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The Boston Marathon – One Year Later

15 Apr
IMG_8393total shock as I ice my ankle and we wait for news – April 14, 2013

A year ago yesterday I was at the Boston Marathon and stood directly across from the 2nd bombing site for hours. Across from people who were killed and lost legs and were injured in unimaginable ways. Sipping Starbucks, laughing with my sisters, and cheering runners. We were extremely lucky to have started to leave moments before, but a year latter, it doesn’t shake the weight of how narrowly we escaped.

It doesn’t ease the horror of what we experienced — the smoke, the noise, the screaming, the confusion, and a sickening rumble of feet running toward a single exit door in the Prudential mall. We all thought we were going to die. But most of all, it doesn’t ease the guilt. Guilt for breathing life to these feelings at all when so many others were effected so much more tragically. Guilt for our confusion in the aftermath, thinking we were being attacked, which prompted a flight instinct that, in hindsight, I wished we’d fought and instead moved into the smoke to try to help others. And guilt for not feeling Boston strong at all.
A year later, the shock hasn’t lessened and after the news about the backpacks left at the finish line, my once-quiet pessimist subconscious could only shriek “I told you so.” And I hate that most of all.
In the aftermath of the marathon bombings I was glued to the TV, the phone, and social media. Considering how close we’d been to the second bombing site, it seemed ironic that a police chase would lead to Watertown, where I live. I remember dropping my crutches and crawling along the floor on my forearms at 2:30 AM after police had warned residents to steer clear of all windows. Then I returned to work on Boylston Street a week later, on crutches. My office overlooked a deserted Boylston Street, a makeshift memorial just below us at the intersection of Berkley Street. I couldn’t escape it.
Maybe because of that, I shut it out. Initially I rallied behind BostonStrong and even wrote a post re-capping it all, My Boston Marathon Story, about running the marathon in 2014, but the conviction never arrived. If I’m totally honest with myself, it’s because I’m scared. I still have trouble taking the subway. I look for backpacks as I walk the city streets. And I avoided the Pru for months until my husband made me walk through with him. But I’ve kept the TV off leading up to the anniversary.
On Saturday I walked by the finish line with my mom and sister but didn’t linger. My mom wanted to re-hash all the details of the day, but I wasn’t up for it at all. I’m glad I made myself go, but I think the only thing that is going to heal this one is time and patience.


Happy 30th, love

4 Apr


Last year, I wrote a special post for my husband’s 29th birthday. But 30 is big! So I wanted to do something extra special to commemorate this milestone birthday. He’s always been a huge music-lover so I compiled song dedications from friends and family to make a playlist for him, in addition to favorite memories.
Here they are:

And here is who dedicated each song, with a little back story, if there is any…

I’m Too Sexy – Right Said Fred / Reece Painter

Bloodhound Gang – The Bad Touch / Dave Esposito

Bryan Adams – Run to you / Chuck Dobbins

Ghostbusters theme song / Shawna Reames

One Moment in Time – Whitney Houston / Marie McDonald
He is going to think this is the weirdest pick probably, but I always think of Brian as being athletic and active and moving, like I could picture him IN the Olympics. This song was huge at the Olympics one year and it reminds me a lot of him.

We Didn’t Start the Fire – Billy Joel / Mallory Aronstein
Because a) I’ve been listening to a lot of Billy Joel  lately and b) I can just picture Brian rocking out and air-guitaring to it. I think he’d enjoy that.

Must be Santa – Raffi / Tom D’Angelo

Satellite – Dave Matthews Band / Susan D’Angelo

Splitting up Christmas – Kevin Devine / Wendy D’Angelo
For so many reasons, this songs reminds me of Brian. And as much as we stress about it, I think we’re both equally blessed to HAVE to split holidays up too. We’re so lucky to have so many people to love in our lives. I love that Brian always puts family first. This song IS Brian I think.

Be Our Guest – Beauty and the Beast / Susan D’Angelo

Feels Like Home – Chantal Kreviazuk / Wendy D’Angelo
This was on repeat back in the days of Dawson’s Creek! Listening today always makes me think of Brian.

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town – / Nana
Because of Brian’s love of Christmas.

Just the Way You Are – Billy Joel / Nana + Susan D’Angelo
We both think that Billy Joel’s song, Just the Way You Are, fits him perfectly too.

Sunglasses at Night – Corey Hart / Victoria Pray

“Stolen” – Dashboard Confessional’s to Brian / Taylor

Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo by Bloodhound Gang / Matt Mason
These two songs were the songs I played on repeat the entire year we lives together even though he begged me to stop.

Move Along by All American Rejects / Matt Mason
I’m not sure what message these songs send to a 30 year old Brian D’Angelo but I do know that they drove 20 year old Brian bonkers…..

