30 September 2012

I Dreamed A Dream...

By Danny

I grew up listening to the musical Les Miserables.  My mom had majored in French in college, which led her to study and subsequently fall in love with the book by Victor Hugo.  Much later, when the musical production made its way around the country and through my hometown, my mom and dad excitedly purchased tickets and attended.  They returned telling us kids that it was one of the most magical things they'd ever seen.

I think that's when the cassette tapes for the musical made it into the regular music rotation in our family.  It was played repeatedly on every single family road trip that we took, with my mom vividly telling us of the powerful scenes behind each song and the backgrounds on each character so we could better understand the context of the music and the power of the underlying message.

When the musical came through my town for a second time my mom decided it was important for us kids to go see it.  I was very young, there was still plenty I didn't understand, but I LOVED it as I listened to the music I now knew so well and as I saw my mom's descriptions come to life on the stage.  It was truly beautiful.

In college, my longtime fascination with Les Miserable made it so the book found its way into my must-read list, and so during my summer internship in Boston, I made my way to a Harvard bookstore and found a copy.  It didn't take me long to devour the book, and to this day it remains one of my all-time favorites (you can read of its near universal praise and buy it here).  It's difficult to think of another book that has moved me like this. 

The summer after Mara and I married, we backpacked through Europe for 5 weeks.  One of my favorite memories from our time there came when we were in Paris.  It was a Sunday morning, a day when Mara and I usually find ourselves in church.  But with a tight schedule, we ended up planning a day to Versailles instead, with the desire that the day could somehow still take on some spiritual significance for us.  On our way to the train, I looked through my iPhone to see if there was anything genuinely uplifting that we could listen to.  The second my eyes came across the musical, I knew it was perfect.  And so for the next 45 minutes we sat on a train, listening to songs of mercy, songs of love, songs of courage, songs of hope, songs of sacrifice, songs of pain, songs of redemption and the beauty of life, even in the face of life's darkest moments.  And we cried.  And we smiled.  And we held hands and thought how, in the smallest of ways, the music and the story represents some of our own journey, and most likely the journey of all of us.  That was one of my favorite days in Europe.

All these thoughts came to my mind this week when I saw an ad displayed for the new Les Miserables movie/musical being released this Christmas (see article here in the Huffington Post).  For a moment my heart fell just a little bit.  I worried that they wouldn't be able to do it justice, that although movie musicals can be wonderful, I've never liked them as much as the real thing.

I followed the link to the trailer to see if my fears would be put to rest.  I watched it once with headphones on.  Half way through I was already telling Mara she needed to come over and see this.  When she was at my side, I replayed it for us both and felt the stirrings of every good memory I've ever had related to this story.  This little clip has been on repeat the last few days...Mara plays it once or twice an hour because it is so moving, so powerful, and in some ways haunting.  Anne Hathaway sings a song I've known for years with such conviction that it makes me rethink it entirely and hear new meaning in familiar words and melodies.  I quickly searched to see if there was anything else I could listen to and found an extended first look that put all my fears to rest.  Unlike other movie/musicals, all actors are singing every take live instead of singing to prerecorded songs...allowing them to act and sing with greater power and conviction.  It doesn't hurt that this is being done by Tom Hooper, who did The King's Speech, which we absolutely loved!

I couldn't be more excited. Take a look, below, at the extended preview and see for yourself.

Les Miserables comes out Christmas Day 2012!

What about you?  Do you have any memories tied to this great work of classical literature or to one of the greatest musicals of all time? Do you remember what it felt like when you read it or saw it for the first time?  Do you have a favorite song or are there lyrics that have stuck with you?  Did you get chills watching the clips below?  We'd love to hear your thoughts.

27 September 2012

Happy Birthday, Blog!

