mom’s night out: girl & the goat

Hope is one of my best friends at work. We work really closely together, we talk just about every day, and she makes me laugh harder than many people can. The only problem? She lives 2,120 miles away in Portland, Oregon, and I only get to see her a few times a year. 

She was in town this week for work, and it was the best to be able to say “good morning” and razz her in person. She also kept spoiling me with Mindy’s Hot Chocolate pastries from the Revival Food Hall. Diet starts after the Super Bowl?

On Thursday we planned to go to dinner, with Au Cheval in mind. Upon arrival (around 5:20 pm), frozen from the frigid temperature, the wait was an hour to an hour and twenty minutes (the cheeseburger IS one of a kind, I can vouch for it). But we decided to hustle across Randolph to Girl & the Goat. Immediate seating at the bar was perfect; Hope was excited because she’d been wanting to dine here!

It was my third time at Girl & the Goat (post-wedding and pre-baby, I loved to live it up), and it was exactly how I remembered it. The beautiful decor with exotic details and textures, the hustle of a good wait staff, the delicious smells of high-quality and innovative dishes, the beautiful craft cocktails waiting to be sipped…should I keep going?

I asked for a dairy-free menu (Stephanie Izard is very accommodating to those of us with food allergies and intolerances at all of her restaurants, much appreciated), to balance out my meal and make sure I didn’t overdo it. It’s hard for me to show restraint to gouda bread with smoked lard butter and romesco. So I didn’t.

I also had the Boondock Saints cocktail (a tasty chilled Hot Toddy), a glass of still rosé, braised beef tongue, grilled cuddlefish, the famous sautéed green beans, and the most decadent and fantastic crumpets I’ve ever tasted in my life (served with goat liver mousse, rosemary pickles, grapefruit preserves, and persimmon marmalade, of course). 

This meal was out…of…this…world. It is so hard for me to justify a meal like this now, but I can’t tell you the last time I had a foodie dinner. It felt nice to enjoy a well-cooked (understatement) meal with Hope, and have time outside of work to catch up and be silly. Those meals and moments are priceless. Xo

She’s Arrived! Meet the Newest Second City Gal 

It’s been a little more than eight weeks since I’ve posted, but I swear I have a good excuse. Nate and I welcomed the sweetest little girl into the world on Friday, June 26. She is healthy, happy, has a head of vibrant red hair with beautiful blue eyes like her daddy and a feisty personality like me. She already smiles, makes funny faces, and loves cuddles. She has stolen our hearts, and I am head over heels for her. She’s the newest Second City Gal: Ellie.

Now, it has been quite a roller coaster, and let me tell you: the highs are high and the lows are very low. No one can really prepare you for how stressful, anxiety-filled, life-altering (should I continue) those first few weeks are. You are mentally and physically exhausted. I cried when I was happy. I cried when I was sad. I cried when I didn’t know if I was happy or sad. I felt guilty for wanting to go to work because that would be easier than the mystery of motherhood (25 hours of labor–yes, 25–would be easier). I felt fragile, like I could break at any moment, and I did…a lot…yet I had to keep it together for this tiny human that I’ve been excited about for the past 10 months. I felt scared that I wasn’t as joyful as I thought I could or should be. 

One thing I did know was that I felt (and still feel) extremely grateful for everyone who texted, called, emailed, visited, sent a card, made food, brought/sent a card or gift, held her, and gave me the support I needed (still need). There’s nothing more special than sharing this experience with others.

People kept telling me it would get better. I stared at them blankly thinking, “When?” But it has. I’m definitely not out of the woods yet. I still feel vulnerable, but my confidence has grown. I’m starting to know Ellie more: what she needs and what she wants. It’s truly like getting to know a stranger who relies on you to survive. She is a good baby, and I feel blessed for that. 

I miss her when I’m not with her…her smile, her smell. I love the way our pup George protects his sis and kisses her toes. (I call us the three musketeers now because we are always together.) I look forward to the many adventures we will have as a family now. A family…it feels unreal to say. 

I daydream about what she’ll be like in five years, 10 years, 20 years. What she’ll look like. I hope she is a smart girl, a sweet girl. I hope she laughs a lot, and knows that she can come to me with anything and everything. I hope that she finds love in her life. I hope she has a good support system of friends. I hope she doesn’t grow up too fast. I hope she doesn’t stress too much. I hope she feels safe. 

I hope she knows I will do anything for her: I just want her to be happy. And know I will love her always. 

Love you, Ellie. You are everything. 

 xo. Mommy