Have an inspiring weekend.

What are your plans for this weekend? We're flying to Chicago tonight (Toby is out of his mind excited for the plane) and are looking forward to hot dogs and ferris wheels. (And wouldn't these be cool at the beach?)

Next week, I'm thrilled to be featuring a second work/baby/life balance series. The first series was about mothers who work freelance, but now we'll focus on mothers who work full time in office jobs. The amazing women will share how they try to juggle everything, from babysitters and bedtimes to meetings and marriage. The interviews were fascinating, and I can't wait to discuss them with you.

Finally, this week's round-up is all about Nora Ephron (1941-2012), who was such a talent and inspiration. In her books and movies, she really captured the voice of a certain type of young woman--neurotic, imperfect, complex, loving. Everyone sees themselves in Nora, and she's the kind of person that you want as a best friend (and mentor). She will be missed...

"I have a theory that children remember two things—when you weren't there and when they threw up." –Nora Ephron.

What she will and won't miss.

Her most recent book, which I ordered immediately. (I loved her other books--Heartburn, I Feel Bad About My Neck...)

14 photos.

Funny wisdom.

Why you shouldn't be a lady.

“And then the dreams break into a million tiny pieces. The dream dies. Which leaves you with a choice: you can settle for reality, or you can go off, like a fool, and dream another dream.” –Nora Ephron.

Tom Hanks remembers Nora. (Love the last paragraph.)

Nora writes about her love affair with her Upper West Side apartment.

10 great movie lines.

How to live life to the fullest.

"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim." –Nora Ephron.

(Photograph by Linda Nylind for the Guardian)

My new summer uniform

We were packing for Chicago this morning, and I was thinking about summer uniforms. What's yours this summer? I keep spotting beautiful women around town wearing white jeans with grey T-shirts. Fresh, clean, classic. Perfect for day or night. Here's how to get the look...
Grey tee: Get this one. People usually think of tees as basics that you can find anywhere—Gap, Old Navy—but not all T-shirts are created equal. Certain tees can be wildly unflattering. You want to stay away from fluttery sleeves (like this), high necks (like this) and any thick fabrics. Instead, find a thin tee with a lower crew neck or V-neck, which are soooooo much prettier.

White jeans: My favorite pair, hands down. The cut is fantastic. I bought these before a trip to Paris three years ago and have loved wearing them ever since.

(Photos by the Sartorialist and Boden)

36 hours

I drove for 5.5 hours today and will do the same again in about 36 hours. But this might be the best 36 hours I've ever had!

I surprised my family tonight. More details to come but right now I'm rocking a little boy who has really missed his momma.

Thursday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from 20 Best Twenty, a wonderful website that curates twenty independent shops every month. The site brings together everything from jewelry to baby onesies to stationery. (Above are ribbon-wrapped bangles, for example, and below is a Swoop toy bag.) Today, they're giving one lucky reader a $200 gift certificate to pick out anything on the site.

For a chance to win, please visit 20 Best Twenty and leave a comment below with your favorite items from the site. A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow. Good luck! xo Update: Alicia F. is our lucky winner. Thanks for playing.

Have you ever done the "slow fade"?

Back in my dating days...
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Wedding ring

My friend Abbey went to a wedding recently and couldn't stop staring at the bride's ring. Don't you love this cluster ring?

Just Some Pictures

We are here in Atlanta.  Working on getting stronger.  Working on getting well enough to come home. 

We are making the most of our time together.  Lucy, Erik and me.  There are lots of memories to be made. 

But we sure are missing this fellow 

and his sister

and dreaming of a future trip to....

designed by Daddy

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How to do a top knot

When you're traveling or running to dinner, there's nothing sexier than twisting your hair into a top knot. It gives you the ease and nonchalance of a classic French starlet. Lucky for us, my hair-genius friend Caroline shares the steps below, and the fabulous Jamie Beck took photos...
Steps and "after" photos below...
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Words to remember

"No one looks stupid when they're having fun." -- Amy Poehler

P.S. Also, Tina Fey.

(Quote via LOMM)

The Best Avocado Toast You'll Ever Have

In my old age, I've learned a few things: how to trapeze, how to argue fairly and the genius of avocado toast. Avocado toast is delicious, healthy and takes like three seconds to make. It's the perfect breakfast or lunch, and we've even had it for dinner along with tomato soup or scrambled eggs. Lucky for us, the fabulous Jessica from How Sweet It Is agreed to share the perfect recipe...
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A Day in the Life

**So many of you have asked for a mailing address for Lucy.  I can't tell you how much that means to us.  There are some really awesome people in this world (and Atlanta.)  I hope you will understand that we can't give out a local address.  We just don't have the space in this small room for much more than our clothes!  The other problem is that we just won't be able to transport anything more than what we came with back home.  Thanks again for loving our baby girl and our family.  If there is something you want to send, please feel free to send it to the address on our blog.  I can assure you that Lucy will get anything that is sent to her!