Dear Readers,

I really can't believe this, but today is the day I posted my first blog post, exactly one year ago.
I was slightly terrified.  I seem to remember I had a hard time falling asleep that night.  I mean, prior to this, I had never even posted an update on FB.  And here I was about to present something to the world on a daily basis.  haha.  I had no idea how it would be received....would people (even friends and family) like what I was creating?  Could I somehow get out some words that would mean anything to anyone?  In the end, I knew it didn't matter, because I felt inspired to do this.  And so I carried forward, even though I knew nothing about blogging.  (I can't tell you how long it took me to get the words "A BLOG ABOUT LOVE" written on the top of the screen. :)

The result has been an absolutely incredible year.  The best part has been connecting with all of you.  We've loved hearing your stories and your triumphs.  We've just loved having this space where we can all inspire each other to see our trials in a different way, to love in a better way, to feel more empowered in our choices, and to ultimately feel more joy in our lives.  This effort really been the most rewarding thing I've ever done. 

THANK YOU for inspiring me every single day to come straight to this computer and to work late into the night (you make it worth it :).  THANK YOU for your letters, comments, and visits to our blog.  This blog wouldn't be here without you. 

Love to all,

Mara & Danny

P.S.  I'll be at this Levi's/Macy's event in Chicago today.  If you happen to be there, I'd love to meet you!

Twitter @ablogaboutlove 
 (We so appreciate all the "likes"!  thank you.)
ABAL Book Club
Babble Voices & The Equals Record

26 September 2012

Love Story: Still in Love After Our First Weekend Together

Photo by Justin Hackworth, Greenwich Village, NYC

Danny and I fell in love by email before we met each other...and today's emails continue the story the day after our first weekend together.  You can see earlier 'Love Story' emails here.

After Danny and I met, we got slightly shy about expressing love in person, even though we had been doing it by email like crazy.  I'll admit, I had moments where I wasn't sure what would happen.  But then Danny sent me the most loving note....and I must say, it felt so good...

from Danny:

Wow, I must have been out the second my head hit the pillow.

I did sleep pretty good, but I still feel pretty exhausted...I imagine you're kind of feeling the same. It was a long but fantastic weekend.  Btw - I really do love that I can now picture you in your home, eating/working/sleeping...it's great...I'm so glad I can do that now.

I do have quite a few things to catch up to at work this morning, so this will have to remain pretty short for now.

So good morning sweetheart, and have a wonderful day!



You're so dang good.  And yes, I still want to call you my sweetheart, too.  It's still so new.  But I guess I don't care.  Cause I do adore you.  And you are a sweetheart. 

I can imagine that you are a bit swamped and catching up.  I do feel the same way and have been working away this morning.

Oh, I've had so many thoughts of you.  All very good ones.  I don't even know where to begin in expressing my thoughts from the weekend.  I am still basking in all your light.   

Bye, darling!


Photo by Justin Hackworth, Greenwich Village, NYC
Sweet Mara,

I desire very much to be your sweetheart, I really want nothing more than just that.  You are very dear to me, certainly more now than even before (and let me just say, in case it wasn't clear, you were VERY, VERY dear to me long before I got to actually come and see you this weekend :).

And you want to know why else I love you?  That you freely share your appreciation for these things. You really are a good woman and I love love love that we connect on that most important of levels.
You know what's kind of sad...the weekend was so great that it kind of feels like it was a dream, and now it's back to reality.  It's like I have to keep asking myself - did I really get to enjoy one of the greatest hugs ever....for 15 minutes?  Did I even eat sushi? (I think that part might have been a dream, cause for some reason I don't even remember the food, I just remember laughing and smiling and shaking my head in disbelief at the beautiful woman next to me that seemed to adore me in a way I had never been adored, and I loved her though I'd just met her...how is that possible?)  And you being the last thing I see before retiring for bed, and and the first thing I see when I wake up, wow!  And what about the warmth in your eyes, your bright smile, your loving touch, your beauty?  Can that be possible either?  And most of all your character, that you were in every bit (and more for that matter) the wonderful woman that had been writing me for three weeks.  It all seems too good to be true, and so in some ways it feels like a dream.  Can't wait to dream it again!

