PUPPY PARADISE 

The day FINALLY came!!!!! Tonight, we picked out the most precious, teensiest, tiniest, most beautiful little girl puppy in the whole world. I have dreamed of this day for SO long so it feels like it’s not even real life. She is a frenchie and she is our little princess already. I could barely handle leaving. 

Baby Girl Morans/Stevens comes home November 3rd! EEEEEEEKKKK!!!!!!!!!! 

   
    
   
Sloppy baby puppy kisses,

Jessy (&Mike) 

P.S. Get ready for so many pup pics. It might get crazy. 

Boston Strong Forever: My Reflection 1 Year Later

One year ago today I woke up like a kid on Christmas morning. It was my first ever Marathon Monday. I had heard so much about this day and all it’s wicked glory. As a kid who grew up in New Hampshire and went to school in Florida, I had never gotten to experience the excitement and pride that this day brings. My Beacon St. apartment was directly in front of the mile 23 marker— my first floor living room window looked right out onto the street as the runners pushed through the final few miles. Our apartment was filled with mimosas, buffalo chicken dip (and an endless array of unhealthy snacks), jello shots and of course, an ice cold keg of cheap beer. It was a party and I was THRILLED to be a part of it. April 15, 2013 was a beautiful day for a race. Blue skies, a slight wind, and sunshine. A perfect day for a celebration. With a red solo cup in hand, I stood with my girlfriends on the sidewalk cheering on all the participants. I had never been to a marathon before and I truly was blown away with the strength of these participants. By the time I was seeing them, they had run 23 miles— 23 miles!!!— it’s a feat I really can’t even fathom. One of my favorite moments of the day came when a group of military men and women marched by. As they passed with an American flag being held high and proud, the crowd starting chanting, “USA! USA! USA!” I felt such a sense of pride in that moment…not only proud to be an American but to be a Bostonian. During that moment, I remember looking around at all the bystanders and all the runners and really trying to take in what is so special about this day. It’s Patriots Day. It’s Boston’s day. And for the first time, that meant it was my day too. It’s all of our day.

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I had just finished babbling on the phone to my mom about what a fun and fabulous day I was having. Probably a bit too much fun for a Monday afternoon but then again, it was my first Marathon Monday so what else do you expect?! Then this day of excitement, pride and joy became a day of tragedy. I was outside at the time and people from inside the apartment yelled for us to come in and see what had just unfolded three miles from where I was standing. An act of pure evil had just happened. Quickly a house full of people drinking and laughing became a house full of people surrounding a television, silent and crying. After a few minutes, we began bringing runners inside to give them water. Our apartment was suddenly full of a lot of people I didn’t know but it didn’t matter. We all had the same thoughts, feelings and emotions. A bunch of strangers became one. A city became one. And one act of evil had created hundreds of acts of greatness.
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The days following the Boston Marathon were strange. The suspects had not been caught and everyone in the city was on edge. Walking to my car the next morning, there were armed military men at the T stop dressed in bullet proof vests and carrying enormous rifles. I hated it. That’s not what I should see on my way to work, I thought. That’s not what anyone should see on their way to work. It felt un-American. On Friday April 19th, after being in a lockdown all day, completely glued to the television and truthfully frightened, the ban was finally lifted in the early evening. Mike’s brother and sister-in-law had just had a new baby girl two days prior and we had planned to meet her that night. So we jumped in the car and sped off to Newton Wellsley Hospital. After being greeted by an army tank and having our car searched, we parked and ran upstairs. The moment we were walking in the hospital door, “suspect #2” had finally been located and was being handcuffed and taken away. I felt so much joy from this news, so much relief for our city and for all those who had been directly affected by their cowardly acts. I couldn’t stop thinking about how I hoped he and his god awful brother rot in hell. I felt such anger, such hateful thoughts towards these so-called human beings. And then, just when I was feeling such nasty and almost barbaric emotions, we opened the hospital room door and were greeted with a miracle; the best humanity has to offer…a beautiful, healthy baby girl. Cheeks rosy, skin soft and eyes filled with innocence. She was perfect. She didn’t know the horror that had ensued on Monday or the anxiety ridden week that had just finished. Because she was just a baby— a baby born into the most spectacular city, with her whole life ahead of her. I’m so grateful for seeing her that night because that angelic little baby unknowingly took away all the negative thoughts in my head and replaced them with hopeful and happy thoughts. Baby Tori won — baby Tori won against two terrible terrible monsters.
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The morning of April 20th, I think the entire city breathed a sigh of relief that April 19th was a day of the past; I sure did. I felt relief but also felt a sense of urgency to go enjoy the magnificent city that our law enforcement had just risked their lives to protect. So I strolled on down to Newbury and walked my favorite street in America. Then I headed over to the Boston Public Gardens filled with flowers that were blooming magnificently and signifying the start of Spring. And then, with a heavy heart, walked to the edge of Boylston, to where a memorial had popped up honoring those lost and injured in the marathon, to pay my respects and say a little prayer. It was a special day in an even more special city.
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The week of April 15, 2013 taught me a lot. It taught me that life can take unexpected turns so you should always enjoy the present because who knows when it can change. It taught me what a fabulous day Marathon Monday truly is— and to never, EVER not take it off from work (it’s so worth the vacation day). It taught me how much we need our law enforcement and military. It taught me that good always prevails over evil. And it taught me that Boston is truly the greatest city in the world.
#BostonStrong- yesterday, today and always.
XOXO,
Jessy

