Here We Go

This is what I am wearing the day we drive from Connecticut to Maine: a pink and camel-colored sweater, soft and narrowly striped. Outside, it is sunny and bright and memorably cold. It is the morning after Thanksgiving.

We leave later than we said we'd leave—we always leave later than we'd said we'd leave—and drive through the main artery of the small Connecticut town where we met. We divide and conquer. I order our breakfast sandwiches at the deli Sean used to go to in high school; he gets our coffee at the Dunkin Donuts where he gave me his number, next to the restaurant we went to on our first date. As we merge onto the freeway, our past recedes in the rearview mirror of the car. Our future is tucked deep into one of the suitcases in the back.


The day is a question mark. Should we do it here?

No, too weird.

What about if we get off the freeway here, at this rest stop?

Do you really want to find out at a rest stop?

No, I guess I don't.

The beach where we met had felt like it might be poignant, in a providential sort of way, but the restrooms are locked for the winter. Halfway to Maine, we stop at Walden Pond and I think about it there. Seems like it might be romantic, until I see the place I'd actually have to do it.

It's okay, I say. What's a little more waiting? 


We bought it a week ago, the night before I left California for the East Coast. Actually, we bought two. Different brands, just in case. It was raining and we ran across the Target parking lot holding hands, heads bowed and hoods up. In the brightly-lit aisle, we filmed each other giddily for posterity, nervous and jumpy as schoolchildren looking at something they don't feel old enough to look at.

But the next morning, I'd changed my mind. I don't think it's worth me doing it, I said. I think we'll only be disappointed.

I boarded the plane to New York, left the Target bag in the bathroom cabinet. A few days later, I called Sean in San Francisco, caught him right as he was packing for his flight out to meet me.

Actually, I said. Could you bring them? 


It's been dark for a few hours when we pull up in front of the B&B in Maine. We climb the stairs to our attic room, put down our bags, and look at each other. 

We should do it now, I say. Should we do it now?

The bathroom is small and white and clean, with sloping ceilings. Sean sits on the bed, starts the timer on his phone. Ready? I say. Ready, he says.

I leave it on the edge of the sink and walk out into the room and wait. 


Hours pass. Days, months, years. Suspended together in a weird fissure in time, we make the jittery small talk of people in elevators. The wait is a void of nothingness, a lacuna between before and after. The timer goes off on Sean's phone, and we give it another minute, the present wrapped around us like a security blanket. Then we rise off the bed and cross the threshold into the future. 


There are two, I say. 

Definitely two, he confirms. 

There they are. Two pink lines. 


But what do you do after that? We don't know what to do. We'll do another one, I say. Just to be sure. We'll do the other kind, the one with the word. 

We tiptoe down two flights of stairs and make tea in the living room of the B&B. I drink the two small bottles of Poland Spring that have been put in our room. I've barely brought the second test out of the bathroom before the word flashes up at me, consolingly.

Well, says Sean. Looks like it's true. 


After dinner, we drive to the flagship LL Bean store in a blissed-out bid to make the night stretch on even longer. It's almost midnight, and alone in the vast metropolis of the children's department, I pick up miniature scraps of seersucker and fleece. I need something tangible and tactile to commemorate this, something physical to make it real.

I choose a tiny cableknit fisherman's sweater in navy blue, and when the cashier rings it up, I ask for a gift box. I don't know why. It feels like a gift. The whole thing feels like a gift. 


There is a picture of us I love, taken the next day on an empty, windswept beach, our old life blown wide open into something uncertain and new. There we are, huddled together, the sole two keepers of our precious secret. We look terrified. We look awestruck. We look thrilled. 

Feb 20, 2013

Longtime mostly lurker --- overwhelmed with joy for you! Old enough to be your mother, but having raised four of my own I know something of what your future holds. Love - lots of it! And other things, too - but primarily the most gut-wrenching, soul-grabbing, unbelievably beautiful unconditional love. Congratulations! Can't wait to read more of your journey.

Feb 20, 2013

Awh, congrats to you and Sean! I had a feeling this was on the horizon for you, and glad to hear it's true. Hope you are feeling well, that the first trimester wasn't too unkind. You're going to be a great mom, and Sean a great dad. :)

Feb 20, 2013

Holly! I am so happy for you and Sean! I am a long time reader (since before your Asian adventure) and honestly, have been waiting to read a post from you about being pregnant. Congrats and best wishes to you!