So how great is this...two people that I have not spoken with in a long time reached out to me today.  My friend Nick (who was the one who shared my situation identically and was the first person I called) and my friend Guy from Israel.  I'd been thinking about them both because I knew they, most of all, would appreciate how happy I am right now.  Guy emailed me this morning, and Nick called me tonight as I was writing you.  Kind of cool, it's as if they sensed that something good is going on in my life.

Well, I've got to get ready for a conference call with my sisters...they're dying for a report.  They'd already left my parents' house by the time I called last night. 

Thinking about you always.  Time to play a little guitar as well and think of you some more!

Sending you much love,


P.S.  I suppose if you'd like you're free to call me now :)  It certainly would be great to here your voice every now and then.  I'd kind of like to continue this exchange though...it's like a journal of sorts that documents one of the greatest experiences of my life.  So if you don't mind, I plan to continue with it.


Dear Readers:  I loved the comments from the post yesterday!  Thanks for writing in, as always.  There is so much to learn from all of you.  Some of the comments inspired a few ideas for some posts.  I had hoped to get to that today, but I wasn't able to fit it in.  I'm leaving to go out of town for a couple of days so I'm hustling before I leave.  But I hope to be able to write those posts soon. :)
All my best to everyone, MK

Also, if anyone needs winter boots (I wish I did)....here's a cute vintage pair by Tecnica (on e-bay):

Twitter @ablogaboutlove 
 (We so appreciate all the "likes"!  thank you.)
ABAL Book Club
Babble Voices & The Equals Record

25 September 2012

Have You Gotten Any Crazy Advice About Your Appearance?

What is Love?

It seems some people in marriages or while dating somehow focus a lot of attention on looks.  And sometimes people actually seem obsessed with trying to change your look...(yikes!)

I've had a bit of experience with this - on all ends of the spectrum.  And, I must say that if someone is trying to actually change your appearance or is disturbed/uncomfortable/showing anxiety because of your appearance, there is likely something deeper going on - likely issues that could use some professional attention, if the person is willing.  (Note:  there is a big difference between a partner having opinions about which shirt looks best on you VS. being deeply disturbed and wanting you to change things in order to ease their anxiety or to be proud to be with you, etc.)  And if you're single, I'd say if you're with a person who is obsessed with changing your appearance, it's one big, big, red flag that, in my opinion, is certainly big enough to call a relationship quits.  (If you're in that situation, I'll be honest, I kind of want to beg you to RUN, my friend.  RUN as fast as you can!  :)  :)

I was once in a situation where someone often voiced requests for me to change some things about my appearance...things that made him deeply uncomfortable.  Unfortunately, they weren't even things I could change.  Yikes.  Oh my - that was not a fun experience and it took me many years to realize how very unhealthy that kind of behavior was and that there actually wasn't anything wrong with my appearance.  Luckily I gained a lot of wisdom from living through that, and came out on the other side a more confident woman.

What is Love?

When I was single and dating in New York, I mostly met some really great guys.  But I somehow came across (3) guys that had some downright crazy requests regarding my appearance...

24 September 2012

Justin Hackworth Photo Shoot

Today I am so happy to share with you the magic of photographer, Justin Hackworth.

"This is how it's going to work," he says, "You guys just do your thing and I'll just start taking shots."

Sure.  Here we go.  Fingers crossed.

And then Justin takes over....

Welcome to Soho, New York!

photo shoot in New YorkDanny and I feel spoiled rotten to have so many professional photos.  I mean, we figured we'd just have our wedding photos and that would be it for a long time - at least until we had a baby.  But somehow it hasn't turned out that way.  We're very grateful we've been able to document our little family in the meantime.  I will treasure these photos so much.  There is so much amazing history behind our time together.

