One Day

Its amazing how one day can make such a difference in our home.  Sometimes "one" day brings great things.  Sometimes "one" day brings set backs.  Today has been a set back day.  Just yesterday Erik and I were talking about how wonderful Lucy was doing.  She has felt better and has had more stamina than she has in over a year.

Then, around 10:00pm last night, she started screaming of stomach pains.  This went on ALL night.  Neither of us got any sleep and I know she had to be so tired today (because I sure was.)  The stomach pains have been mild today, but she has developed a yucky discharge from her eye.  I'm praying its just a sinus infection.  She did vomit tonight, so that has me on my toes a bit.

I asked Erik today if I would ever get to the point where I didn't find myself consumed with thoughts about Lucy's life and how she has been robbed of so much.  I have come to realize that so many times during the day I feel surges of anger that run through my body like electricity.  I hate it.  I hate feeling the way I do, but I hate more than anything what Lucy's life has become.  Right now, every single day presents a challenge, a struggle.  Bless her heart.  She is so strong.

I am praying for and waiting on the time when God begins to reveal the blessings that are going to come from this trial.  I believe that God has something great in store for her sweet little life.  I just hope that one day I can accept what he has in store for her and stop mourning the child she was.  I fear that my anger will cause me to miss the blessings.

BUT...she's here.  I am grateful.  I say prayers of thanksgiving every single day when I think about her and my other two beautiful children.  I'm also thankful to have an awesome partner in crime with whom I can fight this fight.

Daddy's a little under the weather, so this Momma has a couple of hard days ahead of her.  I'm going to try to get Lucy to the doctor tomorrow and then just try to keep our head above water until Erik is back in the ballgame.  Send a prayer our way.  We are going to need it.

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Do you ever get freaked out at night?

We've talked about living alone and seeing movies alone, but what about sleeping alone...
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Wes Anderson movies

Our friends saw Wes Anderson's new movie Moonrise Kingdom this week and said it was wonderful. (It has also been getting rave reviews.) Have you seen it yet? But my favorite Wes Anderson film was...
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Wednesday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is a BIG one! Beso is my favorite shopping website, where you can shop thousands of stores and brands, all in one place. Beso also has an awesome collections feature, where you can create wishlists of items you love.

My summer wishlist features the items above, plus many more. See it here.

Beso is giving away a whopping $500 cash for any items on their site (even this diamond ring!). To enter, please create your own collection and leave a comment below *with a link to your collection*. It takes a minute, but it's fun. A winner will be chosen at random on Monday, so you have five days. Good luck! xoxo Update: Lori M. is our lucky winner. Thanks for playing.

NYC Date Idea: Fire Escape Drinks

Alex and I are always lamenting the fact that we don't have a garden or balcony or any outdoor space. Once Toby goes to bed, we're pretty much stuck inside for the night. But then! We had a lightbulb moment...
We could hang out on our fire escape. So we've started a little ritual of climbing out there on random warm evenings, and last night, we decided to snap some photos. First, we dress up to make it feel more like a real date. (I usually wear jeans and a T-shirt at home...or, let's be honest...pajamas:)
Then we climb out our bedroom window. (Whoot, whoot! Nice legs!)
We sip and chat, three stories up. We can hear the street noise (cars honking), the trees (leaves rustling), and a restaurant garden nearby (people murmuring, glasses clinking)...
Do you ever drink rose? Sometimes it gets a bad rap, but it's the perfect refreshing drink for a warm evening. And I love the bright pink hue; it just feels like summer. (Side note: You can spot the restaurant garden below us, to the left of Alex.)
Our fire escape looks across a courtyard onto another apartment building, just like Rear Window.
We love our little outdoor drinks, and I'm glad, after six years of living here, that we finally thought of it!

Do you have a fire escape? Or a balcony? Or (gasp) an actual garden? Be still my heart.

(Update: I'm wearing this silk polka-dot skirt and these Swedish Hasbeen sandals.)

The Best Chicken Cutlets You'll Ever Have (with Corn Flakes!)

