Tag Archives: Family

Birthday Reflections

many-happy-returnsFor whatever reason, birthdays have always meant a lot to me. I love the fact that each year we get to celebrate the day we made our entrance into the world and I appreciate that sentiment so much more now that I have experienced a birth day first hand. But more than it being just your own special day, I treat it sort of like a new year and think back on all that has changed since the last birthday. I am always amazed at all of the days, events, and frankly, little things that make up a year. It goes by quickly doesn’t it? Since this particular birthday is somewhat of a milestone (the big 3-0), I’m taking a look further back, at the whole of my twenties. What a decade of change! These were years of learning and discovery, of difficult choices and great rewards. Hind sight is 20/20, but if I could go back and share some tips and insight with myself, I might have just a few things to say…

  • You may stray from your college degree, but don’t discount what it taught you. Those years helped shape who you are.
  • Taking a job of your dreams, for little pay, might just offer you a priceless experience.
  • Moving far from home is hard, but you will grow more than you thought possible. You can always return.
  • Speaking of hard, it’s a challenge to make new friends after college, but with persistence, creativity and some guts, you’ll find those friendships are worth finding.
  • Don’t be intimidated by job descriptions. You are more qualified than you give yourself credit for.
  • Be proud of where you are from and don’t be embarrassed to say that you miss it (OH-IO).
  • Nothing compares to the relationship that’s built through marriage. It is quite possibly the best thing in the world so give it your all!
  • Your job doesn’t have to define you. Fill your evenings and weekends with activities and hobbies that excite you.
  • There is something to be said for being close to family. No one else will be able to make you smile like they do.
  • Home ownership is a great accomplishment, but try not to let it consume you, as hard as that may be.
  • You will never be truly ready for motherhood, but take the plunge anyway and be prepared to be changed in ways you never could have imagined.
  • It will be hard to believe the number of candles on your cake, because you certainly won’t feel like a thirty-something!

The truth is I’m excited for my thirties. I think this decade has the promise of being something truly amazing! And because this is real life, I doubt that change stops in your twenties.

p.s. About that 30 before 30 list, well I may have been a bit overly ambitious. I haven’t decided if those are still things I want to tackle or if maybe my priorities have shifted. I’ll keep you posted. You know me though, never one to go too long without some sort of goal.


Denning Beta is Here

The last time I logged in to A Little Old Fashioned was on August 13th! I can’t believe it was that long ago, yet I can remember the day exactly. The piece I was working on was titled “Wishing and Hoping” and it was about looking forward to the arrival of Denning Beta but in a patient, “all good things come to those who wait” sort of way.  I had the day off and had gotten up early to surprise Phil with coffee and donuts for his birthday and we were enjoying the peacefulness of the morning in our office. I felt fine, like I had the day before and the day before that. Little did I know that I would never hit publish on that post because my labor would start later that evening just as we were wrapping up our last date night before life got crazy.


The next morning, August 14th at 3:33am, Henry Otis Denning was born coming into the world at 8lb 14oz. It was a whirlwind labor with the entire event moving much faster than I ever imagined, but I was able to deliver at home, as planned and we couldn’t have asked for a healthier baby. I hope to share our birth story someday soon as I know it will allow me to not only capture the memory but also to process it. For now though, I am working through what I think is an even more challenging event – the transition to motherhood. See, I am actually writing this from my phone because well, it’s hard to balance a laptop and a baby in your lap at the same time. And the few times a day when I have my hands free I can only think about eating, sleeping or showering. Can you blame me?

But we are settling in – Henry to life on the outside and me to life as his mom. We still have a lot of learning to do, but I am told that it gets easier and the most demanding days, both physically & emotionally, are soon to be behind us. If that’s true, I hope that I can get back to writing more because I miss it. I never thought that sharing my story would be a means of expression for me, but it has become a part of my life that I look forward to. My story will obviously change in many aspects, because I have changed, even in just the last 8 weeks, but regardless, I look forward to this next chapter and I look forward to seeing what is in store for me and for our new family.

5 Fantastic Things | May


Every month that passes means we are one month closer to meeting Denning Beta and in the words of my midwife, “it’s starting to get real”. I didn’t post very much this last month, but that was because we were so busy living life and getting our ducks in row before everything changes. We’ve been working hard, spending time with friends, tackling projects around the house and enjoying the start to a long, hot summer. May was a pretty great month.