 Getting ready for a photo shoot is a little bit tricky, isn't it?  Oh, what to wear!  I'm usually painting my nails on the train on the way to the shoot.  :)

There is no one on earth I'd rather be in a photograph with than Danny.  When the photographer says to look at each other, I end up not being able to take my eyes off of Danny.  In fact, I get kind of dreamy and carried away in the moment that I forget we're being photographed (Justin, could you tell? haha!)  I mean, to have Danny just looking at me, so joyful and exuding all the love in the world...it just makes my heart hurt and my eyes feel all twinkly.  :)


You see, when Danny looks at me, there is not one ounce of hesitation, disapproval, or awkwardness coming from him.  Instead, he just offers love, kindness, approval and joy.  I never had that before.  I can assure you it didn't used to be this way!  Never in my life have I felt such happiness with my partner - even in front of a camera.  It's amazing how much a photograph captures. 


But you know what?  Danny just lives that way - he does it very deliberately because that's just the kind of man that he wants to be.  Anyone who has met him would tell you that he makes you feel loved, uplifted and admired.  And also, I've learned to not necessarily rely on Danny to provide all this happiness for me.  I know that sounds tricky and it's hard to explain.  But because I don't put that pressure on him and instead take responsibility for my own wellness, it's like my happiness is all the more real...and I then have it to offer him, too.  Anything that he offers me (which he does!) is just icing on the cake.  It has made all the difference. 

Love to you all on this Monday!  
Here's to a good week for all of us.


P.S.  I know you don't need a loving partner to feel joy.  You can feel it on your own.  In fact, that's when you know it's real.  This is the first photo of my life where I felt it.  It was a couple of months before my first husband left.  But I can assure you, that joy you see was all my own.  In my dreams - I want you all to be able to document yourselves feeling joy....the REAL kind of joy that is not dependent on your circumstances.  Keep that in mind.  If the stars align, I would love to somehow have a photo gallery of all your beautiful faces.  I want to add a few things to our site and that is on the list!

P.P.S.  We are always battling the New York minute around here, and so for this shoot I called Madewell and said I'd be stopping by.  I asked if they could pull a few ideas together in advance.  When I arrived, they had some suggestions and it made it a lot easier to pick and choose what I liked.  Ask for Melissa Haske at the Soho location.  She was so helpful!  

21 September 2012

Love Announcements

A few pics Danny took of me on our date night.... (p.s. I am loving my new jeans.)

Two posts I recently wrote for Babble:

And, a few fun things to recommend:

- The Diminutive Review is a new blog started by one of my most favorite women ever.  She happens to be obsessed with beautiful, classic, high-quality children's clothing AND is also obsessed with getting a good deal.  Lucky for us, she shares all her finds, tricks and secrets.  The Brooklyn moms are already going nuts over it!!

-I just bought this all natural shampoo & conditioner that just came out.  (I'm trying to go with safer ingredients these days.)  I'm really happy with it & it smells amazing - and...it's cheap!  

-My friend wore one of these to church and I totally want one.  

-My brother happens to be a genius.  At age twelve he read physics, computer and math text books and was communicating with Russia via ham radios that he built in our basement.  :)  I'd say this is the perfect artwork for his hedge fund office in Chicago.

-And, a little tip for husbands and wives: go out and serve somebody...together.  It's awesome.  Tonight I was involved with helping at a wedding where the family didn't have much.  Danny came along and decided to be the photographer.  I helped with decorations and food.  In the process, we became quite smitten with each other...it's kind of hard not to.  I mean, what is there not to love about a man who is out helping someone?  :)

20 September 2012

Love Story: Our Next Emails

Photo by Melanie Mauer, NYC, Bryant Park

Would you like to see what we wrote to each other next on that Sunday night as Danny hitched a ride back to Boston?  (Actually, he was riding with THE FAMILY that set us up!!!  haha.  They happened to be in NYC that weekend, too, visiting relatives.  I think they enjoyed being in on the action and we're so happy they could be there to witness and participate in the giddiness :)

This exchange btwn Danny and I was simple, but it did make my heart full.  I mean, he called me "darling".  He was still calling me darling!  And...his parents were excited!  This could only mean he was still excited, too!  Not that there was any reason to doubt.  Danny gave me no reason to doubt - not once, actually.  But, you know.  It all just really seemed to good to be true.  I started to let it all soak in.

