3 Months Post-Partum

Where does the time go, you guys? I feel like it was just yesterday I sat down, full of emotion, to write the birth story of my little girl. How can it be that she is already 3 months old? Let’s update on both, my recovery an my daughters growth. 

Me: Three months has passed and I’m still constantly in wonder of everything my body has recovered from.  I’m not back to my pre-pregnancy size but I don’t really care either.  My main concern is that Petra is healthy and fed through my breastmilk for as long as I can produce. I have gone on a couple of runs that have made me feel good but for the most part, after returning to work, I use my free time to soak in all the love from my little family.  I sometimes get hip pain sporadically but I know that will go away.  It’s hard when I feel some kind of pain to know if it’s because my body is returning to normal or if it’s just regular old post-partum pain but I’m feeling good.  I’ve definitely been trying to eat at healthy as possible since I’m still currently breastfeeding but they weren’t kidding about the cravings.  I definitely want all the carbs right now.  I don’t worry too much about it. I know my jeans will fit eventually.  Or not, I don’t know.  My hips definitely seem wider than before I got pregnant so I might have to go up a size now. 

Petra: Petra’s development has literally blown me away.  It’s amazing how much babies learn in 3 months.  Petra’s eyes have developed and she looks right at mom and dad when we talk to her.  She smiles when we make silly faces and she talks all kinds of babble and sometimes that babble turns into tiny screams, which, call me crazy, but I find adorable.  Even her screams are high pitched, she sounds like a little lady, which is weird to say but so true! She also is currently dominating tummy time as made evident by the photo above.  Hopefully that means her little back muscles are super strong and she’ll be rolling over in no time. She’s drinking breastmilk only.  We’ve definitely tried to supplement some formula to kind of make it easy in case I’m not able to pump a lot but she hasn’t really found a formula she likes so I guess I’m just working harder to pump more for her. Lukasz is staying home with her until September and the cute pictures he sends me while I’m at work absolutely make my heart melt.  No one can make her smile like her daddy!



On Motherhood.

“When my baby came out of me, I went into mourning. I mourned my selfishness, my old life, my cute body—but I also mourned her. How perfectly safe and endless she was before I brought her into the world, maybe before she was even conceived. The hopes I had for her. The perfect life I had imagined. All of that was protected before. And now she was human. Exposed, vulnerable, and suffering.” -Jemima Kirke writes in Time, October 2015

If there is one thing that no one told me about giving birth or becoming a mother, it was the complexity of emotions I would definitely feel.  This overwhelming feeling of love and need to protect this little baby that came into this world.  And more than that, the fear that I wouldn’t always be there to protect her and at some point in her lifetime, I would have to let go and watch her make her own decisions and become her own person without me standing in the way, despite my wishes for her.  It’s overwhelming to even think about.  For the most part, I try to take things one day at a time.

It’s bittersweet, stepping into this new role.  You say goodbye to your old life and your old freedom.  Some days I feel selfish for missing it. And some days I look at my daughter and realize that there are bigger things here than the ability to step out whenever I want to get a manicure.  Some days I remind myself that I’m raising my own little best friend.  Manicures and drinks can wait. 

Im not going to lie and say there haven’t been moments of loneliness. So, I’m thankful for the quote above and for women that can explain the process and emotion of becoming a mother better than I can. It helps to know that my I’m not alone in this journey.  It helps to know that maybe I shouldn’t beat myself up for feeling that way. And it helps to know that I’m so lucky to have this experience.  I couldn’t have put my feelings into words any better.



Breastfeeding Essentials

My journey with breastfeeding has definitely been interesting.  Ever since Petra was born, I knew she would be breastfed.  There are so many advantages, medically and financially.  That isn’t to judge anyone that has done formula.  I know that I got lucky in having Petra immediately latch and my supply grow steady. And while I haven’t had any lactation problems so far (except one mild case of mastitis), there isn’t a day that goes by where I question whether I’m producing enough breastmilk or wonder whether Petra is getting the adequate amount of nutrition to help her grow.  She’s only at 8 weeks old but it has been a tough two months full of self doubt and a lot of work, from sore nipples to crazy pumping.  I don’t know about you guys but I very stupidly assumed breastfeeding would be easy.  Gosh, was I wrong but I did want to share the things that made it a little bit better.

