2013 in Review …

… also known as the post where I link to all the posts I had at one point started and have finally finished!

April – Pete’s birthday party

June – Pete’s first time swimming

July – 4th of July

August – Vacation!

September – Finally Fall

October – Beach DayHalloween

November – Thanksgiving

December – Baker Pete; Christmas

In looking through all the posts I had in draft status, I stumbled across one called the Ghosts of Christmas Past.  I’m not sure why I never published it three years ago, but it seems as fitting now as it was then. Brienna’s story is, quite simply, a love story. And those are always worth sharing.

One of my goals for 2014 is to post something (anything!) twice a month.  I love looking back at old posts and seeing how Pete has grown and changed.  Hopefully someday he will too!  We have a lot to be excited about this year and I know I’ll want it well documented.  Please feel free to hold me accountable and call me out on any missed months 🙂

Happy New Year!

Southwick’s Zoo

We met the Vogel clan at Southwick’s Zoo yesterday.  We had never been there before, and we loved it!  There was so much to see and do, and we had a really great day.


One of the attractions is a deer forest.  Deer are literally everywhere and will eat right from your hand, let you pet them, and in Pete’s case, try and make friends. He was a bit surprised by this deer’s interest in him and promptly tried to run away … his is face says it all: IMG_9142


We saved the rides for the end of our visit and learned that at this stage of his life, Pete is not a fan of mechanical rides. He and Pat rode the carousel together (which he has loved in the past) but yesterday, one of my boys enjoyed himself much more than the other … poor Pete.  The nice man running the carousel stopped it so he could get off.


As we were leaving the zoo, Pete pulled his hood up.  When we asked him why, he said it was because he didn’t want the animals to see him. He’s such a clown.  And very stealth:


We had such a fun day with friends and will definitely go back to Southwick’s!

Pete at Play

Pete’s had a pretty busy week playing.  He loves to play and usually before I’m finished changing his diaper in the morning, he’s saying “play, play?” Here are some pictures of his adventures:

Roger Williams Carousel & Playground:

At the playground with Nia and Lula:


Showing off his muscles at the playground:

Taking a dip in the pool after a hot afternoon at the playground:

Picnic lunch with Dad:

We’re headed to the Cape this weekend, so I’m sure there will be lots more fun in store for the little man!

Take Your Pete to Work Day

Pete went to visit Auntie Liz at work today.  Liz works at Harvard, so after we ‘pahked the cah in Hahvahd yahd’ (literally) we made our way to see Liz’s office.  Pete was quite the little celebrity and it was pretty awesome that so many people recognized him.  I think his aunt likes him.  When we got to Liz’s desk, Pete saw the picture of himself on the monitor and said very excitedly, “baby!”  Here he is hard at work at Liz’s desk:

One of Liz’s coworkers, Dayna has a niece Pete’s age. We’ve heard lots about Ayla and finally got to meet her and her family today!  She just turned one and is adorable.  It’s always fun to see Pete with kids his age.  He went right for her shoes and tried to take them off, it was very cute.  We had lunch in the sunken garden and while Ayla sat quietly reading her book, Pete had to be contained.  There was a fountain nearby (he kept asking if it was a bath) and knowing Pete, I think he would have tried to climb right in.

After checking out the Curious George store, we went to Starbucks for an afternoon treat.   Mrs. Johnson managed to get a shot of the whole group (Ayla and her Aunt Laura with Pete and I on the left, then Dayna & Ayla, Ayla’s mom Erika, Laura, Pete & I and Liz on the right):

We had a very fun afternoon in Cambridge.  Every time I’m there, I wish we could spend more time checking out all the cool shops in Harvard Square.  There’s so much to see and do and it was just a perfect day.  Thanks again to Auntie Liz for having us; we can’t wait to come back again soon!

A Busy Few Weeks

It’s been a busy few weeks in the Marr household, and I’ve clearly been slacking with posting updates!  Suffice it to say, Pete is the best.  He is just about 14 months old and gets cuter every day.  He talks so much and repeats just about anything you say, which can be dangerous at times!  Off the top of my head, Pete says down, car (still with a Boston accent), baah (for bottle), Bailey, baby, socks, shoes, ppp (when he wants to be picked up), wow, bang, brush, mama, dada, go-go-go, and no-no.  He loves Pat’s ID badge for work and every morning as Pat’s getting dressed, he says “badge?”  When he sees something he likes he says “ooohhhhh”, when he falls he says “boom” and when he stands up without holding on to anything, he looks around, says “whoa” and then eases himself back down.  He’ll walk eventually!