Feb 20, 2013

I just knew it! I have been thinking for a while that you would tell us you are pregnant. Congratulations!!!

Feb 20, 2013

Oh, this is so sweet! Congratulations! I know you'll be great parents and will love many, many moments of the journey ahead — not all of them, no matter what well-intentioned people may say, but definitely very many of them. Enjoy the ride! We're all looking forward to reading about it.

Feb 20, 2013

Such a beautiful post and such huge congratulations!

Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! Also, you are a very good writer.

Feb 20, 2013

AHH! I've been waiting for this post, is that strange? It may be strange. Nevertheless, congratulations and best wishes for a healthy and happy pregnancy! What a gift!

Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations - so beautifully written, and a perfect way to start remembering this great time. Mazel to you both (all three?)

Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations to you both! This is so exciting!

Roxanna (miguelina)
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! I'm irrationally excited for you two.

Feb 20, 2013

So delighted for you both! Congratulations!

Feb 20, 2013

yaaaaay!!! i've been hoping you would make this announcement soon! so exciting.

Feb 20, 2013

What wonderful news!!! Congratulations! You're going to be great parents.

Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! And just a beautiful post, too. I'm so happy for the both of you.

Feb 20, 2013

What fantastic news, Holly! Congratulations, it's going to be wonderful!!

Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations!! I am another relatively new reader (just long enough to absolutely fall in love with your blog) who is officially de-lurking and so very thrilled for you!!

Feb 20, 2013

This is so beautiful; what a wonderful story to capture this wonderful news. Congratulations to the two of you. You guys will be so good at this.
Also! A nursery to decorate! I cannot wait for that.

Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you and Sean!

Kate O'C
Feb 20, 2013

I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! The minute you posted a month back about feeling under the weather but willingly eating the yogurt with chocolate buttons!!
I am so happy for you that you are about to embark on this glorious trip together! All three of you :)

Feb 20, 2013

AAHHHH CONGRATULATIONS! So happy for you both!

Feb 20, 2013

Aw, hooray! 200 comments. The world already loves your baby. I'm pregnant with my first, too, due in early September. Should I be looking forward to posts rounding up the best maternity clothes?

Feb 20, 2013

Awwww! Congratulations! I'm so excited for you! And I can't wait to see the birthday parties you'll put on! :)

Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! This post was just...beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

Feb 20, 2013

The sweetest way I could possibly imagine this announcement being written. Congratulations! :)

Feb 20, 2013

Really exciting, congratulations!

Feb 20, 2013

HOORAY! yay! so excited for you guys.

Feb 20, 2013

YAY. Just...YAY!

Feb 20, 2013

Aw, Holly. CONGRATS. So very excited for you, and for August babies (I'm having one too! We found out the day before you did. You and I also got engaged about a month apart, so I feel like we're on the same weird trajectory.)

YAY. I'm so delighted for all THREE of you.

Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! :D

Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations!! I too am the creepy person who has been thinking every time I check your blog that *this* will be the post that says you are pregnant! So weird of me, and exciting for you two!

Feb 20, 2013

Warmest wishes to you and Sean!

Feb 20, 2013

I loved this post, it was so beautifully written and I had goosebumps the whole time. Congratulations, and thank you so much for sharing your life with us. I always get a little thrill when I see you have a new post, but this one was the best by far :)

Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations!!! And SO beautifully written!

Feb 20, 2013

Best! News! Ever!

Congratulations! Now go forth and eat as much nutella as you like. Baby needs it.

Elizabeth A
Feb 20, 2013

Oh, Holly! Wonderful news, so beautifully told. Cannot wait to hear (read) your stories as you move forward in the next chapter of your life.
I wish you all the best of everything.

Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! I've stalked your blog for years and you are hilarious! You'll need that sense of humor when your child is here! :)

Feb 20, 2013


Sheyenne Alvarez
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! That was beautiful to read. Even though I thought I knew where it was going, the anticipation of reading it was wonderful.

Feb 20, 2013

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Feb 20, 2013

I am so happy for you and Sean. Congratulations!

Feb 20, 2013

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful post. Congratulations!

Feb 20, 2013

Ah, Holly, I've been reading your blog for years, since you two were still in Charleston. You and I may be strangers, but reading the "Should we do it here?" line gave it away for me and I got a little mistiness in the eye area. Ok, maybe more than a little bit.