1. Nipple Shields: I didn’t even know what this was until I was home from the hospital for 5 days and my nipples began to hurt from, well, Petra breastfeeding so much.  Łukasz is actually the one that brought it to my attention and I was rather impressed at his knowledge of such a thing.  Anyways, a shield is a thin piece of plastic that you put on your boob to create a barrier.  Some hate it because it eliminates the skin-to-skin contact.  Others hate it because they say it might cause nipple confusion.  For me and Petra it was a lifesaver.  My boob-skin (what?) got a break and after a few weeks of wear, I actually didn’t need it anymore.

2. Breast Pump: Oh the breast pump. I began using mine about a month after Petra was home from the hospital.  I love mine.  It was actually gifted to me by a friend who is expecting herself.  Sort of a test run to see how I like it, haha. Mine is electric although I have heard that manual pumps are amazing.  I have personally never tried a manual pump but I have no complaints from mine.  It gets the job done and it’s quick and it has two pumps attached so you can pump simultaneously.  I’ve only done that once though, it makes me nervous when at least one hand isn’t free.  Sort of negates the purpose right? Oh well.

3. Bamboobies: Boob pads! For those moments when you spring a leak the moment you hear a baby cry! No, but let’s get serious for a moment.  How weird is that? I will literally be about to hop in the shower when I could swear I hear Petra cry and bam, my body responds almost immediately.  It has settled down a bit now that my supply is established but these breast pads have been amazing.  I first got them as a sample from a baby expo and I loved them so I bought a whole box. I considered buying the reusable ones but I just can’t deal with the thought of having to wash them all the time. But I’m sure they’re great too! I’m just the laziest.

4. Water: I’ve googled a million lists on nutrition for how to maintain your breast supply and to be honest, keeping hydrated is the only thing I found consistent in those lists.  I now know there isn’t a magical food that’s going to make you produce more milk although women swear by oats, and fenugreek, and lactation cookies.  Maybe they work but I’m tired of eating oats.  Breastfeeding has made me incredibly thirsty though, but it makes sense: you make milk, you expel milk and while water won’t magically become milk, it helps to keep hydrated. Thus, my water bottle is literally always next to me.

5. Ziploc Bags: Lastly, these babies for storing milk.  I haven’t been great at increasing my milk storage in the freezer but I am trying, slowly but surely.  I remember wondering what I’m going to put the milk in and bottles are expensive and bags made for breastmilk are too. So one day while perusing the usual mom forums, I saw a mom say that she uses freezer ziplock bags.  Just make sure you get the ones with a zipper.  They’re inexpensive and they hold milk well. Bam, bought a box the next day and now I have a freezer fullllll of breastmilk.  Well not full but, like I said, slowly getting there.

This all being said, once again, I’m not an expert.  I’m just a first time mom trying to figure it out as I go along and what works for me might not work for others.  Maybe a shield just isn’t for you or maybe you prefer a manual pump, that’s all cool too.




Let’s start this post by talking about sleeping habits, both mine and my daughters. Petra has gone to bed everyday for the past week at 9pm.  She has slept until about 3am, when she wakes to eat for about 20 minutes. She then goes back to sleep until she wakes up on her own, happy as a clam, in her own crib at around 7am.  I don’t know how we managed this but it has been amazing for me, to be able to get some decent sleep for the first time in 2 months.  I say “decent”, it could be better but I have no one to blame but myself.  I should sleep when the baby falls asleep and still, I am up until about midnight reading.  I never learn. Can you even believe I just spent a whole paragraph talking about sleep and sleep schedules?  This is it, guys.  This is the #momlife.

I’m fascinated by all things “baby”.  How she distracts herself, what is it that triggers her adorable smile, how many wet diapers she has in one day.  It’s all part of it, part of the glamorous life of being a new mom and having this little eleven pound nugget consume your thoughts and actions. Even after she’s fallen asleep, I can’t help but wonder what I could have done differently with our day and I really miss her when she sleeps.  It’s kind of a bummer because I know this time is so short and sweet and soon she’ll be at daycare and I’ll be working again and I’ll wish I was at home instead.

She’s such a good baby though.  How did we get so lucky?  She doesn’t cry BUT she has these little outburst to get your attention. Her voice is adorably squeaky and sometimes the only way to get her to take a nap when she’s fussy is to hold her tiny face against mine as we pace our apartment.

