new york in the fall always reminds me of when harry met sally. it's very tweedy.

sometimes i wonder.... so much of what i see reminds me of something i saw in a meg ryan movie once, when shouldn't it be the other way around?

this weekend, we said our goodbyes to fall. christmas always likes to come along and sort of hack fall off at the knees, doesn't it? i'm really ready for it, don't get me wrong, i just don't think that fall is ready for it.  but here we are, jack frost and all that, even while the leaves are still quite golden and lovely. this year we felt a proper send off was in order. you know, a kiss to fall before she heads off.


we made one last trip to the farmers market for apple cider, one last walk around town without coats on, and one last leaf-strewn blissful ride on the swing set. here is to fall! 

fall, we love you.
you're welcome to stick around with your 60 degree temps as long as you wish.
but we'll be pretty much ignoring you from here on out.
we do have christmas stockings to hang you know! 
us holbrooks.


i am on day three of never-ending mild anxiety--you know the type of thing where it's just under the surface, and every now and then you realize you aren't breathing very well, or your arms are jumpy all day long and you can't seem to relax? nothing is overly dramatic, or really wrong or immediately troublesome, it's just things. and et cetera.

(actually, things are quite lovely--did you see this article?)

so i've been finding ways to distract myself, reminding myself to breathe deeply, and counting all of my blessings.

such as . . .

yesterday i discovered that my husband is a dead ringer for an old cartoon character called tintin. WILL YOU LOOK AT THAT! (and aw, it's a petey).

last night we hit the winter's eve festival restaurant booths at lincoln center. it was a nice night. but sort of exhausting. huck tried his very first venison lasagna and i was reminded how i am NOT a fan of fancy hot chocolate. a packet of powder with freeze dried marshmallows will do, thanks!

i took huck's shirt off after a very messy lunch yesterday afternoon and he promptly fell asleep all over me and my knitting just seconds after. my dude is playing hard these days and when he gets tired he crashes instantly. he is just so hysterical and so lovely. his baby cheeks taste like cotton candy. 

huck's stripey pj's c/o skylar luna

also his mohawk is getting a leeettle ridiculous. why won't hair grow on the sides of his head? it is this mystery to me.

i've been listening to the lower lights christmas album nonstop since courtney sent it to me. it's the perfect sing-along-while-dancing-with-your-baby-in-the-living-room type christmas music. 

yesterday i called my mom while walking home from the trader joe's to get the 4-1-1 on the lovin situation. my umbrella stroller was heavy laden with egg nogs and yogurts and about fifty packs of wipes from amazon i'd picked up at the post office because we have a terrible mail situation on our hands here. i managed to steer that stroller one-handed all the way home and into my apartment, all the while being very responsible and watching for traffic and small doggies, but when i got home i completely forgot the laws of physics and let go of the stroller and it instantly toppled over backwards. huck was safely strapped in of course and this hilarious look spread over his face once he landed, like, "i am upside down THIS IS AWESOOOOOOME!" i let him chill upside down for a bit so i could finish my conversation with my mom, since i can only get cell phone reception by the front door, which is a whole other story.

we took a long rainy walk up to the 80s this afternoon to buy binder clips. we got appropriately rained on. it felt fantastic. this weather lately!

while buying binder clips i got distracted by a idea, and then a very nice young man with leopard print hair helped me find a road map of the united states after two other employees swore they didn't carry any. i declared him THE WINNER OF THE STAPLES, and he took a very grandiose bow before pointing at his coworkers and shouting, "EAT IT!"

it was good.

as was the two hours of pointless crafting i did after huck went to bed.

over and out.



on friday morning, after a breakfast of street completos (sooooooo goooooood), we set about the very important and spiritual task of finding the tree.

we looked and thought and looked and thought, and then we found her on a little tree lot on broadway. i liked her from the minute i saw her. but was she the tree? i had the tree man set her aside while we went for cocoa and cider so i could ponder things properly. finally i was certain, so we plunked down the cash and hauled her home. 

hauled her home fifteen blocks you betcha.

she is up and she is lit and she is lovely. ornaments are nearly all in their places, and i am just about finished knitting her up a real nice tree skirt. and as i knit knit knit i can't help but reflect on my very thorough and abiding feelings regarding the decorating of christmas trees. christmas trees are fascinating, don't you think a christmas tree just says something about a person?

i asked a few of my friends to share their christmas trees, as well as their tree rituals and theories, and i'll be posting them here throughout the month of december. i'm super excited. 

in the meantime, internet, i'd like you to meet my tree. i call her shirley, after my crazy granny goose, because she is a fussy old broad. grand unveiling of shirley in all her glory to come soon.

why, just a bit ago i swear i saw her screw her mouth to the side and look at me with that look

you know the one.

would you care to share your christmas trees with us?
i'd love it if you did. 
email me a photo of your tree 
and a few sentences describing your deep seated neuroses regarding proper christmas tree attire
(real or artificial? colorful lights or clear? garland yes or garland no?)  
at natthefatrat at gmail dot com,
it just might make the blog!