5 FANTASTIC THINGS I want to remember:

  1. The perfect weather we had for the entire Memorial Day weekend. We took full advantage of it by walking through the neighborhood, catching a Reds game, attending a baby-wearing class, and strolling through Washington Park and we wrapped it up with a neighborhood cook-out under the stars. Perfection.
  2. Splurging on a delicious meal to mark the occasion of our friend’s visit home.
  3. Enjoying the view in Great American Ballpark for not one, but two impromptu Reds games this month to kick off the season.
  4. Sitting on the porch with my sister, drinking Izze and catching up like old times.
  5. Experiencing a sense of accomplishment when we figured out a not-so-basic DIY project for our office shelving. Even though it was hard work, it was worth it.

5 FANTASTIC THINGS I’m looking forward to:

  1. Seeing friends and family and celebrating Denning Beta at a our baby shower.
  2. Making good use of our first grill (just purchased this weekend)!
  3. Learning together about childbirth as we attend a series of classes to prepare (as much as one can for something like this).
  4. Visiting with my dad and step-mom who will be here for the first time since Christmas!
  5. Spending lots of time at the pool cooling off.

Past “5 Fantastic Things” posts:
April // March // February // January // 
December // November // October //
September // August // July // June // May

24 Little Hours

Is everyone humming the tune “What a Difference a Day Makes” now? What a great tune. You should check it out if you’re not familiar. Our 24 little hours weren’t changed drastically by love, well maybe they were; love from my parents who came down to Cincinnati and worked like energizer bunnies to help us tackle all sorts of house projects. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when mom and Bob are in town, stuff gets done!

We joked about how they could have a very successful HGTV show about all the things you can accomplish in 24 hours with the right tools and a little guidance from an expert. If that doesn’t sound exciting, maybe getting a sneak peak at all we tackled around our house will motivate you to get working…or just sign up to be on the show.

Painted-WallsI forgot to take a before picture, but I’m sure you can guess what color was on the walls before.  That’s right… GREEN! Going for a light neutral has really brightened up the space. Now I walk by the room and think that I’ve left the light on, but really it’s just the sun reflecting off of a color that is not green and it’s amazing!

Fixed-FaucetWe replaced the pipe to our outside faucet because by the end of summer last year, it had stopped working. That fix probably took Bob about 10 minutes.

New-Cat-DoorWe pride ourselves on trying to have a home that doesn’t scream “Cats Live Here!!” when you walk through the front door, but for the last year the litter box has been out in the open in our piano room simply because we had no better place to put it. Phil and Bob built a “trap door” over our cellar entrance (because we don’t want the cats playing around on the dirt cellar floor) and installed a cat door so that the litter can be nicely hidden on the landing behind the door. Out of sight, out of scent.

Patched-HolesIn the bedroom that will eventually become the nursery, we had several holes to patch. First, there used to be a TV mounted on the wall and since we have no plans of ever having TVs in our bedrooms, we removed all the cables and plate covers and patched those holes. Then there was the fun of patching the hole in the ceiling that led to what we learned after buying the home was a “faux vent”, meaning the vent was just there for looks and not actually connected to our HVAC system. Obviously that made for a particularly cold bedroom (sorry to all our guests that stayed with us!), so we had a company install duct work and we then had to patch up the hole that led to nowhere. Still a couple more coats of plaster to go, but then we’ll be all set to paint!

Soffit-1Soffit-2And our biggest project was covering the newly installed duct work. Because our roof line is so close to the ceiling, our only option was to add the duct below the ceiling, so Phil and Bob built the soffit to cover it. It probably just needs one more coat, a good sanding and then will be ready to prime and paint. Such a huge relief!

If that’s not an impressive amount of projects, I don’t know what is. We were exhausted by the time it was all over, but I know that without their help, it would have taken us months of evenings and weekends to get all of this taken care of. Sometimes you just need a little help to get things started.

5 Fantastic Things | November


Wow, did November go by quickly! Thanksgiving came and went in the blink of an eye and now Christmas will be here in just a few very short weeks. As has been the case these last couple of months, the final week was by far the busiest, packed with family, friends, work and house projects. I enjoyed every minute of it, but I am thankful to have a couple of days to rest heading into December.