(Oh, and btw, a reader asked if we kept writing our letters after we met or if we talked on the phone instead.  And...well....we kept writing the letters!  We very, very rarely spoke on the phone.  The letters were just so good we couldn't stop.  Plus, we felt inspired to document that part of our lives...we knew we were experiencing something extraordinary - both as a couple and as individuals - and something in us said this needs to be written down.  I'm so happy we have it recorded.  I'm so happy our children will get to read this history of their parents.  Over the coming months we'll share some of the "best of" letters with you, too. :)

From Danny:

Hello!  We're on the road.  Having a great chat with Ashley.

From Mara:

Wonderful.  I hope you are nearing home!  [Note: Really, I would have given anything to know what he was telling Ashley. :) ]

And, success!  I am tired and it's only 12:15 am!  I am going to go with this and get my butt in bed right now.  I am sure you must be exhausted as well.  Hopefully you find your home safe and sound and can crawl right into bed.

Of course, I couldn't help but read over some of "the document" tonight :)  [Danny had printed out all of our letters thus far and had brought me a copy.]   That thing is unreal!!! :)  What a collection of emails we have!  It was actually pretty fascinating to read them now that I know you even more and don't have to just envision you, but know the real you!

Also, it was amazing to see that the guy behind all those emails was the same guy in person ... spot on. All that is in your heart is most definitely evident live!  YOU ARE REAL!!!  :)  No doubt about it.

Well, I couldn't be more grateful that I met you!!!!!!!!  There is so much to say.  And so much to be thankful for.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for being one of the most positive influences I have ever encountered.  I absolutely loved being with you this weekend and, of course, can't wait to see you again.

But for now....this girl is going to sleep!  I think I am exhausted from all the good emotions of the weekend.  But know that it's a good feeling to have.

I will go to sleep with a smile on my face, as has been the routine for the last few weeks.

And tmw I'll be going to buy some more Welch's grape juice first thing cause that stuff really is pretty dang good. [Note: that is Danny's favorite drink.]  I am staring at the empty bottle right now wishing I could down a glass of it.  :)

Much love,


Photo by Melanie Mauer, NYC, Bryant Park

Mara dear,

So for once is it possible that you're in bed and I'm doing the late night writing?  I'll try to keep it short so it gets to you in time! 

I did just get home and had a nice conversation with my parents.  They were OH SO EXCITED to get the run down on the weekend!  And I was excited to tell them.

Mara, I, too, am indeed thankful for this weekend.  What an amazing experience to actually know you, and find additional reasons to love and admire you.

Needless to say, Ashley is quite thrilled with the outcome of this little visit.  It was a lot of fun to talk to her on the way home (much better than the bus ride, that's for sure). 

Mara, I'll wish you goodnight now, with the promise of more tomorrow.  Oh, I hope you sleep well!  As usual, I will be going to bed after a great prayer of thanksgiving. 

Goodnight Darling,


From Mara:

Hahhaha....... I am smiling big.  So fun to get your email (as usual).  

And, very happy to hear that you made it home safely.  

So cute to hear about your parents.  Oh yes, my parents got the run down tonight, too.  And of course they put me on speaker with each other and my sister and bro-in-law who were there.  Anyway, they were oh so excited to hear all the details.  It really is quite a unique experience we've had and it's an amazing story to tell.  

Sleep well and hope you have a fantastic day tmw !!



Twitter @ablogaboutlove 
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19 September 2012

Love Story: Would I Be Enough?

            Photo by Melanie Mauer, Bryant Park, NYC
It turns out, that before our first weekend together was over, I started to feel some fear seeping in... 