sometimes, when i'm worrying about running out of wipes or getting enough lunch into my kid, or the state of affairs in libya or what have you, i can start to forget that there is this whole amazing city just outside my front door. my friends and i have generally decided this must just be a thing about living here. we quickly get stuck in our routines of running to the same old drugstore again and again, the same trader joe's, always staying in the same ten blocks, etc etc. sometimes i have to shake myself out of it and say "huck! what are we doing at home? get your shoes on!" and then huck looks at me like... because let's face it, shoes are still my job here.

last week i got an invite to a lucky mag/kenneth cole shopping party to benefit the making books sing bullying awareness project, near grand central station on the east side of town. i almost never go to the east side of town, which is too bad because the east side is terribly romantic. you know, murray hill and all that stuff.

once i was there i got to do a little bit of shopping for a very good cause, thanks to a sweet gift from lucky magazine.

on the walk back to the train i got lost in thought. i know bullying, we all do. i was bullied here and there in middle school, it happens. i'll always carry it with me, though in my case it was nothing overly tragic. i'd like to say i'm stronger for it only i don't really think i am. and guess what, bullying doesn't stop in middle school. (hi, says the blogger on the internet where bullying has taken on extremely crazy new levels.)  as a kid my mom taught me to try to see the complexities in the people who hurt us, and to try to understand the many different motives that could be behind their actions, and that has always helped. 

for my money, bullying isn't about jealousy. that's too simple, and far too self-serving. i think bullying is about sadness and insecurity. we all share sadness and insecurity, after all, and bullies are victims of bullying too. if huck is ever bullied in school, i hope i can teach him to have compassion. i think, as christians, that's all we've got at the end of the day.

okay okay but let's not get too carried away here, because there was vomit all over the subway platform on my way home and shoot, that'll put a stop to things.

for more information about the making books sing project, you can visit their website here.
this wasn't a sponsored post but it probably looks like it was!
the end.



sooooo, here's the story. we bought a pumpkin pie for thanksgiving from the costco, as is tradition, but when we cut into it on thanksgiving day we were all kinds of unimpressed. it was completely wibbly and sort of the consistency of a weak pudding. weird, costco!

so after visiting with friends in hell's kitchen on thanksgiving evening (and coming wayyy to close to huck's bedtime, so sorry my dude!), we decided on a whim to stop into the first open joint we passed to find ourselves a pumpkin pie replacement. 

and thus the traditional holbrook thanksgiving canoli was born.

it tastes absolutely nothing like thanksgiving. but, whatever.
hey! merry christmas!
(i can legally say that now.)


i get a lot of crap for these onion goggles but let me tell you something, ralph: 
these onion goggles WORK. 

thanks again to my brother blake for giving me this as a gag gift for christmas one year.
 i now cannot live without it.


i was so excited to haul out all the family recipes and do thanksgiving up all the way, every single side dish, right on down to the costco pumpkin pie. 

i suffered only minor injuries and managed to get everything finished at the same time (except really really early--turkeys don't take nearly as long to roast as i imagined), and amazingly, everything tasted exactly the way i remember.  not bad for a rookie!

we still don't have a dining table, so we had our thanksgiving picnic-style on the floor. i thought it was sort of romantic. so there, tables!

ok, but huck got to sit in a chair. ;)



it seems we have a ghost in our tivo.

every day there is a whole new batch of roseanne and tyler perry presents meet the browns reruns waiting for me in the dvr queue. and i'm like, hi, tyler perry and the browns, it's nice to meet you, but what are you doing in here? tyler perry and/or the browns have yet to respond. it's such a mystery! (p.s., thank you, tyler perry, for presenting and introducing me to the browns. so thoughtful of you.)

the husband and i had a wonderful date night planned for tonight, it was going to be lovely. a live show at the upright citizens brigade and maybe dessert after, and i was going to wear a dress i got at the flea market, but at the last minute the babysitter situation got all flubbed. i think it was my fault. i was at the drugstore when i found out our plans were toast, so i thought i'd be all sweet and rent us a movie instead. the red box had super 8 in stock. brandon would love it! pats on the back!

when i got home brandon was drinking a mountain dew, which is code for "i've been to the drugstore." i knew what he would say before he even opened his mouth.

"i rented us a movie!" he said. oh he was so proud. 

i sighed and said, "yeah. i rented super 8 too."

"you rented super 8 too?!"

but isn't that sort of cute in a gross married couple kind of way? (we watched his copy, because sometimes husbands should win.)

all of this to say, there was a yiddish section on jeopardy last night, and not to brag or anything, but i totally killed it.



our sweet friend isabelle selby offered to take some photos for us this year. the photos just came back and brandon and i can't believe our luck. they are so great. i narrowed them down for this post as much as i could before remembering that the grandmas wouldn't want me to narrow down too much. so, this one's for you, grandmas!

(near the beginning of our outing we were distracted by nbc camera crews and this hysterically random assortment of boys in ties singing high school musical. it was too good to pass up.)

thank you so much isabelle, we had so much fun.
see you around the burg!



on friday night brandon and i went out for burgers at burger joint. it's this classic dive burger place, tucked away in the corner of the le parker meridien hotel lobby in midtown. 

burger cheers.

huck loved the fries and milk shake!