Haywire

Tuesday marks the end of my maternity leave so before starting work again I decided to take a trip to Dallas.

Ben and I are so lucky as parents, Tove doesn’t mind her car seat at all and she’s already a socialite at restaurants. She’s never been fussy or even attempted to make a scene so we decided to meet Taylor and her fiancé Blake for dinner on Saturday night at a restaurant called Haywire. It’s located at Legacy West in Plano and serves new American cuisine.

We had an early reservation and if the hostess hadn’t left us standing off to the side for 14 minutes while our table was ready I would have nothing but positive things to say about our experience. Taylor had booked the reservation and got us a perfect table upstairs on the patio overlooking the stage/courtyard area. We got lucky with the weather as well, so I wasn’t all hot and bothered 😅

We started with the “chefs 4” which included mini Elk tacos, queso, giant onion rings, and fried tomatoes. All of which was delicious. I’m normally not a huge fan of onion rings but man they were good.

For the main I got a lighter fare, the grilled Caesar salad and a side but Ben went for a bone in 18oz steak and he was VERY pleased with how it turned out. He was even picking the meat from the bone once he was ‘done’ eating 😅.

Next time I’m getting the snapper. Blake got it and it looked so good. Oh and definitely try the Mac and cheese at Haywire, it’s flavorful and the texture is on point.

Texas Abortion Ban

This one hits close to home, in more ways than one. Not only did we consider having Tove in Dallas, but we also have family/friends still in Texas. Unfortunately rumor has it that Oklahoma is pushing for similar laws to go into effect here as well. This also hits close to home because like this post I shared on Instagram, there are so many reasons behind why a woman would ever choose to have an abortion.

I got pregnant in 2020 around the time Covid hit. Ben and I were SO EXCITED! Especially since all Ben has ever wanted in life is to be a dad. Having never been pregnant before, we immediately told our family the second I had taken multiple pregnancy tests and they all came back “pregnant”. When I saw the results on the pregnancy tests I cried because I was so happy and emotionally unprepared for what that feeling was going to be. We weren’t trying for a baby but I hadn’t gotten my period and well.. maybe the stars had aligned? So I scheduled an appointment with an OB, little did I know that I was about to be “Vanessa”.

I believe I was 6-8 weeks pregnant when I had my first appointment (this is the first time I’m writing about this and/or thinking about it since I pushed these memories into a “forget” folder in my brain.). Ben was at work so I drove to Edmond on my own and met with the OB for my appointment. Everything was normal until they went to listen for the heartbeat. I laid there on my own as they kept trying to search for one without avail. Something didn’t feel quite right. They told me not to worry because it was still early on in my pregnancy, maybe we were too early in fact and it just hadn’t developed yet. So I was sent to get some blood work/labs done next door and come back for my second appointment in 2 weeks. I left feeling very uneasy, but also had to share the “no news” with Ben that evening.

Was I worried? Hell yeah I was. But I had never been pregnant before and wanted to trust the doctors. However, a few days later I miscarried in the middle of the night in our apartment bathroom. It was a traumatic experience, but I am SO LUCKY that I didn’t need medical intervention. Or that I didn’t have to carry a “baby” to term who never even developed a heartbeat because I was past that 6 week mark. I am still grieving the loss from our first pregnancy, so much so that it totally robbed us of any joy our first trimester with Tove. In fact when I took the pregnancy tests and they came back “pregnant” I cried when I told Ben because I was so damn worried we wouldn’t be able to carry to term again. Plus I was so sick following the miscarriage and it continued well into my pregnancy with Tove. I was barely able to eat, I was violently vomiting all the time and had terrible IBS symptoms.. it was a nightmare. I cried so much in the beginning because I was scared to feel any resemblance of joy in case I got robbed again. We waited until the second trimester to tell our parents this time around and my mom told me “we are your family, you could’ve still told us” and it wasn’t that I didn’t want to share with everyone it was that I didn’t want to have to answer those calls or texts if I had another miscarriage. The aftermath was gut wrenching and emotionally draining and I didn’t want to have to share that with anyone again. Now imagine having to share with them that we had to have an abortion mid-pregnancy because our pregnancy was no longer viable. That’s definitely not something you want to share with the world.

Luckily we now have a beautiful HEALTHY baby, whom I was able to carry to full term but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t called planned parenthood out of fear because I didn’t think I could handle being so sick and losing another child. So to take away these rights from girls and women is so fucking ludicrous, and it hurts my heart for the ones who didn’t have as favorable of outcomes as we did. An abortion isn’t a quick fix or an easy decision, and I for one hope that my daughter will have the right to autonomy over her own body.

Donate to help other women HERE if you’d like.

From Our Baby Shower

From Our Baby Shower

My boss asked during one of our meetings if I had planned on having a baby shower. I told her no, in Sweden it is not customary, and I’d never even attended one before. So Megan took it upon herself to encourage me to start my baby registry and host a shower for us! I’m so thankful she was willing to plan and host our baby shower with the help of some of my radest colleagues.

