Happy New Year, dear family!
It was my birthday before I knew it!! 26 somehow seems so much older than 25 does! I had a wonderful day opening cards and little packages with my cute little boy during the day, and went out for dinner in downtown Berkeley that night with Oliver. We walked down the dark streets, still covered in twinkling white lights from the holidays, and had a fun time reminiscing on the past year over pomegranate chicken tacos, while Henry snoozed in his stroller next to the table. Thank you for your gifts and sweet notes!! It was such a happy “birthday week”!
Oliver has been a happy camper and a new man with his awesome job! He is out of the house before the sun even rises (in the office by 6!), and always kisses me on my forehead (still half asleep in bed) and lets me know that he checked on Henry and he will see me later that night before he heads out the door. I am tickled that he gathers his clothes the night before and closes the door to get dressed in the teeny walk in closet so he doesn’t have to turn on the lights and wake me up. That’s love! From the stories I hear, his first big work project has gone well–he got the buy in needed from the top and is now in the process of implementation. When he gets home at night–usually around 6:30 or so–we like to play with Henry together. Oliver reads him books and puts him in his PJs and makes him giggle. Henry has only really “laughed” a couple times, despite our best effort to be as hilarious as possible. Anyone else watching our antics trying to make our baby laugh would sure have a nice laugh themselves…at us at least! We tuck Henry into bed in his room every night between 7:30-8pm, and then talk or read or watch a movie for an hour before falling asleep ourselves by 9pm. hah! This early morning schedule is easy for me (I would fall asleep then anyways!) but Oliver is a recent convert. Happy to report, he is a true morning person now too!
On Saturdays we like to get out of the house and away from home…normally driving over one bridge or another to explore some new hiking trail in San Francisco and grab lunch to eat at a park. This past month we walked over the Golden Gate Bridge and all the way down to Crissy Field, strolled down the beach, and had a picnic with a view! We’ve also explored Marin, driven around the darling streets of Sausalito, walked down by the Berkeley marina and looked out over the blue water, and visited new shops and restaurants near the University (never in my life did I imagine spending time around Berkeley! haha!). The weather has been glorious and reminds me why we pay so much in state taxes and real estate…eek! Late January in the Bay Area more often than not feels like spring time…the days are getting even warmer and longer…the grass is returning to green, and the fresh air is invigorating.
My weeks are getting nice and busy! I’m taking classes at Apparel Arts, a design school in downtown Oakland, where I spend every Thursday evening (while Oliver watches Henry!). It’s an enormous, beautiful workspace with soaring ceilings, big tables, and sewing and design tools everyway you turn. I’m taking a patternmaking & design class which takes 2-3 years to finish. This stuff is no joke! By the time you get through it all, you have enough skill and discipline to work in the industry, if you choose to do so. It is SO MUCH FUN to spend my Thursday evenings there with other girls and guys who love making things just like I do. My skills are improving rapidly! I’m also taking a workshop series on manufacturing in the Bay Area, which has come in handy, as I’m currently working on having a garment produced (for the first time!). My patternmaker is up and running and the name of the game these days for my free time is fabric sourcing. Hopefully it’s ready to launch on Amazon by late Spring!
I feel like I am (finally?) hitting my stride with Henry…we can now get around with little to no stress, and have settled into a good routine at home. I took him with me on the bus to the park the other week…turns out he likes the bus more than the park! As we bumped up the steep streets of the surrounding hills he stared wide eyed at all the houses and people around him. (Although, admittedly, watching him in a baby swing for the first time was also just as magical!) He recently started propping himself up on his elbows during tummy time and rolling over! These days anything and everything he can get his hands on goes straight in his mouth. I have a feeling we aren’t too far away from eating solids!
Other highlights of the month were returning to Stanford for an alumni dinner one evening, Henry in tow. It was glorious to be back on our favorite campus…home! Henry was the star of the cocktail hour, of course, and is the most perfect social accessory…. nothing starts a conversation better than the baby! He was the only one in the entire dinner under the age of 25! At one point in the evening, a well-dressed middle aged man came over to Henry and I and started chit chatting…ten minutes into the conversation, I, (still can’t believe this) asked what he did in the area. Before I could even hear what he said in reply, all five guys around me, including Oliver, quickly jumped in and said, REBECCA! THAT’S THE DEAN!!! To my defense, the business school got a new dean halfway through our time there, and I had never seen him up close before! hah. We were also fortunate to have Maddie, Oliver’s sister, come spend a weekend with us in January! We loved having her and taking her around the Bay. I particularly loved our girl time while Oliver was at work and long chats in the car.
The main feeling I come away with at the end of this month is overwhelming gratitude. For my happy, healthy family. For my husband, my parents, my siblings—for our warm home and snuggly dog and fun classes and good job. It occurs to me on a daily basis that we have everything we need, and I race through ideas of ways on how I could somehow give it back to the world. The more I love my baby, the more I wish I could make sure every baby in the world was loved and taken care of just as much. Anyway, stay tuned for that one! A subject for a future family letter, we will say.
Love to all!
Rebecca + Oliver