**I also want to say a huge "thank you" to everyone who has sent me an email or a blog comment offering meals, help, etc.  Right now we are just trying to find our groove here as a trio.  Please don't be offended if I don't respond personally to you and take you up on your request, but as you will read below our days are very busy and very emotionally taxing.  What we need most are your prayers.  

Today's schedule is fairly typical for a day here on the Rehab floor:

8-8:30        Occupational Therapy
10-10:30    Speech Therapy
10:30-11    Occupational Therapy
11-11:30    Child Life Therapy
11:30-12    Physical Therapy
1:30-2        Speech Therapy
2-2:30        Recreational Therapy 
3-3:30        Physical Therapy

Some days she has music therapy.  That is a favorite of Lucy's already.  Yesterday was a great day.  She pushed through with such determination and pride.  I was shocked to be real honest.  It was probably the hardest day she has had (physically and mentally) in 16 months.  This morning, its been a different story.  She's done well, but it is obvious that she is tired.  She's struggled more in Speech and her walking legs haven't cooperated as much as they did yesterday.

It's hard not to be discouraged as we watch the decline from yesterday.  Erik and I both have gotten a healthy dose of reality today.  Lucy has a long way to go, but that's why we are here.  We just have to keep reminding ourselves of that.  Trying to understand how much of Lucy's struggles are her recovering from the past few weeks' events or what might be permanent is the hard part.  I have had a few hard days recently.  Getting a bigger picture understanding of what Lucy will have to fight is part of why we are here in Atlanta.  It's hard watching your baby struggle.  Its not a comfortable place in which to live.

My friend Amber came to visit tonight and it was so nice seeing a familiar face. (and a big thank you to Erik's  friends the Boeschens for bringing us dinner.)  Amber is a Speech and Language Pathologist here at CHOA and I felt comfortable telling her about some of Lucy's challenges today.  As we talked, Erik and I tried to walk her through the events of the past few weeks.  I could tell that she was very stunned by how far Lucy has come taking into account where she was 3 weeks ago.  She told me that I had not written some of the details I shared with her.  What I apparently failed to mention over the past few weeks was that Lucy had an EEG that declared her almost brain dead on June 5th.  We had instated a DNR that banned any and all life saving measures.  We knew our baby was dying and we had begun to accept it.  We were planning for it.  We told Ella that her sister would soon go to be with Jesus.

In a meeting with Dr. C and Dr. W (two amazing doctors) we talked about what Lucy's future held.  We all agreed that a Lazarus moment would be the only thing that would save Lucy's life.  A few days after that meeting I sent Dr. W a text that only said "we have had our Lazarus moment."  It was the most poignant sentence I have ever written.  It was amazing.  I have no doubt that God has heard the prayers of many and chose to shine his grace on our child.  Almost brain dead.  That's what we were told.

Today was hard, but nothing will ever compare to the 5 days that we spent watching our daughter die.  Today was a gift.  As hard as it was, today was nothing short of a miracle.  Thank you God.  Thank you doctors.  Thank you nurses.  Today was a gift.

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How to break a habit

In his new book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg explains that just by recognizing them, you can change your habits.

Personally, I have a nightly habit of a glass (or two) of wine. At first I was like, it's cool, it's European! But I've realized that as soon as Toby goes to bed—ding, that's my cue—I immediately expect that crisp glass of wine. Duhigg shows how to snap out of your routine (and this week, I've just had water).

Do you have a habit you want to break? Doesn't everyone?

(Via Swissmiss)

Midwest tee

Thumbs up for this rad Midwest T-shirt, which I've been wearing every weekend this summer. I'd like to bring it on our trip to Chicago, but can't decide if that's like wearing the concert T-shirt to the concert.

P.S. Midwestern dog.

Chicago advice?

We couldn't afford a family vacation to Europe this year, so instead, we're going to Chicago next week! We wanted to go somewhere in the United States where we could explore, eat well and also swim in a lake or ocean. And after my friend visited Chicago and showed me these snapshots of her daughter wrapped in a beach towel walking among skyscrapers, we were sold.