Not only were the cookies the CUTEST things ever, I loved the color and Tove’s name on them, but they were also delicious. I got to take home 4 of them and I ate them within 2 days… oops, I would do it again. Megan had 3 different games prepared for us as well, the first was a plastic baby you had to hold in your hand, not pocket, and whoever had the most at the end of the shower won.

The second game was to guess what baby item was in the paper bag. Not to brag but I won cause I got all the items correct- MOM TO BE POINTS! The third was different kinds of chocolate bars melted in diapers and we had to guess what type it was. I did poorly with guessing, needed my chocoholic dad to be there I guess.

After the games the ‘shower’ began and Ben and I got to open presents from all our friends who came. You can see Ben proudly looking and counting his babies at the start of opening presents.

So appreciative of all the useful gifts we received, we felt so loved during opening them. I will say Brit had the Spice Girls onesie custom made for me and Ben already knew about it but actually managed to keep it a secret for MONTHS.

My sweet colleagues had also helped blow up balloons at work and then set up the backdrop for photos! I handed the camera to Sabah and got photos with all our attendees 💕 sweet sweet memories.

Megan, the hostess with the mostest! Not only is she a mom of four kids, but she also runs two businesses. #GirlPower

Me and Michael! He was actually one of the interviewers when I applied for my current position. Now 1.5 years later, I’m his boss 😛 but only technically because I don’t believe he would let anyone be boss over him truly.

Sabah and I, another beloved colleague. Not only is she an immigrant like meeeee but she’s just a badass in the cannabis community as well. Love having her in my corner for support. Plus she’s pretty damn good at buying presents that fit me to a T!

Dream team from work… or as our group text says, Hoe$

Sierra, my assistant manager at work, and I. She’s been a favorite of mine for a while now. Not only is she such a pleasure to work with but I just adore the crap out of her as well. Like I would love to just go on a hike with our pups and drink margs after one of these days! I’m excited for her to get to run the show while I’m away on maternity leave.

Ben, Sierra, I, and Quez

Hannah and her son Avery.

Mady and I

Sweet Kyla. Another mom to help field my millions of questions!

Ben, me, Brit & Tobin. Our first OKC friend couple!

Forever my best friend! Was happy Ito was willing to drive up from Dallas to spend the night before with me and also attend the shower. Plus now my colleagues know I didn’t just make up having a best friend from Canada 😅

The only blood relative we had at the shower was my brother, Rob. Him and his girlfriend, Helena, drove up from Dallas; I felt so bad that they got caught in traffic coming up, making it a 4 hour drive for ~1 hr of the baby shower only to then drive back down. I really wanted Rob to come in person though because Ben and I met through him. My brother invited Ben to celebrate July 4th with Ito and I and here we are 5 years later about to have a baby!! We also asked my brother after the baby shower to be the god father, and he happily said yes 🥰

Happy parents to be.. the second one is when Ben realized our daughter’s due date was a month away.. lol jk JOKESSSSssss

So happy and grateful for those who decided to come celebrate with us! Had a great time and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Flora

On Wednesday I was invited to go to dinner and the theater after to see Rent’s 20th anniversary tour. Fast forward 2 hours, hair and makeup was done and we were driving to a restaurant called Flora Street Cafe in the Dallas Arts District. 

Once the luxurious C-class Mercedes was valeted (kind note: only my car in my dreams) we took a group picture outside of the restaurant before arriving promptly for our 6:00 pm reservations.

Now weren’t my two dates just too handsome?

I will say this.. going to dinner with Jim you sure do get treated like royalty. The chef, Stephan Pyles, kindly greeted us at the door.
 
Once seated, we decided on some cocktails and champagne. The boys drank an old fashion and a Manhattan while I greedily started sipping on the Tattinger. I was basically in heaven.

For my appetizer I ate the Ahi Tuna. Not surprisingly it melted in my mouth, especially since it was paired with kiwis, tomatillos, and marchano almonds. 

The others ordered dry-aged Texas wagyu beef tartare, and sea scallops. Now the scallops were SO TASTY, and probably one of the coolest dishes on the menu. They use liquid nitrogen to make coconut gellee, which basically looks like noodles. The dish also is served with ‘Jasmine Sea Essence’ which is created by pouring water over dry ice. Pretty neat.

For my main course I decided on the roast pheasant. It comes with a blackberry mojo, and a squash blossom quesadilla. It’s pretty amazing how the flavors came together so well. I really enjoyed it because unlike most upscale restaurants the food felt comfortable and filling. I guess its the epitome of Texas fine dining.

The dinner was phenominal but the company was even better. I haven’t had a meal out like that experience in a long long time and it felt very refreshing. Probably helped that the bill was also compensated so I didn’t even have to spend a penny!