5 FANTASTIC THINGS I want to remember:

  1. Hosting our first-ever Thanksgiving meal. I had so much fun making all the preparations for the meal, cooking alongside my husband, and having family over to our new home.
  2. Putting up Christmas decorations, however sparse they may be, including our first Christmas tree (a real one, of course)!
  3. A brisk, almost freezing run on Thanksgiving morning followed by a hot cup of coffee and plenty of food.
  4. Listening to Phil read a history of London picture book to a somewhat confused and overwhelmed 4 year old (my cousin’s son) who thought he had selected a simple pop-up book. Little did he know all he would learn from Phil’s vast knowledge on the subject! (The rest of that weekend was great too. My sister sure knows how to host a house-warming.)
  5. A relaxing Black Friday spent watching The Holiday, making Christmas ornaments and sipping hot spiced cider with my sister-in-law.

5 FANTASTIC THINGS I’m looking forward to:

  1. Watching all of my favorite Christmas movies (White Christmas, The Family Stone, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street and more).
  2. Baking and sharing Christmas cookies.
  3. Listening to the beautiful music of the choirs at Capital University (my alma mater) during the annual Christmas Festival concert.
  4. Attending Christmas Eve service, wherever that ends up being, to sing hymns, light candles and reflect on the peacefulness of the evening.
  5. Taking time to reflect on 2013 and put together a plan for a productive and happy 2014.

Past “5 Fantastic Things” posts: October // September // August // July // June // May

Large Amount of Gratitude

www.pinterest.comWhile Thanksgiving has never been my favorite holiday, I can certainly appreciate a day that allows us to pause and think about how much we really have to give thanks for. We’ve never gone around the dining table sharing what we are thankful for (maybe this year), but I like the idea of saying it out loud. It somehow makes it seem more important that way.  In case I don’t get the chance to share my list tomorrow, I wanted to be sure to say how grateful I am and share those things that are topping my list this year…

  • The people who love me unconditionally – my husband, my family and my friends
  • Our house and all the projects that come along with it – we are lucky to have a house even if it means lots of extra work
  • A job that challenges me, provides for our needs and wants, and has given me some truly wonderful friendships
  • My voice and our piano that allow me to fill our house with music
  • A healthy, strong body that can run half-marathons, practice yoga, and do everything that I want to do

In addition to giving thanks tomorrow, I’ll be running a 10K downtown Cincinnati, preparing Thanksgiving dinner for my in-laws, putting lights on our tree, and watching White Christmas (an Osborne family tradition). Hope your day is filled with good things and that you find a minute to share what you are thankful for this year. Happy Thanksgiving!

5 Fantastic Things | October


October consistently remains one of my favorite months of the year and this October did not disappoint. I could barely whittle my list down to just 5 fantastic things. Between the weather, my birthday, Halloween and just the general buzz in the air as pumpkin spice lattes and colorful leaves return, even Christmas will have a hard act to follow.

5 FANTASTIC THINGS I want to remember:

  1. How great it felt to cross the finish line at my first half-marathon. I don’t think I stopped smiling that entire run.
  2. Being surprised by what Peter Sagal looks like when we saw him live at the recording of Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me, the NPR News Quiz. Cincinnati filled that hall and we enjoyed every minute of the broadcast. Best birthday present!
  3. Keeping the birthday tradition alive with a little shopping with my mom. No one will be more honest about how you look in that outfit than your mom.
  4. Holding my co-worker’s new baby and having her fall asleep in my arms. She proved to me that babies are not so scary 🙂
  5. Eating that first piece of pizza post-race – something I have been craving since giving up flour and sugar. Oh, and sharing it with some pretty awesome people. I love it when my friends and family come together.

5 FANTASTIC THINGS I’m looking forward to:

  1. Hosting the neighbors on our street for a little get together. We have the best neighbors and we enjoy getting together every month or so to kick back and catch up. It’s one of the many reasons I love living where we do.
  2. Picking back up with my yoga practice now that the intensity of the half-marathon training is over.
  3. Having a few days off around Thanksgiving. I have been burning the candle at both ends and could really use a few days of R&R.
  4. Possibly running the Cincinnati Turkey Trot.  There is no better excuse for eating that extra piece of pie than running 6 miles Thanksgiving morning.
  5. Reading! I am way behind on my goal for the year, and I’m not sure that I’ll even come close to making it, but that’s not going to stop me from trying.  Next up…The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Past “5 Fantastic Things” posts: September // August // July // June // May