A Beautiful New Baby Girl

Jeesh, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve written a post and I’m not sure how the time slipped away.

SO big news in my family and in my life– I am officially an Auntie. Eleni Kathryn was born at 5:30 am on September 28, 2013 weighing 6 lbs 7 oz! She is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on– big blue eyes, a FULL head of curly dark hair, the softest skin I’ve ever touched, a tiny round nose that’s as cute as a button and the most fabulous smirk I’ve ever seen an infant give. The past 9 months have gone by in the blink of an eye (however I’m sure my sister would disagree with that) and it’s both so exciting and relieving to have her here with us. I was surprised at how nervous I felt the weeks leading up to the due date– the overwhelming feeling of concern for not only the baby but for my sister. Millions of women give birth every day but when it’s the one you love going through it, it’s a whole different experience and something I really didn’t expect.

So without further ado, here is my beautiful baby niece…

eleni 2

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eleni

eleni laughing
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To my little Eleni: I feel so blessed to have you in my life and to have you as my niece and my goddaughter. My hope for you is that you grow up to be a smart, kind, independent and loving person. I hope you don’t take life too seriously and you have the ability to love hard and love often. I hope your life is filled with laughter because if there’s anything I believe, it’s that laughing can make just about anything better. I love you to the moon and back.

Xoxo,

‘Auntie’ Jessy

Rustic & Vintage Baby Shower

present table

My older sister, Courtney, is having a baby girl!!! It’s the first grandchild on either side of the family so you can only guess everyone’s excitement. I am lucky enough to say that I will be the Godmother of this little bundle of cuteness and I cannot wait another second to meet her.

Last Sunday, my mom and I threw her a baby shower and I thought I’d share some pics and how-to’s. I wanted it to be a beautiful baby shower– one that was classy, cute and chic all at the same time. Since we know it’s a girl, I obviously wanted to have lots of pinks and make it super girly. However, I didn’t want it to be so over-the-top that it was ‘too much.’ So I settled on a ‘Vintage/Rustic’ theme.

Color theme was pale pinks and creams with pops of dark, richer pinks. I wanted it to feel like an elevated country theme (without the ‘twang), so I went with distressed woods, mason jars, homemade drink stirrers, cardboard straws, and “vintage” baby clothes strung throughout the room. Below are some pics from the party!

My mom saved some of her favorite outfits from when each of us were babies, so we took those and strung them across the present table to add a personal touch.
baby clothesline

In order to spruce up the bar, I got wooden skewers for grilling and wrapped pink washi tape around it to make little pink flags for guests to add to their drinks!
bar area with drink stirrers

We placed this sweet sign on top of the bar — best part is that it acted as a great decoration as well as a nice gift for my sister to take home for the nursery.
bar sign

As for the tables, I bought $1 mini-sized easles and painted them with chalkboard paint in order to write out what ‘activities’ we had going on during the shower.
chalk board table toppers

I purchased plain mason jars and printed out some adorable ‘it’s a girl’ cut-outs and used modge podge to adhere them to the glasses. I loved this because it had multiple purposes– decor, water glasses, and our guests party favor.
mason jars

For the one of the ‘activities,’ I printed out baby images of each of the immediate family members. Guests then had to fill out a sheet guessing who was who. I made them all sepia tone to give it the rustic look (plus, it made it harder to guess who was who). At the end of the party, we revealed who won from each table and the winner got to take home the centerpiece (an oversized vintage milk jar with two pink roses inside). We also had plain white onesies on each table and asked guests to decorate it as a table–they came out adorable and my sister is planning to put them in the baby’s baby book. Lastly, we had pink cardstock cut up and placed on the table when guests first walked in and asked that they make a wish for the baby. These will get given to her when she’s older and should be very special.
guess the baby game

Last but not least (this was my favorite), when guests were responding, I requested them to bring a cute headband so that I could stack them all together and showcase during the party. I took a large candle and wrapped it in pink tights so that the wax wouldn’t come off onto the bows. I loved the way it looked and the bows people brought were just darling!
stacked bows

Less than a month until our little princess is born and I am so excited to meet her!

XOXOX,
Jessy