field notes.

by Jenna Kutcher via Society 6


Last Tuesday I went into the hospital for outpatient sinus surgery and came out {hopefully better} on the other side. To make a short story short, I do not have a sense of smell. I’ve mentioned my lack of smell briefly in this post, but it’s not something I casually talk about often, or hardly ever, so a lot of people that I know have no idea at all. About 2 years ago my sense of smell slowly faded {reason unknown, but all signs point to severe allergies and sinusitus} and since then I’ve been through lots of appointments and tests and scans to try to figure out what the trouble is.

I had a MRI, which was scary. And then a CAT scan which showed a LOT of inflammation in my sinuses, completely blocking my sense of smell. For a long time I was just satisfied with the fact that I did not have a brain tumor, but more recently I considered options to try and fix the problem, or at least try to help it best I can. I changed my diet, which did help with my allergies, but still my smell did not return. And so, I opted for surgery– Balloon Sinuplasty which is a minimally invasive and fairly painless procedure, and hopefully {fingers crossed!} will help bring my scent back soon.

Since this was my first time in the operating room, I thought I’d jot down a few field notes on my experience, as it was overall a pretty okay adventure for me.

I arrived at the hospital at 2:00 for a 4:00 surgery which was late considering I couldn’t eat after 12:00 the previous night. I was hungry, but kept myself busy enough during the day to not think much about it. I also couldn’t drink any liquids, which was a pain, but fine. My mom came in to town from Syracuse to drive me to and from the surgery and also just to be around during the days following. Zan would have taken off work if she hadn’t come to visit, but I liked the situation as it was– there’s nothing like your mom taking care of you, am I right?

There was a complication with one of the surgeries scheduled before mine, and so I actually had to wait until 6:30 to go into the operating room! The waiting was the pits, but I felt like I was in good hands, so my anxiety level was low. About an hour before I went into the operating room the nurse and anesthesiologist came to visit me, asking lots of questions about my allergies to certain medicines and also getting me all set up with the intravenous, which, a short time later caused my blood pressure to drop/severe dizziness to happen. Whoa! Within seconds the nurses came rushing in to pump some fluid through me and after a minute or so it seemed I was back on track and better than ever. An adventure, indeed!

I really loved all the doctors and nurses– they were so kind and reassuring. I just felt safe and calm the whole time, even when I didn’t {if that makes any sense}.

When the surgeon and the rest of the team came to wheel me to the operating room I was ready to go. The operating room was big and blue and very bright. Much brighter than Grey’s Anatomy I was sure to tell everyone in the room {my most specific connection to a surgical environment, I obviously had to bring it up}. Best show ever, I also stated, and though I didn’t get any comments , I did catch a few smiles. I still felt calm and safe and ready and as I was being given the anesthesia I simply remember thinking, here we go! Before I coughed in the medicine and blacked out.


Waking up from surgery and the hour following was the worst part for me. My throat hurt miserably as well as my front teeth and my face. But slowly, slowly, after some much needed medicine and just a little bit of time, I started to feel okay again. Not perfect, but better. I had to wear a gauze under my nose for a few days, and will have to do a nasal spray to help the healing, but over the course of a week I have quickly come back to life. The healing should take 3-4 weeks in it’s entirety so right now I just have to keep up with the spray and wait and see.

The hard part is over, and now the hoping and wishing for smell is where I’m at.

Wish me luck and say a prayer will you? I’ll take all the love I can get.

a short list.

November //

Things to be happy about in November:

// Leaves everywhere you turn like magic

// Turning on the heat

// Hot tea and a good TV show {we’re watching House of Cards!}

// hanging out with the Gilmore Girls before Zan gets home

// This fleece robe that’s a huge slice of heaven

// Perfect sunsets

// Days off and lunch with my sister

// Being in the middle of a good book

// The most comfortable sheets in the world {Microfiber! Insane!}

// Making time to blog

// Thanksgiving in 15 days

// A house that feels like a home

visiting ground zero.

ground zeroground zeroground zeroground zero

I have been to New York so many times since September 11, 2001. And yet, this was my first visit here— to this memorial, to this space. It’s hard for me to find the words to describe it, or muster up the courage to write publicly about my feelings, except to say that being there was powerful and important and terribly, terribly sad.

Two reflecting pools, with their enormous expanse and cascading waters are the footprints of where the towers once stood. Below is a museum, dedicated to those who lost their lives and to the heroes who gave everything they had to save others. It was hard to be there, but important to me, too.

We wanted to go and pay our respects to the victims and the heroes of that day. I wanted to post these pictures as a tribute, to remember,

To spread kindness and compassion and love—


welcome to new york.

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“Walking through a crowd, the village is aglow
Kaleidoscope of loud heartbeats under coats
Everybody here wanted something more
Searching for a sound we hadn’t heard before

And it said
Welcome to New York

It’s been waiting for you
Welcome to New York, Welcome to New York.”


Alternately titled: My Mom’s Retirement Trip!

Ahh, retirement! Such a beautiful thing, I can only imagine!! And although I’m light years away from experiencing it myself, my mom is in the thick of it! What bliss. When summer was upon us, my sister and I were all up for helping her celebrate. My mom chose the place– New York City– and naturally I was excited from the very beginning. We decided to go for for a few week days in August. I set us up with an adorable AirBnB in the West Village {SWOON!}, scoured Pinterest for all the greatest, and we hopped on the train and took off! Three glorious days, three ladies in the city.

Here’s the rundown on day ONE:

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The first day we arrived in the city around lunch time. We took an Uber from Grand Central Station straight to our little street in the West Village. It was the perfect street in the perfect location.

Look at those doors! Look at that European-esque hallway! It was all just too good.

And the apartment!

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Our place was so cozy and just the right size for the three of us {a queen bed and a pull out couch}. Small, but that’s all we needed!

{ If you’re looking to stay in NY, let me know and I’ll send you the AirBnB link to the place! Very highly recommended and the location can’t be beat! :) }

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Right away we walked the streets of the neighborhood. I have blogged about the West Village before and I still think it’s ABSOLUTE MAGIC. We had lunch at Tartine, a little french bakery bistro right on the corner W 11th St and West 4th Street. Usually I come to New York for a day, or for a weekend, which is all wonderful and good, but also always so so busy. A jam-packed-full-of-action-don’t-stop-for-a-minute kind of experience! It was so nice to be able to sit and know that this city was ours to soak in, enjoy and explore, even if just for a little while.

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Magnolia’s Bread Pudding = ONE THOUSAND YUMS.

Oh my dear, this is not the only time we would eat this during the trip!

{Bread Pudding for breakfast, anyone?}

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The shops in this area of New York are endless, and perfectly unique. My favorites were Sockerbit {sweedish candy!}, Goorin Bros. hat shop {I wanted that one in the photo, but decided in the end to leave it on the shelf!} and Greenwich Letterpress {because, PAPER. Forever paper.}. Every store is so different and it’s fun to step inside them all!

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After all the wandering, we headed into Washington Square Park, where summer in the city was most definitely in full swing. New York might not have the lakes or oceans, but they do have live music, plenty of great people watching, and fountains {if you’re into that sort of thing}.

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I love this photo so much. Bleeker Street in all it’s glory.

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We ate at Rosemary’s in Greenwich Village for dinner on a recommendation from a friend. The rooftop garden was wonderful and the atmosphere was just what I was looking for. I love a place with bistro lights and this place had it all. An emphasis on fresh homegrown herbs and produce {SO INTO IT} The homemade focaccia bread and homemade pasta were great highlights, too. Traveling is half about the adventure, and half about the AMAZING FOOD!

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Gah, I love New York! And these two beauties, too!