You and Me – Dave Matthews Band / Wendy D’Angelo
We love Dave, it’s simple! I’ll never forget you holding my hand at that first concert we ever went to.

Your body is a wonderland – John Mayer / Matt Spinner

Any song by Dave Matthews Band / Kevin Dwyer
If you’re talking music for Brian, you can’t leave out DMB for sure.  Growing up, I always remember the D’Angelo boys being all about Dave.  I was never much of a listener, so I’m not sure if I could pick a particular song though.

Fatboy Slim & Riva Starr – Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat. / Hannah
I heard this song recently, and although I’ve never listened to it with Brian, it instantly reminded me of him.  

It’s Raining Men -  / Jaimie

Two Step – Dave Matthew’s Band / Wendy D’Angelo

Another bag of bones – Kevin Devine / Matthew D’Angelo
Kevin Devine would be an artist that really makes me think of Brian because he introduced me to him and I really like the song.

I’ll make love to you. – Boys to Men / Kelly Flanagan
So many… But every single time I hear boys to men -  all I can picture is him totally belting it out

“Who You Gonna Call” by Ray Parker Jr. / Aunt Beth

The Luckiest – Ben Folds / Wendy D’Angelo
How could I not dedicate this one to you. From the moment we both talked about loving this song, I had a feeling about you. I don’t think we could have a more perfect song for each other than this one. I love you so much!


Brian Baby


One time when we were in middle school (ish) we were playing baseball in his driveway and he told me he didn’t mind playing with me because I didn’t throw like a girl. I took pride in that! Or one of our ski vacations with our families when I decided to try snowboarding and he took me to the top of the mountain after one lesson… It’s his fault I spent so many years “trying” to snowboard because he was so damn encouraging. And that’s Bri- supportive, caring, extremely thoughtful. His hugs can completely change the way you’re feeling.
- Kelly

I think Nana’s favorite memory would be holding him in her arms at the hospital when he was only 45 minutes old.
- Susan D’Angelo for Nana

My favorite memory is the wonderment he always voiced with new experiences such as the birth of his brothers, the zoo, New York City, Santa’s Village, Disney, and the National Parks.  His voice would change and his eyes would get big and he would stop to look observe it all.
- Susan D’Angelo

It’s hard to pick a favorite memory. We’ve gone to so many shows together and talked about so many things. All my memories of Bri are kind of mashed up into one big, loveable stew. What mostly sticks out is that he is always there for you, no matter what, no matter how long it’s been. He never hesitates to listen to your problems and offer honest advice. And if you need a hug, Bri is your man. I never have any doubt that he loves me and cares about me, so to me that means more than any single memory I could have.
- Taylor

I’ll never forget Brian at the Easter egg hunt. Running through brambles and poison ivy, risking life and limb to get those eggs. I remember he had dark sunglasses on and wore lavender Easter bunny ears. He was like, this was a real competition and tore all through the yard with you guys and Skylar.
- Marie McDonald

My favorite memory(s) of Brian – Him beating me in the mile (NOT), Goldfish crackers, his bear hugs.  This is kind of funny, kind of pathetic, when we were living in Waltham, Brian had a king bed and a master bathroom, Taylor and I had the smallest rooms in the world, but anyway, I remember always going into Brian’s room for life coaching, he always seemed to have it all together.  There were usually tears involved, as it was very traumatic those first few years in the ‘real world’.  I specifically remember walking into Brian’s room crying because I accidentally ran over a family of geese on route 128 (literally the entire family, Mom, Dad, and 5 babies, in Honda Civic).  And Bri’s instant response was, “Han, why are you crying, geese suck”.  I always appreciated his honesty and effective communication skills :)
- Hannah

I really have a lot of fun memories of playing football/ wiffleball with my brothers.

– Matthew D’Angelo

My favorite memory of Brian is when he was playing with Cole when he was only 2.5 months old. Cole kept grabbing his beard and smiling at him. And then when we put Cole on the floor for tummy time, Brian told him he looked like a reverse turtle. It solidified what I’ve known all along: that he will be a great dad.
– Mallory Aronstein

When Sterling and I got really crazy at your Christmas party (it was our first Christmas together!).. and at Mike and Amelia’s Halloween party… and Brian didn’t judge. He made sure that we were comfortable and had plenty of water to drink! His hilarious Halloween costumes – Tobias when he “blue” himself and a pedophile at Amelia’s Halloween party. When Brian sent a bottle of champagne to the restaurant we were having dinner at for your bachelorette. It was so sweet! When he and Chuck danced with the ribbons at my wedding… and made their group table picture (taken by my photographer) completely inappropriate with hand gestures. Seeing how excited he was to meet Avery!
- Shawna

My favorite memory was when he threw a rock at my head in the back yard at Taylor’s place.
- Matt Spinner

