Old-Timey Tuesday returns again!

Hiram, Ohio (probably), sometime in 1949. Possibly early 1950.SCN_0178

Well hello there, dear reader! Today seemed like as good a time as any to jump back into the mirthmobile. Excellent! Don’t call it a comeback, though — who knows how long it will last.

Above is a picture of my dad at age <1. (I think. There’s probably a date on the back of this photo, but I scanned it many moons ago.) I realize I haven’t shared that many pictures of my Samuel here yet — though if you follow me on Instagram you get a steady stream of them — but damn if he doesn’t look just like his grandpa did as a baby.




Twenty-two has become a special number for me over the years, mostly (entirely?) in the context of the calendar. Our wedding anniversary is May 22. Two years before we were married, on June 22, the Gods of Rock smiled upon me and landed me in the front row, dead center, at a Pearl Jam concert. And last year on July 22 I took my first-ever pregnancy test and officially found out that I was pregnant (rather than merely suspecting that might be the case). I don’t believe I’ve put this in the baby book yet, but my initial reaction to the news was: “Oh shit!”

We didn’t tell anybody for almost a month after we found out. Or, rather, I didn’t tell anybody. Jon told his brother immediately but swore him to secrecy. I was recently lunching — during the gloriously office-free days of maternity leave — with a friend who has three little girls and discussing at what point in our pregnancies we informed family and friends. In that conversation I cited worries about miscarriage as partial grounds for keeping it close to the vest, but as I thought about it later, that wasn’t it at all. I had forgotten how long it took me to get comfortable with the fact that I was (we were) actually going to have a baby. By the time we told our parents about a month later, after our first appointment with the nurse midwife and ultrasound, it was beginning to sink in.


This July 22, I took Samuel to his 4-month well baby appointment at the pediatrician. Pretty crazy how so much can happen in the space of a year.

12 weeks

Oh, hello there. Another couple of months has passed and I continue to be a terrible blogger! This time my excuse is that I’ve been learning how to be a good mom. Baby Samuel will be 12 weeks old tomorrow, which a) seems impossible, and b) means that my maternity leave is officially over (and I am officially sad). Fortunately my transition back to the working world begins with a couple weeks of working from home, since the wee one can’t start daycare until he’s 3 months old (which is actually more like 13 weeks) and my sister’s wedding is at the end of June and I didn’t want to further complicate my life with going to the office.

I can’t believe how quickly 12 weeks has gone by, and how woefully insufficient it IMG_9420seems as a time frame in which to learn the ropes of mothering a newborn. I’m envious of our neighbors to the north, where the standard is a year of maternity leave, but also grateful that I at least have access to some amount of paid, job-protected time off to be with my baby, because not everybody does. I remain surprised at how incredibly time-consuming it is to merely make sure a baby is fed and changed and awake and then napping. The cycle is so short you hardly have time to, say, write a few thank-you notes. I’m still not done with those. I didn’t even watch a single episode of Dawson’s Creek during my maternity leave!

All of that said, now that sweet Samuel is sleeping a little better and I’m in a period of relative summertime calm, I do hope I’ll start to use this space again. I miss blogging and blog-reading (RIP Google Reader) and the lovely community of blog buddies I once had. Who knows what shape it might take. Stay tuned!

Due date!

I’ve made myself pretty scarce around these internet parts for the past, oh, year or so, during most of which time I’ve also been growing a baby. Today was my due date, but it came and went without much fanfare… because our baby boy actually arrived 11 days ago! See?

KPR and baby

It’s been something of a bizarro time warp since the morning of March 19, but so far things are going pretty well. I’m on maternity leave for the next couple of months, so as soon as we can get the baby to sleep when it’s dark outside rather than exclusively during daylight hours I hope to be back on here blogging again. Stay tuned for more!

…only TWO months later (getting better all the time)

You know how WordPress sends you a “your year in blogging” report every New Year’s Eve? If you don’t, they do, and it’s one of those fun infographicky scrolldown things that is meant to make you feel great about how popular your blog is. My 2013 in blogging was pretty dismal, as it turns out: “In 2013, there were 7 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 242 posts.” Wah-wahhh. I didn’t even manage one a month! Ah well, life happens. As you can see from my post of November 2013, I had a bit going on.

I aspire to be a somewhat better blogger this year, or at least even things out so I’m not an all-or-nothing sort when it comes to this here mirthmobile. There will be no shortage of exciting happenings and life lessons learned in 2014, since basically everyone I know is getting married and I am having a baby. Those enormous events aside, I also have kept a running list of things I’d like to post about, so theoretically I’ve got lots to say. We’ll see if I can make time to share my brilliant thoughts with you. (Oh, and we also just replaced our dear departed scanner, so you can count on more Old-Timey Tuesdays coming your way.)

