I'm writing this post from the air on my way to my first overnight stay away from Emma.  This is my first significant amount of time away from my baby (24 entire hours... 7 was the previous record).  Only after leaving her for 3 hours (and counting), I'm already nostalgic about our time together so far.  I have spent most of the flight watching vidoes of her grow up on the ipad. 
Through my video journey, I realized I hadn't properly brought our time in New England to a close for the blog - and maybe for myself.  I think I will always think of our journey to Massachusetts as our journey to get Emma.

It all started with a little twist of fate...  almost two years ago on our honeymoon flight to Italy, I was browsing through the October Martha Stewart Living (seriously... how MUCH has this magazine influenced my life) and was reading an article about a little town in central Massachusetts - Deerfield.  So charming and quaint.  Knowing Mike was thinking of exploring new job opportunities, I said, "You know, if you found an opportunity someplace else, I think I'd like to move someplace - just for a little bit.  Let's go have some fun someplace.  Look at this adorable town in the middle of Massachusetts.  We could live there!"  My comment to him was half joking and half serious.  But when we arrived in Italy, our minds really started wondering as we explored the hills of Tuscany.  Mike was convinced that we needed to just stay in Italy and by a little villa.  It was official, after our trip we had been stung by the exploration bee.

When we arrived home from our honeymoon, Mike (who had not yet reached out to anyone regarding a job search) had an email in his inbox from a recruiter about a job... in Boston.

After a couple of months of interviews and negotiations, we put our house on the market and went to visit New England to look for a new place to live.  I had a vision for what I wanted in a new location - something in a small quaint town similar to what I had seen in the Martha Stewart Living.  Through my research came across a little town called Concord.  It was only 10 miles from Mike's future office and looked to be very cute.  I booked a room for us at the Colonial Inn at the beginning of February. 

Concord's Colonial Inn when we came for our first visit - 5ft of snow!
You might recall that the Winter of 2010-11 was a doozie in New England.  There was 5 feet of snow on the ground when we went on our visit.  As we drove the 20 minutes outside of Boston to the country, I instantly fell for the white-covered pristine country side.  It was almost surreal as we drove around on the winding country roads, seeing all of the colonial houses tucked into the woods.  We arrived in Concord - such a charming and idyllic little town settled into the country. 

The Main Street Market & Cafe in Concord, Ma.
With the heavy, heavy blanket of snow, the town was so so quite and peaceful.  But, that night we had dinner at the Main Street Market & Cafe - sort of an old-time general store.  Mike and I chatted about what we thought about the town, how we envisioned our life there and if it was what we were looking for in a town.  We started talking about when we wanted to start a family and decided that we wanted to start trying - guessing it would take a little while. 

As we were chatting about our future plans and while the snow had quieted the rest of town, there was a crowd packed into this charming glowing little restaurant.  The band started up and people were kicking off their snow boots, stripping of their stocking hats and dancing their tails off.  We loved it.  I am not sure if it was the music, or the fact that it felt like a glowing and bustling party in the middle of a snowed-in town, but whatever it was in that moment it had the "it" we were looking for.  

A month later we had sold our house and drove ourselves and Mr. Darcy across the country.  Going into it we knew we probably didn't want to stay there forever, but we were open.  We were free to explore and experience for as long as we wanted. 

We are pretty sure that I got pregnant sometime during the first week we were there.  Yes, one month from when we decided to start trying - Emma was with us during our entire journey... we just didn't know it yet!  Almost instantly our need for exploring turned into my natural instinct to nest.  I felt myself wanting to find a home asap and settle in.  We did just that in a house we rented in Concord, Ma.

During my pregnancy we still kept our adventurous spirit and went exploring every chance we got (as you have seen).  We did our best at filling every spare moment with a new trip or experience.  But as Emma got closer to her arrival date, our love for exploring started to fade into a yearning for setting up a more permanent life for us. 

In December, Emma was born at Emerson Hospital in Concord.  Our families came out for her birth and for the Holidays and when it was time for them to leave I knew it was time for us to start making our way home.  While we had loved our time on our own, growing as a newly married couple and a new family, I knew that I wanted Emma to grow up with the rest of her family

We didn't want to leave too soon though, we still wanted a little more time out on our own and to check some things off our list.  We loved living in Concord and frequenting our new favorite places- Verrill Farm, Barefoot Bookstore story time and Mr. Darcy's favorite walking route through the historical town center.  When I would get anxious about wanting to get back home, I would (try) to remind myself that this was just our little life vacation- and that is how it felt.

Though short lived, I will never forget or regret our time in New England or the spirit we enriched from having gone out to explore on our own.  While I don't know that our experience was exactly what I thought it would be in some ways, it was so much more in others.  I can't wait to go back to some of our favorite spots someday with Emma and the rest of our family to show them that life is exactly what you make of it.  I hope that we can teach her that life is about getting out there and living and never being afraid to come home... especially now that we're the parents.

Hiking in Stowe Vermont
 
Hiking in Stowe Vermont
Sunrise Walk on the Main Beach in East Hampton
Mike's dream car in Sandwich, Cape Cod.
The view from the top of the hill in Concord's Town Center.

My Dad admiring the Minutemen monument at Concord's North Bridge.
Mike biking through Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard

Martha's Vineyard with my entire family!
Martha's Vineyard Family Vacation
Lobsters on Martha's Vineyard
Concord's Town Center in Autumn

On our way out to Our trip to Deerfield - the place that inspired everything!

Me looking as big as a giant pumpkin in Our trip to Deerfield, MA (read about our trip here!)

Giant Pumpkins in Deerfield, MA

Mike and Mr. Darcy settled into our house in Concord.

Our hunt for a Christmas Tree in Vermont
Mike and Mr. at the Christmas Parade in Concord

Emma at 9 months... pre-birth

Emma, Day 1

Emma, Day 2
Our First Christmas

Emma and her Dad at Christmas

Emma at 3 weeks
Ski trip to Woodstock Vermont

Emma's Valentine's Day

My Birthday Trip in East Hampton

Emma's First Trip to the Beach, East Hampton

Strolling thru the Boston Public Garden

Emma by the Swan Boats
Mother's Day Beach Picnic

Sunset, Mother's Day, Duxbury, Ma.
Memorial Day at Chatham Bars Inn, Cape Cod

See you at home!

 
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