Jenny Rosenstrach writes the fantastic food blog Dinner: A Love Story and has a brilliant cookbook memoir of the same name coming out next week (yay!). She and her husband Andy are passionate about nightly family dinners with their two daughters--and swear it's possible, if you keep things simple and fun. (Fun fact: Jenny has a diary listing every single dinner she's made since 1998!) Here, she reveals her secret family recipe for the best chicken cutlets ever...
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Mission Lake House...Complete!

We're back from the lake and I am so thrilled to report that it was an UN-eventful weekend.  In our world, uneventful is a wonderful thing!  Lucy has talked about this trip for a long time and I was tentative about how it would go.  She never got in the water but I didn't really expect her to.  It's usually pretty cool in late May.  She did, however have a great time riding on the boat, visiting with our friends, spending quality time with the fam and she loved driving the boat!  All in all it was a wonderful weekend.  (the only thing missing was my sweet grandparents who always spend this weekend with us)

I found myself saying "thank you Lord" a million times a day.  We all headed home with very grateful hearts.

I love their answer when asked "what happened to the tow rope?"

A trip to the lake just isn't the same without a visit with the Williams

Boat Captain!!

Lucy has found a new love for Chocolate

A teenager in the making.  Yikes!

My Dad had a mini-me all weekend long.  It was the most precious site.  Here Jack is helping him wash the boat.  

This is Jack's new pose.  He stands and walks with his hands behind his back.  Like a little man for sure.  I like how he is observing Erik and my Dad working and he seems to really be taking it all in.  

The princess with her hat, glasses and battery operated fan!

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Glow-in-the-dark driveway

How beautiful is this driveway? It's actually doable: It's made of glowstones mixed with gravel. Imagine driving home after a long day at work--awesome.

(Via Pinterest)

Summer Essential #6: Beach Blanket

A few years ago, we picked up one of these beach blankets. They're thin and lightweight, so you can carry them easily (or stuff one into a bag), and then spread them out for a grassy picnic or napping on the sand. We've used it a million times; I'd highly recommend them!

P.S. Five more summer essentials...

Summer Essential #5: A One-Piece Swimsuit

A swimsuit can say a lot about a woman, don't you think? Maybe it says she's laid back, or silly, or feminine, or in love with a past era. Whatever her personality, there always seems to be a swimsuit to match. Here are seven pretty one-pieces for the summer... --Rachel from Elephantine

1. Patchwork Maillot, $218.
2. Natalie One-Piece, $148.
3. Purple Bandeau Tank, $82.
4. Red Polka-Dot, $86.
5. Red Striped Halter, $208.
6. Blue Bandeau Swimsuit, $30.
7. Bustier One-Piece, $253. (So cute on the model.)

Which would you choose? (I also love this striped one and this seersucker one in yellow.)

P.S. More round-ups...

(Layout by Rachel from Elephantine, a new Cup of Jo contributor)

Wish Come True

When Lucy was asked what she wanted for her Make A Wish last year she immediately said "I want to got the lake house". Well, her wish finally came true!

Taking a blog vacation for a couple of days. I'll be back to "work" on Tuesday. We've got a lost summer to make up!

Have a relaxing long weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? We're celebrating my mom's sixtieth birthday and crossing our fingers for clear skies. Also, Alex and I watched The Firm this week (he'd never seen it); I forgot how fun and gripping that movie is. Tom Cruise doesn't age! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and here are a few great posts from around the web...

A song to kick off your weekend.

Mick and Paul, eating apples.

Coolest photo of Obama.

Pretty Parisian.

Pink neon sandals.

Who wants a wine spritzer?

Two adorable dogs.

10 Olympic sports that are ripe for a comeback.

Colored flame birthday candles.

A slinky on a treadmill. Weirdly suspenseful:)

These are such realistic newborn dolls. Creepy?

(Remember these actual newborns?)

Sweet NYC break-up story.

A baby thinks this magazine is a broken iPad.

(Photo of a rooftop picnic by Jamie Beck)

Happy 2nd birthday, Toby!

