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Welcome to my little corner of the ether. This is where you will find information about my books and musings on life and love in New York City. To stay in the loop about all things ADR...


holiday1It's a bit late in the game, but I've been designing on our holiday card. Looks like it will be a New Year's card like last year. And though I would love to send it in the mail, we will probably resort to an e-card. Again, like last year. This is one of those things I've been hoping to get better about, doing things in advance, particularly holiday things, but alas. It is what it is. I am who I am. All good.

See the postcards above? The one propped on my laptop is about forgiveness, about how we must learn to forgive ourselves, about how life itself is an adventure in forgiveness. I buy it. We are imperfect beings. We will invariably fall short. We must accept this. I have already forgiven myself for the late holiday cards and the electronic essence of said cards. No biggie.

On our forthcoming holiday card, I will include words. I was going to find an apt quote from one of my favorite thinkers, but decided to use words of my own, words that mean a ton to me. The words:

Open your eyes to moments small and silly. Because they are neither small nor silly. They are everything.

These words are probably somewhat familiar to you. I've been writing a lot about moments here, about how they are indeed the very fabric of our magical, messy lives. About how we must work to see them and feel them and savor them. Unwrap them.

Moments are gifts.

Scroll down for some recent moments. Holiday gifts. Many of them. But the final one is the best by far, so if you are pressed for time, blur past to the very end...


I'm on a wonderful roll with my novel. I've submitted a total of about 50,000 words to an editor I'm working with. She's read them and given me notes and we are meeting today to chat. There is so much work to be done, first drafts are indeed inherently shitaake-laden, but I've never felt so optimistic about this project.holiday3

Birds on the roof of a building on Amsterdam. Love that they are up there, on the brick abode, witnesses to this world that is my world. Birds play an important role in my WIP and I have a new reverence for their citizenship in this city of mine.


A shot from a very cold day. I am still on the fence about the Ubiquitous Selfie. I take plenty of them and when I post them I feel both empowered and embarrassed. What is this all about? This splashing of Self all over the place? Is this fruit of insecurity or inspiration? Evidence of Midlife Crisis or Midlife Confidence?holiday6

More & More Antiques. One of my very favorite shops in my neighborhood and in all of NYC. It is stuffed to the gills with treasures.holiday7

Our resident celebrity. Every morning, the girls bound down the stairs and look for Scout. He's a tiny bit creepy, but adds a bit of Christmas spirit to our home.


The big girls and I do a morning grocery shop as it starts to snow. They spy a pretty fabulous truck. Love the abundance of color here. And also the blue garbage can. It's all beautiful if you ask me.holiday9

Mother Nature treats us to the most exquisite white Saturday. It just so happens this is the day the girls have a few friends over for a Secret Santa Pajama Party. Cozy perfection.holiday10

Husband makes a fire in the living room. Middle breaks out the Legos.holiday11

I indulge in some couch snuggles with my tiniest girls. One day she will not croon "Cuddle me, Mommy!" over and over, so I'm going to soak this up.


I get a bit dolled to go out for dinner with Husband for his birthday. Another selfie. Make of it what you will, but I like having evidence of what I looked like at different points, particularly on meaningful days.


Aftermath of the snow. A bit gloomy and gritty, but still compelling.


Husband and I pay a visit to the MOMA store downtown. What a fabulous place. We buy this ghost candelabra which now sits on our kitchen island. Love it.

holiday16A downtown Starbucks has the most wonderful sign.


The girls make Daddy a chocolate cake for his birthday. We sing. He blows his candles out.


The littles check out the leftover snow on the way to school.


Little Girl says hello to a chilly snowman. holiday23

I was walking home one night and looked up and the sky was the most hauntingly beautiful swath of purply-taupe. holiday24

Had to buy these cocktail napkins.

holiday 25

Far better than popcorn.holiday26

A picturesque moment before a slew of less picturesque ones. If I remember correctly, that morning was a beast.


Husband and I go to a holiday party in Little Girl's classroom. When we arrive she is wearing construction paper reindeer antlers. After, she hitches a ride on Daddy's hip. holiday29

Little sports her hand-me-down faux fur coat. We forgot gloves so we buy a pair of $3 ABC gloves on the street. She is over-the-moon excited about them. At the coffee shop, she looks up at me, blue eyes bright, and says, "Mommy, you keep calling me Baby, but I a big gurl now."holiday30

The most magnificent sky. Love the green light, too. Full steam ahead.holiday31

Behold: the top knot, sequined t-shirt and dramatic eyes for our anniversary dinner out. To contrast the uber-early reservation and bedtime.holiday32

My baby sister T decorating the big tree at my childhood home where we gather each year for Mom's big Christmas party.


Here I am in my towel standing on the chaise in my room belting out O Come All Ye Faithful in a terrible but quasi-operatic voice. My little girls were riveted and requested both an encore and a picture. I gave them both. holiday35

I went to the same school from K-12. I loved Dalton and the place made me who I am. Every Friday before Winter Break, there was a Candlelighting Ceremony. A couple kids from each grade were chosen to represent their classmates. I always wanted to be a candle-lighter. On Friday morning, I watched my big girl light the candle for Dalton's First Grade. Decked in her favorite color, she did a beautiful job. Husband and I watched from the balcony in the theater and as she lit that candle, my eyes welled up with the happiest of tears. Joy. Pride. Nostalgia. Deep, rattling love. A full circle moment I will not forget.


Glammed up for Mom's Christmas party. My sisters come up with the hashtag #averydonnelleychristmas.holiday37

Red poinsettias and Santa's chimney at my childhood home.

holiday 38

The Donnelley grandkids perform for the party guests. They wear angel wings and do a fabulous job. holiday39

The morning after. Daddy plays Mancala with the littles while "fooding" the baby panda puff cereal. Big Girl and cousin R watch Power Ponies and Big sketches ponies. Mom, C and I rehash the party around the kitchen island. My brother-in-law makes a Shake Shack run. After a yummy lunch, the girls and I settle in to watch Elf. The laughter is epic.


At 2:34pm, I head outside for the first time all day. I'm still in my faux lashes and pajamas and feel a bit stressy about Christmas to-do's. The fresh air and selfie/confessional I post to Instagram help profoundly. Go figure.holiday41

Husband and Little Girl draw a Christmas tree on the iPad.


This is the time of year when I look ahead and ponder change. The thought of tweaking aspects of existence makes me almost giddy. Can't explain it, but I love the idea that we are all works-in-progress, that editing is possible and entirely up to us.

hol1I go wrapping paper shopping with Little and Big.


And come back with more than wrapping paper.


I head out to finish Christmas shopping and end up with a little gift for myself. How perfect is this necklace?


After a big Donnelley dinner out on the East Side, I snap pictures of Park Avenue at night and decide I just adore this city at this time of year.


The biggest gift this holiday season? The arrival of my beautiful niece and nephew!! From the FB Announcement: "Greyson and Finley Davis are here!! They made an early debut on December 13th and need to spend a little time growing strong at the hospital but they are mighty little ones and doing great! Mom and Dad are smitten." So are we. Yay!!!

I wish you the happiest of holidays. *See* you in 2014!! xoxo, ADR

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ADR Friday Loves 12.20.13