Oh my.  Yep.  You guys - it happened.  I mean, it was the ultimate act of vulnerability to meet in person for the first time...especially since we were already in love.  YES, we had put our hearts out there completely by email.  But in person, well - the stakes were higher.  (I mean, I now knew that he really, really was the greatest guy I could ever dream up!!  Oh man, how I wanted this to happen!  Things could not have been going better.)  And so...I started to feel a bit of panic.  Would I be enough?  I mean, there was no more editing an email.  It was just me.  He could see all of me.  He could hear me speak, hear me laugh, see me brush my teeth, see my crazy bed head in the morning when I came out of my room.  Was he still loving me the way I was still loving him?  My well-practiced self-worth/peace, dismissing fear, etc. was down for a moment, and I knew it.  Oh man.  I wanted to dismiss that fear.  I knew it would ruin our time together - and it may even ruin the close connection that we already had.  I wanted so much to be my best self.  And I knew exactly how to do it, as I had tapped into that many times before.  (Remember these posts on vulnerability?  I explain it all in three posts: 1, 2, 3.) 

And so, that second night, when I went to my room, I prayed my heart out.  Prayer for me is a time to re-align.  It's a few minutes where I deliberately try to shift my focus and get back to pursuing what matters to me most.  I HAD TO GET RID OF THAT FEAR!  I knew that dismissing the fear would require pursuing something better, in it's place.  And so...

I pursued love.  Love for Danny.  Love for him just as a kindred soul - not as a potential mate- not as someone I desperately needed in order to be fulfilled.  I pursued love, just for the sake of loving...just because that's the kind of woman I wanted to be.  I didn't want any ounce of fear to get in the way of what could be a wonderful friendship with Danny, even if things did not turn out the way I was hoping.  And, I pursued love for my unborn kids.  I always did that, and still do.  That one gets me every time.  I guess it helps me do hard things, in honor of them.  

I pursued self-worth and reminded myself that I still would have worth and my life could still have meaning, even if this dream did not continue.

I pursued hope that even if I didn't marry Danny, that there were wonderful men out there.

I pursued faith that no matter what, I was going to be OK.

I pursued gratitude.  Gratitude for this wonderful man that had come into my life and brightened up my world brighter than it had ever been my entire life.   

And, just as it always had worked in the past, pursuing these virtues changed me.  That fear left me.  Every bit of it uprooted.

New York photo shoot, melanie mauer
   Photo by Melanie Mauer, Bryant Park, NYC

The next morning, Danny was up early making me pancakes.  Oh, those pancakes.  This was before I was gluten-free.  And Danny's pancakes were the best I had ever had.  AND, he made rasberry compote.  Who does that?!  He had been testing out his compote at home before coming.  :)

And...I came into that kitchen that morning feeling different.  Danny had an apron on (heaven!! oh my :).  And as I said good morning and joined him, the fear was gone.  I felt my best self.  And um......you guys, Danny noticed it.  He knew something was different.  I was shocked!  He actually said, "Something's different :)"  haha.  Oh my.  I was dying.  Um, yes, I may have done a little something different.  I was blushing.  But I didn't tell him.  Not until later, at least.

But we carried on and had the greatest ending to the weekend.  I savored every moment of being with him.  I appreciated every second of being in the presence of this man who had the most loving nature I had ever seen.  And I really had gotten myself to the place where that experience was enough.  That experience of knowing him, being loved by him thus far, and experiencing what we thought was the greatest love story ever (ha!) was enough.  I knew I would be OK if we didn't marry- if he didn't continue to feel the same spark and love that I was feeling.  I knew I would be OK, even if I woke up the next day and it was all a dream- and even if I never had the chance to see him again.

And so, on that last day together, I decided to let him go.  Meaning, I decided to be at peace, no matter what the outcome, to let things happen as it was meant to be.  To surrender.  Just as I had many, many times before.  To let go of what my heart wanted oh so badly.  I knew I had to separate myself from that anxiety in order to love him in the best way - in order to actually be the best version of myself; in order to give this the best chance at happening in the best way.  And so, as the weekend came to an end, we said good-bye.  I thanked him for the best experience of my life, for being the greatest man I had ever known.  We shared love with each other.  The real kind of love.  And we were apart, just like that....not knowing exactly what would come next...

