with good friends and a Rosé buzz at the Barndsall Park Friday night wine tastings.
For the out takes of our Easter party invitation, I’m sorry little buddy mommy won’t make you wear those ears again
MUN No.1 Aknari Nighttime Dream Serum. Where have you been all my life?
Broome St. General Store. As my friend eloquently put it, “It’s the shop Martha Stewart would own if she was 27 and lived in Silverlake.”
For finally getting to use my AMAZING Shu Uemura hand made lace lashes from Japan.
Helping a girlfriend who hates to be fussed over pick out her dream wedding dress (and having her actually enjoy it.) Then getting to watch her look insanely beautiful walking down the aisle in it.
Discovering the beauty of real Austrian Schnapps and pretty much everything else on the menu at BierBeisl.
For a sister-in-law who created a rotating list of friends to bring us hot meals every night of the 3 weeks after the baby was born. I will never be able to express enough gratitude or what that meant to us. You know who you are.
Experiencing the stillness and stark beauty of New Mexico for the first time while staying at Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm on the Rio Grande. The food, the people, the peacocks, pure bucolic bliss.
Being lucky enough to have the kind of friends willing to let me take them on an 8 hour mystery trip across LA in a party bus for my 40th birthday! Especially how intense the competition got at the scavenger hunt, OH and how about those two truths and a lie? Who are you bunch of crazies anyways?!
For getting to witness this on a daily basis.
For Aunties who are unabashed in their adoration of their nephew.
For 6 glorious sweltering August days spent picking blackberries and swimming on the Kaweah River.
For Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick being too gorgeous for words.
For my first Mothers Day spent at The Big Cat Cabin in Julian, CA stuffing my face with homemade Apple pie and for us all falling asleep while the sun set silently behind the mountains.
For my first Eton Mess made with our own home grown strawberries.
For the equal parts mind food/escapism that is messynessychic.com thank you for providing me solace when I’m fairly sure my brain has turned to mush.
For the win-win that is a wooden spoon. Baby thinks he’s getting away with something and mommy gets 5 solid minutes of relative peace.
For Seamus Mullen’s Hero Food for giving me the inspiration needed to master my first Spanish Tortilla
For a girl who can pull off these eyes
For our Labor day weekend clam bake at The Jolly Oyster
For my incredible midwife Davi Khalsa who without her insight and unyielding care I would never have found the courage to give birth to our little man in the peace and calm of our own home. It was truly the most profound and beautiful experience of my life, and I am eternally grateful. Who else stops a woman in labor to ask her if her “mind is her friend or her enemy right now?” Davi, that’s who.
For my awesome doula Margie Levy who thought to bring us fresh laid eggs from her chickens and fed them to me minutes after my son was born. No meal, no matter how extravagant will ever taste as delicious as those simple scrambled eggs.
For getting to bring a little bit of Versailles to L.A. by having the honor of recreating the gorgeous make up look designed by Peter Phillips for a second Chanel Cruise Show in Beverly Hills.
For moments like these.
L&E Oyster Bar in Silverlake for sourcing oysters from Kachemak Bay, Alaska. I never thought I would see them on a menu!
Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Sensuelle. My go-to 2012 red lip.
For Adena and Jonathan hosting baby music class at their house.
For every design element of the rooms at the Nomad Hotel in Midtown, NY. Now if only my bedroom could look like that, claw foot bath tub and all.
For the Underwood Family Farms Fall Festival. A Pumpkin Patch, a Corn Maze, Pig Racing, Scarecrows and hay bales. For making it actually feel like fall!
For having a small part in finding this little angel a home. A drain pipe certainly wasn’t going to work.
Getting to experience Cacio e Pepe at Roma Sparita in Rome (and yes I ate the bowl.)
For a husband that not only makes the meanest Manhattan this side of the Mississippi but who is the most tireless, hands on, adoring father a boy could dream to have.
For having the kind of amazing neighbors you can not only borrow milk from, but also enjoy a dram of whiskey with and maybe even borrow their copy of the Bouchon Bakery cookbook.
For Mommy and Me movies at The Grove. The only way in hell I was gonna get to see The Hunger Games on opening weekend.
For Al Fresco dinners in our back yard.
Making it to the Damien Hirst retrospective at the Tate Gallery, London. I will be both haunted and dreaming about it from now on, thank you very much.
For knowing women who send things like this from Paris.
For a Jinya Ramen opening on Wilshire, SWEET!
For the coolest Grandpa a little guy could wish for.
Fritzi Dog in the Farmers Market. You speak to both my inner child and the insatiable foodie in me. Bless you and your frankfurters, I love you.
Facetime and iChat, for making it possible for me to be away from my family without losing my mind.
For the most divine dinner with the ladies at The River Cafe in London.
For Friends who ask you to dress up as Mrs. Peacock and Sgt. Grey to play a surprise game of Clue.
Being surprised by an XX performance that just happened to be at the end of my table.
For getting to call this work.
For Sandra Boynton, What would I do without your books? I hope I never have to find out!
Getting to celebrate that this crazy beeyotch met the love of her life!
To formally becoming a Rust, about time!
For monster pajamas.
For every salacious conversation heard from under the stairs, behind the door or through the heater grate on Downtown Abbey. There simply will never be enough quips from the Dowager to satisfy my appetite.
To visiting my first Alpaca Farm and finding out I really dig them.
For the beautiful, radiant Sonia Lee whose thoughtfulness is humbling. I’ve don’t think I’ve encountered a more generous soul.
For being invited to a 5 hour Escoffier themed dinner that involved the best stuffed oxtail, mashed potatoes and cognac reduction I will probably ever have on this mortal coil.
To actually getting one decent crop of Bloomsdale spinach, wow that’s one ornery little green!
For Mark Townsend getting us 4th row seats to see the Goddess Florence Welch at The Hollywood Bowl for my birthday. You are totally nuts and I adore you for it!
For Sassafrass bar opening within a mile of our house whose design is a perfect mish mash of all the things I adore about New Orleans and Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion all rolled into one.
For getting to put these orange red lips on Jennifer.
For still putting on our annual Easter feast even though we hadn’t slept in months!
For being allowed to put him in this sailor suit just once, 4th of July 2012. Sorry little buddy but it’s been well documented!
HAPPY HAPPY 2013 everyone, may you find out you have more joy, more love, more laughter and more strength inside you this year than you ever thought imaginable!