Petra is seven weeks old today.  Seven whole weeks! Where does the time go?  Can it really be true that she’s going to be 8 weeks old in just a matter of days?    The more time passes, the more cognizant she becomes and during playtime, my mind wanders and I think about what she’s going to be like in another whole month.  It’s so bittersweet to be so excited and yet so sad to think that time is fleeting.  Can I just hold her and she can stay this size forever?




I’m Still Here

It has been four weeks since I came home from the hospital and what a whirlwind of a month it has been.  I’m definitely still here, alive, a little tired but finally falling into a groove with our daughter and things are looking good. I will definitely tell you that the first two weeks after Petra was born were the hardest weeks of my life.  Not only was her feeding schedule incredibly demanding and exhausting but I did suffer from a hardcore case of the baby blues.  Those hormones, man.  THOSE HORMONES. I cried because I was sad that my life was changing so quickly but I also cried because I was happy to start this new chapter (confusing right?) and I cried because the feeling of loving a little baby SO MUCH was so hard to bear.  Like I told Lukasz, my rock through all of it, it was all just so heavy.  I tell you this because 1) I don’t want to sugarcoat anything and 2)Because I didn’t know this was going to happen.  I was worried that this was post-partum depression but after a dark couple of weeks, I can honestly tell you that I feel much better.  I feel like myself again.

Another thing that happened this month that has my head spinning and my heart bursting is Lukasz and I getting engaged.  We got engaged a couple of weeks ago out on the North Fork of Long Island.  We packed our two week old baby girl in the car along with some essentials and took a two hour road trip to end up at the very end of the fork. A quick 10 minute hike to a secluded pebble beach with crystal clear water and he proposed with the most beautiful ring.  I’m so incredibly happy with my little family and we can’t wait to start planning our festivities.  So far we have a few venue ideas and with a baby, I know it might be a little difficult to plan but I’m not bummed about it, I’m just happy in this moment.

As for our baby girl, she’s officially going to be one month old on June 11th and I’m in shock at how fast this time has gone by.  I can hardly believe that a month ago, she was experiencing her first day on this earth and now she’s smiling and cooing!  It’s amazing how quickly babies develop in their first year.  She loves being in her carrier and taking walks outside and she loves the sound of her dad’s voice and when he sings to her.  It’s pretty magical to watch and makes me love them both even more! While she’s definitely not sleeping through the night, her cycle hasn’t been terrible.  She usually falls asleep at 8pm and then doesn’t wake up until midnight to eat.  Then another 4 hours to sleep.  Wakes up, eats and wakes up for the day around 6 or 7am.  Despite the long hours of sleep, I definitely still need my coffee, like, the MINUTE I wake up.  One giant cup usually does the trick for the day.  Plus I’m still breastfeeding so I can’t go caffeine crazy like I usually do.  And lastly, I’m finally starting to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes! It’s not the first thing on my mind, but it’s a nice afterthought.

I hope to be doing more regular updates now that things are a little less crazy so FINGERS CROSSED. 🙂

Petra’s Birth Story

I wanted to share Petra’s birth story on here for a few different reasons.  Number one:  I just really wanted to remember.  I wanted to look back and remember the small details of the almost 40 hours of labor that I went through.  Number two because I needed to write and get it out of my system.  I know that having a baby and giving birth is such a big thing in life and I don’t want to be the person trying to explain to others what a big deal it is when they already know.  The thing is, looking back, I don’t think I really knew.  My personality has always been on the more relaxed side, jokingly saying that I would be the cool mom and my baby would be different and her second language would probably end up being sarcasm.  But now, none of that makes sense. Now, I don’t know what kind of person or mother I’m going to be.  All I care about is just making the right decisions.

I woke up having contractions at 6am on Tuesday, May 10th.  I didn’t know they were contractions, I just thought I was having slight pain in my back and my pain woke up Lukasz.  We laid in bed for a while before he decided to start timing how often the pain came and went. Luckily, I also was due for another OB checkup that day so we weren’t worried about going straight to the hospital.  The pain, of what I realize now were contractions, was slowly getting stronger and they were about 5 minutes apart by noon when we arrived at the doctors by a lyft.  After she checked me, she said I was definitely in early labor but only dilated one cm which would mean the process would be a long one.  Though we came prepared with our hospital bag, we ended up going home to deal with the contractions.  Doctor advised us to return when they were closer together, maybe three to four minutes. Per Lukasz’s suggestion that more walking be done, we took the subway home.

