Diego’s birthday weekend! 

Hello! Happy Friday :) It is 2 in the afternoon, I’m cozy in my bed, it’s been raining on and off, and I have a lavender rosemary candle on. Today is my birthday! I took the day off from work and Diego is taking a nap (HOORAY!!). I’m relaxing and reflecting on last weekend.

Kirstin had the brilliant idea to write Diego a letter for his first birthday, so I got out all of my wild emotions in a letter to him Sunday night. Now, I’ll just jot down some of our happy memories celebrating our sweet baby’s first birthday!

Saturday morning, we had a party with David’s family. The whole week leading up to his birthday weekend, I was kind of an emotional mess. But when it came time to celebrate, suddenly the excitement took over, and I got in to the festive spirit. Silvia watched Diego in the morning while we ran a few errands to prep. As we drove around, just the two of us, I couldn’t help but think of the Saturday morning, a year ago. We went to brunch and walked along the reservoir, and it was the last day it was just the two of us. It felt sweet to be back in the car, just us, anticipating another special weekend.

Something about picking up his birthday cake, seeing the little hat, made me feel like, oh man, we are parents.

David’s family went all out and prepped an incredible tacquiza. It was delicious.

Diego even tried his first taco!!


Beyond the incredible food, I’m so grateful Silvia is such a talented photographer. I love looking back at these photos of Diego and his birthday cake:

He hesitated for a moment, and then he REALLY went for it. He was pretty bonkers for the afternoon, but watching his delight with the cake was totally worth it.

A little over a year ago, we gathered with the same family and friends to celebrate a baby shower, and anticipate what it would be like to meet this baby. It felt very special to be surrounded by everyone again, wrapping Diego in birthday love.

The sunset that night was amazing!!

The next day, after crepes at the Farmer’s market, the sun came out and it was too beautiful to be inside. We grabbed the stroller and took Diego on a birthday BART ride. I’m pretty sure no one has EVER been this happy on BART. He was elated! I think he liked being able to sit between both of us and watch the view. Usually, in the car, he’s either alone or stuck with me, and I think he genuinely enjoyed being together. Or maybe the train ride was just that exciting?

Anyway, we walked to the park near the Ferry Building and played there for a while.



The park near us doesn’t have bucket swings and he got a real kick out of these:

We celebrated his birthday eve with shakes and french fries at Gotts.

The next morning, Diego’s real birthday, started wayyyyy too early as it was the morning after Daylight Savings. We were all pretty sleepy, but snapped a quick photo before heading to daycare/work.


Glad we got these photos. When we came home and tried to take his year old photo, he was so wiggly and excited, he kept scooting off the couch! So, we popped open the champagne we had been saving to celebrate his first year, and took a photo of that instead :)


Cheers to Diego, to one year, and to all we have learned together! When I was in labor, to calm myself down, I kept telling myself, just think of all you have to look forward to. Someday you’re going to take this baby to the beach, someday this baby is going to see the ocean. I kept picturing a baby at Crystal Cove. Focusing on that hope and dream (sort of) centered me. Taking Diego to the beach has certainly been a highlight this year. But I had no idea how many other remarkable moments were in store. The thrill of seeing Diego at the ocean is matched by the way my heart soars in the morning, when I see Diego and David snuggled up in bed together. Or when I pick him up at daycare and he nearly lunges into my arms. Or when I watch him on the playground, observing other kids, trying to piece together how he fits in in this world, and figure out what they are doing. Learning more about who he is, and who he is becoming, is a thrill I never could have dreamed of. I’m so grateful for all of it, and incredibly thankful for this year and Diego.

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Hello, March 

I wrote this four days ago, but never finished. Now that it is the night before Diego turns 1 (!!!!) a whole new stream of emotion and reflection has taken over. Hoping to write about that, and his first year, tonight. For now, some thoughts from earlier this week:

We’re less than a week away from Daylight Savings Time (beginning? Ending?) and longer days. The extra hour of sunshine will always make me think of Diego as he was born in Daylight Savings Sunday. Trying to wrap my mind around the fact Diego will be one on Monday.

I’m far more emotional about it than I anticipated. It hit me hard on Monday. When I first went back to work, and was constantly pumping, I felt this very intense emotional and physical pull all day long. It was like my arms needed Diego, like I couldn’t completely concentrate, because of this incredible need to hold him, and have him snuggled up with me.

