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Remember when Tony and I started dating? Oh wait, I never told you on Facebook.

Remember when Tony and I got engaged? Oh wait, I never told you on Facebook.

Remember when Tony and I officially became friends on Facebook? Oh wait, that didn’t happen till the day we got engaged.

Remember when Tony and I got married? Oh wait, I didn’t share that on Facebook till weeks after.

Remember when I told Facebook that we are pregnant? Oh wait, I never did that.

Well in true Nicole fashion, I share this with you. We are indeed expecting our first wee little babe. How far along you ask? We have exactly 7 days left till our baby’s birthing day. Yes, just 7 days. Or you know, whenever he wants to come say hello. And yes, IT’S A BOY!

There are very few (?) people that actually knew we were pregnant. And for some reason, that I couldn’t even explain to myself, I wanted it to remain a secret. For the last 9.75 months, it has felt like Tony and I are the only people on this Earth. Filled with quiet and peaceful moments where we’ve been able to share our deepest love for our unborn son. Feeling like it’s just the 3 of us in this big city. There is something so special and intimate about being pregnant with your first that I didn’t want to share with the rest of the world.

This pregnancy. It’s ours. This pregnancy is unique. Just as the next one will be. Unique. Never alike. Special. Beautiful. Full of joy. Empowering. Full of love and tender moments.

I’ve always thought that I would love being pregnant, even before I met Tony. And you know what? I have. I have loved it so much. So much so, that I sometimes get sad thinking about how fast it has gone by. This little baby of ours, he’s already brought so much joy and love to our little home. Even though I have enjoyed having him with me all day, everyday, I am so ready to meet him and love him more and more everyday.

We’re ready. Emotionally, physically, and mentally. Only thing we have left to do is name him. Easy enough, right? Welcome to our blog and our babe :)

And yes, that is the same top I wore for our engagement picture. Full circle.


pretzel bites for all occasions

by tony on April 23, 2012

So these pretzel bites, which Nicole makes for special occasions like Christmas, Easter, Halloween, or, you know, Mondays, are perfect in every way. Salty from the pretzels, chocolate-y from the kisses, crunchy from the M&Ms. They’re easy to make – put the kisses on the pretzels, put them in the oven for 6 minutes, take them out, smash the M&Ms onto them, then place in the fridge or freezer until they have hardened.

Since Mars makes M&Ms for every holiday – or even M&Ms with your face on them - they are very versatile for quick party snacks. You know, for all the parties we go to.


I feel like our son is singing this as we speak. And yes, he will be educated by the great minds of Schoolhouse Rock. He’s growing quickly, and quickly running out of room. We took a quick video of him squirming a bit, just a small sampling of what we see pretty much any time Nicole sits down and rests for a bit. He’s not ready to come yet (still a couple more weeks), but he clearly wants a bit of elbow room.

Soon enough, yet-to-be-named baby boy.

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a (not the) high school musical

by tony on April 23, 2012

Sometimes I wish I were in high school again. Well, maybe if I could be more popular and athletically gifted. High school can be a rough time for self-conscious band kids. I had a fun look back into the complicated dynamics of the human state of adolescence this past weekend when I played the trumpet in the orchestra of a Xavier High School production of “Guys and Dolls.”

I have a friend who was the musical director of the production and had to field an orchestra of semi-professional and student performers. He did a phenomenal job and was able to pull together a good group considering we only had one rehearsal before the performance. He was nice enough to let me join in on the 2nd trumpet part. I was supported by a couple of trumpeters who are currently doing post-graduate work in music, so they masked any mistakes.

The main thing that I took away is that we are lucky to have parents. Regardless of how many forgotten lines, microphone malfunctions or early entrances the production may have had, the performers were rewarded with a thunderous  standing ovation, curtain call and all. I literally felt like I was playing on Broadway. But I also felt the love that the parents had for those children trudging through that awkward adolescent stage that is high school. As a soon (verrry soon)-to-be father, I might have teared up a bit during the final scene of the final performance.

On that note, I love the fact that Xavier high school, which is just a couple blocks west of Union Square, was built in 1842. That school must have such history. I also love that it is just smack in the middle of the City, and that (seemingly) regular kids go there. It gives me hope that we can raise our children here for as long as we want, or at least until we run out of money and have to move to Arizona or something where they just give away houses and SUVs who crossed the border.

As you can see, a highly professional production with an extremely realistic palm tree.

In the end, it was well-rewarded by my lovely wife, who gave me high praise and a box of Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Cups, with this tag on it. She’s a good wife.


highlights from the gray city

by nicole on February 13, 2012

Seattle has been the best! I’ve been able to do all of the things I love with some of the people I love the most. I know Tony’s ready for me to come home, but I feel like this week has just flown by. Way too fast.