At home, I tried to not think about the pain.  I made cookies to feed myself, Lukasz went shopping for sustenance (gummy bears, applesauce, sugar, etc.) and we generally tried to remain calm expecting a baby to happen tonight or tomorrow morning.  The pain gradually got worse and every contraction, Lukasz was there to time it, rub my back and hold my hand.  We had quiet discussions, about how things would change, about how I’m taking the pain like a  champ, about the middle name we would give Petra.  It got to the point where I insisted we go to the hospital because I couldn’t stand the pain anymore and at 12am on Wednesday, after bursting into tears and begging to go, we were on our way.  Of course, after triage, they said I was still dilated only 1cm and I could walk around the hospital or I could go back home and keep laboring there. I cried when they told me. We went back home for the second time.

It’s hard to describe what happened in those morning hours.  I was exhausted and I really wanted to sleep so bad.  I laid myself down dozing off for 5 minutes at a time only to be awoken by really sharp pain that I couldn’t bear anymore.  My temper started to run short, I just wanted to not feel pain anymore.  Lukasz ran me a hot shower and he napped while I stood in there, letting the hot water attempt to soothe me.  I know it sounds dramatic but they truly were some of the hardest moments I’ve ever had to endure.  As Petra descended into my pelvis, every contraction felt like a desperate need to go to the bathroom.  Everything stayed that way until 9am when I decided we would go to the hospital and I wouldn’t let them tell me to leave.  I wanted an epidural.  I wanted the pain to go away.

The second drive to the hospital in the back of an uber was one of the worst rides of my life.  I had completely lost all need for keeping quiet and I yelled in the back of the car when every contraction came and went.  When we arrived at the hospital and they triaged me, I was still only one centimeter dilated and I cried telling them I couldn’t take the pain anymore.  They let me lie there monitoring me while the nurse checked with the on-call doctor to see if they would let me have an epidural for the pain.  When she came back and said I would finally go into the laboring room and they would give me pain medications, Lukasz and I both cried.  After setting everything up and calling the anesthesiologist, the epidural was administered and I felt the pain leave almost immediately. I mention this because I have so much respect for the women that have done this without the epidural.  I never had plans to not have it and looking back, I know I made the right choice.

Because of the epidural, they were also able to give me a dose of Pitocin, a man made form of oxytocin, to speed up my contractions and help me dilate faster.  Around 4:00pm, I was dilated only 4 cm and the doctor broke my water. Then it was a waiting game.  Time seemed to move at warp speed.  I could hardly believe that I had been going through the pain for more than a day now.  It all molded into one big lump of time. When the doctor came back at 8:15 and saw I hadn’t made any progress, she upped my dosage of Pitocin and gave me peanut shaped pillow to lay between my legs.  Lukasz decided to grab some power bars to give me energy since I had hardly slept since 6am the previous morning.  While Lukasz was gone, I began to get really bad pain and it felt like I really needed to go to the bathroom.  I immediately called the nurse who said that she would help me go but she would need to check how dilated I was first. After checking, it had only been about 30 minutes with the uncomfortable pillow between my legs, she said I was ready to start pushing.  I slightly freaked out knowing Lukasz wasn’t by my side, but after texting him, he came running and it was go time.

I feel like this is the part where we were the most blessed. After reading so many birth stories, after pouring over all the books, this is the part I was most scared of, the active labor, the breathing, the pushing with all my strength.  For some, for most, for first timers, this could take hours and I wasn’t entirely prepared to be pushing for hours.  In the end, I don’t know if it was Lukasz’s words of encouragement or the doctors calm demeanor or my need for all of it to be over already, but Petra arrived into this world after pushing for only 30 minutes. The emotion of having our daughter placed on my bare skin after being born is something I would never be able to explain. I cried, Lukasz laughed and cried and Petra cried for two seconds before calmly taking in this new world that she was a part of now.  It was, with absolute certainty, the most jarring experience of my life.