Sincerely, all the best to you three. (Oh, I guess four, counting your four legged family member :)

Feb 20, 2013

Congrats! That's so exciting! Such a cute story. I'm weirdly over excited despite having never met you or the wonderful Sean. Your baby is going to be stylish! Can't wait to see the amazing crafts you will make and how you will decorate the nursery. Many congratulations!

Feb 20, 2013

AHHHHHHHH! Congratulations! So very excited for you and Sean! I have been reading along since you were planning your wedding and have been anticipating a post like this for a little while now. Can't wait to read along as the journey continues!


Such wonderful news. Congratulations!


Feb 20, 2013

I just loved, loved, loved reading this. So beautfully written. So exciting! Congrats to you and Sean!

Feb 20, 2013

hooray! what wonderful news, and what a wonderful story! (please tell me you print and save this fo rhtebaby's book!)

Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations Holly! What a beautiful post. It gave me goosebumps :)

Pretzel Thief
Feb 20, 2013

OMG, Holly(-eeeeeeeeeee)!!


Huge, huuuuuuge congrats to you and Sean! My most heartfelt congratulations...!

I'm absolutely rapt for the both of you. Eeeeeep!! And can I say (and I'm sure others may have said it, but I can't sift through 200+ comments at the moment since I'm at work), I soooooo had a feeling you might be pregnant...I've had it for the past month or so.

Scout's honour!

Heh heh.

And then I saw "Here We Go" and I was must be!

Wishing you a healthy and joyful pregnancy, and that, once the bebé arrives, that you're all blessed with oodles of health, safety and happiness!

Y'all deserve it something fierce!


Oh, and needless to say, the way you announced this was written in such a heartachingly beautiful way...sniff! Yes, I totally teared up, dammit!

Congratulations once again you two, WOOOO HOOOOOOO!!

Julie / Bound
Feb 20, 2013

This is so beautiful, and I'm SO excited for you, and it made me cry. YAY!

(Also, I just randomly pictured what kickass birthday parties this kid is going to have. Amazing.)


Feb 20, 2013

Ah!! The blogosphere rejoices! :)

Feb 20, 2013


Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations, Holly. You are going to have a gorgeous child! Take good care of you and baby!


Feb 20, 2013

Delurking to say ... CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Feb 20, 2013

Such happy happy news. Congratulations!

Feb 20, 2013

I was wondering for no reason at all. Maybe I am just that empathetic when I read about you not feeling the best on your German adventure, I imagined nausea. Morning sickness and super sonic smell can be particularly hard when traveling. I am very happy for you both and cannot wait to see the baby's beautiful nursery (I assume baby not babies but that is fun too).

Feb 20, 2013

I don't care that there's a million comments and you'll never get to them all. You deserve a million and one. CONGRATS!!!'

sarah k
Feb 20, 2013

So beautiful. Congratulations!

Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! I don't think it could be more heartfelt if I actually knew the two of you in a not-internetty sense. Best of luck for the months ahead and the years that follow - can't wait to read about your coming adventures! Happy Happy 2013 to you!

Feb 20, 2013

Somehow, I had a feeling this would be the news when I opened the page, but I didn't think it would make me CRY. Congratulations!!

Feb 20, 2013

yay! have been hoping for you for so long. can't wait to read along on during this new, scary, crazy, awesome and exciting time in your life! i know it's going to be awesome for you and sean!

Feb 20, 2013

This is why the internet was invented. Beautiful.


Feb 20, 2013

Ohmygosh, SO EXCITED FOR YOU! As soon as I saw the part about the rest stop I thought, "Well... it can't be sex. I bet she's peeing on a stick!" And then I teared up reading the rest.

Thank you so much for sharing! You two will be awesome parents!

Feb 20, 2013

I have the same tiny navy blue cable sweater from LLBean. It was a gift from my sister to my first baby, turning 3.5 tomorrow. Her 5-month old sister wears it now. The entire time, through the exhaustion and the elation and the figuring-things-out and the joy of finally being a Family...I've often wondered...when will Holly and Sean do it? From this stranger's house to yours, my warmest, warmest, warmest wishes. It's a hell of a ride, and you will love it. Can't wait to travel this road with you.

Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations!!! The research and planning possibilities are endless! And then the baby comes and all that goes out the window - enjoy the ride :)

Feb 20, 2013

I actually let out an audible shriek of joy when I came across the photograph of The Word (yeah, I was a bit slow on the uptake). My husband had to ask what was going on and I'm like, one of my favorite bloggers is pregnant! He, I think, was a bit perplexed by my excitement. :) Anyway, congratulations, and I look forward to seeing that sweater on your little one some day. You and Sean will make *fantastic* parents.

Feb 20, 2013

I saw your "knocked up" board on Pinterest and had to rush over here to see if there was a post and there was!

Congrats! What a sweet story . . . I totally teared up a little (I'm in a post-partum hormonal haze myself). It's an amazing journey!

Feb 20, 2013

Oh, congratulations! I am so happy for you and Sean! I thought you were pregnant, but I didn't want to be a nosy creeper and ask. In an Instagram photo, you just looked pregnant - not in a bigger belly way, but just this look of softness that I've seen many women wear when they are newly pregnant. You look lovely. Many congrats.

Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! I don't think I've ever been so happy for complete strangers before in my life. It's lovely. :) Can't wait to follow along as you greet the awesome joy that awaits you.

Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations, you two! xo

Feb 20, 2013

From the moment I read Thanksgiving, I knew that was going to be the news. :-) Congratufreakinglations!

Feb 20, 2013

Ok so your pins related to baby things popped up in my pinterest feed...I was like whaaat?? So excited to hear about pregnancy and babies from your perspective. I have a 4 mo old baby girl and wow she is such a joy! Congrats!

Feb 20, 2013

Yea! Congratulations! And I'll echo all those who said that was beautifully written! :)

Feb 20, 2013

So fantastic! Congrats!

Feb 20, 2013

oh my goodness, i'm sitting here on my couch just boohooing! Congratulations times infinity!!!

It is everything about life that you adore, and it only gets better. seize every second!

Cate from Calgary
Feb 20, 2013

Such a lovely post. Sending you both big love from Canada . -c

Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations to you both!! Lots of Love!

Feb 20, 2013

HOLY CRAP!! HOW WONDERFUL!!! Congratulations to you both. And to your parents! They must be over the moon!

Feb 20, 2013

YAY!!! Heartiest congratulations!

Between this wonderful news of yours and my best friend's engagement last week, the world just seems so much more beautiful these days.

P/s: You have such a way with words. Can't wait to read all about this new adventure!

Feb 20, 2013

Congrats you crazy kids! I am your age, and I remember taking a pregnancy test when I was 20 years old and finding it positive. Positive is not a thing you want when you're 20 years old, it's a thing that wants you. Good luck from a mom of a 12 year old. Luck is the thing you need, but love, as my mom said, is the only thing that matters.

Feb 21, 2013

Stellar writing! Congratulations to you both, Holly!

Feb 21, 2013

I'm a long time reader and I've never commented before, but this literally took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. At the office no less! Congratulations!

Feb 21, 2013

dear holly,
herzliche glückwünsche and all the best from a long-time reader in germany&austria. I must say this totally beats the news on the royal baby (although just like all of us who were born around prince william's birthday, your child might grow up with similar ideas of royal marriage - depending on both kids' sexes. what about that, perfect timing ;)
all the best from vienna!!

Feb 21, 2013

I am crazy excited for you two. You guys are going to be AWESOME parents! Aaaah I am just so excited!
OMG I am seriously way too enthusiastic about this. Heading into stalker territory!
And I ADORE your writing!

Feb 21, 2013

Beautifully told and congratulations! That is going to be one cute baby!

Feb 21, 2013

Whoo-hoo! I creepily too have been wondering if this post was going to come soon. You two seem like such awesome people and only awesome people should have kids. Haha. Congrats!

Feb 21, 2013

Aw, Holly! I always look forward to your posts, no matter what the topic, and ever since you mentioned way back when that you and Sean wanted kids one day, I've looked forward to this one. I knew you'd tell it in your beautiful, unique Holly way. I am yet another stranger who is so thrilled for you. Congratulations to you both!!!

PS. You have to let us know your family's reactions!

Feb 21, 2013

I'm writing this on my phone while nursing my seven week old. He's my second, and so sweet. Congratulations. Know this: You're not ready. No one is. It's scary...and wonderful. It's heartbreaking...and joyful. It's overwhelming...and beautiful.

Feb 21, 2013


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