Have you ever had some fear or anxiety almost ruin something magical?  Were you able to figure out how to put a stop to it?

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18 September 2012

'Love Story' is BACK!

  Photo by Melanie Mauer, NYC, corner of 42nd & 8th Ave.

What happened after we met for the first time on the street corner in NYC?

We drove to Nobu.  (It's known as the best sushi restaurant in New York)

haha.  I figured we should go all out for the occasion. 

So we found parking and then got out of the car to cross 57th St.....and Danny grabbed my hand and held it tight as we crossed the street.  Ohhhhh.........that man just knows how to hold hands.  He just does it so naturally and lovingly.  I really was about to die.

  Photo by Melanie Mauer, NYC, 42nd & 8th Ave.

We greeted the host at Nobu and we were just beaming, glowing, and exuding so much happiness that she looked at us amazed.  She wanted to know what special occasion we were celebrating (she assumed it was an engagement - or an anniversary?)  She could definitely tell we were celebrating something of significance.  We laughed and told her that we had just met for the first time 10 minutes ago, but that we were already in love from writing each other letters.  She was GIDDY over us, which was so sweet.  And as she guided us to our table, every guest at the restaurant turned and stared and stared.  I'm telling you, we were a fireworks show.

         Photo by Melanie Mauer, NYC, near Bryant Park
I can't even remember what we ordered.  The only recollection I have of food was the memory of one piece of sushi.  We just couldn't keep our eyes off each other.  And we felt completely natural with each other...ahhh.  Our conversation just felt like an extension of our letters.  Oh, we were so dreamy eyed.  It was as if the world around us didn't exist.  

When we walked in to my apartment, it was all sparkly clean.  Of course had he seen it in the days prior, he would not have recognized it.  haha.  My cousin lived with me at the time and we had been cleaning like crazy for days as this place was the Harvey Faircloth headquarters/warehouse/shipping yard.

That first night, Danny and I stayed up until 4:00 am, just talking and getting to know each other more.  It really was so wonderful, tender, and real.  We were able to share in person so many of the sentiments that we had shared by email in the weeks prior.  Danny slept on the couch.  But that was close enough....I just couldn't believe we were under the same roof.  The nights before I would always lay in my bed reading or writing on my iphone - which was my only connection to him.  And now he was living and breathing and sleeping in the next room!!  I really couldn't believe my life.

 (We LOVED doing this photo shoot with the talented Melanie Mauer.  We were with her for maybe an hour, but that was long enough to know she's one of our favorite women. :)

--If you'd like, check out other posts from our 'Love Story' here.--

P.S.  In case you're wondering - we didn't kiss yet!  Before meeting, we'd pretty much set the limit at holding hands.  I know that might sound kind of crazy, but I can't tell you how wonderful and magical it made the whole weekend!!  It meant there was absolutely no pressure and allowed for every interaction to just be focused on getting to know each other.  It made our time together SO MUCH more meaningful and romantic!  And - it also meant that even the slightest touch or brush of the hands made us so giddy we might as well have been 16 years old on our first date ever.  haha.  We seriously were about to die.  And it helped us know more fully that we had mutual respect for each other and that we really were stepping into something healthy and good, with no awkward expectations.  But best of all, I think it really helped us to develop a real connection and a real bond with each other - oh man, it really was the best way to start out.  We were both so grateful for making such a simple decision.

Anybody else like the idea of not kissing right away?  I mean - I think holding out for the first few weeks - or longer, if you can - is the most romantic thing ever!  What do you think? 


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17 September 2012

Our Weekend

Our hearts are full.  We got to meet so many of our readers over the weekend at the Singles Conference in Manhattan.  We really didn't expect that.  It was one of the most wonderful experiences we've had since starting this blog.   Here are a few pics we managed to take....
To all who came to hear us speak - thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  We will never forget that experience.  You all were so kind-hearted, beautiful in every way, and just full of so much good energy.  In fact, you guys did us in!  We just felt such an overload of gratitude and happiness that by the time we made it home, all I could do was get cozy on the couch and try to soak it all in.  We love you all!  And we have no doubt that you can be your best selves and live the best lives possible. 