We both held her, we both stared at her and we both fell overwhelmingly in love with our little girl who was so teeny and tiny, I was worried that whoever held her, would break her.  I stared at her little face and her tiny eyes and I just wished that she would always be happy and that I would always be able to make her happy.  It so amazing how quickly that love and feeling comes over you the moment you hold your newborn baby.  Tomorrow she will be one week old.  That would be one week of me being a blubbering mess just hoping I’m doing everything right.  Nothing else matters anymore.  Just Petra.  Petra is the only thing that matters now.  I want the whole world for her.  I hope that we can do that, I hope that Lukasz and I can give her our whole world.



Welcome Petra

Please welcome our baby girl, Petra Christina Kapica to the world. 

She was born on Wednesday, May 11th, 2016 at 9:23pm Eastern Time. 

She’s 7 lb 14 oz(3560g) and 9/10 APGAR scale. 

We’re both tired but so incredibly happy. ❤️
Hello world!!

Petra Christina Kapica przyszła na świat 11 maja 2016 roku o 21:23 w Nowym Jorku. Petra jest zdrowa, waży 3560 gramów i otrzymała 9/10 punktów w skali Apgar. Mama jest zmęczona, ale bardzo szczęśliwa

Weekly Findings


As I write this post, I am about 4 days past my due date.  I can’t even begin to express the frustration that is building up inside of me but let’s just say it feels like a baby girl that is getting bigger by the week and I need her to come out of me right now.  Not to be too much TMI but I’ve been feeling a lot of cramping and I’m hoping our baby girl will join us on the outside soon especially because tomorrow is Mother’s Day.  I’m super bummed to be skipping out on this day because our daughter isn’t here yet!  Oh well.  To all the moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day!

1. The Most Popular Baby Names of 2015:  The social security administration just released the list for the top baby names of 2015 with Emma at number one for the ladies and Noah at number one for the gentlemen.  We’re still keeping ours a secret but it definitely wasn’t in the Top 10!

2. Morning Routines for Busy Women:  I came across this list this very morning and I found it inspiring.  Though at the moment, my morning routine consists of absolutely nothing, just a lot of waiting, I’ve always been the kind of person that craves routine because it makes me feel more organized and less stressed.  I can definitely say that I’m a morning person and I can’t wait to get back into something semi-consistent.

3. This SMOOTHIE: So I guess this list is mostly about mom stuff but I was so excited to stumble upon this recipe for a post-partum peanut butter and jelly smoothie.  It’s funny how over prepared you can be for pregnancy and birth but forget about the “after” part.  This cookbook from Heng Ou is brilliant on ways to nourish a new mother.  Don’t forget about YOU.

4. 8 Fun Ideas For A Girl’s Night In:  Kate Spade is definitely my vice when it comes to anything “fashion”.  Everything just always looks so put together and bright and happy.  They’re making pajamas now and released this super cute list of ideas for a girl’s night in.  Not to be cheesy but this is the kind of thing I sometimes can’t wait to share with our baby girl.

5. Mother’s Day Brunch:  I didn’t ask for anything this mother’s day because I’m still very much pregnant and also because I just hate asking for things.  Can’t people just read my mind and know what I want already?  Here’s a hint: it’s brunch.  I love breakfast, like a good full-on breakfast with all the fixings, and maybe a mimosa or sangria. And I love this little menu of a good mother’s day breakfast.  Everything looks fresh, healthy and delicious!  But also, like, french toast works too.


*Picture source.

Third Trimester


So here we go guys: the home stretch.  I wish at this point I could have been an expert at this whole pregnancy thing but, one of the most important things I’ve learned throughout my ENTIRE pregnancy is, every pregnancy is different.  Even now at 39 weeks (40 weeks TOMORROW) I’m still trying to figure out which feelings are normal and which aren’t.  I can tell you what I experienced this trimester.

First of all, let’s talk about my moods.  For some reason, I assumed my moody  phase was over after the second trimester ended but as it turns out, it definitely wasn’t.  While I contribute a lot of these feelings to anxiety and wanting to give birth and have it over and done with, I have definitely been crankier lately as frustration sets in over my large belly.  I have also realized that I have little patience with people that don’t understand what a burden it is to be this pregnant.  The people staring at my giant stomach on a train, the man in the coffee shop shoving me because he thought there was a giant gap between me and the person in front of me, all of those things are just a little too much to bear at this point when all I want to do is just live, an inconspicuous girl just trying to figure things out.