Cari + Madison + Mason + sleepovers with Jamie and Tryna + long chats with Jenny + Pure Barre Seattle (miss you Frances) + more time with Cari and co. + movie night (the vow) with Jamie, Tryna, Shelly, Heather and her SIL + shopping + most beautiful baby shower including a special visit from Tara and Maryn (thanks for coming all the way from Boise) + dinner at Target with Jamie and Tryna (why haven’t we done that before?!!) + birthday dessert for Ambie at the melting pot + church with friends from the 1st ward + fantastic Sunday lunch with Cristina, Jeff and lil’ Andrew + 2nd Sunday Smorgasbord with U1 peeps (love Holly and Rich, yes I do!) + lunch with Heidi C and Courtney + late night convo with Britt + more long chats with Jenny + even more time with Cari and co.

I’m sad to leave tomorrow, but sure am ready to be home with my Valentine. At least we’ll (three!) be back in August for Tony’s best friend’s wedding. Counting down the days already!

Madi and Mason. The one picture I (Cari) took all week. Doesn’t Madison have the best style :) Love those two!


I knew this was going to happen. A week ago I checked the forecast for my 7 day stay in Seattle and it was like a dream come true. Sun every single day!  Of course the day I arrive, forecast shows rain. Every single day until I leave and wouldn’t you know, sun the day after. Thanks for welcoming me back with open arms.

This morning I left Denver, my younger sister and pile of snow behind. I had been in Denver since Friday evening for my first round of Pure Barre teacher training. I lift, toned and burned all weekend long along with 22 other gals from across the nation. It was quite intense, but I’m extremely excited to soon be the newest teacher at Pure Barre NYC.

It was really nice spending five days with Ginger. We were both home for Christmas, but that is never enough time to spend with your sisters. I think monthly visits should be required. She was such a great host; kept me fed, well rested and over cautioned me about being careful walking in the snow. Thanks mom ;) Ginger received her massage therapy degree (???) in December so of course she hooked me up. Definitely fell asleep during that hour of deep tissue massage. Thanks G!

Yesterday, I had lunch with Melissa and Drew (dang, why didn’t we take pictures?!) I’m pretty sure it’s been 5 years since I’ve seen them (wait, nope, we saw each other at Bob and Andrea’s wedding which was about a year and a half ago). It was so nice catching up with them and hearing about all the exciting things going on in their lives. They are quite the power couple. Not the stuffy lame type you see on terrible sitcoms, I’m talking about the ones you envy.

I always use to pride myself on being an exceptionally fantastic driver. I’m pretty sure I could parallel park better than anyone in Seattle, even that Lexus that could park itself. So never in my life did I think I would say this, but the scariest part of being in Denver (or any city now for that matter) was driving. I was terrified! I haven’t been behind the wheel since the end of October. Throw in snow and a manual transmission plus not knowing where you’re going 95% of the time and you’ve got a crazy person on the streets wreaking havoc to the great people of the Mile High City. I’m so glad I live in a city where my main method of transportation are my own two feet. And riding on the rack of my husband’s bike. I never liked driving anyway.

Excited for the next 7 days to be here in Seattle seeing all my favorite PNWesterners. One thing I’m not excited for, being away from my sweetheart. I’ll never leave you for 12 straight days again. Promise!

27 weeks. Day before Pure Barre training. *Tush by Pure Barre, baby bump by me (and Tony)

Goodbye Denver snow

Miles and Miles High City

Mt. Rainier. Isn’t she gorgeous? (no filter)

That first little island, Vashon, is where we had our reception. Vashon love.

Mt Rainier and Mercer Island.

Cascades, Bellevue and Seattle


10 things

by tony on January 29, 2012

Best news ever. My lovely wife is pregnant with a handsome baby boy, due first week of May. We found out a few weeks before making the decision to move to New York, and just a few weeks after our 1-year anniversary. As the proud soon-to-be father of a son who will be “the culmination of creation” (to quote Calvin and Hobbes), I could not be more excited. Although having a baby less than 2 years into marriage may seem like we are getting on with life on a compressed timeline, I cannot think of any reason to wait to start a family. Since I have been an old man at heart all of my life (from my strange high school obsession with Frank Sinatra to the 1979 Lincoln Continental dream car I bought when I was 21), I am excited to finally be someone’s old man.

As Nicole and I take this step into parenthood, I am happy that at least one of us is well equipped and well prepared to be a parent. That, of course, would be Nicole. For our last 9 months in Seattle she nannied for two amazing children – a newborn baby boy and a 5-year-old girl – which she was a rock star at. I, too, am not inexperienced. I successfully held a babay twice in my life, and neither time I dropped or lost the children, so in my own way I think I, too, have mastered the art of being a parent.

We hear every day how scary the world is, how much drugs and violence and sexting affect America’s youth. And yes, it all scares me. Especially the sexting. But I am optimistic that our son will be awesome. As we guide our son down the road of life, we are going to use the following 10 guiding principles as a road map. If he can emerge from childhood and adolescence into adulthood with these 10 statements being true, then we will have have been successful parents.