Much love to you all,

Mara & Danny

P.S.  Shake Shack!  We went here after the conference.  Luckily the line flew by.  I was starving!

BUT, the best ending to the day was running into one of my oldest New York friends, Christie Somers.  She's one of the most wonderful women out there.  I met her when we both moved to NYC and we were starting our careers here.  She was just starting as a hair stylist and I was lucky enough to have her do my hair (she's one of the best colorists ever).  AND....she is now the personal hair & make-up stylist for Mitt and Ann Romney during their campaign!  So amazing.  She got a shout out by the Huffington Post here, regarding Ann's hair and make-up at the Convention.  And you can read an awesome interview with Christie here.  I'm so happy and excited for her!

14 September 2012

Love Announcements

So much to catch up on!  (i.e. PHOTOS FROM JUSTIN HACKWORTH!  Oh man, they turned out awesome.  I don't know how he does it.  But he just captured some magic.  We will be posting them here soon! :) 

For now, here are a few things I wanted to send your way:

-A sweet little tip for lovers:
The other day, Danny called me on his way home from work for one reason - just to say that he was excited to see me.  :)  :)  [Trust me, I still can't believe this is my life.]  It was just such a simple little thing to do but it made my day...and made our greeting even better.  Anyway, if husbands are reading this:  do that!  :)  Your wives will love it!  :)

-We just did a fun interview!  There is this awesome husband/wife team that runs The Luncheon Project.  Over lunch, they interview interesting, successful or inspiring people in business, design, entertainment, etc.  And....um...somehow we got lucky and they wanted to interview Danny and me.  We were shocked and honored to be included in the project.  The whole experience was wonderful and somehow it just felt magical.  We sat in the garden at our favorite Thai place in Brooklyn and talked our hearts out about what matters to us most.  Part 1 of the Interview is here on their site. (Part 2 will be coming out soon.)

-For all book lovers:  one of my most talented design friends out of Brooklyn, Erik Heywood, now owns Book Shop.  It's an amazing collection of vintage books, book related prints, furniture, and accessories for books (see two of his items, above).  I just love his website and all that he's doing.  He has a pop-up shop in Manhattan starting today (Sept. 14-19th) at C'H'C'M' (Clinton Hill Classic Menswear).  I'm going to try and swing by there and I hope you will, too.  It's worth checking out - not only for the goods and early Christmas shopping :) - but just to get to know Erik - - he's really that cool...and really, one of the most creative (& funny) people I've known.

-And - I kind of can't contain myself on this one...We are in LOVE with this chocolate chip cookie recipe (dairy free/gluten free).  It's made with my new favorite almond flour, which is nutty delicious and healthy.  We also add GF oatmeal to make them even more irresistible.  (I buy my almond flour here and my agave nectar here. )

-We'll be speaking at the Manhattan Singles Conference this Saturday and I found out that the times for our sessions will be 1 pm and 2 pm.  (Double deep breaths :)  Location is 125 Columbus Ave., across from Lincoln Center.  The theme of the event is, "Who Do You Think You Are?"  We'd love to meet you if you're there!

To all of our wonderful readers - thanks for all you do.  Thanks for reading, thanks for your notes.  We're so thankful to have this connection with you...it still kind of amazes me that this is even possible.  We love you all & send you all the best in all your endeavors.  HAVE A GOOD, GOOD WEEKEND!



Twitter @ablogaboutlove 
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13 September 2012

Boatlift, an Untold Tale of 9/11

I had no idea half a million people were rescued from Lower Manhattan on 9/11 by BOAT!  This short video, narrated by Tom Hanks, will give you CHILLS!!  It's about the civilian seamen who came in droves to help.  Danny and I both watched it and couldn't believe it.  It's so incredibly inspiring.  (Thanks for sending, Lindsay.  You are right - human kindness and selflessness are all around us.)

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