Today is Toby's second birthday!!! Hurray!!! (I cannot believe this happened two years ago, it feels like yesterday.) To celebrate, we threw a birthday picnic for him last Sunday. Here are some photos, below, if you'd like to see....
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Thursday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Couverture and The Garbstore, a rad boutique in Notting Hill, London. They have beautiful dresses, jewelry, shoes, everything, from designers like A.P.C. and Steven Alan. (And I love this tee.) One lucky winner will receive this chambray smock dress with patchwork panels by A D├ętacher ($610). Wouldn't you love to wear this all summer with peach lipstick and a ponytail?

For a chance to win, please visit Couverture and The Garbstore and leave a comment below. A winner will be chosen at random on Monday (so you have four days). Good luck! Update: Vanessa G. is our lucky winner. Thanks for playing.

Bonus for all readers: Get a 30% discount on any order with the code Wa9at6fB from now until Monday.

Cheese wedding cake

Speaking of offbeat weddings, this Australian couple served a cheese wedding cake. Be still my heart.

What kind of dessert will (or did) you serve at your wedding? We went with chocolate-chip cookies.

P.S. More on cheese:)

(Photos by Jonas Peterson)

Do or Don't: Colorful wedding dresses

Thursday pop quiz! What color wedding dress would you wear, if white weren't an option? Here are your choices...
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A New Look

Look who got glasses today!! Lucy is so proud and I think she looks like a doll. The optometrist seems to think that her eye issues are related to her overall body weakness but only time will tell. So for now she will be wearing them for "up close" work.

I love this girl!! Purple glasses and all.

Wednesday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Curator, a San-Francisco-based clothing line with sexy, comfy pieces you can wear everyday. Today they're giving away their pleated Mari skirt ($110), which comes in a bunch of colors. Wouldn't you just live in this skirt all summer?

For a chance to win, please visit Curator (and feel free to check them out on Facebook) and leave a comment below. A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow. Good luck! Update: Lauren C. is our lucky winner. Thanks for playing.

Bonus for all readers: Get a 15% discount off all Curator clothing with the code CUPOFJO for the next seven days.

Garden cake

Speaking of birthdays, how pretty is this garden cake? You could whip up any basic cake and just cover it with berries, leaves and teeny flowers.

(Photo and cake by Manger)

The Best Party Cocktail You'll Ever Have

My mom turned sixty last February (!), and we're throwing her a long-awaited family party this coming weekend. My brother, sister and I have been brainstorming surprises for her party, which I'll keep secret until next week--and I'm also in charge of drinks. Happily, my friend Anna suggested this incredible cocktail, which we're definitely whipping up this weekend...
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Colored chalk tips

Today I'm excited to share another hair tutorial! My genius friend Caroline used chalk (yes, plain old chalk) to color the ends of her hair like a rainbow, and you could also do ombre or just your favorite color. Don't you love this sexy rocker look? Here's how to do it...
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What makes you happy?

Yesterday was one of those stressful days, so today I'd love to ask you: What are three things that make you happy? When I asked you years ago, your answers included baby cheeks, the cool side of the pillow and a good fudgy brownie. (Also, "pee shivers." Ha!) My list right now is: clean sheets with freshly shaven legs, a new episode of Mad Men, Belgian beer. And you?

P.S. Also, peonies. And baby swans that ride on their mother's back.

Feeling Fine

I'm feeling better today.  Guess it's a good thing, because someone forgot to tell Jack that Mommy needed a chill day.

Summer begins for us on Wednesday.  It's Ella's last day of 2nd grade.  I'm anxious about how our days are going to go once we are all three home.  Lucy will continue with tutoring 3 times a week and we have decided to fight insurance for PT and OT extensions to carry her through the summer.  Ella has two camps, they both have a week of VBS, we have two trips with our families planned and a summer of "living" to catch up on.  Ella is doing swim team this year and we are hoping Lucy will adapt to the water soon so that she can begin swimming lessons/ water PT.  I'm buckling my seat belt because I know we are in for a ride!

Oh, and Jack.  Well, he got an "ish"

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