So, I'd love to ask: Any Chicago advice? We'd love to do it right, but we're pretty clueless. So far, we're planning to eat deep-dish pizza and hot dogs, and I've heard great things about this architectural boat tour. Thank you so much for any tips!
P.S. Past family vacations, and 10 tips for traveling with a baby.

(Jumping photo from ChicagoGuide08, via Apartment Therapy)

Motherhood Mondays: Nursery in a closet

Our friends Ashley and Aron live in a 500-square-foot studio apartment in the East Village. When they found out they were expecting a baby boy, they rolled up their sleeves and transformed their walk-in closet into a six-square-foot nursery...
I interviewed Ashley on Martha Stewart Living's new blog, if you'd like to hear how she once army-crawled past his crib to get to the bathroom. And isn't the wallpaper a great touch?

P.S. More nursery inspiration...

(Photos by Ashley and Aron of Hither and Thither)

Are you a city mouse or country mouse?

Toby is a born-and-bred city kid (who knows how to hail a cab and wear tattoos), but this Saturday, we decided to escape to the country...
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Motherhood Mondays: 5 tips for taking great photos of kids

My friend Alyson from Unruly Things posts family photos on Instagram, and every shot she takes of her son Wolf is utterly adorable. Luckily for us, Alyson agreed to share five tips to taking great family photos...
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Home Sick and an Anniversary

To all you moms out there who are separated from your children and family due to illness, military service or work, I want to say that I grieve with you tonight.  I have never been so home sick in all my life.  I have cried all day and I am literally sick to my stomach.  My heart feels like it is broken in two.  Being an hour away was hard enough, but I knew that at any given time I could see my kids if I wanted to.  Being here, its not even an option.  What's worse is that as we spend more time here we realize that this is not a floor that is conducive to Jack visiting and Lucy's schedule will hardly allow it either.  I miss LeBonheur and St. Jude.  I miss our familiar nurses and doctors.  I miss the faces that I knew in the hallway and I miss the family that was have come to know over the past 16 months.  CHOA is great, don't get me wrong, its just new.

And don't get me started on Atlanta.  It is so big and I can't even make my way out of the parking garage.  I almost threw the Garmin out of the window the other night when it was pouring rain and I was trying to navigate to Target.  I was a mess.  I haven't felt that incompetent in a long time.  I'm going to stop having a pity party and move on.  When I look around this hospital I am constantly reminded of how blessed we are. Lucy is on special child and she has the opportunity to have a great life.  There are so many children here who won't ever have that chance.

We tried to go to chapel today.  I had to leave after about 20 minutes.  My emotions are still too raw.  It was more than I could handle.  Lucy and Erik stayed, though, as she was doing OT during the service.  These therapists are quite tricky that way.  As soon as the service was over, Erik's sister and some of her family came to visit for the day.  Boy, were they a site for sore eyes.  My heart just melted when I saw them.  It was such an immediate comfort being with family.  They even brought me us dinner, which was my first home cooked meal in over 20 days.  It was wonderful!

After we spent some time visiting, Erik and I headed out on a little excursion.  Today is our 12th wedding anniversary and it was such a treat to be able to spend a few minutes together alone.  We had planned on dining at a nice restaurant but the appeal of a home cooked meal was just too great.  So, we settled on Fro Yo instead.  We window shopped at REI and dreamed of one day taking all three kids camping, hiking and rafting.

When we returned, Lucy was so tired.  While we played cards with in the family room, she fell asleep in my lap and slept for about 2 hours.  She had three 45 minute therapy sessions today and was utterly exhausted.  I have no idea how she is going to make it for 6 hours tomorrow.  There are times I look at her and compare her to other children on this floor.  She seems so healthy.  But then, after almost collapsing after 25 minutes of PT, I am reminded that she does need to be here.  Her body is so worn out.  She (we) have a long way to go.

Tomorrow is a long day, just as the rest of the week will be.  I am excited, though, because I am going to have a visit from two friends and I am thrilled.  My friend Carrie moved to Atlanta from Memphis several years ago.  She is such a great person and I just love her family to death.  Her whole family (Camille) treated us so well when we lived in Memphis.  We are going to have lunch or dinner one day and then her husband is going to come take Erik out the next day.  The other friend was a total surprise.  I totally forgot that a sorority sister (Pi Beta Phi) of mine lives in Atlanta.  Amber actually works here at CHOA as a therapist and I am beyond giddy about seeing her.

One day down, now clue how many more to go. We will never stop praying for many, many more years.  Oh, and Happy Anniversary Erik.  I love you more today than I ever have before.  