Thankfully, with time (and when I stopped pumping—ALL THE PRAISE HANDS) this pull mostly calmed down. Though I still, to this day, like clock-work, at 2 pm, fiercely miss Diego. I generally have to take a quick break, scroll through some baby photos, but thankfully, it’s not an all day thing.

ANYWAY, all to say, that yesterday, that all-day nagging feeling returned. I felt pretty bluesy and surprisingly extremely emotional thinking about my baby turning 1. David and I are spending most nights re-watching baby clips, and I burst into tears the other night thinking about the baby-baby stage being over. Despite the fact I have an absurd library of photos on my phone, I keep worrying, did I take enough photos? Did I pause enough? How did it all go by so fast?

And yet…it wasn’t really that fast. (I know, I know, it’s the longest-shortest time). There were streatches that were very trying. The exhaustion aside, the initial few weeks post-birth, the total self-doubt when I returned to work, the complete chaos as we navigated new jobs/long commutes, all made for some lonnnng days.

I was thinking about those moments a lot the other day, feeling a bit of a sense of regret as I reflected on Diego’s first year. And then, I curled up, and read a lot of  journal entries from those moments. Sure, I noted how tired I was, but my overwhelming sense in those moments, at that time, was joy and wonder at this sweet baby. Reading about Diego’s first first two weeks or his first baseball game-both of these were during times that I remember feeling particularly exhausted, confused, and very unsure of myself-and yet, all of that was just background noise. What really mattered, and what I did soak up at the time, was complete delight in all of Diego’s antics.

And thinking of his darling antics helps me avoid being tooo emotional about time marching on.  I am loving observing him engage more with the world. He tries to “play” with toddlers at the park, and “dances” (little bounces) to music, and babbles to himself in the car-seat. The other night, we were in the midst of an absurdly messy dinner (why do babies insist on rubbing food all over their eyes???) and I could feel myself getting frustrated. I started joking around with Diego and he exploded into a fit of giggles, and it was like this whoooosh of fresh air and fun exploded and made us all so happy.

So that’s how I was feeling as we kicked off March :)

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24 hours in Wine Country

Many, many years ago, I remember sitting in a movie theater, watching Bridget Jones’s Diary, and feeling absolutely giddy for her as she embarked on her “full blown mini-break holiday weekend.” Of course, her weekend ended disastrously, but watching their convertible speed off into the English countryside, I remember thinking, oh man, I can’t wait to grow up and go on mini-break holiday weekends.

I would love to tell 16 year old Fay, that for once, you’re actually right! Holiday weekend trips are awesome, and totally worth going through that whole growing up thing. While I love big trips and faraway travel, sometimes, a super quick getaway provides exactly the right magical vacation restoration, with way less planning and commitment.

Two weeks ago, my parents came to visit, and were kind enough to watch Diego while David and I went away for the night. Rachel and Adam were visiting Napa for a few days, and so a quick trip to Napa and Sonoma sounded like a great way to get away, drink some delicious wine, and see friends.

Image may contain: 5 people, including Adam Howard, Rachel Patta Howard, Fay Gordon and David Garcia, people smiling, people standing, sky, mountain, outdoor and nature

They are in the Vineyard 29 wine club, and we started the afternoon with a private tasting at the vineyard. I’ve never done a private tasting before and it was awesome. Austin, our guide, detailed all of the technology and innovation behind the production-side of the wine and then led us through an incredible tasting. The views from the tasting were spectacular, and, while I’m still learning about wine, from my naive perspective-the wine was phenomenal.

After several hours at Vineyard 29, we crossed the street to Trinchero. Rory was such an adorable trouper! He was so patient during the tasting and just a happy, calm baby throughout the day.

The later afternoon sunlight really was golden, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the wine and relaxing on the patio. Also, give me a glass of wine, afternoon sun, and an Adirondack chair, and I’m good for a while.

Eventually, the sun dipped behind the valley, and the temperature dropped dramatically. We said goodbye to the Howards, and headed off in search of a burger from Gotts. The line was absurd, so we got tacos at a place next door, and hit the road for our hotel.

I found a deal at the Fairmont Sonoma that was too good to pass up, but I completely underestimated the winding drive! Thankfully, David drove, and it was totally fine–if not a bit of a white knuckle ride–but note to self: 1) when wine tasting in Sonoma, stay in Sonoma, 2) when wine tasting in Napa, stay in Napa.