Pretty sure we had a fencing match with the ghetto streamers at the Reames’ wedding. This fencing match was in two parts, a normal fencing bout, and a fencing match with the swords in our pants. A winner could not be determined.
– Chuck Dobbins

Brian swimming in our dog’s plastic baby pool located in backyard in Ohio, of course, Bonnie (the dog) wanted to swim with him!
– Aunt Beth

My entire senior year of college, cohabitating with the sweetest, hairiest little piece of eye candy in the whole world. Whether it was drilling holes in the wall to put up a basketball hoop, serving him under cooked chicken and rice, or launching water balloons from the tree line into crowds of unsuspecting drunks, my life would never be the same.
– Matt Mason

If I could recreate an experience to define our friendship I would without question choose any picture that included Brian and I in Doo-Rags. They were delightfully captivating, culturally insensitive & some of the best fun I ever had……
– Matt Mason

That time I accidentally farted in front of him during the Walk for Hunger and he heard and started killing himself laughing. From that moment on, I knew he was family.
- Victoria Pray

My favorite memory of Brian is from Kevin’s college graduation last summer. Brian and I spent the entire dinner talking in strange accents and acting out the menu as though it were a huge production. Maybe it was the excessive wine drinking that made it so hilarious and entertaining (I think we were the only ones laughing), but I talk about that night all the time. What I love most about Brian is his ability to ignore what others might think, and just be himself. He encourages others to be the same, and he has this comfortable way about interacting with others that make people feel so at home. I can always be sure that I am the best version of myself when I am around Brian. As much crap as I give him just for being my boyfriend’s brother, I truly love the old man.
– Reece

When Brian helped me host my sister Skylar’s “Hollywood”-themed birthday party at my and my sister’s place. He dressed up and waited on all these little girls, serving them sparkling juice in plastic cups off a silver platter. It was the cutest thing I’d ever seen. I fell more and more in love every second I saw him interacting with all my sister’s little friends. They were all smitten with him.
It was adorable!

- WendyMeeting Brian at Wendy’s birthday party, two things were clear right away: (1) Brian and Wendy were made for each other, and (2) Brian would soon become a beloved member of our group of friends! The cookout Wendy and Brian hosted at the Norwood apartment before we went to the OAR concert stands out, because it was such a fun and easy-going day. Seeing several of the 2011 Oscar movies in the theater, like The Fighter and Blue Valentine. And the Oscar viewing party, where we predicted the winners on ballots. Brian’s cooking! He is such a gracious host and a very talented chef. His white trash puffs and the chocolate chip cookies inside of other chocolate chip cookies, need I say more?! And of course, cheering on the first dance at your wedding is a favorite! Brian was so joyful and in love. It was really inspiring to see.
- Michelle

As far as memories go, there are so many from family gatherings that I could think of.  I’m sure you have plenty of funny or embarrassing moments from other family members and old friends already.  I think I appreciate Brian the most because at family gatherings when it was warmer and it was time to go outside and play games, he would always be the first to reach out to Eric and I (the youngest boys and not all that athletic) to come join in with the older boys to play.  Brian always wanted to make sure that everyone was included, even if that meant that I couldn’t catch a single ball during “500″.
-Kevin Dwyer

“Something cute I remember is when a bunch of us girls were trying to talk wedding details about your dress/necklace but be secretive so brian didn’t know… he immediately took himself out of the room because he didn’t want to hear anything!”
- Staci-lee

Early on, I remember being so impressed that Brian always knew where we were going anytime we were out. From Boston to NYC to Florence to Hawaii, he knows what is what. It’s such a comfort! I tease him now about loving maps, but it’s one of my favorite things about traveling anywhere with him. He always has a sense of place and makes me feel secure that he knows where we’re going.


And last but not least, one of my favorite memories ever will be when you proposed in Central Park in our favorite spot. The look on your face as you asked me to marry you will be something I remember and cherish for the rest of my life. I love you so much! I think the gist after reading through all of these song dedications and memories is that you are VERY loved by all your friends and family. (And that a lot of your male friends have a fondness for you that, as your wife, I wonder if I should be just a smidge more concerned about!) So Happy 30th Birthday to you, love.



Link Love

13 Mar

Link Love-1

1. Updated FAQs about sunscreen. (
You know I am crazed when it comes to protecting my skin.

2. What your bedtime says about you (

3. Love this charming eyelet top spring. (

4. 13 Skin secrets used by Beauticians (
I’ve been user toner every morning this week and am totally convinced now. My skin is looking much better.

5. New book app “Rooster,” like Netflix for books. (

6. These Kendra Scott “Skylar” earrings are stunning. (

7. Amy Adams’ arm workout can be done anywhere. (

8. 73 Questions with Sarah Jessica Parker. (
I hate orange too, SJP! And now having seen your gorgeous, effortly decorated home, you are officially my ultimate style icon.

9. Kelly Oxford’s budget-friendly office decor tips. (


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