Which brings me to now. I am at the end of Snowday No. 1 and headed into Snowday No. 2, which is really only a half snowday for me, since I have to head to Savannah for a work conference in the afternoon. Atlanta has had a rough day or two — one lady literally had a baby, delivered by her husband and a police officer, on the side of the snowy interstate in gridlock traffic en route to the hospital — and I think this is probably the best thing I’ve read about the situation in all the coverage I’ve seen. Meanwhile, the pets have been downright adorable (you can see thorough documentation of that fact on my instagram feed) and I continue to get larger and larger, as one does at 7 months pregnant.

rossross at 31 weeksThat’s the shortest version of the latest. More on all of this to come!

… five months later

Well what do you know, it’s been nearly half a year since I posted on my blog! It’s actually pretty hard to believe it’s been that long, despite the fact that my life now is quite different from my life in June before we left for Germany. Maybe that’s why it feels so far removed at this point.

At any rate, let me bring you up to speed! Let’s see… I think this might call for the ol’ picture-of-the-month recap, in the interest of keeping it quick. Since so much happened, though, it will generally be a pictures-of-the-month situation.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

These are just some highlights from our Germany trip: Freiburg, Flammkuchen, Biergartens, Haribo, giant Steiff stuffed animals and trains aplenty.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Highlights: 4th of July, family beach weekend/beach happy hours, PEARL JAM AT WRIGLEY FIELD, BEING ON THE FIELD AT WRIGLEY FIELD and a necessary roadtrip return stop at Dinosaur World.


new digs!Heyyyyyy, we bought a house!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Highlights: Labor day family feed in Tennessee/farm stand stop on the way home, settling into our house, nostalgia attack outside my freshman dorm, a Campus Gear store window predicting NU’s in-conference opposite-day football season, another stop at Wrigley (for baseball) and my own Willie Wildcat.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Highlights: The Braves’ short-lived postseason (with bonus Waffle House), landing/starting a new job with my same employer but in the music school, Atlanta Cheese Festival and OH YEAH, have I mentioned yet that I’m pregnant? (Pictured: my pregnant self at another Pearl Jam concert.) So, there’s that.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Highlights (so far): It’s a boy! My sister is campaigning for us to name him Ross Ross. Also, more homeownership! (That’s Otto in the leaves, if you can’t tell.)

So, hopefully you can excuse my absence and dismal record of posting for the past few months, because I’ve kiiiiinda had a lot going on. Thanksgiving break can’t come soon enough! More on all this later, but for now, mama’s gotta sleep.

(Note: all pictures above pulled from my instagram feed. Check me out!)

Dangling the waffle…

Well friends, I can’t believe I left you hanging so long after my last post! I know you’ve all been dying to hear how the Waffle House jukebox auction turned out. Right? I think this photo says it best:


It’s pretty much the best thing ever. I managed to pad my budget by writing a story for an Atlanta Magazine blog (see here), so I wasn’t even that far over budget. I’ll write about it in greater detail soon, but for now I’ve got to shut off my phone because I’m jetting off to Germany! More on that later too…

Old-Timey Tuesday: Münsterwurst

Münsterplatz, Freiburg im Breisgau, June 2004

Nine years ago this month I was reaching the beginning of the end of my time studying abroad in Germany, so I went around town taking pictures of things I loved and wanted to remember. Chief among these things were the delicious Wursts sold at the market on the Münsterplatz, specifically at Uhl’s Wurststand.

What you don’t see in this photo is the massive crowd this cart always drew, or the delicious glass-bottled Coke and Fanta they sold along with their sausages. Lunchtime perfection! And so cheap. (Note: I documented my love of market Wurst on my last trip to Germany in late 2009 on a previous blog. Check it out!)

Two weeks from this very minute Jon and I will be winging our way across the Atlantic to Freiburg for a most triumphant return to my German home base. Münsterwurst here I come!

Martinstor and Kaufhaus

It will be mine…

An email arrived in my inbox this afternoon alerting me to the fact that there will be an auction of the Waffle House jukeboxes of my youth this coming weekend:

waho email instagram

I mean, ARE YOU KIDDING ME. I have talked about this for years: getting a WaHo jukebox, whenever they eventually phased them out, for my eventual amazing basement. Or, you know, my kitchen.

The auction house websites have photos of some of the jukeboxes that will be auctioned off, and they range in model year from 1982 to 1996. I think my favorite of the options is the 1986 model — fortunately there appear to be quite a few of them (though I’m partial to the less prevalent brown and black colors). Here’s one I’ve really got my eye on:

WaHo jukebox

Not only is it awesome in and of itself, it also comes with records and CDs still inside! You can change out the music too (obviously easier with CDs than 45s). I really haven’t the foggiest idea of what the starting price of one of these might be, or how much competition I’ll have, but I’m excited to find out. It will be mine. Oh yes! It will be mine!

p.s. — If anyone out there wants to snatch this one up for me for my 30th birthday next month, feel free!

Old-Timey Tuesday: Way down yonder…

Canoe, Atlanta, Georgia, May 21, 2010rehearsal dinner pic

Three years ago tonight we rehearsed getting married and then shared a lovely dinner with many of our nearest and dearest on the banks of the Chattahoochee. A lot has changed since then — these days we have an adorable dog, shorter hair and better jobs, and Jon wouldn’t be caught dead wearing pleated pants — but we’re still as weird and nerdy (respectively) as this photo would have you believe.