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Our Perfectly Not So Perfect Anniversary Weekend

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To celebrate our one year anniversary last weekend Chris planned a super sweet weekend, the majority of which was a surprise to me.

The weekend started out with dinner Friday night at Mooo, a snazzy steakhouse here in Boston. We tend to eat in a lot, so eating out at such a fancy place in the city was a real treat.

On Saturday, we drove to Portland, Maine to spend the remainder of our weekend. We were both really excited and looking forward to spending time in a new city together and exploring.

We had a really nice drive up to Portland and saw some lovely small towns and beautiful coastline. Once we arrived, we explored for a bit and ate an amazing banana coffee cake muffin at Tandem Coffee. We finished the evening with dinner and drinks at an old gothic church turned restaurant that pre-dates the Civil War called Grace. The restaurant was amazing and might be one of my favorite places I have ever eaten at.

Portland, ME

Portland, ME

Portland, ME

However despite all of the fun and good food we had, we also hit a few bumps in the road. From our car breaking down to Chris losing his phone in an Uber, we were both a bit surprised by all of the rotten luck we managed to have in the span of 36 hours. By Sunday afternoon we were on the train back to Boston (leaving our car in Portland) and we were more than ready to get home.

Our first year of marriage has had ups and downs, so I guess it only makes sense that our anniversary weekend would include a number of hiccups too! Despite it all, Chris and I had a great time together celebrating, laughing, reflecting on the year behind us and looking forward to the many years ahead.

Portland, ME

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1 Year Anniversary

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1 year

2 countries

3 snowstorms

4 states

countless lessons learned, recipes cooked, laughs shared, tears shed, movies watched

rock climbing, zip lining, trapeze lessons, wipeouts, painting

the past year has been filled with so much and through everything,

chris has been there by my side.

the first to give me a hug and wipe away my tears, to kiss me every morning and every night.

thank you for loving me through every adventure of the past 365 days,

and for loving me in all the days ahead

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A Year Later, Thoughts On Being A Bride

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Our 1 year wedding anniversary is this weekend and it kind of blows my mind.

As of late, I find myself thinking about a lot of things. I think about how much we have done in the past year and how quickly time has gone by. How much I have learned in just 1 year of marriage and how much I still need to learn. How thankful I am for our marriage and that I always have Chris by my side.

I also think about how different my life is right now versus this same time last year. You see, I really did not like being a bride. I know that people always say how amazing it is and how it’s the best time of your life, but I was pretty darn miserable. The attention made me uncomfortable, the pressure of planning a wedding consumed me, the desire to please everyone was exhausting. I was beyond in love with the fact that I was going to marry Chris, but I simply wanted to be married. I quickly turned into a big mish mash of emotional craziness and it really wasn’t fun for anyone at all.


It didn’t help my emotional instability that over the course of the 11 months from popping the question to the big day thateverything seemed like an uphill battle. Our wedding venue changed location three times, even after we had sent the invitations out. A week away from the big day I didn’t even know if people would show up to the right place or if there would be seats for them to sit in. It was a full time job and it was exhausting.

On top of all of the silly wedding planning stress, there were a number of painful things in my life that left me feeling distraught and upset. In the months leading up to our wedding I simultaneously experienced more joy than I ever had as well as more heartbreak than I ever knew was possible. In the year after, I’m still learning how to cope.

In the end, our wedding was beautiful and I am beyond thankful for the day that we had and the people that we shared it with. I love thinking of how I couldn’t stop laughing during photos, Chris and I trying to whisper the steps to each other during our first dance, my voice being so shaky with nerves saying my vows, my sister’s toast that brought tears to my eyes. The little things like that make my heart smile.

With such an amazing, special, challenging, trying and emotional time as a bride, I must admit that I was happy to retire the title of “bride” in exchange for “wife.” Although it can be stressful at times, in my opinion it never seems as hard. Maybe it is the comfort of knowing that Chris is truly my forever partner or that I can always be myself, but being his wife makes me feel so many things that I never knew I would in life. So far, I have made some wonderful memories as a wife and can’t wait to make even better ones. I think I’ll stick with it.   

Wedding Day

Photos by Sunglow Photography 

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A Sister Weekend in Boston

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We just hailed my sister a cab and as I type this she is on her way back to the airport after spending the weekend with Chris and I in Boston. Chris didn’t see it, but I cried when she left.

I wish that she didn’t have to leave or that she lived closer or that we lived closer to her and Phil. Maybe one day we will, but for now we don’t.