Speaking of moods, I can say that once I hit the 36th week, fear immediately set it.  Like can I do this?  Can I birth an actual human out of my lady garden? How much is it going to hurt?  What if I have to have a C-Section? I’m only 5 feet tall and I don’t have childbearing hips! The thoughts so overwhelming that during the middle of a conversation with Lukasz about hospital preparation, I started to cry. Well, I don’t know about everyone else but I can say now that at almost 40 weeks, I kind of just want it to happen to get it over and done with.  It’s all inevitable so if I could just go into labor right now, I would really love it so I can move on.

Otherwise, here’s my advice for the third trimester.  Your hips are going to hurt so bad.  So far, I have figured that I can’t lay on my stomach because the baby is there.  I can’t lay on my back because it cuts off oxygen to both, me and the baby, and now I can’t lay on my sides because my hips will hurt on either side from all the pressure.  I also begin to pinch some nerves from laying on my side so my whole leg goes cold and then numb.  You know, just basic fun pregnancy stuff. I do find, however, that it helps to stick a giant pillow between your legs.  Just use all the pillows to prop yourself up.  Like all of them.  I even have throw pillows sticking out from under me.

Also, as far as what to wear goes, I do have to say I have been so lucky.  I haven’t had any swelling, except the occasional light hand stuff if I eat too much salt of spend too much sedentary time outdoors on a hot day but feet-wise, I’ve been good and still fitting into my size 5.5 shoes which I’m forever thankful for.  My maternity pants have begun to get a little too snug but I’m still making it work but basically what I’m trying to say is that being at the end of the third trimester during the middle of spring has really been a blessing in disguise.  I have squeezed myself into some dresses so I don’t even have to worry about pants and leggings have been everything to me. (I still recommend the ones from Old Navy).  As you can see from the picture above, I’m literally a basketball with arms and legs.

Finally, for my last piece of advice/complaint:  Have your hospital bag packed or else your partner will remind you every second he gets.  This was kind of fun, I mean it’s almost like you’re going away on a trip except you’re going to a hospital to push out a human being. For my hospital bag, I’m using the baby bag that I received as a gift from my parents: the Skip Hop Duo Signature Diaper Bag in the Hearts pattern.  I’m in love with it and eager to start using it right away because everything about it is adorable.  You can look up a few lists online of what to bring to the hospital but most of them are overwhelming.  I’m trying my best to keep it simple and stick to the necessities.  I also checked my hospital’s website which was nice, simple and it also gave me a list of what they will provide for me so I didn’t have to pack unnecessary goodies.  My mains are a going-home outfit for me and baby, an iPad, chapstick and lotion because hospitals are dry and breathing during labor gets intense, toiletries and socks or sandals to walk in while at the hospital. I’m open to any other necessary suggestions.  I’m a newbie so advice is always welcome.

Tomorrow, guys. 40 WEEKS TOMORROW.



A New York Shower

When I started my pregnancy to-do list, I knew I would have to have a baby shower on each coast.  West Coast with my actual family and a few friends and East Coast with the people I like to refer to as my “extended family”.  It’s no secret that they’re the people I spend a majority of my time with and they have definitely become a support system of sorts here in New York City where I have no actual family.   
I had been joking to my mother for a while that I would probably have my NY shower in a bar (ok, half joking) but, alas, I didn’t.  Instead, my best friend Tatiana planned the most adorable shower on her rooftop in Bushwick.   We had plenty of mimosas and beers to keep the guests happy and ordered doughnuts from Dough.  Our friend, Henry, also brought warm pork buns that were soooo amazing!

The big stars of the party were the pups! We brought along Pierrot and Tatiana had her French bulldog Lincoln at the party and everyone was in love! It was also interesting to see the difference in their personalities.  Our dog, Pierrot, is 2 years old and has a calm demeanor with a stoic serious face while Lincoln, 5 MONTHS old, is cute and tiny and a little ball of energy!   
Our main concern was, of course, the weather.  When you think April in New York, you can either get crazy showers OR beautiful blue skies with blossoms everywhere.  Luckily, we had the latter, with the bright sun shining on that rooftop until the last guest went home. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.  
I was super grateful for everyone that showed up.  Having been home on maternity leave day after day, it was really nice to have these interactions with the people I’ve grown to know and love over the last year and a half.  It’s so nice to be able to have these memories.