Hi! My name is Emily and I'm a writer, a wife to Nick and mother to two very sweet little girls named Daisy and Ella. We live in a quaint little town outside Philadelphia, PA, with our two black lab sisters.


I started this blog as a way to stay connected with friends and family after Daisy was born and it has now become a home for musings on everything from our favorite family recipes, books, travel destinations and, ultimately, my quest to balance work, life, self-care and family - all while staying grateful. Happy reading!

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Reflecting on 2018 and Intentions for a New Year

January 15, 2019

It’s hard to believe that as I write this, the year is 2019. It sounds so futuristic and distant to me – but it’s really here!


The Sullivan family bid adieu to 2018 with the most beautiful, family-filled and festive holiday season. We hosted my brother who was visiting from Thailand, his girlfriend, my Dad, then my Mom, my friends from college and their significant others/children and at the end, Nick’s parents came to spend a weekend with the girls and give us some time off. We played games (Heads-Up remains a family favorite), had dance parties all over the house, laughed until we cried, cooked and baked and ate and ate and ate and celebrated the beautiful blessings in our lives – in particular, Ella and Daisy, who is thoroughly enamored of all things Christmas.




The term I am using to describe this past year is “action-packed”...


  • In January we found ourselves unpacking our new home and I started a new job right out of the gate, 3.5 months pregnant.

  • In February we learned Daisy would need bilateral hip surgeries.

  • In early March, Nick and I traveled to Iceland and at the end of the month, we headed to New Orleans to celebrate the marriage of our dear friends Chuck and Kat.

  • In April, Daisy turned two and had her first open hip reduction.

  • Our mothers were here for all of May, helping us with Daisy’s recovery while I worked full-time and prepared for baby.

  • June saw Daisy’s second hip procedure and graced us with the arrival of our sweet Ella Rose, healthy and pink and precious as could be.

  • In July, we rested by the pool, got to know Ella and after being in a major car accident, I recovered alongside Daisy who worked on her hips.

  • In August, I drove to New England with the girls to spend a week at the beach with my mom then went back to work.

  • In September, Daisy returned to school, underwent her third hip operation and we spent a glorious weekend at the Woodloch Resort with my Dad. I also got to see our friends Chelsea and Eric exchange vows by the ocean in magnificent York, Maine.

  • In October, we traveled to Providence, Rhode Island for the spectacular wedding of our friends Ellen and Chris and I quietly turned 35.

  • In November, Nick and I danced our hearts out at Sara and Dave’s incredibly fun wedding while the girls had a sleepover weekend with Mamie. We also traveled to New York City to celebrate Thanksgiving and see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with my extended family and my Dad – and got to meet my mom in Rock Center to watch the skaters under the tree.

  • In December, Nick shot a Super Bowl commercial and I made the 7-hour drive again to Boston with both girls, solo, to see my extended family before Christmas (it was worth every hour of screaming!).


In between and among all of that, we learned how to be a family of four. Daisy re-learned how to walk three times. I started working with small businesses in our tiny, big-hearted town to help share their stories. Nick shot 13 commercials. We had loads of friends visit and we visited loads of friends. I learned that I have an autoimmune disorder which I am working with a team of doctors to diagnose. I was sick so many times this year and experienced a lot of joint pain – but I also got stronger and more fit than I’ve ever been in my life. We went on adventures as a family and as a husband and wife. I cooked more than 100 new dishes, read more than 30 books and discovered a new love: podcasts!


… Speaking of podcasts, one of my favorites, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, promotes this idea of making lists of things you want to accomplish in a new year. In 2018, their lists had 18 items. This year, it’s 19. I love setting goals and making lists – and even more so the endless possibilities a new year can offer. With that in mind, here’s my 19 for 2019:


  1. Read at least 25 books.

  2. Organize and label our spice cabinet and pantry.

  3. Clear out all the old junk in our basement.

  4. Re-landscape our backyard and pool area to eliminate bugs!

  5. Raise $50,000 for Daisy’s incredible school, Montessori Seeds of Education, starting with the Seeds of Spring gala on April 6.

  6. Get a diagnosis & treatment plan for my autoimmune disorder.

  7. Take horseback riding lessons.

  8. Go on more date nights.

  9. Go on at least one trip completely alone.

  10. Make more family trips to New York City – even just day trips!

  11. Start Daisy in ballet classes.

  12. Surprise someone who deserves extra love.

  13. Go on mom/daughter dates with Daisy

  14. Celebrate my 35th birthday in Asia!

  15. Invest more time in college friendships.

  16. Get tested for food allergies.

  17. Get back to writing in a journal regularly.

  18. Spend more time on the floor actually playing with my kids.

  19. Return to my yoga practice.


2018 was exhausting but so filled with love, celebration and fulfillment. I am hopeful that 2019 will be a little calmer, a little bit slower and a bit more manageable. A year without any surprise surgeries or giant unforeseen medical expenses would be a treat – but I’ll take what I can get. We can handle whatever comes our way because we are armed with love and the most wonderful family and friends in the world! I hope that 2019 is off to a healthy, happy start for everyone we love – cheers to a magic year ahead!

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