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Getting Settled in Atlanta

http://youtu.be/Xz0U9i5jgeQ  new You tube video

Well, we are here!  Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite is where we will embark on our next big adventure.  We are getting settled into our new living quarters and will spend all weekend with doctors and therapists doing evaluations.  Hopefully by the first of the week we will get an idea of how long they think Lucy will need to be here.  I snapped a few pictures of us exploring the hospital yesterday and thought I'd share them.  The hospital is very strict about what I can photograph (which stinks) so I won't be able to have many "action" shots of Lucy working hard.  I'll try to update each day on her progress and include as many pictures as I can.  You may notice that Lucy is in a wheelchair.  Until she is a lot more steady on her feet, this will be her mode of transportation.  I'm not sure she really needs it, but its hospital policy.

Left to right 2nd row:
--Erik and Lucy at the putting green
--In the lobby there is a huge display that is interactive and educational.  I need to ask why, but all over this hospital is a fish theme.
--The Koi pond outside

Left to right bottom row:
--"The Zone" is an activity center with games, Wii, etc.  We haven't been yet, but we hear its really fun.
--In the garden picking blueberries

And just for my girls....

The gift shop is amazing and has more art supplies than imaginable.  However, I am making a trip to Hobby Lobby today because as much as we love Melissa and Doug I would go broke trying to keep up with Lucy's art addiction right now.  The picture below shows her diving in to her new stash.

All in all its been a good first 2 days here in Atlanta.  Thanks to two new friends, Christy and Stacy, we now know a couple of smiling faces around campus.  We were pretty spoiled at St. Jude.  Even on our first day we knew tons of people who worked there.  And at LeBonheur, well, they are all like family.  Thanks to all of you out there in Atlanta land who have come to know our family over the last 18 months I have lots of people to call on for help.  I can't tell you all how much I appreciate the emails that you have sent.  I have read them all, although I have not responded.  Please know that if we get into a bind, I will be contacting Fran, Gloria, Sarah B, Roel, Kristine, and the list goes on.  I am so humbled that so many of you would offer help to people you have never met.  I have to tell you, after a few weeks here a home cooked meal might be just the ticket.  But right now we are ok.  We are getting settled and are adjusting well.

Thank you for your continued prayers.  If I might ask, please add Elena to your prayer list.  She is my new friend Christy's daughter and she has had a relapse of a rare form of Leukemia.  I know they would really appreciate some extra prayer.

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Have a relaxing weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? Alex's mom and sister are coming to visit, and we're planning a little daytrip up to Blue Hill Stone Barns, where we can pet lambs and Toby can collect chicken eggs! Hope you have a great weekend (stay cool), and here are a few fun posts from around the web...

A song for your weekend.

Great argument for wearing sunscreen.

Beautiful kitchen shop.

Ripped jeans.

Life in a tiny apartment.

My friend was wearing this dress this week, and it was so, so flattering. #Wishlisted.

Mozzarella and mango?

I LOVE this idea for new parents (especially after my own bout with depression).

This new book looks fascinating.

Bike-friendly hairstyles.

Made me laugh.

New Yorkers, this cheese contest looks fun.

Have a good one. xoxo

(Photo of Wes Anderson on the set of Moonrise Kingdom)

Pinterest love

Like everyone else in the world, I've gotten totally into Pinterest (or, as my mom calls it, "Pin-interest":), so I thought I'd share a few favorite pins from this week. Above: Ombre serving spoons from etsy...
Leather pockets.
Cat nail polish.
Anchor tattoos.
Nautical bathroom.

Find me here on Pinterest, if you'd like.

(Striped dress photo by Stockholm Street Style; bathroom photo by Seth)

Here We Go

5:15 am. We (erik, lucy and myself) are off to Atlanta! Please keep Lucy and our family in your prayers. We know we are in for a big adventure. I'll post more tonight.

We are expecting mighty things!

Thursday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Alexis Russell, a New-York-based designer who makes handcrafted jewelry that feels raw yet elegant. Aren't her rings beautiful? Today she's giving one reader this beautiful black-and-white diamond cuff ($345). Wouldn't you love to slip it on your wrist and wear it all summer?

For a chance to win, please visit Alexis Russell's shop (and feel free to visit her Facebook page) and leave a comment below. A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow. Good luck! xo Update: Lea F. is our lucky winner. Thanks for playing.

Do or Don't: A house registry

Hatch My House lets you create a wedding registry to save up for your dream home. Your guests give you parts of the house--two bedroom windows or a front door, for example. Thoughts? Kind of brilliant, but would you do it? Now we've seen everything!

P.S. More dos and don'ts...

(Thanks, Karaugh. Boots photo by Stephanie)