1. Never put the love of things over the love of people.
2. Accept diversity in every shape, color, size, smell, age, sexual orientation, language, file format, borough, flavor, etc.
3. Feel as though he is being treated and spoken to as a mature individual responsible of making mature decisions.
4. Understand the relationship between cause and effect, and feel responsible for the consequences of his actions.
5. Feel that temporal decisions have eternal implications that are guided by our Heavenly Father.
6. Always feel free to try new things and experiment, even if it means (righteously) questioning authority.
7. Be confident in his ability to do anything that he wants, and push past the doubt and discouragement the world will confront him with.
8. Understand the effectiveness of proposing solutions instead identifying problems.
9. Love, help and respect his mother.
10. Laugh at his father’s jokes.

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the best playground in the world

by tony on January 28, 2012

Today was a beautiful day in New York. The weather was perfect (for a January morning, at least), the sun was shining, the Upper West Siders were out in full force. I went for a casual run through Central Park, as has become my Saturday ritual, along with what seemed to have been thousands of other runners. It was pretty much shoulder-to-shoulder on the entire 6.1-mile loop.
On the home stretch, I went out onto Central Park West and walked about the last 10 blocks down towards 75th. As I was passing in front of the American Natural History Museum, I couldn’t help but think that New York is the coolest place to be a kid, or to raise a kid. Sure, it has its disadvantages such as crazy people and an absurd lack of living space, but I was just mesmerized by the fact that within a few blocks of our apartment we have Central Park, the Natural History Museum, and this hot dog stand (pictured below). What else could any child want?

Being a father here is going to be awesome.

Note that all pictures below were taken standing in the same location. This has to be the 360 degree trifecta of childhood joy.

I like the horse. Not sure who’s riding it, but he looks happy to be on a horse.
The only thing that would make the park more perfect is if you could swim in the lake. Or if there weren’t horse poop from the handsome cabs.
It’s not even that I like hot dogs so much, just seemed like the kind of thing that would make a boy’s day on a cool winter morning after going to the Natural History Museum.


a belly full of sweet sugar

by nicole on January 27, 2012

This morning I had the (dreaded) glucose test. It’s probably the worst thing I’ve had to endure during the whole pregnancy so that’s saying a lot. Lucky me.

I arrived as early as possible since you have to be fasting. Immediately had my blood drawn, 1 of 3 and then drank 10 ounces of 75 grams of sugar – affectionately called “orange drink” but the professionals. That alone made me want to throw up. I don’t know if it was the taste or knowing how much sugar it contained. If I didn’t have gestational diabetes yet, surely I would after this. Sick.

Next up was the waiting game. In an hour I’d have my blood taken again and then an hour after that. I sat in the waiting room and read and read and read. I started feeling really queezy. All that sugar plus the office feeling like a sauna made for one bad combo. So I left and went out to the lobby area (my doctor’s office is located on the ground level of a residential complex) to get some fresh air. I was the only one in the 60′x30′ lounge area and it was so quiet that I fell asleep. Next thing I know I’m waking up to the doorman, “Ma’am, you can’t be in here.” “Excuse me?” I replied. “People live here and you just can’t sit here. Tenants have been complaining.” Kind of annoyed, I look at him in shock. I mean, come on, it’s about 178° in there and people can’t give this 26 week pregnant girl a break. It was almost tear worthy. I should have actually thanked him though, he woke me up just in time for the next draw. Thanks Mr. Doorman.

Blood draw number 2. Same spot. If you know me at all, having my blood taken/needles really make me anxious and I usually end up fainting. I’ve been a total champ though during the pregnancy. Not one fainting incident (yet)!

By now every other pregnant lady was sweating so the windows were had been opened in the waiting room. Finally, I could breath and think. I just sat there extremely content. Baby was feeling pretty good too because he was kicking and pushing out on my belly like never before. This was the first time I’ve ever seen my belly move. It was the most amazing thing ever. I wish Tony had been there.

Finally had my third blood draw and then it was time for a quick visit with my OB. Everything is perfect and baby and uterus are growing exactly how they should be. How do you know the uterus is growing as it should? I’m glad you asked. The measurement from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus should equal the same amount of weeks you are in cm. So 26cm. My doctor always does a quick ultrasound at each visit, which of course I love. We discovered that Baby Boy is head down already! Let’s hope he stays this way. I guess that explains the kicking and moving belly :)


jenny vorwaller

by nicole on January 24, 2012

The sweetest soul I know. We’re kindred spirits that red head and I. Not only is she gorgeous and one of my best friends, she’s also insanely talented.

My iPhone dons a beautiful facade thanks to her ‘January” iPhone case (and my husband). Your iPhone needs one too. And you should probably get one for everyday of the week.

Get them here.

Follow her Tumblr. It’s basically Pinterest before there was even Pinterest.

All of her beautiful paintings can be seen here.