I’m going to be a bit honest and say that my sister and I haven’t always been as close as we are now. It probably helps that we no longer argue over who stole what from the other’s closet, but recently our relationship has changed for the better. We no longer fight over nonsense and I feel like I have a true appreciation for her insight and advice. I have always looked up to her because she was my cooler, older sister, but I think I look up to her even more now and truly rely on her as my sister and my friend.

I had been looking forward to Stephanie’s visit for weeks and was so excited for her to arrive on Friday morning. There were two very exciting parts about her trip: it was her first time visiting Boston and her first time meeting Barley. Needless to say, Barley instantly loved her and immediately snuggled up on her lap for kisses and cuddles. Boston quickly became fond of her as well.

Sister Weekend

Sister WeekendBecause the current state of our sister-friendship is still relatively new, I was also pretty nervous about this weekend. For whatever nonsensical reason I worried that our apartment wouldn’t be good enough, that we would be too boring, that we should have planned more to make sure that everything was the best it could be for her. Chris had to calm me down before she arrived and remind me that those things aren’t important, and of course he was right. Sometimes I just need a bit of perspective and a reminder.

So Stephanie and I spent Friday exploring the neighborhood a bit after her arrival. We grabbed lunch at Tatte in Beacon Hill which was so delicious that we came back for breakfast and coffee on Saturday morning. We then spent the rest of the day chatting at home about everything and nothing on the couch until Chris came home for dinner. It was a wonderful day.

After visit number two at Tatte and our delicious breakfast on Saturday, Chris and Barley took on the role of tour guide and showed us all of the must-see spots in Boston. Bundled up and with Barley leading the way, we strolled through the Commons, past the State House and Park Street Church. We walked through a graveyard or two and then headed over to Quincy Market and the North End. 


Sister Weekend

Sister Weekend


Sister Weekend

We finished the day off with some shopping along Charles Street. We visited a healthy beauty store that I had been wanting to stop into for a while, Follain, but was too intimidated to go to by myself. I wish I had gone sooner because it was a great find, but I was so grateful to go with my sister. We both left with the perfect purchases and found just what we had been looking for!

The weekend ended with a lovely stroll along the Charles River and dinner at Legal Crossing. It was so much fun to have Stephanie here visiting us and I hope that we get to see each other again soon.

We miss you already please come back soon!

Sister Weekend

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A Weekend in Vermont

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We got back from our weekend in Vermont yesterday and to be quite honest with you, I contemplated calling in sick today just so that the weekend wouldn’t have to end. I thought of ignoring my alarm this morning and closing my eyes to keep the bliss and happiness that was this weekend as long as possible.

But, reality had to creep in like the cool weather and alas, the goody two shoes in me wouldn’t let such a thing happen. Off to work I went, the whole time replaying this weekend in my head on a loop with a goofy grin on my face.

Now I won’t lie and say that the weekend in Vermont was perfect, because it wasn’t. It rained all day Friday and the hills on the drive were so steep that Chris and I both worried we wouldn’t make it there in his Jeep. The drive took hours longer than it should have. On the other hand, it was completely relaxing and peaceful and quiet. It was the first trip in ages that we did completely on our own, with no schedule or agenda. It was just us doing whatever we wanted, together. I loved every minute of it.

Vermont

Vermont

We stayed near Montgomery, VT in the cutest pet friendly cottage called Sheady Acres. I was not sure what to expect, but it was absolutely adorable. The location was great, right near Jay Peak and nearby  hiking options. It was perfect for us.

Vermont

Vermont

Vermont

On top of having the best time I could imagine with my husband, the fall foliage and the scenery was unbelievable. Apparently we had a late summer so we were lucky and right on time for peak leaf peeping this year. We drove through Hazen’s Notch in VT and the White Mountains in NH and it was breathtaking. It was like driving through a painting. I have never seen anything like it.

Vermont

Vermont

Vermont

Vermont

Vermont

Vermont

Even though I have lived up north for a number of years now, I feel like this was the first time I truly had the chance to experience the fall season and the heart of New England life. It was so amazing and beautiful, I’m so grateful that we were able to visit. There is so much of New England to explore, but I wouldn’t complain one little bit if this trip became a new family tradition.

Vermont

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An Icy Date Night

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Today is Thursday which means a number of things, but mainly it means that today is October 8th, and we are now a month away from our 1 year wedding anniversary (whoop whoop!). Plus, it is pretty much the start of a very exciting weekend that Chris and I have planned in Vermont for leaf peeping season!

But I won’t let myself get swept up in the weekend ahead and all of the amazing fall foliage that we hope to see. Nope, I’ll tell you a bit about last weekend and how adorable my husband is.

Before I get started, I should tell you that I didn’t have a clue what Chris had planned for us. Chris is much better at keeping secrets than I am. Whenever I would ask, he would just slyly say “when we get finished with part one, I will tell you about part two.” Like what does that even mean? I guess it’s good that at least one of us knows how to give a proper surprise.