Here are some pictures from the last few days:

Every day with Pete is fun; he’s changing and growing so fast … he really is such a good-natured guy and I can’t get enough of him!

Gaspee Day

Pete attended his first Gaspee Day parade today.  Our friends Nick and Amanda live right near the parade route, so we braved the rain and walked down to see the action. The firing cannons scared me, but Pete was unfazed and slept through the whole thing.

pete - gaspee day

We had a great time at the parade, and at Nick and Amanda’s for the pre and post-parade festivities!  Here’s Pete hanging out with his older lady friend, Amanda and Nick’s daughter, Nia:

pete and nia


Pete had a very busy weekend.  My brother and his family were in town to celebrate my niece Lena’s christening and my nephew Quinn’s 5th birthday.  Things kicked off Saturday morning with a visit from Nana and Grampa Marr and the Vogel clan.

Happy Grandparents
Happy Grandparents
Erika and Pete, Billy and Kate, Emily!
Erika and Pete, Billy and Kate, Emily!

Then it was on to my friend Jamie’s wedding and Quinn’s birthday party! I forgot how much little kids LOVE birthdays.  Quinn was so excited and Reece (who turned three in April) wished everyone a Happy Birthday.  We had delicious cake at my parents house, lots of present opening, and of course, pictures!

Lena (7 months) and Pete
Lena (7 months) and Pete
Pete and Binkie
Pete and Binkie
Kris and Lena, Laus and Pete
Kris and Lena, Laus and Pete
Tim the Baby Whisperer
Tim the Baby Whisperer

Tim, Jenny and the kids came to our house on Monday for lunch and we attempted to get a picture of all four kids.  Given that one was less than two weeks old and the oldest just turned 5, I’d say it came out pretty good!  It certainly went better than I expected anyway!

Quinn, Reece, Lena and Pete
Quinn, Reece, Lena and Pete

We were nonstop go the entire weekend, but had a great time and can’t believe it’s already over!  The cousins left Boston last night, but we’re already looking forward to seeing them again soon!


A friend shared this poem with me today and I thought it was so fitting.  Both because of how brief Brienna’s life was, but moreso because her life had such a profound impact on so many people …

A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam,
And for a brief moment, its glory and beauty belong to our world.
But then it flies again and though we wish it could have stayed,
We feel lucky to have seen it.


I am beyond lucky to have known Brienna.  I am lucky to have carried her with me for nine months and I am so lucky to be her mother.  It boggles my mind to think she would be 14 months old today.  I wonder what she’d look like, how she’d act.  I wish I could catch a little glimpse of her in Heaven, just so I could know … I miss her so much, but I love her more.  And despite the fact that she can’t be here, noone can take that away from me …

The Best of Friends

I am pretty sure I have the best friends in the world. Over the last eighteen months, they have supported me, loved me and kept me sane. When I need a shoulder to cry on, they’re there. When I need to vent, they’re there. And when I run races in Brienna’s memory, they either run with me or come and cheer me on. This past weekend, some of my friends raced in Brienna’s memory on their own. Jamie and Pete biked over 150 miles in the MS Challenge in Brienna’s memory. They had asked me two months ago if it would be ok … I immediately started crying because it was more than ok … it was beyond touching and made me so happy.


Andrea ran a half marathon yesterday in Brienna’s memory … she had wanted to run with us in March, but got injured and wasn’t able to. She was there to cheer us on, but because she had promised Brienna she would run, she made sure she did.

BMM My friends and I don’t get to watch Brienna grow up. I can’t send them pictures of the cute thing she just did, they can’t call or come over to see how big she’s getting and how adorable she is … so for them to remember her, love her and honor her memory like they do means the world to me. I am so proud of Brienna for inspiring people and so proud of my friends for taking the time to do amazing things in her memory.

A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.
– Elbert Hubbard.