I say that but….I should add a: 3) when you find a crazy ridiculous rate at the Fairmont Sonoma, absolutely stay there, it is so worth the drive.

The hotel is gorgeous, and everything was just so nice. In addition to the beautiful hotel, the on-site Willow Stream Spa is worth the trip alone. The weekend was already quite a splurge, so I didn’t get a treatment, but I definitely took advantage of the day pass on Sunday morning. The spa’s complex of thermal mineral pools are incredibly calming, but I was most surprised by how much I enjoyed the zero gravity chair room. Previously, I had only seen these chairs in lounge chair form, but they were basically beds, in a dark room with soothing music and hot tea. The chairs actually kind of resembled the loungers from Wall-E, which is a little disturbing, but they were so relaxing!

Anyway, after the spa morning and lunch in downtown Sonoma, it was time to say goodbye wine country and head back home to our Diego-bear. Very grateful for the quick trip away, but always happy to come home.

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Happy Tuesday! Stopping by to upload a bunch of photos from the last month. It finally feels like winter again, after a bizarre spell of warm weather, so I’m curling up and doing some scrapbooking!

In the last month, we….

Said goodbye to our sweet house, and moved back to Oakland. Here’s Diego just before we packed up the car:

Not at all a surprise, but I was pretty emotional about moving. We also said goodbye and many, many thanks to amazing Linda and Diego’s first daycare:

And Diego’s first buddy, James, and his awesome parents!

And now, we’re settling into a new routine in the city.

The past few weekends were mostly filled with unpacking, organizing, tying up loose ends at the house, etc. etc. etc.

The BEST part of the move-and really, the reason behind the move-all the extra time together. The mornings and evenings are completely different, and I’m immensely grateful the three of us have this time together.

With the extra time, in the evenings, Diego and I are scoping out new walking routes and discovering some incredible views:

We also have more time and energy on the weekends to drive and see friends.

Last weekend, we finally met Benji! I keep looking at this photo and laughing. They look like two old men, who appear to tolerate the other’s presence, but really completely adore each other.

And a few weeks ago, we went on a beautiful walk around Lake Elizabeth with Julie and Declan.

Ha-well, Julie and I had fun :)

And, now we’re much, much closer to Janou and Max = more sister time!

Recently, one of my favorite writers, Kelly Corrigan, wrapped up her book tour for Tell Me More, in Oakland. She read passages from her book (which is SO GOOD), and Lucy Kalanithi interviewed her. Their thoughtful conversation about grief, the writing process, and relationships brought on lots of tears, but also lots of laughter-Kelly Corrigan is hilarious. I’m so happy Janou and I were able to see them in conversation.

Last week, I was in DC for part of the week, which was energizing and productive.

It was a busy three days, but I got to have dinner with Shannon and Katie, and went to Pret every day, which is basically a recipe for a wonderful trip to DC.

Back at home, Diego turned 11 months old! And he’s been (sorta) standing, scooting, babbling, and keeping us on our toes.

Standing on his tippy toes!

Annnnnd…another ear infection.

Wild to think that we’re just about a week away from March. I can’t believe Diego is almost a year old. I need to start writing down my thoughts about his first year…it really is flying by. Sending good thoughts for the week!

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Crosswalk conversations

It’s been a verrrry busy winter here. Between ALL of us getting colds/flu/etc., packing, moving, unpacking, it feels like January was a bit of a blur.

Hoping to post more regularly, as I feel like I’ve missed out on scrapbooking 2018.

Anyway, just dropping by to jot down a recent sweet observation. Diego and i were on a walk-on a new route! In our new neighborhood!-and waiting at the crosswalk, next to the local middle school. Next to us, waiting at the light, are two students. They’re exchanging goodbyes, about to part ways at the intersection, when one says to the other, “well, thanks for sharing your opinion!”  And they cheerfully say goodbye, and are on their way.

It was so sincere, so sweet. I have no idea what they discussed, but the earnest enthusiasm in the one student’s voice, his genuine gratitude at listening to the other’s thoughts and opinions-it just filled me with such joy and hope. If I spend three seconds on Twitter, I’m convinced the world is doomed, full of anger and screaming matches. In reality, people—middle school children—honestly just want to discuss, question and learn. At least these two did. And they made my day.

Completely unrelated: here’s Diego, scooting around with an Eagles cup at Yasser’s Super Bowl party last night :)

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