38: The Year of Living Purposefully

Ever since I turned 30, I’ve been dreading the birthday I just celebrated two days ago. It’s not the “big” one that’ll happen in (gasp!) two more years, but in my mind, my 38th birthday was always the scarier milestone. In the hours leading up to January 2, I found myself feeling a lot like the girl on the left—a guest at a party I desperately didn’t want to attend. For me, 38 wasn’t just another year where I’d marvel at how quickly time has passed. It was the age my dad was when he passed away. Strangely enough, I… Continue reading

Missin’ the Eternal City

All the talk about the new Pope, not to mention a friend’s recent Facebook post about missing Italy got me thinking about how it’s already been two years (!!!) since Will and I traveled on the overnight train from Paris to Rome. Yes, back in March of 2011, I was like any of the random people Will snapped in this picture, a tourist just taking everything in—and loving every minute of it. The architecture, the warmth of the Italian people, the pizza (trust me, there’s nothing like it), the broccoli trees, I loved everything about this city and would’ve been… Continue reading

A Tribute to Nora Ephron

Although we’ve never chatted over a cappuccino somewhere in Manhattan or exchanged friendly banter about where you can score the best tiramisu in the West Village since she was a major foodie, I’ve always thought that Nora Ephron and I could be great friends. You know, if we actually knew each other… See, in my book she’s right up there with Jane Austen and Judy Blume as a writer who has a particularly profound influence on me—and my own work. Not only does her quick wit, ear for dialogue, cultural observations and clever turns of phrase still make me insanely… Continue reading

In the End, It’s Only Stuff…

All has been quiet on the blogging front since I’ve been living in the Dallas metroplex these past three weeks, and believe me, it hasn’t been for the lack of something to say. There’s just been a whole lotta (and yes, I realize I said “whole lotta”…ha ha) unexpected drama with getting settled in, and suffice it to say, I can’t wait for things to be nice and routine again (a.k.a. normal). Now mind you, the Banisters’ drama is not the salacious stuff of your average episode of Jersey Shore (thank goodness), but it’s been crazy all the same, thanks… Continue reading

The Lost Art of Writing Letters

While packing for a big move is generally one giant hassle, I have to admit that I actually love getting rid of all the stuff I really don’t need. I’ve never been a pack rat by nature, and clutter drives me absolutely nuts, so any opportunity to streamline our stash (especially after four years in the same apartment) is always welcome. But in all my overzealous fits of throwing junk away over the years, I’ve always held on to an unobtrusive, medium-sized box of letters and cards that have really meant something to me. With Will starting his new job… Continue reading