So, Chris started off our Saturday date night by taking me to one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants jmCurley. It’s one of those places that you would walk right by if you didn’t know what you were looking for, but once you find it you always want to go back. The burgers and fries are amazing and they have all of these funky appetizers that you just can’t get anywhere else. Part one was a date night win.

Part two was a visit to the Frost Ice Loft, an ice bar at Quincy Market. We had been talking about going there for a while just to check it out. Apparently, Chris’ team at work was planning an outing and he said “No, I have to go with my wife first!” How cute is that?

My only complaint about part two is that I wasn’t given a head’s up about the dress code. So while Chris knew where we were going and wore the appropriate amount of warm layers, I was just trying to look cute for our date. So we went and I froze my little tushie off in 21 degree weather drinking cider out of an ice mug surrounded by ice.

It was so fun though and really cool (get it?).

Frost Ice Loft

I guess the cold and shivering is just a sign of what’s to come a few short months from now. But right now, it’s time to enjoy the fall!

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Fall and a 5k

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I realized at some point about the middle of this week that fall had officially arrived in Boston. We have cool, 50 degree weather with crisp, fresh air and changing leaves. I honestly have no idea where September (or the summer) went, but I always love the fall. I love this time of year so much that I don’t even care that I’ve been jammed at work every day and that I come home completely exhausted or that I haven’t been feeling well. Everything about this season makes it worth it.

September was such a blur because we were actually busy with plans and exciting things every weekend, what a life! We went home to Florida to celebrate with our friends for their wedding (congratulations Jordan and Kasey!). It was such a joy to be there and to see everyone that we miss so much every day. I had not been home since our wedding in November and it was a blast.

Then last weekend, Chris and Barley cheered me on for the Shape Diva Dash 5k and obstacle course that I did with my friend Cassie. Cassie and I had signed up for it on a whim ages ago and I had every intention of doing some kind of training beforehand, but I never got around to it. Typical Audrey.

Diva Dash

Needless to say, I was a bit worried that my athletic abilities wouldn’t be up to par and that I would have to “pass” the obstacles. Despite what it looks like in the photos, I did okay and we had so much fun! We ran almost the whole 3 miles and aced the obstacles. Plus, Chris and Barley were on the sidelines every step of the way, trying to sneak in and run with me or waving and wagging as we ran by. It was a lot of fun and I realized that running really isn’t as scary and hard as I always think it will be. Maybe one day running will be a new hobby of mine…but maybe not!

Diva Dash

Today, Chris gets to plan our Saturday date night. I have no idea what is in store for us, but the nice thing about fall is that it’s the perfect weather for staying at home in your pajamas all day. That counts for date night right?

Happy weekend!

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Escape to Gap Mountain

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Inspired by my sister and her husband, Chris and I have decided to have a weekly date night (or day) on Saturday’s. Each Saturday we will take turns planning a date for one another. I’m pretty excited about it because I think it is a great way for us to spend extra quality time together, but also an excellent excuse for us to get out and explore!

This past weekend was Chris’ turn to plan our date. I was pleasantly surprised as he actually went above and beyond, offering me three options to choose from for our date: an evening picnic in the park, dinner at a neighborhood restaurant we have been wanting to try, hiking Mount Monadnock with Barley.

They were all excellent options, but I had endured a surprisingly stressful week at work and thought spending some time outdoors would be the perfect way to unwind, so on Saturday we set off to hike Mount Monadnock!

Here’s the kicker though. After our scenic two hour drive passing corn fields and farm stands we pulled up to the park and found out that dogs aren’t allowed at Mount Monadnock. I’m sure you can imagine our disappointment. Luckily, there was a dog friendly trail nearby at Gap Mountain – crisis averted!

We pulled up to Gap Mountain and Barley was so excited to be outdoors. Nose in the air, ears on the alert. She was completely in her element and it was just the cutest thing ever.

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The trail was quiet and for the most part we were the only hikers around. Everything was incredibly green and lush, the sun peeking through the tree tops. Barley chased chipmunks and jumped over rocks, Chris right next to her every step of the way. They are the greatest together, it makes my heart so happy!

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The trek to the top was pretty easy, a little over a mile climb and not too rocky. Once we made it there we were greeted with a view of Mount Monadnock, the mountain we had originally planned to climb. I guess that if we didn’t get to climb it, at least we did get a nice view from the top!

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IMG_3225Chris felt really bad about the hiccup in our day, but I think it was the perfect day and the best adventure. I hope that you had a great adventure this weekend too!

On a side note, you may or may not notice that I cut my hair.